Originally posted 10/27/2012
Friday night, October 26: It was a good thing I decided to go for broke and get to a lower altitude. Without a data cell connection and with the only working radio in the truck, I had no clue that the “cold” snap at a low of 34 would become a forecasted 21 degrees the following night! The only thing I did know when I woke up that morning was that a cabin temp in the mid-forties was a bit brisk for my taste, and solar power or no, it was probably time to vamoose.
In contrast, the forecast for the Phoenix area is a low of 60 and a high of 90.
It was a long day of hopping about. I headed for a smallish town northwest of where I’d been, in order to get back onto I-40. There I found a hardware store to replace a blown fuse on the CPAP DC power cord, plus some screws and special washers for bolting the big iMac to the desktop. The hope is that I can move the trailer without having to swap the thing back and forth between its current transport and/or daytime location (my bed) and the official sleepytime location (the couch). The retaining system has to be good, however. It’s quite heavy, and all of its weight is in its glass screen.
I was in luck. I needed one of the two 30-pound propane tanks refilled (so the indicator claimed) and a refill source just happened to be across the street at a gas station. A nice lady came out and filled it, and also said the drinking water faucet right next to the fill area was free. The camper’s tank is dry and I was going to fill it and leave the truck’s tank full. Naturally, I recalled a warning in the Gulf Stream manual – I do read them them, yes – not to tow with all tanks full because of the possibility of exceeding the trailer’s weight rating limits. Sure, it’d probably be okay, but visions of exploding tires won out, and I left it alone.
I also wandered into a local Safeway for food. It took some doing getting into its parking lot. Each of the sidestreet intersections had deep paved gullies crossing the road for water runoff. Driveway aprons often have them, too. End result: it’s a good thing a previous camper owner added little wheels under the rear end of the frame. They came into play several times.
I’ve heard that in boondock towns, prices for groceries and such are twice the cost. At this store, that was exaggeration, but not much of one. They also had a discount for “club members”, but I didn’t feel like joining the club. I headed for Winslow. First I stopped at an auto parts place to get credit for a battery core charge, and then across the street to Wal-Mart. I’m no fan of that business, but in an unfamiliar town, towing a long trailer, and needing to get shopping over with and get rolling, I went. It was actually the best one I’ve been to in terms of selection. No match for any Jewel or large Dominick’s, but adequate. Just try to find anything resembling organic or heathy alternatives like almond milk, though. Some perishables I’ll still need to get locally. I stocked up on everything else though. That’s still in the back seat of the Ford for now.
By this time it was two o’clock. The GPS claimed it was less than 220 miles to Quartzsite. Heck, that’s four hours. Six o’clock. Sunset. The GPS lied. It was 8:15 PM when I pulled up with another half hour to go. Why quit? Personnel at the encampment would probably be gone, and I’d be wandering about in the darkness of a remote desert looking for a place to park? I don’t think so. I stopped in a vast sandy area beside a restaurant six miles north of I-10. A confused-looking coyote stared at the Enterprise as she pulled into the lot. It didn’t seem particularly afraid of the combo lumbering slowly toward it, just confused. I intend to splurge for breakfast and then go on to one of the four Quartzsite Long Term Visitor Areas in the morning. The sooner I can find a decent location, set up camp, goof with and curse at the solar chargers, and set up a working home & office with everything finding an orderly place, the better I’ll feel. Feels like I’ve been living out of a suitcase, with items and boxes incessantly needing to be moved around in order to do anything. Regardless of its location, it’s time to set up home.