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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

VACATION – Leaving The Slabs and heading to an airport???

(this post is about Monday, March 21, and Tuesday March 22, 2011)

Yes, it was time to leave The Slabs and all of our friends behind.  We had pretty much geared up and got “road worthy” the night before.  There wasn’t much to do and we were ready to roll.  We said our good-byes  (Jan even came out in her jammies!)  to those who were up at that hour.  VJ waved from behind as we rolled away, coming back from her walk with Stetson. 

Soon we were on the road----  Goodbye Slabs, see you soon!

We drove into Calipatria and Steveio dumped me off at the corner to get some groceries while he drove further down to the rest area where there was a free RV dump and good fresh water.


(also we have been getting water for the doggies from these vending machine kiosks

to be sure they have good drinking water - $1.50 to fill a five gallon jug)

friday at the slabs1


I waited and waited with the cart full of groceries on the street corner, while Steveio took a long long time to fill the motorhome water tank at the wayside.  It was a very slow fill, and had I imagined that he just left me on the side of the road and went back to Wisconsin without me.  I was hoping someone from The Slabs would drive by that I recognized and I would ask for a ride back and live at The Slabs, since Steveio abandoned me!  

After an hour, he came back and got me!   Soooo  we headed east on route 78 towards Wickenburg and meeting up with Airplane Roger and Lila!    …

We passed along the top northern edge of the Imperial Dunes park… wow… what a site!  There were many boondocking areas and campgrounds at this Big Sandbox!  It would be so much fun to play in!    ATV’s and dunebuggies reign in this area… and they use snowplows to keep the road clear when the wind blows.   It’s so surreal, almost like a different world to our Wisconsin Eyes.

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The route around the south end of the Chocolate Mountains was windy and gusty, but we made it.  Wonder why they call them the Chocolate Mountains???  LOL



The entire road northeast on the other side of the Chocolate Mountains was all dips like a roller coaster!  


Like they REALLY needed to add a sign saying DIPS?   This road went on this way for miles and miles!   Sometimes we went over the hills so fast we had belly-ticklers and I swore Steveio had the motorhome airborne!   Other times the dips were so steep and twisted back up so fast that I figured we would get hung up between two hills with our bottom wedged over a dip!   We saw semi-trucks coming from the other direction, so we figured we would make it out of there… haha.  Quite a rollercoaster ride to say the least!


We made it through up to the interstate, and stopped at the Flying J just east of Blythe, CA.  It was over the border into AZ so the fuel was much cheaper!   Most of the diesel in California was in the $4.25 range.

$3.899 per gallon with discount
$250.00   63.7 gallons
2632 miles travelled total


Next stop was in Quartzite. 

Backstory: We have had a great heater called an Olympian Wave 8 that we installed last year.  It used to cook us outta the motorhome on HI or MED… and heated very well for us.   Last fall, we took it into our house and used it there all winter as supplementary heat on the main floor instead of running the bigger furnace downstairs.  But just before we left for vacation, our bulk tank at home was running low.  We could smell the scent additive coming through the unit and on our gas stove.  The propane got refilled before we left the house, but the damage was already done we figured to the special mat on the Wave 8.   We noticed it was not heating as well.   But we installed it back in the motorhome for our trip.  We set the big furnace to 55 at the house when we left.

We only used the Wave 8 a few times in the motorhome as we headed south, but had to keep it on MED or HI to get enough heat.  We now know it’s called “pad poisoning” and has to be rebuilt by the factory.   All the while we were in Arizona or at The Slabs we didn’t need it.  But now it’s getting colder here at night, and we have to do something.    Here is the Olympian Wave 8:

olympian wave 8 install7

THAT is why we stopped in Quartzite.  To buy another Wave 8.   We called a few of the RV supply stores, but nobody had the Wave 8’s in stock other than Lifestyles and they wanted almost $500 for it.  They were selling at Quartzite tent show for $300.   But those are all long gone this time of year.   

We stopped at one RV supply shop and saw their Pro Com brick heaters (like our Mr. Buddy) for only $175.   We picked that up and figured once we get the Wave 8 rebuilt, we can put the Pro Com in the house for the next two years as supplementary heat.   Here it is, all installed and working great.  10,000 BTU on HI and 5,000 BTU on LOW.  Not too shabby for $175.  Steve only need one fitting and a bit of extra copper tube.



Once we got the heater, we headed on east till we hit Highway 60.. now we angled up towards Wickenburg to meet up with fellow CampfireBSer’s  Roger and Lila!   They were boondocked out in a secret place, and gave us directions.  Can’t reveal the location, but it’s an abandoned airstrip!   See… Roger loves to fly his powered parachute, and this is a great place for take-offs and landings, and also boondocking!

As we drove into the airstrip… it was starting to rain!   Our first real rain of the trip….   We drove our rig right down the middle of the airfield, my oh my what a rush! 

We could have taken off, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang style!

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The storm rolled in and across and  was gone in no time… Roger and Lila greeted us and we sat out the rain in their rig till it passed.  We gabbed till late and then turned in.   It felt so good to be among new/old RV friends.  We had corresponded for years now, and just finally met face to face.


215 miles travelled today

2726 miles so far



(this portion is about March 22, 2011)


Yes, our baby Heather is now 26 years old!  She is happily married to Jesse, proud mamma of Jameson, and we are so happy for her and her successes in life.  We feel really bad that we are not there for her birthday, but sent her a card and gift card to go shopping on us.  Then when we get back (if we ever do)  we will have a little gathering to make up for it.

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Gosh, it only seems like yesterday……

big four year old heather


Tuesday came upon us with all blue skies and BIG puffy clouds!    Look at our great camping spot---- It almost looks like an ad in a sales brochure!  We LOVE these horizon to horizon vistas!!!


The desert floor is covered with these tiny tiny plants with the most perfect little pink miniature flowers. 



Steve took the doggers for a long walk down the airfield, and each took their gleeful run back to me!

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They are really loving this off-leash stuff.  Sure they will hate it when we go back to a regular campground.


Now it was time to load up and head out.  We were moving about 30 miles further east to be in a better boondocking location for Lila and Pam to attend Bead Week near North Ranch Escapees Park by Congress, AZ.   So Roger loaded up his truck with extended tongue tow bar where the powered parachute rides along behind the bus.  It’s suspended in the air as a tow bar, and the little wheels only go on the ground to maneuver it around once it’s unhitched.


Quite the invention, huh?  He designed this extended tow bar tongue himself!


We hit the road like a convoy, and stopped in Wickenburg for mailing out some items and getting some groceries.   Then on up to near North Ranch, to park on some more secret BLM land (Bureau of Land Management).  We found good parking spots in an area of about 6 or 7 other campers.  Mostly ATV enthusiasts here, but nice and quiet in our flat parking area.  Roger and Lila’s friend Bob is camping here too, and his wife Pam will meet up with us after work on Thursday.   What a great parking spot!


Our friends at The Slabs sent over a new 2x4 that Lila uses to keep Roger in line….  

it was signed by everyone at The Slabs and we delivered it.  She tried it out and it works “just fine” !!!


After a nice dinner and gabbing until late, we headed to bed.  Toasty warm with the new heater in place, and life is good out in the Arizona desert!


30 miles travelled today

2756 miles travelled so far


  1. More great pictures, we are loving it,hope we are quiet enough in the back for you. Hey you must be to busy to read blogs, Read our yesterdays blog (22nd). Nicole pulled your slip out of the hat on the last pick, so you won some Streets and trips software.Let us know if you are going to pick it up on your way home.If not I can get your ddress and mail it to your home. Keep the side trips coming. Sam & Donna....

  2. I didn't know what a powered parachute was! I thought you were talking about something like an RC airplane so that was very interesting. Does it actuallly get off the ground or is it like sailing on dry land? Pardon the dumb questions, please! I also found the pcitures of the roller coaster road interesting. We had a road like that where I grew up and I loved it as a youngster. I really enjoyed all of your post today. It's always fun when you can let the fur faced kids off leash to run a bit. Ours love that, although they don't run much anymore.

  3. what a great 'boondocking spot..nice to let the dogs run free!!!


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