Saturday 21 January 2006

My Saturday

Today was our last day in site T-5 so we packed up and moved to site J-6 where we will be for a week - still in the same campground so it wasn't a strenuous move. We got here and set up and it was still only around noon so I got laundry ready and headed to the laundromat. There are 3 of them in the campground each their own little building with 3 washers and 3 dryers and 2 folding tables in each as well as some chairs and magazines. After loading up the machines, I called my sister, Margie in Ottawa and got to talk to my nephew, Nick and my niece, Danica. Bonus!

They are both very busy, Nick is finishing up his last semester to be a paramedic and is now travelling with the paramedics, school is finished for him. Danica, too, has news but I can't post it yet because she has some people that she hasn't told yet. Margie is doing well at her new job and was asked this week if she wanted to work full time. She has decided at this point that she doesn't want to do that. John has seen a neurologist about his back pain and is now on some new drug for the pain. He is to have another test done at the Civic and will be scheduled for an MRI.

The good/bad news is that it snowed 8 inches last night in Ottawa and the guys had just come in from shovelling wet, heavy snow/compared to sunny, breezy 65F here in Brenda, AZ.

When we were out this morning before moving sites, we filled up our propane tank and there was a lady in the parking lot selling citrus fruit so I got some oranges and grapefruit. I just had an orange and it was really good. The prices were good too - 4/$1!

After finishing the laundry, Gordon, Bib and I took a short walk over to the BLM land and took a few photos so I would have something to post for today.
My work for today isn't done though. When it gets a little cooler I have to defrost the refrigerator. I'll put a table outside and put the milk and stuff out there. It did get down to around 25F last night so it should be cool enough. Sure glad it warms up during the day!

I also just called my sister, Betty who lives in Toronto and got to talk to her and her husband, Garth. Amazing that I was able to reach everyone today! They are busy planning trips to Spain, Florida and their Amazon cruise all to take place over the next 3 months.

That's all for today. Photos today are of Bib and I in the little park close to our location and our new home at J-6. The sites here are huge!

Friday 20 January 2006

Saguaro Cactus - a bit of trivia for today

The saguaro is the largest cactus in the USA commonly reaching a height of 12 metres and an age of up to 200 years. It grows very slowly and by the time it is 50 years old it reaches 4 metres tall. Somewhere between 65 and 70 years it develops its first arm and is considered mature at 85 years. The Saguaro only grows in the area of southern Arizona and extends into western Mexico. It requires a reasonable amount of water and can swell substantially when it rains. They can be damaged by frost, lightning and wind as well as by the gila woodpecker who uses it as its pecking tree. I won't go into a lot of detail about this cactus but it is rather interesting and anyone who wants to learn more only need type saguaro cactus into google to come up with a plethora of sites. That's your tidbit of knowledge for today.

My husband said I should explain yesterday's photo further. The camel is actually made of wheel rims.

Today we headed into Quartzsite again and walked around a larger part of the "Main Event". Again booths and booths of rocks and gems and more and more junk. We purchased a long handled squeegee. I guess that means we need to clean! Then we drove around some more east on I-10 and then north and west back to our park. On the way back we stopped at the Country Store in Brenda to pick up a few vegetables so that I could make my famous Hamburger Stew. It's a favourite for both of us and since it has cooled off, it's good weather for stew.

It is still bright and sunny but only about 64F today. At least the wind that we had yesterday died down so it wasn't as chilly walking around the flea market today.

Don't expect tonight will be any more exciting than stew and TV!

The photo today is of guess what - a saguaro cactus!

Thursday 19 January 2006

Tribute to Hi Jolly!

Today, Gordon was out before the sun rose taking photos again. When he came back we got ready and went in to Quartzsite again. As it turns out the “Main Event” is all over town, not just in one area so we wandered around another part and then left when things started to get busy. We did buy a few things and looked at more binoculars. Still haven’t decided on the binoculars. I got a toaster that can be used on the stove. I’ve sort of missed having toast. The only time I’ve had it, I’ve done it in the frying pan and that makes it kind of soggy. Gordon bought a humungous ground stake for staking down the satellite dish. Looks like it could hold down the whole RV! Unfortunately the ground in the desert is like cement so we can’t use it here, just where we need it with all the wind.

We headed west a bit on I-10 and drove through some of the BLM lands taking a few more photos.

When we got back we managed to sign up at this campground for another week so we’ll be here till Saturday January 28th. I’m glad because the RV show starts on Saturday and I did want to see some of it. I’ll also get to see more of the flea market.

I tried to sit outside this afternoon but the wind had come up this morning and it turned a bit cooler also with some cloud. We’re not in Yuma anymore! So I read inside, had a nap and prepared chicken cacciatore for dinner.

A Partial Story of Hi Jolly

Hi Jolly (that is now the foreign name sounded to the desert people) came here from his native Syria during the mid 1850's with score or more of North African camels. They had been ordered by the U.S. Army for a desert experiment, and Hi Jolly was hired as the chief camel driver.

This didn’t work out however as the camels weren’t compatible with the army’s mules. Hi Jolly stuck around and tried to develop a freight business from the Colorado River port cities to the mining camps to the east. The short story is that Hadji Ali died in Quartzsite in 1903. If anyone is interested, the abbreviated story can be found at:

Anyway, today’s photo is a tribute to Hi Jolly just outside one of the areas of the “Main Event”.

Wednesday 18 January 2006

We Arrive at Quartzsite, AZ

Today started with a really pretty sunrise for our last morning in Yuma. We got packed up and left Yuma to head north to Quartzite shortly after 10:00 a.m. and arrived at our campground, Black Rock RV Village at Brenda, AZ about 12:15. We got set up, walked around the park a bit and then headed into Quartzsite to see what all the hoopla is about.

We went to the “Main Event” which is a flea market type place which we found to be lots smaller than Stittsville was when it was open. The rest of the town however has booths and signage all over the place. The plan is to go into town tomorrow and park on the main street and walk around to see what we could see.

The only purchase I made was a pillow sham for the couch for $2.00. It wasn’t up to my mother’s standard of quilting but I couldn’t buy the material for that price! We also looked at some binoculars that are stronger than the ones I have and I’m still thinking about those. I’ve been wanting some more powerful binoculars and have been looking when I see sales but these were a very good price.

We are at this park for three days and have asked to be put on a cancellation list to stay for the week. Parks fill up fast here at this time of year. Brenda (the town) is about 15 miles east of Quartzsite off I-10.

After checking out the flea market we drove north on SR95 for a bit and then took the exit just out of Quartzsite and took some photos of the saguaro cactus in the desert. Then we drove east for a few miles on Hwy 60 past Brenda towards Hope. We turned around at Hope and headed back. Not much to see going east.

There are all sorts of places in and around Quartzsite to dry camp on BLM grounds, some free for two weeks, some you pay a nominal fee. There are lots of people dry camping.

The photo today is Gordon beside Big Harv and Big Larry at our site T-5 at the Black Rock RV Village.

Tuesday 17 January 2006

Breakfast at Cracker Barrel

This morning Gordon left before the sun came up to go to the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park to take photos. He got back about 9:30 a.m. and we headed for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

This is the first city that we've stayed at where there's been a Cracker Barrel since we crossed into the US on November 1st. I still have gift certificates that were given to me by my co-workers when I left work in August 2004. Their breakfasts are always really good!

After breakfast we went to downtown Yuma to take some photos and found a small outdoor market that takes place on Tuesdays so I had a look around there while Gordon took some photos of the downtown area.

From there we picked up the dog food that I had ordered for Bib at a local vet and then we went east on North Frontage Road to see how close we could get to the mountain which turned out to be not very close. The road ended and there were ATV trails but nothing that would accommodate a one ton truck!

We returned to the RV park where I sat outside and read for a while again in bright sunshine. It was below 40F this morning when I got up but it warmed up to about 68F this afternoon.

Tonight we're watching TV and processing photos.

The photo today is of me at Cracker Barrel.

Monday 16 January 2006

Going Shopping

Today I thought I'd like to check out the Yuma Malls so I took off around 10:30 a.m. and headed west. There is a shopping area off SR 95 North. I went to Target, Kohl's, Marshalls, Ross and then thought I'd check out what I thought was a big mall with a JC Penney and Dillards however I found out it was an outdoor mall and those were really the only two stores there. There were a couple of jewelry stores and a Lenscrafters also only accessible from outside. Didn't find much I liked better than my money so headed into town and stopped at another mall that looks as if it's about ready to close. Again it was an outdoor mall so only went to Mervyns. By then it was nearly 3:00 p.m. so headed back to the RV.

Today was cooler and windy. Gordon put an extra strap on the internet satellite just to be sure that the wind wouldn't take it away. It was still sunny though and the wind has died down now. It was nothing like the windy day we had in Twentynine Palms.

I called a vet today to see if I could get Bib's dogfood and they had to order it so it is to be in tomorrow so we'll have to pick that up. Other than that and Gordon going to photograph the old jail, we'll just be getting ready to move on to Quartzsite on Wednesday. At that point we may be out of commission for a couple of days as we won't have an electricity.

The photo today is of the aisle of the park that we are in. More and more fifth wheels are being towed by semis. The one here is a Peterbilt. There is a sign on them indicating they are for recreational use only. There are also a lot of Ford F550 and 650s. The fifth wheels are just getting heavier and heavier.

Just Hangin' Around

We're leaving on Wednesday for Quartzsite, AZ. The town of Quartzsite has about 3500 people normally but the last two weeks in January every year they the largest swap meet in the world located in the desert as well as RV shows and gem shows. It's pure coincidence that we are going there at the busiest time of the year and we may not be there long as we've been told the traffic is very heavy. It is rumoured that the number of winter visitors & tourists swell to a MILLION & more. We haven't booked an RV park however Armand Lalonde, the person that we bought our internet satellite from this summer had planned to come from Lindsay, Ontario to sell the Anywhere Internet system at the RV show but since he is busy installing satellite on the buses for the Canadian Federal election he doesn't think he'll make it. He has a site booked and paid for at Quartzsite and emailed me to say that if he doesn't come, we can have his spot. I still have to get details from him about where it is and how long it's for but if he does attend and we can't get a spot in an RV park, we'll have to dry camp in the desert. There is no end to places in the area for dry camping and this is what most people do, just for the experience. Some places are free for the first two weeks, others you have to pay a nominal fee. It's on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) and there is a lot of it available in the desert.

So, I've been told that although they have grocery stores in Quartzsite, selection may be limited so since I need lactose free milk and Gordon has a special diet, I headed out to SuperWalMart this morning to stock up. Big Mistake!!! I have never seen a WalMart so crowded except maybe at Christmas. When I went to check out, it was noon and I was starting to get the shakes from hypoglycermia
. The lineups at the cashes were long so I decided to get something to eat at McDonald's before checking out. Good thing I did. I was in line for about 45 minutes before getting checked through! I had been warned the day we checked in that both WalMarts were very busy but I didn't realize it would be that busy. Apparently plans are in the works for a third WalMart to be built very close to where this RV park is located.

On my return from shopping, I again sat outside in my lawn chair and read. Beautiful bright sunshine with a breeze......reflected in my photo for today.

Late this afternoon Gordon headed east from here to see if he could find something to photograph. He came back with some photos that he seemed to be happy with but he's still not enamored with the area for photography. Weather sure is good though!