On to Tucson, January, 2022

OK, I know I am way behind but we have been busy. And that is not an excuse so I will try to get caught up.

We left Fredericksburg and headed west. It is about 1200 miles to Tucson, more than a reasonable person would do in two days so we took three.

Our first stop was Van Horn, TX. Van Horn has a negative reputation among RVers. They are not very friendly to big RVs in town. But there are several RV parks so they are OK for an overnight. We have been here for an overnight before but have never spent any time in town.

We were at Guadalupe Mountains National Park in western TX several years ago on our way to Carlsbad Caverns. As is often the case every place has an interesting story. Near Guadalupe, there was an old ranch homestead that had been preserved in much the same way it was in the late 1800s. The ranch had three springs, all still active. Water was stored in a pretty large pond and was used to irrigate a large orchard. Most of the trees (probably replanted as time went by) were still there and bearing fruit. Each tree was labeled with the type of fruit. Many different apple varieties, pears, and others. The family also had a large vegetable garden. All of this was much more than they needed. Every Sunday while crops were ready, the family loaded a big wagon with baskets of vegetables and fruit and left about sunset to travel at night south to Van Horn for the Monday Market.

So much for Van Horn, next stop Deming, NM and Mountain Time. We have been here several times, a familiar stop. There is a nice Escapee’s RV Park there, a Walmart, and one of our favorite museums. But we were there for just one night, New Year’s Eve. Not much partying for us, just a nice supper and early to bed. We were leaving the next morning for Tucson.

We added fuel in the morning, prices are going up the further west we get. It is a good thing we have a fuel program card. It can save us up to 65¢ per gallon when we use it at the big truck stops. And the fuel pumps are much faster than regular gas stations, we can add 100 gallons in about 15 minutes.

Interstate 10 continues on across New Mexico and into Arizona. Shortly after Wilcox it crosses through the Texas Canyon area at more than 4600 ft elevation. From there it drops to about 1200 ft in the Tucson area. We stopped there for a lunch break. Just a few hours to go.

When we drove down the on ramp there was flashing red lights everywhere. Police cares, tow trucks, an ambulance, and one of just about everything with flashing lights. A semi-truck had run completely off the Interstate to the right and into a rugged rock formation. It was on it’s side, the contents of the trailer scattered about, we hoped the driver was OK. No way to tell.

And then downhill and downwind towards Tucson. I10 intersects I19 in a big 180-degree flyover going from north to south and then within a mile exits on the Ajo Highway heading west. Ten miles or so and then north towards Drexel Heights, the Sonoran Desert Museum, and Saguaro National Park. We were headed for the Diamond J RV Park.

We have been to this park before. Our objective coming to Arizona this year was to see my cousin who lives closer to Phoenix and to meet other Foretravel friends from North and South Carolina. We also wanted to catch up with other friends who live in the Phoenix area. And since it was the first time we have been in Arizona in January we were going to the big RV show in Quartzite and meeting our friends from Los Angeles and San Diego. So a few weeks in Tucson, off to Quartzite and then north to the Phoenix area.

We arrived, got into our site, checked in with Hans and Marjet from South Carolina and Jeff and Sandy from North Carolina. We walked up to the mail stop to pick up a package and continued walking. We saw Jerry and Nona, Foretravelers from Washington and Kent and Peggy, Foretravelers from Oklahoma. It is a popular park for Foretravelers.

We’re here.

More later, Much Love

Roger and Susan

South Dakota, September 2021

We went to the Black Hills of South Dakota in 2019 looking for Rocky Raccoon. While we were there having burgers, Ted and Karen and Susan and I signed up for 2 weeks at the end of September 2020 at The Game Lodge Campground in Custer State Park. We would be there for the annual Buffalo Roundup. (They are Bison). Several other Foretravelers also signed up.

Then Covid got going, Ted and Karen sold their coach, Ed and Deb took part of their time, Keith and Jo took the rest, several canceled because of Covid. In the end, there were five Foretravels there. Our friends from California, Richard and Betty and Sven and Kristi we’re among those who canceled but they rescheduled their time for September 2021. So Susan and I signed up for as much time as we could get at the same time in 2021.

So here comes 2021. Between all else going on for us in the summer of 2021 we were ready to go. Sven and Kristi had second thoughts due to Covid and backed out. More friends from California, Chuck and Lynda took their time.

Confused? Lots of shuffling. The gang was set. Roger and Susan, Richard and Betty, and Chuck and Lynda. No one got there on the same day and we all left on different days. And then Chris and Elka from Arkansas called, they were in a nearby campground. Now there were four Foretravels.

We drove around the Wildlife Loop and saw lots of Bison. Most that were going to be “Round-Up” were here waiting. Maybe 1500 by the Park Ranger’s estimate

Some up close.

Some burros.

Susan and I brought Canadian Walleye for a sit-down fish fry. Everyone brought something to share and there was plenty. Even treats for the dogs.

Richard and Chuck and I bought fishing licenses and went up the Grace Coolidge Stream towards Center Lake there are 5 small dams along the way built by the CCC in the 1930s.

I tried along the rock wall from the dam. Chuck and Richard were on the side of the pool above the dam.

It was a beautiful day. Then we caught a fish! Now it was a great day. And another fish and another. Maybe a dozen or a baker’s dozen. One came off my hook just as I was landing it. We all threw back a small one or two. We ended up with 7 good-sized rainbow trout, eating size. Chuck jumped right in and cleaned them up. We brought them back, tossed them in the freezer ready for lunch the next day.

Good thing, he was an expert.

Richard and Betty and Susan and I went to the Art Festival. It was mostly arts and crafts stuff, nothing we needed to have but lunch. Richard had his very first corn dog. I think he liked it.

Over on the other side of the State Park there is an old Lodge, the Blue Bell Lodge. It is a rustic log structure. Susan and I had eaten there before and it was good so we all went over there one day for lunch. I had a nice Buffalo Stew, Susan had Macaroni and Cheese. All good.

Mostly this time was about seeing friends and spending time with them. We had a very nice time, the people were wonderful, the weather was amazing. Leaves on the trees changed color while we were there.

It was a pleasant break for us in what had been a summer full of many other distractions. We needed it. And there was more coming up before we could leave for Fredericksburg.

More Later, Much Love,

Roger and Susan