Friday, December 23, 2011

Somewhere in the middle…

We had a few things we wanted to get done on Annie before heading to a new destination.  Living in Annie unfinished has been a positive thing in that it has allowed us to get a sense of what we need or want and to tailor her to our specific desires. 

Besides… We’ve been feeling a little ‘under the water’ lately and wanted to take it easy.

IMG_0382(Pun Intended)

After leaving Slab City we spent the day / night in Brawley and got our water tank all hooked up and filled up with FREE water.  After two months on the road it is awesome to have it functional and full!  No more gallon jugs to fill or move around the van.  We also managed to build a shelf that will contain our canned foods.  Yea!  That’s more walking room with those put away.     

Still somewhat in travel limbo, it was then back to the very familiar town of El Centro for some de-wiring, re-wiring, solar controller hook up and solar panel mounting.  It seems that we really enjoy El Centro.  It doesn’t hurt that the Wal-Mart is very accommodating, Lowe’s is across the street and the parking lot feels like an RV park each morning with lots of new and familiar travelin’ friends to meet and talk with. 

Before we left The Slabs we had the task of removing the AC unit from our roof and closing up the 15 x 15 inch hole that remained.  This would be where the solar panel will get mounted.  Having enjoyed The Slabs so much we brought 15x15 inches of it with us by covering the hole in our roof with a board that we found there.

IMG_0342 It was fun to have a skylight for a day!

Up until this point the new solar panel was just set outside and leaned against the van.  That worked well when boondocked but not very practical with two people in a small space when traveling down the road.  So, on our last day at Wal-mart in El Centro, up on the roof it went.

Looks like we could fly now!
Darlene on the ground, grounding the solar controller.
Solar Controller and Breaker Box getting wired up.
Mounted and ready for action!

With some much appreciated electrical help from Nicole’s Uncle Al, we finished the controller install just after dark.  With no sun power available, it was wait until morning to see if everything turned out o.k.  We are happy to report that it did and we were then on our way to our favorite desert oasis, the Holtville Hot Springs, for a good soaking.


IMG_0379Antiquing at the rest area.
The can said 3.5 servings.  What kind of math is that?!
It was too confusing so Darlene used basic math instead and ate them all in one serving.

This time around we made good use of those stools under the adjustable and super hot shower.
Ahhhh!  One soak and you stay warm the rest of the day.

We had thought we might spend a week or so at the 14 day camping area near the springs this time around.  The area is nice and quiet, a few of our friends from The Slabs had arrived unexpectedly as had another we’d met in El Centro a few weeks earlier.  On day three though we went for a soak and after that found ourselves ready to depart the area.  We do enjoy these Hot Springs but they were very busy this time around.  It seemed that we were looking for more solitude than community and socializing after our two weeks in Slab City.  We’ll surely continue to stop in here though each time we pass through the area.    

For now, we were off in search of some quiet time.


You see the black line in the photo that looks like a shadow from the overhead wires?  That is the international border.  We got our first glimpse of Mexico and it still calls to us.  Today was not the day but one day we will wander down there.  For now, we stay state side and head toward the Yuma, AZ area where we’ve heard tell of some great boondocking locations.