We had enough Arizona gas at $3.41/gal. to get into California recently and drive around Southern California but…we couldn’t make it out of California without buying some California gas. Paid $3.94/gal. in California which was not as bad as we heard it was going to be. After we left California this time we paid $3.78/gal. for gas in Arizona. So there is a difference in price but not that big, scary difference that we were reading about. Gas had been higher priced a few weeks before we got to California, but that didn’t last so very long. Thank goodness!
We are aggressive RV boondockers and rarely pay to stay overnight or to dump our tanks/get fresh water. As we do most nights, on the way to Arizona from California we boondocked for the night along the way and moved on after breakfast. For the “snowbird” season (“avoid cold weather season”) , we could stay on free undeveloped BLM land to boondock on but the $180 pass we bought makes staying on developed BLM land (called LTVA), with its attendant RV facilities, just easier and is still most certainly cost-effective since we will stay on BLM land intermittently this fall/winter. With a small budget, we make every effort to direct the funds we do have to actual travel.
Went to the small town of Quartzsite, AZ from So. California for some peace and quiet. Boy Howdy, is it ever quiet in Quartzsite this time of year! We have only seen Quartzsite in the middle of the snow bird season rush so the emptiness of the place is jarring. Many of the restaurants and stores are closed until the “season” gets well underway and for now the BLM land is virtually free of RVs. We are not usually out looking for restaurants but it was our anniversary so we wanted to celebrate a little and realized how many places are closed for now. Most of the folks that are in Quartzsite this time of year are the folks that live here year-round and some of the folks that are escaping truly high snow areas.
We asked one RV couple from Northern Idaho how they handled being away from family during Thanksgiving and Christmas. They said that they have a big celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas every year with family in late July and that their family seemed to enjoyed the mid-year holiday. Told us that doing it this way was a lot easier on these two snowbirds.
The Quartzsite BLM registration offices have a book exchange in each building and while a lot of the books are what I call “bodice rippers” that we find just too silly to read, some of the books are recent best sellers giving us plenty to choose from so our days are filled with lazy, relaxing reading.
We bought the $180 pass (total cost) that allows us to stay on LTVA (long-term visitor area) BLM land any time from mid-Sept. to mid-April. The pass is good for most California and Arizona developed BLM land and includes the use of multiple RV dump sites, places to get fresh water and numerous places to get rid of trash.
Our “campsite” for now is in La Posa South BLM in Quartzsite, AZ. near a large bush that provides afternoon shade. The temp. is cool in the morning, rises to the low 80′s in the afternoon and then drops rapidly in the evening into the 60′s. Morning walks, reading and relaxing during the day and then usually a moonlit walk in the evening rounds out our day. The moon rise from behind the mountains is a beautiful sight and if there is little or no moonlight the Milky Way with its thousands of points of light can be clearly seen.
Spent Halloween evening chatting around a campfire with a lovely, large group of RVers. These folks have been coming here every year for many years and stay for the whole fall/winter/early spring renewing their old friendships and meeting new people.
RV Water Pump–
When we went to the Lazy Daze factory in Montclair, CA. to get our missing RV Escape Hatch replaced one of the company’s owners (Steve) adjusted our water pump causing it to run much better. He told us further tweaking would be needed over time and, sure enough, Jerry has already had to re-adjust it. We have so much wiring in the area of the water pump from our solar set-up, it helped a lot to see a “work around” to adjust the water pump without disturbing any of the elaborate wiring located in that small space.
Internet, Cell Phone and TV–
The Verizon Internet and Verizon cell phone connections are excellent in Quartzsite and we get a dozen TV channels with just our TV aerial. PBS here has three channels and all come in very well!