Sunday, January 31, 2016

Windy Hill, Lake Roosevelt Az

We are back at Lake Roosevelt - One of my favorite wintering grounds here
in Central Arizona.

After leaving Quartzsite we first headed south for a few days to Yuma.
Yuma is a big winter Snowbird town and there is much to do and see.

We had a group outing to Da Boyz Pizza in Yuma's art deco downtown

Earlier that day,  Dick and I sat outside the bus in the warm sun and watched the 
Broncos beat New England and advance to the Superbowl.

After a few days in Yuma Dick & June headed back towards home while the rest of us
flocked eastward to Lake Roosevelt Windy Hill Campground in Tonto National Forest.

Our loop here is pretty much empty except for our 4 Rigs and the camp host.

$8 per day for dry camping.  $4 if you have a Geezer Pass.
A dump station about 10 miles up the road that is open Thurs-Sunday
Water Hydrants thru out the loops  Restrooms with solar showers
help you extend your tank time.

It is extremely quiet and peaceful here in the winter.

Morning View of our site
Me Ron & Stan on the right and Jim on the left.

Our site is at the end of the loop so we have a nice sitting area by our campfire ring
All sites have a nice view of the lake.
The El Nino` Winter has contributed to a much greener environment this year.

Another view of our site
While here we broke out some of our bacon from Oscars Smokehouse.

An early morning hike each day helps to work off some of the bacon.

We celebrated Maxines 29th birthday............    again.

A favorite is barbecue pizza night.
Barbecue Pizza
The crust is rolled out and put on the grill.
One side is toasted golden brown.
The crust is flipped and the ingredients are placed on the toasted side.
The pizza is placed back inside the barbecue to toast the other side and melt the cheese.

Jim cuts the Manly (meat lover) Pizza

Later last night we sent a luminary into the night sky in memory of Stans Mother
who had passed away the night before.

You can see how large they are by the person holding it while it warms up.

Once it is hot enough it drifts higher...  slowly at first but gaining vertical speed
till it is just a spot in the night sky...   joining the rest of the stars in eternity.

The doodles are waiting for the ok to come out of the bedroom.

My solar installation has been working great.
I was concerned if the panels would be enough to completely supply my needs and
it seems that they are.

By morning my battery bank is down to about 75-80%

With my office equipment running all day I still have a full charge by the afternoon.
This screen shot shows my monitoring software.

I'm producing 50amps - 17 of which is being used by the house 
and 33 are going back into the battery bank which is back to 92% of temperature
compensated capacity.
Midnite Solar Local App Software Screenshot

Our plan is to stay here for at least another week.
I've got great 4g service and a great view.

We have a storm coming in tonight and perhaps some snow.   Its going to get
colder for a few days but somehow we will endure.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Quartzsite 2016

If it's Mid-January then this must be Quartzsite, Arizona.
We have been here this week for the annual gathering of friends and
the Big RV Show.

Each January, thousands of RVs descend upon this tiny desert town for
the RV show and related gatherings.

Many RV clubs hold get togethers all over the nearby desert.

Like thousands of others, we staked out our own piece of the desert.
Just pull off the highway in a spot that strikes your fancy and make yourself at home.

A colorful sunrise usually starts our day.

We meet up with old friends from our Montana Group.
About 30 Rigs formed the circle.   We parked outside but nearby.

Many folks break out their other "toys" that get transported in their RV's...
A paraglider makes a low pass behind our bus.

A visit to the RV Show is always on the list of activities.

There is the "Big Tent", plus acres of Midways.
Lots of junk vendors, plus many reputable products.
Its a great place to acquire needed upgrades.

A few dollars of mine were left in the tent.

Inside the "Big Tent".  Its about a football field in size.

Gracie and Lucy get a visit from Buddy & Chili, two new pups in the group.

The Ladies do the Can-Can

Mr & Mrs Yours Truly

Happy hours are a good time to get together to meet and greet, catch up on the days action,
and learn about new vendors at the show.

This was the final happy hour at the Montana Circle.

Our final Quartzsite sunset.

But many more Arizona Sunsets remain ahead.

Tomorrow I have a 9am appointment near the big tent to have some modifications performed
on the steering and suspension of the bus.

We are having a Safe T Plus steering stabilizer added.  This will improve normal
handling as well as keep the bus tracking straight in the event of a steer tire blowout.

We are also having MCS's (motion control units) installed on the airbags.
They improve side to side sway of the bus by limiting the speed at which air
enters or leaves the airbags.

These two proven modifications will improve the handling and comfort of the already
comfortable ride as well as add an important safety feature to the steering.

 After we finish up with the modifications, we will drive 90 miles south
to Yuma where we will stay at an RV Park thru Sunday.  

This is our usual post Quartzsite activity.

This year we have about 6 rigs going to Yuma
so there will be more happy hours ahead as well as Bronco Sunday.

Go Broncos!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Christmas - New Years - to Mid January

Once again its time to play a bit of catch up.
I've gotten a few emails again asking where we were and I realized that
several weeks have gone by since we last touched base.

First the Big Picture.

We celebrated our 25th Anniversary and enjoyed Christmas
and New Years at Catalina State Park.

We left Catalina on Jan 4th and moved to McDowell Mountain Regional Park
in Fountain Hills, Az  - east of the Phoenix Metro.

Enroute to McDowell Mountain we took the bus to Speedco in Eloy, Az for
an Oil Change, Fuel Filters, and a generator service.

After  McDowell we moved a couple of hundred more miles west to
Buckskin Mountain State Park in Parker Strip Az.

A map of our travels:

Christmas Day we started with some Cinnamon Raison French Toast.

Christmas presents for the doodles.
They watch as Kate gets them ready. 

Can we have our toys.... Pleeeeeze!

Their pile of new toys.

The supermarkets in Tucson were competing for our food dollars by offering Prime Rib Roasts
at less than $5.00/lb.   Needless to say - guess what I roasted for our Christmas Dinner?

Perfectly cooked by Chef Papa

A good bottle of Bordeaux, a nice slab of beef, and my Favorite Girl.

Enroute to McDowell Mountain we stopped at Speedco for some regular maintenance.

26 Qts of Oil and 4 Filters later we were out the door in about 2 hrs and on the
way to McDowell Mtn.

In the Bay at Speedco

Our home for 6 days - site 68.
Normally a great view and fantastic sunrises are the order of the day here at McDowell.

El Nino has some other ideas for us however and we had 5 straight days of rains and fog.

Kate took this opportunity to fly to Chicago to visit our friend Mary.
I held down the fort with the Doodles.

Cool days and cold nights....  eventually the sun came back out and
exposed the snow cover on the higher distant peaks just in time
for Kates arrival back in Phoenix.

We then moved to Buckskin Mountain State Park.
This park is about 30 miles south of Lake Havasu Arizona, and is located right
on the Colorado River.

It was here that we hooked back up with friends Ron & Maxine and the newest
addition to thier family - Buddy the Cockapoo,

Left to right  Lucy, Gracie (Katie Doodle) and Buddy/

Buckskin is in a narrow canyon and is quite scenic.
The availability of water creates a green oasis in the desert.

The view out the front window.

Our site - #23

Across the street by the river and beach.

4 years of College and you to can be a professional pooper pickerupper.

Just up river from the Campground is the Parker Dam.
A Gravity Arch Dam built during the depression, it impounds the water that
forms Lake Havasu.

An example of some of the Art Deco Influence which was the style of the day in the 30's

One of the local residents.

While here at Buckskin we got to hook up with some old friends from the Montana
group as well as meet some new folks.

Tomorrow we head 30 miles south to Quartzsite and will park back out in the desert
at our usual spot for a week or so and hook up with more of the Montana group,
visit the Quartzsite RV show, and enjoy the whole Q atmosphere.

More to come from Q for sure.

See you there.