Thursday, October 17, 2013


The Shutdown is over!  The Quartzsite Winter Season has begun.

We stayed at the Hi Jolly BLM 14-day area for 11 days and yesterday ventured into town to visit a friend who has been camping for a while at la Posa West.  She has a Class A motor home and a toad.  She drove in, right around the Closed sign and, along with many others, just ignored the Shutdown.

When I first got here on the 5th, there were only a few rigs in the LTVA areas, but yesterday, before the Shutdown was over, there were quite a few.  So...   After our visit Katie and I went into town to get groceries and then headed on down to la Posa South, where we were last year, and drove right around the Closed sign and went back to one of our favorite campsites.

I set up our site with chairs and a table and our American Flag, put out birdseed and my hummingbird feeder, and today after we get fresh water and dump the tanks I'll put the tire covers on my sun-side tires and put our solar lights around the site.  We're home.

Yesterday we already had Mourning Doves in the site.  One came by itself and spent quite a bit of time here, eating seed and walking around - checking things out.  I figured he was doing reconnaissance.

"You looking at me, Bub?"
Later more doves came walking up alongside The Palms, heading to the birdseed.  They ate some seed and walked around for a while, then wandered off.  This morning they were back.

And guess who just showed up?  Our first Gambel's Quail of the year.  :)

I also had a hummingbird at the feeder yesterday and this morning I got a photo of him.  Not the greatest photo, but still, it's the first.

And finally, here are some photos of views out our windows and behind our site.

My new front yard and backyard.  Beautiful, gorgeous, spectactular!

You know, as much as I was happy to be in Quartzsite the last 11 days, I'm just not a 14-day BLM person.  I want to be in a site I love and not have to move every 14 days.  That's the only problem with New Mexico State Parks - it's hard to move that often and to me, it's not worth setting up a campsite just to move on in a couple of weeks, so I never "set up" my site at NM state parks. (Last year New Mexico had a 21-day limit, and that was much better. This year they went back to 14 days.)

Here in the LTVA areas of Arizona and California, you've got from September 15 to April 15 the next year.  You can stay the whole time in one campsite, or if you get Hitch Itch, move to another site or another LTVA area in a month or two months, whatever suits you.  I like that stability and security.

I'm sure I'll move eventually down to the Imperial Dam LTVA and then on to Hot Springs LTVA.  But I've got six months left on the LTVA permit (that I guess I'll be buying soon).  

It's so good to be back!

I wrote a post a while ago about changing the settings on my camera to get good clear photos of hummingbird wings instead of the blur I usually get with a normal setting.  I posted the photos and they were really nice, showing the whole bird, not just a head and body and faint, blurred wings.

I've had some really nice hummer shots, but the wings were always blurred (like the photo of the hummer above - I've got to re-set my camera).  Then I read something Judy, of Travels with Emma,  wrote about changing to a certain lens setting to get the wings clearly.  I followed her instructions and ended up with beautiful photos of hummingbirds.  I had some comments asking me what setting I used, but I had changed them again and couldn't remember.  So I e-mailed Judy and asked for the settings she uses for action shots.  I told her was going to post it to answer your comment questions:

"I either set the shutter speed to 1/1000 sec. or sometimes use the sports/action setting on my camera. I believe the shutter speed on the sports setting may be 1/1800 sec."

So there you have it, (and so do I when I next forget which settings to use for my action shots). Thank you, Judy, you take such gorgeous photos, and hopefully this information will help some of us improve our shots, too!  

It's a beautiful day in Quartzsite - from me and Katie, have a great Thursday, everyone!  :)


  1. You are welcome. I hope to pull out tomorrow morning, at last, to head south. There haven't been any hummingbird wings to photograph here in over a month! :)

  2. How green it is! I have never been down there that early. Way nicer than later in the winter season. The hummers left here around Sept 12, could have stayed longer because the weather is still nice, but they have their schedule I guess LOL. Enjoy your spot until the crowds roll in!

  3. Such a nice feeling to be 'home'. Home is definitely where you park it! Nice when you can put out the things that make it feel like home for you.

  4. If it is a place you love there is no reason to move if you don't have to. Because we are just at the beginning we expect to move quite often because we want to travel.

    For now it will be about six weeks in the driveway. But that is pretty nice here. Just wish we didn't have to take the rig down to town every so often to pump out the tanks.

    Craig is learning very slowly to be careful with water use, but I swear he uses 2 gallons every morning to brush his teeth etc.

    We are taking showers down at the house, and I toss the dishwashing water outside, but if Craig does anything in the kitchen he just lets it run into the gray tank.

    He does try, and after the first week or two I stopped commenting on it. But the more careful we can be, the less often we will have to dump.

  5. I'm so proud of all my friends who ignored the closed signs at the LTVA.

  6. NICE! Oh those beautiful saguaro cactus! We can't wait to return next year! Enjoy your time there and post lots of pictures for me!

  7. I love your desert shots! Makes me homesick. I lived in Tucson for over 16 years and never got tired of the magic of the desert! Enjoy the peace, quiet and beauty!

  8. I like to stay at a place long enough to get comfy in my site and really explore the area. You have a wonderful place and I'm glad the wildlife welcomed you home.

  9. "Beautiful, gorgeous, spectactular!" I couldn't agree more !!

    I'd be one of those people who would have ignored the Closed sign and would have just driven around it also. My Bad !! LOL

  10. Nice site. Hope to see you there in January.

  11. Let the season begin for sure! See you in Q!

  12. Welcome Home. So glad you can stay put for awhile. Always nice to be able to "nest".

  13. Love the photos of the Doves, Quail and Hummer! Also, your shots of your front and back yards are fantastic! Enjoy your days there and keep posting your photos! Glad you are happy and settled in, in a site you like!

  14. Like your new spot, we sure want to spend some time in Q this winter just working on finding myself a good Solar system for our 5'er. Sure enjoyed your pictures, must feel good being able to stay away from all the hustle and bustle of Southern Calif after your years of living there.

  15. How do you deal with your black and gray tanks when you're in the long term area? Do trucks come out to pump? How long can you go on your tanks? I've always wondered how people go without hookups for long periods of time.

  16. Great photos as always. Glad you got the spot you like.

  17. I'm so happy for you to get back to a "Home" area. I think my preference would be to stay for quite a while when I visited a site that felt inviting. Short stays always sounded like one of the down sides of RVs but I guess for every camper that like to settle in, there is one that is ready to get up and find the next place. What a fun life to live. Barbara


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