Sunday, January 31, 2010

We extended our stay in Yuma


Sunday, January 31, 2010                                                                                                     Lorraine’s report

Well, you won’t believe this past week for us. Last Sunday, Chuck took me out to breakfast at the Cracker Barrel for a great breakfast. We went on over to the Yuma Swap Meet for a few items. Then, Rick, our son, called and said his time off was over and he was headed back to the North Slope in Alaska, for more Ice Road work. All in all, it was a very nice day, especially hearing from my son.

Monday morning found us busy as always. Chuck was working around the coach, while I was making up a salmon pasta salad to take out to the “Yuma Lights” that evening. I used canned salmon from this summer’s adventure to Alaska. In the pm we continued running errands, then met up with Mike/Linda, Virgil/Sharon, Sue, Mike/Kathy, Earl/Lynda, and Bill/Sandy to go up to the “Yuma Lights”. We’ve gone every year, starting our first year out when Joe/Alice took us. This is the first year we went out in the desert and did not see the lights. But, we took hot dogs, snacks, salads, marshmallows, Hershey’s and graham crackers for Smores. We had a great fire with the copper pipe after we had the Smores. Everyone had a great time visiting, especially since we were shorted our 5 o’clock times at Q.

Tuesday, Chuck had the water guys over to see what was needed to install a new system in the Bus. I took this opportunity to go check out several local shops for birthday presents. We then met up with Bev/Jag at the Quechan Casino for the two for the price of one buffet. We had a great visit with Bev/Jag and some really good food.

Wednesday, it was back to Algodones for the dentist, Dr. Ramos. I forgot to tell you that on Monday night my second tooth that I broke, my upper left one started hurting really badly. I had to take a Tylenol 3 to get it to quit hurting so I could get some sleep.

I told the doc this and he cancelled my appointment with him and sent me over to a specialist who did root canals. I hadn’t planned on this happening.

We got there, I described this to the female doc and she says I should have a Root Canal. So we started it. She got about a half hour into it when I started to feel a lot of PAIN, like white hot shooting pain. She gave me another pain shot and kept going on; except this pain shot didn’t help, it’s like she was jamming a brush down my throat and kept scrubbing it until it was raw. She kept working until she got to a place where she could stop. She explained to me that if she went on, the next day I would be in such pain, I wouldn’t be able to do anything; I don’t think she realized I was already at that point. She told me that in my tooth, the root was calcified, swollen and very infected, and that was the reason for all the pain. She put me on an antibiotic and some strong pain pills. She told me to go back over to Dr. Ramos’s office for him to put a temporary on, except he didn’t; so home I went with an open tooth and two prescriptions and a lot of pain.

Thursday was a quiet day for me; I rested all day, taking my meds so I could go back Friday morning. Chuck had the water man coming from another place to install a new water system. They got that done and the Bus has a new water system.

Friday, it was back to Mexico at 11:30, where my doc set the new permanent bridge, that he had worked on last week. He then went to work on getting the teeth ready for making caps for my bottom front teeth. He finished that and we had about an hour for a bite to eat.

We then headed back to the specialist. She said we needed to finish the one tooth she started Wednesday. It went well, no pain, but when she finished she said we needed to do the last tooth on the top left, my back molar. Now, I have had that tooth capped in gold since I was in my 20’s. I did not want to do this, but it needed to be done.

The doc took the gold crown off and started working, but she ran into the same problems she did on Wednesday with the other tooth, so she stopped about half way through. She would finish the tooth on Saturday, since she put some softening medicine on the inside of that tooth before she closed it up. Chuck took me home. We were out at the two dentists from 10:20 to after 5:30 pm.

Saturday, we were back at the specialist at 8:45 am. She started working, trying to find the roots to do the root canal. She found only one, and then called the other female doc to help her try and find the other two. This other doc found one more; my doc said if the tooth starts hurting again, I will need to find an oral surgeon to fix this last root canal, since she could not do anything more for me.

It was back to Dr. Ramos for repair work to my upper left back teeth so my caps would fit, since work was done on two more teeth there. I forgot to say that the female specialist doctor, who worked on my two teeth, did so without putting in any pain shots to deaden the teeth. Dr. Ramos put in two shots to help deaden those back teeth so he could take impressions. He finished and we headed home, getting there by 1:30 pm.

I rested a while, took a pain pill, then Jag came over for a short visit.

When this is all said and done, I will have had a new bridge put in, ten crowns and two root canals. I hope I do not have to see my dentist for a very long time after all of this, and I hope none of my teeth hurt for a long while.

Till next time…….Lorraine

1/31/10                                                                                                                                Chuck’s report

Let’s see, this week Lorraine had a bad week with all her dentist’s visits, it was a bust for our trip to see the Yuma lights, we got our coach washed/hand waxed and had a new reverse osmosis water system installed on the coach. 

Once again, our third year in a row,  we got together with some friends and drove out into the desert to our usual area to see the eerie Yuma Lights.  We were a little worried about the “road” conditions due to the heavy rains we’ve had but except for a couple of spots, it was dry and in fairly good condition.  We got there in plenty of time to get set up with all the food, get our chairs set in place, start the fire and visit will all the folks.  Everything went as planned, everyone had enough food, desert and smores.  We visited in groups and set around the fire watching all the colors produced by using a copper tube with rubber hose.  It might have been because the moon was too bright but this year the lights never appeared for us.  The folks who had been there tried to explain the lights to the first timers but I think we left there with a few non-believers.  We had a good time, none the less.

Lorraine had talked with her dentist and knew what to expect for her dental work this year.  She wanted to have her bottom teeth capped, her top ones were done two years ago.  We had made plans to stay around here for a week before heading East but with all the work she was having done, we extending for another week.  One evening after a dentist trip, her tooth, one that had broken while we were in Alaska this summer, started paining her.  The next day, the dentist sent her to a specialist who said she needed a root canal done on it.  This turned out to be a painful visit for Lorraine, thank goodness for pain pills.  She ended up having two unexpected root canals plus her already scheduled crown prep.  I don’t know how many hours she was in the dentist chair, I just know it was a long week for her.  But we are down to, hopefully, one more visit and she will be done.  Not a fun week for her, that’s for sure.  And once again, she proved she’s much tougher than I am!!

For those who have been down to Algodones before, you may remember the long wait to get back home through the border.  Last year, it wasn’t uncommon for the wait to be over three hours and it was usually hot as well.    Well, they’ve remolded the border crossing, now have four border crossing guards instead of two.  The lines this year have been way down, the longest we’ve had to wait was 45 minutes one time, most times the wait was under 20 minutes. 

Pretty harmless Mexican border town here, not like others we’ve all heard about.  I think they could almost have an open border here as most of the folks in line are gray haired and went over to visit the dentist or get medication/glasses/booze or trinkets.  They ask a couple of questions per person, check our passport then wave us on. 

The day we checked in at this park, we were handed a flier from a guy who washes and waxes rigs here.  We made an appointment to have ours done last week and had to put it off a couple of times.  Finally we got it scheduled and complete, looks good once again.  The water down here is very hard so they bring their own water supply and with four guys it doesn’t take them long.  Later, one guy comes back to wax it, in our case it was cloudy so he didn’t have to do it in the sun, good thing.  The guy that waxed ours said he has hand waxed 6 rigs in one day, no wonder he is skinny.  It takes me three days to finish ours by myself and even then, I’m sore for a week. 

As I said, the water down here is very hard, lots of minerals.  Most of the folks who live here or even spend most of the winter here have some sort of water treatment system.  We’ve been looking at different types and decided to go with a Reverse Osmosis filtering system like TJ/Sharon have on their coach.  They told us where the guy who they dealt with  was located.  We stopped by there and talked with them and the owner came by a couple of days later to check out our rig and give us an estimate. 

We decided to go ahead and have the system installed.  Ours consists of two filters, one to trap particulates, the other is a carbon filter that removes lots of minerals.  The water then goes thru two membranes that removes most all the other contaminates.  The water then goes to our fresh water holding tank and we use it as needed.  Although it isn’t that hard to install, I’m glad I had him do it, he had all the fitting, hoses and valves we needed.  I would have made no less than three trips to the store to get parts while working on it. 

Anyway, it’s all in and works well.  The water coming out of the shower and other fixtures is now soft, doesn’t leave spots and has no taste.  Boy, what a difference it makes down here.  Not that the water wasn’t fit to drink before, it is just too hard with all the minerals.  We’ve only used it a couple of days but so far we are satisfied. 

At this point in our blog, I usually put down our plans for the upcoming week.  Last week we got our spring plans finalized, we are going back to the factory in Alabama on March 3rd.  We usually have a destination in mind and sort of wing it to get there.  This time I wanted to schedule a couple of stops along the way.  I’ve had a couple of requests for our proposed route and schedule so I will include it here.  Remember, this is firmly chiseled in Jell-O and will likely change but it’s the best we have today.  So instead of our next week’s plan, here is our next month’s plan:

Stop                        Arrive                 Depart

Yuma, AZ                                               2/3

Tucson, AZ                 2/3                      2/6 

Vado, NM                   2/6                      2/7

Fort Stockton, TX       2/7                      2/9  (taking an extra day to rest up)

San Antonio, TX          2/9                     2/16  (Manuel/Connie offered for us to stay at their place)

Houston, TX               2/16                    2/23  (no plans yet, working on visiting friends)

New Orleans, LA        2/23                     3/2  (any ideas of a good park to stay in for a week?)

Jackson, MS               3/2                       3/3

Red Bay, AL                3/3                     until done with repairs and upgrades.

We plan to stay a week in San Antonio, Houston area and New Orleans, the other stops are just that, one night stops along the way.  Once again, we are probably traveling too fast through the area but we have to be In Red Bay on March 3rd.  At this time, we aren’t sure where we will spend the rest of the spring/early summer but are looking at staying in the Southeast until the weather gets too hot.  So with that, if anyone has any information for us about places you suggest we have to see, please let us know. 

And now for some pictures, we didn’t take too many this week.


The gang at Yuma lights area.

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As usual, we ate good.

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Fresh made apple crisp and cookies.

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A copper pipe and rubber hose makes for lots of color in the fire.

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I always say, a picture never does the sunset justice but here are some anyway.

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Full moon rising over the hills to the East of us. 


So here’s hoping Lorraine’s dentist visit on Tuesday is the last one for awhile and we get on the road.  But if we have to change out plans, so what - - - WE’RE RETIRED!

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, January 24, 2010

We’re In Yuma


Sunday, January 24, 2010                                                                                         Lorraine’s report

We moved here to Fortuna De Oro in Yuma, AZ on Wednesday, leaving Quartzsite, AZ earlier than we had planned, due to the incoming inclement weather. Today it’s about 64 degrees, sunny and beautiful out.

Last Sunday we were still with the group at Quartzsite. We spent the day going through all the stands at Tyson Wells, which is full of enough stuff to tempt even the most frugal shopper. I think we bought a new flag pole and a new carpet for inside the coach. Our flag pole broke last year and the rug inside the coach was loosing the backing from being washed too many times.

We got home and had 5 o’clock with the group; having had only two Happy Hours and campfires there at Quartzsite. The best news is that I had a call from my son saying he was finishing his sixth week on the pipeline at Prudhoe Bay and was heading home Monday for a weeks rest. This was good since he has been working 14 hours a day 7 days a week since he went up there. His call made my day!

Monday we headed over to the big tent and the RV Show there at Q. We ordered new insoles from one of the vendors. Both of us have sore feet and hopefully these new ones will help both of us. It was very cold and windy and showers off and on, so no campfire or Happy Hour.

Tuesday, we headed back over to the big tent and then the sides to check out those vendors. While at the big tent, I had a call from our friends, Jim and Annie M. They had moved from up north to seven miles north of Q. They were so kind to both of us last March when I got so ill in Chula Vista, CA. They fed Chuck and they also watched Misty when I was in the hospital. When we finished at the big tent, we went on over to where they were packed and visited them for a while. We had a nice meal with them and then they taught us a new game, Hand and Foot. We barely learned the game when the wind came up strongly, then the rain started pounding their coach. Jim pulled in the big slide, since it was rocking so much. We said our goodbyes and headed for home.

The ride home was wet and windy, and parts of the road were covered with water running across the whole road. Several of the gullies we had to go through were also covered with running water up to mid tire. We hunkered down for a long wet and windy night.

Wednesday, we woke up to sunny skies and nicer weather. Most of the group came outside and visited for several hours, since several of us decided we had better get out of Dodge while the getting was good. We followed Virgil/Sharon and Sue S out of Q about noon. We were headed for Yuma. They left us at the War Memorial on 95. We tried to get into the park our friends, Joe/Alice told us about, Sans End, but no luck. It had rained hard in Yuma and there were parts of the RV Park that was flooded, and they were also full. So we headed on over to Fortuna; this is a big park, about 500 or more sites.

We set up and headed out to have a bite of dinner. But right behind us and one coach over was our friends, Jag and Bev and their coach. So we went in and visited with them for a while. Jag and Bev went to Alaska this summer, they left after us and it seemed like we just missed them all over Alaska. They followed us down the Oregon coast and they were behind us by several weeks. It’s taken five months to finally meet up with them.

Thursday, we woke up to rainy, windy and just a nasty day. This storm was the big storm that was dumping all the rain on the CA coast and the snow in the CA Mountains. We stayed in all day; Chuck venturing out in his rain coat to walk Misty, and then they weren’t out long at all. I made up a big pot of beef stew and we watched movies all day.

Friday, I had my dentist appointment in Algodones, Mexico with Dr. Ramos. He was the dentist that did my five caps two years ago. While in Alaska this summer, I broke two teeth, the fillings, and have been needing them fixed. He examined them and we started work. I want most of my teeth fixed; and he’s sure working hard to get them done. I made another appointment for more work on Saturday. We went home and had dinner.

Saturday, it was back to Mexico for more dental work. Dr. Ramos is doing all the prep work for a bridge and several caps. I go back on Wednesday for setting the bridge and the crowns, then back an hour later for more prep for the rest of my teeth. Next Friday he will place all the caps and I should be done. Chuck sure has been taking such good care of me; I’d be lost without him. He pops in to the room where I’m having the work done to see how I’m doing and offers encouragement. It will be nice to have my teeth fixed so they aren’t hurting me all the time.

I have to tell everyone that waited last year in the line for up to two hours to get back into the United States, that this year we have walked right up to the turn stile, and have had to wait five maybe ten minutes tops. Having four inspectors that are working sure has made a big difference for the travelers coming back from Mexico.

We got home and I rested. We had made plans to go to dinner with Sharon and TJ R, our friends whose place we stayed at last year. We went for Mexican and had a nice visit and a nice dinner with them. We hope to visit with them again; I was just too tired to go over to their place for a hot game of Pegs and Jokers.

Our heartfelt sympathy and prayers go out to our good friend, Richard L and his family in the passing of his Dad.  We stood up for Richard and his new wife, Sandy last June 27 in Bellingham.  It is so hard to loose both your parents and become an orphan, but the best part is knowing that your mom and dad are now together forever.

So that was our week…Until next time…..Lorraine


1/24/10                                                                                                                               Chuck’s report

I offer our sympathy to a good friend of ours for the passing of his father.  Richard called last week to report his father had just been diagnosed with cancer and they were running lots of test to see where it had spread.  Later this week Richard developed pneumonia and had to go to the emergency room for treatment.  While he was in the ER he received word his father had just passed.  What a sad thing and terrible timing but I guess there is no good time to loose a loved one.  You know we are with you and your family in spirit as we can’t be there in person. 

I’m sure everyone has either heard about or experienced the storms that hit Southern California this past week.  Well, the storms also affected our gathering in Quartzsite and a couple of days later us here in Yuma.  We only had two happy hour gatherings in the evenings due to either wind or rain or both.  We really missed this year’s fellowship around the campfire, usually that’s when/where all the fun stuff happens.  We still enjoyed our time there, just missed the campfire camaraderie.  Oh well, blame the weather, not the people.

We did manage to go through most of the vendors and the big tent in between the storms, got the stuff we needed and of course, some stuff we didn’t know we needed.  It appeared to me that more people were at Quartzsite this year than last, maybe the economy is better or the weather back home was worse, who knows.  Anyway, the crowds seems a bit denser and I think there were more people boondocking in the desert than last year. 

We got a call from our friends, Jim/Annie on Monday.  They were parked on BLM land a few miles North of us and wanted us to come out and visit them.  We quickly agreed as we haven’t seen them since Lorraine got so sick with her liver problems and they helped us out all they could.  Anyway, we took off to find them and really enjoyed our visit.  The next day they invited us out again and fixed us dinner as an added bonus, thanks.  They also taught us a new card game called Hand and Foot, the gals beat us guys pretty badly.  The weather turned bad, lots of wind and rain so we said our “see you laters” and went back to our rig a bit after dark.  We really enjoyed our time visiting with these two fine folks, they are the salt of the earth. 

As I said, it was raining hard when we left and once we got close to where we were parked in the desert, we had to cross a couple of what had been dry washes.  The water was running down the roads, the washes had lots of running water, some over a foot deep.  Everyone else appeared to be hunkering down in their rigs and that’s what we did too. 

The weather forecast was for one day’s break between storms on Wednesday.  We had planned to leave Q on Thursday but after the storm on Tuesday night, we make the decision to leave on Wednesday.  It seemed quite  a few others made the same decision as the area quickly started to clear out.  Virgil/Sharon and Sue were going to leave the same time as us and were also headed to Yuma so we decided to have a mini caravan.  We followed them out and down the road until they turned off to head towards their final stop. 

On the way down we could see where the water had been pretty deep in lots of the washes alongside and over the road.  We had good weather all the way down with no rain and little wind.  We checked a couple of campgrounds before we settled in here at Fortuna De Oro on the East side of Yuma.  The other parks were full with all the folks that had left Q due to the weather, great minds think alike.

We got set up and noticed some friends of ours were parked in the next row over.  We drove over to say hi to Jag/Bev, ended up staying over an hour visiting with them, a long “HI” I guess.  They are from Canada, we met them our first year in Q and spent some time with them in Red Bay during our first visit there.  They toured Alaska this summer also but we were never able get together with them.  (As Maxwell Smart says, missed them by that much.)  It was good to get caught up on their travels and visit with them.  Jag came over to our rig the next evening to work on my computer and we will get together with them this week for more visiting, I hope. 

Thursday proved the weather forecasters can be right some of the time.  They said the upcoming storm would be the biggest of the week.  Boy were they right!  We got over 2 1/2” of rain and the wind was a steady 45 MPH with gusts over 60, or so I heard.  Yuma’s normal rainfall total for the year is under 4”, they’ve had more than that this week alone.  I noticed lots of rigs pulled in their slideouts due to the wind blowing so hard, we were close to making that same decision before the winds died down a little bit about 4:30 or so. 

But like all good things, the good weather has returned.  Friday we had very scattered rain, mostly sunny with temperatures on the 60s.  Saturday was very nice with sunny skies all day, temperatures got up to almost 70, very nice.  Today the sun is shining, in fact, the sunshine may start drifting and I’ll have to shovel it later.

One of the main reasons we wanted to stay in Yuma is because its close to the dentists in Algodones, Mexico.  We have gone to them for two years now and Lorraine wanted to get some serious dental work done this year.  She had an appointment on Friday and they also worked on her on Saturday.  She has two more appointments next week.  We also stocked up on some medication while there, same stuff we can get here but about 1/4 of the price.  And of course, they have some cheap alcohol in the liquor store if anyone is of the mind to get some.   And lastly, I got a $3 haircut and just for information, if you are getting a haircut in Mexico and the barber asks you a question you don’t understand, it may not be a good idea to just say yes - -  No pictures though. 

Saturday evening we went over to our friend’s, TJ/Sharon, house then went to dinner with them.  We stayed on their lot with them for a month last year and saw them for one afternoon at their house in Ferndale, Washington one afternoon before we left for Alaska this spring.  Once again, it was good to catch up with their activities since we last visited with them.  We had a very good time visiting and will plan to see these fine folks before we leave.  We also were able to say a quick hi to Larry/Kathy who live next door and hope to have a longer visit with them too. 

We finally have the official word on our travels for the spring.  I was asked if I might be interested in returning to Washington to work for awhile this spring.  I agreed to that and they proceeded to get permission for me (and other retirees) to return to work temporarily.   Well it turns out, they can’t get permission to re-hire us old farts.  So that means we will just continue on with our previous plans.  No big problem, in fact, we are really glad to have this settled so we can firm up our plans and go on with gettin’ on. 

We had made appointments for some needed repairs to our coach back in Red Bay, Alabama where the factory is located.  They have a large repair facility but only make 3 appointments per day, the rest of the bays are used for walk-ins or very short time repairs.  They start making appointments for the year starting June 1st of the previous year and the appointments fill up fast.  I was able to get an appointment for June 4th but we decided to go there earlier in the year without an appointment and wait for a walk-in opening.  It can take a couple of weeks sometimes for an opening and we were prepared to wait plus we were going to deal with some of the smaller local shops for some non-warranty work while waiting.  I was able, however, to exchange our appointment with someone who had made one in early March that fits our schedule very nicely. 

So with those dates set and appointments made we will now start our slow trip back to Alabama next week.  My brother Brad called a couple of weeks ago and said he would like to get out of the winter weather in Missouri and meet up with us somewhere along our travels this winter.  I sent him our proposed schedule and he suggested we meet up in New Orleans.  So with that as our next destination, I can now figure out the rest of our itinerary for that portion of our trip. 

We have a number of friends we want to visit while going through Texas so I will need to contact them too.  Boy have we made a lot of friends since we’ve been on the road for just a bit over three years!   What a life.  Lorraine and I were talking the other day about this very fact.  When we retired we agreed to try this lifestyle for 3 – 5 years to see if we liked it.  She said we need about another 15 years to see all the rest of the country so I guess we won’t be settling down in a sticks and brick house anytime soon, God willing.  We’re still having fun, have met and are meeting some very nice folks and seeing this great country we live in. 

So our plans are to stick around the Yuma area for this week and then head East.  We don’t like to travel more than two days in a row and have a couple of longer stops we want to make.  I have the calendar, maps and campground books and will now put the rest of it together. 

And now for some pictures of the previous week. 

This sign was at a food stand in Quartzsite, had to take a picture for our buddy Mark. 


Our fearless leader Mike making the Quartzsite newbies go through the annual newbie initiation. 

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The four newbie guys in our group and all the guys after the initiation. 

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Our little circle of friends in Quartzsite. 

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This is the only picture we took of the crowd in the big tent. 


Jim, Annie and their bird, Umbe, at their rig.   

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Some of the trip from Q to Yuma. 

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They grow lots of crops around here.  If you’ve eaten lettuce lately, chances are it was grown around here.

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The painted tanks in Yuma and some of the streets are still flooded.

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One of the parks that was too full to allow us in. 

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Lorraine at the dentist’s office. 

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And that’s a good way to end this.  Bye for now.  

Thanks   Chuck

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ah yea, Quartzsite once again


Sunday, January 17, 2010                                                                                                    Lorraine’s report

Well, we moved from Palm Springs on Wednesday to Ehrenberg, AZ and then to Quartzsite, AZ on Saturday morning. You sure could feel the difference in moving from semi-desert to desert. The temperature went from in the 60’s to the mid to high 70’s, and it is such a dry heat, it sure felt nice.

This past week was fairly quiet for both of us. We slept in, watched TV, did the rugs and bedding at the Laundromat; just your everyday normal stuff. Oh, and I had my hair done at Walmart in Palm Springs by the same gal that did it before Christmas. I told her it was too dark that time and this time she did it differently, and I think she got the color down the way I like it, thank goodness. This week was a nice reprieve from our regular busy stuff, especially since I’m still not my regular self after being so ill before Christmas.

We are here now dry camping at Quartzsite. Yesterday, six rigs pulled into our circle of friends, making us a total of ten rigs, all ready to enjoy the sights and sounds of Quartzsite.

I think there are four rigs that are new here to us. there’s Sharon and Randy, Allen from St Louis, Bob from LA , and John and his wife, Judy, plus Sharon and Virgil, Bob and Linda, Mike and Linda, Mike and Cathy, Earl and Lynda and us.

Last night we had our 5 pm happy hour. Sue made up a big pot of her chili, using some buffalo meat, I made up a pan of corn bread and everyone else brought snacks and such for sharing. We had a delicious dinner with wonderful fellowship following.

After dinner we all sat around the campfire and visited until it got too cold to sit out any longer. Linda and Mike brought a copper pipe with a piece of garden hose stuffed inside the pipe and put the pipe into the fire. This pipe made the fire turn blue and green from the chemical reactions of the pipe and hose. It was very pretty. A big thank you goes to Sharon and TJ and Larry and Kathy for telling Linda and Mike about this last year. Everyone enjoyed the show around the fire.

Today we will probable go over to the big tent and walk through all the vendors.

That was the week. I hope this finds everyone healthy. Until next time….Lorraine

1/17/10                                                                                                                                  Chuck’s report

Hey, I forgot to call my brother Craig yesterday to wish him Happy Birthday.  Hope you had a good one, be careful, you’ll be creeping up on 60 in a couple of years!!

Following is some information I cut and pasted about Quartzsite.  

Quartzsite, Arizona is the ideal place for anyone who drives an RV. In the winter, when the weather is perfect, it is the home of the annual Quartzsite Sports, Vacation and RV Show. Quartzsite is also a wonderful place to find gems, rocks, minerals and fossils. During January and February, the town hosts around 10 different gem and mineral shows in a flea market type setting. With over a million people visiting during these two months, Quartzsite makes itself the place to be.

We are back in Quartzsite, Arizona for another visit.  This is where we camp out in the desert with no hookups (called boon docking) for as long as we like.  We actually stay in an area that has water and a sewer dump available if we want to head over there and wait in line.  I hear there are over 1,000,000 people out here around this small town, some stay a few days, some stay all winter. 

All this craziness started in the 60s with folks looking for a place to spend the winter and built up from there.  They started with rock and gem shows, added a RV and sports show and a classic car show.  The erect a huge tent for the months of January and February for all the folks to roam through and buy stuff from the venders.  There are also sections set up with more permanent venders selling their wares.  Lots of rock and gem, tools, clothes, and other stuff can be had.

We are planning on staying here for 6 days this time, staying with the same group we have in the past two years, RV America Forum.  The people are not the same every year although the “core” group stays the same.  We have built up some good friends from here, even went to Mexico with some of them last winter.  This year is the same as year’s past, we meet with our friends and make new ones that are here for their first time.  I think there are a 4 rigs here with folks that we haven’t met before, looking forward to getting to know them better. 

We have a regular scheduled happy hour every day at 5:00, everyone brings some snacks and goodies.  It usually ends up being enough for our dinner.  But we sit around the campfire eating and visiting and just having a good time.  Later when it gets cooler, we sometimes break into smaller groups and play cards or dominoes in someone’s rig. 

The traffic in town is horrible, but everyone seems to just take it in stride, you don’t hear lots of horns honking or see lots of one finger salutes.   We haven’t been over in town yet, just got here yesterday afternoon and we are waiting for the crowds to die down some.   We are close enough to walk over to the big tent and will probably go over this afternoon for awhile. 

The weather forecast is for rain starting tonight.  We have never been here during a rainy period but everyone says it turns into a muddy mess, not much fun.  The forecast for Southern California is for 6 – 8 inch of rain over the next weeks, some of which is supposed to come over the mountains and dump in the desert too.  Oh well, if it gets too bad, we have wheels under our house and will just leave earlier than planned, no problem here.

This past week we were in Palm Springs, spent some time resting from the early mornings with the Maestros at the FMCA rally.  We left there on Wednesday and drove over to Ehrenberg, Az. for a three night stay at a campground.  We had our mail delivered to the local post office, our first mail delivery of the year.  We filled up our fresh water tank, made sure our holding tanks were empty and headed out on Saturday morning to meet up with our friends here in Quartzsite. 

We plan on leaving here on Thursday this week and head to Yuma.  Lorraine has already made a dentist appointment in Mexico on Friday.  We will stay in the Yuma area for a week or so.  I haven’t had an official request to go to work back in Washington but depending on that outcome, we will either slowly start heading East toward Alabama or stay Southern California for a couple of weeks before slowly heading North.  Either way we are hoping to enjoy the weather, meeting old and new friends and enjoy being together in this fun lifestyle.

And now for some pictures of this area. 

We’ve arrived, that the big tent in the background.

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You see just about every kind of camping rig you can think of out here. 

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Some of the folks we are staying with.  Mike/Linda on the left, Bob/Linda on the right.

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Randy/Sharon on the left, Sharon/Virgil and Sue on the right.

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A picture of our campfire the first night.  Our friends from back home and in Yuma, TJ/Sharon, have a copper pipe with a piece of rubber hose inside that they put into their fire.  It causes some kind of chemical reaction and produces multi-colored flames.  Mike/Linda made up a copper pipe and tried it in our fire, you can see the colors in the pictures Lorraine took. 

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And once again, that was our week. 

Thanks  Chuck