Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wandering About the Desert Southwest

Time to catch up a bit. We have been camping in places with poor wi-fi and poor or NO cellular. Once again I find myself in a library trying to put this together. We are staying in our second Thousand Trails RV Campground and I have not been pleased with either of them. For two days we had no water and three days we had no sewer. Christmas Eve we were asked to move to a site that had no sewer problem. Since it was raining, they told me that I could wait until Christmas Day to move. I chose to move, because we were going to church and then to dinner at my brother's home. We might as well be boondocking in the desert. Good thing we are set up for carrying water and holding our waste water. I thought I would vent my spleen before I got to the good stuff.

Our journey has continued to be one of connecting with people and very little sightseeing. When our friend Sue, from church, saw where we were staying she connected us with one of her longtime friends, Pete and Carol Massa, who live near San Diego. We met for lunch and had a terrific time. It felt like we had been friends for years.

Pete and Carol Massa with Kay and Russ

We also visited with Kay's longtime friend, Molly and her husband Ryan. Kay never met Molly in person, but met her years ago on a scrap-booking site. They have stayed connected through Facebook and what a joy it was to meet in person.

Molly and Ryan Di Fede with Kay and Russ

We did do a little sightseeing while we were in San Diego and stopped at the San Diego Botanic Gardens. I thought it was free on Tuesdays, but I did not read the fine print, "for residents of San Diego County." Well, we were there, so I paid and and we went for a tour. It was a lot walking for Kay. Since none of you were able to join us, here are some pictures of what we saw. They had plants from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and from the desert Southwest. I should have taken notes, because I cannot remember the names of the plants.

After leaving Pio Pico Thousand Trails Campground we went to Quartzsite, Arizona to do some boondocking in the desert. Since it was our first venture at doing this, I opted to stay in a Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) and pay the $40 fee to stay two weeks. For $40 we got access to a dump station, fresh water, and dumpsters. We could have stayed in a none fee area close by at no cost.

Jake at Quartzsite, AZ

Sunset in the desert

Sunset in the desert

Sunrise from our campsite in the desert

Sunrise from our campsite in the desert 

It gets dark in the desert away from city lights

The moon rising and our fire dieing out

We were pleased with our stay in the LTVA. Kay was a little disappointed by the "desert," because it was more like a gravel parking lot than her perception of what a desert should look like. Kay also thought that it would be warmer than it is in the desert Southwest.

After leaving Quartzsite we went to Verde Valley Thousand Trails Campground in Cottonwood, Arizona for two weeks and we have now arrived at Mittry Lake Recreation Area near Yuma with free camping. I will post pictures from the last two weeks in my next post.

We are still enjoying the journey.

Kay and Russ

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

From the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean

Before we wrapped our visit in Colorado Springs, we visited with my cousin Jan Hagan, her daughter Kim and her husband Clyde. We met at Fargo's Pizza and my cousin Harvey Richardson also joined us there.

Jan and Kim Hagan with Kay Wallace

Crystina Marie Wallace, Sean Lugenbeel, and their son Malcolm invited us to their home for dinner, as well.

Crystina, Sean and Malcolm

Kay and Malcolm

We visited with Bill and Denise one last time the day before we left. Our visit to Colorado was terrific, but we had to leave because snow was in the forecast. Jake loved Colorado because he got to see deer, rabbits and prairie dogs.

Jake is King of the Mountain at our campsite in Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

We headed South to New Mexico and Arizona. Our first Harvest Hosts stop was at Wildlife Nature Park in Edgewood, Arizona, near Albuquerque. The wild animals here  had been rescued and could not be returned to the wild.



Our second Harvest Hosts stop was St. Clair Winery in Deming, NM.  We bought a couple of bottles of a nice medium body red blend to have with our Thanksgiving dinner and a couple of bottles of a nice Riesling for that meal, as well.

While here at the St. Clair winery, I stepped outside to spot a dust devil just starting.  I shouted to Kay to come see it and she got some video of it. The vortex was one of the most amazing weather phenomenons that I have ever seen. It picked up dust as it twirled, then lifted off the ground and looked like a science-fiction worm hole just before it died out.

One last Harvest Hosts stop before we get to Florence, Arizona, Sonoita Vineyards was a quiet out-of-the-way place.

Desert Gardens RV Resort has been the nicest place we have stayed so far. It is a co-op and they were hoping to sell us a 99-year lease on a site. We are not yet ready to stay in one place all winter. Maybe after seeing more places, we will be ready for that kind of commitment.

Views near our campsite

Cholla Cactus

Saguro Cactus

Barrel Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus

We did some exploring while we were there. I wanted to see what it would be like to boondock in the National Forest. We ended up on some pretty scary narrow roads where I would not like to tow a trailer. But the views of the canyons were beautiful.

While we were in Florence, we visited my nephew Todd and his wife Angie in their home.  They celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday and we were able to have a turkey dinner with Todd, Angie, Alora, Rose, Crystina, Malcolm, and Sean.

Todd, Malcolm and Rose

Now, we are in Pio Pico Thousand Trails Campground in Jamul, California. We have no cellular reception and no wifi at our campsite. The free wifi at the activity center is horrifically slow, so I am at a library in Rancho San Diego doing this blog post. 

We did take a trip into San Diego and got a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

Russ and Jake

Trip so far.

Next week, we return to Arizona and will spend a week boondocking in the desert. 

If you are enjoying the blog, leave us a comment. Kay really looks forward to your comments.