Our Adventures

Welcome to the adventures of Larry and Connie Farquhar.

Winter 2018/2019 Adventures Begin!

Winter 2018/2019 Adventures Begin!

Okay, I haven't been keeping this blog current, have I? It just seems there's no time to work on the blog. I have other (higher priority) tasks to get done first. Although Connie and I aren't working the summer of 2019, we still have "work" that needs to get done. We still work as independent contractors providing various computer, website and email services. I finally got caught up enough to work on this blog.

Well, what have we been doing these past 2 months? A bunch! After leaving Colorado, we headed to South Lake Tahoe for a company meeting. After a week there, we Alabama Hillsdrove to Lone Pine, CA and stayed at Tuttle Creek Campground (36.565211,-118.1290207) in the Alabama Hills.This is a quiet BLM campground for $4 a night with a senior pass. The Alabama Hills is an interesting place at the base of Mt. Whitney. MANY movies and TV shows have been filmed in this area for the past 80+ years. In addition to the numerous television shows, here's a list of 370 movies that were filmed in this area.

When we left the Lone Pine, CA (Alabama Hills) area, we headed to the Desert Eagle Family Campground at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NV. We met up with friends Bob and Joyce and spent a week exploring and playing games. We had originally planned to only stay a couple days, then move to a boondocking area near the Valley of Fire State Park. But it was still pretty hot and the electricity for air conditioning was very welcomed.

Seal Beach RV Park, CAAfter only a week in Las Vegas, we moved over to the Seal Beach RV Park at the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, CA. Connie's brother, Brian, was getting married to Ronda on November 10th. We greatly enjoyed visiting Connie's family and attending the wedding. Daughter Cindy and husband Matthew came in for the wedding from Phoenix. Daughter Leslie and grand-daughters Kaylee and Khloe also came in for the wedding from Seattle. So the Farqhuar's had a little family reunion at the same time. We really like the Seal Beach RV Park. It's just having to deal with the terrible LA traffic (freeway parking lot).

Around the middle of November, we moved east to Borrego Springs and met up with Bob and Joyce again. Bob and Joyce are "part-time" Rvers, who travel about 6 - 8 months out of the year. They still have a "bricks and sticks" house in Florida. This is the same couple we traveled to Alaska with in 2015. We usually meet up somewhere every few years. We stayed a couple weeks near Borrego Springs on Rock House Rd, (33.302825, -116.280553) boondocking with Boomer friends from the Escapee's RV Club. Over the course of two weeks, about 15 RV's attended the Thanksgiving event. The weather was great, except for the day we had the turkey day potluck. The high winds drove us indoors. During our visit, we went into Pam Springs and spent the night with co-workers Jake and Csilla Stamm. They came out to visit us another day in the desert and got exposed to the "rough life" of dry-camping in the desert.

Costa RicaAround the end of November, we headed out towards Apache Junction, AZ. We stopped for the night in Quartzsite, AZ (dry camping at 33.666778, -114.174121). While Connie and I went into the Brookhaven RV Park, Bob and Joyce went into the Lost Dutchman State Park. Since we had been having generator problems, we wanted electricity to keep the residential fridge running while Connie and I took a vacation for our 40th anniversary. Our gift to ourselves was a week's vacation to Costa Rica! We stayed at the Secrets Papagayo Resort in Gunacaste. This was an all-inclusive resort, so all food and drinks were included. This makes a more relaxing vacation for me. While here, we did a couple all-day excursions into the rain forest. The first day was 14 hours long and took us to the famous Arenal Volcano near San Carlos. This is an active volcano, and actually looked like a volcano. We were lucky to have a clear day and see the volcano from different angles. Our day trip included a boat ride on Arenal Lake to see the volcano, lunch at a wonderful restaurant (with a traditional Costa Rican meal), then we spent hours taking a hike in the rain forest. Luckily, there wasn't much rain, but we also didn't see many animals. The "Eyelash Viper" was the most interesting to see. Especially since it's the 2nd most deadly snake in Costa Rica. We "kind of" saw a Sloth, but all we really saw was a dark brown spot in the trees. The walk through the rain forest included many hanging bridges. Overall, the hike was nice, but not overwhelming. Afterwards, we headed to some natural hot-tubs with volcanic hot water. Then it was on to a good dinner, then the 3.5 hours trip back to the resort. That trip home was a killer!

Arenal VolcanoOur other day excursion in Costa Rica was to the Rincón de La Vieja Volcano National Park. Here, we spent the entire day being "adventurous", It all started with a 1/4 mile water slide down the mountain through the jungle. Wow! That was more excitement than I expected. Then we had a demonstration on pottery making, some Costa Rican coffee tasting, a sampling of traditional food. One of the highlights of this trip was the doing the zip-lines. There was a series of 7 zip-lines over/through the jungle, with the longest being over 1460' long. We had a blast! By now, we were pretty hungry and enjoyed another wonderful meal. This time, it was actually raining in the rain forest, so we didn't get to make the hike to a large water-fall. While others in the group went on a horse-back ride, we choose to take the wagon ride in the rain instead to the mud baths. While not really "baths", we had to sit in a sauna for 15 minutes to "open the pores", then we covered ourselves in hot mud. After letting the mud dry, we rinsed off with VERY COLD water. From there, we spent the next 90 minutes in volcanic heated hot pools. The hottest was over 106 degrees, which I could only last a few minutes in. Finally, after another long day, we made the 90 minute bus ride back to the resort. Exhausted, it felt wonderful to have another fantastic meal and sit on the beach with a relaxing drink.

Connie on the Zip LineYou can see all the photos form our Costa Rica vacation in our Photo Album here.

For our vacation, we made the day's drive from Apache Junction, AZ to Torrance, CA. It was less expensive to fly out of Los Angeles. We spent the night before leaving and after returning with Connie's parents. After our return to LA, we made the day's drive back to Apache Junction, AZ. This is where we're currently at. We've been catching up on some computer work and doctor's appointments. We'll be here until the middle of January. We'll spend Christmas with daughter Cindy and her husband Matt. Then it's on to our annual pilgrimage to Quartzsite, AZ with our Boomer Escapee RV Club friends. From February 1st on, we don't yet know what we're doing, or where we'll be. Ahh - the freedom!

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The Blog is Back!

Although we haven't been keeping this Blog active, we are still traveling full-time in our motor home. This blog isn't read much and has been replaced with "Facebook". Connie prefers to write her journal on Facebook.

For the past couple years, nothing special has happened with us. We still worked in Colorado during the summer for about 6-months, then spent the winter 6-months in strolling around the deserts of Arizona and California. The biggest issue was our 10KW generator stopped working during in February 2018. We had been having starting issues with it for years, but one morning, she just refused to start. The problem was very intermittent, making solving the issue difficult. It would start fine one day, then refuse to start the next. A month later, it would start for many days in a row, then wouldn't start at all for the next month.

After having a couple repair techs look at it, the generator is finally working again. It was as simple as a loose wire on the starter. But it took $850 of work to finally get someone to realize this!

Just last month, we had a water connection come apart. For a few days, we couldn't get water in the RV. After we left Dillon, Colorado from working this past summer, we stopped at a RV Repair place in Salt Lake City. I knew where the connection was that came apart, but it was behind a panel and I couldn't get to it. The repair perfromed a miracle and reconnected it with a new clamp, all while working in the blind! He attached the new clamp simply by touch, in a very cramped space. And it was only $105 to have it repaired! So the RV is working 100% again and we're ready for this winter of 2018-2019.

I guess the big news is, Connie and I won't be returning to work in Colorado for 2019. Actually, we're not going to be working anywhere. We've decided to not work next year and travel parts of the USA that we've neer been to. So we'll be pretending we're retired next year! We plan to travel across the northern portion of the USA from Seattle to Michigan. Then maybe head south. We don't have a timeline or definite plans. Just the way we like to travel!

Not working next year and traveling is the main reason I'll be starting this blog up again. Even if others don't read it, we use it as our historical record of where we've been. So if for nothing else, this blog is for us.
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Started Summer Jobs in Colorado

Started Summer Jobs in Colorado

Connie and I have started our summer jobs in the White River National Forest in Colorado. This is our 10th year working with CLM Services. It's a great company to work for. Larry's an "Operations Manager" again and Connie is his "Administrative Assistant". We'll be here for about 5-6 months. We're staying in Heaton Bay Campground located on Lake Dillon, near Dillon and Frisco, CO.

The lake is starting to melt, but you can see it is frozen in therse photos. Here's a short video showing our winter wonderland views:

 

 

   
   
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Boondocking at the Trona Pinnacles

Boondocking at the Trona Pinnacles

After leaving Seal Beach, CA, Connie and I headed to the Mojave desert for some peace and quiet away from the Los Angeles traffic. We had 2 weeks before we needed to be in the Sequoia National Forest for a manager's meeting for this summer's seasonal work. We had heard about boondocking (dry-camping) at the Trona Pinnacles on BLM managed land. So we decided to check it out. Located about 20 miles from Ridgecrest, CA, the Trona Pinnacles are a "Natural National Landmark". It's about a 5-mile drive on a dirt, bumpy, wash-board road to get to the Pinnacles. Although we could only drive 15mph (max) on this road in the RV, it was worth the drive. A wonderful, quiet area for some quality down time (like we need down time - our entire lifestyle is down time).

However it may appear to you, a visit to the Trona Pinnacles will be a journey into one of the most unusual geologic wonders in the California Desert. This unique landscape consists of more than 500 tufa (calcium carbonate) pinnacles rising from the bed of the Searles Dry Lake basin. These tufa spires, some as high as 140 feet, were formed underwater 10,000 to 100,000 years ago when Searles Lake formed a link in an interconnected chain of Pleistocene lakes stretching from Mono Lake to Death Valley.

In the seven days we stayed at the pinnacles, we only saw about a dozen campers. None stayed near us and they only stayed a day or two. The weather was great and the nights were dark and clear full of stars. I took this time to fly my drone every day, experimenting with new features and settings. Here's the results of a few of these expirements:    (click the "Continue Reading" button below to see the entire article.)

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Spending the month in Seal Beach, CA

Spending the month in Seal Beach, CA

Connie and I have been spending the past few weeks at the Naval Weapons Station in Seal Beach, CA. The Navy has a great RV Park on base. This has become our annual stop in March for a couple reasons: 1) We get to visit with Connie's parents and brother, and 2) we spend a lot of time working on software that we produce annualy for a client. We enjoy Southern California (we both grew up here), but get tired of the extreme traffic very fast. Luckily, we're busy working at home most of the time and don't need to drive distances. We'll be in Seal Beach CA until the beginning of April.

But it's not all work an no play. Soon afer we arrived here, we got an email inviting us to attend a taping of the "America's Got Talent" TV show for the new season. We spent the afternoon in Pasadena, CA watching the taping of oneof the first episodes. We don'tknow when this episode will air on TV, so we may end up watching all of them until we see ourselves in the audience. If you see an episode where there's a contestant is a "psychic" that could tell the future reading people's "butts", that's the episode we attended. I had a chance to be on stage with my butt hanging out of a box for the show, but I declined. Smart move. We've also been visiting Connie's family and will do so again for Easter Sunday.

Part of our annual trip here involves having dinner with freinds we met at a campground 10 years ago. We were working in the campground and they were camping. Imagine we still stay in touch!

The other day, Connie went with her mother to a fund-raising fashion show. I took this time to go fly my sUAS (drone). Due to many airports in the area, most of this area is classified as a "no fly zone" by the FAA. However, there's a small strip along the Pacici coast that is far enough away from airports to allow flying. So up tot he Palos Verdes Pennisula I headed. It took me almost an hour to build up courage to fly my sUAS out over the ocean. There was a slight breeze, but I sure didn't want to end up in the bottom of the sea! Once I got flying, there was no more fear. The 3DR Solo flew fanastic without any issues. I got in about 45 minutes of flying, which ended up being edited down to less than 3 minutes. I'm still learning how to edit videos. I know I have alng ways to go, but this video is another step in the right direction.

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