10 February 2012

Boondocking in Quartzsite, AZ

After leaving Cottonwood, AZ, we headed further west to Quartzsite, AZ along with our new friends the Travaglino's of Fulltime Families. We originally planned to just "pass through" and spend a night or two boondocking on BLM land. However, after the Travaglino's discovered they could not get a reservation in a commercial campground, we decided to stay in the desert with them and seven other families for a whole week.

We arrived Tuesday evening and stayed until the following Monday afternoon. I have to say, it was a great time of fellowship with wonderful people. Nothing like being in the middle of the desert with total strangers and leaving as friends. The really great thing about people who travel like us in their RV's is the immediate connection we have with them. We spent many nights around the campfire talking and sharing our stories about how we came to fulltime travel. It is comforting to hear the different stories and discover how similar we really are in respect to our decision to uproot our families and experience this beautiful country.

On Wednesday, we went to the RV show with the Travaglino's and the McCloskey's. RV shows are a lot of fun for us, we like to climb into all the different RVs and see what is new on the market. In addition, there were hundreds of vendors offering all kinds of products for the RV. We staked out one thing we really wanted to upgrade on our RV. The inside of an RV can get really hot and many times the air conditioner just can't keep it cool enough.  Thanks to Kimberly Travaglino at Fulltime Families she was able to put us in contact with another fulltime family who specializes in custom window shade products. It just so happened that the Seeley's, owners of RV Sunshade CO were coming out to Quartzsite and could get us our sunshades made right there on the spot. How cool is that? They turned out great and are definitely an improvenment.

The Seeley's drove a very long way, from Texas all the way to western Arizona in two days and did not arrive until early morning on Sunday. Several of the families stayed awake to welcome them and visit for awhile before calling it the night. Later in the afternoon, they pulled out their portable equipment and made custom sunshades for our RV right there in the desert. We really like them, thanks again Todd and Renee :)

In addition to the RV show, we had the opportunity to attend a tent revival in town. I have never been to a "revival", but I am always up for an adventure. Darla, the girls and I went to dinner with several other families and then headed over to the "big tent". One other family, the Montgomery's met us there. We stayed for about an hour and a half before leaving. One of our girls was not feeling well and it was getting late. So we headed back to the desert, but not before picking up something for a fire:)

The desert can be cold at night and it had become a routine to have a fire each night. So ONE of the families went looking for wood and came back with, well, um, something that would burn really well.

I wonder who found "truck-loads" of pallets?
They make a great fire!

Besides the RV show, a tent revival and massive nightly fires, the kids were treated to a gun safety course courtesy of Kent Butterfield. It was a very nice gesture and greatly appreciated. Thank you Kent. As an aside, Kent and his wife Dana stayed with us the entire week and endured all the kids and late nights we stayed up around the fire right outside their rig. Darla and I really enjoyed meeting them and hope to reconnect with them down the road. They have traveled several times to Alaska and we would really like to gather more info from them before we tackle the long trek to Alaska.

Gun Safety with Kent

One of the great things about traveling around the country is having the opportunity to meet so many people. Obviously we meet lots of people from different parts of the country, but we also meet wonderful people from other countries traveling the US. We have had quite a few introductions with our friends north of the border from Canada. And our stay in the desert provided us with another opportunity to meet a very nice family from Germany. Christian and Daniela Engeldrum along with their three children spent the week with us just hanging out. Christian is on sabbatical and has taken the year to travel America in a travel trailer. They purchased a nice vehicle and camper on ebay and have spent the year doing what many families in America only dream of doing. I have to say, I was quite impressed with their decision to embark on such an adventure. We will meet up with them one more time before they leave the country and head to their home back in Germany.

Other families we met and plan to meet again include the Baker's and Gardner's. The Gardner's were not able to stay in the desert with us this time due to some work they were having done on their RV, but they did make the drive from California to Quartzsite to join us for a Sunday potluck dinner.

It was a fun week, I feel like we have known these families longer than we have, what a blessing, we thank God for the introductions and look forward to seeing them again down the road.

Nightly fire

Thousands of RV's in the desert

Installing solar Panels on Travaglino's RV

Sunset in the desert

Kimberly at FTF and her sons, like those solar panels!

Kids having fun

Sunday potluck dinner

New friends

Kimberly and DJ

Survival bracelets, Thanks Kent...
Circling the wagons RV's :)

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