Monday, March 31, 2008

The Condo Feels Like a Mansion

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Six months, two weeks and five days – three countries, five provinces and over 20 states – an incredible adventure!

Las Vegas to Lethbridge in two days!! Wind – yes; cold – yes; but it’s good to be back!!

I can’t help but compare travelling in the motor home with travelling with the fifth wheel trailer. The motor home can’t be beat when you are actually driving on the road: the space; the convenience; the sense of safety; the ease of setting up; and being able to use the car instead of being restricted to the truck. On the other hand, the motor home seems to be more affected by weather conditions (particularly wind and wet roads). It is less flexible when the car is attached (like needing to back up) but once the car is unhooked, it is, oh, so much nicer to manoeuvre!!

The greatest drawback to our choice of the 27 foot Class C is the restricted space when you are stationary for a time and the weather prevents spending a lot of time outside. BUT – we managed not to kill (or even maim) each other.

We did meet Stan & Tracy (folks from New Westminster we had met at the seminars in Kelowna about five years ago) in Quartzsite for their first southern winter excursion.

Quartzsite has changed dramatically since the last time we were there. More and more permanent buildings (as opposed to the big white canvas shelters that housed the vendors) are popping up all over. A multitude of RV dealers occupy large tracts of land (the lots are fairly empty this time of year but you can just imagine the hundreds of RVs that are there in January and February).

I talked to some vendors who said it seems the city fathers are trying to create another Palm Desert and the prices – to lease a booth – have gone up so much, they can’t afford to sell there anymore.

I had forgotten the intrigue of the desert – how vast, harsh and inhospitable it appears but really how the environment can be so delicate and fragile. Tiny yellow, purple, white and orange flowers force their way up through the barren ground fighting for the sparse moisture – and the shapes and textures of lifeless skeletons that support them.

We rekindled old friendship and found some of them had moved out of Quartzsite to Brenda (a community about 20 miles away).

We did manage to be there for the annual Blue Grass Musician Association meeting where the musicians gather at the end of the winter festivals to jam. Clusters of RVs are scattered throughout the area – close enough to stroll from one to the other, but far enough apart be able to enjoy the diverse musical offerings of each group.

Stan and Tracy joined us on our trip to Laughlin and we took them on a jaunt to Oatman to see the wild burros (that didn’t show up). The geology of Arizona comes to life along the old Route 66 as the road wanders back and forth and up and down the hills.

Las Vegas was another opportunity to see old friends. We spent some time with Ann (who helped lead us on our very first adventure (back in 2001) and settled in L.V. after Eldon died) and with Ann Marie’s family there.

I just re-read some entries from previous PhotoJournals and discovered nothing really changes – that is – once we start on the trip back to Canada, we get fairly antsy about getting there.


The condo feels like a mansion!!