Saturday, March 31, 2012

MOOOOMMMM! WE'VE GOT COMPANY! or... Be careful what you wish for!

Ruff, Ruff, Ruff!  Well, now we know for sure, Katie is a good watchdog...

...and she isn't backing up!!  :)

We had the most exciting afternoon!  Katie and I were sitting outside in the cool afternoon breezes this afternoon. It was around 93 degrees inside and outside, but better breezes outside. I was reading and Katie was walking around as much as she could on a short leash.  I had a cold ice water, and Katie had a plastic bowl of water.

We are camped on the edge of the new campground (great Verizon!) overlooking the Colorado River across the main road, and I noticed a car stopped on the side of the road, other cars were going around it, but I didn't think much about it.  I kept reading.  Then a woman walked by my site toward the road, and I looked up, and saw more cars stopped.  Thinking there had been an accident, or someone was in trouble, I got up and walked over to the edge of my site to see what was going on. 

That's when I saw the burros.  I ran back to The Palms to get my camera - finally!  Burros during the daytime and I was going to get some photos!   OH BOY, was I ever!

I ended up taking 125 pictures.

There were seven burros, it looked like six adults and one juvenile.  They were in the middle of the street and when a vehicle stopped, they all walked over to the windows, begging.  (That's why the camp host was so vehement on Wednesday that I NOT feed them.  I told her I only want to see them to take photos.  Obviously they are used to being fed.)

They went from car to truck to car, everyone seemed delighted.

There were some men towing a boat,
and I could hear them laughing and talking excitedly.

I stood up on the hill overlooking the road  - snapping away.

Finally all the cars and trucks drove away, and the burros started walking down the road, toward the campground entrance road.  This guy seemed to be the leader.

And he saw me.

Okay, let's see if she's got food.

I guess that's enough car-hopping.  We're going to the campground.

"OMG - Here they come!"  I actually said that out loud to myself.  :)

I ran to The Palms and got Katie off her leash and put her inside.

The rest of the burros turned up our road, then went off the road heading up the hill to our site.  EGADS!  I ran back to The Palms again and put my drink and Kindle and the Cheezits inside, and went back to take more photos.  At that point they were all heading my way, getting closer - and I hightailed it inside, too. 

No, that isn't a hummingbird.

They were so polite.  Just crowded around the door, thank goodness they didn't press on the screen door - and push it through.  I was a little worried about that.

They found Katie's water bowl, and between three of them, emptied it.  

They finally wandered around The Palms, and looked in the window over the couch.  

They hung around for a while, trying to get closer, quietly edging each other out of the way, just hanging around like a bunch of teenagers outside a movie theater trying to get close to the cute girl.

Then they wandered away - across the campground to a  bush and started eating it.

They were still walking around the campground an hour later. There are very few RVs here and I could plainly see them walking, stopping, looking around, moving on.

It was so much fun, I was so excited, and Katie didn't know what to make of it.  She barked a little, especially when those big faces were right on the screen door looking through at her.  She stood her ground, though, and kept her eye on them the whole time.  She was close to the screen door, then close to the couch window screen.  She stayed between me and them; it must be instinct, and I was very proud of her.

The whole thing was so absolutely thrilling, I couldn't believe it as they slowly walked up the hill to my RV site, then to my front door.  

When I got here yesterday, I was across the campground, kiddie-corner to where I am now.  I decided I wanted to move this morning and tried a couple of places.  (One of which was a little tricky - I got kind of stuck, had a problem backing out because of the loose sand.  I decided that wasn't a good spot, but it had a fabulous view.)   I really wanted to see the burros, and thought I might be too far away from them if they came through.  They ended up leaving tonight right through the first campsite I was in yesterday. 

So, that was our exciting day.  It was really hot, but I remembered  the window coverings I bought when I was in Vacaville last July visiting my daughter and her family.  It was sooooo hot. I took them out this morning and put one on the kitchen window, where the sun was streaming in.  As the sun moved around the rig, I moved the sunshades to the couch window and front window.  There was a nice breeze all day, and that helped a lot.  All in all, the heat was very tolerable with the sunshades and breezes helping.

Tonight at 8:00 it's really windy outside, and only 84 degrees inside The Palms, so it's cooled down considerably.

From Me and Katie, have a great Saturday night, everyone!  :)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Update on services for Imperial Dam LTVA

I was talking to the camp hosts the other day, and asked about the nearest services.  Turns out there are services going each way out of here.  The closest is about a mile down the road if I turn left going out - there's a type of convenience store there that has most of what I'd need.

Going the other way, there is a Christian Center, I remember passing it on the way here, that is open a few hours four days a week at this point, I think, where I can leave mail and get free drinking water.

Also, anyone can shop at the Army base a little ways past that.  At the base we can get gas, use their restaurants and there is a place to shop (not like "military people" shopping with the deep discounts).  I have no military connections, but there are a lot of things civilians have access to on the base.  They also have a church anyone can attend.

Katie taking a walk on the path by our site.

The camp hosts also said this is a great LTVA because if there's a medical emergency, the medics at the base come, and are here in minutes.  If it's a true emergency and the patient needs to be hospitalized right away,  they will fly you out. Hopefully that doesn't happen very often, but nice to know. 

Jim and Gayle left a comment that when they were here, there were activities like group meals, planned hikes, trips to Yuma, exercise classes, etc. that were scheduled.  For someone like me without a car, the trips to Yuma would have been good, I could have chipped in for the gas, and tagged along for the shopping. The season is coming to an end, though, and I didn't see anything planned on the board.

Finally got a hummer photo - unfortunately his beautiful colors don't show.

One problem at this LTVA is the Verizon is spotty here.  I keep dropping phone calls and have to stand outside and not move around, or my call is lost.  Kind of frustrating.  Without a TV, I rely on my Internet connection to watch TV after the shows have aired, and I can't do that here.  The camp hosts said there's a place down the road right past the Christian Center, up on a hill (I remember it coming in) that has really good reception.   You can actually see the Verizon tower, so the line of sight would mean it's probably blazing fast.  I'm going to move there today.  It's also on the way back to Highway 95, which is the way I'll go when I leave this area, so it'll reduce my drive a little.

I heard the burros braying again last night, and they just started again, this is the first time during the day I've heard them.  I wish I could get a look at them in the daytime - and some photos.

I've been keeping up with everyone's blogs, but the slow Internet won't allow me to see most of the photos, and won't let me leave comments most of the time.  I'm still keeping up with you all...

Pretty sunsets here, as usual.  Arizona's got such great sunsets:

I'll let you know how I like the campground I move to with the (hopefully) good Verizon signal.

From Me and Katie, have a great Friday, everyone!  :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We've moved to Imperial Dam LTVA

WELCOME to our newest followers, Ed, Carol and Gopher the dog.  They have a Lazy Daze motor home, and have been RVing at least since 2005.  Right now they are planning their next trip, which is to leave about April 10 and return home in mid-December.  Heading west.  Maybe.   Ed and Carol, we are happy to have you along with us, and we hope you are able to leave on April 10!  :)

I am writing this from The Imperial Dam Long Term Visitor Area, which is located North of Yuma on the California side of the Colorado River.

 We are at the edge of the RV site area, the lake is down a hill and over a bit.
Not right  next to us, as it looks in this photo.  I wish!

Morning view of the lake. 

It's pretty nice here, so far. Very different from Quartzsite.  This campground is on the top of a flat hill/mountain on a level gravely, dirt type surface.  

Lots of places to park this late in the season.
The vegetation is all around us, but not in the camping area, except a few cactus here and there.  We are overlooking a green area of trees and bushes that's next to the lake, which is low at this end.  Still very pretty.

 View from my dinette window looking northwest.

View from my dinette window looking southeast.

Last night after dark, I heard the wild burrows braying right near our site, and this morning there was burro poop right near us.  Katie was barking like mad as I opened the window coverings to see if they were at all visible.  I didn't realize there were wild burros here, but I'll try to get a picture if I can.

There don't seem to be any birds or other small critters near our campsite, I expect they are more comfortable closer to the vegetation that gives them cover.  There was one red breasted hummingbird that flew up to the dinette window this morning, though.  I immediately got out my new hummingbird feeder, filled it, and now its on my window ready for any birds that come by.

The weather yesterday afternoon and so far today is perfect.  Last night I had the best breezes going through The Palms, and it's warm and breezy now.  So far I like this LTVA better than Quartzsite or Hot Springs, except that there isn't a town close by.  It's 25 miles from Yuma, AZ, and I don't know how good the roads are that way.  I came in from Highway 95, going south from Quartzsite, and the road here was longer than I expected, and after a while, not the best dirt road. 

The Highway 95 entrance to this LTVA goes past the Yuma Army Proving Ground. At the road entrance off 95 are these guns, one on each side of the road:

Then, up the road a bit is a display of lots of tanks and artillery from different wars.  I was a little emotional looking at them, and only took one photo.  It's sad we need these:

I've been trying to get a photo of this cactus in flower for a while now, and all of a sudden, they are everywhere.

 There were hundreds of these in bloom along 95.

 Parked at the entrance to the Yuma Army Proving Grounds

These are thorny, dry looking cactus, 
but the flowers are delicate and beautiful up close.

Katie was even willing to sit outside by herself for a little while this morning.

  She walked around a little, stretched out on the dirt for a few minutes,
and then sat on the bottom step, looking in, then whined.
She's such a wuss - just like her mom. :)

When we were driving up to Senator's Wash on our way to the LTVA, there was an area that had been burned in a fire.  Have you ever seen a palm tree after a fire?  I thought it was kind of pretty in an eerie way.

I was ready to leave Quartzsite, and wanted to start heading back to Glendale, AZ to have my solar system checked out by Ron, the owner, then I'll know everything is good with my electrical system, and I'll be able to head north with no worries.  I talked to Ron, and he said he'd be happy to check out my system, just let him know when I want to come in.

So, we'll hang out here for a while, I'm not sure how long I want to stay.  

From me and Katie, see you next time!  :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

A trip to town - got the new converter

A big WELCOME to two new followers:

Dave's World - Hey Dave, it looks like you follow a lot of RV blogs, and have one yourself, but my info doesn't show your blog name.  If you get a chance, let me know the name of blog in my comments so I can check it out and give you a plug.  Katie and I are very happy to have you following us on our adventures!

NanaDiana - Diana has a blog, it's not an RV blog, but very sweet and interesting. Lots of decorating things, great photos, the kind of thing I loved when I had a (bigger) home to decorate. Diana posts every day, has tons of followers and gets loads of comments.  I loved reading your posts, Diana, and I'm happy you are following along with me and Katie.

Welcome aboard to you both!  :)

Yesterday a Roadrunner walked right through my campsite, mere feet from me. He stopped at my fire ring of rocks, jumped up on one, looked around and walked in front of The Palms, and continued on past us to the next campsite.  I was running around The Palms with my camera.  I don't know why I have to take photos every time I see him. Carol says it's the same bird each time, but I love taking pictures of him for some reason.  This is the closest I've seen him, and he's a pretty big bird.

Yesterday I went to town to see if my converter was in, and we were too early, so later in the morning, I called Quiet Times, and YES, it arrived.  Mike, one of the Dingbats, drove me into town again, and we picked  it up.  On the way back to camp, we stopped at my friend Roger's - the electrical engineer - site and he said he'd be over soon to put it in for me. 

He came by in a bit, and installed it, and everything is working!  So I'm good to go on the converter issue.

New Warranty Converter - 60 Amp

This morning, I packed up the failed 80 Amp converter in the same box, and Mike again drove me to town to the post office so I could mail it back to the company.  I'm hoping it will qualify for a warranty, but they have to check it first.  The man at the post office said it would arrive by Monday, so I'll e-mail the company on Monday and ask them to let me know if it's covered under their warranty.

This morning I sent an e-mail to Ron, my solar guy in Glendale, AZ, to see if he would put a ground wire on my Inverter and double check the solar system, since I had a couple of electrical issues while the large inverter was on.

After studying my system and the problems I've had, Roger wants me to get an Inverter like his.  It's a pure sine wave inverter, and the one I have is a modified sine wave.  I put that info into my e-mail to Solar Ron, and am anxiously waiting to see what he says.

What is this photo below?  This is a photo of Katie looking... guilty?

Just look at that face.  :(

I had my dinner plate on the dinette table and went outside for a few seconds to do something and when I came back, there was a clean strip on my plate.  Someone had licked the plate.  I don't think that's ever happened before.  Katie was always very trustworthy around food, but I guess she just couldn't resist my chicken casserole.  She was banished to her bed and sat there looking at me while I finished my dinner.  She looked so sad - I felt kind of bad, but...  what are you going to do?

When we had the big winds last time, I was watching all the critters eating the birdseed I put out.  The wind was howling, and these guys were determined to eat.  Look at the ruffled fir on the rabbit, and the feathers blowing out on the bird.

The next picture is one I took of different animals sharing the seeds.  This one is the rabbit sharing with the little gopher.

Speaking of gophers, I got an e-mail from Donna Weibel, Sam's wife.  She said she Googled "gopher photo," and this is what she got:

I think the little guys here with the skinny tails are gophers - cute, little gophers.  Thanks, Donna!

And now, Katie and I are going for a walk.  We hope you all have a great day!  :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quiet and warm, my kind of day

A big WELCOME to our newest Follower, Lisa Levin.  Lisa doesn't have any information listed, so I can't give her blog a plug, but we are very happy to have you along with us on our adventures, Lisa.  Welcome aboard!  :)

Yesterday morning after talking to the converter manufacturer, see below, I needed to get on the road.  The weather was finally pretty calm and sunny and  I was out of propane and had a little grocery list, so I decided to drive to Parker, AZ - the nearest Walmart.  It felt so good to be on the highway again!  I've said it over and over and I'll say it again: I just love driving The Palms!  It was about an hour each way, and sure felt good.

Some of the cactus were in bloom, and there were tiny purple flowers along parts of the highway.

When I got back I filled the gas tank, so now I have a full gas and propane tanks, and full fridge, freezer and cupboards.

I'm also in a cooking mood, and made myself a casserole - I haven't done that in a while.  Chicken, rice, artichoke hearts, green beans, spices, wine and cream of mushroom soup.  It's enough for about five meals, and I've already had it for dinner twice.  Really good!

 It's really good, but I would have liked MORE artichoke hearts.

I checked the website of my converter manufacturer, Progressive Dynamics, and it showed their 2-year warranty, and how to go about having a converter replaced under warranty.  I e-mailed them yesterday morning and received an answer very soon thereafter, asking me to fax/e-mail them a copy of my receipt. About 15 minutes later they called and confirmed my mailing address and said they would be sending me a new unit Fed Ex that day.  Wow!  It was so nice to deal with a great company!

I'll send them the failed converter by return mail in the same box, and one of the men here at Quartzsite said he would install it for me.  Basically it's just plugging it in and attaching two wires, but I'm afraid of wires, so I'll happily have him do it for me.  I think that will be the end of my electrical issues.  Won't that be nice?

Thank you all for your moral support - it's so nice to have people behind me when I'm going through difficult times, and you guys are just great!   And your suggestions are always right on, too.  As soon as the warranty is completed and The Palms is back to 100%, I'll post the name and address of the Utah RV shop, and start sending letters and e-mails to the various places, and I'll include the places you all suggested, too.

This is an interesting way to level your rig if you don't have levelers or leveling blocks. One of the men here, Mike, levels his Class A like this:

 See the mounds of flattened dirt? 
They were on the right side if his rig, which needed to be higher.

After the last few days of lots of wind and rain, the morning after brought out all the little critters. 

The little guy below spent a lot of time eating leaves on this bush.  He stood up and held some branches down with one arm, and grabbed higher limbs and pulled them down with his other arm, and ate. Then he climbed up on the rock and climbed the bush and continued eating.  He has a long skinny tail like a rat, but I was told he's a squirrel. I thought squirrels had bushy tails, but I didn't feel like researching it.

There are a bunch if them that have holes they've burrowed under these bushes, and they go in and out and chase each other around. 

 Is that a squirrel's tail?

Beautiful sunset last night.

From me and Katie, see you next time!  :)