In winter, we slow down our pace and linger down south somewhere, this winter in the southwest. And so we remained in Tucson for awhile, enjoying the warmer weather and spending time with new friends.
While at Catalina State Park, we met Robin and Don, fulltimers that began their journey in January of this year and were working over in Loop A of the campground (we were in Loop B). We found each other through RVillage, a website that RVers can use to connect with others in the same campground or nearby.
They are much more daring than us. Having never camped in an RV, they did their research, bought a fifth-wheel, took off shortly thereafter and never looked back. They are workamping along the way, looking for the next place to live, as we are. We had a fun few hours over cocktails and snacks with them and their adorable Goldendoodle, Lola. Check out Robin’s board on camping/RV full timing on Pinterest here.
Later that week, we met more new friends, Nancy and Bill. Nancy is our good friend Scott’s sister, and also a good friend of Jean’s and Jerry’s. She and Bill now have a winter home in Tucson. We hosted the four of them for breakfast, and then hiked on one of the state park trails.
The desert here is always beautiful. Lots of interesting plants and of course the majestic saguaros. We walked down to some pools (yes, water!) with beautiful rock formations surrounding them. Lovely.
Shortly thereafter we moved from Catalina State Park to a small private campground, on the West side of Tucson near Saguaro National Park. We really like small private RV parks, their owners have a lot of pride of ownership.
Bar J RV Park (not to be confused with Justin’s Diamond J, just down the road) definitely reflects the personality of its wonderful owners, Paul and Gale. Paul built the fourteen-campsite park himself, and it’s adorable. How could we resist a place with a Tiki Bar?
On Thanksgiving, we, along with Nancy and Bill, joined Jean and Jerry at a friend of theirs home, whom they usually celebrate Thanksgiving with. The food was fabulous and we met lots of interesting Tucsonians that evening. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving with more new friends.
That weekend, we had lunch at the home of another couple of new friends, Shirley and Jim. Margo and Henry, a couple we met in Nova Scotia two summers ago, thought we might like to meet Henry’s cousin Shirley who lives in Tucson. These are the wonderful connections that are one of the best parts of traveling across the country.
Lunch was very tasty and healthy. Shirley does some hands-on healing and did a little work with Angel, who seemed quite content. Shirley and Jim are a fascinating and engaging couple and we spent a lovely afternoon with them.
And speaking of Angel, she has been doing great and is even able to stay in the RV on her own once again. Seems her new meds and Shirley’s healing touch have really helped. And she is such a trooper.
The week that Hector was in Miami, I met two wonderful ladies, Stacy and Mindy, who had two adorable pups, a pug and a super cute and frisky mutt. The pug was laying out in a brand new dog bed.
They really liked Angel and noticed she was moving a little slow so I mentioned that she has arthritis.
The next morning when I walked out of Island Girl, the dog bed was laying outside. The ladies were leaving that day and gifting the bed to Angel. Angel didn’t show any interest in it, so I returned it to them. What a sweet gesture though.
But that made me think about getting Angel another dog bed. She has rejected three dog beds since we adopted her five years ago. But I decided to try again, and Hector and I found one that I thought might work because it was small and cozy. And it was a winner, Angel has been spending lots of time in her new bed. Score!
Later that week, we met Jean, Jerry, Nancy and Bill for another hike near Saguaro National Park. It was a short hike through more of the beautiful desert, yet long enough to see some fabulous views and find one of the crested saguaros!