Friday, November 29, 2013

To the Pipe Cactus!

Thanksgiving was a unique experience this year.  I had snuck our meal into the camper. This consisted of four thick slices of turkey breast, powered mashed potatoes, a jar of turkey gravy, small can of cranberries and a box of that instant stuffing in which you just add hot water.  With that we created a grand Thanksgiving dinner and celebrated our successful southern migration.
Once all the dishes were cleaned and put away we organized the camper for our departure in the morning and then went to bed.
At 6:00 AM Linda was moving about and we both got out of bed and walked to the showers.  By now we were pros at using this area and we were able, through our local knowledge, to save $.50 between our two showers.  Experience told us that we shouldn’t be tricked by the $1.00 sign and that we could complete the task with only $.75! Boy we are thrifty campers aren’t we!
We packed up the rest of the camper and went through our “leaving camp” check list, drove up and dumped the gray and black tanks and hit the road for our final long leg in the states.
Bullhead City to Needles, CA, Needles to Lake Havasu City, Lake Havasu City to Quartzsite, Quartzsite to Buckeye to Ajo then to our final stop Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  We are 8 miles from Lukesville and the border of Mexico.  This will be our home until Monday when we drive back into Ajo and meet up with Larry and Maggie.  We will post photos and note any exciting events between now and our crossing.  Our only goal is to rest up and enjoy the desert.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lay-over Days & Thanksgiving

I was looking over the travel summary that Linda has been keeping since we left Post Falls and here are a few of the facts we have collected.

We have driven 1142 miles since leaving Post Falls.
Our tanks were full when we left and we have added 92.797 gallons of diesel costing us $372.69.
Highest price per gallon was $4.14 in Jackpot, Nevada and cheapest fuel was in Meridian, Idaho at $3.87 per gallon.
We paid $20 for a nights stay in Jackpot but we got real nice showers.  At the Paharagat National Wildlife Refuge we stayed for free and we now are paying $13.00 per night at Katherine Landing, in Arizona.
View of Lake Mojave from just above our site.

Huge Carp swimming below Duck.

Thanksgiving dinner!

Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and cranberries!
Our Thanksgiving hide away.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Got a Charge in Henderson

Woke up to ducks quacking and temperatures that a polar bear would hate.  We think we have finally dropped below the freezing zones of the north.  On the road by 8:30 AM we were able to make good time south.

The one thing I really have liked about this trip has been the sunny skies.  Every day so far we have had no wind and blue skies all day.  Traveling has been perfect in every respect.

The smog of Las Vegas!
Yes, a photo of Linda cooking!
The last two nights we have had some concerns about the batteries in the camper.  The two 6 volt batteries have been with the camper since we bought it and I have been worried about them for about six months.  Replacement has been on my to-do list and we finally decided to get a new pair in Henderson.  Linda googled up the Interstate Battery store and we drove through Las Vegas to Henderson and dropped $300 on the power supplies. The kid at the store was very nice and even though it was against the rules for him to install the batteries, he talked to me and helped me lift the big things into the truck.  It was a good break and we will be using the heck out of them for the next few nights.

Heading south we cut off 95 on to 168 and crossed the river after Laughlin where we turned north and found Katherine Landing. We plan to

 dry camp for the next three nights.  Weather and temperatures are great and we found ourselves sitting outside in T-shirts and shorts.  What a change!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 3 - Straight Roads

Leaving Jackpot we followed 93 to Ely, Hwy 6 to Hwy 318 and connected back to 93 below Hiko.  That little jaunt was about 318 miles and about six and a half hours of driving.  I can’t say much about the highways except they are straight and long.

As we drove we climbed over two passes and dropped down in elevation each time.  We arrived at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge and secured site #2.  The temperature when we arrived was about 51 degrees which is about 20 degrees warmer then when we left Cactus Pete’s.

We plan to get through Las Vegas tomorrow but we think we need to stop at an Interstate Battery store and have the camper batteries checked out.  They had trouble pushing out the slide when we stopped yesterday and today.  What can you say?  They are about six years old and I was going to replace them before this trip but put it off.  I learn more lessons as I go.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Roll Them Bones

Oh Walmart, how do we love your lots!  We were up and about by 7:30 AM and got everything back in order in the camper by 8:50 AM.  We pointed south and set the cruise control to 60.

In Meridian we pulled off to see if Camping World had a 12 volt space heater that we could buy and use to keep the camper temps up above freezing as we drove. CW was closed, probably because it was Sunday, imagine that!  Using the detour to our advantage we filled up at a Maverick and continued on.

We past the exit to Boise State so I asked Linda to post on my Facebook something like, "Just looked left and spotted Boise Stadium, I threw up in my mouth a bit, but I'm OK."  She said no to that request so we drove on.

At Twin Falls we parked at the overlook and I took some pictures.  People were base jumping and we got to see three chutes open.  It was surprising how when the chute popped open it like a gun shot!

I wanted to go to the CSI campus and do something for Facebook, but Linda said no to that also.  She didn't want me to get in trouble I guess.

Out of Twin we charged down to Jackpot Nevada and paid for our first night in a campground.  We need to take showers and change clothes so the money paid was well worth it.

We walked around the Casino areas and I have decided we will stay for the next several weeks while I try to win a nest egg for our retirement.  I'm sure that's a good investment!

Linda has befriended our little neighbor and he has been so nice and cute.  He has given us two maps that he circled possible campgrounds on our route down to Las Vegas.  He talked for a while and then we went into our campers.  So far he has come over four times with more information. LOL Heis so nice!

We're a bit early but Night Ranger will be playing Cactus Pete's, brings back memories wouldn't you say?

Sister Christian
Oh, the time has come
And you know that you're the only one
To say, okay
Where you going
What you looking for
You know those boys
Don't want to play no more with you
It's true

You're motoring
What's your price for flight
In finding mister right
You'll be alright tonight

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Heading South

We left the our little home at about 10:45 AM, our goal of a 10:00 AM departure didn’t happen due to more house cleaning time needed.  It was exciting, yet we both felt that it was surreal based on the fact that we had been planning and preparing for this adventure for so many years.  Now the adventure begins and we have left Post Falls behind. 

We tried not to look back once we left the driveway.  Our house is in good hands.  Between Linda’s family and Cain, it will be well cared for.  It is so nice to be able to always find someone to live there while we explore.  I hope we can keep this up in the future.

The drive down to our first nights boondock was very uneventful about the only event that slowed us down was in the Tri Cities where all traffic was stopped due to an accident.  That only took about 30 minutes and we were back on pace.

The sun was out all the way down and we had very little traffic.  Temperatures were in the low 40’s but dropped into the 30’s going over the Blue Mountains.  We hit Le Grande at 3:50 PM and drove directly to Walmart.  We found a level spot and parked.  Kobi was ready to get out and so we took him for an hour walk in a field behind the store.

With the camper heated and dinner on the stove we settled in and watched the DVD “The Avengers.”   Tomorrow we head down to the Twin Falls area, I’ll post again then.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Few Weeks Out

In about two weeks or so Linda and I will be taking off on a bit of an adventure that we have been talking about and planning for over five years. Each year for more that fifteen years we have been flying to Mexico and staying during our Christmas holiday vacation.  We traveled many places and then finally zeroed into a favorite little town called Melaque.  We have stayed there over the past ten or so vacations and have grown to love the place.  Each time we visited and returned home we talked about our retirement and how when we retire we would take an extended vacation down to this area as the proverbial "snow birds."  We are both retired now and we are within weeks of starting this dream.

We set our plan in motion over a year ago when we talked to our friends Larry and Maggie about driving down to Melaque with them.  They have driven down to their house many times in the past and agreed that it would be a fun adventure to have us accompany them. We all committed and went our separate ways.  As the year went on Linda and I started researching and making lists of everything we might need to know and have on this 4600 mile round trip.  We set our sights on staying for four to six months away from our home. The logistics and lists grew and grew.

When we made our plan with Larry and Maggie, we were in Mexico.  This gave us a chance to secure a location to park our camper and stay for the time we were going to be away.  We put money down to rent a lot that had the amenities needed to park our rig and live for the time we were down south. This second step committed us for good and from there our plans started rolling.

About four months ago we started collecting all the items we would need to make the trip.  A large item we picked up was a 4 X 6 enclosed trailer that we have filled with all the items needed for an extended trip like this.  It is stuffed with spare tires and truck parts, chairs, screen tents, stoves, extension cords and it seems like a million other items we think we will need at our plapa in Mexico.

Today we spent and hour with the young man, who will be staying at our house while we are gone, showing him all the ins and outs of our house.  We are not charging him to live there so this is great deal for him and it will give us the security of knowing that our house is protected while we are away.

There is so much that I could tell about the preparations we have done for this adventure. Our lists are long and at this point have been checked  and checked off.  We are ready to get going, but have only a few very important things left to do.  As we finish these items up, our path will be clear for departure.

I will be posting on this blog when ever possible.  I have created a map of our projected travel route and have linked it to a tab at the top of this blog section.  It is an animated map and I hope you will enjoy it as it is built and filled with photos and points of intrest. Please note that you can control the map when you view it.

Wish us luck and keep checking back to see what is developing.