Friday, November 30, 2018


This post is going to cover a few things, hence the title of potpourri.
After yesterdays post the wind came up here at Imperial Dam and things got to rocking around again. Maybe not quite as bad as the other day at Borrego but still strong enough that I was chasing stuff that the wind had blown away. Fortunately it had ebbed enough by bed time that we were able to get to sleep OK.
This morning we planned to head into town again as we wanted to check out a couple of the Yuma markets.
First though we stopped at the Daybreakers Cafe in the Fortuna foothills area for breakfast. This is a very popular place as it was packed. They have some very reasonable breakfast specials which are popular with the seniors crowd. They must have been really disorganized this morning though as it took almost 15 minutes for a server to even take our order then another almost half hour to get our food. The food once we did get it was OK. Nothing spectacular though. I think we might give them another chance, maybe on a different day.
There are a couple of good sized outdoor markets in town with the biggest being the Arizona Marketplace. They carry almost anything that one could want from RV parts to clothing to jewelry. We spent about 3 hours just wandering around. Chris picked up a nice summer dress while I decided to save my money for another day.
The second stop was the Yuma Swap Meet. Whereas the Arizona Market is pretty much all new product, the vendors at the Yuma Swap Meet sell a variety of new and used stuff. We were a bit late getting there and they were starting to close up so we will likely go back another day.
Both of these markets are right close by the Yuma International Airport which also doubles as a Marine Corps Air Station. All day there were all sorts of military aircraft flying around. A couple of the new F-35 Lightnings were doing circuits and during this 4 V-22 Ospreys came in low right over our heads. Add to this a few F-18's and an F5 and it all got pretty loud at times.
Before we left, Chris had checked some sales flyers for Albertsons Supermarket and found a few good sales on meats so we made a stop there and picked up some nice steaks and pork chops as well as some very inexpensive bacon.
On the way back to the trailer we stopped at a couple of furniture stores as we are finding our 2 Euro chairs are getting pretty tired so we have been looking around for some replacements. We found a couple of possibilities but the price was a bit more than we wanted to spend. There are a few other locations we want to check out next time we are in town.
One more stop at Fry's as they had a good sale on chicken then back to the trailer about 4:30.
And wouldn't you know it but the wind is picking up again!
All told a pretty busy day.
Oh, one other thing. As you can see I have made a few changes to the blog. I wanted to dress it up a bit. I also added an email subscription link which you will see in the right side column. Enter your email address and you will get any new posts sent to you as an email message. No need to come looking for the blog.  Let me know what you think.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Connectivity issues

A few days ago while we were still in Borrego, our Verizon MiFi started to slow way down and eventually quit completely. No idea why as it all seemed to be working OK, just not passing any data. I contacted the provider and they said they would ship a replacement although I had to tell them to wait as we wouldn't be able to receive anything until we got to Imperial Dam. Once we arrived here, I again contacted them and they shipped one out the same day. Fortunately we have our Telus Canada/USA roaming plan on our phones although it does have a limited amount of data available.
Today I got a call from them and they asked me to turn our unit off for a few minutes. I could hear some mad typing in the background then they asked me to turn it back on. Guess what? It started working! No idea what they did but they mentioned something about it being disconnected from the network.
There is still a replacement on its way which is supposedly a 'newer' unit. I'm not sure if it is just a newer version of our same model or a newer model. Will see when it gets here.
Otherwise, this morning we did a bit of geocaching then gave Maya a bath as she was starting to get a bit grubby.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Chore day

Today was chore day. We headed into town to the Fortuna Hills area. On the list was about 3 weeks of laundry, fill 2 propane tanks and refill our drinking water containers. The truck also got a wash so it doesn’t look like a rolling dust pile any more. And just before heading back we stopped at Fry’s for some groceries. We like this area as pretty much everything we need is within one square mile.
We are also trying something a bit different this trip. I have rigged up a portable clothes line that we can use for drying our clothes. It was a bit late when we finally got stuff hung up but even with only about an hour and a half of daylight left, stuff dried pretty well. Single digit humidity will do that! I guess you could call this a Wind and Solar powered clothes dryer.

I almost expect to see the Roadrunner and Wile-E-Coyote come running by (Did you know the E stands for Ethelbert?). Those mountains in the background are called the Castle Dome mountains. You can also see a pretty large tethered aerostat near the top edge of this shot. It is located in the Yuma Proving Grounds about 30 Kms away from us. ( This one is used as a radar platform for border surveillance.

Maya out enjoying the afternoon sunshine after being confined to the trailer all day.

A bit of colour in the sunset tonight.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Imperial Dam LTVA

Lyle and Barb joined us again yesterday around 1 PM. We had invited them over for dinner. We chatted for a couple of hours then all joined in on the Boomer happy hour. Chris made up a batch of ribs that seemed to go over well. This is probably the last time we’ll see them until possibly in January in Quartzsite.
This morning we packed up and with full tanks headed for our next stop, the Imperial Dam LTVA just North of Yuma. We had to move on today as both our grey and black tanks were full. We said our goodbyes and were on the road around 9:30. We planned to make a stop in El Centro for a few groceries but when we went to put Maya in the trailer before going into the store we discovered almost the entire contents of the rear cabinets all over the floor! We had hit some pretty good bumps on the road between Borrego and Salton City and it seems one of them forced the cabinet doors open. Fortunately nothing broke so all we had to do was collect it all and put it back. After putting most of the contents away and doing our shopping, we then carried on to the LTVA. First order of business once we got here was to refill our fresh water and dump our tanks then find a spot to set up. We were here last winter for a week and liked the spot we had so though if it was available we would stay there again. It was and that is where we are.
Tomorrow will be chore day. We have about 3 weeks of laundry to catch up on as well as a few other items to take care of.

We didn't get to exploring around Borrego too much this year but here are a few highlights from our stay last year.

One thing Borrego Springs is known for are the number of metal sculptures all around the town. Here are a couple of the bigger ones.

I'm not sure how many there are in total but there must be at least a hundred in the area. You can find more info and more pictures here >

Another attraction just up the road a ways is 'The Slot'. A good sized and fairly deep (100' or so) slot canyon carved though siltstone. Narrow enough that in places you have to squeeze through sideways.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

The desert can be dusty!

Just East of us near the junction of Hwy 86 and SR 22 at Salton City is a huge OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) area. When we arrived here a week ago, it was completely deserted. Last night, coming back from Hemet, we drove past there again. What a change! The whole area was packed with hundreds of RV's and OHV's running all over the place. And dust! In some places we couldn't use high beams on the truck because the dust was so thick. All day yesterday we were seeing toy hauler trailers, cargo trailers and all sorts of OHV's on the highway. I guess now we know where they were headed.
Distance wise, that area is about 25 KM's straight line East from where we are camped. The wind here has been out of the East for the last few hours and that dust is starting to become noticeable over here now. Here's hoping it switches back to a West wind soon.
There is another large OHV area to the South East of us near a town called Ocotillo Wells. I imagine it would be packed this weekend as well.
Our plan now is to stay here until Monday and then head over to the Imperial Dam Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) just North of Yuma. There is a Christian Service Centre there that runs a shipping centre and post office (Winterhaven, CA). We need to have a few things sent to us so we will probably hang out there for a week or so. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Rockin' and rollin' in the desert

I mentioned yesterday that it was quite windy most of the day and continued through our Thanksgiving meal and into the afternoon. It did calm down a bit around sunset but the wind came up again with a vengeance overnight. The whole trailer was rocking and shaking all night. It woke Chris up several times and woke me up around 4:30. It was so bad I was worried about our solar panels up on the roof. They are pretty big and make very good sails. Everything survived the night OK though and things had calmed down by 6AM when we got up.
We had plans to go visit our friends Lyle and Barb from back home today so before we left, and just in case the wind came back up, I went up and lowered the panels to their normal travel position. Better safe than sorry. As it turned out, the day here was mostly calm.
We did get to Hemet and had a real nice visit with Lyle and Barb. We took the shorter route which starts out on SR 22 and climbs up through the mountains to Ranchita. The geology of these hills is really weird. They look like nothing more than a huge rubble pile. Just lots of huge boulders piled up. After reaching the summit and passing through Ranchita, we turned North on CA-79N and followed it to Sage Rd. Sage Rd was another very narrow windy road that dropped back down into Riverside county and Hemet. All told it was about 75 mi. (125 Kms) but took almost 2 hours. I wasn't relishing the thought of coming back via the same route after dark so we took a slightly longer but easier route back, arriving back here about 8PM. We had a very nice day with Lyle and Barb and got in a bit of Black Friday shopping to boot.

The view from the top of the hill on SR22 looking back at Borrego Springs. Our camping area can just be seen in the centre of the shot.
I have zoomed in as much as I can with this shot. You can see our camping area a bit better in the centre.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy (US) Thanksgiving!

The day started out overcast with a slight chance of showers but the forecast showed it clearing later. I didn’t think we would get a full charge today but once the sun did come out we were back to full by about 1PM.
I figured today would be a good day to do a bit of flying so dug the Carbon Cub out, took a couple of the neighbours that were interested and went up the road a bit so we were clear of all the RV’s and put in a couple of flights. I did manage to avoid the creosote bushes this time! Just as we we were finishing up the wind came up and it blew 15 - 25 KPH for the rest of the morning then picked up to 25-40 KPH through the afternoon and well into the evening.
Everyone got together at about 2 PM for our Thanksgiving meal. We set up between 2 of the larger motor homes which acted as a pretty fair wind break. Despite the wind it turned out quite nice. Lots of food so no-one went away hungry anyway.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Getting crowded here!

Well, we are up to, I think, 15 rigs here now. The nice peace and quiet of the last few days has gone. While we did come here for a Boomer gathering and welcome meeting new friends and reconnecting with people we haven't seen since last winter, in a way, I will be glad when it is over. One doesn't realize how much one appreciates something until it is gone. We plan to attend another larger Boomer gathering in Quartzsite in January which I expect will be >lot< bigger. A hundred RV's or more potentially.
We aren't the only Canadians either. There is a couple from Alberta here now that we met last year at Mittry lake. The official 'rang' is still 2 days away so I expect we may see a few more yet.

Happy hour around the fire pit.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Snakes Alive!

One of the things I wanted to do at Borrego this year was to visit the giant snake. I had heard about this must see attraction last year but didn't have time to make the hike. It isn't that far really, only a 20 minute hike up the hills West of our camping spot.  Today started a bit cooler and with some cloud cover so I decided to knock this off the list, leaving about 8:30. 20 minutes later I came over a slight rise and there it was.

Along with the snake there are a few other smaller sculptures that people have added more recently including a seastar(?), maybe a jackrabbit, a butterfly, a turtle, a seagull and a flower as well as a couple that I am not sure what they are.

This next photo is a shot from the ridge up near the snake looking back to where most of us are camped. You can see our trailer just to the left of the centre of the shot.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Just Chillin'

Not much to report on today. It's been pretty laid back the last couple of days.
We did have a nice visit from Lyle and Barb, friends from back home, on Thursday. They are staying about 2 hours away in Hemet, Ca.
I was able to get the engine reinstalled in the Elan today but will wait til we are out of the desert to test run it.
We are expecting a few more Boomers to show up in the next few days. The Thanksgiving 'turkey rang' (Boomer term for gathering) officially starts Monday.
Update on the bed slide issue; It looks like I will need to change the entire drive shaft as the main gear on this thing is welded to the shaft. Not too big a deal I don't think. I expect the hardest part will be punching out the pins holding the end gears on. Unfortunately Fedex won't deliver to us out in the desert so we will have to wait until we are closer to a larger metro area to order the parts.

Our camping spot

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

More Escapees

Looking at the weather reports from back home, I think we left at the right time. Sounds like winter has arrived back there.

We have arrived safely at our first longer term stop. We are parked in the desert just outside Borrego Springs, Ca and plan to be here for about 2 weeks.

There is an RV group we belong to that has a week long gathering here starting this weekend. This will be the first group gathering we will have joined for this gang and are looking forward to the new experience. We are the first to arrive and are hoping the rest decide they like this spot and camp close to us.
Also just across the road is another Escapees group, the Boondockers. We have met a couple of them already and plan to go visit a bit later.  Plus, nearby are the Xscapers; another Escapees group. These are mostly younger fulltimers who live and work on the road.

Everything seems to be working pretty well. No serious issues with the truck or trailer on the way down. Just one minor problem with the mechanics that move the bedroom slide in and out. I will have to order a couple of new gears but we have to figure out where to ship them first.
One thing I am noticing this trip that I don’t recall from last year is that my sinus’s are not happy. I am plugged solid. Had a heck of a time last night as I woke a couple of times unable to breath through my nose. Possibly because we got down here so quick my sinus’s didn’t have a chance to adapt. I hope they clear soon!
We are certainly enjoying the warmer weather. The forecast for the next week or so is mostly sunny skies with a few clouds and temps up to the mid 20’s during the day and mid single digits over night. It was 23 yesterday when we got here and down to about 8 overnight.

I hope to be able to post a couple of photos of the area soon

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Borrego Springs

A bit cooler overnight. Woke up before 5 and it was right around +5. Filled up the water jugs in the truck from Camping Worlds tap and after taking Maya for a walk, pulled out around 8. After an initial wrong turn thanks to the GPS in the truck we got on the right road headed over to Mojave via Hwy 58 and the Tehachapi pass. We had intended to stop at a fruit stand just outside Bakersfield but they were closed when we got there so carried on. At Mojave we turned South on Hwy 14 to Palmdale then East on 18 to 2 then South on 215 to 10. We then followed 10 South to Salton City then over to Borrego via 58 arriving around 3PM. We were surprised to see that there were not too many rigs here. No where near as many as last year. We found a good spot with lots of room around us should the Escapees Boomers decide to join us here.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

California, here we come!

Another chilly night. Temperature was right at freezing when I got up and very thick fog. The visibility was less than half a Kilometre. We got packed up and on the road just after 8 and shortly thereafter were out of the fog. About an hour or so later we were in full sunshine. We made a quick stop in Grants Pass for Propane and fuel, then on to Corning. We pulled into the Olive Pit at about 5. From here we can see the smoke from the ‘Camp’ Fire extending right across the sky just south of us. Quite a bit warmer here as well. As of 7PM it is still 16C outside.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Olympia RC swap meet

Our first main stop on the way down was at the Olympia Airport as there was an RC swap meet at the museum hanger that I wanted to attend. I had brought down a jet kit that I didn't need and was hoping to sell it. My friend Chris C had bought several swap tables and let me display the jet. I wandered around a bit and bought a couple of small items then just after lunch managed to sell the jet. Got a good price for it too. After the swap meet, we continued on south to Eugene.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Day 1 - Heading out

We were planning to pull out around 7 but when we went to pull in the bedroom slide the gears started skipping again. No about of pushing would get it going so I had to pull the whole thing apart again and this time adjusted the mounting holes a bit to let the gears mesh a bit better temporarily. Got the slide in and finally got away at 8:15.  Stopped for breakfast and to get the tires retorqued at Kal Tire in Cache Ck then on to the coast. Next stop was Ship Happens in Sumas after crossing the border then after a quick fuel and lunch stop in Bellingham on to Christensens. Arrived just after 4:30. The weather all the way down was perfect.