Monday, January 26, 2009

Peg's Hike To The Painted Canyon

Indian Waters was offering a hike today for anyone who wanted to see the Painted Canyon 25 miles southeast of Indio at Mecca Hills. Peg along with 6 others and the guide ventured out for an entire day to see the sights in the canyon.

The canyon is part of the San Andreas Fault system. She climbed up a steep incline at one point and at the top, there was a view of the Salton Sea. To get down, almost everyone had to slide down on their butts in one area. The hike was suppose to be moderate, but Peg thought it was a bit tougher than they had said.

Check out all the photos she came up with...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Slab City, Mud Pots

This is an exploring day. Ron and Wanda and Peg and I decided to go to several places we have heard about but have never been to. First, Ron and Wanda had to go to Niland to look at some investment property they were thinking of buying. After checking out that town and having lunch, we ventured to the Salton Sea. A beautiful body of water that is 376 Sq. miles of salt water lake not connected to the ocean. A dike broke on the Colorado River in 1905 and the intense flow of water formed the Salton Sea. We pulled over into a park along the water and got some great photos.

Next we were headed for a place called Slab City. Sounds kind of morbid but what it is is an area that used to be owned by the military and it was used for housing for Marines. That was many years ago and the homes that were located on concrete "slabs" have long since been removed or deteriorated. This 640 acre area is now over-run by RV's of all kinds. Many, I'm sure, are permanent residents. Some RVs are on the concrete slabs and some are just parked on the dirt in this desert area.

When you first enter Slab City, you see Salvation Mountain. Lenard Knight, 77 years old, broke down at this place 24 years ago and ended up staying for life creating something to convey the message that God loves everyone. Lenard led us on a tour of the mountain taking us back into the mountain which is built with hay bales, adobe, tires, tree limbs, etc. and not to mention over 100,000 gallons of paint! Pretty cool! In the slabs are a church, library, singles club, night club, the Range (an outdoor performance arena), murals and a golf course. Amazing!

To finish up the day we headed for the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge and we were in search for some active mud pots we heard about. We finally found them on the corner of Schrimph and Davis roads. We were able to actually walk up to these geothermal, boiling mud pots for a really close look. Peg and Wanda were laughing hysterically when they heard the blub, blub sound the mud was making.

Check out our video and hear and see for yourself!!
video

Friday, January 23, 2009

Back to the Indian Waters RV Resort....Our Home Park

We left the campground at Quartzsite this morning at 8:30. Ron and Wanda left with us. We headed for a close-by Flying J to fuel up. We also met Rod and Jean and Bob and Marlene there in Ehrenberg, AZ. We were all going to Indian Waters RV Resort in Indio together.

Peg and I ended up in one of the handicapped sites since we have a handicapped sticker. It seemed to be one of the nicest and biggest sites in the entire park. The park was quite full. Ron and Wanda ended up in the rock area with no grass, since they came in under ROD.

At happy hour, we were discussing the battery fill system I purchased in Quartzsite for the chassis batteries. Since we got the batteries new in December, Interstate Battery had changed the caps on the new batteries and the system I bought would not go on. After several calls and e-mails I found that nothing would work for these batteries. Rod wanted to get the filler for his batteries and we worked it out so he bought my system.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Last Days at Quartzsite

Our last days in Quartzsite were going by quickly. Peg, Lew and Ray (and sometimes Ron) would walk each early morning for a few miles for some exercise. We had happy hours each evening and sat around the campfire talking for many of the nights. The stars were so bright out in the desert and you could see constellations protruding through the evening sky that you would normally not notice. Here is a photo of a morning gathering around the campfire ring!

We went back into Quartzsite for the show a few times as well as videotaped the interview with John from Truck System Technologies. We also bought a few necessities.


On one of the excursions, Peg bought some beads to make a necklace. Glenda who was part of our group told Peg she needed spacers and different wire to put it together. The next day Glenda, Jerry and Pam got together and got the necklace together after a broken clasp and wire. It came out nice.

Bob was talking to Rod and I about where he stores his sewer hose supports, back by the engine in a tube. I asked if I could see how he has it in the engine compartment and, upon opening the engine access door, was shocked because everything was gone! I happen to catch the look on his face with this photo when he realized it had worked itself out of the compartment and probably ended up on the road somewhere! Guess I won't utilize that spot as storage!!

We all were leaving tomorrow and we got a final picture of most of the Quartzsite crew for 2009. Hope we can make it back next year...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The RV Show Opens in Quartzsite

Today we took a trip into Quartzsite to check out the vendors at the big tent. I was suppose to meet John Friend from Truck System Technologies and he was going to replace the bad sensors for my tire monitoring system. Come to find out, the system I had was not their system! So I offered to do a segment on American RVer with him telling about their TPMS system for a replacement tire monitoring system for our coach. He agreed.

The tent with the vendors was very crowded. Wall to wall people. Note to self: Don't venture to the tent on opening day! We looked at a lot of RV "stuff" and decided on what we would buy before the show was over. So many vendors....So little time!!


For dinner tonight, Ron and Wanda made homemade spaghetti sauce and Lew came up with a new bib for he and I. Funny...Our bibs look more like toilet seat covers! Well. they worked good anyway!!

That night Bob and I got on our motorhome roofs and began shooting the sunset again. Here is Bob silhouetted against the sunset...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Off to Quartzsite

We left Pilot Knob in Yuma, AZ and traveled north to the small town of Quartzsite, Arizona. It's small until the RV show comes to town! We were meeting a bunch of our friends to the north and east of town as we all were dry-camping in the desert.

Lew's directions to the spot in the desert were good. We pulled in and
were greeted by Lew and Dottie, Linda and Andy, Bob and Maribel, Glenda and Ray, Ron and Wanda, Pat and Mel and Darlene and Gene. About a half hour later, Bob and Marlene and Rod and Jean pulled in next to us. Our group was nearly complete.

Lew went into Quartzsite and bought all of us $1 hamburgers and we all brought one other food item to share.


By then it was time to light the campfire, check out the beautiful sunset and settle into some travel talk!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Center of the World - Felicity, CA

The Center of the World...Do YOU know where it is? It is located in the very small town (2 residents) of Felicity, California. The town is named for the founder's wife of the Center of the World. Jacques-Andres Istel founded Felicity and serves as its mayor. French-born, he is considered the father of skydiving in America. He also wrote a children’s book “Coe the Good Dragon at the Center of the World,” which gave rise to him creating this space. In addition, he has a portion of the original steps to the Eiffel Tower. Go to http://www.felicity.us/center for details. It is quite interesting.

Peg and I actually met Jacques and his wife at the center. He did an interview with us for our American RVer show that will air in March. He showed us many interesting things including his current project, all of the History of the World he is having carved in granite. One of his artists was on hand working on a slab as we were videotaping the show. Very cool to see!

Jacques is passionate about his work there and he was an interesting man to speak with!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Algodonas, Mexico - Revisited!

It was time to go back into Mexico and get our dental work done. After we walked across the border, we went to the SANI Dental Group in Algodonas for two dental cleanings. It was a first come, first served type of office. We waited a while and then Peg was called in. I sat outside for a while longer, then I was called in. My cleaning was done by a male dental assistant and Peg had a female. My cleaning went fine but Peg's did not go as smoothly!

The female assistant found that Peg had two small cavities and a filling that was cracked. When she drilled Pegs cavity out, she slipped, twice, and drilled into the underside of Peg's tongue. Ouch! She also did a poor job of filling the cracked filling and did not smooth it out. Peg was NOT a happy camper! Looks like she will have a couple of things redone when we get back to North Carolina.

The rest of the time in Algodonas, we shopped around for gifts for friends. We found some neat items. Of course we were on a liquor run as well! For lunch we ate shrimp tacos at a place several people recommended. They were quite good. We also walked in several marketplaces. They were very colorful areas and we enjoyed hanging out there and watching the people.

We were back in the walk line to get across the border by about 12:15pm and it was already long. It took us 45 minutes to cross and get to where we parked the car.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Visit With Friends

After a rousing church service this morning, we contacted RVing friends of ours who we haven't seen in a year since we were at Desert Shadows in Casa Grande. Jim and Dot Throne were staying at the Sun Vista resort with their motorhome for the winter and Peg and I drove over there to say "Hi" and go out to lunch.

We all had lunch at Famous Dave's. We had ribs and they were great! It was a nice time and we caught up on what has been happening with each other during our long lunch. Jim and Dot have been fulltimers for over eight years now....We hope to see them down the road at some point!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Casa Grande to Yuma and Pilot Knob RV Park

Our stay in Desert Shadows RV Park in Casa Grande was only three nights. Peg had to get an eye exam, I picked up my new stair cover motor from Bob and Marlene as well as the motorcycle, guitar and various other thing we had left with them before we headed to Mexico. Thanks to Bob and also Rod B. for helping to acquire the motor for the step cover while Peg and I were in Mexico. I got the new motor installed while we were here at the park.

We headed out at 11am for our 200 mile journey to Yuma and the Pilot Knob RV Resort. You may recall, the last time we were in Yuma we saw almost nothing since we both were very sick and ended up staying the entire week in the parking lot of the Cocopah Casino. I hoped this time would be different.

You first come into Yuma
though the foothills. Several RVers we know have RV pads in this foothill area. We then passed through the city of Yuma and across the border into California where Pilot Knob is. We had heard mixed things about this park but we thought it was fine, although it was a bit dusty there from the surrounding desert. We ended up not getting a cement pad for our patio area on site 26, so we used our patio rug and that worked out fine.

At Pilot Knob, even though it is in California, they stay on Arizona time since it never changes. I was also told that many people come there from Arizona so it reduces the chore of changing all the clocks in your coach.

While here we will head to Algodonas, Mexico for dental work and visit the Center of the World....Stay Tuned! And here is a sunset picture from our first day at the park!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tubac, AZ & DeAnza Trails RV Park

So, here we are in Tubac, Arizona. A quaint little town that is full of artisans. Peg's cousin Cathy and husband Marshall live just out of town is a beautiful adobe home they build. This picture of Peg, Cathy and Marshall in the living room with the stone fireplace illustrates the uniqueness of this home. Every time we arrive there, they have added a new dimension to the house.

This visit was special since we met up with Peg's other cousins Jerry and Anne. As you probably can tell, they are also RVers and they happened to be visiting Cathy and Marshall and delayed their departure so we could all visit for a day or two. It was interesting talking to them about their travels and about motorhomes in general. We will visit them at their house when we head across country to the east coast next month.

Peg and I and Cathy and
Anne drove into town and went to a few shops. We then went to a museum that had just closed for the day, but the backyard park where some of the pieces were, was still accessible. We had good time looking around and interacting with the statues there. Peg smooching Einstein. I was "playing" with some of the kids there. Cathy found a frog with a wonderful expression on its face. I guess we made our own fun in the back of the museum, and the price was right!

We were staying at the DeAnza Trails RV park for the couple of nights we were in Tubac. It is a nice park with full hook-ups. It was formerly a Greyhound Dog Track that these folks changed over into a RV park. It even has an indoor swimming pool!

From here we head back to Casa Grande, AZ and the Desert Shadows RV Resort...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Leaving Kino Bay

Today we say goodbye to Kino Bay and all the wonderful people we met there. We will have so many great memories of this resort. Three weeks was too short a time to spend there. If we come back someday, it will be for a longer period.

We slowly headed down the dirt road towards town with the motorhome and the car, separately. At least this time we knew what we were in for. We saw our friends, Dan & Diane (from Canada) at the El Cactus RV Park as we were almost into town and we sounded our air horns and they came out and waved goodbye. We were glad to be on a paved road and on our way back
through Kino Bay!

It took several hours to get to the US/Mexican border from Kino Bay.
We took Rt 15, which is a toll road, up to Nogales where the border crossing is located. Here you see the traffic waiting in line at the last toll booth before you get to the 15 km road that takes you to the crossing. At the booth, the Mexican girl was telling me something in Spanish. She spoke quickly, so I was not able to catch much of it. Finally I deciphered most of what she was saying. She said that the traffic was backed up for many kilometers to the border and she said we may want to turn around. Right! Turn around and go where? So, we continued. It was slightly uphill from the toll booth and after about 1/2 mile, after we peaked the hill, we saw what she was warning us about. Apparently this weekend after New Years was the weekend all the Mexicans living in California, that have family in Mexico, come back from visiting with them!! So...Everyone was trying to get back across the border.

The traffic was at a standstill! More than 14 kilometers to go and we were at the back of the line. It was 4:30pm when we joined this line. Since we had never been to this crossing before, we were not sure how far ahead it was so we slowly creeped along. On the downhills, I shut our diesel engine off and coasted. Of course this did not work on the uphills!

I must say, I was glad we had our house on our back because people in cars were using the roadside hills to go to the bathroom and there were venders walking up and down for miles
selling food, drinks and souvenirs. This went on for hours. Now it was dark! To make a very long story short, we finally made it to the border at 11:30pm! Yes, SEVEN hours in line! They then pulled us out of line for an inspection, so we crossed the border back into the US at about 12 midnight! We headed for Tubac where Peg's cousins Cathy and Marshall reside, and found a parking lot next to a cafe to sleep for the night. The sunrise the next morning was nice to wake up to especially since we were now back in the US!