Saturday, January 28, 2006


We took off for Quartzsite at about 11 am. We turned left on to US 60 (Grand Ave) and headed north to Wickenburg then over to Quartzsite on US 60 through Salome. It is a couple of miles shorter to go this way than south on US 60 to I-101 to I-10 then to Quartzsite. It isn't faster but RV travel shouldn't be about faster.

Wickenburg, Arizona is about 30 miles north of Sun City West on US 60. We have passed through there many times on the way to Laughlin, NV and have attended the Gold Rush Days parade and rodeo several times.

The bridge over the Hassayampa River was real interesting to me because of the funny signs on the east end of the bridge. The funny signs appear to have been removed. But luckily I took a picture of them on an earlier trip.

Here's picture of what the Hassayampa River normally looks like 99.7% of the time.

Wickenburg has many interesting sights to see including the Hassayampa River Preserve and Gold Rush Days in February but we did not stop.

We pulled into Salome and were going to pull over for lunch when Seven noticed an RV pulling out of a side road so we turned in. We went down to the end of it and found a bevy of RVs spread out over a large vacant lot. People were sitting in circles playing guitars and other instruments next to 3 or 4 of the RVs. We pulled up next to one and had lunch inside the RV then were going to go to listen to the music but the musicians broke for lunch too. I took some pictures of a water tower that was ready to collapse then went over to listen to some guys play. I asked them if this was where the American Idol tryouts were and they almost died laughing. They were really good. What could be better than playing music with a bunch of friends, beer, and salsa dip? I didn't get much information out of them because they were so intent on their playing.

Seven and I walked down the road next to the vacant lot to check out an interesting geocache that I had entered in my GPS unit earlier. The cache was located near the gravesite of Dick Wick Hall, the founder of Salome and a well-known humorist. The cache was super easy to find. There was no information at the gravesite about who Dick Wick Hall was so I had to look his story up when I got home.

His 11 year old daughter, Jane, had this beautiful line in her eulogy for her father:

"When the blossom graced the cactus and the fields were sweet with hay, when the birds were singing in the trees, a genius passed away."

Back on the way to Quartzsite we went through the small town of Hope. There is a big RV campground south of US 60 and on the outskirts of Hope that has a sign that says on the back of it: "You are now beyond Hope".

We turned up the speed when we left slow and leisurely US 60 and got onto the race track known as I-10. Go really fast or get out of the way. On stretch of I-10 from Phoenix to Quartzsite the posted speed limit is 75. The average speed is probably over 85. You don't miss much scenery doing 85 on this flat piece of road. So over Polomsa Pass and down into the valley where you can see 1,000s of RVs glistening in the sun.

We got off at Exit 19 in Quartzsite and then turned left onto Central Ave or AZ 95. From on top of the bridge over I-10 you could see most of Tyson Wells and the surrounding area. What a mess.

Someone at our RV storage facility told us about $5 spots to dry camp in at Rice Ranch. Rice Ranch is right across from Tyson Wells and the RV show and we could walk to all the action. We didn't use our RV (didn't pull a toad) for the 3 days we were there. Parking and traffic is a mess in Quartzsite.

Our main objective was to visit the RV Show and to look into getting work camping jobs for the summer. After we parked the Jamboree we hiked over the RV Show. Within 5 minutes of finding our first summer job booth outside the RV tent we had interviews lined up for the next morning. We took a brief look around and saved touring the RV tent for the next day.

The next morning we had our interview and were offered host positions in a campground in Utah. We had a problem finding one because we couldn't start until the middle of June. Most positions started in April or May. The ones starting in June were usually in high altitude places that were snowed in until then. No electricity. No sewage. The interviewer had to check with one more person in the area before he offered us the position and asked us to come back. He assured us the job would be ours if we wanted it. We left and quickly came across a 1000 Trails work camping recruitment booth. After chatting with some friendly folks, Howard and Marva Woodard, we were offered another position at Brainard Lake in Colorado as booth people. It even pays wages in addition to a free campsite. We happily signed on. Utah will have to wait.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


We bought a 26 foot 1993 Jamboree Rallye last year. Seven (fullname: 7_Out) retired from working with the State of Arizona in July and with all that we (I am the Mad part of Seven and Mad. Fullname: MadJayhawk), were almost ready to hit the road after looking at RVs for almost 3 years and trying to figure out the best way to hit the road.

7_Out is what Seven uses as a nickname when she plays poker on Absolute Poker and bridge on Microsoft's game site. She was a craps supervisor for Harrah's some time ago and used 7_Out on a vanity license plate. It is somewhat a sarcastic remark only craps players could appreciate. MadJayhawk is a nickname Mad has used since he started playing internet games 7 years ago. He is a big Jayhawk basketball fan and Mad can mean 'angry' or 'crazy' depending on his mood or how the 'Hawks are playing. Either one or the other.

Before we could hit the road though we had to get our youngest settled in college, sell a house, and move. After all the garage sales, all the open houses (we used a sell-it-yourself service called Assist-to-Sell), packing what we could not convince someone to give us a quarter or buck for, and getting started in a our new community we are now finally ready to travel.

Tomorrow is the official starting date for us. We are heading to the mecca of RVdom - Quartzsite for the big RV Show and flea market. We have the data all punched into the DeLorme Street Atlas with Earthmate GPS on our Compaq laptop. We pulled the RV out of storage today, filled her propane tank($15 for 7 gallons), cleaned her inside and out, gassed her up (only $95.39 for 41.5 gallons), checked out allthe systems, and fired up the fridge. We have located all the close-in geocaches in the Quartzite area and those along the way and plan to do at least 10 of those while we are there. It could almost be said that we RV to geocache. In morning we pull out and head west.

We really did a lot of research on RVs before we bought then bought the Jamboree in a fever (right condition, right mileage, right price - you know the drill). We were going to originally go the full time in a motor home route. Then we thought a 5th wheel would be better because we had planned to settle in one spot for 2-4 weeks at a time. Then back to the motor home for reasons we can't recall. Then to a Class C. Then back to a 5th Wheel. Then back to a Class C because we decided not to go full time and just wanted to get something used and inexpensive that had been well-cared for so we could try out the RV life style before investing big bucks into a hunk of steel with a sink and bed on 4 wheels. We looked at a lot of RVs and talked to a lot of sales people who probably thought we were nuts. Every analysis we did caused us heartburn when we looked at the depreciation figures for RVs. RVs depreciate breathtakingly fast so we decided on something nice with low mileage that someone else had eaten the depreciation on yet could get us from point A to point B and let us sit for awhile to enjoy point B. We like our Jamboree but our real love is a Carriage 5th Wheel. If we like RVing perhaps there is one in our future.

Well, that is our first post. We will fill in the blanks, let you know about our successes and failures, tell some stories about who we meet and where we have been, and where we will go next. Hope to see you around the campfire.