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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Eric Versus Our Motorome's Basement Storage Compartments

This is serious stuff here folks.  Our motorhmome has storage compartments beneath our living space.  There's A LOT of stuff down there "in the basement," and sometimes it's a challenge to find that one thing Eric or I need RIGHT NOW.

Eric arranged these items in bins,
labeled them & created an
inventory list in 2012.

Eric repacked our basement for a second time, after our epic 578 mile round trip drive to the Arctic Circle and the Northwest Territories on the gravel Dempster Highway in 2014.

Each item stored in the basement was examined and unused items were given away

A year & a half later,
Eric is back at it again....

Carefully looking at everything stored in the basement and pulling out unused, unneeded items that we are carrying around with us on our multi-year road trip.  Eric and I hope to be fulltime RVers into our eighties.

Eric tries to repack our
oddly shaped things

Eric "rocks out" to Bollywood
dance music.

Each bin is numbered &
the contents are listed to
make searching easy.

Our pile of unused items
is growing....

We will figure out what
to do with this stuff

Sunday, February 7, 2016

No Particular Place to Go: Walking BLM Land North of Quartzsite, Arizona

 Today, I have no particular place to go....

I am walking across
Federal BLM Land
on a dirt road.

I follow another camper's
foot prints.

A UTV crosses a scraggly

 I cross broad, flat areas of the Sonoran Desert.

These concentric circles sit
just off the dirt road.

Are they ancient, or were
they made just months ago?

The road gets rougher as
I approach a wash.

Bike tracks...  Someone has
been ridding a bike along
this dirt road.

A camper is flying
a Drone.

for the sky.

A Saguaro Cactus deteriorates to
stalks at the end of its lifespan.

I stop to look at this large
tree, at the edge of a wash.

It's trunk has tree bark, unlike the Palo Verde Tree that has chlorophyll in its tree trunk.  

It's leaves are small &
densely clustered.

This amateur botanist has decided that this is an Ironwood Tree.

I turn around & start my
walk back to our

I hear an engine droning....

A Powered Parachute
sails overhead.

There's another one, soaring
 above RVs parked in
 the desert.

No particular place to go is a great destination.  Today's walk raised questions, fueled my curiosity about the plant life and history of Native Americans in western Arizona.  I lifted my eyes to the sky to watch a Drone and Powered Parachutes explore the desert from above.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Taking Care of the Essentials of RV Life at Rose RV Park in Quartzsite, Arizona

Eric and I packed up the our motorome and headed to Rose RV Resort in Quartzsite.

Rose RV Park has the essentials
of RV living....

Propane, RV Dump Stations
& Potable Water

Eric and I expected to stay out in the desert longer than three and a half weeks.  Our grey and black tanks aren't full yet, but the Propane tank is running low.  The weather has been on the cold side with lows in the 30s at night.  The gas furnace has been running each morning and night and we need to fill our Propane tank.


First stop....  The Propane fill.

At $1.99 per gallon, Propane
very reasonable.

Next stop.... The Potable
Water Station

Eric connects our motorhome,
poses for me & watches our
water gauge.

Last stop...  The Dump Station

Eric takes out the sewer

He connects one end to 
the motorhome's
water bay.

The other end of the sewer hose
is put into the dump station.


Eric pulls levels & empties
the grey & black water

Empty grey & black water tanks are a wonderful thing.  Back... to the desert.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Strong Winds Kick Up Dust in Western Arizona

The sky darkens & a tumbleweed
crosses the road in front of our
car, as we drive north toward

The weather forecast calls for winds of 30 miles per hour and gusts up to 50 miles per hour.

The sky is now grey.

Dust streams across
the road.

To my untrained eye, this is a Sandstorm.  High winds are blowing "clouds" of dust across the Sonoran Desert. It is not a Haboob.  This type of Sandstorm is thick with dust.  Visibility declines to nothing. Haboobs occur in Northern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and desert regions of India.   Here's a link to a video of a Haboob, described as an epic Sand Storm in Kuwait in 2011.

The cloud filled sky is
free of dust in this
planted area.

I Spy With My Little Eye.... that vegetation keeps soil from blowing away.

This section of sky looks
heavy with rain, & dust.

The sky is heavy with dust, and maybe rain.

Today's drive comes to an end as Eric and I return to our motorhome.

Rain starts to patter on
the windshield of our
 motorhome, north

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Poston Memorial Monument at the Site of the Japanese Internment Camp in Poston, Arizona

Eric pulls off the road
near a ring of Palm

At the center is the Poston Memorial Monument erected on the site of the Poston Japanese Internment Camp in Poston.  Very little of the wooden structures remain, making the Memorial Monument all the more poignant.

Eric reads about the
Poston Memorial

Backing up a bit...  After Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese on Sunday, December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the removal of people from military areas, as deemed necessary.  Portions of the US West Coast was labeled a military zone and people of Japanese descent, most of them Americans, were deemed a security risk.  Japanese-American service men and women were removed from the military.  Japanese-American World War I veterans were forced to leave their homes.  In total, about 110,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans, an easily identifiable ethnic group, were stripped of their civil rights and removed from their homes on the US West Coast.  

Rounding up people labeled undesirable and a security threat must be done quickly, as not to allow time for escape.  No one had time to challenge the detainment program in the courts.  The internees took what they could carry with them, which wasn't much. First confined in stables and horse tracks,  Japanese detainees were then taken to hastily built internment camps. The more accurate term is concentration camp because the Japanese are an ethnic minority and their confinement was politically expedient.

The US government designated land on the Colorado River Indian Reservation to house a portion of this new population of political prisoners as our country focused on war against Japan.  Roads were built to in this desolate area.  The internment camp, military barracks and military support buildings changed this section of the Reservation forever. The Poston Internment Camp, eventually known as the Poston War Relocation Center, was actually three different camps, with tar paper barracks.  The concentration camp, surrounded by barbed wire and patrolled by armed sentries, housed 17,867 adults, including the elderly, and children. 

The US government hoped that the concentration camps would become self sustaining. Adults could work inside, and outside the camp for $12.00 to $19.00 per month.  Land was set aside for farming. Chickens were raised at Poston for meat and eggs.  Detainees who were doctors, nurses, dentists, etc., took care of the concentration camp's medical needs.  Families welcomed 662 babies in confinement and buried the 221 who died here. There was a shortage of qualified teachers to educate school age detainees.

Japanese internees at Poston
Internment Camp volunteered

to fight in World War II.

Many served with the 442nd Infantry Regiment.  Activated in February 1943, this regiment fought in Italy and Germany.  The men who fought in this regiment were highly decorated for their efforts in the European Theater of Operations.  

Manzanar Internment Camp is the most famous of the ten War Relocation Centers. Photographer Ansel Adams was invited to document the conditions of the camp in California desert in 1943. Ignoring instructions not to take photos of the guard towers and the soldiers standing on them with rifles, Adams set up shots that clearly showed that Japanese and Japanese-Americans were living in a concentration camp and not a resort. Born Free and Equal was published in 1944, and not well received during wartime.

George Takei, best known as Lieutenant Sulu from Star Trek TV: The Original Series and Star Trek films, grew up surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by soldiers.  From the age of four to eight, George lived with his family in the Rohwer Internment Camp in Arkansas and the Maximum Security Camp in Tule Lake, California.   

The Poston Memorial Monument,
dedicated in 1992, acknowledges
decisions made during World II.

World War II ended after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in August 1945.  The Memorial Monument acknowledges the hardships and indignities suffered by the 17,867 of Japanese internees who were held against their will in this concentration camp from May 8, 1942 to November 28, 1945.   

Japanese internees were released and many tried to return to their homes.  Some smaller towns and villages didn't want their former Japanese neighbors living among them. Signs were posted stating that The Japanese were not welcome.  This group scattered across the country.

Some detainees returned to their hometowns and found their houses occupied by strangers.  Japanese and Japanese-American owners had to evict the squatters before re-starting their lives.  Others experienced financial ruin during their time behind barbed wire and started to rebuild their lives in destitution.  

In 1948, the Federal government distributed $37 million in reparations to the 110,000 Japanese internees.  Each person who lost four years of their lives, and so much more, received $336.36.  Even in 1948 dollars, the reparation was meager. The Japanese-Americans community lobbied Congress for ten years and, in 1988 obtained an official apology and an additional $20,000.00 for the surviving internees.  
Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.  In 1983, a government commission concluded that there was not a single documented ct of espionage or sabotage committed by a Japanese immigrant or Japanese-American on the West Coast.