Sunday, January 26, 2014

We’re in Yuma, Arizona


January 26, 2014                                                                                                               Lorraine’s report

Howdy folks, glad you stopped by.  Well, we are back in civilization!  Yep, I really did miss being out of civilization and camping in the desert.  Our rig has on it’s side, “Roughing it smoothly”, so when we are out like that, being out in the boon docks, without water, power and the hook up to electricity, I’m very happy to return to our normal way of life.  I know some people really like it, but not me.  I prefer everything you get with the civilized world. 

So Quartzsite, AZ was fun, but I was ill most of the time.  The last few days or so, one of the new people we met, Mary, took pity on me and gave me two sets of boxes of pills that really helped me recover.  Thanks again, Mary,  It was so nice of you to care about how I looked and sounded. 

We didn’t get out that much, but, we’ve been there before, so when I did go, I would come back after a couple of hours and I would take my pills from Mary, and have to take a long nap.  This cold/whatever has been the pits.  So glad I’m starting to feel a bit better. 

Then the dirt from all being in the desert is pretty incredible.  We were there a total of 8 days, and I keep wiping everything down, the corian counters and such turned black the first time I wiped up, pretty incredible..

Chuck has a Mexican coming to wash and wax the rig.  It is SO dirty. And I know everyone there wanted to do the same thing when they leave Q.

It was fun to visit with the groups we went with, but I hated to infect them with my cold. It was an experience!

Happy Birthday to my niece, Ashley, and my nephew, Carl… Hope they enjoy their birthdays

Hugs, to all…


1/26/14                                                                                                                                  Chuck’s report

Ok, we are back to having hookups again, after dry camping in Quartzsite for 8 days.  We’ve been there before and usually don’t have any issues, we arrive with full fresh water tank and empty holding tanks and when we leave they are reversed.  We have 4 batteries for the coach and usually that keeps everything we need running all day and night by starting the generator a couple of times a day to charge them.  This time, however, our batteries wouldn’t hold a charge very long and our generator would start a couple times an hour and run for 5 minutes or so.  I know this wasn’t pleasant for our neighbors, sorry about that but I’m getting our batteries checked and hopefully next time we will only be running the generator during daylight hours next time. 

Lorraine has been fighting a cold the whole time we were in Quartzsite, that limited our visiting and touring of the vendors.  She didn’t want to spend too much time with other folks and give then her cold and really didn’t feel like walking the displays either.  So we spent lots of time in our coach together, we didn’t even go to other folk’s rig to play cards or dice like we normally do.  And we didn’t get to contact two of our friends we knew were in the area, didn’t want to spread her cold to them so Dale, hope to see you two if you come down this way. 

Last Sunday we had the breakfast in a bag, it was as good as advertised.  We put ham, cheese and onions in the bag, they added eggs then we put the bags in boiling water for 13 minutes.  What came out was very similar to an omelet from a frying pan. 

Later there was a talk and display from Mac the Fire Guy.  He talks about safety in and around coaches, fires, emergency egress and other issues.  He also has a display he puts up where he lights fires and has folks put them out using fire extinguishers he provides.  All in all, this is a very good seminar and well worth it if you ever get a chance to see him put it on.  He also sells fire extinguisher and systems, he is well known because he goes to lots of rallies and such where he puts on his seminars and has his vendor booth. 

He finished in time for us to go back to our coach where we watched the AFC and NFC championship games.  We were please to have Seattle win their game over the 49ers so the Super Bowl game next week with be Seattle vs Denver.  We are hoping to see Seattle’s defense stop the Denver offense, at least that’s what I think will be key to the game.  Go Seahawks. 

We had ordered a set of tires for the back of our coach from one of the companies that came out to our camping spot and gave a seminar.  We also wanted to put on new shocks and have them check the alignment.   Our appointment was for Monday morning but when Mark went over on Sunday they told him they didn’t have our size tires but would get them, possibly by the time we got there on Monday.  However, when we checked in, they didn’t have our size and tried to sell us a different tire, we didn’t want that so left there with the understanding they would get our tires shipped in, call us and we would return to have all the work done.  We didn’t have the shocks installed or the alignment checked, figured we would do all the work on our next trip.

So after leaving the shop area, we headed over to our second group we stay with when in Quartzsite.  This is the group we’ve stayed with every year we’ve been there, RV America.  This year there were 11 rigs, I think, and two of them were newbies, all the others had been there before.  It was good to see all the folks we knew and meet the new ones too. 

This group is parked close enough to the big tent that we can walk over and not have to deal with all the traffic hassles.   But we only went to the tent area twice and to Tyson once, Lorraine just didn’t feel like doing more.  That was fine, we’ve been there, done that before.  And this time there were more vendors that had pain relief salves, tee shirts and other “non-RV related” stuff than in prior years.  We knew we were coming to Yuma and a lot of the vendors that are normally in Quartzsite will be at the Yuma swap meet too so we can go there to see what’s available and different this year. 

Tuesday morning I walked over to tour one of the vendor areas but just as I got there, I got a phone call from Rob and Norma letting me know they were in town.  I told them I would meet them at the ranger’s station and direct them to our site.  It was good to see these friends from Canada, we hadn’t seen them since last year down here because we didn’t go “home” last year. 

We did drive over to the “main event” area to see the vendors there.  There are probably 20 rows of tents set up and usually it takes a few hours to “do” the main event.  This time we only went through about 4 or five of the rows and called it a day.  Lots of stuff there but we never did find the jacks you wanted us to get for you, Joe, sorry about that. 

I got a call from the tire dealer and he said they were unable to get our tires for us.  He was very short and to the point, I think he had enough business that he didn’t need to be nice to us, ha.  So we will probably wait until we get back in Oregon to get our tires and shocks, there is no sales tax in Oregon so that should save us a couple bucks too. 

On Wednesday morning I had a service tech scheduled to come by the rig and service our Aqua Hot.  This is a system that we use to keep our rig warm when it’s cold and it also heats our domestic water, it’s unlimited hot water when we have water and sewer hookups.  We are supposed to have it serviced once a year, change the burner tip, clean the plenum and change the fuel filter.  We have also been having an issue where the burner didn’t come on soon enough at times and I wanted him to troubleshoot that for us too.  It ended up being an over temperature sensor/thermometer was bad so he changed that out for us.  It now seems to be working with no issues, yea. 

We were planning on leaving Quartzsite on Thursday but decided to stay one more day so we could visit more with the folks in our group.  We didn’t even leave the area all day, just set around and visited with different groups of folks, a good day. 

This group has a get together every afternoon at 5:00, each coach brings something to share and we all have great time eating, telling jokes, kidding each other and just visiting.  On Wednesday night it was pot luck.  This was a full meal with lots of different entreats, from chili and spaghetti, salads and plenty of deserts too.  We usually call this get together our evening meal, this night is was more like a buffet there were so many different selections, all great. 

Friday morning we got everything ready for travel, met with everyone one more time then headed out.  It is only about 1 1/2 hour drive to get here, we had no problem.  We called TJ and Sharon, our friends who offered us the use of their lot for our stay her and they met us at their lot.  This lot has two RV hookups and we stayed here with them a few years ago for a month and really liked the area.  Since then, they have built a Studio type home on it so there is only one RV hookup available.  They decided to make this area their permanent home so they have bought and moved to a house across the highway so the RV site is open although it is for sale if anyone is interested. 

With TJ’s help we pulling into our parking spot and hooked up the power then we visited a bit with TJ and Sharon.  It was nice to see them again, it’s been a year and we were trying to get up to speed on each other’s activities over the past year.  They do spend the winter here now and their children come down and visit them here too.  They still intend to go to the NW for the summertime, you just can’t beat the weather up there from mid July through early September, usually that is. 

After TJ and Sharon left, we continued with our setup chores, I even unloaded the stuff we carry in our car into the shed here on their lot.  For over the past week, our dinners have been pot luck or finger food so we both wanted to go out to eat.  We asked TJ and Sharon if they wanted to go along so we made a date to go to Mexican later.  They introduced us to this place a couple of years ago and it was just as good this time.

Saturday we sort of took it easy for awhile then decided to head out for some errands and shopping.  Later we went over to visit with Larry and Kathy, the neighbors here.  Larry was raised in Bellingham and graduated from high school there too.  Before we knew it, the sun had set and we were still trying to solve all the political woos of this country, if only they would listen.  

This morning I started the blog then we headed out to the Yuma swap meet, now called the Yuma Market Place.  We found a couple of items we were looking for and checked out some we may get on a later visit.  We then headed over to Quechan casino for dinner.  They closed the buffet and now it’s a nice restaurant.  We ordered the everyday special, prime rib with the fixings for $10 each.  We had to get our player’s club card to get the special price and they gave me $10 and Lorraine $20 free play.  We also had enough comp points built up on our cards to get the meal free, good deal.  But both of us went through the free play money although that was about the extent of our slot play so it wasn’t an expensive trip.  On the way home, we stopped by and I ran into Wal-Mart to get some dog food for Misty, that was the most expensive thing we did today, ha. 

So here we are, back at the coach and finishing the blog. 

Boy the weather has really been great this week, it’s been getting into or just at the 80s most days.  The night time temps drop to the low 50s, a couple of nights it got down to the high 30s but it warms up quickly after the sun comes up.  Speaking of sunrise, that happens a bit after 7 and we’ve had a few colorful ones this week too.  We are used to seeing colorful sunsets here but I was impressed with a couple of the sunrises too. 

Our travel plans are to sit here for awhile, not sure how long just yet.  There is a lot to do and see around here, Mark/Sue and Rob/Norma will be coming down from Quartzsite tomorrow so I’m sure we will be getting together with them some too, along with other friends in the area.  Jag and Bev, I’ll be contacting you two this week to find out your schedule, maybe we can come over and see the park you are staying in too. 

Ok, now to add some pictures here and get this posted. 


Sunset over the coaches in Quartzsite. 

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Sunrise in Quartzsite, these pictures were taken with my phone. 

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Gathering for the nightly 5:00 snacks and BS session. 

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Some of the folks at RV America standing in front of their coach. 

John and Mary on left, Patsy and Richard on right.

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Sue and Mark on left, Stan and Claire on right.

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Ken and Cassie with her two sisters Susan and Lisa. 

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Chuck and Lorraine on left, Sue on right. 

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Virgil and Sharon on left, Pat and Gerald on right.

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Linda and Mike on left, Rob and Norma on right. 

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Driving to Yuma we pass the Yuma proving grounds. 

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They grow lots of vegetables in the valley. 

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Ok, guess that’s enough, I’ll get this posted now. 


Thanks   Chuck




Saturday, January 18, 2014

We in Quartzsite, Arizona


January 19, 2013                                                                                                                       Lorraine’s report

Okay, so I’ve been ill this past week.  We had a grand time visiting with Joe & Alice at Palo Casino, will see them later this summer.  I just love going with them to Palo, it’s a grand casino.  The food is excellent, and we had some luck there too. 

This cold I got is pretty nasty.  It started out with me being totally dizzy, and progressed from there.  Today I’m finally feeling like I may live.  The cough, the cold, runny nose, etc. are maybe finally starting to abate.  I sure hope so…it’s not been fun being so ill…..Chuck covered everything else…Hope you all have a great day…Hugs,


1/19/13                                                                                                                                         Chuck’s report

We’re back in Quartzsite, for the 6th time in the past 7 years and we are experiencing the best weather in all those years.  I know California could use some much needed rain but here in the desert it’s pretty dry too.  And the long range forecast has no rain in sight for at least the next 10 days.  We’ve been here when the winds were blowing hard and one year when it was raining, I’ll take this over those years!

Last Sunday was football day again, we wanted to watch the San Francisco/Carolina game, the winner will be playing the Seahawks.  San Francisco won so it will be the third time these two teams have played each other this year with the home team winning the first two.  Sure hope that trend continues, the winner of this game will be playing in the Super Bowl.  We would sure like to see Seattle play in that game.

Monday Lorraine started getting cold like symptoms, sure hope it isn’t the flu but she did get her flu shot.  We did head over to the local casino for senior day, $5 off the buffet.  We both won on the slots, Lorraine more than I did.  After we got back to the park, we stopped off to see Mike/Linda at their place for a while. 

Tuesday morning we loaded up the car and headed off to Hemet, about an hour’s drive to the Southeast.  Our friends Joe and Alice spend most of the winter there and we wanted to see them before we left the area.  We got to their place then drove over to Pala casino.  They have taken us there before, it’s one of the nicest we’ve been to and I think it may have the best buffet, for sure in the top 5.  We had a great meal and they have a desert area to die for, they make banana splits, crepe suzettes, cherries jubilee and the like as well as the normal cakes, pies, brownies and such.  I think we all saved some room for desert, I know I went back for seconds, just had to try a chocolate cake, yum. 

We spent a good day with Joe and Alice but all too soon we head to head back, it was dark when we got back as it was.  But at least the traffic wasn’t too bad, the only bad traffic we ran into was after we left the casino and headed back to their place before we headed back to ours later.  We asked them if it would be possible for us to stay at their extra lot back in Blaine when we are back in Washington this spring/summer, they are trying to make arrangements to make that happen.  Thanks for spending the day with us, we had a good visit with you two. 

Wednesday Lorraine was feeling a bit worse, the cold had started to get to her.  I had to run into Verizon to have them check out our new notebook we are using as a Wi-Fi hotspot, it quit working again.  The gal seemed to understand our problem and she reset the device and pulled the Sim card, same things I had tried.  She did show me a different way to reset the device and it started working after that.  I sure hope this works as we won’t be around a Verizon place out here in the desert. 

Later I went by Costco to fill the car with gas, I know it will be more expensive than here but with the 1000s of folks who descend to this small town for part of the winter overload all the services around the area and the traffic can be bad too.  I figured paying a few cents more per gallon was better than fighting the crowds.  I then ran over to Wal-Mart, I had to pick up a few thing for Lorraine. 

We had planned on leaving Palm Springs on Thursday, depending on how Lorraine was feeling.  She got up and said she was ok with us traveling so we got things put away and ready for travel.  The site were were in at 1000 Trails was a back-in site and I had to ask the neighbor across the street if he would move his car so we could back in with less problems.  And when we left, I once again asked him to move his car.  We like this park but it sure isn’t made for big rigs and it has lots of palm trees that can cause some issues in getting satellite TV service.  But once we get set up, it isn’t bad at all plus we usually find some friends we’ve met over the past 7 years somewhere in the park. 

After we left Palm Springs, we headed East, stopping to fuel up the rig just after we crossed the state line into Arizona.  We got to the BLM area, we pay $40 for up to two weeks for the right to boondock in the thousands of acres.  The area we are staying in does have a dump station area but with all the rigs in the area, the wait can sometimes be 4 hours or even longer at the busiest times.  Plus they do have fresh water available to refill our fresh water tank after we dump the holding tanks. 

We arrived here with our fresh water full and our holding tanks empty.  From past experience here we know we can take Navy showers, watch our water usage when washing dishes and make our fresh water last at least a week or longer.  The holding tanks are pretty good size too but the grey water tank seems to fill first, even with us taking Navy showers. 

After we got our pass to enter/park in the BLM area, we found the Tiffin owner’s group where we were staying.  We got parked and with no utilities to hook up, my job when pretty fast.  Lorraine still was feeling under the weather but got the inside set up with a little help from me.  Then we walked over and visited with some of our friends and met some new friends too. 

Later that evening a service center truck came by to give a seminar about the parts and service they supply.  We have been discussing getting 4 new tires on the back and replacing the shocks on the rig.  Most motor home folks find they don’t wear out tires but need to replace them due to age instead.  The experts say it’s best to replace tires somewhere around 6 – 7 years, even if there is good tread, we fit in that category so we made arrangements to have 4 new tires installed and change out the shocks on Monday morning.  After the service, we plan to move over to join with the other group we stay with in Quartzsite, RV America. 

Friday Lorraine work up and was really feeling bad, we decided to just stay around the rig, only going outside to visit a little and enjoy the sunshine.  There was a scheduled meet & greet with this group, everyone was to bring an appetizer to share.  This was to happen at 3:30 and another service center guy came by to give another seminar, this one on hydraulic jacks and slide outs.  I learned a bit from this guy too, even after having/using these items on our rig for the past 6+ years. 

Saturday was the opening day for the big tent, the start of RV week here at Quartzsite.  We have gone to the big tent on opening day before but the crowds are too big so we usually don’t go on opening day anymore, instead we will wait until later next week to tour the vendor area and see if they have something we just have to have.  We usually have some items in mind but this time I don’t know have any one item I’m looking to purchase but we’ll see. 

So Saturday we hung around the rig most of the day, only going out to visit and meet other folks.  It’s amazing, if someone is having issues it seems all the guys show up to “help” and offer suggestions.  And folks like to show off the modifications and improvements they have made to their rigs.  Today was like that for most of us although some folk did brave the crowds and head over to the tent. 

Once again, at 3:30 we had a pot luck dinner with the folks here.  I think there are 35 rigs here, plus a few others that are staying in different areas around the area that walk-in to share some time with us.  There was a raffle planned for after dinner, they use this as a fund raiser to offset the costs of setting up this get together.  There are lots of prizes, some are gag gifts, others something for RVers.  We actually had our number picked three times, got a couple of RV items and even an envelope with cash, good deal.  Everyone seem to have had a good dinner and a good time with the raffle too. 

Today we have a “breakfast in a bag” scheduled for everyone.  You put what you would like to have in an omelet in a quart freezer bag, most folks put ham, sausage, bacon, onions, peppers and the like in the bag.  The hosts then add two or three eggs to the bag and it’s put into a pot of boiling water for 13 minutes.  The result is just like an omelet cooked in a pan on the stove, plus this is lots of fun.  

After breakfast there will be time for more visiting before the football games start at 1:30.  The first game is the AFC championship game between New England and Denver.  The second game will be the NFC championship game between San Francisco and Seattle.  The winners of these two games will meet in the Super Bowl in two weeks.  These championship games are usually better games than the Super Bowl game, the teams are trying to win these but in the Super Bowl it’s more like they are trying to not lose. 

We had our freezer repaired when we were in the Bay area and it’s been running good ever since.  I did unplug it when we traveled and plugged it in as soon as we were stopped for the day.  Not real sure if that is necessary but I don’t think it can hurt so will continue to do that. 

Like I said, the weather has been really nice.  We’ve had temperatures about 10 – 15F above normal, getting to low 80s or high 70s everyday with no clouds and very little wind.  The temperatures do start to drop as soon as the sun sets, it gets down to the 40s at night.  We haven’t been running our air conditioners during the day but open the windows and turn on the vent fans instead.  But we do have the heat on at night, don’t want Lorraine to get cold while she is fighting her cold.  That means our generator does start/stop throughout the night as needed to keep our batteries charged and give power to the heat pumps when needed.  At least we are parked in such a manner that the generator doesn’t face directly at a close by rig. 

Our travel plans are firming up for after here.  Our friends in Yuma, TJ and Sharon, have offered us the use of their extra lot they own in Yuma.  We contacted them today and told them we would take them up on  their kind offer.  TJ called shortly after we sent the email and said to come on down, the lot is open and ready.  Thanks, we’ll see you two next week. 

Lorraine hasn’t taken too many pictures this week, just a few on our travel day and some of the activities here so it shouldn’t take too long to go through them and pick out a few to add to this blog.  Guess I’ll do that now. 


On the road heading East, lots of nothing out here but still pretty on its own way. 

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We fueled up at exit #1 in Arizona, about $0.35 cheaper here than in California. 

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That’s the desert where we are going.  All the white spots are campers, motorhomes, trailers and the like. 

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That’s the big tent on the right, will be full of vendors and RVer starting Saturday morning. 

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The Tiffin motorhome owners group we are staying with, 35 coaches as of Saturday afternoon. 

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For those back in Washington who may have forgotten, the dark things on the ground are shadows, caused by the sun being out. 

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Notice the sun glasses everyone is wearing. 

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That’s our coach on the left and the nightly fire on the right. 

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Thanks   Chuck