Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quartzsite Arrival

Tuesday: (01/26) We started the day with cold cereal and bananas for breakfast. We headed on East stopping in Indio at the Winco Food store we spotted. We picked up a few more things. The markets in and near Quartzsite are good but not elaborate. I also tried to get a laminate roller at the Home Depot next door. It was the forth hardware store, if Home Depot qualifies as one, that I've checked at and still haven't found the roller. We continued on stopping in Blythe at their Ace Hardware Store. They had the roller, of course. It was even located where it should be found. Now I can clean the roof and install the sealing tape on our little roof leak. We also filled up with gas. It was $3.07. Cheaper than anything in or since Pismo Beach. But not as cheap as we found in Quartzsite, $2.75. We had ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch.

We drove on across the border to Quartzsite and registered in the BLM long term campground. We then took a quick drive around town. It looks similar to previous years but there are only half the RV dealers of years past. It also looks like it had a lot of storm damage recently, which it did. When we approached highway 95 from the West freeway exit via Kuehn road, we waded through the wash on the way. It was odd to see water in the wash. It was mostly sitting, not flowing now.

Our First Campsite In Quartzsite
We opted to stay close to the highway rather than further back, as we normally do. This was at least partly due to the rain clouds that eliminated the nice sunny sky we drove under all day. Our last year's camp was occupied by a permanent looking resident so we couldn't camp there. We'll keep our eye's open looking for a nicer spot but aren't in a hurry.

I cooked up a bunch of sausages in the oven and we had Boston baked beans with pepper jack cheese and bratwurst sausages. The ethnicity isn't pure but it was sure good.

We heard from the clerk in the hardware store in Blythe about their tornadoes a few days ago. When we talked to one of the vendors on main street here in Quartzsite he mentioned the heavy storm in December and the second bigger storm a few days ago. No tornadoes here in Quartzsite just horizontal rain and 70 mph winds. Glad we weren't here and were delayed this year.

Wednesday: (01/27) We rose early to try to catch the sunrise and took a morning walk around La Posa West nearby but didn't find any sites good enough to move to. With the clouds overhead and a forcast for rain today we want to stay near the road. Lou fixed chorizo with eggs, onions and cheese for breakfast. We went over to the Main Event flea market. Lots of junk and lots of hard to resist items. The place had far fewer vendors than years past. It's impossible to tell how much is due to the poor economy and how much due to the storms scaring vendors away. Many had a lot of storm damage.

We returned to the RV for lunch. Tomato bisque soup with pan fried toast. That was followed with a little angel food cake with Lou's fresh cranberry topping. Even though it was partially cloudy this morning our solar panels did their job and we were fully charged by our arrival home at 2pm for lunch. I relaxed at camp while Lou returned to the flea markets. The cloud cover  increased in the afternoon.

I climbed up on the roof and raised the second row of solar panels. I kept them at a lower angle than last year so we can drive around safely with the raised. If they do the job I'll leave them that way. Even with the clouds this morning we still put nearly 70 ah into the batteries before 2pm. And that was with only 2 of the 4 panels raised.

Lou fixed some mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, califlower, and green beans), added some onions and diced hard tofu stir fried with some soy sauce. She also prepared some long grain rice. The rice was pre-cooked Uncle Ben's in a pouch that can be placed in the microwave oven for 90 seconds and is ready to eat. Really convenient and doesn't steam up the windows. The microwave can be used very effectively when camping when the sun shines. No LPG required. Come on sun, come on out and stay a while!

Thursday: (01/28) A wonderful, normal, Quartzsite morning! Clear skies, warm, no wind, just great. Breakfast was the same as yesterday only easier because it was leftovers. We're off to look over Kuehn Street and the Big Top craft show this morning. We looked at a couple of trailers then took  good look at KB Tools, a favorite stop. We then went across Highway 95 to Rice Ranch checking all the vendors.

The Pie Lady Returned
It was 1230 when we arrived at Gran'mas Apple Pie shop. We enjoyed our slice of apple pie with caramel sauce. We ended up staying and talking with Jeannie, the propriator for a couple of hours. Some great news, she's working on a cook book with much more than a great apple pie recipie. She returns to Alaska every summer and may have convinced us we need to get on up there this year.

We finished up at Rice Ranch and stopped by Trina's hamburger joint at Prospectors Gulch for a couple of the after 4pm $1 special hamburgers with grilled onions. Very good. We then made it home and Lou fixed some fresh coleslaw to top off the burgers. We finished the evening with a nice campfire.

Friday: (01/29) Another sunny morning. Breakfast was leftover pancakes and some Italian sausage and a grapefruit. Back to Main street again ths morning.

Our Better Campsite At Quartzsite New Campsite From Opposite Side Of Wash
Well, plans change. We were driving out toward town when we spotted a nice vacant campsite with two trees, by a wash, with a nice flat parking space, and proper alignment for the solar panels. It even has an easy emergency exit if the rain returns. We returned to our old site and packed and moved to our new site. We were set up in no time but as has been the case recently the Motosat dish took a half hour to get the satellite. Once aligned it works fine and can be powered on and off as needed and is ready for use in a minute or so.

We drove over to Paul Evert's to look at a few RV's the over to Msin Street to see the junk vendors near the Post Office. Lou examines each vendors stuff thoroughly, I walk by so we travel at different speeds and wandered seperately. I spent some time in the museum across the street as well and learned of a bigger flood in 1919, 18" of rain causing water to be 8' deep there at the Museum on Main Street. Glad I missed that! When Lou called we went over to the Grubstake for the fish fry, all you can eat fish and chips. Not as good as at Pismo Beach but far better that most anywhere else. we stuffed ourselves. When we returned to camp it was nap time for me. Lou managed to continue movement and tinkered around camp.

In the evening, we took a walk around our new camp seeing where the water had been. Our neighbors said where we are the water was just up to the top of the wash banks so it didn't bother them. We're maybe a foot lower so might have to wade but would be washed away. Coming back toward home we stopped at our neighbors across the wash and talked with Don Bradner, his wife  Joy and John Watson fellow Datastorm Satellite system users.

Quartzsite Sunset Quartzsite Sunset
We enjoyed a nice sunset and nice moon rise this evening. Lou's busy working on her dolls while I'm doing this update.

Quartzsite Sunrise
Saturday: (01/30) We were up early to watch the sunrise and moon set. We had PBJ English muffins for breakfast.

After breakfast we headed over to the Auto Show at the big tent in Quartzsite. Lots of neat cars. Our favorites were probably the vintage cars towing teardrop trailers. I stayed at the auto show while Lou continued on elsewhere. We had lunch at the RV. Lou had a chefs salad I had a ham sandwich. Lou dropped me off at La Mesa RV while she explored other junk (treasure) vendors.

We were both worn out early and returned to camp to relax. Lou fixed Italian sausage with zucchini and onions for dinner.

We've been having good sun and moon viewing the past few days. This evening's moon rise was a full moon so as big as it gets. The sunset though wasn't great due to few clouds available to assist.

Sunday: (01/31) Cereal and bananas for breakfast. We started with a look at a couple of RV's on the way to The craft show at Tyson Wells. We shared a half order of curly fries for brunch. We returned to camp for lunch of summer sausage and cheese.

After lunch we drove over to RV Lifestyles West of town. We are looking for a table bracket and they don't have it but will order it for us. Next stop was the Main Event again to get some spring chair cushions. They are all over town but only this vendor has one that will last, no elastic bands. These have web straps and snap fasteners. Lou dropped me off an i browsed a few more used RV's while she examined another junk dealer.

On our way home we stopped at the General Store Market for more sausage and some potato salad. Lou fixed hamburgers with potato salad for dinner. After dinner Lou was on the look out for the moon. She caught it trying to hide behind one of the mountains. It was really huge and orange like a pumpkin. Sorry, my measly camera can't capture it.

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