Our time in Gila Bend went fast, too fast. The park turned out to be a really nice KOA…and we’re not fans of KOA but we’d recommend this place. The rates are reasonable (unlike many KOAs) plus when the owner found out Michael was retired military he gave us a discount. Any other KOA we’ve been to only offers their KOA discount, which you have to pay a yearly fee to receive…some discount.
The park is fairly new and very well maintained. The sites are enormous and very well placed. No looking out your window straight into your neighbors. We had a gorgeous view out or door-side living room window of the mountain range in the distance.
Gila Bend is small – only about 2,000 population. There’s not much to do, but it’s quiet and peaceful and everyone we associated with was very friendly. Buckeye is 30 miles north if you wanted to do something more than whats offered in Gila Bend.
Shortly after arriving in town I found out that our friends, Arvin and Vicki were in town, staying at the FamCamp. We planned to drive over to that way on Tuesday to check out the base and the FamCamp. However, we were surprised on Monday afternoon when there was a knock on the door. Arvin and Vicki decided to surprise us! It was really a surprise since we didn’t recognize Arvin as he’d grown a beard since the last time we saw him. We visited for a couple of hours before work called to us and we had to put our noses back to the grindstone.
Tuesday was a bit slower so we took some time to scout the area. Our first stop was at Mercado De Amigos (Mexican Market). Arvin had told us about the huge burritos that they make and Michael was set on trying one. We each ordered one and we each have 1/2 of one in the refrigerator to enjoy later. They were very tasty and the green sauce they provided to go with made it even better!
We needed a few groceries to take us through our stay in Quartzsite so we picked up a few items at the Mexican Market and then went over to Dollar General to pick up a few others. We had to make due with those choices as there are no other grocery stores in Gila Bend.
We drove south of town to the auxiliary airfield to check it and the FamCamp out (less than 5 miles out of town). To say the base is small would be an understatement. I’m pretty sure we covered the whole place in less than 5 minutes. Not much too see…an airfield, lodging and a FamCamp is about it. LOL
The FamCamp is pretty nice, nothing special though. It has just 37 sites with only one that was available. The sites are pretty nice sized…actually a few of them were big enough to play a game of football on! We’d definitely stay there if there was room….but that seems like it might be a BIG ‘if’ as I think it might stay pretty full.
Before heading home we hit two Roadside America attractions. The Gila Bend Welcome Sign is a bit different from the average sign for a couple of reasons. It’s hand-painted and it boasts 1917 Friendly People and 5 Old Crabs (and lists the names of those people). It seems that the crabby people change as looking online the list has changed over the years. Cute!
Gila Bend was awarded a piece of the World Trade Center after applying for it eight years earlier. The town built a pretty little park in the middle of town where the artifact stands prominently. We’ve visited several sites like this and it’s just as poignant each and every time. I’m so glad that these pieces weren’t just scrapped but are on display across the country to help us always remember that day and for future generations to learn.
For dinner we went to Little Italy. It’s about the only place that isn’t Mexican or McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway or Carl’s Jr. It had good reviews so we were game. Arvin had told us that Prince Harry had eaten there and had loved the pizza…so we had to try it!
We were seated in Prince Harry’s booth (I guess they thought we were royalty!) and had Harry watching over us the whole time as there is a cardboard cutout of him placed on the wall over the table. The waitress told us that he had been training at the airfield and that’s why he was in town and happened to come in for pizza. We were told he was very friendly, just a normal guy. Here’s an article about his visit.
We ended up not ordering a pizza (we’ll save that for our next visit) and both went with pasta instead (lasagna for Michael, chicken Marsala for me). Our meals were good…the only thing Michael said is that he likes his sauce a little on the sweeter side than what his lasagna was.
We got some time while in Gila Bend to do a little more home decorating. We finally got our ‘grandbaby wall’ put together. The only thing that needs done now is to get updated pictures of all of the grandbabies as most of the ones we have are a couple of years old and they have all grown just a LITTLE bit in the last two years. Zoe (now three) was only a little over a year old in her pictures. I’ll get those updated when we’re with them this spring.
I also put up wall decals in the kitchen. They work SO well for RV living. No added weight. No falling off the wall during travel. Easy and versatile as they can be removed and replaced if needed.
We’re heading to Quartzsite for a week in an RV park, leaving Gila Bend Wednesday morning. It’s only 130 mile drive…so very doable….nice and easy. We’ll be visiting the Grand Design Rally and Michael will be doing a seminar. The rally runs from the 11th to the 13th and is a boondocking event out on BLM land. We visited last year as well. We’re hoping to have a little bit of time while we’re at the RV park to wander around all of the vendors that are set up outside the Show grounds as last year we didn’t find any time do that.
Then on the 16th, we’ll move over to the RV Show grounds where we’ll be parked on the midway (just like last year). We’ll have a display set up outside the coach and will work 9-5 (show hours) from the 19th – 27th.