Friday, February 03, 2012

RV mystery solved

Last week while in Q, I photographed this most unusual looking RV.
Lydia Drake, another Lazy Daze owner, recognized it as the Flash Gordon Motorhome.

Here are two links Lydia provided.

Thank you, Lydia.

Ed & Carol

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Casa Grande- Rover’s Roost Escapee RV Park

In the morning we drove to Casa Grande stopping at Fry’s grocery store and Wal-Mart for some very overdue shopping. Casa Grande has all the big box stores, malls, etc. Lots of traffic. The Rover’s Roost SKP Co-Op RV Retreat is very basic; mostly a parking lot with hookups. It only costs $15/night for a site, the laundry facility is very nice, and, as is always the case with SKP parks, the people are very welcoming and friendly. The Welcome Wagon lady stopped by with a gift and a schedule of activities. On one day there is a biscuits and gravy breakfast from 8-9 followed by “chair exercise”. I suppose you stuff yourself with grease then sit in a chair and move your arms a bit. There are other activities like bean bag baseball, pizza night, ladies billiards, omelets in a bag breakfast, nickel bingo, hot dog lunch, pegs and jokers, hamburger combo meal, on and on. A very active and well fed community. Twice a month you can have your blood pressure checked for free. After a diet of sausage gravy and hot dogs, that’s probably a good idea.

The gift we received was a small cloth bag containing (1) An eraser so you can make all your mistakes disappear (it should be so easy!) (2) A penny so you will never be broke (3) A rubber band so you can stretch yourself beyond your self-imposed limits (4) A piece of string to tie things together when everything seems to be falling apart, and (5) a hug to remind you that someone, somewhere cares about you. What a wonderful gift.

We’ve been to other SKP parks during our travels. We would rate Rovers Roost as a small notch above Dream Catcher in Deming,NM which is likewise, a parking lot with hookups, but at least Rovers Roost is paved. Dream Catcher is a dust bowl. On the other hand, it only costs $250/month plus electricity to stay here. Pretty cheap living. Of the SKP parks we’ve visited, the one in Benson, AZ, Saguaro, is our favorite. Those that have stayed in the Jojoba Hills in CA say that it is, by far, the best of all the SKP parks. The buy-in fee at Jojoba Hills is just over $30,000. For that kind of money, I should hope it's nice.

RV parks like this are clearly very popular with either the old of body, or mind, or those that have grown tired of traveling and are ready to settle down someplace for the winter months and establish friendships with like minded folks or those that simply must have an electrical cord plugged in, 50 cable TV channels,unlimited water and a convenient place to dump tanks. A number of our SKP friends in Florida have a summer place and a winter place and simply travel from one to another. Casa Grande, as well as Yuma and countless other AZ and FL cities, is packed with RV communities and they seem to be well occupied. I can understand the appeal of a commercial campground, but they are just not for us at this point in our lives. There is way too much of America that still needs exploring. Two or three days “camping” on concrete is about our limit. B-9, N-31, O-65. Not yet, thank you.

We’re expecting company, Carol’s brother John and his wife Marge, this weekend so we’ve been cleaning things up. John just retired from Hallmark Cards after some 40 years!!
We both have health and longevity goals which require, among other things, maintaining a healthy weight. Not bone skinny, but not fat either. This morning we both got weighed, even though our tight pants telegraphed the results a few weeks ago. No more bakery stops and more walking. The month at Q did us in. Everyday there was a social hour+ with chips, dips, salted nuts, sliced cheese, summer sausage, etc. Jim made snacks by wrapping a Vienna sausage in bacon then broiling them. I ate way too many of those. Ann baked amazing deserts and Roger always seemed to come up with something tasty. Ann’s husband Jerry has diabetes. Ann’s an RN and in charge of monitoring Jerry’s food intake. She would read the label on a snack food bag and say “The label says ‘this is not for Jerry’ ”. Jerry would just smile. Someone brought a bag of fried pig fat one night. Jerry read the label and the pork rinds had no carbohydrates or sugar meaning, for him, they were OK. He only ate one.

I did some more laundry today including the sheets and blankets in an attempt to get the red desert dust under control.


Today’s clubhouse schedule: 10am bowling, 1pm crafts and blood pressure 5:00 pizza followed by bingo. Tomorrow it’s chair exercise at 9, quilting at 1, ladies billiards at 1:30 and games at 6:30. Looks like if you quilt, you can’t play billiards or else you need to be a fast quilter.

No plans for today. Just hanging out and talking about where to go this summer. The current plan is an in-depth exploration of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont with a possible trip to Montreal. However, a few weeks ago we were talking about the Canadian Maritime Provinces. We’ll see.

Tomorrow we head to Tucson with Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as our first stops, then to the Catalina State Park where we will meet up with John and Marge.

I used the California Duster on the camper today and brushed Gopher once again. In spite of three brushings, she’s still shedding hair and desert dust.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Time to move on

Saturday and Sunday

On Saturday we had another pot luck supper and campfire. A few people went into town for one last run at the stuff. Jim walked to the Big Tent with some of the guys but, per his blog, left his wallet in the camper. A good, money saving idea. Sunday was our last day in Q. Didn’t do anything real special, mostly sit around talking with our friends. Some people pulled out today, more heading out in the morning with three rigs staying around for a few more days.
I called Mom's ACLF on Sunday and talked to her aide. She's doing a little better but still has the cold and is feeling very weak. Elizabeth paid Mom a visit then called us. Mom has what's referred to as Sundowners Syndrome; a common condition associated with dementia. Our future travel plans are getting more complicated.
Carol and I think this was the best camping experience in years. The people were just marvelous. John and Roger were the fix-it guys. Between them it seemed there was nothing they couldn’t fix or install. Roger is also a great chef. Ann wins the prize for the most amazing baked goods. The lemon cake and cranberry/pumpkin muffins were unbeatable. In an earlier post I said we would likely not be back to Q again. We’re rethinking that statement.
We began our current desert boondocking stint on December 29th with the Escapees at Mittry Lake. Thirty three days later we’re heading to “civilization” in the form of the Escapee RV park at Casa Grande then Tucson to meet up with John and Marge.

One last campfire.


We headed to Discount Solar to inquire about adding another solar panel. They were jammed packed, couldn't pull someone off the line to take a real close look at our current system and couldn’t get to us until perhaps tomorrow. We’ve camped successfully with our current configuration for almost fours years having just completed 33 consecutive boondocking days. No need spending an estimated $500 to fix something that’s not broken. The new batteries seem to be performing very well and we've completed the switch to LED lighting. John and I took the voltage reading direct from the batteries in the morning before the solar power kicked in. The voltage, after a nights use, was always in the acceptable range. We'll stick with what we have and supplement charging with the generator on the odd occasion.

Today we’re camped at Holt’s Shell in Gila Bend. We stayed here a night before heading to Yuma in December. Full hookups for $21/night. Got caught up on laundry, took long showers, flushed the holding tanks and shared an ice cream sandwich. Ahh, those little luxuries.
Gopher is a powder puff of red desert dust. She reminds us of the Pig Pen character in the Charlie Brown comics. I gave here a good brushing but what she really needs is a swim. We'll be looking for a lake during our travels. It's not just Gopher that's covered with desert dust, it's EVERYTHING. The next few days we plan on giving the camper a good bath; inside and out.
Tomorrow we head to Casa Grande. Grocery shopping then the Escapee park.
I heard about an app. for smart phones called Google Latitude. When installed on the phone, it will allow someone you designate as a "friend" to track your location by the GPS capabilities of the phone. We designated Jennifer as our "friend". Now, should we drop off the edge of the Earth someday, Jennifer will be able to know the location of our cell phone. Hopefully, we won't be far away.