Thursday, March 13
After waiting three days for a break in the wind, I step outside to a calm and sunny morning at our camp on King Road near the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.
“Looks like a great day for moving camp, guys!”
Immediately Bridget and Spike know we’re leaving. Soon after breakfast, I pack us up and hitch up. At the last minute I remember to check the Perfect Tow Vehicle’s fluids. Both coolant and oil are down. I add the coolant. Dang it, where did I put that oil? Probably buried in the back somewhere. Oh well, we should be okay. It’s not down far.
I have lots to accomplish today.
The crew is excited to be on the road again. We zip northward on Highway 95. It’s about 30 miles to Quartzsite. I turn into Pattie’s RV Park and get both propane tanks filled ($22.70). From there we circle around to Rosie’s RV Park on Kuehn Street where I dump tanks and fill the fresh water tank ($10).
I return to Main Street and park at the grocery store.
(I love how I can tool around town with the Best Little Trailer following behind, no problem!) Inside the store I’m convinced of what I already knew. We’re gonna’ hafta go to Parker, no two ways about it.
I don’t have any idea where we will camp tonight.
Outside the store I fill eight one-gallon jugs with drinking water from a vending machine ($1.75). I hurry because the day is already a hot one.
I move us over to the Family Dollar parking lot next door.
I run in, buy some motor oil, and off we go!
North of Quartzsite, I stop at the trash dump, see that it’s closed on Thursdays, and return to Highway 95. We cross the flat, barren desert for 23 miles, turn left onto Highway 72, and 12 miles later enter busy, busy Parker, Arizona, a magnet for desert RVers.
I walk the crew in the Wal-Mart parking lot — a very productive mission, I might add. Inside Wally’s, I grab some perishables at break-neck speed, mindful of the crew waiting outside.
Back at the PTV the three of us devour some rotisserie chicken. I cram a small bag of trash in a Wal-Mart receptable. However, I drive off with a big bag of trash because the bins are filled to the brim.
I pull into Terrible’s Gas Station.
Turns out it’s aptly named. The dadburn pump is old, very old. When I try to enter my zip code, it screws it up. Of course, after three tries the pump tells me to go inside and pre-pay. It’s so busy at the station, I refuse. After a long wait to get back into traffic, I resort to the I’m-bigger-than-you-are-so-you-have-to-stop-and-let-me-out method. A wave out the window in thanks, and we’re heading out of Parker.
Not so fast!
I need gas. I pull into a Circle K. I look at the pump. There’s a sign on it. “Sorry, please pre-pay inside.” Oh, for heaven’s sake. Bridget is barking her head off.
“I know it’s hot, babe. I’ll be back in a minute. I promise.”
I stand in line while folks buy their lottery tickets. I pre-pay 50 bucks. I run back to the PTV and do something dumb. Very dumb.
There’s no explaining this magnitude of dumb.
I drive off! I’m heading out of Parker when I notice in the side mirror that the gas cap is dangling and bouncing at the end of its tether!
“OH MY GOSH! I NEVER PUMPED THE GAS! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! I PAID AND I NEVER PUMPED THE GAS!”
I check both ways . . . no one coming from either direction, thank God. I whip the wheel for a U-turn. The mighty and agile PTV turns on two wheels and the ever-obedient BLT follows behind on one! We dash back to the Circle K, the gas cap flapping furiously as we go.
“Damn! Someone’s at pump three!” I make a left turn and swing us into place behind the car parked where we were parked a few moments before.
I leap out of the PTV.
“Have you pumped yet?” I exclaim to a startled woman standing by her open door.
“No, I haven’t,” she replies, confused. Beautiful words, wonderful words, glorious words…
A breathless explanation and the woman graciously moves her car to another pump. With great relief I pump those fifty-bucks-worth of gas into the belly of the PTV, and, this time, we really do leave Parker.
At some point between Quartzsite and Parker, our destination had become clear.
We motor about 25 miles east to the small town of Bouse.
Here’s our new camp!
To be continued . . .
NOTE: You people are nuts! Over 350 comments! What a riot! I read every word, amazed.
My sincere thanks for all the kind words and concern sent my way. After my brief illness — which, BTW, I’m certain was caused by pre-washed greens, never buying them again! — I sunk into a pit of gloom. Ridiculous, I know, for someone living the life of her dreams and with no real problems at all.
Like many folks, I carry baggage from the past. Most of the time I keep it stored away in a locked closet in my head. When that baggage breaks open, I get cranky and gloomy and sharp-tongued. That’s one of the reasons I stopped making posts and quit replying to comments. When in a funk I can’t write without being snippy. I apologize. You don’t deserve that!
Thanks again for turning “the little blog that could” into a warm, happy, and uniquely interesting place. You mean more to me than you’ll ever know! . . and, of course, once again . . .
THANKS FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!