Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Great Escape To Texas…

Image may contain: sky, mountain, nature and outdoor

After four days in Tucson it was time to leave Arizona. We had originally planned to crawl our way slowly over into Texas to enjoy the spring wildflower season before putting our summer plans together. But this year would be different…

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

It was now March 15th and the Coronavirus had become the top news item  every day. So we decided it would be wise for us to travel quickly to Texas in case we needed to stay put for a lengthy time. I had already foreseen the current shutdowns might be coming so we stocked up all of our groceries and dry goods four days ago in Phoenix. Little did I know how timely this stocking up would become.

Image may contain: sky, mountain, nature and outdoor

Anyway, we changed our plans for leaving Tucson AZ and drove all the way to Las Cruces, NM for our first night out of Arizona. The drive was pleasant as the desert was in full bloom in places. As we drove we talked it over and decided we would stay one night at the Coachlight Inn & RV Park in Las Cruces, NM.

When we checked in the lady who took our info seemed to be on crack or something as she really had a hard time with her computer. We were given a site but it was already occupied and when we called she said to take the one next to it, also occupied. She acted as though she didn’t believe us and offered to send someone over to take us to a site. The man took us to a site which was only 30AMP, but when faced with the idea of dealing with that lady again we figured it was not worth it since we would only be here for one night.Image may contain: flower, plant, nature and outdoor

After eating our late lunch we heard a knock on the door when the strange lady from check in asked us why we were in the site we were in. After telling her the whole story she seemed complacent to my explanation. Yet she came and knocked on the door again minutes later to only leave before I answered so I think she finally figured why we were there! Bizarre…  We will surely never return to this sketchy park…

After that fiasco we later decided to go over to our favorite New Mexican restaurant nearby to pick up our take out order. The restaurant was packed so I am really glad we decided to get our order to go .Once home we devoured generous portion of our red and green chili burritos cooked at Andeles Restaurant…. YUM!

The next morning we were back on the road and drove to Van Horn Texas before pulling in for one night at the Oasis RV Park, a Passport America Park. Our luck was holding as the office was locked when we arrived even though we were told to arrive anytime between 1pm and sunset.  We called and the owner said she was running errands but would be there in 20 minutes. Sigh. 

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor, nature and water

As morning came we hit the road again for another long drive to Junction Texas. We checked in at the Pecan Valley RV Park. What a nice place in a remote location near Junction Texas. We enjoyed walking around the property checking out some of the early Texas wildflowers and I even picked up a large bag of small pecans from the Pecan trees on our spacious site.

Image may contain: tree and outdoorImage may contain: flower, plant, nature and outdoor

Again, the next morning, we hit the trail again for a shorter drive over to Potter Creek Park on Canyon Lake Texas. We have reservations for 13 nights and then plan to move on over to College Station for a much longer stay… Hopefully the Coronavirus won’t change these plans too soon…

These are indeed unique times… One day at a time until the new dawn approaches!

NOTE: We are currently sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…

Friday, March 27, 2020

Hidden Canyon Trail, Tucson, AZ…


Before leaving the Tucson Area we wanted to do one more hike through the beautiful Sonoran desert. I feel there is really no better way to practice social distancing than to go hiking. Being outside is good for the soul, the sunshine provides much needed vitamin D and the beauty of nature in the spring is very comforting.


I scoured the web and found a great little hike near the Marriot Resort in SW Tucson. The trail is called the Hidden Canyon Trail and if combined with other trails makes a nice loop with a gentle climb of not too much elevation. We drove over to the trailhead and couldn’t believe the density of Saguaro Cacti is this area… Stunning!


When we parked we were a bit worried about using this hike with regard to social distancing as the parking lot was packed. We elected to go ahead and don our boots and packs feeling we could find a way to distance ourselves with our pace. It is amazing how the mind filled with all the Covid-19 stuff quiets when you are in the midst of such beauty. Now mind you we did this hike on March 14th but I was at that time becoming very concerned about the potential pandemic.

Image may contain: flower, plant, nature and outdoorImage may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature

The trail was fairly narrow making it so that when we saw others coming our way we simply got off the trail at least 6 feet away to let them pass. While doing this we scoured the ground to find blooming spring beauties and hidden cacti. This hike ended up being a bit less than 3 miles and there was no charge for entry or for parking making it a great little hike.

Image may contain: flower, plant, nature and outdoorImage may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature

That evening we decided that it might be best if we accelerate our travels to Texas as there were several states beginng to impose travel restrictions or lock downs. As a result we thought it best to get to our 13 days stay at Canyon Lake in Texas sooner than later knowing full well we may get booted out of there should they have to close.  It looks life for now we are relying on plans B, C and D dependent upon the course of Covid-19…

Image may contain: plant, sky, tree, flower, outdoor and nature

NOTE: We are currently in sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…

Monday, March 23, 2020

Hiking Sonora National Monument, Tucson, AZ


Our time had come to make tracks toward Texas but we had one more short stop of four days we wanted to do before beating feet. We made a short 3 hour drive to the southwest and pulled into Voyager RV Resort just SW of Tucson, AZ where we figured we could plan a few hikes here before things got worse with the Coronavirus


We set up and enjoyed a short walk around the park. The amenities at Voyager are almost as nice as those we had at Mesa Regal RV Resort in Mesa AZ. We checked out the facilities, the pool, the hot tub, the sports courts and knew we would enjoy our stay.


The next day we drove over to the Saguaro National Monument where I had found a nice little loop hike to enjoy the Mojave Desert one more time. The hike was a bit more than 3 miles taking us on a nice loop filled with Saguaro, Cholla and other bountiful desert species.


Flowers were a little behind those in Mesa AZ as we are higher in Tucson but there were still plenty of buds. There were also some glowers blooming which did add some color to the palate of greens and browns found in the desert at this time of year.


After the hike we went to a local burger bar called Zinburger which boasts a great 50% off tall crafts making them only $3.50 each. We were now more aware of the Coronavirus and had decided that this would likely be our last cold beer out for a good while. We also made sure to sit well away from others at a small table for two rather than sit at the bar as we normally prefer. The cold Dragoon IPA helped us forget for a moment about all the worries the world has been enduring…


NOTE: We are currently in sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas until the end of the month and then we move over to College Station, TX to hunker down for an extended stay…. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Last Days in Mesa AZ as we hit the Road…

Image may contain: one or more people, mountain, sky, nature and outdoor

Our last week is about up but we are continuing to have fun despite all the Covid-19 fears. Everyone here at the park seems aware of the near pandemic but seem to be living theirs lives as close to normal as they can. Our friends hosted a nice bloody Mary brunch one Sunday morning. As you can tell by the picture of the table we had fun!

Image may contain: drink and indoor

Image may contain: flower, plant, outdoor and natureImage may contain: one or more people, hat, sunglasses, sky, tree and outdoor

We were able to squeeze in one more hike in the Sonoran Desert and were glad we did it when we did as wetter weather is coming into the area. More wildflowers are blooming bringing a little color to the otherwise brown desert soils. We will surely miss our desert hikes as we make our way back toward Texas.

Image may contain: sky, plant, tree, mountain, cloud, outdoor and nature

I had my one week checkup for my retinal surgery repair and all seems to be well. I am still being annoyed by all the floaters. I am hoping they fade sooner than later, but it is what it is. I am supposed to schedule another eye check in 2 to 3 weeks so I guess that will happen somewhere in Texas.

We will be heading out of here soon and with rain in the forecast we are hoping it is light or non-existent when we are driving to Tucson. I’ll blog about our stay in Tucson in the next blog.The virus news has become more and more ominous so stay safe out there, distance yourselves and take all precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe…

Image may contain: 1 person, hat and outdoor

We are sure going miss going out and having fun times but this too will pass…

 NOTE: We are currently in Junction, Texas as we are making our way to Canyon Lake Texas for a 12 night stay….

Friday, March 6, 2020

Fun times, Well Except for the Retina Tear…

Image may contain: plant, flower and nature

Well we are down to our last week in Mesa so we find ourselves beginning to pack up and stock up for the trek back to Texas.  Our plan is to depart on March 11th for four nights in Tucson and then we will do something unusual as we will take five straight one night stops until we end up at Canyon Lake in Texas.

Image may contain: one or more people, people dancing and indoor

We are moving much more quickly because we stayed longer in Arizona than we normally do so we need to zoom to be able to see our grandkids in San Antonio. Therefore we will spend one night in Wilcox, AZ, one in Las Cruces NM, one in Van Horn TX, one in Sonora TX and one in Fredericksburg TX before settling in at Potters Creek COE Park for nine nights!

Image may contain: 1 person, on stage and playing a musical instrument

While we have really enjoyed our stay here at Mesa Regal RV Park we (well more specifically me) are ready to roll. In the meantime we have been continuing to enjoy the amenities and the nightly live music at the main pool or the West End pool. We do have one more Manager's Night this Friday to attend where we drink  25 cent beer, cheap even for the Canadians using their currency!

There is also a fellow here that is a true one man band and he has played in the park a few times. He can play most any instrument and does a mean Saxophone. He is also quite an entertainer and we remembered him from our past visits here. He is the only live music gig where you better get your seat an hour before his show. He plays everything from the 50’s to hip hop. Anyhow we saw him twice this time around and stayed to the very last song both times.

Image may contain: outdoor

We do love the park but sometimes we really crave time outside the compound so we did another hike at the McDowell Sonoran Park near Scottsdale. It is a place we have hiked before but it makes my soul very happy to savor the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. Since we only come out this way every other year I need to get my fill of the desert landscape…

Image may contain: flower, plant, nature and outdoorImage may contain: flower, plant, nature and outdoor

It has not been all fun and games as one morning I woke up to blurry vision. I also noticed some large “floaters” in my eye as well. Since it was Saturday I waited until Monday to see a doctor After some research I actually found an ophthalmologist who graduated from Texas A&M Medical School! During the appointment I learned I needed immediate laser surgery to repair my torn retina.

Image may contain: one or more people, mountain, sky, nature and outdoor

Apparently as we age our eyeballs tend to elongate and the vitreous humor (the liquid in the eyeball) shrinks. This separation of the vitreous humor from the back of the eyeball is called Posterior Vitreous Detachment. It appears that my vitreous humor was detaching from the back of my eyeball but as it was detaching it tore my retina.

Image may contain: sky, plant, tree, outdoor and natureImage may contain: one or more people, sky, plant, tree, outdoor and nature

Fortunately for me I had the repair that same day because if left unattended it could have resulted in a much worse complication such as blindness due to a retinal detachment. Unfortunately I have to live with the numerous floaters for many weeks ahead.  Although it is annoying I can drive with no problems and am certainly ready to hit the road.

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