Saturday, January 30, 2016

We Had It Right In Our Hands and Let It Slip Away!

Boulder City, NV
Many members of our volunteer campground gang
L-R Bill, Barb, me Liz. Ginny, Joan, Liz
Bob, Don, Leslie and Chris
Joan and I have been devastated by not collecting on our winnings in the $1 Billion Powerball lottery. Because Nevada does not support the lottery (they want your pocket change spent in the casinos) we made 2 special trips into Arizona to purchase tickets for ourselves and some of our co-workers. 1 trip on Saturday when the lottery was a measly $400 million and another on Wednesday for the Big One! Collecting our winnings you ask?...Yes that's right, we actually had a winning ticket. We hit the Powerball on one of our tickets, which we later determined would have been worth $4 if we hadn't thrown it away! Alas, looks as though we'll have to continue to live the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed.

So after the heart-wrenching lottery loss, 2 weeks of grueling volunteer work and knowing that we would need to have the motorhome serviced for us to continue to full time, we scheduled some work on the MH and planned a trip to Quartzite and points south. Woohoo! We dropped off the MH on Monday and headed to Quartzite; about 4 hours away. We arrived a little after lunch and went straight into the big tent to see Rudy & Phil (Workin' RVers).  Last year Rudy & Phil both took full time positions at Crazy Horse Memorial just outside of Custer, SD. They were at Quartzite recruiting workampers and promoting Crazy Horse as a vacation destination. After chatting awhile, we meandered in and around the big tent checking out all the other vendors and products. We stopped to purchase a couple of new outdoor folding chairs before heading to our hotel.

Tuesday we met up with Jim & Barb (JimandBarbsRVAdventure) to check out some new & used RVs before heading out to their boondocking site just outside of Quartzite.

Later that afternoon we joined Jim & Barb attending a social/cocktail hour/fish fry with several other RV Dreamer boondockers.

Wednesday we headed about 90 miles west for an Agricultural Tour sponsored by University of California. Our friends from Lake Mead, Don & Ginny joined us as did Jim & Barb. The tour took place at a 255-acre research farm in Holtville, CA.

Ginny picked from the crowd for a demonstration

The cost was $20 each; and for our donation we got 1) a 9:30am-2:30pm interactive tour of the farm; 2) lunch made with farm fresh veggies; 3) informative narrated video about the facility;

4) 'hayride' in and around the farm;
Those are folks from the tour picking in the u-pick feilds

5) a U-Pick opportunity to take home fresh vegetables such as radishes, beets, broccoli, turnips, and lettuce; 6) door prizes; 7) Ice Cream! The experience was informative and fun. And we scoped out the farm as a potential volunteer opportunity sometime in the future.

Thursday we were in Yuma to spend some time with our friends Don & Donna. We met Don & Donna while we were in Oregon on our 1st workamping job. They were experienced workampers and taught us some of the ropes that season. Not only did we get to catch up with them, but we got to play lots of cards and board games!

And before we left Yuma we met up with Kevin and Evelyn (RV Kronicles of Kevelyn). Joan & I have followed their blog for some time now and we just couldn't pass up the opportunity to meet them in person. Based on their plans for the future, it's very likely we'll get to see them again during our travels.

While we were in Quartzite we had received a call from the repair shop where the motorhome is being serviced. They identified 2 important issues that needed to be addressed; 1) a cracked and leaking exhaust manifold and 2) a bad injector in cylinder #1, both of which we approved to be repaired. Friday morning we left Yuma planning to be in Vegas by 2pm to pick up the MH and get set up back in the volunteer campground before dark. We arrived at the repair shop on time only to find out that a replacement injector had to be ordered out of Reno and would not arrive until Monday. Now we were homeless for the weekend. A quick call to Joan's cousin Theresa and we were invited to spend the weekend with them in North Las Vegas. It was a fun weekend with a movie (Dirty Grandpa) Friday night; a trip into 'Chinatown' for massages Saturday; and a short road trip to MT Charleston and Red Rock Canyon Sunday. Monday we picked up the MH and returned to our campground in Lake Mead.

Original layout
One of the things that we did accomplish this week was the finalization of our living room remodel. When we bought our MH in 2010 it came with a small 'futon' style couch in the driver's side slide facing the TV/entertainment center wall. The remaining space in the driver's side slide was taken up with a 10" deep 'buffet' style cabinet, barely deep enough to store anything other than small packages of kitchen utensils; and it held a fixed dining room table top that projected into the room 24"-36" inches.

Before we went full-time in 2012 we removed the table top in favor of a portable double-wing folding table from IKEA and replaced the uncomfortable couch with IKEA pong chairs. 1 year later we upgraded our chairs with Lazy Boy recliners.

This year we were thinking it was time for something new so we got rid of the recliners and buffet style cabinet to install a couch and larger cabinet (not quite as wide as the original, but much deeper). Boy! What a difference that made. The new power reclining couch is a 'wall-hugger' model with a footprint that fits entirely within the depth of the slide. Neither of the recliners would fit within the slide as they had to sit off the wall so they could recline; and when reclined they extended 1'-2' into the room.
Tadaa! New couch, new cabinet and the
wing-table against the mirrored wall

With the new couch, the entire width of the living room floor is open; many of our neighbors have described it as a dance hall! And the new 24"deep x 36" wide cabinet has 3 slide out drawers with tons of room for whatever Joan desires.

Out with old; In with the new!
If you remember our last blog we mentioned the oven removal and cabinet redesign in its place. Like the oven/cabinet project I removed the old buffet cabinet and installed the new cabinet using a few hand tools. The estimate to have both of these projects done by an RV remodeling company was $4700.00. I was able to do both myself for just under $1500.00. Yahoo!

Yesterday our gang got together and we all went bowling. Many of the large casinos in Vegas have bowling centers. The Sunset Casino has 72 lanes; it is very well decorated, clean and comfortable within. And on Friday mornings we can bowl for $1 a game...hard to beat that.

Well, that's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come!


  1. We really enjoyed getting together with you guys the other week. It was great seeing you. If the timing works out we will meet up again in Moab or Lake Mead when we head back north.

    The new couch and table look great!

  2. Love what you did to the living area. Aren't wall huggers a wonderful addition to the RV! Great job, Steve. Hope you get your home back tomorrow:)

    1. Hope we get to see you guys when you pass thru the area

  3. We really enjoyed meeting you. The remodeling looks great!

    1. Thank you. We're really liking it too! Don't be strangers. Let us know anytime you're near.

  4. The new couch looks very comfortable! I'm sure Joan has already filled up the new cabinet. If you will be around the Tetons this summer, give us a call!

  5. Any plans on coming to northern Michigan this summer? We'd love to meet you two!