The circle of life on the road

Sunday, March 2

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No more rain! No more dark sky!

The break in the weather tells me it’s time to move!

But where to?

Bill and Ann drive up on their way out to take care of some Kofa volunteer duties. We toss around some ideas where the crew and I can go next.  One pressing situation throws a monkey wrench into the search for a new boondock.

I need to dump.

There are some things in this vagabond life that cannot be ignored.

Hmmm . . . Today is Sunday. I could drive up to Quartzsite to dump. Yuck. I am not in the mood to drive thirty miles for another Big Q Experience. Plus we need to restock the Perfect Tow Vehicle’s pantry. The Quartzsite stores aren’t good for stocking up and I don’t like that drive to the Wal-Mart in Parker. That leaves . . .

Yuma. Again.

Breaking camp is quick today. I never unhitched when we moved across Palm Canyon Road.

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RVSue Tip of The Day: How to park when you’re too lazy to unhitch . . .

If I don’t plan on unhitching and I can’t find perfectly level ground, I make sure the tongue end is higher than the bumper end. Two reasons why. One, I figure it’s better for the PTV not to be holding the weight of the trailer. No data to back this up. Just seems like a good idea.

Two, my head.

I don’t want to sleep with my head lower than my feet. The head of my bed is toward the tongue end of the BLT. Therefore I want that end higher. Make sense?

Also if you aren’t perfectly level from side to side, at least make sure your bed isn’t tilted to roll you out of bed during the night. I know I sound like the princess and the pea. Trust me. It isn’t restful to spend the night dreaming you’re hanging onto the deck of a listing ship. I’ve tried it.

Okay. So we hit the road.

I stop in front of Anne’s campsite on the way out. I holler a hello and she comes out of her Escape. We talk briefly and wish each other happy and safe travels.

I like the drive between Kofa and Yuma. It’s especially pretty after the recent rain. (Sorry, no photo!)  Brittlebushes line the road. Their mounds of bright yellow, interspersed with light-green bursage, give the feeling of a grand promenade as we proceed in a straight line across the flat desert plain with mountains on both sides.

Not long into our drive we go through a short pass.

As we come out the other side, to my surprise a wind gust sways the Best Little Trailer!

Oh, I forgot to put on the anti-sway bar! At the first opportunity, I pull off the road and put it on. I always want the anti-sway bar when towing. It’s the greatest device. It makes the BLT feel like part of the PTV. Don’t tow without one!

I dump the waste tanks and fill the fresh water tank at Love’s Travel Center in Yuma.

It’s $9 for dump and water. I give the girl a twenty and she gives me a receipt wrapped around some bills. I unwrap to find a five and a one. Un-uh.

“Excuse me, miss. You gave me six dollars instead of eleven.”

She doesn’t hesitate, slapping a five out of the register and handing it to me. Hmm . . . Did she intentionally try to short me five dollars?

We zip over one block west to Wal-Mart.

What a zoo!

I mean more than the usual zoo. It’s late Sunday afternoon at the start of the month and the store is packed with shoppers stocking up. By the time I’m out of there, we’re losing daylight. I don’t want to go looking for a boondock. I’m worn out. Bridget and Spike are hungry.

I just want us to go home.

And that’s how we end up returning to Sidewinder Road west of Yuma.

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Without even looking for our former site, I’m drawn to it. I let out the crew and they skip around like, “Hey! I remember this place! Cool! We’re back!”

rvsue

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71 Responses to The circle of life on the road

  1. Phyllis says:

    RVSue:

    The button said leave a comment, I clicked it and now I’m speechless.

    Phyllis in Oklahoma

  2. Mick'nTN says:

    The red flower against the blue sky is a beautiful composition. And I see a fellow reader is the proud owner of a very nice Nikon camera package. Guess you got the blog mess fixed?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Whew! I was on live chat with Hostgator for about a half hour. Then I updated WordPress. Still no comments. Finally I got the idea to post this entry all over again. Did it and the comments showed up! Whatever is wrong isn’t fixed, but at least the comments are enabled for this post.

      Thanks for helping me with that, Mick.

      And thank you re: the ocotillo photo. Aren’t the colors lovely? I didn’t enhance them at all.

      Yeah, I was very happy to see that order!

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Re-load is probably the best first step when things go funky for no apparent reason.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I don’t know if you’d call this a re-load. I started with a blank form for a new post, copied the existing post, pasted into the form, and re-published. I lost the photo captions in the process.

          It’s still operating super slowly. That’s a problem for another day.

  3. Robin in Central Coast California says:

    Whew! Serendipity on all counts. Beautiful flower. On fixing the comments … Huzzah!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hate it when my blog is messed up! And especially to be cut off from my readers! Glad to see you here, Robin.

  4. Who says you can’t go home again? 🙂

  5. Linda says:

    Just realized I can see the photo captions on my desktop, computer that is, but they don’t appear on the iPad.
    What’s up with that?

  6. Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

    I have never seen the ocotillos around me bloom (Mesa)… such bright interesting flowers. The various opuntia cactus are bursting out all over for the last week or two. The rain should really get them going as it warms over the next few days. Lots and lots of buds…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Connie,

      We’re not staying on Sidewinder very long. Not many flowers or cacti here. Ocotillo in bloom all over, but that’s it. I want to go where there are more blooms!

  7. Rob says:

    Short changed… the last time I was involved with that was at a drive up coffee place. Thieves everywhere it seems. Stay safe & thanks for the reminder!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rob,

      My last time being shorted was at a drive-up coffee place, too. I ended up paying $14 for a regular coffee and a biscuit that should have cost $4. She said I gave her a ten, when it was a twenty.

      • Linda in TX says:

        Speaking of short-changing, we have learned to always SAY “I’m giving you a twenty” or “Eighteen fifty out of twenty”. This happened to us recently, and my husband calmly asked for an audit of the register. The young cashier was rude and defensive and the manager she called for was abrupt and surly. Ten minutes later the manager sheepishly apologized and handed us our money. The cashier was still hiding in the back.

        Back to the topic…!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That’s a good habit to have. I try to remember to announce what I’m handing the cashier, too.

          Good for your husband for persevering! That’s the kind of thing that discourages stealing.

  8. Lacy says:

    Hi Sue!
    Great pictures as always (that sweet Crew!) but that last one? Untouched? WOW. Great shot.

    I was thinking, do you ever have overcast days and don’t get as much solar energy stored in your batteries? Do you ever run low and if so, what do you do differently to conserve energy? I’m very curious how you manage your days regarding energy consumption. Have you ever completely run out of battery power? Do you have back up/flashlights????? I’d love to hear details someday if you want to write about it (you probably think this is boring and I find it fascinating!)

    FREEZING down South and ready for some warmth & sunshine 😉
    hugs,
    Lacy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lacy,

      The only power problems I can think of were when the connector on the cable running from the BLT to the PTV was damaged because it dragged on the ground and one time, when I played too many computer games in the evening. The next morning I had to wait an hour after getting up before plugging in anything because the inverter squawked.

      During the time of the bad connector, I took my laptop out to tht PTV and with the motor running, blogged and answered comments.

      No, I’ve never “completely run out of battery power” because my inverter has a minimum setting. The inverter squawks if I drain the battery too low. This protects the batttery.

      Since I replaced the house battery with an AGM battery and since I had the connector repaired, I’ve had plenty of power.

      My battery power consumption is limited to one or two LED lights at a time, charging laptop and other electronics, water pump, fridge light panel, and very rarely, the tv and Fantastic Fan. No toaster, blender, electric can opener… stuff I don’t miss.

      • Hi Sue,
        Lacy asked a question I was curious about too–thank you, Lacy. So your experience has been that, even on overcast days, you have enough battery to power what you want/need? What was your experience with your solar when you were camping in the trees out here in Washington last year?

        Jim & I are trying to figure out the solar vs gen thing. We’re taking our first trip with the trailer in July & I think we may just not hook up to power, use things as we typically would & see how long it takes before our battery goes down 50%. As you can tell, we can more ? than answers right now.

        The ocotillo photo is stunning! Take good care.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It does take a little experience to inform you what your power usage is and the draw on your batteries. . .

          I guess I drove the PTV around enough while in Washington that the batteries were constantly being charged during daylight hours. I did have a problem one time when camped in a completely shady campground in Oregon. I drove the PTV to the day use area, parked in full sun, and the crew and I fooled around there while the batteries were charged.

  9. We will GRATEFULLY take it, anyway we can get it!!
    Great post, as usual, captions or not! Many probably feel like I do: Reading this blog is part of our routine, and a day isn’t complete without the comments, too!!
    I park my rig “heads up” and in dire circumstances, have been known to put my pillow at the foot of the bed so it ‘feels right’.
    The ‘warmth’ radiates here online, but it’s 26 degrees here in TX!! Whew!
    I can go to bed now!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Comment-withdrawal can get pretty ugly. I scrambled to get it working again because comments are half of my blog!

      Forgive me for pointing this out… It’s almost 60 degrees WARMER here. 😉

  10. Paul Stough says:

    If you want to drive a little farther into Yuma, here is a free dump and fill place. BTW, the water at the dump site is city water and is potable according to the clerk.

    http://www.sanidumps.com/locationmap2.php?id=2322

    Paul

  11. Maura says:

    LOL…she wasn’t trying to rip you off…hmmm it’s called stupid! I had the reverse experience, but my faithful, honest husband gave the cashier back her money! LOL! Hello, you are in Yuma right?!

    • Marsha in MI says:

      I wondered about that. Why would she wrap the change in the receipt? I’ve never seen that done. Usually it’s receipt, then change on top. It’s something worth watching in the future if anyone comes across that again.

      I’ve had cashiers give me too much change (there’s your stupid) and when I’ve pointed it out and gave it back they either acted angry that I did that or didn’t acknowledge it with a thank you.

  12. Larry M says:

    The only time I was passed phony money was in Yuma in 2003. A counterfeit $5 bill of all things. 🙂 LOL

  13. Just look at that sky behind the ocotillo. I love the blazing red against the blue. Nice job with the camera. Tucson is just now getting some prickly pears in bloom as well as the ocotillo. I’m so glad to be here and not north or east.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Allison,

      Yes, the prickly pears (and beavertails) are starting to bloom. I saw one in bloom on the way to Yuma, but at a place I couldn’t stop.

      The sky can be such a powerful blue that it looks fake in photos when there aren’t clouds. It looks straight out of the Crayola box!

  14. klbexplores says:

    Toto, There is no place like home. One of my favorite quotes. Indeed, Sue, Home is where ever you are.

    • klbexplores says:

      Boy, I had to work hard for this comment!! Glad you figured out a back door to get the comments back on line.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, klbexplores,

        I don’t want to deal with that problem ever again. I’ll be holding my breath when I push the “publish” button for the next post. Thanks for sticking with us!

  15. Ladybug says:

    I know what you mean regarding the way you park and sleeping uphill/downhill. The truck stop parking lots were usually level so not a problem, but sometimes I had to park to sleep either on an interstate ramp or at a truck stop that wasn’t level. Slept ‘on my head’ once and never again!

    Speaking of moving, have you given any thoughts about where you might want to go this year? I know that you’re more of an off-the-cuff traveler, but didn’t know if you had some ideas of where you’d like to go (whether you get there or not). 😉 Part of the fun for me is the planning! 😀

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ladybug,

      I’ve given a lot of thought (and time studying my atlases) to where we might go this year. I haven’t made any decisions yet. I haven’t even decided how we will get out of Arizona! You describe me well… I’m “an off-the-cuff traveler!”

      • Ladybug says:

        Personally, I think you should go check out Rusty’s new digs, since you’re so close! 😀

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I definitely plan on visiting Rusty before we leave Arizona. I haven’t told him yet. 🙂 Hope he doesn’t mind . . .

  16. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue,
    You mentioned an anti-sway bar that you can attach and re-attach as needed. I went to the Camping World site and found a confusing variety. My Sunset is small and light, under 4000 # total. Can you or any of the readers recommend what I should buy, please.
    Sounds like you are moving on…
    Best wishes during your continued journey north (?)

  17. jeff says:

    Hi Sue, guess your motto when going to a different place in regards to the sway bar should be “don’t move your home without it”. I remember when they counted your change back to you, but, sorry to say, that’s a fading memory!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jeff,

      You know? That practice of counting back change was like a canary in the mine. Once that faded away, intelligent life as we knew it died. LOL!

      Whenever I remove the sway bar I should put it on the propane cover where it’s in plain view, instead of inside the back of the PTV. I’ve forgotten it more than once, until I get out on the road. Then I remember!

  18. Sounds like the clerk at Pilot has quite a scam going! Who wraps the recipe around the change!? Wonder how much she’s skimmed off people! Good you caught her.

    Love that close up of the ocotillo flower!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John and Pam,

      Something else made be suspicious. I didn’t tell her she owed me a five. I told her she gave me six dollars instead of eleven. A typical reaction would be a millisecond of surprise over the mistake and another millisecond or more to subtract six from eleven. This young woman immediately grabbed a five dollar bill and handed it to me. No eye contact given and no “I’m sorry” spoken.

  19. Cinandjules (-20 NY) says:

    Glad you were able to fix the comment section. The disconnected feeling goes both ways! Well then……..

    Spike and Bridget look well! Your description of why you park the way you do was hilarious.

    Truck stops are very busy and customers are always in a hurry to get back on the road! Receipt warped around your change? Hmmmm…and she didn’t hesitate? Sounds a bit fishy…perhaps she’s trying to subsidize her income…hoping not to be “discovered” until your next stop 200 miles down the interstate.

    Good grief what were WE thinking going to town ie Walmart yesterday! There should be a dedicated checkout for the WIC people! But that would be some form of discrimination. It just irks me that everything has to be rung up separately, forms need to be filled out…then they don’t have enough money for the remaining groceries and start removing items out of the bag. This all happening while their five kids not to mention “a bun in the oven” are out of control. Ok end of rant!

    I didn’t know your sway bar thingymagiggy comes off.

    What’s on the agenda today? Better yet….what’s for dinner?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, cinandjules,

      Thank you for trying to help me out of the no-comments snafu. Of all things to lose . . . comments! What would “rvsue and her canine crew” be without all this jibber-jabber! 🙂

      Did you notice how funny Bridget’s legs look? I’m talking about the second photo. I can’t look at it without laughing.

      What a scene at Wal-Mart. You’ve got your pasty-faced teenagers dressed like ancient druids, crying, red-faced babies, whining children pulling stuff off the shelf, confused senior citizens in slo-mo (me included!), angry young men with their beer and frozen pizza, young mothers counting out precious coins, rude cart-pushers, wide loads having a chat while blocking the aisle . . . No wonder my cashier looked exhausted!

      Dinner wasn’t anything special. The rotisserie chickens were all sold out!

      • MK Reed says:

        Bummer about the Rot Chicken, the WallyWorld Rot Chicken is better than the Kroger and a buck less too!

        I love your description of WallyWorld shoppers.

        Have you ever looked at:
        http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh yeah… Most of those people shop at the Wal-Mart I used to frequent in Georgia. I expect someday I’ll appear on that site wearing my hat.

  20. weather says:

    you’ve become one of the great leaders in our connecting with others that are like us
    these connections are our sway bar making us feel a part of instead of apart from
    left a reply on your coyote wash page a bit ago
    thanks again for making me a smiling reader

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Great sway-bar analogy! I don’t want any commenters swaying off my blog . . .

      I’m sorry if I missed your reply on the coyote wash page. I’ll go look again.

      Nice to know you’re smiling!

  21. Deb from NJ says:

    Like everyone else I am glad you were able to get the comments back up and running. Hate when something like that happens because it does take a lot of time to get it right again.
    The ocotillo reminds me of a burst of fireworks! How beautiful! Love the blue sky in the background. The skies in the West are the best ever. They are the bluest during the day and they have the most stars ever seen at night.
    The Crew look very content in their beds. They certainly have the good life!
    One thing I always try to avoid …….shopping the first week of the month! Or expect it to be very crowded.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Deb,

      I mentioned this to cinandjules above. Look at Bridget’s legs in the second photo. Is that funny or what? This is how she relaxes. Haaha! It looks like she’d wobble and roll if you touched her shoulder.

      Always good to hear from you! Don’t slip on the ice!

  22. DeAnne in TN says:

    Today is a rubber mallet day, Sue. Our snow and ice haven’t melted one bit, so the rubber mallet will be used to help clear my windshields and tires. Had another snow day today, but I need to prepare for tomorrow morning. Who doesn’t need a rubber mallet???

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, DeAnne,

      Warning: Do NOT take that rubber mallet to school. 🙂

      • DeAnne in TN says:

        We’ve got our third snow day tomorrow. Every other county around us has 10-14 days built in for snow days; our stupid county has FOUR. They won’t extend the school year, but it may be dark going in and going home. That’s okay–Spring Break is three weeks away (they won’t cancel that due to trips already paid for) and, right now, we get out right before Memorial Day. And I booked a vacation cruise in July! Haven’t had a vacation in three years and I am excited! I promise I’ll leave my mallet at home. 😉

  23. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

    Sue, you get a big Gold Star for the Ocotillo Bloom! Perfect Shot.
    Ha, tried to tell ya last night but all was silent. Love seeing your photography grow.

  24. LeeJ says:

    Yeah, you got it figured out! I messed about for a while yesterday trying to find the comments button, can’t miss reading what folks have to add to the chatter…

    Isn’t the rain glorious? We are finally getting wet here in central California, maybe I won’t be spending twenty five buck for a bale of hay next summer after all!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee,

      It’s good to hear you’re getting rain in central California. It passed through here very quickly and now it seems like it was never here.

      People write that reading my blog is a part of their daily routine. Well, reading comments is part of my routine, too. I’d miss all the talk that goes on here.

  25. Willow says:

    Wow…did we ever get a downpour here in the west valley, Az. even the umbrellas didn’t help, I thought about you Sue, I knew you were safe but I said a little prayer for you and the crew anyway.
    Your pictures are beautiful, the bloom is spectacular and always love pictures of the dynamic duo, what a great life they have, they have so many walks and new adventures and the food is doggie gourmet.
    Keep enjoying your life and sharing your adventures with us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Willow,

      Sweet of you to say a prayer for me and the crew. I’m glad you got some rain, and I hope you are enjoying your life, too.

  26. Rod says:

    Yup, make an innocent mistake when counting out change, and when the drawer comes out long just keep the excess….. I would have gone and told the manager… But then that’s the old CPA and auditor in me……

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I normally would’ve told the manager, too. I had the crew waiting in the PTV and it was getting hot . . .

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