Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Quartzsite, Az 2008, Part 2

Tuesday: I fixed pancakes and sausage for breakfast. We tinkered around home until 1pm and went over to the BOGSAT meeting.

BOGSAT Meeting Attendees.JPG BOGSAT Meeting Attendees.JPG
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 Te Cat of Joy And Don.JPG The Goodyear Blimp Visits Quartzsite.JPG
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.

A Good Toad.JPG
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.
Big Vendor Rig.JPG
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.

RV Hungup In Wash.JPG
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.

Neighbor With Attack Dogs.JPG Neighbor With Attack Dogs.JPG
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.

New Camsite At Lap Posa West.JPG
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.

Big Rig Vendor Shop.JPG Big Rig Vendor Toys.JPG
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?

Quartzsite Sunset.JPG
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.

Ultra Van RV A Big Corvair.JPG I wonder What the Fifth Wheel RV to Match Looks Like?.JPG
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?

Big Teardrop Trailer.JPG Little Car And Teardrop.JPG
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.

Interior Of The Big Teardrop.JPG Interior Of The Big Teardrop.JPG
The interior of the big teardrop trailer. It includes a table. I was looking around for Snow White and her friends.

Teardrop Trailer.JPG Teardrop Trailer.JPG
Each teardrop trailer was different. Seems like all were home built or individually built.

Teardrop Trailer.JPG

I walked down to the General Store for more sausage.

Picturess From I10 Bridge On Hwy 95.JPG Picturess From I10 Bridge On Hwy 95.JPG
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.

Quartzsite Sunrise.JPG Quartzsite Sunset.JPG
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.

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