2012 Travels travel blog

Carpe boondocking with parking crew
We moved to inside parking on Sunday

South on CA86 (Old Hwy 111)

Our GPS shows us well below sea level

The Salton Sea from CA 86

On I-8 east of El Centro, CA
The Mexican Border is to the...

Border fence along I-8 east of El Centro

A rest stop along I-8 in California
The rest stop is in the...

A church (or mission) along I-8 in California

Approaching Colorado River

And back in Arizona...

Yuma Cty Fairgrounds
RVs are the "parking crew"

Our parking space for the rally
We are next to the livestock auction...

Nick & Terry Russell "on duty"
Running a rally requires all sorts of...

The rally seminars were very good
This one was on fire safety

The proper way to extinguish a fire

The fairgrounds abut the Yuma Marine Corps Airstation
An F5 Tiger

And a V22 Osprey VSTOL

Ron & Joan Scott with their Cardinal's Bear
We met the Scotts a...

Sat, 03 Mar: A travel day at last. To be honest we've about had our fill of Southern California, even as nice a place as Palm Springs. The traffic is really bad and the people pretty rude. We can't remember being in an RV park where the folks were as unfriendly as this one.

We took our time as we were slotted to arrive at the Yuma (AZ) County Fairgrounds between 1430 & 1500 (MST). We'll gain an hour at the border, so haste was unnecessary. We got underway a few minutes after nine and drove to I-10 where we traveled east a few miles and then exited to CA 86, which was a very nice four lane highway. We followed CA 86 along the Salton Sea, which was some 200' below sea level. We changed drivers a bit north of Brawley, CA, and Bob took us to I-8 at El Centro, CA.

We continued east on I-8, skirting the Mexican border which is visible from the Interstate in some sections. Naturally, we got to go through a Border Patrol check, with little delay. A few miles west of the Arizona border we pulled into a very primitive rest stop, which was located in the center median of the Interstate. We had lunch and killed an hour so we wouldn't arrive too early. Getting back on I-8 was "fun" as we entered the left lane and, to be honest, Carpe's acceleration really isn't that spectacular.

We crossed into Arizona and arrived at the fairgrounds a few minutes after 1400. Shortly after 1430 we were escorted to our boondocking area where we'll spend the night. We're here to attend the Gypsy Journal Rally & we volunteered for the parking crew. So we got to spend the nite at the fairgrounds.

Once we finished our parking crew duties briefing we headed Dinkum east to the Foothill section of Yuma where we met with Ben & Bonnie Ackerman who were staying with friends "Little Ed" and "Big Joan" (their descriptions, not ours). They treated us to a delicious steak dinner with all the trimmings. We've enjoyed all of our visits with the Ackermans these past months and very much appreciate their hospitality.

Sun, 04 Mar: We awoke of our own accord as nothing much would happen until noon when the fairgrounds will be available for our rally. There was a Good Sam rally in the fairgrounds and everyone had to vacate by noon.

Sure enough, shortly after noon we were escorted into the fairgrounds proper and Nick Russell assigned us a nice spot adjacent to the livestock auction pens. Best part of this spot was the 50 ampere plug so we had full power for the rally... Such luxury!

At 1300 we reported for parking duty at the overflow lot, affectionately known as "the back forty". Since we were overflow we didn't have much to do until the main parking filled up later in the afternoon. Then we were kept pretty busy.

After we were off duty we met up with Ray & Cathie Bailey and Ron & Joan Scott. The rally will be so much more fun with these two great couples attending. We met for "pou-pous" in the Bailey's coach, and then to dinner at Mimi's. We enjoy Mimi's as their menu is quite varied so everyone can find something they like.

Mon, 05 Mar: Up with the alarm clock as we were on parking duty from 0800 to 1500. The vast majority of coaches were parked yesterday (129), so it was a slow day. We sat in the car, listened to the radio, and read our Kindles. We ended up parking about six or eight coaches, but overall it was a lazy day.

The rally officially started at 1500 with welcoming remarks and introductions. Nick was gracious and generous with his appreciation for the parking crew. Heck, it was fun and we had a good time. We'll do it again next year.

After the ceremonies were over we got together with the Scotts and Baileys for libations. We got to see the Scotts' beautiful 40' Phaeton. After "happy hour" we headed out for dinner at In-N-Out Burger, which neither Scott had ever tasted. As always, In-N-Out Burgers are a cut above and everyone enjoyed their dinner.

Tue, 06 Mar: The official start of seminars and opening of the vendor's booths. We attended a seminar on fire safety that was en eye-opener. We were given some nuggets to gnaw on, such as evacuating the coach in the event of an emergency. Then a demonstration of fire extinguisher use. Much of this we'd been trained in with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, but a refresher never hurt.

Later in the day we split up: Bob attended a seminar on E-Books and Sandi one on cleaning the RV. Both were very interesting and we both learned a lot.

We met up with the Baileys and Scotts for Happy Hour, which included "heavy pou-pous". No need for dinner after a feast like that.

Wed, 07 Mar: We snoozed in until we wanted to get up and had a lazy breakfast. Later in the morning we attended a seminar "Laugh Your Way Down the Highway", hosted by Nick Russell. We swapped funny stories and experiences observed (or self inflicted) living the RV lifestyle. It was hilarious and our sides hurt after the hour.

After lunch Sandi attended "Driving Your RV Safely" and Bob "Birth of a Bestseller". Both were very good and worth the time and effort.

Wednesday was "pizza nite", which we decided to skip as our carb intake was already a bit higher than normal. Instead we headed out to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner. As before, when we were in Yuma a few weeks back, the food was excellent.

We returned to the coach and caught up on our reading and got to bed about 2200. We were looking forward to a restful nite, but the Marines had other ideas. As mentioned, the Yuma County Fairgrounds abuts the Yuma Marine Air Station, which flies Harriers, Tiger IIIs, Ospreys, KC 135s, KC 10s, Chinooks, and other assorted hardware. All are loud, just some louder than others. Well, tonite was nite operations and we were entertained until around midnite. The Ospreys were particularly annoying as they set off every car alarm each time they came over.

We're big supporters of the military, but we missed our Zzzzzzs!

Thu, 08 Mar We got the day underway with a bit more alacrity as Sandi wanted to attend the "Boondocking Roundtable" seminar. While she was absorbing the "gems of wisdom" imparted therein Bob headed to Sam's Club to pick up some nibbles for tonite's "happy hour", which is scheduled for our coach.

We spent much of the day catching up on things and trying to get a large portion of Yuma's desert out of the coach. We'd had several days of strong winds which, despite closed doors and windows, left a fine sheen of dust and sand on every horizontal surface.

Happy Hour was, as expected, a fun time. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we realized yet again how fortunate we are to have such good friends.

After Happy Hour we headed to Five Guys Burgers. Neither of us had tried their burgers, which are also well regarded. We had the "small cheeseburgers", which were huge! Sandi added jalapenos to hers, which was a definite plus. We'd rate the burgers very good, but given the choice In-N-Out remains our first choice.

Tomorrow is "get outta Dodge" day. We must clear the fairgrounds by noon to make room for the next event, a horse show. Sad that its over...

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