Monday, January 26, 2009

Quartzsite, Az, Week 3

Monday: (01/26) Lou fixed pancakes for breakfast. Lou and Dawn went over to the Post Office and surrounding area this morning. I browsed at the one RV Dealer I hadn't yet visited. Nothing special. We then met up and stopped by the used bike dealer. They have a 4 wheeler bike like ours and we wanted to buy a motor for ours so wanted to see how it would fit. The dealer was breaking his camp up to depart but still selling stuff. We explained our need but at his advise delayed buying the motor until we can take pictures of our bike so he can make the mount fit exactly. It should be nice to have another "car". It should also allow Dawn to Drive.

Lou and Dawn were then off to Bingo while I stopped by Satellite Advantage to make an appointment to get my system upgraded, finally. It will be done Friday which coincides with our next visit to the dump. One move of the coach to do both.

I fixed another big pot of spaghetti for dinner. We listened to an audio tape of "The Center Of Everything" by Laura Moriarty this evening.

Tuesday: (01/27) We listened to more of the audio tape in the morning. When we did get going, we dropped Dawn off at the Readers Oasis Book Store and Lou and I took care of important business, bought fire wood, had keys made, looked at RV's and RV lots, etc.

For lunch, we stopped by the Palo Verde Restaurant on Central. I had some pretty good fish and chips while Lou and Dawn shared a blue cheese burger all followed by pie for desert.

It certainly has cooled of the past couple of days and thee wind has picked up. I toughed it out yesterday and remained in my shorts and tee shirt but today I gave in and wore long pants and my flannel shirt.

Lou and Dawn went over to the QIA to see Kerry Christensen the yodeler. They enjoyed his show. I tweaked at the computer for the evening.

For dinner we enjoyed some of the $1 burgers from Trina's again. Lou thought they were closing after tonight but they don't close until February 28th. Darn, we'll have to com by again before they close.

Wednesday: (01/28) Lou fixed corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. We then walked over to the big tent to see what is billed as a craft show but there were no crafts, only a few of th vendor left over from the RV show and a few cars that will be part of the auto show that starts later this week.

We then explored town some and stopped by the Mountain Quail for lunch. I had their special of the day an Ortega burger while Lou and Dawn started with coconut cream pie and topped that off with liver and onion rings.

Cecilia's Garden Sign.JPG Hand Wall At Celia's Garden.JPG
We then continued our tour stopping by and exploring Cecelia's Garden. The hadnd print wall is interesting.

Walkway At Celia's Garden.JPG Adamsville At Celia's Garden.JPG
It's a desert garden founded in tribute to the local book dealers daughter who died too young. Above, a typical view of the trails around the garden. The whole (minature) town of Adamsville was relocated from Parker to Quartzsite.

A Reason To Call It Celia's Garden.JPG
Above is a reason to call it a garden. There wasn't too much in bloom but this plant saved the day.

Next stop was the library for a look-see.

A quick stop by the market for a few things then home. We listened to the rest of the audio tape "The Center Of Everything". Had dinner of leftover spaghetti and then watched some more John Wayne movies.

Thursday: (01/29) Lou and Dawn went over to the QIA and met with the craft group. Dawn's working on a rope bowl. Others were painting and making jewelry. I looked around some of the places on East Main street that I quickly looked at previously. As I was headed over the freeway to camp, brother Ernie called. He was over at the Love's truck stop where he spent the night arriving about 6am. We all got together and went over to the Mountain Quail cafe for lunch. He and I had the special meatloaf sandwiches and Lou and Dawn had a taco salad.

Ernie And The Doggies Visit Quartzsite.JPG .JPG
Ernie then brought his truck over by our camp parked alongside highway 95.  He and the dogs came over to our camp for a couple of hours before he departed toward Laredo, Tx. There was a nice sunset, as nice as a mostly cloudless sky can provide.
Dinner was a salad and we had a nice campfire.

Friday: (01/30) Breakfast was leftover spaghetti. We prepared the RV to roll. I have a noon appointment to get the modem and controller upgraded on the Motosat system at Satellite Advantage today. Lou and Dawn are of to look around the craft vendors that have arrived at Tyson Wells. the old system is shown below left.

Old Ground Control NAP.JPG Scott Installing Upper Control Board.JPG
About 11:10 I started to roll over for the upgrade. I arrived early and checked in with Scott Whitney, the installer. I then went out to th RV and relaxed. Scott (aka Dustyfoot) (above right) came out after a while and replaced the upper control board up on the roof in the antenna positioner. That went well. meanwhile removed to old One Touch NAP and other equipment to get ready for the new installation. Scott installed the new HNS7000S modem, the Motosat D3 controller, and a Cradlepoint MBR1000 Router. All of this I could have done myself except I'm getting lazy and I was concerned because all the info I had read said had to replace all the motors and harnesses in the positioner. That turned out not to be the case but it also was probably a good idea that Scott did it anyway. I had Scott setup the new system for the same satellite, 99W, that 've been on these past 5 years. I had the dish up and locked on the satellite with the old system before Scott started. He installed the new equipment and the new modem locked right on the satellite with no problem. After Scott checked everything out he pushed the "Stow" button on the new D3 controller.

Upgraded Motosat System.JPG
The dish stowed. When he pushed "Search" the dish acquired the satellite but the modem would not lock on, no signal strength. He tested the pointing by temporarily selecting a different transponder and the receiver locked on. Set it back to my assignment and it wouldn't. It appears the transponder has a problem that coincidentally happened as we were setting stuff up? Scott's time is to valuable and costly So I took the system as is for now and will tinker and/or return Monday for further troubeshooting. If it is a bad transponder, it should fix itself by Monday.
I also had a problem setting up the computers to connect to the new access point/router. My little Linux eeePC had no problem but both My laptop and Lou's wouldn't connect. That's a problem I should be abe to fix myself, eventually. All in all, two strikes.
I got away a little before 4pm and headed South to the dump at La Posa South. There was no line. I returned to camp before 5pm and mt Lou and Dawn who have been relaxing most of th afternoon at camp.
Dawn fixed some cabbage and sausage for dinner.
I tinkered with the new equipment looking over all the settings and can't find anything wrong. Have to wait and SUFFER with no Internet all weekend.
Lou prepared a nice campfire.

Saturday: (01/31) Lou and Dawn were off to Parker for a book sale at the library. They stopped by the casino for lunch of some of their wonderful pizza. They then stopped by the market before heading home with their full box of used books.
I tinkered with the satellite system but couldn't get it working. I did get my laptop connected with the new router. I then took a little walk around Tyson Wells.
We enjoyed a nice campfire in the evening.

Sunday: (02/01) Lou fixed French toast and bacon for breakfast.

Dawn And Lou At The Mine Above Quartzsite.JPG
We then walked over toward Q mountain to look at the mine. On the way we met Don Bradner and John Watson coming down.

Old Building Shell Above Quartzsite.JPG View From Inside Building Shell.JPG
We walked down the back side and looked at an old rock house shell and then back toward the river and home. We were passing by a motorhome when the man asked if were enjoying our inspection. We must have looked like we were looking. We wound up talking a while like a couple of hours. They had recently bought their 1994 used Monaco Dynasty. It was in amazingly good shape and had low mileage and cost about $32k on EBAY. Lucky folks. They are from Canada. We then returned home and had corned beef sandwiches and horseradish cheese again after which we walked over to the big top and the auto show.

Amphicar At Quartzsite Auto Show.JPG Amphicar At Quartzsite Auto Show.JPG
They were already clearing out by 2pm. The above AmphiCar for amphibian car was the most interesting. It's one of the few boat cars made.

Lou fixed some nice soup for dinner and we enjoyed another good campfire.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Quartzsite, Az, Week 2

Monday: (01/19) Lou and I took a stroll through the big top tent at the RV Show after breakfast. We returned for lunch and then she and Dawn went to the senior center to play bingo. I played with the computer for a while then went over to GrandMa's for a slice of apple pie. I then looked around the flea market by the Post Office.

Quartzsite View From The RV Roof East.JPG Quartzsite View From The RV Roof North.JPG
The view around our campsite (East and North)
Quartzsite View From The RV Roof South.JPG Quartzsite View From The RV Roof West.JPG
(South and West)

Then I went down to Herb's Hardware on Central Ave North of town. I wanted some things to hookup and test the new heater. They had everything needed but, the parts cost twice what the heater cost. They all would be needed to hookup any heater so no real loss. Lou called and invited me to pie but I had to decline. She and Dawn enjoyed some. They then stopped by Trina's for some of their $1 hamburgers and a 1/2 order of fries. 4 burgers and fries for $6.50, cheap dinner.

Watched more of the Cold Squad shows in the evening.

Tuesday: (01/20) Shower day. Breakfast was the universal food, spaghetti. We listened to the inauguration of our new president on NPR and watched it on MSNBC all via the Internet. No TV here in Quartzite, at least for us. We don't have satellite TV, too costly, so used the Internet. Our system isn't fast enough for smooth video so the MSNBC was jumpy and had broken audio but the audio from NPR was perfect. Unfortunately, the audio was delayed by about a minute while the video was more real-time. Interesting.

We thought we were loosing many neighbors this morning but many seemed to just be off to the dump.

Dawn Lou And Don At Our Campfire.JPG
We enjoyed a nice campfire in the evening under our little grove of trees. Odd place to put a fire ring but we didn't place it there and it is a nice setting.

Wednesday: (01/21) Today was laundry day. We had the leftover pizza from last nights dinner for breakfast then were off. We thought the laundromat opened at 8am but when we arrived there was quite a crowd. Fortunately, it's a big place and there was room for us to do our job. When we finished it was time for a real breakfast so we went out to the Mountain Quail restaurant on Moon Road Northwest of town. Very good and nice and cheap but a bit of a crowd. Since we were expecting company and because it was due, we did some house keeping today. Dirt is more noticeable in small containers like our RV.

Bob And Linda Klien Visit.JPG
In the afternoon, Bob and Linda from stopped by for a visit. We had a very nice visit. We were particularly interested in their recent trip to Europe but I've been reading their blog for years and really wanted to meet them as well.

Thursday: (01/22) Lou cleaned out the deep crevices in the freezer for breakfast. Sausage, blintzes and waffles. They then went by the fabric store. I walked over to the big tent and bought some replacement safety cables for our towbar and some roof re-conditioner. I then went over to K&B Tools next door and bought some nice cheap 1/4 and 3/8 socket sets to replace and upgrade my existing cheap set. All that stuff being heavy, I returned to the RV to unload it. I then walked over to the QIA (Quartzsite Improvement Assn) Pow-Wow and Gem Show to meet Lou and Dawn. After looking over the place, we had lunch there. I had their Salisbury steak, Lou had pork roast and Dawn had beef stew. All pretty good. We shared a slice of cherry pie for desert. They had a little more looking to do but I had seen enough. It all looked like jewelry and gravel to me. I don't wear jewelery and there is plenty of gravel all over the desert. I do enjoy the demo the American Tool vendor puts on though. He makes a nice medallion all the time talking about how easy it is. It must be easy because he doesn't pay much attention to what he's doing and it turns out fine.

Lou fixed a Waldorf salad for dinner.

Friday: (01/23) We trekked up to Parker to get mail. The Quartzsite Post Office is too busy. No hours posted for General delivery now like on our last visit. I picked up the mail on arrival.

Breakfast at Crossroad Cafe. I had country fried steak and eggs (homemade and good), Lou and Dawn shared eggs Benedict. The crowd we saw on arrival didn't lie, it was an excellent place to eat.

While Lou and Dawn explored the thrift shops, I explored a couple of marine/RV stores. I found the exact replacement light fixture I needed, the new bungee laces for the lounge chairs, and almost found the needed table bracket. I did get the manufacturers part number for the bracket. None of this stuff was found anywhere in Quartzsite. The light fixture switch had broken and it's easier to replace the whole fixture than a melted in switch. The lounge chairs hang on the back of the RV and the sun caused the elastic to fail on the lacing. Lou wants a second bracket for the wall and I'll need to modify the leg to have two heights, one for eating and a lower position for computing.

We went out to the Blue Water Casino to have some of the excellent pizza we had on our last visit there a couple of weeks ago but evidently the pizza depends on the maker because the "by the slice" pizzas didn't look too good so we went on to the market. We grabbed a snack at the deli on the way in then did our grocery shopping. This is a full service Safeway unlike the markets in Quartzsite. We headed back and watched the sun set on the way.

Saturday: (01/24) Another shower day, our third so I made a trip to the dump about noon. Bad timing it took about an hour to get through the line. Looks like late afternoon is the best time.

Lou and Dawn were off exploring. Just before they returned about 2m, I was off to the big top to see if some LED retrofit lamps I wanted were in. They weren't so I went over the Tyson Wells and got some keys made at one of the vendors and another set of chamey towels. They have three different colors and we can tell our bath towels apart.

Brother Ernie called this morning and arranged to meet us in Quartzsite for dinner. His next load doesn't pickup until Monday so he's taking a day trip down to meet us and explore along the way with his two dogs. The stopped by the Hoover Dam and the London Bridge.

About 5:30 Ernie arrived. We went over to the Mountain Quail Cafe for dinner, or so we planned but thy were too busy and were no longer taking names to be seated.

Sweet Darlene's Bakery Café.JPG
So We went over to Sweet Darlene's. Turned out to be a big mistake. It wasn't busy but we waited 30 minutes before the waitress finally came by. We then waited another hour and still no dinner, so we left. Hopefully it was an off night and just an incompetent waitress coupled with bad kitchen staff that one night? Ernie had already bought an apple pie there.

Campfire With Ernie.JPG Campfire With Ernie.JPG
We headed back to camp and Lou fixed corned beef sandwiches with horseradish cheese. Desert was the apple pie. All very good and the wait staff was the best! We had a nice campfire during dinner.

Ernie and the dogs departed after dinner, We watched an episode of Wagontrain, an old TV show western.

Sunday: (01/25) Breakfast was the leftover apple pie and bacon. We went over to the Main Event. Dan wanted to show me a grinder like hers so I will know how to make a missing part for it. The hit-or-miss engines were still there so I looked at all of them. I then dropped Lou and Dawn off and they continued looking at Tyson Wells and I stopped by the market for drinking water and some sausage. I dropped that all off at the RV then went out looking around in the car.

About 2 pm, I was back and went over to the BOGSAT meeting. A (Bunch Of Guys (Gals) Sitting (Standing) Around Talking). There were about 20-23 people showed up. This is a meeting of some of the members of the Datastorm Users Group, people who have or are interested in satellite Internet systems. The wind was picking up and it was cooler today but still a nice meeting.

Lou fixed some chicken, pepper and corn soup for dinner. We watched another episode of Wagontrain and then a few old John Wayne movies.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quartzsite, Az, Week 1

Monday: (01/12) I left the La Paz County Park in Parker about 1130 after a good shower and final holding tank dump. On the way, I stopped at the Blue Water Casino on the Colorado River Indian Tribes reservation. It's a nice casino with an inside pool and three story water side. Sometime we'll have to try the pool out. I checked on the RV park there and it's nice as well. I had a wonderful slice of pizza at the snack bar. I then topped off the gas tank as I left Parker and continued down to Quartzsite. I checked in to the La Posa West Long term Visitor Area (LTVA).

Our Site At La Posa West In Quartzsite, Az.JPG
I'll probably be here about three weeks but not worth buying the season pass for $180. I just got the 2 week pass for $40 and will get another unless I depart sooner than expected. The weather couldn't be nicer, easy breeze and warm. First really good weather since we left home. I picked a nice site by some trees, most have been taken but we're close to our usual haunt near the big top in Chickadee Flats. I hope Lou and Dawn like it when they return. They seem to have spent some of the money they collect on fees here to pave some of the main road sections as you enter the camping area. Nice Should reduce some of the dust.

Tuesday: (01/13) Today, I returned to my normal retirement atire, shorts. Those long pants were needed when the weather never got above the 40's. Not when the suns up we're enjoying high 60's. That's the way it should be! I looked around the Main Event and nearby vendors today.

A Comfortaable Dog At Quartzsite.JPG
This vendor may look like he's taking a dognap but don't try to steal anything from his booth.

Dinner was a Mediterranean pizza at Silly Al's. There are far fewer people and vendors here this year. Last year there was a reduction and even more so this year. Last year n RV vendor pushed people out of part of the Rice Ranch but they are gone this year probably due to bankruptcy. There are still lots of RV's to buy from the dealers that are here.

Wednesday: (01/14) I had breakfast at Sweet Darlene's this morning. It's one of the great restaurants here in Quartzsite. I then browsed some of the RV's at the dealers along Main Street.

Lou and Dawn returned. Lunch was a slice of apple pie with caramel sauce. Fortunately the apple pie vendor returned this year. It was good, again. We met Ray and Marge there from Santa Cruz. They are avid metal locators and Dawn is interesting in doing that so they provided some training on the proper methods and equipment.

Lou and Dawn then scoured the vendors along West Main Street.

For dinner, we enjoyed some of the $1 burgers from Trina's in Prospectors Panorama.

Thursday: (01/15) Lou and I explored RV's today. At our first stop at Paul Evert's, we were shown a VERY nice 2000 Monaco Dynasty.

Right Side, 2000 Monaco Dynasty.JPG Left Side, 2000 Monaco Dynasty.JPG
It's been garaged all it's life and only has 43,000 miles. Still a baby.

Kitchen, 2000 Monaco Dynasty.JPG Living Area, 2000 Monaco Dynasty.JPG
It's only a year newer than our current RV but in excellent condition and very well built as well. Has all the bells and whistles. The storage is well designed, no wasted space. It's only a 36 footer but that's 7 feet more than our current RV. And the price is amazing. Now we only have to resist the temptation until some other wise buyer grabs it before we, I, loose control.

Vendor At Quartzsite.JPG A Nice Old Odd Pickup, A 1947 Crosley.JPG
(01/16) Breakfast at the Desert Rat Cafe at Hwy 95 and Kuehn. I had a nice breakfast burrito, Lou had biscuits and gravy and Dawn had oatmeal. All very good. We then explored both sides of the Kuehn Street West of Hwy 95. That completes most of the vendors with a first look, we can now explore in more detail, then ones we liked when we recover our strength. Tomorrow is a big day. The big RV show starts. People have reaally been arriving since Wednesday and it's getting somewhat crowded. Not as much as years past but still a big crowd.

Above left is one of the hundreds of vendor tents. Above right is an interesting old pickup seen at one of the vendors.

Dinner was some of the $1 hamburgers from Trina's, again.

Saturday: (01/17) Today the RV show opened. It's pretty much the same as years past, same vendors, same too crowded opening day, but a new tent. Instead of the three adjoined tents that blew down in a windstorm a couple of days after the RV show this year it's a single big tent. I arrived about 9am an walked in the rear end saw a crowd a couple of booths in and discovered why the interest. They had catalytic heaters for really ridiculous prices. I thought it was the tax. I bought a 3000btu heater fro $35. They had 6000btu for $45. These are discontinued and factory refurbished heaters but who cares. I've wanted to try one out but there doesn''t seem to be anyplace in our little RV except above the dash when we're parked. Now I can try it out and if it doesn't work, not much lost. If it works but isn't quite big enough we can get another and know it will work. Of course, the regulator, hose and fittings will cost more than the heater? Before going to the trouble of installing a gas line to the front of the coach, I'll test it with a gas bottle. Should give a good idea of how it works and about gas consumption. It will be nice to eliminate the battery usage for heating if possible.

After buying a big box item immediately after entering the tent, I looked rather quickly at the rest of the show. Lugging the box around made me deecide to preview the rest of the show. I was back at the RV by 1030.

I opened the box and looked at the new heater. Looks good but until it's fired up I won't know for sure. I read the manual. I now know about what's needed to complete the installation. I moved one of the overhed light fixtures from th hallway to the bedroom. The switch broke on the bedroom fixture a coupe of days ago and I haven't been able to find either a matching replacement fixture, a suitable switch nor a suitable fluorescent fixture. We don't use the hall lite much so that defers the need for a quick replacement.

I looked at the generator. It started sputtering last night. It is probably either a polluted fuel filter or bad gas. I filled the tank in Parker. The RV didn't complain for the 45 or so miles on to Quartzsite but then neither did the generator have problems until several days later. The generator was serviced just before we left so should be good since it's normally just ignored. I couldn't get to the fuel filter, I'll have to check a manual first. I don't want to destroy it. I did check the air filter and it was new so it was actually serviced. The solar is working fine so just a slight conservation action will keep us going with little generator need for now.

I also did a little house cleaning and tweaked the solar panel angle some. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon playing at the computer. Lou and Dawn were out doing some further fleamarket looking on Main street near the Post Office.

I fixed some spaghetti for dinner and we enjoyed a walk around the desert looking at the stars and campers before settling in to a campfire at home. We topped the evening watching three episodes of Cold Squad, a detective show from Canada. Really good show, too bad it's no longer made it's from 98-04'. Only this first season is released on DVD but the 3-6 seasons were on one of our local TV stations. Cold Case in the US stole the idea but just doesn't do as good a job of production.

Sunday: (01/18) A very easy morning. Slept in, listening to the great Quartzsite radio station KBUX, 94.3. They play a really good selection of older music from the 50's - early 70's. Took our third set of showers. Six showers is about our holding tank limit. Breakfast was fried olive loaf from the Quartzsite General Store market and fried eggs with toast.

Our Campsite In Daylight.JPG
Here is a better, daylight, view of our campsite.

We're all off again today. I visited the RV Show tent. There were very few people looking around, quite different than yesterday morning.

About 3:30 Lou fixed lunch, dagwood sized ham sandwiches. After lunch Lou and Dawn guarded our campsite while I pulled the RV out and drove South to the dump site. There was no line at 4pm. Last year we got up early and waited in a long queue while having breakfast. There are fewer RV's here this year.

A Quartzsite Sunrise.JPG A Quartzsite Sunrise.JPG
A couple of recent sunrises. The one on the right didn't amount to much in the way of orange but was still nice. We enjoy hearing the coyotes in the middle of the night and early mornings.
A Quartzsite Sunset.JPG A Quartzsite Sunset.JPG
A couple of recent sunsets.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

La Paz County Park, Parker, Az

Our Site At la Paz County Park, Parkewr, Az.JPG
Sunday: (01/11) After all the trip prep in Bullhead City I was on the road South to Lake Havasu. I stopped for an early dinner at the Golden Corral and then did the laundry and some final grocery shopping. There was a swap meet in the parking lot near the restaurant so I did a quick walk through. I finally pulled into the La Paz County Park campground about 8pm.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Davis Camp

Monday: (01/05) We left the Valley of Fire heading toward Laughlin via lake Mead NRA into Henderson, Nv. We stopped at the Majestic Casino in Henderson for lunch. Lou and Dawn shared the Majestic burger with blue cheese. I had the breakfast special. After a visit to the bank and the market we were on the road again. We checked into the Davis Camp campground staying at the beach dry camping area near the bridge. Davis Camp is diagonally across the bridge from Laughlin Nv in Bullhead City, Az.

Camps Davis campsite.JPG
After settling in, we headed back to Laughlin to the mall. Lou had some items being heald at the Bon Worth store there. When we were in Las Vegas they had shopped the the Bon Worth store there and they didn't have the size but Laughlin did. Since we were headed this way anyway, Lou had it heald, We then had dinner at the Riverside Casino. We listened to more of the Lindbergh tapes.

Tuesday: (01/06) Lou and I took a walk South along the river a ways then went over to the Home Depot store to look around. When we finally got back to camp we found that Dawn had been feeling a little sick. We listened to the rest of the Lindbergh tapes. The set was quite long but quite interesting as well. Lou and I went on another shopping trip. We are now, hopefully, stocked up. Lou fixed really nice corn chip and hamburger caserole.

Wednesday: (01/07) Lou and Dawn's day out on the town. They visited a local hobby store and several thrift stores. I relaxed at home. In the evening it was nice so we drove over to the Riverside Casino and walked the casino riverwalk visiting several of the casinos. We also visited with the casino cats by the river and learned about them from one of their caretakers.

Thursday: (01/08) Very nice day warm and no wind. Lou and I went out on the town while Dawn relaxed at home. We looked over the RV's at Paul Evert's lot. We did find a nice motorhome, a 2005 Sea Breeze. While we liked it best of all that we looked at our existing Sea Breeze motorhome is doing just fine. We then had lunch at Casa Serrano El Palacio in the Riverside Casino. The food was excellent. We shared a combo plate with a chili relleno, a beef enchilada and a pork tamale. They definitely have cold beer. Mine froze up after the first drink. I then had a beer icee. We also looked at some new homes in Laughlin. We didn't even know there was a residential area in Laughlin before today. We picked up Dawn and went over to the buffet at the Riverside. We all actually seemed to finally learn to just eat a normal meal at the buffet since it's the cheapest place to eat in Laughlin and one of the best buffets anywhere. After dinner, Lou and Dawn went over to Hasting's books, video and more to look around. I stayed at the Riverside and had a 99 cent margarita since I wasn't driving tonight. i then caught the free boat to the Arizona side of the river and walked home. Just after I got off the boat I saw a pair of raccoons. We'd heard they were around but hadn't seen any yet. The water was at it's highest so I couldn't walk along the river edge to get home so had to take the sidewalk by Highway 95 instead.

Davis Camp from West Of the Colorado River.JPG Lou Workin On A Puzzle.JPG
A view of Davis Camp from the West side of the Colorado River. Our RV is in the center of the picture by the beach under the palms. Lou has been busy working on a puzzle.

Friday: (01/09) Today was quite windy again. Lou and Dawn had another go at the thrift stores. I got another day at home playing at the computer. In the afternoon, they picked me up and we went over to the Riverside and watched the movie Bride Wars. It was a nice funny movie. We decided to see another movie but had a little while to wait so looked in on the AA Archives. Odd place for Alcoholics Anonymous. We then saw the movie Benjamin Button. I really wasn't too interested because I haven't liked Brad Pitt but he was actually good in this movie and the movie was very good as well, much like The Big Fish. After the last movie, we went over to the Casa Serrano El Palacio restaurant again for dinner. Lou and Dawn had a sampler platter and I had the Godfather burrito. Too much! and very good!

Saturday: (01/10) After breakfast Lou and Dawn took off. Lou has an appointment at home. It was quite windy all day into the early evening. It did die down later. I played with the computer most of the day. I took a walk over to the casinos just before dark and looked at the Tropianna, Pioneer, Golden Nugget, and River Palms casinos. Nice walk.

Sunday: (01/11) I was off toward Parker, Az after a bunch of tasks. Dump holding tanks, fill water, Fill LPG, and get gas. Work Work Work!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Valley Of Fire New Year

Thursday: (01/01) Happy new year!

We enjoyed peach blintzes for breakfast. We're off to the Valley of Fire about 55 miles North of here.

We had a couple of more details to complete before departure. Final fill of our drinking water bottles, find some bath soap, and top both the toad and the RV off with gas.

When I returned with the RV to our site at The Orleans after filling the RV, Lou and Dawn were visiting with our neighbors. They have a nice cat that we've been watching so we all got to meet it and it's servants. The neighbors havee an interesting small diesel class A motorhome, a Newmar NewAire. Evidently only 12 wer made. It's kind of like the old GM motorhomes that were based on the Oldsmobile Tornado engine as far as size and the fact it has inline dual rear tires rather than side by side. It is a pusher though and supposedly gets 12-14 mpg. Doesn't have much storage and has a shower that is shared with the rest of the bathroom so requires drying things off after a shower. Nice!

We got on the road about 12:30 but that didn't last. Heading North we pasted Jerry's Nugget so stopped there for lunch / desert. We got back on the road again about 2pm.

Valley Of Fire SP, Nevada.JPG
We pulled into the Atlatl campground about 3:30 and picked one of the few sites remaining. A lot busier than our last visit here about the same time of year. We get pretty good afternoon sun so I raised a couple of solar panels. Even though we right under a sixty foot tall rock cliff we somehow shot over it to get our Internet. Dawn was busy downloading and browsing until 11pm.

Our dinner was tomales an refried beans.

Friday: (01/02) We enjoyed the changing view of the rocks as the sun rose. Even though there was some frost on the ground it was really quite nice out. We had a mix of leftover sandwiches, pancakes, french toast and ? for breakfast.

Last night we used a lot of battery power running three computers, the satellite Internet system and a TV for 6 hours. When its cold out we tend to stay in and last night was a geek night. We watched an old TV show called "Have Gun, Will Travel", about six episodes and an Inspector Morse movie.

This morning, about 9am we started the generator to catch up. Since it was running, we also did the same as last night and all three computers and the satellite Internet system on until 11:30am or so. That's when the shadow that big rock behind us casts on our roof finally quits shadowing the solar panels so they started charging the batteries and feeding Dawn's and Lou's laptops. I decided to go up on the RV roof and raise the back two solar panels. I had raised the two on the sunny side yesterday afternoon on arrival. The ones behind still require more work than I'd like to raise them and not have them shadowed by the front panels. I had intended to make a solar tracker mount for them when we were home but home renovation took all my time and energy.

I then took a hike, or more precisely a rock climb up the rocks across from the campsite. I didn't find my way to the top but did get a good view from the height I did reach. Then there was the fun of finding my way down the back side. I made it back an hour or so later to find the girls still computing. They then took a walk around camp and tried to make a couple of phone calls. Seems that the best site is by the restrooms. Lou fixed orange banana smoothies for a snack.

About 2pm the batteries had been fully charged by the solar panels with the generator kick start in the morning. Total use last night was 150 amp hours plus about 4 hours of three computers and the satellite Internet this morning. That's only about half our safe battery pack discharge but the real problem is always putting back the charge. It's a good thing that the sun was so cooperative too because the sun disappears about 3:30. Not much charging time in these rocks but thanks for a sunny day.

We all took a hike on a "trail" out the back of the campground. We returned as the sun was disappearing behind the rocks about 3:30.

As the sun was setting we were back at the keyboards and watched more Have Gun Will Travel.

Lou fixed Dinner of rice noodles with vegetables and shrimp.

Saturday: (01/03) Lou fixed a nice spinach cheese and viennaa sausage omlette for breakfast. The wind blew most of the day and we all were content to find things to do inside. Puzzles, knitting and computing. I fixed some of Dawn's homemade saurkraught with potatoes and porkchops for dinner. We normally use a slow cooker at home but in the RV we use a pressure cooker. It takes all day at home but only 20 minutes on the fire and 20 minutes resting to cook it in the RV. Good thing too because we were all hungry.

In the evening we listened to an audio tape about Charles Lindbergh.

Sunday: (01/04) Another cold morning. The campground is emptying out now. I went out after first light to take a picture of a teddy bear that only comes around when the sun is low in the morning sky. At other times it is a rock. Breakfast was leftover omlette and French toast.

I hiked to the top of the rocks across from our camp. Just the fool in me. it used to be much easier to get up to those tops. it does make for a good view and pictures. Lou and Dawn started a campfire, our first since being here. A neighbor gave us their leftover wood. They started it about 1pm. It's too cold and windy in the evening to enjoy being outside.

Dinner was leftover Chinese (vegetables and shrimp and German (pork, kraught, and taters). Lou fixed flan for desert. I lowered the solar panels and put away the chairs, mat and table clothes. Tomorrow morning will certainly be colder and wetter making such work messy and unplesant. We're heading on toward Laughlin tomorrow. We listened to the rest of the Lindbergh tapes in the evening.