Waiting for the Storm

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Today started out pretty slow.  The weather was warm and sunny without any hint of wind.  I couldn’t believe they forecast strong winds starting around 3:30 P.M. today.  But, I was pretty sure it would happen.

Stayed close to home.  Took a short drive to Bard, California, about 15 miles to the west.  As we drove north on the Mittry Lake Road, the fisherman were already out on the lake enjoying the beautiful morning.

Fisherman at Mittry Lake

We dead-ended into Imperial Dam Road and took a left.  This road takes me around the north and west side of Mittry Lake.  However, you can’t see the lake from all the tall grass and swamp land hiding the lake from view.  There are no entrances to the lake along this side of the lake.

This tavern along Imperial Dam Road looks deserted, but I have a feeling it is hopping on Friday and Saturday nights.

Tavern along Imerial Dam Road

This deserted homestead looks like it has been here forever. 

Old western homestead

Old western homestead

Stopped by the Imperial Date Gardens to make sure they had Date Shakes.  Didn’t buy anything.  I want to wait and bring Dolly with me.  She will love the shakes and candies they have.

I felt guilty driving my very dusty jeep into the parking lot after seeing that very shiny city-slicker’s Cadillac.

Imperial Date Gardens

At about 3:30, the clouds started to come in from the west and the winds picked up, throwing the dust and sand high into the air.

Dust storm coming

Soon, the sun and mountains were hidden from view and the winds brought me indoors.

Dust storm coming

As I write now, the MH is rocking from winds blowing at about 25 mph with gusts up to 40.  The only things outside now are our generator and Dish Tailgater.  Earlier, I placed the Tailgater near the MH front tire to protect it from the wind and so far we have TV reception.  Means it has not blown away so far.

They are calling for a little rain this evening and the winds will remain through all of tomorrow.

See you later.

Walmart Shopping Day

Saturday, Jamuary 30, 2016

One of the reasons we left the desert, besides the coming storm, was that we had run completely out of food.  We had tried to buy food at the local convenience stores in Quartzsite, but there is no choices and the prices are double.  The nearest town with a Walmart was Yuma and instead of driving the 80 miles down and back, we just headed down to stay.

After breakfast this morning, we left our poor dogs here in the RV and headed into town.  We couldn’t take Yuma and Fergie, because we needed all the space in the jeep for the groceries.

The flat areas around Yuma are full of canals and farmlands.  There is plenty of cabbage, lettuce and cauliflower grown here.  Lots of migrant workers in the fields harvesting the cabbage.  Still takes manual labor to get the vegetables to market.

Cabbage pickers

Cabbage patch

Took us three and half hours to drive into town and get groceries, find a mailbox and get gas and then drive the half hour back to camp.  We worried about the dogs being alone so long, but all was good when we got home.  They were so happy to see us and we were soon forgiven.

Hate to say this, but it takes a lot out of both of us to go through this choir.  Today was about 10 degrees above average and we are not used to 80 degree temperatures in the middle of winter.  I know, such complainers and wimps.

By the time we got the groceries put away and ate dinner, it was time for the news and night time TV.  It was nice having the windows open and soft breeze coming in the RV this evening.

Here’s a photo looking east from our campsite.  The Yuma Proving Ground is just past the canal on the other side of that road.  Very dry and dusty.  Even the shrubs are filled with dust from the dirt road nearby.  Thank goodness the breeze is blowing from the southwest.

Yuma Proving Ground

Yuma Proving Ground

Looking northwest across part of Mittry Lake from the berm just outside our motorhome.

From the berm outside our MH

Light and dark browns have always been my favorite colors.  I guess that’s why I think this landscape is so pretty to the eye.

See you later.

Yuma is Back Home

Friday, January 29, 2016

Around 12:30 P.M. we were packed and moving south.  There is a big wind and cold front coming this Sunday and I don’t want to be in the desert when it happens.

We drove south on hwy 95 to Yuma, Arizona.  To be more exact, we are at Mittry Lake just north of Yuma.

We turned right on Imperial Dam Road at the cannons. 

Yuma Proving Ground

Yuma Proving Ground is located on this road.

Yuma Proving Ground  Sign

There is a collection of tanks just off the road, so we stopped to take a look at the World War II relics.  This area known as Camp Laguna Training Center was used to train for desert warfare, back in World War II.

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 World War II tank  Honest John Missle

Army tank  Army tank

Army tanks

Before heading onto the dusty and rough Mittry Lake road we went up Senator Wash Road to take on water and dump our tanks.  There are lots of LTVA locations along this road.  Many RV’ers spend the whole winter at this location.

Got the basics done and then I took the jeep down Mittry Lake Road to search for a place to camp.  There are not many campsites on this lake, so I wanted to run the jeep down first to make sure there is a place, before driving the RV five miles down this rough road.

When I got down to the area where many of the RV’ers camp up on the hillside, I was shocked to see that the whole area down the hill was burned.  Nothing left.  Before, you could not see the RVs on the hill because of all the shrubs and trees.  But now there is nothing left, so the RVs are now visible on the hill.

Mittry Lake burn

Mittry Lake burn

There must be a lot of fires here.  When I was here last year, I was awakened at 2:30 A.M. on Xmas Eve and ordered to evacuate because of a fire.

Mittry Lake still looks beautiful though.

Mittry Lake

Luckily, there is one place left along side the road.  It is the same campsite Yuma and I stayed last year.  It was a year ago this month I freed Yuma from the Humane Society of Yuma.  His name at that time was “Cheerful”.

By the time I had everything setup for the night it was time for dinner and then my favorite TV program, “Gold Rush”. 

Beautiful sunset just outside our new camp.

Sunset

See you later.

Jeeping in Kofa Mountains

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I thought I was going to take a rest day today, but after a couple of hours of resting, Yuma and I were ready to go somewhere.  It was going to be a clear day with highs near 70, so I couldn’t rest it away.

Looked on the map of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.  Found a road about 10 miles north of here named MST&T Road.  It deadends at the MST&T tower, but we never made it that far.

The rugged Kofa mountains along the road kept calling, so I turned towards them at the first opportunity.  It was a jeep/ATV road that went for miles along the mountains.

Kofa Mountains

Tough road

Once we got close, we stopped and Yuma and I treked across the desert to the foot of the mountains.  I was thinking as we walked, we may be the first to ever step on this exact place in these mountains.

Yuma ready to go

I hope you can tell from the photos just how vast and desolate this country is.

Kofa Mountains

Yuma looking across the desert

Kofa Mountains

Kofa Mountains

Ridges near the Kofa Mountains

Kofa Mountains

Kofa Mountains

Couldn’t reach the top.  It gets so rugged and after awhile, I lose the strength to keep going up.  Knowing how hard it is to come down on those loose rocks, I just stopped and took a rest.

I know it is just photos of landscape, but to me this country is beautiful.  Just sitting on a rock resting for awhile and hearing nothing but the slight wind rustling the bushes is wonderful to me.

Kofa Mountains

On the way back to the jeep, Yuma was having troubles getting Cholla cactus needles in his paws, so I put him on a leash and guided him through the Cholla maze.

When we were nearly out, I took his leash off and we were just getting started again, when Yuma spied a large jack rabbit.  As soon as the rabbit ran, Yuma was after it.  That rabbit must have run him through every Cholla Cactus out there.

When he came back, he was limping.  He had Cholla needles on every foot, on his front lip, and all along the sides of his body.  Poor guy.  He was miserable.  We spent a good half hour pulling them off.

Unfortunately, I think he will do it again if a rabbit runs.  He was just born to chase them.  Pain or no pain.

See you later.

Crystal Hill

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

This morning I put the coffee on the stove with my new perculator top and it worked perfectly.  No drips, no spills, no mess!  No more trying to hold the tide back with duct tape. 

Here is the before and after look:

 Old perculator     New perculator 

After my coffee and breakfast, Yuma and I headed about 10 miles north toward Quartzsite to Crystal Hill Road. 

Dolly didn’t come along, because we knew it was going to be at least five miles of really rough road and her back is bothering her.  She and Fergie stayed home to hold down the fort.

Arrived at the kiosk and picked up a brochure of the area.

Kiosk at Cyrstal Hill Road

There is Crystal Hill in the background.  Yuma is raring to go.

Crystal Hill

Yuma is looking for crystals or just trying not to step on cholla cactus.  Not sure which.

Crystal hill

Walked to the top but no crystals.  I don’t think I would know one if I saw one.  There was a lot of evidence that people have been digging around here.

Top of Crystal hill

Looking across the valley from the top of the hill.

Looking across the valley

Crystal hill

Crystal mine

Crystal mine

After walking around looking for crystals to no avail, we returned to the jeep and traveled further into the Kofa mountains.  We ended our bumpy and dusty jeep trek at Scott’s Well. 

Jeep road  Scott's Well

Scott's Well

After about 15 miles of these roads, Yuma and I were ready to go home. .We were tired when we got back to camp.  Another 10,000 plus step day.  Almost 5 miles again.

See you later.

Quartzsite RV Show

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

This morning after breakfast, I left everyone at camp and drove into Quartzsite.  I told Dolly, I had three objectives:

  1. Get a another perculator for our coffee
    The top of the one we have now is plastic and it wore through.  The coffee would bubble out and onto the stove.  Tried using duct tape, but didn’t do the trick.
  2. Buy a few Mr. Heater Buddy propane tanks
    We ran out this morning and could use a couple to warm us up in the mornings.  Our big furnace works sporadically.
  3. Buy a new motorhome
    They are there, so why not take a look.

I did manage to come home with one of the three.  Guess which.

I knew the big tent was closed, but I thought the RV lovers would stick around, but I was wrong.  Lots of parking and no spectators roaming around. When it’s over, it’s over.

Big tent

Lots of seating room at Beer Belly’s.

Beer Belly's

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Had to take a photo of this Slingshot motorcycle.  It looks like a small version of the Batmobile.

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After wandering around, I decided to head to the RV show.  Here is the one I picked out.

New motorhome

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I saw the $90,000 price tag and I was ready to drive it out of there.  Then I looked closer and it was $90 grand off the original price.  The price to buy it is $350,000.  Can’t quite afford it, but it did spoil me as I looked at the ones I could afford.  I think we’ll stick with the one we have. 

Couldn’t find any propane, but didn’t look real hard.

I did find a perculator at a swap meet for $10 and as I was talking to the saleswoman, I mentioned, I had one but the top was plastic and had worn through.  She looked under her sales desk and pulled out several perculator tops with the little perculator on top.

The tops looked exactly the size I needed.  She popped the little glass perculator off the top and said I’ll sell it for $3.50.  Unfortunately, I only had $2.30 on me.  We made a deal.  The next time I’m in town, I owe her $1.20.

Took it back to camp and put it on and it fits nicely.  Tomorrow morning will be the test.

Got home around 3 P.M. and Yuma and Fergie were so excited to see me.  You would have thought I had been gone for years.

My son, Jim gave me a Fitbit One for Xmas and I have been trying to walk 10,000 steps a day.  Nearly five miles.  Yesterday, while walking in the canyon, I walked over 14,000 steps for 6 miles.  Today, while in Quartzsite I made over 7,000, so Yuma and I took a walk and I ended up with over 10,700 steps, almost 5 miles.

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See you later.