Desert Tumbleweeds

Tumble-9Tumble-2After leaving San Diego, we headed to the Arizona desert where we planned to make several stops before landing in Tucson in March. For the next month or so, we moved to six different locations, met friends, had a medical scare (everything turned out ok), had maintenance issues, met more friends and enjoyed the desert. At times we felt like desert tumbleweeds. Oh, and I flew to Puerto Rico for ten days during that time – more on that in a later post.

Tumble-13Tumble-1Our first stop was Quartzsite, our third visit in three years during their annual RV show. This year we arrived only a few days before the end of the show, since our main purpose in going was to meet friends.Tumble-4

Tumble-12Tumble-8Tumble-3Tumble-11During our drive to Quartzsite I received a call regarding mammogram results from my medical exam in San Diego. Something showed up in the first mammogram, and the doctor wanted me to have a second one and maybe an ultrasound. Medical issues while RVing are always a challenge, but we continued on while we thought about next steps.

We boondocked in the Dome Rock area of Quartzsite, the area where we stay every year. During a quick walk through the show we met our friends Jack and Karen and made plans to meet a few days later.

Meanwhile, we had to figure out a way for me to get a follow-up mammogram and ultrasound. And, for various mostly insurance related reasons, we decided that it would be best to return to San Diego for the additional tests. Hector had the idea to double back to Anza Borrego State Park, not too far from Quartzite. This would put us day trip distance from San Diego, so we could drive our car to my appointment, thus avoiding crossing the mountains again in Island Girl.

We had a couple of days to socialize so we spent part of our time hanging out with our friend Vince who was staying at “our” regular campsite nearby. And we watched some beautiful sunsets.Tumble-14 Continue reading

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.”


“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

Another Stop in Tucson

tucson  318tucson  317We made another stop in Tucson to take Angel to the oncologist for a follow-up visit, but also to catch friends again before leaving the area.   We stayed at the quirky Bar J RV Park once again. This little place has the most charming owners!  Paul and Gale once again were gracious hosts.

tucson  305tucson  304Our friends Nancy and Bill had invited us to join them at the Tohono Chul Park for one of their “Holiday Nights”.   On these nights part of the gardens are open to the public and offer live music, holiday treats and shopping.tucson  306tucson  302

But the best part is that they are decorated with “a million lights”.   The gardens were just beautiful and the music was fantastic. So glad that Nancy and Bill invited us, as we weren’t familiar with this place or event.

It was a bit chilly, so we cozied up to the outdoor heaters all through the night.

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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

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Circling Phoenix

Phoenix  052As much as we’ve traveled, we hadn’t realized how enormous the city of Phoenix is.  It’s the fifth largest city in the U.S. and per the Phoenix Business Journal “the Phoenix metro area’s population surpassed 4.3 million in 2011”.  More than one person we met compared it to Los Angeles minus the ocean. Continue reading

Tucson and the Sentinels of the Desert

Tucson  043Tucson  030As we arrived in Tucson and headed towards our RV Campground, we found ourselves surrounded by mountains covered by saguaro cacti.  It was an astounding sight.  This area is part of the Sonoran Desert, and near the north eastern most habitat of the saguaro (they only grow in Arizona, California, and parts of Mexico).  As a result, if you arrive from the east as we did, you don’t see any along the way until you arrive and then they are everywhere!

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