Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hello from Shoshone, CA.

Saturday evening; February 9, 2008 (Third travelogue of this trip)

Our current location is here (you should be able to click on the word “here” and it will direct you to the map). You can change the map from a normal view to a satellite view and can increase or decrease the viewing area to better understand where we are.

We sadly left Yuma on Wednesday and traveled about 130 miles to Parker, AZ where we stayed at the Blue Water Casino. It was a very picturesque setting, right on the Colorado River. Pat said the casino was not that great, but it was a good place to stop.

On Thursday we traveled to Shoshone. On the way we stopped in Lake Havasu, AZ to spend some time looking at the London Bridge. Background on this bridge is pasted in the next paragraph.

London Bridge in Lake Havasu

In 1962, London Bridge was falling down. Built in 1831, the bridge couldn't handle the ever-increasing flow of traffic across the Thames River. The British government decided to put the bridge up for sale, and Robert McCulloch, Founder of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Chairman of McCulloch Oil Corporation, submitted the winning bid of $2,460,000. The bridge was dismantled, and each stone was numbered. Everything was shipped 10,000 miles to Long Beach, California, and then trucked to Lake Havasu City. Reconstruction began on September 23, 1968, with a ceremony including the Lord Mayor of London, who laid the cornerstone. On October 10, 1971, the bridge was dedicated.

We drove the bus over the bridge and then parked it a few blocks away and walked along the river under the bridge so that we could see it from all sides. I have attached a picture of the bridge.

We have talked about Shoshone in previous travelogues. It is a tiny town of 100 people. The campground is very basic, bordering on primitive. We like that. It has a great spring fed pool that is about 90 degrees. We found this place in Pat's Hot Springs Book. We first stayed here in March of 2006 on our maiden voyage. The weather is warming a bit. Last week the lows were in the 30s, but the forecast for next week is 70s in the daytime and 40s at night.

As most of you know, we have almost no cell phone signal here. I did buy an amplifier prior to this trip and we can get out once in a while on Pat's phone. I have a new phone and have ordered the adapter cable for the amplifier. I should have it next Tuesday.

I cracked out for a new Palm 680 “smart phone”. It is a PDA and a phone. I can get internet and email as well as phone. I also have my Palm database of contacts, memos (basic data items) and calendar that I have developed over the past several years. At the same time, I switched back to AT&T since they have the same phone technology as that used in Europe. The plan is to be able to use the phone in Europe for both voice calls and checking my business email. I will also take my laptop, but this will allow me to keep up on business items much easier. Besides, it is a GREAT TOY. I used my saved up Christmas and Birthday money to buy a Garmin GPS system for this phone. Can you say GEEK/TECHNO JUNKIE .

Yesterday we went to Pahrump, NV (about 30 miles each way) to do some shopping, check cell messages and let Pat get even with the machines (about $300 worth). She had been having terrible luck at several casinos on this trip and was sure glad to see a turn of events.

Today we did some catching up on projects and went swimming. It really felt great! Tomorrow we will probably do the same things.

In the last travelogue we talked about Dexter the beagle. What a work he is!! After his dinner (exactly at 5:00 PM) he gets a ride in the golf car (see photo of him waiting).

Dexter waiting for his ride

I also need to catch up on a couple of events from Yuma. Ed, Stevi, and Pat stopped at an orchard and picked three five gallon buckets of tangerines ($4.00 per bucket!). They juiced several of them and you can not believe how good the juice is!!!

As we were getting ready to leave, we planned to be sneaky and leave a gift for them without them knowing about it. Our plans worked. Later Ed, called us to thank us and mentioned that they could be sneaky as well. That evening we found two large wood burned decorated spoons that Stevi had made for Pat. They were in a plastic bag the Ed had sneaked into the bus. These are similar to the ones we gave the girls at Christmas. They are gorgeous and Pat loves them. Stevi did them from some Stampin' Up! Artwork. We laughed our tails off (censored for the grandkid's eyes). We could not believe that they got the last laugh! They sure are great folks and we really enjoyed our stay at their “lot”.

Guess that is all of now.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hello from Yuma, AZ

Hello from Yuma, AZ

Sunday evening; February 3, 2008 (Second travelogue of this trip)

Our current location is here (you should be able to click on the word “here” and it will direct you to the map). There is no satellite image for this location, so click on “Map” rather than “Satellite” if our location does not show up.

Well, a lot of fun things have occurred since our last travelogue. And one not so fun. While we were in Indio, a fellow showed up and knew about every stop we would make on this trip (I had posted the information on one of the bus forums). He was interesting to talk to a first. But at the conversion went on, it became less fun (he was loud and a bit obnoxious). I was able to excuse myself, and I thought that would be the end of it. However, when we came back from dinner in Quartzsite Thursday evening, they were parked next to us. They jumped out of their bus and kind of “pounced” on us before we could even open the door. The rest of the evening was not very pleasant to say the least. He was even more obnoxious and loud this time and his wife was kind of weird. We were able to get away from them after about an hour and half of “pain”. The next morning we had a breakfast appointment with a friend. When we came back, the “stalkers” were gone (whew!). We were prepared to pack up and move if we had to.

On the positive side, we got to meet some great bus folks that were in the area. We also spent some time in the big RV Tent where there were a lot of vendors (some that we knew from our membership in PRVVC: Professinal RV Vendors Chapter of FMCA). It was fun to talk with them. We also purchased a few things at the show. In addition, we did some shopping in the flea market that was close to the tent. I should mention that there are huge flea markets all over town. We bought lots of little things at what we think were very good prices.

Saturday we left Quartzsite and traveled to Yuma (about 80 miles) to stay a couple of days with some friends: Ed and Stevi Hackenbruch. Well, that couple of days has expanded quite a bit. Our plans are to leave on Tuesday or Wednesday and start heading to Shoshone, CA (our favorite little town).

Ed and Stevi live in their bus full time. In the winter they stay in Yuma and in the summer they travel to Washington where Ed works as a heavy equipment operator. Ed and Stevi are absolutely great hosts and we have had a ball with them (and there great beagle: Dexter). Dexter is a hoot! He has a very special schedule: he goes for a walk in the desert with Ed each morning, eats exactly at 5:00PM and then goes for a ride on the golf cart. Last night Ed and I were in our bus looking at the computer. Dexter came to the door and then went and sat in the cart staring at us until Ed took him for his ride.

We have done a lot of fun things with Ed and Stevi. One day we went to Algodones Mexico (about 20 miles away) and did some very fun shopping. Pat bought a purse, a couple of light jackets and a bracelet. We also bought a couple of colorful blankets as protective covers for our bus seats. The day we went was the last day you could get back into the US without a passport (we left ours at home). We also went to the Yuma flea market which is quite “upscale” with great merchandise. Actually we went there twice. We have gone out to eat several times and just plain had fun!

It is very hard to explain what their “lot” is like. This whole subdivision (several square miles) is aimed at folks who live in RVs . There is also a mix of permanent homes, but RVs out number permanent structures. The lots are laid out for two RVs and most have great looking brick walls surrounding them and fancy gates. Many have casitas (small buildings with varying levels of amenities). Theirs has a bathroom with washer and a room that Stevi uses as a workshop for her work with decorated gourds (she does great work). The attached photo that Stevi took shows their lot and our buses as well as the casita. Even the picture does not convey how neat the area is.

Guess that is all for now.