Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Final Countdown

I can’t believe that today is our last day in Quartzsite.  Tomorrow we leave to start our trek to Alaska, visiting several state and national parks until we hit the Canadian border in mid-May!


Before I forget, I have some very exciting news for you all!  My parents finally relented and I now have a Facebook Page!  It is under PoPo Young (be sure you capitalize the “Ps”) and here is my profile photo (You won’t believe how many Popo Youngs are out there in Facebook land)!  PLEASE, friend me!  I’m still going to do my blog, but during these months of extensive travel, posting on Facebook will allow us to stay in closer touch!

PoPo Young - Facebook Profile


These last few weeks have been a whirlwind!  We visited Los Algadones for another round of Margaritas with Claudia and Mike before they left Quartzsite for their Tiffin Motor Coach Rally.  And we couldn’t leave without purchasing a few pounds of jumbo prawn—they were so D-LISH-OUS last time!

Claudia and Mike

Unfortunately, those few hours in Mexico disqualified Mom from donating blood.  She learned as she entered the Blood Center in Phoenix last week that Mexico is on the Zika virus travel alert list, and blood donations must be postponed for 28 days upon returning from an infected area.  Oh well, she will try to find a blood center along our travel route after the 28 day period expires.
After temps in the 90s and massive winds, we had an unusual occurrence here in the desert:  RAIN!  On three different days!  With it came cooler temps, and unfortunately much higher humidity.  But pretty interesting to see how quickly the “washes” fill up and become flowing rivers and streams.  Can’t imagine what monsoon season is like!


I spent considerable time designing my contribution to the Watson Sign Forest in Alaska!  Can’t wait to display it.  What do you think?  Pretty good likeness, if I may say so myself.   

Rambling RV Rat creating a Watson Lake Sign Forest"masterpiece"


Pretty good likeness, if I say so myself!

Daddy has been particularly busy prepping the RV and truck for our upcoming Alaskan trek, which has led to some alarming discoveries.


By taking the RV tires off to check the brakes and lube the axles, he found the wet bolt that holds the axle/leaf spring to the RV frame had broken off!  Imagine how frightening it would have been to discover this while driving!  Daddy immediately went to RV Lifestyles to order the parts, which took over a week to receive.  But all is back in safe driving order now.


He then brought the truck to International in Phoenix for service.  They do not make appointments--you must go and wait your turn.  We want Big Boomer in top notch condition for this trip, so Dad got up at 4 AM to drive nearly two hours to Phoenix to arrive just as the shop was opening.  He was first in line and waited hours while they did an oil change, changed the transmission fluid, put on new brakes, and gave Big Boomer the “safe driving” seal of approval and a bill for $2,370.  He arrived back in Quartzsite at 10:30 PM.  A few days later while traveling in Blythe, the transmission indicator lights up the dashboard.  Dad checks the transmission fluid level and it is low.  WHAT!!!  Back another 2 hours to International!  At least this time they take Big Boomer in right away, and ascertain that the fluid is low by 1.5 gallons!   They inspect and assure us there is no leak.   They determine the service technician just screwed up—he drained the cooler but did not account for this when determining how much transmission fluid to add.  Another disaster averted.


In September, we invested in a tire pressure monitor system for the truck and RV.  We figured the $400+ price tag was money well spent with this rough roads we will encounter during this 10,000 mile Alaskan trek.  We had no issues with the system until this Tuesday when the monitor started beeping. Upon inspection, Dad finds the reason the monitor is beeping is because it can’t get a reading on the rear passenger side truck tire—the sensor broke off!  WHAT!  Whoever heard of that happening?  Thankfully, the issue gets resolved quickly by our sales rep and fellow Amazonian Don.  He will mail a new sensor to our home address.  Wish this problem happened earlier in the year, when we could get our mail forwarded to Quartzsite anytime during the last 4 months.  Now we leave tomorrow and must strategize where to have our mail forwarded.


As the beloved Saturday Night Live character Roseanne Roseannadanna said, “it’s always something—if it ain’t one thing, it’s another”.  That pretty much sums up the full time RVing lifestyle!  It is not for the faint-hearted!

As civilization here in La Posa South dwindles, the wildlife becomes bolder.  The Gambel Quail just recently wandered into our campsite, there is a lizard living in our woodpile, and a ground squirrel has decided to partake of some bird seed.

The coyotes were howling on Monday and were VERY close to camp, seemingly only 50 feet on other side of wash.  The gila woodpeckers and hummingbirds have fought over the use of the feeder.  The woodpeckers have gotten very demanding for more frequent refills, pecking at our windows and on top of our roof.  Sorry fellas, closed for the season!  The rattlesnakes remain elusive—two years in a row and no “live” sighting!  But we will continue our quest when we return next winter.
Just when we think Spring is over here in the desert, something else starts to bloom.  Look at these beautiful blossoms on a nearby saguaro tree!

Another great winter spent in Q! 



Solitude and serenity!

But time to start our next exciting adventure!  I’ll speak to you again from Catalina State Park, our first stop on our journey North to Alaska!


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