It’s been a quiet week here at McDowell Mountain. Just riding our bikes almost every day and finishing up some chores. Jim got the oil changed in both vehicles and I am almost done polishing the Lazy Daze.
The day after Christmas we had a nice visit from blogger John (Just Finding Our Way) and his wife BJ. Anyone who comes bearing sugar cookies, snicker doodles, and freshly picked citrus from their yard is welcome to stop by anytime! We were following each other this past summer and fall in the Pacific northwest and southern Utah but never connected so it was great to finally meet.
We moved sites again, and have to move once more on the 1st, but will get to stay in that one until we leave on the 15th.
Another nice view, with lots of rabbits and birds to entertain the cats.
And speaking of birds, I braved near freezing temps the other morning to join the ranger-led bird walk on the Nursery Tank trail. I was surprised to see such a big group.
Being a man-made tank continually pumped with water, this area attracts many birds and animals looking for a drink.
Although we did see quite a few different birds, (which I may or may not remember), one of the guys in the group spotted this freshly dead javelina under some trees. If you look closely you can see the arrow stuck in it’s side. Bow hunting is allowed but not in this part of the park, so they guessed it was hit and maybe ran a long distance before succumbing to the wound. Very sad to see.
I don’t normally do a recap of our year on the blog, since it is all there to look back on, but after reading Geogypsy, Bayfield Bunch, and Wheeling it about their Anza Borrego group, I got to thinking about this past year and how it was probably our most social one yet. We left McDowell on January 1st, met up with Debbie, spent almost the entire month in Quartzsite, dividing our time between the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous and the Lazy Daze group. Then we moved on to Mittry Lake near Yuma, where we were met by various friends coming and going for the entire month of February.
While there, Laurelee suggested we come to the Lazy Daze get together in Morro Bay, CA in March. We hadn’t yet made plans for the spring or summer, and on a whim decided to go and then continue on up the coast, all new territory for us. Debbie joined us and we had a fantastic time along the CA coast, visiting San Francisco, wine country, then north to OR and WA.
We managed to find some good inexpensive or free places to camp, parked on friends’ property in several places, and met up with a number of bloggers and friends who travelled with us on the Olympic Peninsula. It was an excellent summer.
One of our rare happy hours filled with lots of laughter. I know Karen, Suzanne, Carla, Kim, Jim, Debbie, and Chuck will remember this evening at Mora campground near Forks, WA.
We then spent some time in Idaho and Grand Teton National Park before moving on to southern Utah where we met up with the Box Canyon gang for some boondocking and hiking in Torrey and Virgin, a great way to spend the fall. We were very fortunate to have had generally good weather almost every place we went.
It was an amazing year, meeting new people and reconnecting with folks we had met before. We had a few medical issues to deal with but nothing that slowed us down (yet). The interesting thing about hanging out with other RVers, many of them fulltimers like ourselves, is that we all tend to respect each others space and privacy, and don’t feel the need to spend every waking moment together. The above happy hour was not the norm, as most days we all went to our respective “homes” for dinner and relaxation following a day of hiking or sightseeing, either on our own or with the group. No pressure.
In our old life we had a small circle of friends with whom we played racquetball or biked, and went out to dinner with on weekends. We have made more friends and met more like-minded people these past 6 years than we did in our 30 years of living in Pensacola. Maybe we were just too busy then with jobs, home ownership, aging parents, etc, to make the effort. Out here it seems so easy.
So we end the year in the same place as last year, enjoying the Sonoran desert at McDowell Mt. Park, alone and anonymous for a change. We have met a few nice people here, though, and our friends Jim and Allison arrived at the nearby RV park in Fort McDowell yesterday, and will be joining us here for a mountain bike ride this afternoon. Maybe we’ll even break tradition and do something for New Year’s Eve.
Wishing everyone a healthy, happy 2015! Can you believe another year has gone by?