got up and headed on south on US 395 from Lone Pine.
was fine for most of the drive, then it got WINDY. I knew I was was in
trouble when I saw the sign Gusty winds next 44 miles on US 395. This was
a normal sign not related to the current wind warnings. OUCH. On the NBC
LA TV station last night they talked about possible winds, but we took
off as it as calm when we left. It had been breezy the last couple
of late afternoons in Lone Pine, so I thought we would be in Barstow before
the wind would come up like we had seen there. By the time we hit HW 58
cut off to Barstow from US 395 it was wild. US 395 is a two lane up and
down hilly road and I was going slow due the wind and traffic was backing
up behind me. I tried, when I could, to pull over and let them by. One
thing that helped was we hadn't dumped our holding tanks, so it gave us
a little ballast. Lucky we were heading east when we drove HW 58
with winds mostly behind us from the west. Locals later in Barstow
told us the wind was supposed to stop at 9 AM but it didn't, and they were
closing hwys in several valleys. (Now watching LA TV and seeing Semis blown
We went right to the Calico
Ghost Town to stay at the campground to get out of the wind.
The other choice was going
to be a BLM campground, Oak Canyon high up 8 miles north of Barstow
w/o water and it would have been very windy dry camping. So when we did
the numbers. Two nights = $12 BLM site. $5 to pay to dump our holding tanks.
Gas for generator. An then going to the Calico Ghost Town without camping
there has admission fee of $6 each. Free if you camp there. So total
of about $35 at the BLM site. with going to Calico without staying there.
Or $44 camping at the Calico Ghost Town with fullhookups,
wind sheltered, with admission to the town included. No brainier to us.
Stay tuned, as Terry has agreed to do the blog tomorrow with his pictures
of the ghost town.
Thursday Oct. 18
the pictures (Ron) now Terry gets to do the blog script. Go
for it Terry...
landed yesterday at the recreated ghost town of Calico yesterday afternoon
and found a good spot to land for a couple of days. We are plugged
into shore power, and have a water spigot next to the trailer. Tomorrow
we will be able to dump the waste water tanks (at the site) and be
on our way. What more could you ask for, a little indulgence before
hitting the LTVA at Quartzsite. We have been, at this site, taking LONG
hot showers knowing we can dump before we leave. When the camping areas
were laid out the designers did not want them seen from the Ghost Town
and so we are setting in the bottom of a wash, sheltered and out of the
winds we had to drive through yesterday. Notice the old wagon decorating
the center of the campground. During the night the winds died
down and it was a very pleasant day to visit the Ghost Town of Calico.
We took our
time this morning getting up making breakfast then on to main street Calico.
I made a frittata of potato, ham, onion, mushrooms and cheese for breakfast,
just because I can. Much easier to make then an omelet,
get everything ready and bake in the oven till the eggs are set and the
cheese melts and gets bubbly. I think I did good, heard no
complaints from Ron so it had to be good.
Got up to Calico
about ten o'clock this morning. There were five tour busses in the
parking lot and quite a few people on the streets.
One of the first
things you see when starting up the main street in Calico is this plaque
and a bust of Walter Knott who acquired the land and rebuilt the buildings
in Calico in the late 1950's. He then turned the entire site over
to the County of San Bernadino in the mid 60's. It has been a County
this nice porch after lunch, just when we were getting tired of the
walking and wanted to find a place to sit and relax. We spent a while
in the chairs on the shaded porch and watched the people go by. It
was early afternoon and the crowds were thinning out with the departure
of the tour groups. We think the tours, come from LA and staw in Barstow
for the night, stop for a couple of hours in the AM at this tourist attraction,
then head off to Vegas for the next night. Works for all, as this is a
pretty nice stop. The Locals are friendly to the max.
This photo was shot
looking up the main street of Calico as you walk into town, There
is a large restaurant on the Right and a couple of craft vendors on the
Left. We stopped at a cafe up higher and Terry had a Taco Salad
which was huge, and tasty, and only $5.25. Not bad for a theme park. The
local merchants (and county employees) were busy decorating for the towns
big Halloween Haunted Ghost Town event this weekend. This is a very
big deal for them. They will stay open late into the night, have
decorated the mine tunnels for a haunted cave event. We will not
be attending, as all of the campsites have been reserved in advance,
so we will have to move on tomorrow morning.
They have a small
railroad ride on top of the hill that travels around the top of the hill
for all of eight minutes. There is
a recorded message which
at times prompts the engineer to point out a few points of interest, such
as the claim marker erected at the center of the Maggie Mine claim, and
the foundations of some of the outlying homes that were removed in the
past. Its not exactly a Disney caliber amusement park ride, but with
a number of Italian Tourists excitably talking, and joking with each other,
it was a memorable experience.
I (Ron) made a YouTube video.
My first attempt. Calico Ghost Town.
At end of the video...
Terry got his Ice Cream Cone. I Ron did get a small bite...
We are off to Needles, CA
from Barstow in the morning. That is the plan right now at least. We know
we can't stay here as all is reserved for their Ghost Event Weekend. We
just might head south to Palm Springs as Terry wants to do.
There is a county park on
the Colorado River at Needles if we land there. We shall see what we shall
Friday Oct. 19
Plans with us have a way
of changing. Our plan last night was the leave Barstow southbound
on hwy 247 ending in the Palm Springs area. We arrived in Palm Springs
at 1:00 in the afternoon looked around and decided to keep going.
We have now landed in Quartzsite. More details to follow tomrrow.
Saturday Oct. 20 by your roving reporter
Summer is over and the snow
chickens are starting to arrive in Quartzsite. The arrival of the
winter visitors also means that construction season is in full swing.
If you were here a few years back or read our blog you will remember the
on going mess road construction caused on the east end of bus 10.
The city and state are now repeating the process on the west end of town.
Looks like parking for the west end vendors will be at a premium this year,
in between the asphalt paving machines, and utility crews. The work
starts just west of Tyson wash and goes to the intersection just past the
We went out for breakfast
this morning at Janet's Kitchen, they had a breakfast special of eggs sausage
hash browns and toast for $6.99. After our great breakfast we drove
west on business 10 to check out the construction zone.
Another picture of the construction
zone, widening the bridge to 4 lanes from two. We have been driving
about town to see what has changed over the summer, doing a bit of shopping
for super and stopped at the post office to see if the lobby was open for
business- they were closed. I was supposed to get the solar
panels cleaned and tilted up and the pickup unloaded along with a number
of other little odd jobs associated with setting up for the winter.
Did not get many of them done yet. Why hurry I've got months.
Coming back from our excursion
we stopped at the LTVA Guard station to pick up our season permit
and met with the volunteers working this morning. They are long time
readers (Thom and Judy) of Hitchitch and were awaiting our arrival.
They are set up not far from our location, and mentioned that they
thought we had arrived, recognizing the trailer and data storm unit.
They were wondering what we would be growing this year and discussing solar
panels, batteries, generators- the technical things that Ron loves to talk
about. I Ron just added their blog Fulltime Road Runners to www.hitchitch.com
Of course the early vendors
are starting to arrive and set up shop for the season. Not much activity
in town yet but it will be picking up over time. Last night we did
not feel like cooking after our big day and we got a carry our pizza from
the Pizza Wheel, He has had a stand for a couple of yrs on the west
end of town, and has now moved down to the parking lot next to the General
store. We also stopped at the General Store this afternoon,
little has changed over the summer, still this nice friendly place
to shop, great meat counter and all around wonderful grocery store.
We kinda cheated on diets, the deep fried breaded chicken livers were to
much to pass up after abstaining for the summer, I picked up a 1/4
lb worth and split them with Ron. We will return to our diet tonight.
We also drove out to Rainbow acres, looking to see if friends had
arrived back in town yet. They are storing our picnic table and awning.
We did not see their trailer so I will send an email tonight to see when
they are going to arrive, can't entertain without the patio furniture.
A picture from yesterday-The
wind farm is located in the approach to the pass leaving Palm Springs to
the West, of course we were going in the opposite direction, heading
east towards Quartzsite. We drove through Palm Springs about 1:00
in the afternoon and just kept going. It seemed a bit much for us,
and i would guess the deciding moment for us was when we noticed that the
rail road running through the valley had screening plants on either side
of the road bed to spare the inhabitants of Palm Springs the trauma of
seeing the trains run through town.
Sunday Oct. 21
are getting settled in at Quartzsite. Relaxed reading the AZ Republic Sunday
paper. Not as good as the LA Times. They only have Phoenix news NO outstate.
The temps are way down today as it got to about 65 last night and a high
of 75 but with strong winds from the north. MUCH better then yesterday,
when I roasted in 95 temps.
are off stealing generators in the BLM again this year. The BLM guard station
volunteers we met, already had their 2000i stolen and they tried to haul
off a 3000 unit in the area but couldn't carry it. So we are taking no
Three chains, one heavy
duty cable lock, and our Alarm It cable that screams at 120 DB if the cable
We hope they will take one
look at all this and move on to someone who has less security. We are about
500 yards form the guard station and right alone the paved road so we think
we should be OK. Famous last words. Our bet is they are coming up the big
wash to the east of us and sneaking to RVs parked closer along it. That's
our story and we're sticking to it. One of these days (when our friends
where things are stored get to town) hope to get our picnic table,
and canopy out of storage. Will be nice get all that set up
to make things more comfortable. Will get a shot of this years boondocking
site when that is all looking good.
We have discovered after
coming down western California through Barstow etc. that Quartzsite doesn't
look that bad to us. All the streets are paved, full utilities everywhere.
Properties are kept up. Q just looks better and better every year. We are
even driving around looking for lots. Someone stop us. Don't worry we are
not rushing into this. More like time on our hands, and empty vender spaces.
K & B Tools & Tarps.
One of the first venders to set up each year. And they do a bang up job
of having any and everything you might be looking for, or not be looking
for. We stop their several times a week, as in boondocking you always need
more stuff. And you don't know what it is, till you walk around K &
B. We like to also drop some change at Herb's Hardware, a downtown Q year
Monday Oct. 22
has been a good day in Q, light cool breeze. and only about 80 for a top
today. Very pleasent.
went to the psot office and paid the box rent for the year. It went up
from $40 to $52. Still a small price to pay for not standing in long lines,
or missing mail as we are now told they onley hold GD mail for 10 days.
that, we dropped off books I had been reading over the summer at the Quartzsite
Donna Pierce, the Librarian was there to great us. Donna does a top notch
job, offering many extra services to this community. It one of the
great reasons to spend the winter in this area. They also have FREE WiFi
and many computers for public use. Do check out the library link
above. I love to read and spend lots of money during the summer on
books, but during the winter season I can read to my hearts content, for
free right here in Q while Terry does his thing at the Quartzsite
Jem and Mineral Club. Another link to check out. We do that site
for the club as a courtesy.
have been watching the wild fires in Califorina (on our west coast station
feeds on DirecTV) due to the Santa Anna winds. WOW. We wish them well.
Sometimes, wonder why people choose to live in those areas. I have not
walked in their shoes, so I can only try to understand. This year, much
worse. How scary for the people going through this.
(Pics from MSNBC)
How would you like to look
out over your neighborhood and see this coming at you?
No one should have to face
Wednesday Oct. 24
did not post yesterday as our satellite modem power supply quit. The power
light on the HN7000s unit would not light. WOW no Internet... I took the
power unit over to friends east of us (also boodnocking here in the BLM)
who also have a HN7000s system and tried my power supply on their system...
It was dead, so I called MotoSTAT and they shipped me a new power unit
overnight (I had to pay extra for overnight shipping, but it was worth
it). We have PO box in Q but of course no street address for UPS to deliver
to, so we contacted the C of C and they had us ship it to them. So later
today I was back online and a happy camper. It was very hot for us
today, about 93. Saw one kid on a bike with a coat on. Must think it is
cool, as compared to summer. We went to Blythe, CA for groceries then sat
outside for sunset to cool off and watch the full moon shine down on us.
Lit a tiki torch to enjoy.
Thursday Oct. 25
is about 8 PM and is still 80 outside. It got to 98 inside the 5er and
95 outside. I know dry heat... Well screw that it is still HOT. You
can guess I will never spend the summer in the southwest, without
A/C. We went to the Quartzsite
Jem and Mineral club meeting at the QIA building at 2 PM today.
They will have the Nov. newsletter ready soon and Terry will use it to
update the web site at the above link when we get the info.. I went with
Terry as that building has A/C. We sat right under a wall AC unit and it
was wonderfully cool. Just what I needed as I do not take the heat well.
The club has big plans for the winter season so if that is what you are
into stop on by.
have to return the defective HN7000s power supply back to MotoSTAT. They
gave me a return pre paid label, but the orig shipping box is to big to
fit into the local UPS shipping containers in Q. So we now need to stand
by and wait for the UPS truck at the pickup site at 1 PM or take it 20
miles over their main Blythe, CA site. If I Idon't get the def. part back
to them in 14 days I will be charged for it as they have my credit card
last statement about all this: When I knew the power supply was def. I
headed into Quartzsite as there is a big dealer that sells DitrecTVs and
MotoSAT Internet systems called Satellite
Advantage and they claim to be the leader in sales of these units in
Q. A quote from their site SATELLITE ADVANTAGE takes pride in taking
care of our customers long after they leave our premises. Just ask any
of our many satisfied customers. Well
I walked in and told them my problem. I wanted to know if they had an extra
power unit, and if they could swap one out with me, or loan one, till I
could get it replaced. WELL I got the biggest jerk I have met in
a long time, tell me flat out, he
would not help me, even if he could.
Now what does that tell you about this place. I said I just thought a MotoSAT
installer might help me stay online. I got that look, and I just backed
out the door and left. I will NEVER do business whit this outfit
again. Just for the record this family I understand, owns the
AZ Lifestyles RV Dealer up the road who has done right by us severl
be the heat has made me grumpy... I will try to do better in the days to
Friday Oct. 26 by your roving reporter
We told you in an earlier
blog about the road work on West Main Street, here is a shot of the
work in progress. The paving company is done on the south side of
the road and is now working on the north side of the road. We took
the shot this afternoon as we were driving over to Blythe, CA.
So far this season its looking
like we got here two to three weeks to soon. Day time temps have
been going into the mid 90's every day, and the trailer gets quite overheated.
Several times we have gone on drives in the afternoon, or ran errands to
places we know are air conditioned. Today we finally decided we had
had enough. I wanted to see if we could find a portable swamp cooler
(evaporative air conditioner) but lost the argument to Ron who decided
we needed a bigger generator. After looking at the coolers in the
hardware store we went to Denkens Equipment where we picked up a
Honda EU3000is. The sales staff at Denkens were very knowledgeable
and helpful, but the salesman did get a very dirty look from the mechanic
when he said that they would carry the generator out to the truck,
of course we would expect nothing less. We have always had good luck
with Denkens, and now they are going to open a new building in Quartzsite.
They have been coming to town the last several years, renting a house with
a large front yard on East Main. Now they will have their own building
on West Main across from McDonalds.
Earlier today we picked
up a load of pallets for fire wood. There are a number of loads there,
but it was hot and I still had the hitch in the truck bed. No need
to get in a big hurry about hauling the stuff, we have all winter.
Our neighbors Thom and Judy gifted us with the three sided crate on the
right. We are going to use it to hold our firewood after I have the
pallets torn down.
Our new generator, in all
of its glory. See the AlarmIT unit that will acream but the big deal is
it takes two people to move this monster. With a new big chain and two
smaller chains and a big cable and the AlarmIt unit. We don,t think we
will have to worry about it walking off.
This unit is a real power
plant. WOW We will learn more about it in the days to come. Right now we
are heading out all cool and relaxed to have that Friday night fish feed
at the Grubstake.
Saturday Oct. 27
went in to help open the Rock club shop (take the shtters down off the
windows and sweep up the place) and I had a good day inside, in the cool
A/C. Another hot one today. Also need to recover form the Grubstake food,
as they serve way to much of it. After we had only eaten a third of our
fries. Our server told us you can ask not to have so many fries when you
order. Now she told us. The Alarm It unit in the above picture is located
so at night if someone walks up to it they will see the slow flashing red
light, and they will know it is armed. It is right by our steps under
the slide. This unit is quietier than our old 2000 unit by far. I
do have one problem with the set up. When the A/C kicks in and the
gen powers up to meet the demand (in its Econo Throttle mode) I take
a hit and sometimes and my Dell desktop computer reboots. Not good if I'm
doing the blog or my other web sites. I now plug the computer into a portable
inverter and run it off that when using the gen. to power the A/C.
I could run the gererator in normal mode, but it would run faster all the
time and use more fuel and be louder than needed when the A/C is not running.
We need to get in gear as
I saw hummingbirds flying around checking our our germanium. Need to get
our feeder set up pronto. Don't think they will get much out of sucking
on a germanium plant.
Monday Oct. 29
sez: Monday and yes I did two Friday
dates above (now
corrected) when one was really for Saturday. Where did I ever say this
blog was perfect. I think it is better that way, as if you think we are
perfect you would be WRONG. We just blunder along and learn as we go. We
like to think we have a clue. At times we do see people who don't seam
to know what they are doing. So here we are on Monday and posting on some
Sunday stuff, all to confusing for me as the heat is still with us as it
was close to 100 yesterday a 70 year record breaker. We did run the gen.
and stayed cool. As we looked out the window I said Terry, guick look outside
as this 5er was truning in right next to us. Then it hit me Sandy and Bob
had arrived. They, as we thought should still be in Cottonwood, AZ exploring
Jerome and Sedona, but NO here they where. When you get within a
days drive of Q you tend to just go for it. As we did coming form Barstow,
They had to stop before
they headed off to find their perfect boondocking spot (the same one they
had last year).
They got here soon enough
to find it still not taken. Yah.. I think it would be still be there for
weeks to come, as not many BLM boondockers here yet. It is strange as most
of the people who return year after year like to stay in the same spot.
And many get to know who is next to them and become friends. Kind of a
support system in the desert, looking out for one another for the season.
And anxious to learn what each did on their adventures over the summer.
That's a neet thing about boondockers, we all stick together. Non judgemental
about what we choose to travel in, in this lifestyle. Let us just say,
there is no 10 year rule in the BLM.
Our friends Thom and Judy
took this picture last night from their site east of us, looking toward
us (Us in the Hitchhiker II with our Sat dish and solar panels, and awning
still out) and got this of Sun Dogs. Judy emailed this pic to us. (Thanks
Judy) Notice the tiny flag on top of Q hill. See the Wikipedia
Encyclopedia site for what a Sun Dog is
Terry made another loaf
of Shepherds bread. This is getting to be a staple in our diet. It
is so good and as he makes it low in sugar, so is better for us. He can
make this for pennies and with the price of bread in the stores. WOW.
If you want the recipe we
posted it back in our Oct,
8 -16 blog link
But here it is, in a contract
like, small print:
cups of water, 2 Tbls of sugar, 3 Tbls of wheat gluten, I tsp. yeast, 1
cup of white flour, and whole wheat flour as needed. Combine water, sugar,
gluten, yeast. Allow yeast to bloom. Add white flour and 1 cup of whole
wheat flour. Stir well and cover with plastic wrap and let stand overnight.
In the morning stir batter down, and enough whole wheat flour to make a
stiff dough. Put in greased bowl and allow to rise to double bulk. Punch
dough down, and form into round loaf. Place in greased dutch oven. Cover
and allow to double in bulk. Pre heat oven to 350 deg. Place covered dutch
oven, in the oven. Bake for 1 1/4 hr. When done the loaf will have
hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
It was another good night
to sit outside, as we did last night, but we chose to stay inside as I
do the blog and Terry cooks. It will be cooler in the next few days and
we will have many more times to enjoy a campfire in the desert. Besides
Bourdaine is on the Travel Channel. One of the few good things
on TV these days.