Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas in Quartzsite!


Christmas arrived with clearing skies and a day full of sunshine! We had been running the generator on and off the past 4 days due to lack of solar power so the sun was a welcome sight. Christmas is a time that most people get together with friends and family and the ever dreaded…. Christmas Drama… crying kids, in-laws or families that just cannot get along, everyone has experienced it. You would think we would be exempt from drama, after all it was just the 4 of us out in the middle of the desert…..Wrong! When you have a 2 year old lab, they think the world revolves around them so when we laid out Daisy and Dakota’s stockings filled with dog treats and toys Dakota wanted it all. Once all the gifts were unwrapped Dakota decided that she did not want to share becoming very possessive taking each of the toys one by one into the back corner of her crate and laying in there protecting them!
After all the antagonizing about it for several weeks I got Barb an Instant Pot! (Hey, that is what she asked for) So we are now part of the Instant Pot Club, I think we were the last members for many of our friends who got one in the last year and absolutely love them! Barb got me a training collar, I am still uncertain if it is really for me or for Dakota. After 31 years you would think she would know better than try to teach me new tricks.

The day after Christmas we had our first visitor! Our friend Kevin from Wisconsin was in Phoenix visiting his parents for Christmas and drove out to spend a couple days with us. We went jeeping the first afternoon heading out in the desert just west of the airport. I had a general idea of where we were heading hoping to come out on the Marble Mine Rd. After 3 hours we were still jeeping along with no road in sight. When a group of 4 wheelers approached us from the opposite direction we stopped and asked them if we were on the right track. “Yup just take the next right and it will wind towards the mine”. Perfect, we were ready to get out of the desert and head back for a beer. 30 minutes later still no sight of the mine or the road when we run across another group of 4 wheelers coming our way. We ask them about the mine or the mine road and they say that there is nothing out there but desert but they are headed back to town. So we turn around and follow them. Well we were within ½ mile of the mine and zigged when we should have zagged after taking the next right. Moral of the story bring a map or GPS when out in the desert!
That night we went to Heaven’s Kitchen BBQ for ribs! We had been there last year when he visited and that was the one request he had when he was here. It did not disappoint!

Those of you who know us know we like it really cold in our house. Always have and it is not uncommon for us to see our breath in the morning when we get out of bed. When we lived in a house we always turned the heat up to “company heat” whenever someone came over. But we would not need to do that for our tough guy buddy Kevin right? But even so, we turned the heat up to 50 and just to make sure he did not get cold we gave him two blankets. After inflating the bed and tucking him in we retreated to our bedroom, closed the door opened two windows and went to bed. During the night we heard the furnace kick on twice so we figured Kevin was nice and toasty in his bed. Imagine our surprise when we woke up the next morning with him wearing everything he brought on standing over the heat register with a blanket around him shivering like he was freezing! He later told us that his house is usually set between 70 and 75 and he likes it really warm! Well, that is one way to insure he was not going to spend another night!
The next day after going to Grub Stake for lunch we went back to rig to have a few beers and fly the drone. Kevin had never flown a drone before and actually flew it further away from the rig than I ever have flying it over 5,000 feet away……straight to the clothing optional section! Luckily it was a cooler afternoon so there were not anyone wandering around outside but even still….my apologies to the good folks over there, sometime you just cannot control your friends!
Kevin flying the drone over the clothing optional section!
Yesterday we had a lunch date with our friends Dale and Ruth who had recently returned from a trip to Cancun. And bonus…. It was my birthday! Ruth prepared a great meal of tri-tip tacos, those combined with a few beverages and great conversation made for a great afternoon! Unfortunately it started raining so we had to cut it a little short. Then to top it off we got a flat tire driving the mile and a ½ back from their place. Luckily it was one of the rear duallys and we limped it home on the one good tire rather than change it in the rain and mud.
Tazzy turned her head at the last second

What cat do you know that has her own chair?
Barb showered me with gifts; a hat, a shirt, a new tackle box and a new reel case so I spent the rest of the afternoon playing with my new tackle box moving items from one the old box to the new one. The evening was topped off with a great dinner of king crab legs and lobster! There are pros and cons to having your birthday so close to Christmas. The con is that growing up you constantly hear “this is a combo Christmas/birthday present” but on the positive side some of my favorite foods are on sale as it is the day before New Year’s Eve! We were able to pick up some king crab at $14/lb and a couple of small lobster tails for $4 each which Barb cooked in her new Instant Pot….totally delicious!

Tomorrow is the start of the new year ending one of the most adventurous years of our lives. I cannot even start to tell you what the highlights were, there were just too many.  Our Alaska trip was absolutely incredible, the fishing, the scenery and the new friends we met along the way. Looking at our Travel Map, we started our year and ended our year here in Quartzsite. As a matter of fact we are within a couple hundred yards of where we parked last year. It has been a great year filled with memories and friendships that will probably last a lifetime…..

Bring on 2017 and let the adventure continue!  
The girls found another geocache!

31 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!!

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  2. Sounds like a good Christmas. We hope to see you in the coming year somewhere.

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  3. YAY for the Instant Pot! I love mine and am learning to cook new things in it. I've mastered the whole chicken, roasts and cheesecake! Happy New Year to all of you!

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    1. Barb cooked a frittata the other day, it was very good. A whole chicken sounds good, we will have to try that!

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  4. So fun to have you join us for lunch, wish we had known in advance that it was your Birthday!! Looking forward to 2017!!

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    1. Thanks again for lunch, too bad the cold and rain had to cut it short!

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  5. Happy birthday and Happy New Year! Let me new how that collar works. Might try one on Steve! Barb,let me know how you like your pot. Your insta pot that is.

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    1. Will do on both counts, she hasn't gotten the collar on me yet but I know it is just a matter of time!

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  6. Crab and lobster in the instantpot!! Definitely going to have to find out how she cooked those.

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    1. Really easy, a cup and a 1/2 of water and steam them on high for 4 minutes.

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  7. Dakota sounds like an abused child that hides food because they may not get anymore. I hope Daisy eventually got her items back:) Happy Birthday, Jim! Our son's birthday is Jan 1. It was always tough just coming off Christmas. We usually waited to buy his gifts until after Christmas so we weren't holding out on Christmas presents. Well, Barb isn't the last one to get an Instant Pot! I still don't have one! We don't use any heat at night unless the temps will go below freezing. We like it cold! So people staying with us have the same problem.

    Wishing you and Barb a happy, healthy New Year and one that brings us together:)

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    1. That is awesome, sounds like you guys would be quite comfortable in our rig! Daisy got her toys back but unfortunately "indestructible" must be a relative term as one of them is ripped to shreds already.

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  8. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday! That's a lot of celebrating! It was awesome to spend part of 2016 with you guys! Hope our paths cross in 2017!

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    1. Comparing our travel calendars it does not look like we will be near each other in '17 but if you are still east in '18 we will be over that way!

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  9. Glad you enjoyed Christmas even with the unruly Furkid.
    Wishing you a belated Birthday Greeting and we will extend it to include a Happy New Years as well.
    We'll be heading out to La Posa South after the third maybe we'll get to say Hello.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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  10. It's amazing how quickly a year flies by, Jim. Happy birthday and Happy New Year!

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  11. May all your Dreams continue to come true! happy bday🎉🎈🎉🎈🎉

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  12. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! And best of all, happy birthday! We have enjoyed your blog and will be making use of your Alaska trip tips! Cheers!

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  13. Happy Birthday to you Jim
    My oldest daughters birthday is also so on Dec. 30 so we know what you mean about pros & cons.
    Happy New Years to you both hope you have a great one.
    Rick

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  14. Hope Barb is loving the IP!! Hands down the best thing we ever bought for the rig!! Happy New Years! Hope our paths cross in 2017!!

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    1. We are leaving here sometime the first week of February and heading down Tucson way, hopefully we will be in the same area around that time!

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  15. Poor poor Daisy! Our oldest son's birthday is Dec 28th, so we know what you mean. Happy New Year and we'll see you soon in Q! Oh, we also do not have an instapot. Just doesn't seem our thing, but everyone else sure loves it.

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    1. See you guys soon, when do you think you will get here?

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  16. Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday and Bright New Year all rolled in one. And of course more adventures in travel this year. Cheers.
    If you are still in Q by end of Jan we might meet up!

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