Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Greetings from Quarantine

It was recently brought to my attention that my last blog post was way back...
just shortly after leaving Las Vegas.

So much water has gone under the bridge since those days it seems
hard to believe that it really was not all that long ago.

I think when I look back upon my blog in years to come, that posts before this one
might be "before the pandemic" and this one and those to follow are "after".

Only time will answer that, and I hope that I am wrong.

But since I left you hanging in limbo,  let's bring you up to date, shall we?

After 6 days of boodocking at the Lone Tree BLM area, we headed about 90 miles
south back to our old haunts outside of Quartzsite.

This time we tried something a bit different and found some empty desert at the
Hi-Jolly BLM area.

Normally during the show - it is way too crowded here since it is closer to town.
But since the show was over we were able to find a nice spot
next to a wash with green trees off on our driver side.

Quartzsite Hi-Jolly
A paraglider flying in and out provided us with a visual diversion.

We spent two nights at Hi-Jolly, had a nice visit from Stan & Marilyn, and then
were back on the road for a 3 hour trip to Lake Roosevelt east of Phoenix.

Enroute we stopped at Costco in Scottsdale to provision.

The route up into the Superstition Mountains on Az 87 is quite pretty.

Az 87 
Dropping down into the Tonto Basin we headed south on Az 188 and
crossed over the Lake Roosevelt Bridge.

We passed Jim & Kristi along the way and they took the photo of us
crossing the bridge below.

Soon we were parked in the USFS Windy Hill Campground on Lake Roosevelt.

Windy Hill Campground, Lake Roosevelt
Since our last time here, they have changed to a screwy systems of
reservations and double fee sites.

Without going into details - they new system is confusing, cumbersome, and
eliminates about 1/2 of the sites that they call "doubles"
It seems they took a site, put two picnic tables on it and now charge twice
the normal rate and do not offer the Senior Pass discount on it.

Not sure what the forest service is thinking but if their objective was to
eliminate about 70% of the paying winter customers....
Mission accomplished.

We stayed about 10 days and had the entire campground to ourselves the whole time.

Below looking at our group parked in Chipmunk loop:

On the left side is Kate/Me, Jim/Kristi, then Ron/Maxine.

On the right:  Kevin/Bobbi  then Rob/Pat

Windy Hill Chipmunk Loop Lake Roosevelt
I got up early and enjoyed a quiet sunrise and moonset.

The days fell into a predictable pattern.
Every morning we took a couple of mile walk

Afternoons were happy hours outside in the sun.

Or inside if too chilly

Happy Hour at Ron & Maxines Bus
 One afternoon we headed across the road to the Tonto National Monument
and their cliff dwellings.

The spring poppies were putting on a great show!

Tonto National Monument

Our 10 days flew by and at the end of the month we had to head home.
It was time to start thinking about getting ready for our trip to England as we would be
gone for about 7 months or so.

Arriving home we had lots of appointments scheduled.
Physicals, dentists, etc etc.

We fell into our "at home rhythm"

Morning hikes around Dove Mountain...
And all sorts of wildlife encounters:

Several days we had a herd of Javelinas blocking the trail.
A quick shout or two at them gets them moving out of the way.

Sunsets every evening.

Always nice - always different.

The warmth is bringing the reptiles back out.
Below is our first Gila Monster of the season.

More Javelinas on the trail.

And Rotisserie Chicken on the New Grill.

The flowers are starting to bloom in the backyard

Mexican Bird of Paradise
The heaving pruning that I did when we first got home seems to have made
all the plants very happy and they've come back with a vengeance.

We've had two rattlesnakes block our way.
This one was on the road as we were walking up the shoulder.

Another one on the trail.

The Ocotillo are starting to bloom.

Sometime about a week after we got back home, it became evident that this Coronavirus
thing was going to be a bit of a problem.

We started to cancel all of our appointments so as to keep ourselves healthy, still holding onto
the hope that it would blow by and we'd be able to continue with our plans.

As the days moved on and cruise lines started to "pause" operations it became
evident that it was only a matter of time before I plans went down the tubes, so I
shifted to a plan to stay safe at home.

Needless to say - Cunard cancelled our April 25 sailing and we are hunkered down
at home in Arizona.

Fortunately I moved early and we are provisioned well and keeping safe and healthy.

So my days have been filled recently with cancelling all the plans that made up our trip.

Its sad to know that this years plan is over, 
but I can't dwell on it as there are many people
who have much bigger problems than ours.

As for the future...  Who knows.   
We're taking it day by day as I am sure you are too.

We have plans for next summer to try and make it to England again.
We are already booked on the Queen Mary 2 for April 2021, and so if we dont
have the same problems next spring perhaps we can pick up where we left off this year.

Meanwhile...  let's see what the next few weeks and months bring.
Perhaps we can salvage something of this summer yet.

Meanwhile - stay safe everyone.
Stay healthy.