update: March 6, 2012
2010 San Jose, Calf. DXpedition
Dionne Warwick "Do you know the way to San Jose"
via Quartzsite, Az. Ham Radio Rally
Jan 4, 2010 Pick up the Airstream from Storage in Big Rock, Illinois 27 miles to our west & bring it to our Home QTH for packing. ...4WD a must
...w/ 7 inches of snow, 0 Temps & Blizzards Conditions predicted. We decide to leave a day early to & outrun this Storm expected later today in Chicago & the Midwest. Should take 9 days @ 222 miles a day to get to Quartzfest, A gathering of Amateur Radio Operators in RV's near Quartzsite Arizona.
Move'n Down Route 66
Day 1 Jan 6, 2010 We planned on stopping in St. Louis but push on to beat the Blizzard. Snow starts to fall @ mm203 Cuba, Missouri & The Lady Bug RV park.
Day 2 Jan 7, 2010 Wake up to a 7 inches of snow & 25 mph winds. 4WD to I-44. Limited traffic and black ice in the outside lane. We 4WD for a bit & pull off, then follow a Cinder spreader back on to I-44. Limp along at 30mph. The further we went the better the roads got. Past Springfield, Missouri we started making some good time. Spend the night @ Warrior Campground in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Safe, clean & electricity to keep the heat going w/these temps pushing 8.
Day 3 Jan 8, 2010 Head for Lunch @ The Historic Stockyards Cattleman's Steakhouse in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The T-Bone for 2.
National Grasslands mm124 e/o Amarillo, Texas. Temps climb to 30 degrees but will plunge back to 6 by morning. We have stayed in this out of th way camp several times over the last few years. Scenic, quiet, wild life usually none here in the winter & always a pleasant stay. ..."It is not Wilderness unless something out there can eat you"
Day 4 Jan 9 T-Bone Steak & Eggs breakfast @ The Big Texan, Amarillo Texas
Enter New Mexico w/ a weather report of temps in the upper 40's. We have been running w/ the Airstream winterized till now using gallon jugs for water. Stop @ the Flying J Truck stop in Tucumcari, New Mexico to fill up the Airstream on Day 4 w/fresh water for the 1st time this trip. Nice to have running water again. Without the need for a Shower house in a camp ground we can now go back to are Boon Docking Mode that we enjoy.
From running in the 0 weather & Blizzard conditions our Rig is covered w/ road salt. Next to Flying J is a Big Truck Wash. $47 later we are all clean again.
Spend the night @ Santa Rosa State Park, New Mexico. w/ single Digit Temps while tuning to the 40 Meter Rocky Mountain Net my Ham Radio becomes a Casualty. The Knob Froze on my Antenna Tuner & Snaps off from the 3 degree temps. Ouch! Will do the repairs when we get to Quartzsite
...Not able to toon my Ham Radio, no HF contacts for awhile.
Martha liked the Cap keeping the sun out of her eyes as we Hook Up & head for Gallop, New Mexico
Day 5 Jan 10 Gallop, New Mexico Elks Lodge. The Lodge is closed on Sunday but we make ourselves @ home on top of this New Mexico Mountain over looking Gallop.
Day 6 Jan 11, 2010 Dead Horse State Park Cottonwood, Arizona. Always a great stop because it located @ the bottom of a huge valley s/o Flagstaff & Sedona. 30 degrees warmer & plenty of stores to stock up on supplies.
Today will be mountain back road day. The shortest route to Quartzsite, over the Prescott Mountains. 1st straight up the mountain to Jerome, Arizona.
Kathleen is unsure if it really turned 75 degrees after leaving the 0 weather behind. The locals of Prescott, Arizona are sitting in the town square, many wearing shorts & t-shirts sun bathing.
Time on Deck, High Noon. Time for a Pop & some buffalo wings @ The Palace
...We locate the Jersey Lilly w/ an obvious connection to Judge Roy Bean's in Langtry, Texas that we often frequent. Jersey Lilly opens @ 2pm so we stumble into The Palace The Oldest Most Historic Saloon in Arizona. Great stop.
Turns out that Hop-A-Long Cassidy, The Cowboy Legend of Old used to stop by for a Pop here. On my desk in my Underground Mountain View Bunker I have my Hop-A-Long Cassidy Watch that I received from my Uncle Ted Wilkosz & Aunt Loretta for my 5th Birthday. It still works. This pic of Hoppy was in the Men's room.
Back to Move'n Down Road
& down the mountain w/o Prescott. The signs prohibits vehicles over 40 feet. We are 50 feet, but have traveled this scenic road many times. before. Very scenic & no match for my F250 V10 Stick Shift Tow vehicle.
...we hit Quartzsite around 4pm, 1600hrs for you USMC guys
Day 7 Jan 12 - 24, 2010 Quartzsite, Arizona mm99 6 miles s/o town
Quartzfest Link Quartzsite RV Show Link
QuartzFest ...a gathering of Amateur Radio Operators in RV's near Quartzsite Arizona.
Ajo ...Geocache instructor, among other things
Life in a Antenna Farm ...getting here early we pick a secluded camp between 2 washes & a few Creosol trees / bushes
Day 8 Jan 13 Start the day w/ some Antenna repair & setting up my Antenna Farm, hiking & taking it easy.
Day 9 Jan 14 Afternoon Pops @ Silly A's
Day 10 Jan 15 Some things that happen by accident are the BEST!
Check out the Venders & a Fish Fry @ The VFW. The couple we ate w/ from Washington State also traveled the Dempster Highway in the Yukon / Northwest Territory around 2004 when we did. They told us about The New Christy Minstrels LIVE @ the Quartzsite Community Center a block away starting in a half hour @ 7pm. We got in the Outstanding show @ any price. You could not beat the $12 each ticket price for a front row seat.
Day 11 Jan 16 Day 5 @ mm99 & Time to Pump some fresh water from my 55 gallon drum in the F250. The pump works perfect
RV Show Big Top w/ venders opens today & runs till next Sunday
Tyson Wells, Quartzsite
more afternoon Pops
@ Silly Al's & split a small Pizza
Life in a Antenna Farm
Day 12 Jan 17 Start the Day w/ one of my Famous Cowboy Breakfasts ... today Scrambled eggs w/ bacon & Cowboy toast
Very pleasant Sunday afternoon w/Temps in the 70's
Day 13 Monday Jan 18 Amateur Radio Classes start today & run through the Friday. Cold Front came in, a bit of drizzle but OK for classes
Day 14 Jan 19 Woke up to a beautiful day, clear skies, & a slight wind out of the south
The Famous Hi Jolly Camel Monument from when Camels were tested here before the Civil War
Day 15 Jan 20 Because of 20 foot Surf, 75 mph winds & flash flood warnings on the California coast Amateur radio expert Gordon West had to leave Quartzfest to assist the Coast Guard w/Emergency services near Santa Barbara.
Day 16 Jan 21 The Huge storm that batters the California coast hits Quartzsite during the night. Classes our postponed & Kathleen & I head for town & check out the RV show just as the high winds arrive @ Quartzsite. Numerous 18 wheel trucks get turn over on Interstate 10 & the Big Top Supports fail and the Tent is evacuated. I pick up the Ham radio Hi Sierra Antenna parts I ordered @ Herbs Hardware then head for Silly Al's.
Kathleen likes driving in the high winds as we head south past the Big Top & Tyson Wells area closed ...Carefully, Carefully Oh Airstream Driver
I remember a sign on the road saying Jam session Thursdays 1-3pm. @ Reds Garage. Heading towards the mountain @ the dead end we find Red & his Garage, & it packed & the Cowboy music was fantastic. That is the good news. The other news is No Piwo in this joint. Good thing we stopped @ Silly Al's first. Nice time, great music. Tip of the Day, bring a traveler.
As we leave Reds the storm is picking up. It has not rained here in 7 months
...Hobo Stew was scheduled @ the fire pit, do to the rain ever one just picks up their Stew to eat in their RV's
Weather services states eye of the storm w/Tornados heading our way & my Anemometer is @ 30mph. The Airstream facing the south wind. All the Hams @ Quartzfest w/ sophisticated weather stations are updating the approaching Tornados and winds in excess of 75 mph minutes away. The wind turns sharply out of the west hitting the Airstream sideways. "Mayday Mayday, Time to Abandon Ship," Never done this before. Kathleen carries Martha, we grab a few things, forgot the camera and went for the truck in 75 mph winds. I repositioned the Ford F250 to face the west winds & shelter the Airstream in a T formation. Earlier as the storm approached I lowered my internet antenna & Anemometer mast. The Anemometer was still getting the south winds but now it no longer could read the new stronger west winds. But our Ham friends on 2 meters 146.55 radios confirmed a steady 75mph that lasted about 20 minute (2 beers).
then the sun showed over the Chocolate mountains
As they say in New Orleans, it's all good ...F250 in a "T" position to block the winds hitting the Airstream sideways ...many Hams reported damaged antennas but no major damage. We were fine, no damage. We learn something, always park the Airstream east & west at Quartzsite. South winds are warm, but the weather & winds off the Chocolate mountains from the west can have issues.
Now it is time to eat & enjoy our Quartzfest Hobo Stew that I picked up just before the winds hit. Picked up the Antlers on a Quartzsite shopping spree.
Day 17 Friday Jan 22 Antenna walk around & classes all day.
...1600hrs, Last Hurrah Camp Fire Happy Hour & Cliff & Virginia introduce next years leaders.
Day 18 Jan 23
Day starts w/ the Ham Radio Yard Sale in throughout the encampment. Good place to buy some electronic stuff. Kathleen reluctantly went for the walk around and filed both arms with good Stuff & came back w/ a Big Smile
Then off to the RV show & sellers in town for some good stuff. New water efficient shower head for the Airstream. More LED lights for the Boondocking, Ammo Boxes for storage & Geocache Tube
15:00hrs Cowboy Folk music w/ the final Fire Pot Cook Off & Happy Hour. Most people filled up some folded Tin Foil w/ fresh vegetables, cut potatoes & a meat. It was a bit early for dinner so we chose Piwo & had dinner @ our usual, 1800hrs @ the Airstream.
Changing of the guard, next years leaders take over officially ending Quartzfest 2010. . We drove 1,965 miles from Chicagoland to get hear in single digit temps till hitting Arizona. This was fun & worth every mile & then some.
Note: Quartzfest if FREE. No charge for the best camping in the country in the BLM camping, $1 for Hobo Stew. Everyone brings their own stuff, own talents, contributes. The leaders organize but don't babysit. They set up an agenda and it works on its own. So many rallies make a nightmare out of organizing, over organizing with 20 committees to go camp. Not here, this is the best run Rally in the Country.
Day 19 Sunday Jan 24 w/ all the activities Martha had lots of Trailer time so we went for a ride in the BLM w/ no RV's so Martha could just hang out & relax. The volcanic rock have been hurting her feet. Martha pranced & ran all over w/ her boots on. Time to relax, do some Sunday Pops for a couple hours.
Kathleen searching for the Rock Cache
Back @ the Airstream Kathleen checks out her Desert Rock Cache finds & stores them in her new Geocache Tube.
Day 20 Jan 25 Stop in Blythe, California for some supplies. @ the Hardware store & notice my fresh water take valve internal hose is leaking. Not good in that we are headed for the BLM w/ no services for 75 miles. Turns out to be a 3 hour repair & we head for Corn Springs BLM Hot Spring but dark approaches so be pull off Interstate I10 @ mm217 & spend the night @mp in Palen Dry Lake BLM. The ground is still soft from the heavy rains a week earlier so we grab some high ground.
Time to relax & enjoy w/ our new battery saving LED's lighting from the Quartzsite RV how. We now have 10 LED through the Airstream. w/ different luminary ratings to adjust the lighting all using 1/10 the power of regular RV bulbs.
Homeland Security in the BLM:
...Set up my motion detectors lighting. Point my new Driveway Monitor Chime @ the sand road leading in here. Kathleen loads her 450 Marlin Lever Action, I use the 45 automatic Government model to take Martha out for her last call of the day after dark. Time to sit back relax. We are used to camping in "No County for Old Men" down along the Mexican Border in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California. Does not seem to be an immigration issue here. But it is not wilderness unless something out there can eat you. 4 or 2 legged.
...Our Mobile Compound works well.
Move'N Down the Road looking for the perfect camp we leave the BLM & enter a back mining road of Joshua Tree National Park
Day 21 -22 Jan 26 - 27 luck is w/ us. Our destination of Corn Springs BLM @ MM201 is washed out from the recent storms so we explore around Desert Center @ mm189. Head up mm182 on I-10 to Eagle Mountain just to see what is up there. About 8 miles in we find a gravel BLM road & head west. The rural marker shows we our now entering a back road of Joshua Tree National Park that is not on our map. After a few miles locate a pull off. Go out on foot over a ridge & find this Fantastic secluded place to spend a couple nights.
Great spot, @ 1,390 foot above sea level we are camped @ the end of this Dead end spur road behind a burm so that we can not be seen from the gravel road we came in on. There are no vehicle tracks or footprints on either road. Apparently none has been here in a long time.
remains of debris left from the Gold Mine operation on this hill
Homeland Security Devices Driveway alarm
1 of 4 motion lights ...Cowboy Breakfast
We Be Hike'N
Hike'N to 1,900 feet above sea level above our camp & find 2 survey markers indicating North apparently to triangulate the valley below ...windy up on top
Hike up to 1,900 feet, 550 ft. above our camp below
back down to 1,350 feet in our camp
Day 23 Jan 28 Great sunrise high above the Valley
Move'N Down the Road
Aqua duct supplying water to probably Los Angeles, California & "Flight" of the Raven
Day 23 - 31 Jan 28 - Feb 5 Bashford's Hot Mineral Spa on the east bank of the Salton Sea, California 235 foot below sea level. 10 miles n/o The Slab's @ Niland.
1800hrs, after Dinner 107 degree Natural Mineral Bath, no Chlorine. 6 Lobster Pots to choose from. You drain & hose out & refill the tubs after use.
This RV mineral Spa Resort has a Dry Camp option that gives us a great view of the Salton Sea & plenty of room for Martha to run around w/ all the desert Coyotes.
...The Mineral pools are about 300 feet away.
Day 24 Jan 29 Ham Radio & Antenna is finally working again. Thanks to Amateur Radio Extra Class Operator VE7BN aka Lyle of Coquitlam B.C. Lyle was kind enough to give professional advise & use his MFJ Analyzer, a meter & 20 meter ham stick to help test my equipment. Nice man who earned his Amateur Radio License in 1949. Turns out the frozen parts from earlier this trip in the 0 weather of New Mexico January 10th was only part of the problems. 4-5 issues in all developed but all is fine.
1800hrs after Dinner @ the Lobster Pots, 107 degree Natural Mineral Bath, no Chlorine
Some people call the mineral tubs the Crab Pots because everyone Crabs that they are to Hot 109 or to Cold 103 degrees
We Be Hike'N Time to Explore! We see some Palm trees off in the distance & find this Mineral Spring pond full of Cat Fish ...Boiling hot water flowing into the pond
Pork chops & Wisconsin Apple Cinnamon apple slices for dinner
We Be Hike'N to The Fountain of Youth Resort about 3 miles to our south along the mountain. We were thinking about moving there for a few days. Turns out it is a huge RV Resort & the pools use Chlorine. A BIG ZOO. Motorhomes packed in everywhere, Martha would not like it. It has a nice little down town w/ a store & services but way to crowded. Kathleen grabs an ice cream bar & I get a cold 24 ounce Piwo as we take a brake & watch the busy people go by. Very much for someone who likes a structured environment & has no idea what Nature & Camping is all about. No Thanks! Might be a nice place for someone who lives in the country & is looking to be w/ people. Being from Chicago we need to get back to nature when on the road. We hike back & up on a ridge find this Funky Old Hippy Stone Shack. (Anti USA Drug addict Hippies young or old don't fit in w/ this old Marine's life)We later find out it was built in the late 1950's to mid 60's by some early Hippies. @ that time the Hot spring there was running. In the pic above to the left is a 8x4 living area w/ a very cool built in Fireplace that would heat the entire structure nicely. The middle door appears to be dry storage & the round room to the right obviously a Native American Sweat Lodge. Old Hippy types like to use Native herbs & who know what else & mimic the spiritual Native American practice of the Sweat Lodge. Apparently this was some type of a steam bath set up. An interesting treasure on the west slope of the Chocolate Mountains.
25th day in a row w/ NO HOOK'UPs as another day begins
We have a new neighbor from the land of fruits & nuts w/ his toy hauler. They have 4 dogs & a small horse. All well behaved but the toy hauler is a monstrosity & needs to be out in the BLM
Find found this Hot Spring walking yesterday & when I went to check the hot mineral water temperature a Medium size Tarantula crawled up the bang to sun itself
Searching the desert Kathleen finds a Lucky Dime dated 2000 some things in the desert are 20,0000 years old. Others are 10 years.
"Do you know the way to San Jose" Continues
Day 32 - 35 Saturday Feb 6 Ghost Town of Niland / Slab City USA, California 70th annual Tomato Festival w/ a live Tomato. U-Tube shows the characters from Slab City being in the parade. This should be quite interesting.
We will hook up the Airstream & head for the Saturday morning Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast put on by The Ghost Town of Niland followed by the 1000hrs parade.
...We learn some interesting facts on this trip to The Slabs
1st ...we learn from this plaque in Niland that The Slabs was not a Army Base that Patton used for his Tanks in WWII as previously thought but a United Stated Marine Corps Camp of the 12th Marines Artillery Regiment, 3rd Marine Division who after training here deployed for among other places The Sand of Iwo Jima in the Pacific during WWII. ...being a Vietnam Vet Marine I feel privileged to walk the Grounds of the Slabs / Camp Dunlap & the Ghosts of 12 Marines
2nd ...The Niland Club Cafe is a great Tavern / Supper Club run by a nice man & left over from when Niland was alive & well after WWII an added plus is the 22 oz. Porterhouse Steak for $16 that is served.
...here comes some residents of The Slabs USA
After the parade we head over to the Festival Grounds & Play w/ Mr. Coyote. Back home in Wheaton, Illinois (Chicagoland) people are trying to get rid of the Coyotes. In Niland we live in Harmony
In the afternoon we will head into Slab City
We drive around & pick a good / safe camp on the edge of The LOWS organization. AKA Loners on Wheels, a group of single RVers , many who have lost their spouse that bunch up together on Government lands for camaraderie & protection while camping alone the back county. They mostly have nice rigs, keep their camp clean & are friendly Travelers.
...Abandoned Slabs, they are leaving ???
3rd ...we find out that Slab City has changed. Many of the quite colorful to be kind permanent local Slab residence have abandoned this place. Their collection of make shift shelters left in a pile of garbage, many burned to the ground & left. A New Breed of RVer has emerged. A new generation of retirees have entered the picture & these Folk are not the Eaters & Dumpers that we often run across since 2001. Eater & Dumper? I am talking about the people who, retire, go to an a RV show. Buy an RV they know nothing about because they have never tent camped. Then they go sit in a trailer park for months. These people think you need to sit in a RV park to be safe or what ever. This new breed out here are now are doing what basically what we have been doing. They have Solar power & lots of it on the Rigs & roam for BLM & Government Free lands in this Great Country, Camping free, enjoying Nature without the heavy handed government controls that you find in State and National Parks now. They don't want or need a paved hiking path w/ signs saying this is a Flower!! This is a Rock!!! We now talk with fellow travelers who are roaming the same spots we have roamed since 2001 like Quartzite, Imperial Dam by Yuma & The loneliest Highway Rt. 50 in Nevada & of course here at the Slabs. A breath of fresh air.
Many compounds are still here but w/ a noticeably fewer population. I'm guessing that a major drug sweep & sting was carried on here & most of the hard core losers are incarcerated and their delivery workers have fled. Local scuttlebutt is that when they recently rebuilt the aqua duct that runs along the Slabs east border that the Construction Workers who set up camp here during the job ordered the losers to get out of Dodge. Cowboy justice.
many still hang out on a full time basic minding their own business
4th ...thing observed in the Slabs. A new bread of Professional person turned Homeless has appeared. Folks who were well off before have lost their homes in the economic turn down & several have set up home in the Slabs having new rigs. Fencing their area into yards and living a kind of Suburbia in The Slabs.
back side of Jesus Mountain
Desert Bird nest
Mud on Your Boots ...or lack there of, will tell where you have been
GPS ...back in Wheaton, Illinois (Chicagoland) everyone has a GPS to find McDonalds??? ...a Good Compass & some USMC Orienteering skills will get you where you need to go from Cabo San Lucas to Lubec, Maine. From Key West to Inuvik on the Artic Ocean.
On the way to Twentynine Palms we check out Downtown Palm Springs, not impressed & we move on down the road. I suppose probably a great place if you don't have an Airstream & all the wilderness that surrounds us
Day 36 -37 Feb 10 -12 The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms. We are in need of supplies & it is 5 weeks since Laundry after 29th days in a row w/ NO HOOK'UPs. We will regroup w/ 7th Marines for a couple days then continue The "Do you know the way to San Jose DXpedition"
Get assigned our Camp @ this Combat Center. Plenty of room for Martha w/ an outside loop spot.
1630hrs & time for some Piwo @ Blood Stripes, the NCO Club. You get the idea here what this place & 7th Marines is all about. Blood Stripes are the Red Stripes on the trousers of Non Commissioned Officers aka NCO's to signify the Blood Lost by NCO @ The Battle of Chapultepec, Mexico. These Marines are in the Business of War. No time for immaturity. This place is for real.
Update my Department of Defense, Homeland Security Credentials
A Treat!!! ...Just in time for some type of Company size Parade on the Parade Deck. Not sure what it was all about. Maybe an awards Ceremony.
Mud on Your Boots ...or lack there of, will tell where you have been
...This time it is the front gate of a USMC Combat Cent 29 Palms
Another Treat!!! During dinner, 3 Choppers turn on their landing lights as they come over the mountain, from the in the next Valley. Then 3 more, appear, 3 more, 3 more till we counted 18, Six waves of 3 probably CH46 Twin Bladed Helicopters & or the Marine Corps newer Osprey. It was difficult to see as the sun was setting.
While The United States is @ the Mall, Seventh Marines are @ War. In a few weeks the Marines on these Choppers will be in Afghanistan, not @ the Mall.
Day 38 - Feb 12 Point Mugu Naval Base / NMCB-3 Seabee Camp ...right on the Ocean, great spot. As I was told, a Real Treasure. Note: Seabee's are the Construction / maintenance for The Marine Corps. They receive their Combat Training @ Camp Pendleton California. As a Marine in Vietnam I often dealt & traded w/ the Seabee's. They would come around after Rocket attacks & do repairs to structures & had excellent trading material. Seabees also had Bunker building materials like large timbers to support a bunkers roof.
...Evening ...Sunrise @ Point Mugu California
Day 39 -43 Feb 13 -17 Pismo Beach Oceana Elks Lodge , California
...75 ft. from the bar, 500 foot from the Beach. Hard to get better than that.
16:30hrs presentation of "I Hate Hamlet," @ The Great American Melodrama Grover Beach, California. Piwo, Beef Sandwiches & a great Melodrama play w/ review show.
4WD low transfer on Pismo Beach
Pismo Beach Pier
Day 44 - 55 & 2,735 miles February 18 - March 2, 2010 Arrive @ Brett, Carrie, Clara, Adia & Lauren's House San Jose, California
...Will move Airstream over the San Jose Elks Lodge 5 miles away.
Gymnastic Classes ...Lauren on the Climbing wall, Clara on the Rings, Adia on the balance beam
Kathleen's Geocache from Quartzsite, Arizona
Friday Fish Fry w/Native American Purses & Gems from Quartzsite, Az.
Clara & Adia's Basketball game on Holy Spirit Catholic School Basketball Team @ The YMCA
Pajama Party in the Airstream @ Th Elks Lodge
Mass @ Holy Spit Parish School where our the Grandchildren attend.
Texas Cowgirl look in San Jose
walking Lauren to Holy Spirit Catholic School
Day 57 March 3 leave San Jose Elks Lodge after 13 nights. Quiet, safe, great bar, health club & big pool weather permitting.
Grandpa aka Dziadzia Wisdom & Cures
...Grandpa Bed Time Story of the Grizzly Bear that came down the mountain, through the stream, grew alters and was hung on this wall
...Grandpa gives Clara a cure for a split lip & bloody nose. Move the ice pack to the top of the head that brings a Smile & Instant Cure
Spend the 14 nights in San Jose & the last night camped in front of Carrie & Bretts Home.
Day 58 March 4 leave San Jose
Red Rock Canyon BLM n/o Mohave Calf., finding a level spot in the Canyon is half the Fun
Day 59 March 5 BLM Canyon n/o Mesa, California on the Salton Sea
January 28, Day 23 we tried to camp here but the Flash Floods that hit Quartzsite a week ago came through this Canyon & washed out the road.
this canyon is so quiet, your ears ring
Day 60 March 6 Yuma VFW & the afternoon Cowboy Band w/ a Tank, Guns & Piwo, my kind of place
Day 61 March 7 woke up to heavy rain (I thought it was not supposed to rain in the dessert) in the BLM & little chance of it stopping so we hooked up & Headed for Big Nose Kate's & The OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona
OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona
Cowboy Band @ Big Nose Kate's Saloon
Day 62 March 8 Poncho Villa S.P., on the Mexican Border in the heart of "No Country for Old Men" @ Columbus, New Mexico
In the middle of the night Poncho Villa raided Columbus, New Mexico killing 14 town Folk & Solders. Poncho Villa lost 100 men. Looks like nothing has changed for hundreds of years here on the Mexican Border in "No Country for Old Men." Texas Rangers on horseback have been replaced by U. S. Border Patrol on horseback, ATV's, planes & high tech equipment, but nothing has changed. The Wild West lives here & now is spilling over into our cities across this land. The Columbus Police Officer carries a M16 rifle even on coffee break in the local Cafe.
"No Country for Old Men" is still ruled by he who is on the Handle End of a 6 shooter & he who is on the business end has problems. History tells us that if you killed or wounded a Texas Ranger, other Rangers would come and revenge the death & everyone knew it. Thus Rangers were able to keep the peace with 1 or 2 Rangers. Now w/ tens of thousands of U.S Border Patrol Agents spinning their wheels on this Border. The new Banditos know that they will be treated in a New Age of Loving & Caring Peace keepers who are like swarms of Bees w/ No stingers. If anyone thinks that these people walking around Chicago are just in Chicago to do landscaping. Think again, these people who terrorize "No Country for Old Men" have a thousand years of Commanche violence in their blood & thrive on it. "Remember the Alamo" has the same meaning today as it did.
"No Country for old Men" & 1,000 yard from the Mexican Border w/ The U.S. Border Patrol cruising to the right of us
Day 63 March 9 Cattlemen's Steakhouse @ Indian Cliff , mm49 e/o El Paso, Texas
Best Steakhouses West of The Pecos River & you can spend the night in the parking lot in your RV for free w/dinner thanks to the owner Deiter, a very nice man & someone you should know. We split the 2 lb. Cowboy Porterhouse. Plenty of side dishes to go around.
Day 64 March 10 w/ a 35 - 55 mph tail wind pushing the Airstream down the road we get blown to Monahan Sand Dune State Park, Texas. In the rough looking Oil Rig town of Monahan. I ask a couple Nurses on lunch break for the best place (and only) to watch the Marquette / St. Johns Big East Basketball Tourn. game that just started. They direct us to Jakes Cowboy Bar. As I walked back to the Airstream I turned around, went back in & asked the Nurses if I made them thirsty for some Beer & Basketball. Both of the Nice gals smacked their lips saying yes they would but have to be back at work. Maybe they would stop by after their shift. We head to Jakes, a nice friendly place run by a Gal from New York who at one time owned the Study Butte Motel in Terlingua, Texas. Nice place full of cowboys. We will return some day.
After the Marquette University game Kathleen's drives the Rig into Monahan Sand Dunes for the night
Day 65 March 11 Perini's Ranch Steak House, Buffalo Gap, Texas. Best Rib Eye East of the Pecos River. Mr. Perini recommends The Rib Eye & Kathleen's favorite is the Medium Rare Prime Rib. Free Camping in the parking lot for RV's w/ dinner. Mr. Perini & Restaurant Manager Stan our both someone you should know.
Day 66 March 12 Fort Worth Historic Stock Yards, Texas. RV Boondocking in the Stockyards w/ The Ranchers & their Live Stock
Day 67-68 March 13 - 14 Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas ...Bathhouse Row in downtown Hot Springs run by the National Park Service. We walked here 2 miles from the National Park Campground over the mountain & again chose the Buckstaff Bathhouse Est. 1912 & get the Deluxe Bathing Package w/ whirlpool mineral bath, loofa mitt & a 20-minute full body massage. Kathleen adds the paraffin treatment for hands. The entire bathing Package takes around 1 hr 40 minutes.
Day 69 March 15
Graceland & "Elvis is in the House", Memphis Tennessee ...Dinner @ Historic Marlowe's Ribs & the Free Pink Cadillac ride
Day 70 March 16 Rend Lake State Park, Illinois
Day 71 March 17 Home QTH Wheaton, Illinois (Chicagoland)
...6,712 miles in 71 Days
28 Portable & Mobile Amateur Radio High Frequency contacts this DXpedition
(My High Frequency Contacts are way down this year. My Antenna gets damaged by the Single Digit weather coming down Rt.66 in early January. My radio also develops issues for the same reason & in San Jose, California our F250 spends a week in the Ford Dealer for maintenance)
44 Boondock & Dry Camps, (no hook ups) love those solar panels
14 Desert Hikes
5 Hot Springs