About Me

Lee Creek, North Shuswap near Chase, B.C, Canada
We went full-time Rving in October of 2005! We retired from full time to part-time as of the end of 2015. Our present "small but comfortable" Wagon is a 2008 Camper trailer(TravelAir Rustler), pulled by a 2008 Dodge Dakota, 4X4.l. Our home is now a Gated Community Park, in Oliver, British-Columbia, Canada. I retired in 2005 and my Life Companion, Valerie, retired October 1, 2006 from nursing. We invite you to follow and share our new adventures and mishaps. Life is but an adventure full of dreams yet to be fulfilled!

Friday, February 29, 2008

February 29, 2008

FEB. 29, Friday, Crossing into Mexico

Got up at 7 a.m. and it is already warm. Took Tucker for his morning walk, showered and packed everything. On the road by 9:45 a.m. We went south on I-10 to I-19, south on 19 to Nogales. We had lunch there and I picked up some mail from Xavier Insurance destined for San Carlos. This is a usual service offered by the same insurance bureau we buy our insurance from. This way the mail usually arrives much faster than regular Mexican mail as RVer's going down will pick it up. The same service is offered going North from San Carlos. Pretty nifty!!! Anyway there were a few big packages which took a lot of space away from Tucker's seat and made him not so happy.

We crossed into Mexico and were stopped for a quick inspection then on our way south. Drove by KM 21 as we already have our papers and went on to Magdelena where we spent the night. Stopped for fuel south of KM 21 and took on 65.64 litres @ .570/litre. Arrived at 2:45 p.m. at Hotel Kino and parked but didn't unhook as we are leaving in the morning. Paid $15 for the night. We were the only ones there for about an hour then 3 more rigs came in (all cdns) We chatted with them then went for dinner at the hotel. We had a marvellous meal at a very reasonnable price. It is very warm; in the 80's. It feels good to be back in Mexico. Days are getting longer too.

N 30* 37'34" W 110* 58'20"
Alt: 2485 feet
Distance today 317 km

average speed: 48mph
top speed : 65mph (on US freeway

Thursday, February 28, 2008

February 24 to 28, 2008, repairs and more repairs

FEB. 24, Sunday, cloudy, to Beaudry

Up early but then, I was in bed early! It's cloudy and warming up nicely. The sun is trying to peek through and it is 60*F by 11 a.m.
We slowly packed and were on our way to "Beaudry RV" by 2 p.m., only 20 minutes away. We parked in their lot by the fence and hooked up to power but no water nor sewer. We had to use the water in our tank. We met another couple from Saskatchewan who bought a new rig here at Beaudry.
As a footnote, we put on 1,187 km while in Casa Grande. Most of it was our travelling back and forth to Phoenix.

N 33* 16" 38" W 111* 57' 33"
Altitude: 1191 feet,
Distance today 47km with an average speed of 43mph and a top speed of 65mph

FEB. 25, Monday, warranty work

Days are warming up. A cloudy day with sunny period. After checking in and going over our list of repair, we left the rig and went to the post office to get some stamps and then to JC Penny so Val could buy a pair of jeans. We also stopped at IKEA for some little items then met uncle Bud at his place. Judy came home around 4 p.m. and we went to a local bar where they go every week. We chatted then said our final goodbyes, in case we don't see them again.

Came back to the rig only to find out that one of their employee ran the back end of our trailer into a post and did quite a bit of damages to the rear of it. As if we didn't have enough to deal with!!!!!
So, here we are, stuck here for another night. While waiting, I decided to check the water level in the batteries and like a dummy, I didn't make a scheme of the hook-up and had a difficult time to re-hook everything. Finally got the lights working, had dinner and went to bed early.

FEB. 26, Tuesday, more screw up by Beaudry

Another very noisy night. There is a big plant across the street and work start around 4 a.m. and becomes noisier by the minute. Needless to say, I am not getting much sleep and this whole affair is stressing me out totally. We went out to AZ Customs where they changed the line and filling nipple without cost. Afterwards, we found Rick's wine and then headed back to Beaudry. It is getting much warmer...80*F by 3 p,m.

After a full day of waiting, the rig came out still not ready. The water pump is still making a lot of noise so obviously, they didn't fix it properly. To top it all, as I was setting up for the night, I tried to put the rear equalizer down and discovered that the right side wasn't working. Only one leg is coming down.

FEB 27, Wednesday, getting angry

Again, another lousy night. I asked and met with an upper level manager and let him have a taste of our frustration on the lack of communication and action towards our repairs. He said he would check into it and 15 minutes later, he came back to tell us that the rig should be ready by 1 p.m. at which time they would fix the water line and the equalizer and we should be out by 3 p.m. at the latest.

Too good to be true and as our luck would have it, Tony called us to inform us that the motor was burned out caused by a possible surge!!?? That means more warranty work and true to form, the parts have to come from Indiana, a 4 to 5 day delivery date.

We decided that we couldn't spent another night here so I got Tony(service manager) to agree to pay for our camping away from here. After calling a couple places, we went back to Casa Grande to Leisure Valley RV Park. Wrote to the gang in Mexico that we weren't coming down as planned after all.

FEB. 28, a relaxing mental day finally

Got up at 7 a.m., refresh and feeling much better. Just being away makes it seem less stressful.
Tony called to state that the parts have been order and should be here 4 to 5 days as suspected.
He was told by the manufacturer that if the motor is removed from the bracket, the leg can be manually cranked. So after hanging up, I went out and took the motor off the bracket and there it was....the manual crank handle which I have been carrying all this time and that I always wonder about has now been found to have a useful function. Mystery solved!!! WOW!!!!

The rest of the day was quiet. In the afternoon I called Tony back to let him know about the crank and to discuss our next move. He agreed that we could move on if we wanted to and get the repair done upon our return from Mexico. So it is decided...we will go in the morning!

The rest of the day was uneventful. We went to the club house in the evening to listen to C&W. The place was packed with very old people. Made us feel really young.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

February 20 to 23, 2008; Last minute shopping and repairs

FEB. 20, Wednesday, sunny

Today was a lazy day again. Went into town to fuel: 14 gal @ $3.219. Checked and wrote e-mails then sat around and read our books. It became quite windy in the evening, enough to put in the awning.

FEB. 21, Thursday, sunny

It was a cold night...went down to 32*F (0*C) and it went up to upper 60's later in the afternoon. Everyone is complaining about this cold front over us for the last little while.
Val went to her exercises and I made an appointment with "Desert Diesel" for the 27th February to take a look at the truck's Jake.
In the afternoon, we went to the clubhouse as Beaudry RV was putting on entertainment for the Resort. Two guys singing everything from blues, to Rock to Western. It was pretty good.

FEB. 22, Friday, rain

It rain overnight and again on/off all day. After numerous calls to Tony at Beaudry and no calls returned, we went into town to their site and confronted him. Of course, he had all kinds of excuses and guaranties that he intended to call. Anyway, we got our appointment set for Monday to get this repair done that "they" created.
Afterwards, we went to Costco and Wal-Mart to purchase items ordered by the gang in Mexico then went to Bud and Judy for a visit and fish & chips (all you can eat) at the golf club.

FEB. 23, Saturday, sunny with some clouds in the afternoon.

I got up early and had to take the truck into Phoenix to "AZ customs truck" to get the air bag fix. It was a valve that was leaking so put on a new one. An hour later I drove back home. Stopped at the post office to mail some bill payments, took on fuel: 12 gal @ $3.359 (diesel is going up) then back to our site.
In the afternoon, I filled the water tank in preparedness for Beaudry (they only have electricity) and I got ambitious and vacuumed the basement and re-organized it. Well overdue!!

A nice day all around. Tomorrow, we move to Beaudry

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

February 17 to 19, 2008, Is it cursed?????

FEB.   17,  Sunday, sunny, we pack and move
After showering and doing our morning routine, we packed most everything and took the Quantum to BEAULIEU RV SHOP to get warranty work done.  We got there and had to fill the water tank as they only have power set up.  Parked in their parking lot at the rear with a dozen other rv'ers here for repairs.  We went over to Bud and Judy and celebrated his 70th birthday.  It was a success and a house full of good people.  Good food and good time was had by all.  We got back to our unit around midnight.  The nice thing is we only had 5 miles to go instead of usual 35 miles when at Casa Grande.
FEB.   18,  Monday, sunny, repairs, repairs!
Today is "President Day"  Only gov't offices are closed.  After showing our work to be done to Tony, the shop coordinator, we left our rig in their hands.  We had the whole day to kill as Bud and Judy went to Sedona with Aunt Nellie and Sharon from Winnipeg.  So we went to a park and did some sightseeing around Phoenix.
Got back to the rig around 4:30 p.m. and it was in the parking lot.  We have to spent another night here as there are a couple of items left to do.  We went to visit Bud and the gang.
FEB.   19,  Tuesday, Is it cursed??
We got up early again to enable the shop to get at our trailer.  We left and got Tucker a haircut and I had the airbag checked out and a part ordered for it.  We got a call around 10 a.m. from Tony at the shop telling us that when they brought the trailer in the shop, they hit the corner post and damaged the rear end.  If it's not one thing with this trailer, it's another!!!  It never ends.  We honestly feel it is cursed!!!!!
Got back to the shop in the afternoon and Tony took me back to take a look.  The left side has been damaged but only superficial.  It will require fiberglassing and paint touch up.  It looks like they can fix it next Monday but I have to call on Friday to confirm.  This means our departure to San Carlos may be delayed, not sure yet.
So we hooked up to it and took it back to Casa Grande.  After parking and setting up, we drove back to Phoenix to visit with Aunty Nellie and Sharon as they are leaving for home in Winnipeg tomorrow.  Came home around 9 p.m. and went to bed.  It's been a tiring and stressful day.  Also heard about friends of ours who had an incident while driving down to San Carlos.  The rear wheel hit the ditch, (there is no shoulders on Mexican roads including 4 lanes highway) and ended up across the median.  They are OK however. 

February 13 to 17, 2008 Life in Casa Grande

Life here has gone into a routine of sort.  We get up, shower, breakfast, do our chores then either head into Phoenix to visit family or stay around Casa Grande to shop or relax.  Took on fuel Wednesday: 25.01 Gal @ 3.199 and on Valentine day, we went to Bud and Judy to visit everyone and had dinner together.  It was a warm day @ 78*F ( 24*C).    I got the truck serviced and checked out.  All is well except for the backfiring so I took it to a Ford dealer only to find out that there was a recall on a electronic switch so got that replaced/fix for nothing.  I like that!!!!  Oh yeah, also finally picked up all our mail at Bud and Judy, 3 packages, and caught up to all our news.
Went to Camping world and bought a few "must have" items such as a small table for the BBQ.  On Friday, we went for fish and chips with everyone.  It rained overnight and all of the next day, on and off.  I mailed a cheque to our Bank from a reimbursement from Sears about repairs we had done a while back.  Also bought a map update for "Ms Daisy".  We have a couple of mourning dove building a nest in our ladder at the back of the trailer. (It's mounted upside down)  I have chased them away but to no avail. 
Downloaded some pictures in a new folder.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

February 7 to 12, 2008 to Casa Grande, Arizona

FEB. 7, Thursday, visit with friends

A sunny day and 50*F by 10 a.m. Val did her laundry and vacuumed. I washed the truck and had the rig washed by Mexicans offering their services around the park.
I called Festival RV in Alberta and got an address to take this thing to a dealership to get another page of warranty stuff done. The saga continues!!!!

Sid and Vera came over from their camp and we had a very nice visit. Showed them the rig of course and some of our pictures on the whales and dolphins. They left around 4:30, made plans to meet again tomorrow and we had dinner (they didn't want to stay for dinner)
It was a warm and pleasant day but it sure cools off fast once the sun goes down.

FEB. 8, Friday

Once again, sunny and warmer than yesterday. I went to the RV store to pick up a couple things then we went to Wal-Mart to buy an extra chair (we only have 3) then came home and read.
We met Sid and Vera at their site for happy hour then we all went out for dinner at a local casino(Fantasy Gardens Casino). It was delicious but expensive and they did have quite a spread. Came home around 8 p.m. Another good day

FEB. 9, Saturday

Sunny and got up to 84*F We met Sid and Vera again at their site (Thousand Trail RV Park) and we went to Monterrey's flea market. Spent about 4 hours walking around and bought a couple things and had a good time. Hot dogs for lunch then came home for a beer. Said our goodbyes to Sid and Vera (we are leaving tomorrow) and sat around for a while and read. I tried my new propane connection only to discover it didn't fit unless I make some serious alterations. Tried to take it back but they closed at 1 p.m. Damn!

Had dinner and watch the tube for while then to bed. It's been a good 4 days and look forward to the next 2 weeks.

FEB. 10, Sunday Moved to Winterhaven, CA

Packed, dumped and on the road by 10 a.m. South on hwy 86 to El Centro, hwy 111 to I-8 then east to Winterhaven. Fuelled in Westmorland 12.866 gal @ 3.399. Stopped at the sand dunes and took some pictures then headed on. Lots of RV's with ATV parked in the desert and amongst the sand dunes.
Arrived at Pilot Knob RV Park around 4 p.m. local time ( we moved our clocks one hour ahead to Mtn time). Parked and set-up. Drove to Yuma downtown, looked around and came home. We are here for 2 nights.

Total miles today: 216 km @ an average speed of 42 mph with a top speed of 60 mph.
N 32* 44' 40" W 114* 45'50"
Alt: 309 feet

FEB. 11, Monday

A lazy and warm day. Called Phoenix to make appointments for the truck and trailer maintenance and made an appointment for tomorrow in Yuma to get the trailer brakes checked. We went to the club house for dinner. It was very good and at the right price: $5. each

FEB. 12, Tuesday, moved to Casa Grande, Arizona

Packed and left by 8:15 a.m. Went over to "Bill's Auto and trailer repair" and got the brakes and drums checked. Two of them are metal on metal so we went ahead and had them repaired. Six hours later we were on our way with 4 new set of brakes, the bearings repacked and a lot poorer. I-8 was quiet with some pretty awesome sceneries. Arrived at Casa Grande, 340 km further along, around 6:45 p,m. We were placed in the overflow until morning. We have power and water so not too bad. We averaged 60 mph with top speed of 70.6 mph.

N 32* 55'16" W 111* 45'19"
Altitude 1361 feet

Thursday, February 07, 2008

February 5 and 6, crossing borders

FEB.  5,  Tuesday, Crossing into the U.S.A.
It is 6:30 a.m. and I am wide awake.  This is our last few hours in Baja, Mexico.  I am sitting here with my coffee feeling nostalgic as our trip is coming to an end.  I thought I would put some thoughts together of our trip. 
Would I come back down here?......I think so.  I found that knowing the road coming back north helped.  When I think of it, there was only one or two sections that were really tight, the road to Catavina from El Rosario; the highway section from Bahia de L.A. junction to Jesus Maria and the Gigante Mountain pass south of Loreto.  The highway was paved and smooth except for a couple places near little villages.  I would definitely not go back to Cabo.  Too busy and crazy and I don't think the campgrounds will be there in a couple of years.  We did LOVE the beaches though!  Our favourite area was definitely Mulege and the Bahia de Concepcion.  Beautiful beaches and south far enough to have good temperature.  I would also buy a generator and make sure I bring my solar panel this time!!!  I love the people in Mulege and the relax life style of the Baja.  I found the people friendly and willing to help.  I would definitely like to learn to speak Spanish more as it was a hindrance at times.  Maybe one day we will be back!?  Those are my thoughts and Val shares them with me.  (she has no choice....smile) 
Now we are looking forward to our time in San Carlos, mainland Mexico.
We left around 9:30 a.m., and headed north on Mex 3.  The road is very hilly and rough at lots of spots.  We climbed to 2500 feet.  Went through another Military check-point ( the last one) and this time they wanted to check out the inside of the rig.  the soldier was impressed with our three gauge thermometer and asked me questions but I couldn't understand what he was asking so they waved us on.  Really silly, when you think about it!?  Anyway, we carried on and finally arrived at Tecate and the border around 11:30  a.m.   We topped up on fuel: 40.2Litres.  They have re-routed the road to the U.S. but it was well marked.  We had about a half hour wait to cross then we were checked for meat, fruits and produce.  They took away our cooked ham but left the pastrami, go figure.
We got on Hwy 94 in the U.S. and drove to Campo where we stopped for lunch.  Had a burger and carried on.  Climbed to 3500 feet, the highway is very scenic.  We finally connected with I-8 and headed east and began our descend to minus 114 feet, yes minus!!! The mountains are full of big boulder.  It looks really eerie, like a moonscape.  Into the desert again and the temperature when up to 62*F from 54*F at the top.  We turned north on hwy 111 at El Centro and stopped for some groceries and milk in Calipatria.  Arrived at our last campsite before Indio named "Oasis RV and Trailer Park".  A bit run down but we have power and water, all for $20.
We drove a total of 269 KM today in 6 hours.  Average speed of 39 mph with a top speed of 60 mph
N 22* 14' 36"             W 115* 31' 03"
Altitude: minus 114 feet
FEB.  6, Wednesday, to Indian Waters RV Park in Indio
Got up at 7 a.m. to minus 2*C (26*F)  Bloody cold!!!!!!  It is sunny and will warm up fast.
On the road by 09:30 and arrived at Indian Water by 11:30 a.m.  Checked in, paid $32 for 4 nights and set up.  Even got the satellite hooked-up.
We went for groceries shopping at Costco and Wal-Mart then drove over to see Sid and Vera but they weren't home so left a note.  (She called later and we made arrangements for mayana.  Fuelled at a Chevron, 21.073 gallons at $3.559/gal  Welcome back!!!
N 33* 42' 25"                W 116* 12' 52"
Alt: sea level
Distance today 92 km at an average speed of 49 mph and a top speed of 59 mph
Life is but a journey filled with adventures

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

February 1 to 4, 2008, Break down and U.S.bound

FEB.   1,  Friday, Bahia de Los Angeles
This cloudy day began slow and relaxed.  Got up at 7:30 a.m.   It really got windy later but we did get sunshine to help us along.  Russ and Joyce left this morning so we said our goodbyes.  That's what so sad about this life style; you meet people that you like and then they leave.  I guess that's what makes the relationships so special!? 
We drove into town, got some water, bread, milk and connected to the internet.  Met Gail and Steve walking back so offered them a ride back and decided to go for lunch first.  Stopped at this little restaurant/hotel and had a nice lunch.  Came home and chatted with them for a while.  They are really neat people and we have made a very good connection.
Val and I went for a walk on the beach and checked out the neighbourhood.  This is a very rugged coast.  The beach consist of sand but at the water level, it is all rocks and pebble.  This is a fisherman camp and most of the RV'ers here are fisherman.  People are friendly and welcoming.  It is a very beautiful place and the Bay is great with all the Islands around.  There is an island with a dormant volcano on it.  Quite neat (see pictures link).  I am not sure I would come here again though!  I prefer "Bahia Concepcion".  The town is small and isolated.  They recently had hydro installed and the groceries are hard to come by.  It is a very isolated community but there are quite a few Canadians and American who have permanent places here.
FEB.  2,  Saturday, hanging around Bahia Los Angeles
Got up at 7 a.m.  It is warm this morning.  There is a cloud cover but the sun is shining through.  We had an incredible sky last night.  Even saw a shooting star.  Millions of stars!  A true desert sky.
Went for a walk with Steve and Gail along the beach to the light house then rounded the Bay and walked into town to check out the museum.  First, though, we had lunch and a couple cerveza to quench our thirst from the walk.  The museum didn't open until 2 p.m.(keep forgetting about the siesta times) so we sat around and nosed around the area.  An elder Canadian couple were the museum keepers so after they opened, we had a look around asked a bunch of questions and bought a couple of t-shirts and a Baja picture taken from space which we will hang in our rig. 
We walked back to our campsite and about half way there, we were offered a ride which we eagerly accepted.  We must have walked a total of 5 miles today.  My feet and knee sure feel it.
Packed everything and got ready to leave for tomorrow.  Gail and Steve came over for happy hour and dinner.
We went to bed by 10 p.m.
FEB.  3,  Sunday, northward bound and our first break down!
Got up to a sunny day.  There was a really strong wind overnight and it is still blowing this morning.  Packed the rest of our stuff,  said goodbye to Gail and Steve who are also leaving today, dumped and hit the road by 8:15 a.m.  The red light for the batteries keeps coming on but it does go off after a while.  We drove west on Mex 12 to Mex 1 which took us about 3/4 hour then headed north towards Catavina and our destination for today: San Quintin.
About 20 miles from Catavina and on a hill, the truck stalled and it wouldn't re-start because of dead batteries.  The red light had come back on and didn't go off.  I was hoping to make it to San Quintin before any trouble but no such luck.  Val directed traffic and I stopped this Mexican guy and he gave me a boost to jump-start the truck to get it started again.  As we sat there, Steve and Gail arrived (they had stopped in Catavina to look around) so they followed us all of the rest of the way.  Just before that, we saw an accident between a semi and a motorhome.  The truck had lost his load coming down the same hill I stalled on and somehow, the motorhome was involved.   We didn't stop though as there were lots of people around and we went on to El Rosario for fuel.  Took on 57.9 litres.
We finally arrived in Vincent Guerrero, just north of San Quintin and parked at Posada Don Diego RV park.  Cost $14/night.  They have a restaurant on site which was serving a beautiful smorg for 187 pesos(approx $16 cdn for two) so we all decided to go and try it out.  Steve and Gail got a room at the motel on site then we watched the SuperBowl with Margaritas, compliment of the house.  NY Giants won over the New England Patriots.  Too bad!  We went back to our respective places afterwards.  It is pouring rain! 
N 30* 42'44"        W 115* 59'41"
Alt: 90 feet;     Distance today: 377 km
Average speed: 42 mph     Top speed: 62 mph
FEB  4,  Monday, repairs and on to Guadalupe on Mex 3
I got up at 7 a.m., had a quick shower and Steve came over around 7:40.  We had a quick cup of coffee then jump-started the truck.  We headed for the garage and slowly negotiated the muddy road full of potholes.  The truck stalled about half way so we went to the garage and talked the guy into landing us a new battery which we jury-rigged and were able to bring the truck down to the garage.  After checking it, the mechanic/owner confirmed it was the alternator so we left and went to the bank to get some cash and Steve gassed up his jeep.  We went back to the garage where the guy had taken an alternator out of an old F350 sitting in his yard and he replaced mine with that.  We left him alone and went back to the site where Val cooked everyone a marvellous breakfast.  An hour later, Steve and I went back to the garage where we found the truck ready to go and the batteries all charged up.  All this for 1000 pesos (approx 96$ cdn)  Absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!! I profusely thanked the garagist/owner/mechanic and we left.  Went to the site, packed and said our good-byes once again to our friends and what marvellous friends they are.  They went beyond the call of duty on this one and we are forever in their debt.  We won't soon forget them!  Gail is an artist and had drawn a semblance of the rear of our rig as they followed us.  It was quite cute.  I burned a CD for them of the pictures we took of all of us on the whale watch tour and at Bahia Los Angeles.  She was thrilled.
We slowly drove out of Posada (used the 4X4 to get out just to be sure) and headed north west to Ensanada.  We went through the obligatory military check-point north of San Thomas ( a very pretty valley) and stopped in Sanchez, just before Ensanada, for fuel: 94.858 Litres at 5.71 pesos per litre($0.55/L cdn).  Then it was on to Ensanada.  When we arrived there, we had to take a detour as there was a parade because of the Festival happening, this being a holiday and all!!!  Took us an hour to get around town.  Finally hit Mex 3 and drove through another Military check-point although they didn't stop us at all on this one.  We climbed to 1200 feet and then the road straighten.  It is wide enough to relax and not have to worry.  We did hit road construction at a village at the top for about 1 mile.  We finally arrived in Guadalupe around 4 p.m. and by 4:30 p.m. we were parked and set up north of the town at "Rancho Sordo Mudo RV park", a ranch for deaf kids.
It's been a long day and I am glad it is over.  Now the switch to raise/lower the legs on the rig is acting up.  It is time for some overdue maintenance I think.  There is another rig here from B.C.  GOOD NIGHT!!!!!!
N 32* 06' 42"              W 116* 32' 49"
Alt: 1150 feet        Distance today: 214 km
Average speed 36 mph. 
Top speed: 60 mph