John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

February 2008 Journal

We don’t have far to go today.  We are heading to Desert Hot Springs, California.  It’s about 175 miles from Yuma.  We were ready to leave around 8am.  We were hitching up the cow and our hydraulic jacks all off a sudden stopped working.  John did some troubleshooting and found it was a fuse hidden in the wiring of the jacks.  We got it going and was on the road by 9am.
We got to Desert Hot Springs and to Sam’s Family Spa RV Resort.  We found a spot and got set up.  From our cow we are surrounded by mountains.  Some are snow capped.  This area is known for it’s hot springs.  Our campground has 4 natural hot spring pools.  So after we got set up, we decided a hot soak would be great.

Today is our day before departure day.  We are getting our propane refilled, returning our internet modem, picking up groceries, and going through our checklist.

Every so often you have to do maintenance.  Today I’m working on TCI work and John is learning all about re-adjusting trailer brakes and repacking bearings.  We have Mark from Trailers, Etc. out to do this to our 4 tires on the trailer.  Mark was here all day.  John learned a lot.  Next year when it’s time to do it again, John will do it himself.  After Mark was gone, we went over to our neighbors Johns to work on a computer problem he had.

Today we had to do a complete inside and outside cleaning of the cow.

This is our last golf day at Cocopah Resort.  We played 18 and teed off at 11am.  This was my best game ever.  I ended up with an 89.  We decided to stop at the cantina and had a few.  We said some goodbyes to friends we have made.

  This morning we were up early and headed to Mexico.  We have a couple prescriptions that we can get there and save about 50% of what we pay in the states.  We came right back and there was no line at all.  Then we stopped for breakfast.  Today I’m working on some TCI stuff, photos journal and our website.

23    We have a full day today.  We got to the campground breakfast at 830am.  For 4.50 you get eggs, sausage, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, hash browns, juice and coffee.  The Yuma Air Show is today at the Marine Base.  The Yuma Marina Base is the largest Air Base in the nation.  The air show is free.  We brought our chairs and some snacks.  We got there about 9am and stayed until 230pm.  Then we were hungry.  Quite a few people had recommended El Charro Mexican Restaurant.  It was good food.  They gave you a lot.

21 – 22 
Some nice days.  We played some pickleball and then enjoyed the pool.

   20    Today we are going to prison.  We headed to the Yuma Territorial Prison.  This prison was built and operational in 1876.  It housed a total of 3,069 prisoners including 29 women.  The prison closed in 1909 due to overcrowding.  Each cell held 6 inmates.  They originally had wood bunks with straw mattresses but the bed bugs got so bad they had to switch to metal bunks.  If a prisoner was really bad, then they had to go in the dark cell.  This was down a dark hallway and then in a hole.
We haven’t seen the movie yet, but this prison is in the movie 3:10 to Yuma.  It’s also been in various other Gene Autry and John Wayne movies.
After the prison, we searched for the letterbox.  Our friends from Moab A&E got us going on letterboxing.  It’s like geo-caching but not with latitude and longitude.  It’s with clues.  People hide these letterboxes all over the country and then post clues on  So we printed out the clues and then went on a search.  We found the letterbox.  Normally you have your own designed stamp.  We just wrote our info and logo in and dated the journal.  Then you put it back where it was for the next people.  There was someone from St. Charles Illinois that had logged their info in it.
Now it’s getting windy and cooler so were heading back to the cow and have dinner.

Today is another nice day.  I worked on our journal and photos in the morning and then we headed over to play some pickleball.  It’s a nice hot day, so then we went to the pool to cool off.  We were laying down taking in some rays and again, all of a sudden, the ground started shaking.  Another earthquake.  This one was a 5.0.

Today is our Mexico day.  We are heading over to Algodones this morning.  We found an optical place for John’s glasses for 100.00.  While the glasses were being done, we checked out other stuff.  We had our teeth cleaned for 15.00 each.  The cleaning was ok, but not great.  Then we had our haircut for 5.00 each.  They did a great job.  Then we went for lunch and back to get Johns glasses.  We did have to wait a little over an hour to cross the border but it wasn’t too bad.  We went to Sports Authority for sandals and then back to the cow.

Today is our 29th anniversary.  We had a relaxing morning and then headed out for a little shopping.  We stopped at Olive Garden for lunch and then went grocery shopping and came back and did some reading outside in the sun.

This morning we met Stacey and Ed and went to Denny’s for breakfast before Ed had to go to work.  We dropped him off at the convention center, then parked and walked around Seaport Village area and then the Gaslamp area.  We didn’t know it but it was Chinese New Year and they had a street party.  About 330pm Stacey dropped us off at our truck and we headed back to Yuma.  The mountains were way different from the day before when it was all snow.  Now there was just a little left on the North facing slopes.  We stopped at Acorn Casino but only for a little while and then headed back to Yuma.

    Today we’re heading to San Diego California for a couple days to visit our niece and her fiancé.  At 730am we had to exit at Ocotillo.  The highway I8 which is a main East West road was closed from a snow storm the day before.  This closed at 4pm on 2/14 and didn’t reopen until 10am 2/15.  We waited with over 1000 other cars, trucks and rv’s.  The highway patrol had to move the abandoned vehicles and wait for the sun to melt the black ice on the highway.  They had snowplows but no salt to melt the ice.  Once it opened we headed out.  There was about 2-3 inches on the ground.  After a few miles traffic came to a stop.  We thought someone ran off the road from the ice.  We saw a helicopter land on the highway about a ½ mile ahead of us.  Later we found out there were some illegals that had got stranded in the blizzard and had hypothermia and had to be airlifted out.
We made it to San Diego and to the Vagabond Inn where we were staying.  It was right by Shelter Island.  We walked down around the island while Stacey headed to meet us.  Stacey picked us up and then we headed over to the convention center to pick up Ed.  He had the afternoon off.  We went up to Pacific Beach and had lunch.  Then we took a walk along the beach and watched the surfers.  We walked up to the cliffs at LaJolla and then headed back and saw a beautiful sunset over the ocean.  We were ready for a little break, so we headed back to the hotels.  John and I walked over to the Sushi place for dinner.

Happy Valentines Day!  This afternoon we went over to Cocopah Casino to play some 2.00 blackjack for a while.  We ended up only losing a couple dollars so that was good.  We stopped to pick up something for dinner and then headed back to the cow.

I had a TCI appointment and some other TCI work this morning.  Then we checked on some hotels in the San Diego area.  The afternoon was warm and a little breezier than the last few days.  We walked over to the pickleball court and found Jack and Jerri there playing.  So we played doubles with them a while and then they had to go.  John and I stayed and played singles a while longer.

This morning we were up early to play pickleball at 8am.  Then we went to the health club for a bit and back to the cow.  It’s another beautiful day.  Sunny and about 85 degrees.  Throughout the day, we felt a few shakes that may be aftershocks but nothing major.

      Well today we have another new event.  Last night around 4am, we both woke up.  John said to me, hey, what was that!  I assumed it was the wind and said so.  So we both went back to sleep.  Come to find out there was a 5.4 earthquake about 40 miles away.  We heard it from our neighbors and on the news.  After gardening yesterday, today we’re taking it easy.
At 406pm, I felt a shake and noticed there was no wind.  It was about 15 seconds long.  I mentioned it to John and then checked the internet to see if it was an aftershock.  Yep.  This one was 3.9.  Later in the evening about 930pm, we were watching tv and the whole cow started really shaking.  It got worse and went on for about 30 seconds.  We knew it was another earthquake.  We watched the news and it was a 5.1.  Their saying that we should feel aftershocks for about the next week.

Another beautiful morning.  Originally we weren’t sure what we were going to do today.  We saw our neighbor John Myers (JM).  He said we had to do some gardening.  John went to get some potting soil.  The two Johns were going to work on repotting the Habenaros Pepper plant we have.  We didn’t know how involved gardening was.  First you have to go to the cantina to discuss it.  Then we came back and they repotted the pepper plant.  Then the cantina to discuss the next step.  Then they started the new pepper seeds in another pot.  Then the cantina again to discuss how the gardening went.  Man, this gardening stuff it rough.

Today we started getting our tax stuff together.  It a perfect 80 degree afternoon, so were heading to the pool.  The water temp and sun was perfect.  When we were leaving, we had to walk right by the Cantina, so we stopped in for a wine and a jug.  After dinner we hung around the cow.  You know the sun takes a lot out of you.
We were watching the news and heard about a 5.1 earthquake about 70 miles away.  It happened a little after midnight last night.  At first John and I said to bad we didn’t feel it.  But then we realized we were woken up from it and didn’t even know it.  I thought it was the wind.  John said, “What was that” and I said I think the wind, and that was that.  Then we find out we were in our first earthquake that we felt.

At 11am we met Jack and Jerri for pickleball.  We brought our pool stuff with us, so after pickleball we went over to the pool and soaked up the 80 degree sun.  We had a Friday night cocktail at the cow listening to Margaritaville.  We had a quick dinner and went to the downtown Yuma Theater to see the play “Oliver”.

John and I headed over to play pickleball.  After a couple games, another couple, Jerri and Jack came by to play pickleball.  So the four of us played doubles.  Dinner tonight was Portillos.  We had some big beef sandwiches with the works.  It was sooo good.  Then we headed out for the Yuma Theater.  They have a Foreign Film “Dreams of Dust”.  About mining for gold in Africa.

This morning I worked on our new residency forms.  Then we headed over to the recreation area.  We have a 1245p appointment to give blood.  Afterwards we went to play pickleball for a while.  Then we headed back to the cow and relaxed outside, got some sun and did some reading.
During dinner, the UPS truck stopped outside.  I said to John, our neighbor Jeanne must be getting another gourde shipment.  She is always getting gourd shipments.  This time however, the UPS man came to our door.  He had a big box.  Now-a-days, we only get mail every 6-8 weeks and never ever get packages.  So this was a big surprise.  My sister and brother in law, Laurie and John had sent me Portillos for my birthday.  We were like little kids opening the box.

Today we have a few projects.  First we must to laundry.  What’s nice at this park, is as the laundry is working, we can walk over to the health club for a while.  Then we worked on and decided on a company to use for our new residency and mail forwarding.

This morning I’m making up my crockpot stuff and John is going to start on his gardiniere mix.  We are heading over to the Cantina later today to watch the Superbowl.  It’s potluck, so we are bringing spicy cocktail sausages.  We didn’t win any pools, but we did win a bunch of golf balls on the raffles.  If you brought food you got tickets, every time you bought drinks you got tickets.  Our table made out.  Adolfe won 10 times, John our neighbor won 7 times and we won 5 times.  What does that tell you??

This morning I’m making up my crockpot stuff and John is going to start on his gardiniere mix.  We are heading over to the Cantina later today to watch the Superbowl.  It’s potluck, so we are bringing spicy cocktail sausages.  We didn’t win any pools, but we did win a bunch of golf balls on the raffles.  If you brought food you got tickets, every time you bought drinks you got tickets.  Our table made out.  Adolfe won 10 times, John our neighbor won 7 times and we won 5 times.  What does that tell you??

      Today we have to go grocery shopping the cow is empty.  Another camper told us about the Mexican swap meet.  We’ve been to the big swap meet but they told us this was a different one.  So we headed off to check in out.  It had a lot more fruits and veggies.  We got some various items and then headed to the grocery store.  We had to get a lot of stuff.  We got home and unpacked.  John’s gardinière was almost gone and he was going through withdrawals.  So he bought a bunch of peppers and stuff to make his own.  Tomorrow we are going to a Super Bowl Potluck Party at the Cantina.  So I bought stuff to make spicy mini sausages in the crockpot.
We were done and ready for a cocktail.  We were sitting outside listening to radio Margaritaville and Ellen, our neighbors friend arrived from Vegas.  John and Ellen came over for a cocktail and then we all decided to head out to Yuma Crossings.  We have not been there yet, but it’s a bar/restaurant.  So we got some heavy appetizers and drinks.  When we got back we were done.

 After hanging around the cow for a while, we walked over to the health club and also checked on our mail.  We enjoyed the sun outside the cow and later in the afternoon we headed out to the Cantina.  We stayed for a few and had tacos.  Once again we closed the place at 630pm.  Then we headed to downtown Yuma for a Mardi Gras celebration.  They had 2 stages set up, one on either end of the street.  In between were all different vendors and people that had entered the Gumbo contest.  There was one vendor with Chicory coffee and Beignets so I had some.  We stayed for the costume contest and a little while for the bands.