Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another Change in Plans ... And Yet Another

It rained for two days.  Then it snowed.  Monday morning, the temperature was 18 degrees.

We didn't sign up for cold weather, and Kazumi said, "It's time to move," so I figured it was time to move.  I started planning the trip to our next stop, in Snowflake, Arizona.  I looked at the weather reports for the area, and found that every place from here to Phoenix were experiencing the same cold weather, and would for several more weeks.

I looked further south, though, and found that Tucson was 86 degrees!  That settled it for me: our next stop was Tucson.

We went down to the park office to ask the manager about converting from monthly to weekly.  Luckily, the cost for 15 days was exactly the same as the cost for one month.  (Plus, the electricity deposit was refunded.)  Back in the RV, I made reservations at a reasonable place in Tucson, and worked back from there.  By car, it's a seven-hour drive, but in our rig, it would be more like twelve.  We want to enjoy the journey, not just the destination, so I divided the trip into three four-hour days.  I made one-night reservations at a place on the border of Arizona, and the same at a place above Las Cruces.  The next morning, we tied everything down, and were off just after sunrise.

The first stop was Monticello RV Park, which I personally believe comprised the entire town of Monticello.  It's a nice place, and it was good talking "da kine" with the Hawaiian guy running the park.  I was not so moved by the site that I was willing to stay more than one night, but Kazumi wanted to stay longer, to see the mountains and the nearby lake.

So I looked up parks in the area again, and came across Elephant Butte Inn and RV Park.  I had discounted the place originally, because a one-night stay was twice the cost at Monticello, but a month-long stay was only $290, the same cost as the park in Tucson.  It was only 10 miles away, so we drove over to look at it.

The place is beautiful, a diamond in a coal mine.  The lower level is all gravel, like so many other parks, but the upper level has paved roads and landscaped parking areas.  The staff is freindly and helpful, and the restrooms are like those you would want in yout own home.  On top of that, they are offering a free Thanksgiving dinner to all of their guests.

When we learned that the lot rent was not $290, but only $222, we said, "Sign us up!"  For the sizeof our rig, we had our choice of five spots along the back fence.  I picked the "smallest", a spot that was technically the runt of the littler, but, because it was at the end of the row, and tapered into an adjacent unused area, it seemed larger than the other spots.

Our "Little" Spot

We set up here on Wednesday, and plan to stay at least one month.  Maybe two, if we can find something to do here, besides hike and fish.

Our Backyard for the Next Month

Monday, November 12, 2012

There's Been A Change in Plans

We had planned to stay in each new area for a month, since that lessened the number of times we would have to fill the gas tank. Right after lot rent, gasoline is our biggest expense.

We came into Albuquerque with a plan to stay exactly one month before moving on. We were looking forward to that, since the weather was moderate, and Albuquerque is quite a nice place to live.

The recent rain and snowfall has made us reconsider that, though.

When the outside temperatures dropped to well below freezing, we learned that our rig is not as well-insulated as it should be, and the space heater we bought has barely enough power to fight off the cold. Each morning we woke to freezing temperatures. I had to break out my long johns. I wore my jacket indoors until at least noon.

It was definitely time to leave.

I checked the other places where we planned to stay in the future, and found them all to possess the same frigid weather. Kazumi checked the newspaper, and found the cities to the south to be toasty warm. The problem is, we were heading west, not south.

On a lark, though, I checked the temperatures in Tucson. 86 degrees. I placed a few calls, made some reservations, and we were on our way.  Thankfully, the cost of 15 days at this park was exactly the same as the cost of one month, once we got our electric it deposit back.

The trip to Tucson is just over 12 hours, We're breaking it into three days, so we don't have to drive more than 4-5 hours.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Beautiful and Dangerous Sight

I was working, and Kazumi was doing her needlepoint in the front seat of the RV.  She uttered an urgent whisper: "Come look!  Hurry!"  I struggled off of the bench seat, and climbed into the cab area.  Kazumi pointed out the window.  There, in the clearing below, was a beautiful coyote.

The area -- unused now -- was set aside for tent campers.  The coyote stood in the middle of the field, frozen at the edge of the circle of light from the manager's office.  It stood there, unmoving, for several minutes.  I imagined it was listening to the sounds around it: the rush of the wind, the soft rumble of various heaters, hushed conversations in the surrounding RVs.

After a few minutes, no doubt reassured of its safety, the coyote trotted down the hill and out of sight.