Sunday, March 12, 2017

Surprise! Reunions, Ball Games, and More

Hi, everyone.  I fired Dad, so I am back to writing my blog myself.

First off, hope all our friends and family in New York and New Jersey stay warm, dry, and safe with the predicted Nor’easter snowstorm.  Guess those pesky groundhogs knew what they were talking about this year—it’s been a long, cold winter for y’all.

Not to rub salt in a wound, but we are experiencing some awesome weather here in southwestern Arizona. Temps in high 80s to low 90s, but nice little breezes to keep us cool and dry.  Just perfect for taking in a Spring Training game between the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox in Surprise, Arizona. Nice little stadium, not a bad seat in the house.  I didn’t catch any balls, but at least the Rangers won.

After the game we reunited with friends Jerry and Jack, a terrific, funny couple who worked with my parents in Amazon in 2015 in Haslet.  We shared a bite to eat and a beer at the tiki bar and just had a blast catching up with them.

We also received the grand tour of Sunflower Resort from them, where they are work-camping for the season.  Let me tell you, this is one top-notch place!  Tennis, horseshoes, shuffleboard, pickleball, swimming, woodcarving, Zumba, yoga, line dancing, Texas Hold ’Em, painting, nightly musical entertainment—you name the activity, they’ve got it going on.  All in a beautifully-landscaped setting, with the fragrance of citrus trees permeating the air.  I felt like I was at an exotic destination instead of in the suburbs of Phoenix!  (My photos just don't do it justice).  I guess this is why they can command $1,000+ per month for this 55+ community!  A true resort, unlike those places in Quartzsite that call themselves “resorts” but in reality are just parking lots with electrical hookups.  

Alas, time to say goodbye to the Pierces.  As we guided Big Boomer out of the Sunflower complex following our GPS directions, Mom realized we were less than 5 miles from Roberts Pueblo El Mirage Resort, where friends Marie and Bob (whom we met at Crazy Horse Memorial) are work-camping.  We gave them a call to see if they were available.  We so enjoyed our impromptu visit with Marie and Bob and our tour of yet another lovely resort, this one with a golf course included in its long list of amenities!  And listen to this coincidence:  Bob and Marie have friends staying at one of the 1,200 sites within Sunflower Resort, and those friends just happen to be neighbors of Jerry and Jack--yep, parked right next door.  It’s a small world sometimes within our RVing community.    

We caught up again with friends Curtis and Stephanie from our Montana Owners Club in Los Algodones (Mexico).  We ate a less than desirable breakfast at El Paraiso’s and did a little shopping.   Our only purchase was 4 tubes of Volfenac analgesic cream.  (For those of you unfamiliar, Volfenac, which is only available in the U.S. by prescription, is the absolute best non-steriodal anti-inflamatory for relieving joint and muscle pain.  And no stinky smell to it!  All for the low price of $1.95 per tub at the Purple Pharmacy).  We said our good-byes to the Matthews, making plans for them to come for dinner when they headed back through Quartzsite.

Since we were out and about anyway, we decided to tour a BLM long-term visitor area located outside Holtsville, California called Hot Springs.  It could be a viable alternate place to stay because like the Imperial Dam area in Yuma and our LaPosa areas in Quartzsite, it is covered under the same $180 seasonal pass.  It was just 30 miles away in California as we exited Los Algodones, or so we thought.  It turned out the exits we needed to take off Interstate 8 were closed down due to construction!  We took some backroads and detours and arrived at our destination to find it didn’t quite meet our boondocking requirements.  It is a much smaller BLM area than anywhere offered in Quartzsite.  Its close proximity to the Interstate, power plants, and phone/power lines doesn’t offer the remoteness or “backyard views” we prefer, although there are some highly-vegetated areas where you can tuck in for privacy from other RVs (though not from the less than aesthetic power plants/lines).  Additionally, there is no water or dump station on site.  Those amenities are available through private enterprises about 15 miles away.  The hot springs were nothing of the caliber we’ve experienced previously (especially in Canada).  They consisted of a concrete pad with two small pools and a fountain from which folks were filling up water bottles.  Not very appealing to me.  I think the ducks got the better deal for the hot springs.   Rambling RV Rat’s assessment:  not bad for a short visit (maybe a week max) to be closer to California/Mexico activities, but not somewhere I would stay long term.

Where the ducks enjoyed the Springs.  Much nicer than what the humans got to use.

Power/phone lines are not the "backyard views" we like when boondocking.

We then visited the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.  We were enthralled by the dune buggies climbing the massive hills of sand.  Some of these hills are said to be 300 feet high!  Very cool stuff.

When we returned to the highway, we were entertained by a private little custom car show as several “classics” drove by Big Boomer. As we traveled through Yuma on our return to Quartzsite, I was intrigued by the farm workers installing irrigation systems.  And as we passed the many fields, the pungent scent of freshly cut cauliflower tickled my nose.  It was a long, but truly wonderful day.

More surprise reunions for us! Friends Susan and Rodger (our campground neighbors when working at Amazon these last two years) contacted us to say they will be in the Quartzsite area for a few days. They have been work-camping for 10 years doing a variety of jobs (from Beet Harvest to gate guarding to Amazon to working at the ball games in Surprise), and they are just a wealth of knowledge to us.   Their timing worked out well.  They joined Curtis and Stephanie for dinner at our place—sharing the very last of our Alaskan salmon and halibut. (Me thinks it is time for another trek North to Alaska!)  

We joined fellow RV Dreamers Nathalie and Brock for a Happy Hour at Steve and Dianne’s on Thursday.  This was our farewell to them—they are heading back to Vancouver today.  We wish Steve and Dianne safe travels and look forward to seeing them next year.

Time for me to say goodbye to you, too—at least for today.  I want to chow down on Mom’s Nacho Skillet Dinner before Dad gets to it.  Then early to bed for me. My parents want to hit the road by 5 a.m. tomorrow for our day trip to Anza-Borrego Springs.

Talk to you again soon!


  1. Gotta love meeting up with friends - no matter where you are - isn't this lifestyle grand?

  2. You guys have sure been keeping busy! There are a couple of other boondocking spots just off of hwy 8 on the other side of Yuma. Pilot Knob is behind the Shell station on Sidewinder Rd. A little further down off of 8 on the right is Ogilby Rd. Continue just past the train tracks to American Girl Mine Rd. It's a lot nicer than Pilot Knob. Ogilby Rd connects to hwy 78 which takes you back to Blythe or Palm Springs. It was great seeing you guys again and we hope to see you next season. Safe travels!

  3. Looks like the fun continues! How great that you were able to meet up with so many friends on your trip to Mexico...

  4. Appreciate the heads up on the analgesic. Will definitely get some of that next time we are there.