2014 Travels travel blog

Carpes in their "home site" at RoVers Roost

Eastbound on I 8
This is still one of our favorite Interstates

Sunset from RoVers Roost

Bob "hard at it" on his Birthday

Bob celebrates his Birthday with an "adult beverage"

Our installed "Stay-A-While" LP valve
Black hose goes to portable LP tank

Thirty pound tank supplies all our propane needs
It is easier to fill...

In late February Carpe got detailed

An owl nested in a Saguaro cactus at RoVer's Roost

In early April we had four new tires installed

The tires weren't worn, but they were seven years old

Carpe's rear drive axle sans tires

Our new tires

The mounted & balanced inner dual gets installed...

Followed by the outer dual

Final torquing completes the job

Desert flowers in bloom

Beautiful barrel cactus near clubhouse

Desert Bird of Paradise blooms on our site

In early April Carpe moved to another lot
We had concrete work done...

In April we had some concrete poured on our site

Preparing for the concrete delivery

A big part of the job is preparing the site

Here comes the cement truck

This truck mixes the concrete on site
We ordered 6" of concrete to...

Experience makes it look easy

Poured, finished, and curing
We will let it cure until we return i...

Fri, 07 Feb: Homeward bound...

Up and at 'em today. It was pretty cold and we didn't have any heat turned on as we were boondocking and wanted to conserve our batteries. Sandi braved the chill and turned on the heat about 0500 so we were relatively comfy when we finally crawled out of bed a bit later.

We breakfasted and got things ready for the road. Since we were boondocking the getting-ready-to-go chores are reduced. We had also connected the car last evening, so that was also off the chore list. As a result, we rolled wheels a few minutes before eight.

It was a quick hop from our boondock spot to Interstate 10, but enough to get things warmed up sufficiently. The Interstate was not crowded this early so we made good time to the rest area west of Buckeye where we swapped operators. Sandi continued south on AZ 85 toward Gila Bend where we picked up Interstate 8. But first, a quick stop at the Shell station for a diesel top-off. We didn't need the fuel, but this is the last good fuel stop before RoVers Roost and we want to park with a mostly full tank.

Interstate 8 was, as ususal, mostly deserted. It is an excellent road and the absence of traffic coupled with the beautiful desert scenes (see pix) makes this one of our very favorite Interstates.

We made good time and arrived at RoVers Roost a bit before noon and pulled up to the Propane tank for a top off of that important fuel. Carpe consumed 15.4 gallons of LP during our three weeks of boondocking and cold nites. Thankfully, the LP price runup didn't affect our cost as we filled up at $2.61/gallon. Today's trip was 181 miles at better than 8½ mpg.

We got settled into our lease lot and drove into town for a dose of In-N-Out Burger and then a well-needed Wal*Mart stop. Then back to our site to settle in.

Sat, 08 Feb: Happy Birthday Bob!!!

Today is Bob's birthday and we celebrated by doing five loads of wash. It was a wonderful "stay-at-home" day and something we needed after Vegas.

Sun, 09 Feb: More laundry...

Five more loads of wash this morning and, at last, we're all caught up! It feels really great. We also treated Dinkum to a bath. He really needed one...

Our plans are not too firm at this time, but our inclination is to "stay put" for a bit. We have many doctor appointments during the next three or four weeks so staying put is probably a matter of necessity. We do expect, however, that "hitch itch" will strike and we'll need to get away.

Tue, 11 Feb: It feels good to stay put for a bit...

Two more days of R&R and we're enjoying ourselves. Yesterday, Monday, Wes from RV Medic stopped by and installed a "Stay-A-While" propane adapter. This "gizmo" allows us to run our LP appliances from either the built-in 28 gallon propane tank or connect a portable supply tank. The advantage of the portable tank is that we don't have to move the coach when we need propane, a big advantage when we're parked for longer than a few weeks.

After the installation was completed, Wes checked all of our appliances to ensure that everything is up to snuff. We like Wes because he is meticulous and knows his "stuff".

Later in the afternoon we drove to C.A.L. Ranch and purchased a 30# portable propane tank. This size tank is a good compromise between capacity and weight. It holds 7.2 gallons of propane (weighing 30 lbs) and the tank itself is 25 lbs. We estimate that seven gallons of LP should last us two or more weeks depending on how cold it gets overnite. We've posted pix of the tank and valve in the photo section of this post.

Today is the monthly SKP lunch at the Golden Corral. We'll go early as we have dentist appointments at two so we need to head out for those. We haven't seen many of these folks since April of '13 so it'll be great to see many familiar faces.

Friday, 28 Feb: Busy, busy, busy!

The retiree's lament is "where does the time go?" is certainly the case here. We've been wearing a groove in the roads between Casa Grande and the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. We've had eye appointments, gut docs, Sandi's colonoscopy, skin docs, etc., etc. We're mostly finished with Mayo, and thus far we've gotten clean bills of health. Joy!

During February the RV park had a "senior olympics". We took the pix during the events and managed to put together a twenty minute DVD that was well received. We "sold" almost fifty of the DVDs and donated the money to the park's "roof raiser" group for park betterment.

The last week of February was also busy with getting Carpe spruced up after a summer on the road. We had the carpets cleaned, followed by a complete exterior detailing including polishing the roof. The ole' gal is looking pretty spiffy.

We also found out that the lot next to ours has been purchased by Tom & Debbie Abernathy. Tom & Debbie have been very supportive in our efforts to get our HAM radio licenses. It'll be fun having them as next door neighbors.

March 2014: That's it, a whole month???

Well yea, this has been "down time" and we're taking life easy and loving it! We finished up at the Mayo Clinic the first week of March, and saw our local GP the second week. All the blood work came back within acceptable limits, so that's good news. Sandi is still below the threshold for diabetic, so the diet seems to be doing the trick. That said, she's still paranoid about it and is motivated to be a "good girl" (or what passes, for her, as being "good")!

We had discussed taking some short trips to area attractions and parks, but our inertia got the best of us and we just stayed put. It was good to settle in.

In March we had a ramada installed on our shed to provide shade. It is an open structure with a "roof" of shade screening. We really enjoy sitting outside of an afternoon in our comfy new recliners. This is the life and the desert is a pretty as can be this time of year. That said, one must always be alert as just about everything in the desert will either stick, sting, or bite you.

We got out to the local range a few times this month and polished up our pistol skills. It had been way too long so some practice is always welcome.

Our good friends Carmen & Domingo Davila arrived late in the month and moved onto their newly acquired leaselot. It'll be great having them as neighbors.

Thu, 10 Apr: Time to get going...

The first ten days of April have been busy and we've finally got a date set to roll wheels for this summer's travels. The weather is warming up and the daytime highes have been in the mid nineties this week, forcing us to turn on the air conditioning for the first time since our arrival.

On the second we started Carpe's engine and drove to the local Michelin commercial tire dealer to have the four drive (rear axle) tires replaced. The tires had plenty of wear left, but they were seven years old and that's when Michelin recommends they be replaced.

We bought the tires through the FMCA fleet tire program, which saved us almost $200/tire. Even then, with mounting, balancing, tax, etc. the tires were roughly $650 each. Glad we don't have to do this too often. Fortunately, the dealer got us four newly manufactured tires so we didn't have to install tires that were already six months or older.

On Saturday we moved the coach from our site to the site directly behind ours. We are having concrete work done on our site so the coach had to go. We're having additional concrete poured so Carpe is on concrete rather than half on concrete and half on gravel.

The concrete work finished up this morning with the arrival of the mix truck and the pouring of the concrete. We watched from our shaded easy chairs while the young men earned their keep. They are artists the way the work with that stuff and make it look easy in the process.

It'll set up today and tomorrow they'll remove the forms and finish the site. We'll let the concrete cure over the summer so it'll be ready for us when we return in the fall.

Current plans are for us to depart on Sunday for higher ground (and cooler temperatures). We hope to spend some time in the Prescott area and, from there, who knows? We will attend an area FMCA rally in Farmington, NM the last week of April, so we have loads of time to get there. Possibly some quality time in southeast Utah???

Stay tuned...

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