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The Happy Wanderers

Our adventures.

January 2007 Travel Log

01/29/07: Quartzsite AZ: I know, I should be ashamed of myself (and I am). We were participating in an annual rally with our Boomer friends in Quartzsite, AZ. We were having so much fun and kept busy that I didn't make time to update the website. But I'll make up for it.

I recently received an email asking me what our "Boomer" friends were. I know I've explained it here before, but there's a lot here to read. Basically, the "Boomers" are a sub-group of the Escapee's RV Club (mostly fulltimer RV'ers). The Boomers was originally created to have Baby Boomers get together (born in the 40's and 50's). But the group has evolved into a fun loving and adventurous group. Regardless of age, any Escapee member can join the group. The only criteria is to have fun. Boomer's typically are real involved in hiking, biking, kayaking, games, four-wheeling, crafts, and many other activities. They are a large support family for each other. Write me if you'd like more info.

After staying a Mittry Lake for a week, we moved to "Boomerville", which is our usual rally location on BLM land short-term camping area near Quartzsite, AZ. This is boondocking, or dry-camping. No electric, water, or sewer. We only stayed 2 weeks this time, with 3 weeks being our longest. You quickly learn to treat water as gold. During the 2 weeks of the "Boomerang", around 175 member RV's participate. It's a real loose group, priding themselves on no officers and no rules. It's all based on volunteering to help each other. During the 2 weeks, many people volunteer to hold seminars, classes, discussion groups, games, skits, pot-lucks, etc. Almost everyday, there were at least 6 classes offered in a variety of topics. Discussions on RV'ing in Europe, solar panels, solar cooking, crafts (knitting, beading, etc), travel writing, starting a blog, women topics, geocaching, RV'ing in New Zealand, RV'ing in Alaska, folk music, blues music, jam sessions, singing sessions, concerts, karaoke around the campfire, dancing, computers, and much much more were held. We had a large pot-luck each week, happy hours every evening, campfires every evening, game days, contests, raffles, yard sales, birthday dinners, clowns, and skits. We collected and donated over $400 to CARE (an Escapee charity).

Quartzsite 2007 A particular special event is the "Geraldine" contest. The women periodically go out for breakfast or dinner together for a "ladies night out". AQuartzsite 2007 few years ago, one of the men (Jerry) dressed up in drag (like a woman) and wanted to go with them. Since then, we've had an annual "Geraldine" contest, where a few men volunteer to dress up like women and "strut there stuff". Well..... Connie talked me into participating this year. What the heck! I figured, let everyone have a good laugh at my expense. I didn't win Larry? at Quartzsite 2007 the contest (which is probably a good thing), but everyone had a good laugh.

We've also changed our immediate travel plans a bit. We left Quartzsite this morning and returned to Mesa/Apache Junction, AZ to see our daughters. In addition, I need to catch up on some work and needed a week of quiet time with electric. Our usual RV park was full (being snowbird season), so we're at the local county park. It's BEAUTIFUL here and is only $3 a night more than the RV park. But there's no sewer connection, hot-tub, and we're a little further away from the kids. We'll skip going to the Parker 425 off road race and the Winterblast at Lake Havasu.

01/14/07: Mitry Lake, AZ: We've been enjoying plenty of relaxing quiet time here at Mittry Lake. It's nice to just sit back, play games, and catch up on some reading. It's been awhile since we had free time like this to just read. But we've had the chance to finish a few books. The latest fad in games among our friends is called "Pegs and Jokers". We've heard of it, but never played it until we recently went to Mexico. Currently, we're hooked on the game. It's easy, fun, and takes a little strategy. People sell homemade versions of the game for up to $80. We made one (for now) out of fiberboard and nails. It looks cheap (and it is), but it works fine for the two of us.

We had our mail sent to a nearby town and expected it to arrive on Friday. We checked, it wasn't there. So we're staying still for a few more days to pick up mail on Tuesday (hopefully), since Monday is a federal holiday. But it's been COLD! We woke up this morning to 33°F in the motorhome, and 25°F outside! We know we're low on propane, but we need to run the heater. If we run out of propane, we can always move to get more. The other reason we've been hanging around this area was for the annual Gunfighter's Gathering at the historical Yuma Territorial Prison, which we went to yesterday.

Skit during the Gunfighter's Gathering.Skit during the Gunfighter's Gathering. Skit during the Gunfighter's Gathering. Historical Yuma Territorial Prison Historical Yuma Territorial Prison

"Teams" dress up like pioneers and cowboys from the late 1800's and perform skits. It's a competition for the skit, and for the authenticity of their outfits. Even though it was a windy and COLD morning, we hung around and watched 6 of the skits before we were frozen. Unfortunately, the wind also made it very difficult to hear the dialogue. Some of he skits were pretty funny. Wow! Those saloon girls sure looked cold! Before leaving the events, we toured the Yuma Territorial Prison. In the late 1800's, this is where the "bad guys" were sent. At least the ones they caught.

01/11/07: Mitry Lake, AZ: After spending 10 days on Sidewinder Road on BLM land, we were ready to leave that dust bowl. Although weMardi Gras Birthday enjoyed being with our Boomer friends, the weather didn't cooperate with us. It was windy almost everyday. Being in the open desert, near the Glamis sand dunes, the wind brought with it plenty of sand and dust storms. However, before we left to "de-grit", there happen to be one calm and warm day, which happened to be the day for the birthday party and Blues concert. Who would expect a Mardi Gras birthday party out in the middle of nowhere?

Some of our Boomer friends were smarter than us. They moved out of the wind sooner than us. But to our benefit, they didn't move far. One of them owns a small lot nearby full of citrus trees. They invited us over to pick as much as we could eat. Connie was in seventh heaven! I think we brought back 5 bags of Oranges, Tangerines, Tangelos, Lemons, and Grapefruit. She juiced most of the Grapefruit.

After we left the dust bowl, we stopped at the Yuma Army Proving Grounds campground to clean-up, dump the tanks, get fresh water, and to do laundry. We've since moved to Mittry Lake, which is much prettier than our sand experience. And there's been NO WIND! Although, a day after we arrived, the few Boomer friends that have been staying here moved on. We'll stay here for a few more days and attend the annual Gunfighter's competition and show at the Yuma Territorial Prison in a couple days.

Otherwise, our most recent exciting news is we've slightly changed our travel plans. I always say, our plans are made of Jell-O. They're subject to change at anytime. We've been offered, and have accepted, summer jobs at Huntington Lake in the Sierra National Forest, California. We had hoped to work in Washington state, but these positions sound like a lot of fun and is in a beautiful location. The Sierra National Forest is located between the Sequoia National Forest and Yosemite National Park. Larry's going to be an area manager of eight campgrounds, while Connie will be a campground host for part of the campground we'll be staying at. We're looking forward to it. It's a bit different than what we've done in the past. We'll get to work outdoors, have much freedom on performing our jobs, get to interact with campers, and work is right out our front door. We've decided not to go up to Oregon or Washington. We'll probably take a couple months to explore Northern California and may attend the Escapees Spring Escapade (rally) in Stockton, California before reporting for training in mid April. Connie's pretty eager to visit Northern California's wine country.

01/03/07: Middle of the Desert, CA: Happy New Year! I've updated an issue that's of interest to us, and to many people considering this full timing RV lifestyle. That's expenses. For the past couple of years, I've posted our actual expenses. Sure, your expenses may vary depending on your quality of life and different circumstances, but at least you can get an idea of how we do. Our expense report DOES NOT include our motorhome payment (wish we didn't have it), business expenses, and didn't include wedding expenses for this past year. Other than that, every dollar we spent is included. Between workamping and boondocking, we averaged $8 a night for campground fees. Many people ask us about the cost of gas. As you can see, we averaged $280 a month on fuel for the motorhome. In 2006, we traveled from Florida to Arizona, to South Dakota, back to Arizona. We only put a little over 8300 miles on the motorhome for the year. For us, averaging less than $300 a month in fuel to enjoy this free and mobile lifestyle isn't going to break us.

Our largest expense that we need to keep better control of is groceries. We like to eat, and Connie is a GREAT cook. She loves to experiment with new recipes. We did go a little over our monthly budget of $400 a month, but that also included alcohol and cleaning supplies. Basically, our grocery expense includes everything obtained from the grocery store. Our motorhome maintenance expenses jumped up at the last moment. We were (sort of) forced into buying 2 new tires. That $800, and a little more maintenance, added a $930 expense in December. I dread having to replace the other 4 motorhome tires in the next year or two.

But we've been doing pretty good this past week. We've spent an entire $15 in the past 6 nights. Boondocking on BLM land near Yuma helps. There's no gas bill, since we're sitting still; there's no campground fees, and we're enjoying our time with friends, so we haven't been eating out. We splurged and bought some fresh tamales and a date shake. However, the weather here hasn't been the greatest. It's been cool some days, but usually in the mid 70's. But we had 3 days of windy weather, kicking up lots of dust; we just visit friends and play cards on those days. However, the other night, the wind became EXTREMELY strong and ripped a solar panel from our roof. The panel was fine and there was no damage to the roof, and it was easily fixed. Today, we're having a potluck birthday party for some of the Boomers here, followed by a Blues concert - all out in the wide open spaces under the sun.

We've (kind of) planned out our future schedule. We plan to remain here for another two weeks and attend the Western Gunfighter competition and skits in Yuma, then move North to Quartzsite, AZ. Quartzsite is the BIG EVENT of the year, with almost 200 Boomer RV's showing up among the tens of thousands of other RV's. This is 2 weeks of non-stop fun in the sun! Then we'll move North again to Parker, Arizona and boondock in the desert up there. We'll watch the Parker 425 off-road race near our free camping spot. Then move a little further North to the desert near Lake Havasu for the 2007 "WinterBlast". This is an annual pyrotechnic convention with HUGE fireworks shows. They demonstrate their fireworks to the industry. Finally, in mid/late February, we'll start to head towards Washington state. Who knows what we'll do along the way.

Location (Map)

February 2007 Travel Log
December 2006 Travel Log


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