Monday, January 25, 2010

Quartzsite weather

Location, Quartzsite, AZ

I should not have talked about how little rain we had in my last blog. It rained all night Wednesday and all day Thursday. About 4:45 PM Thursday a windstorm with gusts to 79 MPH roared through the area causing hurricane type driving rain and pushing RV’s around. It was quit a ride for a half hour. We had several leaks but none major. I just need to reseal a few vents and sky-lights on a warm day.

The big tent in Quartzsite survived intact as did most vendor tents. There was water everywhere but it soon subsided. By Friday morning it was business as usual.

We moved north of town to our usual Plamosa Road site on Saturday where we set up next to our friend Dick who had been there for two weeks. He left this morning.

We visited a lot of our old Desert Gold RV Park friends at John and Connie’s this morning. Connie made her World Famous cinnamon rolls. Just the mere mention of those rolls brings people from near and far. Thanks Connie, we enjoyed everyone we ate and the conversation also.

When we arrived back at the RV, our friend George had moved his RV over by us from his two weeks of camping with the Wandering Individual Network group. This is a large organized group of Individuals (this year they were 150 rigs) which travel the US. They are on their Western US swing which brings them to Quartzsite each year for the big show. They have been camped about a mile up the road from us.

There are also several other large groups here. One group is all large bus type motor homes and there must be about 150 of those all in one area. It is quit impressive to see. Behind them is the Montana Owners Club (MOC) which has maybe 50 to 75 5th wheel trailers in a circle. I also saw a sign for the Escapees Boondockers group which is what’s called a Birds of a Feather group. All are like minded people who like to camp “off the grid” or “boondock” as we say. All in all, it is a very impressive display of RV’s.

This large group of people also causes some problems as you can imagine. Yesterday when we tried to go back to town around noon, the traffic headed into Quartzsite on AZ 95 was backed up for 5 miles. We decided to turn around and go back to the RV. I can’t imagine where all those people were going to park as parking is limited close to most shopping areas. I’ll bet it was a zoo.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Boondocking in Quartzsite!

Location, Quartzsite, AZ

It is raining in the desert. Not a deluge so far but rain never the less.

And wind….

Enough to rock the RV at times.

We did not get the rain expected on Monday except for sprinkles over night. There have been a lot of grey clouds but most have been to the North of us.

We had an easy trip on Sunday. We left home by 6:50 AM and arrived in Quartzsite by 2:30 PM. We are camped with friends South of Q on Hwy 95 in the Roadrunner BLM area. We can stay here 14 days for free. The only drawback to this area is the amount of traffic that backs up on the highway going back into Quartzsite as it is the only road into town.

I visited the Big Tent yesterday and ran into friends from Ojai, CA and Kingman, AZ as I walked in. We had planned to camp with them later but I think they are going to Yuma, CA tomorrow.

I purchased 3 LED bulbs as replacement for some incandescent bulbs in the RV. The LED’s draw so much less current that I wish I could replace them all but the cost is prohibitive. I replaced the outside porch light and one bulb in each of our light fixtures in the living area. Now to see if they give enough light before I replace the rest.

Clyda and I ran into town this afternoon for a short time. I picked up a light fixture that swivels for over the couch. I am hoping it will provide enough light for reading by. A test is in order as there is no 12 volts nearby so it will be a challenge to make it work.

Weather permitting; I think we will go back to town tomorrow. I need to renew my Emergency Road Service with Good Sam. It is an annual thing I do while here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Projects done, RV loaded, ready to go!!

Location, Home, CA

We have had a very busy week trying to get ready to go and also finish last minute projects. I got a coat of primer on the new front door jam so it is now protected from the elements (more on the elements later).

I have been scanning old 35 mm slides into jpeg files. The scanner saga is another story but really too long to go into here. I think I have finally gotten something that will work so I will take the old Dell laptop and the scanner with us on this trip. Maybe I can get some of the thousands of slides that were stored on a closet shelf scanned.

The shed door is done. Here are some photos of it.

Frame for the Bi-fold door. 

  Finished door closed.                             

Door opened.

I mentioned in the last post that I had airline tickets on hold. They are no longer on hold as I purchased them on Thursday and reserved a motel room on Friday. We should be all set as far as the travel section of our cruise this spring is concerned. We still need to decide what tours we will go on but that can wait a while.

We have almost everything loaded in the RV except for the refrigerator stuff which is kind of last minute anyway.

Now for the elements I mentioned earlier. The weather forecast is projected to be RAINY for most of next week. They are projecting 3-6 inches along the coast and a potential of up to 20 inches on certain South facing mountain slopes. The possibility of mudslides is very large. I think we will get away from here tomorrow before it rains, at least I hope we do. I have no desire to drive in the rain.

We will be with out internet for some time unless we can piggy back on to someone’s WiFi. Always a possibility in Quartzsite.

See you down the road.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Getting closer to going.

Location, Home, CA

I am still working on the woodshed door. I worked on it all day Saturday and all day today. Well, sort of all day. I did a lot of computer stuff also. More on that later. The door is done but I need to cut four narrow strips of wood to finish the siding. I just ran out of daylight today so decided to wait until tomorrow. I also need 2 longer bolts for the hinges. I don’t know how I overlooked that.

Thursday we took the day off and drove to the Santa Ynez Valley with friends Peg and Lee. We had lunch at the Los Olivos grocery store. The make sandwiches and have a small seating section in front where you can eat. After lunch we stopped at Buttonwood Winery where the ladies tasted a few wines and then drove to Sunstone Winery where they tried a few more. It was a gorgeous day in the valley. A perfect time to visit a few wineries.

Yesterday we drove to Filmore in the afternoon where a gathering of friends tried to hash out our May cruise. We all are a little appalled at the extra charges for everything. I have put on hold seats on American Airlines using our miles to get to Ft Lauderdale. It will save us several hundred dollars in air fare. Plus, we don’t need to travel to Los Angeles to catch a flight. I also found a cheaper hotel in Ft Lauderdale than the $350 per night hotels the cruise agent picked. We need to go a day early because of the transit time to Ft Lauderdale from the west coast. I am still not sure we should do this because of the cost. I’m just a penny pincher I guess. We will call it an early 50th anniversary present to ourselves.

On the computer side, I have been running Norton’s System Works from the CD which scans all files and finds inconsistencies such as missing files, missing links, and stuff that should have been deleted but wasn’t when updates were done. All of this makes a computer slow. I think I have improved the speed but there are more things to try if I only had more time.

The last week before we leave on a trip is always hectic for some reason. I guess we leave things to the last minute because some stuff goes with us but we need it in the house until we leave and other things just are natural last minute things, like banking, haircut, fuel, etc. Somehow it all works out.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Busy day yesterday.

Location, Home, CA

Yesterday was a busy day!!! The tree trimmers came and started early. Before they arrived I pulled the 5th wheel out into the street which along with all the other vehicles made for a very cramped street for a few hours. As if we didn’t have enough vehicles on t he street, two of the neighbors had gardeners working at the same time.

All of the branches were piled on the slab where the RV normally sits until they had all the trimming done then they ran it all through the chipper. It took about 5 hours all told until they were done and gone.

Here are some before and after pictures of the tree. The first one is the tree with all its leaves on taken a month ago. The rest were taken yesterday. It is a lot less work when the leaves are off.

In the meantime, I took the truck in to have a safety recall done on it. They put a fuseable link in the cruise control circuit. I guess there have been some fires from leaking fluid. I tested it and the cruise still works for which I am thankful. I use it whenever I can to relieve the strain on my sciatic nerve in my right leg.

I picked the truck up in the afternoon and stopped at the hardware store to buy some galvanized bolts for the new woodshed door I am working on. This is another “gold plated” project. Prices are just “sky-high” on hardware.

I started prepping the new door jam for paint. I need to get at least a coat of primer on it before we leave.

Not everyone is as happy with the new front door color as I am. It is called "Hollyberry".

Today I worked more on the shed door, bought some pressure treated 2x4s, redid some of my earlier work around the door when I had no idea how I was going to build the door, and mounted 2 hangers in the woodshed for the long ladders. It takes more time to get out all the tools than it does to do the job. I told Clyda I am sure glad I don’t do physical labor every day as it would kill me. I am really out of shape I guess. What else is new?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lots going on.

Location, Home, CA

Lots of things got done today. The installers came and replaced the front door with a new one. The door had been installed in November but had several flaws. The big box store decided to just replace it. This one has a different sweep on the bottom which is adjustable and closes so nice. I need to fill the screw holes and then prime and paint the jamb.

We also got a call that the gas log for the fire place I had ordered before Christmas was in so I picked it up while doing errands this afternoon. It took about 2 hours to install. It really looks good and the logs are made out of ceramic but look very real.

We got a call that the tree trimmers will be here tomorrow to trim our large Chinese Elm in the back. It really needs it. I will move the RV from the side of the house into the street so they can drag limbs out to the curb to grind them.

Tomorrow morning I will take the truck down for a safety recall. I will just drop it off. I think it takes about 15 minutes to do the work but they want it for a half day. I suppose they will charge Ford for that amount of time.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Starting the New Year.

Location, Home, CA

This is the first entry for the New Year. Our New Years Eve was very quiet. We had a champagne toast and were in bed by 10 PM. Some local fireworks got our attention but nothing to get excited about.

I have been doing lots of things with my computers this week. I removed a hard drive from an old Windows 98 machine and installed it in my desktop unit. Then I installed Ubuntu on this drive with my neighbor Paul’s help. Now I can bring up the desktop in Windows or Ubuntu. I really like the way Ubuntu works but there are some drawbacks also as Windows programs like Streets and Trips don’t work on it.

It is fun to play anyway.

I am also scanning slides with my new Canon 8800F scanner. I am having some problems with it as it stops scanning some slides in preview mode. I get a black bar at the top of the slides when this happens. There is mention of this on the internet but no solution offered. It seems to happen after I have scanned for a while. Heat problem? I don’t know.

We are making plans for hitting the road in a few weeks. Still lots of things to do before then. The truck will go in on Tuesday for a recall repair. Most people on the internet say it is a fifteen minute job while my local dealer wants the truck for a half a day.

I need to work on the asparagus bed to get the old stalks cut and fertilizer added and some of t he other plants fertilized also.

I also need to build a door for the woodshed. It took some time to plan how to do this. I finally decided on a bi-fold door which will allow the door to be full height. I need to take some pictures of before and after. I bought hinges the other day but decided to go with post hangers like I did my other gates. They are galvanized so won’t rust.

Lots to do.