Back for More Arizona - Winter 2014 travel blog

new rug


garden railroad

space for many more

We've spent the first few days here exploring the campground and figuring out how things work. At check in we received a booklet loaded with all sorts of clubs, organizations, athletic activities, etc. etc. Many of the activities are determined by the interests of the people who stay here. While our camping fees support the two activity managers and the activities, you can always use more money. So every few days we have an opportunity to eat something yummy, give a little financial support to the club that sponsors it, and meet a few new people. So far we have enjoyed strawberry shortcake prepared by the digital imaging group and pancake breakfast prepared by the craftsmen from the wood shop. On the January calendar we find pie & coffee to fund the ham radio group, hot fudge sundaes from the shuffleboard players, loaded baked potatoes by the garden railroad club, spaghetti dinner by the Four Courts (not sure what that is - pickle ball & tennis perhaps?). This is not the time to make a New Year's resolution to lose weight.

We also were invited to a wine and appetizers party sponsored by the campground management. This campground and its older sister on the eastern side of Tucson were built by an Irish immigrant who arrived in the US with empty pockets and built the two parks from scratch. He was late to his own party because he was out on the bulldozer repairing a broken electric line. That's the life of a campground owner. He's done so well here, a BBC crew came out to film him for a documentary about Irish immigrants who made good. As a family business it gives the place a different feel that the campgrounds run by corporations.

The campground is not very full yet, but every day a few refugees from the arctic cold up north trickle in. We were surprised to see a motor home virtually identical to ours arrive, also from Illinois. When we've stayed in Florida many of the campers understandably came from the Eastern seaboard. In Texas we felt like the entire middle west all the way up to Hudson's Bay in Canada had emptied out and driven to the Rio Grande Valley. But here we see license plates from almost everywhere. We're surprised that folks from Georgia, Vermont, and Ontario come all this way west when Florida is so much closer. Perhaps there are others like us who feel that the cultural opportunities from Tucson and the University of Arizona are worth the extra driving. And every time we look out the window there are those mountains. Spectacular!

When we were in India it felt sort of decadent to buy a handmade rug for our RV, but now that it's unrolled here on the floor we really like it and how it adds a bit of our personality to the place. Motor homes always come so beautifully decorated, there's little opportunity to personalize. We're guessing that if we every get inside our twin parked nearby, it will look exactly like ours, but they won't have a beautiful rug from India.

There are always home repairs to do when we take the motor home out on the road after a few months of sitting. We're delighted to report that the jacks are still working perfectly and we're sitting stable and flat on the desert floor. The washing machine is ready to be opened when the drying cycle is finished, so that stop in Elkhart last fall was worth it. But the cable that brings the local TV signal from the roof antenna to the TV's inside is so weather damaged, it no longer works. And the satellite dish transmits the subscription TV channels just fine, but won't connect to the internet. Ken has been on the phone with the tech, on the roof to inspect the equipment and spent hours on his laptop trying to make the software work. The internet here in the campground works just fine, but we won't be here forever. It's always something.

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