1/30 Update

19-25 Jan: Quartzsite, AZ, Dry camping (not hooked up to anything)

Sunday: We took Rt. 60 and then I-10 from Aguila, AZ, to Quartzsite for our annual radio ham/shopping fix in the desert! Our specific destination was the area off Rt. 95 south of town where the radio hams congregate every year. There are more folks here than the last couple of years, but there's always plenty of desert so no problem finding a good spot.

Mon: We spent some of the morning creeping through the crowded RV tent where vendors were selling every imaginable item of interest to RVers-- the variety of merchandise and enthusiasm of vendors makes for good entertainment. Along about 11 a.m. when it was tricky to move among the masses, we escaped outside where vendors lined the exterior of the tent or to the RV area where one can look at rigs of every size and description.

Just a note here for those not familiar with the lay of the land. The RV show and big tent mentioned above are very near the center of Quartzsite but about 6 miles north of where we are parked in the desert. We drive there in the Honda and plan to get there early in the morning so we can easily find a place to park.

Our NH friends, Pete and Ellie, and VT friends, Ed and Hazel, arrived and parked near us this afternoon - also friends whom we met here last year from CA are on deck. Fun visiting with all.

Tue: Back to the RV Show/Flea Market for another morning of browsing till noontime.

Today Stan and Liz pulled in and parked in our 'NH/VT' piece of the desert. We all enjoyed the hobo stew this evening. Everyone brings a can of vegetables; Bob has the perfect combination for adding potatoes, onions, beef, and seasoning; he heats it all in a couple of huge pots and voila - it's yummy. Must be 100 of us who took our chairs and gathered round for delicious stew, rolls, and good visiting.

Wed: Liz and Stan drove their van and we took our Honda uptown for continued shopping. It's more fun to split up as we all have different interests, but with a little planning and the aid of family radios, we met in the food court and were lucky enough to find a table and four chairs in the sun for the lunch of our choice.

Yesterday Cal chatted with a representative of the manufacturer of the electric jacks which were installed in Florida. The conversation resulted in his offer to look at them which he did this afternoon. They were working well but now are working better.

This evening our NH/VT group of eight motored east to Brenda, AZ, for the Mexican buffet at Black Rock Café.

Thu: We continued our program of an early departure for the big tent, thus getting a good parking spot. We shopped until noon and then were perfectly content to call it quits and return to the RV for an afternoon of visiting.

Fri: The main mission of today's shopping excursion was to buy the 5 ft. ladder Connie spotted yesterday. Yup! It was what Cal had in mind - one that would fold and fit into an outside bay.

This was Fish Fry Night at the Black Rock Café in Brenda for our gang of radio hams - this is the best restaurant in the area and is very popular - good thing we arrived early as we filled half the restaurant.

We've been playing tag across TX and AZ with Bob and Karen - friends whom we met out here four years ago. Finally, learned via e-mail that they were in a nearby park and would be there a few days. They drove around the desert until they found us this afternoon. Well, actually, Cal looked out the window and spotted Bob asking our neighbor where we were parked-they've never seen Kenzie.

Sat: We've enjoyed our desert experience while living in 'conservation mode' for six days - have a little of the 49 gallons of water left and the holding tanks are still receptive. We all agree that this has been one of the best times yet, and the great weather takes most of the credit. (You may remember that the last couple of years it was COLD and WINDY.) Not so this year-every day began at about 40 degrees and warmed up to low 70's - and no wind. Can't ask for better than that.

Black Rock RVP, Brenda, AZ. As well as being a good place to eat, Black Rock has a super car wash (we feed in the quarters and do the work) a fine RV Park and laundry. After six days in the desert everything was ready for a bath so it was a busy afternoon and pleasant overnight.

26 Jan - 26 Feb: Indian Wells RVR., Indio, CA We checked into this very nice park for a month with a special-rate coupon gleaned at Quartzsite. Can you believe it -- the C's in one place for a month? This special rate means we're in the 'value' lot and that translates to a hot-topped area with full hook-ups where we lined up like soldiers. Thus far, we have empty sites on both sides of us and we can look over the rigs across from us to palm trees on other side of fence and the beautiful Santa Rosa Mts. beyond.

The good news is that it's quiet, clean, and we have access to 3 heated pools, 2 spas and good entertainment periodically at the rec hall. When we walk about the park, we feast our eyes on green grass and beds of flowers.

We're seconds from Rt. 111 which is a major east-west highway to terrific shopping and a number of places we're interested in visiting (including a short drive to Palm Springs.) Thus far, we're content to 'stay home' to catch up: Cal is assembling numbers for Uncle Sam, Connie will be updating the photo album, and we're enjoying the spa every day. Each morning the temperature is in the low 50's but sun quickly warms it to low 80's. We must repeat, this is the best weather we've experienced out here ever.

29 Jan - Wed. Last night we attended the Flying J Barbeque here at the Park. Four cowboys prepared the meal of baked beans, BBQ chicken, potato salad, and fresh baked biscuits. The instructions of how we were to line up and be served the meal were laced with humor and well received by a most enthusiastic crowd of 300 plus. The food was truly delicious and the music which followed superb - those guys played and sang all the good ol' traditional cowboy/western songs with great talent and plenty of humor thrown in.

A census taker went into a RV park and he couldn't find a category on his sheet for full-time Rvers, so he pencilled in, "Rich, homeless people."

That's it from Indian Wells till next time. Cal and Connie