N 33° 15′ 32″ W 115° 27′ 59″ or just put the town of Niland, Ca into the GPS.
N 33° 15′ 32″ W 115° 27′ 59″ or just put the town of Niland, Ca into the GPS.
HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON AND A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR–
We wish you health, peace and happiness throughout 2013!
It is our tradition to spend Christmas with family and this year has been no exception. We had a nice time visiting with our daughters and sons-in-law as well as our wonderful four grandchildren. With all the grandkids being six yrs. old and under, Christmas morning is pandemonium, full of joy and wonderment. It was fun to watch the kids play together, open and play with their gifts. One gift, a very large trampoline with a safety screen, got the most use by everyone. All the adults are hoping that all that jumping on the trampoline will burn off some of the many calories we enjoyed.
Our Christmas feast was prepared by our daughters with wonderful desserts prepared by Grandma Cathy. These wise excellent, cooks prepared enough so there’s plenty of left overs. Everyone’s still enjoying the fruits of their labor!
We’re “street boondocking” in the RV in front of our son-in-law and daughter’s house (with their neighbor’s OK) in the San Diego area giving easy access to the family while affording us our own place to stay. At one point on Christmas Eve, we had all the grand kids in the motor home sitting around the table making cookies. Luckily, the RV has an oven for the cookies as the oven in the house was being put to good use. It may be some time before Jerry and I completely clean up all the powdered sugar spread around the RV but we had a great time, made some cookies and lots of good memories.
Happy New Year!
A Sad Week In The USA–
We know death and destruction occurs throughout the world and it saddens us as we learn about it. We are fully aware that the world is unfair and that horrible things happen daily. Somehow, we try to believe that decent behavior will out and that time will cause a change toward an improved life for the people of the world. There is much to do to make the world a better place but bringing order to our own house is where we need to start.
We’re fulltime RVers but first and foremost we are citizens, parents and grandparents. Friday of last week we were blindsided by a punch of pain that was beyond sad when we learned of the carnage that had occurred on a Connecticut morning in a small town elementary school. Much has been written about this horror but we feel a need to express our revulsion as well. Who, among us didn’t feel a sudden overwhelming grief and a feeling of helplessness finding that little children had been slaughtered along with their teachers. As the small town of Sandy Hook, Connecticut tries to heal, many of us see clearly that something needs to be done now no matter how difficult or how inadequate, to help reduce the occurrence of incidents like this.
We recognize there is a second amendment to consider but we believe that curtailing the purchase of Automatic and Semi-Automatic Assault weapons along with large capacity ammunition magazine clips is mandatory. There is no way we can accept military style weapons as a right in the USA and we’re convinced the “fringe” element in this country that would insist on owning these weapons have had their way for far too long. In addition, there must be stricter enforcement of background checks on all gun sales (so no gun sales on the internet) as well as addressing the fact that our Mental Health system needs marked improvement.
We have read the suggestions by some to simply arm everyone with these high-powered weapons, an idea fraught with various unacceptable risks. For example, imagine for a moment that the police have been called and they arrive on scene to find multiple highly armed citizens. What could possibly go wrong? It is easy to see the many huge holes in the fabric of this idea. So we support a change in our “gun” laws soon and believe it can be done.
We’re old enough to remember the drunk driving culture in the US of the past. The common refrain was “There but for fortune…” So drunk driving convictions were hard to come by until finally Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said ENOUGH!. MADD worked to change the culture in the US, turning drunk drivers into pariahs. Did it completely fix the problem? No. Did the situation improve dramatically? Yes.
So now, this is our Christmas and New Year vow: we will support gun law changes in the US and hopefully these changes will reduce the number of incidents of murder of innocents.
“One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulations of guns.” John Oliver
We’re fortunate to be able to spend Christmas week in the San Diego area with some of our family and all of our grandchildren. We wish you peace, happiness and health. Merry Christmas.
From celebrating the holidays with family we will travel to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park touring, hiking and spending some time there.
Yellowstone National Park Wolves–
Among many, we’re attracted to Yellowstone National Park due to its wildlife. We try to visit Yellowstone National Park at least once/year for an extended stay. The wolves are a major attraction in Yellowstone and can be seen in the wild just being wolves. (So much better than seeing them in the zoo.) When we’re in Yellowstone, we love to share our scopes and binoculars with fellow tourists so they too can enjoy seeing the wildlife especially when we’re fortunate enough to see the wolves. We follow the progress of the wolf packs throughout the year using the inexpensive membership site– https://www.yellowstonereports.com/index.php
Had heard about the change in the Endangered Species Act last fall and worried that the hunting would take its toll on the Yellowstone Wolves. We were saddened to learn of this recent death.
We’ve heard just about all the arguments about hunting, gun rights, etc. and know it is a “hot button issue” but we find the destruction of these beautiful animals to be sad. The ability to be able to see the wildlife in Yellowstone National Park brings throngs of visitors, many for this very purpose, and surely brings many tourist dollars to the coffers of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Hopefully, the outcry over the practice of hunting these animals along the boarder of this National Park will cause Wyoming to curtail this practice.
The article below explains;
“‘World’s most famous wolf’ shot and killed outside Yellowstone
By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News | The Lookout –
A wolf so popular that she was referred to as a rock star by rangers was shot and killed in Wyoming just outside Yellowstone National Park late last week, wildlife officials told the New York Times.
The 6-year-old gray wolf, a tourist favorite known as 832F, was the alpha female of Yellowstone’s “highly visible” Lamar Canyon pack, according to the Times. She had been fitted with a GPS collar that allowed researchers to track her movements. According to the newspaper, she was the eighth wolf fitted with the collar to be shot during this year’s hunting season.
Last fall, Wyoming removed wolves from its list of endangered species, allowing them to be legally hunted on the Yellowstone Park border for the first time in decades.
On Friday, the Humane Society filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist wolves in Wyoming. At least 50 wolves have been killed in the state since Oct. 1, the lawsuit claims. (According to the Times, at least 87 wolves have been shot in Montana this season, and 120 shot or trapped in Idaho.)
“The decision to strip Wyoming wolves of federal protection is biologically reckless and contrary to the requirements of the Endangered Species Act,” Jonathan Lovvorn, the Humane Society’s lead counsel for animal protection litigation, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “Wyoming’s regressive wolf management plan is reminiscent of a time when bounties paid by state and federal governments triggered mass killings that nearly exterminated wolves from the lower 48 states.”
Ranchers say wolf hunting is necessary to protect livestock. According to National Park Service estimates, there are more than 1,700 wolves living in the Rocky Mountain region—most in Idaho.In Yellowstone alone, according to the park’s annual wolf report, there were at least 98 wolves in 10 packs—plus two loners—at the end of 2011. And none was more popular than 832F.
“She is the most famous wolf in the world,” Jimmy Jones, a wildlife photographer, told the Times.
According to Daniel Stahler, director of Yellowstone’s wolf program, data from 832F showed she rarely traveled outside the park. When she did, it was “only for brief periods.”"
Click on photo for larger view.
Obtaining Health Care on the Road–
Occasionally, when we are traveling, one or both of us develops a medical care need that must be dealt with on the road. It may not always be the case but, so far, we have generally had good medical care while traveling so we are comfortable in seeking care as necessary. Sometimes the health issue is urgent but not an emergency. We both have “regular” doctors in the San Diego area and see them for our routine care. When things go awry with our health and we’re far from “home”, seeking care for something that can not wait feels a bit intimidating at first. Alas, it has been our experience, these things frequently happen on the Friday night of a holiday week-end leaving very limited options. Even if you tried calling “your own MD” for advice, you’re likely to get the “on-call MD” on the phone; someone you may not even know and doesn’t know you besides we’re usually in another state and sometimes another country.
Because we are fulltime RVers and our home is portable, if one of us needed long-term, specialized care such as at the Mayo Clinic (there is one in Arizona) or anywhere else, we could go there for care and still be “home”. For example, when my Dad was a patient at Stanford Hospital, we stayed in the RV in the hospital parking lot and visited him many times a day.
Competent doctors can be found throughout the US. There are emergency rooms, walk-in clinics and doctors offices most everywhere. A walk-in clinic and a doctor’s office will probably want proof of insurance or cash. The emergency rooms in the US will provide emergency care to all patients that come through their doors but the cost is greater than at a clinic or MDs office. Cost of care in the US is a major problem and health insurance is really important. Most folks don’t want to take the chance of getting sick or injured without medical insurance.
A couple of years ago I fell breaking my wrist, my front teeth and developed a systemic response to the trauma that became a bigger health issue. We were in Yuma, AZ. when I fell and I ended up in the Emergency Room, being admitted to the Yuma hospital and having hand surgery there. This accident was far from our immediate family so care near them was not an option.
While in Montana, a suspicious growth can’t wait for months for us to return to the San Diego area so googling a specialist, reviewing the doctors training and certifications gave some confidence in choosing a doctor. The examination showed the growth to be “nothing to worry about”. Love that diagnosis.
Another time, we were on the road in Colorado and my trusty BP meds decide not to control my BP any more. Uh Oh. Can’t delay care for this for a few months and my far-away “regular” doctor would want me evaluated by an MD as soon as possible. This happened when we were headed to our friends house this summer. We ended up seeing our friend’s doctor who was kind enough to squeeze us into his busy schedule.
Emergency Room Visit–
Despite getting flu shots in October, Jerry and I came down with a severe upper respiratory infection this week that, for Jerry, got worse each day. Very unusual for some one who “never gets sick”. We tried lots of the over-the-counter treatments to try to lessen the symptoms with varying levels of success. Finally, when he started to have periods when he couldn’t catch his breath, he agreed to go to the emergency room. We were in the far reaches of California but the town had a fairly good size hospital. No time to find a clinic or a doctor’s office that could see him, he needed to be seen immediately. Many evaluations later, x-rays, an antibiotic, etc. they set him free. The Pharmacist told him “take your antibiotics and I guarantee you will be singing by Christmas.” That’s was a good bet as Jerry seems to be starting to feel better.
Zowie!!! if this is the flu with a flu shot, watch out folks!
Two ‘sickies’ on the road is no fun (actually being sick is no fun anywhere). To avoid sharing this infection with anyone, we are boondocking on some BLM land and just spend the days resting and not interacting with anyone except on the phone or internet. We recommend you do not catch this illness. As for us, we’re looking forward to looking back on this.
After spending some family visit time in Northern California we traveled to Southern California for more family visits traveling mostly on Interstate 5. Due to the distance between the San Francisco bay area and Southern California, about 500 miles, we overnighted along the way at a “Vista Point” view area. Since it was just an overnight so it was convenient to stop along the way as soon as it began to grow dark. During the night two or three trucks and a couple of RVs also stopped and stayed overnight in the same “Vista Point” area. Of course, there is supposedly “no camping” in the Vista Point area, but then… we were “just resting” as it appeared the others were doing. No one bothered us.
After breakfast and a quick check of the Stock Market via our Verizon internet connection, we were on our way continuing south over the Grapevine (a mountainous stretch of I 5 in California).
Visiting family in this sparsely populated desert town near the northeast section of LA county. Clear air, very blue skies, surrounded by lovely mountains, the area is mostly starkly beautiful desert scape. Before gas prices went up, this was a distant bedroom community for commuters working in the LA. area. Housing prices were comparatively low in Pearblossom and you got more house and land for the buck.
It has been quite a long time since we last visited this area and we are quite enjoying our stay here. Very good company in a lovely area makes for a great stay. Also, since we come with our own place to stay, our own bed, etc. it is easier on our host.
We are getting 3G and frequently 4G each with a very strong signal with our Verizon Millenicom Samsung Hotspot for our internet connection in this desert town. Even along I 5 in the middle of what appeared to be “NoWhere, California”, got an excellent internet and cell phone connection.
This blog published via our Verizon Millenicom Samsung Hotspot.
A HAPPY, THANKFUL THANKSGIVING TO ALL !!!
We are in Northern California celebrating Thanksgiving with family at my sister-in-law and youngest brother’s home. The number of people this year for dinner is 48! We wish you health and happiness. Happy Thanksgiving.
Escapees Campground in Yuma, AZ.–
We are Escapees RV Club members and since we were going through the desert town of Yuma we stopped and stayed at their boondock site. This Escapees boondock site is located inside the park and the $5.00/night charge gives you access to the clubhouse, showers, shuffleboard courts, heated pool, Jacuzzi, small library, coin laundry, free wi-fi, and everyone is welcome to join in the events and celebrations. Jerry loves the pool and Jacuzzi and we did use them numerous times during our stay. We attended a Saturday Night “Hot Dog Roast” gathering at the clubhouse. The hot dogs and buns with all the fixings were included and everyone brought a “side” or dessert dish.
This membership park is a year round park. Some folks stay here the entire year and many of them have a mobile home on one of the lots. Mostly Snowbirds use the park in the winter since the weather is mild, the monthly rates are reasonable and there are full hook-ups. Some of the same snowbirds come to the same park year after year and soon they are renewing old friendships with fellow snowbirders.
The Escapees park is located only a few miles from the town of Yuma and is surrounded by farm, ranch and desert lands. This makes it quiet in the park but convenient for shopping.
After leaving the Escapees Campground we drove the seven miles to the parking lot on the US side of the boarder crossing at Algodonas, Mexico. The cost to park the RV is $7 in the secure lot and we just feel it is a wise idea to leave our vehicle in the US rather than drive it into Mexico. From the parking lot it is an easy walk across the boarder into Algodonas, Mexico. Within the first four or five blocks there are numerous pharmacies, doctor and dental offices, optician venues and of course the usual small shops and carts that sell just about anything you could want. This town is a draw for both Canadians and US citizens for discount priced medical, dental, and optical care plus no doctor prescription is required for most medications. Of course, if you buy something in Mexico you should check the expiration dates, know the generic names for any medications and know that the boarder crossing limits the amount you bring into the US. If you use their services; medical, dental or optical it would be wise to get a reference from a fellow snowbirder who has had good care there.
We bought some Vanilla in Algodonas. I like to bake and find their pure vanilla good and very reasonably priced. Many folks buy discounted liquor and cigarettes in Algodonas but the amount you can take across the boarder into the US is limited.
The restaurants in Algodonas are quite good with low prices and we have never had any illness from eating in these restaurants. We believe that it is so much in the best interests of the business owners of Algodonas that a visitor has a good experience that they go to great lengths to see that the visitor will come back again. It is a rare place in Mexico where we feel reasonably safe these days as we are pretty cautious folks but this is one. I guess the thousands of Canadians and US citizens that come to Algodonas, Mexico says something about the quality of the experience.
Crossing the boarder–
Going into Mexico we found crossing the boarder is easy and fast at the Algodonas crossing. You can drive across (check insurance requirements) but we just walk across. No passport check and in fact there is no interaction with anyone related to boarder patrol going into Algodonas, Mexico.
Crossing the boarder into the US from Mexico is a far different experience than entering Mexico. To enter the US, or re-enter as in our case, there are boarder patrol agents to deal with. They ask questions, want to see appropriate papers (we just showed our passports), and look at any items you are bring into the US to make sure it meets their rules. Since we were going through the boarder crossing early in the snowbird season we were through the boarder checkpoint in just a few minutes. (Snowbird season really gets in full swing by January each year) We have been to Algodonas during the height of snowbird season and the line to cross the boarder into the US can be 2+ hours long.
We have been spending time on the BLM land in Quartzsite, AZ. There are folks here that collect the recyclables and turn them into some spending money for themselves. Great! They hang out near the trash receptacles and sort the recyclable. Not easy or pleasant work. When we separate our trash and give our recyclable we feel like we’re doing some good. Not virtuous, just not adding to the problem. Also, the folks doing the recycling get something out of it and that is a good thing. Makes it a win/win. A few people resent these recycle folks. This is something I’ve never understood. They’re not stealing anything and they play a role in decreasing the amount of trash that ends up in our landfills.
Like so many millions of Americans, we voted (via absentee ballot), then spent a tense Tuesday waiting for the results. We had requested that the Registrar of Voters send our ballots to our mail service address. Sent for our ballots as soon as they were available, completed them and mailed them in with plenty of time to spare. When it was time to get our ballots we made sure that the post office accepted “General Delivery” and would hold our mail for us. Then we emailed our mail service with instructions to send our mail one time to the address we included.
Hope everyone exercised their right to vote on Tuesday. Many a young American died to protect that right so the least we can do is honor their sacrifice and vote. We’ve been voting since reaching voting age and have seen many an election go our way and many not go our way.
Fulltime RV Living–
Life on BLM land in Quartzsite, AZ. is fairly simple. When the weather is good we sit outside in the shade and read or go for walks. Having all the clothes we own with us means we are ready for most any type of weather. In Quartzsite, AZ., three changes of clothes are usual for us. In the mornings we wear a warm shirt and long pants. In the afternoon we can be found in shorts and a light shirt but soon after the sun goes down we are back in a warm shirt, slacks and a sweater for me. Having worked hard all our adult lives we feel a little guilt enjoying these lazy days that are so relaxing but we’re managing! Staying organized, putting everything back in its place and doing the little cleaning required are our only challenges.
At our campsite on BLM land in Quartzsite, AZ. we have excellent cell phone (Verizon) and excellent internet connections using our Samsung Millenicom (Verizon).
At Quartzsite, we’re able to get ABC, NBC, and PBS just using our RV aerial on our TV so our urge to channel surf was met to an extent. Besides our internet access we also have Sirius Radio thus we’re able to follow world affairs.
Even though we are camped in a spot with some shade we get plenty of sun for our solar panels. Due to the angle of the sun in the sky we do have the panels tilted up to catch as many rays as possible.
Enjoying the small things–
Good weather, good health, peace and quiet, getting along well with your partner, a good book to read, nice neighbors to chat with occasionally, good food, these are all nice things to enjoy wherever you may be. Here in the desert, the air is clear so besides the benefit of clean air, the sunsets and the night skies are amazing. The Milky Way draws a beautiful swath of stars and galaxies in an arc across the sky that is awesome to see without any light pollution. Looking at the enormity of it all makes you realize how small we are in the universe. Certainly helps you put your problems in perspective. If you look carefully you can frequently see satellites and even the International Space Station travel across the night sky.