From Lake Havasu we headed southward again, down through Parker, then Quartzsite. As many RV people are aware, the population of those living in and around Quartzsite goes from a few hundred for much of the year to probably a hundred thousand at the peak time in January when the big RV, rock and gem shows get going. In December, things are just starting to get warmed up. There are lots of vacancies at the 70 odd RV parks in town, and plenty of space out in the desert LTVA areas. But things are starting to pick up! Every day there are new vendors setting up their tents and caravans of brand new top-of-line RV’s are rolling in to town to fill all the sales lots. It can be a good time to be here as you can easily find parking, there are no traffic jams and there are empty washers at the laundry!
But first, we needed a camp spot. For the last couple of years we have been happy with our spots just off the Old Yuma road in the area of La Paz Valley. After getting our free 14 day permit from the resident host we went looking for good spots – and there are lots of choices. The first spot we found looked good, but then I realized that the only ‘trees’ around were a couple of large saguaro cactuses. I didn’t want Hailey attempting to climb one if she happened to see a coyote, so we moved on and found a nice spot on a small wash with several great climbable trees.
Last blog post I questioned why many stores have the newspapers on the wrong side of the place you pay? Well, I found an even more weird method at a gas station convenience store in Quartzsite. When asked if they had any newspapers, the clerk reached under the counter and pulled out a copy of the Arizona Republic. I suggested that they might just sell more copies if people could see them, but was told ‘that’s just where we keep them’! Okay then … no more questions.
While watching Hailey in a tree, I noticed these bee-like insects landing on what I thought looked like an almost dead bush. On closer inspection, I could see that it was very much alive and even had the tiniest flowers on it that the bees were visiting.
In other news, I am glad to report that I have not exploded or been overcome with gas fumes lately . For a long while now there has been an occasional ‘clunking’ sound coming from my propane tanks at various times. And my indispensible Kozyworld heater has been very reluctant to light for quite a while as well. When the thermostat tells it to light, sometimes it can take from 15 to 45 seconds or more before the burners actually light. During this time, the smell of propane becomes quite evident, but for some reason the flaming pilot light does not seem to ignite it in a ball of flame or worse. Both the pilot alone and the burner when lit have seemed to be quite noisy as well for some reason. I also noticed that my stove burner would go out at the lowest setting which it never did before. After numerous checks of the heater itself, and cleaning of the pilot light and burners, I finally narrowed down the cause. I believed that for some reason my propane regulator was not supplying enough pressure to make the appliance work properly. So, today I picked up and installed a brand new dual tank regulator. What a difference! The pilot flame is much stronger, the burners light instantly and burn hotter and quieter, and the stove-top burner does not go out at the lowest setting. I particularly like the part about not exploding or burning up!
Keeping an eye on the Bayfield Bunch told me that Al and Kelly were in the area – on their way back from Slab City after getting their inverter fixed and re-installed. They were camped out on the edge of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge not too far south of me, so I made a run down there one day. Al took me on a jeep tour out to the Horse tanks area in the mountains to the east. Included in the tour were some caves that had evidently been in use for possibly centuries in the past, complete with holes in the rock worn from grinding grain or acorns.
For a much better account of the expedition, check out Al’s blog report at: http://thebayfieldbunch.com/ -the Dec 14th edition.
I’m happy to report that the other half of the moon has turned up, or perhaps it is just facing the other way?
Hailey has some good video coming up, but the stars and the video gods did not align in time to get it into this post. Hopefully in the next one.