The Big Tent and Pretend Pedestal

1/19/13 Saturday at Quartzsite,AZ (BLM land-free)

Cold morning, of course, but we got smarter last night and put John’s wool Indian blanket at the foot of our bed. At 5:30 am John pulled it up – so nice. I’d been dreaming of needing to move out of the cold.

Our voltage meter is showing ground fault readings, so we’re wondering what that’s about, since we’re not plugged into power. Could it be the generator, or the inverter, or possibly the SeeLevel which only works on DC voltage, not 120v electricity. Also, we found out at the campfire that no one else uses their inverter overnight (it’s an inefficient use of battery power – very precious resource during the night). Some turned it on to watch TV, but all left it off while sleeping. No one uses their space heater, furnace or heat pump during the night either, so that’s why it’s so cold these dry camping mornings. John is concerned that he’ll need to go through a lot of time and power getting the TV back up in the morning, plus my clock radio would not be on to show us the time during the night. After Larry explained that it just takes a little time for the dish to find its satellites, we decided to give it a try tonight.

Checked my email and posted a blog, then time to get together with our “circle of friends”. We talked until 1:30 pm when Larry announced he was ready to go to the “Big Tent”. This is where lots of vendors (many times the number in our FMCA rallies) offer their wares. For the last 2 weeks of January, all things RV and related (health, cookware) are sold there. We found out that when it opens (this morning) there is such a crush of people that it’s no fun, being pushed along in a stream of people. So everyone waited until the afternoon. When Larry announced he was leaving we all split – John and I needed our lunch first. We knew that Larry sleeps in late, so with his late breakfast he doesn’t have lunch. As we were half way through our lunch Larry knocked on our door, asking if we’d like to ride down with him. I said yes, I love car pooling. He gave us a little time to finish our sandwiches and off we went. This way he could show us where to park. We turned off Hwy 95 at the large yellow water tanks (to give RVs water), then found a good parking spot. As soon as we came through the front entrance (free), I spotted croc sandals, so Larry suggested we split until time to go home. We have each others phone numbers. John and I had a great time, he asking questions of the Rand McNally GPS guy, I asking questions of Thousand Trails and info from Pete’s Tires re our slow leaks. Plus I bought stuff. Shock! Besides the crocs (Dawgs, actually), since my sandals are cracked where the ball of my foot bends, more microfiber cloths and fresh batteries for those sensors on our tires. We treated ourselves to ice cream. For $4 we got a bowl of about a pint of ice cream. Such a delight, along with fun conversation with other ice cream eaters. Off to the entrance, then. As we were about to call Larry, he called us. He was headed for the entrance himself! How is that for timing? By the way, we found out that Quartzsite requires $1,000 per vendor for their booth, plus taxes that amount to 10.6%!

Back at home, we all gathered around our campfire for more good sharing. (John is on the right)

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At one point Pat mentioned that she saw a full hook up (water, electricity and sewer) pedestal near by. Randy (who formerly worked for Los Angeles Power) said he didn’t see any power lines. He really couldn’t believe it, so several from our campsite went (flashlights in hand) to see if it was true. When they returned Randy said that first he noticed all the nearby rigs were running their generators, which doesn’t make sense if they had access to power. At the pedestal they found a concrete pad with sewer connections, but nothing below it. The electrical panel looked real, but just was anchored by some rebar. So we all agreed that some people sure are creative!

Around 7 pm we decided to work on supper (during which we watched the 1st half of Gonzaga’s game against Butler), then returned to the campfire in the dark night. At 9 we returned to watch the rest of that game. What a nail biter. We where ahead the whole first half, but by only 1 point at the break. During the 2nd half they pulled ahead and stayed there (barely) until 1 minute was left in the game. At that point, with a couple free throws, we pulled ahead. At 3 seconds left, Stockton threw in the ball to Olynik, but he was kept from reaching it by a Butler lad who manged to catch it and, with the clock at .1 seconds left, sent the ball into the basket!!! They won by one point. All those young men can be proud of the game they played.

Time for bed, so we started our “turn off the Inverter” experiment.

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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