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Published on December 31, 2017, by admin in Adventure.
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.

 
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Published on December 21, 2017, by admin in Adventure.
Camp near Parker, AZ

Camp near Parker, AZ

North

North

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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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Published on November 12, 2017, by admin in Adventure.
Mom and Dad's gravesite surrounded by their children.

Mom and Dad’s gravesite surrounded by their children.

It has been almost a month since I last blogged and a lot has happened in that time. I’m not going to go into long detail of everything I did in those weeks because it was with family – personal and interesting mostly to us. I just want to tell all my siblings, children, grandchildren, and every relative and friend that it was a wonderful time of bittersweet memories I will forever remember.

Family and friends at the lake house.

Family and friends at the lake house.

In February of this year, my Mom passed away in her home in Mesa, Arizona. All five of her children, along with Richards wife, Dianna, Daryl’s wife, Gisele, and Mom’s grand daughter, Heather, returned her ashes for burial in a small cemetery in Western New York where she grew up. It was a sad time of final goodbyes but a happy, nostalgic time of visiting all the places where we lived when we were young. After her burial, twenty five family and friends gathered at the lake house we rented to celebrate Mom’s life through remembrance of her.

Karen's oldest son Zack and his girlfriend. They were getting ready for a  Halloween party. Zack has on a wig!

Karen’s oldest son Zack and his girlfriend. They were getting ready for a Halloween party. Zack has on a wig!

Karen and Zack

Karen and Zack

My three children live within a few hours of Mom’s final resting place so I spent a few days with each of them. I first flew into Pittsburgh and stayed with my daughter, Karen and her husband, Damon. It was a wonderful time of being together again. They spent one night at the lake house and moved to a motel the next night. Poor Karen came down with a bug overnight and was sick the day of the burial.

While we were all gathered together in Cuba, New York, we drove around town and looked at places of our childhood – the house my Dad built, the homes of Grandparents, our school and hospital where Mom worked as a nurse, our favorite cheese store, and all the parks and fields and woods where we used to play when we were little.

At Corning Glass.

At Corning Glass.

Full size glass dress sculpture.

Full size glass dress sculpture.

The weather was cold and rainy but we found things to do every day. One day we visited Corning Glass and afterwords ate dinner at a favorite restaurant that featured many meals spiced with maple syrup. The time we spent together was very special. I can put it no other way. When we parted everyone wondered when we would all be together again. Mom was the tie that brought us all together, and things would change as we all went back to our dispersed lives.

After the lake house I spent a week with Jen and Louie in Franklinville, NY. It was a fun time catching up on their lives and seeing all the grandchildren again. Grandchildren grow up so fast that in just a couple years they change from kids to young men and young ladies. One afternoon Louie took me with him to the YMCA where we worked out on the exercise equipment. Afterwards, I got to watch grandaughter Lucy practice gymnastics with her club. She is really getting good at all those flips and balance manoeuvres.

David, Lisa, Lily, Harper, and Olivia. Not in order.

David, Lisa, Lily, Harper, and Olivia. Not in order.

I next spent a few days with my son David and his wife, Lisa. They have three precious little girls all under the age of 5. They are the sweetest things, but full of energy and ready to run circles around their tired Grandpa. One evening I took them out to Cracker Barrel, my favorite restaurant, and the next day we went to the Toy Museum near where they live in Rochester, NY.

Play time at the mall.

Play time at the mall.

Huge mega complex of everything to do with toys.

Huge mega complex of everything to do with toys.

Heroes in a half shell. David grew up with the Turtles.

Heroes in a half shell. David grew up with the Turtles.

After a whirlwind trip to New York, I am now taking it easy in Quartzsite, Arizona. It was wonderful to see and spend time with my kids and grandkids. I love them all very much.

 

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