We are on our way to Phoenix to work as I am writing this. The days in Phoenix are always quite long so we both rather dread them but unfortunately they can't be helped as that is where most of the work is. We are getting the hang of navigating around the 14th largest city in the country...biggest issue - NO left turns out of parking lots! And of course, the GPS is always telling us to turn left. We are also getting used to a new GPS. We upgraded over the holidays from a 5 year old Tom Tom which looked like a CRT monitor to a Garmin Nuvi 855. It was funny as I found a good deal on Amazon for the unit for $159.99 while Bill was working there. Of course it did not ship from Coffeyville but from Illinois and of course we couldn't take UPS delivery so it went all the way up to Pickerel and then Carol had to ship it down here with the mail box. So we are just nicely starting to play with it. It has voice activation and lane assist which we have not yet figured out how to turn on, but which will be a huge help with the 6 lane highways down here. It has some features that we do like though such as it automatically looks for cities only in the state you are in and it tells you which side of the road a location is on. Whether or not it is better at finding addresses than the Tom Tom we can't be sure as we don't know the area and the streets. The Tom Tom was sold old that it did not show parts of Hwy 10 that were new heading towards Stevens Point.
Quartzsite had weather warnings supposedly for this week due to El Niño. There was supposed to have been a year's worth of rain in a 5 to 10 day period. Well, not sure if the weatherman is crazy but today is sunny and 70. We did have some rain Sunday night into Monday and Monday night but not any of the flash flooding that we had been warned about so far. RVs from the LTVA which are in a wash have been "flooding" (no pun intended!) to the Plomosa Road area and higher ground. The groups normally pull in and do what Bill calls "circling the wagons"...putting all the RVs together in a circle. We had one group pull in behind our rig. They are lucky as we bought a really quiet, small Honda generator at the show yesterday because I was up at 4am today and the engine battery was too low to run the internet plus I wanted coffee. So outside I go in the dark and turn on the small generator. If it would have been anytime earlier I would have had to turn on the big generator which is quite noisy. Oh well, some of us still have to work for a living!
We have a system down now for handling situations like the dead battery, water and dumping. We have two 10 gallon collapsible water jugs and we take them, along with the hose, to the Love's Truck Stop on the west side of I-10. They have a free water tap so we fill up every time we leave. Bill then takes his drill and a special drill pump we bought and then empties the jugs into the water tank. We had been filling up at the Flying J in Ehrenberg but it took about 5 minutes per jug. We had to be pumped out for the first time last week. The pump company we called charges $20 per dump and we can usually go almost two weeks before we have to be pumped. The gray water which is sinks and shower usually fills up faster but that can always be let out a little on the ground if necessary. We try to conserve as much water as possible by using a dish pan and dumping it outside, turning off the shower while soaping and washing hair and stuff like that. It really is not that hard or that much of an inconvenience. As far as electrical goes it is a little more of a PITA. In the morning I get up first and want coffee so that takes the generator as it will not work on the inverter we run off of the coach batteries. I also like to run a heater on my feet in the morning but that really uses a lot of juice so for right now that is a no no. When I am doing paperwork I was having to turn on the big generator every time I wanted to print and then turn if off as it costs about $3 per hour to run. With the small Honda we can run it about 8 hours on 1 gallon of gas so I won't necessarily have to run outside and turn it on and off when I am wanting to print. We have to be very careful to keep the cell phones and the computers fully charged while the generator is on for something else or while we are in the car. When Bill wants to watch TV at night is a good time to also charge everything else up. At least now the small generator is so quiet that I can sleep while he stays up till midnight. With the large generator there was no way I could do that as it was right under the bedroom. So basically all it takes is a little conservation and a little planning and everything works as it should. No it is not as easy as just flipping a light switch and running the TV, microwave and furnace all at the same time, but the pluses of waking up in the desert at a free campsite and not be in the city or pay for somewhere to stay far outweigh the inconvenience. It may sound a lot like living in the dark ages for many of you but it works for us!