Thursday, March 31, 2011

LET'S TRY CALIFORNIA…..AGAIN



I left Lake Havasu City yesterday with much regret. I really liked it there, especially that first boondocking spot just North of Town. But clearly I left right in the nick of time. I'm sitting in the Walmart parking lot in Bakersfield, CA right now and MELTING with the heat. It's 5:20PM and it is 27C/81F. Me Nerves !! BUT in LHC it is 34C/93F. I just checked the thermostat inside the rig and it is showing 33C/91F.



I traipsed across I-40 for the THIRD time. Didn't like it the first time, liked is less the second time so you can imagine how much I disliked it this time !! That part of the Highway is not fit to drive on. The pavement is in awful condition and I thought for sure the rig was going to shake apart. And if that wasn't bad enough it was very windy. 40mph cross winds that ripped the steering wheel outta my hands several times. 50mph was the maximum that was safe to go. When I pulled into Needles to have a wee rest I felt like someone had beaten me up. Arms, neck, everything sore.




I stayed at Flying J's in Barstow last night. Definitely the nicest Flying J I've been at so far. The main thing is that they have parking for the 18 wheelies on one side of the building and on the opposite side was amble parking for us RV'ers.


This morning I topped off my gas tank and my fresh water tank…..fresh (drinking) water FREE (yes Glenn you read it right !!) LOL I headed for Bakersfield where I am enjoying a gorgeous WARM evening at Wally's RV Park. There's got to be at least a dozen rigs here tonight. I took Highway 58 to get here and it really was a pleasant drive.



Tomorrow ?? Not sure yet. I'm looking for a reasonably inexpensive RV Park to hang my hat at for a week so that I can get some riding in. But it appears that 'reasonably inexpensive' and 'California' do not mix !!

It's now 9:00PM and a very delicious 21C/71F




Tuesday, March 29, 2011

JUST HANGIN'

Spent the last two days not doing much of anything other than laundry today.  YES, Despite all this fantastic weather and breath taking scenery CHORES still have to get done.  I think someone should invent 'disposable clothing'.  Wear it and then throw it out !!  Also still trying to catch up on my Internet stuff and googling until my eyes are falling out of my face trying to figure out where I'm going next.  I know I'll be heading North and probably West…ish, but what route to take ??  Still don't know.

I've been hanging out by the Lake during the day. Man oh Man is it ever gorgeous there !  Here are some pics taken yesterday and today:

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And to think there are people in other parts of the Country SHOVELLING SNOW !!  UGH !! Surprised smile Open-mouthed smile

Oh, yesterday while I was putting my laundry in the trailer I noticed one of the ratchet straps was loose ??  I tightened it but (thankfully) investigated it a little further.  The ratchet on the left side had come away completely from it's ring.  I have been going over some pretty bumpy roads and the trailer has been put on quite a slant on some of these roads but still ??  I shuttered to think about the consequences had I not noticed this.  Oh my poor Harley !

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I'm starting to get the hang of this boondocking stuff and sure enjoy what it's NOT doing to my pocket book.  I have now been without hook-ups for 8 consecutive days.  I think that's a record for me.  I stopped in at Lowe's Garden Centre today and filled my fresh water tank.  The other tanks are still fine.

Later in the afternoon I've moved to another Boondocking spot just South of the City.  It's not as quiet here as the other one I was at as it's close to Highway 95 but I can get Internet here.  Here's a few sunset pics:

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Tomorrow it is going to be a High of 86F; Thursday a High of 92F and Friday a High of 95F.  I certainly won't be able to function at all in that kind of heat so I 'specks I'll be hitting the road tomorrow.  I really hate to leave this place, I love it here.

G'Night Folks.

Monday, March 28, 2011

PROBABLY GONNA MOVE TOMORROW

Sunday, March 27th

Another glorious day here boondocking in Lake Havasu City.  I’d tell you what the temperature was but unfortunately I cannot because I have NO INTERNET !! grr I think it had to be in the 80’s though.

Finally got the bike out and went for a little run.  I think that was the first time since I left Bisbee and WOW did it ever feel good.  I went to the Windsor Beach State Park and had lunch.  What an awesome spot. Right on the water.  I forgot my camera !  Then took a little run to the ‘island’ and ran into Jeff who I met here at the BLM spot.  He’s boondocking there now and I’m thinking about moving there because I’ll likely have Internet there. If I don’t get Internet soon Sandie is going to send out the Police to find me !!  LOL

After we got, back Bennie and I took a little hike up on the rocks.  Well Bennie wimped out about 1/2 up and said “Forget it Mom, you’re NUTS to go any further.”  And with that he turned around and headed back down.  Smart boy I raised !!

A short little ways up there were these two seats (obviously taken out of a van or something) that someone had dragged up there. Pretty cool idea I thought but I wouldn’t DARE sit on them !!

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Someone trying to protect the wildlife growth……or save someone from serious injury.  It’s the latter in my opinion because those things are SHARP.

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Check out my rig from this height.  Awesome spot I have !

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Bennie is shouting to me “Mom, Come back down !  Can you even see me  ??”

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“Tsk, She never listens to me.  She’s gone even higher”

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Later The Chinook came ‘home’ and we sat outside chatting until well after dark.

Yup, All in all a good day.

I MET A CELEBRITY TODAY !!

Saturday, March 26TH

Still boondocking (with NO INTERNET !!) just outside of Lake Havasu City, AZ.  Thank gawd for Windows Live Writer so that I can keep up to date with all the goings on.  LOL
  
You know it’s not even safe to walk through the parking lot of Walmart these days.  Here I was, minding my own business, on my way into Walmart when this small RV pulls up next to me and a guy asks “Are you Denise ?”  A little startled I answered very tentatively “Yes”.  It was none other than Glenn from To Simplify .  Anyone who makes the front page of the L.A. Times is a celebrity in my books.


I have been following Glenn’s Blog for a few months now and because it interested me I started from the first day he started to Blog and took awhile to get current.  So I feel like I already know this young man.  When I ‘get into’ a Blog it’s like reading a book or watching a movie.  I can visualize everything that is being written or said yet somehow it’s not ‘real’.  So to actually met someone in person was very exciting and very strange at the same time.



I had been corresponding with Glenn via his Blog and e-mail so I knew he was here and he knew I was going to be here.  Yet I really didn’t actually think that we would get to meet as he had planned to be leaving here about the same time I was arriving. 


Well we chatted in the Walmart parking lot for about an hour – showing off our respective rigs etc.  That Chinook is one awesome rig !!  And Emily is every more adorable in ‘person’.  Glenn said he would come by ‘my place’ later and sure enough a few hours later “THE CHINOOK” pulled into where I was.  Still felt odd as I had see pics of his rig so many times on his Blog.  We chatted and chatted and chatted, went for a walk etc.


Glenn, if you are reading this, it was my pleasure to be in your company and you are just ‘da DOLL !!  LOL  Now all we gotta do is fatten his young man up !!  He has lost a lot of weight due to his recent illness.  Here are some pics I took.  Bennie is meeting Emily.
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WELCOME TO ARIZONA

HUH ?? WTF ?? I know I’ve made some pretty serious wrong turns since I started this journey……but back in Arizona ?? Let me tell you about it……


The last days have been ‘challenging’ to say the least. It’s been cold, raining, windy and the road conditions in many places were so bad that I thought the whole RV was going to shake apart.


TUESDAY, MARCH 22


I left Riverside, CA and decided to head to Amboy, CA where there is the ‘infamous’ Roy’s Diner and Route 66.



The first thing I see was that four letter “S” word – that should have been my first clue to TURN AROUND !!

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I went through this area (no idea now where it was) that had some serious wind power happening. There had to have been thousands of these:


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It never ceases to amaze me that we can produce electrical energy from the wind and the sun. Why are we not doing more of it ??


I didn’t quite make it there that day because by the time I reached Twentynine Palms, CA I was ready to call it a day. I only had 50 miles left to go and really considered it but BOY am I glad I didn’t push forward. I had read on one of the RV websites that there was boondocking in Joshua Tree but clearly (as usual LOL) didn’t read it quite right. I see the turn off to Joshua Tree National Park and in I went. At the Visitors Centre they told me it was $10.00 to dry camp there and man oh man do I HATE paying for ‘dry camping’. But I was tired so paid it. Next thing you know I’m at the booth where you enter this Park and now they want another $15.00 to ‘enter’ the Park. So I paid $25.00 for one night of dry camping !! grrrrr


This place is beautiful no question about it and it is a Campers (as in TENTS) paradise as well as a hikers paradise. Big RV rigs are there but it sure is a tight squeeze as you basically just pull off the road…..which is VERY narrow to begin with. Here are some pics:


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Wednesday, March 23rd


I left Joshua Tree National Park and proceeded the remaining 50 miles to Amboy, CA. It seemed like an endless drive and this was the first (and only) place to pull over for a rest. I’m thinking it was probably a gas station ‘back in the day’ but now it’s just a place to dump garbage and obviously for teenagers to hang out by the amount of broken beer bottles and firecrackers laying around.



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You can see the length of desert I still had to drive before I (hopefully) came across civilization again….


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I was beginning to wonder if in fact I was on the right road !! Finally I arrived at the ‘infamous’ Roy’s Diner and the even more ‘infamous’ ROUTE 66. I was thrilled !! Check out the price of gas !!


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I quickly learned that the ‘Town’ of Amboy consisted of Roy’s Diner; a post office; an airport (now closed); a Motel (now closed) and three houses:

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One of my Bucket List rides is to ride (part of) Route 66. The ‘plan’ was to find a place to stay for the night and get the bike out the next day. I went in to Roy’s Diner (not a soul there) and spoke with the guy behind the counter to ask if I could park in the lot for the night. He said ok or I could also park by the airport. “You saw the airport, right ?” he asked. “No”, I answered. Here is the ‘airport’:

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I hung around there for about an hour I guess pondering what I was going to do. A few people in cars and a few bikers pulled in for a few minutes and then left. It was pretty isolated. I then drove up the road a mile where I had read about Amboy Crater and also read there was boondocking there. I sat in that parking lot for a little while and it was also pretty isolated. As much as I wanted to stay I knew I would not be comfortable. I got on the computer to decide if I would head West again where there was Barstow, CA that I knew had a Walmart, Flying J, Pilot etc. etc. Or head East to Needles, CA that I knew nothing about. Barstow it was.


I continue on Route 66 until I reached the I-40. Route 66 may be ‘historic’ but I can tell ya the State sure is not maintaining the road. The ‘pavement’ was worse than any gravel I’ve driven on.


THURSDAY, MARCH 24TH



I hung out at Flying J’s for two nights in rain, cold and wind constantly checking the weather in areas close to where I was and WEST. NO LUCK. During the day I pulled out of the Flying J’s parking lot and found this nice, quiet open gravel area to spend the day at.

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Southern California has had nothing but rain for the past week or more and more rain in the foreseeable future. The only area that was sunny and WARM was back in Arizona and so as not to go back too too far South I was looking at Lake Havasu City (remember I wanted to go back there but changed my mind !! grrr).



FRIDAY, MARCH 25TH


This morning I woke up FREEZING and with a vengeance I said F*CK IT – I’M OUTTA HERE. I was on the road at the crack of dawn (9:15AM), got on the Highway and put the cruise control on SPEED (65mph where the speed limit is 75mpg……ya, I know I’m so reckless !! LOL) and headed BACK to Arizona.

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I was told about a boondocking place just outside of Lake Havasu City but this time I e-mailed Glenn to get very specific directions. AND I actually found it. Thanks Glenn !!! So this is my little piece of heaven for the next few days. Exactly what I was looking for. Not a sound ! No 18 wheelie noise – no train noise - no Highway traffic noise – no barking dogs – NO INTERNET !!! Oh well, I can’t have it all I suppose.

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When I opened the trailer I saw that the ratchets that I had secured the rear of the bike with had completely come out of the rings and the bike had shifted quite a bit. I told you that part on Route 66 I drove was VERY rough. I couldn’t get it out like that.


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Thankfully there was someone close by that helped me lift it to the centre so all is well now. I have a reservation at an RV Park here that I’ll probably go to on Monday. If I could get Internet at this boondocking spot I wouldn’t move. AND I’m NOT leaving this area this time until I see for certain that the weather is warm.