I walk across the street and get the rig from the PetsMart where we parked it overnight (with permission) so we didn't have to wait for the storage lot to open at 9:00. Wind was likely and I wanted to get ahead of it as much as possible.
Loaded up directly from the garage (Bill is so smart), and hooked up the Jeep for the first time. Easy process. Looks a bit intimidating when it's all put together, but we are so excited to be heading out on our 10-day adventure!
|Ready to go!|
Taking a back road along the freeway we find ourselves in a wind tunnel, buffeting the rig around like a paper airplane, driving at 25 mph it feels like we'll be landing in Oz at any minute. This does not bode well for the Interstate ahead. We continue onward.
We find a small, very dilapidated 3-Sisters Truck Stop to try fueling up in the truck lane. Hoping for faster speed and easier access we aren't impressed with either as our driver's side fill won't take more than 12 gallons without regurgitating every other drop we attempt. This must be why there are two fillers and sure enough the other side graciously accepts another 35 gallons. We wait five minutes for a break in the trucks to pull back out on the road. Geez, give me a friggin' Shell station on the corner!
Fortunately we leave most of the chaos behind when we get back on the freeway. Winds are manageable as I get comfortable with the sudden gusts that enhance the already 20 mph steady crosswinds. Bill gives constant encouragement, avoiding the "Stop whining and just drive" that I'm sure is what he'd like to say. Instead he says "I'll drive." Which is much more effective in getting the desired result. Some day I must learn to be a passenger. Today is not that day.
A quick road-side stop for lunch outside Palm Springs, and by 2:30 we're parked back at our friend's place in Lake Tamarisk. The winds had increased the last 25 miles, so the exit sign was a very welcome sight!
|Our great mooch-docking spot in Lake Tamarisk|
Unhooking the Jeep is as easy as hooking it up, and we are already so happy with our Sterling Towbar. We enjoy a relaxing evening on the patio. It feels different than our maiden trip here. Bill's retired.
Thursday morning we're back on the road before 8:00. The wind is much lighter but it's still there all the way to Gila Bend. The Palo Verde trees and Brittlebush are in full, heavy bloom, and the desert is a vivid yellow everywhere you look. The red Ocotillo blossoms are beautiful as well, but yellow is the "it" color this season :-) We enjoy an uneventful drive and find the Holt Shell Station RV Park before 1:00. A Passport America park at $11.99 for FHUs and a large gravel site. Really, I just wanted to say we stayed at a gas station......but it's quiet and clean and just fine for our needs.
|Quiet, large, cheap - it works for the night|
There are two non-chain places to eat in "town". We choose the Mexican place with a patio and are the only ones there. It's mid-afternoon in a tiny place, we don't judge. The food is fine, the lemonade wonderful, and we finish our meal before the flies make off with the plates.
|Room for 1/3 the population to join us|
It is nearly 93 degrees and the AC runs nearly all night. We sleep very well.
The sites back up to open desert and Friday morning we walk Tessa just after sunrise. The Palo Verde are incredible here as well, and there are dozens of Mourning Dove and Quail.
|Even with just a little sun the yellow was bright|
This morning is another milestone. Bill hooks up to the sewer at our site and dumps our tanks. I stay in the rig and get things ready to leave. The AC is off and the windows open. I hear nothing. He comes in and reports "It's fine." He also shares that at the early hour he was careful not to swear loudly. Perfect. We now know we can dump our tanks. It's a big deal, but it is early so we quietly acknowledge the moment and head out after hooking up the Jeep.
Our next stop is Tombstone, AZ, where we are staying with one of our brothers from high school and his wonderful wife. We've been looking forward to this visit, they are both such great friends!
We have been relying on our IPhone GPS and early in the day Bill says when we get back we're getting a real RV GPS. Works for me, the little one got us into some weird spots before, and I don't want that to happen with the rig. Towing the Jeep.
Too late. Nerves and skill are put to the test as soon as we arrive in Tombstone.
To be continued.......
|Palo Verde give way to Saquaros as we move south|