Day 17-22 – Quartzsite AZ, Rocks, gems, Hi Jolly

Hi Jolly monument in in Quartzsite AZHi Jolly monument in in Quartzsite AZ

Today is Monday January 21. I haven’t posted the past 4 days while I was in Quartzsite AZ, There was so many people in the area the cell phone towers were overwhelmed. I fought reception on phone and WI-FI. I tried a dozen places and had the same results every where I went. I had the best cell phone reception at the flea market I set up on Fri-Sun. But it wasn’t strong enough for me to tether my phone to my laptop. I discovered as soon after I arrived I was in Quartzsite AZ the busiest weekend of the year.

My first stop was at a show that most the vendors were setup. There I learn that 3 major shows were opening or opened there in Quartzsite AZ. Most of them highlighted Rocks and Gems. Quartzsite AZ is known for being a central location for rock and gem collecting. There are even groups that will take you out on excisions for as little as $2 a day. Had I stayed longer I would have gone out on one. The 3 major shows ran from 5 days to 14. at rates of $50-100 a day. I wasn’t prepared for that. One of the vendors I spoke with that was here from Washington State west of Seattle told me about a drop in market that may have a few spaces available at a reasonable rate.

I went to that market and was told the manager wouldn’t be back until the next morning at 7am. I left and visited the biggest tourist attraction in town when the shows weren’t there. Quartzsite AZ is the resting place of Hi Jolly. The photo attached to this post is the monument erected to honor him.  Read the information on Wikipedia.

My next stop was one of several Long Term Recreational Areas(LTRA) I visited. These are run by the U.S.Parks service. With the government shutdown there was no charge to enter. I found they were in need of cleaning up. The dumpsters were over flowing and the lines to dump and fill potable water were long. Those who come here this time of the year are use to the lines. Most are self contained campers and quite a distance from the restrooms, dumpsters and dump and water.

After taking a long drive through a couple of the LTRA’s in the area I found a spot I liked and parked for the night. I woke early in the morning, packed up camp and headed to town to check out the market where there may be space available. I was there at 7am sharp Friday morning and the manager didn’t show up until almost 8. He had a spot for me in a corner of an entrance across from the local post office. The temperatures for the weekend were a pleasant hi 60’s and low 70’s for highs. This market also allowed overnight. Total cost without electric was just $10 a day. Much better than I expected but it wasn’t near the 3 major shows in town. I did well enough to pay for a new canopy to give my product and I shade. I can also use for a nice tent once I get side walls for it. I left town last night with $22 more then I arrived and had a an experience I’ll never forget. If I return to Quartzsite AZ in the future I now know I what to expect.

Until next time, be safe

 

Day 16 – Flying J Travel Centers – Denny’s

Flying J Ariel View
Arial view of Flying J W Latham St Phoenix AZ

Today is January 17th. This is the second day in a row I’ve woke up having spent the night in the parking lot of a Flying J Travel Center with a Denny’s. When I was a professional truck driver I planned my routes so I could stay at a Flying J Travel Center with a Denny’s. When on a haul from Columbus Ohio to Phoenix I could make them my stop 3 nights in a row. They were spaced out in such a way I could get near maximum miles on the log books and still be legal. There is usually plenty of parking for trucks, RV’s and cars.

Yesterday I stay at a Flying J Travel Centers with a Denny’s at the New Mexico – Arizona line on I-10.  Like this morning I went inside the truck stop men’s room freshen up and then found a seat near power outlet so I could charge and blog at the same time. This morning I seated myself. The waitress mentioned the counter but I sat at a table near a power outlet. She was done with her shift. Very soon afterwards I was greeted by my Waiter.

Ruben brought a menu and politely said, “This section isn’t open yet but I’ll let you sit here anyway.” Wait staff like Ruben is the reason I use the restaurant at Flying J Travel Centers with Denny’s. With well over 100 visits over the years at a Flying J Travel Centers with a Denny’s I’ve never experienced a rude wait staff. This is a reflection of management from top to bottom. Insuring the employees treat all guest with utmost respect. I can tell you with out a doubt I have looked rough many times after a long day be hind the wheel.

That’s all for now. Until next time, be safe!

 

Day 15 -Friendships are awesome -Changes

Friendship Quote
Source: Good Housekeeping

Today is the 16th. We’re half way through the month of January. The most important think I learned so far this trip is friendships are awesome. Social media has made it possible to rekindle and maintain Friendships that we would otherwise wouldn’t have.

There are many others I have called friends over the years. Many of those friendships are in need on being rekindled. Several of those are friends don’t like to talk on the phone or write letters. I had the opportunity before I left Ohio to visit a few of those friends. I regret not doing so. A few others are along the I-70 interstate corridor. I choose to drop south and cross on the country on I-30/I-20 and  I-10 with a detour up to Lubbock TX. Much warmer in January then along I-70.

I’m going to try to make the return trip to Ohio across I-70. There are several friendships that need rekindled and talking on the phone isn’t the best method.

I’ll be making some changes here on Dapadoo over the next few weeks. I should have more down time then I have had the first half of this month. I’ve always wanted to try writing a blog. Doing it is much harder then it sounds. Each day I remember to add or do some of the behind the scene things like SEO. I still have to set up a reviews page.  I want to write on the first two flea markets I’ve set up at.

I hope to be adding some reading material staring yet this week. I have a large library of guides, eBooks and articles I  purchased full rights to publish starting 2004 as an investment for use at a later date. I didn’t think it would be this late. I’ve said to others many times I have a Gold mine sitting on my hard drive. SI should say hard drives as I have all of it backed up several times. The other day I spent 7-8 hours transferring files around to make it easier for me to work while on the road.

I’m getting ready to go visit another friend this morning. I’m 31 miles away from my destination. I’ve been told I have a Keto meal awaiting me. Friendships are Awesome!

Until later, be safe!

 

Days 11-14 The Market-Last night in Lubbock TX

My space at market in Lubbock TX
My space at market in Lubbock TX

Today is January 15th. For those of you following me I didn’t post the past 4 days while still here in Lubbock TX. I spent Friday preparing for the Market and checking out Lubbock TX. On Saturday and Sunday I was set up as a Vendor at the National Flea Market Lubbock TX.

The picture above is the space I was set up at inside the Market here in Lubbock TX. I will be writing a review of each of the Markets I’ve set up at and will be in the future.

This week with friends has been needed for some time. We have talked about me coming and staying for a week or so for the past 2 years. It finally happen. Even though my friend wasn’t here and it was his wife, son and niece we still spoke on the phone several times a day and face timed.

Yesterday, Monday the 14th I was going to write a review of the National Flea Market Lubbock TX but I stayed extremely busy. I spent the day repacking my Trailblazer, moving files from my backup storage for my main computer stored in the trailblazer to my laptop, laundry and a birthday celebration for my host family niece who turned 18.

She will be returning to Brazil to start college next month. She has aspirations to be an Attorney. Technically her birthday is today the 15th. But at 8pm here in Lubbock TX it was midnight in here home country of Brazil. So we had a impromptu party for her consisting of a cheese, meat and cracker plate, spinach dip, a birthday cake and a bottle of Vermouth.

I will be leaving Lubbock TX within the next hour or so. I have lunch planned with a friend in Midland TX. I hope he doesn’t mind it being a late lunch.

Until later, be safe!

 

 

Day 10 Prepping for this weekend

Map of where I set up this weekend
Map of where I set up this weekend

Today is January 10th. Yesterday I visited with Kirk, manager of the National Flea Market Lubbock. He showed me around the market and what indoor spaces were available this weekend. The National Flea Market Lubbock had been run down by the previous ownership.

Kirk explained to me how tenants were allowed to do as they pleased with there spaces as the previous ownership didn’t do much to keep any uniformity. Since the takeover of the National Flea Market Lubbock changes have been being made slowly to get more uniformity.  Many of the spaces are still as they were when tenants were allowed to build them up as they wanted. In order to keep peace and harmony at the market long time tenants have been allowed to keep there space as the have been for years.

I selected a space to rent for the weekend in the building called the barn. The floors of each row are painted different colors. I will be located on Green St as the image above suggest.

I will have helpers this weekend. My host family’s son and niece will be working with me and no doubt be wondering around the market. We will need to make sure our phones have a good charge because we will all need to use Google translator app throughout the day. Neither of the two speak English, the speak Portuguese. I’ve been told the National Flea Market Lubbock has been called the Mexican market in the past. I’ve also been told the majority of the Mexicans here in Lubbock are 2nd and 3rd generations whose parents didn’t allow them to speak Spanish at home. I hope this is the case so I can communicate with the majority of the customers.

Kirk told me he expects about 2000 people both days this weekend because it is mostly indoors. The National Flea Market  is located near Texas Tech University. Kirk has been trying to lure those that attend back to the market now it has been slowly getting a face lift. I wish him well. I can see that sometime in the future I’ll be coming back again. As of today I only plan this weekend here. Plans could change as my host family is needing some assistance with a few things.

That’s all for now. More preparation is needed for this weekend. Be safe!

 

 

Days 8-9 Weather – Friends – Pictionary

Photo of the game Pictionary
Played this for the first time last night

Today is January 1oth. The last two days has been spent with my friends here in Lubbock TX and I’ve been keeping a close eye on the weather.

The flea market I’d like to setup at this weekend has both indoor and outdoor spaces. This past weekend when it was a bit chilly and windy I didn’t do well. When it warmed up I did good. I sell a lot of rings and when it’s cool trying them on a cold finger is hard on the customer. This weekend it is suppose to be in the low 50’s with a light breeze here in Lubbock.

I’ll be going to the market and checking it out today. I have to see what kind of space I can get. I will then make a decision if I’m going to set up at all this weekend then. The cooler temperatures may keep the foot traffic away. I can’t justify paying for space rental if there will be a low turn out. One never knows. I may try Saturday and wait to decide on Sunday.

I had considered leaving for Phoenix and setting up at a market there this coming weekend because it is suppose to be in the high 60’s and dry. My friends may need help here Friday morning. I feel I can’t leave them early to go to Phoenix. I offered to be here just in case. Friendship is more important then making a few extra dollars.

Last night we played the game Pictionary. None of us had played it before. I read the instructions in English into a app and it repeated it in Portuguese, their native language. We had  a very fun time working through the communications and trying to guess what the others were drawing. Luckily the mother/aunt of the two children knows some basic English and translation so the app wasn’t need as much once we started.

The youngest of the two children has moved here to the states to be close his Mom. The niece is returning to Brazil next month to complete summer vacation before beginning college.

Good friends are hard to find these days. I have been very lucky in meeting this couple and maintaining our friendship over the phone, Internet and occasional visits when I drove semi and he was still over the road and came through Ohio.

Time to get ready to go check out the National Market here in Lubbock.

Until next time, be safe.

Day 7 – Friends -National Flea Market Lubbock

Today is January 8th. I am writing summaries of the previous day. I’ll be spending a week with friends and preparing to set up at the National Flea Market  Lubbock this coming weekend on the 12th and 13th.

Yesterday I arrived in Lubbock TX about 10am. I couldn’t reach my friends who are hosting me this week by phone or text. I had been given an address just in case this was to happen. I knocked on the door and greeted by my friend Elaine. She introduced me to her niece and Son who had both just arrived here in the U.S on Christmas eve.

The family is from Brazil. Zeno, husband has been in the states for 35 years and is naturalized having full rights as a U.S. citizen. We had meet about 7 -8 years ago when I was driving semi over the road. He meet his wife on a trip to Brazil just before we had meet. She came to the states for a couple visits before they married. It was on one of those visits I first meet Elaine. Over the years I helped her on a few occasions with her English.  While she speaks broken English we can communicate. The children know very little English and we communicate through apps on our phones. We speak into the app and it translate to either English of Portuguese and relays by voice. I wish I knew about this app long before now. I could’ve used it at the flea market in Grand Prairie this past weekend. I’ll definitely use it at National Flea Market Lubbock

The rest of the day was spent chatting, catching up on laundry, relaxing, paying some bills online  and eating very good food.

Today I already started some changes here on dapadoo.com I’ll continue to do more on the site and then the kids and I are going to go through some of the product we will be selling at the National Flea Market Lubbock this weekend. It should get quite interesting.

Until later, be safe

 

Day 6- Second day-Trader’s Village-left for Lubbock TX

Today is January 7th. Yesterday was my second day at Traders Village in Grand Prairie TX. The map above is a partial map of Trader’s Village. I was in space 1886 on the top right hand side under a covering.

I slept past my alarm clock and woke at 7:45. I thought for sure the I’d be running late. What I found is that only 10% of the dealers from the day before were here yet.

I climbed out of the Trailblazer and made a bee line for the restroom. Once I got myself  cleaned up and combed my hair I went and set up. I was done as more dealers were still coming in. I out the coffee pot and made a half of pot. That sure was good. The dealer that was next to me showed up just before 10am.

He told me it was going to be a good day and it was. I covered the cost of my space rental for the week and most of the cost of the display case and pegboard I bought on Friday. I didn’t get into this to make a lot of money. I want to make enough to cover expenses, increase my display’s and get a covering for out door flea markets by the end on this month. The cost of gas and most food is what it would cost to have an apartment some where.

I also hope to add to my camping gear over the next few months. I have a small 2 man tent and air mattress given to my by my daughter Stacey. I still have a laundry list of things to get over the next few months. I have to rough it a little to make it all work out.

I was packed and ready to leave Trader’s Village by 6pm. I was able to get everything inside the trailblazer and not have to tie tables on top as I did coming down from Ohio. Only problem is there isn’t any room in the back to sleep.

I drove about 230 miles toward Lubbock, TX to my friends place. I found a nice little truck stop and parked there for the night. I was able to recline the back of the chair and I then cover the front windows. I found sleeping in the front seat was more comfortable then the two nights I had slept in the back while at Traders Village.

That’s all for now as I’ll be writing some more later today. Until later be safe.

 

Day 5 – First day – Traders Village

Today is January 6th. Yesterday was my first day set up at Traders Village in Grand Prairie TX. Foot traffic wasn’t lower then anticipated by dealers and market estimates. I did well but a far ways from making a profit. When I first decided to work my way across country doing flea markets my goal was to cover expenses with the occasional profitable days.

I’m on social security disability and until recently wasn’t allowed to make any extra income.  I’m now allowed to make a little over $800 a month before it affects my benefits. Even with great improvement in health I still suffer several areas of pain. Here at the market I can setup and pack up at a pace that I can handle.

My main goal is to get to the southeastern united states where it is dry and warm. I have a low level of toxic mold in my body. The best way to detox is to be in dry climate 6-9 months.

Yesterday afternoon a friend from grade school came by and brought Homemade Lasagna dinner with salad and fresh home bread. We joked around how it raised my carbs count. I’ve been doing Keto diet almost 8 months.

Last night I retired into my Trailblazer early and was able too get a much needed rest.

Until tomorrow, be safe!

Day 4-Arrival, shopping-planet fitness

Today is January 5th, yesterday I arrived in Grand Prairie TX. I found Trader’s Village, it wasn’t hard to miss as it takes up square miles of space. It’s huge! I picked up receipt and went to my space. I unloaded all of the flea market stuff. I found it left ample room so I could sleep in the Trailblazer at night. I can’t afford motel rooms. Finances are extremely tight and I’m hoping to make up some of the road expenses at the market today.

I left the market and went to Kohl’s. I’m fortunate tio have a store charge card there. When I was hurt in April 2013 I lost most of my credit in the first few months. I was in need of some new shorts, pants and shoes. I bought 2 pairs of shorts, 2 pants and 1 pair of shoes. I went from size 42(very tight at one time) down to a comfortable size 38 in the past 7 1/2 months, Total weight lose of over 45 Lbs. Still working on losing another 35 to get to 175.

When I left Kohl’s I went to Planet Fitness here in Grand Prairie. The staff at the counter, Miriam and Noah were very helpful and quick to get to customers. This particular Planet fitness appears to be very busy compared to others I’d been to. I took a much needed shower and headed to the massage table and hydro massage bed. I felt pampered by the time I was done there.

Home depot was just around the corner and I need to stop for plexiglass and material. I want to make a pegboard stand and some kind of covering for the rings I’ll be selling at the market today.

I left Home depot and went and found a safe spot to park and sleep for the night. It’s already 6:30am and I need to get to the market to set up.

Until tomorrow be safe.