Friday, December 31, 2010

Borrego Springs

On Tuesday (12/28) we left Quartzsite for  the desert  near Borrego Springs, CA…but we made a little addition before we left…solar panels!  While boondocking were using our generator, battery bank and after market inverter for power, which worked but not very well. Knowing we are going to be doing a lot more boondocking we decided to go solar, so now we have a fabulous system and it’s working out great!  Since we are out boondocking again it’s really great.  :o)

our solar panels up and working in the desert near Borrego Springs, CA

This area is not as gravelly as Quartzsite so finding a spot to park takes a little more looking.  We are much closer to the mountains here, it’s pretty desert country.    The weather hasn’t been real nice, Wednesday night we had a wind storm that rattled the trailer all night.  It’s also cooled way down…all the way to 32 last night.  Still, looking at the temperatures they are having back home, I’m not going to complain.

Our friends Mike and Joan arrived yesterday.  It’s fun to see them again and as they have camped here many times they know their way around…always nice to have someone’s brain to pick when in a new area!

Happy New Year to you all !!

rainbow in the desert...I had to stitch 2 pics together to get the whole thing!
parked near Borrego Springs, CA

storm clouds rolling in 

that's our trailer in the center

This was taken at Quartzsite

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in the Desert

Merry Christmas to you all…hope you are all having a fabulous holiday season!   I really planned on getting some sort of tree this year but that just didn't come together, however I have our Christmas stockings out along with a few other decorations…just enough to feel festive.  I don’t have many decorations since storage is at a premium in a fifth wheel, but I kept a shoe box sized container of things that were my favorites.

the moon over a saguaro cactus
The last few days the weather hasn’t been the best, very gusty winds and overcast, so most of our time has been spent indoors reading, surfing the internet and I‘ve been doing jigsaw puzzles. Last night we got the edge of the last storm that hit CA, nasty!!  Extreme wind and soaking rain but it only lasted about an hour, by about 10 p.m. it was quiet and calm.  Looks like today is going to be a beautiful day in the desert.  We have friends over in southern CA and they really got hit with the storms…I guess Wilderness Lakes (we left there about a week ago) is a bit flooded…so glad we aren’t there!!

A few days ago we drove over to Bouse, AZ to spy out some more desert camping areas.  The area we liked best was off of Plomosa Road just after going over the range of hills.  It’s very pretty desert with lots of desert vegetation.  The down side is no cell service.  It’s not the phone we’d miss, we don’t get many calls, it’s the internet!  Yeah, I’m an internet junkie, I  admit it.  But it is another area that a person can stay for free.

I had someone ask how authorities know if you are camped for more than 14 days on BLM land…well here in Quartzsite you are supposed to check in with the Camp Host when you arrive.  There are some signs pointing out the Camp Host and when you sign in they give you a couple slips of paper to display in your RV and vehicle that lists the date you need to depart on.    If you don’t sign in with the camp host there are Rangers checking.  As a matter of fact the Ranger stopped by our place yesterday, he didn’t have us on his list but we showed him our paperwork and all was fine.

Well, again… Merry Christmas and happy trails!

Another beautiful sunrise in Quartzsite

A view of our site in Quartzsite

Another view of our site in Quartzsite

Here's a few pics of how the vendors set up in Quartzsite... 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In the Desert

Ever since we met up with our friends Mike and Joan in Quartzsite we’ve talked about doing some boondocking….so guess what, yep we are back in the desert  near Quartzsite, AZ and loving it!  The area is as if it were made just for RV’s to park, lots of fairly flat gravelly areas sprinkled with cactus, mesquite and other desert vegetation.  Our site is about 6 miles out of town.   This is BLM land so you are allowed to stay in one spot for 14 days and then you are required to move 25 miles from that area…all for free!  Of course there is no electric, water or sewer hook-ups so you learn to conserve.  It’s been a fun to see just how little we can get by on.  We do have a generator but if  there is a lot more boondocking in our future we want to get solar panels and a better inverter.  There is a place in town to dump sewer and get fresh water for a fee so we will have to make a trip into town probably every 7 - 10 days.  

Speaking of trips into town…we’ve been doing a little looking around in Quartzsite.  The big show isn’t until January but there are vendors already setting up.  Quite the selection; clothes, electronics, food, flags, RV parts, crafts and a fair amount of just plain ol’ junk!    We also scouted out a couple of other areas where other friends have camped just to see what else is out there. And then there was a stop at the Quartzsite Bakery…yummmmmmm…these people know how to make pastries and donuts!

Up until this morning we have had fabulous weather, high 70’s to low 80’s in December ain‘t too shabby!  Early this morning the rain started, not unexpected and actually kind of pleasant.  I didn’t think there would be any kind of sunrise because of the weather but Dave was outside with Cheye and he called to me to come out with the camera… a break in the clouds caused an amazing sunrise and there was a rainbow too!   

Lots of sunrise/sunset photos!!....

sunrise in Quartzsite 12/15/10 

sunrise 12/15/10

sunrise 12/15/10

I didn't do anything to this photo...not sure why the colors turned kinda weird but I like it!  sunrise 12/15/10

Quartzsite sunset 12/14/10

sunset 12/14/10

Quartzsite sunrise 12/16/10

sunrise 12/16/10 - I love the way the clouds glowed

Rainbow this morning 12/16/10

Our "pot 'o gold" in the desert! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Traveled a little further West

We left Palm Springs a week ago and traveled to Menifee, CA to stay at the Wilderness Lakes Thousand Trails park.  Two of the couples we had Thanksgiving dinner with at Palm Springs arrived  here a few days after us, so we all get together every evening to visit.  It’s been a fun time….a couple days ago Dave & I drove up to Camping World in San Bernadino, yesterday we played a game of mini-golf with the group and this morning we ladies  went over to the Menifee shopping area.  In between we’ve been reading, surfing the net and just enjoying ourselves.
Some geese at Wilderness Lakes
The sun was hitting this duck in a way that some of the feathers looked blue... pretty
Here the sun isn't really hitting the hummingbird....
...same hummingbird with sun hitting the feathers
This morning's sunrise

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving in Palm Desert, CA

Our group fixed a nice traditional Thanksgiving dinner today; Sissy cooked the turkey, made the gravy and some collard greens…Phyllis fixed the dressing and baked bread…Anne made a green bean casserole and lemon pears…Joan prepared yams and mashed potatoes while I was in charge of deviled eggs and cranberries.  For desert we bought a Costco chocolate cake.   We set up our “buffet” in Bill & Phyllis’ coach and then set 2 picnic tables in an empty site next to our site (just across the street from Bill & Phyllis) and had our Thanksgiving dinner outside.   What a feast!  It was all so yummy and I am still stuffed even though we ate almost 6 hours ago.  A little cooler weather, only up in the mid 60’s but sunny so eating outside was really pleasant…I know a lot of you had really chilly/cold weather!  We had a fabulous Thanksgiving and hope you all did too!
 Getting ready

Sissy & Joan setting up the tables

Filling up plates


Monday, November 22, 2010

Palm Desert, CA

Our site

We’ve been having a great time at Thousand Trails Palm Springs (which is actually in Palm Desert, CA).  The park is nice, close to shopping and attractions.  We had been concerned about getting in the sites here, lots of date palm trees, but it wasn’t that bad..  Of course it helped that the park was fairly empty when we arrived so we had a little extra wiggle room.

Our friends have all made it here too,  a total of  11 in our group.  We ladies go walking most mornings and we all get together in the evenings.  It’s been a fun time!   Last Thursday Dave & Anne (from England) and Dave & I went to the Villagefest in Palm Springs. The website explains it this way:  Villagefest on Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs every Thursday. Arts, crafts, farmers' market, music and entertainment, shopping.  Fun!!  After wandering through the booths we had dinner at a local restaurant.  A very nice evening!
A roadrunner in the park

Friday Dave & I decided to take a drive over by Borrego Springs, CA  to check out a boondocking area.  It was about an hour drive that passed by the Salton Sea.  We found a few places that would be fun to camp at and plan to stay in that area sometime this winter.  As we drove into the town of Borrego Springs we saw a unique airplane, a V-22 Osprey.  It’s a military plane that can take off and land like a helicopter but then the engines rotate so the props work like a regular prop plane.  Anyway, it was a fun day just out seeing a little more of the area!

Nearby hills

Thousand Trails Palm Springs


The Osprey

Cheye...up close!

Monday, November 8, 2010


After visiting Mike & Joan at their boondock site near Quartzsite we decided to leave Salome a day early and join them.  We really enjoyed our short stay; beautiful weather, desert scenery, relaxing and so quiet.  Also a fabulous sunset and sunrise.  We may do a week or so of boondocking a little more often.

This morning we left Quartzsite and made our way to Thousand Trails Palm Springs.   The park is filled with date palm trees, I understand there used to be a date palm farm here.  The trees make it a challenge when you’re pulling a 35 foot fifth wheel, not to mention parking it in a site, but we made it.  After we got setup we went for lunch and then groceries, now we are all settled in and relaxing.  The “happy-hour” group should be arriving over the next few days.  We’re all meeting up for Thanksgiving which should be a lot of fun!

Too funny!!

Dave & Cheye by a Saguaro
Sunset 11/07/10
Another pic of last nights sunset

Quartzsite in the distance
Sunrise this morning

Our trailer at sunrise