Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Desert and Boondocking

The dust and the signs you encounter on your way to the Nellie E Saloon.
The Desert Bar; The towers are used for natural cooling and the church is one of the art works.
Marty, Nancy and I enjoy a drink and the warm Arizona weather at the bar.
The band rocks on.
Even the bathrooms were unique.
Our boondocking site in the Arizona desert.
Nick doing a SKP fix on the generator.
Nancy, Marty and Nancy enjoy the fire.
The line of traffic as we leave Q and Nanc on the midway by the Big Tent.

We continued our stay in the desert with a visit to the Nellie E. Saloon, aka The Desert Bar, near Parker with 07 mate Marty and his friend Nancy who we met last summer when we had lunch in Coupeville, Washington. The saloon is an off the grid business that is only open Saturdays and Sundays from high noon to sunset from Labor Day to Memorial Day. While it is "near" Parker, that word is relative in the wide open west as you must get off the pavement and drive five miles of dusty dirt road. Every type of transportation you can imagine, from horses to motorcycles and ATVs to the Jag and Mercedes we drove in with, were in the packed parking lot. The place is a work in progress as additional rooms, patios and objects of art have been added over the years. The menu is simple; chili, dogs, burgers (NO CHEESE EVER) in a number of combinations with canned beer, boxed wine and mixed drinks in plastic cups. The solar powered band was very good and the whole thing could be summed up by paraphrasing an old quote; "Isn't wonderful that a bunch of "old" people can get together and have a good time and nothing but a good time." It was a fun stop that we would suggest everyone add to their to do list if you are in Southwest Arizona.

On our return to the rig we discovered the generator was not generating properly, but, as with any SKP gathering there was someone there who got it up and running properly. Our neighbor Nick, a retired electrical engineer, did a quick fix that evening and then worked on it the next day to correct the problem. It turns out we had overloaded it and the breaker popped and needed to be coaxed into resetting. Add this to the list of what we learned while boondocking. This is why we wanted to do this with a group of SKPs. They are always willing to help and share their extensive knowledge. While we knew boondocking would not be the same as staying in a park with hook ups, we were not really sure how different it would be being in the full conservation mode for a week. Some of the big differences were making coffee on the stove the old fashion way and then not being able to run water until it was hot so you could warm up your cup. When showering we collected the cold water in a wash basin to save to do dishes later and then took a Navy bath by getting wet, turning off the water, soaping down, followed by a quick rinse. Another big difference was making sure we only used one light at a time and going to bed very early. Of course, a big plus was having a campfire under the stars and going to bed with almost total quiet (unless you go to bed to early then you hear the gentle roar of the generators) and darkness to the point you literally could not see your hand in front of your face. We feel we did pretty good with all the conservation as we still had half a tank of fresh water and the gray (sink & shower waste) tank was at one quarter and the black (potty and dishwashing basin waste) tank was at three quarters. That did show we were dumping to much in the black tank but we will know better the next time. With all that in mind, Q and boondocking is definitely something we will do again in the future. The few inconveniences are trumped by the nature and social interactions of the experience. If you are an RVer you must "Do the Q".

On our last afternoon we went to the Big Tent that was filled with every imaginable RVing item you could ever want or need. There was of course much more that you would never want or need. We did purchase a couple of things and run into a few people we knew. One more thing to give you an idea of the number of people at Q was the traffic as we headed south to Yuma on Monday morning. It was backed up two miles and this is in the desert in a town with 3650 residences.

1 comment:

Stevie Jones said...

Nancy, Jim,
This is so cool. You guys are rock stars.

Stephanie Weis, Crown Castle