After a really busy and eventful past few weeks, we have arrived at Gilbert Ray County Park west of Tucson, Arizona. Seems a good place to unwind!
To catch up a bit on our happenings... after leaving Roswell, NM in October 2012, we went to Alamosa to visit Ryan, Kate and youngest granddaughter, Lucy (a much-too-short visit, but so enjoyable!), and then on to Vallecito Reservoir to spend a week with Kevin, Kirsten, Logan and Owen... parked in their yard in the mountains for a week, and so enjoyed time with them... lots of fun times and fishing. Then, on to Moab, UT for a couple of glorious weeks and attended a great music festival.
A visit to Death Valley followed, and nice to have my parents and my aunt and uncle join us there for Thanksgiving. We spent most of December and part of January in Southern California, enjoying time with family and friends in Fallbrook and surrounding area. Fit in lots of good visits!
We left Southern California and headed east to arrive in Quartzsite January 13th. Parked out alone among the thousands there, but found it not nearly as crowded as expected. In this vast area, there was plenty of room to find a "just right" spot to park and call the spot home. We were encouraged by friends Nancy and Dave to join in with the Classes of 2008-09 since we didn't know anyone in our class (within the Escapees RV Club you join "the class of" in the year you become fulltimers). Since we are Class of 2012, but didn't know anyone in our class yet, we were told that they are a good group and welcome anyone. We were hesitant, but stopped by and met a few of the group... instant comfort, and we moved to join their group. Soon there were some 18 rigs in our little community, and we were welcomed warmly. People from many classes have joined in, two of us 2012ers and first timers at Quartzsite. One night around the campfire, some ideas were tossed around and soon the group decided that, since they had opened up to many new folks, the Class of 2008-09 would have a new name... The Classless Class! Lots of jokes about those with class and those without! :) What a great group of people! We are so glad we joined in.
While in Quartzsite, we went out looking at RVs one day... oh, boy! We looked and looked, tossed and turned all one night, went back and looked some more... took a test drive, crunched some numbers, thought some more... sometimes the stars align. We bought a motorhome! Found a "just right" deal on a 2004 Mountain Aire by Newmar, 37 feet, gas engine, with two slideouts, so traded in the truck and trailer and arranged for our new home. After the motorhome was cleaned and prepped, and following the walk-through, we parked the trailer next to it to begin transferring our belongings. We spent a week at the dealership... nice to take our time getting settled in while having electric and water hookups. This time also gave us a chance to become familiar with the rig, and have a few minor repairs made... a small leak from a light gasket after a rain storm, a stove burner that needed an adjustment, and the propane censor was defective so they replaced it. We had a delay while waiting for some of our funds to arrive but that turned out to be a positive thing as all repairs were made.
Once we finally left the dealership, we drove out to a BLM area where some of our Classless Class were relocated... so good to spend an evening with them again and to enjoy the beautiful, quiet desert... best night of sleep in a week! We enjoyed visits the next morning and then headed to Congress, AZ to attend RV Boot Camp at North Ranch SKP Park. We had registered for this workshop months in advance, and now having our new motorhome was a great opportunity to learn. The bootcamp was great, and we also got the motorhome weighed to learn of our weight distribution... we were heavy on one side, so did some moving things around to even out our weight, as we had learned a lot about tires, weight, load distribution, safety, etc. An added bonus the few days at North Ranch was meeting up with two of our Classless couples who were there... a potluck at our place, and our motorhome was officially christened by friends!
It has been fun to be connected to family and friends far away, and to share our adventure. So many nice and supporting responses to our FB posts. A couple of favorite comments surely made us chuckle. After buying the new motorhome, our son Loren wrote, "Guy with a pony tail can only drive a bus, no trailers. Good choice and it's my favorite color." And, friend Christie wrote, "Hey you knuckleheads, did you go crazy in Quartzite?????" Yep... that about sums it up! :)
So, now we have today arrived near Tucson, and look forward to just relaxing a bit and taking in some of the gem & mineral shows that are all over town for the next couple of weeks. Plus, there is much to explore in the area. Tonight, sitting outdoors and eating our supper, we both remarked how good it feels to be here... must be the right place for us right now, and we will soon celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! We are blessed!