Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Q and Anza-Borrego

Tuesday – January 13 – Dorothy has wanted to attend Q [Quartzite] for some years. Thousands of RVer’s come to this location in SW Arizona in January to wander around the hundreds of booths selling everything that might appeal to the RV crowd. They even sell RV’s. It’s quite the deal, Some opt for public campgrounds with hookups, most boondock in the desert. We are in the latter group, parked with 20 other Lazy Daze in what the organizer calls Roger’s Half Acre. Cocktails are at 4:30 and a campfire follows. We wandered around some of the booths this morning and bought the following treasures: a pair of Crocs each, a Rada knife, some tent stakes that should prove difficult for me to bend, mini clamps, t-shirts for Dorothy, a hiking stick for me since I forgot to load mine, a Kokopelli carpet runner to replace the thread bare one we had, a Kokopelli outdoor mat, (been looking for one for six years), two LED light bulbs and six pair of socks. About $200 into the roving cash economy. The Big Tent opens Saturday. I thought we would be gone before then, but Dorothy wants to see it, so San Diego will wait. It’s shorts weather after 10am, except today, the breeze is a stiff 20mpg.

Tried to find Dripping Springs. Failed. The instructions said it was difficult to locate because of all the trails. Did see all manner of cacti and a reached a vista point where we could see thousands of white dots of RV’s covering the valley floor.

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Pictures taken by talented LD folks

Wednesday – Friday – More of the same.

Saturday – The Big Tent opened. We walked around for two hours. We expected more RV gadgets and less of the non-RV stuff. It’s worth going to once every few years I suppose. We dropped another hundred on a fanny pack that Dorothy will wear on her tummy, a stove top grill, which she says will allow her to grill bone-in pork chops on the range, and a jar of pink goop that cleaned all sorts of grease from carpet and fabric at the demo.


Had our last happy hour and fire. The group will get larger over the weekend after we are gone.

01q14Jim, Bev, Merlin and Mike 


Sunday – We drove to Bonita, CA and parked in our friends “RV park”. Well, they do have two RV’s and a sail boat lodged close to their home. It overlooks a valley. I will have to remember to take a picture of the view – all the way to Mexico. He made dry rubbed ribs for dinner. Yum. Gary and Diane joined us.

Monday – Foraged for supplies at Sprouts, Walmart and Costco.

Tuesday – We toured the USS Midway in 2008. Dana volunteers there and took us on a tour before the masses arrived. Included was a tour of CIC, [Combat Information Center], which was where I served 50 years ago. It’s in the process of being restored and is not open to the public yet.

02sd03Dorothy and Dana 

Wednesday – Off to Anza-Borrego. We had spent two or three nights there in 2008, but did not see much. Dana and Cathy took us on some of the backroads. They have been camping here since they were kids so they know the place from A to Z. We are parked at Arroyo Salado.

03anza0417 Palms – One of numerous stands of Date Palms in Anza-Borrego


In the Pumpkin Patch

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The view of the badlands from Vista del Malpais


The Viewers

Thursday – Another trail, today to Coyote and Sheep Canyons. I thought it was thoughtful to put the prey and predator canyons adjacent to each other. We did not spy either mammal, but the scenery was worthwhile. Even needed to put Rubi in 4WD high up a rocky trail.

Some of the ocotillo's are greening up after the storm two weeks back, but we only saw a handful in bloom. There are more ocotillo's here than anywhere else we have been. Large ones too.


Some of the critters we saw in Anza-Borrego

03anza20 03anza24A Happy Dance? 

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You have no doubt used Avery labels at some time. Well the owner, bought a lot of land here, populated it with steel sculptures and left the land for the enjoyment of all.

Anza-Borrego is one of the largest parks in the US. Mostly you see desert, but there are springs and where there is water you see palms and orchards. We bought 8 grapefruit for $3. That’s a bargain.

Most CA parks charge $30 to park on asphalt. Here it is free. Yes, there are private, county and state parks with amenities for a fee, but there are more enough state and BLM land for dry camping.




Badlands, Yes. But is it SD or CA?

Saturday – We moved to a campsite in the southern part of the park. It took about 90 minutes of slow driving to get there. At the end we were 20 miles from where we started. The mountain road wanders all over the place.

On the way south we stopped a the wild life preserve to photograph some of the large critters with KoKo.


We were the only ones in our new campsite until close to dark when a 59 Caddy parked a 1/4 mile away from us. I had to meet them. He is from South Africa, she is German, they bought the Caddie in Las Vegas and it has Utah plates. I invited them to our campfire tonight.

Turns out he is the skipper and she is purser of a 130 sail boat in San Diego. He invited us to come aboard this weekend.


Sunday – A morning drive through first one wash and then another. The deep arroyos reminded us of pictures we have seen of Petra in Jordan.



Look like we took a wrong turn. Hollywood and Vine.

Tuesday – Today we drove back to San Diego. Laundry, foraging for food and getting Verizon wifi will highlight the next two days.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

West Bound

We made it to Arizona Sunday and are in short sleeves. This blog is about getting to Arizona.

We finally were able "to get on the road again!" We originally planned to leave December 28, but, we had colds and then rain. In a round-about way we will be continuing our trip that was cancelled when I fractured my wrist last September. 

A cold week, so we opted for the Interstate and hookups.

Monday, January 5 - Our first stop was Roosevelt State Park in Morton, MS. $13. We have stayed there several times.  It's okay and it has electric hookups.  We decided to leave on the coldest week of the winter and need to use our electric heater.

Tuesday – Minden, LA - Fairgrounds Free

Wednesday – Our planned destination was scrubbed when Dorothy realized she left her laptop at a Dairy Queen in Tyler, TX. We were an hour west when she made the discovery, so after reversing direction, we pondered how to find the DQ we were in – there are nine in town. We stopped at one of the Dairy Queen's and it was my hope to get the phone numbers of the others and call to see if one of them had found it.  The clerk didn't know her way around Tyler or the other stores. That's where my bad day turned into a great day.  A young man came in and said he would help us. He was with DQ corporate in Tyler. We described the store and he made a call, but it was not at that store. He had direct numbers to the store managers and they answer the phone when he calls. He called a second store, and sure enough, they had my computer.

We only made it back west one hour. Lost two hours travel time and $40 of gasoline. Stayed at a PA park in Canton, TX $20.

It was 17.6 outside this morning. Good thing for the point 6, otherwise it would have been really cold.

Thursday – Lake Sweetwater Muni Park $10. It looks much like the hill country east of here. There was snow/ice on the north banks along the Interstate west of Abilene.

Friday – Van Horn, TX There was a 10 minute edition of wintery mix around 6am, but it did not cause any problems. Not having wifi on board made it most difficult finding a propane dealer. To hell with the cost and our getting free of our addiction to surfing, we will order wifi next week. We are spending way too much time stopping for free wifi.

I have been informed: Walking can add minutes to your life. This enables you at 85 years to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month

Saturday – There were a few short stretches of light rain as we climbed in elevation from Van Horn to El Paso. As we closed on New Mexico the sky showed faint traces of blue. We stopped at St. Claire Winery in Deming and stocked up on sweet wine. Found a delightful PA CG on the road to Rockhound SP. A few dollars more than the SP, but we got half decent wifi.  By 3pm, the sky was clear and the temp in the 50’s. Nice after weeks of rain, overcast and cold.

Gasoline was as low as $1.73 around Dallas. Unleaded is 87/88 octane until you get to west Texas where it changes to 86. A steady diet of that gives our Triton engine indigestion. So “out west” we have learned to pay up for mid-grade 87/88 octane. So while Unleaded is about $1.90, mid-grade is $2.15 or so. Still much less than last year.

Sunday, January 11 – We accepted Glenda’s routing from Deming, NM to Apache Junction, AZ [near Phoenix]. We were concerned about being The Old West Highway for some 100 miles. Where is that road on the map? It turned out to be US70 and it was a slightly scenic road, a lot better than the Interstate we had been on all week.

We passed through Stafford, AZ – a farming community – yes, there is water in this small area of the desert. We noted the town was quite prosperous. On the west side of the town we found out why, when we saw a Mormon temple. They know how to create and maintain wealth.

We landed in Adult [55+] RV park for the night. Friendly folks. It was shirt sleeve weather when we arrived and we took advantage of the hot tub. There must be hundreds of RV parks in the area and it sure is better than the Texas Valley to our way of thinking.

Tomorrow we make a short jump to Q for a few days and then to San Diego.