Thursday, January 22, 2009



I had put the solar panels down, & pretty well stowed all the gear away late Wednesday afternoon so there wasn't much to do this morning except hook the car onto the back of the motorhome & hit the road. Didn't want to stay another day because I couldn't stand listening to my own complaining about the crowds in Quartzite any longer.

We rolled north into Q & I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of traffic. Snapped a few pics out the window. It was about 9:30 a.m. when we waved good-bye to Quartzite & headed eastward to Interstate 8. Traffic was light & we rolled right along with no problems. Mornings are my favorite driving times because I enjoy the way the morning sun always lights the landscape & this morning was extra special because there were a lot of varying cloud patterns & that added a moody character to the sky. Distant mountains on both sides of the road looked stately, especially the ones to the south cloaked in a dark shadowy haze. Great lumbering Goliaths with high jagged peaks reaching for the clouds. Just the kind fairy tales & old western legends are written about. A beautiful morning. The other thing that became immediately apparent was the ever greening of the desert & hillsides the further east we went. More & more Saguaros began appearing, Palo Verde trees, cholla, & I'm sure there may have been some early flowers here & there had we stopped & looked. We passed the RV campground near Tonopah where our water line froze up two years ago, passed a service station that we remembered from last year having huge craters in it's parking lot that would have put a B-52 bombing raid to shame.

We had been driving about 2 hours when we saw it. The large tall sign appeared out of the horizon & steadily drew closer. Can it be....could it be?? Yes, yes, it is!!!! "CRACKER BARREL:))))" For us this was a true oasis in a long driving desert. There was a Cracker Barrel restaurant ahead just east of Buckeye. No decisions to be made here, this was an automatic YES!! The large fairly new mall is located about 5 miles past our turn off for Gila Bend but that was ok, we were starving for some good old country kitchen cooking. Had been over a month since we were last in a Cracker Barrel in Yuma. Can you tell this is our favorite place:))

I had a sausage skillet & Kelly had the newer Santa Fe skillet but we both agreed the sausage one was far better. Check the web album later for a picture...


By 12:15 we were back on the road & made the big swing south for Gila Bend. We knew we could dump tanks there & take on fresh water plus propane or gas if we needed it....which we didn't. For anyone traveling, if your coming into Gila Bend from the north, watch for the Shell Station on your right. There is free water & dump right behind the station & we noticed they have just paved the huge parking lot. No problem for big rigs getting around in there. There is also an RV Park right next door as well. Only took us about 20 minutes to do our business in there & we were back on I-8 heading east again. THE BEDROOM PAINT JOB

Herb had told us about a great little free camping place between Gila Bend & Casa Grande so that is where we headed. Jim Kortsen West Pinal Park is located in the V of the fork of I-8 & highway 84. This is a great little gem of a camping area. Well maintained with some sites having a concrete pad with picnic table & covered roof. It's all dry camping & lots of room & greenery between the sites. Not many rigs here so we were able to find a great little spot where the dogs (or us) wouldn't bother anyone. Only slight downside is a bit of traffic noise from I-8 to the south & some traffic on 84 north of us. Nice Saguaro cactus in here too. Right now as I'm typing this I can look out through our big windshield & see the dull glow of Tucson on the low cloud cover to our southwest. Across the whole horizon running north to Phoenix I can see the un-ending twinkling of lights. I'm guessing much of that is Casa Grande about 20 miles to the east. OUR NEW DIGS WEST OF CASA GRANDE, AZ

A fellow RV'er out walking his dog noticed our Canadian flag decals on the rig so came over. He's from British Columbia, & wouldn't you know it........his brother lives in Port Elgin Ontario which is a about a 90 minute drive from our place in Bayfield.

Our weather has been fabulous. It was a warm night in Quartzite last night & even warmer when we got up this morning. I could feel humidity in the air as soon as I stepped out of the coach. When we stopped in Buckeye around noon there was a warm wind blowing & our outside thermometer was saying 80F. It seemed even hotter than that by the time we got to our campsite west of Casa Grande. The sky was dark over Tucson & I think they got some rain. Also, we were surprised at the many crystal clear television stations we can get here with our antennae. And, our Verizon card works grrrrrrreat!!

All & all, it was a good day & we're happy to have a nice quiet & private campsite for a few days. To-morrow morning we'll drive into Casa Grande for a few groceries & things. And what a relief it is for me not to have anything to complain about to-day. Ok, ok, a little traffic noise but what the heck.......................... OUR PHOTO ALBUMS


  1. I love the bedroom paint! I would love to paint over the bland walls of my 5ver - just have to get up the nerve to start. I told myself two dwellings ago that I will never paint again, but here I'm already thinking about it!

    Your blog is absolutely fantastic, and I love reading it.


  2. Some very nice sunset pics Al !

    the hermit