|Wed, 14 Jan: On the road again...
Gee it felt good to roll Carpe's wheels. We'd been sitting in our lease site at RoVer's Roost since before Thanksgiving and the "Hitch Itch" was getting pretty bad. Sure we love to "veg out" in on place, but our house does have wheels so why not use them?
We awoke early, mostly due to the excitement of heading out. The day dawned very foggy, we couldn't see from one end of the park to the other. We went thru our check lists very carefully to ensure that we didn't miss anything. Bob rolled out of our site to the propane fill station and we topped off our internal tank.
Sandi paid for the propane and electric and we got a good round of hugs all around. Some of the folks we'll see in Quartzsite in a few days, and others when we return to "The Roost".
Bob pulled out of the driveway at 0820 and we headed south to Interstate 8. The fog was pretty thick, but once on the Interstate it cleared up a bit and, by the time we'd driven west five miles or so, it was sunny and clear. The weather the balance of the trip was gorgeous.
We stopped at Gila Bend for fuel and then headed north on US 85 to Buckeye where we picked up Interstate 10. West on I 10 to Quartzsite, which is about sixteen miles east of the California line. We drove west along the south frontage road to the site of the Escapees Happy Hour, some four miles east of town. We arrived a few minutes after noon logging 181 miles for the day. Today's fuel economy was about 8¼ mpg.
We got set up and grabbed a quick lunch before heading to the Escapees Happy Hour that runs from 1-3 P.M. today and tomorrow. It is, without question, the largest happy hour we've ever attended. We met so many folks that we'd previously met and made many new acquaintances who we hope to meet again. Escapees are, without question, just about the nicest and friendliest folks you can know.
Tomorrow (Thursday) we will take Carpe into town to have an additional solar panel installed. After that we'll relocate a bit further south to "Boomerville", a boondock area where the Escapees "Boomers" are located. It is a but further from town so we'll stay here tonite.
Fri, 16 Jan: Enjoying the desert!
Since arriving here Wednesday we've been busy little campers. Folks often ask us if we get bored camping in the "boonies" and away from cities and towns. Heck no, as long as our Kindles work we're happy. Plus, there is always something to do around a motorhome.
Yesterday (Thursday) we took Carpe back to Discount Solar to have an additional solar panel installed. Two years ago Discount Solar installed a three panel system, and we're really glad we did so. We did, however, still have the capacity to add an additional 100 watts of solar panel, which we had done yesterday.
We are now "full up" with 550 watts of solar capacity. This should give us additional utility and the ability to better maintain our battery banks. When we're boondocking in one place for any length of time we tilt the panels so the sun angle is optimal (see pix). As this is written (a bit after noon) the panels are pumping more than 350 watts into our 12 volt system (about three quarters of that is charging our batteries.
After the solar installation we parked in "BoomerVille". One of the most unique Escapees special interest groups is the Boomers. The Boomers, which is not about Baby Boomers, boasts no officers, no rules, no dues, all fun. Well, BoomerVille is a gathering of Boomers about five miles southeast of Quartzsite. There are about fifty RVs in the area and there are activities and food galore. We've never stayed with the Boomers before and we're really enjoying it.
Tue, 20 Jan: We "did" the Big Tent—and survived!
We had a quiet weekend sticking pretty close to the coach. On Monday we drove into town to attend a seminar on RV Deep Cycle Batteries. It was hosted by Discount Solar and featured a representative of Full River Batteries, the brand we're using in Carpe as house batteries. We got some good info about how to maximize the life of these very expensive batteries.
After the seminar we drove to the Quartzfest site to sign in, but they were pretty disorganized and nobody seemed to know where the sign in form was. Duh? If you want folks to sign in the registration form should be front and center.
Earlier today we braved the "Big Tent". The Big Tent is a huge (we've not seen one larger) tent chock full of vendors, most of whom are selling RV-related products and services. We were very good and only spent $8 on a 12v USB charger.
After lunch we returned to Discount Solar to attend a lecture on Blue Sky Solar Controllers (the brand we have). The seminar was conducted by the owner and chief engineer of Blue Sky, so we were able to get all of our "techie" questions answered.
Wed, 21 Jan: A good day for visiting with old friends...
Today we met Carmen & Domingo Davila and Pat & Dan Rosas for lunch at Taco Mia. We were invited to celebrate Sandi's pending (tomorrow) birthday. We had an excellent lunch (their fish tacos are our favorite) and sat around until the restaurant got so full we yielded our table. The Davilas & Rosas will be staying in Quartzsite for a few months so this is good bye for a while.
Back at the coach we started getting things ready for the road. Sandi climbed on the roof and untilted the solar panels for travel. Tire pressure check, engine oil, etc., etc. We'll be leaving at first lite tomorrow so the more we do today the better.