Current Location: Janna and Mike’s place in Southeastern Arizona
Partly cloudy and 48 degrees F at 9PM
We got quite a sendoff from our Organ Pipe campsite Thursday morning
The last couple of days have been largely devoted to moving a little bit and then visiting a lot. Leaving Organ Pipe on Thursday morning was easy. We knew that we had plenty of time to drive the 116 miles of fairly quiet Highway 86 to the western side of Phoenix.
It was time to meet with Jo, from Mom’s Little Runaway, a fellow blogger who has been following our blog for years, and never fails to comment. We decided that with plentiful, free, and easy parking for the MoHo, the big Casino Del Sol on the west side of town was a perfect place to meet. There was also a nice restaurant in the casino, Moby’s, which looked like a good choice for lunch. The drive was beautiful, with a high cloud cover that kept it from getting too hot, and only gentle breezes.
I loved seeing the difference in the landscapes of Southern Arizona as we continue east. Even though this is still part of the Sonoran Desert, it is quite different than the area near Organ Pipe. Here the valleys are broad and the grasses are thick under the creosote, mesquite, and palo verde trees.
Walking into the Casino was a bit of a shock. We have been to Vegas and Reno, but certainly didn’t expect the kind of over the top decor that greeted us as we entered Casino del Sol. It was gorgeous! With ceilings painted and lit to look like evening skies, and walks that felt like the streets of New York, New York in Vegas, it was quite a treat.
Jo was waiting for us and in no time at all we were seated at a nice table and catching up on real conversation after so many years of simple comments on each other’s blogs. That is almost always a fun experience. It always surprises me a bit when people turn out to be exactly as I imagined them to be, even though we have never met.
Thank you, Jo, for a nice visit. I know we will pass this way again and will make time to catch up.
We arrived at Davis-Monthan Agave Gulch Family Camp in plenty of time to get settled in before meeting for dinner with our other long time friends who once were our Rocky Point neighbors. Wes and Gayle now live in nearby Sauharita. We have spent several days at a time exploring Tucson and the surrounding area with them, but this time was a one night only thing since we planned to be on our way the next morning. I chose a random restaurant that looked interesting that was near enough to the base to be easy and they kindly agreed to drive north for the evening.
Settling in to the campground was a big disconcerting, because someone was already in our assigned site. Since we were already consigned to overflow, and the camp was quite full, we were glad that with a bit of struggling and juggling, we ended up in another overflow site, although it was a back in instead of a pull through.
Once again, we managed to schedule our time in Tucson to coincide with the famous Gem Show, and the family camp was filled with a 10 day minimum wait for a full hookup site. As I said, a popular place.
We drove the short distance to the restaurant, a bit daunted by the ridiculously filled huge mall parking lots, but finally found a space. Wes wasn’t so lucky, and had to drive around a bit before finally locating a parking place. I had called for a reservation as well, but even so we had to wait about 45 minutes to get a table in the very noisy, and very popular brewery.
With the tall four top table, we could at least lean in to try to hear the conversation, but it wasn’t easy. I have no clue why restaurants are like this so often. Still, we had some good laughs, some very good food, and a tasty beer to enjoy while we caught up with what has been happening in our respective lives. I can’t believe I completely forgot to take a photo of the four of us, but have included an older one just to remind you of these friends who have often shared fun times with us.
This morning was a busy one. We had to be out of the campsite by 10, but needed to use the good Verizon signal to catch up on end of the month finances, make sure bills were paid, and accounts balanced. We needed to contact people about “stuff”, make arrangements for more “stuff”, and get everything packed up ready to go as the generator ran to charge up all the electronics once again. Then we needed to go to the dump station to clean our tanks, get fuel in the MoHo at the Express, and grocery shop at the commissary before leaving the base.
I have no excuse, but somehow in the midst of this, I managed to forget that this was the day I had been worrying about for the last two weeks. A day my long time friend Maryruth was to be in surgery for an unexpected development. I forgot to call her, I forgot to write her and be sure she knew I was thinking of her, because I wasn’t!!!! I got mixed up and thought that her day was tomorrow! I am still appalled at this whole thing because she has been on my mind every single day for two weeks now. What in the world?!!
So this evening, as we were sitting down to dinner with our hosts, and I received a phone call from her, I immediately said, “Oh, are you on your way to the hospital now?” “Uh, Sue, no, I am on my way home from the hospital. Everything is fine.” Awful, just awful. I could have crawled under a rock. I am still incredibly appalled at my crazy brain drain. Some friend.
Leaving Tucson was easy, and we took the far east road along the base to get on I-10. Of course, we had another little important errand to attend to before leaving town. For years we have had a tradition of treating ourselves to See’s Chocolates for Valentine’s Day, but this year we will be in parts of the country where there are no See’s Candy Stores. At dinner last night, we passed a store, and took the time this morning to return and get a box of chocolate, with a solemn promise that it will not be opened until February 14th, when we will be somewhere in Florida.
By 2pm we were driving down the bumpy road to Mike and Janna’s (from Restoration Cowboy Style) place where they had so kindly invited us to spend the night on their property with full hookups, including WiFi. Such great people, and even though we have followed each other’s blogs and commented for at least 9 years, we had also never met Mike and Janna.
Not only did they provide a parking space and a little dog for Mattie to play with a bit, they offered to make dinner for us. Janna also invited two other friends from this area, Dan and Linda, to the lovely dinner. And what a dinner it was! I have read Janna’s blog long enough to know we were in for a treat, and I wasn’t disappointed. Brisket cooked to perfection, roasted carrots and potatoes, a great salad with homemade dressing, and topped off by a magical Instant Pot cheesecake creation that was perfect.
Conversation and laughter was all around and it was a truly delightful evening. We loved seeing up close all the work they have done on the house they are redoing, and hearing their stories of how they met and their lives in Arizona and Montana.
Tomorrow we will continue eastward, hoping for a spot at Fort Bliss near El Paso, where Mo was once stationed when she was in the Army Reserves. This is a great family camp but like Davis-Monthan does not take reservations. I called today and was told, first come first served but currently there are five spaces available. Let’s hope we get there early enough to get one. If not, we might just continue driving another couple hundred miles to wherever. Wish us luck.