October 29 to November 8, 2012 - Palm Desert CA, Avondale AZ and Casa Grande AZ

We left Hesperia on October 29th and drove 102 miles to Palm Springs TT (Thousand Trails) in Palm Desert, CA.  Our tachometer did mess up multiple times this trip but we have an appointment to get it fixed once we get into Arizona.

Our campsite:

It is a tight fit between the palm trees here.  This campground is full all winter and very popular.

We did not do that much while in Palm Desert, it was hot so mostly we relaxed.

November 1st we left Palm Desert and headed east.  Here we are approaching Quartzsite, Arizona.

After 243 miles we were camped at Cummins in Avondale, AZ, a Western suburb of Phoenix.  Our tachometer behaved the entire route.

We were last here on October 31, 2008 and it doesn't look any different.

Our appointment was for 6AM on the 2nd so we set up the car for Evita and got ready. 

The alarm at 5AM came very early.  But we made it, got the motorhome checked in and left to get an early breakfast.

We had breakfast at Paradise Bakery, a chain that Panera Bread owns that is similar.  They have wifi so we took a laptop and the tablet and did our morning web surfing while eating breakfast.  It was dark when we got to the restaurant and still cool enough for Evita to be in the car.  But after breakfast we drove around and someone stayed in the car with Evita if the other left since it was getting warm. 

Cummins did find it was a broken wire and fixed the tachometer issue.  We think it really is fixed since everything has now been changed, the sensor, the engine computer and the wiring between them.

A silver lining is it looks like getting an 8 year newer engine computer (ECM) is giving us improvements to our diesel mileage, somewhere between 1mpg and 1.5mpg so far.  If this keeps up the ECM replacement will pay for itself in fuel costs in 3 to 4 years.

We got the motorhome back around 11AM, got Evita back into her home, parked it back where we had electric power and went to Costco to stock up since we would not have Costco where we were going.  Then we stopped at Islands for a nice lunch.

After lunch we got back on the road and traveled 70 miles to Rover's Roost SKP Co-op in Casa Grande, AZ.  We were last here 4 years earlier and in the same campsite. 

Ken and Joan are still on the end and we spent a lot of time with them.  There are some trees and plants missing since our last visit here.

We had last seen Ken and Joan in June in Richland, WA.  But we still stayed up visiting past dinner time so we drove into town and had a quick meal at Culver's. 

The next day day we drove up to Chandler to visit Lee Lee International Market and had lunch at Copper Kettle, which moved from Mesa to Chandler. 

Another day we drove to Arizona City to see Jan and Ken's new house.  This is the same Ken and Jan we missed in Gold Beach, OR in October. After visiting and house touring Ken drove us to the Robson Ranch where we had a nice lunch at the Robson Ranch Grill.

Then they took us to the big skydiving center in Eloy.  This is when Bill wishes he had not left his camera in our car since he had to use his phone for photos and videos.

First we went to the Indoor Skydiving. 

Video to show how noisy the place is (2.40MB 3GP)

Turns out we could not watch since it was in use by military and we needed to come back later in the afternoon.

The entrance to the main section has flags from many nations.  People and military from all over the world come here to skydive.  German military were here this day.  There were also local skydivers in their 70s and 80s since they have special patches. 

Mostly we watched them coming down since planes full of skydivers were leaving fairly regularly.

Video 1 showing many skydivers way up in the sky (15.4MB 3GP)

Video 2 showing landings (11.4MB 3GP)

Video 3 more landings (4.19MB 3GP)

Video 4 more landings (3.73MB 3GP)

Video 5 is a hot shot coming in for a fast landing (10.8MB 3GP)

Ken kept track of the time and when we could go watch the indoor skydiving we headed back to it.  Unfortunately photos and video are not allowed by spectators at the indoor skydiving.  At least one person doing the indoor skydiving was using a small attached video camera to record their fun.  And they were having fun.

Once done with the skydiving we went back to Ken and Jan's house for a bit more visiting and then headed home.  There was a nice sunset on the drive home via I-8.

We did get a lot of visiting with Joan and Ken while in Casa Grande.  We had dinner at their place one evening and they had dinner at ours another evening.  Our last day Joan was unavailable so the three of us had lunch at Eva's Fine Mexican Food in Casa Grande.  We will see them again.

Now we are off to Tucson.

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