1/14 Update

Friends,

5-11 Jan 04, Mon-Sun: Gold Rock Ranch, Winterhaven, CA

Highlights of our second week at Gold Rock Ranch.

On Thurday NH and VT RV friends converged on the Golden Corral in Yuma, AZ. It's the first time all of us happy Southwest wanderers have been in one locale at the same time although we keep in touch via e-mail. We'll probably see Ed and Hazel, Pete and Ellie, Stan and Liz again soon in Quartzsite, AZ, as the annual RV show and radio ham fest is in our immediate future.

Stan and Liz returned to Gold Rock Ranch so we're parked side by side again.

We haven't been to Algodones, Mexico, for a couple of years and Stan and Liz haven't been to that town so we made an early-morning departure on Friday. The drill is to park in the Quechan Reservation lot and walk 500 feet across the border to Mexico. Cal and Connie crossed items off their short shopping list. The rest of our time was spent looking and being intercepted by overzealous Mexicans who were convinced we should be purchasing their wares. It's the way of life there.

Back at the Ranch temperature had warmed to a glorious 70 degrees so we made a windbreak with our vehicles and enjoyed our lounges for a while before striking off across the desert for more exercise.

Liz was Tour Director and Navigator for our visit to 'The Farm' on Saturday, Derrol Wilson invites folks to the citrus farm surrounding his home in southern Yuma. We joined the tour already in progress where Derrol was picking fruit from his trees and cutting sections for all to taste as he named and described each variety. He had plenty of plastic bags so that, after tasting, we could pick our favorite grapefruit, lemons and oranges. There were quite a few varieties of oranges so most of us took a few of our favorites. It was a most informative, delicious, and fun experience.

Stan and Liz treated us to lunch and spotted a Mexican restaurant that filled the bill very nicely. We were no longer hungry, but it seemed important that we top off with Cold Stone ice cream, very special and delicious. Another super day.

Sunday Stan, Liz, and the C's took the Honda from the Ranch, across Ogilby Road and another half mile into the desert where we parked so we could tour the Historic Tumco Mine. One hundred years ago there was a bustling little town engaged in mining gold from the surrounding hills. Only the building foundations are evident now, plus some leaching vats, but it's a fun place to explore and try to visualize the activity that once was.

12-15 Jan 04, Mon-Thu, Gold Rock Ranch, Winterhaven, CA

We've decided to stay right here a few more days. On Friday, the 16th, we'll be driving north to Quartzsite, AZ, for our annual RV-show/radio-ham-fest experience. Hard to believe it's much more deserty than this – the big difference is we'll be dry-camping, no water/electric/dump nearby. We'll have plenty of food and water on board and ration the water.

Hope you're all keeping warm – till next time, The C's (desert rats)