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2007: RV Vacation to Southern Arizona

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December 6, 2007: This is day one of our month long vacation to New Mexico. A new storm has come into southern Oregon. Our worst pass is Siskiyou Summit just south of Ashland, Oregon on Interstate 5. We use to look at the video cams over the summit. TripCheck is used to check the traffic conditions in Oregon and northern California.
Gwen decided she wanted to take a photo as we drove out of Oregon. She couldn't figure out how to switch her new camera to color photos so we got a sepia photo. You can see the bottom of a bicycle wheel through the back window of the truck. Leaving Oregon
It rains into central California It was raining when we left our Applegate RV park and continued to rain as we drove south on Interstate 5. Our plan is to make Lodi, CA tonight and camp in my parents driveway. Then drive south again on Friday toward Imperial Dam, near the California, Arizona, Mexico border.
Our first stop was in Corning, California at the Rolling Hills Casino, one of our favorite stops. They have both free and paid RV parking. This is Eating at the Rolling Hills Casino buffetThursday and the buffet has a half-off special on Tuesday and Thursday. Both Gwen and I ate for only $10.40. This is one of the best buffets with great food. The casino has moved the free RV parking to the truck parking lot so not sure this will be as good for overnight parking as it was. The truck parking is only a short distance from the RV park so I'll bet the truck noise creeps into the RV park too.
We arrived in Sacramento exactly at the worst commuter time. It took 45 minutes to get through Sacramento in bumper to bumper traffic at 7 mph. At least the traffic continued to move, I never changed lanes so it was an easy crossing.
The first night in Lodi, California
It's Santa Morning at the Apple Shed December 7, 2007: Our first night was in my parents driveway in Lodi, California. Our new Cameo just fits into the circle drive on a busy Lodi street. On Friday, we traveled south on Interstate 5 to our favorite refueling station, Flying J near Bakersfield, California then on to Tahachapi, California to spend the night
in an area created for new housing but never developed. This was the same spot as last year but a different experience this year. This year it was a blizzard all night, coating and freezing one side of the truck and trailer which was facing the wind. December 8, 2007: The trip continued on Saturday to the southeast toward Yuma, Arizona. Camp number 3
10 lanes of Freeway This is the area of giant wind generators, there was plenty of wind for generating. Fortunately the wind was mostly blowing in our direction. Also, this was the first time in about twenty years that I have been on a ten lane freeway.

December 9, 2007: We arrived in the Imperial Dam Recreation Area after dark but our friend Dick met us and led us to a parking area near their camp. This is a BLM camping area where a
Camp 3
Wild Burros near Imperal Dam two week camping permit is $40 and the 7 month season permit is $180. Dick and Doris have been camping the winter season at the Imperial Dam for many years. They are teaching us how to do it. On our tour
today we saw wild burros. After visiting the Arizona Market Place, Dick and Doris treated us to dinner at The Cracker Barrel restaurant, one of their favorites and now one of ours too. Dick and Doris have a motor home which they park on a point surrounded by step inclines to the lake below. Dinner with Dick and Doris
Dick and Doris' motor home at dusk on North Mesa point.

Click this panorama to enlarge
December 10, 2007: This is our second full day at the Imperial Dam Recreation Area. I've taken a 6 photo panorama view above. Click the photo to enlarge. The photo is very wide, you should get a tiny magnifying glass with a (+) in the center ... click the photo to enlarge a second time to its full size. Once enlarged to it's full size, scroll left or right to see the entire photo. Our campsite is about the middle of the photo. Campers are everywhere in the area. There are more private sites spread around. They are made private by the many deep canyons between the leveled areas on the mesa.
Our campsite at Imperial Dam Recreation Area Our campsite closeup with Dick and Monty sitting in front of Dick and Doris motor home. Monty's motor home is behind Dick and Doris. Click to enlarge. You'll also see the Internet satellite dish just behind the hood of Big Blue.
There is much happening here. Everyone stays in touch using channel 12 on a CB. We learned of a camper's craft show tomorrow at the "gravel pit" from 9am - noon tomorrow. Click to enlarge the photo, you see "Our Camp" mid-left of the photo and the permit office mid-right. An overview of our campsite
The wild burros come to visit closeup Driving back to camp tonight we came across some more wild burros. They came over visit and look for treats. Morgan did not appreciate their visit and we didn't have any treats for them but it took a while for them to get bored and walk away.
This one was most curious. They seemed pretty clean for wild burros. I'm not sure what they eat. There is no grass that I've found so they must nibble at the few trees around the lake. What do burros want as a treat
Craft display at the gravel pit December 11, 2007: We walked to the "gravel pit" to see the craft display and sale. There were about a dozen booths with mostly homemade items of various quality. It looked like most of the people were having fun with their display. The only way to know about the craft show was to listen to the CB announcements last night.
During the afternoon, I took myself for a bike ride to look at the different camp sites that are available. I ended up riding into the "wilderness" and had to walk through some gullies to find the road to the north. A bike ride into the desert wilderness
I found grass, enough for a few burros In the process, I found several areas of grass along with some signs that the burros visit this area. So now I can see where the burros can find something to eat.
Today was the day for off-road adventure
December 12, 2007: Today Dick and Doris took us for an off-road adventure in their Chevy Tracker. This was a day of firsts since neither Gwen nor I have ever done any off road riding. It began early, just a few minutes after 8 am. We drove over a variety of desert terrain including steep climbs and desents. There were also great views of the desert around Picacho Peak. Our off-road vehicle
Pass a steep ridge A tough climb
Pass your pointer through this photo
Driving toward Picacho The Names

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