Lake Havasu & Parker Dam

Lake Havasu & Parker Dam

While we were at Quartzsite, we decided to take another day trip and be able to check something off our bucket list.  We wanted to see Lake Havasu and London Bridge.  One of our fellow workampers suggested we be sure to take a small detour on our way to check out Parker Dam at Parker, AZ as well.

We weren’t real keen on going to Lake Havasu City, but we had a Chili’s gift card, so we drove on in for lunch and to see the famous bridge.

Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia about the lake and Parker Dam;

“Lake Havasu is a large reservoir behind Parker Dam on the Colorado River, on the border between California and Arizona. Lake Havasu City sits on the lake’s eastern shore. The reservoir has an available capacity of 619,400 acre feet (764,000,000 m3). The concrete arch dam was built by the United States Bureau of Reclamation between 1934 and 1938. The lake’s primary purpose is to store water for pumping into two aqueducts. Prior to the dam construction, the area was home to the Mohave Indians. The lake was named (in 1939) after the Mojave word for blue.[1] In the early 19th century, it was frequented by beaver trappers. Spaniards also began to mine the area along the river.”

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I was, of course, fascinated by the dam and how they move the water through the gates and into the hydro-electric plant.  But we both enjoyed the beauty of the blue water and the majestic mountains of the area.

Kathy had read to me in the car that the London Bridge there at Lake Havasu City IS the actual bridge from London, England, (I assumed it was a replica). But no, the fella that developed the city purchased the bridge from the city of London.

Here’s an excerpt from golakehavasu.com

In 1967, the Common Council of the City of London began to look for potential buyers for the London Bridge. Lake Havasu City founder and entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch placed the winning bid of $2,460,000 on April 18, 1968.

McCulloch came by this figure by doubling the estimated cost of dismantling the structure, which was $1.2 million, bringing the price to $2.4 million. He then added on $60,000 – a thousand dollars for each year of his age at the time he estimated the bridge would be reconstructed in Arizona.

Each block was meticulously numbered before the bridge was disassembled. The blocks were then shipped overseas through the Panama Canal to California and trucked from Long Beach to Arizona. Following reconstruction of the London Bridge, Lake Havasu City rededicated it in a ceremony on October 10, 1971. Since then, it has consistently remained a favorite among Arizona attractions, drawing in visitors from around the globe.”

After knowing THIS information, it certainly made me have a much higher respect for the bridge and the effort of so many to bring it here to Arizona.

Stay tuned … more to follow from the Quartzsite trip (Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge & “The Naked Bookseller”)

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Quartzfest – Ham Radio Convention In The Sanoran Desert

There were two reasons for our trip to Quartzsite, AZ this past week.  The first was because we were so close (3+ hours) drive time from there we just HAD to see what everyone has been going to see and do for so many years, (The big Vacation, Sports, and RV Show).

Then I found out that this week was also the 20th annual Amateur Radio Convention known as “Quartzfest“.  Being a ham radio operator since the late ’60’s, (My call is WB8BHK) I thought it would be fun to hang out with some like-minded people.  We were all camping in the same area … on BLM land about 6 miles south of Quartzsite in an area known as “Road Runner”.  Quartzsite is just above Yuma on this map.

Sonoran Desert

Camping in the desert there is free for up to 14 days.  Of course, you need to be totally self-contained (fresh water/waste tanks/batteries/generator/solar) since you are in the desert with no utilities or hookups.  When we showed up on Sunday, the registration desk showed we were rig #239 … by the time we left on Thursday there were just under 600 rigs/hams registered!

The purpose of the Quartzfest Convention is to provide a time for education (through seminars and forums), sharing of ideas, display and demonstration of radios and antenna projects, and of course — to have fun.

The Sonoran desert treated us well while we were there, although Monday was VERY windy.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were beautiful sunny days with low winds and temps in the 50’s to 60’s.

The pictures in the slide show below illustrate just some of what we saw surrounding us in the desert.  Some of the interesting RV rigs with all kinds of antennas.   Check out the pix of the guy in his electric recumbant bicycle, he was zipping around all week silently.  Take a look at Mark’s company web site here.

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Check out this short video of our trip to Quartzfest 2017

We’ll have subsequent posts of our day trip to Lake Havasu and Parker Dam along with a post about the Big RV show at Quartzsite.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog.  Do you purchase any products from Amazon?  If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search.  By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more.  We’d really appreciate your help.

Thank you,

Herb & Kathy

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Getting Ready for Quartzsite

The big RV Show in Quartzsite starts this Sunday (Jan 22) and we’ve been doing some things to the coach to make sure we’re ready to go.

We’ve been watching some of the YouTube videos about the Quartzsite RV Show and “The Big Tent” and we’re looking forward to the event and seeing all that it has to offer.

We’re planning on dry camping just a few miles south of town on BLM land with hundreds of other Ham Radio Operators that have an area that will be used for Quartzfest 2017.  This is an official ARRL Amateur Radio Convention.

In our cars, we get so used to everything working just fine that we take it for granted that all will be “ok” when we turn that key.  It’s too easy to do that in the motor home as well.  But if something should go wrong, it could cost thousands of dollars and make for a really lousy day – especially since the coach is not only our mode of transportation, but it’s our home as well.  If it has to go in the shop for mechanical issues, we’d have to pay for a motel bill – and that’s not good.

Before we head out we always want to check the following.

  • Check the water level in the deep cycle batteries since we’ll be using those to power our; lights, fresh water pump, refrigerator, water heater, and tv.  I try to water the batteries monthly anyway even while we’re hooked up to shore power because they can boil off even while they are in “float” charge sitting here at the park
  • Check the engine oil level and radiator water level
  • Check and adjust all tire pressures (coach at 90 psi cold and the car at 30 psi cold)
  • Check the food inventory to make sure we’ve got enough in the fridge and pantry to last us a few days
  • Empty the black and gray tanks and fill the fresh water tank
  • Do a visual check of all the exterior lights (turn/brake/hazards/headlights)
  • Lower TV and radio antennas

The day is just about finished and all the above has been completed and we will be ready to head out Sunday morning.  We work here at the RV park on Fridays and Saturdays, so our plan is to leave Sunday morning, (it’s only a little over 3 hours to Quartzsite) and come back Thursday afternoon.

I’ll have plenty of pictures and video to share with you after we get back.

In the meantime, we’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog.  Do you purchase any products from Amazon?  If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below.  By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more.  We’d really appreciate your help.

Thank you,

Herb & Kathy

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Our Day Trip to Petrified Forest

We didn’t plan this trip – we just woke up and while watching the TODAY show, we talked about where we could go and what we could see all within a day’s drive out and back.

We decided to head north and visit the Petrified Forest National Park, the Painted Desert, the Meteor Crater, and whatever else we might be able to squeeze into the day. Here’s the map of the trip we took running counter-clockwise.

Just below is the video of the entire trip.  I usually try hard to keep my videos short because, if you’re like me you really won’t want to spend the entire 20+ minutes watching the video just to see what’s next.  I was able to condense our entire 8 hour travel day down to a 20 minute video, but nonetheless … if you don’t have that much time, then scroll on down the page and watch the slide show of the still photos I shot.

Here’s the slide show.  If you’re viewing this in an email, you may not see the slide show.  To see it, just click on the name of the post at the top of the page and you’ll be taken to our web site where you can then see the slide show.

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We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog.  Do you purchase any products from Amazon?  If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar.  By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more.  We’d really appreciate your help.

Thank you,

Herb & Kathy

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Merry Christmas from Herb & Kathy

Here’s a little video to bring a smile to your face and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

WAIT! – Back Up

So as we traveled further south on Arizona State Route 80 just south of Bisbee, we caught a glimpse of yesteryear just a block over.  There were old buildings (as if that was anything unusual) and old gas station signs and old cars.  We had to go check this out …. so …. I stopped and backed the car up and turned it around to see what we had almost missed.

This was the (former) town of Lowell, Arizona.  You know, back in the day … the town was a “company” town.  The company made the town to house the workers.  The workers shopped at the company stores, went to the company movie theater and company dance hall.  The demise of Lowell was due to the fact that the company needed more land for their mining operations so they just “took” what was already theirs – the land and the homes along with it and displaced the workers.  But they left a short one-block section of Erie Street … and that’s what the pictures above represent.

THE LAVENDER PIT

The Lavender Pit (named after the Phelps-Dodge mining executive Mr. Harrison Lavender) was what consumed most of Lowell.  The pit (or the Queen Mine) have not been active since they both ceased operations in 1974, but the pit is still there (fenced) but you can drive right up to it and look over the edge and take pictures like mine in the slide show below.  The abandoned pit covers 300 acres, is 950 feet deep, and is a result of the removal of 351 million tons of material. Since mining operations ceased, the town of Bisbee reinvented itself as an artist community and historical tourist destination.

Take a peek at the pix of the Lavender Pit in the slide show below.

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It’s really hard to tell the size of the mine in these pictures, but I’m here to tell you that you could take a small motorboat down to that pool of water at the bottom and have room to pull a water skier around.  It is HUGE!

NEXT POST – On down to Douglas and the FENCE!

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

I forgot about Bisbee & Douglas …

I apologize – I talked about going down to the Mexican border and then in my last post, I talked about Tombstone and I guess I got distracted and forgot all about our road trip the next day on down to Bisbee and Douglas, AZ (at the border).

Bisbee is really a pretty cool little town, reminds me of Jerome in that it’s what some might call “eclectic” with a “touch of whimsy”.  The town is built into the side of the mountain and the streets and sidewalks curve and climb up and down the hillside.  The main part of downtown (about 6-8 blocks) is lined with all kinds of “artsy” shops along with cafes and brew pubs.

Large deposits of lead, copper, and silver were discovered in the Mule Mountains in 1877 and the area later became the town of Bisbee, and is now the county seat of Coshise County.

Kathy and I toured the Queen Copper Mine (pictures in the slide show below) and our tour guide Jim was a retired miner who put in 43 years working the mine – a wealth of experience and knowledge.

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Here’s a short 7 second video showing Kathy and me on the train heading into the mountain about 1200 feet.

By the early 1900’s, driven by the booming mining industry, Bisbee had become the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco. With a population of over 20,000 people by the beginning of the century, Bisbee was one of the most cultured cities in the west. The town is still home to the the nation’s (arguably) oldest ballfield (Warren Ballpark), Arizona’s first golf course (Turquoise Valley), and the state’s first community library (Copper Queen), all dating from this period, and all still currently in operation, and open to the public.

Just down the street, on our way from Bisbee to Douglas, we found the ghost town of Lowell.  See my next post for info and pictures on that curious place.  We didn’t even know it was there, just stumbled upon it – really cool.

 

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

So Just What Is “Workamping” Anyway?

Kathy and I retired (from full time work) at the end of August 2016 and started our full time RV’ing lifestyle with the intention of “workamping” our way across the country and seeing as much as we can, making new friends, and experiencing things we wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience had we stayed at “home”.

The reason we chose to workamp was two-fold.  First of all, we are not independently wealthy so we couldn’t just travel full time.  Diesel fuel and the nightly rate at most camprounds and RV parks can really hurt a budget quickly if you go from place to place to place.

But relying on our retirement pension and social security and secondly, working along the way seemed a great way to be able to travel and meet new folks.  Workamping supplements our income, allows us to travel, and meet new friends.

We are currently one of 3 workamper couples in this RV park in Arizona.  We are here for a six month commitment (Sept 15 – March 15) and we work 2 days each week.  In exchange for our two (6 hour) days we receive; lot rent, electricity, propane gas, wifi, & laundry.  And we then have 5 days each week to ourselves to goof off and do some sight-seeing around the area.  Last week we went to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and early December will find us at Zion and Brice National Parks.  Our next position will be in northern Michigan for the summer of 2017 and we’re hoping to land a workamping position in central Florida the following winter.

But what does a workamper do?  Workampers typically (and this may vary from one place to another); work in the office greeting and registering new campers, cut grass, clean the laundry and bathrooms, perform light maintenance, help park new campers, act as goodwill ambassadors, and be available to help campers and answer questions.  Some get their sites in exchange for their work while others get paid (typically minimum wage) but may have to pay for some or all of their site and services.

I shot this video to show you what one of my typical days consists of.

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Wonderful life in Morrow County

Kathy and I, along with our then adolescent children David and Sara, were blessed with the opportunity to move from the Detroit, MI area (due to a job promotion) back in 1984.  I was working for a hospital medical equipment manufacturer and was promoted to run the service operation for the state of Ohio.  But where to live?

We looked at the Ohio map and realizing that I would most often be traveling to the larger metro areas of Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati it made sense to live somewhere off of the I-71 interstate freeway.

We looked at communities nearby and found on the map a small town called Mount Gilead.  We liked the name (hoping there was a mountain there) so we headed that way.

It’s been a wonderful life.  Kathy got a job with the local school system and we joined the local Presbyterian Church.  David got involved in scouts and Sara had her cats and rabbits to care for.  We had a swimming pool in the back yard that we all enjoyed.  We took active roles in the life of our church and we made wonderful new friends.

I stayed with the medical equipment company until 1998 when I got my real estate license and this enabled me to be home every night and to work helping all kinds of people achieve the american dream of home ownership.

I have to say that it’s been a wonderful life.  Mount Gilead has been a great place to raise a family with lots of support from caring friends.  We’ve always had friendly neighbors willing to help out when the need arises.  It’s always been nice to be able to know the guys that work on your car, your plumbing, or your taxes.  We know on a first name basis the grocer, the jeweler, the hardware store owner, the florist, the guys behind the counter at the auto parts store, the banker and the funeral director.  We all know where the other guy lives and we all trust that the work will be done properly and “I’ll bill ya’ later” is never a problem.

But as they say “All good things must come to an end” and now it’s time for Kathy and I to pull up stakes and move on down the road.

We made the decision to retire, buy a motorhome, sell or give away most of our personal possessions, and hit the road living in the motorhome full time.  It’s certainly going to be a lifestyle change and that’s what we’re looking for.  This is something I’ve dreamed of doing since I learned to drive and Kathy has become more used to the idea as time goes on.

I had a heart attack back in ’03 and Kathy had cancer in ’13 and we realize that life is short enough and can become even shorter in the blink of an eye.  We need to do this while we still can.

We’re excited about the change.  We’ll be leaving Ohio just after Labor Day 2016 and heading to Camp Verde, AZ where we’ll be RV park hosts late Sept – March.  Kathy will work in the office registering guests and keeping the office and laundry area clean and I’ll work outside cleaning up sites as guests leave, cutting grass, spraying weeds, and cleaning the bath house.  We’ll be working 2 days / week in exchange for a full hook-up site for our coach that includes electric, water, sewer, and wifi.

Then in April 0f ’17, we’ll work our way slowly back across the country, sightseeing along the way, stopping in Ohio for a bit to visit family and friends and ultimately work our way up to the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan.  We’ll be working in the Hiawatha National Forest as campground hosts for the summer 2017 season.

For those of you Morrow Countians reading this, we want to say THANK YOU for making us feel welcome in your community.  Although we weren’t born here, didn’t grow up with any of you, didn’t go to school with you or marry into your family, …. Still, you have always welcomed us with a smile and cared about us and treated us with kindness and respect.  Some of you (and you know who you are) have even come to love us like your own.  Know that we feel that love for you as well and we will miss you.

For those of you who are from our previous lives in Redford Township or South Lyon (MI), we just might see some of you as we travel through Michigan in 2017!

In any event, regardless of where you reside, you can always stay abreast of our travels and what’s happening in our lives by following this blog.  Just click on FOLLOW on the left side of this page and you will be emailed each time there is a new post.

Looking forward to more Wonderful Life ….. and all the best to you,

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy
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