Monday March 19, 2019

In DeGray Lake State Resort Park

We got here around noon after the relatively short run from Mount Pleasant, this park is just east of Arkadelphia Arkansas and is a regular stop for us. It' March break here this week and we reserved a site last week, we've reserved sites for the week all the way through to Kentucky so we can be assured of a site when we get to a park. We got site A24 which turns out to be a site that has been improved with a new concrete pad and a terrace. It was a bit of a pain to get into but it's worth the hassle, it's a nice site.

 

A couple of pictures:

Just like in Ontario provincial parks they probably don't like to cut any trees!

New gravel, table and BBQ!

Murdoch is enjoying it!

This will be our third night without satellite TV as a result of trees in the way of the satellite aiming, we did get some American cable TV back at Mount pleasant but all that was on was sports! Hopefully tomorrow in Village Creek state park we will have more luck.


Sunday March 19, 2019

In the Mount Pleasant Texas KOA

This is our second day here, we arrived unscathed after going through Dallas/Fort Worth. Other folks wern't as lucky, there was a rectangular piece in the middle lane, it mut have been hard as about a half dozen cars were stopped on the side of the expressway with flats and damaged rims. We also avoided some wood debris and broken pieces of 4 inch plastic pipe. It wouldn't have made our day if we lost another tire after our previous "fun". Looks like our 6 year old spare is doing OK on the Redwood, we have a spare if it gives out.

Suzette's leg is improving slowly from a gash that she got because of 60+ MPH winds when the RV door slammed closed on her leg, so no hospital visit is needed, she may also have a sprained ankle. We also shopped and got caught up on laundry.

Here in Mount Pleasant it's almost shirt sleeve weather except for a bit of cool wind (at least for us "California folks"!


Friday March 15, 2019

Some "Fun" and Lessons Learned!

We are in Ranger Texas (finally!), we arrived here yesterday after leaving Odessa Texas. We left Monahans Texas on Monday and between Monahans and Odessa on Interstate 20 a driver honked and pointed to the RV. Al looked in the side view mirror and saw the wheel of the RV sitting about 30 degrees from vertical, fortunately there was an exit close by and we pulled off an the wheel detached while the truck was slowing on the ramp. The ramp was wide enough to park on the side (and not busy), Al retrieved the wheel and called our emergency road service (good that we have it!). It took 4 hours for the tow to arrive, they winched up the axle without the wheel and we slowly went into Odessa (about 24 miles) on the side road adjacent to the interstate on 3 wheels. While waiting for the tow, calls were made to all the RV dealers in Odessa, no one works on axles! The service manager at Big Tex trailers who make all kinds of goose neck trailers gave us the name of a "one man band" Mexican gent (I&E Quick Trailer Repairs) named Ernest (probably Ernesto!) who said he could have repaired the problem on the ramp if we had called him. He directed us to his multi acre property where we parked and awaited him.

Turns out he wasn't correct in that he didn't have the right size brake drum so we "camped" overnight on his property and he got the drum the next morning and repaired the problem (new brake backing plates, brakes and magnet). The recovered tire was toast as there was a deep groove in it where it rubbed against the brake plate, so the spare went on in it's place.

There was a wind warning for the area with 60 MPH + winds so we asked and then stayed the second night.

A couple of pictures of the RV on the ramp:

There is also minor damage to the fender when the wheel rolled off, you can see the depression in the picture above.

A couple of lessons were learned from the event. First, it's great to have emergency road service, we have it on the RV but not the truck, we will get it on the truck as well.

Secondly, Al decided to run without water in the fresh water tank because all the places we stop have water. BAD DECISION! The place where we were allowed to park had water but far away from the RV so we couldn't hook up, 2-15 gallons carries put some water in to flush the toilet and do dishes, but as our dog Murdoch said when he Emailed his girlfriend Lucy in Borrego Springs "I can smell my masters"! We will run with a third of a tank of fresh water from now on, just in case.

WE have a new appreciation of the RV park here in Ranger Texas, we bad mouthed it before but after camping for 2 nights in a field, it's upscale here. We appreciated Ernest allowing us to park for 2 nights in Odessa but I guess we are spoiled with full service RV sites!

A look at the stop in Odessa:

Today we lucked out, there is a tire place just down from the RV park here that specializes in trucks and trailers, they had the exact size tire that we needed. Not sure if it's as good as the ones on the RV but it will serve as a spare just in case we need it.

We are back on the road again tomorrow, heading for Mount Pleasant Texas


Sunday March 10, 2019

Last Night in Van Horn Texas

This is our second day in the Van Horn RV park. We make this a normal stop, the spaces are quite long and they have a dog park. It's a former KOA.

We will leave for Monahans Sandhills state park tomorrow, we snagged the last RV site, must be Spring Break here.


Thursday March 7, 2019

In Deming New Mexico

We have arrived here after the stay in Tucson, we lucked out with the wind. There is a wind warning but it had just started as we got near Deming, right now in the RV park (Dreamcatcher - our standard stop) the trailer is rocking a bit.

We are here for two nights and we hope to have a fish fry with our friend Chuck tomorrow evening. The wind will rock us to sleep tonight!


Monday March 4, 2019

In Tucson for a few days

We got to the Tucson Lazy Days KOA yesterday afternoon and we will stop here for another 3 nights. We splurged on a "double decker" patio site and we caught the last part of the annual air show while we were setting up, it's something we seem to catch each winter here. We didn't take any pictures of the air show as there are some in our older posts.

We met a couple of Borrego RV folks who we know from the dog park, puppy Tucker's parents and another gent who said "that's Murdoch  from Borrego! It's a small world.

A couple of pictures of our site:

The spiral staircase to the second level is lighted by LED's at night and there is also a light on the main level:

The patio sits just a bit forward of the RV:

This is the view from our RV door:

The weather is quite warm but no A/C is required during the day, and a little bit of electric heat takes the chill off in the morning, life is good!


Saturday March 2, 2019

Heading Back Home!

We left Borrego Springs yesterday and we have set up in Yuma, we leave for Tucson tomorrow morning. For the first time this winter we ran both A/C units when we arrived to cool the RV down.

Murdoch is very sad, he missed seeing Lucy at the dog park yesterday morning because of a miss-communication, you can see him in the picture below on the patio here at Fortuna de Oro.

It's traditional that we get a McDonald's lunch after we arrive here, Al went over to the restaurant close by. It's amazing how some seniors act here in what could be called the "armpit of the nation" At this McDonalds you order at one cash station and then you pick up your order when they call your number. The senior in front of Al went went ballistic because number 218 was called before 217, her number. Anyone who has worked in the industry knows some stuff can be given out quickly while other stuff takes a little longer to prepare. Al felt sorry for the young employee who took the abuse. Yuma isn't a nice place as a result of these abusive seniors, glad we only stay here for a short stop!

Just like in Borrego Springs, we almost have a Redwood convention here, there are about 5 units around us, mostly from British Columbia, they are getting their RV's washed in the picture below. We could get ours done but it would still be very dirty by the time we get home, besides Al is a cheap Irishman!

We are looking forward to Tucson, we got a "double decker" site with upper and lower patios. If we are really lucky the air show will be on and we will have a perfect viewpoint!

Murdoch is sad about Lucy not being here!

Some of the Redwoods around us:


Monday February 18, 2019 (Family Day)

More Unusual Weather!

We are experiencing an unusual winter here! A few days ago we had a half years total amount of annual rain (2.7 inches) in a day and a half. The super bloom here is almost a sure thing, Borrego Springs is doing some planning for the upcoming expected horde of visitors, see the link HERE

Normally about 6 inches of annual rain will ensure a super bloom, approximately 5 inches has already fallen not counting yesterdays rain. The weather has been the coolest that the locals here have seen, we haven't had to run the A/C at all this winter and the heat is on overnight and for a couple of hours after each sunrise. Where is that Global Warming??

Today it's been sunny but there is some rain falling up the hills behind us as shown in the following pictures, looking over the golf course behind our site:

No rain falling to our side but a nice picture!

We are starting to think about leaving to head back home, we leave here March first. Normally we have a problem in some places getting campsites because of Spring Break, we have found Spring Break dates by state off the net and we will adjust our schedule to miss most of the break weeks in the states we go through.


Sunday February 10, 2019

Kids and Grand Kids Visit!

The kids have just taken off back to Toronto from San Diego, we had a great time with them in spite of the cooler rainy weather here caused by the polar vortex. They took advantage of landing in San Diego by touring around and visiting Sea World the day before they returned home.

They will arrive home before the storm comes in during the week, the same storm that is giving us our weather and the snow in Washington Sate where they have declared a state of emergency.

 

A few pictures of their visit:

Murdoch really had a great time with the grand kids, he played with (and licked!) them! Carter enjoyed the time at the dog park.

We did desert walks almost daily, and looked for coyotes:

You can see by the snow on the peak in the distance that it's cooler than normal!

Our tough "northerners" were in the pool most days, the pool was "bathwater" warm and the hot tubs were even warmer!

Water wings and water weenies were in use!

We are hoping for some warmer weather as our time here in Borrego Springs is coming to an end, hopefully we will get to run the A/C before we leave!


 

Monday January 28, 2019

Lunch at Rams Hill

We are starting to get some quite warm sunny weather, it's around 25C today, a great day to enjoy a lunch outside on the patio at Rams Hill, a golf course and gated community nearby. The facility is located on a hill south of town and it has some great views from the outside patio. The food is good but the view is fantastic!

The view towards Fonts point:

You can enjoy a drink and watch the golfers on the last hole:

Or you can grab some food and watch as well!

The last hole must be a tough one with the water hazard!

Yes, life is tough! we look forward to the kids and grand kids visit at the end of the week.


Sunday January 20, 2019

Unusual Conditions (for California!)

It's been awhile since we last posted, we are enjoying our stay and are laid back.

We had some cool weather followed by 3 days of consistent rain, very unusual for Borrego Springs. When the rain stopped we had a day or two of fog while the excess moisture flashed off. Normally when they have this much rain here they have road flooding but it didn't happen this time, we suspect that the previous rains had allowed the desert floor to open up and absorb some of the moisture.

A few pictures of the park and the fog around it:

The locals and the newspapers are forecasting a super bloom as a result of the rain and the "Polar Vortex"

A link to a newspaper article, click on: LINK

The fog was followed by warmer weather, we are now back into shorts and there is virtually no heat required in the RV overnight.

Just to top it off, we had a power failure lasting about 4 or 5 hours yesterday, it have us the opportunity to exercise the Honda generator. A short "planned" shutdown is scheduled for tomorrow morning, PGand E said yesterday's one was planned but they announced it after the fact!


January 1, 2019

A Cool Wet New Years Eve!

An interesting New Years Eve here! We had rain almost all day, more than the couple of mm that was forecast. It also was cool, cool enough that Julian up the hill got a few inches of snow and chains were required to go up the hill from here to get there. It was a bit of a downer for the folks that came into the park to celebrate New Years, but it made for very quiet celebrations. It was an indoor day for us as it was windy enough to take down the awnings.

A few pictures were taken this morning to show the snow on the peaks (and the frost on the golf course!)

 

Yes, that's frost on the greens and snow on the peaks behind!

Snow on Indian Head:

It was cold enough that there was frost on the puddles left on the road:

We are looking forward to a New Years turkey breast meal later today, and relaxing and enjoying the season!


Christmas Eve 2018

Looking forward to Christmas tomorrow!

We are relaxing and looking forward to Christmas here in Borrego Springs, a rib roast will hit the oven tomorrow, with a small turkey breast to follow for New Years.

Last night was the annual Roadrunner decorated golf cart parade, some very well decorated examples, even with music!

A picture taken a few days ago of a sunset over the golf green, the sun had set over the hills behind us but it was still lighting up the clouds above. Great picture opportunities here in Borrego!

 

 


Thursday December 20, 2018

Getting ready for Christmas

We are almost ready for Christmas. The Christmas and New Year's dinner stuff has been bought and the Christmas decorations have been set up outside.

Al added a light that shines onto a large tree behind the RV but because the light moves it's hard to take a picture.

Each year our friends at the end of the row outdo themselves with decorations, this year two palm trees are decorated with lights and ornaments to look like Christmas trees, see the photo below. Because of a screw up at the office (a disgruntled former employee hacked the reservation system) they have to move out of their site tomorrow instead of staying in the site over Christmas in order to make way for someone coming in, so the decorations are being taken down today. We are going to use this picture for our annual Christmas Email to our friends.

 


Tuesday December 11, 2018

The Coyote and the Roadrunner

We continue to enjoy the desert and the good weather here.

We have heard the coyotes overnight for the past few nights but we haven't seen them.

The picture below is off Facebook, posted by a Borrego Springs person, not sure if the Roadrunner outran the coyote (probably did!)

We look forward to seeing more of the coyotes!


Friday December 7, 2018

Back into the Sun!

Well, the sun is back out and the place is drying up. Some beautiful clouds over the hills. The Friday farmers market is back, got some fresh veggies and snacks this morning.

Bring on the warmer temps!


Thursday December 6,2018

Rain in the desert!

We got rain yesterday and the rain continues today. Rain is a special occasion here in Borrego Springs as it's so rare. The locals actually stand out and watch it and celebrate it's presence as it's so rare. They like it as it settles the dust down. I hope that there is enough to bring on a desert bloom like a couple of years ago, the bloom was spectacular,  a quarter million visitors came through town to see the blooms.

Some pictures taken this morning:

Looking west to the hills covered in clouds:

A couple of pictures looking east behind the RV:

It's a great day to hit a restaurant for lunch with our friends Ed and Karen to renew our friendship!


Monday December 3, 2018

Chasing Roadrunners!

We are settled into life here at the springs, most stuff is unpacked, only some Christmas lights need to be set out and some overdue maintenance needs to be done.

We saw our first close up Roadrunner, picture isn't great as he was a little wary of Murdoch! We also heard our first coyote howls when Murdoch went out for his first walk, two packs answering each other just outside the RV park.

Suzette is headed for the golf course this afternoon with her dog park friends. We will see how she does!


Tuesday November 27, 2018

Settled in Borrego Springs for the Winter!

We arrived here yesterday and have unpacked most things and we have settled in. It's nice to meet our friends again and enjoy the warm sunny weather. As usual, we got our site (924), the place was packed over the Thanksgiving period but 80 people left on Sunday so we have the place to ourselves.

A couple of pictures:

As can be seen, Suzette has most of her decorations out. The lighting will follow.


Sunday November 25, 2018

In Yuma

We arrived here yesterday afternoon and set up. The site was a bit hard to get into, and occupied by our neighbour who was having his truck washed. To cap it off, we wanted some takeout from the restaurant, but they were closed  for an event!, This is "strike 2" for The Palms, we will give them another shot in the spring before we dispense with stopping here.

Our site backs out onto the road (behind the wall in the picture below), it's a bit noisy, and we are on the landing path for the airport nearby.

We will be in Borrego Springs tomorrow, and Lucy, Murdoch's girlfriend texted him, asking him to text her once he arrives, it will be a great reunion at the dog park!

A couple of pictures of the site here:


Wednesday November 21, 2018

Oranges Anyone?

We are enjoying our stay here in Tucson. We have done some more shopping, today we hit Petsmart to load up food and treats for Murdoch. We will do more shopping here before we leave on Saturday morning, we are booked into The Palms in Yuma for Saturday and Sunday night. Patti at the Springs was able to move a reservation out of "our site" so we can arrive on Monday and so we don't have to make 2 moves, we will be parked in 924 until March first.

As mentioned, we have an orange tree on our site, we asked the landscaping guy to trim some branches that were swiping the slide out. He did, and left the oranges that were on the trimmed branches. We collected them into 3 large bags, and gave one of the bags away. We are eating some of them and making juice (they make great tasting Screwdrivers!), the oranges are ripe and sweet. Unfortunately, California doesn't allow out-of-state citrus to enter the state, there is an inspection station just west of Yuma. Hopefully we can give the oranges away instead of dumping them.

There are still some oranges left on the ground:

Suzette has been enjoying the pool and Al is in shorts for the first time on this trip! Life is good!


Sunday November 18, 2018

Parked in Tucson for a week

We are in our regular stop, the Lazy Days KOA in Tucson for a week, we got here yesterday after a night in Deming NM. This coming Thursday is the American Thanksgiving holiday, followed by Black Friday. We wanted to make sure that we got a site, as lots of people are moving around and sites will be at a premium as the week continues. We will book a site in Yuma on Saturday for a couple of nights, then head for Borrego Springs on Monday.

The weather is pleasantly warm and sunny, over 20C during the day since we arrived. Suzette is working on her tan, and may hit the pool.

Suzette witnessed a little excitement at the dog park this morning, a dog owner with some "ankle biters" got upset with another dog owner who had a puppy, he pulled a knife on the other owner. Others in the dog park called the sheriff, and 2 sheriffs deputies arrived and interviewed the 2 participants separately. Not sure what happened after, but the knife wielder has apparently done this before. Seems to be a general characteristic of life in the US. This morning at Krogers grocery store we some some parking disputes in the parking lot, lots of horns making noise!

We splurged on a patio site, the KOA has installed a number of them since our last stop. They are converted standard sites, so they are a bit tight, but the patio furniture and fireplace is a welcome addition. We even have a large orange tree with lots of ripe oranges!

We will do a detailed shopping later in the week and hit a Barnes and Noble book store for Suzette. Some RV maintenance is also in order as a few items need attention.


Thursday November 15, 2018

Van Horn Texas

We arrived here just before noon after the relatively short run from Monahans Sandhills state park where we spent last night. I believe we had the coldest night that we have spent in the RV back in Ranger, it was -10C and we burned up lots of propane keeping warm, actually cooler than back home! We are booked into the Tuscon Lazy Days KOA for a week starting Saturday after a night in Deming NM, we want to sit in Tucson over the American Thanksgiving as it's tough to sometimes find campgrounds over holidays. We will be in Borrego a few days earlier as a result of our speed to find warmer weather, looking at Tucson, there are low to mid 20's C weather and sun (no rain!!), Suzette  is planing to hit the pool!

No pictures posted as we've done these stops before.


Tuesday November 13, 2018

Ranger Texas

A quick note to say that we survived Dallas/Fort Worth again, actually an easy drive!

We are in Ranger Texas where it is cold and breezy, breezy enough that the furnace is being blown out by the wind hitting the exhaust, a temporary cardboard baffle was installed to prevent the blow outs. The RV campground power here is bad, too many people using lots of electricity for heating causing the voltage to drop and kick off our surge guard. Looks like we will be running propane heat, no electric fireplace tonight.

It's going down below freezing again, where is the warm weather??

It's supposed to get warmer tomorrow and Thursday.


Sunday November 11, 2018

In East Texas

We Did the relatively short run this morning to the Mount Pleasant KOA where we will spend 2 nights and do some shopping. It's still relatively cool here but it will be above freezing tonight so the "outside water" will remain connected.

One thing that surprised us was the unmistakable tracks of brine solution on the interstate near bridges and on them. I talked to the KOA gentleman who escorted us the campsite, he didn't believe that the highways folks had brine, but the appearance is clear to us that it is. He commented that last year the roads folks spread gravel on a iced up bridge (instead of sand), they spread it by shovelfuls from the back of a dump truck!  Apparently it took out a number of windshields before they had to sweep it up!

We are catching up on washing and will shop tomorrow, then it's the trek through Dallas/Fort Worth. Looks like the days will be warmer in west Texas but the nights will be around or below freezing. Bring on the heat!!


Saturday November 10, 2018

Out of "The Boonies" (almost!)

We are in DeGray Lake State Park near Arkadelphia  Arkansas for the night. After Bowling Green we stayed in Natchez Trace State Park in Tennessee for 2 nights (no Internet/cell coverage) followed by 2 nights in Village Creek State Park near Wynne Arkansas (again, no cell/Internet). Not sure, but probably a combination of different sites in each location, we got some coverage in these parks last trip. Here in DeGray, we get a couple of blips and reasonable speeds. Maybe there is a cell booster in our future!

It's been a wet and cold run this year, we understand there was a tornado warning north of Jackson Tennessee, the camp host at Natchez Trace was up all night the night before we arrived as he was preparing for a possible evacuation of the campers. In Bowling Green that evening we had some of the heaviest rains we ever had while in the RV, that must have been a remnants of the tornado.

Last night we ran off the water in the RV tank as it got down to -3C overnight, we will do the same tonight just in case. Lots of propane is being used to keep warm.

The "electrical glitches" continue on this trip, our Canadian smart phone packed it in, not sure why. The apps on the old phone will be installed on the US phone probably when we stop in Mount Pleasant Texas tomorrow for a couple of nights. The RV thermostat is also defaulting to 72F regardless of what temp we set it at after it shuts down and then calls for heat again, not a problem except it's a bit too warm for sleeping! Lots of stuff to look at once we get to California.

We are really looking forward to some warmer "outdoor days" as we head west!


Saturday November 3, 2018

In Bowling Green

We arrived here today after a night in Columbus Indiana, a night in Bluffton Indiana and our first night in Monroe Michigan. As usual the border crossing was quick and painless, I-75 south is still closed but the detour isn't painful.

It's been the wettest trip that we've seen on our fall journeys south, over an inch of rain on days one and two, so much that our clearance lights on the RV packed it in (although the other functions worked OK). That wasn't the only electrical "gremlin", the furnace thermostat in the RV defaults to 22C in the middle of the night, we got some ideas from Tony Lane, we will see if the fix works here in Bowling Green. We may not even need to use the furnace, it's warm here.

Al's new "wedding Band"

As commented below, we had another RV electrical "gremlin" before we left, the 12 v side of the RV didn't work. Al played around with the batteries, and in disconnecting one battery he accidentally connected the two terminals via his wedding band. As a result, he has a new band, caused by losing a few layers of skin to burns. Gold is a good conductor and it heats up well!. The ring survived with some melting and hopefully a visit to a walk in clinic isn't required because of an infection:

We are hanging around over the weekend here and on Monday to shop and hopefully fix the remaining gremlins. We need a break in the warmer weather to relax!


 

 

Tuesday October 30, 2018

Electrical Gremlins!

We packed everything this morning and closed up the RV. When lowering the front legs the 12V power suddenly went off. It's not safe to pull the RV without 12V power as the brakes would not come on if the trailer was somehow detached from the truck, and the refrigerator would not be working in transit.

The problem appears to be a bad connection between the one of the RV batteries and the main circuit breaker panel, Al ran the wire to the other RV battery and the 12V power came back on. We can survive on one battery and one of the projects for the warmer weather down south is to completely figure out what happened and also fix up the "spaghetti wiring" that Redwood put in. We PROMISE to be on the road tomorrow, we just need to unpack some essentials (like the coffee maker!) for our one day extended stay at home.

Sunday October 28, 2018

Getting ready!!

We are packing the RV. It's snowed twice already so it's more than time to leave. we will depart on Tuesday, just before Halloween. Murdoch enjoys the snow, us, not so much: