Good Byes and Hellos and Kofa too

Happy Hour on Thursday afternoon was our last here in Quartzsite with Bill and Patsy and Rob and Pat.  They are pulling out on Friday and heading to an RV park in Yuma for a month.  We’re planning on leaving in a few days and heading down to that area so we’re planning to meet up with them while we’re in their area.  As usual happy hour was great fun.  Lots of interesting things to share.  Its been a real pleasure getting to know both couples over the last 2 weeks or so.  That will leave 6 of us behind here in the desert.  George and Sue, Tom and Deb, and Kim and I.  

Friday morning Bill and Patsy and Rob and Pat pulled out.  Lots of hugs and good byes.  They had a nice day to travel.  Shorlty after they left another couple pulled in with their travel trailer.  Ken and Shirley are new to us but are friends with the rest of the group.  They live in Nevada and are retired.  They decided to come further south for while where it’s warmer.  You might think that Nevada is warm this time of year, but as with the desert here in Arizona, the higher elevations are noticeably cooler.  Where they live in Nevada the elevation is around 4500 ft., whereas here in Quartzsite its about 600 ft.  We noticed this difference coming through Arizona ourselves.  When we were in Huachuca City the elevation was abut 4500 ft and the nights were quite chilly.  We had a heavy frost the morning we left.  Just a week before they had 4 inches of snow.  We drove 6 hrs. here to Quartzsite and the daytime temp went up 3 or 4 degrees C and the nightime temps were 7 or 8 degrees C higher.

We enjoyed an extended Happy hour with our group and got to know our new friends.

Saturday’s weather forecast wasn’t very promising with highs around 18C but also some rain to come.  The rain held off and Tom and Deb invited Kim and I to go along for a ride in their 4X4 Jeep south a few miles to the Kofa Wildlife Refuge.  We travelled far back from the main road on some bumpy, dusty roads to an area known as Palm Grove.  There is a trail at the end of this road that leads up to the base of a mountain where you can peer up into a small canyon in which palm trees grow naturally.  They say these are the only Palm Trees in all of Arizona that are native to the State.  We didn’t take the time to hike the trail this time, but we’ll be back again to explore it.  Next our travels led us to an area called Crystal Hill.  There is a large wash here that people search on to find Crystals and Quartz and maybe some Gold.  We didn’t walk too far down the wash but we also came up empty.  No Gold this time.  I felt more like Yukon Cornelius 

Sunday morning after coffee and breakfast we got the coach ready to move.  We headed into town to fill up on propane and get diesel.  The gauge on my propane tank was reading empty.  We filled up the propane tank and it only took about 26 gallons to fill.  I probably still had better than a third of tank left.  Obviously my gauge is faulty.  Better to fill up than run out I guess.

After lunch I went up on the roof to install my tilt kit on one of my panels.  It took a bit of time.  The main problem was getting the panel separated from the old mounts.  I knew that might be a problem; it was difficult to undo the bolts in the limited space under the panel.  Once the panel was free it was fairly easy to attach the kit to the panel and get the mounts attached to the roof.  When I installed the panels originaly I was very reluctant to put screws into the roof.  On the internet I had discovered a solar installation company that was using a high bond tape to attach the mount feet to the roof. The 3M company makes such a tape called VHB tape.  Once attached to 2 surfaces it is virtually impossible to use force to separate them.  Both surfaces must be smooth and cleaned with isopropal alcohol (rubbing alcohol).  I installed my panels in October this past year and they are no less bonded now than they were then.  Also after attaching the mounts you use a self-levelling sealant like Dicor to completely cover the mounts and seal the tape from any moisture. I finished the installation a little after 3:00, just in time to get together with our group at happy hour.  

Shirley made some treats for the group for happy hour.  She made pizza with a crust made with spaghetti squash, and broccoli bites (not sure what was in them, other than broccoli, but they were good).  Lots of conversation going on and Tom and Ken and I talked football for quite a while. 

Tuesday we plan to head down to the Yuma area and will probably stay in another LTVA for a few days.  I’ll update you again in a few days.  Bye for now

Ken