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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

200 yards....

7:20 am - PST - Tuesday - 49º F, humidity 56%, wind 4 mph out of ENE....clear blue skies from horizon to horizon.  Enjoying our new river view as I scribble out the latest drivel of our lives for your reading pleasure.......hmmmm.......at least I hope it gives you some pleasure.......😉

 Our upgraded view....

I was puttering around the outside of our coach Monday morning when Fred and Donna (campground hosts) drove up in their golf cart to let me know a river side campsite (#12) had come available and did I want to take it.......I had told Fred that if something became available within 24 hours of our arrival we would consider moving......well, there it was....decision time.

They offered to give me a ride down to the site so I could see if I would fit......it was immediately obvious we could fit.....the question was could we get sun on our solar panels, and could we orient the coach in order to get the most benefit form the sun each day.  There is a big tree which looked as if it might block the sun from our solar panels early in the morning, and possibly might block our view of the southern sky (DirecTV), but I thought we could overcome both issues if we got as deep into the site as we could.  Nevertheless, I owed TLE first right of refusal, so Fred and Donna took me back to get TLE and we walked down to site 12 together.  She was inclined to stay in site #22, and was disinclined to have to expend the effort necessary to move, but in the end she agreed and we made the move.  We got it all done and were enjoying the river view by 10:30 am......


......once we had moved and set up we were both very happy we chose to move......nothing like being right on the river.  Ironically we had wonderful cell service in site #22 (3-4 bars of LTE), which is just 200 yards away, but on the river we struggle to get 2 bars.......go figure.

We had made a date to visit with some fellow Newell owners Steve and Patty at Echo Lodge RV Resort (about 5 miles north of Crossroads) at 1 pm, so we headed there around 12:45....

Echo Lodge RV Resort from the air (photo courtesy of Yelp)

......this resort is tucked in between some gorgeous rock formations and the Colorado River and has a lot of permanent park models, but they also offer many full hookup RV sites right on the river as you can see above.  Our friends (Steve and Patty) are in the section along the river pictured above, although their coach is not in this picture which is courtesy of Yelp.

We sat around talking and drinking adult beverages for about 3 hours before heading back to our Newell for a sunset fire and nightcap.......



.....so nice to have a fire with no wind blowing, and not having to be all bundled up against the winter cold......it got into the 70's Monday......


.......nothing like a memorable sunset to punctuate a great day on the Colorado River!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Out of Quartzite -changing our view without an escrow

7:00 am - PST - Monday - 47º F, humidity 48%, wind 6 mph out of NNE......high, wispy clouds and lots and lots of 'contrails'.  First morning at Crossroads BLM Campground.....yes, we got in!  Went to bed without turning off the inverter as we wanted to record Elementary at 10 pm, and didn't wake up to turn it off until after 2:30 am, so the batteries were down to 83% when I woke up this morning.  On a very positive note it only got down to 60º F in the bedroom last night.....big, big improvement!

We were up by 6:45 am Sunday in anticipation of changing our view for the first time in 10 days.  By the time I finished writing and publishing my daily missive it was after 7:30 am, and time to put the last things away (flag pole, a few solar lights, etc.) and then breath life into the Detroit 6v92 once again.  We were on our way over to the dump stations on Kuehn a little after 8 am arriving at the facility around 8:20 am.....there were no long lines......there was no line at all........we paid our $15 for the dump, and $5 for fresh water then proceeded over to the dump station.  Once that was done we made a circle driving back to where the propane station was to get our propane tank topped off.......we took on 36 gallons (filled up 2.5 months ago) at $2.14/gallon.

We found ourselves "slipping the surly bonds" of the Quartzite vortex a little after 9 am Mountain Time.....it was then I remembered our goal was Crossroads BLM Campground on the California side of the Colorado River.....so it was really just after 8 am at our destination location.  After a short 40 minute drive we arrived at our initial destination......the Blue Water Casino in Parker.....since Crossroads is a first come first served campground we did not want to drive the Newell the additional 10 miles there only to find out there were no sites available.  We hadn't put the VW in the trailer since it was only 36 miles to Parker.  Once we had the Newell parked we jumped in the VW and headed over to the California side of the CR and Crossroads BLM Campground.......as soon as we turned off the road we could see there were at least 4 spots available on the large pad just above the river.....all the sites along the river were taken as one might imagine......nonetheless, we were ecstatic!  I spoke with the on site camphost (Donna) who said I could register for one of the available sites (#22 in this case) leave a couple of chairs and then go get the Newell, so that is what we did.  Our cost with the Senior discount (Golden Age Passport card) is $2.50/day!  Our cost for 5 nights is $12.50.....you can't beat that with a stick!  We have a defined site with a picnic table, and there is a very nice pit toilet, and, of course, a nice view of the Colorado River.......

 Enjoying the CR ambiance

 Getting set up for 5 days

 Nice view looking from the river westward

On our way back to pick up the Newell we stopped off at the local Safeway supermarket to replenish our food stores, and then picked up the Newell and headed back to Crossroads.....by the time we arrived and were set up it was sometime after noon.  We are not able to orient the coach to face either the east, or west based on this campground's configuration.....we are facing roughly northwest.  As you can see in the picture below we have our panels facing southeast, which is not ideal, but one bonus is our batteries began charging at 7 am this morning instead of closer to 9 am, so we'll see how they progress during the day.

I took my time throughout the afternoon getting our new awning mats down, new chairs out, tilting the solar panels, getting out the Sea-B-Que to grill some filets later, getting out the portable firepit for a future fire, or two, etc.  Since we are just back over the California border and are in PST (Pacific Standard Time) the sun goes down one hour earlier, and rises one hour earlier than on the Arizona side.......we caught a nice view of the crescent moon just after sundown Sunday.......

Crescent moon

To bring a little perspective to our winter experience here in the Arizona/California deserts here is a picture of Melba Drive a little south of the TVC (Tahoe Valley Campground) entrance taken just a day, or two ago by a friend......looks like snowfall is back to normal in the Tahoe Basin......

Melba Drive south of the TVC entrance....WOW!

......as I have oft written.....it is wonderful to be able to change our view without going through escrow!

We watched a couple of episodes of Sherlock on Netflix (yes the Verizon broadband is very good here) and were in bed before 10 pm.......thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Q......Day 10 - Until next time

6:55 am - Mountain Time - Sunday - 40º F, humidity 51%, wind 9 mph out of the north (feels like no wind).......forecast today is for clear blue skies with a high of 70º F......and we will have highs in the 70's for the foreseeable future!  Today is getaway day so I am up early blogging so we can roll our wheels by 8 am which is when the local dump station opens.....we will dump, fill up with fresh water, and then top off our propane tank at $2.14 per gallon (including tax)....not bad!

Saturday we had two simple goals.....two easily achievable goals......1) head over to Tyson Wells to buy two more camp chairs (like the ones we got last year), plus a new awning mat.......the prices here on those items are exceptional deals, and 2) get the Newell ready to move by 8 am Sunday morning, and that is precisely what we accomplished.

When I got up Saturday morning the inside temp was down to 43º F........brrrrr......we rocked 5 heaters for about 30 minutes to take the 'CHILL' off the interior (2 electric and 3 gas), then settled down to one gas heater after I turned off the big generator (Kohler 7.5 kw propane generator).  Our solar panels began charging our house batteries a little after 8:30 am, and we were back to 100% by 1 pm (started at 83%).

We were out the door on our way to Tyson Wells to buy the aforementioned camp chairs and new awning mat.  We came away with three chairs (the 2 camp chairs, and a folding rocker for TLE), plus the aforementioned awning mat (9' x 18').....TLE suggested we might want an awning mat for the trailer entrance so we added a smaller 6' x 9' mat to our checkout basket.


After bringing the VW around from the rear parking lot we loaded our booty and then drove a mile, or so over to the dump station facility on Kuehn to check it out.....$15 for a dump, and $5 for fresh water.....open for service at 8 am......easy ingress and egress.  Every time we have driven by this place they are always slammed, so we want to get there as close to 8 am as possible before the line gets too large......we would like to be in Parker by 10 am.

From the dump station we proceeded over to Main Street to spend more time at an open air flea market we had briefly browsed while on our bike ride the other day, and spent about an hour  checking out their 'JUNK'......and do they ever have 'JUNK'!  TLE found a really nice marcasite tennis bracelet (she collects marcasite jewelry), and I found a 50 to 30 amp electric (obviously) adapter.  I think it is safe to say we have had our 'JUNK' fix here in Quartzite.........anchors away!


TLE's Marcasite Tennis Bracelet

I spent the rest of the afternoon putting away what little stuff we had out.......it always is more than I remember, then move the trailer forward once again and drop it on the hitch ball, and then right at the end of the day stowing the solar panels into travel mode for our 36 mile jaunt on Sunday.  By the time I finished it was after 3:30 and time for a nap!

We went to dinner at Sweet Darlene's Cafe on Main Street with Charles and Bobbie around 5:30 pm......they are leaving Quartzite Sunday, also.  This quaint little restaurant gets only 3 stars from Yelp, and 3.5 from Tripadvisor, and I think we would be right there, too.  There are only 23 reviews on Yelp, and the negative ones have to do with slow service.  The food is fine, and the service is not too slow.  Considering the fact that most of the customers at Sweet Darlene's are retired folk such as ourselves you would think they could learn to chill out and just enjoy each other and some good conversation.  People are just too much in a hurry nowadays. 

We were home by 7:30 pm and decided to watch a couple more episodes of 'Sherlock'.....we are really getting into that series!  We were in bed by 10:40, and off to dreamland shortly thereafter.

By the way, the cell phone coverage and broadband coverage was quite good most of the time while we were here at Quartzite.....the worst days were last Saturday and Sunday when the Quartzite population was at its greatest.

Time to get ready to turn over the big Detroit Diesel.......thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Q....Day 9

8:08 am - Mountain Time - Saturday - 33º F (feels like 27º F), humidity 65%, wind 6 mph out of the north........clear blue skies from horizon to horizon......the wind is gone once again!  Got down to 43º F inside the Newell early this morning.  Forecast high 62º F.....above 60 again!

Friday the winds came......not horrible winds, but steady winds in the high 20's for about 7 hours out of the north......those north winds can be soooo chilly!  When the winds blow out here in the desert TLE prefers to stay inside as they reek havoc with her allergies and sinuses.  I on the other hand spent time outside cleaning the windshield, and beginning to straighten up our trailer as we will be pulling anchor this coming Sunday morning for Parker.

We began our 9th day in Quartzite with our batteries sitting at 86%.  As I have been doing these past few days with the overnight temps in the low 30's, I switched on all three Suburban gas heaters, then turned on the big generator (7.5 kilowatts), and then the two electric heaters.....we rocked 5 heaters for about 30 minutes getting interior to a more hospitable climate conducive to human life.  I had noticed the day before that the satellite dish casts a shadow on one of the solar panels for about 2 hours first thing in the morning, and you do not want shadows on your solar panels, so Friday morning I cranked it down (didn't change the compass setting, just lowered it) about 16 cranks to get the shadow off the panel.  The result was we hit 100% on the batteries by 1 pm.  Why is that you might be asking yourself?  Anything that block the sun's rays from covering all the cells on the entire panel essentially nullifies that panel's output, and slows down the charging process.  Removing that shadow allows all four panels to slam electrons back into our house batteries and get us back to the coveted 100% earlier in the afternoon.

Since there was not much else to do outside I spent time reading and napping (I had a sleepless stretch during the night), and then around 3 pm I (by myself) got in the VW and ran some errands......I needed to mail a letter at the local PO, and I was out of stamps.....drat!  This time of year the line at the Quartzite USPS is out the door most days, and for wont of a first class stamp I had to wait in line for about 20 minutes.....needless to say I bought $10 (well, $9.80) of stamps so I won't have to wait in line for a long time to come.

I next stopped off at the store (Quartzite General Store) to pick up some grocery items for TLE (Jack cheese, Squirt, sour cream, cilantro).....TLE had advised earlier that chicken enchiladas were on the menu and these items (minus the Squirt.....that is an adult beverage mixer) were needed.  As I have written previously, this store is well stocked.....TLE didn't think I would find cilantro, but I had a feeling I would.  In all I was gone just shy of an hour........




.....TLE began preparing the chicken enchiladas upon my return and by 5:30 pm I was in enchilada heaven.....I chased them with a pint of Great Basin Cerveza Chilebeso.....a perfect pairing if I do say so myself!

We watched the final episode of season 1 for 'The Crown' (season 2 is not yet available on Netflix) and then watched the first episode of 'Sherlock' before heading for slumberland. Both of these excellent series were recommended by Facebook friends back in December when we were trying to figure out what to 'binge watch' over New Years.  We settled then on 'Breaking Bad', but now we have moved on to the other recommendations and love both of these new to us series.

We were in bed by 11:20 pm.....the temp in the bedroom was already down to 61º F......thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Q....Day 8 - Twins?

7:45 am - Mountain Time - Friday - 36º F (feels like 28º), humidity 54%, wind 12 mph out of the north (that is forecast, but I would say it's not more than 3 mph)......very cold again last night.....got down to 47º F inside the coach.  We are in a warming trend over the next 10 days......by Monday we'll be back into the 70's here at the 'Q', but a few degrees warmer where we are headed Sunday......Parker.....YAY!

I started off Thursday in a more ambitious way than I had planned......at first I thought I would just clean off the coach entrance door, but before I was done I had cleaned off the entire passenger side from the right front wheel to the right rear bumper.  By late morning I was feeling pain in my right hand (between my thumb and index finger), and by the time I went to bed my right shoulder was barking at me.  Nonetheless, the passenger side of the coach, including the ALCOA wheels, are smiling once again.

We had made plans to meet some friends from Parker around 2 pm at the 'BIG TENT' for a late lunch.  We have known Steve and Patty since they bought their Newell around 8 years ago.  Ironically, they also have a 1982 Newell, and our coach VIN numbers are one digit apart....theirs came off the assembly line immediately before ours.  To further the irony, the last name of the person who had our coach built was 'Law', and so was the person who had their coach built.....we have surmised that the two individuals were related, perhaps brothers.  The paint schemes are nearly identical.....


 Our 1982

Steve and Patty's 1982

......the only major difference is that theirs is 38' long, and our is 36' long.  These two pictures were taken at a Newell mini rally in Creede, CO back in 2009 I believe.  Currently Steve and Patty are spending 3 months in Parker on the Colorado River in their 1982 Newell, and we will be joining them this weekend for a few days.

We began our walk over around 12:45 to spend some time walking the aisles of the 'BIG TENT', and then over to Tyson Wells before hooking up with Steve and Patty for lunch.  We ate at the Randall Concessions and Catering stand on the east side of the tent.....they have an enormous BBQ doing where they turn out BBQ'd chicken, pulled pork, ribs etc.  TLE and I got a half chicken to split, an order of their amazing curly fries to split, and a large ice tea to split.....the chicken was amazing (and so were the fries)!  We talked for almost two hours before saying our 'until next times', which will be just a few days from now.

Charles and Bobbie came over for a sunset fire around 5:30 (sun sets around 6 pm), and we were treated to an amazing sunset......



......we talked for almost 3 hours before heading in for the night......


......a few stats before I sign off about Thursday......our gray tank is only about 1/3 full, our black tank is just over half full, we have used 50 gallons of water.......there 90 gallons left, and our batteries hit 100% once again.  Even with the super cold weather (for us anyway) our batteries have only been doing down to 85-86% overnight.  I have been turning on the big generator for about 25-30 minutes first thing so I can run our electric heaters in conjunction with our gas heaters to warm up the interior faster.  Once it is comfortable inside I shut down the generator and we are once again living off the sun!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Q....Day 7 - Parker Strip

7:27 am - Mountain Time - Thursday - 32º F (feels like 28º F), humdity 82%, wind 4 mph out of northeast......blue skies from horizon to horizon, but oh my was it cold last night.....got down to 46º F inside the coach......had to put on an extra blanket about 5:30 am this morning.  The VW is covered in frost as I write.  I turned on all three gas heaters, then the big generator for about 30 minutes so I could run both electric heaters to make the inside of the coach hospitable once again........



We had decided several days ago that we would take a drive up to the Parker Strip on Wednesday, and that is precisely what we did.  We aimed to check out a few boondocking, and dry camping options as that is where we will be come this weekend.  We departed Quartzite about 10:40 am making our way to the local ARCO fuel station to take on 10 gallons of 91 octane unleaded as the low fuel light was about begin warning us we were almost empty.  From there we headed north on 95 about 36 miles to the lovely town of Parker, AZ, which sits on the banks of the Colorado River......


.......the drive took just under 40 minutes with little, or no traffic.  Our first stop was the Parker Elks Club on 7th and Laguna.....about 5 blocks from the river.  They provide water and electric hookups, but no dump station.  At the time we were there Wednesday there was only one site available......they have 7, or 8, but there was just no 'it factor' for us.  If we are going to drive up to Parker to stay for 5 days we would like to be able to see the river, otherwise, what is the point?  Next up we drove further up 95 to the Blue Water Casino (Indian) as they offer dry camping.......

Internet photo of Blue Water Casino

......it is actually quite an impressive facility, and portions of their RV parking area do have a view of the river, however, the parking area is a 'side hill lie' as they say in golf, and getting any RV level there would be a challenge.  

Our next stop was Crossroads BLM Campground on the California side of the river (Earp, CA) on Parker Dam Road......

Crossroads Campground BLM

......now this place has the 'IT FACTOR'!  There are about 15 sites right on the Colorado River (no hookups, but there are picnic tables, and pit toilets), and the cost is $5/night!  At the time we arrived there were two sites available.  Obviously, this is first come first served, so we will have to have a little serendipity come Sunday when we drive up to Parker.....we're crossing our fingers!

On our way back to Quartzite we stopped off at the local Starbucks for a Moca Frappuccino (moi, TLE gets a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino), for a little 'pick me upper', and then headed for the barn.  When we left for Parker our batteries were back to 86% (they started at 83%), and by the time we returned around 2:30 pm they were back to 95%, and within an hour they were back to 100%!  Suweet!

Around 5 pm I went outside (TLE's sinuses were still acting up a little) to celebrate happy hour, and to smoke a cigar as the sun set in the west one more time.........

 The wind is coming out of the north now....has been out 
of the south since we arrived.

Almost sundown....

........TLE prepared a pollo asado salad for dinner......it was a good day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Q.....Day 6

7:15 am - Mountain Time - Wednesday - 36º F, humidity 84%, wind 3 mph out of SSW.......forecast to be clear blue skies with a high of 56º F......got down to 49º F inside the coach last night......very, very chilly.

Neither of us has ridden our bikes in a long, long time......since we were at the Elks in Fontana, so that is almost 2 months.  Tuesday seemed like a day to ride and explore Quartzite at 10 mph.  One thing I had not noticed previously is that there are, for the most part, no shoulders on the roads south of the I-10 which makes riding anywhere on the south side a slightly anxious experience, but we are used to riding in traffic and did just fine.



Initially we rode north on 95 to Kuehn and then turned left riding by the 'Big Tent' and Tyson Wells to the west side of Quartzite where there are more daily flea markets of all types......there are many places that specialize in rocks (gems, minerals, etc.), which is not our specialty......we found a great place that was selling wind chimes, and we found one for $10 that we like a lot......you can see it hanging from the awning arm in the picture below......they also had a lot of great 'junk' to browse through.......

Our new wind chimes (upper left of picture)

.....we continued our ride westward to Quarzite Ave. where we crossed over I-10 to Main Street and began our ride back east.  There are many more of these daily flea markets all along Main Street, and the opportunities for 'junking' are enormous.....I was able to find a 1/2" drive Craftsman ratchet without which I could not live.......I think I will revisit that place again before we leave........  


.......we continued eastward on Main to the Quartzite General Store where TLE bought some marvelous filets to grill for dinner, and then headed for home.  In all we were gone about 3 hours and got to know Quartzite much better, as well as some much needed exercise.  

We had planned to drive over to Charles and Bobbie's RV park (88 Shades RV Park) for an evening fire, but TLE's sinuses were acting up so we decided to stay home.....I got the Sea-B-Que going about 5 pm and then spent about 40 minutes outside watching the sunset, smoking a cigar and just enjoying the early evening.......



......the clouds began to light up as the sun edged towards the western mountains.........and then it was time to eat.........



......TLE provided some mashed potatoes and spinach for the sides, and some caramelized onions for the filets......they were cooked to a fine medium rare.  We chased our food with a bottle of Unruly Pinot Noir (Charles and Bobbie introduced us to this fine Pinot last summer).

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Q....Day 5

8:09 am - Mountain Time - Tuesday - 38º F, humidity 90%, wind 6 mph out of south southwest......clear blue skies and no discernible wind!  Overnight temp inside the coach got down to 53º F, and subsequently the batteries declined to 84%.  No worries though......we have nothing but sun for the next 5 days and I know our solar panels will get us back to 100%!

Going into Monday we pretty much knew we would not be doing much outdoor activity as the forecast called for winds all day long in the 20's.  We met Charles and Bobbie at a local eatery by the name of Mountain Quail Cafe around 10 am for breakfast.....you may recall we had lunch there last year.  They serve breakfast all day long (open 7 am to 7 pm), and Yelp gives them 4 solid stars on just over 60 reviews......we would agree wholeheartedly!  


We were back home by 11:30 am and since the wind was not too bad yet I set about cleaning off the exterior of the coach......before we left Wittmann it was pretty clean, and the wheels were shinning brightly, but the 100 miles of rain we drove through to get to Quartzite took away our Newell's smile.  I worked at restoring her smile for about 90 minutes, puttered around the trailer for a while, and then did my workout before heading inside to take a 'Navy' shower (a real fast shower to conserve water).

We both spent time reading before heading out once again around 5 pm for dinner with Charles, Bobbie, Jack and Marta (Jack and Marta are friends of Charles and Bobbie who are staying in the same RV park with them here in Quartzite) at Silly Al's Pizza on Main Street.   If you want pizza in Quartzite this is the place, and they do serve a mean pizza if I don't say so myself.......Yelp gives them 4 stars on 137 reviews, and who are we to disagree, hmmmm?

Forgot I had my cheaters on when I took the picture......😋

TLE and I arrived early to get our names in for a table as this place is packed all day and night every day.......after putting our names in we went to the bar to order a couple of draft brews while we waited for our friends to arrive and our name to be called.


We all (except TLE who had a salad) shared a 'Goliath' (extra large) Combo pizza and added anchovies.....always nice to find people who love anchovies on their pizza, right?  To chase the pizza we ordered a large pitcher of 'Shock Top' (draft), which brought our dinner tab for six to $57......now that is what I call a cheap date!

We arrived home around 7:30 pm, and the wind was blowing ferociously.....we watched a couple of news programs, then the 'Bachelor' before heading to bed around 11 pm.  Oh, by the way, our batteries hit 100% about 1:30 pm......I love solar!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Q....Day 4

7:54 am - Mountain Time - Monday - 49º F, humdity 79%, wind 14 mph out of the south......partly cloudy.....beautiful sunrise......we are facing the eastern sky and on mornings when there is no cloud cover we get sun through our front windows and the coach warms up much more quickly, and we have to use our heaters much less.  It was warmish overnight because it only got down to 61º F inside the Newell last night, and what is the significance of that?  Read on..........


Quartzite morning four

......Sunday began cloudy and cold, and remained cloudy and cold all the day long.......but......it was not windy!  With the heavy cloud cover and no chance of getting sufficient sun rays on our solar panels we ran Mr. Predator pretty much all day long, and by the end of the day as the sun set we were back to 97% and that is not too bad.  When it does not get too cold outside our batteries tend to lose their charge much more slowly.  Typically when we start at a 100% charge and do our usual TV watching at night we lose around 12-13% of our charge overnight.  Last night we began at only 97% charge, but ended up at 88% this morning, so only an 11% loss of charge......not bad.  Obviously we were not getting much benefit from the generator once the charge got back to 95%, but we were watching the NFL playoffs all afternoon......but I get way ahead of myself.

We wanted to go shopping in the Tyson Wells daily flea market and get in some walking so we left sometime before 11 am for our walk over and then proceeded to walk up and down the aisles looking for things we could not live without......apparently I was the only one who found things in this category.....TLE found a couple of jewelry type items in which she was interested, but apparently she was able to resist........she did, however, buy a small $1 eyeglass repair kit (screws, screw drivers, etc.).  I, on the other hand, came away with a few small things.....a couple of 3/8" ratchet extensions, and three 1/4" ratchet extensions......all of which I needed.  Every 100 yards, or so we would pass someone selling something delicious to eat, but we were strong......


 Shopping at Tyson Wells......forgot to smile....😋.....I really wanted to try those hand dipped onion rings.....

......around 12:30 pm we began our walk back to the coach so as to be on time for the 1:05 pm start time for the NFC playoff game between the Packers and Falcons played in Atlanta.  This game was over by the middle of the 2nd quarter, and by half time it was 24-0, so we took a drive over to Main Street to buy a few grocery items.

There seem to be two supermarkets here in Quartzite.....the most frequented is the Road Runner Market where we made our first stop.  It is a good enough market, but all the aisles had this 'picked over' feel to them, and we were not too impressed with their meat counter, or deli.  We bought a few things there and then drove about two blocks down to the Quartzite General Store which was not crowded at all, but all the shelves were stocked, and the prices were a little lower.....the big plus is they have a wonderful meat counter, and deli, so I think we will revisit them for our next major shopping foray.  

The Packers vs. Falcons game ended with the score in favor of the Falcons 44-21.  We had hopes of the late afternoon matchup between the Steelers and Patriots (played in New England) being more competitive, but it was not to be.  The Steelers kept it close for the first half, but ended up losing 36-17, and it was not that close.  So Super Bowl 51 will feature the Atlanta Falcons  and the New England Patriots in two weeks (February 5th).  Hard to believe there is only one football game left until next August!

One thing I neglected to mention in yesterday's blog was that I bought a flag pole LED light to properly illuminate my 'Stars and Stripes' at night, which is the proper flag etiquette........


.......it really is quite nice, and also nicely illuminates the area around the trailer entrance......at night, of course.

That was our fourth day at the 'Q'......thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Q.....Day 3

7:55 am - Mountain Time - Sunday - 48º F, humdity 69%, wind 6 mph out of south southeast......heavy cloud cover once again......forecast high for today is 60º F.  Battery charge at 86% this morning.....had to start the Predator as there will be no sun until late morning.

We......yes I said 'we', woke up at 7:30 am Saturday......the sun was just peaking over the horizon and we had been aware of the ever so gradual increasing light through our window curtains......this is how humans were meant to awake......slowly, with no alarms.  Back in my workaday life I felt I was being assaulted every morning when that alarm sounded.....too much adrenaline at one time!  The sun was out, and by 8 am the batteries were being charge by the 620 watts of solar panels on our roof via our Blue Sky charge controller, and by 2:40 pm they were back to 100% from the 84% to which we awoke.

We've been trying to take walks every day and Saturday morning we chose to walk towards the local hills and climb a path up to what appeared to be ancient mine works.....


 The red arrow shows you were our Newell is

 Very steep trail....over 10% 

The old mine works at the top of the climb

We had plans to meet our friends Charles and Bobbie at the Big Tent around 11 am and take them on their first tour of all the vendors.  Because parking is difficult around the Big Tent Charles dropped off Bobbie, then drove over to our campsite to park his vehicle and walk over with us.  We walked down a couple of the long aisles by 12:30 and decided we should get lunch at one of the food booths before the crowds became too severe.  TLE and I found a vendor selling fry break hot dogs, and bacon wrapped hot dogs while Charles and Bobbie got some pulled pork sandwiches from the BBQ place across the walkway.  We took about 30 minutes to eat our lunch and were back in the tent, then outside the tent checking out all the vendors.  By 2:30 we were all done for the day and headed back to our respective abodes until we reconvened at our campsite for an evening fire about 5 pm.......




.......we sat talking for over two hours watching the stars come out, and soaking up the warmth of the fire......a great evening with no wind, and no rain!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Q.....Day 2

8:00 am, Mountain Time, Real Saturday - 43º F, 72% humidity, wind 12 mph out of the southwest......CLEAR BLUE SKIES!  

Friday we awoke to partly cloudy skies, which progressed rather quickly to heavy cloud cover, with the wind speed climbing into the 20's in advance of the forecast rain later in the afternoon.  Our battery charge was down to 87% when I first got up, and it was obvious we were not going to get much sun, if any at all, most the day so I turned on the big 7.5 kw generator to throw some electrons back into our house batteries.  If you are going to use a generator as one charging component for your batteries it is best used first thing in the morning when the batteries are at their lowest as you will get more bang for your fuel buck.  Once your batteries get over 95% the charge rate slows significantly and you are just wasting fuel.  At any rate, we ran the big generator for about and hour and got the batteries back to 90%.

We wanted to watch the Inauguration of our 45th POTUS, Donald Trump, but we also wanted to take a walk over to Tyson Wells to browse through the many vendor booths to see what deals there might be on RV related stuff, so we headed out around 9 am for the .8 mile walk over.......

The BIG TENT can be seen in the distance


......in all it took us a little over 10 minutes to make the walk.....we spent the next hour, or so browsing through one vendor booth after another......the BIG TENT does not officially open until 9 am on Saturday, so we'll return there on Saturday for sure.

Just before we left for Tyson Wells I plugged in the Predator generator to continue charging our house batteries as there was to be no sun Friday, plus we wanted to turn on our DirecTV DVR so we could record the Inauguration in case we did not get back in time for the beginning.  We located some bargains at Tyson Wells which we will revisit later in the week as the show winds down.....it always seems the prices begin to come down as the end of the RV show draws near.

We were back around 10:30 and promptly turned on the Inauguration proceedings and watched for hours......like here in Quartzite, it was overcast with rain on and off in Washington D.C......


.....as a famous man once said this peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another here in the USA is both common place and miraculous at the same time.  

As the afternoon waned, the wind became more fierce with gusts into the high 20's at times, and eventually the rain came around 5 pm.....at first just sprinkles, then almost torrential in nature, but we loved every minute of it.  As I often remark to TLE this one of the many things I cherish about this lifestyle......you are so close to nature living in a tiny house......you can feel the wind, you can certainly hear the wind, you can hear the rain on your aluminum roofing.  There is something about sitting here right now watching the sun hit our solar panels and knowing that our batteries are being recharged silently while we enjoy the peace and beauty of the Arizona desert.  We are not plugged into an electrical outlet, we do not have a hose attached to a hose bib, or a sewer line connected......we are off the grid, and completely self sufficient.........life is good!  With the use of our Predator generator we got our batteries back to 98%, which is not bad for a cloudy day.  I didn't mind running it all afternoon as we were watching the Inaugural events at the same time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Q.....Day 1

7:59 am - Mountain Time - Friday - 46º F, 72% humidity, wind 10 mph out of the south....partly cloudy......70% chance of rain later today (2 pm).  Slept well last night......no chickens crowing at 3:30 am (for my friend Tom......😏)......no sound of traffic even though we are only 200 yards from highway 95......


First Quartzite sunrise (Friday)

As I reported early Thursday morning we had to get our act together sooner than we had planned as it had begun to sprinkle around 6 am........our friend Tom's backyard does not react well to copious amounts of rain, and if it rained hard enough for long enough we would be stuck and not be able to move Thursday, hence the rush to depart the backyard.  As it turned out we got the final things stowed, and were idling out to the front of Tom and Darlene's home by 8 am on the dot.......


Tom is taking the picture


On our way!

.....we said our 'until next times' to Tom and Darlene, and were off in a cloud of dust.....as we merged on to SR60 it began to rain in earnest, and by the time we were passing through Wickenburg it was raining quite briskly.  We only had 110 miles to travel Thursday and the miles flew by quickly.  Before long we were passing through Aguila, the Brenda, then we were merging on to I-10 and only had 14 miles to go to Quartzite.

The Newell was running smooth as silk.....the coolant temps were right around 183º F, and the tranny and oil temps were barely registering.....the cruise control was cruising, and the Jake was 'jaking'.....I rarely ever had to use the brakes!  Before long we were exiting I-10 and it was just 10:10 am!

Our immediate destination was the Riggles exit off of I-10 where there is an ARCO fuel station with a large truck/RV parking lot where we planned to park to unload the VW so we could cruise around checking out various boondocking sites where we will spent the next 10 days, or so.  Last January we, along with our friends, found a nice secluded site off Dome Rock Road east of SR95 and we loved it, but it was a longish drive back to the paement, and then to the 'Big Tent' area, plus it was always difficult finding a parking spot that didn't require a 10 minute walk to the 'Big Tent'.  This year we decided to check out the BLM land south of I-10 off of SR95 called 'La  Posa'.  After driving around La Posa West (there is also a La Posa East, which is on the east side of SR95) we found a suitable place to park our Newell and trailer, and it is a 10 minute walk to the 'Big Tent'.......no need to drive our car through mind numbingly heavy traffic to find a parking spot, and still walk 1o minutes!

We found a perfect spot for us where we can face just a few degrees to the north side of east which will enable our tilted solar panels to catch the sun's rays early in the morning and as late as possible in the afternoon.  By the time I had them tilted it had begun to rain, and we were chased inside for about 45 minutes, after which time I returned to my setup duties deploying our flags, and then hooking up the trailer and coach to our new Predator Generator, which I promptly started so we can continue to get those 20 hours of break in time behind us.....I turned on the 'Eco' setting, and let her run for about 3 hours before shutting her down for a few hours........it wasn't too long after that we saw our first sundown this time around in Quartzite.......



First Quartzite sunset.....Thursday

......eventually I turned the Predator on again and we set about watching several more episodes of 'The Crown', which I wrote about in yesterday's post.....thank you to all who recommended this excellent series......I am hooked!  Since there will be heavy cloud cover the next day, or two we'll be using the Predator a lot, but then the sun will return.

We were in bed by 11 pm, and asleep shortly thereafter........nice to be boondocking once again!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chance of rain.....

6:51 am - Mountain Time - Thursday - 48º F, 74% humidity, wind 9 mph out of the south........chance of rain, and because there is a chance of rain (65% right now) we need to get our wheels rolling sooner than we thought.  I'll have to write my blog post about Wednesday later today after we get to Quartzite!

U P D A T E

3:31 pm - Mountain Time - Thursday - Quartzite, AZ -  56º F, humidity 66%, wind 16 mph out of SSW......partly cloudy.....arrived in Quartzite about 10:15 am after a 2 hour drive through mostly rain.  Found a great site in Las Posas West off SR-95 in walking distance to the big tent, but far enough from I-10 so there is no freeway noise.

Wednesday saw us tearing down our camp, folding up the awning mat, stowing the patio awning, putting the last things away in the trailer, then ultimately reinserting the VW Beetle into the trailer just as the sun set.

In the morning before all of the afternoon activity I drove into Surprise to the local O'Reilly's Automotive store to buy some 10-30w oil for our new generator and some Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer additive as required by the warranty and operating instructions, then returned to unpack the new Predator Generator, fill it with oil, then add the Sta-Bil, then fill the fuel tank with 87 octane regular gasoline.  The instructions suggested pulling the start rope 20 times to prime the engine, but it only took 15 pulls before she started.  I let her run for a few minutes to be sure all was well, and it was.

The old and the new

Around 5:15 pm I got out our Sea-B-Que BBQ to grill a filet mignon whilst TLE roasted some veggies for dinner.  We ate while watching a Netflix original series called 'The Crown', which came highly recommended, and we were not disappointed.  It essentially chronicles the life and times of Queen Elizabeth II beginning in the late 30's......very, very interesting, and certainly a departure from 'Breaking Bad' which we recently 'binge watched'.

We were in bed pretty early, and it is a good thing, as I related above..... Thursday we drive to Quartzite..........thanks for stopping by!