Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quartzsite 2010

We left Agua Caliente at 8:45 AM and arrived at Quartzsite at about 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM Arizona time.
Just in time for the WIN circle meeting.
We had stopped for lunch at the Palo Verde County Park and for gasoline in Ehrenberg. Most of the way we had to be careful because of the strong winds.
Dottie and Chappy are here too. They are parked not very far from the WIN gathering place.

This morning, Chappy and Dottie and their friends Tim and Shirley, and Doreen and I went for free breakfast at La Mesa RV. I do not like biscuits and gravy, especially gravy. The biscuits and the pieces of sausage were OK.
Chappy met his granddaughter there. She works for La Mesa RV and will spend a few days in Quartzsite.
After the breakfast we went shopping. I have a shopping list, so far I bought stuff which is not on the list.
I bought a nice cowboy hat for $ 2.00.
At 2:00 PM the WINs had an ice cream social. All the singles clubs in the area were invited. About 150 people enjoyed several flavors of ice cream.
In the evening we took it easy. Some WINs went to the Grubstake Restaurant for all you can eat fish and dancing afterward, and some went to the "New Christie Minstrels" concert at the big hall.
With the new addition to the antenna I actually get four channels on the TV. We watched the news, which was mostly from Haiti.

Today we went to the big tent and did some serious shopping. Chapppy and I bought big catalytic heaters and looked at some LED bulbs. Those I will buy on Monday. Last year there was only one vendor with LED bulbs and lights. So far I have seen six.
Dottie bought a couple of things too. Doreen is holding back, she bought only a fancy sweatshirt.
The tent was crowded, one could hardly walk. I met a WIN friend and asked her whether she bought something. She told me no, because she could not reach into her purse and get to her money. It was funny and almost true.
At the 4:00 PM circle meeting people reported their daily activities. Seventeen had gone kayaking down the Colorado River. They had a good time.
At night there was dancing at the QIA. Many members of the group went. We were too tired.
There are now 140 WIN rigs on this side of Plomosa Road. A few more are across the road with the Loners on Wheels. Most people in the group belong to several camping clubs.
Our other camping club, the Shanty Shakers, are camping in town. They can walk to most of the vendors and entertainment.

Today we went to the Desert Bar. Chappy and Dottie had been before, but it was the first time for Shirley and Tim. The Desert Bar was a copper mine and is located five miles Northeast of Parker, in the middle of nowhere. One has to drive on a dusty dirt road to get to the place. There is an outside bar and a inside bar.The whole place runs on solar power. There are cooling towers which have moist blankets on the upper portion of the tower. The moist cool air comes down and lowers the temperature. There are also two cooling towers at the house where the owner of the bar lives.
The dancing is done outside. People come for the atmosphere.
The WINs were out in full force and were on the dance floor a lot.
The weather is still fantastic here in the desert, while they have rain in Los Angeles and along the coast.

It rained during the night. During the day it rained several times, just enough to ruin it for the outdoor vendors.
We went into town about 10:00 AM. Some of the vendors kept their wares covered. After lunch we went to the big tent for a while. I bought all the LED bulbs I needed.
The rest of the day we took it easy.

It rained during the night but during the day we had good weather. The six of us went again to the big tent.
We also did some outside shopping.
By lunch time we were back at the motorhome. After lunch I went to the hardware store and bought a 12 foot hose and some fittings for the new catalytic heater. I will do the installation at home. Our small catalytic heater works perfectly for the weather we have now.

The six of us went to the Walmart in Parker. We had planned to go also to the casino there and have lunch. Since we did this backwards, going shopping first and buying frozen meat and vegetables, we had to forget about the casino and head home.
After we unloaded the groceries we went to Bouse and had lunch there. We stopped for a few minutes at the former military site and looked at the tanks and other displays.

We had another beautiful day, but in the evening the wind came up. This did not stop us from eating the ice cream which was left over from the ice cream social.

Another rainy day in the desert. We have unusually wet weather. It is a steady rain with some wind.
It also rained during the night.
We went for free lunch to La Mesa RV. It was a tasty meal, but for me not enough. After lunch we stopped at a craft shop where the women bought stuff. Doreen needed wool for knitting.
The camp site is a dreary place. Nobody is outside and the chairs at the circle meeting spot are wet and laying all over the place.

At 4:00 PM there was no circle meeting, the wind was terrible. I went to Donna and Bob’s motorhome to talk to Bob about my new heater. I looked at his heater installation. When I told him how I will mount my heater, he gave me a good idea. Instead of mounting the heater solid to a wall I will fasten it to a piece of plywood or buy a cabinet door with hinges, and mount this to the wall. This makes it possible to swing the heater in different directions.
By 6:00 PM the wind had improved and the sun came out for a few minutes.

There was no rain today. The sky was filled with beautiful clouds, light colored clouds and heavy rain filled ones.
The temperatures are lower now. The high for the day was 61 degrees F.
At 8:30 AM we went to the Quartzsite Fire Department for a three hour CPR course. We learned how to help people with breathing problems and how to help a person who is choking on food or other items.

After lunch we went one more time to the big tent. The RV Show is over on Sunday.I bought two more LED bulbs. On the way home we stopped at Larry and Darlene’s motorhome. They were not there, I guess they were also shopping.

This was a cold night. It was 44 degrees F in the motorhome when I got up. I turned on the furnace and ran it for 15 minutes, then I turned on the catalytic heater.
When we get home I will install the new, bigger catalytic heater, then I will not have to use the furnace anymore. The furnace uses electricity for running the fan, which is not ideal when dry camping and the sun does not shine much, for charging the batteries via solar panels.
Today we had a lot of sun. There were no clouds.
A lot of WINs came out for hugs and mugs. After hugs and mugs we went one more time to the big tent. I had to exchange two LED light bulbs. They have run out of that size and will mail them to me.

Dottie and Chappy had come along. Shirley and Tim have left for home this morning.
While in the big tent I took some pictures of new products. I got the idea while checking out Diana’s blog.
They were selling cigarettes which had no tobacco and nicotine.

The next item is a sticky magic mat which holds cell phones and all kind of stuff.

They sold a lot of this cell phone hanger.

And there was pet luggage for dogs and cats.

Not new, but they sold a lot of large flag poles. Many motorhomes have them now. I have enough stuff in my motorhome, there is no room for a flag pole.

Another big seller was those crazy hats. It is a visor with awful looking hair. I suppose because it was cold the last few days people bought them.

This portable cell phone charger was new at the show. It is a rechargeable battery, which plugs into the telephone and one can use the phone until it can be charged again.

There were not as many people in the big tent as in the last few days. The same was at the outside. It was easier to get around.

We tried one more time to have free lunch at La Mesa RV. They served tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, two things I do not like. Doreen and I had only something to drink.

After lunch we went back to shopping. I bought a nice cabinet door, which matches the furniture in the motorhome. It cost five dollars which looks better and is cheaper than using plywood. I will use it for mounting the new heater.
In the evening we spent some time with Chappy and Dottie in their motorhome.
This was a beautiful day, no rain and not much wind. The batteries got charged, life in the desert is back to normal.

Last night it was even colder. It was 41 degrees F. in the motorhome this morning. There is no cloud cover and it gets cold.
We went shopping again. I bought another cabinet door for mounting the television set with a hinge. Since I removed the old, heavy television set with a narrow, light set, I have a lot of room in the box where the set is located. If I add a hinge we can use this room for tapes and other items.
This was the last day of the RV Show and the last day of the WIN Quartzsite gathering. The size of the group has shrunk. Some members left already.
At the 4:00 PM circle meeting some wore their silly hats. Randy recited his poem about Quartzsite.

Even with the few days of bad weather we had a good time.
Doreen and I will stay another week, so will other people of the group.
Chappy and Dottie joined us for a spaghetti dinner at our motorhome. They will leave tomorrow morning.

The plan was to go to Blythe, have breakfast at Denny's, go to our banks and go to a big grocery store.
We had the breakfast, but there was no Wells Fargo and no Chase bank. They have no Safeway either. We could have used the Wells Fargo ATM machine there.
When we arrived back at Quartzsite we visited our friends Darlene and Larry Boswell. The are from St. Louis and spend part of the winter in the desert.
In the afternoon I went to the hardware store and bought the fittings to install the new heater. We also went one more time to the outside shopping area where I bought three belts. This was the last item on my shopping list.
So far I spent $ 200.00 on the new heater and fittings.
$ 136.00 on LED light bulbs, and a few dollars on hats and caps, and belts.
Today I could not get on the Internet. Donna and Bob left this morning. There is only Sharon left who shares her computer access. To get her signal I have to use my Hawking antenna. I think Sharon did not use her computer much today.
This gives me a chance to finish my book by Bill Bryson.

This morning we went to Yuma to visit friends. We also went to Yuma Lake to visit Pete Bonine, unfortunately he was not at his motorhome.
We saw Lola Gonzales in Winterhaven and other friends in Yuma. At Wells Fargo we got more money.

The WIN group is really small now. There are six rigs left.
In the morning we went to the Pit Stop and emptied the holding tanks, filled up the fresh water tank and the propane tank.
In the afternoon Doreen and I went to some stores in town, and then went to the library. We read the paper and magazines.
It was a lazy day.

We had lunch in town, at a Mexican restaurant.
In the afternoon our friends Larry and Arlene came to our motorhome. They had with them my former neighbors, Dixie and Gene.
We had a good conversation going.
In the desert we have some beautiful sunsets. The view from our front window is just exhilarating.

In the morning, when I go for my walk, I am greeted by this lonely Saguaro. The sunrises are just as beautiful as the sunsets.

We found one area were we never shopped before. Here they sell Quartz, Amethysts, and other gems and minerals. The items are from around the world. We spent part of the morning there.
In the evening we went to the QIA, the big hall, for the Kerry Christensen concert. We like him and always have a good time.
Our friends, Donna Huffer and Bob Parker, were also there.

On my walk this morning I was a couple minutes late for taking a picture of the moon going down behind the mountains. The moon was red a few minutes before I took this picture.

We went one more time to the big tent where they have now a car show. There were real old classics and newer cars too.

I was interested in this tear drop trailer. It was built by a person who worked in the aircraft industry. Right away Red Emerson came to mind. He build a tear drop while working at Convair. The person who takes credit on the plaque, inside the kitchen part of the trailer, rebuilt it.

Everybody left us. We have the whole area for ourself. Randy and Ron are not very far from us. Sharon, Dick and Bill left this morning.

At 5:00 PM we went to Silly Al’s to help Darlene and Larry celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary.
Dixie, Janet and Gene were also there. Dixie is Darlene’s sister. Dixie, Gene and Janet were my neighbors in San Diego for 16 years.

Today we had to leave Quartzsite. Tomorrow I have a stress test and Tuesday Doreen has a MRI on her head.
We arrived home at noon.