Tall Tales of Tattered Tarps & Towbars

Winnie is now in warm and dry Arizona, leaving behind the stream of California storms. One thing not left behind was the bent towbar; CrossCountry Bob is taking that home as a gift to the installer (he who shall not be named).  Turns out, based on emails with the Blue Ox towbar factory in Nebraska, the towbar was the WRONG ONE.  The base plate on the Jeep was 42 inches between the hookup pins while the installed towbar was limited to a 36 inch width – yikes!.  It was only a matter of time until the stress bent an arm.  Happy Ending: the factory sent out a new towbar to California (5 days to ground ship across the USA, those Americans still do some things well) and, the new towbar slid into the hitch as if it had always belonged there and away went Winnie with a happy Jeep following like a leashed puppy dog

Before leaving California by the way, Winnie rested at the Salton Sea, a favourite spot of CrossCountry Bob’s as you can see…

end of a beautiful day

With the Jeep, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie could explore the surrounding hills.

Then, for a change of pace, investigate the ATV area to the west of the Salton Sea. It was President’s Day weekend and CrossCountry Bob figured there were more RV toy hauling trailers and ATV’s in that one area than in the entire country of Canada (in the US these vehicles are called OHV’s, as in off highway vehicles),

Overall, the Salton Sea was four days of peace, tranquility and sun. Then it was time to head for Arizona, so bye-bye California.  Overall, California was a relatively smooth passage north to south, challenging weather at times but, hey, Winnie is waterproof and CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie are adaptable. And while hunkered down due to weather, thoughts could stray to other things such as…

Leaving the Salton Sea, Paintin’ Peggie wanted to ride her bicycle with CrossCountry Bob in Winnie & Jeep as the following support team. 

Time for a ride!

No problem for CrossCountry Bob.  While waiting, he can check the stock markets and use the Gas Buddy app to see where cheap gas is (turns out it is a dollar a gallon cheaper in Arizona than California (due, thinks CrossCountry Bob, to superstar California governor Gavin Newson who thinks he is Justin Trudeau, or is it Justin Trudeau who thinks he is Gavin Newson – no matter, either way it is still higher gas prices which are good for you and good for the planet (they say)).

While waiting for Paintin’ Peggie to finish her bicycle ride, CrossCountry Bob noticed this by the side of the road:

Pleasant contrast, yes?

Leaving that pile of adapters behind, Paintin’ Peggie’s bike was stowed in the Jeep and Winnie was on the way to Arizona, first stop boondocking at Palm Canyon south of Quartzsite. Palm Canyon is a Winnie favourite, no doubt due to the beauty and the price of camping (as in free)…

And when a break is needed from the desert, take the Jeep into Quartzsite to see the rocks at the gem stone outdoor market, a venue that, along with Quartzsite itself, left Paintin’ Peggie faintly amused.

There were many unique and somewhat eccentric individuals in Quartzsite. For instance…

Looks right at home?

And if that fellow needed a haircut or something to eat?

So, one thing about the desert is don’t leave your awning out because the wind can blow with little warning.  So CrossCountry Bob dutifully closed the awning but, without getting complicated about explaining it, the awning bar snagged Winnie’s door and bent the awning bar significantly.  CrossCountry Bob hurt more than the awning if you were wondering.


Okay, limited tools, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie try to unbend the bars enough to close the awning which is now about as useful as a tattered tarp.  Well, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie soon realize that unbending the bars is about as possible as a politician telling the truth and a (feeling idiotic) CrossCountry Bob telephones a mobile RV repair service in Quartzsite (pick one and hope for the best).  The fellow CrossCountry Bob selects (his webpage photo looks like he might know what he is doing) is between calls and comes right out.  After studying the options (and polite enough not to make any pungent observations about CrossCountry Bob and awning closure), it was grinding a few pieces of metal, drilling out a few rivets and pushing the awning into the closed position.  But how to keep it secured in place was the last piece of the puzzle…

Save one zap strap to secure CrossCountry Bob’s missing attention span

Winnie is now all set to continue, awning permanently out of commission.  Note that the cost of said emergency fix plus the subsequent need for a complete new awning arm is a cost figure subject to “Need to know” rules for the benefit of CrossCountry Bob’s self-esteem. 

More importantly, five days of boondocking, has been quiet and relaxing, warm days and starry nights.  Some hiking, some painting, some doing nothing – classic RV days in the desert. Next up was the metropolis of Bouse (population 950) with a desert style RV park with plugins! That means a shower (much needed!) and the comforts of electric power (you don’t know how much you miss it till its gone).

fun for a while 🙂 then plug me in!

See you next in Phoenix.  Lots on the agenda there but that is a tale for another post.

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