Thursday, February 21, 2013

Back in Bouse, AZ.

Location, Bouse, AZ

We are back at our friends Jack and Judys place south of Bouse.

We stayed 3 days on West Darby Wells Road south of Ajo. It is one of the nicer dry camps we have ever had. The weather was beautiful and we hated to leave.

On Saturday we drove south to Organ Pipe National Monument. We had been here several years ago and of course the border crossings into the park had created lots of media hype in recent years. And yes, a young park ranger was killed in 2002 by drug smugglers however; the park is well patrolled by both park rangers and border patrol.

The campground is so nice that we wish we had camped there for a few days. It is laid out in a fan shape on the side of a hill over looking Mexico. All sites have paved pads with water nearby. For only $6.00 with the senior card it is a great deal.

On Sunday we drove to Quartzsite and camped over night at Rice Ranch. We walked around the Rice Ranch and Tyson Wells selling areas but there are few vendors now.

On Monday morning we had the rig in Lifestyles shop to have the water heater looked at and the low point drain valves replace. Both valves were cracked and leaking so we could not let our water pump on when it was not being used as it would cycle on as the water pressure dropped.

While the RV was in the shop we went to the bakery for pastries and then to the selling area near the Post Office. We got the low down on town politics from the lady selling metal gee-gaws. She told us that last year the seller permits were down 300 from the year before and this year they were down 700. That’s 1000 permits in 2 years. Many sellers we talked to said they aren’t coming back.

So, who will take the place of Quartzsite in coming years? Tucson has taken over the gem and mineral aspect of Quartzsite. The general sellers need some place to go. I was told that an area in Tucson is slowly becoming a selling area. Maybe it will take the place of Quartzsite in the future.

We had lunch with jack and Judy and EJ and then checked out the fabric and bead store. Eventually the RV was done but they didn’t have an electric heating element so we picked one up at Gamblers which I will install later. A few Ben Franklins later, we picked up the RV after buying some groceries, and proceeded to Bouse and got parked just in time for cocktail hour.

Yesterday I moved a few wheel barrow loads of rock for Jack and then installed the water heater element. Of course that meant draining the hot water heater. I had put in a new sacrificial anode this summer but it already was deteriorating so I put in a new one from my spare supply. After I removed the electric element I saw lots of calcium deposits in the water heater so I flushed them out with the help of a wire hook and the water hose. BAD DECISION! With the electric element out, the water ran back inside around the outside of the water tank and inside the RV under the sink soaking part of the carpet. I knew this before I started the job but completely forgot about it as I was cleaning the tank. BUMMER! I need someone to follow me around and whack me up side the head when I am about to screw up.

Lots of paper towels and bath towels later mo9st of the damage was cleaned up. The carpet however will take a while to dry. It only reinforces our decision to remove the carpet this summer and replace it with vinyl flooring.

Lots of wind yesterday. Overnight it rained and today we have snow on the mountains to the east and intermittent showers including some hail. Temps are in the 40’s.

We have a general plan for the next couple weeks as far as our travels go. Once we leave here on Monday, we will be heading home slowly. There is more dry camping planned and visits with friends before we park the rig.