Friday Jan. 4
took Terry to the surgeon for we hope was the last time this morning. All
looks good as after we went to Mountain Quail cafe for late breakfast.
They serve up some great food. We had driven by before and wondered why
all the cars out front. Now we know. By 10:30 AM the place was almost full.
We had corned beef, eggs, hashbrrowns, and toast. I had coffee and it was
only 50 cents. Anyway that was what the bill said.
that we went to visit JoAnn and Terry McClure out at Rainbow Acres, who
just go to town this week. She had a knee replacement and was recovering.
We know them from the rock club, who would guess.
were paying close attention to the Iowa Caucasus last night. As that is
our old home state. We are now residents of South Dakota don't ya know.
Terry was a precinct committee person. I even did pole watching duty.
Now back to the Q experience....
I then dropped Terry off
a the rock club and I went vender walking. Above is the Tyson Wells area.
It has just exploded this week with venders. We were wondering if they
were going to show up, but they did, not like last year, but much more
than we expected.
The food venders were doing
a huge business. One stand, who was selling burgers, corn dogs, and onion
rings (they looked tasty) Peopled were lined up to buy the
oil filled treats. Another was fast slicing beef for french dip rolls.
Looked like a big seller. On the other front, east over HW 95 at
Rice Ranch things were very slow. Looks like their NEW setup is just not
working this year.
Another vender in
Tyson Wells. Stacked deep.
Think this old guy can sell.
By the way he is a prop. Look at all the bottles off to the right for sale.
Come on down, walking
the vender areas is great fun, and you might find that item,
you never knew you wanted,
but now must have.
Later in the day I got caught
up in the buying excitement and went over to Discount Solar on the east
side of Q (where I got my orig. solar, xantrex system) and bought a Link
10 xantrex battery bank monitor unit. I have a xantrex wall mounted controller
unit for my 1,500 w inverter/charger unit and this is a add on monitor
that compliments that unit. It will display (real) volts, (real) amps (present
flow of current in or out), amp-hours consumed or put back into your bank,
time-remaining (est. of how long your battery bank will sustain current
load). Works off a 500 amp shunt so it can get good readings. Even shows
charging efficiency and historical data. Might be more than I need, but
will be fun to learn the functions. See www.xantrex.com
for more info.
Many times electronic things
are over-kill. It's sort of like a VCR that can also change your kids diaper,
just don't need it to do that. So most of the time the readout flashes
midnight. All we do is press play or record. Not to program something
(But I should say as I now
have a DirecTV DVR, ( This is a breakthrough.) If you don't have
one of these you don't understrand how easy it is. This is not you
old VCR. No tapes! Scan through the guide press save and it is done.
In this case, keep it simple,
does not work for this fulltimer when checking up on my battery bank. That's
sort of like a life function when boondocking. And the more I know the
The weather is predicted
to go to hell. We shall see, but we will still by just fine in our 5er
Monday Jan. 7
weekend came and went. I worked on installing my Link 10 monitor
and on Sunday rewired some of it as it wasn't clear if the inverter and
solar inputs needed to be on the trailer side of the shunt or not. They
do, and I moved the leads. The big charger/inverter 2 gauge lead
to the - battery
side, had lots of slack, as it went all the way to the other end of the
battery bank, so I was able to reroute it to the Link 10 shunt location
in the two battery compartment. So after fine turning the system
I am where I should be with accurate readings of input and output power
usage and charge. Cool...
This is not a picture of
me I share very often. BUT here I am moving cables to make the Link 10
monitor work correctly. This compartment only holds two batteries, but
heavy 2 gauge cables connect to the other 4 AGMs inside the basement.
we went to Blythe, CA to Sizzler for breakfast brunch. The main reason
was to be able to get Sunday papers. (The AZ Republic and UAS Today has
stopped delivering to Q) We bought both CA papers that were available.
while looking in the basement of the 5er redoing the battery wiring we
found a old leak on our hot water heater had reoccured. Terry found the
local RV dealer RV Lifestyles open on Sunday and got the correct check
value pipe. Our orig pipe didn't have a check valve in it, but they said
it should. He changed it, but installed it backward so when we had no hot
water, he had to go back out in the dark and turn it around. It was confusing
since it was the one on the top of the tank and we thought it would be
the input value, but instead it was the output. Bottom line in short order
we had hot water again.
now on Monday I was back on the cell phone talking to our Health Insurance
company as (looking online at the claims) found one they didn't want to
pay. It was the ER doctor bill. I called them and asked how
they could refuse to pay the ER bill as Terry was then admitted to the
hospital and had surgery. After much talking we determined the claim
had the wrong date on it. So it didn't match up with the same date
as he was admitted to the hospital. So I had to call the ER doctor's billing
service and ask them to get the right date on the claim and resubmit it.
The Ins CO. wouldn't believe we went to the ER on the same date he was
admitted to the hospital. Why Oh Why do we all have to go through this
nonsense. Is that a lead in to why we need Health Ins. reform in this country.
Thank god we have Ins. but you have to fight them at every move.
I called my Doc. office back in IA as they faxed in a scrip to our Ins.
perscription (Medco) and it was for the WRONG meds AND for 30 days, renewed
three times. (SB) for 90 days renewed three times. So I got meds for 30
days insted of 90 days (and the WRONG DRUGS) and I paid the co-pay for
drugs which I can't even use. The Doc. office will resend the correct scrip.
that, that was done I went to the post office for our mail from our mail
forwarding service.. Nothing had arrived yet. I called our service, they
had sent it last Wed. proirity mail. (That means two day bus. delivery)
It has our lic place stickers in it, so hope it shows up. Overall not a
great day, but not a bad one either, as you have to take each day as it
comes, and try not to get too excited when things don't go just they way
you think they should.
out at the BLM gaurd station this afternoon with Bob and Sandy (while Terry
was playing at the rock club). As they checked in new campers.
Old pic of the station from
a past post.
Will go visit again on Tuesday
as they are working, as in volunteering (if we can call it that) again.
It doesn't get much better. OK You have to remember. Any day retired, no
matter what you are doing, (not in a cubicle in a drab office) is a gift
to life, as it should be lived. How many times did I spend out on
the steps on break, in all kinds of weather, dreaming about just this day,
be right here (or anywhere doing nothing), I mean anything I want to do
at anytime I want. Priceless...
BTW they have now taken
down the lights (see above) on the guard station. Now we can get over the
bah humbug thing and get on to the January big tent events in Quartzsite.
I updated the What
is this place called Quartzsite, AZ? page I did a few years ago. Hope
it is still helpful to new visitors to Q.
Terry took lots of pics of
the rock club and people today, but will let him show them later with one
your roving reporting Terry posts).
Do the rest of us RVers
really want to see people with their backs to the camera (because you can't
ask them to pose as they are busy cutting and polishing rocks).
My thought runs to thinking
geeks. So I looked that up on....
person who has chosen concentration rather than conformity; one who pursues
skill (especially technical skill) and imagination, not mainstream social
acceptance. A person with a devotion to something in a way that places
him or her outside the mainstream. This could be due to the intensity,
depth, or subject of their interest.
Now that sounds good..
Since they also do silversmithing, faceting, casting of silver, chain making,
opal working. Is that enough to bore you, as like me, as I don't give a
rats ass about that stuff. BUT in Q that is the norm so I am in the minority.
I help Terry update the rock
club web site as I am into web site building. After all the term
Geek started out as a computer thing... didn't it. We must resist rock
people taking it over as their's...
So I will visit the BLM entrance
station, and visit Bob and Sandy, and and sit, contemplating life as we
IHven't had reading time
and need a cold and cloudy day, so I can stay inside the 5er and read a
good book. Like the one I just got from the Q library. The Audacity
by Barack Obama. Might just be me, but time to get
into the thoughts of this upcoming political leader.
Tuesday Jan. 8
forwarding come in today... We got our SD lic. tags for our Truck = $38
and 5er. = $89. That is pretty standard as Bob sez his were the same amount.
I spent the afternoon at the guard station watching people come and go.
People pull into the BLM and camp in anything and everything... so people
watching is at its best right up front at the main entrance. We have
met many great people over the last couple of years and it is paying off
as we now feel at home, and when we wave, knowing who we are waving at.
Priceless as they say. The behind the counter people at the General Store
and even the Post Office, knows us not just as tourists, but as seasonal
you have been following our blog at all, you know we are political junkies,
so tonight is the NH primary. This is better than any network reality TV
show. This is real life. It's not scripted ahead of time. Besides the TV
writers are on strike. We'll wait for the general election later, for things
to get rigged, to see if another election can be stolen.
Wednesday Jan. 9
still trying to get Terry to do one of this Rovering Reporter Posts...
(might help if I would get off the computer and give him time...
but in the meantime...
to share this great FREE service from Google.
click on above for more info.
Search for businesses by
name or category. GOOG-411 will understand your voice and
find the business you're looking for. Search by
name ("Giovanni's pizza") or category ("Pizza").
Connect to the business directly,
free of charge. No need to write down a note or memorize long phone numbers.
GOOG-411 connects you, free of charge.
GOOG-411 is voice-activated,
so you can access it from any phone (mobile or land line), in any location,
at any time. For free.
Just say detail
they will tell you more about the selection you picked. (Without text message
My cell phone charges per
text mesg. No teenager in this 5er. So I don't use that feature.
Get more details by SMS —
Simply say "text message" and GOOG-411 will send you a text message with
more information and a link to a map of the business you've selected, free.
Dial 1 800 GOOG-411. For
fastest access, simple add GOOG-411 to your contact list: 1 800 466-4411
is so cool. Just dial the toll free number and say the "city
and state", and then what you want like (post office) (RV parks) (propane)
and it will tell you the address and phone number of several choices and
ask if you want to have them call one of them or ask for more info on them.
needed to call the Chevy dealer in Parker, AZ today and I just hit the
Google 411 contact numbr on my cell phone, and spoke the "city" and "state"
and "Chevy dealer" into the cell phone and it found the dealer I wanted,
I then could request more "details" (it will tell you the address
and phone number, etc.) or request they dial it for me. BAM... done the
On my cell phone all I have
to do is open it and say call "Google 411" and it calls. My cell
phone didn't like me saying GOOG 411 so I changed the contact listing to
Google 411 and it understanded that. After connected to Google it
is so accurate. I even tried to say "Quartzsite, AZ" and "jem and mineral
club" and it found it. WOW.
Will never need a phone
book again especially while traivling down the road and need to find a
Have you called the cell
company 411 service... costs big bucks! This is FREE.
As your driving down the
road and you see something you would like more info about, just dial 1
800 GOOG 411 and say the name of the place you just saw and it will call
them. AS you drive by.
Imagine driving by a cafe
that looks good. You just speak into your cell phone "Google 411" (when
your contact list is set up) and say the "city and state" and the
"name of the cafe" and it connects you to them without dialing anything.
Then you can ask what the special of the day is.
How about driving by an RV
park... GOOG 411 it and ask what their rates are.
Or call the Chamber of
Commerce in any city you pass through and ask them questions. You
don't need to know any phone numbers anymore...
The small print:
Voice Local Search is free. However, you may be charged for air-time minutes
or for using the SMS functionality based on your mobile phone plan. This
service is still in its experimental stage. It may not be available at
all times and may not work for all users. It's currently only available
in English, in the US, for US business listings.
Is this better
then sliced bread or what...
Friday Jan. 11
your roving reporter Terry
the words Quiet, Warm and Wonderful could aptly describe the last couple
of days. At night it is still getting down into the low 40's, but
during the day the temps are in the mid to upper 60's with lots of sunshine.
What we came to Quartzsite for, to hide out from the winter weather.
It would be perfect weather for a campfire, but we have gotten out of the
habit. We have this huge pile of fire wood, and I hope we use most
of it before we leave for the summer, and not have to leave a pile for
the scavengers like we did last year.
not been a lot of news of late. The big tent for the upcoming RV
show is up, but there does not seem to be much in the way of activity around
it. With the show being a week out there will be lots going on Monday
in the rush for everyone to get in and set up in and around the tents
other big show coming up will be the QIA
Pow Wow which runs from Jan. 23 - 27.
of the vendor lots have started to get a little fuller. I had to
go to the Desert Gardens rock and gem show today to check out a couple
of items for the Quartzsite
Gem and Mineral club this afternoon and was surprised by the number
of vendors who have shown up since last Sunday when I walked through the
show grounds. Some of the other lots are not doing as well, but the
new and lovingly used motor homes are well represented.
at the rock club today, a double session for the people who want
to do lost wax casting. Had 9 signed up for casting, but only 4 actually
showed up. The short numbers of club members gave me a chance to
cast a couple of my pcs. I cast a couple of the arrow heads that
I carved in the last couple of weeks, and one of the Rock Club members
did two of the Road Runners that I carved at the same time.
are the waxes that I burned up today in the casting room. They are now
forever captured in Sterling Silver, and with a bit of cleaning and polishing
will be finished and will make a wonderful addition to someone's collection
UPDATE: By Ron When
I wasn't looking Terry did his post all about roks and stuff again.
Saturday Jan. 12
We had a good day, went out
for brunch, and toured Q, took many pics and will post them and our thoughts
It was one of those perfect
days you live for. And looking at the forcast it may last.
We had a big campfire and
didn't get back inside the 5er till after 9 tonight. Sometimes you have
to live the life, and not just report on it. Terry went to Silly Al's for
Pizza and now we are ready for bed.
Sunday Jan. 13
a request to just show a tour of pics of Q so here you go...
you have a fast connection... I have reduced the size of the pics
but there are lots of them so you might have to stand by for them to download...
Main Event Pics
Desert Gardens show area...
Tyson Wells show area...
Rice Ranch show area...
The Big Tent show grounds.
I didn't do my best on this
post as I worked all day on a laptop of a friend to clean it up and try
to get wireless wifi lan to work on it. Had to download a new virus program
and do 37 Microsoft updates on the machine. And had to use the finger window
instead of a mouse. Boy moving your finger over the track space really
But you know what, tomorrow
is Monday, and I don't have to go to work... But get up late (have a nice
breakfast) and work (or should say play some more trying to fix our friends
So for now just enjoy the
pics and I will do better next time. We who blog try to find that
special or wierd shot that stands out.
But as the requester wanted
I did the many shot thing as we drove around. Kind of fun as I drove and
yelled out to Terry take that shot, and take that shot. Better than that,
get your butts down here, as the weather has been great.
We love email and wondering
where YOU are at. If back in the cold, or down south somewhere. It
doesn't matter where you are at, just hope you are happy and doing well.
Tuesday Jan. 15
great day in Q. Warm and sunny, no wind. RVer's are rolling in, in numbers
that they should this time of year. You might say it's even hectic registering
the campers at the BLM guard stations. Our friends (Bob and sandy) were
working hard to get them signed up. We see the RVer's several deep waiting
to get their stickers. A 14 day sticker went up $10 to $40 this year
and we hear many are complaining. Remember the volunteers didn't set the
rates, so don't bitch at them.
you can stay in the several FREE BLM 14 day areas which are just as good.
Except you don't get water or dump. But there are long lines for that in
the paid BLM area. You can go to town and use the Pit Stop or spend big
bucks for the mobile units which will come to you.
can camp close in town, at temporary sites that charge $5 a day for a parking
lot style spot. What is that about, except close to town. $5 a day X 14
is $70 and in the BLM it is $40 with all the space you would ever want
to spread out without having anyone even close to you. And water and a
dump station. To each their own, so just get your butt over to Q
and enjoy the largest RV, Travel vacation, Vender, and Rock show,
event in the world. Let alone all your friends are already here. And this
year I bet there are even full hookup sites to be had. After all there
are about 65 RV parks in Q.
We saw this setup next to
Hasslers RV park on I-10 B west. Right on the wash brim bank, next to the
It is some sort of
show that happens several times a day. We want to find out more about this.
We were just driving by. Look at the chairs set up to view the show.
Can you imagine doing this traveling show. Think what their mind set must
to be to get into this, and build this stage on a truck body. Then to have
the talent to actually put on a great show that people will see, and tell
others by word of month, so their audience will grow. WOW that is a leap
of faith in yourself, to be able to have the guts to do this. We can respect
that kind of adventure spirit. Just look at us (you and us) in this RV
life, all doing our own thing just like them. You know they built each
and every piece, one at a time, to make their show platform. Unbelievable...
We will get more stats on
this outfit and post what we find. I would love to get closeup pictures
of the show in progress. And would pay to see it, as they must have a theatrical
expression that they are driven, to share with their audience. You would
have to be so motivated to do this. This is not the same as a vender, packing
up their wares, and moving to the next flea market. These people have to
be dedicated to their craft. Arts in Motion, you might say...
On Wednesday we are going
to Parker to the Chevy dealer to get our breaks checked out. (More like
worked on, as it is time) Not looking forward to that cost. Just a maintenance
item that needs to be done. We are still waiting for them to get us new
Good Year Wrangler SilentArmor tires.
Wednesday Jan. 16
up at 8 AM and headed off to Parker to the Chevy dealer. That is too erly
for us retired people. They gave us a ride in to town so we could get breakfest
and a ride back after. About 1 PM they said it was done. But they didn't
change out the breaks, just looked at them and said they were more than
50% good yet. They did clean some crystallization from the the front
pads. Caused by high heat due to pulling a 5er. Which is normal. So didn't
need new pads after 53,000 miles. Told us truck breaks just don't ware
out any more like they used to. Cost $85 and they will credit that to any
future break work when we do get ready to replace pads. I will do that
when we get new tires and a front end alignment. So not too bad. And they
don't squeak now that they cleaned them.
was cold, cloudy, and windy all day. Don't think it got much above above
50. Not a happy camper day.
UPDATE: 8 PM Did this
post tonight on the escapees forum. (Haven't even got to the RV.net
The thread was... Where
else can we save a buck or so?
poster said: ....I stiff the
waitress....saves mucho dinero[20%].....and I ain't coming back anyway...
we eat out we feel it is a treat, not just another meal. I like to go a
little over on the tip, just because I want them to know they were appreciated
by serving us. I know the smile on their face after we leave when they
find a buck or two more will make their day and lead them to treating others
more friendly and reinforce their trust in people doing right by them.
Laying out a bit more to make someones day is what it is all about.
see some leaving next to nothing by checking what coin change they have
and I just cringe. The bottom line there are lots of ways to save money
and this is not one of them.
for saving money... We if we want to not eat that bologna sandwich... when
stopping for gas and lunch... we can save big bucks by not ordering from
the high priced regular fast food menu with drinks. Just order from the
Value Menu for $1 you can get a double cheeseburger, next if you have that
craving, fries for $1 and WOW a Hot Fudge Sunday for a buck. And what's
wrong with asking for water for free instead of a drink that is at times
more than the food. We have all the food we need in the 5er fridge but
it is fun to eat out at times after driving for hours. When back in the
5er I can get a soft drink to have going down the road.
and I can give the I money saved, to the next working person who served
us in a real cafe, instead of that drink I didn't need
Thursday Jan. 17
your roving reporter Terry
has arrived with a vengeance. When I got up this morning the outside
temperature was displayed as a very cold 30 deg., on the remote thermometer
we have on the wall. The temps did not get much better through the
day, I do not think the temps got much past 50 this afternoon.
Its a good thing I put the geranium in the basement last night, it
would have been toast otherwise.
the strong north winds to go with the frigid temperature it made for a
less then wonderful day if you wanted to be outside. I am thinking
we have gotten very spoiled when 50 is bad, but then our blood has
gotten thin over the last couple of years.
forecast for tonight, clear and getting cold, colder, coldest.....
time for extra blankets and check the propane, its quarter till 6:00 and
still enough time to make it to the pit stop before they close.
was watching the trailers and motor home units check in at the the La Posa
North guard shack today and there has been a steady inflow. Looks
like there were between 5 to 10 units in the parking lot at any given time
this afternoon. The volunteers that work the guard station really
earned their way today. (Ron Here) There are thousands of acres in this
BLM LTVA and it seems people like to herd and bunch up right in front.
If you want to drive a bit back in, you would have a hard time even seeing
an RV, except yours.
the day playing at the rock club, and later went to the meeting.
I was running for trustee (board of directors) and won. Ron has now
determined that he needs to bow in respect of my exulted state, now that
I am a person of importance. The sarcasm is readily apparent.
by Ron: 8 PM
came over and we had lots of fun talking about the people who registered
at the BLM station as he worked the rush today.
As it got later I sent Terry
off to Silly Al's for Pizza. After all, we felt a treat was in order
with his selection to be a more involved part of the rock club. (When we
called, (using GOOG 411) their special was a Mediterranean Pizza) Asked
what that was, and after she told me it had, anchovies among a few more
unpizza thngs, wondered if we were in Q or in LA, I said Pepperoni,
Thank You... We even found a leftover bottle of Cold Duck. Terry
is a light weight, so plan on having him drink it all. I've had my happy
hour with Bob.
Tent Show is about to open on Saturday and we will be there with lots
of pictures of it all. May not go the first day as it is SO crowded, but
we'll get there. It's fun to listen to my Radio Shack police scanner which
also scans FRS/GMRS/MURS channels to hear people talking as they try to
find parking and walking around the show, getting lost from their friends,
and talking about what new toys they have found which they just have to
buy for their RV. People watching in person, and on the radio while
relaxing back at the RV campsite.