Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Quartzsite, Az 2008, Part 2
A BOGSAT is A Bunch of Guys/Gals Sitting/Standing Around Talking. There were about 25 DataStormUser Group members and family in attendance. The weather was nice and it was nice to get together and chat about satellite Internet issues and numerous other things.
Sam, Don Bradner and Joy Langle's cat seems to be in command of all he sees. We also were visited by the Goodyear Blimp. We're used to seeing light aircraft like paraplanes but this was a bit larger. They're a little late to see the biggest crowd of RVs in the middle of the desert. Over the last couple of days, about two thirds of the RV visitors have left.
I worked on the solar panels raising the rear panels with short extensions to help eliminate morning and afternoon shadows. We'll see tomorrow if they provide even more power?
Dinner was BBQ ribs, potatoes squash and spinach.
Our evening entertainment was listening to a story about medieval times, "Pillars Of The Earth" by Ken Follett.
Wednesday: Raising the panels must have worked. The solar panels were generating 15 amps at 9am, 1 hour after sunrise. That's one of the times the rear panels had been shadowed slightly.
We went over to Taco Mio's Breakfast Corner on Main Street. We shared a kitchen omelette and a short stack of pancakes. All very good. We did have to wonder at the occasional smell of burnt toast but everything we had was good. The omelette was much better than the one at Sweet Darlene's a few days ago.
Lou went over to the big tent to the craft show that started today. Not much of a show filling only part of one of the three big tents.
I spent time in camp trying to get information on wind turbines. I've seen some spinning today in the wind. My research confirms what I learned a couple of years ago when a vendor had one on display with an ammeter hooked to it. In typical winds a 400 watt turbine might only provide 35 watts (1/10th of max power). That's about what I had observed and determined that they weren't too effective. I'm still curious and would like to find something powerful and cheap, that works with typical wind speeds. Maybe I'll make one?
Dinner started with desert that we picked up at the local bakery. We shared a couple of pastries, one apple and one apricot, both very good. After starting with desert we continued with soft tacos that Lou made. We continued with our audio book about times of old.
Lou is going to return home tomorrow and started packing the car so she can be off early in the morning.
Thursday: Lou got us up early because she wanted to be on the road early. In order to make life for me easier, she took me over to the market to fill our drinking water bottles and get orange juice, all heavy items. Then she was off. The drive to Bakersfield should be nice, sun behind her. She arrived at 4pm. Quite a drive. She'll spend the night, do a little family visiting and then head on home.
I, on the other hand, goofed off here in Quartzsite. I went over to the supposed craft show. There were about three craft booths and a bunch of leftover vendors from the RV show. There was lots more RV stuff than crafts. The other major occupant was a bunch of old cars. The auto show starts Friday. It may be better than the craft show? I found a few things that I couldn't do without, anyway. There were a few of the cars on display for the coming auto show. I liked this old Suburu. If you turned it into a convertible, it would fit into almost any RV's storage compartment.
I then went over to Tyson Wells. It's much smaller, but still had some new vendors. One new arrival was in a big Renegade truck camper towing a huge trailer. He was trying to fit all of it into a small space without hitting service pedestals and other vendors. A few hours later and after several different approaches, he made it in with no damage. It was a good show. Meanwhile just down the isle, a pickup truck was just trying to park and broke a hydrant off causing a flood. Oh the excitement in Q! I returned to camp about 2pm and tinkered at home the rest of the evening.
On the way home, the excitement continued. There isn't much that happens here in Q. As I approached our site, I found a little pickup camper hungup with his rear wheels off the ground. The driver had tried to cross the road/wash. I thought I was the only one to try that trick. They got themselves unstuck rather quickly by removing some of their load, their hitch and some judicious digging and filling.
Friday: I missed the real excitement last night, though. Our RV is quite quiet inside. We only have two close neighbors left just across the ravine where we're camped. One of them just moved in a couple of nights ago. There is a camper about 500 feet away in the spot we camped in the previous two years here. When we arrived, we decided to put a little distance between us. Kind of a worn out RV with junk around it. Obviously a permanent resident. He had a couple of pitbull dogs inside. They were out loose last night and attacked our new neighbors bitting the man. They also went after the other neighbor. In the morning there were two BLM trucks and a Quartzsite policeman taking the report. Hopefully they evict the culprits and the owner. Why does anyone own a pitbull other than to have this happen?
Enough excitement. Good thing I missed most of it.
Even more excitement. Breakfast was leftover spaghetti and grapefruit. In separate courses, not a new dish. Why do they call it "grape" fruit? There's no resemblance.
After updating the website with all the news and eating lunch, I checked the LPG tank. It read empty. I can't have that so I started the water heater. Maybe there's something left? If I was going to have to move to get LPG, I might as well dump the holding tanks so why not take another shower. I had done a spit bath earlier and hadn't intended to get LPG until next week but nothing won't run the heater. After cleaning up, I finished breaking camp. Last time we just left things in our campsite went to the dump and returned to camp, right on the same leveling blocks. This time, since I'm by myself, I'll probably park out by the highway closer to the street to walk downtown.
When I left, I noticed the RV where the attack dogs lived, was gone. The people who were attacked were gone as well. All in about the 30 minutes of my shower.
There were only two BlueBoy tanks being pulled by ATV's ahead of me at the dump. The crowd is definitely gone. I went downtown to get LPG. There are three locations, one east of Hwy 95 0n Main street that I used and two others on Hwy 95 North of Main Street. I have used this spot before. The attendant managed to put 22 gallons into my tank. It was below the "E" on the gage before my heating water for my shower but I've never put more than 15 gallons in before. After leaving I went over to the Main Event flea market. When I stopped there, I looked at the LPG tank gage. It showed Full + 1/4, as full as the meter would go. Haven't had the gage read that much before either. Usually it stops filing at around 3/4 and wont take more. I was a bit worried but the bleeder valve just bled vapor not liquid so maybe the gage is off or? Anyway, probably the last time to fill there.
When I returned to La Posa West, I pulled in by the street and walked down to Prospector's Panorama to get a couple of $1 burgers for dinner. This place had been over at Rice Ranch until Baudry RV bought the place. I finally found them. It was worth it, the burgers are good. Just a patty of beef on a small bun covered with grilled onions. Two was just right.
After dinner, I walked by the vendor that had difficulty parking yesterday. A lot of stuff in that rig. A store, A susuki like jeep and an ATV. Enen a wood shop upstairs?
Saturday: The sun rose before I did today, quite a bit before. I slept very well. Maybe it was the serenade of traffic all night. I really don't notice it but maybe its more like home. I fixed some fried potatoes and peppers with Italian sausage for breakfast. Very good, as usual.
I worked on installing the inverter I bought several months ago. I installed a small inverter to power the satellite system much like a UPS system. It works fine but the inverter keeps failing. I replaced about three. Each just looses it's umph. They wont carry a load. Measures fine with no load. I decided to try another approach. I bought a higher quality 600 watt sine wave inverter from Fry's. Hopefully it will last longer this time. It's much bigger than the little Xantrex inverters. I've tried 400w and 700w Xantrex invertors. The new inverter is 6 times the size. That alone may make it last longer, more cooling. The problem though was a new method of installation was needed. I couldn't decide on how I wanted to do it and didn't really want to mess with things too much. Since I intended to do it today, I had to decide. I took the easy way and used Velcro to attach it to the top of the main inverter and used two of the main inverters cover screws to attach it as well. Seems secure and aligns well for the wiring. I had to extend the wires to the new location but it fired up with no problems. It was about time, using the main inverter is always a problem since it is turned on/off via a remote as power is needed and is always being turned off accidentally when the system is still on or has the power drop out when the generator is started or stopped. I hope the new inverter lasts.
I went over to the auto show. There were a bunch of cars there today. These are a couple of the vehicles at the Auto Show. I especially liked the Ultra Van on the left above. It's a lot like a big VW bus, including the rear engine which is a Corvair engine. It's built like an airplane with no chassis, just an "airframe." The truck on the right is setup to pull a fifth wheel. I wonder what the RV would look like that it pulls?
A big teardrop trailer. There were four of these pickup with teardrop trailers at the how. This is a big one, and also a small one. The pickup had a smaller version in the bed of the truck.
The interior of the big teardrop trailer. It includes a table. I was looking around for Snow White and her friends.
Each teardrop trailer was different. Seems like all were home built or individually built.
I walked down to the General Store for more sausage.
I took these pictures as I was at the top of the overpass headed home Rice Ranch area on the left, Tyson Wells on the right with the Big Top behind at Prospectors Panerama. Neat names, aren't they?
I fixed a bunch of spaghetti using some of the sausage. Since I'm by myself for a while, it should last a week and a half unless I eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The entertainment was listening to a '70's music review on a Lake Havasu radio station and playing on the computer.
Sunday: I woke up before 7am. It was dark out, no stars or moon. Oh boy, clouds. When there was a hint of light, it looked like there may be some broken clouds to the East therefore a possibility of a pretty sunrise. Oddly, it was 50 degrees, warmer than recent daily high temperatures. I grabbed my tea and camera and went outside to watch the sunrise. There was some orange but it mostly was uneventful. Maybe next time. The campground was extremely quiet. There was almost no traffic on the highway. is today something special? The picture on the right is today's sunset.
I took my shower. No reason to be too conservative since there's only me and I have six possible showers to use before I leave the LTVA on the 10th. Breakfast was fried potatoes, peppers and sausage all warmed up via microwave. Nice modern convenience. I toasted some bread in the fry pan. Who needs a toaster. All this made a more than acceptable breakfast.
I'm staying in today so far. First it was overcast. Now the sky is clearing from the West but its doing it because the wind is strong. Some very strong gusts. These are amplified here in the RV by the fact that the solar panels and the Satellite antenna are raised. If I were headed East, I could save on gas. As it is I'll stay inside and play on the computer. Little is open on Sunday in Quartzsite anyway though the auto show should still be going.
6:00pm The wind has been gusting all day. My solar yard lights blew away. A neighbor told me and I found three of the four. Maybe I'll see a glow in some bush tonight? Weather.com says the wind is at 28 mph. I believe it must be gusting much higher. If I had a wind turbine today is one of the days it wold deliver full rated output. The nice thing is the weather report says 30% chance of rain tonight. I hope so to settle the dust. All our previous rain is gone in the wind so the dust is blowing. After tonight it's supposed to be sunny until next weekend. Maybe I'll be able to get out tomorrow. It's been fun here at the keyboard today.
Dinner was spaghetti, again. I made another search after dark for my missing solar light but didn't find it. It must have a new home.
About midnight Lou called and said she had heard that my uncle Doug had passed away this evening. I'll be headed that way tomorrow.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Quartzsite, Az 2008
Tuesday: Arrived at our Quartzsite camp in La Posa West Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA). We chose a site just South of where we've stayed the last two visits. Our site was occupied so we chose a different location closer to the big top by a large tree. There aren't too many trees here. We perched the RV on a slight mound above our yard by the tree after many trial positioning. While I set us up, Lou went over to look around the shops. I set out the solar lights that we seldom use. I hope the batteries are still good. I found the support arms for the solar panels. I couldn't find them when we were in the Valley of Fire but found them this time, right where they were supposed to be. I raised the panels to suck more power form the sun.
Lou prepared hamburgers for dinner.
Wednesday: Nice Quartzsite sunrise in our new camp. Lou was up early to feed the birds. We went over on Kuehn to where the fire fighters tent was a couple of years ago when we were here. Eastern Kuehn Avenue has changed and there isn't much on the North side of the street so we went over to Main street to Sweet Darlene's for breakfast. Lou and I shared a Denver omelet and couple of pancakes. All pretty good and at nice prices too. We then cruised down to the other end of Main street to the Main Event flea market. That wore Lou and I out. It was becoming windy and cold. Tomorrow we start walking. I fixed ham, cheese and pepper sandwiches for lunch. We relaxed in the warmth of the RV most of the afternoon and evening. Lou fixed shrimp fettuccine for dinner. I did finish making up camp by building a campfire ring. Hopefully we'll have a nice evening soon. We have three new neighbors since this morning, none too close yet.
I worked on organizing my laptop files and preparing to reinstall Wordpress on my website. I haven't been able to post to it for several days due to a problem with the application files. Hopefully it will be restored soon.
Thursday: Another nice morning but it is cold, 30 degrees. Lou fixed Fried potatoes with peppers and sausage for breakfast. We then drove over to The Main Event again to continue our exploration of Western Main Street. Lunch was a chicken teriyaki sandwich from the Subway at the Pilot Truck Stop across from the Main Event.
The posted prices of the RVs I've seen so far are $20-30K more than I think they should be for low to medium used RVs. They must expect counter offers or just be crazy? Or they know that suckers will be around this week. RV's like our '99 that we got 4 years ago are priced twice what we paid then. Seems like depreciation and the over stock of RV's should have made the price lower than what we paid then? Am I spoiled?
Lou's big buy was finding a shuttle for her Featherlite sewing machine and paid $1. It's worth about $45. They seem to disappear from the machines so it's good to have a spare.
I took this picture of the sunset. Lou fixed hamburgers again for dinner.
I looked more into the problem I'm having posting to my blog and found the problem to be worse than I though and made no progress other than to determine I have no idea how to proceed, yet. Lou was reading her sewing machine book that she got.
Friday: I fixed pancakes for breakfast then we headed over to Kuehn Avenue to look around the shops there. We covered the East side of highway 95 and then stopped at the Desert Rat Cafe at Baudry RV for grilled tuna melt sandwiches and fries. We then continued across Highway 95 into Tyson Wells. The first half of Tyson Wells was rock shops but toward the middle it became standard flea market fair with an emphasis on Rvs. About 3:30 we called it quits and headed back to the RV.
The day was quite nice, no wind an nice temperature. By the time we returned we were down to shirt sleeve weather. We enjoyed our afternoon drinks in the sun by the wash watching all the hustle and bustle of the campers. We watched our bird neighbors. We have a pair of doves that favor a bush near our campsite. They did have a little excitement as we watched a hawk try to get them. Their evasive actions saved them. A flock of humming birds stopped by to say hi. We saw a bunny this morning and have ground squirrels as well. We also think we've heard coyote but that may just be dogs. We only hear them in the early evening and early morning.
The sun was good enough to charge our batteries fully, about 90 ampere hours today. We had two new neighbors arrive today. We're still in the most uncrowded area near town.
Saturday: We went to the opening day of the RV Show next door. There was quite a crowd which got worse a while later. I enjoyed stopping at several booths for detailed examinations while Lou hurried through quickly looking things over. By the time I had only gone half way down one of the three rows, Lou was exiting the tent. She went on out to the flea market while I continued until the crowd got so packed in that it was impossible to finish the last row of the big top. It will have to wait for another day. The crowd should be much smaller Monday?
When we returned to the RV for lunch, I snapped these photos of the area around our campsite.
The RV Show is in the big top tent above these RVs just to our North.
After lunch at the RV of ham, cheese and pepper sandwiches followed by chips and guacamole dip, Lou and I returned to look at some RV's and park model homes.
After dinner of pasta, chicken, and green beans, we went to the market to get water, bread and milk. Traffic wasn't at all bad then since it was now dark.
Sunday: Lou fixed maza for breakfast. It was pretty good, tasting like sweet tamales, something I usually don't like. After breakfast, Lou was off to the flea market. I went by the RV Show to complete my rounds that I called off before when the crowds got too heavy. They weren't too bad today. I picked up all the literature from the Canadian provinces, tourist boards and information on Alaska. There was also information from several states. It all added up to a large heavy bag full of stuff. I also stopped by a vendor selling LED retrofit lamps. I got a couple to try out in the RV. They use about 1/8 amp while the incandescent lamps they replace use about 1.5 amps. I then returned to the RV and installed them. I was adjusting the solar panels when Lou returned for lunch. I squeezed another 5 amps charge current from them by eliminating a shadow. I had cottage cheese and fruit cocktail while Lou had yogurt and peaches. That cleaned out some left overs from the fridge.
After lunch we went over to a new subdivision to look at the model homes. The Arroyos model homes were quite nice, but a home we would want would cost about $330K,, in Quartzsite. That seems more than high. We then took a drive about town. The traffic has not been as bad as on previous visits. There are only about half as many RV's here as there were two years ago.
In the late afternoons, there is a cloud of dust that rises over the valley floor. All the ATV's returning home. We don't notice it in the morning.
We listened to an audio book, more of the same from last night. “My Sisters Keeper”. We stayed up until just after midnight to finish it.
Our neighbor's generator was still running when we went to bed. We thought, how rude, since quiet time started at 10pm. Then we figured they fell asleep with it on. Fortunately it was a quiet Honda. It was quiet just before dawn so we figured it ran out of gas or was stolen during the night. Maybe we should have knocked and let them know but we probably would have been shot if we did.
The moon was bright all night and the sky clear so the coyotes were howling more than previous nights.
Yesterday was a solar day. We made up our previous days use with just solar. Lou did start the generator for 10 minutes to bake some potatos for dinner but even that probably wasn't necessary.
Monday: We were up with the sun which here is about 8am. Today was shower day, our first since arriving in Quartzsite. It's amazing how long you can go when it's cool. We're in conservation mode to last our 14 days without dumping, if we can. To that end, Lou got some buckets to catch the cold first water of the showers. That saved about a gallon.
Since I didn't use the computer last night we used little power, relatively, so we only have 60ah to makeup today. That should be easy since we've been getting about 100ah the last couple of days.
We had breakfast at a cafe at Rice Ranch. Generous portions. The ham steak covers the plate, omlettes are nice and the pancakes are huge. We then stopped by the Oasis Book Store. Excellent selection. Next stop was the chamber of commerce but they were closed. Evidently some kind of holiday. Who knew? We looked around the vendors nearby on Main Street. Also looked at RV's at La Mesa RV. Nice place too look. No salesman vultures pouncing on you. They allowed undisturbed looking and had prices posted. Some of the RV's were really nice and cheap. Fun looking.
We had BBQ pork lunches about 2:30. When we headed home we did have slow and no go traffic so we exited when we could into a Wash and headed home the back way, through the wash. The little Volvo isn't made for such trails with almost no ground clearance but it made it all the way home with no problems. There's a bit of a breeze today so it's a bit cooler.
We did get the batteries fully charged.
Tuesday: Breakfast was garlic home fries and sausage.
Today was a bad day for the pocket book. I bought a tire pressure monitoring system for the RV from Pressure Pro and installed them the system. Now, I wont need to worry as much about the “Toad” getting a flat and grinding the rims down. If a tire on the RV or Toad gets low, an alarm will sound now. Indirectly it will also let us know the Toad is still there. It’s been on the list for a long time and finally made it to the top.
I also bought something you might not expect at an RV show but was too good not to get. It was a welding torch that allows welding of all types of metal including aluminum and stainless steel. My existing torch couldn’t. It also cuts like a plasma cutter, unlike mine. I’ve been thinking of getting a Tig welder for a while but this should be much better. It can also come along on the RV for handy work on the road. Lou bought some nice small tanks and smaller regulators before at a garage sale so it all should fit somewhere in the RV. The first project will likely be a solar tracking system. The ones here sell for $800 which is too much for what they consist of. By adding a tracker, I can double the output of my panels. Another project will likely be an evaporative cooler for the same reason. They cost too much for what they are made of. Now to remain inspired!
Our afternoon treat was some ice cream made by one of the vendors with the power of a hit-or-miss engine. Dinner was a nice chef Lou’s salad.
Our audio book of this evening and last was “In My Hands,” the story of Irene Got Opdyke a holocaust rescuer in Poland. Dawn finds some interesting tapes.
Wednesday: I fixed breakfast this morning. I fried the fresh pork sausage we bought last night at the market. They make the best sausage here. I bought 2 pounds so it took a while to cook it all. I also made pancakes. The sausage was as good as expected. We then walked through the ravine and under I10 to Main Street. There is a small flea market near the Post Office that needed to be explored. Lou bought more than could easily be carried back so I walked back to the RV, prepared lunch and returned with the car.
We had my special ham cheese and pepper sandwiches. We then drove over to the QIA Pow Wow. The Pow Wow, gem and mineral show started today. It's still just a bunch of rocks but this show is much better than the others because there are more artists at this event. When we returned to the RV, I prepared spaghetti. Actually it was linguine noodles dressed up as spaghetti. I added some of the nice sausage from this morning and it turned out very good. We still have another batch of the sausage left for another breakfast or? I am not usually the cook yet today I did all three meals? Lou and Dawn turned in early while I drained the batteries browsing the Internet most of the evening.
Thursday: Up early today. Lou fixed an omelet for breakfast, we all showered and we prepared the RV to roll by 08:45. The dump opens at 9am and we wanted to beat the crowds. We arrived at the La Posa South LTVA dump, located two miles south of our location just before 9am and were eighth in line to dump. While we moseyed along in line, we ate Lou's breakfast. We did our duty, or rather, I did our duty duty and we filled with fresh water and were ready to return to our campsite by 10:15. At that time there were 16 RVs waiting to dump, a short line still by historical accounts. After returning the two miles to camp via the Old Yuma Road, a dirt road rather than on Highway 95 since I feared a backup on the highway due to the show traffic. I hate traffic so any alternative is usually better. It rained rather well last night so there was no dust on the road, unlike normal. The rain did make a mess due to making the sand and dirt stick to our shoes. After some camp time watching the comings and goings we had lunch of left over spaghetti.
Lou and I hiked to the top of "Q" mountain. It's really more of a small hill but it affords a good view of the valley with all the white roofs of the RVs. Our RV is in the center of the right photo.
Lou enjoyed the view, not so much the hike.
We looked at the old mine sites on the way and then hiked over to Main Street to look at RVs. Some interesting but nothing special or that had our name on it. In no time at all it was 4:30 and we headed toward home. Lou fixed dinner burritos with the leftovers in the refrigerator. We enjoyed the final warmth of the sun for the day before dashing into the RV as the sun departed and it got cold again. For a day that started out rainy and sticky, it turned into a very nice day.
Friday: Today is laundry day. Breakfast was everything from the refrigerator. Spaghetti, pancakes, sausage, and ? All cleaned out. We hit the road toward Parker. On the way into town we stopped at the Post Office to see if our mail arrived. When I checked at 10:20am the place was empty and there were two clerks playing behind the counter. When I ask about my general delivery mail, they pointed to a sign on the wall "In order to serve you better, General Delivery mail may be picked up only between 11am-2pm." Just how is that serving me better. They're here, I here, my mail is here and they're playing.
We went on to the laundromat by Safeway and started the laundry. I returned to the Post Office an hour later and there was one clerk working and 10 people in line. I ask if my mail was in and they checked and said nothing there. The brain wasn't working, so I left. After the laundry was done, Lou remembered that this time, we had had the mail package addressed to myself or her. When she went in to the PO, they package was found. It was addressed to Don Wood or Lou Manners and stored under "Manners." I can't fault them for that problem. It can't be two places but i still think they Post Office needs a lot of work on customer service. Maybe some real competition? Allow first class mail by UPS and FedEx?
We went over to the Blue Water Casino for lunch and a look around. Nice place. It's beside the Colorado river, has nice views from inside the casino (Yes, a casino with windows). There is also a bar and snack bar down by the rivers edge.
After checking out all the thrift stores in town, we stopped by Safeway for groceries and headed home.
We arrived just at dark and found we had five new RVs joined the two RVs that arrived next to us yesterday. Lots of company now. They're families with kids not old retirees so they're a bit noisy.
Saturday: A nice sunrise this morning. We had oatmeal for breakfast.
Lou took off for a look at what's new at the Main Event. The flea markets change here as vendors come and go and move around all during what seems like a continuous flea market. For this reason, each trip can be a new experience. I stayed at the RV working on the websites. The Internet connection was good this morning. About 11:30, I went over to the RV show at the big tent and bought the rest of the LED lamps to retrofit the RV. The prices were up from when I bought my samples. The vendor says he mistakenly marked the wrong prices the first two days of the show and lost his shirt. I wish I had bought all I wanted then and saved quite a few bucks. I returned to the RV and installed them. I then rechecked all the vendors at Rice Ranch and Tyson Wells.
Mid afternoon, I stopped at Grandma's Apple Pie shop for a piece of home made apple pie with caramel sauce. Possible the best apple pie I've eaten. After more looking, Lou called and said she was returning to th RV to fix dinner. She fixed sausage and hamburger sandwiches. A mix of the local markets sausage with hamburger. Almost too much to get a grip on but very good. Being the practical woman she is, she made spares to freeze for later use.
She had been planning on heading to Bakersfield to assist relatives but due to a change in plans will be staying a while longer.
Nice sunset, and I had my camera, finally!
Sunday: It rained hard all night and morning.
Sausage Gravy and Biscuits for breakfast. Most people, possibly the smart ones, are packing to leave. We walked by the big tent but not many people were there. Many outside vendors didn't even open all day. We walked over to Rice Ranch. I wanted to show Lou a couple of trailers I'd seen by Apenlite. They were the only well made travel travelers we'd seen. Also I tried to show her a new RV by Coach Works. It looked really good. Good design, well made. Looks like their first year to build a class A. Interesting time to start with so many manufacturers going bankrupt. It started to rain heavily so we stopped in the Desert Rat Cafe for tea. We were there quit a while before it lightened up.
Later, Lou and I drove around to the RV dealers on East Main St. We felt a little guilty tramping mud into the nice RVs. In particular, we looked over the National RVs They had several of the SurfSide motor homes that I like and also the TropiCals and Pacificas. All nice but the prices don't reflect the current market nor the fact that National went out of business, so no warranties. There is the fact that we don't have payments on our RV and that, so far, we haven't seen anything that we'd like more than what we have.
We went out to RV Lifestyles, a permanent RV vendor here in Quartzsite. They had an nice demo area of various models of radiant LPG heaters. We tried a few out and determined what we'd need. Still not sure if we need it. On these cold nights, the heater uses about 30 ampere hours so it would help to not need a blower to get the same heat. LPG use may be about the same. There is the problem of often having three clumsy people inside a small 29' RV and adding a portable burning object. We think that we've identified a place for thee heater in the front, above the dash. Should warm the whole front starting with the coldest spot and be out of the way. It might even replace the formerly in dash TV that I broke before this trip and which hasn't been missed, much.
Philly Cheese Steak pizza at Silly Al's for dinner. Very good, but, Lou felt it immediately. Must have had cottonseed oil in it. Most people are allergic to it but it's in so many food items. Lou is very sensitive to it. If your skin breaks out, like Lou's or you itch after eating something with cottonseed in it, your allergic.
The sun came out in the late afternoon and it was quite pleasant. The rain brought warmer temperatures.
Monday: A little rain during the night. Sausage Gravy and Biscuits for breakfast. You may be able to tell we like that local sausage from the General Store market. I paid for another two week permit for our stay in the LTVA. We'll be here at least until Saturday. We went our separate ways to look around. I stopped by Discount Solar to see if ther was anything I needed. There wasn't. Wow, the price of solar panels here is still high, $725 for a 130 watt Kyocera panel. I paid $475 for my 120 watt panels 4 years ago. Seems like the price should be dropping instead? I also checked out the hardware store. I'm thinking of getting a radiant LPG heater an wanted to see what fittings and such were available.
Lou picked up a pie at Grandma's Pie Shop. A nice slice of pie took care of lunch. The sun was nice this morning but the wind got stronger before we returned for lunch. The solar had recharged our batteries by 1 pm but then the clouds came. Still windy but no rain.
Looks like more time to play inside on the computer.
Since this post is getting rather long, I'm going to start a second Quartzsite post for the second two week visit here at the LTVA.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
La Paz County Park, Parker, Arizona
Tuesday: We seem to sleep late lately. That's not unusual for me but Lou normally is up early. Might be the change in time or when the sun rises? We took a walk around the camp here at La Paz County Park. It's a big place. We stayed in the dry camping area but they do have sites with electric and water. The campground is right beside the Colorado River with many sites right along it. It was getting late when we returned to the RV so we did our duty and dumped the tanks and filled the water. This is our final opportunity to do so since we arrive in Quartzsite today and there will be big crowds there shortly with not very many dump sites. We headed down the road to downtown Parker. We did some final final shopping at Safeway and filled the empty drinking water bottle so we're topped off when we arrived in Q. Breakfast, even though it was now after noon, was the left over chicken fried steak for the Black Bear Diner a few nights ago in Las Vegas. We checked out the Post Office and got the address so we can have our mail sent there. It's only 35 miles away and we can combine our visit with grocery shopping and clothes washing next week when the crowds are all over Q.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Camp Davis State Park, Arizona (Laughlin, Nv)
Sunday: Breakfast at WWW. Ernie treated us to breakfast at the Wild Wild West Café. We had our usual, the Gamblers Special. Three eggs, three strips of bacon, hash browns and toast for $2.99. Very good and you can’t beat the price. Since this is Ernie’s home, he has 2 for 1 coupons so it was even less. Dawn had a nice personal pizza. The food here at the WWW is very good but don’t come to it for the atmosphere. We did enjoy long showers in Ernie’s room. The rooms here at the WWW are recently remodeled and as good as our room at the Silver Legacy in Reno a couple of months ago. I don’t think you could find a better place to stay, so close to the lower Strip for the price, less that $30 during the week. Of course, it is a truck stop, but a very nice one.
On the road to Laughlin. Found things worse, again, at Laughlin as far as dry camping at the casinos. You can dry camp now, BUT, you must register. And to do that, you must be a member of the casino’s reward program and produce vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and your drivers license. With the reward registration they are also getting your Social Security number. We don’t join reward programs so couldn’t stay. We didn’t feel like paying the fee at the Riverside RV Park, so we went across the river to the Camp Davis County Park. No stupid, unnecessary rules here. Just pay you $12. As is usually the case, it’s much nicer here anyway. Great views of the river and Laughlin from our beach side campsite. We noticed that at sunset, hundreds of ducks parade single file downriver in front of our campsite. Do they all head to the casinos each evening?
Lou fixed a nice chicken and vegetable casserole for dinner. After relaxing at the RV most of the evening, we drove over to the Riverside for a walk down the promenade along the casinos by the river. When we returned, the wind started gusting very strong buffeting the RV all evening. Felt like 60 mph winds. We’ll be here until they go away.
Monday: We arose late again. The wind had been very strong last night and was still heavy this morning. The rocking of the RV must have worked, we slept very late. After breakfast, we broke camp and moved over to Laughlin to the Outlet Mall. After careful examination by Lou and a cursory examination by me, we were ready to go. I found a shop with my Gatsby hats for $3 each so I got a few. Lou found some tops at her favorite shop.
Even though the wind was gusty we headed on toward Quartzsite. We arrived in Lake Havasu and found a nice Laundromat. It was dark by the time we finished the laundry a little before 8 pm. We went over to the Golden Corral for dinner. They are the best buffet restaurant to be found. We had eaten at other locations when we were in the Southwest roaming around before. Brother Ernie was nice enough to give us a gift card for the place but there aren't many locations in California and noon lose by so we just haven't used then in q year or so. This was a good opportunity to use it. We did some more grocery shopping at Safeway
GPS = 34.2261, -114.191
Friday, January 11, 2008
Return To The Rio, Las Vegas
Ernie came over to the Rio and we all went to the Red White and Blue Balloon Festival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. About 25 special shape balloons and a bunch of more standard balloons were there. It was fun walking among them as they prepared to inflate them. We then watched as they were all up and fired their burners together after dark to light up the balloons. They didn’t take flight other than at the end of their tethers but is was fun to see them.
After the balloons, we went down near the Strip to the Haufrauhaus for a German dinner. Very good as usual. This is one of our regular places to visit when we come to Vegas.