Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ringing in 2017

Happy new year to you all!  May you and your families enjoy good health, happiness, and plenty of cheese in 2017!

We left Azle, TX shortly after Christmas and had a relaxing trip back “home” to Rainbow Park in Livingston, where we rang in the New Year with our new traditions.  First, a meal at Joe’s Italian Grill, enjoying the company of Lisa, Jim, and Terry, our friends and colleagues from Escapees.  My family always stays up to watch the ball come down in Times Square, NY.  But because of bad weather, we could not get the over-the-air TV antenna tuned in properly.  So we resorted to viewing the spectacle off Mom’s cell phone, which just didn’t give me the same sense of excitement.  At midnight Central Time, we enjoyed our New Year’s toast, shots of Patron Silver and Black Haus rather than champagne.

During our one week in Livingston, we enjoyed movie night at the clubhouse, visited the CARE Center, and handled all our business dealings for the year like registering/inspecting our vehicles.  Mom and I went for our daily walks, which turned out to be more stressful than relaxing.   We have various routes we take and know most of the dogs in the neighborhoods.  There is the rat terrier, who barks and bullies us for ½ a block before he turns around and goes home.  There’s the boxer/pit bull with the weird ear who comes into the middle of the street to follow us, but never barks.  And of course, there is the pair of chihuahuas who yip and nip at our heels for a ½ mile before they give up their chase.  So we are well accustomed to dealing with dogs.  We are animal lovers and do not spook easily.  But we were overwhelmed when we had a pack of 6 possessed devil dogs with glowing eyes come tearing out of their yard, surrounding us, barking and growling.  I thought I was going to be served as hors d’oeuvres at their doggie dinner table!

Thankfully, a car with a dog in its back seat came down the street, creating a diversion and giving us an opportunity to escape.  People:  Please keep your pets leashed or fenced in—it protects them as well as innocent passers-by.

I, for one, was thrilled to leave Livingston and head back on the road to our winter retreat--the Bureau of Land Management’s La Posa South Long Term Visitor Area in Quartzsite, Arizona.  Thankfully, we had good traveling weather and road conditions.  With Mom sharing the driving, we made great timing, too.  We stayed one night at Wal-mart in Stockton, TX and one night in Escapees Dreamcatcher RV Park in Deming, NM, a real bargain at $18 plus tax for a full hook up, pull through site.

View from Dreamcatchers RV Site

As in past years, the billboards along Interstate 10 tempted me to visit "The Thing" at the Bowlin Travel Center.   What was this desert wonder?  Unfortunately, I will never know 'cause my parents nixed my suggestion to visit, killjoys that they are.  So instead I entertained myself looking at the rugged mountains and cool rock formations.

Just what is "The Thing?"  If you have ever visited, please let me in on the scoop!

We found our usual “campsite” in La Posa South quite easily, thanks to the sign posts I made last year!  Of course, being close to the "Magic Circle - Clothing Optional" signs helps as well.  

My Sign Posts:  A "Self Portrait" with Triple R's for Rambling RV Rat.  The "Y" for our surname.

"N" is for "Nudist".  Follow the sign to The "Magic Circle", a clothing optional area. 

Set up went smoothly and quickly, too, now that Dad moved the solar panels onto the top of the RV instead of using the portable rack system (which he sold readily here in Quartzsite).  We are totally off-the grid with wind, solar, and generators and ready for the Apocalypse!

We have settled in nicely.  The hummingbirds are back enjoying our feeder, we spotted two coyotes already while taking our daily 4-5 mile hikes, and we have witnessed several glorious Arizona sunrises and exquisite sunsets.

We attended our first Happy Hour, hosted by friends and fellow RV Dreamers, Steve and Dianne.  Mom and Dad mingled with the adults, but I enjoyed the company of Daisy and Dakota instead.

RV Dreamers Happy Hour!

From left to right:  Me, Daisy, and Dakota

Jim and Barb invited us to join them and other friends at the Nelly Desert Bar, a really cool saloon located in the middle of nowhere, run totally by solar, and constructed of all reusable items and parts.

We enjoyed breakfast in town at Times 3 Family Restaurant with fellow Montana owners Curtis and Stephanie, and then lined the street to watch the Quartzsite 150th Anniversary Parade, complete with camels, floats, and, of course, a school marching band.  (Do you see the recurring "camel" theme in these pics?  Hadji Ali's mark on the history of Quartzsite!)  Then some musical entertainment at the Park.  Small town America at its best!

Man and Bird:  Two of Quartzsite's few year-round residents

We have participated in several Xscapers Convergence campfires and get togethers.  We met lots of new folks, including many full-time and boondocking newbies with whom we can share our experiences.

And we have only been here 10 days so far!  Life is good for this Rambling RV Rat. 

This week we will attend the Escapees Happy Hour, the Montana Owners Club Rally, and more Xscapers Convergence events.  And most important of all, we will be representing Escapees at Booth 201 in the Big Tent RV Show, which runs Saturday, January 21 through Sunday, January 29 from 9-5 p.m.  So please stop by!  I’d love to meet you, chat a bit, and give you your official “Escapees hug”.