Monday, January 31, 2011


Tonight we had “happy hour” with a group of local residents of Borrego Springs.  These people gather about once a week, usually by one of the Galleta Meadows Sculpture groupings.  Tonight it was by the “Farm Workers” along Di Giorgio Rd.  To find out more about the sculptures, visit
We are now seeing finches as well as humming birds at the feeders we have set up at our motor home.IMG_6490This morning we took a longer hike up Hell Hole Canyon in the Anza Borrego State Park.  IMG_6500We had lunch at a picnic area near the visitors center.IMG_6503We have gone out to our old camp site near Clark Lake, a dry lake bed, and checked on the earth oven we built 4 years ago.  The oven is still standing and could be used with a little cleaning of the inside.  There’s even a stack of firewood left by someone that could be used to fire it up.IMG_6494IMG_6495

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Yesterday we decided to have breakfast outside.  In the shade, it’s cool, but it’s really nice and pleasant in the sun.
Here’s a little more information about where we are.
The center of downtown is called the circle and it’s a very pleasant park with tables and benches and people passing through use it as a rest area.  We are on a dirt road behind a shopping mall.  It’s hard to see our motor home from the main street downtown.   There are trails though the desert and occasionally walkers pass by on their way to the trail over the mountain behind us.
Our closest neighbor is Jerome.  He is a retired 81 year old former law professor.  He lives full time in the small Ford van.  Part of the year near the Golden Gate Bridge in a marina parking lot and the rest of the year here in Borrego Springs.  His rig is about 200 yards away and we visit on a daily basis.IMG_6484
IMG_6483Today he gave me a “Gold Finch Thistle Sock”  which I suspended from a branch so we can see it from our dining table.  So far our Humming bird feeder has not attracted any hummers, but we have seen them around.
Today, it’s cool and cloudy with some wind.  It may even rain tonight.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Every Friday there is a market at the Circle in Borrego Springs.  Lots of fresh vegetables and goods like most markets.
  IMG_6471It’s about a 10 minute walk from our site to the market.  On the way we pass the Mall and the library.  IMG_6468
IMG_6469 I’m back at the library now using their wireless internet to post these blogs.  We do have excellent Verizon service and our air card works very fast, but this is free and we can save our megabites by riding 5 minutes on the bike.  IMG_6474
After walking back from the market, we headed up over the mountain behind us to round out the morning exercise. 
IMG_6477Up on top, we found an ocotillo cactus in full bloom.IMG_6478  The rock cairn marks the high point of the trail.  At this point we are probably 1000 feet above the valley floor.  This view gives you an idea of how the area around Borrego Springs is developed.  There are small tracks of land surrounded by lots of open space.  Tonight we are walking into town for a presentation at the local performing arts center.  It’s a slide show and lecture on the history of an early rail line developed from San Diego, easterly along the Mexican border.


As we were leaving Quartzsite, Marlene snapped a couple of pictures of the big tent where the main exhibits of the RV show are held.  IMG_6434IMG_6435
We headed south to the Yuma area not knowing where we would stay, but needing a place close the the Mexican crossing into Los Algodones.  We found a very comfortable if not sparse place to boon dock at the Quechan Casino outside of Yuma.  IMG_6438
We arrived here Sunday afternoon in time for me to watch the Packers beat the Bears.  I went into the casino to watch on the big screen projection TV.
Monday morning we walked to the Mexican crossing and found our recommended dentist, Dr. Jerry.  I broke a tooth in half the first day we were in Quartzsite and needed treatment.  Dr. Jerry ended up pulling the remaining part of the tooth and now we have to return to Algodones on Valentines day to have a bridge installed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


After three days at the casino near Yuma, it seemed safe to move on.  We hung out near Yuma to make sure we were near the dentist in case the extraction caused any problems.  We had a couple of wonderful vegan meals at our favorite restaurant, Natures Express, at the 2900 block of 4th Avenue in Yuma and took a long walk along the canal bike path before heading to Borrego Springs. IMG_6440 Between Yuma and El Centro, California, Interstate 8 crosses through a very sandy desert area. 
Jim and Lynn Howe, our friends from Oregon have been in Borrego Springs since December.  They recommended we check out a new spot to park near the downtown area.  We think we have found the ideal boon docking spot.
We are about a quarter mile from the main shopping area of Borrego Springs.  It takes 5 minutes to walk into town to get the current addition of USA Toady.  Directly behind our coach is a trail that we can hike for exercise each morning.IMG_6455
IMG_6450  Jim and Lynn’s RV park is a 10 minute walk away.  We have excellent phone and internet service and it’s quiet and isolated.    The views of the Borrego Springs community from the mountain behind our parking spot are spectacular.  IMG_6459
We’ve found a place we think we can enjoy for quite a while.  IMG_6465


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Big Show Starts Today

Our day started with our regular walk.  Up the road for 20 minutes and then down the road back to our neighborhood.


IMG_6419  IMG_6421IMG_6423


We met Tom again getting ready to launch his experimental light sport powered parachute.



Our site here in the desert is on the far south side of the gathering.  We have nothing but desert beside our coach.




After breakfast we headed down to the opening of the RV show.  IMG_6431



We were not the first ones through the gate.  By the time we got to the big tent there were probably 10,000 people already inside.  It was elbow to elbow as we made our way through the vendors.  IMG_6432


Friday, January 21, 2011

Quartzsite, Arizona, 2011

We’ve been here since Tuesday.  Here’s a few shots to show what it’s like downtown and what it’s like in our back yard.  Downtown, before the big RV show starts tomorrow, is a series of semi permanent vendors.IMG_6412One of the places I like to check out is a consignment seller who has all kinds of miscellaneous used stuff.IMG_6413When I return to Boomerville, I like to take the back road through the desert.IMG_6414 


Back home, this is what our immediate neighborhood looks like.


The earth oven is still standing like I mentioned before.  IMG_6415


It’s a little weathered, but after 4 years I think you could still bake pizzas or bread.  I’m thinking we won’t fire it this year, but I’ve told several people to feel free to use it if they want.IMG_6416

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Made it to Quartzsite

After four days of easy driving, we arrived at Boomerville in Quartzite yesterday afternoon.  We picked a spot near our old earth oven, still standing after 4 years of weathering.  Boomerville looks the same.  This is a shot form the top of our coach.  you can see the old oven in the lower left of the picture.  We were the 51st rig to sign in.IMG_6401It was late in the afternoon and after participating in the “happy hour” we returned to the coach for our relaxing time.  IMG_6404

This morning we took our daily power walk up the road away from camp.  The first thing we encountered was a man from Bend, Oregon, we didn’t get his name as he was just powering up for an early morning flight.IMG_6406He took flight as we watched.  IMG_6411It was a beautiful morning for flying.  No wind, bright sky, and temperature around 65 degrees.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Roasting Coffee

A couple of years ago while we were with the “Boomers” in Quartzsite, Az, one of the guys had a coffee roaster on board his motor home and he fresh roasted some coffee and shared it with us.  The coffee was really good and the idea was planted that maybe we should try roasting coffee at home. I looked into coffee roasters and found that they were very expensive and research reveled that the smaller,cheaoer ones didn’t do an acceptable job and didn’t hold up very well.  I put the idea on the back burner and there it sat until this summer. 
In September we took a trip to the Olympic Peninsula. IMG_6016 We stopped for a cup of coffee one afternoon in Port Angeles, Wa, at a shop with a sign that said, “Best Coffee In the Northwest”.  Talking with the owner, we discovered that she roasted her own coffee using a large drum rotating over a gas grill.  Further discussion revealed that in her opinion the best coffee to roast is Arabica and that earlier that week a man had been in her shop telling her about roasting coffee using an old bread machine and a heat gun.  Now, that sounded like the thing I could handle, so I got on line to do some research and sure enough there were several videos on U-tube that showed how to do it.
My sister-in-law in Baker City, Oregon, found me an old bread machine for $1 in a thrift shop.  I flew over to Baker City (which is another whole story) and picked up the machine.  After modifying the top, I inserted the nozzle of the heat gun and turned it on to test the temperatures.  In about 2 minutes, the case of the heat gun started melting and smoke stated rising from the bread machine.  I quickly shut everything down and assessed the damage.  The heat gun still worked, but the auger in the bread machine had melted and no longer would turn.  Not a good start!
I pried the auger off and removed it’s drive shaft.  Then I fashioned a new auger out of a piece of old oak flooring and reassembled the machine.  IMG_6262 I attached the heat gun to an old gooseneck lamp and adjusted the angle so it pointed down into the machine.  This time I left the cover off so some of the heat could escape.IMG_6267Another test revealed that the temperatures were good so, I poured in about a half a pound of green beans and started it up.  The end result was a total success.  My green beans reach a final temperature of 480 to 490 degrees and the final product comes out just the way we like it.