Friday, January 23, 2009

Quartzsite 2009

We are finally on the road again.
We left Carlsbad at 10:00AM. The Saturn was loaded with three ice boxes and all the other stuff we need for two weeks in the motor home.
Unfortunately the air conditioner in the Saturn quit Friday. I checked all the fuses and could not find anything wrong. The compressor did not kick in. When I took the car in for service, I was told the compressor has to be replaced and it would cost 1,100.00.
I told them the car is not worth that much and went home. After buying the Auto Trader,a magazine with a listing of used cars, and checking with the local Saturn dealer, I changed my mind. When we come back from our trip I will get a new compressor for the car.
In the mean time we have to do a little perspiring.
When we arrived at the motor home in Borrego Springs I had a funny feeling. I was worried about the refrigerator the last two weeks. When we were here the last time, I had attached a Bar B Q
propane tank to the propane system and shut off the main tank, since it was low.
Now the auxiliary tank was empty and the food in the freezer was spoiled. I do not know how the refrigerator could have used that much propane in three weeks. We got rid of the spoiled food and put the food we brought in the ice boxes, in the refrigerator.
We went to the hardware store in town and had the auxiliary tank filled again.
An ice cream always helps in situations like this. While in town we went to the coffee shop and had a chocolate chip, mint, ice cream. It tasted very good, but I feel still pretty stupid. This is another lesson learned, but at my age I should know everything.
On the way to town we stopped at a new steel sculpture, it is a pre-historic, big bird. When finished it will have a snake in his beak. The artist is erecting more of those creatures. It will attract more visitors to Borrego Springs.

Ron Carlson is staying this weekend in his new home in Borrego Springs and is watching the football game, on the new big TV he just bought. So we are alone here in the middle of the desert.

This morning we took off for Agua Caliente County Park. It took us only one hour.
After setting up the motor home I went to the indoor pool. Doreen forgot her swimming suit.The water is rather warm, but it felt wonderful.

We are here with the Convair Camping Club.
The new outdoor swimming pool is closed for the winter. This makes no sense, since people come here in the winter.

At 4:00 PM we started the potato bakers. These are two pound coffee cans converted into bakers. Heated charcoal goes into the bottom and the potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil are put on top.

The baked potatoes were eaten with sour cream, chili, and salad.
Doreen and I had driven four miles from the park to contact Chappy. Cell phone service in the park is not available because of the mountains.
Chappy and Dottie had not arrived yet. Chappy answered from his doctors office. They had called him in.
They will come tomorrow.
After dinner we sat around the camp fire. While we were sitting there, Denise and Dick arrived. They had a flat, rear inside, tire on their motor home, and had to wait for a repair service.
This was a pleasant evening, not too cold.

Dottie and Chappy did not get here today. We will call them tomorrow.
It was another pleasant day. We spent some time at the indoor pool and also in the little outdoor pool.

In the morning we watched, on television, the inauguration. We are lucky to get two English speaking stations out here.
Doreen had made a Shepherds Pie for dinner. Other people brought Lasagna and casseroles. There was plenty of good food. It was fun sitting around the camp fire and listening to some tall tales.

Another fantastic day. The weather could not be better. During the day the temperature was 80 degrees F.
We went again to both pools.
For dinner we had leftovers and Al Peacock made his famous cheese sandwiches.

We left Agua Caliente at 8:30 AM and arrived in Quartzsite at 2:00 PM.
We had stopped in El Centro for gasoline at Costco, and for groceries at Walmart. In Palo Verde we stopped for lunch, at a little park, on the Colorado River.
So far about 150 WIN motor homes and trailers are here for the gathering, and more are coming. At the 4:00 PM circle meeting we saw some members we had not seen for a long time.
In the evening some of the group went to Bouse for dinner and dancing.
I started the camp fire and then went back to the motor home to relax.

We are lucky that Bob and Donna let us park behind their motor home. They let me use their computer system while sitting in our motor home. Yesterday I was able to do all my E mail and my blog.
This morning we went to La Mesa RV for a free pancake breakfast. From there we went to the big tent at the RV show.
I needed some assistance with the BrakeBuddy for the car. The people at Roadmaster informed me that it is not their product. I was wrong again. Doreen always informs me that I am perfect, evidently that is not the case.
We spent some time at the flea market, but Doreen misses Dottie and the shopping was cut short.
The 4:00 PM circle meeting was fun. People brought gadgets for show and tell.
In the evening a large group went dancing. Doreen does not feel like dancing right now. We listened to the music played by the Johann Strauss orchestra, and did some reading.
It rained for a few minutes this afternoon while we had an ice cream social. This did not stop us from loading up with calories.

This morning we visited our friends from Saint Louis, Darlene and Larry.
They just bought a larger motor home. They are staying in the long term BLM camping area South of Quartzsite.

We see them once a year, in Quartzsite.
The rest of the day we took it easy. Though we spent about an hour shopping at the flea market. I have now caps and belts for the next couple of years.
The 4:00 PM circle meeting was again very lively. Randy does a good job. On the picture the group is getting ready for the meeting.

This morning we had a memorial service for WIN members who passed on last year.
It was an emotional experience. I knew two of the people very well.

After the service we went to the Desert Bar. The place was a gold or silver mine and is in the middle of nowhere. From highway 95, North of Parker, Arizona, we had to drive on a dirt road for about ten miles.


We had lunch and then did some dancing. There was a five piece band.
Randy our poet, has a very good poem about how men do the testosterone dance, when they try to get a woman. One lady of the group is from Europe, she is very young, and stays every year for five months in the US. One of our male members danced with her and really did the testosterone dance.
The trip to the desert bar is always a lot of fun.
In the evening we went to Bouse for dinner. Doreen had bad luck, her dish was too salty.
In the afternoon the wind picked up and I did not prepare the campfire. Usually I prepare it so that the first person to arrive, only has to light it.

Last night was the first night we used an extra blanket. The nights are colder now. This morning it was 46 degrees F in the motor home.
After hugs and mugs we went one more time to the big tent to buy a flag holder for the motor home, one which holds five small flags. I had looked at them a few days ago, but wanted to see whether I would find a cheaper one.
We could not find another vendor who sold the five flag holder, three flag holders are easy to find.
When we arrived at the tent we had no problem finding a parking space. I thought that was because we were early. When we got near the tent the gates were closed.
Yesterday was the last day of the RV Show. We came later to Quartzsite this year, and I had not paid any attention of the dates. Now I have five flags and no holder. The flags are American, Californian, WIN, German, and the Union Jack.
We spent some time at the flea market and then went to La Mesa RV for free lunch.
Randy and Joann were hosting a relationship session at 2:00 PM. They were not very specific about how they would contact it and who should participate. Since I have a partner I was a bad candidate, but I enjoyed it anyway.
Men sat on one side and the women on the other. The woman had four minutes to question and receive answers, the man had four minutes to do the same. Then the woman moved to the next man.

Some of the Questions were: What are your hobbies?. How long have you been single?. What did you do for a living? I learned a lot about some of the women.
At the 4:00 PM circle meeting James presented his new kayak. He made it from wood and corrugated paper. The presentation was very funny. Randy was his straight man.

There was dancing tonight at Silly Al’s and here in the camping area. We stayed in the motor home and took it easy.

When I woke up this morning it was 39 degrees F in the motor home. I turned on the furnace and the catalytic heater and jumped back in bed. After 15 minutes I turned off the furnace. The catalytic heater was able now to keep the motor home warm.
After hugs and mugs we went to the flea market and I found a flag holder to hold five flags. It is not as good as the one I wanted to buy, and was too cheap to buy right away.

After the 4:00 PM circle meeting we had a hot dog roast. Besides hot dogs, there was chili, sauerkraut, potato salad, and beans.
A cold wind came up and we ran for winter jackets.

At 6:00 PM went into town, where our favorite entertainer, Kerry Christensen, performed at the Q, the big exposition hall.
Doreen told me that we did not have to get there early because not many people around here know him.
She was wrong, the hall was packed. Most of the people have seen him at Death Valley, and big gatherings like October Fests, Wurst Fests and wherever old people hang out.
Like always, Kerry gave us a good show.

During the night it was still cold, but as soon as the sun came out it got warm fast.
Today I bought two LED bulbs for the motor home. They use less electricity than the incandescent bulbs, which is important when camping in the desert. I also found a Union Jack flag. Now I have all five flags.
After the 4:00 PM circle meeting we had a "No talent, talent show". Some WINs have talent and some have a lot of courage to get up on the stage.

We left our camp site, North of Quartzsite, at 9:00 AM, and went South of the town to say goodbye to our friends Darlene and Larry.
From there we went West on I-10 to Indio, California. We went through a sand storm and fought high desert winds for a while.
When we arrived at the Elks Lodge in Indio they were serving lunch. We had lunch and then set up the motor home, took showers and went to Palm Springs to buy tickets for the Palm Spring Follies.
We walked up and down Palm Canyon Drive and looked at the displays in the windows of the expensive stores. What a difference from Quartzsite. In one day we came from the bottom of the shopping experience to the top.
But, at least in Quartzsite we get bargains.
Thursdays the city closes Palm Canyon Drive and at 5:00 PM vendors start to set up their stands. At 6:00 PM one can buy all kind of food, from hamburgers to Spanish dishes. Farmers bring their produce to town, and there are jewelry vendors, and all kinds of stuff is sold.
We had dinner at Ruby’s and then walked again up and down Palm Canyon Drive. This time in the middle of the street.
It is always fun, with all the different musicians playing their instruments and trying to sell their CD’s, and all the colorful lights, and of course the odor of the food being cooked in the open.
After getting lost for a while, we arrived home safely.

This morning we did some shopping at Walmart and I had a date milk shake at Fields Date Farm.
At 1:30 PM we were at the Plaza Theater in Palm Springs to see the Follies. When we asked for tickets yesterday, they had only upper balcony tickets available. We bought them.
Today when we arrived they upgraded us to seats in row ten, right in the middle of the theater.They told us that the sound system on the balcony did not work.
We lucked out on that one. The seats were great. We could see the wrinkles of those great, talented ladies. The oldest lady is 85 years old and still dances up a storm.

We left Indio at 8:00 AM and had a pleasant drive to Borrego Springs.
After setting up the motor home on Ron's land, we loaded the car with items we had to take home. This time we took everything out of the freezer and refrigerator and put it in ice chests.
We will be back in two weeks for an outing with the Convair Camping Club, at the Palm Canyon Resort.
The drive home was uneventful.
This was a wonderful, short trip.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lets go RVing.

I finally have that nasty cold behind me. Now I am itching to take the RV to Quartzsite to meet my WIN friends.
Chappy and Dottie are coming along again. We also will meet there Larry and Darlene, our friends from Missouri.
Doreen had a little bit of my cold, but she recovered fast.
I hope this year we get more travel time in with the WINs.
Last year I did most of my traveling on the computer, following Diana's, Barbara's, and Donna's and Bob's blog.
Today we played tourists again. We went to the San Diego Zoo. Since we are members we can go as often as we want to.
It was T shirt weather and we had a good time. After the visit to the zoo we stopped at the Point Loma Fish Market for fish and chips.

The fish market is another well known San Diego institution. From the eating area one can see the sport fishing fleet, and boats coming in with happy anglers, or unhappy ones, depending on their catch.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

I hope all of you had a better start in the new year then I had.
I am sick and it will not stop. One of our guests, at Christmas, had a cold and I caught it.
I missed the luncheon of the Convair Tooling Group because of my condition.