Friday, November 29, 2013

Edgar & Anna’s

We easily hooked up to the internet here last night.  There is a really strong signal from the Palace Hotel across the road and it works like high speed.  Sweet!  Much better than any of the internet connections that we paid for in RV parks where we had to hook up the Yagi to boost the signal and this is free. 

It was a noisy night but our trusty wax ear plugs helped us sleep.  There is a major highway just out front of the RV park and Mexican dogs bark all night.  Just part of the deal.  We will leave here around 9:30am and be into Guaymas just after lunch. 

It is a very cool morning so our little Glo Warm propane heater is keeping us warm while we eat breakfast. 

The sun is shining and all is well. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Why, AZ to Santa Ana, Mexico

We were hooked up and on our way to the Lukeville border crossing at 9:30 am this morning.


On the highway heading to the border.



Beautiful cactus everywhere.

We were pulled over by the Mexican Agricultural inspection officer as we crossed into Mexico.  He came into the rig and had a look inside the fridge.  I was informed that I couldn’t have any beef, fresh fruit or vegetables.  The pork and chicken was unclear although last year I was told I could bring it in original packaging.  Processed meat like sausage seemed to be okay.  My freezer contained what I was prepared to loose and the rest of it….well you figure it out!  He was very nice and polite and in the end didn’t take anything away.  I have heard that no one has had anything taken at the Nogales crossing.

So on to San Emeterio where you have to go through another check point.  This is where you can still get your tourist visas and in the past could also get your vehicle importation papers.  Vehicle importation is now done at Pitiquita just past Caborca. 

Eric manage to skinny by the long line of trucks into the area that you have to pass through.  He then had to wiggle his way past vehicles that were in the way to actually get through.  We were then boarded by a “Aduana official?” who had a quick look through the rig.  It was not clear what he was looking for. 


Looking back at San Emeterio.


We stopped for lunch at the Pemex just before Caborca and this group pulled in at the Llantera (tire shop) next to the Pemex.



That’s a cannon of some kind in the middle.

This is a Mexican “Circus?” caravan that we had been passing along the highway.  One of the old motor homes had a set of dual tires on the back that were wobbling so bad Eric thought they were going to fall off!  He didn’t get a repair! 


Quite the menagerie of vehicles.  Some really, really old and well past their useful life span.


Coming down the hill toward Pitiquita. 


Passing through Altar.


Really, really narrow bridge leaving Altar…wouldn’t you know we’d pass a truck on the bridge.  No room for error.


Brand new pavement past Altar and it is so bumpy it could shake the teeth right out of your head.  How do they do that!!!


Coming down the hill towards Santa Ana.


Over the bridge and into Santa Ana.


Luckily we heard the train blowing it’s whistle because ….. lights did not flash to alert us.  Road train signal were not working. Scary. 


Over the train tracks without getting run over and right behind us is the ambulance with it’s siren blowing.  We pulled over to let him by and just about got run over by the raging vehicles right behind him.  Ah Mexico!

So into Edgar and Anna’s Punta Vista RV park by 3pm (we drive slow on Mexican roads) and set up in our favorite spot along the ridge.  So far only one small rig from Washington going to San Carlos.  Warm and pleasant. 

Good to see Edgar and Anna are still on their feet although Edgar isn’t in great shape after his fall on his good shoulder last year.  Tough life for him.  They know us well now as we always stop here on our way in and out of Mexico.  We are known as the “motorcycle people” and Edgar always has a good look at the bike in the back.  As you may know it was a motorcycle accident that crippled him over 40 years ago.  He says likes Big Red just as much as Blue.  He told us he wants a picture of Big Red and us as well.  We gave him a picture of Blue a few years ago and he has it on his wall. 

Happy to be back in Mexico. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Still in Why, AZ

The plan was that we were going to be on the road today heading for Edgar and Anna’s Punta Vista RV park in Santa Ana, Mexico.  Well luckily we have no schedule because we needed another day.

When we arrived here Monday we were set up in a flash.  The main TV in our rig (the one giving us start up problems) was okay and then….not okay.  It took Eric about 20 tries to get it going.  Now what!  Well in the end we decided to jump in the truck yesterday (Tuesday)  and make a nice 200 mile return trip to Casa Grande to get a back up TV. 


Is that some alien space thing…no it’s a water tower on highway Bia 15  heading north off highway 86 to Casa Grande through the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. 

We drove through old Casa Grande and then on to the Wal Mart.  You may ask why we didn’t buy a TV in Yuma but in the end we had thought ours was okay and now….not!   After looking at everything they had to offer and actually had in stock we bought a Samsung LED (with Smart features that we don’t need but got anyway) 1080p.  It had to be the right size to fit where the existing one is now and the one we bought is close in size.  There was a huge amount of confusion with price as they had the wrong stickers on the packages and in the end we had to return the one we bought (before we left the store) and buy the one we actually wanted.  The packaging really doesn’t give you much info so it’s hard to tell what you are getting.  Done and back home for happy hour.  Oh I forgot we had a quick lunch at Panda Express…and it’s off our list of places to eat.  Nuff said! 

Today we were off to Ajo to get Eric a haircut.  We stopped at Rueben’s barber shop and Eric got his buzz job.  When he came out he smelled like “ A whore on a Saturday night!”  For a guy who can’t take perfume he sure smelled pretty!  The Mexicans love their perfume.  Then it was off for a bit of groceries, fuel, water and home for lunch. 

In the end it was a good thing we didn’t travel today as the highway to Mexico (Puerto Penasco  aka. Rocky Point) is really busy because tomorrow is American Thanksgiving.  Big area for condos, 4wheeling, partying and just making noise.  Yikes!  Hopefully they will all be where they want to be by tomorrow and the border crossing won’t be too busy. 

P1040958 P1040957

A beautiful evening in the Hickiwan RV park. 

Last night it blew like hell and we couldn’t even open the windows over night.  Much calmer today and likely a good drive tomorrow. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Made it to Why, AZ and happy to be here.

Even though we had lots to do in Yuma a week there is more than plenty of time. 

By yesterday I’d just had it with all the noise from cars, planes, trains etc.  It makes me feel like a hamster on a wheel in a cage.  Not good. 



Yuma in the rain.


Much nicer in the sun but still not very warm. 

Eric and I did take a drive out to the Foothills and there are some quiet places to park if you are going to stay here for any length of time. 

In the end everything was done, even the washing and I was ready to get out of Dodge.

Today is our oldest grandchild Holly’s 16th birthday.  I called her at 7:30 am this morning to wish her a happy birthday and it sure was nice to hear her voice.  She is a sweet, funny, compassionate, smart, talented….okay, okay…you get it, oh and she’s pretty too!


This was taken last summer at the Smither’s Fair.  We had a lot of fun.

I always tell her she’s my favorite oldest grandchild…and she just laughs and says “Gramma I’m your only oldest grandchild…I told you she was smart!”

P1040946 This hot air balloon was flying over the park early this morning.  Really low!


Pretty and a lot quieter than the planes. 

Today we were out of the Arizona Sands RV park and on the road by a rousing 10:30 am…not far to go and not in a hurry to get there.  We stopped for lunch just south of Gila Bend. We were set up and parked by 3:30 pm in the Hickiwan RV park which is just east of Why on highway 86.  $18 a night, free internet, showers (not the best) and a beautiful view and for the most part except for a little traffic noise it’s dead quiet.  The internet repeater in the park is down but our trusty Yagi antennae dragged in the signal all the way from the office at the other end of the park.  We have been using it regularly as it boosts the signal even when the park antennas are right next to us.  Makes it work like high speed.  A really good investment. 


We’ll stay here a couple of nights and then head into Mexico.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

San Luis Rio Colorado and the paperwork.

Thursday Nov. 21, 2013…and Friday and Saturday.

It was a bit cold on Thursday morning so we didn’t head off on our ride to the border until about 11am.  We got all our Mexican paperwork done last year while we were in Yuma and it worked out well.  There has been a lot of confusion at the Lukeville crossing over the past couple of years as to where to get your tourist visa and then your vehicle import papers and this just simplifies things for us.  We have time and we always enjoy a bike ride anyway. 

We left the bike parked in the Chase Bank parking lot and walked over the border.


Heading down the street to the border.


Last picture before I hit the sign that says “ No cameras!”

We were quickly directed to the immigration office by a helpful Federalie who went out the back to find the front office worker.  It was now lunch time so we had to wait a few minutes.  Very relaxed at this crossing.  Our Visa’s were quickly filled out by the bi-lingual young man at the desk and we were off to the Banercito to pay.  Again very efficient bi-lingual young women at the desk who quickly handled our vehicle importation.  She did not make us go back and have our Visa’s stamped before doing our vehicle importation documents but said we could do it after.  That saved some time.  We had a conversation with a couple (Dwayne and Betty) from Drumheller, Alberta who travel to San Carlos but are interested in coming to Mazatlan.  Nice people and maybe we’ll see them in Las Jaibas.   Back to immigration to have the Visa’s stamped and we were on our way. 

It is a very convoluted walk back across the border and it would be easy to get lost.  There was a huge line-up as we approached the USA foot crossing but luckily it must have been farm workers waiting for a bus and we weren’t held up.  We met a really funny Mexican who crossed when we did….reminded us a lot of Cheech Marin and maybe smoking what he smoked too!  Funny guy. 

We had lunch at the only restaurant in Somerton and it was as mediocre as last year.  We both had a plate of Chinese food for a modest $5.95 but it really wasn’t very good.  Eric just has the worst luck with food.  His chow Mein had no noodles and was only bean sprouts and chicken.  Now he likes bean sprouts but this was ridiculous!  Last time he had carnitas and the beef was all gristle…and I mean all gristle!  We’d better find another place to eat. 

It was a good thing that we rode to the border on Thursday morning because by Thursday night we had a “Desert Storm!”  Huge sheet lightening, thunder that shook the rig and pounding rain.  It continued most of the night and then on Friday it just rained and was cold.  We could have stayed home for this!  We have never seen rain like this in Yuma but the good news is the rig and truck are now sparkling clean. 

Friday was Eric’s birthday and I gave him two things he wanted.  I bought him a new Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar for 2014 (he just loves those girls) and a new pocket watch.  I found him a watch at Wal-Mart for $10 and it is just perfect and it even has a motorcycle on it.  The good one I gave him many years ago keeps time sporadically so now he’ll know when it’s time for happy hour! 

We went over to Bill & Arlie’s for dinner last night and I cooked.  They are always very generous allowing us to  have packages shipped to them and they have us over for dinner as well.  It was my turn.  I made a big pan of chicken enchiladas before we went over to their house and then all we had to do was bake them while we had happy hour.  They were unsure what enchiladas actually were but I made them not too spicy and I think they enjoyed them. 

Today we amused ourselves by purchasing our Mexican vehicle Insurance on line.  I looked at it a couple of days ago and all our old policies were there which would have made the whole process easy but yesterday when I tried…..they were gone.  Hugely frustrating.  That meant I had to re input everything and it is a big job.  I prefer to do this myself and not have an agent do it as if any mistakes are made I want them to be mine!  In the end it was done, copied and finished. 

Next I printed out my Christmas letter and that was a huge hoopdedo as well as all the new software programs have way too many bells and whistles.  I like my programs simple and I don’t need a bunch of help.  The letters were inserted in the Christmas cards and we were off to mail them.  Done and another thing off my list.

Oh and by the way the software fix that Eric got for the TV in the rig didn’t work.  The tech says we’ll have to send it in for repairs.  Right, like that’s going to happen.  It’s a piece of junk, but it’s our piece of junk and we’ll make do for now.  Eric can usually coax it to life and it is fine once we are parked and it doesn’t get unplugged. 

Tomorrow is Sunday and I thought we’d be leaving for Why, AZ in preparation for our crossing into Mexico but… more day.  I need to get the laundry done and relax as all of this week has been way too busy.  That’s the good thing about our schedule….we don’t have one! 

Today the weather is cloudy with some sun and cold.  It will be better farther south. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dates, dates and more dates!

Wednesday afternoon Eric and I were off on a ride to the Imperial Date Gardens in Bard, Calf. to buy my winter supply of dates. 



Yuma is just full of vegetables.  We stopped for gas on our way out along Highway 95 and right next to the station…vegetables.


P1040923  Everything is picked by hand.   Remember to wash your vegetables!

So on with my quest for dates.

I got hooked on this healthy sweet treat last winter and have been eating 3 or 4 every night after dinner ever since.  Here is what I inserted from the net…..

Health benefits of dates
  • Wonderfully delicious, dates are one of the most popular fruits packed with an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are required for normal growth, development and overall well-being.

  • Fresh dates compose of soft, easily digestible flesh and simple sugars like fructose and dextrose. When eaten, they replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly. For these qualities, they are being used to break the fast during Ramadan month since ancient times.

  • The fruit is rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut. Additionally, the fiber works as a bulk laxative. It, thus, helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time and as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.

  • They contain health benefiting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are known to possess anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic (prevent easy bleeding tendencies) properties.

  • They are moderate sources of vitamin-A (contains 149 IU per 100 g), which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision. Additionally, it is also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • They compose antioxidant flavonoids such as ß-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. These antioxidants found to have the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals. Thus, eating dates found to offer some protection from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.

  • Zea-xanthin is an important dietary carotenoid that selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It thus offers protection against age-related macular degeneration, especially in elderly populations.

  • Dates are an excellent source of iron, contains 0.90 mg/100 g of fruits (about 11% of RDI). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

  • Further, they are very good in potassium. 100 g contains 696 mg or 16% of daily-recommended levels of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help controlling heart rate and blood pressure. They, thus, offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

  • They are also rich in minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Calcium is an important mineral that is an essential constituent of bone and teeth, and required by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Magnesium is essential for bone growth.

  • Further, the fruit has adequate levels of B-complex group of vitamins as well as vitamin K. It contains very good amounts of pyridoxine(vitamin B-6), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins are acting as cofactors help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Vitamin K is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood as well as in bone metabolism.

Okay….that long blurb is all I have to say and besides that….I just like them!

We started out trip up through the Imperial Dam area where we dry camped a few years ago.  It always reminds us why we never do that for more than a few days.  Not our bag! 


Pretty up at the Dam…but windy and cold in the winter. 

We stopped at the Imperial Date Gardens and had  delicious date shake and then stocked me up for the winter.  Last year I bought an 11 pound box and this year I bought two. 


Date Palms.


I bought two boxes, one at $30 and one at $25. 


Eric loaded up Big Red so he could carry them home for me.



Packing them up.



That’s a lot of dates.  I decided to get the $30 ones next year as they are much softer and juicier….but I’ll eat them all. 


Almost done. 

I now get to tick another thing off my list.  A good day and Kathy is happy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Laughlin, NV via Quartzite, AZ to Yuma,AZ

We left Laughlin on Sunday morning around 10am on our way to an overnight stop in Quartzite.  Highway 95 from the I40 south to Vidal Junction is new but it rolls like the “ribbon candy” you get at Christmas.  P1040903

> Mainmap


Heading toward the bridge at Parker.


The new bridge has been under construction for years now. P1040908

Travelling through Parker.


That’s our lonely Cyclone out in the desert. 

It is only about 125 miles to Quartzite where we dry camped over night and then another 84 miles to Yuma.  We were up early on Monday morning as we had a 10am appointment at Chassis Dynamics in Yuma to have the trailer axles aligned.  We left the rig with Joe and his crew and went off to do a little shopping. 


That’s Carl, the guard dog. 


Seemingly a nice dog….but see that partially black tongue…that comes from the Chow which has a very unpredictable side.  Carl growled at Eric later in the morning.  Not good for a business.  I have scars from a Chow dog bite (14 stitches).  


They back the rig over the pit.


The axles. 


Over the pit.


Joe and Eric discuss what needs to be done. 

Cost…$300.00 and we sure hope this makes a difference in tire wear. 

When we were done with the alignment it was off to the Arizona Sands RV park to get set up.  As I have mentioned many times it is very noisy there with highway, railroad and planes overhead but it suits us as a short stop. 

We need to pick up miscellaneous things for the RV, odds and ends on my list and get our Mexican paperwork done in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico before we cross the border. 

It is now Wednesday and we had a nice visit last night with Bill & Arlie who winter just across the road (son-in-law Wade’s Dad and stepmother.) We’d had a package shipped to them which contained a fix (hopefully) for our confused Jensen TV.  It is a reflash module to update the brains of the TV. 

Today after lunch a ride out to the date farms to pick up my winter supply.