|Fri, 13 Mar: We again travel on Friday the Thirteenth...
Back to Casa Grande. The 55th Escapade is now history and it is time to vacate the Pima County Fairgrounds and head back.
We had no plans to leave at any specific time. Our site at RoVer's Roost would be waiting for us upon our arrival, so we awoke when we awoke and left when we were finished with the checklist.
That said, we really made pretty good time and rolled our wheels a bit after half past eight. We anticipated a lineup trying to get 850+ rigs out of the fairgrounds, but we must have hit a lull as there were no other rigs moving as Sandi eased us out of our parking site.
In a few minutes we were on I 10 westbound toward Tucson. The traffic was virtually nil and we made good time thru the downtown area and then the northern "burbs". The stretch between Tucson and Casa Grande is not heavily developed and the two highlights of the trip are the proximity to a main Union Pacific rail line and Picacho Peak.
Picacho Peak (big rock in Spanish) is a 3,374 tilted slab of rock that can be seen for forty-five miles. It is the site of the April 15, 1862 Battle of Picacho Peak. Fought between a Union cavalry patrol from California and a party of Confederate pickets from Tucson, this battle marks the westernmost battle of the American Civil War.
Picasho Peak is a singularly striking landmark and we've included two pix in the photo section of this page.
We stopped for fuel at the Casa Grande Sam's Club, arriving at 1015. Following a fill of diesel we relocated to the main parking lot and attended to some shopping needs. After that chore was behind us, we drove across the street to the In-N-Out Burger for an early lunch.
Back on the road at half past eleven we took I 10 to I 8, and then west to RoVer's Roost. We arrived at 1155 and found that a rig was still on our lot, but they were in the process of getting ready for the road. We were in no particular rush so we waited for them to leave and then Sandi backed Carpe into her spot and we got settled in. Today's run was 99 miles with an overall fuel economy of 9½ mpg.
Sun, 29 Mar: Still here...
It has been two plus weeks since we returned to RoVer's Roost. We've kept ourselves busy attending to some medical issues and working around the house.
The medical issues were annual check ups and routine lab work, mostly for Bob. His annual visit to his urologist is never one of his favorite events, but he "passed" his PSA test and face-to-face with the doc just fine. He also had a follow up with his skin doc, who took a chunk of his left cheek out as a precaution. The scar will be under his beard so he's not too worried about passing his next screen test.
We've been busy getting things ready for our departure. We spent a very productive time working in our basement storage areas and removed a bunch of stuff that really didn't need to travel with us. While the compartments were empty we vacuumed them out and gave each a good cleaning.
This past week Sandi undertook the task of polishing our aluminum wheels. The polished AccuRide wheels that came with our coach do pretty well on their own, but an annual touch up with special polish and then wax sealing goes a long way to make them really shine. The four wheels took a full day of "elbow grease", and they look really great. We're so proud of them that we covered them with our vinyl wheel covers.
The weather has turned warmer this past week, with temperatures in the nineties. We'd gotten along just fine without turning on the air conditioning until Wednesday or Thursday when we "bit the bullet" and flipped the "cool" switch. So much for our $8 and $10 electric bills... Thankfully it is still cooling to the fifties at nite so we can open the windows after sunset and get by with fans.
The cooperative is beginning to clear out. When we returned from Tucson a week ago Friday there was nary an empty spot in the park. Even the boondocking spaces were full. Now, a mere two weeks later, there are no boondockers and many of the full service sites are available. Folks are starting to head for cooler climes, and we can't blame them.
With the higher temperatures we get treated to desert flowers, one of our favorite annual events. We have an Aloe Vera plant and a Caesalpinia Gilliesii shrub on our lot. The Aloe started blooming a week or ten days ago and is now beginning to fade. The Caesalpinia Gilliesii, also known as the "Desert Bird of Paradise", opened its flowers Friday and is just spectacular. Please see the pix section for some images of both.
Sat, 11 Apr: Still here, but nor for long...
The past few weeks have been busy as we get ourselves and our motorhome ready to hit the road. Of course we had last minute doctor appointments, which had us driving from Casa Grande to Scottsdale several times. Due to some early morning fasting lab tests we found ourselves on the road at sunup. Not good retiree practices.
We got Carpe ready to roll by polishing her aluminum wheels, a full day labor (lots of "elbow grease") intensive work. We also had our carpets and upholstery shampooed and cleaned. Then she got a wash job. Not to be outdone, Dinkum visited the Ford dealer for an oil/lube/checkup visit. His original (2008) battery was beginning to show signs of age so we had that replaced. Then a wash and wax for the little blue guy.
The desert plants continue to dazzle us with their spring flowers. There is a huge Prickly Pear (Cactaceae Opuntia) in front of the park and it was a riot of yellow flowers, which are also known as "the Yellow Rose of Texas". We couldn't resist taking photos, which are in the photo section of this posting.
We plan to leave tomorrow and head north (and up) to cooler climes.