We Begin our Pilgrimage

Our life is in these two vehicles and the experiences we have with them

Roger’s only experience to RV life was in 2016 when he and Shirley rented an RV in Boise, Idaho, and took his sister Jeri and her daughter Sheri Lynn on a ten day sojourn to Glacier National Park in Montana.  There were many lessons such as setting up the RV at an RV Park hooking up the electricity, water, sewage (ugh) and getting it all accomplished in the warm sunshine which was far superior to the cold, ultra-dark nights of a remote RV park so far from civilization that they didn’t have water, electricity or sewer services.  Such an “encampment” is called “boone-docking”. Sort of like living off the land like Daniel Boone and his Rough Riders … oh no… the Rough Riders belong to Teddy Roosevelt many years after Daniel Boone had settled Kentucky.   Anyway, Sheri Lynn assured everyone that within 3 days we’d have learned all we needed to know to survive in any situation. I believe this must have been in her Church Relief Society handbook. At any rate we survived and somehow, like all bad memories, several years later when Sheila and Roger decided to purchase an RV and become “nomads,” only the positive, enjoyable memories came to mind.

Roger’s only experience in RV life came in 2016 when he and Shirley rented an RV in Boise, Idaho and took sister Jeri and her daughter Sheri Lynn on a ten day sojourn to Glacier National Park in Montana. There were many lessons learned along the way, like setting up at an RV Park, i.e., hooking up the electricity, water, sewage (ugh) and getting it all accomplished in the warm bright sunshine…which was far superior to the cold, ultra-dark nights of a remote RV Park so far from civilization that they often didn’t have water, electricity or sewer service. Such an “encampment” was called “boone-docking,” i.e., living off the land like Daniel Boone and his rough riders . . . oh, no!!! The Rough Riders belonged to Teddy Roosevelt, many years after D.B. had settled Kentucky!!

So one day as I was enthusiastically describing our new nomadic lifestyle to a new acquaintance, Gay Dearington, daughter Tami had introduced to me, Gay immediately took over the conversation to describe how she and her late husband had traveled the highways and byways of the West in their RV. One of their annual highlights of the year was the big “RV Encampment” held annually at Quartzite, Arizona. As she described it, thousands of RVers from all over the U.S. congregate for a month in Quartzite, in what appears to be the biggest “flea-market” in the country! They have several very large tents, one reputed to be a mile long, occupied by vendors offering mostly RV “goodies” of every descriptions to attendees. Membership in RV camps, seat cushions, sun visors, gloves, sewer hoses, tire air pressure monitors, magnetic bracelets to cure every ailment, etc. etc., and the list goes on and on.

Welcome to Quartzsite. Each white dot is an RV scattered across the landscape.

Roger’s nephew, Mike Odell, sister Helen’s son, is a “Snowbird” who works as a construction crane operator during the summer, and winters down South.  We found that he was in Quartzsite and made contact with him and his wife Loretta, upon our arrival in Quartzsite. It was gratifying to “hook up” with them as they had been RVing for over 10 years.  They were very understanding and helpful in assisting us to learn the ins-and-outs of our RV.  Mike stated that our “learning curve” was going to be rather steep (like vertical) the first year or so, but promised it would flatten out after a period of “trial and error”.  This encouragement gives us “hope” when we really mess something up!! The first problems Mike tackled for us was to figure out how to turn on our hot water, for which Sheila was very grateful.  I would never have figured it out, and would have been heating water on the stove or microwave for the foreseeable future.

Michael studying the Tire Monitoring System
Pricilla was helping him study

We went out with Mike one day to try out our newly acquired “Gold Bug II” metal detector, that brother Garth had helped us acquire.  No, we didn’t find any “nuggets” laying around, but did get some much-needed exercise!  Mike did much better with his newly acquired toy, and found several coins.  That night, we treated Mike and Loretta to a steak dinner at the local “yacht club” for fixing our hot water problem, and yes, that really is its name!  The owner has a real sense of humor, and named it that, notwithstanding, the restaurant is a thousand miles from the ocean and in the middle of the Sonora Desert of Western Arizona.  We then went back to our “bus” and played “spades” for a couple of hours.

SCENES OF QUARTZSITE, AZ

The first several days kept us busy wandering through the “mile long” tent, window shopping and like any good “flea market”, sampling the goodies of the many “taco tents” scattered along the way.  A trip to the nearest Walmart, 35 miles away in Parker, AZ, or Albertson’s in Blyth, CA, only about 25 miles away, added “spice” and variety to our somewhat limited social life!!

Sheila was totally immersed in the variety, size and beautiful colors of the rocks that were on sale almost at every turn.  One of her many hobbies is making jewelry, so she had a real appreciation for what was available and their cost.  They had Geodes from South America, that were 5-7 feet in length, 1-2 feet in width, with huge crystals inside … some were selling for $500-$1000.  Turquoise was very common, from small bracelet size to 2-3 inch stones that were beautiful and very reasonably priced.  There were specimens of extremely beautiful minerals that we had no idea of their names, but would have purchased if we’d had a trailer to carry them home with us!!

After approximately a week, we decided to leave Quartzite and go to Las Vegas, NV, on our way to Kanab, UT………………..thus closing the book on an extremely interesting first chapter of our travels and leaving us all dog tired!!!

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