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2009 Winter RV Travel to Arizona

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The day we left Oregon
December 19, 2008: The above photo does not look like a good day to begin a trip from Oregon to Arizona does it? By 1 pm, the chain controls of the Siskiyou Pass to the south had cleared and we took our chances while we could. The road was sloppy and by the time we reaching Corning, California, both the truck and trailer were covered with sand from the dirty roads. I carry one set of chains for both the truck and trailer but intend to use them only when I have to and will not intentionally drive into chain controls. Only a few hours after we left Oregon the Siskiyou summit was closed again due to winter storms.
December 20, 2008: We usually stay at the Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, California. It used to be very RV friendly but now the casino forces you to stay in their RV park for a fee or park with the truck for free. We parked with the trucks which meant it was very noisy all night. We love their buffet. It's the best we've ever seen. Tuesday and Thursday night are 2 for 1 nights. Friday night is fish night. Our first camp day at Corning California
Free parking in the parents driveway

Pass your pointer through the photo above and to the left to see alternate photos.

December 21, 2008: We always appreciate getting free parking in my parents driveway in Lodi, California.

December 22, 2008: This was a day for visiting and traveling to the IMAX theater in Stockton, California to see "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Both the theater and the movie were a disappointment. Don't waste your time or money on the movie. The 1951 version was better except for the sound effects. Gwen and I have visited the IMAX theater in Portland, Oregon during one of our winter trips and the experience was much different and better.
This was also the day I repaired the front lights to my parents home. They have a special book study group at their house on Tuesday nights and the folks needs more light on the step to the front door. I added a lamp to direct light to the step and repaired the two lights behind the glass blocks. We installed the new fluorescent bulbs providing 60 watts of light at each bulb but using only 13 watts of power. Pass your pointer through the photo to see the front step illumination. Front lights repaired
Camped on base at Fort Irwin, California
Goldstone December 23, 2008: This was a travel day from Lodi, California to Fort Irwin, California, a bit more than 400 miles. Gwen's daughter's husband is in the Air Force but stationed at this Army base in the southern California desert.
We were not intending to drive this far in one day however, once we got started, it was difficult to stop especially since we did not have to refuel due to our Transfer Flow tank. We filled both tanks at the Lodi Flying J for $2.05/gallon which was the cheapest location along our trip to date.
December 24, 2008: The Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex is located at Fort Irwin. This large dishes are very impressive. Click the photo to the right to enlarge and read. Gemini Station
Coyote in the parking lot December 25, 2008: While visiting Fort Irwin, we learned of resident coyotes who roam the commissary parking lot looking for handouts. This is as close as I've been to a wild coyote. Click the photo to enlarge.
Christmas day, Dustin and Courtney, Gwen's grandchildren show off their circus tricks. Pass your pointer through the photo to see the whole trick. Katie, the dog disappears, probably for good reason, as they complete the trick.. Circus tricks by Dustin and Courtney
Something you find on a military base December 26, 2008: Dustin and Courtney take Gwen and I to visit John at his office. There were two of these, one on each side of the sidewalk leading to John's office. I didn't ask John to explain what these are but they look like bombs to me with a mechanism to slow the bomb when dropped at low level so the explosion won't hit the plane.
December 27, 2008: On this last day at Fort Irwin we explore the area of a fighter jet crash. It was a F-105 which crashed in 1964. John likes to look for aircraft pieces and parts. They are scattered in a very wide area among the volcanic rock. Fort Irwin residential area is in the distance. Click the photo to enlarge. Fort Irwin in the distance
Riding the rocket

In the mouth of the whale

Courtney wanted her photo taken riding the rocket while Dustin (AKA "Ron") wanted his photo taken in the "mouth of the whale".

Today was a travel day to Yuma, Arizona. I've been following the price of diesel in Ehrenberg, Arizona since I began following diesel prices. Today we finally get to visit the Flying J truck stop where diesel is selling for $1.99 per gallon.

December 28, 2008: We get space 18 at the KOFA RV park in Yuma. This is another of the Escapees parks and the same one we visited two years ago. The of the questions we must answer at this park (and many others) should we heat with propane or electricity since we are paying 12¢/KWH at the park. Jack Yates has the answer. Note, the price for propane today is $1.80/gallon. Parked at Yuma
Oops! December 29, 2008: I was in too much of a hurry to get to Arizona Marketplace and did not remember or see this little low brick wall. I turned too sharply to head out of the park and *bang*, knocked the wall over. I talked with Mel, the park manager about the damage and he told me he would call "Jose" who fixes the bricks at the park. Jose arrived today. Jose will fix the wall for $100. I was grateful it wasn't more. We looked at RV mattresses today, Gwen would like something softer. We also shopped at Wal-Mart and Autozone. I purchased new headlight bulbs for the truck, one burned out yesterday. I also repaired the towel rack in the bathroom. I was going to change the anode rod in the water heater but found the heater would drop water on top of the electrical box so I'll wait until I move the trailer to replace the rod.
Farmers Market; Old Town Yuma
December 30, 2008: We visit the Yuma Old Town Farmer's market. Gwen is buying vegetables from Senior Gonzales vegetable farm. Of course a farmer's market is not unusual in Oregon but NOT this time of year. The produce Gwen purchased was very good. We especially liked the asparagus, narrow, tender spears and very tasty. Click the farmers market photo above to enlarge. After returning home, I spent hours trying to get the Oregon crud off the chrome fenders, grill and rims. All came off easily except from the rims. I spent at least 1 hour per rim and only did the front wheels. The film on the wheels was like glue. Note I'm in a T-shirt and sandals ... it was very warm in the sun today. Spending hours polishing
white stripe makes the step visible at night December 31, 2008: Ed from Alberta Canada has shown me a few of his improvements to his fifth wheel. I liked his idea to paint a white stripe on each step to make it easier to see them at night. He even provided the paint marker. Click the photo to see a close up of the marker and step.
For New Year's Eve: I happened to be outside this morning when a crew drove by in a golf cart placing a white bag at each site. I have seen this before so I wasn't entirely surprised. The crew explained to me that this is normally done on Christmas eve but this year it was raining that evening so the event was postponed until this evening. Pass your pointer through the photo to experience the event yourself. Candle light on New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
January 1, 2009: The above photo is of the New Year's Eve party in the club house. Lot's of good food. You can click the photo to enlarge and look for friends. New years day was spent getting the bicycles into working order, checking the trailer tire pressure, adjusting the bike rack, swimming and watching bowl games. Pretty tough.
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