Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Imperial Dam LTVA

I've been having some computer/phone/Internet issues the last week or two, but I think I finally have things back to normal.  I got a new phone, then found out Verizon blocked my ability to use it as a hotpspot using FoxFi and it was a pain to always have it connected by a USB cord (and that didn't always get me connected).  So I bought another one and returned the first phone.  Now everything works again.  I loved my 3G phone and knew it inside and out, but the hardware just didn't talk to the upgraded software anymore so....   I really had no choice.  Now I'm super glad to have this nice new 4G phone!  It has a little bigger face, too, so it's easier to do things with just the phone. 

Christmas was quiet, but I made a nice breakfast for myself:

Man, was it good!  Two large eggs scrambled with cheese on top, a whole avocado mashed with lemon and salt/pepper, sour cream and catsup.  Ummmm!  And a toasted Chibatta roll with lots of butter and apricot jam.  I ate every single bit, too. 

Then Katie and I went out for a walk.  We walked down across the road to the water, then back to the road and down a ways to the canal.  I don't know what part of "Imperial Dam" this is, but it looks like a dam.  Pretty with the palm trees and mountains.

I'm finding it hard to push Katie's stroller on the rocky and/or rough roadways, so I think if I'm going to get any real walking in, I'm going to leave Katie home and put on my MP3 player full of audio books and take off by myself.  I hate to leave her, because she loves to come along, but I think 2015 is going to be the year of walking alone for me.  At least while we're in the desert.  As long as I have an audio book or walking music to listen to, it'll be enjoyable and good exercise.

Here are some shots of the areas by us.  These are across Senator Wash, the road in front of us.  Here's the water:

And right to the left of it is this beautiful field.

That's the view out the dinette windows.  Here's our site at the edge of the campground.

The edge is slowly falling down and right before I got here the Rangers (or someone working for the BLM) brought a bunch of rock and filled in some of the edges of the slides.  That concrete pad is the largest one left from a small community that lived here when Imperial Diverson Dam was built between 1936 and 1938. Families lived on this land while employed to build the dam, and this one was apparently where the hospital was, and there were little houses all over this area up here.  Every so often you can spot a water pipe right below the dirt.  There must be a whole bunch of pipes and "whatever" under the ground here.

It seems like each year when I come there is a little less area to camp overlooking the road and water.  This isn't the prettiest campsite I've had, but I sure do like my view.

Here are a couple of my neighbors:

See how his coloring blends into the rocks?  (These are the rocks used to "fill" in the areas where the slides are taking place.)

Cute little critters!

We drove to Yuma to do some shopping yesterday and on our way back, past the military base, look what turned out of their driveway and came toward us, a big tank:

From me and Katie, have a great Tuesday, everyone!  :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The cute, the smokey, the Christmassy and the beautiful

Our FIRST burro!  We saw this cute little guy on Monday - he was just standing there, looking down the road.  It seemed like he was waiting for his burro buddies, I remember last year they always travelled in families or groups.  He ignored us until I whistled, then he turned his head our way, but still didn't move.

Katie and I drove passed him on our way to the Christian Service Center.  We were going there to register so I can receive mail at the center.  We spoke to the ladies for a while, found out all about their services, then walked over to the post office to make sure our new phone hadn't arrived yet.  Unfortunately they will be closed from Wednesday through Sunday for the Christmas holiday and the phone wasn't there.  (This isn't a USPS, it's a "service" they perform for local folks.)

On our way back to the site, he was still standing there, so patiently looking down the road.  Hadn't moved a foot.  I'm still seeing lots of hoof prints going past The Palms - these guys, so far, are moving through this campground when it's dark.  As the days get longer, we'll see them more and more.  :)  Isn't he a beauty?

We drove to the little town of Winterhaven yesterday (Wednesday) to pick up my new phone, and on the way back this is what we saw (note the really rough road - about 1/3 of the way we drove between 5 and 15 mph.  I could feel all the screws in The Palms slowly working their way loose with all the rattling going on):

I wondered if the fire was near our campground and whether or not we'd be able to get back to our site.  It turns out, I think it's pretty close, but heard it's a controlled fire.  This is what we saw from our site when we got back around 5:30:


It looked like the fires were being spread along a line, and some were dying out, others were growing.  This is what I saw this morning:

This was just a bit ago:

Katie and I went out for a walk, and it was raining large ashes on us.  These long black ash pieces are all over the place:

 This is a dust devil of ashes that flew across the ground in front of us:

The last few nights we've had a parade of light drive through the campground.  Honking horns, yelling Merry Christmas, with Santa in the last one.  There were six vehicles, I think,  and they were really cute and Christmassy:

A different setting on the camera would have helped, but you get the idea.

This is my neighbor's site all lit up at night:

Second only to full moons, I love these little sliver moons - this was last night's:

Here is one of our sunsets since we've been here at Imperial Dam LTVA - I wonder what the sunset will look like tonight with all the smoke in the sky?  When I go outside I can taste the smoke, so we're staying in as much as possible.  But I remember some gorgeous sunsets in the past when we were near a fire.

Katie and I wish all of our readers a Very Merry Christmas.  Peace, Health and Happiness.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Goodbye Quartzsite - at least for now.

Here are some final photos from Quartzsite:

This coyote walked down the road right near us, just strolling along - at 12:30 in the afternoon.  I was surprised to see him at that time of day, and when a car drove past on the road, he just stood there and looked at it.  Wasn't at all worried.  He looks pretty healthy. 

This was a shot of the full moon rising over the aspen glow on the eastern mountains behind us.

One of our hummers in the campsite:

Did this Hummingbird hear about the "hands up, don't shoot" protesters?

I loved this cactus and took lots of photos of it.

Here it is at sunset:

This is Sasha, Sue and Brian's dog.  She's such a sweet dog, and Katie really liked her.

Pretty Quartzsite sunset:

Well, you all know why we have wheels on our homes, right?   So we can move on down the road whenever we want.  As much as I like Quartzsite, it was constantly cold and mostly cloudy the 5+ weeks we were there.  When we first got there it was nice, but once it turned cold and cloudy, it seemed to go on forever.  I remember two years ago it was like that, and I finally moved south. I did it again Friday.

On Thursday I let Brian know I was leaving and he came over at 8 am Friday morning and un-tilted my solar panels so I could drive on the 95 freeway.  Thanks, Brian!

We are now at Imperial Dam LTVA - it's actually on the California side of the CA/AZ border, but this area still has Mountain Time.  It's warmer here, and will be for weeks and weeks.  I may or may not return to Quartzsite - depending on whether I feel like moving again.

This is where the wild burros are that Katie and I loved so much in 2012.  I don't often repeat photos, but couldn't resist showing you these again.  Do you remember them?

They were so much fun to watch!  We've come through this way since then, but haven't stayed long enough to see them. This time I plan to stay longer and get lots of great burro photos.  I hope.

This morning when we took our walk, there was a line of lots and lots of hoof prints going right by The Palms.  According to my neighbor, they pass this way every morning while it's still dark, and then retrace their steps in the evening.  I think they are headed to the canals below us.  Yes, we have a view of the water.  I wasn't expecting to get one of these water view sites coming this late.  They are usually taken early in the season and it's almost the end of December, so I was surprised to see some empty.  The last two times I was here it was pretty crowded and these were taken, but this time we lucked out.  (Its actually not a really pretty site, but I prefer it to the inside sites with trees and bushes.  From here I can see the road and the water, and when the burros are walking down the road I can see them.)

The Yuma Proving Grounds down the road are doing a lot of warfare practice - there's a lot of "BOOM" stuff going on.  Some of them shake The Palms.

Welcome to our newest Follwers, Tom and Deb Duchaine!  Katie and I are happy to have you following along with us - Welcome Aboard!  :)

From me and Katie, have a great Sunday, everyone!  :)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

First MapMyWalk walk, my dog-faced kid, and pink air

But first...  I read an interesting blog post the other day at InterstellarOrchard.   Becky was writing about her expectations before she started full-timing and what she's actually learned.   It's very well organized into "What I Expected," "What I Didn't Expect," and "What I Learned."  As one of her commenters said, "Very perceptive and a must-read for anyone looking at full-timing." 

I really enjoyed it, and of course thought back to what I was expecting before I started out, what I now know that I didn't expect, and what I've learned overall after 3 1/2 years on the road. 

I did a lot of research before I started, have tons of files on the computer containing tips, on-line manuals (in addition to all the manuals that came with The Palms and it's various systems), bookmarks for various forums to check when I have a question or problem, etc.  I think the more organized we are, the easier it is.  At least for me.  AND a sunny attitude, because the clouds will come from time to time, and being optimistic gets me though.

Check out her post - and also check the tab at the top called "Useful Stuff," it's really interesting, too.  Great info for dreamers or newbies, and if you're already on the road, you'll probably enjoy it as much as I did.   :)

Things have been very quiet here.  Katie and I are just chilling out and enjoying the desert.  

Katie's best view of the outside world is from her car seat.  She just watches and looks and takes it easy.

I don't know if I've posted about my new 4G phone, but I'm loving it.  I can finally download all the apps and updates that my 3G wasn't able to handle.  I downloaded the Map My Walk app - it's free - and tried it out the other day.  Katie and I started out taking the trash bag to the garbage dumpsters, which are 1/4 mile from our campsite (I walk at least 1/2 mile a day!).  I put the trash bag in her stroller, and after dumping it I put Katie in for the ride home. 

So the other day, using the walking app, I pushed the stroller to the dumpsters, tossed the trash, and then kept going, I wanted to see how far Katie could walk before stopping.  She walked for 1/2 mile before she couldn't go further and I put her in the stroller.  We went for a total 1.3 miles over sand and dirt and rocks, and sometimes along the main  road, which was far easier.  When we turned around and headed back to camp, it was all rocky.  It was hard pushing the stroller that long.  My wrists and thumbs get the brunt of the bumps from holding on to the stroller handle and Katie was bumping along inside the stroller.  Poor baby.  :)

The road back to camp - you can barely see The Palms at the end of the road:

And home is within sight:

It's easier to push an empty stroller, so I took her out and tried to have Katie walk for the final section, but she wouldn't - her ankle was too swollen - so I put her back in the stroller and pushed on.  Literally. 

I really liked the Map My Walk app.  I could check my phone any time to see my mileage, calories burned, our location, etc.  And a voice from my pocket automatically told me when I had reached a mile and some other things, too.  It's definitely a winner and its free. 

I want to start walking more than I am - since Katie had her leg injury I'm just not walking as much.  The stroller helps, but not so much in this kind of terrain.  So I've decided to walk without her.  I have lots of audio tapes on my MP3 and I'll listen to books as I walk.  I also still have a Weight Watchers "walking tape" on the MP3 from long ago, and that's a really good one to use, different beats to walk to, and a little encouragement along the way.  It always gets me walking faster, too.

We've had some gorgeous sunsets lately - I snapped some photos the other night with various settings on my camera, and also different times as the clouds moved around and the sun set.  Each was so pretty:

We've had some evenings lately when the whole desert is pink while the sun is setting.  The ground, the RVs, the mountains in the east - it's like the air is pink.  So beautiful.  I've never seen anything like it except here in Quartzsite.  Going back to my first paragraph about the InterstellarOrchard post - this is the kind of thing I never would have expected while RVing.  You just don't know what you don't know.  And I've never heard of a sunset making everything pink on the earth below it.

One more photo of Katie.  This was so funny.  A lot of dogs will nose their way under blankets to snuggle and be warm, but Katie has never done that.  She lays on top unless it's cold and I hold up the blanket for her to get under and be covered up.  Well, the other night she was in bed in the overhead bunk and I checked on her.  This is what I saw:

She not only got under the covers, she put her head on my pillow.   She looked just like a person, well - except for all the dog-face stuff going on.  :)

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