This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

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Friday, 31 December 2010

Green Energy

California has invested big time in "green energy" These wind towers are just a few of the thousands that filled this valley as we drove into Pasadena.
At the rally the past few days we have been impressed with the solar set-up on the trailer behind us. Frank (trailer owner) gave us a tour and explained what was installed and how it was installed. I have contacted his installer in Texas and hope to get a system installed before we return home. This will make our life on the road and back home in the trailer so much "Greener" No more generators! No more noise, fumes or spilling gas. Frank and his wife Carol have been living comfortably behind us for 4 days. They have watched TV, used their toaster, coffee maker, hair dryer and furnace without even turning on their generator once. Truth is they don't HAVE a generator. Now that's the kind of solar set-up I want.
Enjoy the party tonight and I'll try and post pictures after the Rose Bowl Parade tomorrow.

Thursday, 30 December 2010


Some of you have wondered how we were able to camp on school property here in Pasadena. All arrangements were made through the local "Airstream" club and we simply joined and are enjoying the rally together.
Looking across the parking lot from the front of our trailer.
There are some beautifully restored vintage trailers and tow vehicles here.

 We meet in the "tent" for meals and "happy hour" The food has been prepared by the host and club members. Every meal is delicious and apreciated.

Tomorrow we have "chair watch" from 2 - 4 a.m. Might need to take an afternoon nap before that duty. Can't remember the last time I was up from 2 - 4. That must be a sign of something.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Joshua Tree Park

Left Quartzsite on Sunday and spent two nights in Joshua Tree Park. The sign said no vehicles over 25ft but we squeeeeeezed in. Lovely park. Down to 0*C at night. One night two German boys brought over a bottle of wine and we chatted for 2 hours. (I really think they appreciated the warmth since they were in a tent). We are now camped in a school yard in Pasadena waiting for the Rose Bowl Parade on Saturday. Here are a few pictures from Joshua Tree Park.

 Do you know what kind of rock this is? ................................. Bedrock

Must run, breakfast is ready. Talk later

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Boxing Day

We are still camped on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) like our Crown Land back home, but we leave here later today for Joshua Tree National Park. Not sure about wifi connection so may not be able to do "Skype" when everyone gathers at Paul's.Yesterday Mary made ginger cookies for supper. YUMMY!!!!!! If gramma could see how we live today, she wouldn't believe her eyes.
 Christmas dinner with Marvin & Annie, outside, with all the trimmings (turkey, rice, salads, stuffing just like dad made and ........
 peanut-ball cookies and ginger cookies for dessert.
 Don't they look delicious?  Guess what, .................................  they all disappeared.
Most of the vendors were closed yesterday so we drove out to the LTV (Long Term Visitor) area.
 This guy must be a "HAM" operator. You see it all, here at Q.
 We stopped and introduced ourselves to Martin a fellow "Airstreamer. No, he isn't telling us to leave, just giving directions to find the dump station. We will leave our tailer here with him in the LTV when we fly home.
 Their Airstream motorhome.
 You can stay for 7 months in the LTV area. The cost is $180.00. That gives you a space as big as you need, water, dump station and garbage collection. Oh....... and a warm climate, no extra charge.  Many people put up rather elaborate structures when they stay for several months.
We saw this trailer off in the distance so went to inquire about all the solar panels. That's when we met Ron. Ron is 91 years old and has been coming to Q for the past 40 years. He did his own solar set-up and told us he can still do the "jitter-bug". Way to go Ron, you are an inspiration to those of us just getting started.

Marvin & Annie's trailer in the setting sun. Another beautiful end to a beautiful Christmas Day.
Hope you are enjoying our reports as much as we enjoy hearing from you.
Have a great day.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas from Arizona

It was so wonderful to get your e-mails and hear from so many of our readers. We appreciate getting all your news. Later today we are having Christmas dinner with Annie and Marvin outside our trailers. It is cool this morning but will be warm enough to enjoy the outdoors later. Here are a few pictures taken yesterday. Must run, Mary wants to go for a walk.
First picture is Main Street Quartzsite. Lots of "flee markets, RV dealers, and not much else.
 Inside the local museum. The tour guide was full of information about all the local history. Did you know, American girls were trained as pilots here during the second world war?
Our usual spot for relaxing the afternoon away. These blogs are made possible by Marvin & Annie's device that allows me to connect to some satellite in the sky. Thanks Marvin & Annie.

 Are we happy. Mary is having a great time travelling and meeting new people.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Quartzsite, Arizona

Got up at 3 a,m, and left Deming, New Mexico; arrived in Quartzsite, Arizona about 2. It was great to see Marvin & Annie (Toby & Niki) again.  What a warm welcome we always get.
First job was find a spot in the BLM, free, then get the trailer set up.

 Next job was to head downtown and check out the flee markets. Everything is here, from old cars to old movies, rocks and jewelry.
 Here Mary, Marvin & Annie get a lesson on local rocks.

All set up near Marvin & Annie on the short term BLM land just south of I-10 in Quartzsite. This is an RVers winter destination with over 200,000 rigs here on a good winter. You can camp for free for 14 days or stay all winter for $180.00. Lots to do in the area especially for those into "rocks"

We plan to stay here for a few days then head to Joshua Tree Park on the 26th.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

New Mexico - Rockhound State Park

I'm sending this from the library in Deming, New Mexico. We have been camping at the Rockhound State Park and of course Mary is having a great time hiking and searching for rocks, which she can legally remove.
This is our campsite, $10.00/night with showers, RV dump and water.
Typical sunset from our camp. We were able to sit and enjoy the lunar eclipse from  our lawn chairs a few nights ago. Cool but comfortable with a light jacket.
Mary says she could spend a month here, I think I could do a week, what do you think?

Tomorrow we plan to leave early and head to Quartzite to meet up with Annie and Marvin on Friday. Not sure when I will have wifi to write again so will wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and know we will be thinking of you as you gather at Paul & Olga's on boxing day. We are having a great time but we are looking forward to seeing everyone the end of January. Have a great day.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Too Much Dip

I'm not talking about too much cheese dip or chip dip I'm talking about "Road Dip" Most of us don't give much thought when we see these signs on a road.
Neither did we as we pulled our 30 ft trailer up the mountain and found this beautiful spot for camping.

 Now a spot like this on the side of a mountain with sunsets like you see below must be expensive. Not the case. We knew we could camp here for free because of our National Park Pass and we were in a hurry to arrive before the gate closed at 5.
 Fortunately we had good wheel chocks and we felt secure for the night even when the wind gusted at times.
 The sunrise was just as beautiful as the sun set and we had a clear view right across the valley.
 Looking across the valley from our campsite in New Mexico, December 18, 2010

When the ranger visited in the morning that's when we realized we had "Too Much Dip" In our haste to reach the campground we didn't stop to read any signs and missed the warning about trailers over 23 feet. We couldn't go forward because of the "dip" ahead of us and didn't know any other way to get off the mountain than back the way we came in. Unfortunately that was a one lane road, one way and full of blind turns. Charlie, the camp host, offered to warn motorist entering the park that we were coming down the entry road and hopefully convince them to wait until we got out.

Fortunately in the 10 minutes we need to traverse the road no one decide to enter the park and we were able to exit safely and with incident, thanks to Charlie and Sandy who came to our rescue.
So next time we see a sign, we will stop and read it and follow their advice before getting ourselves between a rock and a hard place. Hopefully you will do the same.
Have a great day.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Big Bend's Big Cats

Since the laundry isn't quite done and who knows when we will get internet service again, I am posting two pages today.  WOW! Two in one day!

We knew the first day we arrived that Big Bend is home to mountain lions. We didn't know that they also have bobcats and one family was living close to the campground.
Not sure what left this print behind but it must have been a good size.
The first to tell us about the bobcat were Marvin & Annie who not only saw it but got some excellent pictures of the bobcat sitting enjoying the sunshine. For the next 24 hours I checked out the site location and Thursday saw the mother and a cub playing in the field behind the laundromat. Unfortunately my lens could not pull them in so these distant pictures were all I got, but at least I saw them.

The staff here nicknamed these cats the "kitchen cats" because they spend so much time near the park store.

There is lots to see and do here in Big Bend but we will leave some of it for our next visit and move on to new adventures down the road.  The sun is up. the laundry is dry and once breakfast is finished we will hit the road.

Big Bend - Hot Springs

Yesterday we hiked up to the hot springs here in Big Bend. As you can see by the pictures it was a lovely hike and Mary thoroughly enjoyed her soak in the hot water (105*) The horses you see are across the Rio Grande in Mexico.

The road to the "Hot Spring" was narrow and rough, not suitable for big vehicles or cars built close to the ground.
 Old buildings from the days this area was farmed. You can see irrigation ditches throughout the camping area.

 Mary in the "Hot Spring" At one time there was a building here with individual bathing benches.
 Mexican horses came down for some water. One horse was hobbled and had to limp to move forward.

Today we leave for Fort Davis. Not sure when we will get there, just travelling as the wind blows. Not sure when I'll be able to post again as we will be boondocking as much as possible. In Texas it is legal to camp overnight in their picnic areas. Have a great day.