Saturday, January 28, 2012

Boondockin' on the Mexico border

Here we are... Where we were... Back then.
Near the beginning of our Wheel life... back before our blogging days...
We boondocked along the All-American Canal, just out of Yuma, on the road that leads into Mexico.
This was THEN...

This is NOW...
We are parked behind Steve and Roberta

We weren't here for Mexico THEN... but we are NOW.
A split tooth and 2 broken teeth... in need of a dentist... an affordable dentist!

Our first appointment is on Monday, so we walked across the border yesterday,
to make sure we know where we are going on Monday.
We found it with no problem...
 just a bit stressful making our way through all the street barkers, to get there.

After confirming our appointment, we strolled the streets...
taking in some entertainment and looked through some of the street markets.

Our only purchase was at a pharmacy... 
We scored 120 Prilosec for $2.70 and a bottle of Vanilla for $1.29!
I'm making a list of other medicines we may want to get on our next trip.

Our stress level really rises in this environment, so we didnt last long.
Steve and Roberta, however, were just getting started...
so we left them behind and headed for the border crossing...

Where we found what felt like a never ending line!

Fortunately there WAS an end to the line and the end of the line eventually led us to the front of the line and through Customs.
Finally across, we still had a long walk home.  We had ridden down with Steve and Roberta... but like I said, we left them there...  them AND our ride. 
It was a 40 minute walk home. 
It would have been quicker if I hadnt been in sandals...
 and if Jeff's ankle and toe weren't still bothering him...
 and if the wind hadn't picked up, blowing against us.
But We Made It!

Last Night... Back yard Sunset

The wind grew stronger as time grew later, and it really roared during the night.
None of us slept much.
This morning, I wasn't willing to fight the wind to turn the generator on,
so I opted to boil water on the stovetop and pour it through the coffee grounds.
I made some very good coffee!

Going backwards on this blog post...
Back at Oasis Palms, before leaving there on Thurday...

We spent Wednesday packing up and re-organizing the storage compartment,
and stocking up on fruit!
That's ALOT of fruit!

The night before leaving, we had one final game night of LRC.
New players joined us.  In the middle of the top picture...
Meet Roger and Darlene.  From Wisconsin, they met through e-harmony and married soon after. 

We made very good friends with the park managers, Ann and Michael. 
THEY are the reason this is such a great place to be.
That is them at the right of the top picture, and Ann and I in bottom corner picture.

It's sometimes hard to say good-bye to new friends.
but home is on wheels, and wheels roll.
I expect we will meet up again.

Good-Bye Oasis Palms and Ann and Michael...
Thanks for the enjoyable and memorable stay.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Change in Plans... really?

I think our latest plan was that we were to leave today for Quartzsite, along with friends, Steve and Roberta. 
Well... we didn't.  From what we were hearing, Quartzsite was a madhouse.  I mentioned to Jeff that we didnt need anything that bad... and thats all it took.  He agreed that we didn't need to go. 
Steve and Roberta decided to take a day trip over.  They came back saying it was a joke.  Now we are really glad we didnt make the trip.

    So what is the new plan??

I made the call... and we have dental appointments over the border in Los Algodones on Monday.  We will have follow up appointments later in the week. 

THE NEW PLAN is to leave here Thursday morning... drive to Winterhaven, CA... and find a place to boondock along the All-American Canal, just a mile from the Mexico border.
Steve and Roberta are going to the area as well... so we hope to walk over the border together on Friday, so we can find the dentist office with more "support".  Then we won't be so nervous on Monday when we go over for our appointment. 

  What was that I said about our perfect weather here??

While Palm Springs had winds for 24 hours that blew down trees and poles and blew over a tour bus on I-10 encouraging the closing of the interstate... we had only a wind storm that came and went on Saturday afternoon.  We could see the storm coming... a brown sky of dust whirling in our direction.  We didnt go outside except to take down the flag, lay down chairs and strap down anything else that may blow away.  We closed up windows, turned off A/C, and roasted while we watched it blow.

What a mess it left.  It took all day on Sunday for Michael and Ann to clean the Hot Tub, Pool and Patio area. 

We had another game night on Sunday night after the NFL playoff games... which I DONT want to talk about!!

There were only 6 of us this time, but we had a fun time. 
Karin and Ziggy, in the top right corner of the photo collage, left the next morning for Yuma area, where they were going across the border to the dentist. 
  Today I did inside cleaning and the laundry,
 and tomorrow will be outside cleaning up and packing up - day. 
But first we need to GET up... so we better get to bed.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Time for an update... eh?

The "eh?" is for all our Canadian friends.  There sure are a lot of Canadian RVers!  At the Sands RV Resort, the majority are from Canada.  Here at the Oasis Palms, the majority may be from Oregon and Washington... but there are some from Canada, as well as Germany and Australia!

We have enjoyed our time here so much that we are still here!  We came for 3-5 days, but tomorrow it will be 2 weeks.  We plan to leave on Tuesday 1/24, with another couple, Steve and Roberta, from Oregon.  We will travel to Quartzsite together and hopefully find a good spot in the desert together.  We're going for the annual RV show, but thats about it, so we will probably stay only 2 nights.

From Quartzsite, we may end up going to the Yuma area, so we can go to the dentist over the border in Los Algodones.  If we do that, we will boondock on the California side along the All American Canal, where we stayed 2 years ago.  I have 2 teeth that have needed crowns for awhile now, and Jeff split a tooth the other night.

So that updates you on our plans... now for a recap of our time here:

We love this park!... and we seem to be in the perfect place for weather.  We have had no rain and no wind.  Even when there are strong winds south of us near Borrego Springs, and north of us at Palm Springs... we have it calm and beautiful!

This is Louie.. the most friendly cat ever
his owner came to get him the other evening, but he decided he lived here.

We have enjoyed a couple fun game nights with new friends...

There are good roads to ride our bicycles on or go for a good walk.  We rode toward the Salton Sea the other day, but did a quick turn around when we approached the end of the road, and a pack of dogs (like 20?) came running out of the orchard, and confronted us... though still from a distance, it was intimidating enough for us to turn around and pedal like ****!

We have yet to use the pool or hot tub!  we better do that!

Friends, Roberta and Steve, playing Ping Pong...
...while Jeff checks the email.

aahh, yes... the very significant event?   
Jeff washed our wheel house!

Sad to say it... but this was the first thorough washing since we bought it in August 2010!!
 I know we said that one of the reasons we stayed longer in this area was so that we could hike Painted Canyons and Ladder Canyons... well we still haven't!!

We attempted it, but the road into it was so awful... it was washboard road and I didnt have a motion sickness pill, so I was getting nauseas.  So we pulled off on a side road on the way there, and did some hiking.

Earlier this week, we drove down to Borrego Springs, which was the first place we went, and our first boondocking experience when we set out on this RV life adventure in March 2010.  We didnt get any pictures, but things looked the same... except that it looked like some of the roads were marked that hadnt been before.  We drove all around the areas we had stayed, and felt a little homesick!  I really thought there would be more RVs out there in January, but we could have easily found a nice spot to ourselves.

There are groves of Date Palms all around here
That's about it for news...

We're still enjoying all the citrus fruits all around us.  Every day we enjoy grapefruit, oranges and tangerines.  Anne loaned me a hand juicer, so the last 2 days I have made us fresh squeezed orange juice.  For every 4 oranges, I include a grapefruit, and it makes for some tasty juice!

Today we are driving into Indio, for a final shopping trip to Costco and Walmart before leaving the area.  Gotsta stock up the freezer and cupboards! 

Better get going... another sunny day of adventure awaits!

Monday, January 9, 2012


After lazing around the wheel house all weekend, we finally got out to do some sight seeing. 

Jeff came down with a stomach flu, early on Saturday, and I didn't feel well either... so we settled for watching football all weekend.  We were plugged into our generator because of the electrical problem at our site, but no problem... we didn't know the difference.  Aren't generators the best?

Todays outing was a drive up and around to the East side of the Salton Sea, in search of Slab City and Salvation Mountain.  We knew it was near Niland, but that's all we knew.  These aren't places listed on a map, and there aren't any signs.  We did a 15 mile loop before deciding to stop and ask... and no, it wasn't Jeff refusing to stop and ask someone for directions.  We asked the right person (we think he probably lived out there) and he set us in the right direction.

A couple miles down the right road, and we could see Salvation Mountain off in the distance.  We first heard of Salvation Mountain on the movie "Into The Wild".  We had heard of Slab City, but knew nothing of either one of them, until the movie and then after some internet research of the places.

Salvation Mountain was great!  Leonard spent years building and painting this mountain.  I had thought that it was big rocks he had painted... but it looks like it is mostly hay bales, dirt and straw.  Its like walking into a fantasy land... like Alice in Wonderland.

This was inside the "cave", made mostly of trees and branches and dirt and straw, all painted.

This place definitely looked familiar from the pictures I've seen, but it was more than I expected.  I thought it was amazingly fun... especially the cave. 
What a great fort... as a kid, I would have wanted to move in!

From there, we drove on down the dirt road into Slab City.  I had seen a few photos taken from here, but it was different than I had pictured.  I didnt realize it was so spread out.  There are streets and alleyways all over.   There were residences that were very clearly settled in... they had built fences with sticks or bamboo or even mattress springs to establish their private yards.

There were all kinds who occupied the "city".  There were those who clearly were there to stay, whether by choice or circumstance.  Then there were those who looked more like they were just passing through... like they may have stayed in an upscale RV resort last week or going there next.  But old or new rig... there were a lot of solar panels... something we don't know alot about, and don't expect we will ever get.

Interesting places...
Enjoyable Day!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

50 Miles South

We made our move yesterday.  The people who were moving into our site were there and waiting for us to leave. 

Our big move was to the Oasis Palms RV Park, South of Mecca on the 86... and I do mean ON the 86.  We weren't sure we would be able to sleep with all the traffic on the highway... it's very noisy... but we both slept fine.  Hopefully that will be the case every night, because other than highway noise, we love this place!

It is a Passport America park, and we took a Water/Electric site (no sewer and no concrete pad)... but they have a dump station and we have a blue tote so no problem!  AND... we pay only $11 night!  We can stay for 2 weeks at that rate.

We came here rather than going directly to Lake Havasu, just because we want to check out some more hikes (Painted Canyons and Ladder Canyons), and visit Slab City and Salvation Mountain.  But we may stay here for the 2 weeks!  who knows?

This place is unbelievable.  Very friendly staff and fellow RVers, nice pool and hot tub (that stays open all night), AND there are fruit trees all over with Oranges, Lemons and Grapefruit.  All free for the picking.  We picked 4 big Grapefruit yesterday and ate 2 of them.... they were wonderful!

out back window

out front door
There is just one issue!  Something is wrong with our electric.  They think that a gopher may have chewed through one of the lines, and they have promised to have it fixed on Monday.  They gave us the option of moving to a pull-through full hookup site for no extra charge, but we don't want to move!  We were perfectly level, all hooked up and we love our site!  So we opted to use our generator until they get it fixed Monday.  We had paid for 3 days, and they extended our stay another 3 days at no charge, so we are happy campers for sure!  6 days for $33 and free fruit!

Well it is another beautiful day in the neighborhood, so I had better get out and enjoy it!

Hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Our month is up... we leave here in the morning.  As nice as it has been... we are ready.  The park is nearly full, and its becoming too much of a happening place for us.  The pool is too crowded for our comfort... and there are people everywhere.

I checked the weather at all the places we could go... and we have the best weather here of anywhere around us, including Arizona and Texas.  So we are not willing to give up this beautiful weather... we are moving 50 miles SE.  There is a Passport America park, just South of Mecca, that has availability and we can stay for $11 night with Water and Electric.  If we are comfortable, and the weather stays like this, we may stay a week. 

We weren't able to make it down to the Painted Canyons or Ladder Canyons, so we will have a chance to do that while staying there.  Also, we won't be so far to take a tour of Salvation Mountain.  I just wish we had made it there while Leonard was still around. 

I know I finished the last post saying that I would continue the next day.  Its been a couple days, and I forgot the things that I hadnt yet told you about... so oh well... time goes on.

Yesterday morning, we had to say good-bye to our new friends and neighbors, Les and Wendy.

They were such a joy to meet and share time with.
The whole neighborhood came out so say good-bye.
They are off to Yuma to check it out and walk over the border into Mexico...
even though none of us who have been there had anything good to say about it,
and we had Wendy pretty well convinced that she wouldnt like it. 
Maybe we should all just keep our mouths shut!
New friends and neighbors, Bill and Julie, pulled out this morning... we said our good-bye's last night.

We dont know who was out to see them off this morning... we weren't.
We had another good fire the other night. 
It started at 6:30, but not everyone was there until almost 9:00. 
Fred had gone to Home Depot to get yet more materials for the shed he has been building...

and Kent and Karen were flying in from Canada, where they had gone to spend the holidays, 
so Les and Wendy were picking them up.

Good to have you back, Kent and Karen!

They are a wonderful couple. 
They waste no time meeting new arrivals, and within minutes they know everything about them! 
Wow... it takes us weeks to learn that much about someone... if ever we do.

Jeff and Patty have invited us over for dinner tonight, so we are off to their place in a few minutes.  Then its one last night of games at Fred and Trudy's.  Should be an enjoyable last evening here.