The pandemic year of 2020 drags slowly on. Cases, as predicted, are spiking in the fall, and we all need to do our part; wearing masks, social distancing, and quarantining as much as we possibly can. But there’s nothing in the rules that says we have to wait out the vaccines all winter long in the Pacific Northwest, huddled in our boat, watching the rain pour down, and be buffeted by winter storms.
We’re going to quarantine. We’re just going to do it in the desert Southwest.
But first, the election. All we’ll say is, yay.
After getting mom and BD’s computers all set up so we could help them from afar if needed there really wasn’t anything keeping us on the boat. So we rented a few nights at the Casino RV Park, so we could do the transfer from the boat, clean it up, and set it for winter in a leisurely way. Then we were off. First stop, Oregon and my brothers house to say hey. Then it was down into the Willamette Valley in a rain storm, where we stopped at a winery for the night. Again, see our earlier comments about Harvest Host. Great program. Lovely wines and friendly dogs.
After that we moved South down I-5 near Suzy and Tom’s ranch. Since she was still recovering from surgery, we just did a day trip back up to Milly and Judy’s place to cook them diner. Next morning it was off to California’s Central Valley, where we found a mix of Wineries and RV stops that we knew would be comfortable.
Finally, we dropped down to Joshua Tree National Park for a night, and I was finally able to get my “Senior” National Parks Pass. It’s the best deal for old folks, and as soon as you turn 62 you can buy it. The pass is $82 but it’s good for every national park or federal land that has an admission, and gets you half off on camping in federal campgrounds. So it’s a sweet, sweet, deal and it’s the only thing I bought myself for my birthday.
We were ahead of schedule, and in just a shore two hour drive we arrived at Quartzite. This tiny town in the middle of no where in Western Arizona is known for one thing; miles and miles of BLM land where anyone who wants to boondock can camp for up to 14 days for free. Every year in January it hosts a huge RV Show where all the major manufacturers and all the people who offer serviced to RVs and all the people who build specialized RV products come together in the desert for a party. Not like Burning Man….more like Graying Man. It’s all the snowbirds in their trailers, Class A’s, campers, 5th Wheels, converted school busses and every other type of camping/sleeping products all come together. It’s a zoo.
But since it’s November, it’s still pretty empty. More importantly to us, our dock mates from Anacortes, David and Lang, were already camped there. David’s working remotely at his IT job from their converted van during the weeks and Lang takes care of chores and Ollie, their dog. We found them and parked just in front of them for a night so we could swap stories and share dinner. We did that on the trailer…not their van. We have much more room then they do.
The next day as the sun rose higher we were both pulling out. They had to go to Phoenix, then off to more camping. We were getting anxious to just get to Tucson so we could relax and start setting up our winter base. Since it was two days before we could check in to Far Horizons RV Park, we decided to check out another RV Park on the West side of Tucson to see if it would be better than we were going to have. Rincon West RV park was nice. We popped the few extra buck for their nicest transient RV spots….which arrange coaches in a sqaure and give them a nice grass lawn.
As I said, it was nice….but would be much more expensive that we’re going to pay…and, most important for us, it didn’t back up to the Tucson 130 mile bike path as our final destination does.
Monday before Thanksgiving we moved into our home away from home, Far Horizon’s RV Park. It’s very nice, and we paid a little more to get a premium spot with a level concrete pad, our own small courtyard with a stone picnic table. We also have trees on both sides of our site. All in all, it’s a pretty nice place to stay for the winter.
As you might expect, we immediately took the bicycles out for a ride on the Tucson loop bicycle path. It was 80 degrees with a light breeze. Back home it’s 40 degrees, raining, and has 30-45 knot winds. We’ll take Tucson this year and look forward to riding bicycles just about every day.