Showing posts with label Quartzite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quartzite. Show all posts

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2009



Another fine morning in America's southwest. We don't have the best television reception here but we were able to pull in CBS on a Yuma station & that's what we watched the Obama inauguration on this morning. It will be one of those moments in history when people will remember where they were & what they were doing. For us it was a beautiful desert morning south of Quartzite, Arizona. Door & windows open with a nice breeze blowing through the rig. Kelly was finishing up some dishes & I was sitting in one of the Poang chairs taking a few photos. Yes, it will be a nice morning for us to remember.

I don't think Obama had even made it off the podium before Kelly was out the door, into the car, & heading back into the Quartzite moshpit. I happily continued with a bunch of puttering around the place secure in the knowledge that my Quartzite ordeal was behind me!! Kelly later told me that to-day & Sunday were not nearly as busy as Monday when I came along. Why is that!!!!

I was stretched out in the lounger soaking up some warm sun when the thought occurred to me that I hadn't put our Canadian flag up yet. Last year we got ourselves into trouble a few times for flying our Canadian flag on American soil so this year I hadn't put it up. Kelly had picked up an American flag & pole kit at the Frugal Coyote store in Borrego Springs a few weeks ago & I had put that one up on the rig yesterday. Etiquette seems to dictate it's alright to fly our Canadian flag if the American flag is above it. The flag pole was too short for two flags but I remembered an old sawed off hockey stick I had in one of the bins for propping up the bin doors. So, with some metal C clamps, a bit of rope, & a whole lot of duct tape I began re-constructing a longer flag pole.


I was sitting in the chair in the process of fastening the metal flag pole to the old hockey stick when I was aware of sound & movement out on the Old Yuma road off to my right. Two ATV's had slowed & the lead ATV made a direct turn right into our campsite. I immediately figured I was in trouble for something. I grew up under the heavy eye of criticism so whenever anything unusual happens I always figure I've done something wrong. But, that was not to be the case to-day. This was about to be the first of two feeling good events for me. Pete introduced himself & his buddy Ed as they both climbed off their machines. Pete lives nearby & has been following our blog for about a year now. He knew we were in the area & from my vague description a few days ago of where we were, was able to track us down. They had been cruising the area looking for our flag set up that I just posted a picture of in yesterday's blog. Problem was, I had just taken the flag down 10 minutes before to begin working on my flagpole extension idea. However, coming down Old Yuma road they spotted the rig & me sitting in a chair with the flags stretched across my lap. These desert dwellers have sharp eyes. We spent the best part of an hour talking about all sorts of things that RV'ers generally talk about & Ed really liked the color of our adobe painted walls. The fellas were just about ready to leave when Kelly rolled in from Q. I was glad she got to meet them & it was a good feeling knowing someone had taken time out of their day to actually track us down & tell us how much they enjoy reading the blog & seeing the pictures. It was especially nice for me because I'm geared more for negative remarks & not compliments. The boys rode off into the desert & I resumed my flagpole project. Thanks guys:)) ED & PETEPETE WAVES GOOD-BYE AS THE BOYS HEAD WEST TO-WARDS THE MOUNTAINS

Kelly had picked up a computer fan a couple of days ago because I figured it might be a good way to circulate some of the warm blue flame air from the upper half of the coach to the lower half. Pete had given me an idea on how to hook it up so I was sitting on the floor working at splicing some wires when the dogs suddenly let out a bark just as a knock came to our open door. Oh oh, I must be in trouble for something. The big fellow standing at the door said, "Hello, my name's John Brown & I was in the area, I read your blog & just wanted to meet you." Well, to say I was totally befuzzled would be putting it mildly. And just as with the other two fellows ,I felt a certain unease for a few minutes until I realized they were not here to bash me for something I had said in the blogs. I do get a little opinionated at times you know. But two blog followers in one day.........who would have ever thunk it. About 15 minutes into the conversation with John he mentioned he has a website as well & as soon as he said John & Brenda's Incredible Adventure, I knew who he was. Their blog is one of the links on our main page...
We had ourselves quite a chin wag for an hour or so & as so often happens, we seemed to know a lot of the same RV blog people. Always lots of things to talk about & lots of things in common in the RV world. RV folks are never at a loss for words. John's wife had to fly back to Calgary for a bit so John figured he'd take a drive down here south of Quartzite to see if he could find us. He's camped north of Q. Nice fellow. The sun was down over the mountains when John headed back to his rig.


So, all & all, it was quite a pleasantly unexpected day for me. Made 3 new friends & that ain't too bad for a guy who is not exactly people oriented anymore. John touched on that subject to-day when we were talking about spending quality time with oneself. I have felt that for many years now but it's not a subject that is easily discussed with many people. In the RV world a lot of emphasis is placed on the social contact element with people always being to-gether for an unending array of constant club & social events. It is easy for me to understand that lifestyle because I have been there & done that but it is difficult for a lot of those people to understand my/our desire to be off by ourselves boondocking & not wanting to participate in the happy hours, the pot lucks, the line dancing classes, the fire rings, the wheelbarrow races, or the 3 legged grasshopper tickle. Just some quiet quality time playing with the dogs, doing some puttering, soothing music on the satellite radio, soaking up some sunshine, listening to the wind in the trees & watching the magic cloud shadows play across the distant mountain tops. Thanks John, it was nice to hear someone else touch on that subject. MAX SAYING GOOD-BYE TO BIG JOHN

And thanks to Pete & Ed. All you blog follower guys made my day:)))))))

No photos for the web album to-day.


Sunday, January 18, 2009



Another beautiful sunny California morning with a big fiery sunrise beaming through our windshield. Not sure exactly when the decision was made to pack up & head for Quartzite but I guess we just kind of hit on the idea about the same time this morning & before long we were in the process of putting solar panels down, awning up, ground mat & chairs away, etc. Planned to drive over & say good-bye to Butch but he beat us to it when we heard our dogs barking. There was Butch & Kapeesh coming over a rise to see how we were doing. Had us big chin wag for quite awhile & then it was good-bye. Always a sad time for me saying good-bye to people & leaving favorite campsites but soon we had the big wheels rolling & my focus was shifted forward to the new adventures ahead. SAYING GOOD-BYE TO BUTCH & KAPEESH

Dumped the tanks in Borrego & took on fresh water. Hitched the car up near the Kiwanis booth just off Christmas circle & headed out of town. Bye bye Borrego Springs & thanks once again for all the great memories over the past 18 days. Sure hope we get back to see you again.

We decided to take a different route to Quartzite & have us a look at some roads, mountains, & scenery we've never seen before. Down through Ocotillo Wells & on into Brawley. We were both needing a good Wal-Mart fix & we had heard there was a new 6 month old Wallyworld in town. What a great looking store because the outside is done in a southwest architecture theme. I did take a picture of the place, & by the way, we asked, & yes it is RV friendly so it's ok for an overnighter folks.


The scenery east of Brawley just kept getting better & better as we followed highway 78 northeast. Saw the kids on countless dune buggies, ATV's & dirt bikes as we drove through Glamis in the Imperial Sand Dunes. Looked like the Sahara desert with hundreds & hundreds of off road vehicles bouncing over the dunes in every imaginable direction. East of Glamis the highway narrows with no shoulders so you really have to keep your eyes on the road. One wheel off the pavement & your toast. No chance of putting the rig on Auto Pilot & slipping back to the washroom on this road. No sireeeeee!! The further we traveled, the greener the desert became & it was nice to see some actual trees beginning to appear. Soon we would be seeing Saguaro cactus in the landscape again. Really missed them in California. The many majestic mountain ranges along this road just added to the magic of the desert landscape. What a beautiful country this is. OFF ROADING IN GLAMIS

We climbed aboard Interstate 10 just west of Blyth & rolled right through town to the east side where we crossed the State Line into Arizona. We had half a tank of propane & were down to about a quarter tank of gas in the rig but wanted to wait until we crossed the State Line before filling up because of the much cheaper fuel prices in Az. Hadn't thought about the Flying J being the last gas station in Arizona before traffic headed into California where gas prices were much higher so the place was packed with vehicles. We had to get on the end of a long double line up for the pumps but surprisingly enough my impatience didn't get the best of me for a change & within about half an hour or so we were again back on I-10 & eastbound for Q. LONG LINE-UP AT THE GAS PUMPS & THERE'S KELLY UP THERE TELLING THE DRIVER'S TO SPEED IT UP:))

There's a point on the interstate when you come over a rise & Quartzite appears in the valley below. It's from here that you first see the vast spectacle of thousands & thousands of RV's spread out for miles in every direction across the desert floor. We've seen this before but it's always impressive. It was 5 P.M. when we rolled up to the main intersection of Quartzite & the traffic was surprisingly light. We figured it was because all the RV'ers were home strapping on the feed bags because if I remember correctly, the many vendors here close at 4 o'clock. Nice unexpected traffic break for us.

Figured we might as well head to the area that we had stayed at here the past couple of years simply because we know our way around the desert here. About 6 miles south of Quartzite on highway 95 is Roadrunner road & that was our exit off the road as we headed northwest out into the desert.......& hundreds & hundreds, & hundreds of RV's. But, like I said, this was familiar territory so we knew where to head so finally found us a reasonably quiet spot. Nobody near us on three sides but quite a few rigs to the northeast. Oh well, this is January in Q so that means people, people, people. Probably about 5000 people per square foot once you get right into Q itself so I'll be spending the majority of my time right here at the rig with the furry guys:)) Kelly can go into town & do battle with the crowds & go toe to toe with the vendors & merchants. She has a lot more patience for that sort of thing than I do & besides it's a very considerate thing for me to do by staying home. That way she doesn't have to worry about dragging a complaining husband around everywhere or seeing him reduced to a whimpering pile of mush in the crush of the milling hordes of humanoids.

We're able to pick up some television channels here but I'm not so sure that's a good thing. For the past 18 days we have been without television & it wasn't until we turned on our television to-night that I realized how great the past two & a half weeks have been. No gloom & doom news, no phony cop shows, no ram jam hokey local commercials, & no "happy gang" jokesters on the local news channels. I had really taken a liking to our nightly DVD movie nights, which brings me to last night's movie, "The Straight Story." It's the true story of Alvin Straight who drove his lawn mower, towing a trailer, all the way from Iowa to Wisconsin to visit his ailing brother Lyle. This is a simple movie with no Hollywood glitz & glitter. No overblown & over the top hero figures. No stupidity, no bad language, & no phony characters. Just a simple movie with a simple story. Can you tell I liked it:)) Especially loved the instrumental violin & guitar sound track.

I uploaded the Borrego Ranch photos from yesterday to the web album this afternoon & have also uploaded some photos from to-day. I took a series of pictures with a 135mm telephoto lens of our campfire last night & have decided to include them all in the album because of their colors. Ok Al, back yourself away from the computer & go to bed..................please!!