Palm Trees in southern Florida

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Hard Luck Crossing, New Mexico

The RTR is over, so we've moved closer to town. 

The RV show in Quartzsite has started, this draws the people. 
I like the show! All shapes & sizes of RVs and people are both here in the desert, and in town where everything is for sale. 

The RTR ended with Burning Van, it's a cardboard van that people write on, not a real van as several called in to BLM to report. 

Burning van!

The van burning tradition started 3 years back & comes with a song. I didn't remember it but they had a copy. There was a talent show before the closing, and there are some really talented people here!  All in all, I had a good time & the size that the RTR has grown to did not affect the vibe I got from the people there.

At the big RV show tent on the second day (not as crowded), we talked to the folks hiring workcampers for Adventureland (I'd worked there twice), the Sugarbeet Harvest, and the people looking for workers at the Grand Canyon. I looked at what the four companies hiring camp hosts had to offer, and said hello to the Amazon camperforce recruiter.

We went shopping too! A new & bigger mat for our front porch, ice cream cones & a really good Gyro! We passed up lots & lots of stuff & saw great ideas for a couple of things. It was a very successful show visit.

We went across the border to Blythe California to look around to see what's changed since I was there last. Gasoline was a dollar more than here in Arizona!  Smart & Final still had those fine rotisserie chickens and more shops were closed.

About Hard Luck Crossing -

I was looking on a map of New Mexico, I was trying to locate the Very Large Array (radio telescope collection) to put on my "To-Do map" (VLA has tours the 1st & 3rd Saturday of the month), and noticed a town called "Hard Luck Crossing" in New Mexico.

I went to the internet to find out how it got that name and struck out! Now I'm going to have to go to Hard Luck Crossing and find out, maybe there will be a plaque? Maybe someone at the local diner will know? Wanting to find out is a good enough reason to go take a look! I put it on the "
To-Do" map!

We will be heading towards Yuma for some of the BLM camping, warmer weather, and a trip to Los Algodones, Mexico for the dentist, glasses, prescription drugs, lunch & to try out our passports!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The RTR & boondocking

We're out here in the Quartzsite free 14 day area with a lot of other people enjoying "Bob Wells' RTR".  It's not just the RTR, there are different groups and individuals all over the place out here. 

Van & RVs this year

This has been a huge year for the RTR with probably over 2,000 people attending. It looks crowded but the positive vibe I get from everyone is still here.  It's been a good time!

Quartzsite in January is RV country, RVs are scattered across the desert surrounding the I-10/ Hwy 95 crossroads. There are innumerable tents in town, with vendors selling everything! 
Much of it to do with RVs and an equal amount of rocks and gems. There is a big tent RV show starting on Saturday the 20th and a rock show going on right now down at the west end of town.

I have spent two other winters in this area.  
2012-2013 I was in a Class A at an RV park in town, it was cheap and centrally located so I could ride my bike everywhere around here. There was lots to see!  
2014-2015 I was in a van hanging out with the vandwellers here in the Quartzsite area and down by the CA/AZ border by Ehrenberg and the Colorado river. 

Sunset over the Colorado river

The show was in Quartzsite in January, for the rest of the time I had good friends, lot's of sunshine and fantastic sunsets. Very pleasant.  I don't recall wearing shorts all that much those winters.

The weather has been great this year, I've been wearing shorts the whole time but it does look like some cooler air is coming in this weekend.

We are boondocking in the desert & it has been good with lots of sunshine!  With the cooler weather coming, we are also getting more clouds.

Our electrical needs have been met by the two 170 watt solar panels mounted flat on the roof.  The full sunny days get the batteries full by Noon for the most part.  Not so on cloudy days. The last winter I spent here depending on solar for my power was great until we had two days of rain & clouds. This RV has a generator if we need to charge the batteries and we are not going driving.

Our fresh water is taken care of by a tank onboard the RV, as is the propane. Our waste water is taken care of by three tanks. One for the toilet, one for the shower & the third for the sinks. The propane covers cooking, the refrigerator and the furnace.

Seven days ago we stopped in town & for $14 dumped all the tanks then filled up with fresh water (filtered with reverse osmosis) before we came here & parked.  The propane was 3/4 full at that time. This morning the fresh water is almost gone, as is the propane.  On 50 degree mornings we run the furnace to take the chill off, the furnace really eats propane!
The waste tanks should be just about full too, so it's time to take the house into town, to dump & refill everything! 
(It was $33.05 for the dump, water refill & propane)

The big tent RV show opens on Saturday, the RTR ends Sunday  & our 14 day BLM pass expires next Tuesday ... but there are a whole mess of other places to go in this area within a short drive.  Picking which one is the hard part!

We're 2 hours from Yuma (south), two hours from Lake Havasu City & the London Bridge (north) & 5 hours from the Santa Monica pier/end of I-10 and the Pacific Ocean (west).
They each have different things going for them.

Quartzsite, Lake Havasu City, Yuma & the Santa Monica Pier

Decisions decisions.....

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Doing the Texas two sleep...

December ended and it was time for us to head towards Quartzsite, so we packed up and hit the road. 

We made it all the way, up to Cobb camp (by Lake City, FL) and spent a couple of nights.  We left just before the weather got real poor. So poor, in fact, that our friends were evacuated for a couple of days!

Cobb Camp by Lake City, Florida

I'd like to say that we are on the never-ending quest to wear shorts & flip-flops, but that is just not always so. I've had long pants on for a week now...

I have to admit that this is rushing things, but I really wanted to see Florida and I wanted to show my bride Quartzsite in January.  We didn't get either done last winter, so we rushed this part. 
With the car problem, we didn't get to see as much of Florida as I wanted. 
The Treasure coast has waited 50 years for me, it will wait a bit longer.

Northern Florida, then I-10 Westbound. A rest area in Mississippi, a very nice one ... I was impressed with the quality of the place. Even had an RV dump station!

The Escapees RV Club "mother park" in Livingston Texas was our next stop for a couple of days.  We had some business to take care of and it was another place with lots of friendly people. 

Then we stopped at a rest area in Texas and the next night we were out of Texas.  
Yes we spent an extra night in Livingston but that doesn't really  count on getting thru the HUGE state of Texas via I-10, we did it in two sleeps!

In New Mexico the White Sands National Monument and the free dispersed camping area were great. That was a spot I could see spending a few days at & exploring more.

The free dispersed camping area

Inside the White Sand dunes area 

A night at a rest stop in Arizona then continue to Quartzsite and arrive in the day.

Under $2, it had been awhile since I saw this

We found gas for under $2! 
I had to use a membership card to get the extra nickle off but it was under $2!

We arrived at Quartzsite!

In Quartzsite

Got settled in the first day, did some shopping in the tent area & went to visit some friends the second day.

I'd forgotten how good the mountains down here look!