Friday, January 29, 2010

20 days out in the desert and another quiz...

Sorry about the delay between posts but we have been having lots of fun out in the desert at Quartzsite Arizona. Before we get into the details of our last 20 days we have a little quiz for our readers.

The question is "what do the following items have in common"? First is the vertical edge of the bedroom slide-out on a Montana 5th wheel. That would be the one about 5' off the ground.

A bicycle, to be precise, a mans bicycle with lots of mileage on it, to be more precise, Dick's bicycle.

Add a hat with a large brim so as to shade the face from the sun and out of ones eyes if kept pulled down.

We all know that a bicycle helmet is a must for riding.

We will leave you to contemplate the above and continue with a few pictures of our time with the Montana Owners Club rally.
We had over 50 rigs this year, up from about 32 last year. Our wagonmasters, Robbie and Alice, spent a lot of time setting up a perfect circle so every rig had the same size space. We had two different flyer's bring us aerial pictures of our circle as they were so impressed with what they saw from the air. We did take up a large spot in the desert and in the center was our fire pit for the evening fire every night.

An afternoon shot of some of the rigs. Ours is the first on the bottom left. Most all either flew a flag or had a bird flying from a pole.
No we did not have a power hook-up out here. The shore power cable out the back or our rig ran to our generator and then to our new 1200 watt inverter, (thanks Robbie). We installed 4 AGM gel-cell 12 volt batteries at 101 watts each. So now we can sit and watch television from our batteries.

This was the first early afternoon potluck with lots and lots of good food and great people. A little windy but that's typical out here. Also typical was lots of excellent food, both for the potlucks and for happy hours every evening.

Sitting around eating our potluck meal and guarding the huge pile of firewood. This year we had a large fire in the evenings and a small one in the morning while the guys solved the world problems over morning coffee.

During our stay we were hit by one of the worst storms in Arizona's history complete with a tornado just a few miles down the road. The end of the storm was moving over our circle and after spending most of the day inside most everyone started to come out of their rigs to get some pictures.

In town there was lots and lots of damage.

We decided to take some people out to The Desert Bar and ended up with about 8 truck loads of people. Remember that this is a bar open on weekends only and is operated without any outside power 5 miles out in the desert. A real fun place and we hope to get out there again.
We all shared a portion of one of the sitting areas and we did get a dance or two in thanks to a live band.

One of the last evening fires shared by lots of old and new friends. After 20 days it was time to move on, find a laundry and a good store to stock up on most everything.

No, we didn't forget the little quiz at the start of this blog. All the pictures go together except the bicycle helmet that Dick did not have on when just riding across the circle. He did have his hat on and pulled low over his face while riding his bicycle between the rigs. Remember that the bedroom slide is about 5' off the ground, just above his view under his hat.
And this is what a bump on the head turns into....

All is well now and just a little red left under one eye.

To be continued...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Out in the desert at Quartzsite Arizona...

Just so you don't think we forgot about you all (still have some of the Texas speak) out there, we arrived at Quartzsite Arizona with the start of a Montana owners (5th wheel) rally out on BLM land 8 miles out in the desert from town on Friday. We set up our home with full water tanks and empty drain tanks for a 2 or 3 week stay. No power, water or septic out here.

Our arrival marked the 5th rig out of a planned attendance of 55, but that count varies day to day so not sure what we will end up with. We set up facing east/west so as to have the sun shining into our windows all day long and our refrigerator on the shady side as it's running on propane and battery. We have a generator so we can have whatever we want running.

Today, Sunday, another 8 or 9 rigs showed up so we had some special times getting to meet new people and sitting around relaxing with old friends. We had a pot-luck dinner so all the people arriving late did not have to fix dinner. Two turkeys got cooked, thanks Ray and Butch and there was more food than we could eat.

Because of the number of rigs this year it will be kind of tightly spaced trying to get all the rigs set in a 600' perfect circle and all radiating from a center point with the rear facing the center where the fire pit is located. Sure hope we can get an aerial photo when the circle gets full.

We went into town on Saturday to check out a rock tumbler but the one for sale was the same as we have now. We did purchase a 22' pole that attaches to our ladder so we can fly the two large kite type birds that Dick's sister gave us last summer. And as promised her we will get some pictures showing them flying. We did get one today of the "Goose" and have a picture of that below. They are both very interesting as when they are flying at the end of the line their wings flap just like the real thing. Hey Doll, do you also want a video of them flying?

If the wind is blowing at night it does get a little noisy. Our neighbors may want to do some bird hunting before sunset if it gets too bad.

This is the back of our rig.

This is a little closer as it sails over the top of our home.

Our first night was another spectacular desert sunset. This is looking to the northeast just as the sun was sharing it's last rays with the distant mountains.

Just turn around to the east and you can see the brilliance of another God created work of art.

Saturday, was another nice sunset, not as good as Fridays but still what a pleasure to sit and view the waining sun.

We will try and keep you updated on the happenings abound camp. It's hard to take the time out of doing nothing all day to have to sit and do a Blog but we think we can find the time.
To be continued...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy 2010 to everyone

Happy New Year to all our family and friends and if you are here for the first time, well, Happy New year to you too.

Because it's a new year I hope you don't think you can get away without some statistics on our travels this last year (2009). The nice thing about this system is that if you don't want to read them you can just scroll down and avoid the boring stats.

Miles traveled: 23,863 or 1,090 per month.

Miles pulling the 5th wheel: 9,371.

Miles traveled w/o the 5th wheel: 14,449.

Average miles between moves: 152; shortest was 1 mile and the longest was 318 miles.

Number of moves: 64 or 5.3 per month, moved every 5.7 days, shortest 1 day and longest 21 days.

Posted 73 Blogs and took over 3,000 pictures.

We camped in the following states in this order: CA, AZ, NV, AZ, NM, TX, NM, AZ, NV, CA, OR, WA, MT, ND, MN, SD, NE, KS, OK, TX, NM, AZ.

Okay, that's all, now onto what's been going on with us.

We are still at the Western Horizon park of Colorado River Oasis in Ehrenberg Arizona. This is a shot near our campground looking up the Colorado river while out on a morning walk. (Jackie is making Dick get up and walk with her.) California is on the left and Arizona on the right.

Dick got this shot at sunrise out from behind our rig looking across the river. Note that Dick is up and taking pictures at sunrise! That's before Jackie makes him take a walk. It's been right around freezing in the early mornings.

This is the entrance to the park. A great way to add some charm to an old ugly building front. We were able to stay at the park longer than we had figured as we have been teaching country western line dancing 2 or 3 times a week. Not much of a turn-out but we've had a lot of fun.

We invited Dick's brother and sister in law out to lunch on Saturday; they are still camping near Parker, about 53 miles north of here. We had heard about the "Desert Bar" and decided to give it a try. We picked them up and headed out of Parker for 5 miles and then off into the desert on a nasty, bumpy, dirty narrow, rut-filled road for another 5 miles to end up at our destination.

Who in their right mind would come out here to a place with no electricity, only two kinds of beer, three kinds of pop and stand in line for a hamburger without cheese? The sign says "no cheese, ever". And all this outside. We estimated about 200 other idiots were out there.

What a fun place to just sit, enjoy and people watch. They are only open during the winter on Saturday and Sundays from noon till sunset. The seating is on various levels and if you don't like where the table is just pick it up and carry it, along with the chairs, to where ever you want.

Sitting at the table in the foreground is Jackie, Dick's brother and sister in law, Guy and Joan with some quad riders. This table was just an old cable reel and we drug chairs for another area so we could all sit together and have lunch.

To get from the parking lot to the bar area you had to cross a covered bridge over a deep wash. Did I mention that they have a live band when they are open? Good sound but no dance floor.

Every place you look there is another area with seating, and it's all outside.

In the parking lot is an 8' deep building (church) made out of steel. Even the 1"X4" siding is flat bar steel strips.

I should say it's all steel except the copper-clad roof. A very interesting structure and a great place to get lots of pictures.

A view looking through one of the windows in the wall without a room.

Several pieces of art or old cars and trucks are set out to add interest to the area.

It was really a fun place and a great site to enjoy a cold one and relax, that is until your brother takes off for an hour and you have to sit a wait for him to come back from where ever he went so we could go home. But that's another story. After all the talk about the awful road getting up there, it seems we're now going to lead a group up there from our next stop!

Friday it's off to the desert again to meet up with a great bunch of people at the Montana Owners rally in Quartzsite. Last year we made it 2 1/2 weeks dry camping and not sure how long we will be there this year. But hope to get new and larger batteries installed thanks to a good friend who purchased them for us and are bringing them from California so the stay should be a little easier. Thanks John, you are great.

To be continued...