Jan 28, 2010


I know I've talked about our drinks of choice here in Mexico.  To be sure, Mexican beer and Margaritas on the rocks are excellent choices.  But we do drink other beverages as well.  One popular drink down here is called Jamaica, pronounced ha-MIKE-uh.  Bob and Linda raved about this tea before we arrived and  quickly introduced this excellent beverage to us.  It is best described as a herbal tea made from dried Hibiscus flowers.

At our local produce stand you can buy bags of these dried flowers.

First you steep the dried flowers in hot water,  dilute with cold water and sweeten to taste.  You can also add this mixture to green tea.

There are studies showing the health benefits of this herbal tea.  Among the reported benefits are lowering high blood pressure and reduced high cholesterol levels in many individuals.  I don't know if all these benefits have been proven but I do know it is a refreshing beverage.

Local restaurants serve it fancy in a margarita glass with a slice of orange.  

The local grocery store sells it in 10 litre bottles.  

With us a plastic cup will do just fine.

Until later. 

Jan 27, 2010


Today is our daughter Michelle's birthday.  Michelle we hope you have a wonderful birthday.  Thinking of you and the miracle that occurred in the great snowstorm of 1978.  Love you.

Michelle shares this birthday with two of my brothers, Neil and Mark.  So Happy Birthday to them as well.

Jan 26, 2010


This morning after getting our daily shrimp delivered at our door, we headed into town. We wanted to find a bank  and ATM to withdraw some pesos and then visit the old town area and a few markets.

Puerto Penasco is not a polished American tourist town full of boring franchise restaurants. If you are looking for a Starbucks or a Applebee's you are in the wrong town.  It's fortune, good or bad, is directly tied to the United States.  As long ago as Prohibition, when tourists were lured south of the border for cheap alcohol and gambling, to the 90's with the rapid building of condos, it's good times and bad times depend on tourism.

Right now there are countless unfinished condos lining the beaches.  It's anybody's guess when, or if ever, they will be completed.  This area still draws the spring break crowd thanks to the age 18 drinking law.  There are signs of culture mixed in with the rough and tumble but it takes some looking.

I certainly don't want to paint a bad picture because we are having a great time and enjoying the warm hospitality of the locals.

We went to a small neighborhood vegetable market today and below is what we bought for 98 pesos, or about $7.50 U.S.  Among our bounty was avocado, cilantro, tomatoes, papaya, dried beans, celery, limes, and jalapeno peppers, onion and garlic.

We then stopped at the main grocery store for some cheese, bakery items, and fresh corn tortillas.  Our last stop was at a little tortilla stand for hot off the griddle flour tortillas.  What a treat.

All told I think we spent under 20 dollars U.S. for everything we bought today including the pound of jumbo shrimp.

This afternoon we took Mollie on our daily beach walk and worked on her obedience lessons.  She did great but has a ways to go. Good thing she is such a part of our life.

Until later

Jan 24, 2010


This afternoon we took Mollie for a walk on the beach.  It was cool but sunny. There were a few local families out and a few local vendors peddling flowers, pottery and jewelry, but for the most part it was very quiet.   You can see the amount of beach we have at low tide.

Mollie seem to really enjoy running on the sand.

She even managed to find something to roll in.  I think it is much easier on her feet than the desert rocks and gravel we have been in for the last month.

She also enjoyed chasing the gulls.

All in all a great walk for all of us. As I write this, Mollie is already curled up in a chair fast asleep.   Tonight it's shrimp on the Barby.  You know those shrimp I bought outside our door this morning.

Until later

P.S.  Mollie decided this evening that she wasn't done running and playing and slipped out the door to go visit a few neighbors.  Thanks to Bob she was returned safe and sound, was sent to her room, and we did enjoy those shrimp.


Did you have fresh seafood delivered to your home this morning. We did.  One pound of jumbo shrimp for six dollars fresh at our door.   A nice way to start the day.  I hear they are really good with eggs!!

Jan 23, 2010


We have arrived in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. For the next month we will be staying at the Playa Bonita RV Park , which is right on the Sea of Cortez.
We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day as we made the short drive down from Ajo today.

Earlier this week the weather was not so nice. We left Quartzsite on Wednesday because we heard a storm was approaching and the weather was going to get bad.  We arrived in Gila Bend late that afternoon.  The first RV park we wanted to stay at was already full, but the second one we checked at had room for both of us.

Thursday morning it was raining and windy as we drove up to Buckeye/Goodyear to finish up our pre-mexico shopping.  Thursday evening Bob and Linda had us over for dinner to celebrate Judy's birthday. We enjoyed a great chicken dinner and chocolate cake while the coach was swaying and the rain came pouring down.  The power at the RV park went out that evening, and Bob's weather station recorded a 51 mph gust of wind. It was wild weather.  Friday morning arrived with partly sunny skies, so we packed up and headed south to Ajo, AZ.  We needed to pick up our mail and Bob and Linda needed to pick up their insurance for Mexico.  At one point during our short drive to Ajo, we were entertained by a group of A10 warthogs doing practice bombing runs at the Barry M.Goldwater Air Force Range.

Shortly after we got settled into our sites at the RV park in Ajo, Bob heard air coming from one of his RV's front tires.  He discovered a large bolt stuck in the tire.  A few phone calls later and Coachnet had arranged for a tire to be sent down this morning from Phoenix. The tire repairman arrived at 9am. the tire was replaced, and we were on the road by 10:30.

The road to Puerto Penasco was covered by mud in several places from all the rain, but we made it through without any problems.  As this was Bob and Linda's third time driving down here we just relaxed and played follow the leader.

This evening we walked up to a restaurant on the edge of the RV park and had a wonderful dinner.  We enjoyed margaritas, calamari, shrimp fajitas, chicken enchiladas with mole sauce, and chili rellenos.  Yes, we even had room for dessert and we all had flan. 

The waiter asked if we wanted coffee and Judy and Bob opted for the Mexican coffee drink.

Prepared table side, it was as much fun to watch the waiter prepare it as it was to drink it.

After a leisurely stroll back to the coaches , we played a few games of Mexican Train. Bob was on a winning streak, he won 3 out of 4 games. A great way to end our first day in Mexico.

Until later.

Jan 21, 2010


Today is a very special day.  Yesterday we said good bye to Quartzsite, and we are currently at Gila Bend for a couple of days getting ready for Mexico.  But I digress.... as I was saying.

Today is my wife Judy's birthday.  Happy Birthday Dearest.  The most important person in my life.
She is mother to our 4 children, Grandma to our 4 soon to be 5 grandchildren and my best friend.  She can dress up with the best of them but is a blue jeans girl at heart.

10 years ago for our 25th anniversary we went on a Rick Steves tour to Europe.  On the final night we had a farewell dinner and our guides had titles and awards for each of us.  Judy was labeled as "Mona Lisa"  because of her quiet smile and the fact that you are never quite sure what she's thinking.  I think that is an accurate description.  I am in love with my own "Mona Lisa".


Jan 17, 2010


Well it happened. I know, you've been thinking it all along. It has now been confirmed.  Judy and I are nothing but TRAILER TRASH.  After my rant yesterday I knew I needed to repent and accept Quartzsite for what it is and more importantly what I am.  The RVA group which has graciously and warmly accepted Judy and me into their little circle tonight made it official.

Five of us were inducted into and from henceforth shall be known as Quartzsite Trailer Trash.  There is no higher honor they could bestoe on us.  Come to think of it, there is no lower honor either, but that's beside the point. 

So ended another day in Quartzsite.  Sitting around the campfire, sharing food, stories, and even a few lame jokes.  As a former boss of mine use to say..."beats getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick".  Until later.

Jan 16, 2010


We arrived in Quartzsite on Tuesday afternoon. It was peaceful, and the traffic wasn't too bad. Today is Saturday and what a difference four days make. The big tent rv show is going on, and thousands are now camped close by in the desert. In fact, too close. After coming from the peace and solitude of the Imperial Dam BLM, it feels like NYC. These two pictures illustrate very well the difference 60 miles can make.

We joined the mob at the rv show, but soon left. I do not enjoy being elbow to elbow with people checking out the latest in time sharing campgrounds and miraculous healing magnets or copper bracelets. There are a few things we want to go back and check out but we'll wait until Monday when the weekend crowds have gone home.

We went out for awhile this afternoon, and when we were coming back we couldn't find our RV. We knew we were in the right area,but couldn't spot our rv. We then realized another group of 5th wheels had set up literally 15 feet behind our coach. Why is it that human beings feel the need to group together so close even when it isn't necessary? The last time I checked, we are in no danger of being attacked by Wolves or raiders. In fact the greatest risk is probably the fumes from all the generators running unless you are like Bob and Linda who have a great solar power system. Speaking of power, our 4 house batteries are dying and it is time to replace them so Monday we are buying 4 new batteries. Which brings me to my next point.

Why are we here? Well first there are a lot of suppliers here fixing and selling rv stuff. If you shop carefully you can actually find pretty good deals. Second it's the people. After my rant you might wonder what I mean. No I don't like the masses, but we are with a group of 8 or 9 couples that Bob and Linda know. We weren't sure we were up to the task. Judy and I tend to be fairly private and much prefer being with one or two other couples at a time. But the group has warmly welcomed us in and we have enjoyed getting to know everyone. By the time we leave on Thursday we might even have everyone's name straight. Mollie is also working on her social skills and gets a B+ for her first fireside visit. I think there are at least 8 other dogs here in our little group.

So basically the problem with Quartzsite is very simple...... it's ME. I need to work on being more flexible and tolerant. I thought I was done with that lesson, but apparently not.  Till next time.

Jan 14, 2010


When you dry camp in the desert as we have been doing since the first of the year you eventually run into a problem. No matter how frugal with your water, sooner or later your water tank becomes empty and your waste tanks become full. This is a fact of life and you must deal with it. Judy looked forward to Dump Day. This meant that she could take a shower instead of sponge baths. I think secretly she was also looking forward to hubby taking a shower too.

Tuesday was dump day. We packed up all of our stuff and drove over to the dump station, no you do not just empty your tanks on the ground, and as I pulled up to dump the tanks Judy hopped in the shower. I came inside to take my shower and of course ran out of water midway through. I managed to get enough water to rinse myself off and we moved to our next spot which was refilling the water tank with safe to drink water.

We then followed Bob and Linda north 60 miles to Quartzsite. While they were checking out sites we went on into town to top off our propane and diesel. After setting up we headed back into town to do laundry. Even though we have a washer, dryer, we don't use it while dry camping. With the right tanks full, and the bad tanks empty and clean clothes we are now ready for our 9 days at Q. I will close this with a sunset, since you really don't want to look at Dump Stations....do you?


When I was much younger there were numerous TV programs about man and nature. For example, who could forget George of the Jungle, Wild Kingdom or even Grizzly Adams. Well sit back and listen to the tale of Bob of the Desert.

This man tamed the ferocious desert burro, and if that wasn't enough, captured with his bare hands the elusive hummingbird. I know.... it's hard to believe but I was there, I saw it with my own eyes, and most importantly I captured it on film......wait, that doesn't work any more, I captured it on compact flash and SD cards.

Our story begins on Sunday afternoon when we noticed 9 to 10 burros checking out our camp site.

Monday evening, as Bob was preparing our nightly fire, I think to protect us from the wolves, this burro surprised Bob. Bob quickly evaluated the situation and with no thought of danger proceeded to pet the burro,
then he even fed it a carrot out of his bare hand. We were all in awe.

As if that wasn't enough, the next morning a hummingbird flew into Bob and Linda's RV.

Again with no thought to the danger he was in, he quickly with compassion and care, captured the hummingbird and set it free.

Later that morning as I was pondering all that I had witnessed, I looked off towards the east, and there it was, the burro that Bob had tamed. Standing tall and proud, it must have wondered...."who is this Bob and why was he here?".

Jan 6, 2010

Desert Musings

I've been through the desert
on a horse with no name
It felt good to be out of the rain
In the desert,
you can't remember your name
'cause there ain't no one
for to give you no pain.

La la... la lalala la lala la... la.. la.
la la... la lalala la lala la... la.. la.

Ah yes, memories of the first rock concert Judy and I went to. So it's Wednesday the 6th and we are sitting out in the desert at the Imperial Dam BLM LTVA area. We will be here until next week when we move north 60 to 70 miles to Quartzsite.

Our days here can be described in one word....SIMPLE. We get up when we want, we eat when we want, we go to bed when we are tired.
In the immortal words of Forest Gump... " When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go, you know, I went."

Yesterday's highlights were finding a building that Italian POW's built during WWII, visiting a display at the Yuma Proving Grounds, checking out the Imperial Dam, and taking trash to the dumpster. Even Mollie dreams of bigger things. Of course Judy and Linda insist on breaking the law. It is a full time job just keeping them out of trouble.
But we are not bored. The little things take on greater importance. It reminds us of how busy our lives back in Michigan really are. For example here's a picture of our neighbors....no not Bob and Linda, these are our new neighbors.

Last night when the generator was on Judy ground some whole wheat flour for a baking project. We also tried to grind some flax seed. Doesn't work. I spent an hour taking apart the grinding head and cleaning it. Thursday we are getting out visiting some neighboring areas. We also need to head to Yuma to pick up some produce.

In closing..... Happy Birthday Linda and remember even though you are older than me you will always be younger than Bob!!!