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Sunrise at Tombstone, AZ

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

We arrived at Quartzsite. December 28 to 30

Friday, December 27th we left Casa Grande in the rain  ... big hugs to Wayne, Karen, John and Sandy. Thanks for the great time.

First stop is Walmart in Casa Grande for a few staples ... well a lot of staples, lol as we will be in Q for a month, before heading out on the highway to Quartzsite. We also had a quick breakfast at McDonalds to tide us over for the 3 hour drive. Not the best but filled the "hole". The rain had quit for my shopping run which was nice. Ray walked Freya while I spent an hour shopping.

With the groceries stowed we backtracked a short ways to I-8 towards Gila Bend. We hate driving through downtown Phoenix on the I-10 so this route is much nicer even if it is about 10 minutes longer according to Google. All you need is traffic congestion and it would eat up this extra time easily.

 Within minutes of getting onto the I-8 the rain began again. It rained, then showered and stopped multiple times. Good thing we hadn't washed the coach yet. lol

A stop at Gila Bend for fuel and propane and back on Highway 85 to the I-10 bypassing Phoenix. It actually poured until we were an hour outside of Quartzsite before the skies cleared and the rain stopped. We plan on staying for a month so need our fuel and propane full for the duration.

Once we paid for our pass, Steve met us at the garbage bins and we followed him in the car to see where they had saved us a spot. It was a great location in relation to them but the hard gravel and big sharp rocks would have been really hard on Freya so we parked the rig and then checked out other areas along the wash. We were able to snag a spot close to where we used to camp. Bonus. Right on the wash for Freya and Ray's walking. We can see Steve and Dianne's unit in front of us but it's far enough we will drive there in the car with our happy hour offerings. lol

CAMP ART GECKO, someone took the time to make one with the white rocks.

Kastle shining in the morning light after her bath. 
Once we were set up it was going on 4:30 and time to head over to Steve and Dianne's for dinner. She made us her wonderful lasagna and a salad with garlic toast. Yummy. Nice to not have to cook when we first arrive. A lovely evening spent catching up as we had not seen each other since August ... even though we talk just about everyday on messenger. lol Ray was not grumpy ... just moving food around his mouth and got caught after 5 tries of taking a picture! Ha Ha Ha.

Headed home about 7:30 pm. Turned on the generator to watch some TV and it did not switch to charge!!!! So ticked off we just went to bed after Freya was walked. We will deal with this tomorrow.

Saturday morning we woke up at 7 and while I started coffee, Ray went out to check the breaker on the generator ... Bonus that's all it was. The guys fixing the inverter breaker in Tombstone must have shut it off for testing and of course we have not used the generator since.

Looks like a beautiful sunny day. It will be nice to see the sun again after nearly a week of clouds and rain. Sure looking forward to spending some relaxing time here in the desert with space for Freya to romp around.

The next two weeks weather here looks to be mostly sunny skies although just high 50's F in temps. At home starting next Friday is a whole week of snow! Glad to be here.

First thing Saturday morning I called Robert's Mobile RV Wash. The said they would come at noon. I spent some time getting our solar lights up although some couldn't be done until after our wash and wax and Ray cleaned out the car with me helping with dumping out our firewood.

The Robert's crew showed up on time and 3 hours later the coach and the car looked much better after their wash and wax. We also had the roof deoxidized as well with Meguiar's® Marine/RV Oxidation Remover. Seems to work pretty good. The roof was definitely in need of it since it had been 2 years since it was last done.

Once the pressure wash part was over Freya stayed outside on her mat. Ray and I were inside as it was extremely windy out and very cool. I started my prep for our dinner tomorrow night.

After Robert's crew left, we managed to sit outside for an hour and our neighbours at the front of the coach, Gloria and Warren, came over for a visit.Warren commented that no one seems to sit outside here ever ... I think they find it kind of lonely. This is the first and the last time they are coming here they say. Certainly this has been an unusually cold and wet winter this year here.

Earlier this morning our neighbours behind us, Katie came over with a plate of Christmas Fudge and welcomed us to the neighbourhood. Her husband Carl works 6 days a week at La Mesa RV in Q. Katie also volunteers at the BLM Office two days a week. Long-time visitors to La Posa South. I think they were here the last time we had this spot next to this one about 4 years ago.

Sunday, once the sun came up, it turned out to be a beautiful day with minimal wind. Yeah! That meant we could have a campfire before my big ham dinner with friends. While I was getting the prep work done for dinner, Ray hauled out our extra tables etc and got the kindling made. I finally sat down to enjoy some sun about 1:30 pm.

We noticed the Goodyear Blimp flying by from a football game yesterday in Goodyear we were told. And now it was on its way to Pasadena California for another football game tomorrow.

At 3 pm Jim and Barb arrived and soon after Steve and Dianne. We spent a couple hours at the fire having a beer tasting event ... Barb kindly brought her sample glasses. A little chilly with the wind so the fire was built up more and I handed out some blankets and an extra sweater. lol

At 6 dinner was ready. Thankfully everything turned out okay. First time cooking a ham in the microwave/convection oven. I finished cooking the scalloped potatoes in the barbeque on top of the pizza stone to even out the heat. We all piled into the coach. Ray and I had managed to squeeze in another small table so all six of us could sit to eat ... and drink some more. lol

I think a few adult beverages were had. lol

A fabulous time with friends with lots of laughs. I even managed to get Jim to eat a vegetable ... some glazed honey carrots. Told him to try one and he could spit it out in the garbage if he truly did not like it. Used to make our kids do the same thing so they would try stuff. He actually took another scoop and said it was the first time he ate carrots since he was a boy. Wow ...

It is amazing that we only met Jim and Barb 4 years ago here in Quartzsite and have kept our friendship alive simply by reading and commenting on each other's blogs. This is only the second time we saw them face to face during this time. Love this RV lifestyle family we have become a part of.

With dinner finished it was time for my shortbread and Baileys. Everyone certainly enjoyed dessert ... the whole jug of Baileys was just a distant memory by the time everyone went home. I don't think anyone was feeling any pain. lol  A great evening. Thanks guys for coming over. I really enjoyed cooking for you all. Did not realize until we were eating that Jim's birthday is tomorrow ... so Happy Birthday!

A beautiful Arizona sunset.

Monday morning woke up to a spectacular sunrise, of course as today is supposed to be really cloudy. lol Ray took these pictures. This sunrise was actually all 360 degrees. We have never seen this before. The whole sky, no matter which direction you looked was fiery.

Ray and I went into town for the first time since we arrived on Friday, to have breakfast and pick up a few things for the big Happy Hour at Steve and Dianne's for Jim's birthday. Quite a crowd has made it here for the winter so far in their group, with more arriving every day. Shower day for us before we left so I also went and filled up our water jugs at the spigot.

The afternoon was spent creating "Tater Tot" appetizers. Tater tots are one of Jim's favourite foods, I was told, and the last time I made them especially for him 4 years ago he was not able to come. lol (Pictures from Google as I was too busy making them to take a picture :) )

Image result for bacon wrapped tater tots

Ray and I packed up our stuff and put on warm clothes as it was cloudy with a small breeze. Very cool today at 47F. Headed over to the big fire pit area Steve created for everyone. Thankfully he pulled his truck there to use as a windbreak. Around 5:30 the wind settled down and it became much warmer ... the fire was also warmer. :)

L to R, Lisa, Dino, Marilyn, Jim and Cec.

Dianne, Steve, Jim and Barb

R to L, Pam, Ted, Earl, and Cec.

At about 6:30 pm we all called it quits. Time to go home for dinner. All my appies were gone so they must have liked them. lol Another great day in the land of the Quartzsite in the Arizona Desert.

Friday, 27 December 2019

Merry Christmas from Casa Grande, AZ

Monday, December 23rd.

I woke up after nearly 11 hours of sleep ... boy does that Nyquil help you sleep. Still feeling this cold but Ray is better so hopefully this is the last day for me.

A cloudy day today as predicted. After a leisurely morning, it was time to hit the road for the short hour and 1/2 hour drive to Casa Grande. Unfortunately when Ray was checking the tires before leaving he noticed that the rear inside tire on the passenger side was flat as a pancake ... absolutely no air in it at all!

Fortunately it was Monday instead of Sunday and the Big O Tires was less than 5 miles down the road from the Lost Dutchman. I called them and they took us right in. Two hours later we were back on the road. Apparently we picked up some "red waxy stuff" that blew out the valve stem? They had to put two valve stems together to be long enough to replace the faulty one, as to order a part would not come until after Christmas. Seems to hold air AOK. The bill was a grand total of $17 plus dollars. Wow. Great people at the AJ Big O Tire.

We arrived at High Chaparral at 3 pm and set up in short order. My cold is much worse today so we only stayed outside for a short happy hour with our friends so I would not contaminate them lol. By tomorrow I should be over the contagious period so the Christmas Eve function should be okay.

After looking after Freya for her meds and dinner, at 6:30 it was off to bed with me. Watched a little TV and then lights out at 8pm. Ray spent a little more time with our friends outside before coming in around 7pm as it turned too cold outside. Fortunately he had leftovers to eat for dinner and I just had toast.

Woke up Christmas Eve day feeling much better. Made waffles for Ray and I for breakfast and threw on a batch of bread. My washing machine is working great and I have been keeping it running. lol

Sure rained ... some people were prepared with their "ark" and toy boats not to mention ducky just randomly floating everytime the puddles got bigger. Ha Ha.

For lunch traditional nibbles were made. Bacon wrapped water chestnuts and stuffed mushrooms. Makes us feel Christmassy.  Ray is ready for the party. lol

Karen and crew picked us up at 2:30 and we made our way over to the "Big Tent" for the Christmas gift exchange. Ray ended up being the last "man" to get a gift and ended up with a $25 gift certificate to IHOP. Perfect for the guy who loves the odd big breakfast. I managed to keep my gift which was a bottle of rose wine and a wool shawl. Most of the stolen gifts this year were booze, Crown Royal and Jack Daniels in particular.

John, Karen and Wayne

Ray and Sandy
 The rain finally stopped so we did not get wet going home.

After feeding and walking Freya we went over to Wayne and Karen's for a nightcap. Had a great visit catching up with them and then home by 7:30pm. We watched a little TV and then lights out again at 9 pm.

December 25th, Merry Christmas

We were up at 6 am as per usual, made coffee and filled it with coffee improver of course, then we opened up our stockings. Stuffed with small items that we should have brought from home. lol

Freya really enjoyed getting some treats and played with her new Lamb Chop, her favourite toy. Her other one has been slobbered on so much it is definitely in the "grey" category instead of white. lol

Ray got me a lovely picture that lights up.

Had a nice morning with Ray cooking me breakfast or rather reheating some extra waffles I made yesterday. lol Then it was time for a walk while the sun was out. Ray said he even saw Pigs Fly!

We also noticed that this cactus that was "cresting".

Whipped up my Christmas Offering, Sweet Potato and Carrot casserole. Hopefully it tastes as good as it looked with a bread crumb and pecan topping.

We all headed over for lunch at 1 pm. Another great event here at High Chaparral. There were probably 120 people who attended. More than enough food for everyone. After a couple of hours everyone left the "tent" and since the sun was out we were all able to sit outside at Karen and Waynes for a few hours. Freya loves going over there with everyone together. A lovely Christmas Day with friends.

Garrett and Kat had a house full in Squamish for Christmas. Kat's parents, brother and Aunt and Uncles all came for the big day. Everyone helping in the kitchen cooking the Prime Rib and Kira, Garrett's dog, all played out from chasing the drone. Her most favourite thing.

Garrett and Kat with her family. I have only met her mom and dad before, Bill and Ana, with the white sweater and red shirt and Kat's brother Philip in the green t-shirt.
Kristi and Jason drove down from Nanaimo to Victoria, first visiting one of Kristi's longtime friends, Theo, and her husband, kids and her parents before heading over to Jason's parents for Christmas Dinner. .... no one took any pictures. lol Lovely that Kristi had Christmas off this year.

Boxing Day morning was spent putting Christmas back in the box, vacuuming all the mud that the dog had brought in with all the rain we have had, and last loads of laundry. Next up was prepping appies, chicken wings and crackers and dip, for our last HH with Wayne, Karen, John and Sandy. Fortunately the sun came out for a brief visit around 2 pm. Wayne lit up his campfire in a can and we managed to hang out until 6 when the rain began again and we all scurried back to our homes PDQ. A great Christmas with friends with lots of laughs and old and new stories. Tomorrow we head to Quartzsite. Freya will certainly appreciate more space. I think she is kind of done with being tied up all the time by herself. We have not been sitting outside very much due to the weather and so she is thoroughly bored.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Lost Dutchman State Park - Part 4

Thursday, December 19th

Our campsite and view taken on Sunday, December 22nd.

Woke up after a good sleep thanks to the Nyquil I took. I definitely have Ray's cold and feel pretty crappy, in fact went back to bed for an hour this morning. Ray is still sounding rough too. I cancelled our dinner plans with Fran and Gerry to come here tonight ... we rescheduled for Sunday.

Juan from 4 Points RV Mobile Service showed up with Jesus as planned at noon to replace the computer board in my washing machine. Yeah. Good thing they are short with both of them fitting into my little bathroom. lol

Took them a couple of hours to put it into the washer and put the appliances in correctly into the cupboard so they could reinstall the doors. Took awhile because the roof has settled downwards a little over time and so the initial shims interfered with shoving the appliances in. A few modifications to some support boards and shims and voila we are done. Now I'm ready to do my own laundry at Casa Grande. Here at the Lost Dutchman we don't have sewer only a sani-dump and running laundry fills the tank very quickly. I did start to fill the washer and then drained it so I know it is now working properly.

The bill was very reasonable, only charging me for 1 hour call out when Jesus was here for 3 hours and a 2 hour install, which took about 2 1/2 hours. They discounted the freight charge too as it took so long for them to get it ordered. Very pleased with their work. He is working on getting my new stove/oven with Dometic and the appliance will be able to be installed at the Quartzsite RV show as well as getting me a new light over the kitchen table. The current one has not worked since we purchased this MH and I kept forgetting to get it exchanged every time it was in for some other problem. lol

Still feeling yucky Ray and I had a nap for an hour after the repairs were done. A very unusual occurrence as we don't take naps... Not much to say for the rest of the day.

Friday morning, A cool 42F outside with the sun just starting to peak above the horizon. A little breezy again. Ray and I both still feeling tough from this cold ... more cold meds so we are up for our evening at the Arizona Opry tonight with our friends Malcolm and Kathy.

I did a little shopping and managed to get a pedicure. Ray stayed home and puttered around. At 5:30 we headed out the door to meet up with Malcolm and Kathy at Barleen's. What a fabulous time we had. The food was good and the show did not disappoint as usual. Definitely puts you in the Christmas mood.

Back home by 10 pm. Had a nightcap and then into bed.

Saturday morning another lovely day.  We had quite a bit of wind last night though. It is the windiest we have ever had here at the Lost Dutchman after this being the third year we have come in December. I ran into town and did the last load of laundry, the rugs from my bathroom that the installers had made grunchy with the washing machine fix and was back home by 11 am. I was feeling kind of crappy from our colds so we had a 2 hour nap ... otherwise a quiet day.

Sunday morning we had a glorious sunrise. It was cloudy out enough to light up the sky. Ray went running out the door in his housecoat, pj's and tripod with camera. He also took pictures of the rocks and greenery we have this year from all the rain.

The wind last night unfortunately knocked down this saguaro. Hopefully the park staff will stand it back up.

This bush looks like carnations.

Ray and I headed out to do the last of the groceries and stocking up going to Quartzsite after Christmas as this is the last "big hub" we will be at for several weeks. Once we were back home and had a bit of lunch, Ray had a "toes up" watching football and I took down and packed away all our outside Christmas Lights. Today was the warmest day we have had for a while at 70F.

Definitely feeling this cold ... Ray is better though.

At 4:30pm we headed out to the Handlebar Pub and Grill to meet up with Fran and Gerry. Our last visit with them this year. Another great meal and wonderful visit. Happy Trails you guys. Enjoy your new grandbaby in Kelowna.

And so ends our 2 week stay here at the Lost Dutchman. Off to Casa Grande tomorrow.