Ahhhh…Quartzite, AZ!

January 19, 2017

Well…we’ve been here since December 29th. We’re 2.7 miles from the hard road, US 95. We keep saying we couldn’t have found a nicer spot. We have all the space in world it seems. We are about ¼ mile off the main road…just a single lane gravel road (more like a path). We have to look hard to see another rig. This is our view from atop the 5th wheel. Look at all this space we have!

The weather isn’t as warm as we were expecting. I guess before we head somewhere we should check the weather and the median temperatures. The temps here run mid 60’s during the day, upper 40’s to lower 50’s over night and in the morning.

We’ve had a lot more sun. The solar is working great! We don’t feel like we’re doing without boondocking. We spend a lot of time outside with the dogs.

We did break down and buy a satellite…Dish…$40 month. We got a new antenna when we had our roof put on this last fall. It worked ok the few times we used it. We just like to get the news in the morning and maybe in the evening. Well…it works for shit here! Once in a while we may get a network channel but usually just PBS. We are not PBS people! I thought…no big deal, we’ll just go in town and get a news paper every day or so. Yeah well…it was hit or miss. Sometimes they had the paper, sometimes they didn’t. The newspaper wasn’t really cutting it either.

Maybe it wasn’t the TV we needed, just some noise. We bought a radio. That was ok too but…not really.

We went into town a few days ago to see if we could find someone to come out and look at our antenna and wiring. Maybe the wiring was the problem. There are A LOT of rigs here…big ones, small ones, all different kinds. A lot of them had their antennas up. We paid great attention to which way they were facing. We had ours facing the same directions. Nothing! That’s why we thought maybe it was our wiring.

We stopped at Satellite Advantage in town. It was a little building, kind of set back from the road, facing a gravel parking lot…with a tall chain link fence around it. We finally figured out how to get in. It was a busy little place! 2 people behind the long counter, both helping 2 people at a time. We noticed they had DISH, Direct TV, some other satellite TV as well as a few different antennas. We were checking out the antennas. Trying to decide which would work better and HOW we would attach it to our rig.

After about 15 minutes a lady came from behind the counter to help us. She explained how we would have to attach one of these antennas. We would have to by a pole at least 20 ft tall. The antenna would be attached to the top. It had to be at least 20 feet above ground to get any channels. She also explained that all the channels they get here come from Phoenix, almost 100 miles away. She also said that they come and go. We may have 8-12 channels in the morning and only have 1-2 later in the day. We explained what we were getting and if there was anyone that could come look at our wiring. They had a guy that could come out in an hour. Cool!

Gene was here in less than an hour. He started looking at our wiring, checking it with this yellow thing he called a stick. He checked both the living room and the bedroom. After about 45 minutes he said the wiring was all good. Shit! We just knew it had to be the wiring! He said the charge for his services would be $150. If we were getting DISH or Direct TV the owner would probably discount this.

We looked at each other and said, “What the hell! Let’s just bite the bullet and get it.”

He left. We jumped in the truck and headed back to Satellite Advantage. We decided on DISH. Gene followed us back here, hooked everything up, and showed us how to use it. Viola! We had TV…that we could actually watch. News! And some other shows we like to watch in the evening. Everything was right with the world again!

Now to figure out what to do about internet access. We have none! Our phones are shit! Paper weights! It takes 2 days for a text to be sent never mind trying to send a picture. We are in the desert…definitely off the grid!

We have SPRINT. Our plan has unlimited everything, free roaming, no throttling. We’ve had this plan almost 17 years and have been very happy with it. Until now! Nothing! We can barely make a call. I’ve spent hours on the phone with tech support, even speaking to several supervisors. The last time, a couple days ago, my call got dropped 4 times! 4 times! Unbelievable! Each time I called right back only to get someone else asking me to do this or do that. I explained each time that I had already done that and just wanted to speak to a supervisor. It was very hard for me to keep my cool. I could never get the same person I had before. I was very nice and very respectful. More flies with sugar I kept thinking.

Nothing has been resolved…we still have paper weights. I just haven’t worked up the courage to try calling again. I don’t want to cry…LOL!

We are headed to Las Vegas on Friday, January 20th for Georgie’s birthday, our yearly trip, except last year. We’re meeting friends. They fly in on the 22nd. We wanted to stay on the strip. Circus Circus has a campground right behind their hotel and casino. That’s where we’ll be. Our friends are staying at Treasure Island so we’ll be pretty close.

I’m looking forward to having phone and internet! The casinos are just a bonus. It’s the little things.

Georgie’s bike broke. We were going to take a nice ride. I needed gas so we headed into town and stopped at the 1st gas station. Georgie’s bike sounded bad. I got gas and we headed back to our rig. We were just a mile from our site and his bike stopped! It just stopped. No sputtering, nothing. Here we sat…on the side of a dusty gravel road. He tried to start it more than once. Nope. Nothing. Pushing it a mile on a gravel road wasn’t really an option. I know…I’ll tow him. I’ll go get the truck, get a rope and tow him. Yeah…no rope. But we had a long orange extension cord. You know, the kind you use in a garage. You put a light bulb in one end and plug the other end in. It’s about 20 feet long.

Georgie looked at me like I had 2 heads. He said in the 47 years he’s been riding he’s never been towed. That’s ok I thought. In the 42 years I have been driving I’ve never towed a motorcycle. I headed to the “house”. I got the extension cord and the truck. I also grabbed the Harley book for his bike and a small bag of tools. He could fix it!

I got back to him and told him I brought his book and tools. He said it was something electrical. He couldn’t fix electrical, at least not sitting on the side of the road. So we are going tow it.

We got the bike hooked to the truck…about 10 feet behind the truck. It was scary! I drove between 4 mph to 6 mph. We made it! It was exciting! Not really.

We asked around. 2 people recommended Desert Thunder in Lake Havasu City, about 90 miles away. We jumped in the truck and headed up there. Georgie talked to the owner. He had a guy that could pick up the bike the next morning. He was here at 6 am. It was the voltage regulator. Thank God! At least it was nothing major. They replaced it and the battery. We picked it up the next afternoon.

Lake Havasu City is where the London Bridge is. We saw it…and drove over it!

One of the more exciting things we get to do is empty the black tank…the shitter! If we were in an RV park we would just hook up to the sewer. We are in the desert…not an RV park. Things are a little different here. We have a 32 gallon tank we empty the shitter in to. We have to be careful. We have a 60 gallon black tank. If we filled it up we’d really have a shitty mess! We only go 6 days between emptying. Then we hook it up to the back of the truck and head 2 ½ miles to where we can empty and rinse it.

We are loving it here. The big RV show starts the 20th. It’s starting to fill up here. I have gotten very possessive about our spot. There’s hardly any traffic by us so when we hear or see a rig go by I keep saying, “They better not park near us. I’ll have to take my clothes off and run outside!” We ARE in the nudist area…just by chance.

Georgie was out with the dogs today playing ball when a guy in a pickup pulled into our area. I looked out the window to see Georgie talking to him. He left. I asked what he wanted. Georgie said, “He was a hippie. He wanted to know if there was an outhouse close. I told him the closest one was up near the entrance. He said he heard that people were naked back here. Haven’t seen any yet.”

If you camp in a tent you have to be within 500 feet of an outhouse, that’s why he was asking.

More to come…

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We Finally Made it to Quartzite, AZ…But What a Trip Out Here!

Our trip out here was pretty uneventful (until Dec 26)…thank God! We stayed here and there when we left Brent and Ashley’s in St. Cloud, FL (just outside Orlando) on Thursday, December 22.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

River’s Edge RV Campground, Holt, FL ***** $27 nt total FHU including cable

Friday, December 23, 2016

Walmart parking lot, Lake Charles, LA *** It was free and it was a parking lot. Parked along the side. Manager said if we parked there we could put our slides out on that side. We only put our living room slide out.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

North Llano River RV Park, Junction, TX ***** $35 nt total FHU including cable

Decided since it was Christmas Eve we would stay in a campground, cook a ham & scallop potato dinner and just relax. We were so tired we had grilled ham & cheese then went to bed.

This was a nice park with large sites, a camp store, Laundromat & dog run.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Chevron Truck Stop, Vado, NM **** It was a truck stop.

 

What a nice Truck Stop. Huge parking lot. We were able to park away from the tractor-trailers & put all of our slides out. Pretty quiet but still very close to I-10.

We woke up around 6am. Tori started in heat! What a mess. Blood everywhere- sheets, carpet, rugs, kitchen, etc. Blood clots. She had never had a heat like this.

Monday, December 26-Thursday, December 29

Left Chevron at 7:45 am. Filled up gas for generator. We were about 3 ½ hours from Tucson, AZ.

Tori was still bleeding…a lot! Decided we should just go as far as Tucson then find a vet…today.

Found a campground, Prince of Tucson RV Park**** (only 4*. Staff was wonderful, park was very clean & tidy. 2 laundry rooms with newer washer & dryers. A few really old people that were unpleasant & seemed to live here all the time) then found a vet a few miles away, St. Mary’s Veterinary Clinic. They said it sounded like Pyrometra. A disease in female dogs that hadn’t been spayed. Cysts can form in the uterus and on the ovaries that are full of puss. If they were to burst dogs usually die within 48 hours.

They could see us at 2pm.

We got to the rv park at 1:15pm. Got parked & hooked up. We didn’t even get the dogs out of the truck. Just headed for the vets office.

The vet said he had never seen this much blood with a dog in heat…never he kept saying. They did blood work. It all came back normal. She didn’t have a fever but the vet kept saying something is definitely wrong!

He said we could take her to a facility that did ultrasounds to see if there were any tumors or anything else that could be wrong. He also said he could do x-ray’s. It would show abnormalities but not specifics. We opted for the x-ray’s. They didn’t show anything abnormal. The vet knew something was wrong, probably Pyrometra.

We scheduled surgery for the next day.

We took her in at 7am. The vet wanted to do one more x-ray before the surgery. We got a call at 2pm. Tori was out of surgery and in recovery. She was doing well. All her stitches were inside so we didn’t have to stay to have them removed.

It was definitely Pyrometra. There was a large cyst in her uterus and a cyst on her ovary. We were SO lucky to have found a vet that was caring, knowledgeable and that could see Tori quickly.

We stayed another day, just to make sure Tori was going to be ok. She seemed much better so off we were…to our destination…Quartzite, AZ.

Thursday, December 29-Saturday, January 21

Made it to Quartzite about 1:45 pm. Staying at La Pose LTVA South (long term visitors area).

From September 15 – April 15 anyone can stay for up to 7 months for just a $180 seasonal pass. There are many LTVA’s in Arizona and California. This pass admits you into any of these.

We decided to stay in the South LTVA because they had potable water & a dump station. Since this was our 1st boondocking experience we figured we wanted to be close to these 2 “conveniences”.

Friday, December 30

Georgie’s eye started bothering him. He put contacts in on Thursday before we left for Quartzite. They felt fine. He woke up Friday. They were bothering him a little. By late morning he decided to take them out & just wear his glasses.

He must have got something under his contact that scratched his eye. His eye has been watering non-stop! And his damn nose won’t stop running! He’s gone through a whole box of Kleenex…in 3 days! And his eye is killing him!

Thank God it’s been mostly overcast the last few days. The bright sun REALLY hurts his eye.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

We can’t use our Keurig while on solar so we have a drip coffee maker. We pour hot water over coffee. It makes about 4-5 cups of coffee. It has a metal filter that you put a paper filter in to put the coffee in.

The filter is on the right. Somehow…not really sure how, but that filter was thrown in the trash. We took the trash up to 1 of the 6 dumpsters they have here.

As I was straightening up the kitchen & putting everything in its place I noticed the filter wasn’t in the pot. I looked everywhere for it. I finally realized I must have thrown it out when I was throwing out the paper filter with the grounds in it.

Shit! This is going to be a shitty job…dumpster diving for a metal filter! Off to the dumpsters we go, ladder in tow.

We get to the dumpsters. Georgie says he threw the trash in the 3rd dumpster from the left. He said the dumpster was almost empty so it would be close to the bottom. OH YEAH!

To our surprise it was the shortest dumpster and there was very little trash in there. No ladder needed. Spotted our trash, reached in and pulled it out, found the filter and VIOLA…it’s a wonderful thing!

Got back to the rig…2 ½ miles from the dumpster by the way, boiled it for a while and breathed a sigh of relief! We didn’t want to have to run to Parker, AZ (an hour away) to find another coffee pot.

So far, life as we know it is back to normal…except for Georgie’s eye…it’s still killing him!

Monday, January 2, 2017

We haven’t had a lot of sun since we arrived. We need the sun to charge our solar so we run the generator a couple times a day to charge the batteries. Our batteries stay between 12v-12.3v without the generator.

We watch 3-5 hours of TV (mostly at night). The generator gets our batteries up to around 13.1v so we can have this luxury.