Monday, February 25, 2008

Quartzsite Again

We have been in Quartzsite for about a week now. It is a pretty boring, yet somehow satisfying place to spend some time. It is boring because there is not a lot to do, especially this time of year. Most of the shows and booths are held in January. By the middle of February many of the people are gone and it is just the hardy, long term people who are still here. Many of them stay the whole season, starting in October and staying until the middle of April.

It is somehow satisfying because we use only electricity from the sun, yet have all the power we need to be on the internet all day long and to run both TV's from about noon till 11:30 PM. The only time we have run the generator is when we do laundry. The water source and the dump station are only 1/4 mile from us so we make that run every three days or so. We did move the trailer a bit today. When I parked it originally I thought I was pointing east, but soon realized that I was looking at the wrong mountain pass and we were pointing about 30 degrees south of east. That kept the sun from hitting the solar panels, which are tilted up toward the south, until about 9:30 AM. That meant we did not get any solar charging until then so it has sometimes been the middle of the afternoon before we could start watching TV. It was not a real problem, but I hate to waste two hours of sunshine each morning.

Yesterday I did finish one project for which I had purchased the parts in December. Our water heater is the instant on type, which means there is no tank and water is heated only as it is required. Although it provides a never ending supply of hot water, it takes a few seconds initially for water to get hot. The bathroom sink is also quite a distance from the water heater, and with the few seconds required to heat the water initially, it takes more than a gallon before the very hot water arrives at the sink. I hate to waste that much water, especially when I have to haul it all in and out. So, I installed a bypass valve on the side of the bathroom vanity and added tees and tubing to allow the water from just below the faucet to circulate back to the water tank when the valve is opened. That allows the lines to fill with hot water without any water going down the drain. Now we just open the valve for 15 seconds or so before we are ready to wash, and then we have hot water almost instantly. Now we can wash our hands in hot water without wasting a drop. Some homes have recirculating systems that accomplish much the same thing but they would not work with the instant on water heater and would use a lot of power to run the pump all the time. This works quite well for us.

Other than taking some walks, we have made a few trips into town on the scooter for groceries and to look around. Not much has changed since last year.

We will probably stay here for a little longer and then, when the mood strikes, move down to the Yuma area.


  1. You are now really enjoying retirement. When it's a case of "to do or not to do", you can always think about doing it tomorrow, if you want to. Or maybe not.

  2. Sounds exciting!

    Seriously, we do like to hear where you are and how things are going. The solar power is pretty cool too.

  3. Sounds boringly fabulous.