Tuesday, February 13, 2018

No Itch but Movin’ On, Friends Reunion in Tucson, Az, BBq’d Ribs

I seem to have an alarm built in my head now. No matter what time I go to bed, I’m awake and ready to get moving around 7 or shortly after. Today, Monday, Feb. 12th was no exception. I was up at 7:15, dressed, blinds open and out the door for my walk. I headed right out of the park gates and turned west. It was windy but 59F so great walking temperature.

The traffic wasn’t terrible on N. Frontage Road but busy enough that I stayed far enough off the highway. Their pedals were to the metal. 

The clouds are scrambling around the top of the mountain range
I turned into Sundance RV Resort, a sister park to Fortuna, owned by Cal*Am Resorts. It was another option for us to use for our 3 FREE nights. We’d heard that it would be too small and too crammed, that we might not have fit in easily.

Walking around the park, I was still impressed by the care taken in these resorts. A nice sports complex at the front with the same choices we have, but on a smaller scale. I was surprised to see outdoor Curling lanes too, my sister, Cathy, would like those! 

People were friendly, I met lots in my jaunt around past the dog park and the back side. A mixture of rv’s and older park models. I noticed 3 Ontario plates in one area and that always makes me smile.

Nice dog park but I didn't see any dogs playing on the apparatus in there

Such a pretty tree

Baby Ocotillo for Deb D.
It was showing some green buds coming
I walked back home after getting a mile and a half logged and Bill was up at his laptop. I made my tea, which he had prepped and we shared our last grapefruit. Bill had his shower, I washed and cleaned up dishes. There was nothing else to put away other than the hose so I brought the slides in, turned the invertor on and we were on the road by 9:30. Bill stopped at the office to report that the hydro/electric post for our site was very loose. Something they should check out.

One more shot of this fan palm

Almost ready to hook up
So, we drove on a section of I-8E that we haven’t travelled before. It was lovely, nice views, nice mountain ranges all around us. Soon enough we began losing the clear blue skies of Yuma, trading them without choice to the scattered clouds. Our morning coffee was making its route through our systems so we stopped at the first Rest Area at 10:15.

I think it is worth making a comment here for a couple of special ‘someones’. Ahead of us, a 1-ton truck and Cougar fifth wheel (smaller than ours) pulled out. After we both got up to speed (speed limit is 75/rv’s tend to travel 10 mph less), driving a Dodge. Just sayin’.
Pretty views through Dome Valley

Drove through the Dateland area
Saw more trains today than we've seen in for a long time
I guess that is what happens when you don't have long travel days
Bill was impressed by the Gigantic fields of solar
The panels were curved, different than we've seen before
As we find ourselves nearing I-10E, we are noticing the Saguaro, Teddy Bear and Staghorn Cholla again. We are obviously in the Land of the Giant Saguaro. It is interesting how they disappear for stretches of highway and then reappear. We have not seen such an awesome display of the Saguaro before. Every age, height, condition and stature you can imagine. Every family member is in attendance.

It was hard to get pictures while moving but here is a small collection
of Saguaro (sa-war-o)
At one point, maybe a mile in length, the Ocotillo were plentiful and green, then they were gone too. The Cholla seem to huddle near the base of the mountain ridges as if for safety in numbers and many Saguaro have white tips on their upstretched arms, showing new growth.
Ocotillo (oc-a-tiy-o)
The Santa Rosa Mountains are off in the south, a way over there but they can’t be the same Santa Rosa Mtns. we parked by in Borrego Springs, CA. Two states, same mountain names? Weird. On our left were the Maricopa Mountains, at least these names are according to our Atlas. This is not my knowledge at all. We are under full cloud cover now with 23 miles before the junction of I-8 and I-10 and a dozen drops of rain have teased our dirty windshield.

Warning signs for the blowing dust


Funny how the conditions are just right in this area
for it to become a hazard
 We just drove through the Blowing Dust Area, with signs posted. They weren’t kidding. Our visibility went from perfect to nil for about 5-8 seconds and then clear. 

They sure know the area! That was crazy! With another warning for dust blowing, we were watchful but it dissipated before we got to it. 

Seconds later, it was clear
At the junction we took the exit towards I-10E and pulled into a Pride gas station. Diesel was $2.89/gal compared to Love’s $3.05/gal so it was a no brainer. Pulling in the truck lanes, for the best fit, it always makes me wonder where the driver is with that truck parked in front of us. Just when I start to fret about whether he’ll move by the time we’re ready, he pulls out. Every time! Too funny.

Can someone tell us what these cages are for?
this is the second one in a row
The first one, the gate was open so someone obviously escaped!
It was 12:30 and we were ready for a bite to eat. Maybe we’ll grab a Whopper at the Burger King here rather than opening up the Suite. Yes, I know, you folks with a motor home don’t have to think about that. A burger and fries sounds good and now is better than waiting until we get there in another hour and a half.

We were on the road again at 1:00. The winds are really playing havoc with the garbage in the parking lots and with us folk trying to walk across the lots! The mountains are just silhouettes off in the distance, the blowing dust is flowing across them like lava. How appropriate that Neil Young began singing Four Strong Winds just at that time. 
The sky turned pretty again
The sun is fighting hard to return and blue sky is taking over the sky to the southeast. The temperature has bounced from 73F to 62F and then back up to 73F by the time we arrived at the KOA park in Tucson. We arrived at the gate and were met by Ken and Nancy with fruit in hand. Every site has a fruit tree of some kind, either grapefruit, oranges or lemons. So! We’ll certainly get lots of Vitamin C while here and for days after!
Walking over to Ken and Nancy's, this rig is too big for the site, ya think?
We were set up on Site 1331, one row over from our friends, by 2:45. Nancy invited us to join them for ribs so I will make a salad as my contribution. We have a nice spot as it should be for the price! Bill fed Clemson and we opened things up inside before walking over to see their site and find out times for supper. Oh first, I went out and picked some oranges and lemons off our trees. 😊

Lemons, anyone?
Our snob avoids Molly
We walked around the park and they showed us the pool, the office, a few of the perks that they enjoy. We settled on 6 for supper so after chatting for a while we headed back to the Suite. We both opened our books and soon enough Bill was asleep and lo and behold, so was I! It was a busy day. At 5:30 I got up and made a tossed salad and we walked back over.
Before dinner, Molly makes friends with her guests
Ken’s barbecued ribs were smelling awesome as we walked up so we went inside to join them. Nancy had prepared a feast, even though she said it was ‘nothing’. Rice with mashed potatoes and broccoli, hot german potato salad and julienne green beans, plus ribs, plus salad, plus cheesecake for dessert! My oh my! We were full and she declined my help with dishes. We visited some more before walking back to the suite around 8.

Great dinner with friends

I tried to capture a picture of the red western sky during dinner
but too much was in my way
I wasn’t in the mood for posting my blog tonight so forgive me for leaving it until morning. Pictures are downloaded and the write up will be done here in a couple of minutes. We had an awesome day, moving to a new location to see our friends and making plans for tomorrow. I hope your day was a good one too.

So this is an earlier sunset picture instead
It is gorgeous!!
Thank you for stopping by. I love hearing from you if you wish to leave a comment.


  1. What a nice drive over..love the way the cactus changes, appears and disappears. The dust across the road can definitely be scary! When we first started camping going across America we would stay at lots of KOA's mainly because they had standards and you knew what you would get from one to another. Now it's a rarity that we stay, because they're so expensive! Even if you buy their card (which used to be good for 2 years) it's still costly. I'm sure you'll enjoy while you're there as you're with friends. Make sure and load up on the fruit..hahah..Dinner sounded wonderful! Sunset was gorgeous! Enjoy!

    1. Yes, it was a nice drive, we loved the views. Bill will have to rate that road. :S
      The dust was scary, just glad it didn't last long and that we didn't have a clean truck! haha
      the KOA certainly has everything BUT terribly pricey. We bought the $30 card and only got $16.95 off so we'll have to pay to stay in one more for one night to pay for the card (if you get my drift)
      We will have fun for the short time we're here and forget the cost. We'll take it out in fruit!!

  2. That is a nice stretch of I-8 that we have travelled a few times over the years. Those dust storms can sure come up quickly, we have been stuck in a few of them and have had to stop to the day when the interstate close down. Nice to catch up with your friends and a wonderful dinner as well.
    Enjoy your time there.

    1. Lucky for us, the dust only lasted a few seconds and we were out of it.
      It is great being with these two again. We miss our week together from the past 5 years.

  3. Wow, what a day. We too found it windy in places but not too bad over all. You travelled much further than we did. We stayed in the 62F area. It'll be nice here in a couple of days.

    Dinner sounded like a feast for sure. Great food, great friends, great views. Sounds like a perfect!!

    Enjoy your time there.

    1. So far, we are still feeling mid 70's which is a drop from the 80's we had the last while. Still very nice.
      Dinner was great, she outdid herself even though she says she didn't!

  4. I always enjoy the stretch of I-8 from Yuma to Tucson. I love the views as you drive through Telegraph Pass just east of Yuma. Then between Gila Bend and I-10 the Sonoran Desert National Monument filled with Saguaros as far as the eye can see is so beautiful. I would love to be there in June when they bloom. For me when we drive east on I-8 it is like one last hurrah before they are totally gone from our sight.
    That is quite the dust storm you drove through reminded me of our "whiteouts" back home.
    Fresh fruit not a bad perk.
    Your last picture is gorgeous.
    Enjoy your time in Tucson with your friends and how nice to be able to sit down and enjoy what sounds like a delicious dinner together.

    1. That is the smallest Ocotillo I have seen. Thanks for sharing.

    2. It is a lovely drive, we were glad to take that route. The cactus views kept changing, now we see them, now we don't. :)
      You're right, the dust storm was like our white outs back home too. Hope not to have to deal with too many more of those in our lifetime.
      Thank you, it is nice to sit with friends and relax. Good times.
      If I could have got away with it, I might have pulled it by the roots for you, Deb. The things we do for friends. ha ha

  5. Hi Patsy. This is Elva, Shirley's friend from Sacramento. I just wanted to tell you that Dome Valley is very special to our family. My great grandmother, the one that was married to the Prison guard, was born and raised on the family ranch in Dome Valley. Also, we have stayed at the Tucson KOA twice. We have enjoyed our stays there. Elva Shannon

    1. Hi Elva. thank you so much for commenting. I wanted to thank you first hand how pleased I am that you read my babble. :) It means a lot to me when friends of friends follow.
      That is very interesting about Dome Valley, it was gorgeous driving through that area. this KOA is very nice, our friends here have come back from being here last year. They stay for 2 months at a time and enjoy it a lot.
      Take care, Elva!

  6. We have friends at the Tucson KOA who stay there for 6 months at a time. We visit them every year and love running around picking oranges. Enjoy your stay.