Because We Can - Fulltime RV'ing

Journal Archive 1/11 - 1/20 2012

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Wednesday January 11 Quartzsite, AZ

More Shopping


We are really set in our ways, maybe because we have been here so many times, or maybe because we just like it this way. Get up late, go shopping, lounge around, go to bed. What's not to like about a Life like that. We did venture out a little today, driving up to the Main Event, and even finding several items that we just had to have. We never spend very much on any one thing, but it does seem like the number of things mounts up.


Not everything we buy is for ourselves. As we walked into one store Linda stopped so suddenly I walked right into her.
"Do you see that?"
Or at least I thought that was what she said, though I didn't know how she could see the stars that were floating in my eyes from having run into her.
"There, right there."
And what to my starry eyes should appear but bright shiny penny smasher. Looks like Zachary is going to be getting another envelope sometime soon. We may be miles away from Zachary, but at moments like this he is right here with us.


One of the great things about walking around Quartzsite is that you never know what you might see next. This is one of those places. No sooner did I point out this very interesting camel to Linda, than I hear, "Take my picture."
You'd have thought she was a little kid, what with the great big smile and the giggles. A little old lady would likely stand very stiffly in front of this camel while telling her husband that is no way he going to put a picture like this on the Internet. That is most definitely not Linda, though she has her limits, most of which I find some way around, so here is a must visit if you're in Quartzsite. As to where it was, it was some where along the west end of Main Street. Besides part of the fun is all you see trying to find it. And isn't that one of the keys to enjoying Life, having fun.

Thursday January 12 Quartzsite, AZ

Even more Shopping


Early morning in Quartzsite. O.K., maybe not early morning as in early morning, but early morning as in our Quartzsite day. Note the Wave 6 toasting the young woman. Note the layers of clothing on the young woman. When I was a kid the coal furnace would go out overnight and even though it would be cold when we got up in the morning, I never complained. But the kids of today are different. It's hard to believe that a healthy young woman like this would take all the heat away from the old man taking the photo, but she did, and with a smile on her face. Some day Alice....


Our little corner of the desert. The dry wash with trees along its banks provides a screen to the rear and a place for birds to perch. Linda has been wondering when we might see more birds, as there have just been a few visiting the feeders so far. In the past our finch feeder has been mobbed but so far we have yet to see a single finch. We are getting a few visits from hummingbirds, but that is about it. Maybe there are good bird years and bad bird years. With our luck we will probably be mobbed next week just before it time to move to La Posa south.


Linda saw a photo of this location on another blog, and it had been on her must find list. Then we had to have a photo, though I think it was just a ruse to give her more time to caress this chicken. I know she would just love to buy something like this for our lot in Retama, which is exactly why they have rules to prevent this type of thing. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, though in this case it may be that beauty is in the eye of the holder.


Junk is also in the eye of the beholder and this isn't junk, it's decorator items waiting for the right person to come along. In a former time of a former life, we spent untold hours pawing through piles like this in search of something that we didn't know we wanted it until we saw it. We still have a longing for that time, thoughts which creep into our minds from time to time, but our lives have moved on, and we have new adventures awaiting to be uncovered.


Sometimes you just need to let the photo say it all. This is one of those times.


In the evening we went to the weekly Gospel Jam at the QIA, which costs all of $1 per person admission. While not everyone had the same level of talent, everyone sang from the heart. There were old favorites and also songs written by the individual performer. We remembered the backup band from previous years when we had attended these jams, and while time bring change, tonight's jam was both well attended and well received. Members of the audience are just as necessary as the performers, and we enjoyed playing our part. Thus ended another great day at Quartzsite.

Friday January 13 Quartzsite, AZ

What's old is new

It was seriously cold this morning, 35 outside and 44 inside, the cause being perfectly clear skies. Linda might have been born and raised in Appalachia, but that doesn't mean she was dullest knife in the drawer. Far from it, she is far smarter than me, which may just go to prove that I am actually the smarter one, having the good sense to marry her.

What this means is that once I finally got out bed, 8:27 being the magic moment when I first looked at the thermometer and wondered what I doing getting up for this, I proceeded to don layers and play with the Droid until the inevitable shaking of the coach signaled that the grizzly's nightly hibernation was coming to its end. Imagine my astonishment as she came up front, started the generator, turned on the heat pump, and said "You might like it cold, but I don't." I was so shocked I didn't know what to say, so luckily that is exactly I did. Good Bob. Warm Bob.


Our secret as to what we did today is now out, though there was a hint in the title. The reason we made sure to get here this week is because the annual New Christy Minstrels two concerts are today and we had tickets for the 2 o'clock show. We decided to walk over, one because it gives us exercise and two, because the Explorer has been a little stubborn about starting as of late. Rather than take a chance that it would throw a fit today and not start, we opted to leave at one o'clock to walk over. I won't go through our discussion as to the best time to leave, but I will say that we compromised with Linda getting her way and me getting my life.


We are not groupies. I can honestly say that because we were once groupies for another group, driving long distances to all their concerts and securing front row seats to every concert. Once the leader of that group came off the stage during a performance, sat beside Linda, put his arm around her and sang Unchained Melody to her. Those days and that group is no more, but if you want to talk groupie, that's a groupie, and we even had three little kids at the time who were stuck with some poor babysitter those nights.


It took a little longer than we anticipated to walk over to the QIA, even though we had allowed time for Linda to remove rocks from her Keenes. It may have been the hat blowing off her head that caused the problem, or maybe it was just that it took longer than either of us figured it would. It worked out in the end as even though it was open seating, we got seats in the second row at the left side of the stage, which balanced out the time we had seats on the right side side of the stage several years ago.


Since Linda walked down to the end of the stage to take this photo, I'd better use it, so here it is. I was so into the music I forgot to take a single photo, but lucky for me, Linda isn't no screaming wild eyed groupie, at least not now. As always it was a great show, full of laughs and great music. I will say that as long as The New Christy Minstrels keep coming to Quartzsite, whenever we are here we will be attending their show. Life is simply to short to do anything else, plus a person has to know when limitations are for someone else.

Saturday January 14 Quartzsite, AZ

Out and about


Slowly but surely the birds are finding the feeders. I can tell because usually I hear, "Bob, Bob, Look, there's a bird at the feeder." Now if I walk past the window, look out, see a bird, and say something to Linda about it, all I hear is "Yes, and there are a couple more in the bushes", or something like that. Interesting how quickly the unusual becomes the common place.


Today's outing was filled with rocks, but as you can tell from the look on Linda's face, she wasn't happy with not being able to make any significant purchases. Then in the middle of rock shopping our son called and during the conversation let slip that he really like Tiger Eye. I didn't recall seeing any Tiger Eye up to this time and neither did Linda, but as you might guess, from then on all we could see was Tiger Eye. What is in the mind the eye sees. No, that's not it, it's what the eye sees that the mind sometimes recognizes.


Linda doing her good deed. The young lady to the right was getting ready to take a photo of the other four people when Linda volunteered to take the picture. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a picture of Linda taking a picture. What makes it really special is that it shows that Linda just doesn't say she tries to do a special kindness for someone every day, she actually goes out and does it. Lucky Bob.


A small repair that hopefully will fix the occasional starting problem. It's the old, if you don't know what the problem is, just throw some parts at it and maybe it will be fixed. If nothing else, the new clamp sure does look pretty. Hint, if you don't like dust Quartzsite is definitely not the place for you.


Linda just had to take this photo and then made me promise to post it, all the time laughing so hard I could barely understand what she was saying. It seems like her driving this afternoon consisted of careening from rock to shrub with the resulting being I had to walk out to the car a number of times and untangled it. This of course was accompanied by various comments about women drivers.

I should have guessed my time would come because eventually I found myself in the same situation after having turned a corner in what was really a straightaway. As I walked over to retrieve the car, I heard "Wait, wait." I guess she was just waiting for the right opportunity to get back at me, and it serves me right. Bad Bob. No more comments about Linda's RC car driving.


In the evening we went to a Camp Meeting at the First Assembly of God Church in Quartzsite. It was our first ever Camp Meeting, as well as our first time in an Assembly of God church. I'll say we now have a better understanding of what the term "Evangelical Christian" means. Ron and Opal, a husband and wife country gospel duo performed, and the preacher keep saying he wasn't preaching. But as much as I adjusted my hearing aids, it sure seemed to me like he was preaching. I think Linda summed the experience up best when she said that Ron just didn't seem sincere. That while he talked the talk in terms of the words and songs, unfortunately he looked like an entertainer and acted like an entertainer and so came across as an entertainer who was doing something he had done hundreds of times before. Still, we got to experience something new in Life, plus listening to Opal was uplifting.

Sunday January 15 Quartzsite, AZ

A sad morning

Unfortunately when we came out front this morning Red Rob had gone to great pond in the sky where the water is always just the perfect temperature and the mosquito larva are endless. He hadn't been himself the past week, very lethargic, which as best we could determine from the websites we read, was due to the variation in water temperature. Linda had even gone so far as filling some old canning jars with heated water, putting them around his tank, then covering everything with the insulated bag we use to bring frozen food home from the store in hot weather in hopes of keeping him warmer at night. We'd had him for 7 months and were sad to lose him as he was as personable as he was pretty.


Later in the morning we noticed some activity across the wash behind us. There is road back there that has a pretty bad dip in it, and someone tried to cross it in Class A toyhauler when they shouldn't have. The long rear overhang got hung up, or so we surmised as the action of dragging it back out was almost over before we saw what was happening. Just another reason why we always scout out where we are going in the Explorer when we get here.

In the afternoon we drove down to La Posa South to check out the area where we will be moving to in a few days. Then we drove up north of town to the Hi Jolly 14-Day Camping Area to visit with Leonard and Val. Leonard is an RC plane enthusiast and had invited me out to the field several mornings to watch them fly before the daily winds come up. It is cold here in the morning, something that doesn't bother Leonard who is from Idaho, but I was finding that cuddling up to a snoozing grizzly was a great way to keep warm so the flying was going on without me.

We had a great time visiting and sharing experiences, which meant the afternoon just flew by. In fact it flew by so fast I didn't realize I hadn't taken any photos until we were back at the coach. For dinner we had leftovers that every bit as good as the first time we had them, and then it occured to us that we have eaten leftovers every evening since we arrived in Quartzsite. In a way that is exactly what Quartzsite is to us. We stay in pretty much the same places, go to pretty much the same vendors, buy pretty much the same things, yet no matter how many times we have done it, it is just as much fun as it was that very first time. As the saying goes, Quartzsite, you'll either love it or hate it. Easy to tell how we feel about it.

Monday January 16 Quartzsite, AZ

Thank you

We really appreciate the many emails and comments we have received about Red Rob. Sure he was just a fish, and while many people have never had fish, please understand that little guy knew us and interacted with us. And yes there is a new Betta somewhere in our future, but we are going to wait until we are done boondocking in the desert before it happens. Linda has said that maybe we should pick our next Betta just as we did our Christmas trees when we would cut the one that no one else wanted. We shall see. And I will also do some checking to see if Red might have kept a diary or other writings of his Life and travels, as our reader Frank suggested might exist.


Monday has always been the traditional day to do the wash, and just because we never follow that convention doesn't mean we couldn't fight the crowds and do the laundry today. There are a number of places in town to wash your clothes, and we have used most of them over the years. Today it was the Main Street Laundry which is a short ways east of the center of town, on you guessed it, Main Street. And while it was very, very busy, I did find a parking space and Linda did find an available washer.


While the washing took place in town, the drying took place at the coach on the drying rack. First however there was some coach washing that took place. There is no way that clothes drying on the rack can contact the coach, but Linda was taking no chances. My position was she had merely rearranged the dirt on the back of the coach. I don't know exactly what her position was, but the glare she gave me could have caused a male grizzly to run away whimpering as it disappeared with its tail tucked between his legs. Bob said nothing more. Good Bob.


The answer to the question, does Linda love her drying rack, has the same answer as does Linda love chocolate. In the past 45 years there have been lot of Bad Bob situations and at least a few of Good Bob's as well. I have to think this ranks up near the top of the Good Bob list, which should give you an idea of just how bad the Bad Bob's really were. Lucky Bob that Linda has never done him in, in spite of all the times she wanted to.


RV's come in all shapes and sizes in Quartzsite, but during our afternoon walk we saw one that gave new meaning to the idea of a tiny RV. Solar panel on top, roof vent, TV antenna, propane tank, the only thing missing was what in German is called lebensraum, i.e., adequate space in which to live, develop, or function. Or at least it looked that way to us. Room to sleep, or to cook? What about the three lawn chairs under the veranda? If I had to live that close to Linda all the time, I'd soon be clawed to death. And it would no doubt be very deserved.


"Take my picture in front of this old Saguaro, I love that gnarled top."
"Yes dear."


View to the front. I guess you could say we have officially become Texans as we now proudly display the Texas flag. Funny thing is that we know a number of full timers that are from South Dakota, and never have we seen them display the the flag of that state. I don't know what that really means, but since there are more than twice as many people who live in Houston as live in the entire state of South Dakota, I have a pretty good idea. I guess it's a case of Texans not needing to brag, and South Dakotan's not have anything to brag about.


Sunset in Quartzsite, just couldn't pass this one up. And remember, Life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't be afraid to laugh, love and retire early.

Tuesday January 17 Quartzsite, AZ

Donation Day


Another of the our Quartzsite traditions was on today's schedule, our donation drop at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. We did have a bit of a problem finding the store, as they had to move after losing their lease. The new building is nearly ready, but for the time being they are operating out of storage containers and outside displays, with a trailer also in the mix. I guess the good news was that they were excited about how nice the items we dropped off were, and I was thankful that because of their sparse inventory, Linda was unable to find anything to buy, meaning that for once we donated more than we bought.


Next we drove up to the Main Event, where Linda did an excellent job of picking up numerous stray boulders from the gravel and depositing them in her sandals. I know that the term boulder can mean different things to different people, but Linda assured me that the degree of pain inflicted by the object in her hand means that was most definitely a boulder. Bob just smiled and took the photo. Good Bob.


Back at the coach Linda claimed to be tired of doing nothing and set about washing the coach windows. This engendered some head scratching on my part as I recalled all the driving around I had done this morning looking for the Salvation Army store that had moved. Then there was the couple of hours shopping in the Main Event area. I was also puzzled as to why I had to get out the ladder and set it up, as well do do a couple of other things if she was one who was tired of doing nothing. Especially since I was tired from all the doing somethings that we had been doing up to this time today. At least I was smart enough not to make comments on the quality of washing the washer woman was doing. And that was very good, Good Bob.


As you can tell, someone was not very happy about having their photo taken. There was something about flames, heat and smoke, the exact quotes not being suitable for publication in a journal of this nature. The reason for the fire was it was looking very much like we would be moving to La Posa South tonight, where the Monaco group of the IRV2 forum was gathering. What you say does that have to do with this fire? Well after building that fire ring then moving it the first day in Quartzsite, we had never built a fire in it. So before we moved, it was going to get used. Pyro-mom had a great time burning all the paper she had collected during the past week, though you'd never know it from the look she was giving me.

In the end we did move just before it got dark, meeting everyone, then getting set up. It is always interesting when you meet people you only know from their forum names, and I had fun proving that there was really a reason for my BaldOldBob screen name. Later back in the coach Linda remarked several times what a great group this was and it looked like we were going to have a really neat time. We had been looking forward to this and having a great time, and that was exactly what was happening. Funny about that isn't? Expect something nice and that is almost always what happens. Expect something bad and that is almost always what happens. Life spelled life, or Life, it's up to us.

Out and about La Posa South


There are satellite dishes and then there are satellite dishes. Sure, there are several RV's in the photo, and contrary to what I've always heard, it looks like there are times when size does matter. Don't know who the rig in the foreground belongs to, but hidden behind it is Don Bradner's who runs the website, the place to go to learn and get help concerning satellite internet.


Linda pointing out one of the big problems you will encounter while at Quartzsite. And no, it's not that you will run into something and damage your RV like this. It's the little old men that drive the thousands of RV's you will see at Quartzsite. You have to watch out for them little old guys just so they don't run into you just as they ran into a rock, post or tree somewhere else in their travels. They get behind the wheel and think they are King of the Road, when they can't even drive the thing without running into something. No doubt the owner of this Tiffin was bragging to his wife about what a great driver he was when he tore up the side of coach.


The early morning line at the dump station. Four LTVA's in this area, thousands of RV's parked all over the desert and only two vehicles can dump at a time. That is why you see the pumpout trucks cruising through the area with names such as, Yesterday's Meals on Wheels, which is my favorite. We did dump and fill with water in the afternoon which wasn't without a bit of discussion when someone tried to cut in front of me in line. I think the big words I used, ones with more than four letters and more than one syllable, may have confused him, because after few back and forths he went back to the end of the line. Of course the fellow that keeps watch over things like this was over at the water fill area at the time, but all ended well. At least it was no high falutin' Tiffin driver acting like he was King of the World. Of course he would most likely have run into the posts at the dump station if that had been the case.


I'd mentioned before that this group of people like to fix things while they are here, and it wasn't long before the ladders were up and slideout toppers were being replaced on a coach. I guess I could say I made progress in my skill level, progressing from tool handler to ladder holder before finally reaching the top of the ability ladder by doing some work while on the roof. They sure made it look a whole lot easier than when Linda and I replaced our slide toppers.


In the end it was a really great day, even if we almost got run over on our morning walk by one of those wild driver's who turned out to be Mark and Sue of What A Ride, but at least his driving skills were a good deal better than the fellow sitting next to him. Sorry readers, but in this case I am not naming names nor telling what this all about to protect those that can't protect themselves.

Our friends George and Kelli from Betty's RV Park also stopped in to see us. We thought we had seen their coach drive in earlier in the day, and we were right. It's always amazing what wonderful people we seem to meet during our travels, and we had a great time catching up on things and filling them in a little more on the Quartzsite experience they would be taking part in. The perfect end to the day was the sunset, and I can bet Linda will post a photo of it, so I will show its glow as it illuminates the coach. This is what Life is all about.

Thursday January 19 Quartzsite, AZ

The QIA Pow Wow and old friends


Flowers in the desert as one of our Narcissus bulbs shows its first bloom. We may not have a flower garden on the scale we did in our other life, but Linda does her best to provide a little color, even if as in this case the color is white. This is her first attempt with Narcissus and it looks like they may be something we will be seeing again and again in the coming years.


In the afternoon we drove up to La Posa North, parked near where we had been staying the past week and walked to the QIA were the Pow Wow was being held. As we walked up and over the I-10 bridge we counted 58 buses in this group that was parked across from Rice Ranch. At the Pow Wow there were so many vendors it was impossible to check out every booth, and while the show was all about rocks and minerals, we avoided the temptations all around us and didn't buy any.


There was one thing that we could pass by, and they were so unique and dear to our hearts that we ended up with two of them. Many, many decades ago a relative of the lady I am talking to made impressions of a number of petroglyphs, not by using paper and graphite, but by using paint on cloth and now they are really going to look nice in our Retama coach house. Most people probably pick their color palette then buy accessories to fit in with it. We buy the accessories then try to figure what color palette will go with them. I guess I should be glad Linda didn't fall in love with the ones on either the purple or maroon fabric.

We also stopped by the RV America group site, which is where we have stayed during the Big Tent RV Show week in years past. Carl and Sandy had their trailer parked there, and while were visiting with them, Mike and Linda, as well as Virgil and Sharon arrived. We told them that even though we would not be staying with them this year, the 5 o'clock Happy Hour would find ready to party every night. Friends that you see only once every year or two, another thing that makes Quartzsite so special.

Friday January 20 Quartzsite, AZ



I was remiss in not posting a photo of the petroglyph painting rubbings we bought yesterday, though the fact we didn't take any photos until this morning probably had a lot to do with it. We love the two images, but as to what they are, who knows for sure, but they should definitely be conversation pieces. They are from the Pacific Northwest and the actual petroglyphs are now covered by the waters backed up from a dam.


In Quartzsite RV's come in all shapes and sizes, as this setup shows. The plates on the Super B were "DA HIVE" and the plates on the Smart car were "A BZZY B". Who says RVers don't have a great sense of humor? Now if I can just get a photo of the huge tandem axle semi truck that pulls the tiny little 5th wheel, the picture will be complete.


Most of our day was taken up with visiting. In the early afternoon we attended the Datastorm users get together, where 90% of what was said went over my head and I didn't hear the other 10%. Still we got to put some faces to names and also learned that our troubles with the equipment are actually minor in comparison to what many others experience.

Later we got to spend a few hours with old friends and new ones around the RV America campfire where we enjoyed the snacks and conversation as we caught up on each others travels over the past year. I also have to say that for just plan simple snacks, the variety of foods sure couldn't be beat. What is there about eating, talking and laughing around a campfire as the sun sets over the mountains in the desert west? I really can't explain it, but I can feel sorry for those who have never had the experience. They really don't know what they are missing.

Speaking of missing, our friends George and Kelli have already left Quartzsite, not because they wanted to, but because they had to. No, they didn't act like Real Texans and get kicked out of the Bluebird group gathering. When they went to turn on their generator the other morning, it made noises that even a mother couldn't love. It appears they have a bad bearing, or maybe a really, really bad bearing, though the end result was the same. Which was no generator, so no power, and that meant they were off to the Bullhead City area, first to rest a few days and then to tackle that little problem. Always keep in mind that the only RVers who never have a problem are the RVers who never use their RV. Which would you rather be?

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