Saturday, November 29, 2008

Desert Trails Rv Park:

Tucson AZ

Heading on down the road, I’ve left Mesa Az and one of those truly snowbird communities. I didn’t really feel I fit in there, as these folks only travel from their northern home to their winter residence. Definitely not travelers like myself.

After filling a tire with air that has been getting low lately, I ended up having to stop at a rest stop half way to Tucson. After realizing it was the valve stem, I removed the tire and headed to a tire shop to have the valve replaced. Oddly this is the second valve stem that has developed a tear in it and needed replacing within the past month. A fellow Rv’er at the rest stop told me that their was a recent recall on 6 million valve stems made in China. I apparently got two of them. The other possibility is that I had rodents chew on the valve stems and they created the tear. Rodents are a big problem out here. They like to chew on the wires on your vehicle. People do everything to try to stop them, from making mixtures of red pepper and pasting it on the wires or using things like dryer sheets and wrapping them around the wires. Rodents hate the chemicals in dryer sheets.

I finally made it to my winter destination (a two hour trip that turned into 4 hours) The Desert Trails Rv Park. It’s about 10 mile west of Tucson. After checking in and setting up on my site for the winter, I started to explore my home in the desert. The park is heavily landscaped with desert plants. Saguaro cactus those tall cactus with arms that reach up to the sky, some are almost 200 years old. Birds are making nests in the holes high up in the cactus. The saguaro don’t grow arms until they are about 75 years old. Lots of other vegetation including a wall of oleanders making me think of my beautiful Florida.

The park at first glance looks old and a bit run down. More like an old western town. Lots of old buildings mostly painted brown to blend into the landscape. Behind my campsite are all these covered picnic areas. Looks like a great place to relax in some shade around the fish ponds. But on closer inspection, it looks like the concrete ponds were once shallow swimming/wading areas as there are a number of old weathered life guard stands around them. Water spouting into the ponds.

As I turn a corner, I see what looks like a half buried Aztec ruin. How intriguing. I begin to realize this used to be a water park. Walking further around a hill, I see what’s left of the water slide attraction and many of the swimming pools have been filled in with sand.

It’s like I’ve arrived at a quirky park that was given up on, forgotten and overgrown with vegetation.

Later I find out the water park was the income for the summer months and the Rv resort took care of the winter months. Quite a unique concept. The owners finally gave up on the water park about two years ago, deciding they’d rather enjoy the adult Rv’ers than have to deal with the kids all summer long. Besides the water park was getting pretty run down and would have required tons of work to keep it up. It’s all mixed up together. Some campsites are on the edge of abandoned pools with sloping concrete edges leading into a now sandy bottom. The water long since removed.

I love it!. It quirky, odd ball and the Rv park itself is all mixed in with these unusual buildings and water park structures. None of the rows and rows of Rv’s next to each other like most parks. The roads wind in and around the cactus gardens, old buildings and remains of the water park, there are only a few areas where the Rv’s are actually lined up in a row.

See photo’s at:

On the other side of the oleander bushes, there’s a horse boarding ranch from what I can tell. I’m in the country, miles of hiking trails back up to the park and I’m not too close to the city. Chickens run out from under the oleanders and I saw two cute puppies peak out today.

I attended the Monday morning greeting for coffee and donuts to discover the rec. hall completely filled. Not a single seat remaining. One of the owners, Pericles, ran down all the events coming up, welcomed all us new winter residences and pretty much had a humorous monologue going for over an hour. Because there were so many people there and I getting there after the meeting was about to start, I didn’t get a chance to actually meet or talk to anyone. Not a good start for me, but then again it’s only my third day in the park.

I’ve joined a creative writing class today. It’s a group of about 8-10 writers. Some are writing stories about their families, poetry as well as Haiku. We each read something we’ve done and get feedback from the other members. It’s a great support group and I think I’ll fit in well. They all have a great sense of sharing. When I read one of my travel reports, they all gave me a thumbs up on my descriptions of places I’ve visited. I may try my hand at a bit of poetry or Haiku as well and of course I’ll share it with you.

Thanksgiving was great and I hope yours was as well. Over 100 filled the Rec. Hall for good food and conversation. The following day, it’s a pizza party in the park with live music at Noon. And it’s right behind my camper, so I don’t have far to go. Yum. You haven’t lived till you’ve heard “Proud Mary” played by a three piece band. Drums, Tuba and Accordion. What a hoot. Their best song though was the Beer Barrel Polka.

Desert Trails has tons of activities for me to get into so I think I’m going to be very busy this winter season. I’ll keep you posted occasionally throughout the winter and let you know what I’m up to. Have a great winter. It’s been fun sharing my experiences with you this past year.
As always, I’d love to hear from you when ever you have a chance to write.

Till the next big adventure begins, enjoy life, explore and learn something new each day.

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