RV ADVENTURES - MARCH 2011


March rv adventures had all of us watching the government limp along just two weeks at a time. We were pretty curious as to what would happen if everything came to a screeching halt at the beginning of March and ORPI had to shut down. It might have been interesting, but it didn’t happen. It does kind of make you wonder about some things, though, does it not?

Spring in the Desert

My last week at Organ Pipe, desert lupine and globemallow were starting to bloom along the roads; more brittlebush was covered with bright yellow flowers, and many of the ocotillos were clothed in bright green leaves about the size of my little fingernail – totally transforming those dead-looking, spiny stalks. Funny how some ocotillo and palo verde have leaves while others remain totally bare. The tiny leaves on the palo verde can barely be seen, but they give the tree a fuller appearance. Mexican jumping bean leaves were turning green instead of the bright mahogany red; jojoba leaves started changing from gray green to gold.

I wrecked one of rear tires on my car the last week I was there - banging it on a big rock in front of the VIP building. I got out of the car to take a look and, as it seemed fine, drove on to the administration building to pick up my mail. While I chatted with folks in there, the tire went completely flat.

I had to empty my entire trunk to get at the "donut" spare tire - that was a lot of fun. Lee (Supt. of the entire park) and Rick (his right-hand man) came out, removed the flat, announced there was no chance of sealing it and pumping it up, and put on the spare for me. Such nice guys!

There was not one 15" tire, new or used, in Ajo.... so, I planned to tow the car, with the donut, back to Tucson on Friday morning, unhitch it and get myself over to Wal-Mart to get a new tire put on. Just another rv adventure which would, hopefully, turn out fine.

Part of Maintenance Crew at ORPILast Day on the Job at Organ Pipe

The wonderful guys in Maintenance had other thoughts about that plan. They were not happy about me towing the car with the donut, claiming it really wasn’t safe. On Wednesday, Kenny found a tire dealer in Gila Bend that had a tire in stock the right size. Sue at the Visitor Center was worried about it, too, and called Carol to tell her she was driving up to Phoenix with one of the guys in Resource for a workshop and could stop and pick up a tire for me. Kenny said he could mount it on the rim first thing Friday morning. So, I got on the phone to the tire dealer in Gila Bend and set things up.

Friday morning, the 11th, a new tire was all mounted and ready for me. I took off the donut and put on the new tire - all by myself – and was on the road about 9:15.

When I was within 30 miles or so of Tucson, I turned on the radio and tuned in NPR news. That was when I heard about the huge earthquake in Northern Japan. After three months of an rv adventure with no radio or TV, it was so strange to discover that, oh yeah, there really was another world out there and big things were happening in it.

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RV Adventures Take a Break

A little after noon, back in Tucson, I got myself all set up for drycamping at the casino. Casino del Sol would be my home for the next couple of weeks; initially, there were 25-30 rigs all boondocking here, but after the first week many of them left.

Drycamping at the CasinoDrycamping at Casino del Sol in Tucson

The afternoon of the 12th I drove to Scottsdale - got there a little after 4pm and had a wonderful couple of hours with Jeff, Laurie and Jack who were in town for a long weekend to watch their beloved Giants during Spring Training. Scottsdale was teeming with baseball fans. Laurie's hair, lost during chemo, was coming in sort of salt and pepper, very short and very curly and it looked great!

Just 90 minutes a week will make it look like you’re aging backwards.

Five steps to looking 10 years younger.

Family

Over the next few days I bought a new spare tire (a "real" one), balanced my other new tire, and got rid of the donut. I spent time wandering through Wal-Mart and Whole Foods, and listened to NPR, immersing myself in all the things I had missed.

I took Mehitabel out to dump the holding tanks and refill with water on the 17th and creamed the back left bumper on a concrete post next to the sewer drain. For more details on this rv mis-adventure, Click Here.

Trouble usually comes in threes – what would happen next?

I also turned 69! What wonderful rv adventures would this coming year bring? 

My brother Chris called to wish me happy birthday as I was pulling into La Mesa RV after being at the body shop. What with the bumper thing to deal with, I had totally forgotten it was my birthday, but he remembered it which had not happened for the past 10 years or so.

The weather was cooling off a bit – it was pretty nice for boondocking at the Casino, surprisingly quiet at night. A big hotel was being built and the construction trucks started arriving early in the morning, but that was not a problem, as I seemed to have developed a habit of waking well before sunrise on my rv adventures.

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Sunrise at Organ Pipe Cactus NM

Sunrise at Organ Pipe Cactus NP

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