Larry Farquhar

Our adventures, from Larrry's viewpoint.

Winter 2018/2019 Adventures Begin!

Winter 2018/2019 Adventures Begin!

Okay, I haven't been keeping this blog current, have I? It just seems there's no time to work on the blog. I have other (higher priority) tasks to get done first. Although Connie and I aren't working the summer of 2019, we still have "work" that needs to get done. We still work as independent contractors providing various computer, website and email services. I finally got caught up enough to work on this blog.

Well, what have we been doing these past 2 months? A bunch! After leaving Colorado, we headed to South Lake Tahoe for a company meeting. After a week there, we Alabama Hillsdrove to Lone Pine, CA and stayed at Tuttle Creek Campground (36.565211,-118.1290207) in the Alabama Hills.This is a quiet BLM campground for $4 a night with a senior pass. The Alabama Hills is an interesting place at the base of Mt. Whitney. MANY movies and TV shows have been filmed in this area for the past 80+ years. In addition to the numerous television shows, here's a list of 370 movies that were filmed in this area.

When we left the Lone Pine, CA (Alabama Hills) area, we headed to the Desert Eagle Family Campground at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NV. We met up with friends Bob and Joyce and spent a week exploring and playing games. We had originally planned to only stay a couple days, then move to a boondocking area near the Valley of Fire State Park. But it was still pretty hot and the electricity for air conditioning was very welcomed.

Seal Beach RV Park, CAAfter only a week in Las Vegas, we moved over to the Seal Beach RV Park at the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, CA. Connie's brother, Brian, was getting married to Ronda on November 10th. We greatly enjoyed visiting Connie's family and attending the wedding. Daughter Cindy and husband Matthew came in for the wedding from Phoenix. Daughter Leslie and grand-daughters Kaylee and Khloe also came in for the wedding from Seattle. So the Farqhuar's had a little family reunion at the same time. We really like the Seal Beach RV Park. It's just having to deal with the terrible LA traffic (freeway parking lot).

Around the middle of November, we moved east to Borrego Springs and met up with Bob and Joyce again. Bob and Joyce are "part-time" Rvers, who travel about 6 - 8 months out of the year. They still have a "bricks and sticks" house in Florida. This is the same couple we traveled to Alaska with in 2015. We usually meet up somewhere every few years. We stayed a couple weeks near Borrego Springs on Rock House Rd, (33.302825, -116.280553) boondocking with Boomer friends from the Escapee's RV Club. Over the course of two weeks, about 15 RV's attended the Thanksgiving event. The weather was great, except for the day we had the turkey day potluck. The high winds drove us indoors. During our visit, we went into Pam Springs and spent the night with co-workers Jake and Csilla Stamm. They came out to visit us another day in the desert and got exposed to the "rough life" of dry-camping in the desert.

Costa RicaAround the end of November, we headed out towards Apache Junction, AZ. We stopped for the night in Quartzsite, AZ (dry camping at 33.666778, -114.174121). While Connie and I went into the Brookhaven RV Park, Bob and Joyce went into the Lost Dutchman State Park. Since we had been having generator problems, we wanted electricity to keep the residential fridge running while Connie and I took a vacation for our 40th anniversary. Our gift to ourselves was a week's vacation to Costa Rica! We stayed at the Secrets Papagayo Resort in Gunacaste. This was an all-inclusive resort, so all food and drinks were included. This makes a more relaxing vacation for me. While here, we did a couple all-day excursions into the rain forest. The first day was 14 hours long and took us to the famous Arenal Volcano near San Carlos. This is an active volcano, and actually looked like a volcano. We were lucky to have a clear day and see the volcano from different angles. Our day trip included a boat ride on Arenal Lake to see the volcano, lunch at a wonderful restaurant (with a traditional Costa Rican meal), then we spent hours taking a hike in the rain forest. Luckily, there wasn't much rain, but we also didn't see many animals. The "Eyelash Viper" was the most interesting to see. Especially since it's the 2nd most deadly snake in Costa Rica. We "kind of" saw a Sloth, but all we really saw was a dark brown spot in the trees. The walk through the rain forest included many hanging bridges. Overall, the hike was nice, but not overwhelming. Afterwards, we headed to some natural hot-tubs with volcanic hot water. Then it was on to a good dinner, then the 3.5 hours trip back to the resort. That trip home was a killer!

Arenal VolcanoOur other day excursion in Costa Rica was to the Rincón de La Vieja Volcano National Park. Here, we spent the entire day being "adventurous", It all started with a 1/4 mile water slide down the mountain through the jungle. Wow! That was more excitement than I expected. Then we had a demonstration on pottery making, some Costa Rican coffee tasting, a sampling of traditional food. One of the highlights of this trip was the doing the zip-lines. There was a series of 7 zip-lines over/through the jungle, with the longest being over 1460' long. We had a blast! By now, we were pretty hungry and enjoyed another wonderful meal. This time, it was actually raining in the rain forest, so we didn't get to make the hike to a large water-fall. While others in the group went on a horse-back ride, we choose to take the wagon ride in the rain instead to the mud baths. While not really "baths", we had to sit in a sauna for 15 minutes to "open the pores", then we covered ourselves in hot mud. After letting the mud dry, we rinsed off with VERY COLD water. From there, we spent the next 90 minutes in volcanic heated hot pools. The hottest was over 106 degrees, which I could only last a few minutes in. Finally, after another long day, we made the 90 minute bus ride back to the resort. Exhausted, it felt wonderful to have another fantastic meal and sit on the beach with a relaxing drink.

Connie on the Zip LineYou can see all the photos form our Costa Rica vacation in our Photo Album here.

For our vacation, we made the day's drive from Apache Junction, AZ to Torrance, CA. It was less expensive to fly out of Los Angeles. We spent the night before leaving and after returning with Connie's parents. After our return to LA, we made the day's drive back to Apache Junction, AZ. This is where we're currently at. We've been catching up on some computer work and doctor's appointments. We'll be here until the middle of January. We'll spend Christmas with daughter Cindy and her husband Matt. Then it's on to our annual pilgrimage to Quartzsite, AZ with our Boomer Escapee RV Club friends. From February 1st on, we don't yet know what we're doing, or where we'll be. Ahh - the freedom!

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The Blog is Back!

Although we haven't been keeping this Blog active, we are still traveling full-time in our motor home. This blog isn't read much and has been replaced with "Facebook". Connie prefers to write her journal on Facebook.

For the past couple years, nothing special has happened with us. We still worked in Colorado during the summer for about 6-months, then spent the winter 6-months in strolling around the deserts of Arizona and California. The biggest issue was our 10KW generator stopped working during in February 2018. We had been having starting issues with it for years, but one morning, she just refused to start. The problem was very intermittent, making solving the issue difficult. It would start fine one day, then refuse to start the next. A month later, it would start for many days in a row, then wouldn't start at all for the next month.

After having a couple repair techs look at it, the generator is finally working again. It was as simple as a loose wire on the starter. But it took $850 of work to finally get someone to realize this!

Just last month, we had a water connection come apart. For a few days, we couldn't get water in the RV. After we left Dillon, Colorado from working this past summer, we stopped at a RV Repair place in Salt Lake City. I knew where the connection was that came apart, but it was behind a panel and I couldn't get to it. The repair perfromed a miracle and reconnected it with a new clamp, all while working in the blind! He attached the new clamp simply by touch, in a very cramped space. And it was only $105 to have it repaired! So the RV is working 100% again and we're ready for this winter of 2018-2019.

I guess the big news is, Connie and I won't be returning to work in Colorado for 2019. Actually, we're not going to be working anywhere. We've decided to not work next year and travel parts of the USA that we've neer been to. So we'll be pretending we're retired next year! We plan to travel across the northern portion of the USA from Seattle to Michigan. Then maybe head south. We don't have a timeline or definite plans. Just the way we like to travel!

Not working next year and traveling is the main reason I'll be starting this blog up again. Even if others don't read it, we use it as our historical record of where we've been. So if for nothing else, this blog is for us.
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Alaska Adventure - Weeks 7 and 8

Alaska Adventure - Weeks 7 and 8

We stayed on the "Spit" at Homer from June 24th - July 8th. As expected, the July 4th holiday weekend was a mad-house in the campground. We enjoyed our stay in Homer, but after a couple weeks, we were ready to move on. During our stay in Homer, we hiked in an Alpine Meadow at the Eveline Recreation Area (where I left off in our previous Blog entry). While visiting the Bear Creek Winery, Larry made a deal with the manager to take some aerial photographs of their beautiful facilities in exchange for a case of wine. This was a winning deal for both sides. One of our day trips involved a drive to the nearby town of Anchor Point, with a side trip to Nikolaevsk and the old Russian church. We drove on the beach at Anchor Point and watched them recover boats directly in the ocean with large tractors. There were no boat docks, but there were a dozen Bald Eagles. Part of the significance of this trip was this is the furthest West you can drive in the United States. Another day, Bob and Joyce took the ferry across the bay to the town of Seldovia (Connie and I elected to not go). This whole area has a strong Russian influence, since it was Russian explorers and hunters who settled here (other than the original native tribes).

For one trip, Connie wanted to drive the road out as far we could on the Kenai peninsula. We had done the same while staying in Seward. We went past the end of the pavement of East Road and took a 4WD trail down a steep hill to the beach. We drove a short distance on the beach of Kachemak Bay. I'd say this was the end of the road. From here, we had wonderful views of various large glaciers across the bay. Another day trip took us to the nearby town of Ninilchik with numerous Halibut fishing charters. Of course, another day was spent catching up on laundry - at $5 a load at the Laundromat ($22 in total!)

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(Select the "Continue Reading" option below to read the entire article with more photos.)

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Guest — AlKatzman
can you e-mail??
Saturday, 23 January 2016 15:37
Guest — Rose
I also want to email but can't find a way. Also can't comment at the refrigerator article. I hope this fits, feel free to move a... Read More
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Alaska Trip - Weeks 5 and 6

Alaska Trip - Weeks 5 and 6

Before our trip to Alaska, we bought the "Alaska TourSaver" book. This $99 book includes hundreds of coupons, mostly "two-for-one" deals on tourist attractions. We used a few coupons at some gift shops while in Anchorage for free gifts. They were mostly 50 cent souvenir magnets. One of the coupons Connie wanted to use was for an Alaska train trip from Anchorage to Whittier. There was no special reason for wanting to do this trip, other than the experience of a scenic train ride. Getting to Whittier also involves going through a long, one-lane tunnel. Cars are allowed to go in one direction every half hour, alternating which direction to go. In between this, the train also uses the same one-lane tunnel and must be "aired out" with turbine ventilation fans after each trip. Using a two-for-one coupon for this trip was $93. When we went to the train station to purchase our tickets, the counter man explained we would have a 6-hour stop in Whittier. He also said there's "nothing to do there, but drink". Basically, he talked us out of taking this trip. Instead, we used another two-for-one coupon ($74) on a short scenic train trip from Portage to Spencer Whistle Stop. There is no other way to get to Spencer Whistle Stop other than by train. We went early and drove down into the Portage Valley. A very pretty area with campgrounds, Portage Lake, and a few glaciers. But we didn't have time to go through the tunnel to Whittier. Once at the Whistle Stop, we went on a 2.6 mile hike to the Spencer Glacier. This hike was lead by a USFS guide, and the four of us were the only ones on the hike. We had our own private tour guide. A easy hike with beautiful scenery and interesting information. We got pretty close to the glacier, and it was the first glacier we'd seen, other than a quick drive by in the distance. It was a good day.  ("Continue" reading for more information and photos).

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Guest — Erin
Enjoying your accounting of the trip. We've been to AK a couple of times, but not with the Phaeton yet ... something we'll do in ... Read More
Sunday, 28 June 2015 05:51
Guest — marilyn bintz
Great write up of your trip. This is the kind of thing I joined facebook to read.
Monday, 29 June 2015 15:11
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Alaska Trip - Weeks 3 to 4

Alaska Trip - Weeks 3 to 4

After leaving Whitehorse, we had another day of beautiful scenery. On June 1st, we arrived at a one horse town in the Yukon Territory called Pelly River Crossing. This was just a one-night stop at an abandoned government campground (62.8264, -136.5845). At least it was abandoned while we were there. By morning, there were 5 campers using the campground for the night. However, it looks like they may open it again for the summer. The next day, we arrived in historic Dawson City. We crossed the Yukon River on a small ferry to reach our campground of choice. We stayed two nights (June 2nd and 3rd) at the Yukon River Government Campground (64.07176, -139.48562). Government campgrounds in the Yukon are $12 CAN a night for dry camping, which was $9.77 in US dollars.

The main downtown area of Dawson City has been mostly renovated to look like it did in the early 1900's. This gave the town a charming quality to it. While touring the town, we visited "Dredge #4", the largest wooden dredge ever built. It was pretty interesting to learn how these large machines operated. This dredge was pulling out over 50 pounds of gold from the ground every 3 days! But it wasn't an easy job with the ground being frozen by "permafrost". It would take up to 2 years to prepare (thaw) the ground before the dredge could be used. There's still plenty of active gold mines in the area. We also saw the "Keno" stern-wheeler, which was a smaller paddle wheel boat than the "Klondike"which we saw in Whitehorse. We also visited a "reconstructed" cabin used by author, Jack London. One of our "highlights" for the day was having drinks in "Bombay Peggy's", a restored brothel. Diesel was $3.71 US a gallon. (Read the entire article for more details and photos)

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Guest — Becky Fuller
WELCOME to our great state. Enjoy it all. So very much to see. Give us a little notice if you can. Our few elec sites could be ful... Read More
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 22:18
Guest — De'Etta
Beautiful photos of a lovely place.
Thursday, 11 June 2015 13:28
Guest — Rocky White, CMSgt USAF, Retired
We did Alaska with a tour company in 2008 - when gas was the most expensive it has ever been. Gasoline in Tok was $4.55 a gallon ... Read More
Friday, 12 June 2015 03:25
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