Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On The Move Again

Odometer 37959
Trip Meter 212 miles

Monday February 24, 2014

We were up early and busy getting ready to go mobile again after sitting in one spot for nearly 3 months.  It's amazing how many things get taken out of their cupboards and placed around the environs of the motorhome when you aren't worried about going anywhere soon.  To be honest we really did most of the packing up yesterday, and this morning it was more like putting away the toaster and the coffee maker after breakfast, and getting the bungies on the doors and drawers that are know to disgorge their contents during cornering or speed bumps and driveway approaches taken at an angle. Our goal was to be hitched and ready to leave by 9 AM and then to have said all our goodbyes and be on the road by 9:30.  Our driving factor was a  selfish one- we wanted to be in Sells, AZ in time to have lunch at the Desert Rain Cafe again.

We had a very good start, meaning we didn't  hit anything, nothing hit us, the engine ran like a top, and the car stayed hitched up and we didn't forget to take the car out of gear or leave the hand brake on- Whew!
Driving down Arizona route 85 south we took a left turn on AZ route 86 at the "town" of Why which got us headed east.  A good bit of AZ 86 cuts through the center of the Thono O' odham Nation, a parcel of land that occupies parts of three Arizona counties and 4,453 square miles, the third largest reservation in the US.

We made it to Sells, AZ in the heart of the Tohono O' odham nation, at 11:30 and found a place to park the motorhome in the service entrance to the shopping center where the Desert Rain Cafe is.  Jeff ordered a squash enchilada, with tepary beans and spinach salad, while Joan ordered the cholla bud salad.  Both were delicious and we topped it off with a mesquite oatmeal raisin cookie- yeah!
As we continued east from Sells we started getting glimpses of Kitt Peak, the mountain top famous for the National Observatory and the many telescopes on top.  Kitt Peak is entirely on the Tohono O' odham Nation and the observatory grounds are leased from the Nation.  Joan and I visited the Observatory last year, so we cruise on by the entrance road on our way east.

Our route took us close to Tucson and the traffic began to build, but all lanes continued to flow, allowing us to slip Tucson's grasp and head south and east on Interstate 10 to Benson where we exited the freeway for Arizona Highway 90 which would take us South to Huachuca City and Sierra Vista.
We looked at our first choice Quail Ridge RV Park in Huachuca City and decided to push on to Vista View RV Resort 14 miles further south in Sierra Vista to compare.  Vista View turned out to be very frustrating.  First, we could see the RV park from the road, but there were locked gates on the entrance driveway with a keypad, so we drove to the next driveway, and again, keypad locked gates, finally several blocks further on we came to an unlocked gate into a community of site-built homes.  The driveway was a very narrow drive with a concrete barrier between the lanes.  No signs anywhere, so we drove on in, and turned back towards where we knew the RVs were- winding our way through blocks of vacation homes.  When we got to the RVs we could now see a physical barrier between where we were and the park.  We did find one very narrow opening between the dumpster and an adjacent block wall and we just went for it.  Finally- we had arrived!  Now we could not find an office or a camp host, so we called the number of the RV park listed in our park guide- no answer...  Soo we looked around till we found an RVer who would clue us in.  The office was back where we had come in- carefully disguised as a clubhouse.  So we walked back 5 blocks down and two over until we found the office.  The sign on the door said open 8AM to 4PM, and at 3 PM the door was inexplicably locked- no note of explanation.
We walked back 5 blocks down and two over and look to see what sites are available.  There are none in the section we want with concrete patios and wide spaces, and only one left in the all-gravel narrow spaces- so we move in and do a hasty set-up (no jack pads, no sewer) in case someone shows up and kicks us out.
We took off in the car to get some groceries ( a fellow RVer who took pity on us gave us the gate code) (thanks Lou!) and by the time we return it's dinner time, so we cook dinner watch the news on the TV (no cable, but a couple over the air stations), take a long walk and turn in for the night.
The next morning we go to the office again and it's open!  Yeaa!  Well not quite- too early for this ordeal to end.  The park attendant is gone and there is a note that she has gone to buy craft supplies.  No idea when she left or when she will return, so we write a note telling her we are in space 24 and are interested in staying longer- give us a call.  We walk back to the motorhome, and as we are climbing the stairs- the park attendant calls- she has just returned to the office.  Soo back we go.  5 blocks down and 2 over, to the clubhouse/RV park office, where we are informed that there are not going to be any vacancies in the part of the park we wanted to be, in the foreseeable future.  We paid for the night ( a reasonable $23) and head back to load up and drive back to our number one destination- Quail Ridge RV Resort in Huachuca City.  We left the car un-hooked so I could better maneuver into Frey's (Fred Meyers- Kroger clone) gas station.  Good thing too, because after fueling Joan has to guide me as I back the motorhome out of the pumps- unable to pull on through to get out.  (Diesel was $3.69 so I guess it was worth it)  Could have paid ten cents more per gallon at Loves Truck Stop and been treated like dirt on their heel.
Back at Quail Ridge, there are plenty of spaces open and we choose a very nice wide space on the end of a row that has a tree.  However, unlike Ajo, the trees here are decidiuous and have lost all their leaves, giving this place a bleak and wintry look.

We are in a good place to get out and explore this area.  We are at the junction of highway 90 (north/south) and highway 82 (east/ west).  90 south will take us to the town of Bisbee which is a must see for us- we've been there 3-4 times in the past, and it is such a fascinating town- we'll go everytime we are in the area.  82 will take us west to Sonoita, AZ, and down to Patagonia, where we hope to meet Marla and Kermit very soon.  82 east will take us to Tombstone.  90 north will take us to Karchner Caverns State Park.  Now all we have to do is get used to highway noise again as hwy 82 is very busy and carries a lot of truck traffic.  Ajo has spoiled us for quiet nights.

Your Traveling Friends

Jeff and Joan

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