Lower cabinets need a friend. Who would have thought they make wall cabinets that match? This will be an easier install than the bottom was yesterday. First thing to do is measure and then start laying out the outline. Figure out where the studs are and which cabinets go where. Proceed to screw the first cabinet to the wall and step back to admire your work. Then, and only then, can you notice that the cabinet is off center and doesn't line up with the bottom. Huh... I only measured once. Dammit.
I have to pull the cabinet down and start over. Now I'll eat my words and do what I said in the first place yesterday. Time to measure, then measure, and check it once more.
Katie and grandma start going through the Arizona room looking for things to start filling the cabinets with. There is still a lot of unpacking to be done here.
I get the cabinets wrapped up for the day and we decide it's time to head home. The handles and finishing touches will be taken care of another day.
Our glorious day gets wrapped up with daily chores that still need to get done. Kitty has got some dirty ears and I get volunteered to hold him down. This is my life.
Another day of the handy-couple lifestyle. Mr. Kitchen is a little short on space and Grandma wants things to change. She needs room for her good china and guest glasses. Who are we to deprive her of that? The bottoms get put in first. It will be a lot easier to line up the top row once we have something to use for support and more measurements. Now we got fairly lucky here. The floors in the house are already level and there is no need for shims. Under the cabinets is nice flat linoleum that serves as a great base for a small row of cabinets. I cannot stress this enough.... measure, measure, measure. We planned on putting in these cavernous storage containers while still leaving room for the fridge door (remember we turned that around) and a wine cart on the other side.
Lady luck struck twice in this installation. A piece of 6 foot counter top fit where we needed it with just enough room. The three separate cabinets get screwed together and then the counter top gets laid on for a test fit. Again... don't be stupid. Check, measure, then measure it again. The counter hangover (it had a long night) gets split between both sides and glued into place. There are a few different ways to attach this but a quality wood glue will never let go, never squeak, and most importantly never allow the top to shift from a good bump. After that we stack on about 500 pounds of boxes and let it sit overnight.
The cabinets will form a bond with it's new counter top overnight with all the weight pressed on it. It's going to be a long marriage so they might as well get a chance to talk alone. We head home with some cool boxes that showed up for Shirley. In preparation for our trip to Houston next month I've ordered a bunch of parts for the old girl. The front suspension is just plain worn out. Tony's got the space and tools which I plan on taking full advantage of. Below you will see what $500 in Cherokee suspension parts look like. No off brand crap for me. When you buy cheap crap it works like cheap crap. Our lives are at stake when we head 20 miles into the desert alone or drive down the sides of mountains with no guardrails. Shirley is getting the good stuff.
A nightly dog walk outside the park caps off the evening just the way we like it. Another gorgeous sunset over our little piece of paradise.
Time to head out to Grandma's house and do some more work on her wall. The first coat of drywall has been completed and cured over the weekend. Now for the fun stuff. Most people fear drywall like it's the black plague. Fear not, for it isn't that bad. After the first coat is dry just take a mud knife and knock off all the high spots (assuming you didn't go ballistic on the first coat). Then go ahead and 2nd coat right over the top. The key here s to make the seams about 18"-24" wide and just thin enough that you can barely see the tape through the wet mud. If you catch a chunk of something and get a huge line through the 2nd coat it's okay. Leave it alone. Don't go back and try to fix it to be perfect or you'll just screw it up even more. Then let it dry.
I spend the rest of the night with Katie just doing some random house chores and working on this blog. Sometimes a little antique roadshow in the background is just thing I need to finish the day.
Sometimes you just gotta kick back and take a day off. Today is going to be one of those days. Katie and I set up our chairs outside after a late breakfast and just enjoy the weather and watching the people walk by. I tend to get a little stir crazy and always need something to do in order to occupy my time. The license plate bulb for the jeep has been burnt out since our last trip (a year ago) and I'm finally going to replace it. It's not an easy in and out. This is a mid-western jeep with mid-western rust. The screws are mostly disintegrated and need to be drilled out. I go full incognito mode and work on it in between people walking by. A total of 20 minutes is spent on the project and POOF! New light. Guess I didn't need to avoid that for a year. Well that is enough for the day. Enjoy some cat pictures.
Grand Avenue on the west side of downtown Phoenix is having their 10th annual street fest. We want to go and see what's free but still sit back and count the pennies of our travels while we are parked. It's a beautiful sunny 80 degree day. We opt to hitch a ride on T-dub and make our way 21 miles west through city traffic to avoid the highway. The roads are flowing pretty good and we arrive in about 45 minutes. Upon our arrival we take a ride up and down the avenue to scout out a parking spot. Looking for a place to park is always easier when you live the motorcycle life. It can fit anywhere.
The festival is pretty small. I'd say it was only about 10 blocks long and all of it was really located on one side. It was a small enough ordeal that they didn't even shut traffic down. Our stroll down the street was filled with an eclectic bunch of people. This is mostly an arts gallery and boutique strip that is located right on the edge of the rough side of town. We saw people of every color and background cruising down the sidewalk to catch a glimpse of what local businesses had to offer.
I am sucker for hot rods of any flavor. These late 20's to early 30's coupes are a car that should be on everyone's bucket list. Strap a few hundred horsepower to a frame with a couple of seats and this is what you get. No airbags or onstar here, just the open road and an attitude.
Haifley Brothers hot rod's were cool enough to even have the doors open. People were free to walk right into the shop and look at current builds that were going on. It's so awesome to see a small shop that still has an old vibe to it.
Don't let all the pictures and praise give you a false impression of a pretty place. Every business we strolled past either had barbed wire, razor wire, bars on windows, or combinations of all the above. It's the kind of place you walk the streets during the day, and take a cab at night. Right next door to the hot rods was a bike shop. Unfortunately nobody was around to let us take a look inside.
A sneak peek inside the bike shop
Random street art on a building.
We hit the road by 4pm in order to get home before the sun sets. On our way through Estrella Village some random dude in a car next to us a stop light strikes up some chit chat as we sit. I like this place. It's got a good vibe to it.
We finish the night off by taking Eli for a ride around the block. Yes I know the picture is blurry. It's all part of capturing the moment and snapping some evidence of our life. That and I was too lazy to stop pedaling and stand still for a picture.
Grandma answers her phone as soon as Katie calls. She is meeting us at Home Depot to pick out her new lights and pay for a few more supplies. Eli gets to share his bed with a box of recessed lights for the rest of the drive to her place.
First order of business for the day is to put together a frame for the old window. It's almost always easier to assemble this ahead of time. Trying to bang studs into an existing hole and toe-nailing them in can be done, but your chances of being out of square increase dramatically.
Once inside Katie and I will lift it up into the hole and start convincing it to fit with a few taps of the hammer. I always build my walls on the tight side so that they basically stay in place without having to use any nails. Just a personal preference I suppose.
The wall doesn't fit on the first attempt. It's been so long since I've done this I made a rookie mistake. Both wall ends have the same measurement, but the middle is a 1/4" shorter. I should have known to check somebody else's work instead of thinking it would be straight. Old houses are never straight. It only take a few minutes to pull the wall apart and nip 1/4" off the ends. Then it is right back up into the hole to be filled.
Drywall gets cut and put into place. Prior to that Katie went around the outside edge with a roller and primer. The mud will never stick the way it should to the satin paint that is already up. Primer will promote a better adhesion with less chances of cracking.
The Sheetrock goes together without much fuss. I'm forced to go old school on this. It's paper tape and pre-mixed joint compound. I would have rather used fiberglass mesh with a quick set 45 minute compound, but you gotta work with what you got. Not too bad a a couple of hours work. Tomorrow will be the next coat of mud, and I'll tell you how to do it with barely any sanding at all.
So apparently there is a 5 foot by 6 foot window that weighs about 1,000 pounds I need to take out of the wall in the kitchen. It used to be an outside window until the "Arizona room" was added on. What is that you ask? Well my northern friends let me tell you. It's a basically a 3 seasons room that actually gets used all season. Not really a problem with snow down here.
Well at least it only took me two hours to get it out. The window was screwed, glued, and built in place. I had to take my time pulling everything apart so I didn't break the frame or glass. This allowed Katie and I to throw it on top of Shirley and drop it off at the local Habitat for Humanity. It's a win-win. They get to re-sell the window and we don't have to figure out how else to get rid of it.
On our way back from dropping off the window we swing by Home Depot to pick up some supplies. Shirley gets a few sheets of drywall and some 2x4's thrown on the roof. This is a first for me. I havealwayshad a truck when going to the lumber yard. Now I'm "that guy" who straps crap to the roof. Well it's what we have and it works.
After getting everything unloaded we decide to call it a day. I'll tackle framing and drywall tomorrow. Eli gets a quick whistle and he jumps into Shirley without a complaint. We are getting ready to leave and I see Grandma's neighbor watering her rocks. HER ROCKS. She must have come from a place where there was grass. Old habits are hard to break.
Today will be a day off from the housework. Shirley gets dropped off at the local tire shop for a tire balance and rotation. Just across the parking lot is a huge antique mall. We don't have any money to spend or any space to put stuff. For some inexplicable reason though it is still one of the random things we do to pass the time for free. This place is huge and stuffed full of eclectic old commodities. One thing catches my eye that I would have bought if we still had a house and jobs. It was a solid brass serving tray with 6 solid brass goblets for $30. Not really sure why... it just looked really cool.
We pick Shirley up from the shop and head home for lunch. The shakes are still there. Dammit. Well that's really the one thing that I can't check myself so at least it's done. With lunch knocked out of the way we spend the afternoon heading into downtown Phoenix to see the Art Museum. It's free every Wednesday after 3pm.
We don't make it more than 15 feet before Katie gets her 1st scolding from the museum staff. She reaches out and touches the wall covered in fake butterflies. "Please don't touch the wall" we hear from an usher behind us. Oh it's going to be that kind of museum.
The halls are full of statues and sculptures. All of them are legit old things that have a real history. This Japanese suit of armor was from the late 1800's. Very cool.
This ink on paper was created in 1632 and is still in one piece.
I don't have a degree in the fine arts. I'm mostly tasteless and have a poor sense of style. But I do know what crap look likes. Polka dots on paper? Crap.
Our stroll slows to a crawl as we stop and read almost every single plaque in the building. We need to avoid rush hour at all costs. Phoenix traffic is no joke. I now know more about Chinese ceramics from the Qing period than I would ever have possibly thought. At least I feel enriched from the visit.
Here is a collection of portraits of a guy in a speedo. A total of 144 of them. Yes it's weird, but still better than polka dots.
We finally make it through a couple of hours and pass the madness of rush hour. Apparently the south side of Phoenix is supposed to be one of the rough neighborhoods. I make the call to drop Shirley south before we head west. Our route takes us through Central City, Estrella Village, and western Tolleson. Ehh... not that bad. A little razor wire and some bars on windows. Not many bail bond stores or even lotto marts. I've seen worse.
Shirley has developed a bad case of the shakes. It's been there for a while but it is definitely getting worse. Anything over 65 mph and this 20 year old jeep vibrates like a a pager from the 90's. There is a whole bunch of parts on the underside that can cause this and none of it is easy to fix, or easy on the budget. A quick look underneath shows a nice collection of red Moab mud still stuck to the inside of the wheels. Well, that might throw the balance off just a tad.
I get a few curious looks from passerby's while lying underneath the jeep with a putty knife. We are after all in an RV Resort. There is zero tolerance for working on vehicles here. It's just not allowed. Sweeping up the scraped mud into a dustpan shows me just how out of balance the tires really were. A lot. Alas it doesn't solve the problem. I'll run the Jeep down to the tire shop and get them balanced to take that out of the equation first.
It's Ticket Tuesday at the local cinema. Any matinee shown before noon is only $5. There's only one movie playing before noon today, and that is Bohemian Rhapsody. It's a hollywood movie on the formation of Queen. If I have to explain to you who Queen is then you should stop reading this blog and head to a record store. Freddie Mercury was a household name in the mid 80's and this movie really shows a good glimpse into the life of the band. I'd recommend it for anything under $10 in admission.
Westgate 20 complex is your one stop shop for a night out.
We scrounge ourselves back to the RV and take Eli for a stroll. Just another day here in Phoenix.
Well, well, well, if it isn't my arch nemesis old front door. Yeah you old front door. I'm talking to you. Sitting snugly in you hole and apparently made out of lead and kryptonite. How can you be so heavy? I'll just put you over here for now and see if we can make your replacement fit in your spot. That's right Mr Big, you are being replaced.
Mrs Strong over here will be filling the hole in the front of the house using insulated metal and a viewing window instead of using Mr. Big's old solid core outdated technology. Mr Big isn't giving up without a fight though. His frame is well encased into the house and it would be a multiple day project to dig it out and put in a new one. I think I'll just liberate Mrs Strong from her wooden case and squeeze her into the old hole. It's gonna be a tight fit though. The existing door hole is almost an 1/8" smaller than the new frame. That doesn't sound like much until you actually try to make it work.
Mrs Strong comes out of her case without the least bit of fight. She is ready to take over the role of the old man who has stood guard for the last couple of decades. She will not however just fit right in. A hammer and a chisel will need to provide some new places for the hinges to be moved on the door. Why the door and not the frame you ask? Because I can move the hinges on the door and keep it square much easier than the frame. Square matters for doors. They hate circles...
The boss stops me in the middle of my door fitting to help hang up some curtain rods. Let's make this quick, I've got a doors ass to kick.
Mrs. Strong was not happy about Mr. Big's handle holes. They were well worn out and even showed signs of fatigue with cracks in the wood. No, Mrs. Strong demands more than that. She demands to have the best, because she is the best. I'll kindly bend to her wishes and punch some new holes in the old frame for her satisfaction. The door now fits and closes like it should. A little tight... but that's how I like it. No pictures of Mrs. Strong in her new spot. She will still need finishing touches for weather seals and a shiny new paint job. Good enough for today.
If you have a lowered Nissan pickup, don't haul 3,000 lbs of wood in it.
My mood has finally returned to nearly normal. I have overcome a self inflicted depression that had nothing to do with the people around me. No, it was more of a case of "poor me" from having too much time to sit around and think. It's actually quite embarrassing to admit it in print. A lot of people either hide their true emotions or refuse to admit that they aren't perfect. My years of management experience has taught me that admitting when you are wrong is one of the strongest character traits that will allow you to succeed. Grandma, I'm sorry that I even brought your name into this whole story. I tried to make it a point that it had nothing to do with you all along through my blogs. Unfortunately some people read prematurely into my message without giving me a chance to speak. You are a wonderful person and I'm more than happy to help you work on the house.
Drama aside it's time to go party. Uncle Mike has a birthday party and it's at the Buffalo Chip Saloon in Carefree Arizona.
The bar is a western motif complete with bull/bronc riding ring that's active on most Saturdays. Looking out at the cacti just adds to the ambiance that we are still here in Arizona. As people start to gather around the table I can finally get back to being me. A large part of my transgression was from texting an old friend who lives in Houston. I gave him a shout out to see if he knew anyone looking for work. Guess what? He is. We will be heading to the great state of Texas in December and I'll be working at his metal fab shop. I'll give ya'll some details on that later.
The sun goes down and the landscape grows cold. Grandma is ready to go and so are we. Turns out to be a pretty lucky coincidence since we rode with her. From here it's an hour drive home. Luckily for us we still get time to catch most of the Packers game vs the Patriots. They got their asses whipped, but that's all part of football.
I woke up in a better mood than I've been in the last couple of days. Today we get to go out and see some of the city of Phoenix. They are holding a local small business fair in the downtown area. No flea market gimmicks here. Every tent has been rented out to a small business to display their products and help get their name out to the people. It's even dog friendly with watering bowls and a dog run.
We browse through the aisles for a hour or two and have seen enough. There are tons of food and drink samples for just a dollar or two. Unfortunately for us a dollar or two is too much. Katie pops open Google maps and makes the call for us to drive another 20 miles to the northeast side of the city. Apparently there is a free BMX stunt bike show going on.
Odysea in the desert is a complex located in Scottsdale that has an aquarium, dinosaur exhibit, and dining to go with it. It's a pretty neat place that hosts events to draw in the people. We just happen to be the only people here without kids. Why don't adults like free stunt shows?
An hour passes by and the BMX team go on an hour long break until the next performance. We walk the grounds and head back to the car to leave. One thing that I normally do is park in the back of parking lots. This time when we get to Shirley in the back there is a couple of guys (one of the BMX riders) sitting on a curb behind a car smoking weed. Nice touch dirt-bag. Smoke some weed before you entertain the kids. Like it would have killed you to wait until you get home.
We get home after a long day out and finish up our nightly chores. I'm still pissed off at the world but finally figured out why. I'm frustrated and upset that we are traveling. I know, I know... that's what we are doing on purpose. I'm upset because I feel lost. I don't have any goals I'm striving towards to make our lives better in the real world. At least I've figured out what is wrong. Now I just have to set my mind on obtaining something achievable. I guess I'll sit here and hang out with the dog until that something comes to mind.
Well I'm still pretty pissy about having to do stuff besides explore the country. I'm also still pretty pissy about, well, everything really. That's tough crap because we said we would help grandma.
The morning starts off with me taking the kayak holders off the roof rack to make room for the door I need to pick up from Home Depot.
We get to grandma's house with the door in one piece. Lucky for us it did not turn into a projectile and go through a minivans back window. The door gets unloaded and put to the side. It's already mid morning and I don't want to start on this project. It's a brand new door that needs to fit into an old frame. Experience tells me that it is not going to just fall into place.
I turn my attention to the fridge. For some reason the prior owners thought it would be acceptable to have the fridge open towards the wall. Oh no, no. This is dumb, and must be fixed.
Just about every fridge made has the option to change the swing of the doors. If you don't like yours just look it up on youtube, it's super simple.
That is enough fix it handyman crap for me today. We stick around for lunch and then head out for home. Grandma has been nice enough to let us use her address for some Amazon shipments while we are in town. I picked up this sweet 12.5 ft collapsible latter for the RV. Very cool.
Well that's enough for me today. I'm going to go calm my nerves by the pool by numbing them with beer. The mind is a dangerous place to let thoughts run wild. Time to shut it up.
So this is it. This is all I've got for you today. It's a door. I've been volunteered to do some work at grandma's house and quite frankly I just don't want to. I don't want to work on my vacation. Lacking all of my tools makes me even more frustrated. Come to think of it I don't want to really even be here in Phoenix. We're just wasting a month of time and it's costing us a fortune. There's no money coming in the door and we ran the numbers on our budget. It just doesn't add up. Our trip won't be finished. Where am I going to find work that justifies me even getting up in the morning? Nobody wants to hire some random guy to work for a couple of weeks just so that he'll leave. I've been festering over this realization for a couple of days now and it's starting to piss me off. So, here's a door. I didn't want to take pictures today.
A boring day as far as traveling goes. Most of our time was spent lingering around the RV getting some more things set up. Our little folding table will now sit out with the grill and TV for the next month. I's a good feeling to know that we don't have to put it away in just a couple days.
Katie heads off to lounge by the pool and I continue to do more monotonous type stuff. That's fine by me. I'd rather do something than just sit by the pool anyways. I start pulling everything out of the bays one at a time. Geez these places got filthy in just a couple of months. A good cleaning and organizing was needed.
The sun drops down to the horizon as we set off on our nightly walk. We really like our new little neighborhood. It's cozy and provides great dog-walking opportunities. I just hope we don't get board.
Katie has chocked the calendar full of events for us to attend this month. There's no point in being in the city if we just sit at the RV park. First thing on the list is a free lecture at Orpheum Theatre by Kevin O'Leary. He's the bald no bull crap guy from shark tank.
The theater is a nice place to be. It has a real old timey feel and the ambiance is wonderful. Constructed in 1927, this place was remodeled in 1984 to the tune of 14 million dollars.
What was supposed to be a lecture on finance and guidance turned into a hardcore scam for our money. The first guests were a couple of guys from HGTV that bought crap rentals and made money at fixing them up and renting them out for more. The next guy that came out was Wayne Gray. Never heard of him? Neither had we. He then commenced to waste an hour and a half of our time trying to sell us his company Response Marketing Group. This magic 8 ball of a company will help you buy a house below market value, fund the purchase 100%, and pocket you 20 grand on every sale. No catch. The only thing needed to get started was $1,000 dollars to attend the 3 day seminar so they could show you how to do it. Then once you are there they spend three days trying to sell you the next investment package that is in the tens of thousands of dollars. This was a real let down.
So Mr. Wonderful finally shows ups and sticks around for 45 minutes to tell the audience the very basics of investing.
Invest your money instead of spending it
Diversify your investments
Live off of dividends and not principle when you can
Gee thanks. Turns out Kevin O'Leary isn't Mr Wonderful at all. He's Mr. Piece O'Crap. He knowingly uses his names to get people to waste thousands of dollars on a shady program that will most likely never work for the investor so he can get a kickback. What a scumbag.
Our last taste of Quartzite was the morning walk. Strolling past the custom pickup shell topper converted to living quarters was the perfect way to say goodbye. Unique people here in the quartz, very unique indeed. Time to hit the pavement.
There is only a couple of hours between us and our new home for the month, but it takes us a couple of extra. We stopped at a two different places until somebody would sell us propane. It was only $2.20 a gallon which equated into a $30 tab for the last month of gas usage. With the tanks topped off it was only a matter of time until we got to our new spot. We're both excited for this.
Ah. Welcome home. For the next 33 days Penny will stay in one spot. This means we can actually set the grill on a table and take the kayaks off the jeep. T-dub gets un-racked and parked in a sweet spot out front. All this unpacking has made us tired and hot. We should go cool off.
Pool; check. Hot tub; check. Full park WIFI, tennis courts, bocce ball, clubhouse and on site laundry; check. Say goodbye to $639 of hard earned cash and try to squeeze every dollar back that we can. Part of that is taking Eli for a walk, although this time it is in a private gated community with street globes. Life could be worse.
What better way to start the day than old hot rods and airplane fuselages. Unfortunately the sales lot was closed because it was Sunday. That's not enough to dampen my spirits. I can see the cool stuff through the fence and it gives me hope. Hope that someday we'll find home and I will have useless broken cars and trucks laying around the yard. Oh what a dream. But dreams are just that, and this is reality. Let's go for a cruise through town and look at all the trailers.
It's overcast which helps out a lot. We were able to ride for nearly an hour without baking in the sun like grapes turning into raisins. When we get back home Katie pulls out a deck of cards. What she didn't know is that I was recording this. No matter. This is way better than fake scripted video.
Our night is capped off with our typical night walk. This time we get an up close look at a wooden horse made by the campground manager. We chatted for a few minutes the other day and this is what he does in his spare time. Neat.
Here are the lit up statue pictures I promised from the last post. Sorry that the pictures suck. Guess my phone isn't all that great in low light situations.
It's still hot and we sit outside for a couple more hours. Then I dropped my tablet about 18 inches to the ground. Stupid rock desert and all it's rockiness. I've had this thing for 4 years and it's been flawless. Not anymore. It'll be cheaper to throw it in the trash than to replace the screen. Such is life.
Nothing quite like looking at your neighbors trash to make you feel a little better about yourself. I'm not talking about whether or not we are financially more successful. That doesn't mean a damn thing. I'm talking about the crap stacked up around our neighbor's RV and the fact that the park allows it to happen. It is just crap. A broken box fan, cardboard boxes, and I think I even saw an old toilet seat.
We took T-dub out for a ride and stopped at a local book store. Everything in here was well used and extremely overpriced. The discount section was outside in the weather. Pages were missing and entire books were water damaged and sun faded. Still 50 cents a piece? You must be nuts.
We head out for a walk and take a turn down a dead end alley. Behind the RV park is one of the more impoverished areas. There were about 6 trailers packed into this little area and all of them were being used. It's a sad sight to see. That poor car has a mismatched fender. What did it do to deserve that? Now get me wrong. We've been here before and are walking the streets yet again. Poverty does not equal crime; and this place shows that to us. Everyone we have passed has smiled and said hello. They didn't just nod or wave, they say hello to you. It's a town with no money where the people have to stick together to survive. That brings about a sense of community and with that comes warm friendly faces.
I take a step back from Penny and snap a picture some of the local artwork in the park. The horseshoe cacti are a nice touch albeit a little to close to the RV for my comfort. Hassler's RV park is filled with them and they get lit up every night. I'll show you that tomorrow.
Dam it's hot. Too hot. So hot we decided to spend some cash. Penny gets uprooted from her spot and we make the call to head south to Quartzite AZ. On the way through town I pull off at local car wash and give Penny a much needed wash down. The rain from the week prior had splattered sand all over her lower half. Dirt is bad for paint, and wiping it off instead of washing it off makes the situation even worse. A grand total of $10 was pumped through the car wash to spray down the RV, jeep, and enduro. Not a bad deal when you consider I even had time to wash Penny with a soapy foam brush. Is your car at home dirty? Gross. That makes you a bad person. Do your car a favor and give it a bath.
Finally time to move on down the road to RV mecca. Quartzite AZ is known to RV'ers around the country as one of "those" places. This small town is nearly dead for 9 months out of the year. Then after the holidays....BOOM! This place fills up with thousands of RV'ers taking advantage of either nearly free or dirt cheap parking for months at a time. It's an escape from the cold for most of the people who come out here.
We pulled into Hassler's RV park right on the main drag to take advantage of some 50 amp electrical hook-ups. This will spin the air conditioner at full blast during the 90+ degree days that are forecasted through the weekend.
Eli points us west on our first walk of the weekend through familiar territory. It was nearly a year ago that we were in this same town on the back half of our trip. It's a bit weird to be in a place we recognize, but weird in a good way. Now it's time to sit back and take in our new surroundings.
A lazy day today. Most of the morning just spent sitting around waiting for it to get hot. Then it's off to the beach with the dog in town. A small park in town gave us a free place to sit around and watch the people go by.
I got lazy and didn't take many pictures today. Tomorrow I'll make it up to you guys.
It's another gorgeous day in Western Arizona. A sunshine filled piece of bliss that invites us to go out and explore. After carrying the kayaks for 50 days we finally get to drop them into the water and put them to good use. What started out as a quick exploration of the channel turns into us making a 5 mile trip all the way around the island in the Colorado river. Travel with us under the London bridge from the 1830's that was transported here to connect the island in an attempt to lure tourists.
Film it on a GoPro!
Three hours on the water was enough sun for me. Sand covered kayaks get loaded back onto Shirley and we make our way home. Then it's time to go to my office and type up a story to share with everyone what is going o in our lives. I crank up Shirley's stereo and jam out for a couple of hours. Then we meet the neighbors and sit around a campfire to swap stories. It's getting late and we still haven't hit our 5 mile goal for walking. I said the kayaking should count for exercise... apparently I was wrong.
Starting another day off with normal chores. That will be the mantra of the day. Today we set foot into "Modern Laundromat". A woman from behind the counter catches us off guard when she approaches quietly. She asks us if we have ever been here and starts explaining how to use the washing machine. I get that she may have been told to make sure new clients understand how to use the fancy new contraptions, but I think we got it. Quarters go in, push the wash button, sit in a chair. Yep, still a laundry machine no matter how modern it is. On a positive note they have a great outdoor seating area and free WIFI.
We go for a cruise and take in the sights town has to offer. It's a well laid out city that overall is very nice. Everything is kept up and the small stores are plentiful. Then we head down to one of the local parks that is on the water. Katie has to slow down a bit for a smiley face. Anything over 10 mph is a frowny face... why 10?
The park gives way to a nice walking path that strolls through the heart of the tourist area. The canal you see below separates the island from the city. Restaurants and brew pubs dot the shores along with kayak and paddle board rentals. It's getting hot out and we decide to call it a day. Ten miles back up the main highway gets us home. Nothing left to do but sit outside in the shade and wait out the heat. Damn it's hot here.
It's that time again. Time to roll out. Before hitting the road I go through Penny and Shirley for a quick check up. Make sure all the fluids are still the right colors and at the right levels. Shirley looks a little worse for the wear. Oil was down 1/2 a quart which isn't that bad for how many miles it's been since I checked it. What I can't help but notice is the splattered red Moab mud all over the engine and the underside of the hood. It takes a lot of effort to hit a mud hole hard enough to get to the hood. Makes me smile. Good memories.
Today was going to be a bit of a stretch. Our path ahead of us was nearly 180 miles of traveling. That's a lot of driving after sitting in one spot for a few days. Sights were set on making it all the way to Lake Havasu City. This desert oasis town of 55,000 people had a lot to offer for an RV'er on the road. Penny took the plunge through Arizona's eastern mountain passes and hooked past Hoover dam on the way.
Lake Mead was a sight for sore eyes. Water in the desert is few and far between. Wisconsin is home and it seems like you can't go 10 miles in any direction without hitting a lake, river, or creek. That is one of the things we take for granted. Traveling the country brings a new perspective to the outlook of the world. Hoover dam was supposed to be one of those big things to see. You know, change our perspective on stuff. Over blown costs of $10 for parking, and an additonal $15 for the visitor entrance was enough to keep us away. We have already been on two other dam tours and I can't expect that this one is any more fantastic. We'll keep the money thank you.
My office has changed views yet again. This time it's overlooking a bunch of other hobo RV bums at the BLM campground Lone Tree. Here we can squat for up to 14 days for free. It's a bit more parking lot than nature, but free is free. Countless upsides to our new space cannot be overlooked. We have great 4g signal, 12 TV stations and are only 5 miles to Wal-mart. We are after all still in the desert which means Eli has plenty of room to stretch his legs.
The sun is on it's way down as we stroll through the rock hills. Life here actually has lot going on if you look close enough. Lizards scramble through the landscape along with spiders, deer, and bighorn sheep. Coyotes howl through the nights just to pass the time. After all, it's damn hot here all day.