Thursday, January 16, 2020

Tacna Arizona for three nights…

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We certainly liked our stay at Rio Bend RV Resort in El Centro and look forward to visiting again whenever we return to this area. As the morning came we packed up the RV and readied for our departure. We had three more days to kill before landing in Mesa Arizona for the remainder of the winter so we found a sleepy little spot out in the middle of nowhere.

After a couple hours of driving eastward we pulled into Tacna Arizona and will spend three nights at the Copper Mountain RV Park. We chose this park as it was close to midway from El Centro to Mesa Arizona and because they had a great Passport America rate at $20 per night.

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Located behind a truck stop I was worried it would be noisy but we never really heard anything other than a slight hum of traffic from the interstate highway nearby. This park may have the largest sites we have ever been to for a commercial park. It was only about 1/3 full and at $265 per month would be a great place to stay, at least for those with an ATV. Without an ATV there really didn’t seem to be a lot to do around here.

We did a few walks around the park and on one of those walks we discovered that there was a full kitchen in the clubhouse which had a refrigerator with a sign advertising ice cream treats in the freezer for a dollar. We had both been craving a treat so we each ponied up the $1 in the tin can atop the fridge for 2 Nutty Buddies. Hah, what can say we both really enjoyed this little unexpected treat.

The park also provided a free reverse osmosis water machine which dispenses wonderful drinking water. At check in we were told this was offered since their well water tastes a little salty. No problem cooking with it or showering in it but they suggested we take advantage of the free distilled water, and we did.

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We also took a drive around the area and basically verified there wasn’t much to see and do.  We drove down some of the dirt roads in Quigley Wildlife Area but there really wasn’t much to see. We came across a roadside plaque on the Gila River Corridor describing the Petroglyph Site on Antelope Hill. We climbed up the hillside and sure enough we found some petroglyphs on some of the rocks not very far from the signs. Pretty cool for a place with not much to offer.

The three days passed by pretty quickly and we once again packed up for our move over to Mesa AZ…

NOTE: We are currently in Mesa Arizona until March 11th 2020, then over to Tucson for a few days.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Bringing in the New Year in El Centro CA…

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We are always a bit concerned when leaving San Diego since we have to drive up 4,500 feet and down 4500 feet to cross over the mountains on Highway 8. Why? Because often there are very high winds blowing through the mountains. Fortunately for us, the day we left there were very light winds and as a result the drive over to El Centro California on the other side of the mountains was uneventful, just the way we like! Our only excitement was reaching the top and seeing snow…

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We stayed at Rio Bend RV Resort on the way over to San Diego so we were glad to be back. So much so that we had planned to stay 5 days and ended up staying 12! While there may not be a lot around this park this is truly a great place to spend some time. It is a very scenic park with sites facing palm tree lined lakes, a very green onsite golf course and views of the mountains. Staying 12 days we even made a few new friends…

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As I mentioned this is a pretty active park. Sharon enjoyed using their large fitness center and I enjoyed a daily jaunt over to the pool and hot tub. I love a good soaking in a hot tub. There is also a café and bar by the pool which was great since the closest town is El Centro some 15 minutes away. The park offers music and a happy hour several nights per week which we enjoyed as well.

Not far away is Sunbeam Park which is a small lake with a walking trail around it. We went there one day and enjoyed our stroll around the lake but seriously once done, we felt no need to do it again since walking around our park has been a bit more scenic and green.

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We did discover a small nine hole disc golf course at Sunbeam park and although the course layout was odd it was nice to play a little disc golf. The course uses shared baskets for several of the holes and even with a map we found online it was still a confusing layout. We actually never found one tee box to a hole (and it was a 720 footer-wow) so we made do by “creating” our own tee box.

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Another great find in EL Centro was the Cardenas Grocery. This is a Mexican grocery store as large as most grocery stores with a great produce and meat selection with really inexpensive pricing. For example, they had avocados 8 for a dollar and onions at 4 pounds for a dollar. They also have a small restaurant within the building where buyers can get some great (and inexpensive) Mexican fare. We loved their fully cooked carnitas which sold for $5.95 per pound on certain days Muy deliciosa!!!

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While in El Centro we also celebrated the New Year! With our Texas tradition of black eyed peas, corn bread and tamales we are now ready for luck this next year. We really enjoyed our stay at Rio Bend, made new friends and look forward to coming back. Our site facing one of the lakes offered us the opportunity to see palm trees, ducks and many great sunsets but the time had come to move on and so we did…

NOTE: We are currently in Tacna, AZ until Jan.11th before moving over to Mesa Arizona for the rest of the winter.