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Fulltimers/Workampers the final frontier. These are the voyages of the RV Winnabago. The Adventurers mission is to seek out paying jobs around the country and to boldly go over some really big mountains and once in a while go to Florida and see our son.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Going to Yellowstone Part 2

With a few hours left we decided to seek out a "deserted" ghost town called Silver Reef. In the early 1900's this was home to some 200 prospectors and their families. But as the price of silver started to decline and the threat of worker strikes loomed large, the mine was closed allowing the infrastructure to fall into disrepair. I put deserted in quotations above as the site now lays claim to several high dollar homes with impressive views in all direction of the mountains. This is recycling at its best!

Day five had us on the move northward as the environment of Yellowstone grew larger trough our windshield to the world while the Sonoran Desert diminished to a single grain of sand in our rearview camera.
We stopped to take on fuel when an attendant noticed abnormal ware on one of our front tires. It turned out to be belt separation and very likely could have resulted in tire failure shortly down the road. To alleviate that worry we replaced both front seven year old tires to the tune of some $1400.00. Sometimes you feel at the mercy of the road and those along it, but what price safety and the confidence to tackle the upcoming mountainous challenge? As a side note, the tire tech was named always did cover my back!

Story by Al and Photos by Jan

Our Trip to Yellowstone Part 1

Once again we emerge from the desert southwest like a butterfly from its desiccated cocoon.This time our destination is a little corner of Northwest Wyoming called Yellowstone.For those of you who don't know, state route 95 is split into an Arizona branch and a California branch.

On our first day we opted for the California side. Believe me the west side is certainly not the best side as this was one of the roughest roads here-to-fore on this leg of our journey. We can certainly say that California is truly broke (in more than one way). Day one drew to a close at one of our favorite way-points, Cal-Nev-Ari. This little speck on the map is a community of some 400 people set on US highway 95 about 70 miles south from Las Vegas, Nevada. Cal-Nev-Ari was created in the mid 1960’s by Nancy and Slim Kidwell, who acquired a 640 acre section of land (and water rights) from the U.S. Government and commenced development of an airport-based community. In addition to the FAA designated airport, the community has grown over the years to include a casino, motel, RV and mobile home parks, convenience market, and over 100 residential lots. This little respite prepared us for a full bored non-stop run through Las Vegas to start day two. By the way, with Slim and Mary getting up in years, the town is for sale.

We almost cleanly escaped the vices of Vegas when we were beset by one of the ten plagues of Egypt. Just north of the city on Interstate 15, what initially seemed to be an instantaneous and furious deluge of rain from a pop-up storm turned out to be thousands of airborne "bugs." The assaulting arthropods produced an auditory semblance to hail upon the front of the coach, covering just about every inch of the windshield.

To shake off the frantic first days of our journey, we decided to spend the next three days in Leeds, Utah as a home base to do a little sightseeing. This little shot in the dark park, nestled in the heart of Dixie's Color Country at the base of Pine Valley Mountain, proved to be a pleasant surprise.

With limited time, we decided to cram visits to two National Parks, Zion and Bryce, in one day. Words can not do justice to these national treasurers, so I will defer to our photographic journal. The commonality of both parks is the fact that one can get so close to the geological immensity housed by both. The proximity tricks the brain as it tries to align size and perception, resulting in a sensation of extreme dizziness.
We were so close to the precipice presented that I chewed up a pair of underclothing as the awe of the environment forced me to my knees, not in prayer, but rather for emotional stability.

Two major rock formations were evident. Bryce is noted for "Hoodoos." Hoodoos are tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the bottom of arid basins and "broken" lands. The formations range in size from that of an average human to heights exceeding a 10-story building. Formed in sedimentary rock, hoodoo shapes are affected by the erosional patterns of alternating hard and softer rock layers. The name given to the rock layer that forms hoodoos at Bryce Canyon is the Claron Formation.

This layer has several rock types including siltstones and mudstones but is predominantly limestone. Thirty to 40 million years ago this rock was "born" in an ancient lake that covered much of Western Utah. Minerals deposited within different rock types cause hoodoos to have different colors throughout their height. You better enjoy these sights while you can as these structures a reasonably "soft" and will eventually succumb to the forces of nature and could disappear in as little as three-million years. The formations in Zion, appear as colorful piles of sand. At one time they were just that, piles of sand. Mineral rich floods of water eventually "froze" these piles in time to solids no longer easily molded by nature and time. Nature now takes on the role of artisan tweaking the shapes to her liking.
Story by Al and Photos by Jan

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our Trip to Quartzsite

So, after sitting stationary for some three weeks, we felt the need for a road trip. And since we had a group of friends "boon-docking" in the middle of a typically desolate desert town called Quartzsite, we set our itinerary.

First a couple of items need explanation be for we proceed. "Boon-docking" refers to a RV'ers without any attachment to electric, water or sewer. They are truly self contained using only power from their own "rigs." Batteries as stand alone or supplemented via solar or wind generation, water held onboard in storage tanks and waste collected in another set of tanks. Fortunately and with a little common sense, the contents of each tank never meet. With proper conservation, the boon-docker can stretch out the interval at which fresh water must be brought in and waste transferred to a smaller portable container for transport to a waste facility. There is an intensified feeling of freedom and self-sufficiency for those who choose to pursue this life style on a long-term basis. More on this in a bit, hopefully illustrated photographically.

As far as the town of Quartzsite is concerned, its is quadranted by State Route 95 and Interstate 10 in Arizona, just 15 miles east of Blythe, California. For most of the year (April to November, +/-) it seems like a ghost town with an occasional tumble weed gleefully running a red-light through the midst of town. Historically, Quartzsite is know for one of the Country's largest gem and rock show and vendors. The population starts a slow growth in November, as recreational vehicles start to trickle in and take up temporary residency in their own little space of desert. By January the population of "Q" has swelled to between 100,000 to 250,000 RV's of all size, shapes colors and configurations. Accompanying this annual version of RV-Woodstock, vendors of all elks spring up from the acrid desert floor, selling their wares ranging from RV parts and supplies to great smelling food. We personally found a pair of 12-volt lights to replace their failed counterparts in our bedroom. The price for these gems was a fraction of what the usual suspects would charge back in civilization. We also got hooked up with a vent-less propane heater and the required ancillary parts for installation. This should reduce our consumption of both propane and electricity. How's that for reducing our already narrow carbon footprint? As a bit of extravagance to our meager life style, we found an RV sympathetic DIRECT TV retailer, who understood the fact that our residence was constantly on the move and any offer of free installation only meant that the installer would first have to find us! I got the parts needed and had our Satellite TV functional in less than 30 minutes. YEAH!

Now that you plodded through the background, here is what we came to the desert for:

Written by Al and Photos by Jan

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Deming, New Mexico

Our next stop was Deming New Mexico. We had big plans or New Mexico. There was Roswell, White Sands, The Gila Cliff Dwellings, you get the picture. The weather however didn't coroperate with our plans. But when we where in the Visitors Center in pulled a 5th wheel we reconized, it was friends we meet in Lake George and have seen and worked with thru out the US including Amazon, Dayle and Tom. They where staying at the Escapees Dream Catcher RV Park in Deming. So we met up there ate Chili together, did wash and drank wine from the largest winery in New Mexico.
I did mention the weather was crappy for all the places we where goin to see. So we stayed a week waiting for the weather to clear. Didn't happen so then we headed to Casa Grande, AZ to stay at another Escapees park, Rovers Roost. And thats where we are now. Dayle and Tom and about 2 million people headed for Quartzsite, we did not.

We are trying New Mexico again in October.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Braufels, TX

Our next stop was hopefully a little warmer, New Braufels, TX staying at another Coast to Coast park, Summit Vacation Resort. The office girls were really friendly and helpful we ended up spending a week there. The Summit Vacation Resort is located in the Texas Hill Country between San Antonio and Austin. From this base we were able to see The Alamo and The River Walk

We were 3 miles from the 12,000-acre Canyon Lake. The Resort is right on the scenic Guadalupe River. The emerald colored water is a favorite for bank and fly fisherman.

The oldest Dance Hall in Texas was located in nearby Historic Gruene. Al found out from a neighbor that John Travolta danced in the Guene Hall as the arch-Angel Michael from the movie of the same name. Being the movie buff I am Al and I took a ride over. What a great day and a wonderful little town. If ever in the area don't pass that one up.

We had a very quiet New Years Eve and since it was 12 midnight in New York and since we were in Texas we could go to bed at 11 pm cause it was already the new year. Heavy man!

We are moving on to the next stop Deming, New Mexico

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Life after Amazon

Why start there you ask? Because that is the most recent pictures I have. We left Kansas Dec 23, 2009 and headed for Thackerville, Oklahoma to a Coast to Coast park Red River Ranch RV Resort. Passing thru Oklahoma City we noticed there was a large part of RT. 66 there. Visiting as much of the Mother Road is something that is on both our bucket list we had planned to drive back up to Oklahoma City and check that one off. Not going to happen. Traveling in winter one finds the flexabilty of an RVer is tested quite often. The day we where driving back up to Rt. 66 a blizzard started, OK no problem we will do it in a couple of days. So we pulled in the slides and plugged up the drafts against the frosty wind and sat watching the snow fall along with the temperatures. The next morning Dec 25, 2009 we had our very first white Christmas.It was beautiful, all 10 inches of it. We thought OK Saturday we drive up to Oklahoma City, we got a few miles out of the park and the roads where still covered in ice so we turned around and headed to the Casino. After roaming around a few countrys, we went to a Cracker Barrell and chowed down on comfort food.....YUM. We left the next day.