Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Making Connections

 Long day yesterday, but I slept okay last night.  Woke up this morning and I didn't see Saddleback Mountain but instead it was Q Mountain staring into my bedroom window.

City life

Q Mountain
In all the years coming to Quartzsite, it was always for the big RV event and then out of here.  Kind of nice to be parked right on Main Street in a free parking lot.  Lots of activity going on in this little town.

Took Yuma for a walk and stumbled onto the Hi Jolly Cemetery.  I knew it was here in Quartzsite, but never knew where it was.  Hi Jolly was an Ottoman subject of Syrian and Greek parentage, and in 1856 became one of the first camel drivers ever hired by the US Army to lead the camel driver experiment in the Southwest. Hi Jolly became a living legend until his death in Arizona.  You can do a Google search to learn more.  It is a fairly large and well kept cemetery named in his memory.

After our short walk, I started thinking of what I should do about the White Lion's future.  This is the list of the great ideas going through my head:

  • Call the junk man and take whatever is offered and skip town.
  • Buy 5 acres of desert land with pretty mountain views and have it towed there.
  • Rent an RV lot that is fairly spacious and have it towed there.
  • Do what I did last year and have it towed to Kay's home in Mesa, Arizona and try again to have it fixed over the summer.
I bounced from one to the other.  Actually, went online and found a nice 5 acre piece of desert land near Salome, Arizona.  It is about 35 minutes from here to the east.  We stopped at Don's Cactus Bar for lunch last Friday, and I really like the beauty of that area.  Then reality set in.  I can't leave the WL in them middle of the desert vacant for 6-7 months of the year.  

As for the RV lot, it would have protection while I'm gone, but I can't get myself to want to live in a park with crowds of people, so that is out.  Plus, I hate to say it, the WL, being over 10 years old and with a few dents would not measure up to the standards of any nice RV Park.  Hope the White Lion doesn't read this.  I will be walking home for sure.

The junk man is a last resort.  I think I would rather give it to someone to live in that needs a home rather than have it gutted for its useful parts.

Kay reads my blog daily and as soon as she read my predicament, she called offering a helping hand as last year.  We talked at length today and texted back and forth.  I won't get into the details, but it sounds like this may work even better the second time around.  I did get 5 months of winter boondocking, so I can't complain about my decision last year.

This time we know, the WL needs major surgery and we have someone that could do this over the summer months.  Plus, if it is determined the cost is prohibitive, I can just stop and make another decision.

I spent a lot of today trying to get a commitment out of State Farm as to how much of the towing bill would be covered by them, so I go into this knowing my towing costs.  Should know tomorrow.  My agent is in a convention and couldn't get back to me today.

I was so happy when the Desert Gang, Deb and Riley, On a long and lonesome highway...., and Tom and Deb, Celebrating the Dance , stopped by and asked me to go to lunch with them.  I certainly needed the break as I was wound up pretty good.

Now you have it.  I'm too old for this brain strain, but it must be done.  I may just buy a Lotto ticket and then buy a brand new motorhome with my winnings to drive home in.😁
Saw this beautiful vacant southern mansion on one of my walks today with Yuma.  Just maybe!
Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Time to move on!

 This morning, we had our last coffee hour as a group of nomads.  I had everything packed and ready to head into Quartzsite to load up and head to Saddleback Mountain about 2 hours east on I-10 near Phoenix, Arizona.

The morning was perfect.  Sunny, slight breeze and quite warm in the sun.  Near 10:30, Yuma and I said our goodbyes for now and jumped into the White Lion.  It started right up and we were off.

Yuma is going to miss his friends.
Jumped onto hwy 95 heading north right into Quartzsite to do our duties and then head out.  Just as I was pulling into the RV Pit Stop to take on water and propane, the WL gave up the ghost, so to speak.  The engine died and we rolled just barely into the lot before coming to a halt right at the entrance to both the propane filling entrance lines.
If I didn't know this was a very busy place, I do now.  I had to jump out and wave folks around me.  I took up most of the entrance area and with a lot of squeezing and maneuvering, the folks could get around me.  Luckily, I take blood pressure medicine, so I was cool as a cucumber.  NOT!  

It was just around noon and the place was hopping with business.  Finally, one of the employees, brought out a caution cone that alerted people to not just wait behind the WL, but go around me and into the Pit Stop.

I called a tow truck company, and the lady said someone would be out soon.  They were on their lunch hour, so be patient.  I can do that, but not so sure about the owner of the Pit Stop as people with the really big rigs just moved right along because they couldn't squeeze in.

As I was waiting, the boss sent out an employee to see if he could help.  They even tried pulling the WL with a big pick-up, but the WL was stubborn and would not budge.  The employee was living on the property in his made for RVing pickup camper and asked if I wanted to trade for his smooth running truck with solar panels.
I always laugh at the predicaments Nancy, a blogger friend of mine always has.  I won't laugh anymore.  Deb and Deb stopped by to give me sympathy and the name and phone number of someone in town that was a CAT Diesel engine expert.  Gave them a call and the woman answering the phone said to bring it on in and Diesel Dave would look at it tonight.

Finally, the MAN arrived in his $250,000 Black Beauty!
What do I do, Dad?
Rick, the tow man wanted to tow me to Phoenix for $2300, but we ended up towing it to Diesel Dave's here in downtown Quartzsite, all of three miles for a quick $575.  Can't beat a deal like that!  Thank goodness, money grows on trees, but unfortunately, not many trees here in the desert.
Where did you go, Dad?
Rick, asked me to crawl under the WL and hook a tow line to the frame, so he could pull me out of the line of traffic.  Rick is what you would call a big boy and me, not so much.

Then, he was able to properly hook it up to his Black Beauty and off we went for three quick but expensive miles, to Diesel Dave's place of business.
Both, Dave and his assistant, Gale were very nice.  They stopped by my new home to take a look at the WL and to do a CAT diagnostic test  to see if the problem can be fixed.  This was the third time a professional diesel mechanic has looked at it.  And it was a strikeout.  After his professional analysis, he suggested that I find a reasonable RV site near Quartzsite and park it there.
He ain't got no engine, Gale!!!!
I've done enough.  Me, Yuma and the White Lion gave it our all and it was not meant to be.  Personally, I think the WL wants to live out his remaining days in the warmth of the desert southwest and not the cold corn fields of Illinois.

Anyway, Diesel Dave said I could stay in the WL at his shop until I decide what to do and do it.  He even provided an electrical hook-up.

 I called Dolly and we talked.  No firm final decisions made, but I will pass along my decisions as soon as I figure out what is best for me, Yuma Dolly and Fergie!  Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Easy Sunday

 Slept off and on last night, but felt ready to take on the day around 8 this morning.  It is sunny with a light breeze and cool.  Calling for a high in the mid 50s today.  Not what I want, but I'll take it.

Jeep was zapped by a sunbeam

Everyone had plans for the morning.  Shopping, laundry and I had to start packing for my next journey eastward tomorrow.  I had the easiest job, so I started out by lying around in the sun.  It actually felt quite warm in the sun as the day progressed.

Only traveling a couple hours tomorrow, but I want to start early, just in case.  I need everything before leaving Quartzsite.  Propane, water and dump, so that will take at least an hour.

I slowly packed and I also took another walk around the area.  I wonder if I will ever be back here again.  I'm thinking that at every campsite, but not too worried.  I've had a great run and if this is my last trip west, I'm ready to accept it.

Quartzsite is dead ahead

I've been coming here for many winters, but this is the first time I took the opportunity to really see the area.  Quartzsite is a two exit town on I-10 in the La Paz Valley between two mountain ranges.  It is a beautiful place.  So different than Bloomington, Illinois.

The hard part is leaving the friends I've made over the years as I've become more sociable.  I know my blogging will cease as it has every summer in the past.  Hard to write about the excitement of watching corn and soybeans grow.

Poor Yuma.  He has really become a social butterfly these last few years.  This is the first time we have stayed with fellow travelers for most of the winter and Yuma loves his friends.

How am I going to explain to Yuma that we must leave our friends behind and move eastward on our own.  Tom and Deb and Deb and Riley will miss their faithful friend.  Always there when they come and go.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Quiet Saturday

 This morning started out beautifully.  Sunny and pleasant with barely a breeze.  But weather forecasters made it clear it would not last with their strong wind advisory.

We were sitting in front of Tom and Deb's Stinger B when just before noon, as predicted, the winds came up from the southwest and drove us to the back of their MH.  We didn't make it long before it was time to end our coffee hour.

Yuma and I came inside, finished our breakfast and I made the mistake of lying on the bed to read blogs and before I knew it, the afternoon was slipping away.  I had no dogfood left, so Yuma and I made a quick trip into Quartzsite and picked up some.  Can't let poor Yuma starve.

Even though the wind was strong, with a jacket, it was quite comfortable outside, so Yuma and I took a short walk in the area to get some exercise.

What is that brown thing in the tree ahead?

Some kind of growth

Wonder what it is.

They were calling for showers after 5, and sure enough we had a few sprinkles to blend with the sun and wind.

Time for dinner and then get ready for another day in the desert.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 24, 2023

A Jeep ride in search of....

 This morning, we woke up to sunny skies and only a light wind, but fairly cool.  Calling for a high near 65 today.  We all had decided to take a rode trip over toward Saddle Mountain along the Salome Road in search of BLM land for future visits.

We were off at 9:30.  Yuma and me in the Jeep and Tom, Deb, Riley and Deb in the other Jeep.  We headed east towards Phoenix on I-10.  It gave me a good idea of the terrain over the Kofa Mountains for Monday in the White Lion.  It will be a long climb, but not a quick elevation.  Looks like about 15 miles of steady climb, so it will let me know in quick order how things are going to go with the WL overheating problem.  I can always turn around and roll back to Quartzsite.

Took about an hour to get to the Salome Road exit.  Saddleback Mountain is in full view.

We have all stayed in the shadow of this mountain on the BLM land.  They built a large pig or cattle containment facility near there and the area is now infested with flies on warm days.  That's why we are searching for new home nearby.  My plans are to stay there next week if the flies aren't bad.

We did find BLM land off of Salome Road, but there wasn't internet reception in most and weak in others.  The drive was beautiful.  This whole area is remote and mountainous.

Harquahala Mountain

Tom and Deb drove to the top of this mountain a number of years ago.  I read their blog and the next day, I headed that way to see it on my own.  It is an experience that is not forgotten.

Road to Phoenix
Yuma spotted a windmill while we were looking around, so we had to check it out.

One lonely young bull.  He did not appreciate us being near his water hole.

After finishing our search, we stopped in Salome for lunch.
I was starving, and I thought their food was delicious.  It was also, a lot of food.

As we drove past Vicksburg Road, I saw an old building I thought I had seen before.  Stopped to check it out.

It is closed and rundown, but I suspect there is a lot of history locked up in this cafe.

Long road home on Hwy 60
Thanks for stopping by.