Sunday, February 26, 2023

Homeward Bound!

As anyone who has traveled knows, there are good travel days and bad travel days. So far this trip we have been blessed with nothing but good travel days. That was all about to change.

But before I get to that let me take you back to the day we left Q. As you will recall, we left Quartzsite on Monday morning with HTDH feebly throwing a rock at our truck as well pulled out. Several of you asked: Is HTDH a real or mythical character? Is he really that bad? How does his lovely wife Vicki put up with him? Well, I can answer the first two questions, as for the third, love can make all of us put up with somethings that someone from the outside just cannot understand.

As to the first two questions. HTDH is a true character, and I used the word "character" on purpose because that is what he truly is, but truth be told, he and Vicki have two dogs of their own. Buster and Sadie. And if I were to be even more honest, I would admit that I have seen him giving loving scratches to both Zoey and Dakota, but what fun is that? It is more fun to pick on Harry portraying him as this dog hating old codger!

But, getting back to our travels. Leaving Q we headed east on I-10 for a total of 30 minutes before we took the exit to Brenda. Our destination for the day was Blackrock RV Park where our good friends Red and Pam were staying. You may remember those names from our post two weeks ago when we talked about meeting Steve and Dianne for the first time in January of 2014. Red and Pam were the reinforcements that Steve and Dianne called up just in case we were a couple of whack-a-dos.

You may also remember them from this post in December of ’17 when Pam helped us butcher a couple of deer at her brother in laws place in Texas. Something she still recalls as a one and done event.

Having not seen them in a couple of years, we were excited to catch up with them. Pam had secured us a site at Blackrock directly across from them. After getting set up, and the dogs meeting each other, we hit the trails in the new side by side they had just taken delivery on. They showed us the sights in the area while we caught up on each other lives. 

Sadie and Cooper meeting Zoey

We stopped at one lookout where I took several pictures of the area and a memorable memorial. We sat on the rocks in this area and had a beer. I took my phone out of my back pocket and set it on the rock next to me. You guessed it, I left it there not discovering that it was missing until we were several miles away. So, we turned around hoping it was still there when we returned. On our way back to the lookout we were approaching a 4-wheeler going the opposite direction when this guy stops us and asks, “Is this your phone?”. He had found it, scrolled through the pictures and recognized us. Talk about lucky!

That night, we were joined by friends of Red and Pam’s for supper. We had met Mike and Dawne several years ago but had not gotten to know them very well, so it was nice to spend some more time together.  The burgers and salads were delicious!

The next morning after breakfast, we headed on down the road. This is where things got interesting. You may recall that this area got pounded by a winter storm earlier this week. Well, we drove right into it. The first day we ran into rain, snow, fog and winds. The winds were mild(ish) in the 30-40mph range, and the temps were still well above freezing. 

We stopped for the night in a boondocking spot in the high desert outside of Holbrook Arizona. Here, I emptied our hot water heater and freshwater tanks, winterizing the rig with antifreeze. 

High desert boondocking!
We went to bed with the 30-40mph winds rocking us to sleep. That was until about 11pm when the winds started really picking up! Gusts over 60 were rocking the truck so bad that there was no way we were going to get any sleep. So, we packed up and drove into the town of Holbrook where we tucked into a truck stop and finally got some sleep.

The next morning we woke up to more winter weather. The forecast was for snow and winds at 40 with gusts over 60. Normally we would have just hunkered down for the day but we had a deadline to meet so off we went! Our plan was to head north to I40 then east into Albuquerque, then north on I25. Well, that all changed about 45 minutes later when we came across a sign stating that a stretch of I40 was closed due to blizzard conditions. Barb pulled up the road conditions app on her phone to find all roads north of us were red meaning they were closed. Ugh! She did find a road that went to the east that was still open, so we backtracked 15 minutes, got on that road and headed east. The winds were horrible, but visibility was good. There were a few times you thought the whole truck was going to tip right over. After 40 minutes she found a road that went north that was open all the way up to I40. Once we got to Albuquerque is when it started getting really bad. Not only did we have wind, but we also now had congestion and dust clouds. We were driving 50mph and the dust storm was passing us meaning it was going faster than 50! Visibility was anywhere for ¼ mile to a few hundred feet until that too diminished and I could barely see the taillights of the car in front of me. Then that car stopped in the middle of I25! We sat there for 30 seconds waiting for a semi-truck to slam into the back of us before the car in front of us pulled onto the shoulder allowing us to move again. Talk about a pucker factor!

 North of Albuquerque visibility improved, and we finally ended our day in Las Vegas, NM where we tucked in for the night behind a barrier at Walmart where we were rocked to sleep.

The fun did not stop there though. The next day we needed to make it to Denver where it was a whopping 7°F degrees! We booked a site for 3 nights at Cherry Creek campground in Centennial. The low the first night was 2°F, the furnace ran pretty much all night long just trying to maintain 60°.

The next morning, we made our way to the reason we were crazy enough to risk life and limb to get here. You see, several months ago I signed up for a 3-day distilling class at Downslope Distillery! The classes are limited to 8 people, so you get as much as one-on-one teaching as possible. Over the next three days I was fed information through a fire hose; yeasts, enzymes, fermentations, nutrients, grains, distillations everything from start to finish. At times it felt like I was back in high school hoping to keep up with everything that was being thrown at me. At least there wasn’t a test at the end! 

16-gallon (l) and 55-gallon (r) combination reflux stills

200-gallon pot still

We made rum, gin and vodka in the three days. Now I am ready to go out on my own! You will never see any blogs about me making spirits as the legalities of making your own spirits vary from state to state and anyone that knows me knows that I would never violate any rules!

We had one more distillery adventure while we were there when we went to Stranahan's Distillery downtown. Some of you may recognize their bottles as they come with a tin cup on the top. 

So, with that, our great winter adventure is over: 2 countries, 6 states, 3,964 miles, 4 breweries, 2 distilleries, 19 new friends, countless old friends and one curmudgeonly old dog hater!

The weather back home is in the 30’s and 40’s over the next 10 days. Perfect for getting back into the swing of things and starting our next project!

Sunday, February 19, 2023

HTDH! (and his lovely wife Vicki)

Harry the Dog Hater (HTDH) and his lovely wife Vicki arrived on Saturday, screeching to a stop amidst a cloud of dust. “There goes the neighborhood” Steve said. Once the dust settled and Harry hobbled out of the pickup Steve said, “You know there is a 15mph speed limit here!”. In typical Harry fashion he replied “I know, but there was a puppy crossing the road so I sped up to see if I could scare the little bugger. You should have seen the look in the little guy's eye’s when he saw my big ole Chevy bearing down on him. I have not had that much fun since I blew my air horn at the All You Can Eat Prune event at the Senior Citizens Center!”

Vicki just shook her head and said the three words we hear anytime we got together, “I’m sorry guys”. Oh, if she had a dollar for every time she said that phrase, she’d have enough money to drop that old coot off at the aforementioned Senior Center. That is, if he wasn’t banned for life. So, she is stuck with him and just carries on apologizing.

Barb and I went over to Steve and Dianne’s for happy hour while they got set up. A few minutes later we see Harry walking towards us through the desert. As he walks by a little old lady walking her equally old wiener dog, he stops. The woman is struggling trying to pick up a doo doo that her dog just deposited. Barb says, “Oh look at Harry Baby (HB), he is going to help that little old lady” I say, “Why do you keep calling him Harry Baby?” and turn in time to see him kick dirt at both the dog and the little old lady as he makes his way over to us.

“Where’s Vicki?” Steve asks as Harry sets up his chair after grabbing a beer out of Steve’s cooler. “She’s unhooking the 5th wheel and setting up.” “Does she need any help?” Dianne asked. “She’s fine, she ain’t got nothing better to do” was Harry’s response as he crushed his now empty beer can and threw it at Zoey who was hiding under Barb’s chair.

20 minutes later Vicki comes over with her chair and sits down. She silently looks each of us in the eye and says, “I’m sorry guys”.

And so begins our weeklong adventure with HTDH (HB to Barb) and his lovely wife Vicki.

HTDH and his lovely wife Vicki 
We had not seen Harry and Vicki since we were all down here in January of 2020, so it was really nice catching up with Vicki again. Poor Vicki. We hung out until well after dark talking and laughing. Some people you just get along with so well, you do not want the night to end. But end it must, and we all eventually retired to our rigs.

Sunday, Barb and I headed over to the Grubestake in Quartzsite to meet up with our friends Dave and Maxine and watch the Superbowl. Dave is an over-the-top KC fan who can recite current and historical facts about every KC player, coach and pivotal game in Kansas City history. At one point KC was going for a field goal and Dave says “Oh, I hate it when he kicks from the right hash, he always misses them”. Sure enough, “Doink”, the ball bounces off the upright and misses. Dave does know his Chiefs!

Much of the game Kansas was losing and not playing the best, so Dave was a little on the downside. Then they pulled it off in the end and he and Maxine were a couple of happy campers!

Monday night we got back together with Steve, Dianne, HTDH and his lovely wife Vicki for our annual (not so annual) beer tasting! We had a lot of ground to make up having missed the last couple of years! (Thanks to Dianne for a few of the pictures!)

Steve pouring what ended up being our least favorite beer.

 It was a good event, but we are either getting old or were off our game as we only tested 19 beers between the 6 of us. Hell, Dino can do that before noon on any day that ends in a "Y"!

Harry showed off his dance moves from his chair with this somewhat dyslectic version of YMCA.

We put the beers in order starting with our favorite on the far left up front. We all have such different tastes, that it was hard to really come to a consensus, but this is what we came up with. We all pretty much agreed on the best and the worst, the middle is a little cloudy. My favorites continued to be the German Hefeweizens.

Tuesday, 2/14, was Zoey’s 2nd birthday! We had planned to have a party with the neighborhood dogs, but it was so cold and windy I don’t think anyone left their rigs all day. You can see from this picture that Zoey was sad that her friends were not able to come over for the party.

Just to annoy HTDH I thought I would include this precious video.

Wednesday we packed up and went back to Yuma for my final dental work the next day. We spent the night in the casino parking lot. Barb wandered inside the casino returning an hour later $85 richer!

My worst fears were being realized the next day when I had a slight cough and congestion. Nothing more fun than having dental work done when you cannot breathe. I had a couple of coughing fits while they finished the root canal and put in the permanent crowns, but I got through it.

The line back to the U.S. was another one of those 2 hours lines so that was fun, but 5 hours after leaving the girls in the parking lot we were reunited and on our way back to Q! Steve and Dianne had texted us while we were gone telling us that a spot opened up along the wash and did we want it? I think they just wanted us a little further away, so they moved our table and chairs to this new spot.

 We are now right along the wash which is nice for walking the dogs but closer to HTDH and his lovely wife Vicki so that is the downside. Harry keeps throwing rocks at Dakota and Zoey when they are outside but luckily, he throws like a 4-year-old little girl and they are falling well short of their targets.

Friday, we went to see more of our friends when Debbie and Steve drove down from Parker for the evening. We all met them at Silly Al’s for pizza. 

Me, Barb, Dianne, Steve, Steve, Debbie, HTDH and his lovely wife Vicki

Barb also had a yummy looking Bloody Mary!

After that we all headed back to Steve and Dianne's for a few hours of socializing, beer tasting and a few other libations. I thought I was feeling better than I actually was, but hit the wall having to call it quits early. Steve and Debbie were on their way to places unknown, but it was good catching up with them for a few hours. 

When we got home from Steve and Dianne's I discovered our water pump was not working. It was too dark to deal with it right then, so I looked at it in the morning. After some troubleshooting, I determined that it was the pump that was bad, so we went into town to get a new one. After getting that installed it was time to head next door where Vicki was having a Mint Julep event. 

They were delicious and just what the doctor ordered for my cold. By now, Barb was starting to get a cold too but we again powered through. HTDH even spruced up his hat for the occasion. More like creosoted up his hat but you get the idea. 

Barb also made some beer margaritas using a recipe that Deb from the infamous Tom and Deb gave her. They too were a hit! The sun went down, the firepit came out, the juleps and margaritas continued to be poured.... We even had lighted glasses!

Sunday, our last day here, we laid low all day feeling about 85%. Getting things ready for moving on, reading and saving our energy for one more happy hour. Tonight's event included most everyone from the area as several of us were heading off into the sunset. We played Core Crash and roasted hotdogs over an open fire. 
Barb taking her turn at Core Crash

Steve up with a crowd of hecklers in the back
After the Core Crash games it was time for the pups to come out and play. There is another Jim in the neighborhood who has a dog named Buddy. Buddy and Zoey were soon best friends and were zooming around everywhere. Everything came to a screeching halt though when Dianne came out with treats in her pocket!

We had a great 11 days here catching up with old friends, making new ones and just hanging out. It was really great to see everyone (except HTDH). But now we must move on. We now head east to catch up with two more friends we have not seen in a while and then north into the frozen tundra. But we have one more surprise stop up near Denver before we finally get home, one I have been looking forward to for quite a while!

In the meantime, feel free to comment, sending HTDH your thoughts on what a mean a cruel person he is. 

Don't let the smile in his pictures fool you, behind that smile is a heart as black as coal and one really ornery and cantankerous old man. Or perhaps you can post a comment to his lovely wife Vicki, a true angel for putting up with him all these years. As we pulled out of our spot, Steve, Dianne and Vicki waved goodbye. HTDH could not help himself and threw one last rock at our truck, again landing well short. As we turned the corner and headed to the highway, I could have sworn I heard Vicki's voice saying, "I'm sorry guys"!
Thanks again Dianne for the picture of us!

Saturday, February 11, 2023


To Rv’ers of the Southwest the title of this post needs no explanation as “Q” is well known in these parts.

Early in our RV dreaming days Q was a mythical place that we only dreamed about. A place where thousands of like-minded RV’ers gathered in the desert with endless sun, fun and happy hours. Does such a place really exist? We had read others blogs of this place, certainly they cannot be making it up.  When we finally hit the road in 2014, we could not wait to experience Quartzsite for ourselves as we pointed our rig southwest after visiting our kids in Salt Lake. 

This was 8 ½ years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. We had read many blogs talking about this mystical place in the desert and now we were here! Our first stop was Dome Rock on the west end of town. We had been blog-stalking several people in the area. The Ferg’s and Living the Dream. Reading their blogs inspired and motivated us into the RV’ing lifestyle. We knew from reading their blogs that they were down here somewhere and being the experienced stalkers we were, we knew the Ferg’s were at Dome Rock. Once we got there and set up, we looked for their rig. I remember seeing it up the hill from us. I don’t remember how I got a hold of them, but I messaged them somehow telling them we were there too and we would like to meet them. I can only imagine the conversation in their rig as Allen and Donna read the message and peeked out the window Donna saying, “Who are these people?” “I don’t know but their rig is right down there, and someone is peeking out their window looking at us”. “Well, close the curtain Allen, they could be serial killers for all we know”.

Allen eventually relented to our request and came out and chatted with us. The next day we did the same thing to Steve and Dianne. They were parked several miles away at someplace called La Posa South. Steve and Dianne had and still have a very recognizable truck, so it was easy to find them.  By the way, it is for sale if anyone is looking!

Allen and Donna must have warned them about us as when they invited us over, they had brought in reinforcements in their friends Red and Pam.  I remember it being a cold and windy day, so we all met inside their rig for an hour or so before we went on our way. To us, meeting those 6 was like meeting RV royalty. These daredevils who had been living fulltime in their RV’s for a few years and now we were among their ranks!

The next 8 ½ years has flew by and we have remained friends with those 6 all this time. We still follow Allen and Donna’s as well as Steve and Dianne’s blogs. We have seen The Ferg’s several more times over the years while in Q. We kept up our stalking tradition with both Steve and Dianne, as well as Red and Pam meeting up with them in various parts of the U.S. and Canada. They are resigned to the fact that we are not going to leave them alone and now tolerate us enough to let us camp near them and we even get pity invitations to happy hours and the occasional dinner.

So, with all this in mind, we packed up the girls and headed to Q!

Steve told us to text him when we arrived so he could lead us into a spot he was saving for us. I think his true intent was to lead us to a spot that was far enough away, so we did not park with our slides touching. They showed us a spot about a 1/4 mile away from them and they left us to set up, then we went over to say hi. We had not seen them for 3 years. For us, we pick up our old stalking habits like it was yesterday, for them, 3 years was probably way too soon!
Steve and Dianne

So good to see the familiar Indian profile mountain!
After catching up for an hour or so we headed to Silly Al’s Pizza in town to meet Dale and Ruth who were passing through town on their way home from California. After not seeing Dale and Ruth for several years, we got to see them twice now in a couple of weeks!

Opps, a little blurry

The pizza was good, the company was better as Dale, Ruth, Steve and Dianne got caught up on each other’s lives. After an hour or so Dale and Ruth went on their way headed back towards Tucson.

We headed back home where a bunch of us gathered at Steve and Dianne's rig to play Core Crash. I think there was 11 of us total, some old acquaintances, some new. I did not get a picture of everyone, but I have a feeling we will see them again! After everyone went home, Dianne invited us in their rig where she cooked an awesome meal and we chatted the night away well beyond our bedtime. Ah, it was so good spending some time catching up with Steve and Dianne after so many years!

While we were at Steve and Dianne's rig, I noticed the spot right next to them was open. Did they not notice that when they led us in? Perhaps someone just vacated it after we set up. Well, won't they be happy when they wake up and to see that we moved over there during the night to surprise them! 

That's Steve and Dianne's rig right behind ours

Our mornings here at Q are a little lazier than other places as we have no place to go and there is not really any good hiking right from here. Instead, we read books, blogs and get caught up on the world’s latest events.

Goodyear blimp heading to the Superbowl!

On day two we met up with friends Merrell and Vicki from….Custer SD! You may remember them from our Thanksgiving post when they came over for supper. Since it was National Pizza Day we decided to go back to Silly Al’s and celebrate. Afterwards we came back here for a bit and they headed back to their rig.

We made it into town the next day as well where we walked the vendors picking up a couple things. And of course, no visit to Q is complete without at least one visit to Beer Belly’s!

Our plans over the next 10 days are to relax and meet up with friends we have not seen in a while. I think we have something planned for every day so the time will go quick. Later today, our friends Harry and Vicki show up. You all remember Harry the dog hater right? If not, you can refresh your memory here and prepare your hate filled comments to him for our next post!

Monday, February 6, 2023

Howling at the Stresses of RV'ing!

I know many of you think of the RV lifestyle is all rainbows and butterflies. And many of us bloggers paint that picture, leading one to believe that is the case. But those of you who have full-timed or even part-timed know that this is not always the truth. There are stresses that go along with RV'ing. Lots of them! 

There are the daily stresses of just getting fuel, finding a place to stay, navigating parking lots, dealing with a hangry spouse or a stinky dog.... the list goes on. Although they are much reduced in a smaller rig like ours, they are still there. 

Something is always breaking or in need of repair no matter how new or old your rig is. There is always of list of things to fix. Those are the easy things. The bigger deals are accidents, fires, engine problems; things that stop you dead in your tracks with long delays for repairs. I cannot think of one person who has been on the road for more than a year or three who have not been stopped dead in their tracks with an issue. Luckily, ours happened so close to home that we were able to stay in the comfort of our home while the engine was replaced in our truck. 

For us, so far this trip, we have had several minor issues. The engine light on the truck came on the other day. (Stress level rises from a 1 to a 5). After stopping by an automotive store and reading the code my stress level dropped down to a 1 again. It is just an air sensor. Then the generator started acting up. When we use it, it generally purrs like a kitten until we turn on the microwave where it revs up to higher rev. Now, all of a sudden, it bogs way down when we turn on the microwave (stress level back up to a 5). I checked the oil and air filter, all are well. We called a few RV Techs here in Yuma, everyone is weeks out. For now, we stopped using the microwave. (Stress level goes down to a 2.5 after a day or two)

Then Barb noticed the cover of our new Fantastic fan is gone. We just got that thing at the tune of several hundred dollars and the cover is gone?!?!? I went up on the roof to find the cover is still there it is just broke. If you are keeping track, we now have a disabled generator in a truck with the engine light on and a broken bracket on our new vent. (Stress level up to over 6)

While in Yuma we got a new vent cover ($48) so at least that is fixed. We are going to limp along with no generator until I can really dive into it at Quartzsite. 

Despite these things we did manage to have fun while in town here. We spent the first night at a Harvest Host just outside of town at the Dirty South BBQ House. We did not know it at the time, but we had been there before when we stopped for some ice cream a few years ago. Their food was actually very good and a nice place to spend the night. 

Cauliflower field next to the BBQ joint

The next day we got up and headed to the Yuma Public library where I worked on the blog and Barb did some computer work for her old employer. This is where I ran into my first "You just cannot make it up" moment for the week. As I sat there watching everything around me, I thought to myself that librarians have to have a special place in heaven having to deal with people all day. The place was filled with senior citizens trying to use the workstations while the library staff ran around answering all their questions. And the questions were nonstop! "I can't get signed on", "How do you make this bigger?", "How do I print this?" 

Then some dudes phone rings and he answers it.... on speakerphone! Seriously? He goes on to tell his caller that he is at the library, and she starts whispering. But being he was a senior citizen, he cannot hear her, so he starts talking louder. This went on for several minutes until the phone call ended. Then there were the crying kids which I can tolerate because....well, they are kids. 

The last time we were here we were traumatized for life while watching Dino trying to use chopsticks. You can relive the experience here. We like to find good sushi (and donuts) (and beer) in each new area we visit. In Yuma it is Ninja Sushi. Not great, but decent. One visit satisfied our craving.

After sushi we found a park along the Colorado River to walk the dogs for an hour or so. 

By then we had worked up and thirst and headed over the Prison Hill Brewing Company for a couple of flights.   

Our main reason for coming to Yuma was to go to the dentist in Los Algodones. I broke one of my back bottom teeth a few months ago and wanted to get it fixed and as many of you know, dental down here is a fraction of what it is in the states. 

So away we went to Sani Dental. Crossing the border into Mexico was a breeze. 

Something new since the last time we crossed is that they were checking woman's purses. Not sure what that is all about. 

We arrived at Sani and each got our x-rays ($65) each. They have those stand-up machines that spins around your head. Then we waited for our consultation. I think they tell you everything you may need to get done and then you have to whittle it down from there. In my case they recommended 6 crowns and two root canals. 2 of the crowns were what they deemed as necessary (the broken one and an infected one), the other 4 were more cosmetic due to receding gum lines. Barb's was pretty much the same but none were immediately necessary.

I opted only doing the necessary ones, Barb just got a cleaning ($45). They sent me upstairs to the root canal doctor. Each one took 40 minutes. 80 minutes of pain and torture. Being somewhat claustophobic, having your mouth open and breathing through your nose while being drilled is torture enough. There was not any pain as I was pretty numbed up. I take that back. When they gave me a shot of Novocain in the roof of my mouth it hurt like hell, still sore actually.  

After those were done, they sent me downstairs to the crown doctor who drilled for 2 more hours. He drilled and ground for the crown prep. He tried doing impressions but I was too swollen from the root canals so he asked me to come back the next day. 

While I was doing all that, Barb went shopping for mediations and booze. You can bring one liter of booze back per person and OTC medications. Then we headed for the line to get back in the states. It was longer than we have ever seen before. 2 hours and 20 minutes long. Ugh! When it was all said and done the dogs were in the camper a little over 8 hours and boy, were they happy to see us!

We spent the night in the Quechan Casino parking lot. It used to be free but now it is $10/night or 3 for $25. The next day, it was back across the border where they prepped the crowns and took impressions for 2 more hours. They set up an appointment for me to come back the next day to test fit the crowns. Barb hit the liquor store again and got us each a bottle to take over. The wait this day was only 40 minutes. As I was going through Customs, the agent asked me what I had to declare. "Just one bottle of booze". Then he asked me if I brought any booze back yesterday to which I replied "Yes". That is when he informed me that I was only allowed to bring one bottle every 31 days. Opps! He let me keep it and sent me on my way.

That night we headed over to meet in person some blogger friends that we have been following for quite a while on the Ogilby Rd LTVA. There were three of them camped together so we got a 3 for 1! Deb and Riley are Ontarioians who live on "The Rock" an island on Lake Huron. We had been following their blog the longest and were really looking forward to meeting them. Doug and his side kick Yuma were also camped there along with Tom and Deb another couple whose blog we follow. Doug is from Illinois while Tom and Deb are from the U.P. of Michigan. 

Doug in the back, then Tom, Deb, Deb and Riley
Tom, Deb, Deb, Riley and Barb

We had a blast chatting and laughing. Yuma and Zoey did not get along the best, so Yuma went back to his camper while Zoey hung out on Riley's lap. Dakota true to her skittish self, got scared and knocked over Barb's drink onto Riley's legs and shoes. Then our dogs were banished to the campers and Yuma joined us again. We hung out until just after dark and went our separate ways.

We reconvened in the morning for an hour or so for coffee before we said our goodbyes and left. Our destination that morning was RV World to pick up the new vent top that we ordered. Then off to the border. We decided to not go across until 11:30 for my noon appointment. When we pulled onto the road that led to Mexico, it was backed up for miles, all the way to the Casino. We sat in the line inching along watching the time tick closer and closer to noon. Finally, at 11:20 and still a long way to wait, I told Barb I was going to walk, jumped out and started hoofing it. I made it to my appointment with a few minutes to spare. This appointment only took about 20 minutes, and they sent me on my way asking me to come back in two weeks to make sure the infection was gone before they put the permanent crowns on. On my way back to the border I had three different guys stop and ask me if I was looking for a massage or a "lady" perhaps. Do they stop all single guys walking around or do I look particularly desperate? Wait, don't answer that! There was no line at all on the way back and I was back to the truck in no time at all where Barb and the girls were in the camper waiting for me. 

As Barb was putting the slide in and I was walking the dogs, a Border Patrol truck whips through the parking lot doing 90 and screeches to a stop near me, gets out and starts looking through the fence. It was then I saw that someone had cut a hole through the fence. Barb came out and said she saw two guys walking from that area that headed deeper into the parking lot. The Border Agent said they caught them but was looking for their guide. He was long gone by the time he arrived. 

From there we went to lunch at El Charro Cafe. As I was biting into my shrimp taco I felt something hard in my mouth. I then proceeded to spit out one of my temps. Son of a #*#@! (Stress level now at an 8). It was too late to go back that day and since it was Saturday, I would need to wait until Monday. 

So, we wrapped the tooth into a napkin, made an appointment for Monday and went to find a place to spend the night. We ended up on some property managed by the Luke AFB. You had to go online, watch a video about not picking up any ordinances that might still be laying around and get a permit. After a beautiful sunset and moon rise, we went to bed to get ready for our next big adventure!

The next day after a lazy morning we headed over to The Howling Grounds. What is that you ask? Well, apparently, when there is a full moon a bunch of old people get together in the desert and howl at the moon! Elva, who reads our blog and lives in the area told us about the event. How could we pass up something like that?!?!

So, we headed over to The Howling Grounds and set up for the day. This is where we met more virtual friends. Ken and Shirley had driven down from Nevada to attend this illustrious ceremony. A little while later we were joined by Elva and her husband Jerry. 

Barb, Shirley, Elva, Jerry and Ken
As we were sitting there getting to know each other, as if drawn by a magical force, more and more people started pulling in. Cars, trucks, RV's, side by sides.  All forms of transportation, they just kept coming! There was a live band, food trucks, T-shirt vendors, the people watching was pretty interesting.

Barb and Shirley with the Howler!
We waited with bated breath for the moon to appear over the horizon and then it happened. As you can see in this somewhat out of focus and shaky video, it was not the spectacular moonrise we hoped for as it was shrouded with clouds, but the moon did crest the mountains just over the bandstand, nonetheless and the howling began!
After 20 minutes or so of howling and being it was sooooo late (7pm), we headed back to our rigs where we sat by the fire for another hour or so where I started to feel the stress shed off my shoulders. Nothing like new friends, a few cocktails and howling at the moon to bring the stress level down to an "I don't give a damn level"!