little change... The
last update is now at the top. You only need to scroll down if you missed
now thinks we left Quartzsite a little early, to say the least. I know
, It was getting warm. I hate HOT. We just thought it would get too hot,
since it had in years past in late March. AND we were ready to go... Hitch
Itch. So we got the hell out of town, two weeks too soon. Why
do I say all this? It's cold up here in northern New Mexico at Navajo
Dam. Getting tired of waking up to the 20s and looking outside to see if
it snowed. Now we are keeping warm and all that, with our heat pump and
small electric heater during the day. We do use the propane forced air
set to 56 at night to keep the basement warm. Frozen holding tanks are
not in MY future, thank you. Keeping the fridge and water heater on electric
saves big time on propane. We did get a 7 gal fill last Saturday in Farmington
for $17.89 about the same price we had been paying in Q all winter. We
had gone to Bloomfield but we knew in the back of our minds the propane
dealers would be closed. There is a old KOA park in Bloomfield which has
it but we found they were only open in the AM and reopen at 4 PM. We weren't
going to wait around as it was 1:30 when we stopped So we just kept going
to where we knew we could get it at s Conoco gas station on the main drag
in Farmington. We needed bread and milk so stopped at Wal*Mart and
$73 latter... how do we do that?
been working today on the Hitchitch.com RV
Travel Resources section. Adding and correcting several links. Added
more great links for help finding that perfect campsite. I also had a reader
email me a link to an article by Bob Shearer HANDYBOB'S
RV SOLAR POWER THAT WORKS - BOONDOCKING WITHOUT A GENERATOR
read for people with solar panels and inverter/chargers on their RV or
who are thinking about doing so.
has gone off fly fishing as it is sunny but in the mid 40's. Think he was
getting cabin fever.
can only watch the History channel so long.
See Angel Peak on the map above. We
are Navajo Dam on the map.
I found a day trip we can
take to Angel
Peak and the Angel
Peak National Recreation Area web site.
geologic formation surrounded by badlands, the dwelling place of "sacred
ones" to the Navajo people. Includes camping and picnic units with a fireplace
and table, no water or services. 15 miles south of Bloomfield on Hwy. 44,
with 6 miles of gravel road.
So we shall see if we go
for a drive. The weather forcast is for more of the same, COLD for the
next week. But at least winter is still hitting hard up north. It is a
LATE spring. Tad a friend from Q called today (not a happy camper)
and said he arrived at Roslyn in Washington State way too soon, as he is
trying to get to his summer home, but can't get there, as the roads are
drifted shut with snow. I just have to try to remember being retired
fulltiming, is so much better then a day in my former life in an office
WOW I feel better already...
Might have a little people watching soon (all the sites around us are vacant
now) as the rangers have placed reserved tags on most of the sites.
Can only reserve them in NM parks starting April 1. Our site cann't be
reserved so we are sitting pretty so to speak.
Great TV tonight and have
the DirecTV recorder set to capture it all.
Last thought... got the computer
all virus checked, cleaned and backed up. Tomorrow is April 1 and we have
I did find 10 worms, etc.
on email attachments when Avast virus scanned them. Good thing we don't
open any attachments.
are taking it easy staying inside in the warm 5er. Terry baked a carrot
cake, potato rolls, and lima baked beans with bacon. All with sugar substitute.
I worked on some web sites and Terry started his taxes.
snow came and looked like it was going to be heavy but it just didn't stick.
Going up to lower 40s during the day and mid 20s at night. Saturday is
to be 60 and 32. Not bad.
you're into college basketball this is the weekend for you, but we're not
so CBS is a lost cause on the listings guide. Sure if we started to watch
would probably get into it but if we don't start we won't get hooked. Will
try to find an old movie or two and be happy. It's hard to get over the
idea that we always have to be doing something. It's a long way to town
and we have explored most of this area in years past. So relaxing with
the views has to be the mod of operation for a few days or until it warms
of the rest of the country would love to be in just our situation me thinks.
Fargo under water and the southeast being blown away. and lower midwest
in a blizzard. What a mix of crummy weather for this time of year.
ranger came by about 8 AM. Doesn't he know people sleep. Terry yelled,
hold on, be right out. Just doing his job.
the fee paid $4 a day with paid yearly pass and now ready for the
day. This also covers Terry's day use for fishing fees. Terry made
biscuits and gravy since we had sausage left over that wasn't used used
in the casserole last night. A treat for our first day and boy was
it good. I refuse to say it was yummy, thank you. I told him he lucked
out on that one. Biscuits fluffy, not hard, and gravy nice and creamy with
chunks of sausage, just the right taste of pepper. So much for food.
Next relaxing big time at
the computer catching up on blogs and USA Today downloaded newspapers from
I ate while surfing and
got all my normal blogs read and retired to the recliner for a nap, next
up Terry who can do his thing on the web for hours if given the chance.
He has several Yahoo groups. Many are rock and gem groups.
Nap time brings out
I was an early adapter with
a Commodore computer and just kept moving on up.
Did you have one of these?
article on the Commodore
Loaded in programs via a
cheap tape recorder. You had to beg borrow or steal to get a floppy disk
drive back then. I did get (find) one later on. (Side note: I also had
to have an RCA VHS video recorder. $1200 and blank VHS tapes were $20 if
you could talk the store clerk to find one behind the counter or back room.)
Not to mention the huge Marantz stereo systems I had with wood cases no
less. A wired remote stereo surround controller with 4 Bose speakers
to die for.
Would you believe I gave
away my collection of albums.
I tend to wait now, till
prices drop and many things I don't even want to have what are touted
the latest and greatest. Got over the early adapter phase of my life, was
costly but a fun time.
Getting older I guess. Or
I was an original early
pre internet, a bulletin board user and big time CompuServe (early AOL
type thing) user in the 1980s. Not into facebooks or twittering.
Some things take more time than they are worth me thinks. But give me a
web page layout to build and I'm off and running.
Back to 2009 and real life...
A look out our 5er side window
later yesterday. Looks like Terry is taking a nap.
We later today went for a
drive to check out the fishing reports at Abe's
Fishing is reported
to be very good, so Terry will be out there soon but might wait till the
snow event is over and it warms up a bit. Can I call him a wuss?
We then drive through Cottonwood
State Park campground which is closer to town and right on the river. It
is nice but without the cottonwoods leafed out kind of dreary. And no cell
sig. with verizon and only a few sites are clear for our DataStorm internet
dish. Some do not have electric and most are reservable so only a couple
are workable for us. We are up above the dam in Pine River Campground.
Terry just told me the ranger told him nothing is reserable till April
It is spring break for the
local schools so people are out and about in the campground but it only
got up to 50 today and not sure about how much snow we might expect tomorrow.
Think we will see some not so happy campers, esp. those in tents, which
we do see several of.
Map of the area from Abe's
got on the road by 10 AM with well wishes from the city employee who supports
Red Rock park who stopped by.
straight shot north to Shiprock on an improved HW 491. Still not the most
smooth and up and down wavy at times ( sort of like frost heave) where
the 5er would go bouncing. We had to stop just short of Farmington at Monsterslayers
for sliversmithing supplies. We didn't stop at his favorite supply house
in Gallup, so this was the next stop.
We stopped at Wal*Mart in
Farmington for $134 worth of stuff mostly food as we are getting ready
for the cold and snow that is predicted on Thursday. Bought a small electric
heater in case it gets too cold for our heat pump and if we run out of
propane. Forcast for Thursday at Navajo Dam is for high of 39
the high for god sakes... we are not in Quartzsite anymore) and low of
24 with snow showers. We shall see.
Below is the drive up the
side of the dam.
Here we are about half way
up the road to the top of the dam looking over the blue ribbon trout fishing
Much more on that later
as I'm sure you will read about Terry's fishing stories. (Side note to
Scott, Terry does the catch and release thing so no trout for supper anytime
soon.) Terry does most ot the work in this outfit, so this is his time
to really get into it, and fish till he drops.
The water flows are back
to normal this year, so the fishing should be fantastic. We saw many fisherpeole
out and about on our way to the campground. It will warm up and
we have several weeks to play at this.
We were able to secure the
same campsite we had last year. A great site with views to kill for. The
iron ranger is not being used and no payment envelopes were available.
So we are waiting for a ranger to come around and sign us up.
We got the last non reservable
site on the front overlooking the lake.
No for the most important
item to get set up was the HD DirecTV dish. If we don't want HD we can
use the BOW on our Internet dish. But HD is so nice. It set up like a dream.
Terry got the tripod level and I called him on his cell phone and had him
turn it just a bit and low and behold Sat. 101 came in at 97 right away.
I yelled stop and we were done. Couldn't be any simpler. Knock on wood.
Terry has a Pride of Iowa
Casserole in the oven.
1 lb. bulk pork sausage cooked
(but not browned) and drained
16 oz. can cream corn
I like to use a little whole
cornal corn also
1 c dry bread crumbs (I
use cracker crumbs)
1 c milk
1 T finely chopped onion
1/2 t salt
dash of pepper
1/4 c catsup
Green pepper rings if desired
Combine sausage, corn eggs
bread crumbs, milk.
onion, salt and pepper;
spread in greased pan Spoon catsup over top. If used lay green pepper rings
over the top
Bake 350 for 50 min. Makes
With a side spinach salad
we are going to eat good tonight.
weather forecast all over the country just sucks me thinks. Wind in the
southwest and blizzard in the north and severe thunderstorms in the midwest.
And cold everywhere. We are heading to Gallup today and last night it go
to 15 in the Gallup Red Rock campground per the caretaker. And should be
about that again tonight.
was getting way to warm, as in hot for us in Quartzsite, but this is not
what we had planned on within a weeks time.
have wheels do will just have to make the most of it and stay one step
drive was pleasant and I drove slow so as not to cause trouble with the
wind to my back or west side of the 5er. I never want to see a 5er laying
on its side du to being off the road. High profile vehicle we are...
Now if they could just keep
the cattle off the roads. I move well off to the other side of the road
and so did the county sheriff who was right behind. Think he called it
We stopped for lunch of leftover
KFC at Fence lake NM.
A tiny place with not much
left, but this monument below.
The office to pay for camping
at Gallup Red Rock Park.
We drove right to the office
so we could just stay hooked up for the night. Met the caretaker driving
around and he was very friendly and told us he had to take his blow torch
and though out a camper this morning as it got down to about 12 deg. They
left their hose connected. Must not be fulltimers as we all know that class
of RVer would never fall into that trap now would YOU.
Rock Park, with elevation from 6600 to 7000 feet and encompassing 640
acres, has large campground equipped with electrical and water hookups,
picnic areas, restrooms and showers.
The spectacular red cliffs
which frame the Park on three sides began formation 205 million years ago,
during the Mesozoic era, sometimes referred to as the Age of the Dinosaurs.
Several archeological sites in the Park record the presence of the Anasazi,
a prehistoric farming culture which developed and persisted in the area
from A.D. 300 to 1200. From 1700 to the present, the region has been sparsely
inhabited by the Navajo Indians.
Of course a shot of our RV
site. Not many people around us. No rodeos scheduled right now.
Heading out to Navajo Dam
more north by Farmington, NM. one Tuesday. Should be much less wind crossing
through Shiprock. But we might wake up to snow drifts on Wednesday
if the forecast is correct. We love our heat pump a/c combo.
Great for saving propane if on the grid and not metered in a campground.
Our new heat pump sez it will heat down to freezing. But still need to
run our gas blown air furnace at night so the 5er basement will stay warm.
Terry sez guess he will find time to do taxes cooped up inside.
Saturday we took the day
off and pretty much stayed close to home as in (5er in Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ). Second day was only $11.75 so the price was right. I
had an afib event Friday night so took time to relax. Besides it was in
the upper 80s so later in the day we turned on the A/C and vegged out.
Terry started his taxes. Mine are done but the bank routing code got screwed
up so my quaterly tax payments to be direct bank paid is up in the air
for now. Need to call my bank and the RS, when I get the time.
Now on Sunday morning I woke
up feeling great and ready for a little Hitch Itch traveling. We had egg
with muffins (we got the stuff at Wal*Mart on Friday) so that was a quick
event as we got the 5er ready for travel. Off to Safeway for a few items
since we would be in the outback. I had picked up a bottle of Pinot Noir
and a 12 pack of 211 beer. The closest to a hearty beer I could find. As
we were in the checkout line the people in front of us were told no alcohol
sale till after 10 AM. It was 9:45 and the manager who was doing the checkout
said it was automatic by computer so they could not fudge it. He
didn't notice we also had booze and we just set it on the next checkout
and moved forward. It's not like we were out or anything. Back to the RV
park we hooked up and off we went.
We had planned to go east
on I-10 and go up HW 191 to Safford, on over to just south of Clifton and
then hit HW 78 and go into NM and go north on HW 180 to Reserve. We know
we should not try to go north out to Clifton on HW 191 but go east on HW
78. Even still at the intersection of US 191 & HW 78 had a big sign
saying trucks over 40 feet should not take this route. This place
is also called Three Way and low and behold they had diesel for sale from
a shack at the junction.
No town just a shack selling
fuel. Since we did not fill up in Safford I had Terry use Google 411 to
call ahead to see where diesel fuel could be found. (You do know how that
works... You dial 800 466 4411 and tell them [a robot] the city and what
business or type of business you are looking for and they will connect
you. FREE.) Google connected Terry to a gas ation who confirmed they had
diesel we could find close enough in NM so didn't need to worry, but since
here it was, at the HW 78, 191 junction, we topped off the tank.
We remember one time going
north from Show Low, AZ we almost ran out trying to get to the Interstate.
The town we planned to get it, their pump was done for repair. Not Good.
So we tend to watch our tank level now , when we remember that is.
But even if we would run out, it is a navigator error and he would have
to walk. Guess who is in that seat? My butt is glued to the drivers side.
The HW 78 heading off toward
NM. We can see we have to go over the pass in the upper section of the
picture. Several switch backs had 15 mph signs on them.
No traffic so not a big
deal. I was having a great driving, or pulling event, but Terry sez he
has no fingernails left as they are chewed off now.
Over the pass we got this
not so special NM Welcome sign. The road was narrow and no shoulders if
you have a problem.
The view form the interesction
of NM 78 and NM & HW 180. HW 78 in the view going back to the west
which we just came from.
Many miles later and with
the wind coming up we found this RV park on HW 12 north of the town of
Reserve. Hit the breaks and pulled right in. The manager was not around
so we just parked in a pull through. We are still waiting for a knock on
our door. The wind is blowing but we are front faced in to it. Now checking
the NM weather warnings about high wind north at Shiprock and Farmington.
Glad we are where we are on our travels and hunkered down right here.
Looking forward to a tasty
supper as they say, of linguine with kicked up with a tomato meat sauce
,and side salad. Simple but good.
Just remembered we bought
a Tucson Sunday paper which I need to read. I love my Sunday Papers.
Might not be tonight. But will get to it even if I have to read it later
when at Navajo Dam. I love the Internet and all it has to offer but sitting
down to a good real newspaper that I can crunch between my fingers is a
up late as I slept in till 9 AM. After showers last night we went out to
Dennys for supper.
cream of wheat with sugar free syrup. Next off to explore and soon we were
off to Tombstone
of the thing that you have to do when in the area. Terry just loves tourist
traps and I can't drive through them fast enough.
had been begging all the way down HW 80 from Benson where we are setup
up in Red Barn RV park.
when we got there I didn't have much of a choice as the main drag was blocked
when the oversized load (wouldn't you guess it was a power company truck)
snagged telecom and power lines and ripped several utility poles right
out of the ground. A mess to be sure and a big splicing job to be done
to restore what looks like main talcom trunk lines.
So what else could we do
but stop and wonder around the historic downtown.
Terry wondered in and out
of the all the shops while I rested on each and every bench.
The area was loaded with
locals in period costumes getting into the roles to keep the tourists involved
in the historic time frame, and to sell $2 margaritas at the scheduled
gun fights. That sounded good but it wasn't even noon yet and do you really
think they would have any tequila in them. I was amazed the bars and food
establishments were doing a good business. Can only think what it would
be like in high season in the summer with a bunch of tourists getting off
all those busses hungry and thirsty. And from many other countries thinking
these are great prices let's have fun. After riding a tour bus for days,
no price would be to high for a good stiff drink, me thinks.
Step right up and take a
narrated stagecoach ride around town. Doesn't show it in this picture but
there were quite a few people with kids wondering around, must be spring
break. The families were out in force.
They looked tired but they
were not being worked hard, I think the term is much more like board to
After all they could be
pulling a plow in a former life. They pull a wagon at walking speed.
This sign should be mandatory
Next off to Bisbee...
Now this is a much more
classy tourist trap with fine restaurants and hotels and B & Bs.
Sorry to say Bisbee is a
sort of cool place. I lucked out as where are you going to park a dually
PU on narrow winding streets there. So we drove up and back through the
canyon and headed out.
A panorama of the old mine
from the overlook just south of town. One big hole.
Next off up the road to on
HW 90 we hit Sierra Vista and much to our surprise a huge built up
area with shopping centers with all the big box stores.
Not sure why the area is
so heavily populated. Terry pleaded for to a pit stop (he drinks hot tea
while on the road and from time to time pleads for a health break. Can
we say weak bladder... Shhhh... So I think we are going to stop at
a Burger King for a quick stop (then thought we might see what is
one their value menu) and next door sits a
Looked new and very large
and on restaurant row in the big box store mall area. Well... when was
the last time we had this opportunity. Not in Quartzsite that's for sure.
So in we go, to fantastic offerings of many out of the ordinary oriental
dishes we had not seen before. This was to be sure the best Chinese
Buffet we had ever been in.
NOW back in Benson after
a quick stop at (Yes, there is a SuperCenter Wal*Mart here), for just a
few supplies. We will go back and stock up when we are ready to leave for
the outback of New Mexico. Or stop at a even larger one in Farmington,
NM later on.
Now we are back in the 5er
resting in the A/C as Terry's right shoulder is killing him. He is left
handed. He woke up with it. I found our heating pad for him after
we got back. I'm doing the blog while still bloated from late lunch.
But as Derek and John always say it was Yummy! I'll venture to say Extra
Yummy! A Gin and Tonic is helping to smooth the bloated feeling. It's now
after 6 PM so will into happy hour time frame.
Looking forward to lounge
in bed and listen to "Car Talk" on NPR with Click and Clack. on XM radio.
It is on at 7 AM here in AZ so not that much lounging will be allowed.
We bought muffins and bagels so you know what our plans are for late brunch.
Don't think we are going to move from this RV park till maybe Monday. We
shall see. Weather is looking iffy a little north. Snow showers, so here
is nice, me thinks. Good RV Park fee rate ($10 each first two nights and
$12 for extended days stays. A little spoiled with this electric service
(don't have to run the generator at night, and don't have to shut it down
at 10 PM. Like we did that every night... as we were off the grid
for about 6 months. Being GREEN is good and the price is right, but spoiled,
for just a time is a whole other thing again... Take care out there...
are in the last few minuets of hooking up hitting the road.
Terry of course was up early finshing packing, taking down the HD dish
and filling the 5er basement with the last of things.
stopped by to say goodby for the season and us saying we will be back next
look at our winter BLM boondocking campsite on Wednesday afternoon, now
all cleaned up and almost like we had never been here.
we left I talked Terry into doing the dreaded window cleaning thing. He
waxed the 5er and when he sprayed it down before the waxing
the windows took on hard water streaks.
A little windex and all
is well. Sitting in a lawn chair looking at shinny waxed gel coat and then
seeing streaked windows didn't make it. I told him we might be rejected
from RV parks for a dirty windows clause.
9:45 AM and on I-10 ( reset
the trip mileage counter and off we go) headed east on I-10 and later got
off at Tonopath and headed southeast to Gila Bend and further to Ajo where
we thought we would stop at a RV park in the Passport America discount
Ajo downtown. Very quaint.
Now it was early so after
stopping for lunch in Ajo with a sandwich and cola from the 5er. (right
in front of the fire dept.). (Terry sez we might want to move a few feet
out from the fire station doors.) So on we go and since we didn't stop
for fuel in Ajo not looking at the map we were sure we could find some
in the next town. Wrong. I said I think we're screwed we need fuel.
We made it to Sells on Route 86 and bought $20 worth as it was $2.25.
filling up Terry was having trouble getting the pump to start. So I had
to get out and proclaim "Are you have a bad pump event?" That does happen
from time to time with him. The pump window was hard to read as it looked
like it had been sandblasted. We were out the middle of nowhere. And lucky
to find fuel at all. I was able to read it and it said wrong PIN
number. He was using my PIN on his card. After that we got fuel to get
us to Tucson and back on I-10 heading east. Rush hour but not that busy.
I had printed out on paper all the PPA RV parks in our route (for my challenged
navigator) so the next one was in Benson, AZ 30 miles down the road.
Not much to speak of but
great price $20 for two nights. We are going to catch our
breath and stay two days and see if we want to explore Tombstone to the
south. We are not in a hurry except when I'm driving and won't stop. I
don't drive fast just steady on and on.
We don't want to get to northern
NM till next week or so, as we want to find a camping spot at the State
Park at Navajo Dam. And that won't happen till they open up from the weekend
campers. We have a pass that cost $225 a year. We can use at NM parks for
$4 a day for water and electric. for 21 days in each campground.
They have a dump station in each park and we have the 50 gal portable tank
which we pump into and take it to the dump station so we don't have to
move the 5er. . Cool.
where we are at right now. DataStormUsers
map ID 98
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