Back for More Arizona - Winter 2014 travel blog

We are restless souls, who rarely return to the same place twice even though we have come to the realization that reliably warm spots in the US are few and far between in January. That’s one of the reasons we have found ourselves in Tucson for the second year in the row, but being in a different sort of campground make it feel like a different experience. Last year we were in a campground which did not offer any activities or opportunities to meet our fellow campers. Here at Rincon West the roster of activities has something for everyone and we meet new people every day. Some of the people 10+ years our senior have given up their RV’s altogether and purchased a park model, sort of a mini home offering slightly more space than we have that doesn’t have wheels at all. I can imagine that we will come to this point some day and as we explore the southern US we always say we are looking for the perfect place to settle down for the winter.

Many RV’ers - perhaps most RV’ers - find a campground for the winter, fall in love with it, and return year after year after year. So except for the handful of new folks we met at the owner’s wine and cheese party, almost everyone else has been here forever. We can’t help but make comparisons as we try new activities and learn how things are handled here. The Gem & Mineral Show is a major annual Tucson attraction so I thought I might try a lapidary class. I stopped by the shop where experienced RV’ers were working on their jewelry pieces and got some impressions. They bragged about their unique program and were shocked when I told them I had been to a number of campgrounds in the Rio Grande Valley that had such facilities. They wrinkled up their noses and said, “Why would you ever want to stay in Texas?” When I asked them if they had ever been there, they replied, “No. We always come here.”

I can’t stop myself from making comparisons, but I decided I’d be better off keeping them to myself. Our favorite park in TX has a bike riding club that takes twenty mile rides on the shoulders of the highway. We prefer bike trails and Tucson is noted for being one of the most bike friendly towns in the US. So we joined the bike riding group for its first ride of the season where we only rode eight miles mostly on paved trails and had a lengthy pause for coffee and conversation midway. We liked the trails, but felt like we hardly did anything. They said we would be taking longer trips in subsequent weeks; judgment suspended.

In Texas and Florida you have to sign up to play tennis as soon as the list gets posted or you can’t play at all. Here they play drop-in tennis and pickle ball every morning. No one bothers with leagues or sign up lists; they just take turns. We like that much better.

The Texas campground owns a bus and takes reasonably priced day trips regularly. The price charged leads us to believe we are only paying for gas and admission. While the transportation situation is similar here, the prices charged made us think that someone is making a nice profit. No thanks - we’d rather drive ourselves.

In Texas the farmer’s market sold a cornucopia of fresh fruit and vegetables, grown nearby or just across the border in Mexico. I went to the farmer’s market here today and it had honey, nuts and frozen casseroles. Disappointing, but I’ll go again later in the season to see if more is available. Judgment suspended.

We like to play golf, but our skill level does not justify a course that charges more than $20. In Texas we found cheap places to play, but they were on 95% sand or 95% weeds. We tried the league there once, but the golfers were much too serious and lost patience with my wayward hits. It sounds like there is a light hearted league here, but they go to expensive courses. We think we’ve found a reasonably priced one and are heading there tomorrow. Judgement reserved.

In Florida we’ve enjoyed entertainers fresh off the cruise ships. In Texas the entertainers from Branson head south and offer great shows for $5 - 7 nearly every night of the week. There are only three comparable shows at the campground here during the entire month, but it is easy to head to town and get a culture fix. However, the prices are similar to what we would pay at home.

Still on a search for that perfect spot.

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