2014 Travels travel blog

Carpes boondocking north of Quartzsite
Yes, the coach next to ours is a...

Interstate 8 is one of our favorite roads

Quartzsite as seen from I 10 east of town
Yes, those white dots...

Main Street Quartzsite

RVs line AZ 95 north of Quartzsite

Desert sunsets can be spectacular

RVs dot the desert north of Quartzsite

Happy Hour is always a welcome treat

Sandi's birthday dawns in a spectacular way

Sandi and "Bibb" at the RV show
Where's Sandi??? Look on his right...

Happy Seventy-Third Sandi!

The bears enjoy "basking" in the morning sun

Carpe and her "twin" at Quartzsite

Sandi "hard at it"
Retirement isn't for everyone...

A spectacular desert sunset...

...and an equally gorgeous sunrise

With the Ackermans gone Carpe is all alone

Watering up
Davilas bring us a bladder full of water

Another desert sunset
This one was on 28 Jan

Thursday (30 Jan) treated us to an extra special sunrise

Carpes reflect Thursday's sunrise

Our final nite at Quartzsite warranted another wonderful sunset

Sun, 19 Jan: Back in Quartzsite...

Today we drove 190 miles from Casa Grande to Quartzsite. This has become somewhat of an annual "pilgrimage" for us, along with thousands of other RVers from throughout the west. The annual Quartzsite RV show is a big draw, but more than that it is a Scene (yes, the uppercase "S" is warranted!)

We got Carpe ready and moved it to the RoVers Roost dump station where Bob gave the holding tanks a good flush and dump as well as topping off the fresh water tank. Then to the LP tank to top off our propane supply. Once we settled our bill we rolled wheels at nine sharp.

The run from Casa Grande to Quartzsite takes us west on I 8 to Gila Bend where we move to AZ 83 for the run north to I 10. Then west on I 10 to Quartzsite, located a dozen miles east of the Arizona/California border. We switched drivers at a convenient rest stop and arrived at the Quartzsite Pilot/Flying J at 1220.

We topped off the diesel tank (she took "only" 20 gallons) and then drove north on AZ 95 five miles to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) boondock sites off Plomosa Road. We met up with Ben & Bonnie Ackerman who had a couple of sites staked out. We got set up and went back to town for lunch. Some of the worst service we've endured at Sweet Darlene's. Once it arrived, the food wasn't worth the wait...

Then back to the campsite where we spent the balance of the day working on Dinkum. We have a 45 gallon water bladder that we use to store additional drinking water for long boondock stays. We keep the bladder in the back of Dinkum, but this time it leaked! Water all over, even filling the spare tire well. What a mess!

We enjoyed Happy Hour with Ben & Bonnie and were treated to a very nice desert sunset. Then, the falling temperatures drove us in for the evening.

Fri, 24 Jan: How the time she flies...

It is difficult to fathom how we've neglected this Journal so. The time has flown by as we enjoy our boondocking at Quartzsite. We've been on the go several days, and have also spent days just "vegging" at home.

Monday we elected to stay home and continue trying to dry out the Focus. The water got into every low point of the car and we spent quite a bit of time working with sponges and microfiber cloths trying to get the majority of the water out. We're gaining, but it'll be an ongoing effort. Thankfully we're in the dry desert so mold/mildew isn't a concern.

Later in the afternoon Domingo, Carmen, Dan, and Pat drove out for Happy Hour. Ben & Bonnie joined our circle and we had a great time catching up. It wasn't until the sun set and the desert chill took over that we broke up.

Tuesday (21 Jan) we "braved" the Big Tent for the RV Show. We arrived at opening (0900) and stuck around until the crowds swelled to the point where moving around became a problem. We knew many of the folks manning the booths and it was great to visit with them.

Caution: Rant follows...

As in previous years, the people and their dogs seemed to cause the most trouble. Some folks (those with larger dogs—or in some cases small horses) have them on a leash where they are free to sniff crotches, get underfoot, and wrap their leash around everything and everybody. Those with the "rats on a string" variety, on the other hand, feel obliged to tote them about in baby buggies, which they use as battering rams. Someday, should we live long enough to achieve infinite wisdom, we'll understand why people feel compelled to take a dog to an RV show!

End Rant!

Wednesday dawned desert beautiful (see pix). We again headed to the Big Tent to pick up some items we decided we needed or wanted. We also exchanged a broken product at the vendor's booth (they were good about the exchange). We tried to get a 2014 Passport America book, but the lying people in the booth refused to give us one despite the fact they told us yesterday to just show them our membership card. We're losing our patience with Passport America.

We then drove over to Discount Solar and bought three new house batteries. We decided up replace our six-week-old flooded batteries with maintenance-free AGM units. Not only are they maintenance-free, but they have a higher capacity. Back to the coach to install them and then get ready for lunch in town.

Today is Sandi's birthday and the "gang" took her out to lunch at the local Mexican place (her choice). It was a great shindig and thanks to all for making her seventy-third a very special day.

Yesterday, Thursday, was a stay-at-home day. We spent the better part of the day working on our finances getting all the 2013 records reconciled and organized. That is always a big job, but one we feel good about completing.

Which brings us to today... It is somewhat overcast and cool so we've stayed home thus far. We may, or may not, head out later to do something. Who knows?

Tue, 28 Jan: Still "chilling" in Quartzsite...

Another weekend has passed and we're still boondocking on BLM land some seven miles north of Quartzsite. Since our last update we haven't done a great deal, but then again, mayhaps retired folks aren't supposed to "do a great deal"?

Saturday we left early and "opened up" the Big Tent show. This was the next to last day of the RV show and the tent was fairly deserted at opening. We made a beeline for the Passport America booth where we finally got our 2014 campground directory. Every PA member is "supposed" to receive the annual directory as part of their membership. That said, the "powers that are" in PA are now charging postage to send this "member benefit". As a matter of principle we've been picking ours up at the booth during RV shows and rallies. This year they "ran out" but finally got a supply and we now have a 2014 version.

We stopped and visited with several of the vendors, including Darrel Lawrence, Chris & Charles Yust, and Lisa & Gim Koch. To a person they were beat and counting the seconds until tomorrow's closing. Staffing a booth is really hard work and our hats are off to these folks.

Leaving the show we drove by the park in which Carmen & Domingo Davila and Dan & Pat Rosas are staying. We visited for a bit and then headed back home to recover.

Sunday and Monday were stay-at-home days. The weather was desert gorgeous with beautiful sunrises and sunsets. We puttered around the house, mostly catching up on paperwork and reviewing all of our 2013 financial records. Sandi even got to sit outside with her Kindle and some good music on the DVD player. Sunday we enjoyed Happy Hour with Ben & Bonnie Ackerman, our "next door neighbors".

About three yesterday the Davilas and Rosas drove over for an extended Happy Hour. We sat in the shade early on as the sun was pretty bright. Later on we moved into the sun as the desert temperatures started to fall as the sun reached the horizon. To top it off we were treated to a particularly gorgeous sunset (see pix).

Today we "lost" our neighbors. Ben & Bonnie rolled wheels a few minutes before eight. They're heading to Casa Grande to get six new tires on their rig. We really enjoyed having then parked next to us for the eight days we've been here. Their coach is the same year & model as ours so looking out the window was akin to looking in a mirror. If all goes well we'll rendezvous with them later in February.

Later this morning Carmen & Domingo are coming over with our water bladder full of fresh water. We've been boondocking for ten days now and our fresh water supply is down to about twenty gallons. With the forty gallons in the bladder we'll have no water problems for the duration of our stay.

After the water transfer we'll all drive to Parker to do some Wal*Mart shopping and run some errands. Should be another good "retired" day.

Thu, 30 Jan: More desert living...

As scheduled, Tuesday morning the Davilas brought us 45 gallons of fresh water, which we transferred to Carpe's fresh water tank This will provide more than we'll need till we're back at a full service campground this weekend.

After the water transfer the four of us drove to Parker where we visited the DMV and got our Arizona ID cards. Since we're spending most of our winters in Arizona the ID cards should expedite some transactions. Other than our time (it took > two hours) the cards were free since we're "of an age"!

After DMV (waiting builds a hunger) we stopped for lunch and then a Wal*Mart shopping expedition. Our larder is now stocked and we're good for another week of boondocking should it be necessary. We were treated to a pretty nice sunset (see pix).

Wednesday morning we drove to the Quartzsite Post Office to mail some packages and cards. We then visited the Flying J to top off Dinkum's tank at Arizona prices. Nevada's fuel is more expensive, so we thought we'd head to Vegas with a full tank. Back to the coach for a laid back day of doing mostly nothing.

This morning we awoke to an absolutely spectacular sunrise. One of those "red sky in morning" types that presages changes in the weather. Sure enough, as this is written in late morning it is partly cloudy with a strong southerly wind. A good day to stay in.

This afternoon we'll visit the Davilas and Rosas at their RV park for Happy Hour. We're tentatively scheduled to lunch with them tomorrow as we'll be heading to Las Vegas first thing Saturday.

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