And the road goes on forever...

Friday, February 27, 2009

Travel Supreme Repair

Running out of things to accomplish around the lot, Marc turned his attention this week to some much needed fixes to the trailer. The plastic fender skirt was broken in several spots, held together with Duct tape and looking so ugly even we had to turn away in shame. As many of you may know, the manufacturer Travel Supreme went bankrupt and out of business in 2008 so the opportunity to purchase a new part likely expired along with the company. The first step after disassembling was to fabricate sheet metal patches which Marc then riveted into place.

The fender skirt had previously been held on by two flimsy aluminum brackets which had flexed so much over the years they were toast. Time to weld up something to really hold up to taking this baby off road!

With the new brackets in place and the undercarriage in this area newly spray-painted, everything was put back together in short order. A little dap of black paint to cover the silver rivets and we’ll call it good.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Well, we haven’t exactly been doing “nothing”, but it’s dang close. At least for me. I injured my middle toe this past Monday (thankfully after I had gotten the week’s groceries) and haven’t been able to put on a shoe besides my sandal slides since. My walks and any plans I had to go anywhere came to an abrupt halt as the toe swelled to about twice size and throbbed whenever I stood on it.
Even Marc has been looking for things to do as all the lot projects seem to have wound down and been completed for this trip. We had a certain budget we were working with and most things have been accomplished. We still have plans to do more with some landscaping and an eventual outdoor kitchen but all that is for later. Right now, it’s just as we want it. Yeah…the digging is over!

So the days pass languidly, soaking up the sunshine and now looking ahead to the next few weeks when we will leave for Oregon around the middle of March. Oregon will not be a permanent destination for us in March however as we will leave the fifth wheel here and return the first part of April. The exciting news is that daughter Rachael is getting married on March 28th in Washington and we can’t miss her elopement! In case Marc should snare a job in another state, we figure leaving from Yuma with the rig is much more central and less costly for fuel than leaving from Oregon. So, we’ll wait it out here in Yuma for as long as we can stand the forthcoming heat.

Things in Yuma are still jumping; it is the height of the snowbird season and every lot is jammed with a full array of RVs. Stores are crowded and our block throws party after party. We had a slight cold spell for a couple weeks when temperatures fell into the 60’s but now we are back in the 80’s again so definitely able to enjoy fully opened windows and doors. Bring it on! The Pacific Northwest is still gloomy and cold.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Good Friend Visits

With my best friend Paulette in tow, we all headed into Algodones, Mexico on a cool Tuesday morning to snare some eye glasses. Two hours later and $150 lighter, Marc had obtained a close-vision and a distance-vision pair and I had obtained a distance pair of sunglasses. The service was courteous and at least a 50% discount from stateside prices. While waiting the two hours we enjoyed tasty fish tacos at a back street stand; shopped for a gewgaw to hang on our privacy wall and ended up with a lovely hand cut and welded tin sun. At least, person after person came up to tell us it was beautiful as we stood taking turns holding it, in the two hour exit line from Mexico.

Having Paulette visit was a special treat; since she lives in California it is not often we get to spend any length of time together. I used our hand dug Coos Bay Oregon clams for freshly-made clam chowder and we had our tenants Lois and Dale, and neighbors Ron and Jan over for a wine party. As the evening drew ever darker, fire starter Marc fired up the fireplace to get rid of some scrap wood.

We put Paulette’s plant expertise to good use as I had her accompany me to the local nursery in search of a climbing vine which should curl into our dead tree and hopefully along the privacy wall in the future.

Marc and I got it planted and started the hunt for more suitable rocks to add to this section of landscaping. It’s always an adventure boulder-searching! Now we just have to figure out how to place them. Um, Marc thinks he needs one more even larger one….

Sunday, February 8, 2009


One thing Yuma rarely gets is rain but we sure had our share yesterday. With soggy skies of light rain turning to bigger drops, we wrapped up our work on the irrigation ditch and ran inside the RV for the afternoon as the rain pounded. Later on, Marc decided to see how the large Fortuna Wash fared. Since authorities always put out Do Not Enter signs on the washes during storms, the snowbird confusion is apparent in the first picture!

Another Day, Another Ditch

I can unequivocally say that we have dug more holes in the ground this winter here than we have ever dug in our lives! Another one is going in; this to provide irrigation to our front planter which sports a volunteer desert Mexican Palo Verde tree which we would like to see flourish. A neighbor mentioned giving us some small palms if we wanted. Well, of course, those will have to have a watered home! Now Marc is talking about doing a line (yes another ditch) to the front of the privacy wall since he knows I want a bougainvillea growing up and surrounding our window. Does it never end?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Problem With RVs...

is that their repair and maintenance is never-ending. Earlier I had written about the tire trouble we had coming to Yuma—the very scary hula we did down Hwy. 95 towing the car—on brand new tires. Not satisfied with their performance (who but a fool would be) Marc worked with Les Schwab over the course of several phone conversations to finally get the go-ahead to find replacements.

Figuring he could make just as many mistakes as the experts or maybe even not so many, he decided this time on what kind and size tire he wanted. The new back tires are four inches taller and an inch wider than the previous Michelin’s and they are also 16 ply traction tread. We’re flyin’ with the big boys now; these babies are huge.

The first steps involved getting the Freightliner jacked up in his workspace, the street, to remove the Michelin’s. Next, time to break down the tires, remove and put the new tires on the wheels. Then to the mounting—ut oh, they don’t seem to want to go on.

With much effort and removal of the wheel well strip guard, they grudgingly went on. A quick shot mid-change shows the difference in size to good advantage. Too tired to accomplish mounting both sides, he leaves the other side for the next day. Now tell me the last shot isn’t of a man who has worked himself to the bone-tired point and is definitely feeling the pain!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Like writhing green snakes rising from a Medusa, the ocotillo curls up the landscape in front of me. My walk this day is out in the desert—so near, yet so far. It’s quiet and I’m alone, crunching across the gravel to the barrier that says “No Trespassing” without the vaunted permit from the Marine base.

I set foot anyway onto a mere couple hundred feet of the bombing range, to capture a close up of a knarled saguaro that I think I have photographed several years before. First photo: 2004; second photo: 2009.

The deterioration is evident.

This segment of the desert is a litter of rocky shards; nearly like broken shale which some gravel truck deliberately left, curving great swaths of driveways. Everywhere else, washes, swales, lone mesquite and the occasional ocotillo punctuate the sky. They cluster closer on the upslopes, likely taking advantage of the runoff from rains, and sometimes comically appear as though some aberrant landscaper decided to make them into an orchard. A lone boondocker is their only company.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An Arizona Evening

Evenings in the Arizona desert are special, especially when shared with good neighbors and friends and the party atmosphere we found ourselves in last evening. Patty and Stan from Libby, MT, who have the casita just down the street, invited everyone over for chili, brats and sauerkraut with a “bring a snack and BYOB” spur of the moment invitation. That’s the way things seem to happen around here and everyone does fine with the informality.

Even though the days have been pretty warm lately, by evening it cools down. We all settled in for delicious appetizers, fun conversations and the enjoyment that comes from a gathering such as this. Later on, the fire added just the right touch to the cool night as that camaraderie continued on well past dark.

Thanks for a wonderful time!