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Paria River Valley, Utah

Monday, 30 January 2017

Government Wash, Lake Mead, Nevada

January 28th - 29th

We left our campsite at 7:30 am at La Posa South LTVA in Quartzsite so we could hit the sani-dump before the line-ups started. (With the show the line-ups were 12 to 24 rigs long most days.) Ray was able to slide straight in and then crossed the road to fill our water tank.

We went over to say goodbye to Dianne and Steve, across the road from us just before we left our campsite. Would have liked to say goodbye to Jim and Barb but thought it was way too early. While at the sani-dump, Jim tracked us down for our final goodbyes. I teased him that he missed our "tater tot extravaganza" that we had for happy hour yesterday with Steve and Dianne. Too bad for him that they were in Blythe getting an oil change! lol  ( I had specifically bought tater tots as he had mentioned they were one of his favorites.) He had me describe the dishes and with his sense of humor, was just like the dog U-Tube video ... ahuh ... and bacon???? ... ahuh and cheese..... Too Funny! Great to see you guys ... had a great time this past month visiting you guys.
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Expression on Jim's face!

Arco was the next stop to fuel up our diesel. Good thing we did as it was $2.42 in "Q" at the Arco and all the rest of the way up the highway it was at least $2.74. The plans were to drycamp in Laughlin up the hill from Harrah's Casino for 3 days. No such luck. When we arrived the parking lot was barricaded up so no go. You could still drycamp in behind the Tropicana Casino. The forecasted wind was up probably gusting to 40mph before we got to Laughlin and was rocking and rolling us down the highway. Ray and I made the decision to carry on to Searchlight, Terribles Casino. What a disappointment. Winds were still blustery and cold and other than McDonalds ... yuck nothing to eat. The casino did have cheap beer but you would have to breath in ton's of cigarette smoke. No Can Do! We did have something to eat anyways at Rotten Ronnie's as we were starving and decided to carry on, an hour away to Government Wash on Lake Mead. Turned out to be a great decision!

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Even though tthe temps were about 55F, same as Quartzsite, without the wind it felt much warmer. With minimal setup we were here! Glad we decided not to stay in Laughlin or Searchlight!

Sunday was a laid back day. Other than breakfast, a walk, and usual dishes and sweeping the floors, we spent most of the day outside sitting in the sun. We did take a short drive down to the water so Freya could have a swim in the afternoon. The lake level is several feet higher than the last time we were here so that was good to see. Lots of people fishing from shore and quite a few boats out on the water. There seems to be far less people camping here this time, but it was November a few years ago that we were here so maybe January is usually too cold? Temps today got upwards of 60F with just a gentle breeze off and on. A great day.

Just love the colours in the hills as the sun starts to go down.





Monday it is shopping day in Henderson. Costco, Walmart etc. Need to stock up before the girls come next weekend. Can't wait.


Friday, 27 January 2017

The Big RV Show opens Jan 21 - 27

Jan 21st

Saturday morning by 10 am since there was no line-up at the sani-dump, it was time to move and empty our tanks today instead of tomorrow. Sunday the forecast is for clouds and showers and today was sunny. Took about 20 minutes to ready the coach to move and off Ray went. An hour later he was back (5 other rigs arrived before he could get there) and we set up again. Glad to have that job done.

At 4pm we went over to Dianne and Steve's for happy hour which Barb Nelson also attended. Her husband, Jim, is currently out of town for a few days. We stayed inside as it was still too windy outside although sunny. Even though we all see each other every day we never seem to run out of things to talk about. Great friends.

Home by 6 and after eating leftovers, we watched TV for the rest of the evening. Another relatively quiet day for us. The big RV show opened this morning but we opted to wait until after the weekend so it is not so busy trying to walk through the big tent. The wind seemed to die down before dark so it was a quiet sleeping night Yeah!

Sunday we woke up to clouds ... no rain yet till this afternoon Ray did some grocery shopping downtown before it gets too busy and then we just hung out inside and watched a movie.

Monday we decided to go to the show bright and early and were parked outside by 8:40 a.m. Not much to see. Some of the vendors that we always saw were not there this year. It seems to be getting smaller and smaller. Lots of RV's for sale and they seem to be making quite a few sales as the inventory seems to change. A lot of the outside vendors seem to be taking smaller stalls, maybe rent is too high. Oh well, we really did not want to buy anything anyways. Even though it was sunny the winds were still up and lufting up the top of the tent. One of the vendor's told me that 2 years ago it actually came apart! Ray and I had planned to eat at the chicken and rib BBQ booth but it was so windy his chicken was not cooking properly so we came home for lunch by 10:30 a.m.

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Here is s google picture of what it looks like from the air. On the far right is Tyson Wells, a separate area for vendors that is open well before and after the show. We like their booths better than the actual show.

We finished off the afternoon with Dianne and Steve, had them over for a happy hour inside with us as it was much too cold outside. Freya did not like the wind banging the slide toppers ... sounded too much like thunder so she crawled onto Steve's lap! Dianne and I tried to encourage her to stay between us on the couch but no such luck!

Save me Uncle Steve!
Tuesday, the sun was out and the wind was somewhat reduced so we were able to spend some time outside today. Ray drove into town to talk with the "stick lady" and said traffic was horrendous. I managed to clean all of the front wood cabinets with pledge. Boy what a difference. Dianne and Steve hosted a happy hour so we all could meet Darrel and Kelly, new full-timers from 150 Mile House, who have been following Dianne and Steve's blog for a few years. Jim was back from his trip so they also came over for happy hour. It was a little blustery outside but Steve had moved his truck as a wind break and Darrel lined his truck up as well. A lovely couple of hours meeting new people. Thanks Dianne for inviting us.


Jim, Ray, Deb, Darrell, Kelly, Steve's knees and Barb

Wednesday we woke up to cold overnight temps of 36F. Ray had a rough night with pain so we were up by 6 a.m.  Glorious stars out at this time of the morning ... too cold to stay outside to enjoy them! Managed to get out and have a walk in the afternoon and then Ray and I set up our chairs behind the rig, out of the wind to spend an hour in the sunshine. Getting excited about moving on and getting to Vegas to meet up with Kristi and Kat.

Thursday another gorgeous sunny day but 33F at 6:30 a.m. burrrrrr. Hung around camp, did some oiling woodwork and made brownie cookies for Ray. We managed to get outside behind the coach for a couple of hours in the sun. At 4pm Ray and I went over to Dianne and Steve's for happy hour while we could still enjoy the sun.

re Our time here is sure winding down fast.

Here is a picture of the sunset we had. Absolutely gorgeous.




Friday, another sunny day but even more wind, 23mph and gusts up to 34 mph. Made for an interesting time folding up the outdoor mats in preparation for leaving tomorrow. First up was doing our laundry before it got too busy downtown. The place was packed ... fortunately it started thinning out when I was ready for a couple of dryers. While I was gone, Ray took down all of my solar lights and hummingbird feeders. When I got back with the laundry it was time to get the coach ready for travel tomorrow.... as much as we could before dinner tonight anyways. We hope to leave by 8am so we can get to the sani-dump before the line-up starts. When I went by this morning at 9am for laundry, there were nine units waiting! When I came back by 11am there were 11 and Ray counted 18 once. Ray went to town and filled up the propane for the Big Buddy ... we have had to use it all day for several days this week instead of just a few hours in the morning as it has been so cold. Car is now loaded and so as long as I get things finished up after dinner, it should not take us too long to get on the road tomorrow.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Quartzsite Happenings continued, Jan 18-21

January 18th

Wednesday I was up bright and early and off by 7:30 to do our mountains of laundry ... 7 double loads. 2 1/2 hours later after stopping to pick up some dessert and garlic bread for Dianne's dinner tonight, it was back home to hang some of the laundry on Dianne's laundry line. The sun was out and very little wind. I was starved as I had not eaten anything yet so Ray took me to Silly Al's Pizza for lunch where we shared a ham and pineapple pizza. Yummm. Back at camp it was time to help Ray cleaning the Maxi-Air vents.

Once that was done I made the potsticker appetizer I had planned for the Happy Hour at Jim and Barb's before dinner at Dianne and Steve's. It was 3 pm before I got a chance to sit down and enjoy the day. Our neighbours Marty and Tina came over for a quick visit to pick our brains on sunshades etc. They are new full-timers.

Soon it was 4 pm so we said goodbye to Marty and Tina and off we went to Jim and Barb's Happy Hour with our contribution of potstickers. Great visiting with them and their friends.



Left to right around the circle...Barb, Dave, Steve, Deb, Jim, Ray, Harry (poor Vicki is still next door working) and Maxine...

By 5:30 it was time to come back home and put everything away outside as rain was expected overnight before going to Steve and Dianne's for dinner. Dinner was a little later than Dianne had planned due to the Happy Hour but was no problem as we all had a few snacks anyways. Your lasagna was great as usual Dianne ... thanks a bunch.



So you can see, our Quartzsite time is very busy visiting, sightseeing etc. Hardly a day goes by that you are not meeting up with someone. Great fun. Days just fly by and it is hard to remember what you did day to day hence my blog/journal.

Thursday was baking day as it was cloudy and windy. Since the clouds prevented any solar charging I like to make the diesel use worth it so I made bread, cookies for Ray and Slow Cooker turkey thighs for dinner. Of course that meant a lot of dishes were done too. We did manage to get out for a short walk in the afternoon when the sun managed to peek out. Otherwise it was a quiet TV day which was good for Ray to not do too much and give his back a dayoff. By 8pm the wind was back up so the dish was down and we watched some pre-recorded programs.

Friday Dianne and I left "Q" at 9 am and headed to Parker for my weekly grocery shopping trip. We wanted to get there and back before the promised winds picked up this afternoon with some showers. After doing our shopping we stopped at the Crossroads Cafe and shared a French Dip sandwich for lunch. We arrived back at camp by 1:30. It sure was much windier here than in Parker. Glad we beat the storm. At 3:30 Dianne and Steve came over to watch Trump's innaguaration that I had taped. We had a couple of drinks and a few laughs and they departed at 5:30. The weather had become increasingly worse with rain and lots of wind. Probably 25 miles an hour with gusts to 40. Needless to say the dish was down and we watched a movie instead. In bed early as "no TV!". The rain was forecast to stop by 10:30 and it did. I was a little concerned as we are in a bit of a wash but we were fine. It blew all night rattleling the slide toppers which Freya certainly did not like.

Saturday morning we woke to sunny skies but still windy although it is now southwest rather than southeast so the satelitte dish is okay. The big RV show starts this morning but I think we will wait a few days before visiting to miss the big crowd. Our tanks are full after lasting 20 days so we'll have to find a time that the sani-dump is slow today instead of waiting in a line-up with 20 or more RV's.


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Rib Dinner and Alamo Lake

Monday was a quiet day for Ray, as he was still recovering from our trip to the Desert Bar yesterday. I did a bunch of chores, we did go into town and fill up the propane tank to make sure I had enough fuel to barbecue ribs for several hours. When we got back to camp and hooked up the propane tank .... go figure the plastic fitting to screw into the propane tank shattered and I had to go back into town to find a replacement. After being sent on a wild goose chase between stores as to where to go, I finally ended up at the Pit Stop where they make customized propane hoses. (This of course is where we filled the propane tank up earlier!) All of this took an hour and a half so ribs were going to be later than planned.

As always in the desert, the weather can change ... winds came up, clouds came in, so I decided to cook the ribs in the convection oven as I was behind in timing and just finish them on the barbecue with glazing. It all worked out as Dianne and Steve were coming for dinner, but they had a whole bunch of people stop by for a visit so they were later than planned as well. Dinner turned out great with slow cooker baked beans, ribs and coleslaw. Another great time with our besties!







We talked for a short while longer and then called it a night as we were going to Alamo Lake tomorrow.

Tuesday morning at 9:30 we were off on our adventure with Steve and Dianne to Alamo Lake. Steve graciously drove our car again. A beautiful sunny day for a drive although a little chilly when we started. We all wanted to see if it is a possible destination and worth dragging our rigs to the lake as we'd heard it's a good fishing lake.

We passed through the little towns of Brenda, Salome and Wendon before making our turn up to Alamo Lake.  38 miles later we arrived. Boy is the lake level down ... you can see dead trees sticking up out of the water.



First look at the lake as we drove towards the park.


This is near the only boat ramp that now reaches the water. The water edges are very muddy so no swim for Freya.
The only functioning boat ramp
 We drove around all of the campsite areas. This place is huge. Prices vary from $15 to dry camp to $25 for water and power. One of the areas would be great for ATV people as the trails leads out right from the campsite. We all preferred that side in the drycamping area with lots of room and great views of the lake. None of the sites though are on the lake and would require you to drive to the one and only boat launch several miles to go fishing. Ray and Steve felt this was too much work. They would prefer to launch their boats once and then just tie it to the shore by the campsite. The internet/cell signal was not the best either.

Typical plug in campsite.

 
You can see part of the old ramp that doesn't reach the water any more.
2 kyakers enjoying the lake amoungst the dead trees.

We noticed after leaving the park, a road to the right that pointed out the Bill Williams River Viewpoint so up we went.


The dam



There were signs posted to watch out for the burros. We looked and looked and finally Steve saw one while we were driving out of the Alamo Lake. Their coat colour sure matches in with the landscape so they are very hard to see.


By the time we left it was 12:30 and we were all starved. On the way to the lake we'd noticed a small bar in Salome where we decided to stop and have lunch. Kind of a funny little place, the bar is one business and the cafe another. So we decided to eat outside and had to order lunch in the restaurant and buy the beer separately in the pub. It was pretty good food and we were all stuffed by the time we finished. Freya even was on the patio with us. Thanks for lunch Steve and Dianne. Ray, our DD drove us the rest of the way back home.



Dianne was going to make us dinner tonight but we all decided we just had it! So Dinner tomorrow, Wednesday, at Dianne and Steve ... Dianne's famous lasagna. Yummm.

All of us were glad we had gone to Alamo Lake so we all know that it probably will not be a future destination. Better to find out via a car ride than tow all of our rigs up there and not be happy. It was a great day none the less in the sunshine.


Nellie E Saloon Desert Bar, Parker AZ

Sunday, January 15th, with the scheduled forecast to be warm and sunny it's time to go to the Desert Bar in Parker we've heard so much about from Steve and Dianne. As we had not been there before, we had Steve drive us in our car, with Jim and Barb following taking new friends Sue and Les with them. Vicki and Harry, 2 more friends of Steve and Dianne's, had just arrived in Q and came along as well. Unfortunately Vicki and Harry had just arrived in Quartzsite from Parker and now had to turn around and go back!

The road in was a long dusty 5 miles. Slow going crawling into the mountains. Steve mentioned it was much better than last year! 

Jim following Harry up the rough and dusty road (from Jim's blog)

Here is an excerpt from the Desert Bar's website:
The "Nellie E Saloon" (DESERT BAR) 
is situated in the Buckskin Mountains, 
in Parker, Arizona, on land that was 
an old mining camp. The camp was 
located on the portion of land that is 
now the parking lot. When Ken 
acquired the land in 1975, there was 
nothing left of the old mining camp. 
With the land and a liquor license from 
an old business on leased river land, 
Ken decided to give the "bar in the 
desert" idea a try. In 1983, Ken 
opened for business in the temporary 
three-sided structure which is across 
from the outdoor restroom's. He 
operated there for the next five years, 
until the current saloon was 
constructed. The name "Nellie E" 
originates from the old mining claim. 
They used to mine copper and then 
take it to the smelter and get gold.

Here is a picture of the original bar:



The new bar:

(Picture from their website)

The bar opens at noon and we got there about 11:45 a.m. and were able to take our pick of tables. Once the band started by 12:15 there was a steady stream of people coming in. What a great way to spend a few hours listening to great music and drinking our $3 beers. They have several food stations upstairs and downstairs where the band was playing ... not inexpensive but hey, they have to haul all the stuff down that bumpy dusty road every week. Food was good though.

Deb, Dianne, Steve, Vicki, Harry, Barb, Jim, Sue and Les
(Picture by Jim and Barb)
(l-r) Sue, Les, Ray, Deb, Dianne, Steve, Vicki, Harry and Barb

Ray walked around and took a few pictures of the "relics".


Notice the solar panels.  The whole bar is run by solar and propane with a well for water.
This shows the covered walkway from the parking lot to the upstairs bar.

 View from the walkway

 See me waving at Ray ... the two guys walking toward us think I'm calling them over!

Downstairs bar with the band.

 Upstairs seating area and bar.


Steve walking higher up to get better pictures. Ray had to decline ... no climbing for him!

The church facade for photo opportunities. They even have weddings here.

As you can see this is a "happening place". People just kept streaming in filling every available chair. By 2 pm we were on our way back home to Quartzsite and to Steve and Dianne's informal Happy Hour at 4 pm. It was so loud with the Band it was nice to be able to talk around the "campfire in the can". Ray's back was too sore so he stayed home and watched his Sunday taped football games.

Thanks Dianne and Steve for the great Desert Bar experience!

Continuing to enjoy the warm sunny day.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Quartzsite Jan 11 to 14th

I spent most of Wednesday doing chores and cooking. Ray did a few things but his back was still quite sore from our "wild" New Year's Eve. After several days of limited sunshine I had to run the generator for about 5 hours to get our hour meter back to zero! The batteries just do not hold as long when they have not been fully charged and each day they are lower by morning than the day before so I spent the time cooking and making bread so as to not waste the diesel expended. Ray had no problem with that idea!

By 4 pm we decided to take a short trip to Jim and Barb's to see how they were doing as we had not seen them since Dianne and Steve's Happy Hour, a few days ago. Steve and Dianne were already there for a beer tasting event. After a short visit we left them to it and came back home to have our "fish fry".



Another lovely day in the desert. Here is a picture of the full moon that tonight.



Thursday with it being so cloudy, I made slow cooker french onion soup and cabbage rolls. Ray seems to be getting the cold back and hopefully comfort food will help make him feel better. His dad used to eat raw onion sandwiches to fend off a cold, none of those for Ray though.  He didn't have much of a cold when I was so sick at Christmas, but now it seems he has a sore throat and feels "yucky". Hopefully this will be short-lived.

Friday, Ray seemed to feel somewhat better. We took a drive into town to finish walking around Tyson Wells Vendors and I picked up a couple more boxes of firewood. The rain showers that were expected this afternoon just blew away so we decided to have a campfire/happy hour with Dianne, Steve,  Jim and Barb. It was a lovely afternoon spent with great friends.

Jim, Barb, Deb, Dianne and Steve

Saturday we woke up to somewhat cloudy skies and the forecast is for the odd shower on and off today. We shall see. As long as it doesn't rain heavily our spot should not get too muddy. My hummingbird feeders and bird feeders are being well-used. It is nice to see. Today I will have to empty the freezer and let the water line thaw as we are not making ice. This has happened once before so after trying other things like changing the water filter, resetting the ice maker with no success, my last resort is to thaw the water line. It should not take too long and gives me an excuse to clean out the fridge. LOL. What mystery meat shall we have for dinner!

We did have a surprising rain shower about 12 pm but it did not last long .... still waiting to see if the ice- maker will start working. It took me 2 1/2 hours to clean it top to bottom and thaw out the water line. (It worked we now have ice!)