John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

January 2008 Journal

January    31   This morning John headed out to clean the inside of Big Red.  I was still returning emails and working on photos and our website.     30        We’re back in our cow this morning.  We had coffee and then John started cleaning the outside of Big Red.  I started returning emails.  We both spent most of the day on our projects.  Then later in the afternoon the sun was nice and bright and we sat outside and did some reading.
Today I checked the yellow pages for car repair shops in the area and John was going to see if he could change the gas filter.  He didn’t have the right tools and I found a place close by that we could take Big Red in for a checkup.  We went to Automotive Specialist on Ina Road in Marana.  They did the computer scans and also changed the gas filter.  They had suggested replacing the gas regulator, but we decided to wait.  We stopped at the auto parts store and got a new air filter and diesel fuel lubricant.  We checked out of the hotel and decided to hit the road.  We had about 250 miles still to go, but the speed limit is 75mph so if everything goes ok, we should be home in about 4 hours.  We figure, if we still have a problem, at least it will be light out.      We made it home and Big Red is feeling much better.  The kids (cats) were happy to see us.  We unpacked the car, had dinner and we were done.

   28        This morning we got up and packed Big Red.  We said our goodbyes to Brenda and Nick, Tina and Dennis, Hector and Sylvia and Willie.  We were on our way to San Carlos.  We want to check the campgrounds out and see which area we like better.  So we headed out towards Hermosilla.  There is a shortcut to San Carlos, but the streets are not marked well so we didn’t see it on our way in.  We really watched the kilometers and did find it.  Since we didn’t have the cow, we took it.  I would not recommend it for motorhomes or fifth wheels.  There were parts of it that had potholes and were like a washboard.  So even though it’s a little longer the other way, you can go faster and it’s easier on your rig.       The signage to San Carlos is fine, very easy to follow.  We checked out the campgrounds and stopped for lunch.  We were going to stay overnight, but decided we were going to start our journey back.  We left San Carlos around 1pm.  Since we had done some studying and had a better map, we made it around the bypass in Hermosilla much better than on the way down.  The road from Kino Bay or San Carlos back to Nogales is good.  It’s 2 lanes each way.  There are a few potholes here and there but not many.  We made it to the border at 530pm.  We were ready for a 2 hour wait, but it worked out to only be ½ hour.  So everything is going good.  We still have a long drive ahead of us to Yuma.  This way is more miles, but you can go faster and it’s 2 lanes each direction instead of just 2 lanes.      We got on to Hwy 19 North just after dusk.  Now we have a little character builder.  All of a sudden we weren’t able to accelerate.   Big Red just couldn’t get power.  We finally were able to get it to 65mph and thought we would put it on cruise control.  It didn’t last long.  We got off on an exit where there weren’t any services, but we had no choice.  John checked under the hood and I started TomTom our GPS to find out where we were.  We now also had cell service so if necessary we can call Good Sam Road Service and get a tow.  John cleaned the air filter and checked a few other items.  We needed to change the gas filter, but we can’t do it in the dark without the right tools.  We hit the road again and it was a little better, but not right.  So we were 40 miles from Tucson and decided to stay there for the night.  We actually stayed in Marana, the town we stayed in last year when we were here.  We checked into a hotel and went to dinner.  That was it, we were done.    27   Today is my 50th Birthday.  We got up and went to Pago Rojo for breakfast.  This morning is a little warmer about 62 and overcast with a few showers.  After breakfast we went back to the room and hung out for a while on our balcony overlooking the beach.  We did some reading while enjoying the sun and sound of the sea.          We took a walk over to the RV area to see Tina and Dennis.  We met Brenda and Nick.  They are from Prescott Arizona and San Diego.  They are here in their motorhome for 2 weeks and then heading down to San Carlos for a few weeks.  They invited us in for coffee.  We talked for a while and then went outside.  We met a guy on a motorcycle that was building a house next to the RV Park.  He has been traveling all over Mexico and Belize on his bike.  Hector and Sylvia were heading out so we said our goodbyes and off they went.         John and I were hungry so we went to Jorge’s Restaurant.  It’s on the beach side up by Kino Bay RV Park.  We had a couple drinks and then Scallops in Garlic.  The scallops were big and we got chips and salsa and rice, salad and bread with the meal.  The sun was ready to set and John and I started a fire in our bungalow so it would be toasty when we got back from our walk on the beach.  Later on we decided to go out to Pago Rojo for dessert for my birthday.    26    Today we wanted to check out Kino Viejo (Old Kino).  On the way, we stopped at La Playa RV Park.  We met Bill and John.  We looked for Jim and Kathy but they didn’t come down this year.  Jim and Kathy we met in Mancos Colorado.  La Playa RV was ok.  The sites are very small but some have a bodega.  Then we went into Kino Viejo.  We stopped to get gas.  Gas prices in Mexico are much better than the states.  It normally is about 100.00 for us to fill up.  Here is was 60.00.  We got some cash from the ATM.  This way we had some pesos.  If you pay with pesos you get a little better exchange rather then paying with dollars.          We parked Big Red by the park.  Since it was Saturday morning, people were selling their wares and kids were playing soccer in the park.  We walked toward the beach and found a little restaurant for breakfast.  Afterwards, we continued on to the beach.  This is actually where the fisherman comes in and there were quite a few people selling fresh fish.  You could get 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of snapper for 4.00.  For 10.00 you can get a kilo of giant scallops or shrimp.  We continued our walk to check out the area.  We stopped at a little grocery for some items for the room and then walked back to Big Red.       The sun was out and we relaxed for a while on our patio and read our books.  Then we talked to Sylvia, Hector, Tina and Dennis and decided to take a drive inland to look for the canyon.  We stopped for some beers and off we went.  We ended up at a few different secluded beach areas where we stopped and walked around and enjoyed a cerveza and the scenery.  Then we headed inland a little.  By now it was getting close to sunset, so we headed back.  We relaxed for a while and then Sylvia, Hector, John and I went to dinner to Pago Rojo.  I had shrimp and John had chicken.  Muy Bueuno!  After dinner we headed back to our bungalow.    25    This morning we got up early and headed out our front door to the beach.  We went on a loooong walk.  We probably walked about 4 miles down the beach.  Then John investigated a mountain at the end of the beach and I waited and soaked up some sun.  We met a lady “Sparky”, she told us about a road that leads around the mountain and goes to a boat ramp.  So we followed her around the mountain.  It was a very beautiful view.  We also saw an Osprey that was nesting on an electric pole.  She headed back and we took some pictures.  Then we started back.  It was going to be about 4 miles back.       We stopped at Kino Bay RV park to check the park out and see what the rates are if we come back next winter.  Then we started back.  It was a long walk.  I was glad to get back.  We took it easy for a little while and then went out to the beach to get some sun.  It was getting a little overcast so we decided to drive into Old Kino and look for a little beach bar to watch sunset.  There really wasn’t anyplace on the beach so we headed back and found a place on the beach closer to our bungalow.   We had cerveza, margarita, chips and salsa and shrimp ceveiche.  Now it was very overcast and not really good for sunset.  So we headed back and I updated our journal and John played soduko.  Then we were going to dinner.  Dennis stopped by to see what we did today and see what plans we had for dinner.  For dinner we went across the street to the little restaurant.  They had a Friday night special, T-bone for 7.00.  Tina and Dennis came by, so we ate together.  Sylvia and Hector also came by but they ate by themselves.  There was a person playing guitar.  After dinner we called it a night.    24      This morning we were up and on the road by 630am.  We have a long day ahead of us, about 450 miles from Yuma, AZ to Kino Bay Mexico.  We went down to San Luis to cross the border and then took highway 2 to Santa Ana.  For quite a while we hugged the US border and followed the border fence the US has erected.  We got into Santa Ana which is the little town that connects highway 2 to the toll road 15.  We were ready for a break and had lunch at a little outdoor restaurant.  We got beef tacos.  They were excellent.     We continued on down the toll road.  We got into Hermosilla which is a big town and about 70 miles from Kino Bay.  We missed the bypass and ended up going through town and got turned around, but finally found route 16 to Kino.  We didn’t have reservations at any hotel but had a few to check out.   We stopped at La Playa RV and Hotel.  They had rooms at 120.00 per night and did not accept credit cards.  So we continued on, we figured if the others didn’t pan out, we could stay there.  We stopped at a Saguaro RV park and motel and the office was closed.  Then we went on to Caluma Bungalows.  It looked ok on the internet and was only 40.00 instead of 120.00, but I still would have gone back to La Playa.  Next we went to Kino Bay RV and Hotel and the office was already closed.  So we were going to head back to La Playa.  We saw Posada Santa Gemma bungalows so we stopped.  They had availability for 60.00 per night and did accept credit cards.  We check the rooms out and they were huge.  Our bungalow had 2 bedrooms and sleeps 8.  It has a kitchen but no dished, silverware, or cooking items.  It does have a refrigerator and also a small fireplace.  The upper floor in the main bedroom has a sliding glass door with a balcony overlooking the beach.  Down in the kitchen there is another sliding glass door opening up to a little patio with a place to make a fire and grill out.  Beyond that is the beach.      We got our stuff in and were going to go across the street to a little restaurant but we met our neighbors, Bob and Rick.  They are brothers, one is from Tucson and the other is from Missouri.  They were building a fire on the grill.  Our other neighbors, Sylvia and Hector came out.  They are from Hermosilla.  Bob and Rick invited us all for fish tacos with fresh caught fish they purchased from the market.  It was Manta Ray and cost them 2.00/pound.  Hector had some good Tequila and we had beer and snacks.  We also met Tina and Dennis, they are at the RV Park of 7 sites right next to us.  They brought paper plates and plastic silverware.  Brittney and Rick showed up.  They have an interesting story.  They rode their bicycles from Tucson down to Kino Bay.  Along the way they lost there tent and met Bob and Rick.  Bob and Rick had room in their bungalow so they are staying overnight with them.  This trip is practice for their big trip next November.  They are bicycling from Tucson to Panama.      After we ate while listening to the surf, we visited for a while and then called it a night.    23    Today we headed up to the pro shop early to pay for golf and sign up for pizza and pasta night.  We have a 12 noon tee off as a shotgun start on the 11th hole.  The campground is full and so it the golf course.  It’s hard to get a tee time now and almost everyday they have shotgun starts to accommodate more golfers.  They also send 5 out instead of 4 people.  We golfed with a 3 people from Canada, Dan, Karen and Lori.  After we finished it was perfect timing to go in the ballroom and have dinner.  There was ceasar salad, pizza and pasta, all you can eat.  We got back to the cow and packed Big Red so we can get an early start tomorrow to Mexico.
 After a little reading at the cow, we headed over to play some tennis and pickleball.  It was perfect temperature around 65 and sunny.  We had lunch and then had to head out to purchase our Mexican Auto Insurance.  We are planning on heading down to Kino Bay on Thursday.  We picked up a couple items and then came back and organized a few things for the trip.
Pretty morning.  We took a walk up to the activity area to check on mail and also to the library to exchange books.  After lunch, we went to do some chipping and then over to the pool to soak up some sun.      20  Today is football playoffs.  We relaxed in the morning and then headed up to the cantina to get our numbers for today’s games.  Imogene was working.  We had a couple cocktails, got our numbers and then came back to the cow, watched the games and had appetizers.     19  We headed over to the health club for a while, then came back and check out what was at the show.  We went to see Sweeny Todd and I am Legend.  We stopped at the grocery store afterwards to pick up some items for tomorrow.     18   Today is laundry.  Like always here, when we do laundry we also go to the health club.  We headed over to Paradise Casino to try our luck.  John held his own.  I did ok, except for the blackjack table.  It wasn’t nice to me.  We stopped at Yuma Landings for a cocktail.  We wanted to check it out to see if it would be a good place to go for the playoffs.  We stayed for one and then headed out.  It was ok, but we probably won’t go for the playoffs.  We went to Mr. Lukes Chinese Buffet for dinner.    17  Today is still VERY windy.  That’s ok, I had a TCI appointment for a few hours.  Then we headed off to the health club.  Later in the afternoon I had an appointment to work on my TCI taxes.    16  This morning work on a few bills and made some phone calls.  Then we headed up to the health club.  We came back to the cow, did some reading and I scanned some photos into the computer.    15       We’re heading out for propane and groceries this morning.  Then we have a block party this afternoon.  We made BBQ mini sausages for the block party.  Normally I would think of a block party outside on your block.  This was a little different.      All the block parties are held in the ballroom.  It was 4pm – 6pm.  There were about 50 people there.  All the campground potlucks have been great food.  There were meatball, sausages, beef stew, chicken wings, chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni, potato, and broccoli salad, shrimp, and green bean casserole.  Then there were the desserts.  Apple, cherry, peach, chocolate silk pie, brownies, cookies, banana cream cake, homemade cream puffs, and chocolate éclairs.      The newbie’s like us and a few others, got up and introduced ourselves.  Afterwards, we helped clean up which was good because we were stuffed.     14   Nice day but still VERY.  We just took it easy and read our books.
    This morning we’re just hanging out.  We have another tee off time at 230pm with Rick, Adolph and his wife Agnes and John and I.  I don’t think we’ll be able to get 18 in, but we’ll see.  It’s VERY windy today.  Golfing is going to be a challenge.  We headed over to the pro shop at 2pm.     Come to find out, they closed the course due to the high winds.  So we figured our golf partners would be at the cantina or show up soon.  As we were walking over, we heard music and remembered there is a Sunday afternoon jam session.  So we spent a couple hours at the cantina watching the playoffs and listening to the band.  There were 5 accordions, 2 guitars, and 1 fiddle.  They were done at 5pm and the cantina closed so we headed back and watched the playoffs at the cow.    12    Today is a golf day.  They send out 5 some’s so were golfing with our neighbors Ken and Carol from British Columbia and Adolph also from BC.  Our tee off is 1115am.  We finished about 4pm and all headed to the cantina.  We can’t get into much trouble at the cantina since it’s only open until sunset.  We stayed for a couple and then went back to the cow to watch football, have dinner and relax.    11      John got up early to meet Walt at Pickleball.  I had some things to do.  It was turning into a beautiful day.  We did some reading on the verandah then we headed out to the driving range.  Since were golfing tomorrow we wanted to get some practice in.     It was bright and sunny and about 75 degrees.  So we went to the pool and got some sun.  The cantina window opens right to the pool and Rick saw us so he said to stop by before we go back to the cow.  We get corrupted all the time.  We stopped at the cantina and stayed a bit.      By now, we were hungry and didn’t want to cook so we headed out to Del Pepe Mexican restaurant.  Then we decided to head over to Cocopah Casino and play some blackjack.  After playing a having a couple drinks (they are not complimentary like Vegas), we still walked out 10.00 ahead.    10   I have a couple TCI appointments this morning and John is going to meet Walt for Pickleball.  The cow needed a good cleaning, so it got it inside and out.     9  I’m still fighting this cold, so I decided to ground myself today.  I read my book and worked on the computer.  John and Walt played pickleball at 8am this morning.  A few more people stopped by and John also had a tennis game.      8  Today is the Farmers Market in downtown Yuma.  We haven’t made it there yet so today were heading over there.  They close main street and have various vendors.  John found some hot peppers.  We had a few homemade tacos while sitting in the sun and listing to the country music player.  Then we headed over to Walmart for an oil change and back to the cow.       7  John and I headed over to play pickleball this morning.  It is a refreshing morning.  We had a little rain last night.  After pickleball we went to the health club for a while and then back to the cow.       6  I was a little under the weather today.  John headed down to play pickleball with Walt, but the courts were full and Walt wasn’t around.  So he went to the health club.  Later he washed Big Red.       5  Today was the start of the Saturday morning breakfasts at the clubhouse.  We went over around 9am.  For 4.00 you got eggs, sausage, pancakes, biscuits, gravy, OJ or Mimosas, and coffee.  Afterwards, we took is easy for a little bit and then headed over to the chipping range.  We are golfing today at 130pm with Rick and Adolf.  It was a good round.  We finished in 4 hours and just in time for 1 cocktail at the cantina before it closed.  It started to drizzle a little, so timing was perfect.       4  Domestic day.  Laundry, grocery shopping.  Then we headed over to the Cantina with our neighbor John.        3   Today I had a TCI appointment in the morning.  Then I spent pretty much the rest of the day catching up on all our photos and journal.  I am about a month behind.        2   We had a relaxing morning around the cow.  Today we both worked on closing out our 2007 budgets and files.  We set up our 2008 files.        1  We got up, packed Big Red and headed out of San Felipe back to Yuma.  We did find the toll road on the way back which made it better.  However, when we got to San Luis to cross the boarder back into the US, any time we made up was way lost.  We waited in line for about 2 hours before making it through.  We picked up something for dinner, came home and that was that.