Wendy & I have been camped at the LTVA (long term visitor area) south of Quartzsite AZ for nearly a month now. The weather has gone from HOT in the afternoon with perfect sleep-with-the-windows-open nights to get that furnace running weather. We’ve had a surprising number of cloudy, overcast days. . .disrupting our solar gain. My propane generator I got last Fall has been starting amazingly easy so far & I’ve ran it for 1-2 hours every other day or so. No, I’m not watching television all that much, definitely not during the days like when plugged into electricity. However, I’ve been sleeping most nights so much better than the past year since Jeff’s death. I’m where I want to be, the desert air is more relaxing, or maybe I’ve just finally gotten more comfortable being alone. Don’t know.
Wendy & I have managed to occupy ourselves without spending much money. We go out to eat (usually around $10/meal) every few days & have driven around various areas of town. There’s actually a golf course north of Quartzsite, no grass just greenish creosote bushes. It’s odd to see flags with a circle drawn in the sand around it. There’s also a shooting range up the road from the gold course.
We took a perfect afternoon to hike up Palm Canyon in the KOFA preserve. Kira & I walked this rugged trail several years ago but we didn’t go to the end this time. I turned around after I got far enough up the canyon to see the palms up on the side of the canyon. Wendy had stopped about half way up, so I wanted to go back to check on her.
On the way back to the pickup, we ran into another hiker & stopped in what little shade was along the trail to chat for awhile. He had been traveling around for 7 months living only in the back of a camper shell on the back of his pickup. Amazing how he had it all organized. And he was a Packers’ fan, so we had a great visit in the desert.
Wendy & I made several trips to Parker to Walmart, but one day stopped by the Blue Water Casino theater &, $5 senior discount each, we saw a movie! We’d neither one been to a movie in a theater in years. We saw Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge about the first ever conscientious objector, during World War II. The hero really did deserve a movie about his accomplishments.
One evening going into town after a rain shower & clouds most of the day, I was shocked to see the most fabulous DOUBLE rainbow with the most intense colors I’ve ever seen. People were standing outside in town taking pictures of it cause since it doesn’t rain that often around Quartzsite, any rainbow is unusual.
I joined the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) chapter finally. I felt a need to connect with known veterans around town since some parts of me will never be civilian again. Always thought about joining it or American Legion because I may need a safe spot for the night traveling around. However, even tho I was in the Navy during a few of the qualifying campaigns to join VFW, I was not actually boots on the ground in those locations, so I could only join as an Auxiliary using my father’s WWII service. I attended a monthly meeting to be inducted, & was surprised, I teared up taking my oath. . .just like when I joined & re-enlisted in the Navy.
Wendy & I have gone out to eat Friday night fish every week, as well as eating other meals at other places around town. There haven’t been too many campers parking near us, so life has been pretty slow & easy for 6 weeks.
I have always wanted to put some unique graphics on my trailer & found a guy at the BLM office who has done graphics for years but is now a full-time RVer. I had him come look at my trailer & we talked about what I wanted. Jeff always put up an American flag but I just haven’t wanted to mess with putting it up, so I gave his flag to his daughter. But somewhere I saw a flag graphic mounted on the front of a Casita & decided that was a good compromise. Anyway, John (the graphics guy) & I are working on what I want on my trailer. I’ve always loved working with graphics on a computer so this is a fun project. Besides, he’s also a cancer survivor & chemo recipient so we developed an instant bond.
So, it’s winter in the desert around Quartzsite – & we’ve had rain & cold nights. The cloud deck is so low you can’t see the tops of the ragged mountains ringing the valley. Nice for a change but will be glad when the sun returns.