Nov 13, 2018

Safe and successful crossing into Mexico

This year we chose to cross the border into Mexico later than normal.  We thought that by being later there would be other RV’s crossing and there might be less attention on us.  After all we have two precious cargoes with us, the AC units being more important than the wine 😕

For the very first time ever we had our direct route into Mexico @ Nogales blocked.  We cautiously went in via the lane marked CLOSED and were able to get back to the lane that went to the extreme right of the US customs area.

Not speed bumps but HUMPS.

Thus far the toll booths in Sonora have been taken over by groups protesting the government or what have you, we have no idea.  So you don’t have to pay the toll but I suggest that you consider making a token 20 pesos donation as you pass through.  Support the cause 🙂

Just after the first toll booth comes the inspection station.  Unlike last year where we were very thoroughly checked this year the border agent’s duty appeared to be to simply check the VIN number against your registration papers.  Be sure to have your vehicle(s) papers ready along with your passport.  As you can see we would be third in line.  It is clearly marked to cross over to the far right marked autobus.  Our VIN for the RV is in a bedroom closet so the agent had to come in.  However he was not interested in what we had inside the RV, not the alcohol nor food contents, etc.  He checked the Jeep VIN but unlike last year did not ask to see what lay under the blankets (my garden soil ).  I believe that going in a little later worked to our advantage.

For those coming behind us please note that due to construction the turn off to KM 21 is off on to a gravel road.  It is easy to miss, so be alert.  The exit is not more that ten minutes past the VIN inspection station. Very quiet here and our paperwork was completed in under thirty minutes, a new record for us.

Saw about five of these military units pass us by at top speed.

Good news for us wine drinkers, Sonora is growing grapes.

No traffic.  The roads have been great, very little back and forth and mostly new roads.  Hermosillo requires the usual slow speeds but all is well.

We drove 290 miles today and all with mostly great roads and no issues and no tolls to pay 😀 We made great time traveling just below the speed limit and got to Totonaka RV park in San Carlos by 4:25PM.  There are a lot of confusing construction detours around here but the signs are very clear, so stay alert ( to those coming behind us ).  Two things surprised us here in San Carlos.  The first being how very quiet the RV park was, we were the only ones parked on the road.  The second, as to how very cool the temperature was.  Last year it was 85F when we arrived and today at 5:45PM is was only 69F.  There was a cool breeze as well.

Last year in an effort to change our routine based on the girls we went out to Charly’s Rock for dinner and it was beyond wonderful.  So we went back tonight.

This year it was great but certainly not over the top.  We will look for another place next season.

We still had a wonderful meal and it was good to get out of the RV and do something different.  Before we went for dinner we met a fellow who is here for the winter.  Turns out that he is from our RV Park back in Kelowna, small world.  Being as it is so cool out and with a slight breeze I know that I am going to have a very good rest tonight.

Adios all.  Stay tuned for the next chapter.


Nov 12, 2018

Heading even further South

I forgot to include this in my last post.  These two not so young girls were pulling a toy behind them like they were taking their toy for a walk.  Is this  a new fad?

They have cleared and leveled some land here in the state park and have almost completed these cabins which I assume will be for rent.  There are a least a dozen in the completion phase.

The wind picked up Sunday morning which shut down the R/C flying club.  Here Colin is taking down our dish as the wind was constantly gusting.  Last thing we need is a broken LNB before we cross the border.

The wind blew all afternoon. We eventually brought in the bedroom slide out which is something we have never had to do before because of wind.

Despite the wind we still enjoyed our time here.

We were on the road by 7:30 today/Monday.  You never know what is going to pass you on I10.  The road may be boring but some neat things may catch your attention.

Lots of dust in the distance.  ??farmers in the field.

What the heck is this?

However did this transformation happen?

Quite the change in scenery.

We got to our stop for the night.  Usually we stay at the Passport America park called Mountain View in Amado for $16.00 per night but they are having major issues with electrical sites that we could fit into and their credit card payment machine is down, so we ended up next door at Deanza RV Park which cost us $49.80 for one night with our Good Sam discount 😯  $33.00 more per night 🙄

It has not been an easy last night here in the US.   We are having major problems transferring our business cell to our home phone number which will send any voice message to us via our email.  It is refusing to work.  We are three hours in for a solution.  Not looking good.

Mi Telcel will not recognize my Mexican cell phone number.  That is a minor problem.  Worse case I will just get a new SIM.

It was a long driving day.  It took 8 hours with a 30 minute break and we covered 358 miles.

Last night ( Sunday ) in Lake Havasu,  the sun set and the wind finally slowed down.

Can you spot the birds nest at the top?

Working on fitting our new AC units behind our seats before we leave in the morning.

Looks like we are good to go.


Nov 11, 2018

A fun Saturday

Yesterday we woke up to a perfect day.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue and the lake was calm. There was no wind at all.   It was going to be a good day.

First off we had Matt, a fellow who lives here in Lake Havasu, come to the RV to repair yet another chip in the RV windshield.  This time it was in my line of vision.  We got it on the way down when someone who was passing us cut in to close to the RV and sent up some road gravel.  We have been using Matt for a several years now and he does a great job for $50.00.  Once he did two chip repairs for $60.00.  I can’t see where he did the repair yesterday.  Great job.  You can reach him at 928 453 8772.

Nice to have some down time and to sit and enjoy the view and to read my book a bit. We went for a walk around noon to check out the Desert Hawks R/C Club, located here in Lake Havasu. They were having a three day weekend of flying, featuring float planes. Sadly they were shut done by wind both on Friday and again on Sunday.

Some of the planes were rather large.

Others smaller.

It really was a perfect day for this event.  This group had a large selection of planes.

This was one of my favorites but it did not fly while we were there.

Intensely watching their planes as they played with the controls.  Only six were allowed to fly at the same time and they flew in a counterclockwise direction.

Meanwhile I caught a shot of the ferry that goes from Lake Havasu to the casino across the lake on the California side.  Here it is coming back, going up the channel to dock.  I hear that they have a nice restaurant there.  Likely a good deal for $2.00 round trip.

About to take off.

This fellow owns a hobby shop in Seattle.

He put on quite the show.  Obviously he was the best flyer that we saw, doing flips, loops,  dives, spins, flying upside down and backwards.  It was like watching an airshow.

Not everyone had a good day.

After a light snack we loaded the car as we were heading over to visit my longtime friend who lives here in Lake Havasu during the winter months.  You might recall that I met up with her this past July while I was in Edmonton which is much too cold for her to be in the winter.  While we were here Colin was going to do a few chores for Libby.

Libby now flies back and forth between Lake Havasu and Edmonton, instead of driving as she had done for many years.  The nearest airport is in Las Vegas.   She had a friend pick her up in her own van a few weeks ago.  The fellow is 6’4″ and pushed the drivers seat all the way back for leg room.  Sadly he must have pushed it too far and it won’t come forward which makes it extremely difficult for her to drive as she is too far away from the steering wheel and her controls.  Colin tried everything he could think of and in this photo he is pulling he seat forward while Libby is pushing with her wheelchair but no go.  It appears to be stuck in that extended position.  She will  have to find a mechanic to look at it.

Next was moving this bookcase out to the curb for someone to pick up for free.  What is amazing is that she got the tall thing out of the guest room and moved it to the garage on her own.  She is wheelchair bound and has limited movement.  Crazy lady.

One of the last things was replacing hinges on a kitchen cabinet.  Colin is holding the cabinet up with his foot.  Libby had placed a can of stew under the door to hold it into place.  Clever!

Meanwhile I was on sunset patrol.

Colin took this one as I was inside checking on the dinner that I had brought which was almost ready.

But first I had some time to play with her real slot machine that had come from a casino many years ago.   I did eventually tire of feeding it quarters.  Good thing I was playing with Libby’s money.

Dinner was Caesar salad and a fish chowder that I made earlier in the morning and had been slow cooking in the crockpot for about 7.5 hours.  It was delicious and there was lots left over for Libby to enjoy in the week to come.  We also left her the rest of the pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream we had brought.

It was so nice to see her again.  But it is always difficult to say goodbye.  Fortunately we will be able to see her again in March as we head North.  Meanwhile I need to come up with a way to get that slot machine back to Edmonton for her 😉




Nov 10, 2018

Heading just a bit more South

We spent this past Thursday doing some final grocery shopping for Mexico, rearranging the load in the basement and did laundry.  I am very happy to announce that I will not be doing laundry again until April 2nd. So happy that we don’t have a washer /dryer in the RV and that while in Mexico we can get all of our laundry washed, dried in the fresh air and folded for 2100 pesos for the entire four months plus that we are there, about $138.00CAD/$104.00USD.  The laundry here was expensive @ 2.50 per load to wash and it took .75 to dry, 10 minutes for .25cents.  The day was very windy, first time I could not keep my hat on.  Before it got much colder Colin dumped the grey, filled the water tank and put the dish away.

Just a few spaces over from us was this 5th wheel, all decked out in solar panels.

I should have asked if he got a deal on his rent.

It was so cold Thursday night ( it did go down to 44F ) that I put a heater in the bathroom before my shower.

I closed the doors to the kitchen.

…and to the bedroom and was toasty warm when I came out of the shower.  What a treat.

About 6:15PM when it was already pitch dark an RV came in next to us.  He had a difficult time as there was next to no light at all to see where he was.   Colin was talking to Julian the next morning ( yesterday ).  They just purchased their RV in Vancouver in June I believe and have driven East across Canada and have now driven West across the USA.  Next they plan to head South to Patagonia, South America.

Their RV is called “Adventure Taxi” and they can be found on Google which will lead you to their Facebook page and a blog which is not as updated as the previous.   You can find them at  Grete is from Catalonia and Julian is from Australia.  This is part two of their adventure, part one was from London to Bangkok.  They go day by day with no idea where they might be head.  However they do have a tentative route mapped out with a plan.  We just might see them on the Isla in a month or two.  They are traveling fast.  The front basement door is missing!

As we left Kingman we had a 6%downgrade which gave us a lovely view.

Sixty four miles later we arrived at our destination for the next few days.  A very short drive day.  Always nice to get back to Lake Havasu.

We stopped at Walmart.  I have been unable to get a frozen veggie product by Gardein and hoped they would have it here.  They don’t so I am going to have to find a replacement somewhere.  The school bus was being driven by a single woman and she carefully checked the trailer all around once she stopped.  Great idea for a tow vehicle, lots of storage.

Looks like a homemade RV.  Everywhere we have stopped winter clothes are in all of the stores.  I had counted on finding some summer clothes here in Lake Havasu.  Sadly they are featuring winter wear here as well.  I did get one bathing suit top at JC Penney but had hopes for a lot more items.   That will have to wait until we return in the spring.

We are staying at the Lake Havasu State Park.  Our view from where we unhooked the Jeep.  A bit expensive at $35.00 per night but the sites are wonderful and so far apart.

There was only the one site available for this weekend when I booked last August.  We are in site #21 and this is the view from our front window.  We got lucky on this site.

Lots of birds flying at sunset.

Last night for the first time since we left home six weeks ago, I was finally able to start a novel.  Our big adventures and large blogs are over.  Time to relax.





Nov 09, 2018

The rest of the story

So there we were at the top of the pass.

Time to hairpin our way down.

We saw an abandoned mine and hence evidence of many homes that used to make up the community.

This was only the second gas station that we saw on the drive, also abandoned.  Whatever did folks do back then when they had a breakdown?  There were no cell phones.  The road was narrow and constantly winding.  I can’t image trying to get a tow truck in those days.  Even now it would take hours for someone to get to your broken down vehicle.

We turned a corner and with no warning, there it was, Oatman.

Back to Colin as the photographer.  Neat place but oh so very smelly.  Watch where you step!

Almost too much to take in at first glance.  All shops wanting to get your attention.

No we did not pose that donkey there.  The sign under his chin reads ” I found my sweet ass in Oatman, Arizona “.

A satisfied customer?

The burros came with the miners and still roam the streets.

We walked up one side of street and down the other.  It was after two and my eating time and I was hungry.  This is the Oatman Hotel, one of two restaurants in town and it has a liquor license.

A hotel, an ice cream parlor, the only bar in town and a fabulous restaurant.

What kind of wallpaper is that?

Dollar bills, all signed by guests over the years and taped or pinned to the walls, fans, railings, napkin containers, just everywhere.  All those dollar bills are still valuable currency and when we asked, we were told that there was at least $150,000.00 hanging around.  Likely much more as in some areas the bills were eight deep.

We each had a tuna melt on sourdough with fries. One of the best meals I have ever had.  It was difficult to not eat it all, so I ate almost every bite.  Yummy and decadent.  Needless to say that was my only meal that day.

The hotel  was built in 1902 and is said to be haunted.

But we went upstairs anyway.  Original stairs, floor and handrails.  Clarke Gable and Carol Lombard spent their honeymoon upstairs in March of  1939.

The honeymoon suite as it looked back in 1939.  Room 15 was the only one that had a private bathroom.  Apparently they frequently came back to Oatman because they enjoyed the solitude and Clark played cards with the miners.

A very young foal still enjoying mom’s milk.

A fun place to visit at least once.

But you need to behave or you will be put in jail or worse hung from the gallows.

So ended our full day of exploring the Kingman area.

We still had to get back to the RV but fortunately we did not require dinner.  There is a lot of history here and so much more to enjoy than we had time for.  We look forward to a return visit sometime in the future.





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