Click to Return to RVeCafe Homepage

Arizona and New Mexico, 2010

Return to Fall, 2009 Jump to page 2
Imperial LTVA from the west
Click to see What's New at RVeCafe  

Friday, January 1, 2009: To begin our 2010 advertures we are camped at the Imperial Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) about 20 miles north of Yuma, Arizona. You can click the above photo to see a better view of our trailer parked in the center. Our friends, Jack and Carole are parked just behind us in their motor home. This photo is taken from the west so we are on the western edge of the LTVA. You can see our dusty blue Dodge parked on this side of the fifth wheel. I'm off on a mountain bike ride with Jack to take this photo. Jack is in far better phyiscal condition than I am so he's trying to kill me on a mountain bike each day.

Our plan for 2010 is to be in New Mexico by March, purchase a New Mexico State Park annual pass and spend much of 2010 visiting the entire state.

Saturday, January 2, 2010: One shop every snowbird must visit at least once each winter is The Peanut Patch located in Yuma. When we first visited Yuma a couple of years ago, we were told of The Peanut Patch by several other snowbirds. They were right! This is a small factory store where you can shop for a variety of prepared nuts, fruits and dried beans. We especially like to visit the shop because they scoop several flavors of ice cream. A cone is only Ice Cream at the Peanut Patch
$1.50 and you have your choice of one scoop or two. That's right, the same price for one scoop of two. You often see snowbirds sitting on the benches in front of the shop eating their ice cream cones as we are doing. Of course they do make their own fudge at the shop too. Click the photo above to see a short video or click here to see the video. You can also click here to see a slide show prepared by The Peanut Patch.
Spray paint artists in Mexico Monday, January 4, 2010: We are back in Mexico today with our friends Jack and Carole. To the left you see the spray paint artists. Many snowbirds bring their satellite dishes into Mexico so these artists can paint them. Pass your pointer through the photo to see another view with an artist selling to a passing tourist. You must visit Gwen's blog telling of today's trip.

Watching 3D Avitar
Tuesday, January 5, 2010: After hearing the Talk of the Nation NPR feature, The Evolution of Cinematic Special Effects concerning the new movie Avatar I became determined to see the movie. Gwen and I tried on Christmas day but they were sold out. Finally, we were able to see the movie this afternoon with our friend Jack and Carole. According to the radio program, Avatar "raises the bar for all special effects movies". There are two versions to view, one is the 3D movie while the other is a standard 2D movie. We saw the 3D version, hence, the special glasses that must be used to see the 3D version. These are not the old red lens/green lens glasses but far more sophisticated AND they work incredibly well. As far as I'm concerned, this is a must-see movie in the 3D format. Indeed, this raises the bar a huge amount as did The Ten Commandments, The Titanic, 2001, a Space Odyssey and Star Wars. The visual images are superb, colors are overwhelming and the 3D effects are outstanding. In addition, the music was unforgettable. The viewer is so overwhelmed with all the effects that the story line is easily forgotten but it wasn't bad until the end of the movie, then it became moronic. I'm thinking that James Cameron kept the story line "simple" to attract teens and those who like a "fight-to-the-death" ending. Never the less, you must see the movie for all the reasons I stated other than the ending. You can click the photo to see a scene from the movie.

Escapees Chapter 37 & 47 desert rally near Quartzsite
Thursday, January 7, 2010: We've moved today to a spot near Quartzsite for the Escapees Chapter 37 and 47 rally in the desert. This is a four day rally with socializing, events and lots of food. Our first event is an afternoon "Friendship Hour" with potluck hors d'oeuvres. When you click the photo you can see the entire group of RVs and our circle in the center. We all sat down for introductions, then Tom, the event host realized some of the hors d'oeuvres were hot and cooling on the serving table. So he announced "food" then introductions. Immediately 60 people hoped to their feet and scrambled to get in line. I missed out so climbed to the top of my trailer to take this photo and the photo you will see when you click this photo. Note in the clicked photo that I already have my solar panels erect and pointed at the sun (see the shadows). Unfortunately, the one negative for us at the rally are the number of generators nearby. Essentially everyone here, except a few scattered solar enthusiasts and us, is running a generator at one time or another. It seems like a cruise ship with our room located next to the engine room. We can take it for four days.

Friday, January 8, 2010: On Tuesday in old town Yuma Shopping at the Yuma Farmer's Marketis the Farmer's Market. Gwen went two weeks in a row and enjoyed all of the fresh produce. When you click the photo you'll see she wasn't the only one enjoying the wonderful produce.

No, we haven't left the desert rally on the second day, I just promised myself I would no longer show photographs of rally attendees EATING and today was an "eating day". Our activities today were to have coffee and rolls for the breakfast social hour, drive to the Quartzsite post office to pick up our "general delivery mail" (thank you, Alice), shop some of the Quartzsite vendors for yarn and other craft items, return to camp to prepare for the 3 pm dinner meeting, then have dinner with socializing and games afterward.

Escapees Chapter 37, Pass the Orange Saturday, January 9, 2010: This day is the big event! Today is the Escapees Chapter 37 Triathlon. This is something that most Chapter 37 members train hard for a year before the events. It's obvious that Patty and Wayne must practice passing the orange from neck to neck every day. Pass your pointer through the photo to see what I'm talking about. The other two events are Orange Golf and Unwrap the Kiss. How hard can it be? Gwen took videos so you can see for yourself. Unwrap the Kiss was the first of the Triathlon games, click here to see the short video. Orange Golf came second. Now you know what retired folks do while camped in the desert, train for a tough triathlon.
The washer toss game Sunday, January 10, 2010: The final day of games and food included the washer toss game. These are heavy metal washers and the object is to toss them into one of the three holes. The first hole scores 1 point, the second, 3 and the third 5 points. The first to 11 points wins the game. Dick is focusing on tossing the washer. Just pass your point through the photo to the left and see his concentration. On the right is Tom clowning around before his final turn. His clowning may fool you because Tom is the club champion and he continued his reign today by defeating everyone. Good job, Tom. Tom, the washer toss champion, waits for his final turn
Monday, January 11, 2010: A couple of months ago I mention, a new business idea where RV travelers can spend the night free at select wineries, farms and orchards in California, Oregon and Washington (and eventually the nation). Well, the owners and inventors, Don and Kim visited our rally. It was great visiting and talking about their ideas and early success. I got a chance to see the hosts they have signed already in the three west coast states. Once we complete our 2010 trip to New Mexico I'm really looking forward to trying their service. The great thing is, a charter membership only costs RVers $20 for a whole year. If you happen to own a winery, farm, orchard, your participation is free and you get the chance to invite RVers for an overnight stay. Who knows, they may become some of your best customers. Don and Kim from Harvest Hosts visit our rally
Power to keep up with Jack Tuesday, January 12, 2010: Here is something I found at one of the many Quartzsite vendor booths. According to the brochure, you might be able to get to 30 mph with this handy unit. I figure it might be an easy way to keep up with Jack when we ride together. Well, I'm just kidding ... but it was interesting. The price of the motor is $700. I've actually seen motorized bicycles selling for $13,000 +. Makes me wonder about the reliability of this model. Anyway, I have no interest in this, just found it unusual.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010: Today, Gwen, Morgan and I went searching for crystals in the KOFA National Wildlife Refuge. The area stretches from Yuma to Quartzsite. We drove to Crystal Hill, only a few miles from our campsite. The hill is about 6 miles off the pavement into the desert. Climbing Crystal Hill
Gwen and Morgan searching for crystals Gwen and Morgan are searching the gravel for crystals.

So this is what we found. I don't think they are worth anything except to prove that we've been to Crystal Hill.

We did get some great views from the hill. Click here to see the desert view to the west.

The crystals we found
1956 Thursday, January 14, 2010: Times are getting more exciting in Quartzsite, the "big tent" happens this weekend. Also there are many club and manufacturer rally in town. One of those is the Flxible rally. The bus below was built the year I was born, 1947. The two level bus to the left was built in 1956. These owners take pride in restoring these Flxible buses into an RV. These are really interesting. Take the time to follow the link above for more photos and history. Also, click the left photo for a distant view of the rally.
1952 Flxible 1947 Flxible
Friday, January 15, 2010: Do you see us jammed into a space in an RV park? Jack and Laura got us a space for only $10/night. As you know, we don't normally crowd ourselves into such parks but Gwen's daughter and Grandchildren have met us in Lake Havasu City for a few days. It's still a resort to us because of unlimited electricity, water and sewer so we are enjoying it. Jammed into an RV park
We are camped at the local KOA, Lake Havasu Resort. The kids are at a Hampton Inn down the street and plan to "hang-out" for a few days.

London Bridge in Lake Havasu, AZ
Sunday, January 17, 2010: Here it is, the London Bridge moved from England to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Gwen's daughter and grandchildren and taking in the view from the bridge. This area of Lake Havasu City is crowded with people and boats during the summer months. Click the photo to see Gwen and her daughter and grandkids. The masonry of this 1831 bridge was bought and transported from England in the late 1960s. This bridge was completed in 1971. Lake Havasu City is a planned city and the London Bridge was part of the plan to attract attention to the area.
Federer is my favorite Tuesday, January 19, 2010: YES! Now that we have satellite television again we are able to watch the Australian Open. Roger Federer is my favorite tennis star. What is so great this year, since we have DirecTV we are able to watch Round One see ALL the tennis players. Australia is putting their best-foot-forward, so I'm finding it interesting. Some of the top seeds have been eliminated in Round One. DirecTV has a feature where we can watch
six channels of tennis at the same time. Yesterday they had to play 88 matches so being able to watch six at once is a plus. On to Round Two. Oh ... we are moving tomorrow back to the Imperial LTVA. Thursday and Friday are expected to be tough rainy weather so little power for us to watch tennis.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010: We have left our full-hook-up site in Lake Havasu and traveling south on 95 to return to the Imperial LTVA for two weeks before heading further south. We must pass through Quartzsite during the "Big Tent" days. Quartzsite hosts a huge RV sales event with hundreds of vendors so thousands of RV fans and travelers drive to Quartzsite to see what's new. The traffic is bumper to bumper in the city and especially around the vendor area. Most vendors set up shop Quartzsite during Big Tent days
Traffic backed up for three miles into Quartzsite under a canopy in an outdoor area. At left you can see the traffic backed up south of Quartzsite for three miles down highway 95. I'm glad we are driving south. We don't have time to stop because a large storm is on the way and I want to get set up before the storm begins. We arrived at 2:30 pm and have camped near the same location we left on January 7.
Thursday, January 21, 2010: This was a special day in southwestern Arizona, the day of the big storm. We got to see the washes that surround us come alive with water. Pass your pointer through the photo to view what the wash usually looks like. This, according to the locals and those snowbirds who have returned to the Imperial LTVA for many years has been a storm of record. We endured winds gusting to 68 mph from the south, so broadside to the trailer. At times it felt as if we were on a boat, tossed by waves. At the same time, more than three inches of rain fell on the desert. A wash running with water, rare
The liberry stranded by the storm. Many of the campers had a bit more problems than we had. Some are sitting in a lake or have a lake out there front door. The liberry (yes, it's spelled like this) is isolated by a lake (the Airstream is the liberry). This will make spring in the desert a great treasure of wildflowers. I created a video to give you an idea of how hard the storm hit us.
Thursday, January 22, 2010: Out our back window is a wonderful view of the desert. The storm is over, most of the puddles are gone from around our trailer. The washes are dry again. The sun peaked out today until about noon when the clouds moved in again. I still got 85 amp hours of solar charge before the clouds took over. That gave us enough power to login on the Internet and watch a couple of movies on TV. The desert after the storm
Lettuce Days in Yuma Saturday, January 23, 2010: How fortunate we are to be in the Yuma area during Lettuce Days. The festival includes art and craft booths as well as the best samples of salad crops in the USA. We sampled and purchased many of the salad crops and they were as good as growing in your own garden. We also enjoyed the FFA "Largest Salad Bar". We learned that it takes 50,000 workers from Mexico each day to harvest 10,000,000 heads of lettuce daily. The workers are paid well. The farmers are ultra-technical using modern equipment (some costing $1,000,000 for one machine). Planting
The best tasting fresh aspargus I've ever had Local dates
Local Lemons Advertising the Garlic festival from out of the area
World's largest FFA salad bar
is done by GPS with seed placement in precise location. We were told the fields are "pool table level" so 75% of the water goes straight down, no run off. The cleanliness of the fields is extreme with irrigation water tested monthly. If an animal track is found in a field, no crops are harvested within 50 feet of the track. The highlight of our day was in securing two of the 800 tickets given away for a free bus tour of the agricultural area around Yuma. Here is a short video of that tour.
Many craft and art booths as well as fresh vegitables
  Continue to page 2
Return to RV Trips Copyright, 2009 by