Saturday, Sunday and Monday, January 28, 29 & 30, 2012 (Val Vista Village RV Resort, Mesa, AZ)

We have had a very busy few days, so I thought that I would just combine these days into one posting.  After spending the last 9 days in Quartzsite, the truck was pretty dusty and needed to be washed before going in to the paint shop Monday.  The fridge and cupboards were also looking pretty barren and I had a mountain of laundry to do.

So Saturday morning...after a rather late start...we walked up to the post office to mail a letter and take a few pictures...this is the main street looking back at the entrance...

There was a big shuffleboard tourney on...

Then we were off to find a car wash wash that had a bay big enough to wash the truck.  Steve could have washed it here at our site but the water here is very hard and the water deposits actually etch into the paint if you don’t dry the surface.  The car wash has a special spot-free rinse option...that we actually use to wash the truck.  Also, it was quite windy out and he didn’t think our neighbours would appreciate the water spray on their rigs...besides trying to wipe it dry before the wind did would have been impossible.

After about an hour and a half, the truck was clean and Steve dropped me off at Fry’s to do some grocery shopping.  It wasn’t far back home, so I told him to give me an hour and a half.  That gave him plenty of time to clean the interior and dress the tires them come back and pick me up.  It takes me a long time when grocery shopping in a new store...gotta check everything out.

It was after 3pm by the time we were home and I had all the groceries put away.  I still had laundry to do but that was just going to have to wait until tomorrow.   We sat outside and chatted with Dennis and Suzanne instead...

So bright and early Sunday morning...okay...it was about 9:30...Suzanne and I loaded up the back of the jeep with our laundry and drove the short distance over to the laundry room.  After a fun couple of hours there (haha) the laundry was all done and we were back home...now I just had the job of putting it all away and making up the bed.  But first we sat and chatted with Dennis and Suzanne for at bit and discussed our plans for the rest of the day.  They were going to go for a dip in the pool and enjoy some sunshine while Steve and I go to Walmart and to Best Buy for a little more shopping.

We arrived back home...I had my new toy—iPad2...in time for happy hour with Dennis and Suzanne.  Dunkin was feeling much better and was expending all his energy chasing his ball.  Our neighbours, Coit and Lucy, also joined us for a drink...they are leaving in the morning.   Ed and his dog, Penny, stopped by for a visit as well (but I missed getting them into the picture).

That night, we all had dinner at our place and then cleared the dishes from the table and played Catch Phrase...OMG...what a hoot...I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!!!  We had a great time...of course, Suzanne and I won!

We were up and ready to go shortly before 8am Monday.  The drive to Lucky Luciano Custom & Collision would take almost an hour and we were to have the truck there by 9am.  Dennis was nice enough to agree to follow us in his jeep and bring us back...thanks, Dennis!  I wish I had remembered my camera...I usually have it in my purse, but forgot it this time.  The work Lucky does is just amazing...not just custom vehicles but custom painted garage cabinets and furniture, fridges, gas pumps ...we were very impressed! He displays his creations at the Sema Show in Vegas and the Barrett-Jackson Auto Show in Scottsdale.  Unfortunately he hasn’t kept his website up to date so his best work isn’t on it.

We stopped at a Denny’s for breakfast on the way home...it was close to 11:30 by the time we got home.  We relaxed for a bit before heading out for a bike ride around the RV Resort.  It is huge complex with over 1500 sites split into 3 sections.  Dennis and Suzanne took us on a tour the clubhouses and pools...it’s quite the place.  There are all sorts of activities to keep you as busy as you want...stained glass classes, woodworking, beading, lapidary...just to name a few.  This is the pool at the Fiesta Section...


A well equipped Exercise Room...

Another pool...this one is at the main Val Vista Section...

There is also an indoor pool (altogether there are 3 outdoor pools and 1 indoor)...

And a big bar and grill patio restaurant...

This is the main office where we registred upon arrival...

The main building also houses a big banquet room where they have concerts and special event; as well as various rooms for card games and a library...

After we got back, we chilled for the rest of the afternoon...Steve was outside soaking in some sunshine while I worked on our blog...I am getting a little behind—just been too busy!  Dennis, Suzanne and Dunkin in front of their coach...

We enjoyed a late afternoon cocktail in our site...Ed was walking by with Pebbles and joined us. We then moved over to watch Dennis barbeque burgers for us all.  Notice his golfclub hamburger flipper...

Suzanne busy making a salad...

After a delicious dinner and visit, we returned to our trailer and had a relaxing evening watching TV before heading to bed. 

Friday, January 27, 2012 (Travel to Val Vista Village RV Resort, Mesa, AZ)

Although we were up early...and watched a beautiful sunrise...Steve really couldn’t get outside to get started with his pack up until it got light out...so it was a little later than we had planned to get away by the time we were ready.   It was 8:45 as we pulled out of our camping spot and made out way to the sani-station.  There was already a line up but not as long as we have seen it.  We sat in the line up for 35 minutes before it was our turn to pull into the dumping station.

After finishing there, we pulled over before leaving the camping area so that Steve could clean the truck windows.  He had just finished when a fellow came over to say hi...we had met Len last year while at the RV park in Tombstone.  I really couldn’t remember him but Steve thought he was vaguely familiar...but of course, Len knew us...he recognized our truck.  We chatted with him for a bit..so it was just before 10:00 by the time we were finally on the road and heading east back to Mesa.  There was a light cloud covering today and it was also very hazy out...not the clear blue sky that we like on our travel days.

After stopping in Buckeye for lunch, we arrived at Val Vista Village RV Resort at about 1:45 p.m.  We were just pulling through the security gate when we looked up and saw Dennis and Suzanne...what timing!  They had been out for a walk and happened to be on the main street in just as we arrived.  They greeted us as we pulled up in front of the office and got out of the truck.  Dunkin was with them, though...he was recuperating back in their motorhome with a pulled muscle in his leg...poor little guy.

After our registration was complete...we had been assigned a site right behind Dennis and Suzanne...perfect!...a “ranger” met us at the truck to lead the way to our site.  Unfortunately, he took the wrong road to our site and after a very difficult time manoeuvring a corner, we had to go all the way around again to get positioned correctly to back into our site on.  Considering this is a huge RV resort, I’m surprised that the street intersections are not a little more “big rig” friendly.

We managed to get backed into our site (which is directly behind Dennis and Suzanne...perfect spot!)with little difficulty and after getting levelled off and unhitched, we joined Dennis and Suzanne for a drink before the rest of our set up.  After a bit of a rest, it was time to get back at it...after 9 days boondocking in the desert, I wanted to give the inside a good vacuuming. 

Once we were all finished, we re-joined Dennis and Suzanne outside on their patio.  They had dinner all planned for that night...very nice not having to cook after our travel day!  We are looking forward to spending time with them over the next couple of weeks while our truck is in getting a bit of a paint job (graphics to match the trailer).

Thursday, January 26, 2012 (BLM La Posa South Camp, Quartzsite, AZ)

It was a beautiful sunny morning as we all gathered in front of Earl and Alison’s trailer getting ready for another great day out on the ATV trails (perhaps I should say 4-wheeling trails since we have encountered lots of jeeps on them as well).  Shortly after 10:30 we all headed off, Earl leading the way followed by 7 ATVs...we headed west across highway 95 towards the mountains.

Our first stop was at an area called Tyson Wells...apparently it was the original site of Quartzsite before the town was moved to its current location due to flooding...

This is me in the front...see my new pretty pink flag?....

Up we go...there is an old gold mine up on the hillside...

This is as far as we go; there's not enough room up top for 8 quads...so we'll walk up the rest of the way...

At the cave opening...

Earl, Linda, Charlie and Sarita inside the cave...

Look at me...I'm inside the cave!!...sort of...

Great views up here...


From the inside looking out...

Time to continue our ride...

This was a bit of a tricky spot...


Out in the middle of nowhere, someone has set up this rest area...too funny...

We stopped here for lunch...

Our ATVs with their new flags...


On our way back now...


We arrived back home shortly after 3:30...hot and dusty!  But we’d had another great day.  We unloaded the cargo boxes, gassed the quads up and loaded them into the truck.  That was our last ride here...for this trip anyway.

I hope to get all pictures taken today uploaded into a web album...so stay tuned!

After changing out of our dusty clothes and washing up, we took drinks and snacks...and our chairs...over for a gathering in Earl and Alison’s “yard”.  Doc brought over his fire pit made from the drum of a washing machine and as it started to get dark out, they lit a campfire. 


This powered glider flew over...interesting...


We had a lovely evening sitting around the campfire chatting.  Around 8pm we said our goodbyes and after hugs and handshakes, we called it a night.  We are planning on getting an early start in the morning...in an attempt to beat the morning rush at the sani-station.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 (BLM La Posa South Camp, Quartzsite, AZ)

We got up a little later than usual this morning...must be the fresh desert air!  After our usual relaxing start to the day, we did our resistance exercises, showered and had breakfast.  It was late morning by the time we ready to drive into Quartzsite.  Before we left, Steve got up on the roof of the trailer to clean the solar panels and took these pictures. 

From left to right...Linda's trailer, Earl and Alison's trailer, Art and Pat's 5th wheel and Charlie and Sarita's camper...

...and Doc and Pat's 5th wheel...

 
We headed through traffic congested Quartzsite to Herb’s Hardware to see if we could find something that could be used to attach the whips (flags) to our ATV’s.  Finding a metal strip with a hole on either end, Steve thought that it would work...he’d just have to drill the holes a little bigger and then bolt one end to the quad rack and then bolt the whip to the other.  After stopping at a grocery store to pick up some milk, we headed home...battling the traffic again.

The metal pieces were just the right length (barely) but as Steve went to drill the holes, he ended up not having the right sized bit. So, that project was put on hold until our neighbours got home so he could see if one of them would have the size he needed.

We had received an email from Steve’s sister, Nadine, saying that Mike’s sister and her husband, Donna and Bill, were also camping at Quartzsite.  With thousands of RVs, the likelihood of finding them seemed rather remote, but to our surprise, they ended up being fairly close to us...we could see their motorhome and bright yellow Tracker from our back window. 

So after taking a quick trip to fill up our water containers, we decided to walk down to say hi to them.
It had been absolutely years since we had seen them!  We were greeted with hugs and handshakes and invited to sit down and have a beer.  We had a really nice visit with them...also getting suggestions for things to see and other areas to camp while down here. They have been full timing for years.  After taking a couple of pictures, we exchanged phone numbers and headed home.

Once home, Steve went over to see if Art might have the drill bit size he needed.  He did, so Steve continued his work on installing our flags on our ATVs.  After a bit of a blip while installing mine (the bolt broke...luckily he had another), he was all done.  Yay...we are now “desert legal”!


Linda came over to join us for a drink and before we knew it, Art, Earl, Doc and Pat had joined the circle.  We had a nice visit with everyone...another ATV ride has been planned for tomorrow...we got talked into one last ride before we leave on Friday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 (BLM La Posa South Camp, Quartzsite, AZ)

We were back to clear skies and sunshine today, but it was still fairly windy out making it feel a little cooler.  We had some rain last night which at the start helped with the dust on our quad ride but left the truck and trailer...which had just been dusty...now dust streaked...nice...

We all gathered at Earl and Alison’s at 10:30 for our ride...today we are heading into the mountains northwest of here. Again there were 11 of us on 8 ATV's...one ATVer, Rob, and been replaced with Linda (from Nanaimo, BC), who had just arrived yesterday. It was a little chilly so when we stopped to wait for everyone to catch up, I quickly added another layer...making it a t-shirt, sweater and 2 fleece hoodies.

This was our first stop...a great view (one of many to come)...



This is an old mine site that we stopped at...





Our ride-leader, Earl and Alison (in the pink helmet)...and that's me in the foreground...


We got home at about 4:30...another great day!