To the Arctic Circle and Back in 2015

What a year!  We travelled to the Arctic Circle and back in 2015.

cartoon529-2Be warned, this is a looooong post.  But we hope you enjoy a quick tour back through this most wonderful year with some of Hector’s favorite images.

Island Girl traveled a total of 12,345 miles.

We stayed in 88 campsites (29 of them were overnights and 61 were dry camping).

Visited 10 States, 2 Canadian Provinces and 1 Canadian Territory. And 6 veterinarians in 5 states and 1 Canadian Territory.

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The “Q”

Q  011Q  012We weren’t quite sure about returning to the “Q”.  Some people said that once was enough.  But we were excited about meeting friends in Quartzsite, although we cut our stay a bit shorter than last year.

And we sure are glad that we chose to return.

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Q  015Last year I wrote about the Merchants in the Desert, and once again we headed out to all the shows. Frankly, I think that the Big Tent tent is the least exciting of all, although we spent a bit of time at one of the North to Alaska booths plotting our summer trip to Alaska.Q  014 Continue reading

The Scenic Route to Quartzsite

el centro  071el centro  053We decided to take the scenic route to Quartzsite and made a brief detour to the town of El Centro. Our friends Brian and Leigh found a boondocking spot about 15 minutes from town in an area that had a very strong cell signal. So we stopped there intending to join them and new friends Seth and Drea for dinner, do some grocery shopping and leave the next morning.el centro  062el centro  050

el centro  059But they convinced us to stay one more night. Angel was especially happy to hang out one more day with friends Emma and Curtie. Although they ignore each other half the time, she likes to have them nearby.el centro  063el centro  061el centro  055 Continue reading

Molar City

yuma  026We first heard about Los Algodones, also referred to as Molar City, on the third month of our walkabout. Our neighbors in the Miami RV park we stayed in that first winter told us about this place in Mexico where lots of Americans went for dental work and glasses. They had had extensive dental work done for less than half what it cost in the states. Needless to say, we thought that was pretty interesting.

yuma  030yuma  015A while later we read a couple of detailed posts on the Wheeling It blog about Nina’s experience getting a crown in Los Algodones. Nina recommended a Dr. Eva Ureña.

Finding a Dentist

I was quite fortunate that my tooth acted up just before we planned to visit Yuma.   And that I’d read the post about Dr. Ureña, since I considered that  a personal recommendation, which is my preference.  And, when we met our friends in Yuma, it turned out that Tim and Becky had been getting work done at Dr. Ureña’s for several years.

Her website, just like many other dentists,  provides a U.S. telephone number,  so it was quite easy to make an appointment.

yuma  025The Town

Los Algodones is the northernmost town in Mexico. It’s located near the borders of southeastern California and southwestern Arizona and is tucked into a spot where the border has a little notch and follows the Colorado River. There are U.S. borders in all cardinal directions (due south, due north, due east and due west) of the town.  Only if you head SW do you actually stay in Mexico.map Continue reading

I Rang in the New Year with … a Root Canal?!

yuma  051Ah, yes! Hector, Angel and I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve in Yuma, Arizona inside Island Girl while I recovered from a root canal on the previous day. I must say that the champagne helped the recovery process tremendously.

yuma  052Things happen for a reason. We’d planned to visit friends in Yuma and made reservations so we could meet them in their winter home.yuma  050

We also figured we’d take advantage of some of the services available in town before heading for the desert. Like getting our car detailed and maybe getting Island Girl washed and waxed by the same group that we used last year. Easy, peasy.

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Desert Meanderings

Organ pipe  045Organ pipe  001We were in the perfect place for desert meanderings.  Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument has several trails, but this desert also has many areas that are easily accessible from the road and have enough spacing between vegetation to comfortably walk around.Organ pipe  052

Organ pipe  043Be warned, however, that throughout the area in and around the National Monument, there are signs posted advising the public that  “Smuggling and illegal immigration may be encountered in this area. Avoid encounters with suspicious groups” and other variations of the same message.

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Two Three Letter Towns

NYE  023NYE  028We stayed in the rural community of Why, Arizona, named for a Y intersection where State Roads 85 and 86 used to intersect.   Originally named Y, it was renamed Why due to an Arizona law that required town names to have a minimum of three letters.

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NYE  026Apparently, few can resist the temptation to play around with the name Why. And so the one general store in town, which sells everything from jewelry to food to Mexican insurance (for those driving across the border) is named Why Not.NYE  025NYE  031NYE  012 Continue reading

Angel Goes to Mexico

mex  014Here we were enjoying the desert, but we were so close to Mexico! Hector lived in Mexico City for a year or so back in the 90s and we spent weekends and vacations traveling the country in his SUV.   We love the country, and found it impossible to resist the temptation to cross the border. So off we went with Angel for a day trip to Mexico.mex  011 Continue reading

A Peaceful Christmas

why xmas  001why xmas  003“Where are you staying for Christmas?”

“The desert in Southwestern Arizona.”

“Why?”

“Exactly.”why xmas  004

why xmas  006We arrived in Why, Arizona on the winter solstice and were greeted by a beautiful sunset. We are here to visit Organ Pipe National Monument and its surrounding desert.why xmas  009why xmas  008 Continue reading

The Wild Wild West

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The welcoming committee

The welcoming committee

We are staying in the general vicinity of Tucson for a while and made a short hop to the town of Benson for a little trip back to the wild wild West.  Benson was a railroad center for nearby mining towns and there is an Escapees campground there. After being members of Escapees for over two years, we finally stayed in one of their parks. And the SKP Saguaro Co-op (available only to members) is a great place to hang for awhile.

Everyone, and I mean everyone there is extremely friendly and welcoming.benson  003benson  005

But even though we were in the middle of the desert, it rained our entire first day. Part of a front that came in through California. Part two came through a couple of days later.  Time for a little nesting.benson  006benson  008

benson  064 Continue reading