We haven’t traveled so far, so fast in quite a while. The first day was easy. We camped in a new place: San Luis Reservoir off I-5. Medieros Campground had “loose” campsites, defined only by a fire ring, bench and lanai. But we were 10 feet away from the water and could watch the coots and seagulls out our back window. Our intention was to overstay an hour or so on Sunday to watch the 49er-Panthers game on Sunday. It worked well. We woke up to a gorgeous sunrise, watched the Niners get well ahead and zoomed down (at 55 mph while towing a car) I-5 and over to Bakersfield.
The smog was really thick, but we raced through town and went to our usual RV park east of town near the orange groves. We managed to watch Downton Abbey but a very pixilated version. Then 220 miles on Monday from Bakersfield to Twentynine Palms, north of Joshua Tree National Park. The roads were good except for one terrible area on Highway 18 from Adelanto to Lucerne Valley. The traffic was very heavy for a Monday afternoon, mostly because of all the stop lights that ran for miles along strip malls. And the speed limit between the lights (about a ¼-mile apart)? 60 mph! Next time we’ll go further east on Highway 58 to Barstow and then head south on CA-247.
North of Yucca Valley, we stopped at a rock pile we’ve visited before. The rocks are absolutely covered with graffiti. Most of it is stupid but some of them have an artistic bent. We arrived at 29 Palms right before sunset. On Tuesday, we dumped everything, picked up a load of firewood and floated down to Quartzsite, AZ, ready for a week of boondocking.
Following Roger Nickey’s GPS coordinates, we navigated through a mile or so of a whole lot of RV’s and found “Roger’s ½ acre”. We were greeted by the welcoming committee, Roger and John, who pointed out a few likely campsites. The entire area is pretty flat but the casual roads running through have to be kept free for rigs to get in and out. I like the chaos of Lazy Dazes parked willy-nilly across the landscape. There were a lot of them, around 30, with more to come.
Roger said people started congregating around 4 pm for happy hour and they were having a pot luck with tri-tip starting around 5. Since it was close to 4, I decided to roast some little potatoes (good with tri-tip!) and got them done around 5. Proudly bearing the dish over to the get-together, I found everyone had already eaten and there wasn’t too much left. Boy, what fast eaters. But no, Arizona’s in the mountain time zone and it was an hour later than we thought. Oh well, we had a taste of tri-tip and quite a few roasted potatoes for dinner. It’s still getting dark early and many of the group moved their chairs around a large fire ring that is the public entertainment for the evening. We caught up with some of the people we’ve met before at Quartzsite and Baker City. And the dogs too. It’s fun to see all the pooches enjoying themselves, although one poor girl, a rescue dog, was afraid of the fire. It’s hard when you don’t know what the animal has gone through with previous owners. I think my favorite is Libby, a Labradoodle who travels with Loralei.
The next morning, we lazed around, with nowhere we had to be and nothing in particular to do. Nice! Sleeping is pleasant because after 70-degree days, it cools down right away after sunset to a temperature we like for sleep. In the morning, we have the heater on intermittently for about 2 hours until the sun is high enough to warm everything up again. I finished a book I wasn’t enjoying (“Spider Season” by John Morgan Wilson) (I didn’t like the main character and the writing wasn’t great) and started one I did like (“Ilium” by Dan Simmons) (SciFi with Greek gods recreating the Trojan War on Mars. It also has sophisticated robots who are interested in Shakespeare and Proust, and a few humans.)
Jim and Gayle Cummings and Debbie Smith showed up. It was good seeing them and their critters so soon since we met up in the Alabama Hills last October. Other than that, I did darn little except I made guacamole for happy hour.
Thursday, something came up. Actually, it came off. Dave was outside, wondering why it was wet under the LD. Then he noticed we no longer had a drain pipe for the gray tank (where shower and sink water is collected). Luckily the tank wasn’t damaged but there was only a section of pipe coming out of the tank. Yikes! We think it happened when we drove down a little dirt road in 29 Palms to get the firewood, but we never saw or heard anything. We had dumped the gray tank right before then so the tank was empty. If it had to happen, Quartzsite is the place to get it fixed. John, the Lazy Daze concierge, called Phil and Ann’s RV, got us an appointment and Phil fixed it in about 45 minutes, after sending us to the hardware store to pick up the parts.
We walked up to “the big tent” on Friday morning. The Quartzsite RV show is enormous and the tent is the length of a football field. We wanted to scope out where the Blue Ox booth was. They were offering a $25 deal on refurbishing the tow hitch which is a pretty important piece of equipment that drags our Rav behind the rig. The tent itself wasn’t open yet but about 150 booths are strewn about nearby. They sell socks, rocks, clocks, Glocks, locks, (no woks) and other stuff too, like ice cream. I had my first ice cream of the trip: not bad, but I’ve had better.
Later that afternoon we went to Silly Al’s Pizza to help celebrate Gayle Cummings birthday. (She’s ridiculously young.) Along with Jim and Debbie, we met their friends, John and Susan Vowell. The place was jammed. We finagled a couple of tables back by the pool tables, thwarting anyone who wanted to play pool. Both the pizza and company was good, though we left when the music started, taking the decibel level from raucous to deafening. The stars were out; this place is dark, even in the center of town. A great night.
A lot of people headed to the big tent on Saturday morning. We skipped it; the crowds on opening day make it very difficult to see anything in the tent. We’ll go on Monday. Around 8, Debbie drove Dave and 3 tow bars up to the Blue Ox booth and dropped them off. When they returned, we wandered around camp, read, blogged a little, roasted red peppers to make a dip for happy hour…..oh, we’re just so busy. We keep meeting people we’ve met before and lots of new ones too. They all have interesting stories. It takes some time and attention to get yourself on the road and it’s a really big decision to go full-time.
We woke to a cloudy day today and the sunrise was very nice, so I hauled myself out of bed to make some images. There’s football games to watch today and thanks to Jim Melvin (and Chica) we’ll be watching it on his big screen TV. Go Niner’s!
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