Monday, January 24, 2011

Quartzsite 2011

We arrived in Quartzsite just in time for the 4:00 PM meeting

On our way to the RV Show, in the big tent, we stopped at La Mesa RV for free breakfast. Since Chappy’s granddaughter works for La Mesa RV, we did not have to stand in line to be served.
When we arrived at the big tent we found out that we were one day too early. The RV Show starts tomorrow.
So we went to Tyson Wells and did some shopping, actually we only looked. On the way home we stopped again, at La Mesa RV, for free lunch.
The weather is perfect, cool at night and warm during the day.

The big tent opened up at 9:00 AM and we were there. It was difficult to move around among all those people.

Some of the food vendors serve strange meals. I did not check whether this one actually serves bugs.

This year I have only two items on my shopping list. One item is done. I bought a dozen white socks.
The vendor, who sells LCD light bulbs, will get the bulb I need on Wednesday.
The rest of the afternoon we took it easy.
At about 5:00 PM I heard a noise which sounded like gun shots. There were about five of them. I went outside to check it out. Not very far from our motorhome I saw a large fire and then I heard the fire engine coming into the camping area.
The motorhome of one of the WIN ladies was on fire.

Evidently she had gone to town to get propane, but the person doing the filling had a problem and had to get help. Some people speculated that there was a leak.
Paula had gone to the circle meeting while the propane was filling part of the motorhome. The refrigerator could have started the explosion. Police were at the scene and the fire fighters were talking to Paula.
There was not much left of her motorhome.
What sounded like gunshots were the propane tank and the tires exploding.

Doreen and I went with our non WIN friends to the Desert bar. The WINs had gone last weekend.

The Desert Bar is located in the middle of nowhere. It was a gold or silver mine.
A dirt road leads to the place.
The owner made more improvements. Now there are two places to get food.
We did not stay very long after we ate lunch.
The WIN group had today a Thank You Service for Pete Bonine, a long time member. We did not want to miss this.
Pete is one of the most generous people on this earth. He helped many people with their motorhome problems. He also provided WIFI for members of the group who had no Internet access.
Pete has now Lou Gehrig’s decease and can’t travel anymore with the group.

At hugs and mugs the host announced that the group had collected over $ 1,800 for Paula. She had come to the meeting this morning and told us about her bad day.
After hugs and mugs Doreen and I drove to the garbage dump and got rid of our household waste.
The next stop was the library. The WIFI did not work there and we had to go to McDonalds to do my E mail.
From there we drove to the East of Quartzsite to see our friends Donna and Bob.
They had their blog made into yearly books and I wanted to see how they look.
They are professionally done and look great.
In the same area we visited Sue and Ken, who are also members of the Shanty Shakers.
On the way home we stopped at La Mesa RV for free meatloaf, mash potatoes, and corn. It was actually a good meal.
Then we did some shopping at the Main Event. I bought three leather belts for $10.00.
I also visited again the monument for Hi Jolly, the camel driver.

After the 4:00 PM circle meeting we had a discussion about motorhome safety. After what happened to Paula it became very important. One of the members of the group is a retired fireman and he brought up some good points.
The experts think that it was not a propane fire, it probably was an electrical fire.

We went one more time to the big tent.

Doreen had to exchange some shirts she bought last year. I bought the LED bulb for the lamp over the dinette table, and a snap on screen for the ceiling fan. The screen, which comes with the fan, is fastened with ten screws.
Sometimes leaves go around in circles when we use the fan. Now objects, which
enter the fan area, can be removed easily.
So far I have spent only $ 50.00, which is very good.
In the afternoon we stopped at Solar Bill. We have power problems in the motorhome. When the sun is out we have plenty of electricity, as soon as the sun disappears the voltage drops to 11.7 volts. The house batteries have to be replaced.
That will be a $ 600.00 bill.
At 7:00 PM we attended the Kerry Christensen Show. Donna and Bob were there too.
Here is Kerry signing autographs.

He plays the accordion, zither and alpenhorn.

I was so proud that I spent only $ 50.00 at Quartzsite. Everything changed today.
In the morning I called the battery dealer in San Diego and asked for the price of AGM batteries. They want $ 199.00 for one battery.
Then we drove to Discount Solar, here in Quartzsite. Their price was $ 157.00.
I bought four of them and spent $ 636.00.
What was supposed to be an easy day turned into a work day. The new batteries have no posts and I had to make some changes for attaching the battery cables.
Now we have plenty of electricity again.

We left Quartzsite at 8:30 AM. This was a good outing. There were 179 WINs, which means about 160 motorhomes and trailers.
When we arrived in Yuma, at the BLM area behind the VFW, it was a little bit warmer than in Quartzsite. There are some WINs here.
We had planned to stay a few days here, but Doreen is in pain now and we will be heading for home tomorrow.
She fell a few weeks ago and still has problems with one of her legs.
I went shopping at the Arizona Market Place this morning. It is a large flea market.
There was one more item I needed for the motorhome. I bought a new gray water tank vent cover, to help vent the tank.

We left Yuma at about 8:00 AM. In Winterhaven we stopped and visited Ed, Vicky Daley’s father. His wife Joy died last year and now he comes to Southern Arizona by himself. At 89 he is still in good shape.
The two rest areas between Yuma and San Diego are closed. We stopped near the rest area in the mountains and had lunch.
At 12:30 PM California Time we arrived at home in Carlsbad.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Agua Caliente County Park 2011

We are on our way to Agua Caliente County Park for a three day outing with the Convair Camping Club. The warm water in the pool will be good for my back.
From there we will be heading to Quartzsite, Arizona.
The drive across the mountains was uneventful. We were going in the right direction. Oncoming traffic was heavy sometimes. People were heading home from the long weekend in the desert. Today was Martin Luther King Jr. day.
We arrived at the park at noon. The temperature was 85 degrees F.
It is shorts and T shirt weather.
At 4:30 PM we got together for heavy hors d’ oeuvres. The temperature in the evening was very pleasant. We had a good camp fire going.

I really enjoyed this glorious desert morning. The sun peaked across the mountains in the east, giving the mountains in the North and West a golden glow.
Sunsets and sunrises are spectacular in the desert.

A group of young people are working in the park. They come from all over the US.
One young man comes from New Jersey. He asked why the stars were flickering. He never saw this back home. The dry desert air facilitates a better view of the stars.
Today was an easy day. I did a lot of sitting around talking to people. Some of the group went for a hike. In the afternoon I went to the indoor pool and my sore back enjoyed the hot water.
We are co hosts for this outing. I had signed up for making turkey soup. At 5:00 PM we had dinner. Jackie’s big pot of pea soup and my big pot of Turkey soup were empty very fast.
The food table was loaded with shrimp, chips and salsa, salads and other food items. Nobody went away hungry.
The evening was again unusually warm. Almost everybody came to the camp fire.

Chappy and I went to Borrego Springs to visit Ron Carlson. We had a good time together.
From there we drove to Peg Leg Smith Monument. Most of the regular Snow Birds are there.
After lunch at a Mexican Restaurant we stopped at the library and I did my E mail.
Back at the park I went again to the pool.
For dinner we had Chili. Everybody brought a can of chili and we put them in one pot.
The camp fire was again enjoyed by all. This was a wonderful outing. The weather was perfect.

This was a driving day. Chappy and Dottie in their motorhome, and Doreen and I in ours took off for Quartzsite.
We stopped in Brawley at Walmart's parking lot for lunch and the women went in the store for some shopping.
We arrived at the WIN gathering place just in time for the 5:00 PM meeting.
The temperature is back to normal now. A sweatshirt feels just fine.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lunch with the Shanty Shakers 2011

We are not traveling but eating a lot.
Today we had lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory in San Marcos, California.
The Shanty Shakers, the Southern California Escapees, had their annual January lunch outing there.
We were a large group and had a lot of fun.
The group goes to Quartzsite in one week. We will be going too, but will be joining the WINs there. The RV Show is the main attraction, and of course the flea market.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011

Doreen and I wish a Happy New Year to all of our friends.
Last year was a good year. We were healthy (I was until November) and I recovered financially from the last stock crash.
Last February and March I bought a lot of stocks of Caterpillar, Illinois Toolworks, Crane and other companies.
They are all up and brought my portfolios in the black again.
We had a good time on our nine week trip to the Midwest. The weather was fantastic and we saw a lot of several states and were able to see some of my friends in Kansas, Illinois and Arkansas.
In Indiana we saw my cousin Waltraud and her family.
The new motorhome is fun to drive. The two previous motorhomes were kind of slow in the mountains. Going up the mountain I felt like helping the motor.
The new car runs good too. I finally got rid of the rattle in the front . I thought it was the plastic around the bumper and stuck foam in it. It did not help.
When we came back from our Thanksgiving outing I took the tow equipment off the car.
This time I did not put the pins back in the female receptacle on the car. I left them with the tow bar. The noise is gone now. The pins had enough play to rattle and I just could not find the problem.
I spent over $3,000.00 on tires in 2010. The motorhome, car and bicycle have new tires.
Now I have to take care of my back. My doctor sent me to a physical therapist and I had one session and will see her again on Monday.
I have to get better soon because I want to join my WIN friends in Quartzsite, Arizona, the last two weeks in January.
This picture was taking last year at the Spaghetti Factory in San Marcos, California. We were there with the Shanty Shakers, the Southern California chapter of the Escapees Camping Club.