Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Back in Benson

For a variety of reasons, we bailed out of Quartzsite a few days early.

First, things are winding down now that the RV Show “Big Tent” is closed, and Maryanne and Ken don't really need our help as much with their Magne Shade business in Rice Ranch, since many of the RVers have headed out. We had fun though, and are happy the business was such a success. This new product is getting a lot of attention, because there’s nothing like it on the market. We sent so many orders to the factory, they had to revise their delivery schedule from 2 weeks to 6 weeks!Magne Shade booth

Second, Don has had some hives on his body and swelling in his face, like either an allergic reaction or evidence of stress. If it continues, we'll get him to a doctor.

Third, and less important, our mail was sent to our Benson address by mistake from Rapid City, and nobody could get into our mailbox to send it to us. We were eager to see the accumulation of mail, even though very little of our ‘snail mail’ is ever of any consequence.

We spent two nights at the Davis-Monthan AFB FamCamp in Tucson on our way back to Benson. Here’s a nice sunrise over the airplanes parked nearby.

Tucson dawn

We wanted to shop a bit in the “big city" (Target, Best Buy, Lowe's, Dillard’s -- whoopee!) and to see the movie “Avatar” in 3D. What a wonderful movie! We both enjoyed it immensely. And, of course, we had to get a restaurant “fix” – Mexican for me and steak for Don. Now it’s back on the diet.

In the process of departing Tucson this morning, we experienced a few mishaps.

1) Don discovered we were missing a locking pin and clip for the toad hitch while at the dump station--I returned to our site and fortunately found them in the gravel. (Note to Don: *Always* make sure the pins are in and locked when unhitching.)
2) The MotoSat HD TV satellite dish hadn't stowed completely, and the bat wing antenna had attached itself to the MotoSat's rim, so it couldn’t stow either. It was a funny sight when I met Don at the check-in building to hitch up after he finished dumping. Wish I’d had my camera handy… It was easily fixed by undoing the stowing of both and then re-stowing.
3) But the *good* thing is that the black and gray tanks both dumped as they should - with a 'whoosh' – and there was *NO* odor rolling down the road, as we've been battling for 2 years. Thanks to John of A-1 Mobile RV in Quartzsite for figuring out how to solve the venting problem with our holding tanks.

And another good thing happened when we got to Cochise Resort - I backed into our lot using a different approach, and had no problems getting up close and personal with the new stationary awning. Of course, it helps to have an excellent spotter to make the precision backing and positioning almost easy.Phaeton awning

Returning to our stay in Quartzsite, we had a chance to enjoy a few social events outside our selling activities and many fun times with Ken and Maryanne.

One outing was a visit to the Montana Owners Club, in which I was an active member when I owned a Montana 5th wheel, and still have many friends. I’m an honorary member, #111 with over 10,000 members now. This group literally circled the wagons in a BLM area off of Plomosa Rd, about 7 miles north of Quartzsite. This aerial photo shows the perfect circle of almost 50 Montana 5th wheels. One of the members’ sons worked out the plan on his computer, and as each member arrived, they laid out a long rope to follow to the pull-through site!

MOC Quartzsite 1-16-2010

If you look carefully, you’ll see a motorhome on the right amongst the 5th wheels. Doug and Sharon Henry bought a Tiffin Allegro Bus (a step above our Tiffin Phaeton) but are still active members of the Montana club, and handle club products. We parked behind them so we could find our way back to our car and not get lost in all the Montanas! Note the Montana decal on the front of the Allegro Bus.

Henry's MOC

We also enjoyed a get-together with our good friends Donna and Stu McNichols (to my right) who, like us, met through the Escapees Solos and married recently, with two other couples at Silly Al’s for pizza.


We had a brief visit one afternoon to Boomerville, about 7 miles southeast of town, to reconnect with friends in the Escapees Boomers group. Here’s an aerial photo of the gathering, which ended up including about 130 rigs. With a daily happy hour and campfire, plus many other activities, we wish we could have participated more with this fun group.

Boomerville 1-15-10AM

We helped celebrate the 65th birthday of our good friend Sue Little (far right) at the Grubstake restaurant. Her hubby Jerry (behind Sue) bought the first round of drinks, and we all had a fun time.

Sue's birthday

We visited the RV Driving School for a pulled pork dinner, but it was a little cold and windy, and we arrived late (they started an hour earlier than planned, unbeknownst to us). So it was a pretty brief visit and I didn’t get any photos.

Before leaving Q, I took some final pictures of “Rice Ranch Lake” which show the effect of all the water. The first photo shows the entrance to what was a lower parking lot, with the water receding nicely, thanks to a pump running 24/7 for several days after the storm.

RR lake entrance

This photo shows damage caused by the storm to what was a second entrance to the parking lot.

RR Lake damage

A view of our Rice Ranch vendor neighborhood.

RR Lake neighborhood

Now that we’re back in Benson, we’re getting a gentle rain, and it feels good to be buttoned up and snug in our winter home.