August 25, 2019

January!

We left Mesa Spirit (the Thousand Trails park in the Phoenix area that we like), all three of our trailers (Marion and Mark & Kelly and ourselves), to spend some time boondocking in Quartzsite, Arizona.  Quartzsite hosts a huge RV show every January/February and we wanted to check it out a bit ahead of the really big crowds.

We found a nice area just north of town for all of us to set up camp and we spent some time wandering through all the tents and craziness that is Quartzsite!  If you've been, you know!

An Arizona sunset.

Boondocking in Quartzsite

We enjoyed some amazing sunset skies and the night skies were even better!  Mike and I practiced our night photography (which we were going to do in JTNP with a meetup, but the parks were closed due to the government shut-down)...and I learned a new trick!  Star trails! 

My first attempt at star trails!  Crazy cool!
Another family member came down to join us, Mark & Kelly's daughter, Kate, and her husband, Scott!  We loved having a family compound in this crazy setting!

We also met several other RV'ers as they were passing through the area, including getting to see our original Gracie again!!!  We had traded Gracie in in Scottsdale last March and several months afterward we got a message on Instagram from Chris (IG @4x4touring), Gracie's new owner, needing some help with the solar setup!  Chris was passing through Quartzsite and looked us up!  So great to meet him and see that Gracie is living a good life on the road!

We met Randy & Ellen (IG - nellehas.thesailor.and.drifter) for snacks and drinks, Will & Brittany (IG - TrailerTrashin) came through the area with their cool vintage Airstream, Art & Ashley (IG - ateamlife) had us over to their sweet fifth wheel for yummy snacks and we briefly got to meet Jen & Jesse (IG - ontherogueus).  It's a great place to congregate as people generally stay a bit as there is lots of room!

We drove up north to check out the balloon festival in Lake Havasu...and that was a lot of fun!

Another addition to our gang!  Our niece and her hubby arrived!

The balloon festival was great...but that smile is even better!





We parted ways with half of our group and we traveled down to Joshua Tree National Park for a bit.  It's such a unique place to explore...the landscape is like nothing else I've ever seen...boulders upon boulders upon boulders...

It rained a bit in the desert, which was lovely!  It doesn't take much rain to make all the desert plants come to life!

A rainy desert outside of Joshua Tree National Park.




The Cholla garden in JTNP!  





This is Mark & Kelly, (Kelly is Mike's sister) they are @mkboatlander on Instagram! 

Our boondocking neighbors!

Cleaning day!

We found it!!!!  It took us two days to figure out how to find this amazing heart rock, but we did it!
And I kinda wanna take it home!

Awww....




Awwww....I love him.

The Ryan Ranch...we are still awaiting our inheritance share of this land!!!




Our boondocking spot outside of JTNP


A full lunar eclipse!

Maybe it was the lunar eclipse or maybe it was finding that gigantic heart rock, but this is where our schedules went off the rails...  We were supposed to be headed to the CA coast...and then to southern CA, Borrego Springs, etc...and then to the deserts of southern AZ, all with our traveling partners, Mark and Kelly.  But, over the past couple of days I had been experiencing odd sensations in my feet and "bike saddle area" (as it was delicately termed by the first doctor I met!) and after a quick Google search warned that it could be spinal compression, I paid a visit to the ER in Palm Springs, the closest city to where we were boondocking.  This was the beginning of a several month process in trying to diagnose what was causing these and other worsening symptoms.

Beautiful, stormy skies greeted us in Desert Hot Springs, where we relocated.

Crazy beautiful skies!

The next couple of months, well, we just tried to make the best of a crappy situation, traveling when we could, being near doctors when we needed to...

We spent over a month at Sam's Family Spa in Desert Hot Springs.  It put us in close proximity to one of the neurologists I was seeing, but it also has the loveliest pool and hot spas which I loved to float in!  We reconnected with friends, Michael & Susan (@silversabbatical) and enjoyed seeing them again!

Everything you do, you should do with a big heart...but they wouldn't let me take this one home!



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