Mono Lake

Windy morning

I got up this morning to a lot of wind.  I checked the weather and it was blowing 10-15 mph.  I was debating whether to stay or head out into the wind.I checked the Weather Channel and it said windy today and windier tomorrow (15-25mph).  If I stayed here I would need to stay two more days.  I needed to get a few items at Walmart so packed up and headed to the Walmart in Ridgecrest, CA.  The wind wasn’t too bad so decided to head out.  My destination was Mono Lake where I know a great boondocking spot.

There were a few times when the wind got very gusty, but overall it was OK.

Stopped in Bishop

I had to stop at the Schat’s Bakery to pick up their famous Sheepherder’s bread.  However they were completely sold out.  BUMMER!!!  Instead I got a loaf of Sourdough Rosemary bread which I am sure will also be very delicious.  I couldn’t wait so just buttered a slice and it was really yummy.

Mono Lake

I am boondocking in the same spot I had when I came up here in 2012.  It is a great spot overlooking the lake.

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This is a pic of some of the beautiful wild flowers growing right outside our door.

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Some pics taken in different directions surrounding our campsite.

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There is still snow on the surrounding mountains as we are up 8,000 feet.  The temp is supposed to get down to 35 tonight so Chica is already warming up on my jacket.  Looks like we will run the heat tonight.

 

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Batten down the hatches

Rain on it’s way

The rain that hit Southern California is headed this way.  That means making sure I have everything I need for a few days as I don’t want to be traveling down muddy roads.  Going to Yuma requires driving on a dirt road for about a mile and then it turns into pavement.  Hopefully we will not be hit too hard.

Dumped tanks and got estimate

Yesterday I dumped tanks and filled up with water.  After that I drove into RVDecor in Yuma to get an estimate on replacing my carpeting with wood flooring.  My carpeting is really hard to keep clean especially when you are camping in inclement weather such as rain and snow.  Besides that I just want a new and improved look.  The owner came out and checked my rig and told me they could put in wood flooring and new carpeting in the cab.  Great, but how much.  $1800.  YUK!!!

Since I don’t have that kind of money floating around I told him thanks for the estimate and drove back to Mittry Lake.  It is something I will definitely have to save for.  I have replaced my window blinds and when I am at my sister’s home in a month or so I will change the curtains over the kitchen window and the door.  Then I only have one more blind in the back to replace.  While I am in Yuma, I am going to Lowe’s and pick up a kitchen faucet.

Vet Appointment

While they were here Debbie and Gayle and Jim took their animals into the Foothills Animal Hospital for shots and checkups.  They were very happy with them and so I called yesterday and was able to get an appointment for Chica at 2:15.  She is going to have her annual shows, nails trimmed and teeth cleaned.  The vet is not her favorite place to be, but hope all goes well and we are in and out in a short time.  I will let you know how things go.

This was a piic of her at her first vet visit last year in Mesa, AZ.

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I will try to get a couple of pics this time as well.

Chica’s Birthday

Chica’s Big Day

Yesterday we celebrated the day that Chica and I first met each other.  It was on February 25, 2013 that we both came into each others’ lives.  Since that day we have traveled in 2 countries, 2 provinces, and 10 states and almost 10,000 miles.  We have been in 100+ degree heat in Libby, MT and -4 degree cold in Fernley, NV.  But it has been a wonderful experience for us both.  Her she is trying to play with her friend Elvis.

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I bought a big cupcake for her and we lit the one candle.

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I’m not sure she knew what was going on but she was sure hamming it up for the camera.

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Then I got the presents out.  I am not sure she is too keen on a new collar, but I’m sure she will like it better then the one she has.  She also got a small beaver and a small ducky.  She really likes both the beaver and the ducky.

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It was really a fun day.

Produce Stands

One big advantage of staying in the Yuma area is the great produce stands they have.  We got to going to one that was not too far from us and had very fresh produce and really good prices.  I didn’t really stock up as I wanted to cook it when it was really fresh.  So I might go into town and stop here on the way home.  This one was located on Hwy 95 just south of 7E.

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Martha’s Gardens

A couple days ago we all piled into Jim and Gayle’s car and decided to check out Martha’s Gardens.  They have all types of dates there in many sizes of boxes.  It was very nice with lots of places to sit and eat.

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However they were very expensive so we decided to buy dates at the smaller produce stand shown above.  The dates there were very good.

Yuma Water

The water we got from the RV park was not very tasty and we heard that water in the area is not really good.  That must be the reason that you see water stands everywhere throughout the Yuma area.  Normally you get 5 gallons for a $1.  We even found one stand where you get 5 gallons for $.50.  What a bargain.  Here we are getting a supply of drinking water.

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Jim, Gayle and Debbie depart

I have had a wonderful time with Jim, Gayle and Debbiie.  Thanks so much for showing me such a great time.  Chica had a great time with Sophie, Elvis, Rupert and Elliot as well.  They left this morning for more adventures in California.  Chris and I are left.  I have a couple more dental appoints the first week in March and will probably head to Phoenix/Mesa area the second week to meet up with my son and attend some Spring Training games.

The weather here has been fantastic since I arrived here on the 3rd, however it is scheduled to rain this weekend so that will help keep the dust down.  It should also bring out the desert flowers.  I will take a few hikes before leaving to get more pics.

Yuma River Days

All aboard

We all piled into Debbie’s car and headed off to see the Yuma River Days.  Jim decided to stay back.  It is a small street celebration with arts and crafts, clothes, food and music.  Immediately after parking the car up strolls Chris.  We keep running into him in different places/countries.  How ironic!  We all walked thru the exhibits together and then shortly afterward Chris had to leave.  It was a cloudy day which helped to keep temps down a bit, but it was still very hot.

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The festival takes place in the old downtown section of Yuma.  Here is a pic of the historic Yuma Theatre built in the early 1900’s.

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This used to be an old Casino, but has been changed into a diner.  Very Cool!!  I got this pic of Gayle behind bars.  HA!!

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Chica’s Relative?

While walking thru the exhibits I saw this lady carrying a Chihuahua that looked very similar to Chica.  Too bad I didn’t bring Chica to see if they knew each other. DUH!! I am sure.

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At the end of the exhibits they had a couple playing music.  They were just getting warmed up.

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This ice cream cone sure looked tempting.  I didn’t get one here but did manage to sneak one in later in the day.

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Arizona Marketplace

Chris had mentioned that there was a flea market much like we experienced in Quartzsite.  So off we went.  We found a spot where it was a mall atmosphere with many small booths set up inside a big building.  Not what we were looking for.  Debbie found out what we were looking for and at 4th and 32nd streets you will find the Arizona Marketplace.  Lots of RV accessories, food, hardware, etc.  The same stuff we saw in Quartzsite although all the vendors were entirely under a shaded roof.  Much cooler.  It is only open from Thursday thru Sunday and the admission is only $.50 so we plan to go back some other time.

Have you ever heard of toilet tattoos?  I never had, but they had all kinds.

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We finally got tired of wandering through all the stuff and headed home.

Dumped/Added water

This was the first day I absolutely had to dump my tanks and take on water.  It had been 14 days and felt I really conserved.  I had to drive 8 1/2 miles to the Laguna RV Park where I had to pay $10 to dump and $5 for water.  That is really cheap considering I haven’t paid anything for camping.

Another beautiful sunset

We all sat around talking and enjoying our beverage of choice and got to experience another beautiful sunset.  The sunsets here have really been fabulous.

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A lazy President’s Day

Today I don’t plan on going anywhere except maybe a short walk around the campsite with Chica.  No plans means a nice relaxing day.

Arrived in Quartzsite

Wonderful time with family and friends

I was really glad to see my family and so many friends for the holidays.  Bev and Bob were great hosts and showed me a wonderful time.  On the 3rd I left their house to return to my rig to get it ready for the trip to Quartzsite.  B & B had gone out to Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern and picked up some chili and deviled eggs for me and dropped them off at the rig.  This is a pic of Bev with Chica.

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I usually only see my family once a year at Christmas and it is always a great time.

Back on the road

I left So CAL on the 4th and landed in Quartzsite that afternoon.  I immediately drove to the RV Pit Stop and filled up with propane then headed to the La Posa West LTVA where I paid my $40 for my first two weeks here.  Then it was off to the dump station where I dumped my tanks and filled up with fresh water.  Now I am ready to go.  I found many friends who had just arrived that day and John led me to a great spot.  It sure feels good to be out in the desert again.  We have a great spot with lots and lots of room for anyone who would like to join us.

A bit chilly

The days have been nice with clear blue skies.  Yesterday the wind blew from the north.  Everyone was saying that it was blowing the cold air in from Fernley, NV where I worked at Amazon.  Last night the temperature got down to 31.  I didn’t run the furnace but had the catalytic heater running all night.  Here are a couple of pics showing how Chica stays warm.

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Her favorite spot is right in front of the Wave 3 catalytic heater.

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All of us are quite comfortable out here in the desert as you can see from the next pic.  Working on a rig you always need a box of wine handy.  HA!

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Come out and join us

If you are anywhere near this area (within 1,000 miles – HA!) stop in and join us.  Roger and John went into town and picked up a lot of firewood and we have fires every night under the stars.  During the day it warms up nicely and we always have a Happy Hour to BS about just about any subject anyone can think of.

A Crazy Month!

Brakes repaired and back on the road

I was finally able to get the brakes repaired and am now back on the road.  The caliper on the right front brake had seized causing all kinds of damage to my rotor.  I had to have that replaced as well as both front brakes replaced.  I then headed to Laramie, WY where I had to have my drug test performed for my Amazon stint this winter.

I spent one night outside of Laramie at the Curt Gowdy State Park.  It was nice but hard to get level and they charge $17 a night for no hook-ups.  If you have a boat it would be a great place to go.

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I spent a couple of nights in Laramie at a KOA thanks to the advice of Steve.  It was nice but too expensive for my taste.  I would much prefer boondocking down a lonely country road.

I then headed back to Saratoga, WY to pick up my mail.  I was only going to stay there a couple of days before meeting my friends in Colorado, but wound up being there for a week.  This was when all the rain began and the major flooding in Colorado.  I didn’t want to even drive into any problems due to weather.  Besides I had an electric site for only $10 per day.  It rained and was overcast almost every day so I was glad to have the electricity.

Meeting friends in Salida, CO?

I was going to drive to Salida, CO where I was going to meet up with friends and then travel further south.  This is where the fun began.  I got to the 40/70 junction in Colorado and my brakes started getting REALLY mushy.  I had been going down a long grade behind a truck hauling timber.  There were many turns where you had to slow down to 20 mph.  Not very fun!

Then I noticed my brakes smelling and pulled over for about an hour to let them cool down.  Obviously it wasn’t enough time and it scared the crap out of me further down the road just past Empire, CO.  I located a Minton Park using my Ultimate Campgrounds app on my IPhone.  I unhooked and drove back there to check it out.  Fortunately Empire was only a mile from where I had pulled over.

The park sign said you needed permission to camp there, but no one was around.  I then drove past their Police Station so decided to check with them.  They gave me permission so I figured that was good enough.

I then used the Allstays Camp and RV app on my IPhone to check the grades of the roads leading out of Empire.  I did not want to go west as I originally planned since there were several long grades so I decided I would go east to Denver and have my brakes checked there.  But after looking at the map I determined that was not the best idea either since there were two truck runaways at the bottom of 70.

I still didn’t feel comfortable driving so I contacted Coach Net and had them tow my rig to a Ford dealer in Denver.  When I got there in my Sami the dealer told me they could not work on my rig because of the length.  Doesn’t this sound familiar?

I test drove it around a bit and didn’t notice a problem with the brakes so I hooked up the Sami and decided to head on down to Abiquiu Lake to meet up with many friends who were camping there.  I knew I25 was flat with no major grades and the brakes were performing as they should.

To make a long story short I believe getting new brakes and immediately heading into the mountains with major downhill grades is not the thing to do.  They heated up on me and I was very lucky nothing major happened.

Made it to Abiquiu

I drove the 448 miles to Abiquiu Lake, NM without any problems.  There are many of us parked here for a week prior to moving on to the Albuquerque, NM Balloon Fiesta starting at the end of the month.

Got my hands slapped big time!

I was also notified by my Internet provider that I have exceeded their monthly limit big time.  While still in Wyoming while boondocking on the Wild Horse Canyon road I may have mentioned that I was about a mile from the towers.  I had great 4G reception and nobody to talk to way out in nowhere land.  So what do I do.  Watch free movies from my Amazon Prime account and several Angels baseball games as well.

Well that caught up with me and they cut off my usage until the beginning of next month.  That is why I have not blogged since 9/5.  Jeannie of On the Road with Riley fame is parked next to me and was very gracious in allowing me to use her Internet connection to make this post.  Thanks Jeannie!!!

Crazy month for me

Yes it has been a crazy month and glad everything has settled down.  Now I am doing what I enjoy.  Camping in a beautiful spot with great friends.

This was a sunset pic taken the other night.  As always the sunsets in NM are spectacular.

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Thanks all for being so patient.

Old Wrecked Car and Wildfire

Truck parts came in

I got a call from Jacks Truck and Equipment that the parts they ordered had arrived.  I am scheduled to go in early tomorrow.  I can’t wait to get back on the road.

I am still planning on going East to Saratoga, WY,  but I will also have to go a bit further East to Laramie, WY to take the drug screening test for working at Amazon this winter.  That was the closest town to my present location.  So after repairs I will head to Saratoga, WY and pick up my mail and then on to Laramie, WY for the drug screening test.  

Today I decided to learn more about the camera in my IPhone and what it is capable of doing.  I learned how to turn off the flash, zoom in or out, take a video, etc. etc.  I took the following panoramic of the area I am presently in.  It is not quite as good as my Nikon D5100, but it is still fairly good. 

Panorama taken with IPhone of area I am presently in

Panorama taken with IPhone of area I am presently in

I had also took this pic last week but am just now showing it.  Just over the edge of the plateau where I am camped is this car that looks like it has been there for some time.  I am surprised it did not go all the way down the hill.  That would have been quite a ride.

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It was quite a ways down the plateau and I really didn’t want to climb down there, but what if there was bones or a body in it?  I grabbed the camera and headed down to see what mystery was down there.

The car had no engine, hood, seats or anything else that goes inside a car.  Also no tires and that is probably what kept it from rolling all the way down.  It looks like someone just came out here and shoved it off the plateau.  There were also a million bullet holes in it. 

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Great WiFi

Ever since I got here I have had great 4G cell service and WiFi.  I am about 1/2 mile from the nearest tower.  I don’t even have to use my Sleek booster.  You can barely seen the tower in the center.

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Wildfire in the distance

I have been watching the smoke from this fire ever since I got here.  It is northwest towards the Pinedale where I came from.  There were two separate fires but hopefully they got one of them out.  A few minutes ago it had black smoke billowing upward.  It may have burned a car or something.

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Not too much else to tell you.  Hopefully tomorrow will go OK and I will be back on the road.