Well here we are again, its the primary blogger’s turn to bring you all up to date. We left Williams, AZ on November 11 and headed to Laughlin, for a well earned stay in a hotel, of course its a casino town so we were able to secure a room at the Edgewater Hotel for 3 nights for $12 a night. It wasn’t the best we have stayed in but I guess you get what you pay for. It was clean with comfortable beds and hot showers that we didn’t have to leave home for.
While I had some casino time, Frank explored nearby Bullhead City, not a lot there but he travelled to Needles, CA and found it was an old railroad town, so he was quite happy with that.
After the 3 days we touch base with Ed and Eileen and are meeting them in Quartzite, AZ, so after leaving NV we cross the bridge back into Arizona and we briefly cross into California then back into Arizona for Quartzite. The drive was uneventful with a few mountain passes and wide open desert. We are going to experience camping in the desert on the BLM Lands (Bureau of Land Management). Apparently its quite popular with RVers, you pay $40 and it gives you 14 days of dry camping in various desert sites throughout Arizona and California. Very basic, you just camp wherever you want and because we are self contained with a generator, bathroom etc. we wanted for nothing. It was like camping old style, only in luxury. We just had to make sure we had lots of water, there are places in town which was about 10 miles away that had vending machines on the sidewalk where you could fill up your gallon jugs with fresh water.
Our first 5 days were spent in Quartzite which is a desert town with hardly anything going for it except other rvers. The site itself was a flat gravel plain with some scrubby trees and bushes, but it was nice to have some down time and just relax, and catch some sun. Eileen and I played Scrabble and the four of us played cards and we had lots of happy hours.
From Quartzite we travelled to Yuma and replenished our supplies before continuing to another BLM site in California called Pilot Knob. Just after leaving Yuma, we have to go through a check station just after passing the Welcome to California sign. Apparently there is a quarantine on citrus fruits coming from AZ into CA so I had to give up my lemon, boo hoo. How silly. Incidentally what we saw of Yuma was not too impressive, spread out, dusty, dirty in the sunlight.
We reach Pilot Knob and encounter a wide open, largely gravel plain with some undulations and scrubby bushes. The weather is great, hot sunny days and cooler at night, just the way we want it, but it does get windy as well. Frank is pretty sure the whole area must have been the floor of an ancient ocean, a mixture of sand, gravel and small stones. The evenings are really special, I have seen some of the most beautiful sunsets ever.
On our 3rd day in Pilot Knob we venture to Alcodones, Mexico which was a 4 mile drive to the border where we leave our car and literally walk down some steps past the American checkpoint and through an unmanned Mexican checkpoint into the town of Alcodones. It is a very small town consisting of a couple of streets filled with dentists, pharmacies, liquor stores and the usual Mexican trinkets. Eileen and Ed head for their dentist because Eileen has an appointment to get some work done. Frank and I got our teeth cleaned for $15 and were given an estimate of the work they thought should be done. Frank’s wasn’t too bad, his came in at $2500, mine on the other hand was $13,500, apparently they thought that all of my teeth should be capped with gold, LOL. We said we would think about it and quickly left the office. But I did feel good getting my teeth cleaned. I am a sucker for Mexican pottery and bought a couple of bowls and of course some cheap Kahlua. We meet up with E and E and have lunch in a open courtyard along with some beer of course and then walked the two blocks back to the border for our face to face with the US border guards. I got well and truly spanked because when he said one at a time, I told him Frank and I were together, he proceeded to give me a lecture about `when I say, one at a time, that`s what I mean`. He eventually let us through and we continue back to our camp.
The next stop on our BLM camping adventure is 46 miles away in Holtville, CA. This site is a little different in that it has some hidden sandy spots, which Ed gets stuck in. It was touch and go for a while, but Frank came up with a trusty shovel and eventually dug him out. We end up in a spot where we are able to make a little compound of our own with the rigs and the car. The neat thing about this place is that it has a couple of natural mineral hot springs which Ed and Frank take advantage of a couple of times a day. Eileen and I decide to wait until we get to the Fountain of Youth to sample the hot springs, because at least there we know they are cleaned regularly.
After 5 nights our 14 days are up and we are now headed back into civilization or at least as civilized as we can be in this part of the country. We leave Holtville and drive to El Centro for supplies and then drive north for an hour to a place called the Fountain of Youth Spa and RV Resort. This is a place that actually does live up to its name of `resort`. Its fabulous. The facilities are first class, there is every activity you could imagine including a talent show that we attended last night. There are 3 natural hot spring pools with varying temperatures ranging from mild to very hot, of course we had to sample them all. There are two swimming pools, a gym, bocce court, pool tables and shuffleboards. A restaurant, beauty parlor, grocery store and laundry. In fact everything you could ever want. It is a very popular place and people (especially Canadians) come here to spend the winter.
Its a shame we only have 4 nights but we need to move on to the Palm Springs area.