Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Deja vu - February 25, 2015

We make it to Houston, less than 1.5 hours from Livingston.  Daddy decides “Big Boomer” and the 5th wheel need a bath.  The Blue Beacon at Love’s Truck Stop off Route 610 North is just a small detour from our route.  They covered every nook and cranny, and we sure sparkled when we left.  Great job Blue Beacon—worthy of a 5-cheese rating!
As we are pulling out, what do you think Mommy spots just ½ block from the Blue Beacon?  None other than an International dealer/service area!  My parents have one of their rather loud “discussions”, but Daddy says we will continue to Livingston.  Déjà vu—about ½ hour outside Livingston, the warning signals return!

Thankfully, we reach Escapees Rainbow Park in Livingston without incident.  We unhitch and get settled in for the night.  But it looks like Daddy will be visiting Houston again real soon.

Talk to you soon!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ramblings and Random Thoughts From the Road - February 24, 2015

Heading to Livingston, Texas and my mind has been wandering as we travel…

...Going through Border Patrol checkpoints is a bit surreal, with the guards, dogs, and assorted cameras and electronic equipment.   Is this how it felt crossing European country borders during World War II--where are your papers?

...Back in winter weather with snow and 25 degree temps!  Weird looking at cacti covered in snow!

...Miles and miles of undeveloped land here in Texas—it is hypnotic to watch it through the window!  The land in Texas is mostly privately-owned, unlike states like California and Arizona, where more than 40% of their land mass is government-owned.  I learned recently that the Federal government owns approximately 28% of total U.S. land mass!  Not to mention lands owned by state and local government agencies.  This is mind-boggling to me!  One of the fundamental rights that our founding fathers bestowed upon us was the right to land ownership.  If you own land, you are financially independent, and therefore not beholden to the government.  One of the principles of The Communist Manifesto was the abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.  Which one sounds more like the U.S.A. today?

...Hey, did you see that billboard for PoPo Restaurant in Boerne, Texas?  It claims to be a Texas tradition since 1929, serving chicken, steaks, and seafood.  Once again, no relation to me, PoPo the Rambling RV Rat, but with a name like mine, how bad can it be?  Unfortunately, Daddy wouldn’t get off the Interstate for me to find out!

...The clouds are hugging the mountains like a Snuggie Blanket Robe!

Snuggling the Mountains

...Passing lots of ranches now.  Mom so happy to see animals like moo cows, sheep, and horses.  We even spotted a ranch with zebras!

...Look to the East.  That’s the name of the sculpture you can see in Fort Stockton, Texas right from the Interstate.  Of course, taking a pic through the window while traveling 65 miles per hour is no easy feat.

Look to the East!  Fort Stockton, TX

...Warning, Will Robinson!  “Big Boomer’s” dashboard alarms and lights says there is a problem with the ABS system.  We are driving in freezing rain/sleet, Sweet Cheeks won’t stop chirping, and Tabatha has been complaining for the last half hour—what cacophony!  We are two hours outside San Antonio, where the nearest International Truck dealer/service area is located.  Daddy pulls over, turns off the truck to check things out.  He finds nothing wrong with the brakes.  He restarts the truck--lights and buzzers are back.  Mommy is in panic; this brings back bad memories (we had a similar problem on our very first trip as full-timers.  In that situation, every light and buzzer was going off simultaneously!  Two days and $4,000 later, we were back on the road).  Now Daddy just taps the brakes a few time, and voila, the lights and alarms are gone!  We get back on the road and continue on our way.  We are home free for now, but I have a sneaky suspicion that we haven’t heard the end of this story.

Yada, yada, yada—even yours truly is tired of his ramblings.  Have a good night and talk to you soon!



Friday, February 20, 2015

Ugh! Finals Week - February 20, 2015

This was the week for finals:

Monday was our final chance to get together with all our new friends from RV Dreams.  What a great bunch!

Tuesday was our final motorcycle road trip, this time taking us to Lake Havasu City.

Wednesday was the final time Daddy would don his cowboy hat and boots to join Mommy for a line dancing lesson at the Quartzsite Improvement Association (and believe me, they need all the lessons they can get).

Thursday was the final opportunity to hike in the desert seeking wildlife and to watch the desert flowers start to bloom.

Today was the final viewing of a sunset from Arizona, and a beauty it was!

Yes, sadly, our 6 week sojourn in this desert oasis is coming to an end!  Had such a terrific time, and really got accustomed to being “snowbirds”.  But alas, we must hit the road tomorrow.  We are heading to Texas to establish our residency there.  We hate to leave our home state of South Dakota.  However, the hemorrhoid called Obamacare makes it darn near impossible for full-time Rvers under age 65 using mail forwarding addresses to get healthcare in South Dakota!

So, farewell, Arizona!  We can’t wait to visit again next year!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Hunting We Will Go - February 10, 2015

As Elmer J. Fudd would say, “Shh, be very, very, quiet.”  We are on surveillance (AGAIN!), hoping to catch a glimpse of some wildlife!   This time we are at Imperial Wildlife Refuge in Yuma, AZ. 
PoPoG-G-O, AKA Rambling RV Rat, with his Field Glasses On

We’ve driven through as much of the area that “Big Boomer” could navigate, then hiked in various areas, including the Painted Desert Trail.  It is so quiet and desolate here, you can hear a burro pooping!

We’ve tracked paw prints of foxes, heard coyotes howling and yipping nearby.  And, thanks to Mom’s expertise in the Triple Ps (i.e., piss, poop, and puke), we identified fresh scat of wild burros and other animals!  But unfortunately, we’ve been as successful at seeing wildlife as Elmer is at shooting Bugs Bunny!   Total sightings:  4 assorted lizards, 1 lone coyote of which we were not quick enough to get a pic, and a group of hummingbirds at the feeders outside the Visitor Center! 

Can you find the lizard in this pic?

All this potty talk is making me have to go!  One problem in the desert—no bathrooms.  But plenty of open space to do your business.

We traveled on to the Imperial Dam BLM lands to see what that long-term visitor area looked like.  Wow!  Much smaller than Quartzsite, but very different.  You think you are seeing a mirage--beautiful aqua-colored lakes (created by the dam) in the middle of the desert.


We are calling it a day—not much luck in seeing animals, but saw some totally awesome scenery and yet another breathtaking sunset.  When you look around this desert oasis, you just have to believe in a Supreme Being.

Talk to you soon!






Monday, February 9, 2015

Mommy Goes Postal - February 9, 2014

Mom pulled the plug on our DirecTV when we hit the road 2 ½ years ago.  So now we can only access over the air television stations with our rabbit ears antenna.  Since our arrival to Quartzsite 4 weeks ago, we’ve had access to only 2 stations—unfortunately, no hablo espanol!  I’m suffering withdrawals!!!  (I’ve been so desperate, I’ve been watching Stewey and Dewey swim in their fish tank to entertain me)! 

Stewey and Dewey, our Fish

We subscribe to Amazon Prime and usually just stream movies if we encounter this problem.  But because there is no public WIFI in the BLM area, we are relying on our MIFI for all our internet needs, resulting in us nearly exceeding our plan’s 10 gigs of data.  Daddy to the rescue!!! He suggested we re-watch our DVDs of the “Breaking Bad” series.  So we have immersed ourselves into the World of Walter White, meth maker extraordinaire!  Can’t wait until Amazon has the prequel series, “Better Call Saul” available!

Daddy’s bladder burst today!  No, not his body organ but his fresh water bladder!  Yup, the “indestructible” material that can supposedly withstand a 200 pound man jumping on it could not escape a puncture in Daddy’s truck.  Can urethane save the day?  Daddy sure hopes so.

And now for something completely different!  We drove some 38 miles to Parker, AZ, to go to the movies to see “American Sniper”.  Parker is also the nearest big town with a full service supermarket (complete with a Starbucks).  The area is home to the Colorado River Indian Tribe (CRIT).  Well look at what we saw “parked” in the lot outside the Safeway Supermarket.

Look Who's "Parked" in Safeway Supermarket Lot
Maybe Tonto and his squaw stopped for a latte!  We saw this goat and horse a second time, tied outside of McDonalds!  Not a very good advertisement for the fast food joint!

Speaking of Parker, we are not big fans of their post office!  We inquired two weeks ago at the Parker Post Office about general delivery service so we can get our mail forwarded.  The clerk handed Mommy a form and told her a completed form and proper I.D. would be required to pick up mail.   Simple process, end of discussion.  So today we go to pick up our mail.  We checked the website for the hours of operation before making the long trek back to Parker.  When we reached the front of the line at 12:20 p.m., we were told that general delivery pickup can only be done between 10 a.m. and 12 noon.  WHAT!!!  Mommy went right into Perry Mason interrogation mode—let the grilling begin!  Is this posted on their website?  NO!   Is there a sign/notice within the post office building telling you this?  NO!  Is this information noted on the general delivery request form?  OF COURSE NOT!   I don’t have to tell you that Mommy was successful in receiving our mail today.  Case closed—Perry’s won again!

Have a nice day!  Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Rambling RV Rat's Road Trip Recommendations - February 4, 2015

We arrived at KOFA National Wildlife Refuge yesterday before sunrise in the hopes of seeing some of their notorious wildlife:  long-horn sheep, mule deer, coyote, bobcat, desert tortoises and gila monsters.  But despite our best efforts of getting up early, being very quiet, equipping ourselves with binoculars, and trekking through miles and miles of desert terrain, we saw nothing but one lone rabbit!  We soothed our disappointment by hiking up to see The Canyon Palms, Arizona’s only native palm tree. 
Today we unloaded the motorcycles to take advantage of the great riding weather.  
Road trip destination:  Wickenburg, AZ, once known as the “Dude Ranch Capital of the World.”  I learned that little fact by visiting the Desert Caballeros Western Museum on Frontier Street in Wickenburg.
The museum has beautiful and unique paintings, photos, and sculptures depicting Southwestern lifestyles and landscapes, including great renderings of Cowboys and Indians (I’m a stuffed rat—I don’t have to be politically correct!)  It is well worth the $9 regular admission (Rambling RV Rat did not qualify for the Senior Citizen or AAA discount they offer).

Another cool thing about Wickenburg is the human-sized statues located throughout the town.  These things look just like real people!   They were created by world-renowned artist John Seward Johnson II, a native of New Jersey, like me!  If you enjoy his works of art and happen to be in NJ, visit the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, which Mr. Seward founded in 1992 (  And, can you believe, they have a French restaurant on site called Rat’s Restaurant.  (No, no relation to me, Rambling RV Rat or to  my idol, Disney’s Chef Ratatouille).  But it has a unique origin, atmosphere, and menu—a bit pricey, but a memorable experience.  Warning:  Don’t get lost!  You may end up in Trenton, New Jersey’s very unsafe and crime-ridden capital city.

All this talk of Rat’s Restaurant has made me very hungry!  Time to indulge in some macaroni and cheese. (My Mom is Italian descent—so you know some form of pasta is part of every dinner)!
Talk to you soon!