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.

Saturday February 7, 2015 Shopping in Foothills

Another perfect day. Over night low was 56F. The high today was 74F. It was clear with a gentle breeze.

Last night we looked at Jim and Lucy’s charging system. It appeared the converter was bad. Dennis and I confirmed that this morning. Lucy pulled out most of the panels to gain access to the converter and I finished. Jim checked with the Solar Shack at the Christian Center, but they didn’t have one in stock. He called Al’s RV and RV Connection and they both had the PD9260 in stock. He went into the Foothills to buy one.

Alan wanted to go in to wash the Jeep and asked if we would like to go with him. Cathy and I said yes and we left at noon for the Foothills. Cathy went into the 99 Cent Only Store and Alan ran the Jeep through the car wash. Then Alan and I went to Al’s RV. Alan bought a Thermal Cutoff Kit to replace the one I gave him and a gasket set for his 3″ black water valve. Alan and I went to the 99 Cent Only Store and picked up a couple of things. We then went to Walmart. We picked up dog food for Joy and some snacks for ourselves. Alan bought a 7 gallon Reliance water container. So he is almost a complete boondocker. All he needs now is a Blue Boy waste tote. We went from Walmart to Fry’s. I bought some anti pasta and shrimp. Alan then filled with gas at Fry’s for $1.95/gal.

We went back to Ocotillo Flat. People were gathering at Jim and Lucy’s. Dennis and I went there and removed the old converter and replaced it with the new one, complete with Charge Wizard Pendant. It wasn’t too bad and when we were done it worked. Lucy and I finished by replacing the panels. I brought some raw hide chewies for Chloe and Oscar. They really enjoyed them. Adele made another batch of home made Kahlua with the Ever Clear they picked up in Mexico yesterday. She left the bottle for every one to enjoy.

We had a nice camp fire. Lucy, Jim, Sandy, Bill, Bob, Joy and myself were there. We had some of Adele’s Kahlua.

Didn’t take any pictures today, but Alan sent me a picture of the sun rise over our Adventurer.

Sunrise Over the Adventurer

Friday February 6, 2015 More Firewood

Another perfect day. Over night low was 54F. High today was 83F. It was clear, sunny and calm.

Bob and Jane were leaving this morning for Casa Grande, so Alan was taking pictures. He didn’t get one of the whole group, but got pictures of most of us. Bob and Jane left at 10:05AM, they will be gone for 10 days with family in Casa Grande and then come back.

Bob & Jane                   Bob & Jane

Here is a good picture of the women of Ocotillo Flat

Women of Ocotillo Flat Top Jane, Sandy & Lucy Bottom Cathy, Joy Doris & Chloe

After the picture taking Cathy and Gloria left for a day at the Yuma Thrift Stores.

Cathy and Gloria            Cathy & Gloria

Bob, Lynn, Oscar, Alan and myself, went to pick up more fire wood. On the way we stopped at Al’s RV on Fortuna for Customer Appreciation Day. There was free coffee and donuts and a 15% discount on every thing in the store. I bought a 3′ tote dump hose and two organizers for the side of the bed. Alan bought some foil insulation to cut to fit the windows and a sewer elbow.

Al's RV                          Al’s RV

We then headed to Valley Pallet to get the firewood. This time we got a pretty good load.

Loading Pallet    Loading Wood Into Bob’s Pickup

When we got back to Ocotillo Flat Bob backed up to the wood pile. We all went for lunch and then went back to unload and stack the wood. Curt joined us as we were unloading. We stacked it into three piles, the 2×4’s, deck boards and small scraps. Took about 20 minutes to unload.

Unloading Wood               Unloading Wood

Alan’s water heater wasn’t working, so we took a look at it. It was the thermal cut off. We found this out by by passing the thermal cut off. I had a spare so Alan installed that. The water heater is now working.

We spent the rest of the day just sitting or napping. Happy Hour was at Jim and Lucy’s. Gloria and Cathy got back about 5:45PM. Cathy says that Yuma has some very nice Thrift Stores.

We had a perfect night for a camp fire. Most every one was at the fire.



Thursday February 5, 2015 Lunch at Lin’s Grand Buffet

Another perfect day. Over night low was 54F. The high this afternoon was 80F. It was clear and sunny.

This morning Bob came over and asked if we would like to join him and Jane for Lunch at Lin’s Grand Buffet. We said sure.

About 11:30PM Dennis towed his Airstream from Ocotillo Flat to a sales lot on 32nd St. in Yuma. While Dennis and Charlie were at lunch, they got a call from a couple in Phoenix that wanted to buy the Airstream. They had seen it on the Craig’s list add put on line by the sales lot. They agreed to meet at the Paradise Casino at 6:30PM. They towed the Airstream away about 8:00PM.

Bob and Jane picked up Cathy, Alan and myself at 1:30PM. We headed to Lin’s Grand Buffet by way of Bard. When we got there, Jane bought lunch for everyone. I started with beef and vegetables at the Mongolian BBQ then went through the buffet line. It was very good, even Alan a real Chinese food critic agreed.

When we got back to Ocotillo Flat, Bob, Curt Alan and myself started working on Alan’s step. A mounting bolt had torn through the steel plate supporting it.

Tear in Metal                 Tear in Steel

We first had to remove the rubber mat covering the step, no easy task.

Rubber Mat            Removing Rubber Mat

Curt brought a large knife and Bob and Alan were able to remove the mat. Alan then drilled pilot holes from below to locate where we would cut holes with a hole saw.

Working on Step  Alan, Curt & Bob Working on Step

We got the holes in and Curt brought 3 washers from a 1962 Ford and Bob scrounged two bolts and nuts.

Holes         Holes to Access Bolts

Curt brought a magnet that allowed pulling out the center of the hole made by the hole saw and also to place the bolts and washers. We added two additional bolts.

Bolt & Washer      Bolt & Washer in Torn Corner

Alan did all the work under the step. We finished at 8:30PM, 4 1/2hrs after starting.

We all then joined every one at the campfire. The moon was beautiful for the third night in a row. It was warm and calm, so perfect for the camp fire.

Wednesday February 4, 2015 Jaws Jaunt

Another perfect day. Over night low was 52F and the high was 81F. It was clear with light and variable winds.

At 8:30AM Alan and I drove over to the Gravel Pit road to line up for the Wednesday Jaws Jaunt, a guided four wheel drive trip. 12 four wheel drive vehicles lined up. There were Jeep Wranglers, Jeep Cherokees, Jeep Grand Cherokees, Jeep Liberty and Suzuki Samurai.  Alan was driving his 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Slobber Jaws the guide gave a running commentary over CB radio. Dennis loaned us a portable CB radio and antenna. It was decided with Alan’s approval that his CB handle wood be Hong Kong.

Lined Up for Jaws Jaunt         Lined Up for Jaws Jaunt

We headed south on Senator Wash Road to S24, crossed into Arizona and then took the road to Mittry Lake. We drove past Mittry Lake, then took the road past the refuse center. We then took a road under the high lines. We got to a point where they were installing new lines and a power company truck blocked the road. They said we couldn’t go on as they had wires on the ground. We turned and went south east to the Little Chapel. We stopped for a break and to look at the Chapel. There was a porta potti there that was used by many.

Chapel       Little Roadside Chapel on US-95

It actually has a pulpit and can seat 12.

Inside Chapel    Inside Chapel

There was a Jeep ahead of us on the way to the Chapel with an interesting dog. She sat nicely in the back looking out at us. We found out during the break that her name is Gidget and she is part husky and part wire haired collie. She is 17 years old.

Gidget                        Gidget

We proceeded down US-95 for a short way and took a turn to the left right after the bridge and followed the canal road. We started to get into some steep 4WD type road.

Road                     Steep Road

We went through a tunnel filled with water.

Tunnel                Tunnel with Water

After going through the water, Alan’s Jeep started making funny noises in the front driver’s side. We stopped and couldn’t see any thing. We went on a little and it continued. We decided to go back. Gidget’s dad, Porch Puppy volunteered to accompany us back to US-95. Before we got back to the tunnel, it had quit making the noise. After going through the water it started up again. We stopped and Porch Puppy helped us jack it up and take the wheel off. We rinsed the brake with water. Put it back and thanked  Porch Puppy  and told him we could make it back by our selves.

Looking for Problem              Porch Puppy & Alan

As we set off for Yuma to have it checked out, the noise quit. We decided to go to Meineke on 4th Ave. On the way we stopped at a fruit stand. Alan bought a $1.00 bag of grapefruit and some dates and I bought a $1.00 bag of grapefruit.

We got to Meineke about 11:45AM and the mechanic test drove it and said the hub bearing was bad. Alan told them to go ahead and fix it. They were to do new axles, hubs, rotors and pads. After awhile Alan and I walked over to the Dairy Queen. About 3:00PM, the mechanic said now would be a good time to replace the ball joints. If it was done now there wouldn’t be much additional labor, but in the future could cost quite a bit. Alan said to go ahead. They had a hard time getting the hubs and ball joints out. They were rusted in pretty bad.

Old Hub                      Old Hub

New Hub                      New Hub

They finally finished at 6:30PM. One of the mechanics was from Cuba. He left Cuba 4 years ago.

We drove back to Imperial Dam by way of Bard. Every thing was quiet. The Jeep had made noise since Alan bought it. We thought it might be road noise made by the tires. Now it was completely gone. Stopped for mail in Bard, but there wasn’t any.

Got back to the camp site. Cathy was just leaving the camp fire so I walked with here to the motor home. Made myself a large gin and tonic and went back to the camp fire.


Tuesday February 3, 2015 Trip to Get Firewood

The over night low was 51F and the high this afternoon was 78F. It was clear all day with just a slight breeze.

As I was finishing my second cup of coffee the Bobs came by and asked if I wanted to go along to get firewood. I said sure and jumped in. Forgot that I had left the Honda generator running, so called Cathy and told her to shut it off. We drove in through Bard and went to the pallet companies off of 3E. We went to the second one. They didn’t have much for us, but it should keep us going until Friday when we will maybe go back for more.

Pallet Wood  Pallet Wood loaded in Bob’s Pickup

We then headed over to RV Connection and Bob bought a sewer elbow. From there we went to Carl’s Junior for lunch. Bob had some coupons, I got a 1/3# hamburger and free drink and fries with the coupon.

We then headed for Food City on 8th Street. Bob and I bought beer and apple fritters and twists. The apple fritters are huge. It is a Hispanic store and all the pastries are Hispanic.

We then headed for Imperial Dam by way of the One Way Bridge, we had found construction on the road under the over pass, the other route.

One Way Bridge 3                 One Way Bridge

We had wondered what some of the fields were planted with, so Bob pulled over for a closer look. We think it is broccoli

Broccoli                     Broccoli?

Bob thought the other crop might be rutabagas

Rutebegas                   Rutabagas?

We then stopped at the Bard Post office for mail. Just before we got to Laguna Dam, Bob took us up to Pot Holes Cemetery. There were several men working on it. They were carrying cement bags from a pickup. We helped them carry the bags. The cemetery is a combination of the mission cemetery from the 1700’s and the Pot Holes cemetery from the 1800’s. they had to move the Pot Holes Cemetery to the mission cemetery when the All American Canal was built. The Potholes District was a placer gold mining area with up to 500 miners at one time.

We got back at about 2:30PM. About 3:00PM we all gathered at Jim and Lucy’s for an early start on Happy Hour. Joy came along and was well behaved. Chloe and Oscar were there but didn’t want to play, mostly just wanted to sleep. Took Joy back to motor home about 5:00PM. Went to the Christian Center to fill a couple of water jugs. Then had a salad for dinner and went down for the camp fire.

We are going on a four wheel drive trip tomorrow. Slobber Jaw will be leading the way. We are to meet at the Gravel Pit Road at 8:30AM.

Monday February 2, 2015 Perfect Day Solar Panel Install

Over night low 50F and high today 75F. It was a perfect day, clear and just a slight breeze.

Had toast and coffee for breakfast

Took some LED lamps over for Alan. Then walked over to Bob and Jane’s with Joy to see how their solar  was doing. Their batteries were already fully charged. Bob and I planned to install my solar panel at 2:00PM. While at Bob and Jane’s Curt came back from the Christian Center and Joy was barking at him, first time I’ve ever seen her do that. Then she made up with him.

Ate some pickles and cheese for lunch. Got the panel and connectors out to install. Put the ladder up and decided to put the panel on the driver’s side to balance the solar power.

Bob came promptly at 2:00PM. We bolted the Z brackets to the panels.

Mounting Z Brackets      Bolting Z Brackets to Panel

I got up on the roof and Bob got on the ladder. He handed the panel up to me. I put it 3″ to the drivers side of the existing panel. I screwed the Z brackets down.

Bob Helping with Solar Panel      Bob Helping with Panel

Cathy said the TV went off. When I came down I checked the inverter. The GFCI receptacle needed to be reset. Still the TV circuit didn’t power on. Pulled every thing off the circuits, still didn’t work. Started the generator. The inverter circuits still didn’t work. Checked the breakers, breaker 5 was tripped. Turned it on and there was a noise like a motor starting, it strained the generator and tripped the breaker. Cathy insisted it was something I did on the roof. I went up and took out the first screw and every thing came on.

Offending Screw

Screw showed no damage from shorting wires. The screw was only 1″ long.


Couldn’t connect the panel as the cable was about 18″ too short. It was Happy Hour when we finished, so we took beers over to Alan’s. Most went to Jim and Lucy’s for Happy Hour. Lynn and Curt joined us at Alan’s.

Bob decided to have a campfire. Cathy and I decided to do hot dogs on the camp fire. Every body showed up. Lynn drove over with Oscar, but Lynn walked over in her slippers. Dennis and Charlie came over and told us the Space Station was coming over. We were able to watch for about 3 minutes.

Camp Fire 2015                  Camp Fire

After the camp fire went back to the motor home and ordered the extension cables to connect the panel.

Sunday February 1, 2015 Super Bowl Sunday

The overnight low was 49F and the high today was 77F. It was clear and calm all day.

After lunch we set up the venue for the Super Bowl Party. We set it up under the awning on Bob and Jane’s fifth wheel. Jane’s uncle Bob, Bob, Alan, Jane and I set up blue tarps to block the sun. Alan contributed his TV.

Setting up for Super Bowl   Setting Up for Super Bowl

We officially started the party at 4:00PM, but Jane brought out chips and dip while we sere sitting around waiting.

By the time we started, we had a large assortment of snacks of all kinds. Jane had some dates wrapped in bacon, chips and salsa and Yukon Gold potato skins, Lucy brought little sausage pigs in a blanket and gucamole, Cathy brought wings in BBQ sauce, carrot slaw and filled celery sticks, Alan brought a fruit salad.

Setup for Game           Watching the Game

We really enjoyed the game. We had Jim & Lucy,  Bob and Jane, Jane’s Uncle Bob, Alan, Cathy & myself. Charlie stopped in for a minute. Alan came in his new shirt.

Alan's Shirt  Alan’s New Shirt

When we got to half time we took time to get jackets and walk Joy.

We got back in time to watch the half time show. Katy Perry flying through the air was impressive.

Curt came over for the second half. It was really an exciting game, especially when that spectacular catch was made by Seattle and it looked like they had the game in the bag and then they threw it away.

Finished off the night watching Shark Tank

Saturday January 31, 2015 Trip to Yuma

The over night low was 51F and the high today was 67F. It was overcast all day, but is perfectly clear now at 10:30PM.

Spent the morning watching the Fox News Business shows. Alan texted “What’s happening?”. I went over to talk to him and we decided to go to town to get gas, some things for the Super Bowl Party and some things at harbor Freight. We both had lunch and then headed to Yuma in Alan’s Grand Cherokee. We dropped off trash at Quail Hill and then headed to Bard, where I checked out mail. We went into Yuma via the one way bridge. Stopped at Sam’s Club and filled with gas at $1.77/gal. Went on up Pacific to the Walmart. Cathy had asked me to get frozen meat balls to make for the party, couldn’t find any, so substituted chicken wings. While at Walmart I saw a woman and a dog dressed alike. She said they had won a contest. The parking lot at Walmart was almost full, but checkout was fast.

Dog at Walmart   Dog and Woman in Sailor Suits

Went to harbor Freight where Alan bought a grease gun and some plastic scrapers to work on his step problem. We got back at Happy Hour time, but nobody was gathering. I went over to Bob and Jane’s to see how the additional solar panels were doing? The batteries were fully charged, even though it had been overcast all day. Sat and talked to Bob for awhile. Alan and Curt came by. Went back to motor home and watched TV. We had our last Jack’s pizza from Menard’s for dinner.

RV Travel posted another drone fly over video of Quartzsite today.

Friday January 30, 2015 Two Solar Panels and an Inverter

Over night low was 54F and the high for the day was 70F. It was overcast all day, rained in the morning and sprinkled off and on all day.

After the weather settled down, I went over to Bob and Jane’s. They brought two 100 watt solar panels and a 2000 watt inverter to install. We put the Z brackets on the panels and lifted them up to the roof. Bob was on the roof, I was on the ladder and Alan and Jane were on the ground.

Bob laid them out behind the existing panels and marked the location with a marker pen. He then drilled a 1/8″ hole through the hole in the Z bracket and cleaned the area under the bracket. We then put butyl tape on each bracket and screwed them down to the roof. We then plugged in the MC4 branch connectors, one set on one of the new panels and one set on the last panel installed. We then realized we needed 8′ extension cables. We went to the “Preacher’s” solar store at the Christian Center to get the cables. He doesn’t use them, he just cuts the MC4 connectors off. We then decided to go into Yuma to Starlight Solar.

Starlight Solar didn’t have any made up, but we were able to get the 10 gauge UV resistant cable from them. We got duplex cable which worked out nicely. Windy Nation had sent along a set of connectors with each panel, so I put the ends on and we connected the panels. Doubled the current, which still wasn’t much because of the clouds.

Bob Cleaning for Solar Panels             Bob Mounting Panels

We then decided to mount the inverter. We found a nice location along the side of the battery box. We only needed 30″ of cable to connect to the batteries. Bob had bought 4′ of 2/0 cable at Lowes, but it was too stiff to allow the batteries to slide out. We went back to “Preacher’s” Solar. He did have 2/0 battery cable, but only in red and a whopping $8.50/ft. So we cut the cable and Bob forked over the $42.50. Bob had some 2/0 cable connectors, so I put a cable gland and crimped  two connectors on each 30″ length of cable. No one had a hole saw. We used a step drill and finally got the hole large enough to mount the cable glands.

Alan brought us a couple of beers.

Bobs Inverter  Inverter Mounted on Battery Box

Finally rounded up the appropriate adapters and turned on the inverter. Every thing  worked. Started sprinkling just as we finished.

Jim and Lucy took Bob and Doris in to the Arizona Market Place flea market and Alan followed in his car.  Alan stopped at Imperial Gardens Date farm on the way back and had a date shake.

Cathy made a delicious stir fry with vegetables and sausage for dinner.