Saturday, January 31, 2009

Camping at Quartzsite

Location, Bouse, CA

Where do I begin! It has been some time since I added an entry to this blog. We left home on Jan 16th and drove to Indio CA. We stayed at the Elks Club which is a first for us. We had a very nice spot with water and electric hookups. It was a perfect place for our visit as it was close to all the activities for the weekend. We attended the fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration of friends Tom and Joanne Quinn. Friday night was a reception for family and a few friends, Saturday afternoon was a celebration Mass followed by dinner. We met all the relatives who could not believe that Tom and I are related. My mother’s cousin Mary Feldbrugge was married to Frank who was Tom’s uncle. Small world.

We left Indio on Sunday after having breakfast at the Elks club and drove to Quartzsite, AZ and “boondocked” with friends south of town for four days. We visited friends Karen and Bill from Wyoming and went to lunch with them and John and Connie who all winter in Bouse.

Later in the week we moved to Plamosa road in our old BLM campsite area with Clyda’s high school friend Michelle and her camping group. We had 6 rigs parked in a circle. We also connected with an old friend George who full times in his motor home and was camping with the WINS (Wandering Individual Network) group a mile up the road from us. We saw him several times.

While camped here we visited all the Quartzsite selling areas several times and purchased several items on my list. I ordered new locks for all the RV compartments, bought 2 new LED bulbs for our reading lights, bought and installed a new solar charger to handle both of my solar panels. It is a digital controller with MPPT technology which boosts the solar panel output for better efficiency. The old analog controller was pushed to its limits by the addition of another panel.

Since we left home I have been fighting toilet problems. I finally pulled the toilet and replace the valve which was leaking. This turned out to be a quick and easy job. After I hooked up the water inlet line it leaked at the connector to the toilet. Eventually I replaced it and then discovered a leak at the floor connector. Not wanting to replace the hose I bought a piece of hose to slide over the bottom connector and put a clamp above and below the leak area. Problem fixed. What a pain to do all of this while boondocking.

We moved yesterday to Bouse and are staying with friends Jack and Judy on their lot. Tomorrow we will watch the Super Bowl and “veg” out.

You are now up to date on all that has happened.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Getting ready

Location, Home

I forgot how much time and effort it takes to pack the RV for an extended trip. I am out of practice I guess.

This morning both Clyda and I needed lab tests done so off we went about 8 AM to the lab. Because both of our insurances changed beginning with January 1, we had to check in with the registration desk. The wait for the lab was about an hour after that. By the time we were both done it was pushing 10 AM and we were hungry so we went to the Farmer Boy restaurant and used our Axxcess Card for a half priced meal. It was very good as it was a breakfast special with pancakes, sausage or bacon, and eggs for $5.99.

From there we had other errands to run so it was after 11 AM when we returned home.

I pruned the apricot tree this afternoon, which only took a few minutes as I had removed the top last year. I also cut and painted several new plywood leveling blocks for the RV. All of my old ones were breaking from setting on rocks while in the desert. Plywood should hold up longer, I hope. The coat of paint is to protect them from the weather.

I started loading a few more items as I think of them. I do use a checklist but find that there are always things that are not on it. For instance: A map of Indio to find the Elks club. I have it loaded into the GPS also; an address for the apartment complex in Austin, TX, if we get that far in our travels; A list of places to possibly stay on out trip along with phone numbers; a heavy load of books to both read and deliver to friends, and so it goes. The list is endless. Anticipating what will be needed is the crux of the problem. I do look forward to the planning as much as anticipation for the trip. Wanderlust I guess, or as some RV’ers call it – Hitch Itch.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Getting Hitch-Itch

Location, Home

We came home on Monday after a very nice New Years thanks to our friends Budd and Brenda. Their hospitality is unparalleled. We decided to drive home via Hwy 14 through Canyon Country as we had not been that way in some time. After driving the old road, as we did many times while skiing at Mammoth, I told Clyda that “we don’t need to do that anymore”. Way too much traffic and stop lights now.

I have been working on the RV in anticipation of leaving next Friday. On Tuesday I replaced the sacrificial anode in the water heater which should be done annually. My first mistake was not relieving the pressure in the water system before removing the drain plug in the heater. BIG mistake! It all came out in a rush and soaked me from head to toe. Not only was I wet, I was covered with white calcium particles from inside the tank. It was very cold also so I changed clothes before I cleaned the tank and reinstalled a new anode. After relighting the water heater and checking for leaks I proceeded on to another project and forgot to turn the heater off until late that evening when I remembered it. Bummer!!

Yesterday I started cleaning the inside of the rig from top to bottom. I washed down all the woodwork, cleaned drawers, oiled the table, and vacuumed the floor, windows, and shades. It looks very nice.

I also ran errands yesterday. I am looking at a Verizon Aircard for internet access while on the road but I am choking on the price. Cheap skate as I am I guess. I hate to pay $200 for the card plus $69 a month. For that price I can turn the service off during the months I don’t need it which is a big advantage. That amount still only gets you 5 GB/month of download usage.

Today Craig and I emptied the water softener and tried to get all the mud and gunk out. To really do a good job we need to disassemble the unit and tip it over. Way too much work right now.

We received a call today from a friend who got burned out in the Tea Fire last November. I had called and left her a message last month but she didn’t have time to return the call. She and her husband lost 2 of their three houses on one street. Their new house which was unfinished survived by some miracle. She said they will rebuild both houses in time. She was the one who first saw the fire and beat on the fire station door. The fireman didn’t think it was anything big. Time proved them so wrong.

Her stories were something. She sifted through all the ashes at both houses looking for items, however not much survived.

With that, I will close for tonight.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

Location, Tehachapi

A belated Happy New Year to all. We have been really busy the last week or so……Ha-Ha……NOT. Actually we have been really lazy here at Tehachapi, sleeping late, eating too much, watching football, playing dominos, and setting a very hard 1000 piece puzzle.

We came over on Wednesday with friends Cindy and Gary from the Bay Area after stopping in Ventura for a good Mexican food lunch. We celebrated New Years Eve here with dominos, watching TV, and champagne. Shortly after midnight we were all in bed.

Yesterday we visited a local winery which one wouldn’t think would offer much in the way of acceptable vintages for this area. However, the owners Bob and Patty Souza are very friendly and offer a variety of local wines besides their own Primatevo brand for tasting. The real high light of the day was the cheese plate you can purchase to go with the wine. It included 2 kinds of cheese, a mild summer sausage, crackers, and a variety of bread pieces to dip in olive oil with balsamic vinegar with herbs and parmesan cheese. The cheese plate high lighted the wine tasting. They also sell clothing, jewelry, and seasonal knick knacks. Check the website at for details.

The Happy Wine Tasting Crew (Clyda, Ed, Budd, Betty, Brenda)