Saturday, May 28, 2016

Back at Green Caye

Events in this post took place in September 2006.

On September 8, 2006, we left the Coachlight RV Park in Las Cruces, NM and headed to Texas on I-10. From Las Cruces to the Texas border did not take long as it is only about 25 miles.  Then came El Paso with a lot of early morning traffic. Once we got through El Paso the rest of the drive was easy with little traffic and some nice scenery. We always enjoy seeing the mountains when we are driving. We left about nine am and arrived at the Parkview RV Park in Fort Stockton, TX a little after three in the afternoon. A little over five hours for a 285-mile trip was about what we expected. The park was nothing special, but it suited our needs. The daily rate was $11, which was perfect for us. We planned to stay two nights before moving closer to our destination in Dickinson.

We departed Fort Stockton on Sunday, September 10 and got set up at the Fredericksburg RV Park in Fredericksburg, TX. The daily rate was $14 and we only planned to stay one night. There was a lot to see in the area, but we decided to do our sightseeing another time, because we were feeling some urgency to get Kathi back to Houston and the Medical center to determine the cause of the kidney problems she was having.

Monday morning it rained on us most of the way to the Happy Oaks RV Park in Columbus, TX. We took US 290 toward Austin, then changed to TX 71 through Bastrop and LaGrange. This route allowed us to miss the San Antonio traffic and make a short 170-mile trip.

Tuesday we arrived at our destination. We left Columbus in the late morning to miss rush hour traffic in Houston. There were a lot of big trucks on the road, but I felt right at home driving along with them. The Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson had a lot more RVs in it than the last time we were there. It seems to be more full with each trip. The drive from Columbus was just a little over 100 miles and we made it in a couple of hours using I-10 and Loop 610, then through Pasadena on TX 225 and on to Dickinson on TX 146. We like that route better than going to Dickinson on I-45 – the Pasadena/Deer Park/La Porte area feels like home to us.

We got set up and went to lunch at Luby’s Cafeteria on NASA Road 1. We did some RV clean up after lunch, in case the family came over to visit. I think the cleaning products we used caused Kathi to have asthma like symptoms that night and the next day. She was having trouble getting a deep breath, so we stayed in for the day.

Thursday I took Kathi to see Dr. Pattanaik and he arranged for Kathi to visit an endocrinologist. She saw Dr. Kaul that same afternoon. He sent her for more blood testing and we made another appointment for the next week. No matter what, we were determined to stay in town long enough to understand all of Kathi’s medical issues. The family was near so we had plenty of visiting to do between doctor visits.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

East on I-10

Events in this post took place in September 2006.

When we were ready to leave the 29 Palms Golf Resort and RV Park in Twentynine Palms, CA at the end of August after a one month stay we took our electrical meter reading to the office to find out what our electric bill would be. We were shocked when they told us the electric bill was $500. The person on duty thought there may be something wrong with the meter so for the next day they put us on a different meter. The meter reading on the new meter brought our bill up to $588, just for electrical. She advised us not to pay the electric bill until the manager got the meters checked out. We left our phone number for them to call us and let us know the correct amount  to pay.

Sunday, September 3rd, we picked Christopher up on base and drove to Yucca Valley, which was about 25 miles west from Twentynine Palms on CA 62. This was our last visit with him while he was still a Marine – he was due for discharge in December. We planned to meet him in Dickinson, TX instead of picking him up when he was discharged. Hopefully this would be our last visit to the high desert of southern California, especially in the summertime. We took Christopher to lunch at the Sizzler in Yucca Valley, then back to Twentynine for his weekly haircut. After that, we took him grocery shopping on base at the PX. We bade him a sad goodbye back at his quarters and we went back to the RV to prepare to move on Monday morning.

We were finally on the road again. A month in one place was a long time for RV travelers with an itch to keep moving. It was still too hot, but we did see some beautiful green farming areas moving east on the 225-mile trip, mostly on I-10. Our first stop on our way back to the Houston area was the Saddle Valley RV Park in Tonopah, AZ. We were only staying there overnight, so we did not unhook our Jeep. We stopped for diesel after we got into Arizona and before we checked in at the RV park. Diesel was $296.9 per gallon which was less than we paid in California, but still high.

The next day we moved to the Benson I-10 RV Park again. We had stayed there a few times before. It is an easy in – easy out RV park along I-10 in Arizona. Again we were only staying for the night and did not unhook our Jeep. The trip was just over 200 miles and we arrived in the early afternoon. It was clearly cooler in Benson, although we still felt like we were in the desert. Maybe fall weather was kicking in.

Wednesday, September 6, we drove the 230 miles from Benson to the Coachlight RV Park in Las Cruces, NM. The Coachlight RV Park is adjacent to the Coachlight Motel. They had a few trees, but they did not cause us any problems with our satellite dishes. Kathi was glad to be in an area where they had a variety of restaurants from which to choose. She selected Red Lobster and we both savored the meal. We were staying in Las Cruces for two nights at $13 per night.

Our next stop would be in Texas. Going across Texas takes about as long as it does to get from California to Texas. Kathi was born in Oklahoma, but Texas feels like home to both of us – it is where we had spent most of our lives. We were excited with anticipation to be with her family again.

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Month in 29

Events in this post took place in August 2006.

We woke up Sunday morning of August 13th still tired from Saturday at the casino with the Marines. We got Christopher and his friends back to the trailer Josh James was living in off base about 11 pm Saturday night. We spent Sunday in the motorhome keeping cool.

Monday we needed to do some grocery shopping, but it was so hot, we waited until after dark. After the grocery store we picked up Christopher and Andrew Harris from Josh James’ trailer and drove them back to the base so they would be ready for work Tuesday morning.  

Tuesday evening, Christopher came over for dinner -- Kathi made steak. It was too hot for baked potatoes, so Kathi made mashed potatoes and a salad to go with the steaks. As usual, dinner was great and listening to Christopher’s stories about his adventures was a pleasant diversion. All the leftovers went back to the base with Christopher

Christopher was working, so we did not get to see him the rest of the week. We stayed cool inside biding our time and making plans to get back to the Houston area. The doctor in Apple Valley told Kathi she needed to light somewhere and stay until her medical issues were resolved. Thus, our immediate future was kind of planned for us.

Christopher woke up sick on Thursday and went on sick call, He felt like it was a sandwich from Subway that made him sick. We went over Thursday night and took him something to eat, since he did not feel like getting out. Friday after work we picked him up and he spent two nights with us in the motorhome. We did not talk much since, he was still not feeling well – instead we had a TV marathon. We had recorded many episodes of “West Wing” and “The Unit” for Christopher while he was out of the country. They were two of his favorite shows at the time and I enjoyed watching them over again, Kathi, not so much, but she liked the company and she enjoyed cooking for her baby boy again.

We went to the base again on Monday evening, August 21st and took Christopher out to lunch on base. They had mostly fast food places on base, so I suspect we had a hamburger, but I do not remember for sure. He was finally feeling back to normal after a few days under the weather with what we assumed was a mild case of food poisoning.

We spent the next couple of weeks mostly inside out of the heat and seeing Christopher when he could get away from the base. The only eventful thing was getting a nail in a tire and Christopher changing it for me. Christopher had eight new Marines assigned to his unit and he was busy with their orientation. We mostly only saw him when we picked him up to get his weekly “high and tight” haircuts.

With Christopher too busy working to see us very often, Kathi and I were ready to move along and get her medical problems resolved. We were hoping it was our last summer in the high desert, as Christopher was being discharged in December.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Life in the Desert

Events in this post took place in August 2006.

Kathi and I were staying at the 29 Palms Golf Resort and RV Park in August 10, 2006. What comes to most people’s minds when you say resort are plush green lawns and swimming pools with a few palm trees sprinkled around the area. That is what you see about 30 miles south in Palm Springs, CA, but not necessarily so in Twentynine Palms. Twentynine Palms is in the high desert. About the only green grass in the city is on the 18 holes of the golf resort. The rest of the city is concrete, sand and rocks. The green vegetation consisted mostly of cactus and Yucca trees. The average daytime temperature is over 100 degrees with some days up to 108. Nighttime temperatures are in the mid-70s and our RV usually got cool enough to sleep around 10 pm.

But we had a good reason to be in Twentynine Palms. The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center is located there and that was the home base for our youngest son, Christopher – when he was not deployed. His group did routine deployments to Okinawa, Fuji, Thailand and Iraq.

Kathi and I tried to be there before and after every deployment to see Christopher and his marine friends. Many parents had full time jobs and could not greet their sons and we tried to gather in as many as we could. We were proud of them and wanted them to know it.

August 10th was a Thursday and we stayed at home trying to stay cool. Christopher had to stay on base and get his clothing cleaned and his room squared away for inspection. After being deployed for six or seven months and traveling half way around the world, there were a lot of logistical things to do for the Marines. Christopher said he did 12 loads of laundry.

Kathi and I agreed again that we had spent all the time we wanted to spend in the California desert in the summertime. After all, July and August in Texas is why we live in a motorhome.

We stayed home again on Friday. I spent a little time cleaning up and watering our batteries for the RV. There are eight batteries in our RV. The two start batters are maintenance free, but the others need frequent attention. The water evaporates fast in 100 degree temperatures. It was hot again, so I started early and it did not make much difference. It was hot early.

Saturday we took Christopher and three marine friends to a casino in Palm Springs. We did not see much of them as they were out having fun being together in leisure. Kathi and I mostly enjoyed the coolness of the casino and the exhilaration of casino activities. A fun time was had by all.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Apple Valley to Twentynine Palms

Events in this post took place in August 2006.

We were back at the Lone Wolf RV Park in Apple Valley, CA where we had stayed overnight about two weeks previous. Wednesday, August 2nd Kathi had an appointment with a nephrologist to follow up on her kidney issues as Dr. Pattanaik in Pasadena, TX had suggested. On this visit they gave Kathi orders to repeat the 24-hour urine analysis, directed her to stop using the diuretic and sent us to a local lab to test her blood again. We scheduled another appointment for the following week. We stayed in town a couple of more days, but spent most of the time inside to avoid the heat. We would need to come back to Apple Valley at apple blossom time to enjoy the scenery.

We got an e-mail from our youngest son, Christopher on Thursday to let us know he would be back from his tour in Okinawa, Japan and return to the marine base at Twentynine Palms by the weekend. As usual, the Marines would not provide exact arrival information.

Friday morning early, Kathi and I went by the lab to drop off the 24-hour urine sample, let them draw her blood before returning to our RV to hook up the Jeep and move to Twentynine Palms.

It was a short 80-mile drive from Apple Valley to Twentynine Palms and we were set-up at the 29 Palms Golf Resort and RV Park before noon. It was warm outside, but cool inside. We were hoping this would be our last summer in the high desert at Twentynine Palms. We got a phone call from Christopher and their plans had changed – they would not arrive back in 29 until mid-week. We were a little disappointed, but not surprised.

We spent the weekend inside our motorhome to avoid the heat. Monday, August 7th we drove back to Apple Valley to see the nephrologist. He told her that her body was retaining too much calcium which was overworking the kidneys. The doctor sent her for a test of her parathyroid.

Christopher called Tuesday and they were on the way to 29 and made a stop in Hawaii. He was having a blast with his friends. They were sitting on the upper deck of a restaurant having drinks with little umbrellas served in coconut shells – oh to be young again. Heck, I would just settle for a cute little drink with an umbrella, but there were no upper decks in the desert. I probably could have found a parasol, but it was too hot for shopping.

Click to enlarge pictures.
Christopher in his barracks room at Twentynine Palms.

Christopher sitting in our Alfa motorhome.

Christopher in uniform inside our Alfa.

Wednesday Christopher called from LAX and we were glad they were back in California and close to us. They arrived at 29 by bus in late afternoon and we were thrilled to see him and his marine buddies. We took him to get something to eat, but he was so tired he fell asleep on the drive back to the marine base.

Kathi got the results from the parathyroid test and results were inconclusive. Our plan was to spend the rest of the month with or near the Marines, then head back to Houston to address the calcium/parathyroid issue. We were going to be with Christopher as much as we could before we departed.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Melika and Hudson

My post today is in current time. It is Sunday, May 15, 2016.

Kathi and I are staying at the Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson, TX since November 2014. We are in town helping to care for her younger brother Larry Clark who has leukemia. Larry is retired from the City of Houston, but his wife Andrea is still working and plans to work a few more years.

Monday of last week, May 9th, Kathi and I took Larry to Methodist Hospital for the first of four infusions as part of his leukemia recovery. When Andrea got home from work, she went and picked up rib plates for our dinner. Tony’s ribs were good eating.

We drove through Taco Bell on the way to see Dr. Juan Gonzales on Tuesday. Larry and I ordered beef burritos and we ended up with the burritos with Fritos in them – they were not as good as what we expected. Dr. Gonzales is Larry’s nephrologist and we got a good report that Larry’s kidney function was stable.

Wednesday we stayed with Larry at his house. Kathi made bacon, eggs and pancakes for breakfast and it was enjoyed by all. We were expecting a physical therapist to come by in the afternoon for an evaluation of Larry’s physical strength – we could have just told them he had none. Kathi made us hamburgers for lunch – she makes the best hamburgers I ever get to eat. Kathi made steak fingers and gravy for Larry and Andrea to have for dinner.

Andrea’s niece Melika Powell came over for a visit and brought her one-year old son, Hudson. Her husband Carter was in Houston attending a conference. Melika, Carter and Hudson live in Virginia and do not get to this area very often. It was the first time I had seen Melika since she was a little girl. We had a great time visiting and watching Hudson play with the toys that Larry and Andrea have for their grandchildren to play with. It was a fun afternoon and Hudson never stopped. Even though he was tired he played and played and it was pleasurable.

Hudson playing,Melika on phone

Hudson exploring

Hudson chewing on soft toys.

Thursday Kathi and I took Larry back to the hospital for blood tests. He passed and we were back to his home about noon. We stopped by Taco Bell again and I gave them more details about the ingredients we wanted on our burritos – they were better this time. Larry had been suppressing a little cough all week and it seemed to be getting worse.

Kathi and I sat with Larry Friday morning and more bacon, eggs and pancakes. I left out the pancakes for this sitting, Andrea took half a day off and got home about noon. Kathi and I went home early and watched the news on TV. Kathi started having a cough and some sinus drainage caused her a sore throat. We bought some cough drops and I tried to keep her dosed with OTC medications.

She woke up sick on Saturday, but she wanted to go grocery shopping to pick up a few items. We picked up pizza for lunch and I brought her home and put her to bed. She caught up on her TV viewing in the afternoon. Today is Sunday and she is still sick and in bed. She will stay home tomorrow, while I take Larry to the hospital for his next infusion. Andrea is making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for our lunch at the hospital tomorrow. Larry is also running a little temperature and still has his cough. Andrea will give me a list of questions to ask the doctors. I hope it is a healing day for everyone,

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What a Wreck

Events in this post took place in July and August 2006.

On Friday July 28, 2006, Kathi and I took a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from Half Moon Bay to Pacifica. The cliffs and ocean views were spectacular. We stopped a few times to walk around a little to look at the water, but it was too cool. My Texas friends and relatives may not believe it can get too cold in July, but we were too cold in Pacifica. We spotted an RV park on the way and drove through to see what it looked like. It looked too crowded and the prices were way out of our price range.
Coastline view along Pacific Coast Highway

A California seascape
We drove into San Francisco on Friday to pick up AJ. We took another drive along the coast to share with him the views we had seen. The cool air was invigorating. He did not drive and used public transportation, so he did not get to the seashore very often. We had lunch at Red Lobster. AJ and I had fried shrimp and Kathi had salmon. I think we enjoyed ours more than she did hers. We found a produce stand alongside the road and picked up fruits and vegetables for everyone. Well, almost. Kathi got the veggies and AJ and I got the fruit. We said our good byes with AJ, as this was our last day in town for a while. We needed to move along and he needed to return his concentration to schoolwork. We took him back to his apartment and returned to our RV in Redwood City. 

Cliff by the seashore
The next morning, we drove through Gilroy on the way back to Fresno. Gilroy is known as the garlic capital of the world. They were having a harvest festival – we enjoyed the festivities from the car – too many people and no parking spaces. We got back to Fresno in early afternoon. It was much cooler this time. We stayed at the Sunset West RV Park. They offered 50-amp service, unlike the Yosemite RV Park we stayed in a week earlier. This stay in Fresno was much more pleasant. We spent Friday and Saturday in Fresno before returning to Apple Valley. 

Ocean view along the Pacific coast Highway

Waves hitting rocks just off the beach.
Monday, August 1st, we drove back to Apple Valley. The farms and orchards along the way were beautiful sights to see. We got the motorhome set up back at the Lone Wolf RV Park, then we went looking for a restaurant to get something to eat.

Traffic was pretty heavy and while we were stopped awaiting our turn to go, we got rear ended. A young lady was driving the second car back and claimed a truck forced her out of her lane, she hit the week-old Chevrolet pickup behind us and drove him into our Jeep. Remember our Jeep was less than a month old. We were sick about our vehicle. The young lady and her friend would not say much and just sat in their car. Her mother showed up before the police and the mother told the policeman she was driving the car. The young lady had no license and no insurance. We found out from the mother that the young lady riding as passenger was hurt. I think she hit her chest on the dashboard. We were sick about our autos, but glad there were no serious injuries.

The young lady's car had to be totaled – it folded like an accordion. The man in the middle driving the pickup truck had both front and rear damage. I estimated $3,000 to fix his truck and $1,500 to fix our Jeep. We did not plan to get it fixed until we returned to Texas. Too bad, so sad. We still had things to do in California, including having a good time.

Monday, May 9, 2016

San Francisco with AJ

Events in this post took place in July 2006.
We spent the night of Thursday, July 20, 2006 at the Trailer Villa in Redwood City, CA. We were in California to visit our two sons. Our oldest, AJ lived in San Francisco and our youngest, Christopher was still deployed overseas, but would return to Twentynine Palms in the near future.
Friday morning, AJ took the Cal Train from San Francisco to Redwood City. Kathi and I met him at the train station. We took AJ back to our motorhome with us and Kathi made tacos for lunch. Believe it or not, they were great again. It was the first time AJ had Kathi's tacos since he moved to the west coast. We had a good time visiting and catching up on current events.
AJ on a hill with San Francisco in the background.
 Kathi thought AJ looked too thin. He was on a low-fat diet and was working out at the YMCA several days each week. I thought he looked fine, but I was not the chief cook. We drove AJ back to his apartment in the evening. Driving in San Francisco was different. There were a lot of pedestrians and what they considered a crosswalk was obviously an individual decision. I just drove slower than usual and gave all the pedestrians plenty of time to get out of the path of our Jeep. 
AJ on the coast in San Francisco.
 Saturday morning, we drove into San Francisco so I could help AJ hang some drapes in his apartment. They looked great. We had a late lunch at Olive Garden. The meal was what we expected and suited our taste buds. After a nice time visiting, we dropped AJ off at his apartment and Kathi and I drove back to our motorhome in Redwood City.
AJ riding BART.
 We stayed home the next two days. AJ was studying for exams and Kathi had some housework she wanted to get done. We only had 30-amp service at Trailer Villa, which is normally okay in the bay area. This trip it was a little warmer than we expected.
Thursday, July 27th was a beautiful day in the city. San Francisco has some of the best days anywhere with cool temperatures and bright sunshine. The trade-off is a lot of overcast days with high humidity. I never met anyone that did not like the weather in the area.
AJ in Golden Gate Park.
We picked AJ up and took a drive around the area and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. We ended up at the Cheesecake Factory in Corte Madera for lunch. It was crowded, but we did not have to wait long for a table. I never like the menu items in California restaurants, but the lunch at the restaurant was delicious. I just gave Kathi the parts of my lunch I would not eat. We looked at some RV parks in Marin County, but after evaluating prices, we decided we were fine where we were staying.
We were having a good time seeing AJ and still had a few more days to be in town. More good times coming.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cinco de Mayo de 2016

My post today is in real time discussing events in 2016.

Kathi and I are still at the Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson. We have been here since Thanksgiving 2014 to help Larry Clark and his wife Andrea as Larry tries to recover from leukemia. It has been a rough year and a half for them with all the concern about the uncertainty of the outcome of the illness and all the time Andrea has to spend away from work to be with Larry. Kathi and I do what we can to help.

Larry got out of the hospital yesterday after a five week stay to get rid of a MRSA infection. This was his second bout with MRSA and the antibiotics they gave him were pretty strong. The doctors seem to think the MRSA attached itself to one of the leads on his pacemaker. He originally went into the hospital to dissolve blood clots in his legs. The doctors inserted a trap in a blood vessel to prevent the clot from getting to his heart and lungs. He is still getting blood thinners. While he was in the long term care facility at Methodist Hospital he was doing physical therapy every day.

The chemotherapy, the bone marrow transplant and the medications have caused additional medical problems. He is now taking insulin for diabetes. His feet are swollen and the diuretics he takes do not seem to remove enough fluid. His kidney function has dropped to near 30% and the doctors are considering dialysis. The real concern is that his body is not producing enough blood and platelets to keep his strength up. Another bone marrow transplant boost from the same donor may be required in the near future.

On the positive side, his appetite is good and he is putting on a little more weight. He is still down about 40 pounds from where he started. Kathi is a great cook and I have managed to get a few extra meals for myself – all in support of Larry – no one should have to eat alone. He can move around with his walker, but he gets tired quickly. We are expecting a home health care specialist to come by this morning to get the physical therapy regime started again.

We are at Larry's house celebrating Mexico's independence by staying off the streets. My Mexican flag pole is broken anyway. It got broken last year when I was celebrating and an overzealous fan wanted the flag for himself. I did not understand him wanting my flag, because they were on sale cheap at Target. That's life in a foreign country.

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all my friends.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Apple Valley and Beyond

Events in this blog post took place in July 2006.

On Tuesday, July 18, 2006, Kathi and I departed the Kofa Mountain RV Park in Quartzsite, AZ and moved to the Lone Wolf RV Park in Apple Valley, CA. Apple Valley was a good stopping off place when we were going to California via I-10. We drove all the way into the Los Angeles area on one of our first trips to California and hated all the traffic. In all subsequent trips we have exited I-10 somewhere before getting into the LA traffic. The trip was around 230 miles long and took us about 5 hours, including set-up time in the RV park. The drive through the mountains was beautiful, but the temperature was too hot for our liking. We decided not to unhook our Jeep, since we were only staying overnight.

The main reason I like to go to Apple Valley is nostalgic. Some of you may have heard the story before. Roy Rogers was my favorite cowboy when I was growing up in east Texas. The Rogers ranch was the Double R Bar. Their family home was in Apple Valley, but the ranch was actually in Oro Grande a little north and west of Victorville. The original Double R Bar Ranch that we saw in movies and TV was in Chatsworth, CA. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are buried at the Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary in Apple Valley. I liked the sound of the name – Apple Valley – it sounds so peaceful.

Kathi and I were in California to see our two sons. AJ was in San Francisco and Christopher was stationed at Twentynine Palms when he was not deployed. Since it was another week before Kathi could see the doctor, we stayed only one night in Apple Valley on the way to see AJ in San Francisco.

Wednesday morning, we left Apple Valley and moved to the Yosemite RV Park in Fresno, Ca. The RV park was a dump. Kathi was not happy. Even worse, we could not get a computer satellite signal, so no internet. We had only 30-amp service – it just kept getting worse and worse. We were glad we were on the move and only staying one night. Kathi told me to mark this park off the list, because she would never stay there again. We planned on spending our time with AJ from the San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica. They called in the late afternoon and told Kathi they did not have a space available for us. Kathi got on the phone to make a different reservation for Thursday night. In the back of my mind, I was relieved, because the park in Pacifica wanted $90 per night. We were going to bite the bullet and pay the exorbitant fee and now we did not have to do that.

Thursday morning, we had an appointment at the Fresno Freightliner for an oil change. While we waited for our motorhome, we ate breakfast, then drove around the Fresno area looking at farms. We saw a beautiful peach grove, acres and acres of cherry tomatoes growing and vineyards with lots of grapes. A really pleasant morning for us. They were through with the work before noon and we moved on to the Trailer Villa San Mateo RV and Mobile Home Park in Redwood City. We arrived about 4 pm. It was mucho cooler, Hooray! We got set up and went to dinner with plans to see our son, AJ the next morning.

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Sunday, May 1, 2016


Events in this post took place in July 2006.

We left the Valley of the Sun Mobile Home and RV Park in Marana, AZ early in the morning on Sunday, July 16, 2006. Our destination for the day was the Kofa Mountain RV Park in Quartzsite, AZ. The trip was about 220 miles west and a little north on I-10. This was our first stop over in Quartzsite. We saw a lot of greenery growing on the farms along the 4-hour trip, but we could not identify any of the crops. We always enjoy seeing the farms. The United States used to produce enough food to feed the world. I am not sure that is still true. The Saturday temperature was 112 degrees, so we were not surprised to see all the water sprinklers irrigating the crops.

Kathi tried to make an appointment with a kidney doctor in Apple Valley, CA but the one she chose was out of town. She made an appointment for August 2nd.

It was warm in the daytime and cooler in the evenings, so we did not unhook our Jeep, planning to stay in for our stay in Quartzsite. Now that we had a destination and a time for the doctor visit, Kathi could make arrangements for all the stops between Quartzsite and Apple Valley. Instead of living day-to-day, we had an itinerary. That almost makes it sound like I have a job again.

Many of you may not be familiar with Quartzsite. It is a well-known destination for RV travelers and it lies in La Paz County. It is located about fifteen miles east of the Colorado River and 17 miles east of the California state line on I-10. Quartzsite is one of the locations snowbirds from the north come to in the wintertime. It is warm and dry during the winter months. In January every year they host a huge Sports, Vacation and RV Show.

There are at least 60 RV parks with thousands of RV spaces to rent and thousands of acres of BLM land available for camping. This town of 3,700 population hosts 2,000,000 visitors per year. Their local transit service is known as the “Camel Express” and helps reduce vehicular traffic in town.

Quartzsite claims to be the rock capital of the world. They have a two-month gem show and swap meet every January and February. Exhibitors buy, sell or trade gems, rocks, mineral specimens and fossils.  

Kathi and I have always avoided Quartzsite, because of the potential number of travelers in town. We drove through town one year and there were RVs everywhere on both sides of the road. We did not find it so crowded in the desert that summer in 2006.