Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Imperial Dam LTVA, Kripple Kreek CG

Tuesday: (02/22) We planned on stopping for lunch at the Bluewater Casino for pizza but found the snack bar closed so we had some roasted chicken and broccoli slaw for lunch in the RV before continuing on toward Yuma. On arrival at the Imperial Dam LTVA, also known as Senator Wash, we took care of our tank duties then headed off to Kripple Kreek CG.

Our first campsite on the second visit to Kripple Kreek
Unfortunately, our former campsite was taken shortly after we left so we scouted around and selected another nice spot. Lou fixed wieners and cabbage for dinner. After dinner we walked out to the beaver pond for a look around. I did get to spot a beaver, or muskrat, swimming across the rather dark pond. By the time we got back home it was quite dark.

Wednesday: (02/23) Lou fixed a nice breakfast of sausage, eggs, and hashbrowns with peppers and onions. About 9:30 we headed off to town. We started with visits to a few thrift stores. Lou found a nice car blanket which she mentioned we needed for the jeep and then almost immediately found. I managed to find really good deals on some DVD's. The primary reason we came in to town today though was to meet with fellow SKP Boomers. We met a bunch at the Yuma Marine Corp Air Station for lunch. It was at their combined officer and enlisted club. They served a very nice buffet. The food was nothing like I remember for service food. After lunch we headed downtown to the Main Street theaters to watch an early bird showing of "Just Go With it" with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, neither actor have I liked in past movies. But, I found the movie very good and at least some of the credit goes to both actors. Leftovers for dinner. Hot dogs and cabbage for me and chicken for Lou and we added some fresh potato salad.

Thursday: (02/24) Oatmeal with yogurt and bananas for breakfast. I spent the day working with the computer on a program. Lou setup her bird feeders and water dish and hoped for some critters to stop by. We took a couple of walks around camp and visited with fellow campers. Lou fixed a fruit salad for lunch and stir fry vegetables with tofu for dinner.

Friday: (02/25) We had the leftover hash browns from day before yesterday with ham and eggs for breakfast. The day started and ended clear but it really got cloudy in the afternoon and was overcast most of the day. We took a morning walk along some burrow trails then ended up at the back of our campground and chatted with some people camping there from Washington. We learned all about work camping and Christmas tree sales from them. I spent much of the day working with the computer on a program. Lou was busy reorganizing the pantry. Lunch was a green salad.

About 2:30 we felt the need to get out so we hopped in the Jeep and drove out by the Beaver pond. Hadn't done that before. Last year we wouldn't have been able to get through with the car. Many places in the road had been washed out. It's been re-graded and the car would have made it easily except for a couple of questionable but possible spots. It was easy in the Jeep. With that accomplished we continued looking around the upper camping areas for other possible spots. Lou is displeased with the lack of birds and beasts visiting our new campsite. She's considering a move up for the lake views if they don't cooperate soon and start visiting. We found a spot or two that might be interesting. We then headed out a Jeep road on the West side of the valley on the opposite side of a big wash from the camping areas. We came to the end of one road where what was left of a car body was standing There were a couple of styrofoam animal heads attached and a 2x4 with golf tees attached on the car. The poor car had precious few spots without bullet holes. Obviously someone's favorite shooting range. We returned to a turnoff and continued on the other road. It was more interesting. We passed through several washes each a little different. One with lots of berms to pass over, one with large rocks and one with lots of turns. Eventually the road seemed to get better and seemed to be returning toward camp but then we came to a very rough section and decided that due to the time and uncertainty of where the road would end up we turned around and returned to camp. Our path back was via another unknown road what crossed the main wash, That road was more for ATVs. At the last spot just before returning to the camp road we came upon a couple of narrow high berms. We finally learned the limit of our clearance. We tested the skid plates for the first time getting over the last berm. Then one final obstacle climbing out of the wash. I did a little tree trimming to make the path wide enough to get the Jeep through and leave the least paint. Nice ride.

We then headed downtown for what was billed as a Mardi Gras in Old Town. There was very little Mardi and not much Gras. We did enjoy a bowl of jambalaya. It seemed appropriate. The music was wrong and the hot dogs and kettle corn didn't seem to add to the character of a Mardi Gras. Maybe we expected too much. We had dinner at Brownie's Cafe. Lou had a rib eye steak while I had the irresistible chicken fried steak. A quick stop for gas and at the market completed our trip. We try to keep the gas tank up so we can go out on the roads without worry of enough gas. With our drinking water bottle refilled and some vegetables we headed home.

The sky was extremely clear when we got home. Lots of stars with only a few small clouds.

I was up late working at the computer. I started a few huge downloads on the computer after midnight so they could be downloaded during the period when my usage isn't limited. With the satellite, I'm limited to 375MB of downloaded data per day. I have a dozen or more 300-700MB files to download so I needed to do it between midnight and 4am when it doesn't count against my usage. I started three files which took over three hours but fit in the window of opportunity. I'll do more over the next few nights. The files are mostly training videos. Of course, I had to get up several times to check on how it was going.

Saturday: (02/26) I had a toasted English muffin with Peanut butter and jam for breakfast while Lou enjoyed her leftover steak and baked potato. We' were expecting some rain today (30%) but the morning was quite nice. We took a walk out the burro trails to Skunk Hollow and visited the "Liberry". We also enjoyed relaxing at a table overlooking the reservoir before walking back via the beaver pond. I fixed an apple with peanut butter and Lou fixed grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. The clouds became darker with a cool breeze a little after 2:oo pm so we adjourned to inside the RV for the afternoon.

Sunday: (02/27) We made it a day out shopping in Yuma. We stopped at the marketplace where I got a quick connect fitting for the catalytic heater and Lou got some vegetables. We also stopped at a couple of RV parts stores looking for a new shower curtain. Our shower requires a shorter curtain than used in a sticks and brick home so we tried there. No luck. Lou will probably have to make it. Last year when we were here I got a nice pair of hiking boots at the Red Wing show store. I stopped by to get another pair since they can't last for ever. They didn't have my size but it's now on order. I also looked all around to find a cable to connect my computer to the TV. There used to be one in my cable collection but it's not to be found now that it's needed. Radio Shack, Best Buy, and Walmart had them but they weren't what I wanted and and were all over priced. Online they cost $6 and are better made with smaller cables and connectors and even right angle connecters as I want. All the before mentioned stores cost $20-36 for cables not as good. Since I need one to more easily watch videos while still being able to use my computer I did get one at Target for $16. We also visited harbor Freight where I collected a tool kit for the Jeep. We also got a few things from Smart and Final market. Somehow, the day was gone so we headed home.

PBJ English muffin for breakfast. We had lunch from Walmart's deli. I had a sandwich and Lou had a salad. Dinner was smoked sausages with potato salad.

Monday: (02/28) I spent most of the day working at the computer. I'm busy doing something I rarely do, studying how a program works. Normally I just use them but I want to learn how to do this one properly. I got the TV out to use with my computer as an external screen for videos and e-manuals. Lou was busy sewing and cleaning  and reading. We picked up the mail at 1pm at the Bard Post Office. Some people, like AAA, claim there is no Bard. It's actually Winterhaven to them. There isn't anything in Bard except three buildings. The Post office, a closed school, and the community center. But, the post Office says Bard over the door so doesn't that make it official? We took walks every couple of hours around the camp. On our evening walk we noticed that a nice campsite had become available. We'll move there tomorrow.

Cereal for breakfast. Lou made olive loaf sandwiches for lunch. I made spaghetti for dinner.

Our second campsite on the second visit to Kripple Kreek
Tuesday: (03/01) We moved our outside stuff over to our new campsite across the wash from where we are. Since we have to roll anyway, we might as well dump before parking at the new site even though we could go a few more days without doing it. We got all setup in our new site rather quickly. Since we are aligned differently I needed to raise the solar panels. They have been flat since we arrive at the prior site. Seemed to work quite well. Here they are on the North side so tilted slightly away from the sun and would be less effective. Another reason I hadn't raised the panels was because I needed to repair one mounting bracket. I ripped it out of the roof when lowering the panels when we left Lake Havasu. My big feet. So I spent some time cleaning up the caulk and preparing to reattach the bracket. Since I had the caulk out  I also took care of another task. I recaulked the shower skylight. Always fun getting the old caulk off. That's why it was deferred. I finally got back to my studies in the late afternoon. Lou is happy now with our new yard. The critters weren't coming round as much as at our old campsite where we were five weeks ago and last year. This site seems to be much nicer. The quail are back. The humming birds have already found the feeder as have the other birds their seed feeder.

French toast with a smoked pork chop for breakfast. Date milk shakes for lunch. BBQ hamburger patties with fresh asparagus and cheesy linguine.

Wednesday: (03/02) A nice warm day. After a morning walk around camp and the requisite chatting with some neighbors we returned to camp. I spent most of the day at the computer. Lou was busy sewing and also in search of chuckwallas. She was successful. It was warm enough today that one was out on the rocks where we saw them last year. An odd thing happened this afternoon. It was hot. The odd thing though was when Lou heard the tinkle of what sounded like an ice cream truck. I suggested she flag it down if it was and it was. Odd thing to find in the middle of nowhere in the desert. We both had an ice cream.

Lou On Trail To Senator Wash Beaver Pond Senator Wash Beaver Pond
We visited the beaver pond again at sunset but didn't have any sightings.

Don McMuffins for breakfast. A Chef's salad for lunch. Leftover spaghetti for dinner.

Thursday: (03/03) Busy day today. Off early to Yuma for shopping and chores. First stop was breakfast at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant. Our shower curtain is failing and we have been looking for a new one. Almost all seen are junk. The one we're replacing is really thick (likely 12mil) PVC vinyl.  Most of those seen are 4-6mil and not PVC. PVC seems to have an unjustified bad reputation, for the chloride off gassing so is hard to find. Our first attempts were to try and find one the proper size (shorter an narrower than most). That didn't work out even at the RV shops. So we shifted to find one that could be adjusted (cut) to the proper size. We tried at the Palms Shopping center at Target, Kohls, Bed Bath and Beyond, Marshalls and finally Ross's. Ross's had only a very small selection but they were the only place with what we were looking for a 12mil PVC off white curtain. And to top it off, it was only $6, 1/4 that of most of the junk elsewhere. While looking for the curtain I got a call from the shoe store saying my boots were in. Good timing.

From The Farm Fruit Stand Near Bridge
We headed East out Highway 95 to the From The Farm vegetable stand about 4 miles past Fortuna Road. Lou found a decorative dish that matched my aunts dishes which she called and confirmed she wanted.

McPhaul Suspension Bridge McPhaul Suspension Bridge
We also took a look at the abandoned McPhaul Suspension bridge. It's known as the bridge to no where here. It is claimed to be to be a predecessor to the Golden Gate bridge design. We've passed by before and didn't even see it. Next stop was at Foothills Shoes, on Fortuna Road near I8, to get my new hiking boots. These boots are the same as the ones I got here last year except with Gortex so they will be waterproof. The current ones are nicely ventilated but not waterproof. They still have a  lot of wear left but now I have a choice. Of course Lou needed to re-check the thrift stores. We stopped for a late lunch at an Asian buffet, Eat's on Pacific Avenue near Walmart's. Now to get to work, we did our laundry. At the first laundromat we stopped at half the machines were out of order. We consider that a bad sign and left for another one that was much nicer. Our next effort was to see a movie at the main Street Theaters downtown. We watched "The King's Speech", a very nice movie. Our final task was to do a little grocery shopping, get gas and return home. It was past 11pm when we got back home. A bit of a long day.

Friday: (03/04) Lou fixed biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast. When we pulled in last night we just brought in the perishable groceries and our bedding. Lou gets up earlier than I do, she's also energetic so she emptied the car as I lounged around in the morning. There is quite a good wind blowing today.

Burrowing Owl At Senator Wash Burrowing Owl At Senator Wash
We took a walk in the morning up by Senator wash to find an owl we had heard of. We found a nice burrowing owl who seems to be rather friendly. I hope my picture is close enough to be usable. We continued out to Squaw lake then back by the beaver pond to home by about 3:30. That wasn't quick. Along the way we had stopped at the host's office and talked about traveling to Alaska. Trying to gain some experience form those who have been there. I had the last of the leftover spaghetti while Lou had dates and yogurt for our late lunch.

Lou's Doll Shoe
Saturday: (03/05) Another fine day at home. I worked on the computer all day while Lou worked on doll shoes. Even though we used the sewing machine, computer and satellite system all day as well as a little microwave use for meals we fully charged our batteries as well today. Biscuits and gravy for breakfast, bean soup with toast for lunch and hamburger patties with fried potatoes and spinach for dinner.

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