I’m Finally Warm!

 Posted by at 2:14 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 282011

Today is officially the last day I’m waking up early for a long time! We fell into this nasty habit over a week ago, and every morning we have been getting up much too early. As Deputy Barney Fife used to say in the old Andy Griffith television show, “It’s time to nip it! Nip it in the bud!” You let something like this get out of hand, and who knows where it could lead? Diet and exercise? Eating vegetables? No, I’m going to nip it!

It was bitter cold when we woke up yesterday morning at Dream Catcher RV Park in Deming, New Mexico, and I really, really didn’t want to get out of that warm, cozy bed. But our pal Mac McCoy wanted to get an early start on his long day’s drive east toward Florida, and Miss Terry had promised him a cup of hot coffee to start his day.

We visited with Mac for a few minutes, then he hit the road a little after 7:30. I went outside to disconnect our water hose, and it was frozen. While I was bent over in the sewer bay fumbling with the hose connection, the struts that hold the bay door open (and have never worked well), decided to let it slam down on top of my head. Yes indeed, awake too early, cold, icy fingers, and now a thump on the head. It’s going to be a great day! 🙁

I went to the office and paid for our night’s camping, ($17.23 for a full hookup pull-thru 50 amp RV site, including electric), and by the time I got back, Terry had the Explorer hooked up to the Blue Ox tow bar. We ran in our slide rooms and HWH leveling jacks, and were ready to go.

We cruised west on Interstate 10, stopping for diesel fuel at the Flying J in Lordsburg ($3.39/gallon) and when we were finished, we had to wait while somebody in a motorhome who had the exit blocked figured out how to back up with his toad a few feet to get out of the way. Back on the highway, we passed the old ghost town of Steins, sandwiched between the interstate highway and the Southern Pacific railroad tracks. We toured Steins several years ago, and it has a very interesting history that includes outlaws, Indians, and even tales of ghosts who still linger.

steins mercantile

Before we knew it, we were crossing into Arizona. The Grand Canyon State was our home before we started fulltiming, and while it is good to be back, Terry and I both agree that if and when we ever hang up the keys, we’ll find someplace else to settle down.

Arizona state line

By then we were starting to see some serious mountain scenery on both sides of the highway. The western mountains are younger and more dramatic than most of the mountains we see back east, but each have their own special kind of beauty.

Southern Arizona mountains 3

Southern Arizona mountains 4

We passed through Texas Canyon, a wonderland of rock formations that was a favorite place for Indians and outlaws to ambush stagecoaches and travelers back in the Old West. There is a rest area in the canyon where you can stop to explore the awesome scenery.

Texas Canyon rocks 2

Texas Canyon rocks 3

Here is my favorite picture of my lovely lady, taken at Texas Canyon a few years ago. It’s the desktop background picture on my computer.

Terry in rock hole Amerind 2

Dropping down into the San Pedro Valley near Benson in a big rig, an exhaust brake really comes in handy.

Arizona downhill grade I 10 2

Less than four hours after we left Deming, we pulled into the Pima County Fairgrounds just outside of Tucson, with 204 miles behind us on this driving day. I stepped out of the Winnebago, and wonder of wonders, I was warm! It was 70 degrees and it felt fantastic after being cold for so long. I love it!

The fairgrounds has full hookup 30/50 amp RV sites for $20 a night, and even better prices on weekly and monthly rates. They also have plenty of room for dry camping, and can accommodate any size rig. We registered, and then spent some time talking to the RV park manager about hosting a future Gypsy Gathering rally here. We have been pleased with Yuma as a venue for our Western rallies, but it’s nice to have a change of scenery now and then. They are supposed to be getting back to me with some pricing in the next few days, and we’ll take it from there. How would you folks who attend our events feel about a rally in Tucson?

Pima Countyu Fair RV park

Pima Countyu Fair RV park 2

When our meeting ended, we walked outside of the office, and  Dan and Patty Chance greeted us with hugs. They had been reading the blog and knew we were headed this way, and were looking for us. I don’t think we’ve seen them since our last Western rally in March, 2010, so it was a nice surprise. Unfortunately, we were running late for a visit with my cousin Beverly, so we couldn’t talk with Dan and Patty very long. We hope to see them again at our Arizona Gypsy Gathering rally in Yuma in a few weeks.

We got the motorhome parked and hooked up, then jumped in the Explorer to run into town. But before we left the RV campground, a fellow waved us down to say hello. It was Mike Sipes, who used to manage Fool Hollow Lake State Park in our old hometown of Show Low, Arizona, back when I ran the local newspaper. Mike is retired now and enjoying the RV lifestyle. He is also a blog reader, and knew we were headed toward Tucson. I can run, but I can’t hide! 🙂

After visiting with Mike for a few minutes, we drove into town and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening visiting with Beverly. I don’t have many relatives left in the world, and even fewer that will tolerate me for very long, so Bev and I have always been very close. It was nice to visit with her, even if it w as only for a few hours. We’ll definitely be back while we’re in Arizona.

Today we’ll be up and on the road early again, and want to get settled in Apache Junction by mid-day. Miss Terry’s parents are chomping at the bit to see their girl, and we’re looking forward to seeing them too.

Thought For The Day – A ton of regret never made an ounce of difference.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  15 Responses to “I’m Finally Warm!”

  1. We knew the feeling well as we were traveling the opposite way you just did through the frigid temperatures. We wondered so many times if we would ever feel our feet and butt cheeks again. It’s good to say we had once we entered into Central Florida, we are warm once again. Life is grand!

  2. Gypsy Gathering in Tucson? By all means! We’d be able to come to it even if it conflicted with duties here in Benson. There is so much to see and do in the Tucson area that folks could come very early, stay very late and never be bored!

    We waved as you passed Benson, but I don’t believe you saw us — we were quite a distance from I-10!

  3. Tuscon would be a great location. Do it!

  4. Never been to Tuscon but would like it. I agree with Leroys that it would be great place to visit and explore.

  5. Tucson would be a great rally place. Yuma is okay, but the noise from those jets is brutal on the seminars.

  6. We vote for Tucson as well. Spending much of our winters in the SKP park in Benson we have found so much history and other things to keep people busy for many weeks. From Kartchner Caverns to Tombstone and Bisbee, the list goes on. Geocachers would have a ball!

  7. Yes. Let’s go to Tucson.

  8. Glad to hear you made it alright to AZ. Please send Texas some of that warm weather we are tired also of freezing our touches off. Tuscon is a great city, we spent a bit of time there when we were staying in Benson. Geo-caching is great in the are. They say our temps are supposed to be in the mid 70;s but our weather forecaster speaks with forked tongue. He has been wrong all week. See you all in a few weeks in warm I hope Yuma Be safe.

  9. Just attended a few events at Pima County Fairgrounds this winter and investigated their RV park. Our vote is a definite YES! After Yuma last year, with the electric that was promised and the berms in the parking area…well, need I say more! We remember you running around in that golf cart trying to get everyone squared away with some electric. We will definitely attend any GJ rallies at Pima County…please consider it seriously…

  10. Another yes vote for Tucson, it’s a great city with plenty do do and a wide variety of good restaurants.

  11. We attended the first LOW rally held in Tucson in 2006. We had just left Reno to begin our fulltime adventure in a blazing snowstorm pulling a 38′ 5’r. Ugh. When we arrived in Tucson and were unhooking at Beaudry’s rv park, we dropped the 5’r on the truck! Our first lesson, no one hurt, just the truck bed. We liked Tucson and would love to go back again.

  12. We are interested in your comment that you & Miss Terry have decided that AZ would not be considered in choosing a place to “hang up the keys”…..would you care to share the reason?
    We also vote for Tucson but enjoyed Yuma also.

  13. Sandy and Jim,
    We both love being around water, kayaking, and things like that. We’ve lived in the desert and in the mountains of Arizona, but much prefer places like Titusville, Florida and Aransas Pass, Texas.

  14. We think Tucson is a great idea! haven’t spent any time there in about 6 years. Lots to see and do and easy to get around in now that most of the highway construction is finished.

  15. Howdy Nick,

    We vote for Tucson, also, too… Itz a lot closer to the land of the ‘dry & dusty’*
    and Joyce wants to see Kartchner Caverns… Neither of us have seen the ‘city’ of Tucson.. It was just a little ‘cowtown’ the last time we were there..(1950s)
    Put on your short pants and go see the grandkids… Joyce’s cuzzin is holding her place in Rockport for y’all…

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