So you've been
thinking about a winter property.
We have been fulltimeing
for over 8 years and this last spring after another winter doing the boondocking
thing in the BLM in Quartzsite we thought the time was right to look at
a more... Oh do I dare say... A Sticks and Bricks winter place. That's
letter word talk in the world of fulltimers... me thinks. It's
not like we didn't have a great site all green with fake grass and sun
canopy and would believe a portable hot tub.
But sometimes doing the
abnormal is rhe right choice. The housing market was (still is) ripe for
picking. Harsh words, more like... If you're not paying attention...
you loose.. and I'm short on those skills but who would know we could cash
in on a good deal. Not us... that's just for the 1% don't Ya Know.
Turned out the timing was perfect. We found the right place at the right
time, at the right price. It wasn't a short sale or anthing like that...
just a family with an older parent who had to move and wanted to stop the
draining of payments on a just cleaned out house. I found the place online
within a day or so of the lisiting and we rushed over from Quartzsite to
check it out. Next day made an offer and in less than two weeks closed.
Now that is fast track and just what we wanted so we could get back on
the road for the summer. Seller wanted a quick closing so we both got what
we wanted. They got a check and we gort a quick sale. Sometimes there is
a win win for both sides. Life does not have to be we won and you loose.
So this year you wont see
us in our regular site in the BLM at Q.
This year... sure we are
going back to Q (Yes you heard me correct) but not there for the whole
damn season... We always wondered where do all these RVers come from and
where do they go after they only spend a little prime time (2 weeks) in
the desert. Now we know... they go back to... just like us to our
OTHER winter homes. We have lots of friends still going to Q and you know
Terry was very involved in the rock club but life moves on and so are we...
A more intense time might be just the ticket to make our time in Q a more
happening event this year. And since Q is at about 800 ft and we
are at 4200 ft it should be like going on a winter vacation... don't Ya
Think. Now if there was only a beach and ocean at Q. Perhaps when
CA drops off. AZ tourism likes to tout weatern AZ the "West Coast of AZ".
How silly... Guess doing loop the loop in Q will have to do. But
we will have great time if or only a few weeks in Q... See Ya There...
Like they say "Everyday is the Weekend in Q".
Now I've got news for you... there
is a reason S&Bs is a durty word in the RV fulltime world.
You have S&Bs upkeeping
Like painting... This is the formal entry.
The front patio is done.
But the rest of the hosue is waiting...
Done. But after living in a RV fulltime and the biggest things you
do is connect the power cord and slide the slides out. This is more like
work again. It brings back memories I had tried to surpress and now have
resurfaced... big time.
The patio on the front patio....
all is painted in this area.
NowTerry is also workiing
on the shed in the back 4 acres. The orig owner started but never completed
this shed so Terry is rebuilding it to make it sound and a great place
for storage. He loves this kind of project. Notice the movie set in the
background on the hill. The movie Tombstone was filmed there.... right
in our back yard so to speak.
Now the best part of a S&Bs
winter property is this rose garden off the front deck. I love this area
that was a treasure of the former owner and which I hope to keep up. Been
looking on Google to lean how to get a green thumb for this. Roes are work
I found out.
Now just so you aren't confused
with us getting a winter S&Bs... we are following the OccupyWallStreet
as we are also part of the 99% to be sure.
I did retire early with
a downsizing offer from a national telco I worked 33 yrars for. It
was not a peace of cake over the years as I had to scramble to learn new
technologies to keep up with things to stay ahead of the curve. I loved
my work.. but the first years at times woking all night in a local switching
office (SXS type... only one in the building at night). Later weekends
(holidays) in a XBar tandom long distance swithing office looking
out the windwow watching normal people driving by doing things while I
had to make sure calls went through. But it all worked out as I was
good at what I did in all the aspects in the early days...(ie: power room...
as in batteries to pwoer the local phones). Remember when your land line
phone, when you had one, worked when the power went out. This is
a little bigger than the batteries we even now find in our RVs... Whole
rooms of those things.
Always working inside in
central offices, etc. regional control centers, and later benchmarked doing
work from a home setting for late night systems remote rearangments via
remote dialup network access. All and all I had a great career and
got out with a defined pension (a thing of the past) and health insurance
(now paying with increasing fees) but with luck will make it to Medicare
next year. I'm a 1947 babby boomer... who has a pension, some cash,
401's, and CDs in the bank. I worry about the ones coming up behind
me who are getting their benefits gutted at every turn.
We do go to Walmart and each
time I buy booze some of the younger clerks smile and ask if am over 40...
and my standard reply is "You'll have to take away my Social Security"...
and the normal response is "I'll never see that".... and I say YES you
will if you demand it.
The call these days from
the 1% is I've got mine... now the rest of you just go away.
How sick is that...
We baby boomers started
out on the lower rungs of the ladder... some of us made it past Nam. and
WANT the next generation NOT to be screwed by the 1% who are in control
of the goverenment.
We need to take the money
out of politics and things will change for the better.
We are at a crossroads.
Stay tuned... You can hide out in a BLM boondocking but you can't
hide from the real world.
If you're in Q you know
how crazy even local gov. can be.
This sez it all...
If you are in Q in the BLM...
have a campfire and enjoy the season.... Life is short.
The Quartzsite LTVA is
still one of the best last places to be be able to do your own thing in
this country.... ENJOY...
Some of you have
been to Slab City... for those that have not...
has this article on what is up with this place these days. We drove
through years past and didn't stay but many winter snowbirds do and some
never get out. This is an eye opener
about life as we know it.
for recession refugees
come to Slab City, out of work and low on hope, to endure heat, sandstorms
and life on the edge. How George Carranco wound up in Slab City, a squattersville
at the end of the earth, is a story for these hard times. Carranco, an
ex-Marine and jack-of-all-trades, lost his job at a factory in San Diego
when it shut down, lost his apartment when he couldn’t pay the rent, lost
his temporary home when the city towed his van, and lost the van for good
when the parking fees climbed to unattainable heights. More than a thousand
dollars — might as well have been a million.
Three years of bad breaks
later, Carranco had had enough. He revived an ’83 Dodge camper that he
picked up for free and, with his girlfriend and five Chihuahuas, headed
east, 155 miles from San Diego, to where the roads give up and the desert
Unwittingly, the 56-year-old
Carranco had joined the latest wave of migrants to Slab City: refugees
of the recession. Beaten down by a brutal economy, they’re straggling to
this desolate outpost of societal dropouts to recover their wits and duck
the national malaise.
Of course, Slab City is no
city, and no picnic. Some 640 acres of state-owned sand and scrub near
the Salton Sea, it offers no electricity, no sewerage, no running water.
Once, it was a Marine training base. When it was decommissioned, nothing
was left but the concrete slabs where barracks once stood. Gradually, people
with souls to mend or demons to kill started camping on the slabs.
Maybe after the apocalypse
the world would look like Slab City. Slabbers live in trailers, trucks
and old buses scattered as though a twister had tossed them up and dropped
them. Power comes from solar panels, batteries and portable generators
— you’re rich here if you have one. Signs and structures are made from
tires, wires and spare parts.
Until recently, only about
75 to 100 people called Slab City home all year, and they have their own
sad stories to tell, usually involving breakups, bankruptcies or booze.
But these days, they’re more interested in talking about the newcomers,
who’ve swelled the ranks of the year-round population to about 200.
It says something about the
state of the nation, slabbers will tell you, shaking their heads, when
Slab City is becoming more of a refuge for the down and out than ever before.
“Some people come by foot,”
said Ben Morofsky, who is 49 and has lived in Slab City for 22 years. “They’ve
Tent cities started cropping
up all over the country once the recession began taking its toll, and a
couple, like Dignity Village in Portland, Ore., or Nickelsville, in Seattle,
are officially sanctioned by city officials. Dignity Village even makes
prospective residents fill out applications
But there is no squat in
the country like Slab City. Here, residents make the rules as they go along,
and county and state officials let them be unless real trouble happens.
Rarely does a sheriff happen by. It’s even rarer still that one is summoned.
Utter detachment from the rest of society may be Slab City’s main attraction.
While there are no official
statistics on Slab City — no one counts who comes and goes — judging from
interviews here, the newcomers are trekking to the slabs from all over.
Seattle to Staten Island, San Diego to Tennessee. Single men, mostly, in
their 40s and 50s. But couples, too. Even a few families.
“It’s not the best place
for kids,” said James Edward, who moved to the slabs nine months ago from
Montgomery, Ala., with his wife and two children, 11 and 14 years old.
Edward, 38 years old, was working as a regional manager for the Applebee’s
restaurant chain, he said, for many hours and not enough pay. He looked
and looked, he said, but could not find a better job. So he and his wife
decided to ride out the economy at the slabs.
People come here out of desperation.
But like Edward, many also want or need a reprieve from the newest normal,
where workers toil longer for the same pay in jobs they hate but fear losing.
They’ve heard of Slab City through the 2007 film version of “Into the Wild,”
and like the rich pageant of life the movie displays.
“Into the Wild’s” Slab City
is a hobo-boho Shangri-La. People live free and happy, selling books to
tourists for a living, cooking communal meals. They take visitors to Salvation
Mountain, a three-story sculpture made of clay, straw and paint that stands
near the entrance to the slabs. They have nightly concerts, strum guitars,
clink beers around warming fires.
That’s the Slab City that
a 25-year-old woman who hitchhiked to Slab City from Kansas wanted when
she decided she didn’t want to worry about paying bills all the time. It’s
the Slab City that attracted a 48-year-old man who had left his landscaping
business in Staten Island for a relationship in Oregon that failed, leaving
him with nothing. “Into the Wild” showed him, he said, that there was a
happy alternative to going back to Staten Island a bum and moving in with
Slabbers are friendly. And
Slab City does hold weekly concerts. But it is hardly a romantic life.
Only the strong or the mad
survive here. During the summer, temperatures reach 125 degrees in the
shade, and the runty Joshua trees are precious and few. Just living is
a full-time job. Water, which residents buy in the nearby town, is always
being hauled, boiled or bottled. Everything is rationed, and chores like
washing dishes or cooking take twice as long as in the real world. Bathing
is a luxury, one indulged only when very necessary.
The broken-down town of Niland,
five miles west, provides a grocery store and post office. For gas or more
shopping, slabbers head to Calipatria, 12 miles south, Brawley, 25 miles
south, or across the border to Mexicali, about 50 miles down, where a dollar
still buys more than it does in the States.
Most slabbers survive on
government checks, food stamps and donations from ministries. Come winter,
when hundreds of trailered retirees, or snowbirds, descend on the slabs
for the season, the regulars make money doing odd jobs for them. Some newcomers
come with a little money in their pockets. Others, like Carranco, rely
on the kindness of slabbers.
Carranco, with no cellphone
or post office box, had been waiting for word from his girlfriend, who
had an actual job and a place to stay near Palm Springs, for nearly two
months. Then she came back, broke up with him, took their Chihuahuas and
his food stamp card.
“Thank goodness for charity,”
Carranco said, rocking himself on the remains of a recliner outside his
lean-to. It was 105 degrees, getting dark and he had no source of power
save for a solar light on top of his camper and batteries for his portable
A wiry man with sharp cheekbones,
black hair to his shoulders and a growing beard, Carranco looks like an
apostle from Da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” After a couple of months, new slabbers
look like they’ve lived here forever. The men grow beards, the women go
gray. People age in dog years. Even the children.
Minister Patrick McFarland,
who runs the Slab City Christian Center, a trailer more popular for its
daily bread offerings than its sermons, has watched newcomers flee as if
“It’s kind of a raw experience,”
McFarland said. “People don’t expect how hard it is.” He and his wife ran
a ministry for outlaw bike groups in Joshua Tree, Calif., before moving
here a year and a half ago. Then he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and
had to leave for treatment. Back for six months, McFarland still seemed
to be adjusting.
He was wondering, he asked
an Imperial County sheriff’s deputy who had led an out-of-town visitor
to the slabs, whether he could carry a firearm if it was concealed, or
Neither, without a permit,
the deputy said.
“Then, I could carry a knife,
I guess,” McFarland said.
The Christian Center had
been burglarized a few times, Carranco said, as had his own encampment.
The old-timers blamed newcomers who haven’t learned slabber rules.
Jerry Ray Jones, who has
lived 62 years the hard way, 26 of them in Slab City, said any article
should warn newcomers away.
When he arrived, he said,
with a story too long to tell, only about 10 people lived in Slab City.
They were bona fide loner types. Crack, meth and liquor brought more people
to the slabs, and other reasons. Outright poverty was never No. 1 before
You’re a real slabber if
you can stick out more than one summer, the saying goes here. But Mary
Dillon and her husband had lasted three summers — “Into the Wild” brought
them — and they never felt at home.
They were in Niland, buying
ice and supplies to take on the road. Dillon, who is 52, said she and her
husband were going back to Washington state. They had just sold their trailer,
were checking their mail, and were taking off.
Dillon’s husband, a 66-year-old
retiree, didn’t want to talk or give his name. He said it was just better
that way, given the topic was Slab City.
“We don’t want no trouble,”
Dillon said, though she managed to give a sheriff’s deputy an earful about
some goings-on at the slabs. “We just want a normal life again.” They had
1,300 miles to drive, and were looking forward to it.
the slide show of pictures.
We no longer have
to take the detour for 10 miles to get to Benson, AZ
victory for mankind... and the state of AZ who got funds from the
feds to help us out to get this done instead of two years to about six
months. Me thinks sometimes gov't works.
We have had some nice sunsets...
But just today the wind came
up and it turned cool... like 65 for a high. Feels like fall is in
the air. Funny never before have we thought we ever felt it was fall in
AZ. Now if we were in Quartzsite we hear it is still hot. So glad
we are NOT there... Q is at about 800 ft and here we are at 4200 ft. We
have exposed ourselves to that desert BLM experiencce for many winters
but not this year. Terry loved his time teaching and later on the board
of directors of the nations largest gem and mineral club. But life moves
on and so are we. We still have many friends there and we are planning
to do the seasonal thing like so many do by going for the 10 day big events
in January. We might not go during the tent show to avoid the crowds. When
we were staying for the season in Quartzsite we always wondered just who
are these people who just show up for the big tent show and then leave.
Where did they come from and where do they go after rthey leave. Now we
know who thye are... they are US.
I found close outs on patio
furniture at Lowes.
This is a view of the small
the west side porch.
Beach View Square Aluminum
Rust-free aluminum frame
Uniquely colored removable tiles 45 inch square table top
Along with chairs etc. All
at half off. They were out of the matching umbrella but we found
this one at of all places Walmart closeout.
All this will work well
on the new 22 X 14 deck we are planning on the east side of the house.
Last week we went to Tucson
to got beer making stuff for Terry at Brewers Connection www.brewersconnection.com
next off to to Harbor Feight
for a propane weed torch to burn off the drive. I have sprayed it but now
need to get rid of the brown dead grass and weeds. Hope we don't start
Propane Torch with Push
and this water pump for the
Now big boys and their toys
I found this at Harbor Freight.. Remote
After that went and got
a new clothes dryer at Sears. It matches out washer.
We found clothes are fresh
on a clothes line but towels tend to be rough on the skin. So Ya we broke
down to get soft and floffy stuff from our dryer. I'm getting old and spoiled.
So a big day of spending money.
But like so many things we
were not happy shoppers... The Propane Torch was deffective and wouldn't
work and the water pump didn't even turn over once. Both have to go back...
So another trip to Tucson to take this stuff back. But the toy helicopter
does work. Having fun with that...
Now for that picture to end
the post. Terry got a kick and wanted to make Shepherd's Pie.
Can you imagine squeezing mashed potatos out just for this dish from a
pastery bag. At times he tensds to go overboard, me thinks. But he
loves to cook and get into it.
Now I can't say it was not
all that tasty. Yummy... willl not cross my lips on this one.
Not enough meat filling and too much potato.
But he had fun squeezing
as you can see.
where we are at right now. DataStormUsers
map ID 98
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