Friday, December 9, 2016

Boondocking in Quartzsite!


For the first time since we left the Dakotas we had an adventure that did not involve snow! After leaving Death Valley we headed south to Mojave National Preserve. It wasn’t any warmer down there with lows below freezing and winds that made it feel even colder. We spent a day there exploring in the Jeep but did not get out on any hikes.
Tired of the cold and the high prices in California we decided to head to Quartzsite a few weeks early for some warmer weather and low cost living.  Besides we had a huge list of projects that we wanted to get started on. What project list you ask? One that we have been adding to for the last several months, we thought we would get a few hammered out while we were in North Dakota but we kept too busy!

Our project list for the next two months include:

Install new brake pads on truck
Install new brake pads on Jeep
Install new brake pads on trailer
Install new fuel filter on truck
Change differential fluid on truck
Detail truck inside and out
Get new tires for the 4 wheeler
Change oil in 4 wheeler
Repack Bearing on rig
Seal RV Roof
Replace sun roof on rig
Wash and wax rig
Buff out scratches on rig
Put up our adventure stickers from the last several months
Fishing reel maintenance


It felt good to pull into La Posa South knowing we were going to be parked for an extended period of time. This is our second year here in the desert and unlike last year, this time we knew what we were doing and the general area we wanted to be. For those of you who are new to this and interested in desert life you should check out our Beginners Guide to Quartzsite and Week 1 in Quartzsite blog posts we did last year on some of the basics about living in the LTVA and life within the town of Quartzsite.
After paying our $180 seasonal fee we headed in.  We were hoping to get the same spot that we were in last year and arriving this early we felt confident that we no one would be in it. Wrong. As a matter of fact almost every spot in our little “Dreamers” section from last year was taken. Time to find a new spot. We drove around a little bit and spotted a site right along a wash that would work. The nice thing about being on the wash is that no one can park behind you so you have a bit more privacy.


After setting up it was dinner time and neither of us wanted to cook so we went to The Grub Stake for their Friday fish dinner. Walking into Grub Stake we were reminded of one of the things we liked about being in Quartzsite. It makes us feel young! We were easily the youngest people in there by 10 years. I was surprised they did not card us! The fish dinner was very good with huge portions, we would highly recommend it.
The following morning we completed our set up. Barb did some fine tuning on the rock border and changed the initials on the yard sign one of the previous occupants had constructed while I tilted the solar panels, set up tables, chairs and got the place homey. 


Our next order of business was to buy a new mat for the front of the rig. We had been wanting one for quite a while but kept putting it off. To force ourselves into action we donated our old one to Chris and Holly at the farm in North Dakota. We returned home the proud owners of a new 9x18 mat ($65) and now were ready to relax! With cocktails and books in hand we settled into our chairs on our new mat and read for exactly 10 minutes before we decided it was too hot outside and retreated inside the rig. What a contrast to what we had been experiencing the last few weeks!
Pretty, new mat

It has now been a week since we arrived and I am happy to report that not only have we gotten a start on our project list we have even gotten out on a couple adventures!
On the project list front we had crossed off washing the rig, have about ½ of it waxed and repacked the wheel bearings. We have ordered the brakes for the rigs but upon closer inspection there was still quite a bit of life on the existing pads. We also ordered the eternabond tape for the roof, new tires for the 4 wheeler and detailed the inside of the truck. Whew……

Look'in good!
Don't tell Barb I borrowed her toothbrush!

Barb detailing the inside of the truck
Barb also put up our stickers from our summer travels. We started collecting stickers last spring after we saw Dino and Lisa had a collection in their rig and thought it was a cool idea. Since then we have been collecting stickers from each of the significant locations along our journey. Wished we would have started this from the beginning!

Barb decorated the Christmas tree we picked up at Home Depot, set up our solar lights under the awning, set up our “yard” lights and completed a deep cleaning in the rig. Not much sitting around and relaxing yet but we are making progress!


Our Home Depot Tree!
We have gotten out on two adventures, well really one mini adventure and one real adventure. The mini adventure included attending the Quartzsite Craft/Garage Sale at the QIA Community Center where vendors set up tables to sell their crafts. There is everything from doilies, handmade knives, wind chimes made out of beer cans and lots and lots of handmade jewelry. The garage sale portion consisted of what looked like to us a bunch of junk that no one would ever want. We walked each of the aisles looking at all the wares but in the end did not find anything we could not live without.
Our big adventure included fellow Dreamers and FT RV’ers Dale and Ruth are in the area. We got together with them and visited Castle Dome Museum about 50 miles south of Quartzsite. Several of our friends had visited this last year and it was on our list of “must do’s” this year. The museum is privately owned and is a 1880’s mining town consisting of buildings in their original location and other buildings from that era that have been moved into the town.
It was very interesting to see how the townspeople lived back then, the clothes they wore and tools they used. I was noticing how small the women’s shoes and clothing were and Ruth who worked in a museum at one point in her life informed me that the average height of women back then was less than 5 feet. Weird how we have evolved so much in 100 or so years, makes you wonder what the next 100 years will bring!
Old church building

Player piano with music scrolls on top

Dale sneaking out of the brothel!
Sheriff's office

Horse drawn planter, crazy how much work this would have been

Blacksmith forge with bellows
Barb said she wanted a washer/drier combo for Christmas!

Ruth at one of the 5 bars in town
Not much has changed in the past 100 or so years. The town had one church, one bank, one post office and 5 bars. Reminds us of rural Wisconsin!

We are continuing to work with Dakota. Although she is much more comfortable with both us and other strangers, other aspects of her training have stalled. As she has become more comfortable, she is also becoming more stubborn. We have been working on loud noises and riding in the 4 wheeler, neither of which she likes at the moment. She has developed two tactics in response to these. One we call the ostrich where she will bury her head in your arm or a pillow when she is scared and pretend nothing “bad” is going on around her.  The other is to totally ignore you when you call her and walk to the other side of the trailer where you cannot see her. There she will sit and hope you will just go away. Although both of these are somewhat cute we cannot let her get away with them and coax her into continuing her training session on a good note.

Trying to get Dakota comfortable with the 4 wheeler
It is still early in the season but it seems more crowded than it did last year. The big show is still over a month away, looks like it is going to be a busy season!


28 comments:

  1. You guys sure have been busy. Glad you like our old spot. It is nice being on the wash. You mentioned it seems busier at La Posa South. Hopefully we will find a spot when we arrive mid January! I probably won't be as nice though! Oh well.

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    1. We will find a spot for you around here somewhere, see you in a few weeks!

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  2. Know what you mean about having a chore list. Being we only had the trailer a couple of months before heading south mine has continued to grow with only hopes of it getting shorter.
    We are presently at Quail Run RV Park north of Quartzsite while I continue to work on installing the Solar System in our trailer. We'll be heading to La Posa in January but have been visiting a number of friends already in the South district.
    Because you keep referring to "Dreamers" I'll ask if you are referring to "RV Dreamers" as we are "Hersey Pennsylvania Fall 2011" and the "Rally Reunion 2015".
    Maybe we'll get a chance to meet up somewhere along the way.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    Rick and Kathy Rousseau

    It's about time.

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    1. Yes, we had 8 or so RV Dreamers in our little area. We usually have a get together with other Dreamers in the area sometime during the season. Watch the RV Dreams Forum for details!

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  3. LOL, Dale sneaking out of the brothel??? Good thing his family doesn't follow your blog, he'd be disownned!!

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    1. What's their email address, I will send them a link!

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  4. Sure wish we were there with you guys. It's currently snowing but has warmed up to -1.4C! Glad to see your getting all your chores done before the rest of us arrive to play and party!

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    1. Got new 4 wheeler tires today so we are ready to go out and play!

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  5. The camp looks great and it also looks warm. Getting tired of the cold here. Enjoy!

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    1. Going to hit 70 today! And to think you are heading to Minnesota after you leave there!

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  6. Love that castle dome Museum have been there a few times.

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    1. It is a very interesting place that you could visit several times and see different things.

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  7. You and Barb got out of ND just in time. I don't believe the weather did anything but get worse after you pulled out. I thought of you every time they show the protesters up there in that blowing snow. Nice that you found some warmth:) It seems people are moving to warmer climates sooner than ever this year. We've been surprised at the people at our various stops to get to Cortez. I'm glad we don't have your To Do list! Hope all goes well with getting it completed:) I love Ghost Towns of any kind. I enjoy just finding old mining camps or cabins as we hike. Castle Dome reminds me of the Ghost Town in Bodie. Sure hope Barb gets a W/D from Santa. It makes life so much easier and you always have everything washed right away. Our friends are dog trainers and raised Seeing Eye dogs for years. They have a giant poodle that they've raised since he was weeks old. Lewis is afraid of everything...kids, bikes, skateboards, and strangers. He goes to the very back of their site or the back of the MH when he hears any sees any of these. They have tried everything...just his personality. But he sure is my special boy. Hope Dakota gets use to the four wheeler!

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    1. We talked to our friends in North Dakota and they have snow drifts over 10 feet tall! Good thing we got out of there when we did or we may have been spending the winter.

      Barb is really on the fence regarding the washer/dryer combo as she is not sure she wants to give up the closet space so we will probably wait on that.

      Dakota is making progress, she is very sensitive and does not like loud noises or fast movements but she still jumps in the back of the 4 wheeler so she must not be too terrified.

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  8. Hi. We have been following your travels, literally and figuratively, for about a year now (we were backpacking, rafting, and canoeing in Alaska this past summer too). We expect to be in Quartzsite the last week of January and, if you are still there then, perhaps we can meet up. Merry Christmas. Steve in Bend.

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    1. We should still be here then, let us know and we can meet up. Thanks for following our blog!

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  9. I've got to admit - I'm a bit jealous of the warmer temps! We've got 2 1/2 weeks more cold before heading to FL! Sadly we won't be making it to Q this year - maybe next year after Amazon! Enjoy!

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    1. Watching the weather, it looks like Arizona and southern Florida are the places to be right now!

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  10. Replies
    1. We did a drive by today and he was outside. He was wearing a hat and jacket but nothing below that!

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  11. I see one of your projects is 'replace sun roof on rig', Jim. Is the current one broken?

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    1. Yes, it is actually a sky light. It has developed several cracks over the months and it is time to replace it.

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  12. Dang you have a long laundry list of things to do. I'm sure you will have hem all done by the time we roll in and find yourself being bored so if you want we can hold off on our list until we get there and turn it over to you so you can stay busy. Don't hank me, what are friends for anyway!
    The tree looks great!!!

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    1. Bring them on, we will help with whatever you need!

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  13. Jim and Barb , great blog,I have been following for a while ! Love your travels.we have stayed at south La Posa later in February in the past few yrs ,going to try for the end of January this yr ,escape from this canadian winter and see quartzite when it's alittle busier ! Cheers

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    1. Thanks Bill! By the end of January you should be ready to escape the Canadian cold. It has been a comfortable upper 60's low 70's this week with little or no wind.

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  14. Our dogs are still not liking getting into the ATV, so more often than not they get left behind.

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    1. Dakota has come a long way in the past couple of weeks! We worked a lot on just getting in and out of the ATV without moving it and giving her treats. We have now progressed to the point where she will get in without being on a leash and lays in the back and seems comfortable. Now we just take small trips and she seems to enjoy it.

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