Thursday, January 28, 2016

Exciting Week in Quartzsite!

With the Big Show over and most of the rigs heading for other areas one would think life in the desert is quite and tranquil. Not so much…… This tranquility is often disrupted by the sounds of sirens from police, fire or ambulance and sometimes all three. At least once a week you hear an ambulance coming through the area to someone’s rig. With the majority of the “residents” here on the upper end of the age spectrum, this is to be expected. We have one trailer of the edge of our little “dreamer” community that has been there for several weeks and we have never seen anyone come in or out of it. Several of us were concerned for the welfare of the occupant so the ranger was called to check on him. The ranger came, knocked on the door and an elderly gentleman came out. Everything is okay, he just stays in his trailer coming out every few days.

Speaking of the rangers, one of the sirens sounds was a result of one of our very own group going a little too fast down the main desert road out here (name left out to protect the guilty but lets just say that the offenders name starts with an “S” and has a “T”, a “V” and two “E”’s with the last name sounding like a McDonald’s value meal. Luckily he had a good excuse being late for the football game and having hot wings in the car and got off with only a warning.

The most serious of offenses occurred just the other day when an ambulance, fire rescue, Quartzsite PD, sheriff and the ranger surrounded two rigs a hundred yards away. There was lots of speculation within our group of what was going on; rolling meth lab? Domestic? Medical? The truth ended up being as bizarre as each of those.   There is a rig not too far away with a REALLY loud generator, you know, one of those industrial jobs you would see at a construction site. Most of us were annoyed but learned to live with it. Everyone except his neighbor who had had enough and went over to talk to the guy. In the end, one guy ended up in the hospital (generator guy) and the other guy ended up in jail! Mind you, these were not some of the youngest members out here! It is actually very unfortunate as the gentleman who ended up in jail is a really nice guy.

Monday of this week included another RV Dreams mini-reunion that Steve and Dianne organized. It was a beautiful afternoon and a great event. All told there were 41 people in attendance.  
Photo compliments of Steve C.
Steve and Dianne Colibaba, Karen and Bob Palmer, Dale and Ruth Finkenbiner, Larry and Kathy Seifert, Gerry and Linda Burns, Corey and Jen, Bob and Lindy Arel, Allen and Donna Ferguson, Matt Terrell, Tom Drotning, Harry and Vicki Forrey, Jim and Barb Nelson, Steve and Debbie McCormack, Ellen and Mario Bendana, Red and Pam Beers, Les and Sue Young, Gina Rouse, Paul and Kim Halin, Claudia and Mike Bezares, Cori and Greg Young, Tracy and Lee Perkins...
Our biggest objective of the week was to attempt the Palm Canyon hike again. If you recall, I attempted it two weeks ago when we hiked the canyon with our friends Larry and Kathy. On that trip Larry and I attempted to get to the palms while Barb and Kathy waited for us on the bottom. I made it to the smaller palms but a 10’ rock wall stopped me from getting to the larger ones. I was very frustrated and determined to try again! This time armed with gloves and a 50’ rope Barb and I set out to conquer this nemesis!
At first glance it appears the obvious route is straight up the canyon towards the palms. This is the route that Larry and I took the other week and I would consider very technical climbing for the average hiker. However, to the discerning eye (Barb) there is a less obvious route up a very narrow adjacent canyon that leads to the same area. Although this route contains some rock climbing and scrambling, it is much easier. So easy in fact I think even our friend Deb could climb it!
Headed up!

Almost to the top!

Barb at the top of the chute with the palms in the background
Just a few hundred more feet......

Barb with her infamous victory pose!

Chill'in on the top!
Barbie headed back down
Our big 4 wheeler ride this week involved a group ride to the Diablo Pass area with a group of riders which included Steve, Dianne, Earl and Eric. This was probably the coolest ride that we have gone on so far as it offered a variety of scenery and terrain. It had flat open terrain, hills, and technical terrain. The bonus of this trip was collecting 8 remote geocaches and seeing a group of Desert Bighorn Sheep!
Dianne headed down a wash

We stopped at an abandoned mine for lunch
I wanted to go down but didn't.....

The trails go on and on and on.......
We passed a group of 15 jeeps on the trail

Barb heading up to find a geocache

Ram snacking on a Palo Verde tree

A pair of rams on the hill
Last but not least Barb and a few of the girls attended the local bookstore in Quartzsite. This bookstore is known not for their wide selection of books or their great prices. What makes this bookstore so well-known is the attire of the owner. Or should I say lack of attire! This 70 something year old gentleman is well known to tend his store wearing nothing but the very smallest garment so the girls had to check it out. It is an image that Tracey says is now burned into her mind forever!

We will leave you this week with this image.......

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Quartzsite.....The Big Show has gone to the Dogs!

The big show was this week! We watched throughout the week as the big white tent went up, the retail RV lots filled up as did every nook and cranny that would fit the rigs of the people who stayed in town. Out here in La Posa South it did get much more crowded but not horrible. Here is what it looks like now.....

North (we are in the middle)

 We were warned not to go to the big tent on the first day but we are here for “the Quartzsite experience” so we just had to go. Well, the people who warned us were not wrong. It was crowded, like little lemmings we went up and down every aisle looking at what each of the vendors had to offer. RV wares, resorts, clubs and workcamper recruiters were there in abundance. What we did not expect were the number of vendors selling cookware, pain relief and other non-RV related items were there in even a bigger force. Lot’s of……”if you buy today, I will throw in…..” It did not look like there was a shortage of people who were interested in almost everything they were peddling as it was elbow to elbow the entire time we were there. People stopping in the middle of the aisles to chat with their friends and, the dogs! Dogs everywhere, dogs in leashes, dogs in pouches, dogs in strollers......dogs everywhere! We at least had the good sense to leave Daisy at home, it seems everyone else.....did not.  Between the people and the dogs it was  gridlock!

Wall to wall people

and dogs......Pretty dogs.....

Side by side dogs.......

Double decker dogs.......
and dogs in hats........


We walked through 4 times during the week and talked to a few workcamper recruiters. There were a couple that looked interesting, some only wanted you to commit to a couple weeks while others wanted a several month commitment. We were interested in a couple as it would be a great way to explore an area, make a few bucks and have your site paid for while you are in the area. We ended up buying a couple of items….some LED lights and a small kitchen grinder that grinders anything you put in it! And we were in luck, it just so happened the day we bought it he not only threw in an extra grinder disc but an entire extra grinder!!!!! (I think we heard the same pitch the day before as well). As luck would have it our friends Steve and Joan drove down from Lake Mead and split the purchase with us!
Need a stove top grill?

How about a mop?

A job at Amazon or a beet farm?
How about a rig with the toilet open to the bedroom!?!
I think the non-RV related booths outnumbered the RV related booths 2:1. Personally I think they could do a much better job marketing to today's RV'er.

Speaking of Steve and Joan, we had a happy hour/fish fry in our little community that night that they were able to attend and meet a lot of fellow “Dreamers”. Red cooked up some Texas crappies while Trace went crazy with the onion rings!
Red, Pam and Tracey cooking up the fish and rings!
The Gang! (photo compliments of Alan)
The next day we followed Steve and Joan down to El Centro, California for a produce farm tour at the University of California Davis Research Center. We also met Ginny and Don who drove down from Lake Mead as well. We had heard about this tour from Pam (Oh, the Places They Go!) who had attended it last year. The cost was $20/person for the tour, lunch and all the produce you could fit into a gunny sack. Well worth the price of admission with a lot of interesting information on the research program. I learned things ……. I really don’t like Swiss chard and don’t mind daikon radishes. We also got beets, broccoli, roman lettuce, iceberg lettuce, turnips and cilantro.
It's a little chilly but I think we will make it!
Ginny volunteered for a demonstration

Barb, Joan, Steve, Ginny and Don

Picking broccoli
Barb with her bounty!
On the way back we stopped by Imperial Sand Dunes, it looked like a 4 wheeler/dune buggy haven!

We made a couple other purchases over the past week; the first was an inversion table. Barb’s back has been really bothering her over the last few months. She visited a surgeon recently who recommended (short of surgery) that she hang suspended in a pool 30 minutes a day for a month and see if that helps decompress her spine. Easier said than done with this lifestyle. While walking Daisy here in the desert she noticed several trailers with inversion tables outside them. She stopped and talked to several of the owners who said it really helps decompress their vertebrae’s so we thought we would give it a try. The second purchase was a new GPS for our truck. Several of our friends purchased the Garmin RV 760lmt, it is designed specifically for the RV’er as you can enter specific details related to your rig (length, weight…..) and will route you accordingly. Luckily we had sold over $800 of items on eBay over the past few weeks so we just this money for these purchases over the past few weeks.

We also managed to get out on 4 wheeler rides several times over the past week testing our new Gamin Montana GPS while geocaching. Over the past week we found over 100 caches and really enjoy searching for them out in the desert and surrounding mountains.
The group at a remote desert resort

Daisy hot on the trail of a geocache

Found one!

And another!
I know there is one in there somewhere!

The sunsets in the desert continue to be spectacular! Thanks for stopping by……

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A busy week 3 in Quartzsite

Week 3 in Quartzsite is in the books…… The “Big Show” starts on Saturday and the desert is getting crowded! We had some more friends show up this week. Greg and Cori who we met in Florida last winter arrived on Thursday. They own a solar business (RV Solar Solutions) and travel the country installing units as they go. As a matter of fact they are going to install an additional panel on our rig while they are here to bring us to 800 watts.
We got out on a couple of 4 wheeler rides one of which Steve and Diane guided us on showing us more of the sights in the area. First we went to Dripping Springs, an area with a very slow dripping water source, a cave and some really cool petroglyphs. We visited several abandoned mines and stone houses and Guadeloupe Mountain.  The history that lies out in the middle of these remote deserts is amazing!
Headed down a wash

Dripping Springs....only about the size of a cereal bowl

Steve and Dianne at the mouth of the cave
Inside you could stand up!

Looking straight down a mine shaft

Another shaft going straight into a hill


Apache Chief Cabin with some modern amenities
Someone left their underwear on the line!

Gold Nugget Mine Cabin

View of Guadeloupe Mountain from Gold Nugget
View from the top of Guadeloupe Mountain

Barrel Cactus
Happy hours continue to occur throughout the week. With all the people rolling in they are actually getting quite large, sometimes too large to really have conversations and catch up with people. One highlight included Daisy…….Trace has been wanting a dog, while her husband Lee is not quite on board. Daisy has attended a few happy hours and we have been slowly wearing away Lee’s anti-dog mentality. We were making really good strides, Lee was actually holding and playing with Daisy until …….”The Incident”…We are all sitting around a fire while Daisy and Lee were playing “fetch the rock” over by his rig. Lee would throw a rock, Daisy would retrieve it, Lee would throw, Daisy would retrieve. You could see him slowly but surely becoming a dog lover until….Daisy retrieves the rock, runs back, drops the rock, squats and pees on their entry mat! And just like that we are starting from ground zero again! Oh well, we have several weeks to continue to work on him.

Last Saturday a group of us went to the iconic Desert Bar outside of Parker. If you are in the area, the Desert Bar is a must see. It is an old mine out in the middle of nowhere and I mean nowhere that the owner has converted into a bar. Totally off the grid, this bar has solar galore, seating for hundreds, several bars and food stands. It is amazing what they built out there.
Check out all those solar panels!

One of the bars

Steve, Barb, Steve, Dianne, Ellen and Deb

Barb and Deb climbed a hill to get some shots

We used Quiet Times to have a couple of packages delivered this week. It worked pretty good…. They mislabeled one of our package which delayed our delivery but overall it worked good and we will use them again. Purchase number one was a California Duster which is a must have for wiping the dust off the rig. Our second purchase was a Garmin Montana 610T GPS for geocaching. After talking to some fellow geocachers, we found that this unit is one of the better ones for geocachers as it has many features designed specifically for that. Barb and I each listed and sold our current GPS’s on ebay last week and bought this one. Now we just have to learn how to use it!

We try to plan something each day to get us out and about, one day we drove to Parker to mail our eBay packages, do laundry, grocery shopping and went to the movie Reverant. For those of you who are regular readers, you know how Barb terrified of bears and has reoccurring dreams about getting attacked by one so when she asked me what the movie was about before we went I was not exactly forthcoming. Well first let me tell you, we were the youngest ones in the theater and if you go to a matinee movie in Parker get there early. We arrived about 1:20 for the 1:30 movie and were told there were only 20 tickets left. Whew, we got tickets! What we did not think of was when there are only 20 seats left, they are all in the front row! We have not sat in the front row since we were teenagers. Back to the movie itself……the main plot of the movie is about a mountain man who gets attacked by a grizzly bear and his struggle to survive. Well the attack scene was pretty realistic and you should have seen Barb’s eye! I don’t think she has forgiven me yet…..
Last but not least we went on an awesome hike with Kathy and Larry who we had met last week. We went to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge where we hiked Palm Canyon, home of the only native palm tree to Arizona.

The scenery and views were incredible

On the way up Barb did some exploring and found a really cool ledge where the Desert Bighorns spend their time resting.
Can you see her??????

How about now?

The trail to the point where you can see the palms is fairly easy, the trail to where you are actually at the palms I would call extreme. Larry and I went up to see if we could get to the palms while Barb and Kathy stayed below and watched.

Kathy and Larry
The climb itself is pretty steep with some scrambling over some large rocks. Where it gets dicey is several walls that are virtually straight up that you have to scale. We made it to the lower area where there were some small trees, Then we came to a 10' wall. Larry was able to make it up after several attempts. I tried a couple different routes but the foot and handholds were only about an inch deep. While I think I could have made it up there, getting down without being able to see your foot holds would have been almost impossible. As it was when Larry came down I have to physically put his feet on the ledges as he came down. I will be back with gloves, water, my climbing boots and maybe a rope !!!!!
Larry at one of the smaller palms

The girls are way down there.....

Larry coming down a wall
Saw this posted on Facebook and just had to include it. Barb thought people would be confused by it. I thought not......

Thanks for stopping by!