BLM boondocking

The next stop was a BLM boondocking site just south of Joshua Tree National Park near Indio. I had heard of this spot for years but had never stayed there. It was a nice area with mountain views and only a few other Rvers in the area. The weather was good, and it was of course free. I took Charlie on several hikes in the area and saw many deer tracks and one mountain lion track but no sightings of either one.

We ate at the restaurant at Chiraico Summit which is a great stop on I-10 with a gas station, restaurant, and the General patton museum.

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California here we come

After three months we finally arrived back in California. Our first stop was in Blythe at a county park right on the Colorado river. Here are some photos of the area.

Campsite

Campsite

Colorado River

Colorado River

For those who haven’t been to the Colorado River it is a surreal experience because you are driving through some of the hottest and driest areas of the country and right in the middle of it is a very large clear flowing river.

Blythe 004

Beavertail cactus

Beavertail cactus

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KOFA National Wildlife Refuge

We have been in Quartzsite for a few days on our trip west and wanted to visit a place where we have never been, and after some consideration chose KOFA NWR, which is a very large wildlife refuge close to Quartzsite. They are noted for Bighorn Sheep and old silver mines. Most of the refuge only contains rough jeep roads but we found one that was scenic and on a good dirt road, the Palm Canyon hike.

After a seven mile drive on a washboard dirt road, (the ride seemed better when we drove faster), we arrived at the trailhead parking lot. Nobody else was there and the weather was perfect. It was a short half mile hike up the canyon to view the largest native fan palm grove in Arizona. By comparison there are seven groves in Joshua Tree NP alone.

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge 002 Kofa National Wildlife Refuge 005 Kofa National Wildlife Refuge 014The picture above shows the Palm tree grove but unfortunately the trees were in shadow and so were hard to see. We did not want to wait for the sunlight to shine on them and turned back.

Spring in the desert is one season that we have not experienced much, so it was delightful to see many desert plants in full bloom. The Sonoran desert is really a beautiful place.

Ocotillo with red blooms

Ocotillo with red blooms

Cholla cactus

Cholla cactus

Cholla cactus bloom

Cholla cactus bloom

Next stop……………Blythe, California………………

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We arrive in Arizona

Well, it was a long drive south from Denver through the southern portion of Colorado and then into the desolate northeastern region of New Mexico where due to the scarcity of signs we never really knew exactly where we were. We breezed past Santa Fe so did not get to enjoy the historical charm of the city. Some of the oldest structures in North America are in Santa Fe. It was founded before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock.

We stayed at an RV Park near Albequerque and the next morning headed west to a little place near Holbrook, Arizona. We stayed a couple of nights there so that we could visit Tammy’s good friend Cindi in Pinetop, a charming little town in the White mountains.

A few pictures of the group,

005 004While in the area we of course had to visit Petrified Forest National Park where I volunteered in 2011 for three months. We drove through the park from North to South while I served as informal tour guide for Tammy, stopping at Pintado Point, Newspaper Rock and Crystal forest to see the magnificent collection of petrified wood there.

010012 021Newspaper rock, see how many petroglyphs you can find………………..

016024Next post will be from Quartzsite, Arizona where we are residing for a week or so……………….

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Road Trip to California

The 2015 adventure begins!!!

The trip from Houston to Green Valley has begun. The first leg of the trip was designed to head to Denver to visit family there, a 1000 mile odyssey. So we departed rainy Houston and headed north. The rain followed us to Bowie where it came down so hard that we had to stop and pray that no one would hit us. We took the right exit from the highway and found the RV park for the night. We recently joined a discount campground  club, Passport America where you receive 50% off at participating parks. It is a great deal.

The second night was at a city Park in Dalhart, Texas on a lake.

The third day the Jeep would not start, I found a mallet and hit the starter and it started. Whew, that was a close one.

To be continued……………………….

Since we were going to be in Denver for a few days and could work on the car there we decided to keep going and as long as we did not shut off the engine we should be okay. I had to gas up the jeep with the engine running so I was very careful.

We breezed up to the Denver area and we got to “camp” on the street for a week. They let us plug into their electricity and since our tanks were okay we were happy.

Pictures of the family in Denver:

FB_IMG_1427508367076 FB_IMG_1427508389352

Johann helped me replace the starter on the Jeep so it is now road ready again.  He has a garage full of tools and loves to work on cars so that was a big help. For $65 I bought the one with a lifetime warranty. What a deal.

Our other concern was how much, if any, water damage the popup sustained from the torrential rains. We set it up in their side yard and were pleased to discover that it only had minor water damage. I used a bleach solution to clean up the floor. There is a musty smell from the canvas tent but, hey, all canvas tents develop musty smells from water stains so we are glad that we will be able to use it this summer on our little camping getaways from work.

On Friday our little caravan (Miss Sea View, Mr. Cherokee, and Little Coleman) will be headed south to New Mexico and Arizona to visit friends and to seek out new Rich Adventures on our way to California.

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Houston trip to see family

I haven’t posted in a while because Tammy and I traveled to Houston, Texas where I planned to get a job in IT as an SAP ABAP Developer. We thought that I could work for a few years in IT and save up money, and then get back on the road to seek new adventures. Houston was chosen because that is where my children and grandchildren live and I have business contacts there. Below are pictures of the RV park near Houston

Lone Star Lakes RV Park 004 Lone Star Lakes RV Park 005

Unfortunately I was unable to land a job mainly due to my lack of recent IT experience. Many companies were interested based on my experience but none were willing to take a chance on me.

Me, Tammy, daughter Michelle, and grandson Jackson

Me, Tammy, daughter Michelle, and grandson Jackson

Me with granddaughter Lily

Me with granddaughter Lily

Me with grandson Odin

Me with grandson Odin

We didn’t want to stay in Houston unless we had a high paying job so we contacted our previous summer employer at Silver Lake and were told that all of the positions had been filled. So it was time to search the internet to see if there were any openings as Camp Hosts. By March almost all of the good summer jobs are filled and it was slim pickings, but then it happened. I spotted a job on the CLM Services website for two fulltime seasonal camp hosts in Big Bear, California! The pay will be much higher than last year and so we think that we can continue to fulltime RV indefinitely barring any major calamity.

9 of my 10 grandchildren in Texas

9 of my 10 grandchildren in Texas

Megan, Ty, Lauren

Megan, Ty, Lauren

Lily, Abby, Sammy, and Blake

Lily, Abby, Sammy, and Blake

So the preparations were made for a long road trip and we sure were ready after many rainy days in an RV in Houston.

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AMAZON Camperforce

I am writing this from Fernley, Nevada, home to one of 58 Amazon Fulfillment Centers in the US and 100 worldwide. A few of them hire work campers like me to help out during the busy Christmas season. They pay for our RV site nearby and pay a decent hourly salary. There is a lot of overtime also and I plan to work as many hours as they let me.

I am a stower which means that I grab a cart loaded with hundreds of items and try to find room in the bins to stow it. The surprising thing is that we can place the items anywhere we want with the exception of books, DVDs, and CDs which have separate areas. So there is stuff everywhere mixed together but the computer knows where everything is so that the “pickers” can find it and send it to your door.

It is tiring work because I am on my feet for 10-11 hours 5 days a week. The saving grace is that the season only lasts nine weeks and I already have survived three of them. I am really getting in shape with walking 5-6 miles a day and all of the heavy lifting. After “Black Friday” when stuff starts flying off of the shelves I might be shifted to an outbound job.

Some campers have already left due to the hard work but most stick it out because they need the money.The management treats the campers very well and appreciates the hard work that we put in. I had to get used to punching a time clock and eating out of a lunch box. But the job is basically what I expected of a warehouse job.

I have met many great work campers, many of which are fulltime RVers like us who head to Arizona in the winter months. They love the lifestyle like Tammy and I do. It is a terrific life and you don’t need much money at all to get by.

It is great to have Tammy to come home to at the end of a hard day.

NOTE: This is Amazon’s last year in Fernley as the warehouse is moving to Reno. It is not known whether that location will utilize campers in the future and the next nearest facility that does is in Tennessee. So I might have to find employment elsewhere next fall.

Well, that’s it for the updates………Everyone take care and God Bless……………….

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