Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dust in the Wind

It’s been a whirlwind here lately!  And I’m not speaking figuratively either!   We have experienced severe wind gusts, some up to 50 miles an hour, kicking up dust so thick you couldn’t see the mountains behind us.  The words “shake, rattle, and roll” really take on a new meaning when you sit inside an RV during one of these types of storms.   The winds were so strong, our wind turbine got knocked down, with one of its blades busted!  Another project for Dad to work on…


And did I mention that it has been COLD!  We wake up to 38 degree temps!  We feel like we are back East!


We took a ride down to Yuma recently to do some errands and to visit Escapees Kofa Co-op.  Since we will represent Escapees at the Quartzsite RV Show again next year, we wanted to familiarize ourselves with some of the club locations.  The Kofa Co-op is a nice place, not too big, not too small, offering all the amenities you need, including a swimming pool and spa.  They have lots of activities in the clubhouse, which has a HUGE saguaro tree outside.

I look like an ant compared to the size of this cactus!


I especially like the pretty landscaping in the common areas--a resident volunteers his time to transform these areas into park-like settings.  Looking forward to staying here in the future!


Yuma’s contrasting terrain amazed me, with lush green fields of fresh lettuce, cabbage, and cauliflower and groves of orange trees amid the barren brown earthen desert. 


I saw a herd of wild burros grazing, too.  Unfortunately, I was not able to get a photo of this exceptional moment in nature—me not having fingers is really a bummer! 
We started line dancing lessons at the QIA (Quartzsite Improvement Association).  Even though we attended dance classes last year, we are still at Level 1.  My parents are not as agile as I am (translation—they are terrible dancers!).  But we have fun, especially since some of our buddies from the RV Dreamers group have taken up class as well!


Heading out for one of our daily hikes now.  Talk to you soon!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Greetings and Salutations From Quartzsite Arizona!

We left home base in Livingston, TX on January 5 and traveled westward ho.  We passed through some cool little towns, including Fredericksburg, TX, home of Hondo’s On Main.  We first learned of this little gem from watching Texas TV’s “The Bucket List”.  Known for its ½ pound Angus burgers shaped into a “donut” and topped with fried onions and special sauce, my mouth was salivating just thinking of these juicy, succulent beefy treats.  And look, 10 parking spots available right on the street in front of the place—we can pull the rig right in parallel to the curb!  How lucky can you get!!!  Mom no sooner pulled us curbside that I dashed out of the truck to Hondo’s front door.  Alas, luck would not be a lady for me.  Hondo’s is closed on Tuesdays!  I crawled forlornly back to the truck to learn in our excitement and disappointment about Hondo’s, we missed our turnoff to get to the highway.  Now “Gerda” our GPS has rerouted us on the “scenic tour” through narrow country roads with low-lying trees.  Mom’s face was pale as a ghost, with white knuckles to match.  But finally we got back on the main drag, and Mom was able to breathe again.  I, in the meantime, focused on tomorrow’s planned dinner stop: Cattleman’s Steakhouse in Fabens, TX. 

Once again, time was not my friend!  Daddy forgot about the time zone change and we arrived at Cattleman's at 2 p.m., way too early for dinner.  Worse yet, they are not open for lunch on weekdays.! We ended up driving through to Deming, NM, where we visited Escapees Dreamcatcher RV Park.  For $18 plus tax, we had a full hook up, pull-thru site, and an opportunity for us to catch up on television, laundry, and sleep. And, much to our surprise, we were greeted by some folks we met at Escapees Rainbow RV Park in Livingston who also worked at Amazon with us!

Left before dawn the next morning, anxious to arrive and set up in Quartzsite!  We pulled in and registered 5 minutes before the La Posa South LTVA office closed, thanks to Mom feeling the need to stop at Walmart for a haircut (we won’t go there!).   We traveled down the main road, hoping no one of the multi-thousands of boondockers took “our spot” in the 11,000+ acres of BLM land.  Thankfully, my “marker” was still in place and “our spot” was vacant!

My Marker--A Self Portrait and Triple R Initials--For Rambling RV Rat, of course!

"Our Spot" in La Posa South LTVA

We escorted Mike and Claudia in the next day (they have been our traveling buddies and co-workers for several months now) and introduced them to the fun-filled lifestyle of boondocking, including watching the beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  God surely paints a beautiful canvas!

An Incredible Sunset

And Another!

Endless Color!


Capturing Sunrise During a Morning Hike

Before we knew it, it was time to work the Escapees Booth in the Big Tent!  What a wonderful experience working with Lisa/Jim and Briggs/Anne, and meeting so many Escapees and Xscapers members, old and new!

The social life here in Quartzsite is prolific!  We have attended happy hours, dinners, and campfire circles (and hosted a few events ourselves) with Escapees, Xscapers, and our friends from the Montana Owners Club.  Got a chance to catch up with fellow Amazonians who were in Quartzsite attending the RV Show, too.  Not to mention the fun times we had with Phil/Rudee and Marie/Bob, our co-workers from Crazy Horse Memorial.  And, of course, the great get-togethers our special buddies Pam/Red and Steve/Dianne put together for the RV Dreamers group.

RV Dreamers Get Together--I Look Pretty Good!

(Photo Courtesy of Steve Colibaba)

We loved reconnecting with old friends and making some new ones.  And we are thrilled so many younger folks have "graduated" recently to the full-timing lifestyle.  Life is too short--enjoy it while you can!

Which is what I am doing right now!  Got some feathered friends visiting me—a pair of gila woodpeckers and several hummingbirds come regularly to our window feeder!  I am so happy to see them--Tabby the Cat, not so much.



Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy 2016

Happy New Year Everyone!


To bring you up to date, Mom and Dad survived Amazon peak season!  It was a unique experience. The job was, as everyone warned, VERY physical.  It required lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling oversized, overweight boxes, some as heavy as 60 pounds!  Everyone suffered from back aches, swollen ankles, stiff and numb hands.  At times the job was very frustrating and confusing.  Standard operating procedures, work schedules, and management directives changed daily.  For example, mandatory overtime AND voluntary time off were in effect AT THE SAME TIME.  How crazy is that!  Not crazy enough to discourage Mom and Dad from applying to work next season!
DFW-7 Fulfillment Center in Haslet, TX

Amazon is a great opportunity to make good money in a very short period of time.  Plus you get the bonus of a comprehensive exercise plan and workout without paying for a gym membership!  Mom and Dad both dropped several pounds, as did most folks with whom they worked.


I got a sneak peek at the operation, and had a fantastic tote ride, just like riding a roller coaster in an amusement park!  And I learned that Amazon truly sells EVERYTHING!  Legos (enough were received to build an entire Amazon Fulfillment Center), Ninja juicers, cat litter, nutrition bars, cell phones, pillows, and DVDs.  Books of every genre are available, from self-help books to children’s readers, from best- selling thrillers to various versions of the Bible.  You know all that stuff “As Seen On TV”?  Well Amazon sells all that, too!  Amazon even sells “adult entertainment” items.  So if you are feeling frisky, no need to visit a XXX store.  Amazon’s got what you may need or want.  As Amazon prints on its promotional t-shirts, “stay calm and order on”!


It's like a roller coaster!!! Wheeeeeeee!
Meeting some terrific folks was another benefit of Amazon.  During the last few weeks of work we actually had the opportunity to “socialize”.  We joined about 15 of our fellow work-campers at The Rock, known for its brick-oven pizza (it was good, but not worthy of a Rambling RV Rat 5-cheese rating).  We joined Mike and Claudia and Tammy and Marty (who also worked at Crazy Horse with my parents) for a tasty lunch at Sweetie Pie’s Ribeyes.  What a cool place!  In addition to serving you great food, the waitresses and waiters give vocal performances.  Now that is service with a song!
Sweetie Pie Makes a Scrumptious Ribeye!
Mike and Claudia and Susan and Rodger, fellow Amazonians, attended our “clean out the fridge” get together, assisting in finishing up all the great food we had left over from Mom’s holiday dinners.


We enjoyed our time in Haslet and Azle, but all good things must come to an end.  Mom and I took our final three-mile walk and saw some of our animal friends along the way.
The cows have come home!

Our Neighborhood Road Runner!

Then we all headed “home” to Escapees Rainbow Park in Livingston, Texas.  We have visited all the “hot spots” of Livingston:  the newly reopened Walmart, Joe’s Italian Grill, Dollar Tree, and the meat counter at the Route 146 Gas Station convenience store, picking up some tasty sirloin and strip steaks. We even attended movie night at the club house.  Notably, we learned that celebrating the holiday season “Texas style” requires fireworks and gun shots.  Tomorrow we get our vehicles inspected and registered.  Then our exciting trip to Livingston comes to an end—we head out to the Arizona desert.  We look forward to seeing Steve and Dianne, Pam and Red, John and Shirley, and all our other fellow RV Dreamers, Montana Owners Club members, Xscapers, and Escapees members that we met last year.  We also want to meet new folks, too.  So stop by the Escapees booth in the Big Tent at the Quartzsite RV Show--we will be there!

Until then, I bid you adieu!

PoPo, the Rambling RV Rat