Friday, January 13, 2012

Quartzsite 2012

We are on our way to Quartzsite.
Before we get there we will make two three day stops.
Today we arrived at the K.Q. Ranch Resort near Julian. We are here to check out the facilities.

The invitation mentioned $ 200.00 worth of Gasoline and a small computer for listening to their sales pitch. We will see.
The resort has a big swimming pool which has a large bubble over it . The water temperature is 86 degrees F. There are also tennis courts and a store. The club house has a big fire place.
Julian is at an elevation of 4,500 feet and it is a lot cooler than in Carlsbad. We are wearing our winter jackets.

Yesterday evening our neighbor called and informed me that there is mail for me at the Carlsbad Post Office and only I can sign for it. The letter is from the Internal Revenue Service and has to picked up within two weeks. After two weeks it goes back to the IRS.
It took me a year to get that letter, at least I hope it is the final communication I have with them, other than filing my yearly taxes.
We sent five letters back and forth. The IRS informed me every time that I would hear from them again in 60 days, and they were not kidding.
In 2009 I converted my IRA into a Roth IRA because the stock market was so far down. Besides tax deferred money I also had $ 24,000, of which I had already paid taxes on, in the account and thought I would not have to pay taxes again on that money.
The IRS sent me a letter last January asking for $ 6,500 more taxes. I should have paid that amount right away and then started explaining my situation. 60 days later the amount had grown to $ 8,500 with interest and penalty.
Then I paid up and tried to explain again. I went to the San Diego IRS office, but they could not figure out my problem. They tried to call the Utah office, the people I was trying to reach too by phone.
After five letters a registered letter arrives. I hope there is a check in it. I did the 2009 taxes again with their suggestions and I should get a few dollars back of the $ 8,500.

Today, in the morning, we went to the sales office for the 90 minute sales talk. It was very interesting and their parks are very beautiful but I would not spend that much money for a membership. Besides our RVing is different; I like to go boondocking with the WINs and our other camping clubs.
According to the scratch out card I won a computer, $ 200.00 worth of gasoline and $1,000 free camping at their parks.
The computer is a 7 inch notebook, which has no power at all, and is very slow. It is a toy for kids.
The gasoline rebate is with Shell. I can purchase gasoline for $ 50.00 a month and after four months send the receipts in and get the money back. I will see how that works. The purchases have to be 30 days apart and only $ 50.00 can be on the receipt.
The $ 1,000 worth of free camping is even more complicated.

The post office closed today at 12:30 PM and is closed on Monday because of the holiday. It would have been nice to go back to Carlsbad from here. Tuesday we will be in Agua Caliente County Park near Borrego Springs and a bit further.

In the afternoon we drove to Julian. It is still cool but not windy anymore. Doreen got her shopping fix while I watched the goings on, on Main Street.
One can ride in a regular buggy and one pulled by a pony. One guy had a llama and for money one could pet it. Because of the long weekend there were many people in town.

On the way home we stopped at the highway and looked down on Pinecrest, the former Convair campground. It is a membership RV Park now.
Because of the fire, which came through here several years ago, all the trailers and motorhomes can be seen. All the beautiful big trees are gone.

At 5:30 PM we went to the Clubhouse for steak and chicken dinners. The steaks and chicken were cooked outside on the BBQ.

My steak was cooked to perfection. I was happy with the whole dinner. The rest of the meal was baked potato, salad, a drink and dessert, all for $ 8.00.
We sat with our neighbors at the camping area, a man and three women. I told him that he is lucky to have three women. They were his wife, his wife’s mother, and his wife’s aunt.
During the day they went wine tasting and were in a good mood. We had a lot of fun sitting with them.

It rained last night. At 10:00 AM, when we went sightseeing, the sun came out.
We drove down the hill to Santa Ysabel, to Dudley’s bakery, and bought two bear claws. We ate them right there.
Dudley’s was again selected by the readers of the San Diego Union Tribune as the best bakery in the county.

Our next stop was at Wynola, a ten house town. We toured the large antiques shop.
From there we visited Julian one more time.
There the gunfighters were getting ready for a fight.

On the way home we stopped at Lake Cujamaca. The water level is very low. We need more snow and rain.

When we arrived back at the motorhome it started to rain again. Only one cloud had come to the mountain and is getting ready to go to the desert.

When we left the K.Q. Ranch Resort this morning there was a light rain and fog. After disconnecting the water and electric I followed Doreen to the store to get some propane. Doreen was driving the car.
I followed Doreen and she took the wrong turn into a no outlet little street. I noticed noise on the roof.
I had gone under a low branch of a tree.
Doreen stopped the car and helped me back out the motorhome. When we finally arrived at the propane pump I noticed I had forgotten to take the TV antenna down. We were lucky that we did not lose it when making contact with the tree branch.
Normally I take the TV antenna down before I do the outside work, because of the rain the procedure had changed.
The fog cleared when we came down to 3,000 feet.
When we arrived at 11:30 AM at Agua Caliente County Park we had blue sky and we could take off the sweat shirts. By 2:00 PM all the members of the Convair Camping Club had arrived and at 4:15 PM we had Happy Hour with heavy hors d’oeuvres.
I had gone to the pool and enjoyed the hot water.
As soon as the sun disappeared the temperature changed and it cooled off. We stayed at the camp fire until 6:00 PM.

We left Agua Caliente County Park at 5:00 AM. It took us only a bit more than two hours, by car, to get home.
First we turned off the light in the house we had forgotten to turn off and then we loaded the car with stuff we missed to take along.
Then we went to the post office to get my letter from the Internal Revenue. The letter was a disappointment. My problem is still not solved.
We also went to Walmart and did some shopping. Lunch we had at IN and Out Burger, Doreen’s favorite burger place.
We were back at the motorhome at 2:00 PM.
I went again to the pool.
At 4:00 PM we had Happy Hour and at 5:00 PM we had dinner. Tonight we used the little building. It gets too cold in the evening to sit outside.
Frank and Rhonda are now members of the club.

We took Rhonda and Frank to Borrego Springs to see the statues.
There are now 129 of them. Half way through the tour we ate our lunch at the Christmas Circle. A truck came by with a new statue on it. It was a large grasshopper. The women at the Chamber of Commerce told us that it will be part of a grasshopper/scorpion statue. The scorpion will eat the grasshopper.

It was another beautiful, sunny day. In the morning I walked through the park and met George, a friend from the Shanty Shakers, one of our other camping clubs.
He and his wife are here too.

In the evening it was a bit warmer than in the last two days. We sat around the camp fire for a few hours and then went to the little building and ate dinner.
I was going to fill the fresh water tank before we go to Quartzsite. Unfortunately the inlet valve fell apart and no water will enter the motorhome. As soon as we get to Quartzsite I will have to buy a new one and replace the old one. Quartzsite is the right place for that.

We have arrived in Quartzsite.
During the day the weather is perfect. It should be warmer tonight than in the last few days.
We are parked with Rhonda and Frank and their friends. I did not want them to be near the WINs since they have no solar panels and run their generators. Most WINs use their generators sparingly.
Doreen and I probably move Sunday to the area where the WINs are.
First we will show our little group where the parking is for the big tent and some of the shopping areas.

Quartzsite has the biggest flea market in the country. Today we did a small part of it.
Rhonda, Frank, and their friends headed for the area where beads are sold and we covered the general area.
While walking the rows we met some of our Shanty Shaker Camping Club friends and some from the Convair Camping Club.

Then we stopped at The Gambler where they sell parts for RVs. I bought two city water fill check valve assemblies, one with a male and one with a female connector.
When we got back to the motorhome I found out that both were wrong. I needed a male connector, but with a flat flange. Herb’s Hardware had what I needed.
Later, Frank, Howard and I went looking for a special hinge for the restroom door of Frank’s motorhome.
The stores we went to did not have it, but I returned the two water inlet assemblies.
On the way home I filled up two five gallon containers with water at the PIT Stop.
Back at the motorhome Frank and I tried out my new portable 12 volt water pump. Since my motorhome does not have a gravity fill for city water I have to use a pump when we are camping without hook ups.
After a little bit experimenting we were able to pump the water from the containers into the fresh water tank. This also proofed that the new city water fill assembly is working.
Late afternoon we had a small Happy Hour.

Doreen and I went shopping at the Main Event. It was not very exciting. The big tent was open today, but we do not go on the opening day. There are too many people. We will go there on Monday.

In the evening Melanie and Howard invited us to their motorhome for a taco dinner. It was a fun evening, good food and good company.

The wind picked up and one of the solar panels came down with a loud noise. It was scary. I hope the glass did not break. It was too dark and windy to check it out. I thought the two gas filled cylinders would be strong enough to keep the panels up.
I was wrong again.

Today we drove 100 miles for a good breakfast. We went to Yuma to visit Lola and Bruce. They are staying in Winterhaven.
The breakfast we had at the Cracker Barrel restaurant.

We also wanted to visit Vicki Daly and her father, but they had gone to a casino. Unfortunately we had no telephone number to reach them there.

Doreen and I left the motorhome early in the morning and were able to get a very good parking spot near the entrance of the big tent.
For the first 45 minutes it was easy moving around in the tent, then the masses arrived.
I am looking for a kit to change the 18 inch fluorescence ceiling light to a LED light. The vendor who has the tubes I like was out of them. They will have them tomorrow.
On the way home we stopped at the library. There were so many people on the library computers and their own that the system was very slow. I sent only text, no pictures.

When we got back to the motorhome we packed up and moved to the area where the WINs are staying. Sharon, the WIN president and Dick had just arrived too.
It was cloudy today and it rained for a few minutes.

At the 4:00 PM Circle Meeting we had a Life Celebration of the WINs who died last year.
We were lucky and it did not rain. There were dark clouds in the sky.

Pete Bonine was one of the most loved members. He helped everybody.
When Randy asked the group to raise their hands if Pete helped them throughout the years, almost everybody had their hand up.

It rained part of the night. When I woke up we had blue skies again.
I left early for the big tent and bought the parts for the conversion of the ceiling light in the motorhome.
Unfortunately I have no electric drill and can not remove the ballast and other parts from the light fixture; these parts are held by rivets. I have to wait until I get home.
At 2:30 PM we went, with our friends, to the Grubstake Restaurant. They serve the best fish and chips.
In the evening I went for an hour to the camp fire. Randy the poet was there and it is always fun with him around.

Now both of us are hobbling around. Doreen is still in pain from her fall out of the motorhome and uses a cane to get around.
This morning, while putting on my blue jeans, and standing on my left leg, I twisted something in my left leg and it really hurts. From now on I have to sit down while getting my legs in the trouser legs. It sucks to get old.
To get around I have to use Doreen’s walking stick.
After Hugs and Mugs we went into town and looked for a 30 amp female plug. At home I had looked at Home Depot and hardware stores. Nobody carries them. At The Gambler RV and junk store they claim they have some in their receiving department and will stock them soon.
I bought three more cheap T shirts and some small items for the motorhome. Doreen is very good so far and holding on to her money. Last year I spent over $ 600.00 on batteries here in Quartzsite.
Frank, Rhonda, Melanie and Howard left today for a RV Park in Parker.

In the afternoon some of the group had open house. We visited nine motorhomes and checked the improvements the owners had made.
After the 4:00 PM circle meeting I borrowed an electric drill from Ron and removed the ballast from the ceiling light fixture. I installed the LED strips and the controller. I do not have the correct connectors for attaching the wires to the switch. I will get those tomorrow. I hooked up the light without the switch and the light works.

We have summer weather.
At 12:00 noon we met Larry and Darlene, friends from St. Louis, at Silly Al’s restaurant.
It is always nice to get together with old friends.
Early afternoon we had an Ice Cream Social. All the members of the singles clubs in the area were invited.

At the 4:00 PM circle meeting Nelda served her home baked cookies. We had plenty of sugar today.
Doreen opened her wallet today and bought a fancy shirt.
I felt better today. There is still some pain in my left leg, but I got around.
This was a truly fantastic day.

Doreen and I went one more time to the big tent. It was easy to get around since most people covered the area already several times, and are doing other things.

In the afternoon we took it easy. The weather was not that great today. It was cloudy all day and late afternoon the wind picked up.
We had a great sunset though.

The outing is a success. There are over 100 motorhomes and trailers at this rally.
Which is a small number compared to the 55,000 rigs which are parked around the little town of Quartzsite.

After doing my E mail at McDonalds we went again to the Main Event flea market. This used to be the largest flea market in town. Now it is only a few booths. People go to the other areas now where they have new stuff.

Some members of the group went to the Desert Bar. Doreen did not feel well and we stayed home and rested.

Doreen wanted to go home.
So we took off real early in the morning. We will miss todays pizza party, with ice cream and Nelda’s cookies.
We also will miss the Kerry Christensen concert on the 31st at the Q, the large hall in Quartzsite.
On the way home we saw the stage coach, a metal sculpture, made by the same artist who makes the sculptures in Borrego Spring.
The sculpture and two Indian sculptures are located at the entrance of Vail Lake RV Resort. We were the only people there. I started the generator and heated up our lunch. It was a nice setting.