(This post is about Tuesday, March 8, 2011)
We got up and took care of a few duties before leaving this Gila Bend RV park behind the Shell station. We had to dump our tanks, fill our fresh water up (100 gallons) and dump the garbage... Now we would be set for a while to boondock at the Slabs.
We left Paula and Mel behind, with promises of getting together this summer to camp in Wisconsin. And on we went, westward ho!
The terrain changed again, we saw more greenery, more lush fields being irrigated by canals. Even the bushes and ground had green stuff growing, which is far different than the sandy and rocky desert we were in Arizona around Elfrida.
We stopped in Yuma for groceries at the Walmart and made a little lunch. While walking around the Walmart, it was like an old folks visiting day there, with nary a person under the age of 50 I swear! I think I was the youngest shopper there..... no kidding! And the surrounding neighborhoods were RV park after RV park, all packed in like sardines in tin cans in the hot sunshine. No thank you.
We drove on westward and saw the huge sandy dunes (this time tan sand, not the while gypsum we saw a few days ago). This was real brown sand like a beach.
We saw a lot of boondockers, even along the highway and lots of desert toys like dunebuggies, dirt bikes, fourwheelers and side by sides. They were there to PLAY! What fun!
We pulled up to an agricultural check station/border patrol stopping point. There were signs about certain produce items allowed, but we drove by so fast I didn't see what it said. This was the first time we were actually asked anything! The guy said "Where are you coming from?" Steve said "WISCONSIN!" The guy grinned and said "Okay, good to go" and off we went. So much for being searched for contraband vegetables!!!!
We could see the long black fence along the Mexico/US border as we headed west along I-8 towards California. Amazing to be so close to the border and see into another country. Folks over there want so badly to get in over here, they walk, crawl, swim at night with blackened water bottles to not flash in the sunlight to give away their positions.
Soon we were able to turn off the interstate and head north into the Imperial Valley and up through Brawley, Calipatria, and Niland... there we turned towards THE SLABS!
We drove in past Salvation Mountain, the gate house, and through poverty flats. Most folks see that much and turn around and go back. But we knew better. We knew where our group hangs out….
We drove on down towards our friends, who are all staked out just off Rayhound Road and Chef Roger Way (two fellow RVers now long gone to the RV Boondocking Place in the Sky) .... Seann from Canada saw us almost go too far to the next road and waved us in. He was walking Rich and Mary's dogs, Daisy and Socks. We pulled on in, made ourselves at home and got set up.
Sweet soul Mary had cooked a great meal to welcome us. She made a wonderful casserole and topped it with croissant buns and baked it to a golden crisp. I whipped up some cheesecake and fruit desert to share.
We met so many folks we had read blogs about, and now got to put the right faces with the names.... There were Chili Bob, Seann, Rich and Mary, Ken, Cookie and Earl, Billybob, Jan, and many others.
The dogs got along good with all the others sniffing around... and Chilibob's new Bunny let everyone know she was the boss of the house (and yet very very afraid because she is new and getting her bearings)
We sat around the campfire till late... talking and laughing and enjoying all the folks....
I brought out a special bottle of wine, called Happy Camper Wine. Mary and Rich had brought a couple bottles with them 3 and a half years ago when they came to see us. We drank some, but I saved one....telling Mary that I would save it "till we meet again..." Sure 'nuff. So we cracked it open, passed the glasses around and did a toast to The Slabs!
We crawled back to our rig and went to bed.... knowing we had found our place among our friends. We were really feeling At Home.
209 miles traveled today
2511 miles traveled total so far