Another RTR and Big Tent

January 24th, 2018
Only one day.

Only one day.

Each year I tell myself I’m not going to the RTR anymore and then I end up going. If it were just for the seminars and shear madness of many thousands of people, I know I would skip it. The problem is that I get a text from an old friend asking me to come see him at the festival.

Todd and I hung out together for several days and endured many repetitive talks about surviving in an economically challenged society. Most of the people that enjoy the seminars are newly retired, usually living on a fixed income of SSI, and don’t have enough savings to stay in a house or senior living home. The rest of the group that flocked to the desert were mostly young people that don’t want to work or are trying to make money on the road. There must have been a dozen YouTube entrepreneurs milling about.

Todd likes the idea of travel but he cannot be away from his house for very long. He has a good pension from the Yuma Fire Department, a nice house, and lots of money in the bank. He said it is too boring to be out on the road all alone for more than a few weeks. He asked me why I’m not bored living in my RV and I replied that I can do everything in my RV that I could do in a house.

Except for the loud music at night, I enjoyed hanging out and meeting new people. I feel sorry for some of the newbies that are just starting out in this lifestyle. They will make mistakes just like I did and still do, but if they stick with it they will all learn what works for them.

I’m now at the LTVA in Quartzsite. I went to town yesterday to see the Big Tent carnival. Each year the booths in the tent are filled more and more with “barkers” selling mops, bag closures, jewelry, massage devices, slicers and dicers, and every other bobble or bangle you can think of, many not even related to RV living. There were a couple new places selling Lithium battery systems but they were not very knowledgeable. I walked around outside for a bit, avoiding the food that smelled so good, and left shortly after peeking inside a couple new, six figure RVs.

I think I will go back down to Yuma for a while. I have a couple projects I want to work on than require a Home Depot. Who knows? I might even ride for a date shake and a movie.

Yuma Again

December 31st, 2017
This is why we come.

This is why we come.

Happy New Year everyone!

I’m back at Imperial Dam LTVA again. I’ll be here until I get itchy feet and decide to explore a new place. Richard and Dianna will arrive in a few days and we always have fun exploring the area for fun things to do.

I feel lucky that I can live this nomadic lifestyle and migrate with the weather. Even though the winters here in the southwest can be chilly and windy, it is way, way better than the weather my kids are experiencing back in the northeast. All last week it has been dumping snow and hurtling bone-chilling temperatures over most of the upper USA. I talked with my Daughter, Jen, who lives in Western New York, to hear her tell of a foot of snow and -10 degree temperatures. Here in Yuma I have been inside much of today because the temperature only got to 68 degrees. I’m such a wimp.

It was nice camping with John and Rick at Big River BLM by Parker last week. We had many good talks where we solved most of the problems in the world. Each morning John and I walked two miles for our daily exercise. It’s always better for me to have someone that motivates me to exercise. I’m sure it’s the same for him.

While I was camped at Parker, a pickup pulled in and a man waved out the window. I didn’t recognize him at first. It was Bob, another full-timer I had not seen since Cottonwood last year. We went completely different directions this summer, he to the east coast to see family, and I to the north to see Alaska. But the desert southwest is where many of us migrate to this time of year and hang out for the nice climate.

I purchased a new laptop computer a while ago. It’s a Microsoft Surface that can be used as a touch-screen tablet or with a keyboard that clips on. It’s nice and light and compact but I’m still getting used to Windows 10. Right now, I’m using it as a tablet to write this and it is even more awkward than using my phone. I know the phone key touch well, and it is a new learning curve with this touch keyboard. Santa didn’t bring me the keyboard so I guess I will have to go buy one soon.

Parker, Arizona

December 21st, 2017
Camp near Parker, AZ

Camp near Parker, AZ



It is one of those cold, windy days where the only sensible thing to do is stay inside and maybe take a nap. I’m camped with my friend, John, only five miles from Parker, Arizona. I moved here two days ago and we have had nice temperatures and calm winds until last night. Shortly after I went to bed last night the wind started rocking Minnie and making noises with the roof vents. I didn’t get much sleep.

Every morning John and I walk 2 miles. This BLM campsite is surrounded by mountains and deep washes. There is a long road running back to the foothills that makes a nice place for morning walks. If I get ambitious and the weather gets better, I may take Honda back a few miles to explore.

There are quite a few campers parked in the dispersed pullouts along the road. It’s not crowded. Most of the rigs are Class C’s, vans, and small trailers, and we all seem to find a little corner in the desert to call home. I have found few places to dump and get water near Parker, and I think that’s probably what keeps most of the big rigs away.

The cell service is excellent, and if you rely on OTA TV, there are many broadcast stations on antenna. The nice thing about this location is the fact it is only five miles to Parker and all the perks of a city. Yesterday, I rode to the Walmart, went to see a movie (Star Wars – The Last Jedi), and washed some of the grime and dust off Honda at a self carwash. I used a little restraint and drove right past McDonalds.

I plan to be here until next week and then start back south. As long as I have the LTVA pass, I may as well take advantage of the facilities it entitles me to. It’s only 40 miles south to Quartzsite, where I will camp for a few days, and then move down to Yuma after the first of the year. There are many places in southern AZ and CA I like to visit during the winter and the LTVA pass gives me the option to come and go as I please.

South to Yuma

December 3rd, 2017
An Arizona sunrise.

An Arizona sunrise.

I moved down to Imperial Dam LTVA, twenty miles north of Yuma. This has always been one of my favorites places to stay during the winter months. I can usually depend on good weather through February, it’s close to the city and Mexico for anything I need, and this LTVA has enough resources to keep me comfortable. I’ll probably be here until after the New Year.

When I first arrived at the LTVA, I found out that Barbara Dewell was camped nearby, so we met up with for a visit. We hadn’t seen each other for several months and it was nice to catch up on our travels over the summer. Barb needed to visit her dentist in Los Algodones and I needed to pick up some meds there, so we decided to go together to save on parking fees. We were done with our chores before noon and left Mexico before the long lines formed at the border. After our visit to Algodones, Barb headed back to Quartzsite and I drove west into California to see what the boondocking on Ogilby Rd looked like.

I heard different stories about the BLM area near the Algodones Sand Dunes now designated off-limits because of the desert tortoise. One person told me the only place legal to camp was near signed roads, and the rangers had removed all the road signs. Some others said that no one had said anything to them. The fact that there were only about four rigs camped in the area where there used to be hundreds, leads me to believe that they are enforcing the no camping rule. There are no signs saying no camping and the 14-day limit signs have been replaced by limited-use signs.

I drove over to the area along the Sidewinder Road to discover many rigs parked in that boondocking area. I have talked with some that say places along the Sidewinder Road belong to the American Girl Mine and are not enforced by the BLM. Some full-time RVers stay out there all winter.

I drove back through Yuma the next day, picked up more supplies, and laundered some clothes. I’m now back at the Imperial Dam LTVA, enjoying the weather and holding down the fort until Richard and Dianna make their way to Arizona after the holidays.


November 17th, 2017
Back to nature!

Back to nature!

I went for a hike on The Bare Trail today. It goes for 3 miles through the “Clothing Optional” area here in Quartzsite. I’m wearing my backpack to get in shape for hiking more of the Arizona Trail.