are we now... Where else but Quartzsite, AZ
boondocking capital of the country.
But where are all the thousands of snowbirds,
One thing for sure not here.... yet. But
they will come.
Their stay is getting shorter each year,
as people get older and don't come back. This lets be frank is not a young
crowd to be sure. The rush is two weeks during the Big Tent RV Show
in late January. We used to be here for the entire season but now head
back over to our Benson winter home to get away from the realy cold parts
of the season.
We stayed in the Free 14 day BLM just
north of town the fist couple of nights till the gov't reopened which ment
the LTVA (long term visitor area) could reopen.
Moved into the BLM LTVA and found our new
to us great campsite.
The one we like
to shoot for was occupied. The only RV within sight and they had to pick
our favorate site. We know just who they are as they used to camp
just across the road from in past years. Last year we didn't get
here till late December and they must have thougt we weren't coming so
they moved acroos to raod to the spot. This year we knew it was open, but
when the gates opened after the shut down they beat us to it. That's just
the way it is here, first come, first campsite taken.
So we found another
one and I think we like it even better. It's a big desert out there, don't
Paved road to the
south, to hold down the dust . That's a big plus. Close to contact station
if we need help, tree for shade, nice already made fire pit. What's not
Positioned for good
solar sun power, tilted for better sun action. Also afternoon sun when
the days get chilly, as in cold. Anyone who thinks it doesn't get darn
right cold in the desert when the sun goes down, needs to come camp in
a tent. Glad we brought our own wood as our source for old pallets to burn
is no longer. Sure glad the CA Inspection Station didn't confiscate our
stash of wood when we were stoped at the border. The wood sellers in town
are gunna love it that the free source of firewood is gone.
Anyway we are set
up and enjoying ourselves in the land of boondocking. Oh, if you didn't
know it does cost $40 for two weeks or $180 for the whole winter season
in the LTVA. But you do get to dump at a central station and water... but
wouldn't like to drink it. RO water for 5 gal. for $1 is available all
over in town for drinking.
The commerical dump
station PIT STOP charges $15 to dump. Do the math, staying in a LTVA works.
As you can see the
venders have not shown up yet.
But the old reliable K and B Tools is set
up and open. Always seems to the first to open and the last to close.
We had to stop in
and get propane fire starters... six for $5. That lasts us the entire
One last thought
for you traveling boondockers out there. In Lake Havasu City you
might know the dry camping along side the HW across from the airprot is
closed. Think it has been for some time, now.
But heading south from I-40 to Lake Havasu
at mile marker 194 is a dry camping area that had several rigs in it.
High up with nice entrance road to it.
we had a tragedy this week...
The hard drive on our DirecTV HD DVR crashed Wed. night. They sent us another
one to one of Terrys rock club friends address who is in a RV park in town.
Since we are in the desert with no address. It came in on Friday afternoon.
That was quick and I'm back in business recording stuff. Did loose
all the old recordings but Whats Ya Gunna do.
Need to get in gear
and head to town for drinkable supplies as tonight is again Saturday night
and time for the Cousin Brucie Radio show on SiriusXM Satellite radio cahnnel
6 at 7 PM eastern. Four hours long and then he also has a show on Sunday
Give a yell for
It's gunna be perfect
night around the campfire listening to the Cus...
is one lonely state to drive through.
It was time to move on from our great
campsite at Walker Lake NV.
But onward was the call...
Driving south on US 95 is long and barren
drive. It seems to go on forever.
We found Bailey's Hot Springs several years
ago and it was not much to speak of but they had great hot springs with
buildings covering the different springs. We hoped they were still open
and sure enough they were. This is just north of Beatty, NV
Just a gravel spot with old 30 amp service
but with water and sewer for $25 including using the hot springs.
Not bad. We had a nice soak, remembering
not to get our head underwater. Hot Springs may have a dangerous
amoeba that enters the body through the nose, ears, causing illness and
The hot springs has three enclosed buildings
wich are well maintained and each is lockable for privacy.
Just down the road is one of the things
NV is famous for. Yep you guessed it.
They advertise free overnight truck parking.
Great line to lure them in off the road. Free coffee and free showers...
I should hope so. Massages that just might lead to more, don't ya think.Anyway
this is NV and the oldest profession is legal here.
Anyway this is picture of the place from
the highway... Not that we drove in to get any, as in Free Coffee, mind
you. Bet they have Toys for Tots for sale, but that's another story.
After Beatty more deriving... heading to
Las Vegas. We had in the past stayed on the north end on the strip at the
Main Street Station Hotel Casino and RV park which US 95 and I 515 almost
run right over top of.
See left side of Google street view picture.
Its a good secure location and close to
Fremont Street Experience. Terry wanted to do this again but I just wasn't
into it. I drove right on through on our way to Laughlin, NV on the AZ
We had stayed in some of the casino free
RV lots before but it was about 90 out so electric was in our future. Remembering
the lousy weather in northern OR that chased out out long before we wanted.
(Remember when I posted Crater lake was snowed in) Now it was warm,
again. Had head winds heading south out of Vegas but didn't get blown off
the road, so all was good.
It's not a pretty picture for fuel milage
when fighting head winds... You can see the fuel gage go down as you drive.
But I don't check fuel milage anyway. Terry just fills it up and we go,
not looking at the reciept. We look around for the best prices using the
App Gas Buddy but my moto is I'm living this one life, and I'm big
on saying, but If you have to ask what it costs, you
can't aford it. That's why we love to boondock (dry camp), cheaper
and much more fun than always using RV resort parks with their,
we love our park, $$$ prices. (BLM. FS, County and Fairgrounds with golden
age pass, next to nothing) We marvel when we pass a big fancy RV park and
it's full of RVs. To each their own, but we can't fathom what they are
paying every night to travel. Many of them, think it is impossible to saty
even one night not hooked up. Us on the other hand have spent big bucks
to equipt our rig with solar, AGM battery strings, and inverter/chargers
and generator. So you have to way the total cost over the long haul to
see which is more cost effective. But Ya Know sometimes it just more fun
knowing we are self contained. Ops... that was more like a comment
than a travel post. Sorry. Ok Here I Go Again... We are a big
rig looking for a tent experince.
That's why I use may own Travel
Resources section with the links to find thsee places. Oh god, self
promotion... stop it.. We get comments once in a while saying how
they like to follow our blog to see where we have found to dry camp.
So back on topic... sort of...
Off we went to the Riverside
Hotel and Casino RV park. 530 RV spaces. We had called them earlier
in the day from the road checking their rates... asking if they had any
specials. I remembered when they had ads in RV Life.
Yes they said, a magazine rate but wouldn't
tell us what it was. Otherwise $27.50. So when we get there
I go in and she sez no special rates. I said I called just a little
while ago. She said RV Life mag. went out of business years ago. (Note
to myself I read the digital online edition every month). Ok the other
person in the office heard this exchange and said returning customers can
get a $99 week deal. The person I was dealing with said well she don't
consider that a special. Since we had stayed there in the
past and was still in their computer we got the not so special deal.
I asked if I just paid for a couple of nights and later wanted to convert
to the weekly rate could I do that . Not on your life was the answer. Has
to all be done right up front and no refunds if we leave early. You could
see all over the walls behind the counter signs about this and that, that
wasn't allowed and rules, and more rules. I said I would have to
go out the to the RV and confer to see if we even wanted to stay here as
I didn't think much of there policy on not converting to a weekly rate.
Went back in, took the week deal as as
we figured if we only stayed four days we would be ahead. I asked if she
could find a spot on the upper levels so we could have a view. She
said many of the upper sites were reserved for snowbirds that were traveling
south sooner this year. But she tried and was nicer as we got more into
it and found us a nice spot on level 4 on the end. I could see management
might be a problem for them when I looked behind her to the employee break
room, coffe machine, and a sign on the wall said... Your mother isn't here,
so clean up after yourself. Or something similar. How crude. Both counter
persons were well past having living mothers, was my thought. When we were
here before they gave out comp breakfest buffet passes, guess not this
Looking forward to the buffets. Esp Fri
- Sat All you can eat Prime Rib and Crab Legs for $17.99. Some of
the casinos have this special. We like the Tropicana Resort buffet.
Our site 245.
View from our site.
So relaxing here
before we head on down to Quartzsite, AZ hoping the numbnuts in Washington
have reopened the gov't by the time we get there so we can camp in the
LVTA BLM areas.
But we have got an
all you can eat prime-rib and carb legs buffet to get through this weekend
before we leave here. We went to a buffet the first night we got here and
are still recovering from it.
Can't do that every
day when you are Type 2 for gods sake.
Terry just found
an event we will not miss...
Not in Germany...
But we ARE here in Laughlin, NV....
Das Beer Fest!
Celebrate Beer in Colorado Belle's Center
Circle event area at the 5th Annual Das Beer Fest! Enjoy a great oompah
band playing your favorite German drinking songs on stage—the entertainment's
free! Enjoy beer from Pints, Colorado Belle's microbrewery, and other great
beer plus authentic German cuisine:
Pork Schniczel Sandwich,
Cheddar Wurst 1/4 Lb., Foot long frankfruter, 1/2 chicken marinated in
beer, Beef Stroganoff, Pierogies, German potato salad, German chocolate
cup-cakes, apple strudel, soft pretzels,
Free Live Entertainment! The Dummkopfs
perform nightly at Das Beer Fest!
Friday 10/11/13 – 2-9 pm
Saturday 10/12/13 – 12 noon – 10 pm
Sunday 10/13/13 – 12 noon – 7 pm
This is gunna
to be FUN... Check out the food offerings...
Did we get here
at just the right time...
Both Terry and
I are from German heritage growing up in Iowa
south from OR to CA and into NV
After we left Madras OR where we were
held up on the county fairgrounds for three days hiding out from the nasty
weather. Son on Monday we hit the road. Our plans had going to see if we
could find a campground on US 97 as we thought we might like to spend a
couple of days and tour Crater Lake. The State Park close by was closing
its RV park Sept. 30. And that was that day we were there. After the State
Park range gave us the number of Crater Lake we called and they said it
was snowing and the rim drive was closed and you couldn't see the lake
even for the south rim. Guess that answered that.. Onward we went
and landed at Tulelake CA at their fairgrounds. Seems like fairgrounds
have been our campsites of choice lately, with forest service ones closed
and who wants to pay hefty fees for private RV parks. Tulelake was $18
full hookups. What's not to like.
Didn't get picture so Google Earth come in handy. And there were only
a couple of us in the park.
We got there early about 2 PM so did the
auto tour of Lava Beds National Monument.
I would link to Lava Beds National Monument
BUT even the web site was shut down due to the gov't shutdown of 2013.
If you go there you get this message...
Because of the federal government shutdown,
all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not
operating. For more information, go to www.doi.gov.
We might just have been the last people
to be able to visit this National Monument. BTW the campground was way
to small for any big rigs, so don't even try.
Lava Beds is only a small part of the big
picture being inside Medicine Lake Shield Volcana Caldera
You can tour the many Lava tubes but have
to be cleared of not carring a bat virus.
A view loking north from the Lava Bed Visitor
Center toward the wetland of a national animal refuge.
Tulelake is in the upper right.
When pulling in to Tulelake we say many,
many hispanics wondering around the streets. At the visitor center at the
fairgrounds we asked what the deal was. They are migrant works that
had been bussed in from Mexico for fieldwork. Some 530 workers. They were
on hold as to the bad weather, etc. They were being housed at the fairground
in the buildings. Now to jump ahead we later camped at the fairgrounds
in Susanville further south and the migrants were there also. We were told
they were being used to gather strawberry plants (not the berries) to be
shipped to Florida to be replanted. Things were on hold as the fields
in FL were not ready yet. The plants have to be gathered and shipped
and planted in FL within three days or they wont survive. Things you don't
learn when traveling. The workers are also helping getting in the
potato, horse radish, onion, and garlic crops. All to be done in about
a month as the clerk in a local store said. Her connivance store had a
sign on the door Harvest Hours 6 AM - 11 PM. They make big money
from the migrants who were in the store buying high caffeine drinks, candy
Now for another learning experience for
us. We got up, read some emails and checked favorite web blogs, then
closed up the trailer and went to get the truck powered up to hook up and
leave. Well when the key was inserted and turned to start the engine just
a slight motor turnover... not enough to start it. Wow now what it
ws cold during the night but why didn't it start????? Nothing we
did helped so I pulled out my trusty Allstate Road Service card which I
have been a member since 1999. Called and go automated response (never
talked to a human) but they did connect me to a road serve outfit in the
area. It should be said now that Tulelake CA does not have any gas stations
or any thing where we could get help locally so no help was to be had here.
The road service place said it would take
45 min to an hour to get here as they were way south of us.
OK we pulled the slides and re hooked
up the power and fired up the computers and I read my daily eddition of
USA Today online and waited.
When the very nice tow truck guy got here
he had much trouble to go a good charge going to our truck electrical system.
Couldn't get a good connection form his very old cables. Had to hook up
two sets of jumper cables to both bats to get a good charge going. Old
tow truck and worn out equipment, but he was a good guy and a middle east
vet and told us war stories as we waited for the charge to work. We were
happy when it did start (took about an hour after he arrived) that we gave
him a $20 tip. Like the kind of guy he is didn't want it, but we insisted.
He had been up all night on other service calls and just want of get some
hot strong coffee.
Finally we got the truck started... Diesel
trucks have TWO batteries as it takes a bunch of power to get them started.
Now get this we remembered that just 4 miles back north across the CA OR
border was a Les Schwab tires place and as we were waiting I called them
and they would have batteries for our truck. Now to get started and get
it there. One thought was just cancel the tow truck and have Les Schwab
bring us new bats. The trip charge would be $45 and the tow truck would
be free to us, so we waited. Well not free as I pay $119 a year for
the service. BUT as we found out the charge would be $249 to come and start
us. So the road service was well worth the premium. Over the years we have
used it and are way ahead on this great deal. OK so we finally get
the truck started and got to Les and to get two new bats and have the truck
charging system checked. All OK. Just bad bats. Now let me tell you two
new bats for the truck $259. Happy to be back on the road, damn the cost.
The old bats were about ready to fail as had gotten them several years
ago when this same thing happened and just went and got Walmart bats back
then. Not to knock Walmart... just now old bats that gave out.
So after getting all that done Terry suggested
to stay another night at Tulelake... I said no lets head on down the road
I wanted to go scenic and take HW 139
all the way there... but the tow truck guy said it would be up and down
and the shorter way was to go to on down HW 139 to HW 299 on over to Alturas
and on down US 395.
Instead when we got to the intersection
of HW 139 and HW 299 I turned west to continue on HW 139 to Susanville.
Pics of the HW 139 route.
It was great views and at times a very
narrow road and as we go to Susanville a HUGE long down hill grade.
It ws fun and glad we took it but will
not take it again.
Now just before we got to the above intersection
we hit this California Ag Inspection Station . My camera man (Terry) didn't
get a picture so I spent much time searching Google Earth for this street
We were directed to the far right entrance
which was open for RVs. The woman agent came out and asked the usual ...,
got any fruit or veggies. I said just some lettuce. She asked where
we came from... I said OR and she said your plates say SD. I tried to explain
that was just our domicile. I thought this was not going well. Next
she asked if we had any firewood. OH NO not A firewood question... I said
YES with dread, in the truck bed, as the whole back end of the truck bed
was full of firewood.
With a twinkle in her eye she went directly
to it and picked up several pieces even going to both sides crawling under
the 5er bed to get to the other side looking at the wood. Not sure but
she might have sniffed it. She came back around and asked where I got this
wood... I said West Yellowstone which was the truth as we found a
whole area of downed dry forest due to fires. But with of lots of downed
dry wood not fire damaged.
We still had lots of wood in the back
of the truck as we have not had much opportunity to use it due to crummy
weather... But now I remember at our boondocking site at Medicine
Lake in ID we had lots of firewood left from other campers to use
so we didn't have to use our stash. Next she asked where we
were headed and I replied Reno, NV... She said have a nice trip.
WOW... Terry was so glad he wouldn't have to find another wood source to
replenish what would have been confiscated. I could see the tension
release from Terry's face as we moved on down the highway. I said ya know
we would have to replace the wood if what we had had been confiscated.
I know moving firewood across state lines is not cool if it is infected.
But what we had was pine not elm so don't thing we we were doing anything
wrong. At least I hope so.
Well we did get to Susanville and found
the fairgrounds. The guy at the fairgrounds showed us where to park and
turned on the electric power, but they had already turned of the water
so he said he would not charge us anything for the night. Normal
$20. We could take that.
Well next after Susanville we headed south
on US 395 to Reno. Have to do careful breaking to change onto I-80
Traffic going through Reno was fast and
After getting stuff at Walmart in Fallon,
NV we headed south looking for warm and sunny weather.
Our plan was to stop at Walker Lake just
north of Hawthorn, NV. Look at the campsite we found.
You just can't get any better than this.
It is a BLM site but not closed due to the gov't shutdown yet. We
made sure we paid through Sunday so if they do close it we are already
Of topic... We hear Quartzsite, AZ and
the BLM LTVA areas are being closed down and will be asking campers to
leave move off the LTVA Friday. The free 14 day areas are still open.
We shall see how long the Gov't shutdown lasts as we will be going to these
sites mid month.
Onward we plan on heading to Beaty, NV
to a small RV park just north of it at the Baileys Hot Springs. We have
been there in the past and they have great closed small sheds which have
with different temps in each shed.
We are ready for a hot springs experience...
to be sure.
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