Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New RV Friends, Burros & Happy Hour!

It has been a few days since our last blog and it has been a busy time.  We met new RV friends from Anacortes, WA.  Their home is about an 80-90 minute drive from our home in Langley, BC, Canada.  Terry and Sherry are motorcycle enthusiasts.  They are vintage motorcycle buffs too - most notably for Vincent motorcycles.     Vincent Motorcycles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Terry and Sherry's BMW motorcycle sits in the box of their truck.
We met and chatted when Terry and Sherry rolled into the Pirate Cove RV Park last Friday.  Not having been here before, they were most surprised by the sites and, although they had only planned to spend two nights, they stayed for four.  
Sharing a wee dram the evening before Terry and Sherry were to leave for the Scottsdale area, near Phoenix.
While chatting, Terry mentioned a few names of vintage motorcyclists he knows well in BC and when I mentioned that we had lived, for over 30 years, in White Rock, BC, he mentioned a well known and respected vintage motorcycle buff who lived there too.  The name instantly rang a bell with me.  He was known to me.  I had visited his home and had seen his great collection of vintage motorcycles -  including a steam powered one - and he lived only three blocks from our home.  We also threw a few names about and, low and behold, he knew of them.  What a small world!

Chatting up the motorcycle swivel wheel.
Terry was most interested in the swivelwheel we attach to our 5th wheel to transport our motorcycle.  They have been seriously considering purchasing a 5th wheel but, like us, motorcycling is a must.  He was taken by the system.....and, who knows, they may well be 5th wheeling next season.
Terry and Sherry, leaving for points further east in Arizona.
When we were talking about favourite RV spots, Terry spoke about Lake Pleasant Park - just north and west from Phoenix.  Their description was magnetic.  We loved how they described this beautiful and underutilized park.....so, with that in mind, we are headed there, one day early, on our drive to get to Gold Canyon.  We'll leave on Thursday, spend one night at Lake Pleasant, before arriving at Canyon Vista RV Resort on Friday.

Some weekenders attending a small rally here.
Several weekenders arrived for what was billed as a large off road rally.  It did not materialize.  Only a few rallyers showed up.  Good thing too!  Their engines are noisy and they tore up some of the areas we enjoy walking in.  By and large, most folks were responsible but it irks us to no end (most others too) to find beer cans strewn all over the place.  Rather than act responsibly, some idiot rallyers  had to spoil it for most.  We witnessed one dog owner - of the many who were here - who ignored picking up their doggy poops.  Pathetic! We did not want to get shot so we did not say anything....but the disrespect was appalling at best.  Again, most rallyers with dogs were responsible.  It is quite likely (Yes, I'll go out on the limb on this) that the irresponsible dog owners were the likely beer swilling, can throwing, fools along their riding trails.

The weekenders left on Sunday and the park returned to its quiet and beautiful self.  This is our third year here and we have never witnessed an event like this before....and we hope it doesn't happen again.

I just love the sunrise here - overlooking the river.
Early morning shadows on the rig
This is what we witness while enjoying and early morning coffee in the warmth of our 5th wheel.....while watching the colours change on the horizon.
Riding Route 66 to Oatman, AZ
Although we have ridden to Oatman on several previous occasions, yesterday proved to be a good day to do it for the first time this season.  We took the famed Route 66 to get there and back.
Scenery along the route.
True to what is always advertised about Oatman, the burros were all over the street looking for free handouts from curious tourists.
This burro got interested in Jeanette.....even before she could remove her riding jacket....but quickly left when it was discovered that we had no treats.
We opted for lunch here....and it was quite good too.
When seated in the restaurant, a fellow tourist, seated next to our table, strongly urged us not to order the chilli.  His mouth was still burning from the hot spices.  He could not finish his meal....but he did manage to consume several bottles of water. We took his advice! He was seriously hurting!

Locally produced native Indian art produced on locally mined sandstone.
The art work - paintings on sandstone - were a joy to look at, in one store.  The talent to produce this quality is priceless.  Good thing for riding the motorcycle. It kept our temptations in check.
Grand building of old......
If the walls on the building above could talk, imagine the many captivating stories.
Back at our RV park, we headed over to Pod 24 where friends David and Patty were showing off their recently acquired electric two wheel scooter.           L-R Dean (RVer in the Pod) me on the scooter, David and Patty.
David bought this little rider for Patty to scoot around with.  Seeing as we were helmeted - and likely could not hurt ourselves - they wanted us to try it out.  We did just that.  Kind of a fun scooter to get around in RV parks. Not sure you can make it out under the black cover, just behind Patty, but David rides a beautiful Harley Davidson Ultra Glide. 
This little electric scooter is fun....albeit a bit slow for my liking.
We had some fun and laughs riding this thing.  They are growing in popularity, and we are seeing more and more of them around.
Jeanette is willing to give it a test ride.
Our objective, for the ride over to Pod 24 where David and Patty's RV sits, was to invite them over for some finger foods and libations at 5:30 pm yesterday afternoon.  Before we could manage the invite though, we got busy playing with this electric two wheeler.  That was fun!

David and Patty (who hale from Yuba City, CA, in northern California) did come to our Pod 16 and we enjoyed a few hours of fun chats and laughter.  After they left, back for their home site, we enjoyed a quiet evening of WEB browsing and TV watching .

Several RVers here are motorcycle enthusiasts.  Yesterday, we were invited to join a 300 mile, return ride - on Route 66 - to 29 Palms, CA.   Sadly, we won't be here, this Saturday, for that.  We will be settled in to Gold Canyon, AZ, by then.  We did the very same ride last year and we'll look forward to it for next year.

That it from here for now.   Thanks for dropping in.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Quite The Contrast in Weather Systems....

The locals have always stated that it never rains in southern California! Well, we can prove different!  It rained.....and it rained for well over 14 hours, non stop.  Oh, but the desert sure loved it.  It's refreshing!
Puddles can be seen on the desert floor.
For a brief moment, this early morning, we thought we had been picked up and beamed back to the Pacific West Coast of BC.  It was much milder here though.
Late yesterday afternoon, before the rains.
Yesterday was mild - although cloudy - so we left on a 2 1/2 hour morning hike to a conservation area here at Pirate Cove.  It was fun to discover and read the many signs that depict the types of foliage in the desert and the history on the Colorado River.
From the other side we saw this RVer - with metal detector in hand - scouting for local precious metals.
A little blurb on the Mesquite Tree, found here.  (Double click for a larger photo view)
Of all the cacti found in the desert, the Prickly Pear is quite common.  We have not ever seen one in bloom but that may just happen this winter.

We were quite taken by the scenery along this Conservation area. 
Taking a break to enjoy the Colorado River - to the right - and the estuary to the left.
The estuary is the entrance to Pirate Cove Marina.  It is a protected channel that guards against damage to boats during heavy winds that can blow through here.

Caught a photo of these two fishers after reeling in a local fish.  They released it back into the channel.
On our way out of the Conservation area, I caught a few photos from the resort area.  I particularly enjoyed one of the numerous water fountains built with oak barrels.  Nice concept....and very effective too with the sound that the water makes.

The lovely cabins that dot the water front along the protected Pirate Cove channel, off the Colorado River.
Another view of the marina below shows just how sleepy this area is during the winter months.  It is very serene and peaceful.
Jeanette and I followed our morning hike with lunch and then suited up for the 40 minute ride into Laughlin, Nevada.  From there, we rode over the bridge (on the Colorado River) and into Bullhead City, Arizona, to have the motorcycle front brakes replaced.
Coming into Lauglin from the south side...heading north.
When replacing the front motorcycle tire, one week ago, I had a good look at the front brakes (there are two of them in front and one on the back wheel) and although they were still fine, they were close to being due for replacement.  Yesterday afternoon's appointment had a new set installed.  
We rode off to the Bullhead City China Buffet, for a fantastic, late afternoon, meal before heading back home to our RV site - in California.  I mention the three states in this blog because our ride did take us from California to Nevada, then into Arizona, then back to California.  Three states were crossed into during one ride.

We arrived back to our RV site and, within one hour, the rain began in earnest.  It drizzled all night long and we woke up to heavy clouds and moist air.
The Canadian Geese that hang out here were enjoying the wet weather.
As of this writing, the rain has long ago stopped and once this blog is posted, Jeanette and I plan to head out for a nice afternoon walk on the loop.

Thanks for dropping in.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Little Fixin', a Bit of Walkin', a bit of Readin'....and a lot of Nothin'...

As part of our regular maintenance I climbed onto the roof of the 5th wheel for an inspection.  Of greater importance was a finite look at the caulking and the condition of the roof in general.  Our fiver has three vents - 2 are 'Fantastic Vents' with built in fans and one is a hand crank type that we seldom - if ever - open.  The hand crank white vent cover looked very grey and sun damaged.  I pressed a finger on it and it instantly cracked.  It needed to be replaced.  The other vent covers were perfectly fine.
The new....next to the old on the right.
When in Lake Havasu City yesterday afternoon, we dropped by an RV parts store and purchased the right replacement vent.  I went to work this morning to replace the old with the new.
Removal and install directions were easy to follow.
All the guts have to be removed from indoors before one can change out the new plastic vent cover.
The new vent cover...and the job is complete.

A roof top view of our site.
And a roof top view looking south along the Colorado River.
With that job over with, Jeanette and I headed south on foot, along a new trail that would take us to the east side of the Pirate Cove cabins, restaurant, store and marina.  A fair bit of walking was in soft sand.

Although cloudy these past two days, there has been no wind and the temperatures are warm. Daytime temperatures have been hovering near the mid-70's.  No complaints, that's for sure.  We even heard a few raindrops while having breakfast this morning...but that only lasted a minute or two.
Marina view from the east side of the tributary.
The boat dock and one RV park that sits on pavement.  Our side sits on the sand sites, on the peninsula, along the Colorado River shoreline.
Our last blog referred to our desire to light a beach fire and enjoy roasted hot dogs.  That's just what happened, the night before last.  With little wind and nice night time temperatures, the setting was perfect.
With desert dry kindling, the fire roared quickly to life....and also quickly turned to hot coals.
The craved hot dogs were finally 'un fait accomplis' (enjoyed).
We sat out by the fire and kept fueling the flames till we called it a night.  It's hard to beat the taste of open fire roasted hot dogs. 
Ready to barbecue
Last night's menu called for barbecued burgers.  While those were cooking, Jeanette and I got on the telephone to our son and daughter in law who live in Edmonton, Alberta.  We had not chatted with them since their return from a Hawaiian winter holiday.
Hmmm, hmmmm, good!
Our conversation with Deni was a bit spotty due to a weak signal out here in the desert.  Jeanette had a good connection but as soon as I took the phone, the signal fragmented.  Nonetheless, it was great to catch up on their lives.
We closed the phone conversation and proceeded to enjoy these burgers.

I spotted the regular propane truck that services the Pirate Cove RV Resort, this morning, and that prompted a check of our on board LP gas situation.  Although we've been on the road approaching one month, our propane use has been negligible.

This colours our past few days.  It's all good! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Awesome River Weather....

Well it's good to be back on the Colorado River, following our two day trip to Las Vegas.

We finally have some really awesome weather! It was in the mid-70's today.  Gotta like that!
Golden Shores, AZ - Photo taken from our California side of the Colorado River.
The difference between our walk today and those of the past couple of days was the tranquility of this place v. the crazy business of walking Las Vegas Boulevard.  Jeanette and I remarked on how peaceful our morning walk was.
Caught this train coming out of the mountains near our walking trail.
Hector and Diane were prepping to close up their Class 'A' motorhome so we left them to continue with their routine.  They are headed to Quartzite for the biggest RV desert show...likely in the entire world.  We have no interest in moving our rig over to Quartzite but we might motorcycle out there for a day of browsing.  We don't have any specific purchases in mind but it might be fun to ride in - spend a few hours in the chaos - then ride back to our spot here before sunset.
This American Flag sits on top of this mountain.  I used maximum zoom to capture it from below.
With little to no wind by late mid-morning, it appeared this would be a perfect day to launch the Sea Eagle kayak.
I spent some time with Chico - the Portuguese Water Dog - while our neighbours were busy with folding camp.
Jeanette and I are going to miss Chico but we'll get to see him again in three weeks when we once again reconnect in Yuma, AZ.
The sand dunes by our fiver are perfect for practicing sand shots with my wedge.
I hit several balls from the sand to an intended target.  Chico would then chase the balls...and, true to form, he would bring them back.  Although he would get distracted if I hit too many balls quickly, he still responded well.  Hmmm...I could use Chico on the golf course whenever I hit an errant shot.
With the toad hitched, Hector, Diane and Chico headed further south to Quartzite.
Our plan is to hang out here for the next 8-9 days, or so, before heading further east to Gold Canyon, AZ.  It is situated at the foot of the Superstition Mountain, about 10-15 minutes east from Mesa, AZ, on Highway 60. We have reservations @ Canyon Vista RV Resort beginning on February 1, 2013. 
All pumped and ready to paddle.
 I have been waiting for the really nice weather to finally paddle the Colorado.  I had that opportunity today.  I'm sure my arms will respond with pain tomorrow though.  I felt that I was using muscles I haven't worked with for some time....and pushing the kayak against the flow was really hard work.  It felt nice to be on the water.
Working my way north....against the flow.
 I brought a few bottles of water along. Good thing too.  The refreshment was required with all that hard work being expended.  Finding the right rhythm was key and that was best done on the Arizona side (east side) of the river.  Once I moved over to that side of the river, the work required was a bit less demanding.
Working my way over to the Arizona side.
Jeanette is not nearly the water sport person that I am.  She does enjoy kayaking on lakes but finds streams and rivers are not her thing.  Unlike me, she did not grow up doing water sports.  There is an element of fright on a taxing river such as this one.  Although she has joined me on the river before...and likely will again....it's not her bailiwick.
Unknown to me though, Jeanette was very busy with the camera.
Making my way back - after a one hour, up river, paddle.
Phew!  The reward for the hard work up stream was the easy ride downstream.

I did notice the relatively few RVers who were parked on the jutting pods, when compared to last year.  What's with that?  Well, the San Bernardino County gave the operating contract out to Pirate Cove Management and the new group immediately raised the cost by almost double.  That clearly annoyed former patrons - us too, I might add.  For the higher costs, nothing has changed and no new services have been added.  I don't get their thinking - or lack thereof.  We booked in for the month and accepted the terms but we are likely to revisit this for next year.  The occupancy rate is easily down by 60 to 70 percent.  No a good business model, say I. There are rumblings that the price will drop for next winter.  That would make sense when the business is down substantially.  Their ploy to profit by double and to offer nothing new failed!

Following the rigorous river exercise, it was time for a rest.  I am not a 'napper' so don't get the wrong impression here.
Following a bit of lunch - outdoors - while sitting on a lounge chair - and watching the river go by - is a pretty nice thing to do on such a nice day.  It's what we find attractive about this place.
OK....enough laying about.
While I was plying the river, Jeanette made busy with some laundry and tidying up.  She did not take any photos of her activities....and she had the camera.

We called our daughter and arranged for a Skype session with her and Easton for later this afternoon. It was a treat to share some face time with Easton.  To watch him react to our voices and faces was quite something.  He was desperately trying to grab Ginette's computer screen.  Great fun time we had doing the Skype thing.  Gotta love the technology!

Ginette, Easton and Trevor will be flying in to Phoenix and joining us for one week. this early February, while we hang out in Gold Canyon, AZ.  We do look forward to that....and they are really, really looking forward to the holiday.

As the sun sets here, we're readying to light the fire we prepared this late afternoon.  Roasted hot dogs (long on our dinner menu plans) will finally happen tonight on the river bank.  Photos of that in the days ahead.

OK...that sums things up from here for now.