Saturday, January 30, 2010

Back to Yuma for Some Drugs

Whoops, I mean MEDICINES! Algodones Mexico, just across the border of the SE corner of California, and just a few miles from Yuma, AZ is THE place to buy them. And just a few feet across the border is the Purple Store, which I think has the best prices.

They also have a sense of humor!

Drugs weren't the only reason I came back to Yuma. Just off the road to Algodones is the pet cemetery where I buried Molly. This is just a small section of it.

I've been thinking hard on what to do for a grave marker, and this is what I came up with.

An artist I am not, but that's the best I could do.

When I put up pictures of Molly before, I didn't have a puppy picture, but I finally got one. If you missed the other pictures, you can see them here.

Up near the VFW where I'm staying is an 800-foot suspension bridge called the "Bridge to Nowhere," otherwise known as McPhaul Bridge. Built in 1928, it crosses the Gila River, which was a huge river before all the dams were built.

Normally, there is no water flowing underneath it, but with the rains we had lately, I wanted to see what it looked like. Sure enough, there was water!

Over 90 percent of the country's winter vegetables are grown in this area! Lettuce leads the way as the number one crop grown in the Yuma area.

But who will pick all the vegetables? Certainly not the mostly-retired population of Yuma. Enter the H-2A Guest Worker Program. These Mexicans are here legally as day workers. More information on the H-2A program can be seen here.

Picking vegetables is a very hard job, as you can see in this short video. Under the program, they must be paid the same as a US worker, if there were any who wanted to do it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Goodbye to Quartzsite

Almost ready to leave town, but have to do some dancing first. The QIA has a great dance floor, but they want to make sure the the seniors who are in town don't fall down and sue them.

The best band is at the Quartzsite Yacht Club. Once each evening they invite one of the bartenders to play her bass tub.

You may wonder why there is a Yacht Club in Quartzsite when there is no water. Well, it's kind of a scam... Lots of folks join the Yacht Club here and then have reciprical benefits at many of the real yacht clubs.

I made one more trip back to the big tent before it was closed for high winds. I found some great t-shirts guaranteed to get your grandkids kicked out of nursery school!

We had quite a storm blow through. It was really 3 or 4 different storms - I lost track.

I was kept very busy making my photo business cards for the WINs and other singles groups. I take a bunch of separate pictures and put them together. I do these all year long, but for some reason, everyone wants them at Quartzsite. It's more of a hobby than a business - I just like to take pictures and meet people.

On the way out of town, I finally got a picture of the big tent.

And I noticed that the Q on Q Mountain now has a face, which it didn't when I went up there last year.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Gadgets for RVers

Not finding many new items in the outdoor flea market area of Quartzsite, I was anxious to see what was in the RV show at the big tent.

You could tell this is a show for retirees. The only baby strollers in sight were filled with dogs!

One new item this year was this system to raise and lower your solar panels from inside your rig. About the cost of a new panel, I didn't see the advantage, especially since the panels may be shaded by the apparatus. A far easier and cheaper way may be my "brother-in-law's" invention here.

But I did find some new items in the tent. An easy way to charge a cell phone in an emergency.

A self-standing ladder that won't tip over.

A fake cigarette that looks, feels, and tastes like a real one.

A "Magic Mat" that holds items in place without any adhesive. (I actually bought this one!)

A tiny GPS to go on your keychain so you can find your car again in the grocery store parking lot. (I told you there were old people here...)

A tiny camera on a suction cup so you can easily hook up a trailer.

LED lights were here last year, but are much brighter now.

Luggage for your pets. (This one did not have a lot of interest.)

And last but not least.....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quartzsite Rocks!

It sure does! This is my favorite gathering of the year.

One reason is that I get to see a lot of my friends that I haven't seen for a while. There are also new friends to be made. So far 140 WINs are here.

There's plenty of room here in the desert, all with nice views.

The first shopping I did was at the Main Event, on West Main St. Behind this group of vendors is the Quartzsite Cemetery. I think I'll digress here...

The most famous inhabitant of the cemetery is Hi Jolly, whose real name was Haiji Ali, an Arab camel herder in the short-lived U.S. Army's Camel Corp, an experiment using camels for transportation and communication in the Southwest desert.

The experiment worked fine, but was abandoned with the start of the Civil War. The camels were set free here and roamed the area for many years.

But the main reason for coming to Quartzsite at this time of year is for the shopping! Some say it is the biggest flea market in the world. I've been coming here for many years, and hope to find some new things. I have only been to a few of the shopping areas so far, but it seems like they tend to sell the same things year after year.

I did find this combo bib/slash pacifier holder that was new. I hope to find more new things to share, hopefully more related to RVing.

I found a neat idea inside one WIN's rig -- a nifty mounting of an LCD TV.

It leaves the whole cabinet free for storage, although it tears up the cabinet door. It may be better to make your own door and store the real one.

And the big event so far was my sister Barbara's birthday. We went out to celebrate at Silly Al's, the local pizza place.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

FMCA Rally

The FMCA (Family Motor Coach Assn) had their annual Western Area Rally in Indio. Since it was on the way to Quartzsite, I decided to go, even though I don't have an "MC."

There were thousands of motor homes parked very tightly. My worst nightmare.

I stayed instead at the Spotlight 29 Casino for free, and went in on a day pass.

There were vendors in a large tent, a lot like Quartzsite. I think many of the vendors go to both places.

You could tour motor homes, which were marked "Not for sale." However, if you expressed an interest that could change rapidly.

Some of the vendors put on seminars. The one I liked the best was about Velcro. The vendor showed a picture of what your rig would look like if you didn't buy his product.

The theme of the rally was "Glorious Days of the Silver Screen." The different chapters put on a parade, and dressed up as the characters in various classic movies.

Here's Moses in "The Ten Commandments."

But by far, the most popular was "The Wizard of Oz." Here's one --

Two --

Three --

And four!