Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Quartzsite - Organ Pipe Cactus Natl Monument & The BIG R

Once again it's been a busy busy few weeks...
Our travels have taken us to Quartzsite for our 6 winter season and then
further south to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the Mexican Border,
and culminated today with THE BIG R.

But before I get too far ahead of myself.

We arrived at Plomosa Rd - our normal hangout at "Q" on Friday 1/11
Since it was 8 days before the start of the big RV show we had much of the BLM
land to ourselves.

Parked at Plomosa Rd BLM Land North of Q

Slowly over the next 5 days or so - many of our friends arrived and before we
knew it a group of over 70 rigs were circled nearby.

Some heavy rains (that became east coast snow) came passing thru
and the normally dry washes became running streams.

For me - a bit of rain is welcome as I know it will mean spring desert flowers later.

Desert Rains in Q
We settled into our routines of morning hikes and afternoon happy hours.
Below some of the gang and the 4 dogs...
Gracie, Lucy, & Olivia the 3 doodles are on the left,
and Buddy the Cockapoo on the right.

the 3 doodles in our EuroPrison

I've always called Q "Geezer Wintercamp"
Lots of toys around.
Below a paraglider sails gently in the dwindling sunset.

Warming my feet at the fire.

The full moon (after the lunar eclipse) sets in the west just prior to sunrise in the east.

Two weeks later - the RV show is over and the crowds started to dwindle.
We joined remaining friends in the circle for burgers & dogs courtesy Jack & Dave.

On Monday 1/28 we headed 3hrs south and east to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
The campground is quite nice for a National Park Campground.   A decent amount
of space between sites...   dry camping of course.

Site 79 Twin Peaks CG in Organ Pipe
If this is Arizona... then the desert sunsets are the best!

The Big R

Well it's official today.


To celebrate - we took a drive on the Ajo Mountain Loop and stopped for a hike.

Ajo Mountain Loop - Organ Pipe NM

Those rains that have been soaking the desert during the late summer and
winter are now paying off in what I think will be a great spring flower show.

We took a hike up the Arch Canyon Trail and enjoyed the good start to
the Spring Flower Display

Notice the arch above Robs head.

Double Arch - Organ Pipe Cactus Natl Monument.

The variety of flora in the Sonoran Desert is amazing.
The colors were breaking out everywhere.

Looking towards the west on the trail.
The partly cloudy weather, 70's temps and gentle breezes made
for a perfect day for a hike.

Looking west down Arch Canyon

So today was a good start to my next chapter.

Tomorrow we'll head to an Oasis right on the border and take a hike up to the lake,
and then Friday it's back to Catalina State Park near home.

See you in the Old Pueblo.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Back on the road

I know that we've been MIA for a couple of months which is not really like us,
but we did have a good reason.

So I'm doing this quick post to bring you up to date and give you some things to
look forward to.

We we got back to Tucson, we had a brand new empty house waiting for us so
we had to get our things in storage delivered, and we also had to buy quite
a few things to get the place settled a bit.

The Garage after the movers left
Night or day we have a great view.

Thankgiving brought our frends Pat & Rob for a visit.
Pat & Rob were with us when we first found this lot and signed the contract to build,
so it was entirely fitting that they were also our first guests.

Before we knew it - Christmas was here and time to roast a Prime Rib.

Pat and Rob joined us again, and Pat made Yorkshire Puddings.

Rob made his signature gravy..
I inserted and removed the temperature probe from the roast.

I also had a spurt of domestication and made some Oatmeal Wheat Bread.

Every night we have great sunsets.

Just prior to sunset, the walls light up with the color of the setting sun.
I call it the sunset alarm.
The better the colors - the better the upcoming sunset.

Just about every night is a great show!

And then in the mornings we get the moonset.

New Years morning we woke up to snow on the distant mountains...

And on the Tortolita mountains right outside the door the snow was 
only a couple of hundred feet higher elevation.

So for now the house is done inside and we can hit the road.

I'm writing this post from the Bus.

We are at Lake Pleasant outside of Phoenix with Rob & Pat and will be
heading to Quartzite next Friday for the Big RV show and gathering.
We'll boondock north of Q for a couple of weeks and then
spend the next month or so bouncing around the desert before we head back
to the house.

In the meantime, landscapers will arrive in a couple of weeks to finish off the backyard and create
our own little slice of paradise.
The doodles will have their very own artificial turf to romp on!

But don't let this fool you into thinking that we are settling down and 
becoming homebodies....
Far from it.

February 1 is my retirement.

We have guests from NY, Switzerland and England coming in Feb & March,
In May we'll be back to Alaska for the summer.

Winter 2020 will be a mix of home and our usual desert roaming.

And summer 2020 its back on the QM2 to the UK for 4 months.

See you in Q!