Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Quartzsite AZ

Odometer 54912
Trip Meter 82 miles

Hi Jolly BLM Camping Area

Today we say goodbye to Alamo Lake and head back down to Highway 60 at Wenden and continue on west to the small town of Quartzsite.  Our route today will take us through the small town's of Salome, Harcuvar, Hope, and Brenda.  In its heyday Arizona Route 60 was the main road between Phoenix and Los Angeles and these were all bustling towns.  Today, the two lane blacktop is nearly empty, it's traffic shunted off to Interstate 10 a few miles to the south.

Today, Salome is a community of roughly 1500 population.   Co- founded by humorist Dick Wick Hall, Earnest Hall, and Charles Pratt.  The name comes from Pratt's wife Grace Salome Pratt.

Here is a picture of a plaque that piqued our interest and sent us searching for more information.  (There isn't a lot)

The next town is named Harcuvar which is the Native American word for "sweet water" or "there is very little".  The town was once on the map as a station on the Parker line of the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad.  None of these "towns" are large enough to be incorporated, just small communities where it would be fun to stop and  poke around for a while.  Not much in the way of services in most.  Sometimes a Mini Mart, or a general store.
Hope Arizona, was just that, born of hope.  It's a pretty place, but not the bustling metropolis once hoped for.  These small towns all have RV Resorts where snowbirds can live for the winter, and a friend of ours once spent the winter in Brenda, AZ.  She loved the experience, except having to drive into Quartzite for groceries and supplies

We arrived in Quartzite early in the afternoon, and checked out the fuel situation.  We found Diesel going for anywhere from 2.49 to 2.59 a gallon,but decided we still had 1/2 a tank and wouldn't fill here.  Instead we headed out of town on Hwy 95 towards Parker, AZ.  A few miles out of town we came to Hi Jolly, a BLM desert dry camping area.  14 days free camping.  Hi Jolly was a legendary figure in these parts, a middle easterner brought over by the Army to wrangle camels, when it was thought that camels would out-perform horses in the desert as beasts of burden.   His real name was Hadji Ali but westerners who couldn't pronounce his name, nicknamed him Hi Jolly.
We pulled in and motored off to the back of the camping area and found a site that offered at least some shade, and parked.  No-one within a thousand yards of us- private as we're going to get.

The tree wasn't very large, but we were grateful for any shade on this hot afternoon.  First thing we noticed was that the water pump wouldn't prime up and start pushing water to the faucets.  After checking it out, I found that when I had filled the water tank at Alamo Lake in preparation for staying here without services, I had somehow allowed air into the line.  A few minutes of bleeding the lines and we were all set.

I talked Joan into going back into town to see what was on sale at the various street vendors and shops.

Were we ever in luck!  Not only Total Liquidation, but the Biggest Sale Ever !! 😉 (wink ,wink)

Did you miss this sign in the photo above?  Kind of clever and certainly funny!

Most of the vendors were long gone.  The big business in town is done around the months of January and February when they have a huge rock and mineral show.   Vendors start leaving now when it's too hot for tourists to even think of stopping off I-10.  I did find a hat for $5 and some attachments for my rotary  hobby tool for $2, and I was hav'n fun.

Back at the RV, it was time for a cold drink in the shade, and time to contemplate dinner of some kind.  (Joan made tacos while I took a nap)

The next morning, I was reminded by my sweetie that the hot water heater had not started when we flipped the switch to propane last night and she now wanted a hot shower.  Ooops!  Where is that RV tech when you need him!
First I thought for sure it was the thermocouple, and we carry extras just in case- however that was apparently not the problem this time.  I cleaned out some dirt and spider webs and it started to purr again.  Whew!  Hot water in the nick of time.

Another job I wanted to get accomplished was to change out the diodes in the light wiring harness that allows us to use the motorhome to power the taillights in the rear of the car while we are hooked up and towing.  I had used some bargain units when I first did the wiring and just in case, I wanted to make sure these were not the root of the wiring difficulties we have been experiencing all year.

Day three and it was time to move on further west.  Up at the crack of 9 AM and breakfasted,  packed up, and ready to go at the magic hour of 11 AM.  We have only a 3 hour drive to our next stop, so we were in no particular hurry...

And apparently it's a good deal that we were not in hurry, because, as before, the turn signals would not work from the bus to the car.   Yes, I did test them when I did the diode swap yesterday the they worked flawlessly!  Grrr!
I have good power through the umbilical to the car plug, so that's not the problem.  All the other lights are working on the car, so it's not a bad ground from bus to car, AND it's both turn signals, not one or the other that won't work- that's a separate pin in each plug, a separate wire to each and a separate set of diodes.  ???  Why does every other light work and not the turn signals (and warning flashers)  There is no converter box, I have separate turn and brake on both vehicles.  Up til today I have able to plug- replug, clean contacts, wiggle things to get signals- but not today.  I hate to run without- but the signals on the back of the bus are high and wide enough to be clearly seen above and around the car- so I do run without.

More to come...

Your Traveling Friends,

Jeff and Joan

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