2018/2019 Snowbird Wrap-Up

Our year south started off with rainy, foggy weather.

We have been home for four weeks and have had fun catching up with family and friends, made a trip to Edmonton to visit our two sons and family, done numerous loads of laundry, and lot’s of little chores. In the next few weeks we will start washing Maxx both inside and out, and clean out cupboards and storage bays.

But after a few days the weather cleared up and we had a nice drive down the Washington and Oregon coasts.

Without a doubt the highlight of this winter’s travel was our trip to the Cook Islands! Hubby and I had so much fun and can’t say enough good things about the islands and the people. While tourism is a big economic driver to their economy the thing that impressed us the most is how little that affected island life. The locals made us feel very welcome but they were not going to build massive resorts, restaurants, and gift shops to cater to tourists … and we loved that! The island is so laid back and relaxing, definitely worth a visit.

Happy hour views don’t get much better than this!

Coming in for a landing over Aitutaki, Cook Islands.

Over the past six months:

  • We only travelled through five states (Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Nevada), way down from the thirteen states we hit last year!
  • We covered 7,504 mi (12,077 km), which is down 2,731mi (4,395 km) from 2017/2018 when we travelled 10,235 mi (16,430 km). In fact this was the least distance we have travelled since we hit the road five years ago.
  • We spent $2,152 on fuel compared to $2,719.54 2017/2018; $2,150.60 in 2016/2017; $1,526.24 in 2015/2016; $2,350.54 in 2014/2015; and $5,041.40 in 2013/2014.
  • On average we paid $3.252 a gallon for diesel; up significantly from $2.598 in 2017/2018, $2.514 in 2016/2017, $2.096 in 2015/2016, and $3.128 in 2014/2015, but down from $3.813 in 2013/2014.
  • The most expensive diesel was $4.249 per gallon in Rio Dell, California (California is always our most expensive fuel), last year our highest price was $3.589 per gallon in Lodi, California; our cheapest diesel was $2.459 per gallon in Yuma, Arizona, which is up from last year when our cheapest diesel was $2.259 also in Yuma, and can you believe in 2016 we only paid $1.559 per gallon in Yuma, AZ!

It’s nice to be home and plant our gardens.

And once again we had a great winter and are looking forward to a great summer at the park. Hubby and I have now spent five and a half years living full time in Maxx and we still love the life, and each other 🙂

Hubby found this stump the first year we arrived, I call it my pants stump …I think it looks like a butt with two legs 🙂

Until next time …

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Goodbye Laughlin, NV – Hello Bakersfield, CA??

We needed to head back to I-40 for our trip to Bakersfield today and we had a couple of options on how to do that. We could head up towards Las Vegas and take I-15 down to I-40 but that was an additional eight-minute drive and we had done that route before. Another option was to head back through Laughlin towards Needles, which was the route we came in on and it was very rough just outside of Needles. That left crossing the river and driving through Bullhead City to Needles and onto I-40, and as you may remember from my last blog, we hate the stop and go through Bullhead City. But I found a way around that, we took the Bullhead Parkway which has a lot less traffic lights and moves quickly … it was definitely a good way to go 🙂

Once we were on I-40 the view was pretty much the same for the next three hours. We drove through the Mojave Desert and we were able to mark off one more section of I-40 that we have never driven before.

I’m not sure what these yellow flowers are in the picture below but they covered the desert around Barstow, CA.

Just to be on the safe side we decided to top up with fuel at one of our favorite stations, the Flying J in Tehachapi, CA. We like this station for the easy access and the separate RV fuel pumps and we also get a discount with our Good Sam card, which is a good thing because fuel is expensive in California, $3.59 a gallon for diesel, with our discount!

Where you wondering why there were question marks following Bakersfield in the title of today’s blog? Well our planned destination was a casino in Bakersfield but I suspected that hubby would change his mind and drive another hour to the casino in Lemoore, CA. Why did I think that? Well the last three times we have planned on spending the night in Bakersfield we have ended up in Lemoore … and I was right, today was no different 🙂 Not really sure why he doesn’t stop in Bakersfield, other than we are usually there in the early afternoon and there is not much to do in a Casino parking lot, we are not gamblers and I hate the smoke in casinos, so we usually push on. Yes we are still at a casino in Lemoore but we are spending an hour less in their parking lot … I don’t know, just go with me here!

Until next time …

Laughlin, NV Versus Bullhead City, AZ

Most of the people we know, and blogs we read, stay in Bullhead City, Arizona, which is right across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada.

View of Laughlin from Bullhead City.

And another view of Laughlin

Beach along the Colorado River in Bullhead City.

Now we have nothing against Bullhead City but it is much cheaper, and we think more exciting, to stay in Laughlin, Nevada. Plus Bullhead City is spread out for miles down the highway and it takes forever to get anywhere there. Fortunately the only place we need to visit in Bullhead City is Sam’s Club and it is right across the river from where we are staying, so it takes less than ten minutes to get there.

Looking down Casino drive in Laughlin

And the flowers/trees are prettier here as well.

Tonight we went over to the casino for two of our free buffets and we were not impressed with the food 😦 Up until now we have always used our freebies for breakfast, so we thought it would be a nice treat to have dinner instead … lets just say we won’t do that again. The views and the service were excellent though!

That’s Bullhead City, Arizona on the other side of the Colorado River.

Until next time …

A Trip To The Pool

One of the reasons we like staying at the Riverside Casino Resort, aside from the cheap price of $109.00 for a week with four free buffets, is the fact that we can use the pool at the casino. I know most RV Parks in the south have pools but somehow sitting at a hotel pool with bar service, free towels, and great music is nice for a change.

We didn’t order anything to drink but I did look at the menu and the food and drink prices weren’t that bad … maybe next time.

A nice spot to sit for lunch with a view of the Colorado River

And that was enough exercise for us for one day 🙂

Until next time …

So Sad :-(

I came across this motorhome during one of my walks around the RV Park. I sure hope everyone made it out okay.

Life has been pretty laid back in our house for the last few days. Hopefully hubby is feeling better tomorrow and we can get out and do a few things before we head further north next week.

Until next time …

A Little Bit Of Dreamin :-)

So we did exactly what we planned to do today, absolutely nothing. We turned on the airconditioning read, watch TV, snoozed off and on, and spent the day giving into our colds. We are hoping that tomorrow we are both back up and running.

I don’t know why the glitsky skyline around the park impresses me, but it does … but no more so than the total darkness and silence of camping in the wilderness off the grid. I guess it’s just so different than where we usually spend time that it appeals to me. I love that we can walk to anything, which is also what I loved about spending time in downtown Vancouver or Ottawa while I was working. If I had unlimited dollars I would have condos in Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, and probably some other big cities like London, Rome, etc., but I would also have cabins in the woods on Timothy Lake, BC, and many other places, mostly around British Columbia. But since I don’t have unlimited resources I will have to make do with a week in an RV park on the small strip in Laughlin 🙂

A pretty sunrise this morning.

Until next time …

Homeward Bound

It’s funny how you can be all packed up and ready to head out and it still takes you an hour or so, and of course it takes so much longer to say goodbye and fond farewells to all our friends 🙂 After a not so quick stop at Spectrum (a little over an hour) to return our modem we were on the road by 11:00 a.m.

There was some discussion about which route we were going to take to Laughlin as a few of them were over what we call “the wee roads”, those are roads that go up and down and wreak havoc on an RV.

Since we were already part way through town when we stopped at Spectrum we decided to go up Highway 95 through Quartzite, Parker, Vidal, up to Needles, and on to Laughlin. Of course that route, and our long wait at Spectrum, had us arriving in Quartzite right around lunch time … ohh what to do … no brainer, Silly Al’s it was 🙂

The desert is in full color.

If you have never been to Silly Al’s you need to go. It’s not much from the outside and the inside is old but very quaint, and they have the cleanest washrooms I have ever been in … and if you know me, who travels with an RV so she doesn’t have to use public washrooms, that is very high praise!

And to top it off they had a great selection of beers from College Street Brewery and Mud Shark Brewery in Lake Havasu

And they even serve the Big Blue Van with fresh blueberries, the way it should be served!

After lunch it was an easy, scenic, drive into Laughlin where will we stay for a week and soak up, what will probably be the last, warmth and sunshine for a while.

No shortage of color in the desert ☺

And cause it’s my blog I had to leave you with this adorable picture of our granddaughter and her bunnies … these are much nicer bunnies than the ones that run around Cocopah resort and eat my plants!

She really loves her bunnies 🙂

Until next time …