Friday, February 15, 2019

Marfa, Texas

Friday: (02/15) We were on the road early. We stopped above Las Cruces, NM and took showers and ate breakfast. Ham omelets for breakfast. We decided to continue on into Texas. We stopped at  Visitor Center in El Paso for a ton of literature on things to do in Texas. Nibbles for lunch (Beef log and cheese) We then continued on to Marfa, texas where we stopped for the night at the Apache Pines RV Park. We had dinner at a BBQ place called Convenience West. Really good BBQ brisket. After dinner we drove 10 miles East on highway 90 to the Marfa Lights Viewing Area. It’s a Rest Stop where you are supposed to possibly see the elusive Marfa Lights, something like the Northern Lights or regular UFO sightings. We watch for an hour or so and gave up. Evidently they were not coming out tonight.

(GPS: 37.099604, -121.547790)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Bisbee, Az

Thursday: (02/14) Granola for breakfast. We visited the museum again before hitting the road. We stopped for a walk in Sierra Vista. We stopped in Bisbee  for a walk and look through the shops. We left Bisbee about 1700 driving to a Rest Stop on I10 East of Lordsburg, NM where we stopped for the night.  Ham cheese sandwich for lunch. Wieners with cabbage and veggies for dinner.
(GPS: 37.099604, -121.547790)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Kartchner Caverns

Wednesday: (02/13) Soft Boiled eggs for breakfast. We prepared to leave. Lou and Dawn were off groceries shopping. I dumped our tanks filled out water, bought LPG, and filled the RV gas tank. A very satisfying price for gas, $2.01. We met up and had lunch before heading East on I10. We arrived at Kartchner Caverns in time to get some tour tickets. No campsites available but they did have overflow camping in their parking lot. Chicken cheese sandwiches for lunch. Leftover mesquite beans for dinner.
(GPS: 37.099604, -121.547790)

Friday, February 8, 2019

Tucson Exploration And iPhone Replacement

Friday: (02/08) We headed off into unknown morning traffic to get to the Apple Store on Skyline in Tucson. We arrived with almost 1.5 hours to spare so we went to AJ’s market in the mall and got breakfast. Apple provide good information but we had thought they covered to phone for our insurance through Verizon. Not so. We bought the phone at Best Buy but they don’t cover apple phones. They did cover my Android and their insurance is better. So we visited a Verizon store and no, they don’t do it there. They provided a brochure that had the phone number of Asurion that did cover the phone. However the process is way more that difficult to get them to send the replacement phone. Among the problems was one of their reps that insisted they couldn’t send it to a Verizon or FedEx store because they needed a street address. Actually, that was not a problem. They could identify the carrier until after everything was completed but the UPS Store accepted either. So after starting at 0830 on this task, it was finally completed online at 2030. It is scheduled to arrive today at noon. That part was great. We had lunch at the Tucson Mall in the food court. Lou and Dawn did Greek and I did Cajan. We headed home early and relaxed the rest of the day other than messing with the online phone stuff. Leftovers for dinner.

Saturday: (02/09) Lou made chorizo with eggs and cheese for breakfast. We all got haircuts and showered in the morning. At 1130 we got a call that Dawn’s Replacement phone had arrived at the UPS Store. We headed off to pick it up then went to lunch at the Olive Garden. Then we were off shopping. On our way home we did grocery shopping. Leftovers for dinner.

Sunday: (02/10) Leftover chorizo breakfast. I set up Dawn’s replacement phone to start. We headed out to do more exploring. We drove East on Broadway visiting thrift and other interesting stores along the way. We had a late lunch at IHOP. A little grocery shopping and a bookstore visit to Bookmans and then it was dark and we headed home. We cocked some just pork chops. rice and cauliflower for dinner. It sure does get dark here at night.

Monday: (02/11) Lou and I have been together for 44 years today. Seems like just yesterday. Granola for breakfast. We all went to the Arizona Desert Museum for the day. It is a wonderful zoo/museum with all of the invisible fencing of the animals. Lunch at the museum. McDonald's French fries with leftover pork for dinner.

Tuesday: (02/12) Leftover fries with leftover pork and some scrambled eggs for breakfast. Shower and wash day today. We dropped Dawn off at the Midtown Bookman’s store and Lou and I headed off to a gluten free bakery where she picked up a cinnamon roll. We then stopped at a laundromat and did our laundry. We then visited Joann;s and Michael’s craft stores. Lou wanted some plastic and magnets to make a cover for out kitchen sink cabinet for when they wash their heads there. We also stopped at the Mall for lunch. I enjoyed cajun fish again. Dawn had some mesquite beans in the slow cooker all day which we had for dinner.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Sunday: (02/03) We prepared to roll and headed off to Fortuna for some grocery shopping before headed East on Hwy 8. We stopped in Gila Bend for lunch. We then caught Hwy 85 South into Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We settled into our new campsite. We had rain from Gila bend and at the park. We attended a ranger talk at 1400 and then relaxed at home the rest of the day. We learned that the park is much more open now. Last time we were here the Southern portion of the park was closed. This time we should b able to do the Puerto Blanka Road drive. Granola for breakfast. Ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Broccoli beef for dinner.

Monday: (02/04) I made pancakes and Lou made bacon for breakfast. We then made sandwiches for lunch and hit the road for a tour. We drove the Puerto Blanco Road, a 41 mile loop through a beautiful portion of the park. We hiked up to Dripping Springs along the way as well as stopping many times to greet cacti. We reached the border with Mexico, and took another short hike around the pond at Quitobaquito Spring. Nice spring fed pond with pupfish and turtles. About 15 miles of the drive was next to the barrier fence along the border. Last time here, 5-6 years ago when I visited Quitobaquito, it was a guided hike with armed guards. Nice that the park and border are back to normal, even without s fence now. We stopped in Lukeville for gas before heading home. Lou fixed tacos for dinner.

Tuesday: (02/05) Granola with a banana and a sausage, a hikers breakfast. Lou dropped me off on Puerto Blanco Rd at the Red Tanks trailhead. I hiked past several mines after visiting the Red Tanks. Not very big tanks and little water. First mine was the Baker mine, just a tunnel and shaft. The tunnel was open and a fool could enter.  This fool didn’t. The desert on the way there had singing birds and good looking cacti. After that mine, the trail went up and over the mountain. On the other side was the Milton Mine, it was an open pit mine. There were several other unnamed tiny mines along the way as well. On the way into the Senita Basin there was a gorgeous cactus forest which even included some senita cactus. There are only about 150 of that cacti in the US, all here in Organ Pipe NM. The rest are in the Mexican Sonoran desert. My final mine was the Victoria Mine. It was the biggest mine.  It was a little over three miles more to get back to the campground, a 13 mile hike in all. That was plenty of hike. Lou made BBQ ribs with baked potato and a green salad for dinner.

Wednesday: (02/06) PBJ toast for breakfast. We headed out the 21 mile Ajo Mountain Road this morning. It’s a one way road through more cactus forest. And up into the mountains. As soon as we couldn’t go back, I noticed I didn’t have my phone. So no pictures by me today. We hiked out the Arch Canyon trail. Lou and Dawn hiked out the flat section. I attempted to get to the top. I stopped about 100 feet down form the ridge because the trail became too overgrown for me in my short pants. Of course, no pictures. After this drive we drove down to the border and drove the Camino de Dos Republicas which headed East a couple of miles from Highway 85. We also drove out to Senita Basin which i hiked past yesterday so that Lou and Dawn could see some of the interesting cacti there. Lunch was ham and cheese sandwiches. Lou made salmon soup for dinner.

Thursday: (02/07) Granola for breakfast. We pulled out from camp by 1000. We drove up to Ajo and started East on Highway 86. We stopped shortly at a casino. Lou and Dawn lost their dollars and I had a second breakfast. We continued on to Sells. Az and stopped for a walk. While there we picked up an indian fry bread taco which Dawn and I shared. And then on to Tucson. Along the way we remembered we forgot to dump our RV holding tanks. Not worth a 30 mile return trip but did necesitate a stop at an RV park in Tucson, at a $20 fee, before parking at the BLM site off highway 86 at San Joaquin  Road. (GPS: 32.156610, -111.115531). We setup our camp then head off into heavy traffic to find a AAA club office where Lou picked up guidebooks and maps. Then we were off to dinner at the U-Like Chinese buffet. Really good. After dinner we located the Apple store where Dawn has an appointment tomorrow morning to have her phone looked at. It was fun finding our campsite after it got dark.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

New Batteries In Yuma

Wednesday: (01/30) We relaxed at home all day. I stuffed some things in the compartments after a little reorganizing. Dawn worked on beading outside most of the day. Lou made soft boiled eggs for breakfast. I made chilli sizes for lunch and corned beef hash for dinner.

Thursday: (01/31) I got an early call from FedEx saying my batteries were in. I dashed off to get them at their distribution center. They couldn’t be sent to a FedEx store because they are hazardous? After picking them up I stopped by the Arizona Marketplace to try to find some 3/0 cables for the new batteries. The old batteries wer 2ea 6v. The new batteries are 2ea 12v so an additional jumper cable was needed. No luck at the Marketplace but I did enjoy a nice breakfast burrito there. I tried an RV store, a couple of welding shops an an auto parts store, no luck. Finally a tried a solar store that was all but out of business. They fixed me up with the cables I wanted. With that finally accomplished and the morning consumed, I headed home. At home, ater a nice tea, I got to work. I removed the old batteries and cleaned up the battery compartment. I needed to reroute some cables through a new access hole to get the batteries to fin. They are taller and deeper than the previous and fill up all the space in the compartment. It took some work but I finished the installation about 1500. We then headed off to town to pick up our mail, do the laundry , eat dinner and do grocery shopping. We arrived home about 2030. By 2100 we had some rain showers. Breakfast at the flea market. Dinner at the Golden Corral buffet.

Friday: (02/01) Dawn started a stew in our slow cooker. We headed to the Arizona Market Place for a look around. After a rest at home, i rewired the solar so that it charges whichever batteries are switched to use the Inverter/charger. I had been thinking of installing a seperate switch but this may eliminate the need, if it works. After a visit with our neighbors, we all headed to town again and also did some shopping before heading to dinner and then home. Breakfast at the Arizona Marketplace (Flea Market). Lunch at home, Dawn’s stew. Dinner at the EAT Asian Buffet again.

Saturday: (02/02) Chip, the owner of the other Surfside dropped by. We gave him a tour of our coach and discussed his an our modifications and setup. He actually pointed out the location of our leveling jack control box. It is under our refrigerator. In the afternoon, Lou nand Dawn went to town shopping. I relaxed at home all day and I started collecting info and installed my tax software in preparation to do the dirty task of our tax return. Leftover hash and eggs for breakfast. Stuffed celery and avocado for lunch. Leftover stew for dinner.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

On The Road Again, Finally

Saturday: (01/19) We did the final preparation to roll and were on the road before 1000. We stopped for breakfast at the Longhouse Restaurant in Gilroy. What a difference a couple of days made. Beautiful clear skies and dry roads. I stopped for a nap in Greenfield. I prefer not to fight drowsiness. Lou and dawn looked around the few shops in the shopping center. We decided to try for a spot at Oceana State Park. We pulled in and there were two spots left and we picked a nice one by the lagoon. Great views. Must be a good park because all the rest of the campers seem to be part of a boy scout troop. Dinner at Pismo Fish and Chips. We always visit there when we are in the area and usually have our waiter Juan who remembers our usual order. Are we too predictable? We’ll be here a couple of days. We have an appointed for the Jeep to be looked at Monday. Much better service here and you don’t have to wait weeks for an appointment. I called Thursday for an appointment and they could have seen it Friday at Cole In San Luis Obispo. The earliest in our area was the 28th. Our Jeep engine start/stop feature has failed again. It is just because the computer thinks the battery isn’t charged enough. Last time they replaced the battery and it worked again. For some reason, they don’t do that as a first step. They had the Jeep for four days last time at San Jose when even I knew what was wrong when I left it. Even when we did get it back it didn’t work for a couple of days. Evidently the computer needs to learn the new battery. I guess our Jeep has a memory like mine.

Sunday: (01/20) Relaxing morning. We’re only able to register for one day at a time so the first order of business was to re-register for tonight. Our beautiful skies are less so today. It’s hazy or light foggy today. Granola for breakfast. Lunch at Blast Pizza in SLO. We browsed around downtown SLO after lunch. Much of the afternoon was back at camp. When we returned, we had several new neighbors and many of the boyscout tents were gone. Unfortunately, it was mostly cloudy during the eclipse with just an occasional view. We had soup for dinner. We got to see the eclipse of the moon occasionally between clouds.

Monday: (01/21) Up early and prepared to roll. We drove down to SLO separately to drop the Jeep off and Cole Jeep to have the Start/Stop feature looked at and get an oil change. We decided to take the RV and leave camp because we couldn’t re-register for our pot early enough to assure we’d make our appointment. As it was we were there an hour early. After i checked it in we all had showers in the RV and had breakfast. Then a little walk and shopping. About noon we headed back down to the park and registered for our site again. Then off to Von’s market for a soup lunch. I received a call about 1400 that the car would be ready by 1500. They didn’t find any errors with the start/stop function but found information that replacing the voltage sensor has helped. Lets hope it dos so we can get the reduced fuel consumption it can provide. Sounds like it could fix it. This shop is so much better than the shop in San Jose. They actually think and then do something. We filed up the Jeep and RV gas at Costco on our way back to camp. Lou prepared stir fried veggies and chicken for dinner.

Tuesday: (01/22) I prepared pancakes and sausage for breakfast. We rolled away from camp after showers but tinkered mailing packages and shopping and didn’t hit the road until almost 1300. Nice weather. We had cheese and summer sausage for lunch on the road. We stopped early because we would not have time to go all the way across LA to a place we could camp until late in the evening. And I was drowsy, so we stopped in Carpinteria in a nice beach side campsite. We took a walk along the bluffs. Dinner at Rincon Brewery. I enjoyed a really good fish and chips. Dawn had lamb sliders and Lou a cobb salad. All excellent.

Wednesday: (01/23) Last night, while we could use the generator and microwave, Lou had thawed some wieners and cut them up as well as steaming some onions. I grilled that mixture and added some eggs for breakfast. We were on the road by 0830. Traffic was nice except for a couple of short backups and a longer backup approaching the highway 101/405 junction. All in all we zipped across the top of LA stopping for lunch in Fontana. About 1300 we headed off again stopping 30 miles East of Indio at the Southern entrance to Joshua Tree NP. We have camped here in this BLM property before and enjoyed it. Lots of fellow campers, some of them may be unwilling though. They had some rain here and the “roads” had som washouts. Some of the campers may be stuck behind washouts waiting for the BLM crews to come back to work after the government shutdown. We’ll be off tomorrow to Quartzsite. We stopped a bit early again tonight so we wouldn’t be arriving in Quartzsite after dark.

Thursday: (01/24) Granola for breakfast. We were on the road by 0800. We stopped in Blythe to do some last minute shopping. We arrived in Quartzsite, Arizona before noon. We did a little looking for an RV park with cheap rates. None to be had in town due to the RV show this week. We settled on the free BLM camping just East of town. Nice site fairly close to town with a few tree, and lots of fellow campers. We had lunch at the Grubstake bar of fish and chips. Then it was time to visit the big top tent RV show. A lot to see and of interest  in the tent. We finished our first go round just before 1700 as they were closing. We had $1 burgers and curly fries that we picked up before heading back to camp.

Friday: (01/25) Nice weather. After leftovers meatloaf, curly fries and wiener omelet for breakfast, I replaced the batteries in the TPMS (tire pressure monitor system) sensors. They all worked well after that. Then we headed off to the RV show and vendor tents. I picked up more batteries for the Jeep tire sensors as well as spare batteries for my TPMS, and a valve stem adapter. I wanted to try to figure a way to get pass through sensors for the front tires on the RV but, unfortunately the adapter I bought and everything I see won’t help so the non pass thru sensors remain. They were intended for the JEEP so I returned to the vendor and bought two more non pass thru sensors so I have four for the Jeep, as well as a signal repeater for the TPMS. Everything almost works without the repeater. When the jeep is crosswise behind the RV the far side sensors don’t report to the monitor so I’ll install the repeater tomorrow. I also replaced the indicator lamp for the water pump in the bathroom. Nice to finally have that working. Should help reduce our leaving the water pump on after use. I also looked around a little and bought replacement bungee loops for the tow bar. A late lunch from Randy’s of an italian sausage with grilled onions and a butter pecan shake. The shops start closing about 1630. We returned home to relax before I made grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Saturday: (01/26) Lou made sausage gravy with biscuits for breakfast. I dropped Lou and Dawn off at Tyson Wells for them to continue their browsing. I drove on to the two big Solar shops in town looking at batteries. I then visited the Big Tent to see i they had the Battle Born Lithium batteries I’m looking for. They didn’t. All the stock at he couple of vendors that had had them was gone. In addition, I need GC2 (tall golf cart) batteries. Everyone only has the standard short long type. I also need to be sure the terminals are somewhat like my current installation so I don’t need to replace cables and also because the GC2 batteries barely fit anyway. No luck with finding batteries so I guess I’ll have to live with the current batteries for a while.I finished up the TPMS repeater installation. All tires are now reading well, including the toad. I had a pistachio milkshake and leftover pancakes for lunch. We had an early dinner at the Mountain Quail Restaurant where Lou and Dawn shared prime rib and I had shrimp. A visit to the old General Store market which has become Coyote Fresh Market. About the same, a good small market.

Sunday: (01/27) I prepared smoked pork chops with leftover french fries, baked potato and eggs for breakfast. We made a run up to the disposal transfer station to get rid of our garbage for our first task. Then I dropped Lou and Dawn off to continue their looking at the vendors. I made a final walk through the big top vendor tent at the RV show. I talked with the Battle Born Battery representative and discovered the battery I was considering will fit if sat on it’s side. Orientation doesn’t matter. I returned to the RV for a final fit  check and then returned to the tent to order two batteries. Lithium batteries are not cheap but the show discount does help a tiny bit. I’ll pick them up at FedEx in Yuma in a couple of days. Then I was free to start looking at other stuff. I had a milkshake for a snack then met Lou and Dawn for lunch. After lunch I examined all the vendors on the west end of main street. We relaxed at home after 1600 until dinner of roast chicken, cauliflower and baked potatoes.

Monday: (01/28) A day unintended. Nice weather. We prepared to roll. I fixed pancakes and we had it with Lou’s apple nut dessert from last night. When I tried to bring in the slides the day fell apart. The slides, jacks and steps were not moving. It seems like the control that enables them when the engine is running isn’t working. I fiddled all day trying to get it to work. We called a service tech but he was only a maybe for today. To top this, our black tank was full to the brim. We intended to dump on our way out of town this morning so we were in a pickle. Lou and Dawn went out to get a 5 gallon bucket john. As the sun was going down Lou and I ventured over to one of our neighbors that is in an identical motorhome. He had some electrical drawings that I couldn’t find in my information. Maybe tomorrow it will work or I can’t more intelligently troubleshoot it. This happened once before on our first outing to the pinnacles just after we bought it. It fixed itself and hasn’t bothered us since, until now. For dinner, we went to Silly Al’s Pizza.

Tuesday: (01/29) Lou made leftover smoked pork chops and French fries with eggs for breakfast. I did some more research online and troubleshooting the RV problem wit hth inop steps, slides and jacks. While I had checked the status of the two main circuit breakers early on, today I actually toggled them off and on. While thy have flags that should indicate their status, the one that was tripped, didn’t. Everything started working. I called the service tech, that I had confirmed would actually be arriving late this morning, and told him we didn’t need him after all. Saved a bill and learned a lesson, or two. We headed off from camp to get LPG, Gas, dump our tanks and get water about 1030. While I was doing the utility work, Lou and Dawn did some last minute shopping and checked with a shop about Dawn’s metal detector operation. After cereal for lunch, we hit the road toward Yuma arriving a little after 1500. We checked in at the BLM lot off Hwy 95, 10 miles East of Yuma next to the VFW hall. Nice and close to town so we can get our batteries and install them near parts. After setting up, we headed off to a couple of thrift stores then dinner at EAT Chinese Buffet, one of my favorite eating establishments.