Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring is Here

According to the calendar, spring is here.  That means winter is officially over so maybe it's time to start heading home.  Having said that, that is exactly what we did.

We had just spent a very enjoyable week at Pahrump - even if it involved some work.  Everything is nice and clean so we even took a drive out into Death Valley in search of wild flowers.  It had been fairly cold throughout the winter so I think that maybe we were a bit on the early side.  We did see some Yucca plants flowering - it is truly amazing how a plant that looks like it is on the verge of drying up can produce such large, showy flowers.   While Death Valley is home to a real variety of landscapes and terrain, we did see a large dust devil go across some flats - much larger than we usually see at home. 
It was time to head out to spend a couple of days at a favourite spot - Virgin River Canyon campground.  This campground is about halfway between St. George, UT and Mesquite, NV and is incredibly beautiful.  It also gave us a chance to go into St. George to visit some friends which included a wonderful supper - thanks Rick and Sandi.

As we watch the weather reports, we have to decide when is the best day to hit the road.  We really like about three days of good weather but there didn't seem to be any of those in the near future.  Off we go, hoping to get ahead of the first wave of storms but that wasn't about to happen.  About an hour after we hit the road, we hit the storm.  Throughout most of Utah we had rain, snow, or a combination of both.  Fortunately, the temperatures were warm enough that it wasn't freezing on the road, but there were places where the slush was starting to build.  Once we got through Utah, it was smooth sailing.  Even with that, day one was 530 miles, and day two was 670 miles.  That brought us to within a 150 miles from home - a walk in the park.

The weather at home was great - +15C and no snow so unpacking was a real breeze.  In fact, we are still wondering what we forgot as the unpacking process was so quick and easy.

That ends our winter trip which was fun and busy and a whole lot of miles (besides a trip to Hawaii).  We saw a lot, did a lot, and look forward to more adventures.

While this concludes my weekly blog, there may be sporadic ones throughout the summer, depending on whether or not we decide to deviate from the ordinary day-to-day activities.  I do have some ideas on blogs throughout the summer where I can recap many more photos of our winter travels, but that remains to be seen whether or not it really happens.

Thanks for following along with our winter travels.  We hope we were able to pass along some of our enjoyment as we shared our adventures.  Have a great summer and hope you will be back next fall.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Back on Track

Well, I'm back on track with my regular Saturday night weekly run-down.  And another interesting week!

Driving into Lake Havasu
Last week as we were heading into Lake Havasu we were having some trouble with heating.  This week, as we left Lake Havasu, after a radiator cleaning at the car wash, our heating trouble seemed to be over.  Except, it seemed that the engine was too cool and it wouldn't stay warm (or as I understand it).  As a result Gerry decided that the thermostat was stuck open - apparently quite a problem in the cold weather as we would not have any heat as we head home.

Since we were on our way to Pahrump (an hour out of Las Vegas) we continued on.  A google search showed that there was a firm in Pahrump so after a quick phone call, we were booked in.

Since Pahrump is not a very big centre, the parts were not available locally but we could get them in Las Vegas.  Off we went on a road trip.  By the time we got back, it was too late to have the work done so we spent the night in the compound (we are getting good at that).  I must say that the staff were very friendly and offered us electricity and water but we really needed neither as we are totally self-sufficient.

The display beneath the bunk
The repair depot was incredibly interesting.  It was also a trucking firm and they had 24-hour security.  The owner, and several of the staff are from Quebec and some spoke very little English.  Gerry learned how to make aluminum wheels shine as he watched, and got advice from a couple of gals that were doing exactly that.  The owner had a semi that had been dressed up, and I mean, dressed up.  Beneath the bunk in the sleeper, there was a western display of miniature characters.  I tried to take several photos of the truck itself but it was too much like taking a snapshot in a mirror.

They were ready to work on our motorhome by 7:30 the next morning and we were on the road by 10.  And the original diagnosis was correct so we should be back in business.

The rest of the week was rather busy.  Gerry waxed the beast and I shampooed the carpets.  The temps have been hot so thank goodness for air conditioning.  Now hopefully we can spend a couple of days relaxing and enjoying the sun.

I hope you have a good week!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Time Just Slips Away

I must apologize as my commitment to write a post each Saturday has slipped by - here it is already Tuesday.  For some reason time really did just slip away the past ten days.

Another Desert Sunset
We spent most of the week out in the quiet of the desert near Quartzsite.  We did go into town a couple of days but the vendors have all pretty well pulled up stakes and carried on to somewhere else.  With that, there were not a lot people around.  Nothing can beat waking up at night to absolute quiet - with the odd exception of a coyote way off in the distance.

We were thrilled to have a visit with some old friends (not necessarily as in age) who now live in Oregon.  While the visit was short, it was a great time to catch up and remember.  Ken and Joanne - until next year!!

The temperature has been heating up into the 90's which make for a pretty warm day but they do cool off nicely at night. 

The week was over and it was time to head to Lake Havasu for a few days.  It was a mighty warm day and we had some trouble with heating.  We know that the radiator needed cleaning so we pull into Lake Havasu to see if someone could have a look at it and give it a cleaning - no luck until Monday so across the street is a great carwash.  While it washed out a lot of dirt and grime, it will still need to be done once we get home.  But in the meantime, it certainly made a huge difference.
Lake Havasu Aloha

Our stay in Lake Havasu was made up of terrific days and not so terrific nights.  On our way in we had wanted to stop at a place called the steps but oops, we missed it.  That was okay because we will just go on to the next one.  After coming back from the car wash, we stopped too soon but decided that this was good enough and also close to town so we would stay.  Bad decision as the nights became party nights.  We were certainly glad to see Sunday night as that is not a party night.
Topock Gorge

We got to visit and have supper with Wayne and Diane - folks from home that we have known for many, many years - another great visit.  Then on Sunday, Joe and Kathy have a pontoon boat and so kindly took us up the river to the Topock gorge.  With the temps in the 90's and very little wind, there is no better way to spend a Sunday than a ride on the water with friends followed by a nice meal. 

The weekend is over and it is time to move on.  I will save that for next week - sometimes between Saturday and Wednesday it would seem.  Have a great week.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

An Interesting Week

We arrived back from Hawaii and thought we would spend a bit of time at the Fountain of Youth (one can never get too much of that youth stuff).  However, when we got the motorhome out of storage, there was a rattle that didn't belong.  With it being the weekend we decided that we would wait until Monday morning to deal with this problem.  First thing we decided that it probably shouldn't be driven so we called out roadside assistance (thank
A sad sight
 goodness for that).  They arranged for a tow truck and made arrangements to have it looked at that afternoon.  So, in the pouring rain, the poor young fellow who was the tow truck driver had the job of hooking us up - poor guy was covered in wet muck and gravel.  Off he took our home 60 miles away to have us fixed.

We were very fortunate in that we were towed to Dion Trucks in El Centro.  The service manager was happy(as were we) to help us.  For those of you who are not familiar with diesel pusher motorhomes, the access to the motor is through a fairly small opening in the floor in the bedroom - ours is between the bed and the closet.  They had to replace the bearings on the motor fan - done by Jose as he hung upside down the entire time.  We were very fortunate as the job was done quickly and it didn't break the bank - we were out the next afternoon.

We decided that we would do some visiting so we went into Indio to stay at the Fantasy Springs Casino.  Gerry's cousin was there so we had a great visit with them.  And Myrna and I toured most of the thrift shops in the Palm Springs area.  It was a fun day - although I didn't find a whole lot of bargains.  The next day we had a terrific lunch with Robbie and Louise - I went to high school with both of them - we had some great times.  It was so nice to be able to catch up with them again.  To finish off the weekend we attended a free concert at Spotlight 29 Casino - Tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival.  It was a great show - so enjoyable. Yes, we really are the last of the big spenders!!
Our campsite

We finished the week off by going to Quartzsite - it is time for some quiet desert time.  We look forward to hear the coyotes at night instead of traffic.  As you can see, it's been of week of highs and lows, but it was an interesting and eventually fun week.  I hope everyone has a great week.