Friday, March 20, 2015

2015-1 The Adventure begins- 11 Years on the Road


Campground:  Desert Trails Rv Park, Tucson Az.  Monthly winter rate for 30amp full hookups: $510.

Campground:  Holt’s Shell Rv Park, Gila Bend Az.  Passport America rate:  $11.99 full hookups, 50amp. Rv park is right behind the Shell Gas station.  Free wi-fi.  Good 4g Verizon signal.  No TV signals.

Campground:  Rolle's Lynda Vista RV Park, Yuma AZ.  Passport America rate:  $13.17 full hookups (report to follow next week)

The End of the “Snowbird” camping season.
The beginning of year 11 as a full time Rv traveler.

one of the old statues when Desert Trails was a water park

at the Photography groups show
I’ve been here at Desert Trails on the western end of Tucson for four months.  That’s a long time for me to stay in one place.  I haven’t taken advantage of as many of the activities like the evening performances in the clubhouse.  Musicians arrive a couple times a week and perform for donations, usually with a guaranteed amount by the park.  Many of the performers are good, but I have also learned that many “bugs” are easily caught with so many park guests in close quarters and no ventilation systems in place.  I did attend a number of the Writers Club meetings, a few of the Photography club meetings and I led the Travel Club where we concentrated on sharing info on one or two states each week.  We had great attendance for most all of the meetings except for the last one today.  Only three travelers showed up.  But as always, we shared some pretty good information over more than an hour and half session.  I’ll really miss those times sharing with folks who really like to discuss their favorite travel experiences.

Some of the Travel Club Members
and one last get together with dear friends before heading out.....

Along with all the friends I’ve made throughout the years here, I’ve also had to squeeze in numerous doctors appointments.  Have you noticed that as you age, you seem to acquire a cadre of doctors.  I’ve had initial and follow up visits with my General practitioner, my Dermatologist, Urologist, and Glaucoma Specialist.  Including have a number of blood tests.  The most traumatic occurrence being that I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes.  Causing major changes in diet and exercise.  I knew I needed to add much more exercise to my daily routine and with that have started to walk daily.  The desert trails outback have been very helpful in that endeavor.  I’ve downloaded a good app on my smart phone called “tracker” that keeps track of my daily step count.

Shelby led the way

friends Kathy and Randy walking with me.

heading out on the Indian Path

Cutting out all sugar and most carbohydrates has been quite an experience, making shopping much easier as I have completely eliminated about five isles in the grocery store.  Bread, bakery, snacks,  pasta, crackers, ice-cream and cookie isles as well as a few others I’m sure.  Though I do walk through the bread and fresh bakery isles just to smell those wonderful flavors.  Hopefully after another three or four months of this regiment, I may be able to indulge a few of these treats on special occasions.  I’ve even completely stopped going to the pizza place. It’s all worth the efforts for good health and I’ll continue to do my part as long as it takes.

But with most of this behind me, I have two Glaucoma apt. In the next couple of days and one follow-up dermatology appt. and then, with all things hopefully in place, I’ll be packing up and heading out of here.

My last day in town will be over at the trailer shop where they will re-pack my campers wheel bearings.  Something that needs to be done on this camper every other year and since I do not do maintenance like that myself, I need to bring it into a service center before I head out on my summers journey.

repacking the wheel bearings or replacing them,,, hmmmm

The excitement is building as each day gets closer, appointments are completed, I begin to pack up outside patio equipment and reorganize and store things like glassware inside the camper before I head out on the road.  My walks in the desert help as the time gets shorter and I begin to feel a bit antsy about heading out.  The walks help relieve all that excess angst.  It’s always hard to leave close friends behind and that brings on feelings of separation and sadness even as the excitement builds with the anticipation of discovering new things along my summers journeys.

A few days later.  I’m now down to four days remaining.  I’ve completed the Iradotomy laser procedure on both eyes which went very well.  It’s a procedure where they laser a hole in each eye to help drain the excess liquid in ones eyes and helps to reduce the pressure on the eye.  A major factor in glaucoma.

all the better to see the wildflowers this spring

the poppies are magnificent

desert marigolds ?

Rv maintenance:  Although I love my camper, the two steps leading up to the second floor has two different sized stair steps.  The first one is only 9” deep and the second one is 13” deep.  My good friends Chris and Tom have both fallen down the steps a total of three times, due to the shorter 9” step.  The other night I was going down into the living room and slid off the short step myself.  I was able to catch myself and not fall down, but a serious accident was avoided just barely.  Today, I removed the thick carpeting on the shallow step, removed the runner and replaced it with a 12” deep step.  Staining the stair step to match the woodwork in the camper and not re-installing the carpeting that had come with the previous step.  The U.S. standard depth for a stair step is a minimum of 10” with 11” to 13” being standard throughout the industry.   Sure glad I was able to replace the step and put in one that is the correct size.

the old 9" deep step, easy to fall off of especially barefoot

the new 12" deep step

the new 12 " step I made to replace the shallow 9" step

This past week I’ve also been taking lots of pictures of the wildflowers as they start to pop out all over the desert.  The orange poppies are particularly colorful as well as the bright yellow flowers on the bristle bush. And these shot following are of my favorite route into town, Gates Pass.

my favorite route into town over Gates Psass

Day One of my Summer Travels.

First stop was to the Professional Trailer Repair in Tucson to have the wheel bearings repacked on the camper.  Turned out they saw wear on the bearings and I ended up having them replaced.  I was on the road by 11:30 am.  (see picture above)

Distance traveled:  159 miles
Gila Bend, AZ

Holt's Shell Gas Station

my first day on the road, staying in Gila Bend, Shell gas station/Rv park

My first day on the road, so I’ve only traveled 159 miles to Gila Bend.  Tomorrow I’ll explore the area before heading into California the following day.  Sure felt good to have the camper hooked up and on the road.  Even the traffic on I-10 wasn’t bad around noontime as I headed out of Tucson.

I will be doing a loop route over the next month and a half as I need to return to Tucson for a follow up visit with the eye Dr. before continuing my travels.  Southern California, heading north into Las Vegas Nevada, then returning through Laughlin, Lake Havasu, Quartzite and then Tucson.

My second day in Gila Bend brought me into town where I had breakfast at the Space Age Lodge and Restaurant.  Space theme of course, good breakfast if on the slow side for service, definitely not at warp speed Scotty.

After fueling up, food wise, I headed out to the Painted Rock Petroglyph site on BLM land.  Amazing the number of petroglyph’s etched onto the black basalt rocks, darkened over time with what is called desert varnish.  Making it quite easy for the ancient Indians to draw all those symbols and figures.  It’s a short walk around the hill covered with rocks, so I walked around the site twice.  Meeting up with a gal who commented that she’d been to a number of Petroglyph sites out west but had never seen such a concentration of them as here.  I agreed.  Sites like this are scattered all over the old west indicating that the Native Americans populated almost every part of this country.

a trail goes all around this hill filled with rock writing.

Painted Rock Petroglyph site BLM land

at the top of the hill of rocks

more recent graffiti

who you lookin at?

I'll write about my next stop in Yuma in the following report.  Glad you're with me as we travel around the country once again.

More photos on Picasa as usual


Glenn Blount said...

Doug - we will be in SE next winter after a trip to Alaska in spring/summer. Will look at Desert Trails as a possibility. Were the hiking/biking trails close to the park?
Safe travels -

Douglas Palosaari said...

Glen, Desert Trails has numerous trails starting at the back of the park, with trails leading into State maintained trails.... also nearby many hiking trails and Tucson is a bike friendly city. DT has both hiking and biking clubs to join...

Glenn Blount said...

Thanks Doug! I like the idea of having a group of people that will keep us 'up and active'!