Mar and Gar's Adventures

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Monday, March 5

Random Things

Brrrrrr. Woke up early in Barstow this morning to 31 degrees. My body is still on Arizona time zone so will do a few quick notes while drinking my wake up coffee.

I haven’t posted since Feb 19th? Really…

The fishing trip in Puerto Lobos didn’t happen… darn. Jackie and Ray joined us from Kino Bay but the winds were predicted to be really bad and sure enough it was so bad Arturo would not even consider going out. It would be a couple days before it was to settle so we ended up going to Puerto Penasco earlier than planned. The RV Park was really full compared to when we were there at New Years so we only spent 2 nights there before crossing back into the U.S.

When we were in Puerto Lobos, Arturo told us that he had heard the guy Garry went fishing with last year, Rocky, was pretty sick. I hadn’t heard anything but not many days later we saw a Facebook post that he had passed away from a fast bout of melanoma cancer.  He was only 63.  Our thoughts are with his wife, Pat and their family.

We met up with Robin Miller in Quartzsite, Arizona. Spent a couple nights there then moved on to Bullhead City with us. It was great to see her after only reading about her camping adventures. She cooked us a fabulous dinner one night and we went out the others. Robin headed out after a couple days but we stayed and dry camped so were in Bullhead for 9 days, with one week of it right on the edge of the Colorado river.

There was a car and boat show in Needles on Feb. 23 and 24. We stopped by on the 23rd for a couple hours to visit with boat racing friends from California and Washington. The Rankins had our old flat bottom boat there so Gar sat in it for awhile. Gar went back on the 24th to enjoy more of the show and visit again.

While in Bullhead we got to see Mark and Tammi Lamirande who are traveling in the first RV, a beautiful new 5th wheel. Tammi was my nail person for around 30 years until she retired in November. They are doing a great job of enjoying retirement.

We met with a real estate person and will be listing our property in Bullhead City. Who knows if it will sell but we will never build there so why not see what interest there might be by others.

The casinos were kind to us for once in Laughlin. It probably helped that we only gambled a couple times but between us we almost broke even. If not for Garry finding 2 chips in his pocket that I quickly lost at blackjack, we would have been even.

Dry camping has its challenges. I didn’t worry about running the generator and bugging people because we were by ourselves almost the whole time, but rationing water and filling out holding tanks is another issue. One day we had to go up to the dump and fill site in the park and then were good until we left. Knowing the black water tank usually doesn’t fill up but the grey does makes you little tricks like emptying some things (like cold coffee) into the toilet instead of down the sink helps. Also throwing dishwater outside rather than down the drain helps. And it really helps on water consumption when Garry takes a short shower instead of just standing and letting water run and run.

So now you are almost caught up. We will head across Tehatchapi Pass today but it will be a fairly short day. We will probably come home up the Oregon coast and spend a little time there before crossing into Washington.

This trip has flown by!


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Sunday, February 19

I am so behind on posting. I feel bad because my friend, Robin Miller, is on her first road trip with her new camper and her cat Misty and she posts almost every day. I could promise to do better but it won’t happen!

We were in Kino Bay for 10 or 11 days… I am not exactly sure. But we enjoyed meeting up with friends from previous years and also getting to know some new people. We really missed not being able to see Philip, the French guy that bakes all the wonderful breads. His place is for sale and he and his wife are back in New Mexico. While there, Garry got to fish with Ray from Montana and on a different day, Harvey from Canada. Not much luck but always fun. We went out to eat a lot, Garry got to play pool with the Saturday pool group and we found a good pizza place. We also met Craig Grisham from Washington somewhere. He was a well digger and know our boat racing friend Al LaPointe, who owns Security Race Products.

I rode the electric bike some, Garry flew the drone some. And it rained a lot! We had 2 ‘good’ days of rain making a mess of dirt roads. We also took a jaunt into Calle Doce and Hermosillo. Calle Doce is a small town on the way to Hermosillo. I was able to use the ATM there which was good because the one in Kino Bay has been broken for over a week. In Calle Doce there is a huge hardware/everything store that carries everything from construction stuff, electrical, dishes, gardening, bird cages, appliances. All things are covered with a healthy coat of dust. For those from the Seattle/South King County area, it is like a McLendon’s Hardware on steroids. It was lots of fun to wander around. I bought a potato masher, 2 plastic bowls and Gar got a deadbolt lock that he might use some day.

In Hermosillo we went to Costco and the Mega store, then lunch at the Holy Cow for a great burger and fries.

Gar wanted to go to Puerto Lobos to fish again like he did last year and I wanted to be in Puerto Penasco by the 23rd, so we decided to head out yesterday for Puerto Lobos. We have a fishing trip for Garry tomorrow with Arturo, who took him out last year. Ray and Jackie from Montana (and Kino Bay) are driving up today and Ray will go fishing with Garry while Jackie and I will be lazy. When they leave Tuesday we will head on to Puerto Penasco. We are dry camping so will need to move on for dumping the holding tanks and getting water.

The trip from Kino Bay to Puerto Lobos was not a good one. The portion of the road from Kino Bay to Puerto Libertad is in worse shape this year except for one small portion. The rain had made a mess of the detour we had to take. It was down to one lane so we alternated who went either direction. Then after the detour the ruts and holes were much worse than previous years. We had to stop once for some repairs inside the motorhome before we could continue. Then once past Libertad it became apparent that the new highway is already deteriorating. The 3 1/2 hour drive took almost 6. But we made it and are all good now.

When we leave Mexico we will be hopefully meeting up with Robin Miller in Bullhead City, Arizona. We were hoping to also meet up with Mark and Tammi Lamirande who are on their first RV trip but they leave Bullhead on the 22nd so we will just miss them…..darn!!!!


Boat? You Bet!

We arrived in Kino Bay last Wednesday after a nice uneventful drive on the newly paved road. Only about 2 kilometers were unpaved and we detoured around that but saw paving going as as we passed by so by now that stretch is probably done. What a difference from last year when the road was the worst we had ever been on.

But before we left San Carlos there was one last thing we had to do….buy a boat!!!!! Yes, we did. Well, not all the paperwork is done yet but it looks like we did. It is owned by a man from Idaho who is ill so selling his boat, condo, etc. Anyway, it is a 2004 26’ Robalo with twin 225 Yamaha four stroke outboards. The boat has lots of quality electronics and is outfitted with some of the seller’s fishing gear for us. It comes with a trailer and we were able to make arrangements to keep the indoor concrete storage for it. It really is a nice boat. It is extremely well taken care of. So, of course that means we will be in San Carlos more next year – probably at least for 2 months.

Needless to say, we are hoping some friends and/or family make it to San Carlos next year to do some fishing!!!

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What? Who???

Just when I think I have had all the strange “six degrees of separation” that I could ever have, I had the most amazing one ever on Friday.

Let me set the scene. A small fishing village in Mexico called Bahia de Kino (Kino Bay). A small RV Park in the village. A small but popular restaurant about 1/2 mile away called Mariscos. A country band playing led by an 85 year old neighbor in the RV Park. Garry, me and 4 friends at a table. Our next door neighbor in the RV Park, Julio, from Bisbee, Arizona enters with his girlfriend. They join us at our table.

Music, food and dancing ensues. Girlfriend leans across table and asks my name. Marilee. Where am I from? Washington. Did I go to college? Yes. Where? Central Washington State College in Ellensburg. Did you live in Kamola Hall? Yes….and now I am kinda freaking out a bit.

Turns out Julio’s girlfriend is a lady named Corrine and she lived on the same floor of the dorm I lived in. She was about 8 doors down from me. She had a roommate for awhile named Stephanie who for a short time dated my brother!!!

Forty-eight years since we had seen each other and she said she recognized my voice right away and I look just the same except my hair is a different color. That blows me away that she actually remembered me even though we had only known each other about a year!!

This is the first time Corinne has been to Kino Bay and it just happens to be the time we are here.

Oh, I forgot to mention she lived in Des Moines from about 1980 to 1990….What a crazy, fun world we live in. I can’t wait for the next episode in my life!

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Bikers and Coffee Part 2

Bikers and Coffee, Part 2

There is more… much more… to the coffee and biker story as it turns out. Sadly, though, no more cheese story.

So, I mentioned our WiFi had been out. Well, TelMex came to work on it and Christine from the office here at La Posada stayed in the room while he was here as a translator. She speaks pretty good English so we were enjoying ourselves. She was telling me more about the history of the area and somehow as we were running out of things to talk about I decided to tell her about my accidentally throwing away my coffee. She got this strange look on her face and then asked if it was Folgers (yes) and was it in a red container ( yes). Oh, dear! Well, it seems as though the night security guard goes through the garbage looking for aluminum to recycle and he found the coffee. He took it to the office telling them it was not the kind he drank. The office happened to be out of coffee and since it was a brand new, unopened container they decided to use it. About an hour before I told Christine my story is when they opened it. We were both laughing but she was embarrassed. Now my problem was this it was my half-caff (half decaffeinated) coffee because we don’t do full strength and if I let them keep it I wouldn’t have enough for the rest of our trip. And they wanted me to have it back but felt horrible that they had opened it. Anyway, I got my coffee back but felt so bad I went to the store and bought them their brand of coffee and some donuts as a thank you for saving my coffee.

And then the bikers….. by Saturday night there were several hundred in town. When I drove to the store to get the coffee and donuts I took a picture from the car. It isn’t that good, unfortunately. In my way back to the condo things got really interesting. There were motorcycle cops all around the place where they had assembled but I had to drive past there so just continued on. Then I realized they were organizing a huge parade of bikers. The had them heading to the left out of the hotel parking lot, and make a u-turn at the left turn I needed to take to go to our condo. All opposing traffic was stopped while this was going on. So picture this….as I am passing their hotel I just slipped in line with them. Bikes in front of me, bikes behind me. Lots and lots of bikes. They made their u-turn, I made my left turn and waved at the motorcycle cop and made it back safely. I can only imagine what some of those bikers were thinking of me and Stubby in their parade for a short time!

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Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping is always an adventure and this being year 3 in San Carlos I have learned a ton thanks to meeting helpful people in the isles of the stores.

Until this year I thought San Carlos only had one grocery store…Leys. Nice size store, good selections, adequate fresh produce. In addition to Leys there are is a Circle K, a few OXXO stores (basically a 7-11), Modelo stores where cold beer is sold, and some Tecate mini-marts. Turns out I was really wrong.

One day I heard two gringo ladies at Leys talking about going to Santa Rosa to see if they have olive oil because this store was out. I quickly wonder where Santa Rosa is. I hadn’t seen it on a map, so I asked. It turns out Santa Rosa is another grocery store 3 doors down that I thought was just a Tecate mini-mart. Instead it is a nice (but much smaller) grocery store. It is harder to get around because of tiny isles but that is part of the adventure. It had nicer produce and a really nice meat counter. They also carry Half and Half which is very unusual.

I met more people in the isles at Santa Rosa who explained on any given day you might find what you want at either store. And the owner of Santa Rosa heads to Tucson every couple weeks to shop at Walmart and Costco to purchase things gringos want but can’t usually get in Mexico. You can ask him to get something special for you, if he is able. I had discovered pickles and relish doesn’t exist here so I asked him to get me some and he did!

At Santa Rosa they are very clever. For example they buy the big packages of Costco muffins then repackage them in small portions. I needed some dishwashing pods but not many and they had taken a big container and broken it down to manageable amounts at a reasonable price. They buy their meat from Costco and cut a lot of it right there. They had some wonderful rib-eyes.

I also heard about what locals call the American Store in Ranchito. Hmmm, where is Ranchito. Turns out Ranchito is a small residential area of San Carlos. With vague directions and no address ….turn left at the circle K, go past the gymnasium and just over the big tope (speed bump) is the store. It turned out to be a really tiny mini-mart run by a really tiny old Mexican and he stocks small items from the states like gravy packages, Crisco, pickles, olives, capers…really…plus his usual things locals would want.

I hope I remember to bring green beans next year. No one has them canned or fresh. Since we are leaving here in a few days it is too late to have Santa Rosa get me some.

Our WiFi in the condo has been out for 4 days. A repair person may or may not come today. He was a no show yesterday. This is a holiday weekend, including Monday, so I am not holding my breath. If I really need it I will just go to Barracuda Bob’s cafe at the marina and have a mocha and pay bills.

Update: WiFi repaired. Yay!