Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Things are getting better

With nothing better to do yesterday while waiting for the Jeep to get fixed we took a little walk in the desert next to the campground. Sure lots of different little flowers blooming out there this year. Everything is so green.

It was cloudy and overcast the whole day yesterday. Weird streaky clouds. There must have been a fire in this area some years back. Lots of burned dead trees. 
Just wasting time walking around. 
Different kinds of cacti growing here in the RV park.  
Done video of desert around the Mountain View RV park. It is right next door to De Anza RV Resort - Quite a difference in price. Most of the back row of Mountain View is empty as there is no electricity to the site because of the storm a week or so ago. We are 22 miles from the Mexican border. 

The mechanic called and told us the Jeep was fixed and he'd bring it back to us at 4:15. Right on the dot of 4:15 he pulled up. Bill took him back to his shop where the mechanic showed him what was replaced and explained what had been wrong. The Crank Sensor had become all gummed up over the years. Now replaced - total bill $160. I highly recommend his shop if you ever need service here in Amado, AZ. It is named Luna's. 
Bill says he can feel the difference in power in Willie now. Sure glad the problem waited to happen when we got back into the US - and not while we were wandering around the Periferico Oriente
To celebrate we went out to dinner - well actually to try out the car and go to WalMart one last time. But any way we back to same restaurant and I had the turkey dinner again - it was delicious! So glad I ordered it. 
Our Dish TV continues to keep working and I've been able to watch the local Vegas channels on my laptop from our Hopper with sling that is at home. Just hope it works in Mexico. Still three NASCAR races to go that I want to see. 
Going to sort though all our paperwork so if asked for anything I know where it is. I especially want the paperwork from last year showing the import duties we paid on the drones. It is supposed to be a one time thing and good for every year. Also need to dig out our leftover Pesos for the toll road. 
Made one last trip to WalMart and a late lunch/early dinner at Denny's. Had steak, yum and brought home a piece of pumpkin pie. 
Mechanic is supposed to be here any minute to hopefully fix the leveling jacks. 8:20 and the jacks are working. And it is 50 degrees out. Brrr...
So guess we will be on road tomorrow early. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

And the day continued.

Good morning it is a wonderful day here in Amado, AZ. Positive thinking on my park.
So where did I leave off - of yes - with our little trip into the unknown. Here is the map from the phone again. I know it is a little blurry but hang in there with me. The A on the 15D is where the accident was, no way off there. The top arrow shows the International border. The X on the bottom is where we ended up getting off the main highway after driving back it going the wrong way against traffic. If not for the truck accident we would have stayed on the 15D the highway on the far left. The connection to the highway in the middle with the E on it was south of where we got off [doesn't look like it here but trust me it was and we wanted off asap.] Not fun going against semi traffic. The circle looked to me like a good road to get off on. But we never got that far. 
And we are off, looked like an okay road and we were headed north east. I thought we'd go to where the circle on the map is and get off there. Looked like a major street. Didn't see any traffic while on the road. There were several small rock slides but they been somewhat cleared up. 
 Still no traffic. We did finally see a on and off ramp but went past it. Then the road started to have more debris on it. 
 Oh, oh, road closed by big rock slide. Turn around Not even near the road I thought we could take where the circle is. So another U-turn and slowly going back looking for the off ramp. It barely shows on the map but...
We found it and got off heading west, just deserted road for a ways with some rocks narrowing it down to one lane in places. Suddenly we were in part of the city. A part with three different schools that were letting out. Talk about traffic. Cars double and triple parked waiting for their kids. And kids running every where. 

And pot holes big enough to eat a small car. But by then we were starting to go north.
YES! YES! YES! A sign with U.S.A. We had stopped to ask a man directions - The only word I understood was derecha [keep to the right]. Bill asked me, "Did you get that?" "No, the only thing I understood was 'right'. Didn't you get it?" "Nope." So on we went and got lucky. Lots and lots of traffic.

And then we were in line waiting to get to the border. Lots of vendors selling things. Want a big cup of fresh fruit - no problem.
 Or how about a hobby horse? Or tamales or rolls. And all kinds of snacks. 
 Getting close. Didn't take as long as I thought it would. 
 We went through this arch 40 years ago on our trip to South America. This was the only way then right through town. Thank goodness there is another route now. 
Only a few cars from the US. Big sign out NO CAMERAS or CELL PHONES so didn't take any more photos. Just as we arrived at the front of the line the border guard walked out of his hut and put a cone in the middle of the aisle. Luckily we could also go to the right lane. No problems getting through. 
 Sitting there we were right next to part of The Wall that goes right through Nogales. 
Okay, we got our passports back and proceeded across the border, there were two lanes leading out, divided by a plastic barrier. Wouldn't you know we took the WRONG one. We ended up in the line to be scanned and searched! CRAP. We stopped behind the car waiting to go through the scanner. To our right was a search station that was empty and we could continue on out to the highway. We discussed it and decided to stay put. Five minutes later Bill turned right to the way out. Didn't get far. Two border patrol guys quickly approached us. "Stop your car, turn off your engine and wait." Bill didn't get the engine off quick enough. Head in the window, "TURN OFF YOUR ENGINE NOW." okay. And then they walked away. Now what? We sat there and sat there and sat there. Bill was about to make a break for it when the border patrol officer came back. He said, "Okay, start your engine, I'm stopping traffic behind you, back up and get in line for the scanner. Once you are in this area you have to go through the scanner." So we did. Sure glad Bill had taken all the drones and metal carriers out of the car. We were finally waved through the scanner - 2 miles an hour and better not go faster. When we reached the border patrol guard she smiled at us and said, "Did you get lost? I saw you turn in here and knew you weren't supposed to. But once you are in this lane you have to go through the scanner." At least we didn't have to pull over to be searched. She radioed the soldier at the gate and told him to let us through. Phew finally. What an adventure. Looking forward to getting back to RV. But first we stopped in Nogales at a Denny's to eat, we were starving. 
We only had about 23 miles to go. About 1/3 of the way back to the RV the Jeep - coughed and stuttered but kept going. Hum..."Was that you or the Jeep?" I asked Bill. He was studying the dash lights.
"The Jeep."  We kept going, he sped up a little. More jerking and engine light came on. Ducky! We went through last border check on Highway 19 and took our turn off. Kept going past RV park and to the mechanic a few blocks away. 
Mechanic came out with computer tester and something showed right up. I forget what it was, but he asked us if we'd had mice chewing on our wiring. So he brought us home and took Jeep back with him. 
But there was a pretty sunset.

So now we are waiting for the mechanic's call and the RV mechanic to come tomorrow. Bill still hoping to cross the 1st.
This is a be careful what you wish for kind of day. I want some peace and quiet - sure getting it today. Just sitting here waiting.

Monday, October 29, 2018


More bumps in the road. Been an interesting day and a half. 
Shall I begin with last night? Sounds good. We decided towards early evening that I didn't want to cook so we'd go out to dinner. Got in the Jeep and off we went. Went to a restaurant we have gone to a lot. Bill ordered a chicken dish and I ordered a turkey and dressing meal. Every thing arrived hot and looking good. Mine was good until I tried to cut into the sliced turkey - turkey jerky! Could not even stick my fork into the edges of it. The inside of the turkey was good, just the 1/2 inch around the edges. So I ignored it and ate the rest of the meal. Bill discovered his chicken was a little dry and the sauce on it was too spicy for him. He left about half of his meal. 
When the waitress came to check on us I said to her, "If any one else orders this turkey, tell them you have run out." She gave me a puzzled look and asked, "Why, what is wrong with it?" I told her, "Turkey jerky and tried to stick my fork in the pieces left." Also told her I wasn't complaining just wanted to let them know. Then she noticed Bill hadn't eaten much and asked him why. He told her it was fine just too spicy for him and also the chicken was a little dry. She immediately said she would get the manager. 
When they came back to the table, we said we weren't really complaining just wanted them to know the turkey was really hard. The manager was really upset. We told her - don't worry, just wanted you to know. And actually that is the only reason I brought it up. Did not expect anything. After much back and forth she comped our meals. Wish I hadn't said anything. We assured them we'd  be back and weren't upset.
Bill ate when we got home. I'd eaten everything but the edges. And so ended yesterday. Oh, the TV is still working. 
This morning we decided to go to Nogales and get the insurance for the RV and car and then go to Mexico to do our paperwork. We've done this a couple of times before and it makes the day we actually leave much easier. We left here at 8:00 and got home about 3:00! Just after we got on the 19 Bill pulled over to wash the windows. It was a beautiful day. 
 With all the rain in the area there are some new strange looking weeds. 
 And lots of flowers along the road.  
We continued on to Nogales and stopped at the Sanborns Insurance office. This is the same office where we  bought insurance in 1978. And we stayed at the Mi Casa campground  behind it.
The last few years we've used the other office to get our insurance. There is a very efficient woman there. No problems - in and out in a half hour. Today was a little bit different. I gave the gentleman behind the counter the copies of last year's insurance. All information would remain the same. First his computer wouldn't come awake. Finally it did then he had trouble finding our last year's policies. Found them but couldn't make changes to them. All that should have needed to be done was update the policies for this year. He called the lady in the other office and she walked him through the process. After he hung up he discovered it hadn't worked. Called her again and started over. Finally he finished and printed them out. Well both policies had the wrong state driver's license information wrong and one had the wrong address. Start over again, now computer didn't want to work. Waited. Called lady, got policies brought up the changes refused to be made. Every time he printed them out there was something wrong with them. [last years policies had all the correct information on them. But his computer had information fro a couple years ago, the last time we got our policies at that office.] One hour gone and poor guy was getting more and more frustrated. Finally he said "Why don't you just go over to the other office and she'll do this. I'm so embarrassed. Can I buy you breakfast or something." We told him it was okay, we'd go over to the other office and don't worry about it. And that is what we did. Got out of there in 20 minutes with all correct paperwork. We are getting really good at just going with the flow. 
Then we headed towards the border. Just rolled through the US side. When we go with the RV we go through the truck lanes. Into Mexico. Stay out of the Importacion lanes.
 First thing was a toll booth. 61 Pesos for the car - about US$3.
After that came the Mexican Aduana - customs office. Have to be sure to stay in the very center lane.
 Look at that tope = great big speed bump. Better slow way down.  
 Keep going straight, very narrow lane. 
First two left lanes for cars. Green light keep going, red light you get stopped. Fourth lane to left of bus is for RVs. DO NOT try to take an RV through the car lanes. There are sharp left and right turns after it. The RV lane goes straight back to the highway. 
We got a green light and were on our way to Kilometer 21. Almost right away we were into construction. 
 All traffic directed to southbound lanes. But nice new concrete to drive on. 
 Looks like the northbound lanes are almost ready for traffic. 
 Watch for the blue sign for the parking lot to get the paper work done. Not too many cars in the lot. By now it was a lot later than we figured on. We were the only ones in the office filling out the paperwork for the tourist cards.
 Oh, everyone was in line at the banjercito. But there were several windows open so it moved fast. 

From the time we parked until we got back in the car was less than an hour. And I think we were the only ones who had all the paper work we needed. Seems like everyone in front of us had to go back either to their vehicle or the copy booth for something. Tourist cards were US$27.60 each. Permit for the 2005 Jeep was US$375.11. We have a 10 year permit for the RV already. 
Back into the car and headed north. Hadn't gone too far when we saw a car headed south in our northbound lanes. It was flashing its lights and traveling down the shoulder. Hum...just Mexico I guess. Then we saw the trucks. Both northbound lanes were full of stopped trucks. Crap. Bill said way in front of us he could see a semi and stuff across the lanes and into the center. Not going any where soon. Now we know why the car was going the other way. Bill made a U-turn and now we were going the wrong way. We came to a bus that was backing down the highway. And a semi that made a u-turn and headed south. We came to an on-ramp and took it off. When we got up it we had a decision right or left. Right took us further south, Left took us east on a nice two lane highway. 
Luckily I'd downloaded mapsme app on my phone. So figured out where we were. We were on the Periferico Oriente??? See it there to the right. We should have been on the MEX15D. Notice the periferico just kind of ends in the middle of no where. 
And the rest of the day just got stranger. Tired now. will finish tomorrow.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Been a bumpy trip so far

Saturday already. When we got here Thursday we discovered the leveling jacks would not go down. Luckily first thing Friday morning we spied a Mobile RV Service truck at the RV next to us. Bill went out and talked to him and he came over and checked out our problem, bigger than we thought. The jack motor shorted out, need a new one. Company that made them is barely still in business and the motors are hard to come by. But Tech is pretty sure he can get one by Wednesday. [We are/were planning on leaving Thursday] So we’ll see. 
RV Park has been having some problems too, A big storm last week shorted out the electricity on one who line of sites – where we usually park. They hope to have it fixed in a week. When we got here their credit card machine wasn’t working – today it still isn’t working so I gave them a check for a week. Also today right now we have no water, plumbing being fixed – soon I hope.
And then there is the Dish TV. Problems the whole time we were in Quartzsite, Many calls to Dish TV. Finally had the people from Satellite Advantage a big RV satellite dealer/installer there come over. There guy was here that day for 3 ½ hours. They also had to take the receiver and format and reload it. It finally started working. All this time I am learning a lot of “How to maybe fix it things.” The next morning the TV worked for a bit, we shut it off to go out. When we came home it wouldn’t work again. Tech back again. Final consensus was our dome was not compatible with the receiver. So we got a new satellite dome. Powered up and worked great. The company did not charge us for the installation of the dome, just the price of the dome. Nice of them. I’d also got a hold of the lady at Dish customer service that I’ve been dealing with and she has given us a $100 credit. Better than a swift kick in the @$$.
Got to Amado TV came right up. Again shut it off and of course it wouldn’t come back on. Walled the tech who installed the dome and he walked me through resetting everything. Okay all was well.
Well this morning, TV came on fine, changed channel and BAM black screen, no signal. I went through resetting – didn’t work. Called Dish TV Tech. Walked me through a couple of other screens. We could only make the dome connect to 2 of the 3 satellites Dish uses but at least the TV is working again. And the important channels are working. Now I’m afraid to turn it off and change channels. What a disaster. Maybe my new job will be tech support for Dish.  (Yesterday afternoon it continued to work fine and this morning it came on right away - hope it keeps working, a soccer game and raced today.)
After getting here Thursday we went out for dinner going to the Cow Palace which is just across the freeway. Discovered it got damaged during the big storm. Wall of water 4 feet high went through it. Guess they’ll be closed for a while.
So we’ve gone to Green Valley a couple of times. This lady works at the Denny‘s there. Her name is Addie and she just celebrated her 90th birthday. She has been working there for as long as we’ve been coming here. Every year we wonder …Here is more about her from five years ago.  Scroll down.
Stopped at one of the shopping areas and discovered an art show going on. Some nice stuff there.
Love this guys work, it is mostly done on large pieces of wood and the colors are amazing. 
 Here he is working on a piece.
 Love this. I have the star pattern but have never made it. Lots of little pieces. This might encourage me to try it when we get home. 
This was at the True Value store, isn’t he pretty? Looking at it here I wish I'd checked the price - would look good on our patio.
Also some entertainment going on. Wish there wasn’t so much background noise. Haven’t heard any one yodel for years.

My little plant is making the trip with us. He sure is growing.
See the flash light there in the little box on the wall. Bill built the box to hold it ‘cause when I get up early in the morning and don’t want to turn the lights on 'cause he is still asleep I need the flashlight to see the buttons on the microwave. Handy.
Whoops -  just figured out we left some food at home. I remember putting it in a bag to bring out and it isn’t here. Sure hope we left it in the refrigerator and not sitting on a counter somewhere. Lunch meat, bacon and cheese …
Well Barcelona won El Classico 5 to 1. Seemed funny to watch El Classico without Ronaldo or Messi. Messi has a broken arm and Ronaldo now plays for an Italian team. 
The #18 came in 4th in todays race - a good day. Exciting ending to race. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Desert drive.searching for Intaglio!

We are now in Amado , AZ got here yesterday in early afternoon. Did 287 miles, too many for my old back. Staying at Mountain View RV as usual. Road was good and weather was good, for once no wind. Only stopped for gas. I took a nap when we got here and later we went out for dinner. Went to other side of freeway to the Cow Palace only to find it closed. A couple days ago there was a terrible rain storm and a flash flood came through that area - 4 to 6 feet high. Made a mess of the restaurant. 
My next blog will be about our ongoing problem with the Dish TV.Ready to either cry or take a hammer to it.
Also for some reason our jacks on the RV quit working. Have a repair man here but he is saying he cant find the part here in AZ. But will try. We'll be here a week. Maybe we should turn around and go home. 
Just to do some catching up. Sandy, I doubt very much if you'll be able to find empanada dough made from corn. Tortillas yes but not the dough. I don't think it would hold together.
Barb - can't believe they have a Utube video on how to make oatmeal box cradles. Can no one think for themselves anymore??

Thursday we took a little field trip in the morning. We were going to Bouse and to try to find the Quartzsite Rock Alignment and the Intaglios. I had a small brochure and the lady at the campground told me, “You’ll see the rocks.” So out we went up the highway towards Parker for about 5 ½ miles then a turn on to Plomosa Road. According to the brochure it was about 6 miles to the rock alignments. The lady also told me “You’ll see the fences.” I did see some pieces of wood that looked like it might have been a fence but ignored it. Next thing I knew we passed a marker that said 7 miles. Whoops – guess we missed it. But I kept looking and Bill kept driving. Pretty nice road. No traffic.
Oh well, some change in the road. Lots of dips, luckily no water in them but looks like there was flooding not to long ago.
Just some pretty desert scenery on the way.

I wrote about Bouse in the last blog. Now we were on our way back to look for the geoglyph of a person spearing fish. We stopped to read this sign. There was a road leading back towards the pass, but we didn’t take it.
On we go. Pass the 7 mile sign. Really watching the desert now. Looking for anything that looked like a fence.
We found some fencing. Only the corners of the fence showed from the road. They were connected with barbed wire which could not be seen. So we pulled off. Looking over the fence not much to see.
Some letters made of rocks. Something behind the letters and another couple of lines of rocks.
So Bill got out his drone to get a better look. This is what we were supposed to see

The problem with the drones you use a tablet to look at to see what the drone is seeing. On a bright sunny day it is almost impossible to see the screen on the tablet.
So here is the video the blog took.

Then I saw some fences? In the distance and we went to investigate them driving out a dirt road. . Couldn’t see what was there.
So here is what we were looking for at this site.
“Rocks laid out in the desert for airplanes to see, spelling out Quartzsite and forming an arrow pointing the way.”
I continued reading the brochure and it said, “1.3 miles farther up the road you come to a scenic view parking sign. Follow the path up the hill to see the Intaglios.”
Yep, found the view area and saw the road/path leading into the desert. Away I went. This is what I saw. Some more fence corners and barbed wire and a plaque I couldn’t read. And what looked like tire tracks in the dirt.

Then I heard the Jeep, Bill was coming to look for me.
A video of the road to the Intaglio.

Couldn't convince Bill to take out the drone again, so no idea if we were in the right place or not. 
The Fisherman is a 30-foot long intaglio of a person spearing fish. The age and origin are unknown.  Here is a link to see it.