Sunday, March 3, 2024

Winter 2024

 We've been back on the road for the past month doing our usual wintertime activities.  

Quartzsite, Yuma, and parts inbetween have been our ports of call.    We did have a big wrench thrown into the works that delayed our departure by about 3 weeks.

Annie & Phoebe early Christmas Eve

It all began on Christmas Eve.   I was working in the kitchen and carrying something, so my vision was blocked and I stepped on Phoebes leg breaking it.

Floki with her cast and the cone of shame

A trip to the vet confirmed the break.   It was a clean break and the prognosis was good but she would be in a cast for 5 weeks.   Each week we had to go back to the vet to have it changed since she is a growing pup.

Floke sports her dognut

Our job for those 5 weeks was to keep Phoebe from getting too active.   A tall order for a 7 month old!
We set up a pen in the living room where she was kept while we were not able to directly supervise her.

We spent quite a bit of time with her in our lap keeping her calm.   The vet gave us a supply of "doggy downers" to help take some of the wind out of her sails.

She never really bothered her cast so we got rid of the cone of shame and only put an inflatable dognut on her head when we tucked her in at night.

The doggy ICU

Annie seemed to realize that Phoebe was not well and really held back trying to get her riled up.

Best buds sleeping
We took them for walks, but Phoebe hadd to be in the dog carriage which she did not like at all and let us know it in no uncertain terms.

Our departure delayed, we still had the usual great sunsets most nights to keep our spirits up.

I also decided to tear into the wet bay and fix a small fresh water leak that had developed behind the panel.
Getting the panel out to expose the water lines was a challenge.   The panel was put on before the outside walls were build so it could not come out in one piece.

Wetbay with back panel removed

I decided to cut it into two pieces with my dremel to make future removals easier.

While it was apart I decied to re-route some water lines and replace some flex hose with Pex.
Once all was put back together - thankfully no more leaks.

Wetbay with panel replaced and most of the lines hooked back up

We finally got the all clear from the vet on Weds Jan 29, so we hooked up and hit the road on Feb 1st.

Hooked up at our storage facility

I had installed a new bluefire app on the ipad that connects to the engine computer and displays all sorts of parameters.   Sort of like a glass cockpit.   I designed the screen and arranged the guages.   I still need to make a few tweaks but so far I am very pleased with how the information is presented.

iPad running the Bluefire App

Even though Phoebe was out of the cast, she still had to be kept on light duty for a few more weeks and I had to do some physical therapy for her to get her muscles and joints stretched, strengthened, and back to 100%.

At first Phoebe was still in the enclosure when not supervised but now she is free roaming and only in there at night to sleep as its still too far to jump off of the bed.

Doggy PT

Our group at Quartzsite.  R-L. Me, Kevin & Bobbie, Ron & Maxine, Rob & Pat.   Robs brother and his wife were over on the far left and were making their first snowbird trip south.

Plomosa Rd Quartzsite

By the time we arrived at Q the show was already over and many had departed.   It was nice being quieter but we were only there for about 4 days before we headed off our our next stop - a new destination where we'd never been - Alamo Lake State Park north of Wendon, Az.

To get here you first drive to the middle of nowhere, then turn on Alamo Road and drive 40 miles north of nowhere.    Seriously - the nearest CVS is 80 miles away.    Ask me - I know.

Alamo Lake

Alamo has a mix of campground loops.   Some are full hookup, some electric and water, and some are dry.   We chose the dry sites which are much nicer.   More room and much more spread out.

Behind us was a deep wash that was populated by a small herd of Burros.   We would watch the head honcho try to keep his harem in line while also trying to keep one of the local young bucks from sneaking in to mate one when his back was turned.    He was a busy boy yelling and screaming all day and night!

Site E-21 at Alamo Lake

Our line up, Ron, then Rob, then me in the distance

One morning walking Phoebe we had a small half double rainbow over the lake.

And lots of great sunsets.

Here is some of the aforementioned Burros.

Burro time. Look closely

This park is a fishermans and off roaders paradise.   Great Bass fishing (there was a tournement while we were there), and miles and miles of off road trails.   The 600 mile long Arizona Peace Trail runs right by the park.

One day we drove to the only civilization in 40 miles - a nearby bar (The Wayside Oasis) that served burgers, and burgers.   Its a popular watering hold for the ATV crowd and even has a dirt landing strip.

The Wayside Oasis Patio

Leaving Alamo after 2 weeks - we followed Rob down Alamo Rd.

Alamo Rd heading south

Our next stop was Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument for a week.   Only a few miles north of the border you have to watch to make sure your cell phones dont start pinging off of a Mexican Cell tower and you get charged for international.    I turned off my cellular and instead am using wifi calling via my Starlink internet.

Our site in Organ Pipe

Rob, Pat & Olivia on the trail in Organ Pipe

There are a lot of great roads - some more 4x4 than others in the park.   With the border issues however, many of them are either closed or thier use is discouraged.

The ajo loop in Organ Pipe

Cholla Cacti

After a week in Organ Pipe we headed up to Yuma for about 10 days or so at Fortuna de Oro RV Resort.   This place is truly a snowbird paradise.   Yuma ususally has about 100,000 people in the summer but that population swells in the winter by another 100,000 RV'ers.

There are dozens upon dozens of RV parks scattered about town.    I always enjoy our time in Yuma.   A good place to get lazy hooked up to 50amp, water, and sewer.    While here I had Papi's come over to wash and wax the bus.    They do a really nice job for about $175.    Hopefully it will hold till we depart for the east coast in about 5 or 6 weeks.

Fortuna de Oro

We are here till Thursday unless we decide to extend our stay.

After here it will be back to Tucson.   In mid March we have a bunch of appointments and then mid April we will be back on the road to the east coast, the Canadian Maritimes/Newfoundland etc.

The plan is to be back in Montana about the first week of September so that we can go Huckleberry picking at my secret mother lode.

Lots on the itinerary so stay turned and enjoy the ride.