Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rubber Tramp Homes

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   I loved the diversity of this gathering of rubber tramps. Many of the other groups camping here on Quartzsite BLM lands are very homogeneous with row upon row of huge class A motorhomes and fifth wheels but the rubber tramp homes run the full gamut from tents to class As. The tramps themselves are full-timers and part-timers, old hands and newbies, retired and still working, very young and pretty old, single people and couples – a wonderful group of people sharing their love of traveling and nature for what was a much too short two weeks. :-)

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See you all next year!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rubber Tramp Rendezvous Photo Essay

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              14 days of beautiful sunshine and gentle breezes

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                      Morning seminars led by Bob Wells011

                       A change of pace – poetry by Randy

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                       Classes and gatherings in mid afternoon

                                     Meditation with Atlee

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                        Question and answer with Technomadia

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  Impromptu sharing of food with friends and planned community meals.

                    Potato bake hosted by Donna and Mark

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                     Peter and assistants preparing soup with cans contributed by everyone. Sounds yucky but…

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                                                          Yum!

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                                  even the dogs agreed! :-)

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                When we weren’t busy with all of that we were…

                            checking out everyone’s homes,

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                                              walking dogs,

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                                    enjoying jam sessions

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                                      and drumming at sunset,

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                             spending time with old friends,

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                                       making new friends,

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                            and marveling at the sunsets.

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  Now this gathering of travelers is coming to an end and I’ve discovered that I didn’t take nearly enough pictures  and we didn’t have time to get to know and talk with everyone. We didn’t meet many of the people on the outskirts of the camp and we couldn’t keep names straight on half of the people that we did meet but this was the friendliest, most helpful, accepting group of people. We hope to attend many more RTRs!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

First Day of the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous!

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  The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous is a great place for new RVers to learn everything about fulltiming while staying within a budget. The RTR, which is held on BLM land on the outskirts of Quartzsite, Arizona, lasts for two weeks with seminars almost everyday on a variety of subjects. For experienced RVers and van dwellers it’s a wonderful place to hang out, lend a hand if needed and catch up on what everyone’s been doing since the last RTR.

This is the fifth RTR and the first one that we’ve really attended. We did catch the last days of the 2013 RTR where we met many fulltime RVers and van dwellers so we’re looking forward to visiting with old friends and meeting all of the new guys this year.

I probably won’t be posting much for awhile but please check back in a couple of weeks. :-)

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Gila River Lone Butte Casino

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   We’ve stayed in this casino lot on previous trips but the policy on overnight RV stays has changed and it’s no longer permitted. Signs may be posted soon. However there is a chance that overnighting will be permitted again so it worth checking from time to time. The Gila River Indian Tribe owns two other casinos in the Phoenix area and I don’t know if the no overnight RV parking policy extends to all of them

  The security guys were nice and let us stay the night before informing us in the morning of the policy change. The reason for the change is abuse by just a few RVers so when staying in any parking lot (casino or store) please pick up after your dogs, do not allow any dripping from your holding tanks, park away from the main entrance if there isn’t a dedicated RV section, do not leave bags of trash on the blacktop and follow all posted rules. Businesses are granting us a favor by allowing overnight parking and it takes just a few problems for them to decide it’s too much trouble.  Casino

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

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  Casa Grande, built by slathering caliche mud over a framework of vertical wooden posts filled in with horizontal branches, is over 600 years old. It was the center of an agriculture community of about 2000 people who constructed miles of canals from the Gila River to irrigate their farmland. The site was abandoned in the early 1400s for unknown reasons. Most of the buildings have deteriorated but the large size of Casa Grande has kept it fairly intact. The current roof was added in 1932 to protect it from further damage.

  The site has a visitor center, introductory film, and ranger or self guided tours the ruins.
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  Everything is accessible. A short paved path leads to a good view of the ruins. The ground around the ruins is hard packed dirt and easy to roll along.

The parking lot has long RV spaces.   Casa Grande
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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rest Area West Bound on I-10

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  This is the greatest rest area for an overnight stay. It has widely spaced picnic table shelters with roomy gravel parking areas at each one. The roads have  turn around loops at the ends making for easy access for big rigs.

  Stays are limited to 24 hours. There’s noise from the highway and train traffic but little noise from trucks idling in the rest area parking lot. Rest Area

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Museum of Art & Museum of Nature and Science

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These small museums are connected by a hallway so it’s easy to see both in the same visit.  A large slab of rock with dinosaur footprints; terrariums with live animals and information about the Chihuahua Desert; and a display about the solar system and stars are the major exhibits in the Museum of Nature and Science. The Museum of Art has changing exhibits in one large gallery.

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  The museums are accessible but some of the terrariums are too high to easily view the animals from a seated position.

  Small RVs will fit in the lots. Larger RVs can park along the street.  Museums

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Back in the Land of Endless Sunsets

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  There’s something about the sky in the southwest that makes gorgeous sunsets – brilliant reds and yellows like a blaze of fire on the horizon. This is the view from one of our favorite Texas picnic table rest stops. We love staying at these rest stops because they’re located on the back roads where we prefer to travel and they’re usually very quiet. Texas has more picnic table stops than any other state and they all allow a stay of 24 hours. Some states have similar setups -New Mexico if instance- but none has as many picnic tables as Texas and many do not allow overnight parking. Thank you Texas! 

  As far as I know there aren’t any guides or websites that list all of the picnic tables but my Rand McNally map has them. It’s fun to pick one out on the map and see what we find. Keep in mind that some are not suitable for overnighting because they’re very small and close to the road. 

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Seminole Canyon State Park & Historic Site

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   Seminole Canyon gets it’s name from the Black Seminole scouts who fought in the US army during the Texas-Indian wars. The Black Seminole were escaped slaves who had been living in Florida with the Seminole Indian tribes. Both the Seminole and Black Seminole were forced to move to Oklahoma in the 1830s. Many of the Black Seminole went across the border to Mexico to escape becoming enslaved again. In 1870 the Black Seminole were invited back to the US and promised food and provisions, as well as reimbursement for traveling costs if they agreed to join the army. Unfortunately none of the promises were met but decedents of the scouts still live in the area.

The canyon has been a home for people for 12,000 years. Grasslands and forests supported elephants, camels, bison, and horses but by 7,000 years ago the drier climate meant small game hunting and gathering of desert plants. Early people had always used the rock shelters carved by the Rio Grande, Pecos, and Devils Rivers and later inhabitants left their mark by making huge, intricate paintings on the shelter walls which have survived for 4,000 years due to the dry climate. 028
  The park was established in 1980 to protect the canyon and rock shelters. It features a visitor center with a very nice little museum, guided tours of two shelters, trails, picnic areas and a campground.
The trails are not accessible but the museum has displays of the shelter paintings along with a brief history of the Native Americans, Black Seminoles, ranching and sheep herding.  We did not check the campground for accessibility.
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  The visitor center lot has long RV spaces.  Park
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