Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunny San Diego

With the Scamp tucked into its spot in the garage, we packed suitcases, tossed them in the Subaru, and headed for San Diego. We stopped to do an earth cache in Holtsville at a hot spring that I didn't know existed. Once again, geocaching took us to an interesting place.

Thankfully, we finished up with our Holtsville stop before the rain started. This is the first trip to California that I've ever had where the traffic was running less than the speed limit!

The whole reason for the trip was to watch our grandson in a hockey tournament. His team flew down from Alaska to take part in a tournament. BJ wore his white jersey for the first game since the team was wearing their dark uniforms that day.

He's one of the larger guys on his team and doesn't shy away from going right up the middle if the chance presents itself.

I noticed that BJ declined the opportunity to wear his dark jersey the next day. Sometime about eau de locker room.

We had some very heavy rain one day, but the sun was shining the next day and the game wasn't until late afternoon so we headed to Ramona to see what has changed since we lived there in the mid '70s. The highlight event when we lived there was when they got their first stoplight. Folks would park and watch it change color. Now there are at least six major intersections.

In spite of the additional traffic and signals, downtown still looks the same but the apartment definitely looked worse for wear.

We were making a big loop of this drive, and stopped along the way at a county park. It was pretty obvious where the rain from the day before ended up.

For years, we've heard about the Escapees Jojoba Hills RV park hidden in the hills east of Temecula. With a bit of time on our hands, we arranged for a quick windshield tour but didn't stop to visit any of our friends there.

All in all, it was a nice trip down memory lane.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

More Yuma

Yuma sunrises are every bit as impressive as the sunsets. This one was taken while waiting for the annual geocoin challenge to start.

For the past six years, the folks in Yuma have organized a geocoin challenge on the day before the Mega event. They make a list of 20 waypoints around the greater Yuma area, leaving the routing up to the individual. One of the points this year was up against "the fence." I was amazed how much US private property was on the 'wrong' side of the fence.

Yuma is known as the winter lettuce capital of the world. You can have your greens (or purples) as you chose.

Cabbage was coming off some of the fields I drove by, but I didn't get any pictures of the harvesting process.

Geocoins are incredibly difficult to photograph since they often had highly polished finishes. This year's geocoin challenge coin featured a 'cache miner' on one side, and the Southwest Arizona Geocacher logo on the other.

If you found the required information at all 20 of the waypoints, you received one of these coins.

After finishing the coin challenge, I visited a few other caches. This one had two locks and required a visit to multiple locations to solve the puzzle.

I was amazed to discover a single silver high heel in the cache with a trackable tag attached. I have a hunch it may not move quickly since it's too large for many caches!

At another cache I spotted this old Peterbilt nearby. Perhaps this is why the cache was named "Dog Pound"

The Mega Event was a blur, talking with friends. I did manage to get a picture with the Geocaching mascot,

and I bought one of the coins that SWAG created as a fund raiser for the event. This year the coin was oval and had lots of relief on the back side.

It would have been nice to spend a couple more days in town, but it was time to head for home. Thirty-four nights in the trailer this trip.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Wandering Yuma

After the better part of three weeks in Quartzsite, I moved to Yuma. Every year, it seems the town gets busier as do the various boondocking locations. This year I headed back to a spot just south of Mittry Lake that I'd stayed at two years ago. It, too, was busier than in the past, but I found a spot that kept my solar panel working nicely.

Once I had the trailer organized, I headed in to town to do a series of lab caches based on murals around town. Some were historic in nature, others were very artistic.

The civic center now sports a very large mural dealing with some early history.

The one I liked the best covered the side of a grocery store.

You had to go across the street to view the whole thing. As usual, clicking on a picture will bring up a larger version.

The next morning I headed off early to find my way to the Gila Petroglyphs.
The cairns even sported their own blooming flowers although they washed out in the sun.

The hike was wonderful, and the petroglyphs were nicely done although not numerous. This was the site of the first event of the weekend related to the annual Yuma Mega geocaching event. I got there ahead of the crowd, signed the log, and headed back down the trail to make more room for others.

Later that day, after chasing caches in the desert, I enjoyed lunch and a date shake at Martha's Gardens which was the site of the second event of the day.

The "logbook" at this event took the form of a multi-segmented wooden lizard which people signed until the lizard ran out of room!

Late that afternoon, there was yet another event, this time a 'flash mob' near a local theater. It was amazing to see how many people showed up for that event.

After a long day, I got back to the trailer just in time to watch the sun set as a crop duster worked the fields.

Saturday, February 9, 2019


The Fiberglass Trailer Rendezvous is the event that originally got me started going to Quartzsite. It's grown tremendously over the years and now draws trailers from all around the US and Canada. It's schedule conflicts with another event, so we went for the 'pre' gathering.
When we first started attending, Casitas made up the majority of the trailers in attendance, and they still have a significant portion, but...

Escape trailers made in Chilliwack, BC are becoming a bigger and bigger percentage of attendees. This photo has at least one of each of the sizes that they currently have in production.

This Bonaire Oxygen is very rare. This example came from Ontario, Canada.

In addition to visiting with friends, and making new friends, we did find some time to get out and wander. This saguaro reminded me of a puppy trying to balance a ball on its nose.

I found some rust I'd never seen. I'm assuming this was a foundation for some sort of mining equipment, but I couldn't find any information about it.

Brittle bush was blooming, so in spite of the unusually cold weather, sneezes won't be far behind.

Six days went by way too fast. When I left there was well over 100 trailers in attendance and the event didn't officially start until the next day.

Monday, February 4, 2019

It Pays to Have Friends

One of the joys of attending a geocaching gathering is the some of the folks bring their "senior wheelchairs" as they're known in Quartzsite,

or their jeeps. One afternoon, we headed out to explore some of the country west of Dome Rock. I'd already visited some of the caches but this was an opportunity to see more of the country.

Of course, we stopped along the way to locate geocaches and sign the logs.

This is typical - people checking their phones or GPS to see if they're getting close while tripping over the unseen geocache.

The organizer said no pickups, and I understood why. Much of the road was easy, but there was a corner, a rough spot through a wash, and a couple "friendly" trees that would have been problematic for me. Much easier to ride in the organizer's RZR!

All along the way, there were signs of early mines, with cairns to mark claims,

and a couple spots where deep shafts had been created. Two that I noticed had been covered by BLM with steel structures that cameras and birds could navigate.

The other thing we noticed were a couple graves, purportedly places where early miners died although names were now unreadable.

I suspect there are more than just these two, given the rugged country and the potential for amazing heat during the summer.

Another day, four of us joined up to find some new caches. Much easier working together, although I'll admit I met the fellow 2nd from the left while out snagging some First To Find a few days prior. Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Arizona represented here.

With that geocaching gathering done for another year, it was time to head back into town to everyone's favorite place - the RV Pit Stop. Filled the LP tank and emptied some other tanks before...

setting up camp on the west side of town for the next gathering. This time, we're joining the early version of the annual Fiberglas Rendezvous. We've been attending this gathering for years and it continues growing. On Friday, one full week before it is scheduled to officially start, there are already over 40 trailers here, and that's just where I lost count.