Monday Mar. 3
was a wind event in Q. Our Weather
Watcher module popped up and warned us it was coming. The Oh sure I
read how windy it is in Q in the forums, but this winter it has been much
less windy than in years past. January was just balmy for the big show
events. Then I go to the forums and read all the yelling about how afoul
the winter has been in the RGV. South TX to you. That is why we don't
go there anymore. Now I know some of you love it in TX, so go for it as
it is greener,
we will not deny...
it has warmed up the snakes are back. None in our campsite (YET)
but just 1/8 mi. down the road they have seen several of them. If you want
to see some great desert pics of flowers and a BIG snake
do visit our friends Thom ‘n Judy’s web site just down the road inside
La Posa North BLM long term visitor area from us. Fulltiming
have cleaned up our campsite. Removed the tarp over our gen. and the pallet
step at our door. And moved the wood pile to the other sided of the small
wash. Don't want to have a place for creatures to hide and attack from.
drove to Blythe. CA for a shopping outing today.
Diesel was $3.95 in CA. We came back to AZ and filled up for... $3.37
at Loves in Q. Reg was $3.05 in Q and $3.15 at the Flying J on the AZ side,
and about $3.65 in CA for Reg. (we always found Flying J cheeper but not
now) Don't think we will pull off to a Flying J thinking they are the lowest
cost anymore. (Yes I do have a Flying J RV discount card.) They had propane
for $2.99 and here in Q it is $2.48. Do you think Reg. unleaded will
hit $4 by summer? Diesel $5? Or do you care...
to know more?
Gas Prices Work from the above site.
They do explain things.
Not sure I agree with all they might say as I have not read the whole article
topic will be off and running on the forums as prices go higher and higher.
I can see the posts now...
don't care what it costs, I will not stop traveling in my huge diesel pusher
MH." or The bumper sticker.. "I'm spending my kids inherence..
and others "I'm going to sell everything and live under a bridge".
will be interesting how people really deal with the increases...not
only fuel but inflation in general. Food prices are also
big time (we as in Terry and I, have so far ignored the increases, but
as time goes on, when we look at a greocery item and see the price, we
just put it back and move the cart on down the isle.
yes we will cut back on travel. (We are so happy that we toured the northwest
and came down the OR cost on HW 101 last year.) We will head on a more
direct route to our summer base, and next fall, we might nottake
a big touring diversion, instead heading to AZ in a more direct route.
we want to do things we will do it.
we will cut back on other purchases to compensate for the extra money going
for fuel. And that will hurt businesses who want to provide services to
us. We will try to boondock EVEN more so. RV parks need to understand
more of us can, or are trying boondocking so we don't have to pay to
stay. If they are smart, they could offer no frills stops for us. We
don't need swimming pools or even rest rooms. Just an electric plug in
(30 amps) and a dump station when on move out in the AM.
we spent good money on equipment so we can boondock in style, and now that
we have it, why not use it, so we can travel more, and see more of this
wonderful country within a price range we can still afford.
Terry is off to the Rock
Club board meeting tonight as I do the blog, to see what is what, as he
will be sworn in this Thursday as a trustee.
Just gave him a call as it
is 9 PM and the meeting started at 6 PM. Told him to bring home fast
food as I have been working on the blog and have not eaten yet.
So much for conserving funds... We have the fridge filled with food.
But he just came in the door and brought several $1 double cheeseburgers...
So much for the not spending money on fast food but this was a little less
than I expected for a main meal.
Things are good here in
Q and we hope things are well with you.
Tomorrow (or in the next
few days, and not to get in a rush, after all this is Quartzsite) I will
get to my taxes. I use TaxAct.com
I have used them for several years and they are an IA (hometown) based
company. And Free, including one free electronic filled federal return.
(where they make their money is they charge for state returns) We are domiciled
in SD so we don't have to file a state return. I still paid an upgrade
($12.95) so I can import info. from prior tax returns so I don't have to
enter all the info.
Wednesday Mar. 5
by your roving reporter
Today we had our first March
Winds, the kind of winds you loved as a child for kite flying, and now
hate, hate driving your truck/trailer of motor home into. The wind
for most of the day was out of the North and quite strong. For the
brave souls going back to the snow bound regions today was an adventure,
the wind would have thrown your rig all over the road, and there was a
good chance to roll you if hit wrong. Heard on the news that California
was ordering the big trucks off the road until the winds subsided. A head
wind like that does wondrous things to your gas mileage, one of those days
you wait out, read a book, cook a nice meal and do your traveling later.
Had a few trailers pull into
the LTVA this morning, look like overnighters getting off the road
due to the winds. Each day we see more and more trailers headed North,
but can not understand why, a couple of hundred miles North and you
will run into snow. Also the overnight temps to the north are still
in the below freezing range. Must be a very severe case of hitch
We are starting to suffer
the effects of hitch itch and are investigating various routes north.
Had thought about going through Globe, Az., until we saw a relief
map of the state at the Quartzsite Public Library. We are now rethinking
that Idea. Still looking for a fresh route to Farmington NM, but
not about to pull several mountain ranges to get there. We are open
to Ideas. Did the Kingman, Williams, Grand Canyon and Northern Navajo
Indian Reservation a Couple of years back. Have also done the Wickenburg,
Cottonwood, Winslow, Canyon De Chelly route and its variant through NM
a couple of times.
Only trouble with routes
north is that there are not to many roads through the state running N/S
due to the topography. For now will probably hit Cottonwood,
Sedona area then Winslow, ect. ect. If I whine real well might get
to go to the art colony in Sedona, (Ron is cringing in the background
as I write).
And speaking of fixing a
good meal we did one of my favorites. With all of the wind, and it
being semi cool and nasty outside I did homemade chicken noodle soup, with
lots and lots of nice thick homemade egg noodles, just like mother and
grandmother did when I was a little child. Sacrificed the last of
my twice brewed chicken stock for the soup along with the very last of
the LB Jamison's chicken soup base, Time to stock up when we get
back to the midwest and see our first HyVee or Fairway grocery store.
Will probably be out of Lemonade mix by the end of the Month, another item
to wait for. (started the trip with 6 carton packs of the mix and
its lasted 7 months so far.)
Monday Mar. 10
I should just have this can start each blog from now on as the price is
the topic that just won't go away. The Shell station in Q was posted as
$3.79 for diesel today. A little higher than the other stations but...
like Terry said it's going to fly right by $4 and we won't
It has just been wonderful
weather... 80 day 55 night and no clouds and slight breeze. Day after
day after day. Sorry you'all up north. Terry got a email for
a good friend (Jenny) from the rock club who is in Toronto, Canada who
couldn't spend whole winter down here. They got 4 feet of snow over
the weekend. Yes you heard correct.
I did taxes today...
you wonder if I'm still civil posting.. I use www.taxact.com
I did quarterly payments last year and it still was not enough, so had
to pay a penalty. I increased my Q payments for next year. We shall
see. We had larger CD interest income last year, but that will go down
big time this year, with lower interest rates. Not risking money
in the market, going into a recession. Have not had to touch the 401K yet...
Pension payments have been enough. Not old enough for SS yet. But with
the W2 (imputed income) sent for Terry's health ins at about $7000
it adds up with no taxes or SS withheld, and now has to be setteled up
at tax time. We are still better off than many who don't have Ins. Even
thought we have to pay income taxes on the amount they say they paid for
Terry. Oh and by the way there has been a lot of talk about Long Term Care
Ins. in the forums. I signed up for that twenty years ago at
work and the payment is still very low. One of the best things I ever
did. As a single person, I was concerned with the AIDS situation. So
I signed up at a great rate. There has been a lot of talk about if these
policies are any good with coverage. (I read the many Sunday Newspaper
Stories on how these insurance items were a ripoff. So I sent for the policy,
but have not sat down and read the whole thing yet. So YES I am
in denial to find out if my policy has good coverage or not.
Now this summer in Aug.
the contract with Qwest Communications, Inc. (who I took an early offer
to retire from) is up and we will have to bargin for these benefits again.
They offer an incentive to retire early for thousands each year and later
try to reduce or kill benefits... who would think.
I am the webmaster (I like
to say web editor) of the CWA
7102 union web site and will be busy updating the web site for current
and retired members to get involved in this quest (Qwest) for a
Terry is back from the rock
club board meeting so will cut this short...
Tuesday Mar. 11
in Q. Not to compete with Monday and the traditional wash day, today is
laundry day for us along with dumping the black and gray. We watched Bob
and Sandy go by as they worked the morning shift at the BLM guard station.
It is only open half days on this side of the road. A drive to and from
the General Store late yesterday reveled Q is rapidly getting back to its
summer sleepy mode. No lines anywhere, let alone anything to line up for.
I think you could count the number of venders on both hands. We will be
staying right up to the end of the season as Terry has his duties at the
club to finish up untill they close for the summer. Our BLM winter
camping permit expires April 15 but we should be gone before that. I hope.
It will be getting too hot by then.
know when you have just to much time on your hands you can up with the
I was reading the label on some Ruby Kist 100% pure apple juice we
had just bought from Family Dollar. And on the upper back spray painted
on it was a notice the apple concentrate came from CHINA. Yes China.
Are we to say we don't have enough apple trees in the good old USA. Now
we have to outsource apple trees. Is there no end to this outsourcing
thing.. Read this article The
Outsourcing of Food Where have I been on this. And
the article was posted in 2005. We are loosing our food production in this
country and are importing it just like we do oil.
love to shop at local farmers markets when we can find them. We do
ask if the produce is local. Support your local farmer.
is a cool web site I found. Local
You can enter a city, state,
or zip code and find local farmers markets and even local farms where you
can buy locally produced goods. Newsletters and forums. This site has it
Wonder if there are opportunities
for workampers on family farms this summer. Free hookups, pay for work
and I bet lots of free food? Something to think about. Maybe you could
man the roadside stand a few hours each week.
Later sitting out on the
picnic table on another perfect late afternoon.. I played with the camera...
The MetLife blimp flew directly
Now I know we didn't do
so well with tomato plants during the winter in AZ in the past but I think
we have done quite well with our Geraniumt. We got it last winter and kept
it alive over the summer and now this last winter.
Just messing around with
the manual controls on the camera. These new digital camers are so easy
to use I find I just leave it on auto. In years past with film we had to
know how to get a good shot. Need to get back to that with this camera.
I even had a dark room at one time.
Sunday Mar. 16
was Sunday, we had finished the Sunday paper and thought why not a drive
up to Parker as it was cool, cloudy and a sprinkle of rain on and off.
Afer a stop at the bank ATM and getting a small corned beef for Mondays
Green day we started back... BUT it was not to be as I had been looking
at the maps and remembered some back roads we had never taken and today
was the day. We found the only road northeast out of Parker and low and
behold it was an old blacktop. The nice surface lasted till we hit the
Central AZ Project canal. We lucked out since we didn't have our
altas and gazetteer BUT found the below sign along the road in the BLM.
We took the Osborne Wash road up to the upside down Y just before the blue
river that flows from Alamo Lake. Then southeast to Midway corners and
back to Bouse. A very fun drive. This is the route of the Parker
400 mile ATV races in February.
This is on the Osborne Wash
road as it crosses the CAPC. (Central AZ Project Canal) It feeds water
from Parker dam for most of central AZ.
Right here the blacktop ended
(must have been built for the trucks to get to the canal projest years
ago but still in good shape.)
The road turned for
the worse a little later and followed a deep wash for a more exciting driving
Now this is what we were
looking for. Not all of the route was like this.
The road from the upside
Y ran (see map) many miles to the right through a wider wash and later
opened up on the flats to a very smooth dirt road I could drive at 30 to
40 mph on. From Midway to Bouse it was like a paved road but it was dirt.
When we got to the end of
the road... The sign said dead end and looking down... didn't think
we wanted to go down to see if it was true. See the map above...
It is where the upside down Y ends just under the Lake Havasu Nat'l Wildlife
Refuge starts on the river.
The desert is turning green
and spring yellow and purple are the colors now in season.
This is the road from Bouse
back to Q, a fun up and down rooler coaster in places.
We hope to do more drives
this spring to experience the desert in all its glory...
you turned northest at Midway toward Rawhide Mtn. Wilderness (see map above)
you would get to where an F-16 Air Force Jet that crashed Friday. I was
back at Q that day and listened to the reports of the crash on my police
scanner. The jet went down at noon and they didn't find the wreak till
10:30 that night. There were two jets one trainer and one student. And
the trainer jet couldn't tell others where it crashedit seemed? Many
people at Lake Alamo called in to say they saw the crash and smoke from
the site. On the police scanner radio... Luke Air Force Base told the
local La Paz County Sheriff crew heading into the area, they (Luke AF Base
[in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale] the world's largest F-16 training
base with about 185 F-16s has
NO air equipment to send for an air rescue.)
They would be heading to the scene via ground units. And they said they
didn't know if the jet had ordinance on it. How nice that must have
sounded to the local county sheriffs crew heading to the area. The
call went out not to get within 300 feet of the crash if you find it, and
only up wind of it. So on and on this
the next day AP reported... Aircraft [not helicopters
it seems] from the Air Force, Marines, Civil Air Patrol and Arizona Department
of Public Safety spent hours trying to find the wreckage, which was spotted
Friday in a remote area about 80 miles northwest of Phoenix.
could only reach the site by helicopter and arrived at daybreak
Saturday. They found the pilot's parachute and some of his gear about 150
feet from an impact crater. It took several hours for the Air Force to
confirm that he had died in the crash.
Care has helicopters based in Q and Parker... Do you think they could have
been used to search right away... to maybe save a pilots life.
expected waves of helicopters flying over us to the site... That did not
happen. When an air force jet goes down in the USA, wouldn't you think
they would pull out all the stops to find it and the pilot. Guess
not... The training pilot in the other jet couldn't fly over the
area in a big circle to show where it was at? This happened at high noon
in clear sunny day. Sure hindsight is great, but still that is how it sounded
to me during this event. So many times we just accept the PR statements
on these things untill we are near and have reason to question how it really
might have happened. So sad... as we now know it was an 26 year old
Ohio National Guard pilot who lost his life. If you want to read tha accounts
do a Google search "air force jet crash".
for the rant... Or maybe not...
Now on to Monday in Q as
the weather is going to be about 75 to 85 and low of 55 and for the next
week. Oh and did I say sunny. The best time to be here. It does get
cold in Dec. and Jan. even down here.
Hang in there and don't spend
all your money on gas unless it is produced from the Corn Beef and Cabbage
you eat on Monday.