Monday, February 29, 2016

City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 2

The Trailer Under the Stars
Monday, February 29, 2016, City of Rocks State Park, NM, Day 2, 0 Miles, 4,615.2 Miles for the Trip

Happy Leap Year to all! A slow day that, after my morning walk, was spent sitting around the campground. While sunny & temperatures in the mid 70's, it was a windy day so while sitting out I kept having to choose between shade, shelter from the wind, and sun to warm up. Never satisfied!

I did take some night photos last night. These are 20 second exposures (at f:2.8 & an ISO of 1250). While a longer exposure would let me include fainter stars, or a better image shot at a lower ISO, unless you have an equatorial mount for the camera, any longer than a 20 second exposure turns the stars into streaks. In fact, I may point my camera at the North Star (aka Polaris) & do a long exposure to make a star circle tonight. For the second wide image I waited out the airplanes - a pain to do on a 3 image panorama!

This is one of the few campgrounds that actually gets dark. Until moon rise, the only light was from the stars. I used a flashlight to show the trailer in the photos that include it. I also retook the campsite photo with the sun behind the rocks - no flare, and wandered around photographing some of the rocks.  More nighttime & rock photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I have new neighbors - they are from Germany, brought their VW camper van over to Nova Scotia, and are taking a 1 year tour of the US. They have a blog of their travels, although unless you read German, you will have to use the Google translator link they provide to read it.

Assuming the wind dies down enough to get the stove out to cook it, dinner will be a smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage sandwich, broccoli, & beans.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, February 28, 2016

City of Rocks State Park, NM

Site 5, City of Rocks State Park, NM
Sunday, February 28, 2016, City of Rocks State Park, NM, 193 Miles, 4,615.2 Miles for the Trip

I got my usual "travel day" start at 8:45 this morning and headed east. The original plan was to stop at the Chiricahua National Monument, but the campground was pretty full, and not reservable on the day before arriving, and the main road through the monument is closed. That would add a couple of additional miles to a 6 mile hike that I wanted to do, so I decided to put it off until another trip.

I headed for one of my favorite New Mexico State Parks, City of Rocks. You would think I had enough of rocks with yesterday's wanderings around the Dragoons, but here the campsites are interspersed with the rocks.

Most of the other times I've stayed, it was only for a night or two & I usually took a site in the Electrical hookup section. The non electric sites are much nicer, and this time the electric sites were all filled, so it is back to dry camping. I'm in site 5, also known as Aquila, for a week at $7.00 per night. The sites in the park are named after constellations. While dry camping, the park has restrooms with showers not too far from my site.

Please excuse the flare on the site photo - the sun was into the lens & the Nikkor 24-70mm lens doesn't like that! The second image is the view from my front window. Looking at both, you can see why the campground is one of my favorites.

While there is strong 3G Verizon coverage with my outside antenna & amplified Jetpack, my iPad only gets a slow 1X service. No AT&T at my site or the office, so I won't be talking on the phone. I do expect to be using the furnace - while it is a pleasant 75°F this afternoon, nighttime temperatures are expected to be in the mid 30's all week. Dinner will be a Santa Fe Salad.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson, AZ, Day 4, Amerind Museum & Dragoon Rocks

Dragoon Rocks, AZ
Saturday, February 27, 2016, Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson, AZ, Day 4, Amerind Museum & Dragoon Rocks, 0 Miles, 4,422.2 Miles for the Trip

A quiet Saturday morning at the campground. I decided to visit the Amerind Museum today. Not only was the museum & art gallery interesting and very worthwhile (no photographs allowed) but there are many Dragoon rock formations on the museum grounds. I wandered through the picnic area and took many photographs, including a few of an old set piece for the movie "3:10 to Yuma".

After that I stopped next door at the Triangle T Ranch & the Rock Saloon & Grill for lunch. There is an very impressive rock behind the bar. Lunch was pretty good. There is a painting on one wall of the bar that has the faces of many of the actors that made films in the Dragoons. While I didn't recognize all of them, I did ID John Wayne standing behind the fire wearing a blue bandanna. They also have a campground (with full hookups) at the ranch as well as horse rides, weddings & casitas (the buildings, not the trailers). Many more photographs at today's LakeshoreImages page.

The wind came up during the late afternoon, and a neighbor's awning flipped over the roof of their Class C motorhome. We fiberglass trailer owners tend to go overboard knocking the build qualities of "Stickys" (the term used for traditional stick built trailers), but in this case it is well deserved. The Phoenix awning was attached to the side of the motorhome with two #10 3/4" sheet metal screws. Needless to say, flipping the awning across the roof tore it loose. I helped him fold up the remains...

Since I had a large lunch, dinner was just a couple of snacks.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, February 26, 2016

Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson, AZ, Day 3, Tombstone & Bisbee

The Copper Queen Hotel, Bisbee, AZ
Friday, February 26, 2016, Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson, AZ, Day 3, Tombstone & Bisbee, 0 Miles, 4,422.2 Miles for the Trip

After breakfast and a stop at the local Walmart to replace a deflated pillow, I decided to play tourist. The plan was to go to Bisbee, a town I skipped on the last trip through the area. Since AZ 80 goes through Tombstone, I really played tourist & stopped for a couple of photos. At least I didn't wait around for the shoot out at the OK Corral that is reenacted multiple times per day (although I did photograph it the last time through).

The Courthouse Museum hasn't changed in the 2 years since my last visit in 2013, but I took a few photos during this visit. I included one of a collection of photos of Cochise County Sheriffs - for the J. A. Jance's Joanna Brady fans, not a woman among them!

After that it was on to Bisbee. The town is built onto the side of a hill so taking photos of some of the historic buildings was tough. I included a few, and a couple of panoramas. As usual, don't try to click on the large versions unless you have a fast connection & lots of data available.

On the way back to Benson I stopped at a combination Monastery/RV Park outside of St David, a few miles south of Benson on AZ 80. I suspect The Holy Trinity Monastery is the source for the Monastery/RV Park that appears in some of J. A. Jance's novels. The RV Park sign is to the left in the photo. An unusual combination! That & the rest of today's photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was the "All You Can Eat" Baked Cod dinner at the Galleano's Italian & American restaurant. Twp large pieces of excellent fish, scalloped potatoes, coleslaw, bread sticks, and a cup of clam chowder, all for $13.90 (including tax). Restaurants are far less expensive here in the southwest than at home. I'm being spoiled!

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson, AZ, Day 2 & Dragoon Rocks

Dragoon Rocks, Texas Canyon
Thursday, February 25, 2016, Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson, AZ, Day 2 & Dragoon Rocks, 0 Miles, 4,422.2 Miles for the Trip

Well, it did get cool overnight, it was 32°F at 5:30AM. No problems with the waterline or sleeping warm - the electric heater did fine. I did have a minor problem around 7:00AM - my Progressive Industries EMS-HW30 kicked off the electricity because the input voltage dropped below 105V. Most of the drop was at the pedestal - the Sunblocker next to me probably fired up the electric side of his heat pump & we both feed from the same post. My electric water heater had kicked on, drawing 10 amps. The rest of the trailer even with the electric heater was only drawing 7 amps. The total of 17 amps was enough to kick out the EMS. I'm glad I added an interior switch for the 120V side of the water heater - saved going outside where the built in switch is located.

After breakfast I did the usual forum & blog reading, then headed around 15 miles east on I10 to Dragoon Road to photograph the rocks in Texas Canyon. I never found the trail head for hiking through the rocks, only posted signs for ranches in the area, so the few photos are from the road. A great view of the rocks is available at the west bound rest stop in the Canyon, however it was closed, and blocked off so you couldn't stop for photos. A couple more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the campground to do laundry. I was tempted to hit the swimming pool, but it is really too small to do laps. After turning around I'd only get one stroke before I reached the other side!

I did some reading, currently one of the few J. A. Jance novels I haven't already read. Found a hard cover copy at the campground exchange library. Her Joanna Brady novels should really all be read in order since they follow the life of a woman sheriff of Cochise County (The Arizona county where I'm currently located). While it is nice to fill in the holes, knowing what will happen in the future takes a little away. In any case, I don't think I'm missing too many more...

Dinner was a turkey Bubba Burger, broccoli & sauce pan beans.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson, AZ,

Site 31, Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson, AZ
Wednesday, February 24, 2016, Valley Vista RV Resort, Benson, AZ, 86.2 Miles, 4,422.2 Miles for the Trip

A short drive today, although a strong headwind for much of it. Kind of unfair - I am used to a headwind when traveling west, but expect that if any, there will be a tailwind going east. In any case, I was getting between 8 - 10 MPG for most of the drive in stead of my usual 15. The consolation was gas was $1.27 per gallon in Tucson.

I was planning to stop at Catalina State Park in Tucson, but decided to call ahead to see if they had sites since it is close to the city and often filled. I wanted to stay a couple of days, but they didn't have anything unless I wanted to move each morning. So, I continued on down the road to Benson, AZ. I'm in the Valley Vista RV Resort, full hookups with cable for $31.57 per night, or $1.57 more per night than the usual water & electric Arizona state park charge.

I'm going to explore some of the attractions in the area, so I signed up for 4 nights. It is a typical in-town RV park - close to your neighbor sites, but it includes a pool, hot tub, huge library, and laundromat. The town is at 3586', so I suspect it will be cool overnight. I did check at the office & they said they have not had frozen water hoses, so I did hook up to both water & electric.

I did a bit of food shopping at the local Safeway, then drove back to the trailer for some reading & relaxing. I decided on pizza for dinner & picked up a small pizza at R & R Pizza Express. A little disconcerting in that the place was completely empty at 5:30, but the pizza was good.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Picacho Peak State Park, AZ, Day 2

Moon Rise
Tuesday, February 23, 2016, Picacho Peak State Park, AZ, Day 2, 0 Miles, 4336.0 Miles for the Trip

I have to admit having unlimited electricity is a plus. Last night I could leave the lights on as much as I wanted, read with the double LED on over my bed, ran the heat at 70°F with the electric heater instead of trying to save propane & noise by keeping the furnace at 58°F. Cooking the enchilada dinner was far easier in the toaster oven than in the Dutch oven. All it took was one day for me to get soft!

I did take a couple of photos during sunset & moon rise last night. Nothing special, but the saguaro cactus are kinda neat against the setting sun. I should have got out the tripod for the moon rise - the image is a bit soft, but that huge orange moon looked OK as well. The sunset photo is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I didn't do much during the day. It was windy & cooler than yesterday but I did get to sit outside. I had to stay in my chair - if I got up it blew over. I did go for a walk around all three loops of the campground.

Keeping with the toaster oven theme while I have 120v electricity, I baked a couple of burritos for dinner.

Until tomorrow -

Monday, February 22, 2016

Picacho Peak State Park, AZ

Site B1 at Picacho Peak State Park
Monday, February 22, 2016, Picacho Peak State Park, AZ, 201.4 Miles, 4336.0 Miles for the Trip

Last night around 5:15, the wind died enough that I decided to make spaghetti. While it took a bit longer than normal to boil the water, it worked. After dinner, I packed most of the rest of the trailer stuff in preparation to leaving in the morning. Had a final chat with my non trailer neighbor during the last week. He has quite a set up in his SUV for traveling roads that my RAV4 wouldn't even think of trying.

This morning I read a few blogs & forums, then headed out around 9:00AM. I stopped to take a photo of one of the cabbage picking machines & crew on my way down US 95 on the way to I8 East. I decided to stop for 2 days at Picacho Peak State Park since it was around my usual traveling distance on the way to Big Bend in Texas. I'm in site B1 (a site I was in during November 2013, on a previous trip.) Electric only for $30.00 per night. Arizona campground costs are going to do some damage to my average camping costs (current average before Picacho Peak is $7.59 per night), at least compared to the last three months. Although tempting, I'm going to pass up the climb to the top of Picacho Peak, something I managed to do in 2013.

One big advantage of a real campground - they have showers. I'll be able to take one for as long as I want & actually be able to turn around. While I appreciate the Escape "wet bath", they do their best to conserve space in their 17B. I just barely fit! Since the nighttime temperatures are going to be in the 40's, I'm going to take a shower this afternoon.

Fiberglass trailers are well represented here at the campground. There is a Casita 17 across from me & a nice lady from Washington State in a Scamp located further down the hill in the same loop I'm in. She was at the Quartzsite Rally, although we didn't meet there - somehow with 185 trailers present, the chances of meeting everyone is almost impossible! We talked a bit about some of our favorite places here in the west. Then it was back to the trailer to relax & do some reading. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was an Cheese Enchilada since I can run the toaster oven for the first time in over 90 days.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 7

Sunday Concert at the Gravel Pit Ramada
Sunday, February 21, 2016, Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 7, 0 Miles, 4134.6 Miles for the Trip

I found another Casita fiberglass trailer on my morning walk. While the Trillium left, there are still 3 fiberglass trailers at Imperial Dam. After breakfast I took a photo of the daily golf game. The course is interesting - They clear the rocks from the starting location, and attempt to land on the cleared area around the "hole". No grass, but lots of rocky, sandy ground between holes.

After doing some reading, including the Sunday hometown paper, I watched them set up for the Sunday concert at the Gravel Pit Ramada. A collection of volunteer musicians that gather to play & sing on Sunday afternoons. One of the more popular attractions at the campground - the parking lot & Ramada are both full. I can listen at my campsite overlooking the area. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I did attempt to edit the hummingbird video I shot yesterday, however I'm rusty enough on the current version of Adobe Premiere that it isn't going to happen. Here is a link to the unedited clip at YouTube. By the way, the soundtrack isn't the hummingbird - there was a helicopter going by when I made the video.

I did some early packing, putting away the hummingbird feeder, the portable solar panel, etc. I'm planning on leaving Imperial Dam tomorrow & slowly heading east.

The wind has come up to the point where I'm not sure I can cook outside. The plan was spaghetti & meatballs, however it may be too windy to boil water. I'll wait until around 5:00 & decide between spaghetti & soup cooked on the stove inside.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 6

Saturday, February 20, 2016, Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 6, 0 Miles, 4134.6 Miles for the Trip

I keep saying (well, typing) "Another quiet day at Imperial Dam", but that is what it is. I discovered a Casita fiberglass trailer across the way from mine. Walked over & chatted with the owner for a bit. He is another long term camper at the AZ/CA LTVA's.

I made a full sized breakfast after my walk - Bacon & Pancakes. After that it was sitting & reading. While the temperatures are comfortable at 80°F or so, the sun is strong enough that finding shade is necessary. The wind is a bit less than yesterday.

After lunch I went in search of a cell phone signal, not for the hotspot (Verizon provides good 4G coverage at my site) but AT&T to talk with my son & friends. Two years ago I found a good signal at the top of the hill near one of the bathrooms, but this year only one bar & no voice connections. I drove to the golf course near Hidden Shores and managed to get 3 bars & a connection to call my son. All is well in Oswego, although strange weather. Snow, then rain, rain something usually unheard of in February. In any case, it is warmer here! I tried to make a FaceTime connection to a friend currently in Key West, FL, but no luck.

Dinner was a southwestern salad.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, February 19, 2016

Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 5

Friday, February 19, 2016, Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 5, 0 Miles, 4134.6 Miles for the Trip

Another do nothing day at Imperial Dam. During my morning walk I found another fiberglass trailer on the other side of the campground. A young man in a Trillium that is traveling with others in a 5th wheel. I didn't talk long; they were packing up to leave.

After that I pretty much sat around reading, taking some movies of hummingbirds that are pretty useless without a lot of editing which I may try to do tomorrow. I did spend about 10 minutes playing my Navajo flute & no one ran away...

Dinner was the rest of the Walmart fried chicken.

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 4

Sunrise at Imperial Dam
Thursday, February 18, 2016, Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 4, 0 Miles, 4134.6 Miles for the Trip

A bit cooler today, although a warm night. Lots of cloud cover at dawn produced a great sunrise.

After a long walk to the end of Senator Wash Road (the dirt section in the campground) I had a quick breakfast, then read my usual forums & blogs. Around 11:00 I headed to Yuma to pick up my Allstate NY "Proof of Insurance" documents. While my NY office sent them a copy of the insurance card, they didn't need it since all Allstate offices can access the records for any client.

While there I did a little shopping at Walmart. Lots of snack food as well as some of the supplies I had run out of. I should have held off on the fruit & vegetables; lots of stands along US 95 on the way back to the campground. There are also many fields growing cabbage & other winter vegetables. I drove by a picking operation - couldn't stop for a photo, but it was quite a system that went directly from a growing cabbage to packing in a box ready to ship.

After putting the food away, I ate Walmart fried chicken for an early dinner. Not too bad and there is plenty left over for tomorrow.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 3

Exercise Class
Wednesday, February 17, 2016, Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 3, 0 Miles, 4134.6 Miles for the Trip

Another hot, quiet day at Imperial Dam. Very windy. A bit of a pain - If you keep the windows open, everything inside gets covered with dust, but if you close them, the trailer gets too hot. One of the few times I wish I had hookups so I could close up the trailer & run the air conditioner.

I spent most of the day sitting in the shade outside the trailer. There was an exercise class in the Ramada - interesting that many of the participants didn't walk to it, but drove in their cars...

I made a grilled chicken burger for lunch, and will have something light when it cools off.

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 2

Tuesday, February 16, 2016, Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, Day 2, 0 Miles, 4134.6 Miles for the Trip

Another hot day in the southwest. It hit 92°F during the afternoon. I didn't do much of anything. I did  a mile walk to the dumpsters with a bag of trash (my walk for the day) then sat around reading for most of the rest of it. There was a break during the afternoon - a Karaoke session in the Gravel Pit Ramada just below my site. I took a photo, but for the sake of everyone there, didn't join in!

I tried something different since it was so hot - I made a Bubba Burger for lunch, and plan to just snack for dinner.

Until tomorrow -

Monday, February 15, 2016

Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA

Last Night's Sunset
Monday, February 15, 2016, Imperial Dam BLM LTVA, CA, 76.7 Miles, 4134.6 Miles for the Trip

I don't know if it was just nature, or all the dust in the air the wind created, but last night's sunset was very colorful, so I used it for today's photo.

Finally a day on the road. I headed over to say goodbye to some of those still at Dome Rock, then headed to the La Posa South LTVA dump station, only had to wait for one RV ahead of me, then south on US 95 to the Imperial Dam LTVA. While officially in California, most of the people keep Mountain Time (AZ Time) since most of the places you can easily get to are still in Arizona. While there are a couple or restaurants on the Yuma Proving Ground (that I've never been to), as well as fuel & propane, there is also a stop a bit closer to the campground that has showers, drinking water & propane as well as mail drops. Yuma is the closest town/city, about 30 miles to the southwest.

The weather isn't much different than Dome Rock - a bit warmer, and just as windy. I managed to find my favorite spot empty, so I'm parked just about where I was 2 years ago. I got a request for a photo of my new beard so I included it here just in case someone expects me to look like my beardless image that I used for a couple of the forum avatars. Photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After setting up I took a handful of books to the "Liberry", an Airstream trailer converted to full length bookshelves full of books to trade. I picked up a few & left off even more. After that I sat in the shade & read. While there may be one hidden somewhere, I believe I'm the only fiberglass egg here. I made a round of the area & didn't see any others.

Dinner will probably be soup. I've been snacking all afternoon & don't feel like cooking anything.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 14 & the Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 7

Heading Out
Sunday, February 14, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 14, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip
Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 7

Another warm day, far too warm for Valentine's day. While there are still a few of us left, most of the trailers headed home today. During the afternoon, the wind picked up enough that awnings started being retracted & stuff not tied down needed to be chased. It also spreads a layer of grit over just about everything. I tried sitting out, but the wind made it too cool in the shade, and the sun was too hot when you were out of it. I know, it could be worse. I talked with friends in Binghamton, NY & it was 6°F. I did take the time to read the Syracuse Post Standard - not much new in upstate NY...

After a full day of doing nothing but saying good by to those that left, I headed to Sweet Darlene's for a last dinner. I had a Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich & baked potato for dinner.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 13 & the Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 6

The Dome Rock Camping Area, 2/13/16
Saturday, February 13, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 13, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip
Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 6

I got an early start & went over to Greg's (the host) trailer to watch them make Sopapillas. I thought they were a Dutch oven treat, and while they were cooked in one, it was one filled with oil. They are fried dough. I tried to take a photo inside the trailer, however it was so hot & humid (to get the dough to rise) that my lens immediately steamed up.

After that I headed out to the mountain behind the camping area where I took a photo of the empty campground on the 2nd. A bit more filled today! There are 180 trailers registered as of today, making it the largest fiberglass trailer rally in the world. Too bad we didn't submit to The Guinness World Records!

After that it was time for the soup lunch. Everyone donates a can of soup, and they make up 3 pots - Vegetable, Beef & Chicken. While it sounds a bit strange, the result is actually pretty good. After lunch it was time for the Ladderball competition. I played, and our team made it to the second round before we were soundly defeated. The three winning teams are pictured at the bottom. There is a short LadderBall movie at YouTube. Lots of photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner will be something cool - while I don't want to gloat for my friends in upstate NY where it is snowing, (well, maybe a little) it is in the high 80's here with a very warm sun. After posting I'm heading for the shade.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, February 12, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 12 & the Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 5

A Scamp 13 & Mini Cooper
Friday, February 12, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 12, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip
Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 5

Well, I'm not sure if it was something I ate or just an intestinal bug, but last night wasn't much fun! Little sleep, and about the nicest way to put it is I'm now not sure I can go all the way to Sunday without dumping my black tank. Everything has settled down by this morning.

I decided I wanted a full sized shower, so I gathered the laundry & made a trip to town this morning. It was good to see an empty laundromat & the hot, large shower was great.

After that it was back to the campground & some reading & relaxing. I talked with a couple of people about the trailer, solar, and long term camping & managed to give away a couple of books. I still have far too many in the "already read" pile.

I made a couple of rounds with the camera, including the first Escape 15 at the rally, as well as a Scamp 13 towed by a Mini Cooper. If someone has an Escape 13, it is time to show up so we can say we have at least one of every size Escape ever made! More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I haven't decided what to have for dinner. It will be something simple; I not sure I yet trust my stomach...

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 11 & the Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 4

Music Under the Moon
Thursday, February 11, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 11, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip
Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 4

Well, the frozen stew was OK, but not up to second day stew. I took a couple of evening photos of the musicians performing around the campfire, then headed into the trailer to read.

After a morning walk I tackled the refrigerator door. Not as tough a job as I thought, although taking the lower panel off to get at the hinge location was "interesting". All the dials & push buttons that select the refrigerator mode, light the gas & set the thermostat are in the lower panel, and as it opened up enough to get at the hinge, the dials & buttons all disconnected from their mechanics. The old hinge pin came out OK & fit the new hinge, and everything went back together with much "giggling".

Since I had the door off for about a half an hour to do the hinge, I also defrosted the freezer & cooling fins. I put everything in a cooler and the frozen stuff stayed frozen, so both jobs went well.

Most of the rest of the day was spent sitting & reading, walking around, taking down the Easy-Up (I'm not sure why I put it up other than because I've carried it 5000 miles, so I felt I needed to get it out at least once to justify packing it). I did take a short break to drive into the LTVA to drop off my garbage, and to the grocery store for some lunch meat & ice cream.

After getting back to Dome Rock I made a loop around the trailers with the camera. You can no longer make an accurate count since, due to the rally lasting enough days that some people came, stayed for a week then left. I checked with Greg (the host) and over 150 trailers have registered as of this afternoon. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page and/or page 2 of the Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally.

Dinner will be a cheese brat & salad.

Well, to keep things honest, between the first post of today's page and actual dinner I was full enough from lunch for dinner to morph into cheese & crackers & a hard boilded egg.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 10 & the Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 3

The Ukulele Class
Wednesday, February 10, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 10, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip
Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 3

During my morning walk I brought along the camera and took a few photos. After that it was breakfast & reading a few web pages & forums. I checked, and my website went from it's average 300 hits a day to over 2000 yesterday & is already at 1200 today, so I guess a few people are checking out the rally page. I'll add both sets of today's photos, then will start a second page tomorrow so it doesn't take too long to load the thumbnails.

After that I made a trip to Parker to buy a watchband. I stopped on the way to see why my refrigerator hinge didn't come in (it has been two weeks & they said 8 days) and discovered that it was on today's UPS truck. I picked it up on the way back from Parker. While it is the correct hinge, the pin portion is apparently a separate part & wasn't included. I hope I can get the old pin out of the pieces of the old hinge.

I bought an expansion band for my watch, but it looked like it might be a little too wide, so I also bought a cheap leather one that I knew would fit. When I got back to the trailer I discovered I was right - I now have a leather band with a buckle, something I dislike. At least I can stop looking at an empty wrist to check the time!

I made another run with the camera around the campground, then came in to post today's page. You can check out today's photos at today's LakeshoreImages page or photos for the entire rally starting at the 2016 Quartzsite Rally page.

For dinner, I dug out some of the stew I made a couple of weeks ago out of the freezer. I love second day stew (it is usually better than the day it's made) but have never tried freezing it. We shall see!

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 9 & the Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally, Day 2

Greg Our Host & the Host Trailer
Tuesday, February 9, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 9, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip
Quartzsite Fiberglass Rally Day 2

I'm sure all those that regularly follow my journal updates are positive I starved last night since I forgot to post dinner! Well, it was a salad & a couple of burritos baked in my Dutch oven, so I'm alive & well!

After a long walk around the campground this morning, I decided to make pancakes for breakfast. It was warm enough to eat outside at 10:00 and since I can only cook 2 at a time on my small grill, sitting & eating by the stove is great. After that I registered & got my button & Lance provided a piece of apple berry pie (I don't remember what berry was mixed with it, but it was good & made a great dessert for breakfast!)

I relaxed, talked & read a bit, then made a round of the campground with the camera. I tried to make a large panorama from the upper ridge close to the trailers, but it was too distorted to be useful. Instead, I combined 2 images each to put together a group of panoramas. They start from West to East. I also shot a bunch of individual images. I'll try to add more as the rally progresses. While I'll post the daily photos on my journal, I'm also putting up a 2016 Quartzsite Rally page that will include all of the photos. Today's photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner will be spaghetti & meatballs.

Until tomorrow -

Monday, February 8, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 8

A Hummingbird
Monday, February 8, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 8, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip

A very busy day at Dome Rock. While my count could be way off, I made a loop around the area at 2:15 & the results were 34 Casita 17's, 3 Casita 16's, 3 Scamp 13's, 4 Scamp 16's, 1 Scamp 19, 2 Escape 17's, 4 Escape 19's, 3 Escape 21's, 1 Escape 5.0TA, 3 Olivers, 1 Trillium & 1 Clamshell of unknown brand. Since that time a Lil Snoosy, and a couple more trailers have pulled in for a total of around 68 trailers on the first official early day of the rally.

I spent most of the day talking or reading, and taking some photos of the hummingbirds at the feeder. A blimp advertizing a Peanuts movie went by so I took a photo. I did manage to break my watchband. I've worn an expansion band since high school, so even though I carry a cell phone that keeps accurate time, I'm lost without a wristwatch. I doubt I can find one in Quartzsite, so a run to the Walmart in Parker is in order. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until tomorrow -

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 7

Sunday, February 7, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 7 , 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip

Another beautiful day at Dome Rock. I didn't do a count today, but more Casitas, Escapes, and a Trillium moved in. I went for a long walk before breakfast & climbed to a couple of mines near the top of Dome Rock. While only a mile each way, much of the end of it was quite up hill. By the time I got back it was shirt sleeve warm, so I decided to make hash browns & eggs for breakfast. I would have added bacon, but I didn't have any.

After breakfast I added a couple of alligator clamps to a neighbor's solar panel & received a large bowl of bean soup in exchange. After that it was sitting around reading, and talking with neighbors & new arrivals. I took a break to call my brother on Nantucket island where his cellar is flooded along with his back yard. It has been a wet & snowy winter, and while the back yard has flooded many years ago, it hasn't since 2000 or so. I also called my son in Oswego, and they have been having the driest & warmest winter he can remember. Of course that is because I'm here, not there!

I finally broke away from talking to make dinner around 5:00, and made a run to the LTVA dumpsters to get rid on a couple days of trash. While I'm no longer staying there, my permit that lets me use the services is good until April 15th.

Dinner was a salad & the donated bean soup. A bit different from my 15 bean soup, but good.

Until tomorrow -

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 6

The Southern Sky & 5 Planets?
Saturday, February 6, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 6 , 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip

A couple of people have asked what my "Glowing Ball" looks like. The photo only shows one color (I suppose I could make a movie, but I'll hold off on that), but it slowly dissolves between a variety of colors. I built a bunch white only versions of these in the pre LED days using clear Christmas lamps & a 6" diameter kid's plastic ball for a production of Midsummer Night's Dream that worked well in the dream scene. As you can see from the second photo, after dark the contrast is too much for much color to show, so I took the first photo at twilight.

I got up a bunch of times during the night & towards dawn to take some photos of the 5 planets just before dawn, & the Moon & Venus at sunrise. While I can't guarantee that all five planets are in the panorama, it does include most of the southern sky. I'll leave it up to you to pick them out! More photos at today's LakeshoreImages post.  As usual, don't download the large version of the panorama unless you have a good sized data allotment & a fast connection.

I moved this morning to a site a little closer to the main area so I have to include a new site photo. A bunch of Casitas moved in today - I'll add the total a bit later..

It is going to be difficult to keep an accurate count of trailers since people are arriving all the time & parking all over the place, but a rough count as of 3:30 is 11 Casita 17's, 2 Casita 16's, 3 Olivers, one Scamp 16, 2 Scamp 19's, 2 Escape 17's, and 1 Escape 19. The Escape 21 left for the weekend, but will be back.

Until tomorrow -

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 5

The Tree & Cactus Next Door
Friday, February 5, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 5, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip

I love the weather. It is getting warmer every day (and night). The furnace only ran enough to add 4 amp hours to the battery drain, and most of that was around sunrise, the coolest part of the night/day.

For anyone following my journals, you know I'm obsessed with trees, so I took a couple of photos of the tree next to my current location. I say current, because I may move tomorrow morning. If the space is still available, I'm going to move closer to the main entrance so I will be closer to the Dutch Oven demo & other goings on. While I like my cactus & tree and neighbors, the location is a bit far from the center of things.

After breakfast I checked the propane and found an empty tank. I stopped at Loves to get it filled, waited 5 minutes for someone to arrive to do the filling, gave up and headed to Fill R Up Propane. Same price ($1.99 per gallon), in fact I got a discount because I'm a Vet.

After that it was back to the trailer and sitting outside eating peanuts & reading. I met more new arrivals - as far as I can tell, we now have 3 Olivers, 8 Casitas, 2 Scamp 19s, and 3 Escapes, a 17, 19, & 21.

Since it is Friday, a bunch of us went to Sweet Darlene's for the Friday Jumbo Cod special. Along with excellent cod, the had coconut cream pie as a dessert special, so we all had a piece. Very good pie!

Until tomorrow -

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 4

Thursday, February 4, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 4, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip

I took a long walk around the area before breakfast, then read forums & blogs. Around 11:00 I gathered laundry & headed to town for the laundromat. A good time to do laundry - not at all busy. After getting back to the trailer, putting away all the clothes & fighting to make the latitudinal Escape bed, I spent the rest of the afternoon sitting outside eating in the shell peanuts and reading.

Two more Casitas & a Scamp 19 have moved into the area. It isn't crowded yet, but more are arriving every day. The weather reports look good - improving temperatures every day for the next week & no rain.

Dinner will be left over stew. I even got enough to freeze two batches for the future.

Until tomorrow -

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 3

Wednesday, February 3, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 3, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip

Another cool night, with the furnace running quite a bit even though it was set at 58°F. I walked around the area this morning before breakfast. No new trailers at the time, but during the day another Oliver & an Escape 21 arrived.

After breakfast I drove to Parker to shop at the Walmart & Safeway. I bought the supplies to make a stew since I haven't had one in quite awhile.

There is a cool wind, but hunched behind the trailer in the sun it is nice sitting outside & reading while I stop every 15 minutes to stir the stew. Other than that, I'm not doing much else. I did get a comment at my Blogger page from Lynne to say hello to the the Oliver folks, so I stopped over again to let them know she was asking about them.

Guess what? Dinner was stew!

Until tomorrow -

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 2

The Entire Camping Area 2/2/16
Tuesday, February 2, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 2, 0 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip

No rain & the wind died down to normal overnight. Very cool morning at 37°F and it only warmed up to 55°F during the day. I made a pot of coffee for the first time in weeks - a bit of a long walk to the 76 gas station from here! Plenty of sun to replace the extra amp hours it used to make the coffee & I have to admit, better tasting coffee.

While I was sitting outside 3 Olivers & a Casita wandered into the campground. After exploring the hilltop & other areas, they settled into the area east of me. A nice group of people from the southeast.

I took a break and walked to one of the mountains (well, actually I'd have to call it a hill) to take a photo of the almost empty camping area. I hope to get a chance to do the same on Saturday of the rally to show a full camping area. Don't click on the large link at LakeshoreImages unless you have lots of data & a fast connection - it is around 13.2MB. It and a photo of the new campers is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

By the time I got back it was journal time & dinner. Since I had a large lunch, I'm just having cheese & crackers for dinner.

Until tomorrow -

Monday, February 1, 2016

Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ

I've Moved to Dome Rock
Monday, February 1, 2016, Dome Rock BLM Area, Quartzsite, AZ, 11.6 Miles, 4,057.9 Miles for the Trip

"It was a dark and stormy night". I've always wanted to start a journal entry with that rather hackneyed phrase written by English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton, and last night was the time to do it. It started with even more wind than the afternoon, then the rain started, and finally, thunder & lightning. It was blowing so bad that during a break in the rain I went out & brought in the "glowing ball", afraid I would see it bouncing across the campground. I also "battened down the hatches" ie closed the front window cover since it was rattling in the wind.

By morning it was still gloomy, but the wind died down a bit & it wasn't raining. I went for coffee & got caught in a light rain on the way back to the trailer.

Throughout the day the sun has been peaking out under a layer of clouds & dust, enough that my batteries are back to full, but not enough to provide much warmth. Mel (in the Toyota class C next door) left today for Dome Rock (but not the rally area), and Glenda & Wendy both packed up their Casitas & headed to Dome Rock for an early start to the Quartzsite Fiberglass Trailer Rally, which officially has an early start date on the 8th. I will head over either later today or tomorrow.

It is still blowing enough that only the nearby Dome Rock Mountains are visible, and even those disappear into the dust clouds at times. I drove over to Dome Rock to see what the area the rally will be in looked like. Fairly empty, with one class C in the middle of the planned section. If he stays, he is going to be surprised when 100 small trailers move in! After that I came back to La Posa West to pay some bills, start today's journal entry & put away stuff that I won't use between now & when I move.

Well, I did decide to move this afternoon. No reason, other than who knows what the weather will be like tomorrow. No line at the dump station or water fill so that went quickly. I did have to defend that my "little" trailer was livable for months at a time to an owner of a 38' Class A at the water fill station. He did admit that he was turned away at some of the National Parks for being too big, complained about his gas mileage, and the lack of a vehicle to drive after parking the RV...

I picked out my spot at Dome Rock. So far there are three Casitas & my Escape. Glenda & Wendy are parked a little further back than I wanted, however I'm sure the entire area will fill up over the next two weeks. I have a spot next to a cactus & tree a little further from the road than the last time I was here, but close enough for easy trips to town (which I'll probably be doing for dinner - it is still too windy to cook outside).

Some of the campsites here are works of art. Since my name isn't Kate, I didn't feel right taking the place pictured below, but they did a lot of work on the site.  Photos of the site as well as more of the Dome Rock area at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until tomorrow -