If a person is going to camp with other people, these people I met at Quartzsite are the kind to camp with.
Ann and Bill came to Dome Rock from Oregon. Bill is one of those guys who can fix anything and has more than his share of common sense.
I tell him about my recalcitrant battery that refuses to come out of the little compartment of the Casita. He identifies the problem right away. The tray the battery sits on was not installed straight, causing the battery to catch on one corner. Also the wires are bundled in such a way to make it a tight fit.
Bill clips the plastic tie around the wires and wiggles the battery out to a small table where he adds the necessary distilled water. He makes sure I know the correct water level before putting the battery back in.
Bill notices my souvenir from the infamous Coyote Road (see post of September 12).
A rivet from the outside of the shell through the kitchen surround is broken. He gets his rivet gun and some silicone and fixes it like new!
Seizing the opportune moment, I tell him I’m not completely happy with the cord that runs from the Casita to an outlet below the bumper of the PTV.
“I forgot to tell the people at Starlight Solar to make the cord long enough for me to be able to change the position of the PTV, so my solar panel can be tilted toward the sun,” I complain. “I don’t want to take it back there for a longer cord.”
Bill quickly gives me a simple solution. “Make an extension cord, #6 or #8 gauge, and add the ends to match your plugs.”
Another why-didn’t-I-think-of-that moment that makes me wonder where my brain has gone!
His wife Ann is quiet, quirky, and fun, with a childlike enthusiasm for new places and an adventuresome spirit to match. She makes lovely, stained-glass windows for the doors of rvs. Both Bill and Ann are soft-spoken and easy to be around. Their beagle, Samantha, has tender pads, and needs to wear booties in the desert. Luckily, Ann found a booth at Quartzsite that sells them. Samantha likes wearing them.
Bill, Ann, Chuck, Geri and I decide to go boondocking in the Sonoran Desert at Darby Wells Road outside Ajo. We travel down Highway 95 to Yuma and spend the night at the pond where I camped previously.
The next morning we gas up and fill tanks with propane before going east on Interstate 8 to Gila Bend. Chuck and Geri have some things to take care of so they’re a day behind us.
Bill, Ann, their two dogs, the crew, and I camp at the Painted Rock petroglyph site near Gila Bend for one night.
It’s BLM land with a camping fee of $8.00. We use our federal senior passes and pay only $4.00, and that includes the $2.00 fee to walk around the petroglyphs. We take turns dog-sitting.
I try my new charcoal grill for turkey burgers (yuck) and to heat up some smoked salmon (They’re from Oregon, remember?). Ann cooks potatoes with onions (yummy) in a skillet on their camp stove and heats up some green beans. In spite of the fact that we discover the rolls for the burgers are no good due to mold, we enjoy our little cook-out together right before the sun sets.
Bridget happily skips around the picnic table after scoring half a turkey burger which flew off Bill’s plate when he tried to cut the dry, crusty patty. For once she didn’t have to wait for Spike’s leftovers!
The next morning, after breakfast, coffee, and dog walks, we break camp and tow our Casitas south to Ajo, Arizona!
Here’s a few more photos from our Quartzsite experience. I’m glad we went!
Sue, before long you will be an expert on all things involving your Casita. This is the best way to learn. I’d have gotten lost at the scarf and tie-dye shop. I want a three wheel bike.
You want a tricycle? Just kidding.
Yes, I want a trike. It’s been almost 50 years since I’ve ridden a real bike. While I was in college my mother donated mine to a church sale believing I’d surely never want to ride it again. I have heard that you never forget, but I’d be afraid to test out that belief.
Gosh, I sure do admire those fix-it skills! Seems as if serendipity is taking care of your needs wherever you are, and those of the crew as well.
Everything seems to work out!
My wife and I share your dislike of turkey burgers. We’ve adapted Ree Drummond’s recipe to our full-time RV (burger on the grill outside, bagel on the saute pan inside) and it is quite yummy. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/01/turkey-bagel-burger/
Sounds good, Doc. Thanks for the link!
I’m assuming that the “yuck” on the turkey burgers was for the taste, not the performance of the grill. Sounds like you are having a great time and seeing wonderful sights with fun folks. Glad Bill was able to help you check your battery water. Since you use the battery every day, it’s important to be able to keep it maintained. I’m glad the canine campers enjoyed the chairs.
I kind of figured the turkey burgers wouldn’t have enough fat to grill well. The grill works great. I’ll put the rest of the turkery burgers in a pan to cook. Mostly I want something to put condiments on . . .
Yeah, I feel better knowing I can get that battery out to keep the water level up and check its charge.
I want one of those three wheelers! First time I have seen one like that.
The beagle is soooo adorable, all of the fur babaies look comfy in those chairs.
I agree, condiments are the best part of any turky product :o)
I’ve never met a beagle I didn’t like. I would have a beagle if it weren’t for their tendency to run off after a scent. Samantha is good about staying around Ann and Bill. She’s a cute little girl.
I like that area around Ajo, just be aware.
Great BLM spot off Freeman Rd exit I8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend.
Thanks for the info on the BLM site. I’ll put it in my boondocking file!
I also would love to have that 3 wheeler.
I should Fred, Julie’s picture he liked her right away.
I’m wondering if the people rented those 3-wheelers from a vendor.
Short post to test my poster with wordpress
It works, I was wondering how your solar panel setup is doing since they were modified at Yuma.
Solar is working great. I love it. Now that I have my LED bulbs in the light fixtures, I have plenty of light in the evening. I can watch a few hours of television (although right now I’m not picking up any channels), and my laptop is always charged up and ready. I haven’t needed to turn on my Fantastic Fan, but I could run it, too.
It’s a wonderful feeling to know I can park in places where there are no hookups. And not paying a power bill every month . . . wow!
Lately my inverter reads 14.2 or 14.3 volts by noon every day, and that’s with it flat on the PTV (I love the desert!).
You should try the crock pot to see how much it draws the batteries down. Just make sure the next day will be sunny. I’ll bet you can run it for two or three hours with no problem.
Mick . . . Wouldn’t I have to keep it on the low setting? And when I cook stuff on low it takes more than two or three hours, more like six hours.
Your batteries have about 200 amp-hours (75+75+50?). That equals 2600 watt-hours (200 x 13 volts). You can use 50% of the 2600 or 1300 watt-hours. That could be 200 watts for 6 1/2 hours. You need to know how much the crock pot draws on low power. Look in the crock pot manual; maybe it tells. Maybe Bill can help? Your solar panel will probably only produce 600 watt-hour per day at this time of year so it would take a couple days to fully recover if you use 50% of your batteries. But your crock pot may only draw 100 watts on low. Then you would recover in one day. Too technical … well thats life in the boondocks.LOL
Mick . . . Rather than draw down my batteries so low, could I not run the PTV? I’m amazed at how quickly it makes the volts jump up. I’ll go to extreme lengths for some more of my crockpot BBQ chicken.
Thanks for the lesson. I do understand it. Now. Not in an hour, but now I do.
With the price of gas?? You need to try the crock pot while monitoring with the remote meter. If it is drawing too much … but a second solar panel??
That would be BUY.
Here is what I use to fill my batteries, doesn’t leak ( spring loaded ) and fills the cell to correct height.
Hello, I have so enjoyed reading all your adventures. Started on Sunday and finished this morning. I have made the decision to sell my home and get the flock our of California. I have a Casita and can’t stand not being able to use it more. So the idea of fulltiming is going to happen as soon as this house sells. Your adventures in New Mexico made me so homesick since I have a house in Las Cruces. Lived in New Mexico for 12 years and all the places you visited I have been. Your blog is now my daily reading. Are you going to be in Quartzsite in February? A whole group of us are doing our get-together Feb 9-13. Hope to see you and if not hope to meet up with you on my travels. Sandi
Enjoyed reading your comment about your plans to fulltime. It’s tough having to wait . . . Believe me, I know!
Congratulations on reading my prior posts. I should give out reading awards for people who manage to make it through all that!
I won’t be going to Quartzsite in February. I’d spend more money! You have a great time. Maybe next year . . .
New Mexico is like it’s advertised . . . enchanting . . . except when you get caught in a snowstorm.
I forgot to mention that your friend Bridget that you met at Elephant Butte was my neighbor when I lived in Ruidoso, NM. I remember her as friendly and loved to talk.. Yes, she always had those puppies groomed to the nines. We used to walk everyday on our mountain. Sorry I won’t get to meet you cause I told Augy the Scotty he would get to meet Spike. Have a safe trip. You are my inspiration. Oh, by the way your writing makes me feel I am right there with you. Sandi
You were Bridget’s neighbor . . . what a small world.
Your last remark makes me smile!
Message to Bill Kelleher . . .
Your two comments were automatically sent to my spam file for me to approve or disapprove. I approved one and disapproved the other, since it was the same. However, that action eliminated both comments. I’m sorry! Sometimes links in a comment send it to the spam file. Other times, no. ????
Please send the link again for the battery-filler. I’d like to look into it, and others might, too. Thanks.
The link seems to be there now and it worked when I clicked on it.
The reason for the second post was I use to get an email to confirm my post and didn’t get one either time.
Sorry about that.
What link? I don’t see one.
OK, I will try again, it was up higher in the reply’s.
Thanks so much Bill! I appreciate you posting the link again. This is what Bill (I know a LOT of Bills!) told me about when he put water in the batteries. It’s so hard to see where the level is. There’s a NAPA store in town, too!
Hi Sue n Crew…hope you are enjoying Darby! BTW…like the green background lots better!
It never fails – reading your blog puts a smile on my face!
Sorry, we snuck out the back door this morning…. never have liked good byes!
Hope you guys are having another fine day….
Kelly & The Bunch !
I didn’t want to say goodbye either. I got your sweet note. Best wishes for safe and happy travels … Yes, we will meet again.
I would not recommend trying to cook with solar electric power; that is a battery killer for sure.
If you want to have crock pot meals while boondocking I would suggest getting a Thermal Cooker. You would then be using a very limited amount of propane and letting the Cooker and time cook your crock pot meal.
Thanks, Ed. I’ll look into it.