Our original plan was to leave Deming on Wednesday but with the snow threat (that didn’t amount to anything) we stayed an extra day. The ‘plan’ was to get a site at the FamCamp on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for a couple of days. However, when I called to see if they had any sites available (they don’t take reservations) they didn’t have anything. We quickly came up with plan ‘B’ and called the Pima County Fairgrounds RV Park to see if they had sights available. They did.
The next change came with plans for our next destination – Gila Bend. Once again, we’d planned to stay at the FamCamp there but no reservations were taken so we were going to wing it. We decided not to ‘wing it’ and made reservations at the KOA instead. With all the snowbirds and our coach being four feet longer than the old one it’s been hard to find available sites so when I found a large enough site at the KOA we grabbed it.
We made all of these ‘changes’ on Thursday morning before we started prepping to leave. Once the changes were made Michael went out to start the truck so it could warm up (low 20s over night). Unfortunately, it wouldn’t start. He waited a while and tried again…but still no. He ended up calling our Roadside assistance plan to have someone come out. He was pretty sure it just needed a jump. And he was right! The guy who gave us a jump was at the park less than 5 minutes! We immediately hitched up and were on the road within 15 minutes.
We had a nice uneventful drive to Tucson and got settled into our site easily enough. Matter of fact, Michael was backed in and ready to unhitch when I got there after paying for our three-day stay.
We had a fairly relaxing visit to Tucson (we’ll be back in March for the Escapade). We took time to go to a movie (Bumblebee), which turned out to be really cute. If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted, fun movie…this would be right up your alley.
We also took a ride to the Saguaro National Park (only about 20 miles from the park). We’d forgotten about the government shutdown but it didn’t keep us from taking the 9 mile loop drive through the park. The only thing that we weren’t able to do was go into the Visitor’s Center as it was closed.
There were a lot of visitor’s there the day we went…everyone was well-behaved, there were no overflowing trash cans, no garbage strewn about. Matter of fact…someone had gone to Sam’s Club and purchased a large package of toilet paper and left in one of the bathrooms for others to use.
The 9 mile drive took us a couple of hours as we stopped a lot to take pictures and to marvel at the beauty. It was fascinating to us to wonder about the large cacti…what did the seedlings look like (the smallest we saw were about 2 feet tall), why were some so green and healthy looking and others near death.
I did some ‘Googling afterward and found out the following interesting tidbits:
- It can take 10 years for a saguaro cactus to grow to one inch tall!
- By 70 years old a saguaro cactus can be 6.5 feet tall and finally produce its first flower
- It can take 95-100 years for a saguaro cactus to reach 15 feet tall and start producing its first arm!
- By 200 years old a saguaro cactus will reach its full height and can reach up to 45 feet tall!
There are roughly 25 different species of cacti within the national park and we were able to figure out several but not nearly what are actually there.
Sunday morning we woke up to rain but didn’t have plans to leave until 10:00 am. We took our time with breakfast and getting moving that we didn’t actually pull out until closer to 11:00 am. Unusual for us to not hit our ‘goal’. We only had 137 miles to travel so we just kinda took our time.
On our way to Gila Bend we drove through part of the Sonoran Desert National Monument and were, once again, in awe of the huge Saguaro Cactus scattered all over. Sadly, most of the saguaro’s we saw were sick with disease…bacterial necrosis, I believe (thanks to Google!) The poor plants look so sad, slowly rotting away.
We arrived at the Gila Bend KOA early in the afternoon and were welcomed by the owner who was especially friendly (completely the opposite of the hosts at the Pima County Fairgrounds). We were escorted to site 118 by another very friendly gentleman. What a nice trend!
Set up goes very quickly these days as most everything has a home so there’s not much that needs to be ‘unpacked’. There’s no messing with a satellite dish anymore….just push a button and it does its own thing. I put out the five slides while Michael hooks us up to water and power. I slowly open cabinet doors and the refrigerator doors to ensure that nothing comes flying out after having been shifted during travel. If anything needs to be put back in order I do that before Michael comes along because he inevitably will whip open a cabinet door without thinking and items will fall out. 🙂
The heat vents in the bedroom and bathroom haven’t been pushing out any heat so Michael dug into the basement when we arrived at the KOA to see what the problem was. He found that the hose wasn’t hooked up to vent…therefore no heat coming through. Quick fixes are great!
We are here for just 3 days before we head to Quartzsite to gear up for a Grand Design Rally (January 11 – 13) and then the Quartzsite RV show (Jan 19 – 27).