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.

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