Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
We are extensively traveling around...working and having a blast...Life is Grand!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Our First Gypsy Journal Rally

We have been following Nick and Terry Russell’s travels for many years and have always wanted to attend one of their rallies but we were never on the right side of the country during the events, but this year we made a point of being west for the one in Yuma, Arizona.

We arrived as early birds on Sunday morning shortly after 8am and were instructed by very pleasant volunteers that we would not be able to get parked until after 1pm. We already knew this since we had been keeping up with Nick’s blog so we were happy to just hang out and meet others who had the same idea. The meet and greet didn’t take long to begin, groups of people were gathering everywhere and as usual our rig became a good meeting place.

We met new people and even met up with some we had met before. Bob & Cathy worked at the KOA on the Outer Banks of North Carolina the same time we were there and we did some catching up with one another.

Time flew by and we were parked and settled in by 1:30pm and met our new neighbors, Glenn & Marcia Shields who journal online every day. We also met John and Carol Herr from Our Trip Around The Sun, one of the blogs we follow. We met many more folks, many who didn’t have blogs or websites, but some who we just gave them our card and hopefully will send us their information. We absolutely love meeting new people and following their travels so if you were one of those folks, please comment on our blog so we can begin following your journeys.

We are not experts on rallies, this is actually our first, but we will be attending others now that we have gotten our feet wet. We plan to attend a larger one in our future so we can compare them to one another. The Gypsy Journal Rally is very small and in speaking with Nick, he wants to keep it that way. There were approximately 130 rigs and about 300 attendees daily, including the walkups that came just for the day but were not camped here. This makes it very quant but they have tons of seminars which will satisfy most palates.

Opening day was mostly introductions, meeting others and drawing door prizes. We won a $10 gift certificate from the local Applebee’s, we already have a $20 gift card so we hope to be able to stop while we are still in the area and have lunch or dinner.

On Tuesday we attended a few seminars and believe it or not we learned a few things…imagine that…we thought we knew it all! Not really, but it’s nice to keep an open mind and get more information from others even though we have a good grasp on how we like to do things.

We were most interested in learning more about Geocaching, we have been interested in this for some time and this was a great opportunity to learn about it and see if it was something we wanted to pursue. Even though the instructor was interesting, we now know that it is not for us.

The weather took a drastic turn on Wednesday, the wind was strong and brought some pretty chilly weather which was a little of a relief from the unseasonal heat that we were experiencing for the first few days. Since there weren’t many seminars that we were interested in, it was mostly a relax day for us. Later in the evening, we went to the Pizza Party and then the Cactus Queen Beauty Contest, what a hoot! Imagine all the things your mother warned you about and then times that by a thousand and that is what the contest is all about. Our guts are still hurting from all the laughter this contest bestowed upon us.

Five men , very masculine men who were secure enough in themselves to be able to dress up like ladies, well that term is used very loosely in this description, more like ladies of the night. But, anyway for them to be able to come out in front of hundreds of laughing hysterically people is just amazing to Jerry. He was asked several times to volunteer and each time he replied with a resounding, “NO”. These five were hilarious and we believe that there had to be a lot of Jack Daniels going on in the back for them to be able to do this so well. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and since we were sitting way in the back my IPhone did not take very good photos, so none from this event from me.

Thursday was filled with some seminars that we were interested in, Smart Phones, writing a book, and working while RVing.

It was really nice to once again meet up with Jaimie Hall-Bruzenak who writes RV Lifestyle Experts and has interviewed us several times, including our very first year out here. We have kept in touch throughout the years by telephone, emails or just reading each other’s blogs but it has been a long time since we met up personally. She asked us to speak in her class about our adventures and we were glad to share a hint of our stories. The response was overwhelming, we received so many folks asking us for more information that we decided this just may be something for us to look further into. This has given us a push in the direction to begin publishing our books and then possibly get into giving seminars about living this lifestyle…stay tuned for more on this in the near future.

Writing about this rally cannot be complete without mentioning the constant noise from the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma located across from the Yuma County Fairgrounds. Nick made a great comment during introductions about this noise. He said to think of it as the sound of “Freedom”. Nice point but the constant noise from early in the morning all the way to after ten most nights and even as late as midnight on one of the nights just became very annoying to us. But as we have said so many times, it’s easy to live with things for a short amount of time as long as we are having fun and we enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

March Has Rolled In

After we left Needles, we headed south on 95 on the California side. Usually we travel on the Arizona side because it is not as wavy of a drive but we had planned to stop at Havasu Landing Casino which can only be approached on the California side.

Well, that is a bit incorrect, you can take a boat from Lake Havasu City over, but they do not have a road or a bridge that will take you across.

It was as wavy a road as I remember, so I was busy staying focused on the road ahead and not turning my head in any way to provoke the Vertigo to return.

We had planned to spend the night at the Havasu Landing RV Park but...

We were not impressed with the area and decided to continue to our next stop instead. We did stop at the casino and played a bit, walked out with more than we came in with so that was a plus. It is a very small casino and they have a great marina and the RV Park looked nice, but just not what we had pictured.

We headed for Parker to make a Walmart stop and boondock overnight at the Blue Water Casino. It is one of the most welcoming casinos to boondock at, the only disadvantage is it was well lit up at night, that could also be an advantage depending on how you look at it. We played a little, ate a little and then called it an early night and had a restful sleep.

Once on the road early the next morning, we finally made a stop at Daniel’s Really Good Fresh Jerky and tasted the best jerky we have ever had…flavorful, juicy and soft…just the way we love it! In the future we will not be passing by this place again instead we will make it a definite stop for more jerky.

Next on our travels was Quartzsite, it had calmed down quite a bit since we were there last. The crowds really thinned out and the deals are flying, but we could not find anything we needed. For the first time in our lives, I believe we have everything we need…NOT! But, it sure is nice that our shopping list is clear at this time.

After an overnight stay at the Tyson Wells RV Park, where we paid $25 for a water, electric and sewer with no frills on a flat, gravel site, we headed for Yuma.

Since we still had a few days to hang out before arriving at the Gypsy Journal Rally, we checked out the boondocking situation at the 3 nearby casinos.

Our first stay was at Quechan Casino located at 525 Algodones Road in Winterhaven, California, just under 10 miles from downtown Yuma. Enter at the South Entrance and follow the road to...

The area where they have ample amount of space to accommodate hundreds of RV’s.

This is the largest casino of the three, with plenty of slots, table games, and a few restaurants where we enjoyed our time. There is no charge, no requirements required to fulfill with the casino or security and no overnight limits.

Our next stop was just a few miles east to the Paradise Casino that is located at 450 Quechan Drive in Yuma, Arizona and is affiliated with the Quechan Casino. They have signs to follow to the back of the Casino where they offer...

A huge area off the pavement where you can boondock for an unlimited time also with no charge or requirements to fulfill. They had closed down an entire section of the casino since our last visit which really made it small and not so inviting.

Our last stop was at Cocopah Resort & Casino located at 15318 South Avenue B in Somerton, Arizona which is just out of Yuma.

They have designated numbered sites on pavement where after finding a spot, you must check in at the Gift Shop and pay $5 for 3 nights. Any nights after those initial three will then be allowed only if your Players Card points add up to their requirements.

Because we do not play our cards unless they have some sort of special going on, we were approached several times and were told that if we do not play our cards we will not be allowed to stay any additional nights. We informed them that we were only staying one night and did not want to play our cards which did not sit well with many of them. The casino was smaller than we remembered it to be and we do not like that sort of treatment, so we will not be returning any time soon, especially when the Quechan Casino is a much better choice to stay and to play in any future visits to the Yuma area.

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums.