Friday, July 11, 2008

Quartzsite 2006

Hello friends and relatives.
Greetings from Quartzsite. We will be here for two weeks. Doreen is heading home on the 29th. She has a medical appointment on the 30th.

I will go with the group to Good Year at the end of the month. We will be camping there at the Moose Lodge.
I have a temporary Moose membership because I could not attend the initiation ceremony last year. I hope I can take care of that problem this time. We will be staying one week in Good Year and spend some time in Phoenix.
Please do not send us any large files, pictures and jokes. We like to hear from you though.

We left Carlsbad at about 7:45 AM and arrived in Indio at 10:30 AM. After setting up the motorhome we headed for Palm Springs. While I was looking for a parking space, Doreen went to the Plaza Theater trying to get tickets for the Palm Spring Follies.
I found a parking spot and when I arrived at the box office of the theater, Doreen was putting her credit card away and she had two tickets, side by side.
Since we had time left for the 1:30 PM show, we went across the street to Ruby's Diner and had lunch. I had a two for one coupon on the KPBS card and we had an inexpensive lunch.
The show was, as always, very good. Riff Markowitz had everybody in stitches. This was our seventh time seeing the Follies. The headliners were the Four Coins this time.
Since I had chosen to take a site without hook ups we turned on our small propane heater in the evening. We were too tired to play scrabble, read a bit and went to bed early.

After breakfast we took a short walk and got more grapefruit. The camp host had a few boxes to give away. This morning there was one box left.
We arrived in Quartzsite at noon and had to set our watches to 1:00 PM.

We had lunch and at 2:30 PM, Randy had his coffee can talk. People put their questions on a piece of paper and put them in his coffee can. He answers the questions with the help of the group.
Some of the questions are about relationships and some are about motorhomes. We always have a good time.
At 4:00 PM the circle meeting started and everybody was there. It is a large group again. There were also some people who want to join the WIN.
Plans were made for tomorrow and for the Dance Rally in Casa Grande, which is in the last week of February.
The RV show starts Saturday. I plan on going there on two days. We also plan on going to the Gem Show, and of course two days to the Flea Market, which is the largest in the US.
The weather is warm during the day.

It was cold last night; it was 40 degrees F, in the motorhome, when I woke up. I turned on the catalytic heater and also ran the furnace for 15 minutes.
It had warmed up for the 9:00 AM Hugs and Mugs meeting. After the meeting we went to the Flea Market. Most of the stuff is new.
When we got out of the car, Doreen zeroed in on a booth which sells beautiful rugs. She picked a 7 foot by 10 foot oval rug for the dining room.
I told her that we should carry on and she should think about it. I bought a wire stripper, one they sell on TV for $ 19.95, here they sell them for $ 8.00. It works on thin wires and even thick coaxial TV cable.
I have not figured out yet how it works. There are no settings and no holes for the wires. I also bought some beautiful Arizona T shirts. They are embroidered and cost only five dollars.
After buying some more bargains, and small items, we went back to the rug shop. Doreen bought the rug, plus a smaller, matching one for the family room. We leave them with the dealer until we depart from here. Doreen can take the small rug home and I leave the big rug in the motorhome and work around it, when I go to Good Year.
After lunch, a nap, and a shower, we went to the 4:00 PM circle meeting.
So far the group has grown to over 100 motorhomes. We saw again people who suffered with us at last years dance rally. There were also friends from the Utah and Colorado trip.
Somebody had bought a tent in the shape of a house. It comes handy for small group meetings. In a very short time there was enough money collected to reimburse the person. The four wheelers had their meeting after they set up the tent. A Dutch Oven cooking class was second.
The trip to Canada was initiated and our Canadian WIN members volunteered as hosts for the different outings up there.
Also a eight day rafting trip down the Colorado River was organized. And of course the daily dances at different places in Quartzsite were organized. We have not participated yet, Doreen has back aches.

After Hugs and Mugs Doreen and I went again to the flea market. We covered another area. Two days is not enough to see everything. We will go back one more time in the next few days.
Today I bought a blanket for my twin bed. Doreen has two blankets besides the regular down filled quilt. I had only one blanket. About four o'clock in the morning I felt cool. All the blankets at home do not help.
We had lunch at the motorhome and then went to Bouse, a small desert town. I took a look at the WW-2 tanks and read the memorials which are located in a small park. Army troop trained here during the war.
In the evening we went to the QIA (Quartzsite Improvement Association) big hall for dancing. We like to go there because the music is good and there is no drinking and smoking. All the other places are filled with smoke. Arizona has not changed yet. People smoke all over.
Most of the WINs went to the Quartzsite Yacht Club for dancing. We were about ten WINs at the QIA. There were about 400 old people dancing. Some of them have a hard time walking, but they move on the dance floor.

At 11:00 AM we lined up for driving to Desert Bar. Doreen and I did not know what it was, but everybody told us we had to do it one time.
We drove a few miles North of Parker, and then ten miles on a dirt road to the middle of the desert. Nobody had told us about the condition of the road. Since everybody has four wheel drive vehicles they take this
for granted. The poor Saturn made noises like it was in pain. Desert Bar was a gold mine, and is now a large bar. Most of it is outside.

We came early and moved tables to make room for dancing. The three piece band was getting their equipment ready.
I had a chilly burger and Doreen a hamburger. The remaining choices were chilly hot dog and regular hot dog. That was the menu.
The band was very good and we did some dancing. We enjoyed the atmosphere. Some people had come here on horses.

The WINs were the only ones dancing. Everybody else was eating their food, enjoying the music and the scenery. Doreen and I left early to avoid driving in a cloud of dust.
More and more people arrived. It is a very popular place.

This was an expensive day. We went to the RV Show. I bought almost everything I had on my list, except the extension for the exhaust tail pipe on the motorhome, and a few one dollar parts for the solar panels.
We completely covered the big tent and the outside vendor areas. When we were through I had spent a little bit over one thousand dollars.
The most expensive item was the Brake Buddy for the car. It activates the brakes in the car when I step on the brakes in the motorhome. We need it for our trip to Canada. Most Canadian provinces have that requirement. I wanted this system anyway, it is a big help when coming down a mountain road. This stops the car from pushing the motorhome.
There were many new gadgets for sale. It is a man's heaven, the RV Show. Of course the exhibitors are smart enough and have vendors for women's stuff spaced between the tool and RV vendors. We had lunch at the show.
When we got tired we headed for home. At the Pit Stop I bought six gallons of tap water, that added another 30 cents to today's spending spree.
Circle meeting was today at 3:00 PM and at 4:00 PM there was a musical jam session. We stayed for a short while and then went to the motorhome and took a shower.

The day started fine but turned sour real fast. Doreen and I went one more time to the flea marked. I bought six more embroidered T shirts and a lot of socks.
When I backed out the car at the parking lot, a gentleman made us aware of the trail of red liquid we left behind. I got out of the car and agreed with him that it was transmission fluid. Instead of going to another section of the flea market, we headed for home.
I still have a set of leveling blocks in the motorhome, and I used those to raise the car on one side. The Saturn has an outside transmission fluid filter. I tightened it with a band wrench and made it worse. The filter leaked through the side. I used super tape and duck tape, but the pressure was too great. Nothing worked.
Quartzsite is like a zoo. There are 75,000 motorhomes in the desert, near the town. Going by motorhome to the auto parts store did not appeal to me. Most of the WINs were gone to the river kayaking, or four wheeling, or shopping.
I walked past several motorhomes and found John, he was cleaning drift wood for making some art display. When I told him my problem he offered to take me into town.
I bought a filter and four quarts of transmission fluid. I was able to remove the old filter and install the new one. There was only room for one hand and it was not easy to start the new filter without seeing what I was doing. I think the filter got damaged on the rough road to Desert Bar.
Patience pays off in a case like that.
Doreen went to the circle meeting to find out what is happening, while I finished the repair.

Our first stop this morning was the Rice Ranch Swap Meet, it is a small flea marked at the South East corner of I-10 and highway 95.
Doreen is usually the one who is in the stores while I sit outside and watch the people go by. This time it was different. I was the shopper. I bought more items and spent more money than she did.
Today she told me that she can not believe it. She never saw me in action before, and she will never see something like this for a long time.
From the swap meet we went to the RV Show and kicked tires. We went in some of the most luxurious 40 foot long motorhomes. The living rooms have a slide out on each side and the bedrooms on one side. The kitchens have counter tops, and refrigerators just like in houses.
On the way home we stopped at the Grubstake restaurant and had lunch. The owners are English and serve very good fish and chips, but not on newspaper, on regular paper.
At the 4:00 PM circle meeting we met Lola. She had just arrived. She has an appointment to have an awning installed on her motorhome.
During the winter there are many mobile repair facilities in Quartzsite. They repair engines, transmissions, install solar panels, and perform any other services needed. They have stalls at the RV show grounds and also come to the camping areas.

Today we went to the Gem and Mineral Show. Over 400 dealers of quality gems, minerals and jewelry from around the world display their wares. There is also lapidary equipment for sale.
Some of the rocks were unbelievable beautiful. I stood in front of a display of rocks from Australia. I never had seen before colors and designs like that in rocks.
Doreen and Lola enjoyed the display of jewelry. I had come to only look, but I bought a belt buckle and a stone for the buckle.
This was the first time we went to the show. It is one of the largest in the nation. It was quite an experience.
We have now grown to 197 motorhomes. This means 200 WINs are enjoying this outing. Some more WINs are across the street and they visit us.
They signed up with the LOWs (Loners on Wheels) outing. Most of the people belong to both organizations. I quit the LOWs because they do not allow their members to have a companion, only one person per motorhome.

After Hugs and Mugs we caravanned to the Bouse Fisherman. This is a Intaglio or Geoglyph, a picture made into the ground. It is made by removing stones and deepening the soil a bit. The full picture can be seen better from the air, but it is also visible from the ground.
The picture shows a fisherman besides waves of the river, and two fish in the river.
Later we went into town to look at prefab homes, since we visited this place last time, it has changed to some mobil homes with a junk yard, so we went back to the motorhome. Staying in town would have been a nightmare; in the afternoon it is too crowded.
We had a Subway sandwich at the Loves Truck Stop though. While I was getting gasoline for the car, Doreen went inside and bought the food and got seats. The pump did not accept my credit card, therefore I had to go inside and pay with cash.
My card was deactivated. I suppose they thought somebody had my card and went wild in Quartzsite. I had to call and get it activated again.
The highlight of the day was the commitment ceremony of Sharon and Dick.
The ceremony was at the circle meeting area and the reception was at the space between their motorhomes. There was a preacher and Dick and Sharon wore their finest. Sharon, who usually wears hear shoulder length hair straight down, had curls in her hair and wore make up. She wore a fancy black dress. If I would have met her someplace else like that I would not have recognized her.

In the evening we went to the Senior Center for dancing. There is no smoking and drinking. We were about 20 WINs, most of the group went to the Quartzsite Yacht Club where they serve beer and fire water. The band was very good and played a variety of music.

I was at the rug shop before 9:00 AM and picked up the two rugs. The big rug fit in the car when I removed the back of the back seat, and bent the rug to fit under the dashboard and the trunk. I was lucky and did not have to leave the trunk lid open.
When I got back to the motorhome, Doreen was ready to put her belongings in the car. There was still enough room for the box with the Brake Buddy.
Doreen left for home. She had a test performed before we left home and Kaiser wants to do it again. So Doreen is a bit worried; she has to go again Monday.
I have to go to Goodyear, Arizona, to get initiated at the Moose Lodge.
Last year we had a similar problem and I went home with Doreen. The lodge was nice enough to sent me a temporary membership.
At 11:00 AM we left for the Desert Bar. Lola gave me a ride. I was in the car with three women. I have the smallest waist of the four of us.
When we came to the dirt road, Lola put the vehicle in four wheel drive and went like gang busters. The Exploder went over the rocks and created a lot of dust.
There were a lot more people there than last Sunday. The Chili Burgers were gone fast. I had eaten lunch before we left and did not have to stand in line for 30 minutes.

The band was the same as last Sunday and I danced almost every dance. I danced with skinny, heavy, pretty and not so pretty women. I made sure I danced at least once with every WIN woman. There were about fifty WINs and we filled the dance floor.
Lola wanted to go to the casino and we left at 3:00 PM. We agreed to meet at 4:15 PM at the door and head for home. I had lost $20.00 in 15 minutes and had enough. I went outside, bought a newspaper, and sat on a bench and read all the bad news in the world.
The women came out at 4:15 PM, none of them was smiling. They all lost more than $100.00 in exactly one hour.
On the way home we stopped at Safeway. They have a Wells Fargo ATM machine, we all got more money.
I had enough dancing today; I cooked dinner, did my E mail and did some reading.

A large group left today. They are going to an orphanage in Mexico and will be doing work for the orphanage. If they go again next year, I would like to participate.
After Hugs and Mugs I volunteered for the garbage run. I loaded and unloaded the truck. 200 people have a lot of refuse.
Since I did not have a car I worked on the motorhome. We had a desert golf tournament. It did not appeal to me. I rather installed a florescent light in the kitchen and did some other work. After the 4:00 PM circle meeting we had a chili cook off. It was a very good meal. After dinner we were treated to bag pipe music and accordion and guitar music.

I left the camping area shortly before 7:00 AM. Because of the time difference, it was still dark and I missed the exit to the highway.
I drove around for a while and finally got on the road. When I arrived at the Pit Stop, the dumping, fresh water, and propane facility, I took the exit instead the entrance. They have two entrances, but I had to take the exit. It was still dark, which is no excuse,especially since I have been there several times to get water.
I had to listen to a speech and then was directed to the propane filling station. After the propane tank was filled the lady came out of the office and told me the price. I paid her and she gave me a candy. Since I was on the wrong side of the dump station I had to do some maneuvering to get to it. Everything turned out fine.
From the Pit Stop I went to the flea market to buy two small rugs, to match the rugs Doreen had bought last week. They had disassembled their tent already, but all the rugs were still laying on the floor and hanging on racks.
I had to wait an hour before the owner came out of his motorhome. He was out of the kind I wanted. They are going back to New Mexico, but will be in the Phoenix area when we will be at the Dance Rally in Casa Grande, in the last week of February.
I arrived at Goodyear at noon. There were three WINs already at the Moose Lodge and two more came later. The gathering starts on Wednesday.
Since I have no car I have to wait until somebody goes into town. The lodge is in the middle of nowhere. I did some more house cleaning and reading.

Some more WINs arrived today. The gathering starts tomorrow. I hope somebody organizes some activities. This is a no host gathering. I miss my car
Today I met the administrator of the lodge and we straightened out my membership problem.

Some more people arrived. We are 15 motor homes now. At the 4:00 PM circle meeting we discussed what to do the next few days.
It does not work very well without a host. Some people wanted to go to Scottsdale to old Town and Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West.
I have been at both places and recommenced them. Other people wanted to go kayaking on Lake Pleasant. Four of the women and three men came here to join the Moose and probably leave in a few days.
Since we will be in Casa Grande in a few weeks and have a chance to come up to Phoenix, I decided to leave tomorrow.
I climbed on the roof of the motorhome and laid the solar panels flat and got everything ready for an early departure.

I arrived in Borrego Springs at 12:30 PM. Ron Carlson had gone into town and there was no chance to go to lunch with him.
I drove to town and picked up, at the fruit stand, a bag of oranges and a bag of red grape fruit. Then I went to the gas station and bought $20.00 worth of gasoline. At $2.85 per gallon it was not much, but with the gasoline I have in the tank it gets me to Ramona. At the Coyote restaurant I stopped in front and got my E mail.
Back at Peg Leg Smith's Monument I saw Ron, he had returned, and we talked for a while. It was now 3:00 PM and I still had no lunch.
So I cooked dinner, took a rest and then a shower. At 6:00 PM Ron started the camp fire. Most of the regulars had gone by bus to Ramona. They came back just before that time. Ron told me that they would be too tired to come to the fire. Three of the men came
though. We tried to solve all the motorhome problems they had. The campers at Peg Leg Smith gave up solving the problems of the country and the world. They got in too many arguments.

After breakfast I went on a long hike in the desert. Ron can not go on walks anymore. At my last visit we went on a two hour power walk. He tried to kill me. He had walked every day and was in good shape, so he overdid it. The next day he had a hip problem and has not been the same since.
This was the first night I have not used the new blanket. It was 55 degrees F, in the motorhome, when I woke up this morning, a lot better than 40 degrees F.
At 10:30 AM I drove into town, parked the motorhome at the library, and went across the street and had a mint chocolate chip ice cream. I have not eaten any chocolate and cookies for a long time and deserved an ice cream. Then I stopped at the post office for some two cent stamps. When it was my turn to get service the computer broke down and the lady could not sell me any stamps. The computer fixer was on lunch break and the whole operation stopped.
From the post office I went to the library and played on their computer for 30 minutes. I could have brought my computer, they have WI- FI now.
The camp fire in the evening was a success. A lot of people came. One day I will see in the news paper that campers burned acres and acres of desert near Borego Springs. Ron puts newspaper in the stove pipe above the fire. When the paper burns, it takes off with a roar and flies five to ten feet in the air. It comes straight down, one of those days it goes sideways and starts a grass fire.

This was another beautiful desert morning. I climbed up the mountain and sat on a large rock and enjoyed the view of the valley and Borrego Springs.
I left Peg Leg Smith at 8:00 AM and stopped at Dudley's bakery in Santa Isabel for a bear claw. At 10:00 AM I backed the motorhome in the drive way. At home that is.

Another small trip has come to an end. Quartzsite was fun. Now I have two weeks at home before we leave for the dance rally. This will be two weeks of hard work, but I hope we will be able to do sight seeing, and visit friends in the Phoenix area, after the rally. Hopefully we have no medical appointments which will mess up our schedule. Doreen's appointment, last Monday, turned out fine. She feels better now.

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