Mar and Gar's Adventures

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Closer To Home

I am writing this at Crescent City on the northern California coast….very close to the Oregon border.   A slighly humerous note about finding an RV Park here… we drove around and around looking for the one we both remembered from the last time we spent a night here and then found out later at dinner that the tsunami that hit in 2011 took it out.  No wonder we couldn’t find it!

Back to our journeys.  I didn’t give a lot of details about our boat ride on the lake and then up river to see the Bryants.  It was great being on a boat on a perfect day.  Even when in the lake you had better know where you are going or follow your charts carefully as there are areas of very shallow water that sneak up on you.   Bill had done the trip before but with the owner of the boat so we probably were a bit more cautious.   The scenery was amazing.  We really enjoyed the ride.

I mentioned last time that we were going to go stay in an RV park where the Bryants were staying which was about 25 minutes from Lake Havasu.  (Well, it was 2 hours by boat!)  They had discovered Moabi Regional Park by Pirates Cove.  I believe it was technically in California but it gets really confusing.  Just ask our cell phones.  The time zone would change if you moved a few feet one way or the other.

Anyway, the park has peninsulas that anywhere from 2 to 8 rvs can park with full hook-up.  We got a spot at a peninsula next to Bryants.  We ended up staying two nights.   What we learned was if you want peaceful, stay during the week.  If you want partying, be there on a weekend.  We did a bit of both and enjoyed it all.  We plan on coming back to this park next year for sure.

Garry took me for a ride in the dunes on Bill Bryant’s side by side otherwise known as an off road vehicle.  I don’t remember the make.  All I know is I did not like it, will never do it again… scared the you know what out of me.  Zooming up and down scary hills just is not going to be my thing!

We borrowed Bill Bryant’s truck one day and drove about 45 miles to Bullhead City to check on our property.  We are thinking of putting it officially on the market.  Prices are starting to rebound there so we are doing homework on real estate agencies, etc.

We left Moabi at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday because we wanted to be somewhere to watch the Daytona 500 which started at 1:00 east coast time.  So, we drove 4 hours to Pahrump, Nevada.  Gotta say, driving through Las Vegas at 8:00 a.m. is the time to do it!   No traffic so smooth sailing.

Weather started changing near Pahrump… temperatures dropped, rain started.   We watched the race (well, OK, I slept through a lot of it) and had pizza that night and watched the Oscars (OK, Gar slept throught most of that!)   We woke to hear that it had snowed in Vegas and surrounding areas.  We had no snow but all the mountains had a fresh coat.  It was 18 degrees out when we woke up!   What happened to our 80 degree Arizona weather.

After Pahrump it was trying to figure out where to be for my birthday.  We ended up at a great RV park in Sparks and walked to a nearby casino.  We had a wonderful dinner in their steakhouse, drank too much champagne and gambled a bit too much too.  But isn’t that what birthdays are for?

The next day, after a little later start than normal, we fueld up and headed toward Susanville and then over to Yreka.

Speaking of fuel… dummy me.  I had forgotten all about the app Gas Buddy until just before Pahrump.  I downloaded it and it was wonderful.  Just a little click has now found us the cheapest gas in town and surrounding areas.   So far it has proven very accurate and helpful!

After a nice quiet night in Yreka, yesterday we headed to the California coast on one of our favorite routes, the Old Redwoods Highway, Hwy 96.  The trip distance to Arcata on the coast is about the same miles as the newer highway but takes more than twice as long due to twisty turns and slower speeds and lots of stops to take pictures.  That sad part of this drive and the one from Susanville to Yreka was seeing all of the damage down by recent forest fires.

So last night we ended up in Crescent City and went out to a nice seafood dinner and a quiet night back in the RV.  Today we will cross into Oregon with no destination yet in mind.  I guess wherever the road takes us.   The weather this morning is sunny with some clouds and no wind so a great day to be driving the coast.

We will be home some time this weekend.  What a great trip it has been!


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The Week After Mexico

We left Mexico and drove all of about 40 miles to a little spot in the road called Why. Two miles east is a little (and I mean really little) casino with an RV park behind it. We spent a quiet night there while I got our laundry caught up. The next day’s was all of 10 miles or so back to Ajo where we had another peaceful night. The next day we headed to Yuma. First we had to fuel up in Gila Bend and I saw the funniest thing. Gila Bend is pretty much a hot and dusty crossroads for I-8 and I-95, so fuel, fast food and a couple motels and restaurants and that is pretty much it. While we were fueling I looked over at the Carl’s Jr burger place and spotted 4 Tesla charging stations. Maybe it is me, but it really seemed a pretty funny place for that!

We spent a few days in Yuma and got to catch up with our McQuade friends who are spending several months this winter at their home there. It is their first year with both Tim and Glenda being retired and they are really enjoying it. We were also able to spend some time with Bette McQuade and her friend Buzz.

We left Yuma and spent a couple nights in Parker, Arizona. The first night we dry camped in the parking lot of the Blue Water Casino. Free, right? Not so much when you add up what we lost playing blackjack that night!!! The next night we moved all of about 1/2 mile to the Blue Water RV park. We got a great spot very close to the river and found out that they were setting up for some drag boat racing in the upcoming days. Gar was bummed that we would be gone by then.

Whew! The days are speeding along. After Parker we headed to Lake Havasu City to spend a few days with Des Moines friends, Jan and Bill Lande. They had just arrived a couple days earlier and will be staying for about 6 weeks in a house they rented. Day one with them was pretty relaxing with dinner in. Jan has been without a voice for a month despite lots of medicines and visits to doctors. So when she whispers we all kinda start talking super soft, too. She is seeing a specialist here to try to figure things out.

We are almost caught up. Today is Friday the 20th. Yesterday we took the boat that Landes are allowed to use when here and we headed up the lake and then up the Colorado River to Pirates Cove and met up with Bill and Judy Bryant who are camped there on the river. We missed seeing other yacht club friends by a few days. Anyway, it was getting late in the day so we moored the boat there at a marina, had dinner, the used Bryant’s truck to drive back to Havasu. Today Gar and I will take the RV to the park where the Bryants are and we will get their truck back to them. Jan and Bill will drive up with their SUVS and the boat trailer and tow it back to Havasu. Complicated? Kind of. But it all made sense last night.


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More Mexico Adventures

Days two and three of our Mexico adventure started out pretty good. Gar had some issues with the Honda Trail 90 – a dirty carburetor – but he soon fixed it and rode it around and it seemed fine. So I got up my courage to ride on the back and we headed down to a little town a few miles away that he had found the the day before. Many of you know that riding on any kind of motorcycle – even the Trail 90 – is not my favorite thing to do. But the little town was on a well packed dirt road and we couldn’t go very fast so I did really good.

We went to a place called JJ’s that Gar had seen before and down on the beach were some vendors selling all sorts of things. NFL is big down there and so there were ceramic crafts such as plates, platters, cups, etc. with different NFL team logos. I spotted a Seahawk backpack like we saw someone wear when we were back during our Super Bowl fun times in Phoenix so I had to have it!

When we got back on the bike it would not start. Nothing would work. Garry and a local guy pushed it up a hill 3 times and he tried to compression start it but no luck. Luckily I had spotted a family in JJs that were staying in our RV park. They had 3 off road vehicles and a truck, so they loaded the bike and Gar and me in the truck and took us back. After much work and a few calls to motor guy Brian back at home we determined that the coil had probably bit the dust. So that meant no more bike the rest of the trip. A coil for a 1970 Honda Trail Bike is not so easy to come by.

At the RV park there were some vendors that walked by each day trying to sell their stuff. While we were there we bought fresh prawns from Manuel several times. The prawns are absolutely delicious. It is weird – their shells are much softer and easier to peel than ours but the meat is sweeter and firmer. What we call XL size prawns in Canada they call medium. Their large ones are like huge scampi or small lobster! And they taste a lot like lobster. Saturday night I cooked some panko breaded prawns and fixed a salad and we called it good!

Sunday we had to unhook the motorhome and drive it into town since the bike was toast. There is a large free parking area just past the marina and at the beginning of the malecon so we parked and walked through a bunch of shops. We ended up in a bar (surprise!) and had a few margaritas and a huge plate of nachos. We really didn’t buy anything this day at the malecon but we did drive more into Puerto Penasco proper and hit a grocery store and Sam’s Club just to look around.

Everyone we met at our RV park was really nice and lots of fun to talk to. Surprisingly, there were few Canadians at this park but people from Washington, California, Alaska, Oregon, Kentucky, Utah…. We picked their brains on traveling deeper into Mexico because that is what we are thinking of doing next year.

Monday we went back down to the marina area and Garry decided to hire a boat to take him fishing. It was afternoon so not the best time to fish but it was a great looking day for it. So he packed some beverages and he and the captain headed out for about 4 hours of fishing. I parked the Rv back in the big public parking area and did some shopping and then waited for his return. They were back earlier than expected because they were catching so many fish Gar said STOP! They had not gone out to big fish fishing areas but instead stayed closer in so the caught lots of sea bass and flounder, etc. We split the fish with the captain and had fresh fish for dinner that night.

Tuesday Garry had hired a guy comes around and washes and waxes your RV for $1.50 a foot so we had that done. Of course several days later of some dusty roads it didn’t look quite that good but it sure did that day. Then I got very brave and went up for a flight on an ultra light. It was really fun and I took lots of pictures but hanging on and taking pictures didn’t always work so great. I have a few of just sky or just water. I would do it again in a flash.

Tuesday night we went back to Mare Blu for dinner. Our waiter from Friday, Gilbert, was happy to see us and played a huge joke on us. The first night we were there they were out of the inexpensive champagne that we wanted and he had promised he would have it if we came back. He was so sad because he had looked everywhere in town – even Sam’s Club – and couldn’t find any. So while we were deciding what to order he disappeared and then magically appeared with the champagne and an ice bucket. Too funny. Then instead of trying to decide what to order we told him that he and the chef can pick out anything they want for us – with two rules. 1. I don’t eat raw, so it had to be cooked and 2. bring us separate things so we can taste each others food. It was a great dinner and lots of fun.

We also went back to Wrecked at the Reef one day for lunch. They remembered us from Friday night – especially Garry’s dancing skills. At least he didn’t dance on a table and get us kicked out on Friday!

Wednesday we headed back to Arizona – very happy that we went to Mexico and are already planning our trip for next year.


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Mexico – Day 1

Ever since we decided to go south this winter with the motorhome, Garry has wanted to go into Mexico.  We did some research at home before we left and asked around a lot.  It was decided for a first time we would go to Puerto Penasco (aka Rocky Point).   It is about 80 miles or so south on the mainland side of the Baja.  From Ajo it was only a few hours.   We had been given the name of a reputable RV park and when we called they said they had some vacancies but none right on the ocean so off we went.

We crossed the border at Lukeville, Arizona into Sononyta, Mexico.  Lukeville is just a blip.  The Mexico customs was easy.  They just waved us through.  But we were prepared in case they chose to stop us and go through the RV.   We were totally legal with absolutely everything.  It would be stupid to take chances.   We also had purchased the almost mandatory Mexican car insurance before we crossed the border.  It was almost disappointing that we weren’t questioned about anything.   It took a few minutes to drive through the bustling little town, then off we went on the nice highway to Puerto Penasco.   We got there with no problems but my cell phone didn’t immediately lock into signals and neither did our gps in the rv so we got into town and didn’t know where to go.  In addition, the main street into town was all torn up so we had to navigate around – still not knowing where we were going.   We found the marina and the malecon but found out that we needed to head north to where the RV parks and resorts are so fortunatley the signs started to make sense and we got to Playa Bonita RV Park.   It is a large (300 stall) RV park and many people come year after year to it and stay for months.  Because it is an older RV park, the stalls are small and the large rigs these days make it very cramped quarters.   We paid for 2 mights ($24 per night) and decided that would give us time to look around and see if there was any other place we wanted to go.    I got us settled in and Gar took the Honda Trial 90 off the back of the motorhome and took off to explore.   He came back a couple hours later and said he had found “The Place For US!!!”  It was further north but not full and we could be on the beach.   We decided to lose a days payment and leave the next day, but after about 5 minutes I said – NO, let’s go now!   So we packed up and left.

The new place is the Reef Rv Park.  I don’t know how he found it because it is off on a dirt road but it was perfect for us.  Larger spaces and we were right on the beach with not neighbors on either side.  The park was about  1/3 full.  The spaces were full hook-up, meaning sewer, water and power.  The manager, Gus, didn’t charge us for our first night because we didn’t get a refund at Playa Bonita.  We said we would stay at least 3 days, maybe longer but he only made us pay for two.  The waterfront lots were $35 a night.  There was a nice little mini market there (we bought ice daily) and a fabulous restaurant next door, the Mare Blu.  It is considered one of the best if not the best in Puerto Penasco.  Next to the restaurant was a great (large) bar called Wrecked at the Reef.  Since we arrived on Friday that means date night so we had a great dinner at Mare Blu then went dancing at Wrecked at the Reef.  They have live music on Fridays and Saturdays and the band was pretty good.   The drinks were better.

We walked back to our motorhome around 11:30 under a gorgeous sky filled with stars like we see when we are in Canada on the boat in the summer.

To be continued.