Thursday, January 29, 2015

White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Waddell, AZ

 

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We left Quartzsite late yesterday morning after twelve days of being parked with the Lazy Daze group. We had a really good time but were ready to get away from the dust and road noise. It rained all day Monday so I did laundry while Jim went to pick up a couple things from the post office. They only allow general delivery pick-up between 11 and 1, and he said there were about twenty people in line in front of him.

On Tuesday Laurelee, Libby and Debbie joined us for one last hike, this time off Plomosa Road between Q and Bouse. There are remains of an old cabin somewhere around but we didn’t come across them. It was a nice hike on trails and ATV roads with lots of ups and downs and felt good to do something a little more strenuous for a change.

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Laurelee, Libby and Jim at the top. I bought the same hat in the Big Tent after admiring Laurelee’s. The Australian sales guy is quite persuasive! Besides, I really like the hat.

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 A strange thing to run across in the desert.

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We are now at White Tank Mountain Regional Park, another Maricopa county park near Waddell, about 25 miles northwest of Phoenix. It’s a beautiful park but the campsites are a little too close together for our liking. Water and electric at all the sites for $30/night. And they have a new dump station at the campground entrance.

The lovely Sonoran desert and mountains behind our site. 

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After getting set up we pieced together parts of several trails and hiked from the campground to the Waterfall Trail. We thought there might be water with the recent rain, and we found a little in the tank at the end of the trail.

White tank, where the park obviously gets its name.

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Apparently the waterfall is only there when it is actually raining or shortly after it stops. 

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We also got to see some Hohokam petroglyphs along the trail.

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This is some rugged country.

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Sure looked like a footprint to us. We ended up hiking 5.6 miles and just barely got back before dark. Can’t wait for the days to get longer.

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We have a little shopping to do in the area and Jim has another Mayo Clinic appointment tomorrow. Then we plan to get out of town before Super Bowl weekend.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Meeting of Like Minds

 

Yesterday afternoon we spent a fun couple of hours at the first annual Quartzsite Blogger Fest. Thanks to Geri and the others who came up with the idea and put this together.

At first everyone was milling around, putting on name tags, and chit chatting.

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I like what Judy said about “herding cats” while Geri and Sandie were trying to get everyone to sit in a circle so we could take turns introducing ourselves. We finally cooperated after some of us were reprimanded for getting into the food before the proper time. I won’t name names!

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Judy introducing herself. We were disappointed she left Emma at home.

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As we were sitting there I noticed a familiar looking dog working the crowd. Then we saw Al and Kelly of Bayfield Bunch walk behind us and realized it was Pheebes. Sure didn’t expect that they would show up! Judy was surprised that I was so tall, and I was surprised that Al was shorter than he looks in photos.

This is a horrible shot but it was the only one I got of them.

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In fact I hardly took any photos since I was too busy running my mouth. Should have given the camera to Jim.

Pheebes and Yuma getting to know each other. We also got to meet Ivan’s cat Hailey who was not really into the crowd.

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It was great to meet so many other blogging RVers but because there were over 50 people there we didn’t get to talk with everyone we wanted to. I won’t go into more details as many others have already blogged about the event. We do hope to see some of you again down the road!

When we got home it was cat walking time. One of the few things we bought in the Big Tent is a new harness for Elvis. The cheapie I bought at Walmart has to go over his head, which he hates, and he has learned to get out of it.

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This one is much easier to put on since it has velcro on the straps, and I think he looks especially handsome in it! 

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Odds and Ends from Quartzsite

 

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Been staying busy in Quartzsite but not doing much of anything noteworthy. We’ve been to the Big Tent and Tyson Wells flea markets several times looking around and buying just a few inexpensive items. It’s nice that we’re parked less than a mile away so it’s an easy walk. Jim couldn’t believe that Kim, Debbie and I spent four hours over there one day.

We thought this was a great sign.

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I had my 60th birthday last week, just another day in the life but hard for me to believe. After happy hour Jim picked up a couple pizzas at Silly Al’s and Laurelee and Debbie joined us for dinner. Pretty exciting celebration!

Jim and I took a day trip to Algodones, Mexico on Thursday. 89 miles from Q but we knew we would probably have to go back so we wanted to get the process in motion. I am going to have the root canal redone that I had done last year. After carefully studying the 3D scan of the tooth, Dr. Hernandez really didn’t see anything obvious but he suspects maybe a microscopic canal didn’t get treated, which could be causing my discomfort. He is a very nice guy, told me there would be no charge for the redo. Jim and I have both had to have root canals redone in the US and not only did we have to pay again, there was not even a discount. Another reason to go to Mexico for dental work. Jim had a cleaning and exam by Dr. Urena, who’s office is next door to Dr. Hernandez. He had a pocket of infection in the gum of a crowned tooth which she deep cleaned and gave him an antibacterial rinse. He has another appointment with her next month to see if it’s cleared up, but she said he may need a root canal. Since he had one done on that tooth 30 years ago he is hesitant to have another and then lose that tooth as has happened in the past. It’s always something. So we’ll be spending some time in Yuma in February to get all that taken care of.

We hiked around the hills behind our site and found this old stone house. It was in a nice spot with great views.

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A stark landscape but we find it appealing. It’s an acquired taste, kind of like red wine.

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Jim thought this would be a great vehicle to tow behind the Lazy Daze.

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We had a couple of really windy days so didn’t get around to working on the other step yet, but the first one turned out well after I finally got the adhesive off. I forgot to take a picture of the finished product and now it’s dirty so I will do it after we get the next one done.

We found the secret to short lines at the dump and water fill stations in La Posa. Yesterday we went at 4:30, happy hour time for many people, and there was only one RV waiting to dump. Last year we went earlier in the day and waited over an hour in line.

This afternoon a bunch of us are going to the Blogger Fest. Just in our group alone, besides us, we have The Travels of Kimbopolo, Me and My Dog, Plein Air Journey, J &B and Lady Blue, On The Road With Riley, and Wish You Were Here!. 

Hope to see some of you there!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Desert Rats Once Again

 

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We are now in Quartzsite hanging with the Lazy Daze group in La Posa West. It always takes us a few days to get back into boondocking mode after spending time in a campground with water and electric. Jim cleaned and tilted the solar panels, added a little water to the batteries, and we are good to go.

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The group is a bit smaller this year, about 20 other Lazy Daze, but there have been several who already came and left. We’ve joined a couple of happy hours and campfires, met some nice people, and caught up with others we haven’t seen since last year.

Debbie had the dreaded refrigerator failure last week, and you would think being in Quartzsite at this time of year it would be easy to get a replacement. She called us while we were still at McDowell and said there were none available in the Q, Yuma or Phoenix area and it would be 5 days to get one. She called the Lazy Daze factory and they had one in stock and a cancellation last Friday so she took a trip to Montclair, CA. Jim started thinking about some replacement parts he wanted, so he texted her a list. She was kind enough to pick them up for us, and as would be expected several other folks here in Quartzsite asked her to get some things for them, too.

So now we have even more projects to work on, which we started yesterday. Jim put a new gasket on our fake spare tire carrier on the back of the rig while I worked slowly at removing the stick-on non-skid running board step thing that was worn down to the paint in spots and had white wax on it that would not come off.

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Had to run the generator to use the hair dryer to heat it up and slowly peel it off. Took me over an hour to get it completely off.

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Of course the entire step was covered with adhesive residue, and after trying Goof-Off, alcohol and acetone, none of which did that great a job, I only got about half of it off before the sun started going down. Not fun. Jim suspects only the one will be replaced, but I assured him I have the patience to do the other side one of these days.

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While I was working on that, after he got the new back gasket on, he did some lube and maintenance work on the bikes. We still have new door gasket to put on, which he will do while I painstakingly work on removing the rest of the adhesive from the step.

We have not yet gone to the Big Tent, but did walk over to one of the RV dealers to take a look at what they had. Nothing we were interested in, though.

Yesterday morning we went for a hike up Q mountain and the old mine with Laurelee, Debbie, and Rod.

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Just doesn’t look like as many people here this year, and we thought with gas prices being so low it would be even more crowded.

Rod got his very well behaved dogs to pose by the flag.

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This was the best shot I got of Laurelee’s dog Libby. She is a furball of energy!

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You see all kinds of RV here. This looks pretty permanent, so we wonder where their black water is being dumped??

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Kim (of Kimbopolo fame) joined us yesterday with her new solar panel. The weather has been great, warm with no wind, and the sunrises and sunsets have been lovely. Can’t complain about life in the desert.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Moving On to Q

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After nearly two months at McDowell Mountain we are finally leaving today for Quartzsite. We extended one more day because some mail did not arrive and we wanted to do one more bike ride after getting rained out earlier in the week. It has been a wet winter so far here in the Sonoran desert but that has made it much greener and will hopefully make for good cactus flowers in the spring.

The other day after the rain we had some interesting clouds as the sun was going down. Our new Sony camera is doing a very acceptable job so far.

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We have really enjoyed our time here. There are quite a few people who come here to spend the winter months and most of them are mountain bikers so we’ve met some really nice folks who we hope to see here next year. And Jim is not the only one mountain biking on blood thinners!

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In all of our riding here neither of us fell, but yesterday when we got back I took the cats out while Jim returned something to the camp host. Somehow Elvis came out of his harness, and while I was trying to chase him back to the door I tripped and fell face first. Luckily my hands and knees caught me but they are scraped, bruised and bloodied. Glad I did this on our last day as I will not be biking for at least a few days or more.

If any of you follow Just Wanderin’ or Where’s Weaver you probably already know about the Blogger Fest on Saturday the 24th. We plan to be there to see some old friends and meet some new bloggers. Sounds like a fun afternoon.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Another Day of RV Shopping

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Yesterday we took a long day trip to Tucson to check out a used Foretravel, probably the only class A diesel pusher we would want. Foretravel is to class As as Lazy Daze is to class Cs, one of the highest rated in the RV industry. New Foretravels are well out of our price range, from several hundred thousand dollars to well over $1 million! This is why we went to look at a 2002 U270 in Tucson even though it has 158,000 miles on it. Also it is “only” 36’, just 5’ longer than our Lazy Daze but with one slide, which made it feel so much more spacious.

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We both drove it, our first time driving anything other than the Lazy Daze, and I must say it was not as intimidating as I thought it might be, something we could adjust to with more experience.

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Jim getting a driving lesson from the owner.

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Most of the interior has been upgraded, including all of the floors, furniture, TVs, refrigerator, and window treatments. It is all very simple and tasteful, just to our liking. None of the fancy lights, bells and whistles like you see in some of the so called luxury RVs.

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Could we see ourselves living in it? Oh, yeah! But will we? Probably not. The owner took out a binder with all the work he’s had done and we were astonished by the cost of repairs and maintenance. He recently replaced tires, radiator, muffler and tailpipe, among other things. Some of the receipts he showed us were for things like new awnings on all the windows, but others for problems he’s had gave us pause. And not so much just for how much it costs to maintain, but also the inconvenience of having to take it in for service. Our Lazy Daze is a gas engine Ford E450, basically just a truck, and quite simple compared to a Cummins ISL 400 diesel engine with 6 speed Allison transmission and brake retarder, along with many other systems we aren’t familiar with but I’m sure we would learn about along the way.

So since we are most likely keeping the Lazy Daze, now I want to finish the upgrades to our current home, like replacing the carpet with vinyl or something easier to clean, installing a new kitchen faucet, and a few other odds and ends that need to be done. If anyone has a recommendation for a place to have our flooring replaced in the southwest, please let us know. Although it would save quite a bit of money, it’s just not a job we want to tackle ourselves.