Sunday, March 20, 2022

More from Peoria and a few days in Lake Havasu City

This was a first for us and a sad day for others. Near where we were parked when Chris wrote our last blog entry, there were a couple of fellows in smaller trailers who looked like they had been there for a few months if not the whole season. One morning, about an hour after one of them drove off in his truck, we heard some sirens and shortly thereafter a firetruck and ambulance pulled up to their camp. After some activity, a couple of police cars arrived followed a bit later by a third. About an hour after this, the firetruck and ambulance left but the police stuck around for a few more hours until a nondescript white van arrived and we could see them moving what looked like a body bag into the back of the van. Shortly after that they all left. A bit later the other resident, who had left earlier, arrived back and one of the other longer term neighbours went over to chat. Apparently he had no idea what had transpired and looked quite distraught. We don't have any idea what transpired but have a couple of hunches.

As we had found this location a bit noisy with all the traffic nearby and the bad vibes from the earlier incident, we decided to pull up stakes and move to another spot we had found about a mile further up the road. Not before one very nice sunset though.

The new spot proved to be quite nice; quiet and no neighbours right close by.

Nearby was this old (probably pushing 200 years) Saguaro that Chris promptly named Carmen Miranda. I guess the top reminded her of the fancy hats and head dresses the dancer/singer/actress wore.

We also had some other neighbours who just kinda wandered around wherever they felt like. They are quite wild and won't let you get very close at all.

We wound up staying here about 10 days.

During this time, I did some exploring around the old airport where we used to stay when in Peoria. It was quite sad to see it shut down and everything torn down. They were even in the process of busting up all the old concrete foundations and rehabilitating it all. I am not sure what the full story is but I guess things have been in decline for a number of years. It was as recently as 2012 that this was still a very active glider school with quite a large number of gliders, tow planes and resident aircraft. 

Here are a couple of before and after shots.

As I said, I am not sure what the whole story is, but I hope the couple that ran the place, Rick and Jenanne are OK.

Our last weekend in Peoria, we heard about an all electric Fun Fly at the AMPS club field that our friend Paul belongs to. It sounded like it could be fun so I loaded up my little Cessna and we headed over. This was their first event of this type and judging by the popularity, it will become an annual event. I put in 5 flights on the Cessna and had a great time.

After leaving Peoria, we headed back to Lake Havasu City to meet up with our friends Steve and Tammi. When we last saw them in early January, they were looking for a place in Havasu. Well, in the interim, they had found and purchased a house there. Steve had asked for some help with moving but by the time we had got there, they had pretty much moved in so there wasn't much for us to do. We spent a few days visiting then moved on.


Things are starting to bloom here now. The Prickly Pear cactus seem to get things started.


I guess you could say we are officially on our way home (home being BC that is) now. We are presently on some BLM land just at the northern edge of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. This is also just outside Valley of Fire State Park which we visited back in 2019. 

There are 2 fairly good size BLM areas here popular with RVers. The one where we are is called Poverty Flats. Nearby is Snowbird Mesa. Both of these are just outside of the Moapa Valley. This one was a bit easier to access with the trailer and also was the first we came to so here we are!  We plan to stay here for a week or so, and then head North targeting April 1 or thereabouts to cross into Canada.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Yuma, Quartzsite and Peoria

After our 2 weeks were up at the Imperial Dam LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area), we hooked up, dumped and filled the trailer, and then headed towards Yuma. A couple of days before, we had scoped out a spot to stay at for a few nights before we headed that way. We ended up staying at an old gravel pit about 10 minutes north of Yuma. It was actually not a bad spot. Wide open and not over crowed like it was up at the LTVA. While there, we discovered another little BLM area for camping nearby, but not sure if we would be able to get our trailer in. It has some tight areas.


We stayed 2 nights at the gravel pit and then moved on over to Contreras Field, the home of the Yuma RC Aeromodellers, where they were hosting their annual RC airshow. Rob was planning on flying his RC jet at this event, but discovered about a week before that the jet had some cracks on one of the tail booms. We believe that this happened when we went over a large frost heave going through Rogers Pass as we headed to Okotoks, AB for work last year. So the jet is grounded until he gets it repaired. But he was able to fly his small Cessna electric airplane at the event. 



We ended up leaving the airfield on Sunday, Feb 20, to head back to Quartzsite for the Grand Design RV "Rally in the Desert". This is the only Grand Design rally that is boondocking, or no hookups. This is the second one that we have been to. The last one was 2 years ago in 2020, just before COVID roared into North America.


If you look closely, you can see Rob in the foreground. He's the one with his arms up over his head!

At night, if the wind wasn't blowing too strong, we would have a large fire.

The rally started on February 24th and was done on the Sunday. The final rig count I believe was 164. We were able to meet more people this time. Had a good time, but did not win anything. Maybe at our next Grand Design rally this June in Spruce Grove, AB. We decided that we will not be working this summer as we want to do a bit more of the RC airplane events in BC and maybe a couple in Alberta.

While we were at the rally, Rob had a chance to install the stained glass window that we got when we were in Los Algodones. We discovered though, while removing the inside piece of the window frame, that the stained glass piece was a bit smaller than the actual window in the door. Rob had to MacGyver a fix in order to get it in. We had to keep the original glass in the frame and silicone the new one onto it. Here it is the morning after with the sun shining through it as the sun was rising.



While here, there were a couple of other attendees with truly impressive Solar/Battery systems.

Mark and Elizabeth - 3300 watts of solar and 16.2 KWH of Lithium batteries

Joshua and Elizabeth - 7600 Watts of panels and 28.8 KWH of batteries

We left Quartzsite on March 1st and headed to Phoenix. We were going to try and stay at the same place we normally do when we go to Phoenix,  the Pleasant Valley RV Park and Airport,
but have discovered that it is no more. Apparently, from what we can find out is that the lease for the Arizona State Trust Land that it is on, was not renewed. We took a drive over there and sure enough, all the buildings, hangers and rv park have been taken down or torn up. We are now on State Trust land just across Hwy 74 from the airport. The permit we needed costs $20 for a yearly family pass, and is good for 14 days here. 


Last nights sunset

We did a quick grocery shop the day that we arrived here after setting up camp. While at Fry’s Foods, they had chicken thighs on for .99 cents a pound. Ended up getting 4 packages of chicken thighs and it looks like they have 4 pieces in each pack. The 4 packs before sale was $19.64 and with sale price they came to only $7.50!


One thing about this location that we have mentioned before is the hot air balloons that will take off or land in the area. Yesterday morning (March 3), there were 13 hot air balloons that were up. The majority of them landed across the highway from us, but there was one, that landed not far from us.


Quick video of the balloon landing. We watched as the chase vehicle got into position in order for the one helper to help get the balloon into position for deflation and packing it up as the pilot and the 2 passengers had their celebratory drink and snack. There are 2 main companies in the area that do daily passenger rides. Rainbow Ryders and Hot Air Expeditions. This balloon was with the latter.

On Wednesday, the day after we got to Phoenix, we went up to Bartlett Lake, about a 1 hr drive from our location, for a small float fly. We met up with our good friend Paul Good. We haven’t seen him for 2 years. Unfortunately, after about a month after we saw him last, his wife Joan passed away. It was nice to see him  again. We met them quite a few years ago while we were at a float fly at Sandy Point Campground, just outside of Salmon Arm, BC.

We headed up to Bartlett Lake around 7:40 am. When we got up to the lake, there were a few guys getting ready for the little float fly. Rob ended up being the first one in the air. It has been awhile since he has done that.

As the video plays, at about the 16 second mark, we will see Rob flying by doing a roll with his airplane.  As you can see, it was a beautiful sunny day there. It was an iffy morning though, in regards to the wind. By the time we got to the lake, the wind was starting to die down. Rob ended up getting 5 flights in with his plane. Me, I was reading and getting a sunburn. Yes, I know, I should of put some sunscreen on but I didn’t. Let’s just say that wearing a t-shirt today has not been fun.

One thing that we like about the landscape when we get to Arizona, is the desert and the cacti that we see. What we see the most are Saguaro Cactus. (Cacti is the plural form). While there are some around Yuma and Quartzsite as we traveled to Phoenix, we start to see more and more. 



As you can see, the saguaro cactus can take on many different shapes and sizes. The ones that you see are probably between 150-200 yrs old.


Some info on the saguaro cactus can be found at the below links. 

We will be in the Phoenix area for a couple of weeks. Will do another post in a few weeks. Stay safe and warm. Talk to everyone soon. 

Christine and Rob.