Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yuma or bust

This week we are leaving for Yuma Arizona for an Escapees Chapter 25 Rally (www.escapees.com) at the Yuma Balloon Fest. The Thanksgiving holiday is the following week so we're going to stay in Yuma for the whole week. This will be our longest trip to date. 
Rather than load up with food etc before we leave as we do on weekend trips, we're just going to take enough for a day or so and shop when we get there. This will cut down on the weight we have to drag up the big hills inland from San Diego. 
We'll be towing the Fiesta with us so that once we get the rig set up in the campsite we won't have to move the RV just to go shopping. We'll also be taking our bicycles along so we can get some exercise and go short distances without the car. Altogether we'll be pretty well provided with transportation!
Kitchen sink? Where did we put the kitchen sink??

Our last weekend at Pio Pico Thousand Trails campground got kind of cool in the evenings. The seasons don't change much in San Diego, pretty much nice all year round! We love it that way but sometimes we forget that it can't be perfect every time. We had to turn the heating on at Pio Pico and expect we will have to do the same in Yuma. These desert areas of the South West stay warm all winter and have wonderful blue skies 90% of the time. The problem is that those same clear skies let all that nice daytime warmth vanish as soon as the sun goes down. 

I have camped at Agua Caliente for several New Years Motorcycle weekends and it can be 80+ in the day. Then around 4.30pm the sun goes down behind the mountains and the temperatures drops into the 40's. That's just fine by me too, I sleep better when I'm curled up in a sleeping bag with cold air on my face. And the stars, OOHH, the stars! 
We lay on our backs one evening and just looked at the stars for a couple of hours. I had been talking about the night sky on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and how we'd seen satellites going across the sky. One of the guys suggested that I was making that up, no way could a person see satellites with the naked eye. So we lay on our backs and showed him what one looks like. 

If you've never seen it for yourself you need to get somewhere where there is no light pollution, like out on the desert or up in the mountains away from cities. Find the clearest evening possible, walk out away from your campsite and the lights around the campground, then lay flat on your back and stare at the stars. You'll see airplanes with their flashing lights go by at all altitudes, ignore them. Keep looking and soon you'll notice one of the stars is moving slowly across the sky. It's slower than the airplanes and doesn't have flashing lights. That's a satellite! I can do that for hours. Before long you start seeing them going in different directions, it's really something.

I'm taking my painting stuff with me and I have a new commission to paint a friend on his new motorcycle. 
See my artwork at http://scouserl41.wix.com/brian-downing. Barbara doesn't like to get up very early and I frequently wake at 5 am so I find I can paint in the morning and enjoy the fresh morning air and a cup of coffee while she sleeps. I'll have my camera and video camera, computer, tablet, cell phone, and if there is a decent signal that will give us WiFi. We have TV if we can get a signal with our digital antenna. If not and we need a TV fix we have a DVD player and some DVD's in the coach. And there will be beer and wine in the fridge, the barbecue set up outside with a couple of comfortable chairs. 
Heck what am I sitting here typing this for? I need to hit the road.

Not sure this is my favorite stretch of road !

Hard at work
The co-driver ever watchful

We arrived at the Riverfront RV Park around 1pm thursday. After a liesurely drive with a stop for a sandwich in a rest area (We LOVE this RV life). We were thinking we'd be one of the first to arrive but we forgot that the Escapees are nearly all retired folks so instead we were near the last! Fun folks though and this is our chance to get to meet them. It's our first RV Rally and the first camping trip longer than a weekend. 

 Sunset Thursday
Sunrise Saturday

Sunrise Sunday


Somebody explains something to somebody else

A picturesque RV Park Office

The Balloon Fest, what the trip was all about
Wednesday. All the Escapees have left and the park is about 50% full now. We signed up for the Thanksgiving Pot Luck on Thursday at 1pm. It'll be another first for us. 
Yesterday and today we drove around and shopped. The roller blind over the entrance door to the rig stopped rollering. I carefully measured the existing one and we went to Lowes where they cut a new one to my exact measurements. 
My exactly WRONG measurements!! 
Luckily they cut the first one from a remnant so it only cost us $3,50 for my mistake. Today we took the old blind in and they cut it using that as a pattern so it fits. We also bought a gadget that will let us stream web content to our TV. We got that home and when I opened the box it was empty! Take that back tomorrow!! Still we did get some excellent pizza. If you are in the Foothills area try Da Boyz pizza it was the best we've had in years.
We've been shopping around for a shop to re-upholster our sofa and maybe the recliner which are old and starting to show it. It ain't going to be cheap but we think we've found a shop we like. The prices are pretty much the same wherever we go but this shop will let us park the rig in it's locked compound and will dismantle everything, do the work and put it all back together again for the same price. They offered to let us dry camp the night we drop it off and the night we pick it up in their compound for free. That could be the clincher. We brought samples of the material back to the rig and we think we have the one we like. 
The sofa complete with towels to hide it!

We'll take the samples back tomorrow and on Saturday we'll take the rig there for them to get a good look at. We will dry camp there Saturday night. If things work out we'll camp at Agua Caliente the next weekend, drop the rig at the place Sunday night then drive the Fiesta back to San Diego that night. They'll have the rig for 2 weeks then we'll pick it up on our way to Casa Grande where we are spending Xmas and New Years.
We're excited!! 
Yuma Territorial Prison Museum

Riverfront RV Park Thanksgiving Pot Luck

Now that's Thanksgiving weather. 80 degrees!

Castle Dome Mine Museum and Ghost Town

The Castle Dome and the church

A happy camper

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