Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We are back in Mazatlan.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We arrived in the Las Jaibas RV park in Mazatlan about 2:30 p.m. yesterday.  We are now parked and will finish setting up camp today.  Many people that we know are already here and it is good to be back.  There are about 15 rigs parked and I am surprised to see so many.  Had a good chat with Sam & Rita.  Dick & Val, Mary & Glen, Hal & Helene, Bill & Jeannette, Carol & Richard etc. etc. are here as well.  There is a new man on the desk up front (Arturo) who speaks excellent English and is very professional.  He is unlikely to stay because as in the past the wages that Felipe pays are too low.  Felipe is always shooting himself in the foot with these types of things! 

Our trip yesterday was uneventful which is a good thing.  The highway is wider and has a shoulder in Sinaloa so the driving is not so nerve racking as it is in Sonora where there are no shoulders.  There was a little construction at the south end of Culiacan where you make your right turn onto the Maxipista just ahead of the toll booth but no problem.  There were many rough areas on the Maxipista (mostly where they have patched it!) and it looks like they are in process of repaving the whole thing.  The northbound lane looks very good so it should be better going home. 


Huge agriculture in Sinaloa and it is really green this year. 


Paving/patching crew on the Maxipista between Culiacan and Mazatlan. 


This isn’t a great picture (through a dirty windshield and then cropped) but you can see that the hills are covered in beautiful pink blooming trees.  I’ll get a better picture and find out what they are.

We saw very little of the federallys along the way only 3 or 4 unlike Sonora where they were everywhere.   There were at least three areas where large trucks had crashed and burned (probably at night) in the northbound lanes and meridian.  We stopped for lunch at the rest stop about 50 km north of Mazatlan but had a hard time finding a place to park.  There were a least 7 RV’s plugging it up and we had to pull to the head of the line where we were slightly in the way.  I don’t think they were amused with us as they glared at us as they pulled out.  What could we do, it was lunch time.  There was a single RV by it’s self, two together and then a group of five that had been snuggied up to us in Guaymas (for no apparent reason) where the park was virtually empty  We prefer to travel by ourselves or with another rig at most.  That way we can travel at our own speed and stop where we wish.  When you mix motor homes (with huge fuel tanks) and trucks pulling 5th wheels the motor home has to keep waiting for the smaller truck to fuel up.  Then issues arise trying to all stop together and obviously that is not an concern for some people but it is for us. Again, that is just our preference and each to their own!!!  Right.

I will say once more that we have not felt unsafe anywhere in Mexico so far and have seen many more RV’s than last year.

Big Red has been unloaded ( our new/slightly used 2009 Harley Electra glide Ultra Classic) and it looks great.  It will be fun to ride here with Sam and Rita in the sunshine and is much more comfortable for me. 


Sam has a look at “Big Red.”  Sam suggested the name for the bike and it has stuck!

We will spend a few days settling in and resting from our trip.  Again, all is well.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Guaymas to Los Mochis

Monday Nov. 28, 2011

We left the Playa de Cortes RV park in Miramar at 9am this morning on our way to Los Mochis.  We passed through Obregon with no issues but as we left the city the highway construction started.  They are working on the south bound lanes and have created a huge drop off on the right edge of the pavement.   Be careful!   There were many areas where we were sent over to the north bound lanes and there was then two way north/south traffic.  We could see that they are laying concrete on the southbound lanes while were on the northbound lanes heading south.  The toll booth at kilometer 195 did not take our money as the highway was under construction.  I might also point out that we have seen numerous federally check points since we have arrived back in Mexico.  They have not stopped us, just waved us through.  About 10km north  of Navojoa we crossed to the new concrete south bound lanes and it is really nice.  Two wide lanes with shoulders, what a treat.  We were using “Marjorie our TomTom “ today to see if she would get the route correct.  She did really well until we hit Navojoa when she missed the periferico which goes west around Navojoa at Pemex #4143 where we usually stop for lunch.  As there is construction there I missed it although Eric knew it was the right one.  We could have U turned at the retourneau but Eric decided to go through town as we have never been through Navojoa.   We had no problem and it is really a beautiful little town.  The main street is all newly paved and it wasn’t very busy.  No problemo.  “Marjorie” gets a demerit point! 

We finally stopped for lunch just south of the toll booth that is south of Navojoa.  There is usually room in the meridian but there was a Federally check point in progress.  They had northbound vehicles stopped and they were tearing them apart.  They were lying underneath, checking the engines and had even taken the tail lights off and were looking inside. They were well supplied with tool boxes.   Good to see.  We were not stopped at the Agricultural Inspection so I didn’t even have to hide my fruit! 

Now for the best part.  We had decided to stay south of Los Mochis at Pemex 4925 which is just south of the Monsanto plant.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that they have fenced the lot with razor wire, have a 24 hour guard and they even took down our license plate number and had us sign in.  It is gratis (free.)  Very pleasant young man on the gate and no problem to come in and stay.  Eric gave him 50 pesos which should be common courtesy.  It will be a safe night. 


Looking forward to the entrance at the south end of the station.


Parked in line.


Back corner of the lot, now fenced.  Bueno!

We are both tired from the pounding you take on the Mexican roads.  Eric thinks that our hitch may contribute to the problem and if we had a Mor ride hitch it might help.  We know that people drive San Carlos to Mazatlan but that will never be us!  We are not in a hurry and would only do it if there was a death in the family or some other emergency, but again that is just us and our preference.  We saw an RV bus on the way that was pulled over trying to change a tire.  It would not be good to be in a hurry or not have an alternate place to stop if things went wrong.  We have not felt unsafe anywhere so far in Mexico and  all is well.  We have seen quite a few RV’s on the road today so there are still a few of us left!  We find it easier to travel at our own slow (today around 80km per hour) than be in a rush.  A bonus to that was we were getting 19 liters to the 100km  and we usually only get 24 to 25 at higher speeds. 

Tomorrow another 400km and we will be in Mazatlan.

We tried the Yagi but there is no Wifi signal here at all.  I’ll post tomorrow in Mazatlan. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A drive into San Carlos

Sunday November 27, 2011

We had another warm day yesterday and the night turned out to be warm too.  It was Saturday night so we were treated to a little Mexican karaoke? and music from the nearby subdivision.  Didn’t last all night so we did get some sleep. 

Today is a warm 29C not 29F so that is not too hard to take.

This morning we took a run into San Carlos to look around and have lunch.  We took the alternate  route through Miramar along the ocean past the Dolphinario  which is some sort of Dolphin wellness centre display.  We’ve never stopped but then we aren’t very touristy.  We stopped at the Totonaka RV park in San Carlos to see who was there and it is not very full.  Al, Brenda and Daisy their dog from B.C. were there and we had a quick chat.  We had parked next to them in Totonaka last fall for a couple of nights and they ended up in Mazatlan for a couple of months with some friends.  Nice people.  They may head farther south in a month or so but haven’t decided yet. 

The main street in San Carlos was pretty much deserted.  Very quiet compared to last year so I guess tourism is still dropping.  All the projects that were being built are not finished and not much else happening. 

We took a run out to the El Mirador RV park west of San Carlos to see if it was still operating and “ it is not open.”  There was no sign to indicate when it closed or if it would be open again.  We had heard that it was to be developed as luxury condos but with the economy the way it is that is unlikely.  Four years ago when we spent a month in San Carlos in a condo the park was well occupied and maintained but now….gone.  A sign of the times. 

We had lunch at the Marina in San Carlos and it was okay.  Eric’s hamburger was really greasy but he managed to eat it anyway.  The food is usually really good there but I guess it depends who is cooking!  We strolled around the marina and had a look at the boats and it was very quiet with only a few people around.  Very deserted. 

We needed a bit of fruit and some bolillos (the Mexican bun) that we like so we headed back into Guaymas.  San Carlos has small shopping but no supermarkets so most people go into Guyamas to pick up big orders.   As we came back into Guaymas on the highway we noticed the Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club was open so we stopped to have a look.  A new store with excellent produce so we picked up what we needed there.  They didn’t have any Pacifico Clara beer only Pacifico light which we don’t like so Eric had to do a road trip on his bicycle and find some when we got home.  Success and at 100 pesos for 12 (about $8.60) not a bad price.  You can’t beat a cold Pacifico with lime and it is all we drink when we are in Mexico.  Eric’s favorite!

We will pack up tonight and head out for Los Mochis tomorrow and an overnight stop in the Pemex just south of town.  Tuesday we should be back in Mazatlan.  All is well. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Coffee on the patio

Saturday November 26, 2011

We had a relatively quiet night last night with only a small Mexican parking lot party that didn’t last too long and a bang that could have been gunfire and not much else.  There was a band playing in the hotel but we could barely hear it. 

It is warm and sunny and I had my first coffee outside on the patio.  Yahoo!!  I also had a chat with a guy from Maryland who is parked across the way.  He and his wife and two kids are on a one year journey through Mexico.  They are travelling in a brand new huge (40’ ?) 5th wheel and brand new Ford truck and seem to be (at least in my mind) seriously uninformed.  He has a Mexican map book and Church’s Mexican camping book and no GPS.  I know that we are overly cautious and like to be very well planned but we too are travelling in a very tall, newish rig and prefer not to damage it if we can help it.  He seems to have a Disneyland take on the whole Mexican experience and I hope it doesn’t get them into trouble.  He probably won’t have any trouble at all!!  Yeah right.  I did tell him that you do not want to get lost in a small Mexican town in a rig that size so if you don’t know where the road goes, don’t take it.   Good luck!

I called home but didn’t talk to daughter Erika because she was out on their new tractor blowing snow!   Eric spent every winter on a tractor with a snow blower doing the same thing and now …..not!   In the early years the tractor didn’t even have a cab.  Brutal!  We lent them our big 8’ PTO snow blower as we don’t need it now!   Son in law Wade is away and Erika had to figure out the new tractor and snow blower for herself.  It is a good thing our daughters were farm raised and turned out to be tough resilient women.  It has served them both well.  They both did chores every day before school, walked a 1/2 mile to the highway to catch the bus and back (pulling a sleigh with their stuff in winter) helped with the garden, cooking, washing, cleaning, canning and haying.  They were both in 4H, had their own horses, part time jobs and did well in school.  Does this sound like I am bragging about them….perhaps a little bit but all of that made them who they are today.  They didn’t have big holidays or many extras but they seem to have turned out fine without those things.  Nuff said!

So, we are on the internet….the Yagi has picked up a good signal from the hotel and all is well.  Eric has gone for tour on his “personal ride”  the “bought at a gas station bicycle” that has become a big money pit and and ongoing project.   I shall just relax a bit! 

Friday, November 25, 2011

A screw and a detour!

Friday November 25, 2011

This morning when we were ready to leave Edgar and Anna’s Punta Vista RV park Edgar was waiting outside to show Eric that we had picked up a Phillips screw in our right rear truck tire.  Not good.  It was on the outside tread of the tire and pointing straight in but the tire was not loosing air.  Eric decided to unhook and then he and Edgar went to a nearby Llantara  (tire shop) to see what should be done.  They were  back shortly with the screw removed and no apparent damage to the tire.  The screw could have been picked up anywhere and looked like we had been packing it for awhile.  If it had been under the tire no one would have seen it.  Edgar says he checks all the time for screws and nails in his park and we know we didn’t get it there.  Perhaps in the gravel in Yuma or maybe on the road.  Eric is sure it had fallen out of an RV. 

We left about 9:45 a.m. since we were only going to Guaymas (Miramar & the Hotel Playa de Cortes.)  We had planned to leave around 9:00 but the screw slowed us down a bit.  We never travel too far in a day and that way if something goes wrong we have a time cushion. What’s the hurry, we are retired. 

We knew were going to be faced with a detour at the south end of Hermosillo as Anna had given us a heads up.  She had a map with some arrows etc. on it but she also said that the detour signs were apparently good.  When we got just north of the prison at the south end of town where we ordinarily get in the right lane and veer right at the overpass the detour started.  There were two signs with the one going to the right for downtown car traffic and the one to the leftish over the overpass for “lento” or slow heavy truck traffic.  We had heard that the first one would take you into small streets and the second one was for larger heavy truck traffic south.   The signage was good and we followed the trucks and other traffic through.  It was slow and rutted and wound all over the place but eventually came out just shortly south of the last left turn we usually make to Guaymas.  Again we were not in a hurry so no problemo!  Just follow the signs! 

We stopped for lunch at the Pemex where the road from Bahio Kino comes out about 50km north  of Guaymas.  I always hate that stop because of all the skinny dogs.  Today a surprise as they all looked fine.  Such sweet gentle dogs in Mexico.  I gave them each a slice of roast beef as we left.

We arrived at the Hotel Playa de Cortes (Miramar by Guaymas) around 3pm and are now parked for a few nights.  It is beautiful and quiet here and we like it much better than Totonaka.  They do have RV showers and we will try them tomorrow. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

We are back in Mexico….Yahoo!!

Nov. 24, 2011

We left the Hickiwan RV park in Why, AZ at about 9:20 this morning.  We passed into Mexico over the border without a check of anything in the rig or even showing our passports.  On to the Immigration/Vehicle Importation at San Amarito about 22 km from the border.   When we got close there were about 100 trucks stopped in line along the edge of the road so we passed through down the middle.  As we got close there was a truck repacking his load blocking the way into the parking lot and as we couldn’t get between him and the other trucks we pulled around him.  At this point the drop off from the pavement onto the gravel was huge and Eric thought we might roll over if we went down.  I think they have put another lift of pavement on the highway and they don’t build up the pavement below so it drops about 2 feet.  Eric pulled forward on the pavement and we parked to get our paperwork.  A nice young Mexican man did the Visas and even wished Eric a happy birthday when he saw his birthday was two days ago.  We finished the Visas up and then did the vehicle importation.  Again another young efficient Mexican man who completed everything quickly and efficiently.  It is true that you must post a bond for your vehicles based on their age.  Our 2005 pick-up was $300.00 and the 2009 Harley was $400.00!!  You will have this returned to you when you leave the country as long as you do not stay over 180 days in which case you would loose your money.  These fees are in addition to the usual fees so make sure you have room on your credit card.  I don’t know what they are doing with motor homes with a ten year permit.  When we were done we were told we would have to turn the rig around and go down the big drop off and through the usual way.  We pulled across the highway onto the dirt and then crossed over the highway and down the drop off.  The truck bottomed out as we went down because we had to cross at 90 degrees and when the 5th wheel came over the bump two axels were hanging from the frame (air born) and all the weight was on the third axel.  Not good.  Everything seems okay though.  So make sure you get down at the easiest point.  If you had a small convoy of RV’s you would plug up the parking lot and the lanes that everyone must pass through.  Not well thought out at all.

We stopped for fuel at the first Pemex coming into Caborca and had lunch in the rig.  It feels really good to be back in Mexico and this time we can read the signs and also know where we are going so it is not the big deal it was in the past.   

The Customs check point between Caborca and Altar that has been under construction is now open.  It is a very convoluted entry and maze of roads that are confusing so we just followed a little car that was buzzing through ahead of us.  You must watch out as you go through as there is an arced roof that you have to stay in the centre of or you could hit it’s lower outside edges.  It is not marked for height.  They did nothing and checked nothing as we passed through.

We continued on and the south bound lanes to Santa Ana are getting more and more bumpy from the trucks.  The north bound lanes are now concrete. 

We arrived at Edgar and Anna’s Punta Vista RV park in Santa Ana at about 3pm and are now parked for the night.  The sky is dark and rain is threatening. 

Also to note there is construction in Hermisillo which has a detour.  We understand that it is well marked so I will comment on that when we get to the Hotel Playa de Cortes in Miramar (Guaymas.) 

Once again the new Yagi antenna is proving it’s worth as a good purchase.  Without it there were three wifi sites and with it about 15!!  We have it propped on an empty beer case in the bedroom window and I am hooked up to the net on an unsecured site.  Life is good.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Off to Mexico tomorrow

Nov. 23, 2011

We had our own little 65th party for Eric last night.  I bought him some Bose headphones to listen to music, we had a nice dinner and a little cake and all is well.

Picked up fuel and the last of the groceries before we cross the border and head onward into Mexico tomorrow.  I’m always talking about grocery stores but I must say that the Olsen’s IGA in Ajo is a good one.  Lots of selection, good prices and good service which is amazing for such a small town.  Always a pleasure to shop there.  

We are parked in the Hickiwan RV park on the road to Tucson just out of Why, AZ and it is a nice stop.  Not very well run as when I went to have a shower tonight there was no hot water.  Last spring the pump wasn’t working to actually pump the water but oh well, just another little irritation.  We showered in the rig so we are clean for a day or two. 

Talked to a guy from Merrit, B.C. parked next to us and they used to go down to Puerto Penasco (a.k.a. Rocky Point) Mexico which is only about 60 miles from the border but they don’t go anymore.  They are worried about the drug cartels even there.   Probably not an issue, but each to their own.  He said it used to be a big holiday week-end destination for the Americans  but now not so much which may be a worry about safety or perhaps just the American economy. 

We will stay at Edgar and Anna’s park tomorrow night in Santa Ana and then on to Guaymas the next day.   We will stay at the old hotel Playa de Cortes which has an RV park as well.  A quiet stop. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why, Arizona and Eric’s 65th

Tuesday Nov. 22, 2011

Sunday was another day to ….you guessed it, finish off more shopping.  It was a success as I found some walking sandals and I actually found Eric another pair of shorts!  They are Columbia and EXACTLY the same as his other ones so he is a happy camper.  He would have gone for some in another colour but they only had ones the same colour as his old ones so everyone will still think he only has one pair.  I just love the way men like to have new and different clothes….not!!!

Bill & Arlie (son-in-law) Wade’s Dad and step mom invited us for dinner last night and it was really nice.  We had a nice dinner with them and Arlie’s sister Karen and husband Bob from (somewhere close to Toronto, Ont.)  Karen and Bob have just bought a house across the street from Bill and Arlie so they are all hanging out together.  Nice for Arlie to spend the winter with her Sis. 

Earlier in the day I’d done the washing and cleaned up and Eric had put away everything we still needed in preparation for our move! He thought it would take awhile to load the motorcycle so he tried to get a jump on things. Didn’t work. Last night when we got home after dinner I crawled into bed with my remotes and headset, put on my headset, clicked the clicker and nothing happened I looked up and ….no T.V., Eric had put it away!! He had to bring it out and hook it up again. Too funny.

A relaxing drive down to Why, Arizona (about 150 miles) and we are set up by 2:30 p.m.  Eric has the satellite T.V. set up and the internet is working so all we need now is a cold beer!! 


Lunch stop north of Ajo.


It is lonely, flat country. 

We will head into Mexico on Thursday  (American Thanksgiving) and spend a few nights on the way to Mazatlan. 


I have just hooked our new Yagi antenna up to my computer and it is working good even though the Yagi is just lying on the couch.  We bought one over the internet from Innovativedevice in Quebec.  A guy from Vernon had one in the park last year in Mazatlan and he gave us the link to their website.  It has the wireless card attached to the antenna so it is a USB connection not coax and there is no loss in the cable.  It took a bit to get it took work with Windows7 but I got it done.  Works great.  When it is mounted to the slide with Eric’s 1 inch EMT pole it will probably work better because we can rotate it and it will be above the roof line.  Eric has been looking for 1 inch muffler clamps to complete the installation but so far he only has one.  P1010767 P1010768

Another purchase to make things better on the road.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A visit from Croft & Norma

Saturday Nov. 19, 2011

I called daughter Krista in Pittsburgh yesterday morning as it had been our now five year old grand daughter Ava’s (aka – Bunny) birthday on Thursday.  Ava is a chatty little girl on the phone but right now she is ill with strep throat and an ear infection.  A curse of the young.  Krista had ear infections as a child and so did Eric and they are really nasty.  Even so, we chatted and I told her that her present was on the way (mailed from Laughlin, Nevada on Monday.)  We have not been good about making our way to visit them and I hope to make amends in the spring. 

We did a little shopping before lunch and picked up some metric box end wrenches for Sam’s mechanic Larry in Mazatlan which are hard to find there.  The afternoon was spent with a ride up to the Imperial date gardens where I picked up a bag of dates and some fresh raisons … and okay a date shake too.  You can’t go there without that treat.  Yummy.

Today it was time to get the Mexican Insurance done on line and I prefer that Eric leaves while I do it.  Something always goes wrong with either the internet or the printer and it makes him crazy and then he makes me crazy!  He mapped out a route to the Cocopah RV resort which is way out the west end of Yuma and set out to look up Croft and Norma and then ride out to the date gardens to get more dates.    The mount on the Harley for the Tom Tom works great and this was an opportunity for him to try it out on his own. 

I got the insurance for the truck, 5th wheel and the Harley while it is in the rig travelling done and was ready to print it when wouldn’t you know it….Croft and Norma showed up here.  Figures.  Eric was going to their place and they were coming to ours!  Anyway we had a really nice visit and it was great to see them.  We keep in touch via Croft’s blog and mine but never seem to be in the same place at the same time.  Since we have history (they lived in Terrace in the early days) it is really nice to catch up in person.  They both look great, especially Norma!  She is a die hard smoker and makes no apologies for it and she sure seems no worse for wear because of it.  To be fair she does have great genetics as her Dad lived to be 95 or more and lived well to that age. 


The sun was bright and I didn’t see that I had Croft in a big shadow….sorry!

Croft is as funny as ever.  He showed me his “crescent moon” on his head from the cans falling on him out of his fridge over the front of the rig while he was driving and I said “ well I  have a bump on my head where Eric dropped the tailgate on me while we were parking here!” so I guess we are even.  Always something to laugh about!

Just as they were ready to go Eric showed up on the bike so they stayed a little longer and we had more good chat.  A fun afternoon. 


Croft and Eric.

So, a really nice day.  The insurance is done and printed and we are all set.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

“Planes, trains & Automobiles” We are in Yuma!

Thursday Nov. 17, 2011

We arrived in Yuma on Tuesday night after a short trip from Laughlin, Nevada.  We are now parked in the Arizona Sands park and will stay here until Tuesday morning when we will head closer to the border (Why, AZ.)  This park is not very full and we don’t have anyone next to us right now.  Sweet! 

We took an alternate route from Laughlin to Yuma for a change of pace.  We went south on the Needles Highway which is on the Nevada and California side of the river and it was a much quieter drive than going south on the Bullhead City side which has a lot of stop lights.  We hopped on the freeway at Needles and got off the freeway on 95 South to head down to Vidal Junction and then into Parker, AZ.  My map point software on the laptop would send us through Needles on an alternate route but “Marjorie” our TomTom would not, no matter how much I tried so we followed her freeway route.  We don’t know how much to trust her yet but did buy the TomTom to use on the Harley so we must practice.    In the past we have gone through Lake Havasu but it has a billion stop lights that don’t have warning signals that they are going to change and it makes blue smoke come out of Eric’s ears and mouth!  This was a much quieter drive even though there was a bunch of paving going on.  Nice to see different country. 

We stopped for lunch at the side of the road coming into Quartzite and both decided that we are done with boon docking on any grand scale.  With the price of fuel what it is, running the generator a couple of hours a day would cost a fortune on a monthly basis.  Cheaper to be plugged in.  Alternately solar panels and a battery bank would work but would have to be used a lot to be cost effective.  We stop overnight without hook-up but have no interest in long unplugged stays.  Times change.

Yesterday we did a little running around and picked up water.  Cheap here at 50 cents for 5 gallons and it tastes good too!  Eric took a ride on Big Red and the parts guy at the Harley shop put him onto a locksmith who would cut a couple of extra keys for the bike.  We only got one with it and Eric is terrified he will loose it and we would really be in a mess.

P.M. same day

Went to the locksmith and got two keys for 3 bucks each.  A real deal.  Then on to Wal-Mart and looked for a timer for Arnoldo in Mazatlan as Sam our riding buddy there said they are hard to find in Mexico and Arnoldo’s is broken.  Arnoldo used to run a small restaurant in our park but had to move because we didn’t have enough business for him but some of the faithful  still go to see him at his new location. He likes to have a timer so he can have his coffee ready in the morning.  Glad to help out. 

We also stopped at the Yuma “Crapmeet” and Eric picked up a few things he was looking for.  Rebar pegs for the awning etc.  Always something to buy. 

To finish off the day we managed to take a ride up to the Imperial Dam where we have boon docked before and stopped down at Squaw Lake to stretch our legs.  All the water there is part of a dam system but it’s still nice to see water. 


We stopped to stretch our legs at Squaw Lake with is down the hill from the Imperial Dam site where we have done a little “boon docking” in the past.


In the parking lot at Squaw Lake.


Far to the right in the distance is the Hidden Shores RV and golf resort.  You have to sign in to have a look, so we didn’t!



Some of the local “wild life” – mostly domestic ducks and geese, “Look out guys- it’s almost Thanksgiving!”

Then back down to Winterhaven, California and a quick hop onto the freeway and home for happy hour.  We will go back up that way before we leave and pick up some dates to munch on this winter in Mexico. 

Tomorrow another ride and I must get our Mexican insurance done too. 

A good day. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Leaving for Yuma tomorrow

Monday, Nov. 14, 2011

We have decided to spend a week in Yuma, Az and do a little riding on Big Red before we head into Mexico.  We’ll stay at the Arizona Sands RV park even though Eric is yelping about the cost.  At $233.00 per week I may just pay nightly because I don’t think there is a weekly saving compared to the nightly rate.  That way we can leave in less than a week if we choose.  It is close to Bill and Arlie Watson’s place (son-in-law Wade’s) father and step-mom and we can walk over for a visit.  We’ll finish up a few odds and ends in Yuma and then head down to Why, AZ which is a short hop to the border in Lukeville and on to Mexico. 

The weather has warmed up here, got nice and toasty yesterday and it almost feels like the summer we never got. 

Eric just checked tire pressure on the truck and trailer and the tires on the truck where way over pressure (100psi.!) and had been set at 80psi in Boise, ID.    Hot, cold, high and low affects them and Eric is constantly checked them and adjusting as we travel. 

Our real estate deal is in limbo and likely not to go unless the buyers can do some creative financing so we don’t have to hang around waiting for that.   Boohoo!

So, all is well and I’ll post when we are settled in Yuma. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Getting a few things done in Laughlin

Saturday Nov. 12, 2011

Today is a bit cloudy with a little rain but around 17C so it is fairly warm and the wind finally quit yesterday.

We got the truck washed on Thursday and it was really a mess.  Covered in salt (or some sort of road de-icer) and it was hard to get it clean.  We have also been doing our usual pick up this and that while we are here as the shopping in Bullhead City, Az. across the river is good.  Yesterday we washed the 5th wheel and that took most of the day.  Good day for it as there was no wind or sun.  The wax job that Eric did this summer really helped and it was easier to get the road grime off.  I managed to get the laundry done as well and now we are up to speed. 

I managed to get over to the outlet mall and pick up a few things as well.  The prices here are always good.

It looks like our real estate deal will not go through due to a low appraisal and if so we will move on Tuesday.  Too bad as the potential buyers are really keen. 

We think we’ll spend a few days in Yuma, Az before moving down to Ajo, Az  just north of Lukeville where cross into Mexico. 

We are both feeling more rested now, especially me.  I hurt my shoulders and upper back in July when we were painting the house trim.  I moved a fully extended two piece wood ladder and held it away from the house as I did it.  Not good, I should know better and then I really paid for it.  The shoulders are still sore and now it seems that all my muscles (the whole body) are really sore and I have been taking ibuprofen on a daily basis.  My appetite was off (not like me at all!) and I have just felt generally unwell.  Maybe I’m just getting old!  Oh well perhaps a winter in the sun will help. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back in Laughlin

Wednesday Nov. 9, 2011

We arrived in Laughlin early yesterday afternoon and we are finally into the sun!  It is around 18C but as usual the wind today is a screamer.  Oh well, yesterday it was quiet while we drove so no complaints. 

We left Twin Falls early on Monday morning 7:30 (daylight savings time) and headed out in snow and ice.  Yuck.  It had just gone down to freezing overnight and there had been a light skiff of snow.  The road south was salted (or something like it) and it was still snowing.  Not good.  We travelled as far as Jackpot which is about 50 miles south of Twin Falls and there the weather started to clear.  Still snowing but easing up.  Hard on the nerves as we don’t have snow tires on and the rig is heavy but maybe being heavy is a good thing.  Then things got better, still below 0C but no wind and the sun poked through and there was wind but it was a tail wind.  Sweet!   As we travelled through Ely, Nevada around noon the weather was about 2C not the –11C they had been calling for so Eric didn’t have to drain the water in the rig.  One never knows.  We continued on down through the pass which was clear.  As we travelled along it was sunny and mileage got up to an amazing 12.6 mpg.  Makes up for that horrible mileage from Othello, Wash. to Meridian, Idaho and meant $50 fills not $100.  We arrived early in Ash Springs, Nevada where we stayed over night.  Rustic, $18 for power and water and noisy by the highway but okay.  Over night it froze and we didn’t get much sleep because there were two cattle trucks out front that ran their engines with fans kicking in all g.d. night.  Pretty inconsiderate since right beside them were a line of R.V’s.  We left around nine a.m. yesterday in the sun with a light tail wind and when we hit Las Vegas there was very light traffic.  Beauty!  A quick lunch just before the turn onto the highway into Laughlin and all was well. 

We are parked in the gravel lot down the bottom and at $99 for a week (with a coupon) and two free breakfasts as well we are set.  The socks are off and it is warm except for the wind but it is abnormal not to have wind here. 

Today we crossed over to Bullhead City, Az and then up to the Wal-Mart where Eric gets his oil changed while we are here.  (I mean the truck, not him!) $46.00!!! and they put 10qts of oil in, filter, lube, vacuumed it and they even checked the tires.  A bargain and a good job too boot.  We picked up groceries and other odds and ends and now we are set for a week.  Eric said he didn’t see more than one nice looking woman while we were in the store, well, except for me!  He can hardly wait to get back to Mexico and it’s beautiful woman!

We have given the people who are trying to buy Eric’s 100 acres an extension for financing and we should know tomorrow if it will go ahead.  Hope so.  If it goes through we will have to find a notary for paperwork and hang around until that is complete. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Short Hop to Twin Falls

Sunday Nov. 6, 2011 

Yesterday started out cool in Meridian with frost but no frozen water so that was a good thing.  We amused ourselves with another trip to the Harley shop and a wander around Lowes.  I’d like to get a heated jacket for the bike but want to look at a few first.  It may be that the jackets which are make by Gerbing in Washington and sold by Harley will be a good choice.  We’ll see.

We left Meridian this morning around 10am for our short drive (about 130 miles) to Twin Falls, Idaho.  We have decided to stay in Twin Falls tonight and then make a dash for Ash Springs, Nevada and avoid our usual stop in Ely, Nevada.  Too cold there right now.  Way below freezing.  there was a little snow falling as we left Meridian but it eased up a short way down the highway and no wind.  Bueno!

We are presently parked in the Twin Falls 93 RV park just south of the turnoff from Twin Falls on highway 93.  Nice park and may prove to be a longer stop in the future. 

We took a little run back into town and had a look at the Snake River Gorge.  I’ve always wanted to see it but we have always been in a hurry as we passed through on other trips.  This is another of the local wonders with a 935 long bridge over a 475 ft deep gorge.  Created by the flooding from historic Lake Bonneville about 30,000 years ago the gorge is magnificent.

While we were at the top watching a man climbed over the railing on the bridge and prepared to jump!  Luckily for us he was base jumping and not suicide jumping.  He free fell and then opened his chute and landed safely next to the river at the bottom of the canyon.  When we drove back over the bridge and stopped at the visitor centre we saw more base jumpers and a sign that said it was “the base jumping capital of the world!”  Now is this just another American exaggeration or the truth.  Who knows!

Eric has drained the water lines in the rig and blown them out with a compressor as a precaution as it will be well below freezing as we drive tomorrow and probably tomorrow night as well.  Piece of mind! 

So, hopefully we will be somewhere warm by Tuesday night (Laughlin, Nevada) and won’t hit too much snow tomorrow. 

Monday, Nov. 7, 2011

Up early at 6am, long day today just under 400 miles.  Temp 0 C. so it didn’t even freeze.  -5C in Ely so not bad there either.  Seems like the weather forecasting here is just like home.  Oh well, we have two jugs of water and will be fine until we hit Laughlin tomorrow and at least the weather looks better, and not worse.  I do have some pictures of the Snake River Canyon but will have to post them later when I have more time.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Stuck in the snow in Idaho…yikes!

Friday November 5, 2011

We left Kelowna on Tuesday morning in above freezing temps and sun.  Easy pass over the border at Osoyoos, B.C. and then onward.  Sun and no wind for driving…bonus.  We stopped at Dry Falls, Wa for lunch and although it was cool we managed to sit outside for our sandwiches.  Every time we stop there we are amazed by the immenseness of the gorge.  To imagine that the water level during the great flood was 300 ft above where you are standing at the top of the gorge boggles the mind.  I took pictures and posted them on other blogs so I’ll leave that out.

We arrived in Othello, Washington and stopped at our usual Wal-Mart around 3:30 pm after an easy drive.  A little shopping and a couple of beers and all was well.  Once again we are grateful for our little Glow Warm propane heater when we are boon docking.  She keeps us toasty warm. 

Wednesday we were up early and on the road by 7:30 am.  We bought a Tom-tom 550 xxl before we left home (on line for a good price) as we want to use it for travel on the Harley.  Eric ordered a replacement gas cap that has a mount for the the GPS so we’ll be able to see it as we travel.  They can be mounted on the handle bars but Harley’s vibrate so much it didn’t seem to be the way to go. 

As we travelled I played with the Tom-tom and compared it to my laptop loaded with Map point software and plug in GPS.  I think we’ll get used to the Tom-tom  but you can’t beat the big screen on the lap top for accuracy.  I usually run my pre-planned route with my GPS trail over it and then open another window with Map Point up again for planning at the same time.  It is nice to have the voice on the Tom-tom telling you where to turn and if she’s right we call her Eric and if she’s wrong we call her Kathy!

As anyone who uses a GPS knows they are never right 100% of the time.  Maps are always a good back-up. 

So….we travelled through the tri-cities (Pascoe, Kennewick & Richland) and on south with no wind or fog so that was good.  When we hit the big hill (Cabbage Hill) just past Pendleton, Oregon the wind picked up and started to scream…..right on the nose and we got our worst mileage ever going up the hill.  Swell!  The wind eased off slightly around Baker City, Oregon but continued all the way to Meridian, Idaho (by Boise) where we now sit.  We booked one night and then checked the net for weather in the Ely, Nevada area for our next travel.  As there is a huge storm off the West coast we are now feeling it’s affects.  Ely and area had a severe wind warning posted so we decided to sit tight for a couple of days.

We had hoped to leave tomorrow (Saturday) but now there is a snow warning in Ely and as well it is going down to 16F at night.  Burr!   We will stay here till Monday and then just move to Twin Falls, Idaho which is only 150miles from here and at 3500 ft not over 7000 like Ely.  We will then make a run from Twin Falls to Ash Springs, Nevada on Tuesday…..subject to weather.  Now I know there are lots of people who just travel and weather be damned but we aren’t those people.  We aren’t in a hurry and we don’t want to drive when there are wind and snow warnings.  We are warm, dry and in a nice park and as well I have my favorite grocery store (WinCo) here to shop at.  We went to the Harley shop today and I had a look at heated jackets but will do some more research before I buy one.  Everything is always more expensive if it has the Harley logo on it. 

We also got three new tires for the 5th wheel yesterday.  Three of our six tires had cupped and Eric suspects it was from the worn out inferior factory shackles.  He has since replaced the shackles with heavy duty rubberized ones but once the tires start to wear you can’t stop it.  We have about 40,000 miles on them but the three originals left on the rig are fine for now.  Eric is fanatical about tire pressure and rotation and it has really paid off and he does it himself so he knows it has been done right.  If the new ones from Les Schwab wear well we will replace the remaining three next year with the same tires.  We also had the new tires balanced which seems not to be something they usually do on trailers but Eric thinks it will make a difference.  We don’t want bad tires on Mexican roads.