Sunday, January 31, 2016

The big "Q"

"Q" in this case stands for Quartzsite and not question. We are in Quartzsite Arizona. If you haven't heard about this, and I have only learned about in the last year or so. It is a large chunk of the Arizona desert that is filled with RV'ers. There is no electricity, no water and no place to dump your holding tanks. There are places to do that but you have to drive your rig to them.

Our little piece of desert
View out our window looking north.
People come out to the desert for a cheap place to live for the winter. $180.00 for the entire season or you can pay $40.00 for 2 weeks. And that fee lets you get water and dump your tanks and garbage. This part of the desert is BLM (Bereau of Land Management) land and run by the BLM. The weather is warm and there is usually lots of sunshine. We have always wanted to try it  since we heard about it. Although since we have been here the last 2 days it has been fairly windy. There is even a section for Nudists if you where so inclined. Who knows we may move over there so be prepared for lots of pictures in the future.

What really amazes me is the amount of people that come out here to stay for the winter or just a few weeks. You have hundred thousand dollar rigs all set up with solar panels.

And you have a person like this living in a wooden box on wheels. He is actually living in this thing. But he is equipped with solar panels.
Here is another person living in this outfit.

There are all types of RV's. Big, small, old and new. There is even one person living in a boat. But I don't have a picture of that one.

What also strikes me as funny is how terratorial people get with thier little camps. The desert is huge, but if you get too close to some one else they will let you know about it. It already happened to us. People stake out thier claims by making little rock borders. So that is what Lisa and I did yesterday. Our neighbor who is about 50 yards away comes over and is shaking his head. I ask him how he is doing and he says "fine, until I see this rock wall, we drive our truck through here." He was talking about our little rock border. I told him he can drive over it if he wants. He then leaves shaking his head. Maybe he should have built a border around his spot then. Now I have to sit on our steps with my shotgun to protect my rock wall. People are strange.

I mentioned the wind earlier. Here is are some pictures of the dust blowing through.

Well that is my little take on the "Q". If there is more to add in the future I will. Beer time!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Remembering the Alamo

Making our way out west. We stopped in Guadalupe State park north of San Antonio. Now just a little note about Texas State parks. We booked 3 nights at $24.00 a night. Not to bad we thought. We pull into the park and pay the balance. What we didn't know was they also charge you $7.00 a night per person on top of the camping fee. Plus now we have the second vehicle which added another $5.00 a day. So now our 24 dollar a night fee is now 43. Sheesh. States parks are pricing themselves out of our budget anyways. We can stay in a RV park with full hook-ups for 13-18 dollars a night with Passport America. A no brainer. We are currrently at a RV resort with pool, laundry and every thing for $35.00 right now.

No more ranting. Sorry. I have always wanted to see the Alamo.

It is actually a Texas Shrine. It is a very important peice of Texas history. It was a very solomn  experience. The grounds are immaculate. And to tour the Alamo is entirely free. You can't beat that. They had a picture of David Crockett who defended and died at the Alamo. 

But he doesn't look anything like John Wayne.

After the Alamo we walked over to the river walk. I was here once before in 1982. I had a day pass when I was in Basic training and my family picked me up and took me down there. It wasn't what I remembered but it was very nice to walk around there.
Best sight of all.

It is a little bit like Venice with the canal there. We had an over priced lunch at the Agave Bar. It made a nice day trip for us.

Time to get back in the saddle.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lay over on the Mississippi gulf coast

After Amazon and after our quick trip to Minnesota, we are making our way out west to Quartzite AZ. We have been putting on a lot of miles so we wanted to spend a few days relaxing at the beach. Last year we were in this area and kind of liked it. This area was hit hard by hurricane Katrina and you can see that it has not recovered after ten years. There are so many houses that have been destroyed and nothing left but foundations and empty drive ways. We went for our morning walk one day and came across a condominium that was in the process of being built until Katrina hit. It has been abandoned and just sits there on the beach empty.

We are staying in Pass Christian. Pronounced Pass Krissty-anne. this is right between Gulfport and Waveland(where we were last year). What I like about this area is the beaches. I got out my metal detector and made 6 cents. Adding that to the 57 cents I found last year and I can almost retire.Granted we have been here both times in the winter and the beaches are deserted, but they are beautiful.

Not to mention the sunsets. There is also a little beach bar that we like to go to. Shaggy's. Nice place to visit if you are driving by.

This area is known for its shrimping. According to some literature I read, it has the largest shrimping fleet in Pass harbor. So I had the shrimp basket at Shaggy's and it did not disappoint. 

I would like to add more to this blog post, but we are in an area with poor Verizon service and each photo is taking 30 minutes to up load. So another day then. West ward HO!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Open mouth, insert foot

They say that hind sight is 20/20. I guess that that is true. This is what I mean.

Example one: This is before we started this lifestyle. We were camping in a 27 foot travel trailer in Lanesboro MN. When we camped, we were always outside. We never stayed indoors unless it was raining. So we were outside around a fire with the kids, across the road a huge fifth wheel pulls in and sets up. After they are set up they go inside and we don't see them again all weekend.(the camper wasn't even rocking). I said to Lisa "Gawd, we are not going to ever get one of those monstrocities. That is not my way of camping"

Well as fate would have it we did end up with one of those fifth wheels. (would I like fries with that size 10?) Ours is 36 feet. Not the largest and not the smallest, just right.

Example two: This was just recently. We like to walk around campgrounds and look at other peoples rigs and what they have and how they do it. You can get lots of good ideas just from looking at other peoples stuff. But one thing I have always noticed and I think Lisa has also is the number of cars parked at a camp spot. We would walk by and again I would say to Lisa "How many cars do people need to travel with, Gawd!" (would I like dessert with that size 10?)

It is always a learning experience. We have learned that we do need a Jeep for fun day trips and it makes a good grocery getter. So we have a Jeep traveling with us. Lisa drives it behind me and that is working out good for both of us. She can stress out all she wants in her own vehicle and I lead the way. Win-win.

Time for a cold one!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Arctic explorations

We are not actually in the Arctic, but you would not know that from the weather.
After Amazon we came home to Minnesota for Christmas and to spend some time with family before we head south to warmer weather. 18 below zero is quite cold and if you factor in the wind chill it is probably feels like 30 below. That is one of the biggest factors of why we left this area. But on a positive note the sun is out today. We have not seen the sun since we got here Dec. 23rd and it is Jan. 10th. When it does get this cold you can see something rarely ever seen by most Americans. Snotcicles. Just use your imagination.
This is what 18 below looks like

Surprisingly, the truck starts. I have to keep it plugged in though. And the Jeep starts with out being plugged in. It turns over very slowly and makes some gawd awful noises until it warms up. Don't even think about washing anything here when it is this cold. For one thing the car washes close when it gets below 0 and if you do wash it the doors freeze shut.
Filthy vehicles
Somethings I had to re-learn when we got here. How to walk on ice again. You have to do the heel toe shuffle. Driving on ice also. It is always a butt cheek tightening experience. It keeps the adrenaline pumping sometimes. Fashion goes out the window. Now you just dress to be warm.
My son Roman
This is my son Roman who is going to the Vikings game today. The game is outside in Minneapolis. Negative 6 with a windchill of negative 25. I was asked if I wanted to go and I said I was not going to freeze my butt off for that.

There is a big scandanavian influence up north here. You could probably tell by our accents if you have met us. Guess what that says and what it is.

That is it in a nut shell. We are not frozen yet, but getting there. We hit the road again next week!