Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Catalina State Park

P2230301 Arrived at Catalina State Park near Tucson on Sunday. It has been quite a week so far. We were fortunate to get the last 2 sites but ours was a pull-thru right on the road. We had a great view of the mountains, though. We kept seeing these big rigs going by very close and Jim kept stressing about getting hit. Yesterday he went to the hardware store and I heard and felt a crunch, and sure enough some idiot who was moving from the non-electric area into an electric site left his awning out and it hit the back of our rig.  Broke the upper left light cover and put a big scratch on the roof. Jim was real happy when he got  back but it was probably better that I was home alone when it happened. The guy felt terrible and later that day brought us a replacement lens cover. Jim was able to polish out most of the scratch, so all is well. Since our group get together started today, we asked the ranger if we could just move to the group area yesterday, and they let us.  Had a nice quiet evening by ourselves. 20 Lazy Daze have shown up so far and at least one more is expected tomorrow.  Had a  group happy hour tonight, which was fun.  This is before the other rigs arrived.



Unfortunately Jim was unable to join us because he had a tooth extracted today, the same one that’s been bothering him for months now.  In fact, he went back to the dentist in Pensacola when we were there for a few days in November but they couldn’ t see a problem. It resolved but has continued to bother him off and on since. He noticed his gum was sore on Sunday and sure enough there was an abcess. Our friend happened to have a bunch of Amoxicillin she bought in Mexico so he started taking that  and got an appointment with an endodontist Monday.  Thought he was going to need a root canal. Unfortunately, the endodontist saw a root fracture on the x-ray and said a root canal would not work. So he sent him to an oral surgeon for an extraction today. He survived, and the good news is there is plenty of bone left so he is a good candidate for an implant. He hasn’t decided for sure to do that instead of a bridge but we may come back to Tucson in a couple months so he can have it done by the same guy. Then it would be several more months before the permanent crown could be put on, which he can have done elsewhere.  He is feeling better this evening, so hopefully the worst is over.

We have done a little hiking and biking here and hope to do more this week. This is Jim trying to avoid getting his picture taken.


It is a beautiful area, the first time we’ve seen the Saguaro cactus. They are quite impressive.P2230309

Tucson seem like a nice city. Traffic isn’t too bad and it is very scenic with the mountains so close. Hope the rest of our visit here is a little more pleasant.  Jim will be back to the blog as soon as he’s feeling better.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kartchner Caverns/Ramsey Canyon


Spending a few days at Kartchner Caverns State Park near Benson, AZ.  It’s a very nice park with great views of the nearby mountains.  Temps have been in the mid 70’s so just about perfect. What we’re not used to is when the sun goes down it gets cold  very fast. Been in the low 30’s at night. Hiked one of the park trails yesterday but decided not to go on the Caverns tour since we just recently went to Carlsbad.

Spent today at Ramsey Canyon Preserve,  a natural area near Sierra Vista, AZ. It’s a beautiful park owned by the Nature Conservancy.  There is a stream running along the lower part of the hiking trail and then the trail climbs steeply to the top of a mountain.

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More beautiful views and we saw lots of wildlife. Several mule deer and dozens of wild turkeys walked across the trail to get a drink out of the stream.

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We were passed on the way down the trail by 3 Border Patrol officers heading up. There were signs at the visitors center warning us to be on the watch for bears and mountain lions, and also smugglers and illegal aliens who could be armed and dangerous!  Spoke with one of the volunteers as we were leaving and she said they are there every day. The Mexican border is  only 8 miles away and apparently they are always finding bad guys near the trails. Luckily we didn’t see any, at least not this time!  Tomorrow we’re off to Tucson.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Coronado National Memorial/Tombstone, AZ

P2180301 Spent yesterday at Coronado National Memorial, a national forest area in southeast Arizona. It was a beautiful, remote park with several hiking trails but no camping. From the top of Coronado Peak you could see Mexico and the wall and fence trying to keep out the illegals. Must not be working too well since the area was full of border patrol and signs warning people not to hike alone.


Today we left Bisbee and headed to Kartchner Caverns State Park near Benson, AZ. We passed through Tombstone on the way so we had to stop and check it out. Much as we expected it was a hokey, touristy place. We did see a “comedy” gunfight show, which unfortunately lasted much too long. But we can say we’ve been there!



And we parked in front of a giant statue of Wyatt Earp, which several people were taking lots of pictures of. Jim refused to be one of them but he did take a couple of the main street and our friend captured this special image of us.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bisbee, AZ

P2170327 Left Deming on Monday with our friend and fellow Lazy Daze owner,  Debbie.   We are all headed to Tucson for the get-together next week and wanted to see a few other places in Arizona on our way.  Spending a few days in Bisbee,  a quirky little town that was once a thriving copper mining community.

Unfortunately there are no public campgrounds nearby so we are staying at a private park about 9 miles from Bisbee called Double Adobe Campground and Shooting Sports.  Should have guessed what the name meant so as it turns out they have a skeet shooting range adjacent to the campground. Luckily the shooting seems to start after 10 in the morning but it is a little scary seeing all the guys with shotguns walking around.  Met another Lazy Daze owner here who has been full timing in his 26’ for over 5 years.

Went into Bisbee yesterday to sightsee and window shop. Apparently after the copper mines dried up in the 70’s lots of artists made this their home. Now the main industry is tourism. We had to stop by the Shady Dell, an RV park with restored, vintage  campers, mostly Airstreams. You rent them nightly like a motel room. We got to go into a couple and they were really cute. They had an old fashioned diner, also.




There were cute little shops lining the main street of town. Saw quite a few things we would have liked but the beauty of living in a small RV is that we have no room to put anything.

Many of the houses are built up on the hillsides and there are hundreds of stairs leading up to the homes from Main St. We spotted an old Lazy Daze up on a hill and tried to drive up to it since we were wanting to see what it was like up in the residential area. Seemed to be mostly alley ways leading to the houses so we finally parked in town and walked up many stairs to get there. Not sure if they use the RV much since there was just a steep, narrow dirt road leading out of the driveway.

Also ate a great veggie pizza at a local deli so it was another good day!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Las Palomas, MX

Yesterday we ventured south stopping at Pancho Villa State Park at Columbus, NM. Nice park but it is in the middle of this small town which is not very inviting looking.

Columbus is three miles north of the border with Mexico. We were headed to Las Palomas. Neither the border crossing or the town offer anything appealing to the eye.

No one checks as you enter Mexico. However, we were immediately approached by street vendors. All were polite and left us alone when we said no thanks. Children approach with their hands out for money but again they backed off.

Stores begin as soon as you enter. As we had read the main businesses seem to be dental and optical care for American and Canadian tourists.

The Pink Store is about a block in and has an attached courtyard. It was this courtyard where we found our dentist and optical shop.



The courtyard is very pleasant and is the only area that looked inviting from what we saw. We toured the Pink Store which had lots of beautiful decorative pieces for the home. Luckily we have no room for that stuff. We had bean burritos for lunch, not bad but not great either.

At the optical shop I had hoped to get new lens for a pair of frames but I wanted AR coating which would require that they be sent to Phoenix and would take 2-3 weeks. I  did buy a pair of prescription sunglasses in a sport frame which were prepared in less than two hours.

We stopped at the Pharmacia and purchased a few medications. Amazing that you can get these over the counter and much cheaper than here.

Then off to the dentist for cleanings. This clinic is operated by a husband and wife team. The dentists do the cleanings themselves. We got that done for $60 for the two of us.

As we headed back to the border we were approached by a small boy and girl with their hands out. The girl turned away when we said no but the boy continued to walk with us for quite a bit next to me. He would bump my arm with his hand asking for money. I thought we might have to adopt him.

In the end we crossed back into the U.S. without incident.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spring Canyon/Deming, NM

P2110303 After our snow day on Tuesday, yesterday turned out much better. Sunny, blue skies, no wind and warmer. Went over to Spring Canyon, the day use area of Rockhound. Hiked the Lovers Leap trail, another leg busting climb but worth the effort for the views. No leaping off the mountain for either of us!




Met this cow right by the road on our way back to the campground. She was chewing on a cactus, drooling like crazy. It looked painful but she seemed to be eating happily. This is open range country, so no fences. Haven’t seen any out in the road yet.


Today went into Deming for the first time. It was recommended that we go to the Luna Mimbres Museum. Quite an interesting and unique collection of miscellaneous. Everything from local history to art to pottery, dolls, saddles, vintage vehicles, contents of old offices,  old whiskey bottles, cameras, rocks, you name it!

Met a couple other full timers this afternoon. Another guy in a Lazy Daze and a woman in a small, older Class C.  There is a surprisingly large community of  RVers wintering in Mexico, moving from one state park to another. We’ve already met up with a couple  of them more than once. Glad to be a part of it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snow and Wind, Rockhound State Park, Deming, NM

We arrived at Rockhound State Park near Deming, NM yesterday and it is a beautiful place.



To our south and east of the campground are mountains which I believe are called Florida Mountains. To your west is a broad flat plain which includes Deming. We are on a slope of the Little Florida with beautiful views.

The last few days it has been pretty windy. We are under a winter weather advisory today with winds allegedly gusting to the 50’s and possibly higher.

We awoke this morning to this.




It’s noon and the sun has returned yet again and other than snow in the higher mountains it has disappeared here but not the wind. That will hopefully clear up as they day wears on. That has been one of the great things about New Mexico. It has rarely been cloudy and almost always comes and goes in a day, at least so far.

We will probably be here for a week. I got Gayle a dental appointment for valentines this Saturday in Palomas, Mexico. Just a cleaning, who says I am not romantic? Along the U.S./Mexican border there is quite an industry for dentists, opticians and pharmacies catering to Americans. From what we have been able to gather from people who have used these services they are very good and the prices are amazing. For example, crowns costing $150.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cloudcroft, NM

P2050294 Drove up the mountain to Cloudcroft on Thursday and again today to do some hiking.  Lots of trails around the area in the Lincoln National Forest. The 16 miles up and down the mountain was much less frightening in the car. We got to appreciate the views a lot more than when we arrived in the RV.  Cloudcroft is a neat little resort town. There is skiing in the winter and it’s popular in the summer because of the cool temperatures at 8600’ elevation.


The first trail we hiked was really nice for awhile but then as we got deeper in the woods and out of the sun it was covered with snow and ice. Since I grew up in the snow in Erie, Pa I didn’t think it would be too bad but it was slick and icy. We tried to walk for a ways but at one point I was on my butt sliding down the trail, and then on my knees at another point. Jim managed to stay on his feet but as conditions weren’t improving we decided to turn around. Of course that meant going back uphill on the ice. It was a relief to get back without any broken bones.

Today’s hike was better.  We hiked along an old rail bed and there was a little snow but it was mushy since the temperatures were warmer the last couple days.P2070313

Had another beautiful sunset when we got back. And the moon was rising over the mountain in the east. Pretty spectacular.P2060307    P2070330 


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Tomorrow we’re off to Las Cruces for a night to do some shopping and banking and then on our way to Rockhound State Park near Demming. Hard to believe another week has gone by. We’ve been on the road exactly 4 months now and  the time has flown by.  And neither of us has filed for divorce yet!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Oliver Lee State Park,, NM

P2010254 Arrived here at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park on Superbowl Sunday. It was a thrilling drive from Carlsbad, a gentle climb to over 8000’ at Cloudcroft and then less than 20 miles down a rollercoaster to Alamogordo at 4000’. The back seat driver was a little nervous but the scenery was beautiful.

Hiked the Dog Canyon Trail 3 miles up to a stone cabin on a stream, which was partially frozen. The views were spectacular from all along the trail. Can you see our RV down there?



Yesterday drove over to White Sands National Monument. The sand was much like Pensacola Beach. We ate lunch at the strangest picnic area we’ve ever seen . The road was hard packed sand that they plow like snow. We hiked 2 “trails” which were marked with signs. Could have easily gotten lost since the vast mountains of sand all looked alike. It was worth seeing, though.

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Spent today doing laundry and grocery shopping. What fun! At least we got back in time for the sunset and we don’t have to go to work tomorrow…….