28 Jan, 2017; La Posa South, Quartzite AZ

Third Annual Bloggerfest

I attended the first Bloggerfest and then missed last year.  This is a fun gathering of folks who maintain travel blogs.  It’s interesting to hear why folks started their blogs, what challenges they face with the blog, how their blogs have changed over time, etc.  I also look forward to picking up a few good tips that I can use with my blog. I love meeting some of the bloggers I have followed for years and meeting new folks whose experiences I will enjoy reading about in their blogs.

This year's location had a roof and bathrooms!!

Bloggers like to write and socialize!

Blogger's dogs like to socialize too!

Despite the sun, the concrete was apparently still too cold!

Is this not a cute little camper?!!

RV Tradeshow = more Bling for the Trailer!

25 Jan, 2017; Roadrunner BLM, Quartzite AZ

First, there are the practical items

I finally braved the crowds to go into the big RV Show.  I ended up parking in a very sandy wash - there was already one RV that had sunk into the sand up to the axle - folks were trying to dig it out.  But, I figured the Pilot was pretty light and I do have 4wd with a special 'sand' mode (plus, I was very careful - now, I'll just hope we don't get a freak thunderstorm!).

I was looking for some special microbial based RV Black/Grey Tank treatment - and found it.  Unfortunately, it was right next to a very nifty gadget that will allow me to water my batteries without unpacking everything from the storage compartment.  Also, it measures the water needed - so I don't have to count on my ability to get it right.  

Those are the good things - the bad thing was the price ($80) - but not so bad when contrasted with the cost of replacing two 6 volt deep-cycle batteries!

new caps plus a hose - that connects to a squeeze bulb pump - just squeeze until batteries are full!

Now, for the Bling!

I'd been wanting some bling for the outside of the trailer.  I picked a shiny, metal twirly Kokopelli that hangs nicely from the rock guard.  Even when it's not making bright colors, it casts really neat shadows.

It even has some orange color in it!

Then I got a rainbow windsock and pole (collapsible and very lightweight).

Campfire evenings and lovely sunsets - of course!

Even though the official RV'ing Women rally is over, there are plenty of women around to do campfires in the evenings and walks during the day.  One night there was a drumming circle.

Good night!

19 Jan, 2017; Roadrunner BLM area, Quartzite, AZ

Time to move!

My tanks are full (fresh water empty) so it must be time to move.  I’m off to join the RV’ing Women Rally just south of Quartzite at the Roadrunner BLM area. 

But, first I have the required visit to the RV Pit Stop in Quartzite.  I fill up my fresh water tank ($2), empty my black/grey ($7), and get my empty propane cylinder filled ($10.50).  I need gas for the Pilot but I’ll do that later when I’m not pulling the trailer.

When I get to the Rally, I have a choice to make

Although trailers are really parked all over the place, I see two concentric half circles of rigs near a giant fire pit.  Clearly, if I want to be in the center of activity, that would be the place to set up.  However, as I look around, I see a (to me) primo spot about 150 yds away near the point of two small washes.  It is surrounded by creosote and other bushes, ironwood trees, and even a saguaro and an Ocotillo!  That’s my spot!

Rain cancels a few of the planned activities, but clears up for a fantastic evening around the campfire!

Torrential rain day, followed by a sunny but windy day, now overcast again – the weather may be unpredictable, but it has cleared enough to allow a couple of outside shared continental breakfasts, several long walks in the desert and a very fun evening around a fire pit big enough for 3 fires!  The fire pit worked out great for such a large group and was surprisingly warm.

I’m glad to have met a bunch of new people, and to catch up with folks  that I’ve met before.

The Quartzite 'Winter Visitor' Experience has begun!

15 Jan, 2017;  Plomosa Rd, Quartzite AZ

Traffic is bad and the lines are long!

I went in to check the Post Office for my mail delivery – the line was over 45 minutes long for General Delivery!  And to top it off, my package wasn’t even there.

After about 40 minutes, I can at least see the beginning of the line!

The neighborhood is bustling.

When I was here in November, I could count the number of other campers around me on one hand – today, I counted over 50 rigs just from my chair (so, not counting 360 degrees).  The Alpine Coach folks are lined up side by side into ‘streets’, and a truck rolled in earlier to set up a giant event tent – complete with generators, and a raised stage. 

The atmosphere is very festive – I love seeing all the flags, lights and other decorations folks put out by their rigs.

Flags, banners, and all sorts of wind-blown whirligigs!

Near me, there is a hot air balloon. I see it every day floating around the area.  Also, a couple of ultra-lite parachute planes (don’t know what they are really called) have been flying around several times a week.

I hear the 'whoosh' of their jets - and it's just over my trailer!

Landing not far away

Also landing nearby!

Let the socializing begin!!

My friends, Forrest and Mary, visited today.  They hadn’t seen my new trailer and I really enjoyed catching up with them.  They will be in Quartzite not only for the Escapee social but are attending the Ham Radio rally in the same area where I will be attending the RV’ing Women Rally – so, I will get to see them again.
Not an hour after Forrest and Mary left for an activity with the Boomers, I was hailed by a gal looking for some friends.  I looked up from my book and realized it was Lynne – my friend from Chatanooga, Tn!!  She and her husband, David, own a 19’ Escape and travel with their cat (so no wonder we are friends!).  I met them several years ago at the Fiberglass Rally here in Quartzite. 
We were both amazed at this coincidental meeting.  I had been following their travel blog (Winter in the Desert, Summer in the Mountains) but hadn’t expected to see them until February at the Fiberglass Rally.  They couldn’t stay and visit – but did get a quick tour of my new trailer.

Escapee RV Club Social

I always underestimate how many people there will be in almost every situation – I had expected maybe a 100 folks at the ‘social’.  I had been doing errands and came back to my site about an hour after the social began – there were cars lining both sides of the road for a quarter mile in either direction for my turn-off!!  Then, more cars lining the gravel road near the social (a couple hundred yards from my site).

There was even a DJ and music!  I had a hard time finding Forrest and Mary in the crowd!  Fortunately, after several days of cold, overcast weather, the sun came out for the afternoon and we all had a beautiful afternoon.

Escapee Social

All is quiet at the end of the day

Urban Sprawl!!

12 Jan, 2017; Plomosa Rd, Quartzite AZ

Watching the ‘neighborhoods’ develop is fascinating!

Mostly, around me, the groups are taking the ‘circle the wagons approach’.   I just saw a ‘street’ sign go up for a group of Marathon Coaches – and, if I’m remembering correctly, their ‘wagon master’ organizes this very large group into ‘streets’.  Last time I was here, they had a huge tent in their ‘city center’ set up with generators, an elevated band stand, speakers, etc)  - quite the organized group!!

Every day, more signs pop up directing folks to their groups

All the signage makes it a bit easier to find my home in this street-free,light-free desert.  My own ‘runway’ light system also helps me find my trailer when I’m driving home after dark.

Despite the overcast days, there is usually a good sunrise or sunset!


Sunset glow on the Plomosa Mtns to the East

FW is unimpressed by the beginnings of this nights sunset

Not quite the full moon!

Another wonderful sunset!

5 Jan, 2017; Plomosa Road BLM, Quartzite AZ

Travel, and a sunny day = Full Batteries!!

The trailer likes the sun; I like the sun; and FW really likes the sun!


Three guesses for which side of this sign I camped on – sigh.  I contemplated just staying put and hoping that a ranger wouldn’t make me move – but, I know myself too well.  I can’t knowingly break a reasonable rule and still sleep soundly.  So, instead of one complete move today, I had to do it twice!!

Well, it's not like it was a BIG sign . . . 

Walking in the Desert

I almost always take a trash bag when I walk – especially when I know I can dispose of the trash for free!  Today I picked up 4 aluminum cans, a beer bottle, an aluminum pie pan, a wire hanger, an old tin can and a good sized chunk of fiberglass.  BLM here is pretty trash-free – some places I’ve been, the ground has more broken glass than gravel!

I did NOT pick up this whole gate - maybe someday if I swap the SUV for a pickup!

The desert is filling up!

Just after I finished setting up – for the second time – I watched a caravan of a half-dozen Class A motorhomes, most of them hauling trailers with ATV’s, file past my trailer and park in the blow-out area behind me.  Probably they all have generators.  Notice how they are all just on the correct side of the line of 'no camping beyond this point' signs.

Circle those wagons!

But, at least they aren’t in my sight-line for sunrise or sunset.



4 Jan, 2017; Imperial Dam LTVA, Yuma AZ

Batteries can’t keep up with all this cloudy weather!

Well,I’ve found the limits to my solar set-up.  With largely overcast days for several weeks, my solar panels can’t get enough power into the batteries to compensate for my normal usage.

I’ve gone on a ‘power diet’ – no furnace, no microwave, no hair-dryer, hot water from the stove only, no TV and still the batteries are hovering around 65-75%. 

I guess I will need to carry my portable solar panel with me after all.  I had thought I would only need it for summers when I’m camping in forested areas of the NW.

I know that driving back to Quartzite will give me a full charge – but it’s also colder there – so we’ll see how much I’ll need the furnace – I could be breaking out my long johns.

Wild life count for my stay at Imperial Dam

Hummers, of course, and lots of egrets; clouds of red-winged blackbirds, sea-gulls, ravens; 1 coyote; and ZERO wild burros.  Given the amount of burro poop, I assumed that I would see a lot of them.  However, after a month here, the pile of poop near my campsite looks exactly the same (even after several strong rains) – so I guess that’s no indicator.  I’ve read that their range includes the Yuma Proving Grounds(1300 square miles) and KOFA wildlife refuge (516,000 acres) – so I guess it’s not so surprising that I didn’t see any.

Clearly someone else's photo - are they smirking?

One last image

Why am I not surprised . . .