Thursday, February 11, 2010



It was the sound on the roof this morning at 5 a.m. that told me something had snuck up on us in the night that we had been completely unaware of before going to bed last night.

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Rain is not a good thing on RV moving days but luckily we had packed everything away the night before so no soggy lawn chairs to stuff into dry motorhome bins.  But, the rain can still have a negative physical effect with muddy paws & shoes.  It can also be a mental downer on a supposedly exciting & anticipated sunny moving day. 



Had the big wheels rolling at 9:20 as Max, Checkers, Motormouse, & I bumped along the rocky desert surface heading for the exit spot to the highway.  Kelly had gone on ahead into Quartzsite to fill up the car with gas. (and probably hit a few last minute vendors)



Quartzsite wasn't too busy but I missed the RV Pit Stop 'entrance only' driveway anyhow & had to slip around the block for another attempted touchdown.  Got it right the second time & rolled up to the dumping station.  All went smooth with no nastiness getting loose.  Had to swing back out onto the street for another go around because I had forgot to fill the fresh water tank.  Angled in again & began the fill as Kelly met me after the gas fill up.  Next came a propane fill up & of course I was faced the wrong way for that, so away I went out on the street for my third entrance into the same place.  I should also mention that at the same time I'm doing this merry-go-round thing, so are about a half dozen other rigs jockeying for position in there as well.  Kind of like bumper car RV's!!  And this wasn't even a busy day for them.  With the propane tank topped up I headed back out on the street & headed south of Quartzsite to a predestinated spot to meet Kelly who had slipped over to McDonald's for coffee & egg McMuffins.  Say what you will about works for me:))


With Kelly following in the car it took us about half an hour to reach the turn off for the Castle Dome mountains & by then it was raining pretty hard.  The clouds were sitting right on the mountain tops all around us.  I was worried about the dirt road because I knew it was going to be muddy.....and it was.  Turned off the highway through a splash of water & mud pulling off the road onto a hard packed stone surface.  Now what are we gonna do!!  I knew we had about a mile to go before we came to the spot we had seen yesterday.  The dirt road looked like a quagmire with pools of water & little streams flowing here & there.  To get the motorhome stuck down this road was going to be a ka-zillion million dollar towing bill for sure.  Kelly scouted ahead with the car aways to see how it was & came back saying it wasn't too bad.  I then took the car (both of us couldn't go because the passenger seat was loaded with firewood!!) & headed through the mud to have a look at our perceived campsite.  One spot had water right across the road & another section was pretty squishy with mud which made the car swaddle a bit.  But, as I was about to find out.......that wasn't the worst part!!  When I got to the spot we had picked out yesterday.........there was a !!#%&**!!((@^ travel trailer parked in it.  Couldn't believe it!!  Of all the acres of room out here what would be the chances someone would have showed since we were there & parked in that very spot.  I pulled off the muddy road onto the hard packed stone surface, buzzed the trailer, (nobody home) & quickly reconnoitered a new spot about a quarter mile away.  No use in crying over spilt milk I figured:((


Slipped & slid my way back to the highway where the gang was waiting, & broke the news.  Oh well, not much we can do about it.  After all, we aren't the only people in the world.  Made the decision to go for it & head the motorhome down the mud infested road.  Figured if I got up a good head of steam it would lessen my chances of bogging down in the mud somewhere along the way.  Threw a few extra logs on the fire, put the dogs crash helmets on & away we went just a smokin it.  The motorhome handled the muddy spots with ease as we rolled on right through the slop.  Pulled in off the road to the hard stone surface & drove easily to the secondary spot I had picked out.  No problem as we positioned the rig beside the already built fire pit.  We're not exactly level but who cares, we're here.  Mud all over the place & everything.  Ya just gotta love it:))


As we looked around it was immediately apparent that by a pleasant fluke we were in a spot that was better than the original one we chose.  We had a dry wash with some water flowing through it beside us & on the other side of that we had a really nice walkable up hill with lots of desert greenery growing on it.  Despite the heavy overcast & rain we were happy campers.


And, once again, we were in a photographer's paradise with many Saguaro's spreading out across the desert floor & climbing the hillsides.  There were shrubs & trees of all kinds here & I could see the greening effect stretching up the nearby mountain sides.  We had first noticed this greening effect at Hickiwan Trails 3 years ago.  The further off the desert floor & closer one is to the mountains, hills, or rocky ridges, the greener & more lush it becomes.  It is caused by the effect of water running down the mountain sides & streams making the ground wetter close to the base of the mountains.


The last time we set our Star Choice dish up it took an aggravating 2 hours because of some kind of glitch somewhere.  Today when I set the satellite dish up I used our Quartzsite co-ordinates & hit the bird right on the nose first try.  TV was up & running within minutes.  I like when that happens:))


The rains would stop, then start, then stop.  In between all that we got ourselves set up & the first order of business for me was to get my buns up the side of that big hill beside us to see what was on the other side.  The lighting was good for some photos so I spent time on the hill marveling at the absolute beautiful vista all the way around me.  I could see for miles & miles with mountains everywhere.  Because of the rain everything was looking very wet, very fresh, & very photographable despite the overcast sky.  Came down off the hill & headed along the creek bed basking in the towering greenery on both sides.  Just love those big Saguaros & Barrel head cactus.  And to see actual water running in the creek bed was an added bonus.  Felt like a little kid in a candy store snapping a photo here, two over there, & maybe three back over somewhere else.


Rain or no rain we are just so happy to be here even if there is another rig a quarter mile away.  The skies cleared for about an hour with warming sunshine drying out the land, but it didn't last.  A distant booming sound caught my attention & I swung my camera lens northwards.  A looming thunderstorm was rolling in north of us after supper & I watched the sky in total amazement because I had never seen such beautiful lighting on the desert landscape before.  Lightning flashed on the distant horizon against darkened skies as a rainbow struggled to become airborne but faded into the far mountains.  The colors on the desert floor were ethereal as the tall green Saguaros competed for attention appearing almost emerald like in their stateliness.

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And then........... the sun dropped out of the cloud cover lowdown in the west flashing an arc of yellow gold onto the mountain sides before it disappeared behind the Trigo Mountain range.  The beautiful day was over.....but the rain wasn't.  As I'm writing this at 8 p.m. it is still raining.  But, that's OK, this is the American Southwest &  whatever the weather does, it just doesn't matter because it is too beautiful to complain about...............even for me, the cranky old Cursmudgeon:))


I think I am simply going to drop all of TODAY'S PHOTOS into an uncaptioned web album.  You will see that the pictures are self explanatory.  I suggest the 'slideshow' option if you decide to have yourself a look at the fine works of Mother Nature......even on cloudy & rainy day.  Album starts with a passenger seat loaded with fire wood & ends with a very rainy photo out the motorhome door.  LIVE WRITER WOULD NOT LET ME PUT THE ALBUM LINK IN  TONIGHT BUT MAYBE THIS WILL WORK....................Click below.


GROANER'S CORNER:))  And how about this sign outside a local butcher shop window:  "Never a bum steer."



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now....AL.


  1. Great photos Al. It's funny how an initial disappointment can sometimes turn into a blessing, isn't it? And the good part about the rain is that you could see where it puddles and runs, so, no bad surprises next time it rains. Looks like an awesome spot! We plan to try boondocking eventually, once we get the hang of this RVing life a little better. We even brought our brand new eight-thousand-something generator with us, which we sure don't need where we are now, but I always think it's better to be prepared "just in case", than not. and wish we were.

  2. With all the rain the southwest is getting this year, there should be a wonderful wild flower show popping up here in a few weeks! Can't wait to see your pictues of those!

  3. I swear AL you should write books... You have a way with words that makes the story just come to life on the page... And then as a bonus GREAT pictures too. Have fun in your new little corner of paradise!
    Travel safe

  4. Really enjoyed today's post and photos. Yes, moving day in the rain is a pain, as we have experienced SEVERAL times this winter! (We had sleet yesterday.) As Mary Ann and William said, it can be handy when boondocking in the desert - you can see where there water runs. :) Enjoy your solitude, friends.

    Hey, maybe the travel trailer belongs to readers trying to meet you!

  5. We told you yesterday not to let too many people know where you were! Now look -- but it ended well and that's what counts.

    I swear I'm going to have to stop reading you, Al. You are heating up my hitch itch so much that I don't think I'll ever get over it, even with our planned spring trip. But, no, I won't stop -- you are addictive, and I am addicted.

  6. Once again I want to thank you for such nice description of your travels. The pictures are as usual "outstanding" Too bad you did not order a dry day to move ☺ but you got it done and all is well. I hope the weather is better by now.

  7. We're going to have to start calling you "Shakespeare of the Desert" pretty soon Al. Nice story and great pics!

  8. You had me on the edge of my seat wondering if the RV was stuck out there in that desert mud! I'm glad you made it. Your new backyard is amazing!

    Breath taking photos as usual. I am really excited to see the desert starting to bloom and share its beautiful colors with us. Thank you for capturing a little piece of heaven for us to enjoy!

  9. Nice work!! Just wanted to say Howdy!!

  10. Great photos! Loved the slide show mud and all.

  11. I think we actually saw you today as we passed by, following your footprint. We loved the story of the Crystal Mountain and had to try it ourselves. Enjoy your "deserted" stay.