Tuesday February 17, 2015 Slab City

An absolutely perfect morning. Over night low was 55F and the high was 82F. It was sunny and clear all day.

At 9:00AM Alan drove Dug and me to Slab City. It is a few miles east of Niland. It is an abandoned WW II air base. It is kind of a no mans land. It gets its name from the slabs of concrete left behind after they tore down the buildings.

We first stopped at Salvation Mountain.

Salvation Mtn       Salvation Mountain

It was built by Leonard Knight over a period of 34 years. Alan and I went up the Yellow Brick Steps to the top.

Alan on top       Alan on Top

Dug guided us around Slab City. There is a low power radio station broadcasting on FM 95.7. They even have public service announcements. We then went to the Internet Cafe. The coffee is free, but you are supposed to bring your own cups. We didn’t have any, but they brought us three cups to use. It was very good coffee. We talked to Rob  the owner. He traded his truck for the Internet Cafe about a 1 1/2 years ago. He was from Washington state. There were several dogs wandering around. They get the Internet from Beamspeed in Yuma.

We next went to the Library. it is open 24 hrs per day and is free. Even has a snack bar.

Slab City Library

We then went to the art gallery. It is very large and has 16 artists in residence. They even have evening shows where some of the art is lit.

Talking to Artist     Talking to One of the Artists

We toured the residential areas, such as the LOW (Loners on Wheels). There was one site with a sign Johns Place, right next to it was Bud’s Place.

We headed back to FOY via Calipatria so we could go to the grocery store and Donut Boulevard. I bought ice and potato salad at the store and 2 boxes of day old donuts. $3.00/box. The were a dozen assorted donuts per box.

My cousin Kathleen came to visit. She lives in Mission Viejo, CA. We have known each other since we were babies. She had a lot of trouble finding the right toads, but a highway patrolman finally got her here.

We talked for a couple of hours. We then went up to Dug and Rhoda’s for grilled shrimp. Alan also joined us. Rhoda made wild rice with carrots and onions and Alan brought a bottle of wine and Quinoa with Kale. Dug did a great job grilling the shrimp and we all ate till we were full.

Shrimp Dinner Shrimp, Wild Rice, Quinoa with Kale

Cathy has been washing clothes all day in the motor home. When she opened the door the first time to load clothes, it dumped a lot of water on the floor. When we got back from Dug’s there wasn’t any water. It was the pressure reducer.

My cousin called at 9:25PM and said she made it to her hotel in Indio.

 

Monday February 16, 2015 Moved to Fountain of Youth

Another perfect day. Over night low was 55F. It was sunny and partly cloudy with a south wind of about 15mph. The high in Niland, California near where we are was 75F.

We left Imperial Dam at 11:30AM. We took US-95 into Yuma. It was my intention to buy gas at Sam’s Club, but the lines were so long I decided not to. We bought some shrimp to grill on Tuesday. We headed out on I-8 towards El Centro. They confiscated our grape fruit at the agricultural inspection station. I wanted to stop at Walmart in El Centro, but couldn’t find it. We headed towards Brawley, but skirted it on old Hwy 111. We stopped at the grocery store in Calipatria. Calipatria is a nice little town. The town has a nice little park.

We drove on towards Fountain of Youth Spa RV Resort and passed through Niland, CA. The Fountain of Youth was 14 miles north of Niland. We got there and checked in at about 3:00PM.

FOY Entrance     Fountain of Youth Spa Entrance

When we left the office we found Alan sitting there. He had used the laundomat to do some washing.

We got parked and then I took Joy for a walk. Didn’t find the dog park. The Fountain of Youth (to be called FOY from now on) has many games including Bocce Ball, Pool, Horeshoes, Tennis and many crafts and activities. There are over 1,000 sites her including over 100 dry camping sites.

Dug and Rhoda came over and we talked and got caught up. Then Alan joined us. We had thought about eating at the cafe in FOY, but it got too late. Alan mentioned Buckshot in Niland, so we went with Alan to Niland. It was closed. We decided to go on to Calipatria, another 7 miles. We ate at Donut Boulevard.

Donut Boulevard

In addition to donuts and other baked items, they have Mexican food and hamburgers. Alan and I had the Taco plate.

Taco Plate

Alan drove back to FOY, but doesn’t remember driving through Niland.

Sunday February 15, 2015 Shopping in Yuma

Warm over night and nice this morning. Over night low was 57F and the high today was 83F. Partly cloudy but sunny. A little breezy.

Watched the Daytona qualifying for the pole. There was another big pile up. Jeff Gordon got the pole. This will be his last year of full time Sprint Cup racing, so it was a good start. Jimmy Johnson will start next to him.

Went in to Yuma. We stopped at Bard for mail, there was quite a bit. Went to the Walmart on Avenue B. I dropped Cathy off at the 99 Cent Only Store and went to Harbor Freight to get some tools for the alternator change.

When we got back to Ocotillo Flat I went over to Bob and Helen’s for Happy Hour. While we were in Yuma, Bob and Jane returned from Casa Grande. They are parked where Bob and Helen used to park. Bob and Ardeth are in the spot Bob and Jane had before they went to Casa Grande.

They took David off oxygen yesterday afternoon. He had a good night and went home this afternoon.

I grilled hamburgers for dinner. After dinner I went down to the camp fire. It was really nice out tonight. Every one except Lana came to the camp fire.

Saturday February 14, 2015 Lazy Day at Ocotillo Flat

Another nice morning. Over night low was 60F. The high today was 90F. It was sunny, partly cloudy with a slight breeze.

Watched the Fox News Financial shows this morning.

Joy wanted to go for a walk and visit the neighbors. We walked over to Dennis’ and talked for awhile. Charlie is back at Dennis’ in Washington. Dennis found a blown fuse in the bad converter from Jim and Lucy’s fifth wheel. He hasn’t tried it out on a battery, but it puts out 13.8 VDC.

We then walked over to Bob and Helen’s. They were going to go into Harbor Freight, so I told them to stop and get some of the free coupons I had. Bob was taking Helen out to eat for Valentine’s Day.

Cathy gave me a humorous Valentin’s Day card. I didn’t have one for her.

Read for awhile then took the garbage to Quail Hill. Stopped to see Scott, but he wasn’t home. Twinkie greeted me with some barking though. Drove through some of roads up on the Mesa to see what kind of rigs I could see. All the while driving at slow speeds the Cherokee charged fine.

Went to Happy Hour at Bill and Lana’s. Bill and Lana, Bob and Helen, Bob and Doris, Dennis, Cathy and I were there.

Went back and watched the Sprint Unlimited 75 lap race from Daytona. There were several large pile ups. Matt Kenseth was the winner, his first time.

Russ Greene did a nice Report on the Imperial Dam LTVA.

He also did three posts in his BLOG

Russ on the Road Imperial Dam Part One

Russ on the Road Imperial Dam Part Two

Russ on the Road Imperial Dam Part Three

Friday February 13, 2015 Easy Day at Ocotillo Flat

It was calm and nice this morning. The over night low was 56F and the high today was 88F. It was calm in the morning and late afternoon, but windy in the middle of the day. It was clear and sunny all day.

Lynn and Sandy pulled out before we got up and Jim and Lucy left about 11:00AM. Only 6  RVs left here.

Jim and Lucy Leaving        Jim & Lucy Heading Out

Cathy talked to David’s nurse and he is doing a lot better. He has settled in and isn’t as upset as last night. The nurse asked what his favorite TV programs were. Cathy also talked to th aid assigned to him and Development Homes. He is in Room 202 of the Renal Oncology section. They are full in most sections, so he had to go there. It is in the the old rehab section and only private rooms.

Spent the day deciding what to do about changing the alternator on the Cherokee. The bolt on the belt tensioner was pretty rusty and I don’t have any PB Blaster or WD-40. Looks like I need another 15mm wrench and socket also. I think I will leave the Cherokee at Ocotillo Flat when we go to Fountain of Youth. I will pick up the necessary items to do the job as we pass through Yuma with the motor home.

Cathy was making spaghetti for dinner. She needed water, so I took two gallon water jugs over to the Christian Center to fill, put my money in, but no water came out. Bob volunteered to give me some from his supply.

Dennis said Charlie made it to Idaho where his mother is buried and was able to put a vase and flowers on his mother’s grave.

The spaghetti and meatballs was delicious. We had coleslaw with it.

After dinner we watched Undercover Boss, Shark Tank and 20/20.

Thursday February 12, 2015 Breakfast at Copper Miner – Yuma Oncology

Wind was calm this morning. Over night low was 55F and the high today was 84F. Later in the day it was windy. 20 mph gusting to 33 mph.

Started the day by going to Squaw Lake for a shower at 7:00AM. Nice hot 8.5 minute shower for $1.75. I was the only one there taking a shower.

Shower House at Squaw Lake  Shower House at Squaw Lake

At 9:00AM we left with Jim and Lucy, they were taking us for breakfast at Copper Miner Kitchen in Old Downtown Yuma. I had biscuits and gravy with sausage links. It was very good.

Copper Miner Kitchen 2-12-15        Copper Miner Kitchen

Cathy and I went over to the laundromat on 8th street to do some washing. It is a large laundromat and even has a snack bar.

We finished the laundry at 12:30PM and headed to Yuma Oncolocy Center for my 1:30PM appointment with Dr. Grado. Stopped at Fry’s at filled with gas for $2.07/gal.

Dr. Grado was happy with the drop in my PSA and said that my prostate was in perfect shape. Will see him again this time next year.

Yuma Oncology Center          Yuma Oncology Center

The Jeep stopped charging while driving into Yuma, so I stopped at the O’Reilly’s on 4th avenue and picked up an alternator. It was charging every once in awhile after stopping and restarting the engine.

Dropped Cathy at the 99 Cent Only Store and went to Harbor Freight to exchange the hole saws I bought a week ago. It didn’t have the arbor in the box. Picked up Cathy and headed back to Ocotillo Flat, stopping at the post office in Bard.

When we got back to the motor home I went down to Jim and Lucy’s for Happy Hour. Big Hoss and his wife came by with a new puppy named Taffy. She was very playful, so I went and got Joy. We turned them loose and they had a great time playing. Chloe even joined in a little. Oscar wasn’t too happy with the girls and let them know it.

Joy and Taffy                    Joy and Taffy

Went back to motor home and had a salad. Then went back to the camp fire. It will be the last we see of Lynn and Sandy and Jim and Lucy, they are all leaving tomorrow morning.

While watching the news we got a call from David’s care giver. He is at the emergency room with a breathing problem. He may have pneumonia.

 

Wednesday February 11, 2015 Got Permit for Another 14 days

Windy again this morning, but other wise nice. Over night low was 59F and the high today was 84F. Wind was 20 to 25 mph. Clear and sunny.

 

Alan was leaving today. We planned on replacing the seal in his black water valve after he dumped. When he go back to Ocotillo Flat he realized he had already put a gallon of water and treatment chemicals in the tank. Because there was a gallon of fluid in the tank we couldn’t replace the seal. He went over and met Bob and Helen and said good bye to every one. He was having a little problem getting the pins in his tow bar brackets, so Uncle Bob tapered them with his grinding wheel. He took off about 10:45AM.

Alan Leaving Ocotillo Flat             Alan Leaving Octillo Flat

At 2:30PM Cathy and I went up to the Contact Station on South Mesa to get another 14 day permit. The volunteer was a full time RVer from Alberta.

Contact Station       Contact Station Imperial Dam

We drove through Hurricane Ridge and across the Mesa and back on Ferguson Road past the Christian Service Center. There are quite a few RVs here now.

RVs Near Ferguson Road       RVs Near Ferguson Road

We got back and went to Jim and Lucy’s for Happy Hour. At about 5:00PM I got a text message from Alan saying he was at the sand dunes and that there were a lot of dune buggies.

Had salads for dinner. Went back for a camp fire about 8:00PM.

 

Tuesday February 10, 2015 Windy Day – New Arrivals

It was a windy morning, but otherwise much like the rest of the days since we have been here. The low over night was 60 F and the high today was 84F. It was sunny and clear with 15 mph plus winds.

Because it was windy I stayed inside and worked at sorting and cleaning out the junk drawer under the cook top. It has been a catch all for things that didn’t get put away in the basement and tools that had been used and not put back in the tool boxes. It will take at least a couple more days to reclaim that drawer for kitchen use.

Alan had bought a slide for the screen door at Al’s RV during the sale. His was missing when he bought the motor home. The one he picked up was too wide. He returned it to Al’s and found out that they didn’ t have one that would fit a Winnebago. They said he would have to go to La Mesa RV. That was on the way to the BLM Yuma office so we stopped. They had one and it was only about $16.00 including tax.

We headed to the Yuma BLM office. Alan wanted to buy an Inter Agency Pass, but the woman told him they had sold their last one last Thursday. She said they couldn’t order more, because the woman they place the order with was not at work. They did however have a map of the BLM Eastern Imperial County roads and trails that will help him when he leaves.

We then went to the Pacific Walmart so alan could buy some staples. I bought some bottled water, coffee, BBQ sauce, lettuce and breakfast rolls. Stopped at the post office in Bard and the back to Ocotillo Flat.

When we got back I went to join Cathy at Jim and Lucy’s. Found out that Curt and Adelle were called home to Washington for a family emergency. Adelle was in Laughland and Curt came to pick up the fifth wheel. Also found out the Bob and Helen and Bob and Ardith had come in this afternoon. On the way back to the motor home I stopped and said hello to Bob and Helen.

Made myself a salad for dinner. Cathy and I changed the sheets on the bed. Will probably do laundry on Thursday.

February 9, 2015 Martha’s Garden

Same  today as the last few days. Over night low was 59F and the high today was 95F. Clear and sunny with a light wind.

We left for Martha’s Garden Date Farm at 9:00AM, hoping to get on the 10:00AM tour.

Marth's Garden       Martha’s Garden Date Farm

The tour was all booked up for today and mostly booked until the 26th of February. They do a 10:00AM and a 1:00PM tour each day. They can take 20 people on each tour. it costs $10/person.  They have a people mover pulled by a tractor.

People Mover              Tour People Mover

We were in the Cafe watching the date farming slide when the owner, Nels Rogers stopped and asked how things were going. We had a good conversation with him. His grandfather bought a cotton farm in Yuma in 1920. He and his wife Martha started the date farm in 1990. They planted 300 Medjool date shoots in 1990. Today they have 8,000 date palms on 100 acres. The first dates were harvested in 1999. He is trying to break into the southest Asia market. He put an ad in a Malasian magazine for $1,800, but only got one response. He ships container loads to Australia.

Nels Rogers                      Nels Rogers

We headed north on US-95 and stopped at the Rogers other operation, From the Farm. A store that sells vegetables and knick knacks.

From the Farm Store        From the Farm Store

They also sell shakes and soup and sandwiches. We looked around for awhile and then ordered. Alan had a Quesadilla and I had two tacos. They were very good. Cathy only had a caramel shake. I bought date shakes for Alan and myself.

Alan at the Grill              Alan at the Grill

Sat around and read until about 3:30PM. Went to the post office in Bard for the mail. When I got back I joined every one at Jim and Lucy’s. Alan had been gone all after noon. He got to the Happy Hour about 5:10PM and had gone in to Walgreens and printed off some pictures to give to every one.

Went back to motor home for dinner. We just had salads. Watched Two Broke Girls and then went to the camp fire. Went back to motor home at 9:00PM and watched NCIS Los Angeles.

 

Sunday February 8, 2015 Music at Gravel Pit Ramada

As Alan says, another average day. Low over night was 59F and the high today was 91F. Clear and sunny with little to no wind.

Just sat around drinking coffee this morning. Gloria called and said there was a jam session at the Gravel Pit Ramada at 1:30PM.

At 12:30PM I dumped the black water tank and hauled it up to the Mesa dump station. It took two trips. My tote is 12 gallons. I filled it the first time, but only about half way on the second trip. The tank is 40 gallons, so it was only half full. That isn’t bad for 12 days.

After I finished dumping, Alan and I went up to the jam fest. It was enjoyable, but there wasn’t enough shade for every one. Mostly western music with some folk music. It lasted two hours.

Gravel Pit Ramada                Gravel Pit Ramada

Musicians                     Inside Ramada

When we got back to Octillo Flat we joined every one at Jim and Lucy’s. I brought chewies for the dogs, Oscar, Chloe, Cody and Joy. Cathy bought some sea weed snacks at the 99 Cent Only Store. Nobody liked them, but Chloe and Joy sure did. Cathy also brought Red Velvet Oreos which were well received.

Cathy made chicken, rice and sugar snap peas for dinner.  While we were eating dinner, there was an earthquake we could feel for about 20 seconds. It was a 4.9 about 150 miles SW of here in Baja California. After dinner I went down to the camp fire. Bob, Doris, Jim, Lucy, Bill and Alan were at the camp fire.