Elks to Elks to BLM to BLM with a WalMart Stop Too

This has been some journey across NM in a day and then to an SKP Coop to Two Elks Lodges and on to Quartzite and then Senator Wash, both of the latter are BLM, thank you US taxpayers.

From Sierra Vista we cruised through El Paso and made a stop at Camping World at milepost 0 on our way out of Texas.  There we had routine service and rolled out to Walmart in Las Cruces, NM for the night.  With an early start we crossed NM and rolled through eastern Arizona climbing the Dragoon Pass on I 10 (you really must do this drive and stop at the rest area at the top – it is gorgeous) and descending into Benson where the Escapee Saguaro Coop is located.  We stayed there a couple of days so we could pay a visit to the Pima Air and Space Museum which has been growing on the eastern edge of Tucson for the past 10 years.  Too many planes, too many pictures, egad what a collection.

Onward to Casa Grande and the Elks Lodge there.  The plan was to meet Bob and Pat Hogg who were staying near by in a Western Horizons resort.  The lodge parking lot was fine.  There were no utilities, but we had come in expecting none and that worked out fine.  We could not spend any time in the lodge as it was very smoky.  We met Pat and Bob and had a pleasant Happy Hour at their place.  The next day they picked up up and we went to Boyce Thompson Botanical Garden where we spent most of a very lovely day exploring the grounds.  That night we went out to dinner at Eva’s Mexican to celebrate Pat’s birthday, a big one they noted.  After fond farewells and we will see you soon, who knew how soon, we set off on our separate headings.  We all knew we were headed for Quartzite, but without plans who could tell when. 

We drove the short distance to Phoenix, actually Scottsdale, where we settled into another Elks Lodge that offered water and electric and had a sanitary dump on site.  Site 6, where we landed by default, did not have a functioning water spigot so I connected across to another site with a spare spigot using my new replacement 50 foot extension hose.  Promptly at 11 PM the power went off and we were on battery again for the night.  As I thought about firing up the generator for breakfast power came back on by magic.  This was repeated a couple of nights later, although by then I had learned the location of the submaster breaker that was taking down half the sites.  It was cold and we were all running electric heaters and water heaters, oops!

We located Lennie and Judie Gross, members of Chavurat Yehudim chapter of FMCA and had a fun lunch with them.  By now we had contacted other Rochester people we knew in the area and between gallery visits and other sight seeing we had dinner with Judy and Harold Samloff after a visit to their home in Happy Valley and went to dinner at Tom and Mary Markusen’s home in Cave Creek, beyond the northern end of Scottsdale.  The views from both of these homes are exquisite.  Mountains, valleys, plains are all visible from these wonderful sites.  Watching the sun set from Markusen’s was a wonderful experience and the birds enjoying their natural setting were also a joy to see.  The dinner was wonderful and the company even more so.  

Back to Scottsdale Elks Lodge and a different reality for the night and then a day of shopping in Scottsdale old town before setting out for Quartzite.  I won’t trouble you with the history of the place again.  Suffice it to say we found a BLM short term visitor’s area 3 mile north of town (if you can call it that) on US 95 called Hi Jolly.  It is named for an Arab camel herder who herded camels for the US Army in the area.  The routine is simple, pull off the road and stop to pick up a registration form that can be used to track your time on site, limit 14 days.  Drive in until you find a place you want to stay, off the road – hard to determine really – and stop there. 

A call to the Hoggs located them in Rose RV in the thick of the action.  We went over for Happy Hour and agreed to meet in the morning to check out the vendors in the Big Tent a couple of hundred yards or more long and half as wide.  After that we gathered at our coach in Hi Jolly for – you guessed it – Happy Hour.  I will not document all the “stuff” we acquired.  I do have much more solar capability now than I had going in and some other items that are almost as important .  The solar is great!  I only run the generator to support cooking in the convection/microwave or toasting English Muffins.  Those resistance heaters will eat a battery in nothing flat.  Everything else runs off the panels by day and the batteries they have charged by night.  It is very quiet and very fuel efficient.

Onward to Senator Wash one of our favorite desert places.  We will stay here until the 9th or so when we head for LA and our family reunion.

I will post some pictures for this period later.  I want to get this up and the pictures are on my phone which is supporting my online activity.  It is propped against the back TV set which is the only place I seem to get phone service in the coach today.

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