Sunday, March 12, 2017

Yuma to Ajo

We got our couch back from Ricardo, the upholsterer, and it is absolutely beautiful.  I am so pleased with his and Arlene's work.  They gave us a time frame that fit in with our month-long stay and delivered right on time.  I would highly recommend them if you happen to be in Yuma; 928.919.3950.

After a month in Yuma in an RV park, we anxiously headed to Ajo, and Darby Well Rd. for some boondocking time in this beautiful location.  We seem to be repeating years past as we return to our favorite places.  The sunsets, the mountain views, the funny gesturing saguaros, the quaint artsy town
all at our fingertips.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Anza Borrego to Yuma by way of Quartzsite

Our final days in Anza Borrego were highlighted by the arrival of Canadian friends, Dan and Heather.  Not only did they come for a visit, but brought dinner with them.  Now that's some super-special friends.

In Quartzsite we spent a few days boondocking at Hi Jolly BLM just north of town.  The big tent RV show opened on January 21 and Howard went down the next day to look for a few products we use on a regular basis.  The only vendor he could find was the Orange Oil wood products. He was hoping to find the Dri Wash'N Guard cleaner we use on the motorhome's exterior, plus a water filter, and a few tools.  These we can find in Yuma.

We spent a great afternoon visiting with Nan and John Talley who are parked at La Posa South.  Like many of our friends, we first met the Talleys in Anza Borrego two years ago.  The following day we all met for pizza at Silly Al's; the Tallys brought Sandie and Jim Dixon, and we invited friend Al, who was parked with the Escapees SOLO group. It was great to meet Sandie and Jim and see Nan and John again.

On to Yuma!  We have a list of projects and repairs needing to be done and Yuma is the perfect locale
with access to all or most of our needs.  We decided to stay at an RV park with full hookups for a change and decided on Caravan Oasis in the Foothills area east of town.  It is an old park but we thought the monthly price of $535 was reasonable.

First was to find someone to reupholster our living room couch.  Our friend Beth, who lives in Yuma, provided a great rcomendation.  Ricardo and Arlene came over with samples and prices.  We picked a vinyl beige (Sand) color.  Ricardo measured and Arlene soon provided us with a price which we thought was very reasonable.  Our 16 year old couch was soon dismantled and hauled away.  If we are satisfied with their work we will have our remaining 3 chairs done next year.

I also found Ron's Mobile Screen Door repair and he came out right away and replaced the old screen that had been damaged by one of the granddogs running through it.  We have an appointment with a mobile RV service and repair place.  We are hoping they can fix a water leak we have around our slide by replacing the rubber seal.  We also need to get our Hurricane heater functioning which has been the source of some not so nice language over the years after dealing with one problem after another.

By now we are needing some fun.  Friends Beth and Chris invited us over for dinner at their new home in the Foothills.  We had a wonderful time catching up and enjoyed a great dinner.

Once we have most of the repair work done, we can concentrate on getting to Algodones for a check-up with our dentist, Dr. Jorge Cortez.  We both have issues we need to attend to.

So no beautiful pictures to share. And not very exciting commentary.  We all have these times when things need to be done and not much time for sightseeing.  We did drive over to Ogilby Road to check out the boondocking sites.  We will definitely go there on our next boondocking outing.  Also keeping an eye on Anza Borrego as the wildflowers will soon be blooming.  Hoping for a good season after all the rain we have had.  And speaking of weather, the winds have died down and we  have been enjoying sunny days with highs in the mid 70s here in Yuma.

Until next time~~~

Friday, January 6, 2017

Anza Borrego Desert 2017

The Anza Borrego Desert has been our "go to" place for many years, usually arriving mid-December and staying through the holidays and most of January.  This year is no different, however, the weather has been a challenge.  We've had every thing from howling, sand blasting wind to rain and very few days of sunny, warm, be outside kind of days. Even the spectacular sunsets have been few and far between but here are a few noteworthy exceptions:

With the rain comes the greening of the desert floor.

Now is when we really miss our Jeep Wrangler and all the off road trips we've taken in past years. Our Toyota RAV 4 is 4-wheel drive but not Jeep 4-wheel drive!! Its low clearance and small tires are very limiting to where we can go.  But there are still a few possibilities like 17 Palms Oasis and Fonts Point:

About every 10 days we drive up to the State Park to dump tanks and refill with water.

Every year we revisit the Brecedo sculptures on display around town:

With the temps near freezing we are not surprised to see a dusting of snow on our surrounding mountains.

Sadly our Wave 6 propane catalytic heater died so we're having to order a new one.  Our only other heat source is a small electric heater and since we're boondocking we'd have to run the generator in order to use it.

Another challenge to traveling is being able to find a salon for a decent hair cut.  I recently had mine cut and now it's so spiky it looks like a bird on my head.  I'll not post pictures of this one!

Otherwise, all is well.  We're not sure if we'll head to Quartzsite or check out the boondocking on Ogilby Road near Yuma when we leave here next week after receiving our heater and some mail that is being forwarded.  We thought we might like to see the big RV show but don't like all the crowds, so we might just hunker down on Ogilby Road for awhile.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Family fun and heading to the desert....Happy Holidays

We've had a whirlwind of family fun; birthdays, Thanksgiving, and our family holiday celebration since we won't be there Christmas, complete with prime rib and all the trimmings.  And the entire family showed up, every single grandchild and their parents!

After a final trip to Half Moon Bay we took off last Wednesday trying to stay ahead of the storm that was threatening Northern CA.  Our first night was at the popular Orange Grove RV park in Bakersfield.

We continued on Thursday up and over the mountain to Tehacapi.  The transmission performed perfectly. None of the jerky shifting we had experienced before. Though headed to Anza Borrego, we decided to stop in La Quinta at Lake Cahuilla County Park for a week to take care of some business.  We made 3 trips to Best Buy, first to get a computer glitch repaired - it took the Geeks less than 5 minutes to fix and no charge thank you! Next visit was to replace my old Kindle which died a few days before. Got home and discovered it only spoke Portuguese. So back we go to get that straightened out.  For now everything seems to be working properly.

Had a great visit from friends Tom and Carolyn who are staying in Desert Hot Springs for the winter season.  They promised to come down to Anza Borrego for a jeep ride.

We'll have a final trip to Costco to stock up on some staples before we head down to the desert where we plan to spend Christmas.

Reflections at Lake Cahuilla
The temps have been in the high 60s to mid 70s with one very bad day of sand blasting wind.

We send our best wishes to everyone for a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Blog block!

We had stayed so long in Petaluma that we needed a getaway.  Howard took out the map book and zeroed in on Tonopah, NV. I said why in the world would we want to go to the middle of nowhere and his reply, "I just like the name"!  Being the good sport that I am and knowing that October is a great month for traveling, I was ready for an adventure.  Doing a little internet research was not overly promising.  Seems Tonopah is an old mining town approximately half way between Las Vegas and Reno.

We stayed the first night at the very popular overnight travel destination, the Orange Grove RV Park. The following day we headed east on Highway 58 up the grade toward Tehachapi.  On the way up we noticed that the transmission was jerky when shifting down to a lower gear.  We didn't lose power, but it was disconcerting enough for us to look for a place to park and make a few phone calls.  We found a Passport America park in nearby Mojave.  It just happened to be October 14th, my birthday,  and we celebrated at Foxie's diner at the little local airport.  I enjoyed a Club sandwich with a glass of Merlot.

After calling Allison, our transmission people, for a recommendation, we called Valley Power Systems in nearby Bakersfield for an appointment.  We arrived at 8 am on the appointed day and proceeded to wait 2 hours without seeing a service representative, so we reconnected the car and drove to Sacramento.  The transmission did fine the entire way.

We parked in Loomis at daughter Stephanie's house where we have grand parking facilities with full hookups.  We are going to be sorry to leave this place when they move into the new house they have purchased.  We stayed for 2 weeks, babysitting Riley the grand-lab while they visited Gary's relatives in Colorado.

We are now back in Petaluma at the Elk's lodge.  The transmission was perfect on the drive from Sacramento so guess we will put that issue on hold for awhile and see how it goes.  We will be in and around the Bay Area until mid-December when we head to the desert.  Wishing all a Happy Holiday season.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Petaluma, back to home territory~~

For several months of the year we hang out in Petaluma in Northern California, about 30 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Elks Lodge in Petaluma has become "Ground Zero" for us for several years.  We're near family, medical facilities, and beautiful places to sight-see.

An artsy rendering of our Petaluma Elks Lodge parking

If you are a member of an Elks organization like we are, the lodge in Petaluma offers the best RV parking available in the San Francisco Bay Area. There are 18 sites on asphalt with full-hookups for $25 per night, many suitable for larger RVs, with grassy dog runs and overflow parking.  Their system now offers reservations making it convenient for planning ahead.  

Enjoying the grassy, manicured back yard.  There are tables and chairs for afternoon happy hours The doggies love it too!

This is an opportunity to enjoy the delights of a beautiful old historic city packed full of great restaurants, regional parks and hiking trails, all within an easy drive to San Francisco to the south, Pacific beaches, and the famous Napa valley wine country.

Ahh...The Golden Gate Bridge...we have about 30 miles to go north to Petaluma.

Going the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse

Vineyards offset by coastal hills and clouds at Green String Farm

The Petaluma Visitor Center used to be the old train depot in 1914...

Shollenberger Park has miles of trails and is an easy walk from the Elks.

There is a 2 1/2 mile loop trail around the lake, part of which lies adjacent to the Petaluma River which is navigable and runs in to the San Francisco Bay.

A hike at Helen Putnam Park involves a lot of hill climbing.

Layers of coastal fog and farm land lie to our west as we hike the trails of Helen Putnam.

Another side of Helen Putnam Park, groves of old oak abound.

The Napa Valley for some wine tasting....

Here we're enjoying a beverage and some fine food at Dempsey's Brew Pub with a river view of course.

Another day and the sun performs perfectly with shadows and colors.

The pedestrian bridge across the river takes us to Main Street and all the fun stores.

Tuesday's eastside Farmers Market.  There is also a Wednesday evening market in town and Saturday morning at Walnut Park.

And this lovely bouquet is for you!  Thanks for coming...

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Post Townsend, WA - Strait talk

The Strait of Juan de Fuca extends east from the Pacific Ocean between Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula about 95 miles inland to Puget Sound.  Port Townsend is bordered by the Bay of Port Townsend and Admiralty Inlet, which intersects the Strait.  In other words, we are surrounded by big water and lots of marine activity.

Click on the maps for a more detailed view.

The town is a Victorian seaport and arts community. With its maritime heritage, artist spirit, and a touch of urban chic, Port Townsend is an easily accessible base camp to the Olympic Peninsula and beyond. 

The Point Wilson lighthouse at Fort Worden

We've been coming here every year, same site, since 2009.  We had been staying at the SKP's Evergreen Coho RV park in nearby Chimacum and took a drive one day to check out Port Townsend. We were drawn to the Point Hudson Marina mainly to see the boats and splendid views. The RV park is nothing special.  Most of the full hookup sites are expensive, graveled, and close together.  We decided to check in at the office for more information and were told they had two boondocking sites for $20 each per night (since upped to $30).  Our site 361, is about 50 feet from the water and entertains us with a constant flow of boat/ship traffic.  Never a dull moment though lots of lazy ones.

An afternoon parade of schooners (insert Howard drooling)

Jefferson County Courthouse - Uptown
In years past we have done many all day trips to see Seattle, Port Angeles, Sequim, and all the local hangouts.  There is RV parking at Fort Worden State Park and Fort Townsend State Park as well as the Elks Lodge and Jefferson County fairgrounds.

There is a great little local theater that shows currently running movies as well as art and eclectic films, and the best ice cream at Elevated Ice Cream, both located downtown. There are lots of shopping opportunities from second hand shops to chic, expensive ones. There is Doc's restaurant located here at the marina which we enjoy for the convenience and every type of eating pleasure you can imagine in town.

Victorian downtown

During our 12 days we hung close to home, not feeling any pressure to do a daily tour as in year's past.  We've been catching up on our reading and exercise. And both of us got haircuts (whoopee).  A walk from the marina uptown is a long steep hill that gathers momentum as it reaches it's high point in town then starts back to downtown again. Three or 4 outings like this gets the old legs aching and the knees screaming!

The ferry docks are busy during the summer season with two ferries running about every hour, making for easy travels between Port Townsend and Whidbey Island, about a half hour scenic trip each way.  The downtown streets are packed with tourists arriving by small cruise ship or ferry.

The hot dog spot downtown framed by a great mural

This is what we do most of the time!