Alumafiesta 2014 Trip – Days 12&13 – Roughing It

Well, roughing it as well as you can in an Airstream. I have felt guilty at times when I see the people in their tents scrambling around to take care of everything, especially if it starts to rain! I get over my guilt pretty quickly though.

This was our first full day (Day 12) at the Hi Jolly BLM north of Quartzsite. We got up late, because we didn’t have to do otherwise. I started tinkering on the portable solar setup I got. I made an adapter to go from the panels directly to my trailer umbilical The guy that sold me this did not recommend this as he felt directly to the batteries is the way to go. But if you know me you know I do not always take advice. After I got it all wired up I connected things and watched the Tri-metric in the trailer. I saw 13-14v and POSITIVE amps! It was working! Over the period of about 5 hours of sunlight I recouped about 10% of my batteries (200aH). I am pleased. I now have to figure a way to secure them so I don’t mind leaving them out when we go.

However leaving them out this day was not an issue. We did not go ANYWHERE! Well, except for a short bike ride around the BLM area. This is pretty rare for us, not going anywhere. I think we were so tired of going place every day on the trip that we just needed some downtime. It was great.

We got up the next day, again not early, and broke camp. Hooked everything up and got on the road. We were going to see about camping at a location I read about in a blog entry. Corvina Beach campground in the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. We stopped off in Blythe for lunch at 11am (local) since we were still on Arizona time. Leaving Blythe I decided we would take hiway 78 southbound which took us along some farming, over a mountain range, across some sand dunes and into the Imperial Valley. Then it was a short jaunt up hiway 111 to the site.

For some reason I went straight south out of Blythe instead of heading west to catch 78. This was most fortuitous for us. We had just done 2 nights of dry camping so we wanted to fill up on fresh water and dump the grey. We passed a city park (Miller park) and I saw a sign that said something about ‘dump’. I circled around and found it actually said “Don’t Dump Waste” right near a grate with fresh water spigots (there were actually 3 of these). I lined up the trailer to fill it with water and we did so. I then tried to call the City of Blythe to ask if it was OK to dump grey as I don’t consider it waste (that is the black tank). I could not get through to them so I made an executive decision.

I turned the trailer around and dumped the grey. It didn’t take long and I was at ease in doing so.

As we headed north in the Imperial Valley I knew we were going to go through Niland. What is in Niland? Salvation Mountain! I have been wanting to go here for years so we too a little side trip.

It is very interesting in every sense of the word. Check out their website to read about it. It is something everyone that everyone should see once, if you have a desire to. Below is a photo gallery of it. On the way out we saw a guy ride by on a regular bicycle that had been elongate about 6 feet. Then we saw a small sedan with couches on top and about 15 people piled in. We heard on of the volunteers tell some people that they should come out and camp, volunteer and then go take a bath in a local hot spring. Wow.

We made it to Corvina Beach around 3pm and the camp host recommended we stay where he used to stay so we did:

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Seems like a good spot to us.

Lucky for Roxie we also were able to receive FOX on the TV so she could watch American Idol. So it was a good day all around.

Alumafiesta 2014 Trip – Days 9-11 – R&R (sort of)

It was Sunday, the day after Alumafandango ended. Now where do we go? We had been in Tucson for about 7 nights and time to go somewhere else. My mother only lives 150 miles away from Tucson and it is ‘kind of’ on the way that we were going. She ‘guilted’ us into coming to visit as only mom’s can do. Really it is always good when we stop to visit.

So the issue was where to stay. I called Usery Regional Mountain Park west of my mother but they were full. I called the Paradise RV resort and they had room for two nights (we stayed there about 5 weeks ago) so I asked them to hold it for us. During this time my mother and Roxie were texting (remember we gave my mother an iPhone and created a monster) about staying in her driveway. My mom lives in a ‘Del Webb’-type housing area. Everyone has to be 55 or older and they have a lot of odd covenants and restrictions. I didn’t think we could stay there. She said up to 4 nights. So that is what we did. I called the RV resort and told them we would not be there and we headed to my mother’s. Here we are doing some urban camping:

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We were glad we stopped off to see her. On the full day we had there my mom had other appointments so I started on a portable solar panel hunt. I must have called 15 places before I found one. I got a 130W portable setup. I will give it a try when we get to the desert area.

The plan is to go to Quartzsite, again, for about 2 nights then possibly on to the Salton Sea area. But this trip might just end up a mirror image of the last Arizona trip but that is OK with me.

We got to Quartzsite on Tuesday and had to stop at the Family Dollar store. How this town survived without that is a mystery to me, they must have had to drive to Blythe. I looked at the BLM areas and we stopped at Road Runner the last time. This time I thought we would head north and go to Hi Jolly BLM. Turns out it is a bit closer to town, a bit closer to the road and RIGHT across the highway from a cell tower so we have great coverage right now. Here we are:

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It is nice to get to some warmer weather. No heater needed last night a prediction of at least 80 today. We don’t know what we are going to do and that is just fine with us. Another post in a day or two…