Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quartszite, AZ to El Centro, CA

On Monday, Ken started the day in his usual form, shooting the breeze with some interesting and knowledgeable fellow Boomers, Ron and Sharon, parked by us in a bus conversion.  These folks have been on the road for 17+ years with this being their 3rd bus conversion.  Our experience has been that the longtime fulltimers,  are always wonderful folks to talk  to and a wealth of information. They tend to be a little less the social butterflies or cliquish, friendly but laid back in terms of attendance to all the group activities.  


The Boomers had another jeep trip going out and at last minute we decided that, instead, we needed to shop in Quartzsite since it was our last day.  Actually, in retrospect, I wish we would have done the jeep trip because it sounded like a much tougher trail and we could have enjoyed doing this with experienced drivers.  These jeep people were such a fun and helpful group.

In Quartzite, we  stopped in to La Mesa RV again to see if they got in any more used Tiffin units and were surprised to find Bob Tiffin there.


Considering the number of long-time RVers in Quartzsite this week, we think it really takes a business owner confident in his product to sit out here and meet people ad hoc.  What was really impressive what his unassuming presence.  We walked in to a new 2011 Allegro Bus on the lot and he stood up and introduced himself saying ‘Hi, I’m Bob”.  I wonder how many folks walked in to that rig, and talked to him without ever knowing they were talking to the owner of the company!  There are a lot of company CEO’s who could take a lesson from this man.

We met Sharon and Paul at the Mexican restaurant across from La Mesa for lunch. As usual, the food was good here and the company even better!

We split up again after that, as Ken and I headed over to the big tent.  I bought a colorful Nepalese long-sleeve T-Shirt, along with a couple pair of bifocal sunglasses which are really helpful when trying to do blogs or monitor maps when going down the highway.  They are also great for reading in the sun which I intend to do a bit more of on this vacation!! Ken bought ‘The Solution’ for dry-washing the rig, having gotten recommendations from fellow RVers.  He also bought an extension pole for cleaning the exterior from the ground.  I’m so lucky to have a husband who is particular about this stuff.

When we got back to the rig we found out that JoAnn and Doug were interested in doing some boonkdocking out in Borrego Springs,  California and invited us to join them closer to the end of the week.  With that we decided to try to find a spot in between there and Quartzite with full hookups for 3 or 4 days.  Since it was after work hours by the time we made this decision, we had to wait until Tuesday morning to locate our next stop.

That was not as easy as we had hoped.  While Ken was hooking up I started making calls.  What was especially frustrating was how few places actually answer their phones but simply ask that you leave a message.  We also were dealing with California being an hour later so we had to wait until 9am before anyone their would answer.  We were pretty flexible in where we were looking along I-10 or I-8, Yuma or something farther in to California. I tried 2 SKP Co-ops and both were full except for their boondocking areas.  I called several state and county parks, all of which were full.  Then we started listing private parks in various areas by preference and were not having any luck.   I was getting frazzled when Ken decided to take off with full tanks and no place yet that we knew of to stop for the night.  Luckily by the time we got to the main highway I was able to find Rio Bend RV and Golf Resort in El Centro, CA, with $25 per night Passport America rates and plenty of room. 

Ken was happy with this selection since it allowed us to drive mostly scenic 2 lanes, taking us down the east side of the Chocolate Mountains and


through the middle of the Imperial Valley Sand Dunes.


This area is sought out by off-road fanatics from all over the country.  You can see lots of tire tracks going up and down the dunes.



Once again we had their were scenes along this route where you could see three different types of terrain as you looked toward the horizon, desert, dunes and mountains.




My beloved saguaros were now replaced by palms.


We jumped back on to the I-8 in El Centro, CA, and then back off a few miles west to arrive at our new home, Rio Bend RV and Golf Resort.  We were very pleased with what we found.  The folks at check-in were very friendly and helpful. 

The sites are very nice but the streets don’t make it super easy to get in the first time because of the landscaping.  One of our new neighbors came over and helped us get positioned.  We are parked very near the fenced dog park and the pups were thrilled to be out and off leash after the drive.

We are located at the Southern side of the park and so have a really nice view out the front of the rig.  We are near the base where the Blue Angels practice and there is a mini-air show over our heads periodically.


With temps in the 80’s, we pulled out a big tub on to the concrete patio and gave our dusty, dirty furkids a much needed bath and then let them dry sleeping in the sun while Ken and I both took nice long showers.  We ran in to another couple who had just come off the desert who were doing exactly the same dog and people cleanup routine!  This is a very good place for that.

We had been invited to this RV community’s dinner event for the evening, a Mexican Fiesta.  We were made to feel very welcome and for $8 had a wonderful many course Mexican feast that included chips with a wide variety of salsas, an Mexican meatball soup, enchiladas, fish tacos, rice and refried beans, with flan for desert. 

I leave you tonight with the view from our patio at sunset.


Hugs, C


Jim and Dee said...

Thanks for keeping up with the blog. It's so neat to follow.

Gail and Rick said...

Nice pic of Ken and Bob :) We are in Red Bay and can tell you that his entire company treats people like he does. I can't say enough wonderful things about our treatment here. It says a lot about a man when he can instill his values in all his employees.
Did you find a Bus to your liking?

Frerx Adventures said...

Dee, we've been keeping up with you too. We had our first experience with those sand hill cranes back in Roswell, NM where they roost at the wildlife refuge by the thousands, VERY NOISY, but pretty cool!

You've been on our thoughts a lot!! I'm tornado-phobic. In fact, before we bought the rig I made Ken agree that we would always know where the tornado shelter was and if a warning went off for our immediate area he would go with me to the shelter. We've never had to do that but I'm still holding him too it!

Gail, Ken and I like the two floor plans 40 foot or under the 36 QSP and the 40 QXP. Too often the parks we like aren't set up for 40+ feet. In fact, the nice RV Park we are in now is beautiful but takes some real effort to back in our 38 foot without hurting their landscaping or our paint job!