We arrived on January 1, 2022. Diamond J’s is a place we have been to three times before. When we made our reservations for Arizona, it was primarily to have a chance to see my cousin Sandy and her husband, Claus. Diamond J’s is a popular winter hang out for many Foretravelers. When we made reservations I knew of one couple, Jerry and Nona, who would be there when we were going to be there.
And then Jeff and Sandy from North Carolina and Hans and Marjet from South Carolina signed up. And we heard that Leslie and Rick from Washington were there but would be away when we got there.
And then my Sister and Brother in Law told us that they had made reservations at Diamond J’s which would overlap with ours. They are pretty new to the RV world, they bought a 2014 24 ft Leisure Travel Van with a small slide and a Murphy Bed a year ago. And when we arrived we were surprised to see Kent and Peggy from Oklahoma there in their Foretravel.
While we were there at least 8 Foretravels were at this park and 1 in the park next door.
Our neighbor to the passenger’s side of the coach was an interesting fellow. He and his wife were from Michigan and were towing a nice trailer with a pickup truck. Just a day or so after we got there he had traded his truck in on a much newer F150. No rust. A couple of years ago he was on the last chance list for a heart transplant. His had gotten so bad that he was on a mechanical heart pump powered by an external battery pack. And he had been using this artificial heart for a year and a half. And then they got the call, a heart was ready. He told me they had sort of gotten used to the artificial heart and the thought of the transplant surgery scared them a bit. But it was what they were waiting for. And now here they are enjoying a new chance at a longer life. It was an amazing story from some nice folks.
Our site was just a couple of sites away from Jeff and Sandy who were next to Hans and Marjet. We mostly hung out with this crew, not too far to walk. But we did walk, almost every day around the entire park, sometimes twice, and a tour of the neighboring park as well. On several days we rode our bikes around the park too. It was pretty easy to get in several miles.
We walked several times with Marjet and their two golden doodles, Jazzy and Storm and Sandy and Jeff and their golden retriever, Greta. Greta is getting along in dog years and gets lots of special attention.
I don’t have a picture of them walking with Greta but here are Greta and her son, Buddy, when they visited us in Hastings. Buddy passed away a while back so it is up to Greta to carry on.
Storm is a bit bigger than Jazzy and is her son. He likes to nap.
Jazzy is smaller and always looking for a lap. If it looks like a lap she hops right up. She is almost 30 pounds and has the lap sitting and just sort of collapsing into you thing down pat.
Almost every night there was a firepit going somewhere. In the firelight, Marjet got both Storm and Jazzy to climb aboard.
Sunsets at Diamond J’s can be pretty spectacular when the clouds are right.
As well as the full moon rising over the mountains to the east.
Judy and Bruce (sister and brother in law) came for dinner one evening. We brought walleye from home just for this dinner to share.
One afternoon Susan and I mixed up meatloaf and baked it on the grill. It works well doing it that way. We have done corn bread and pizzas too. Judy and Bruce came over to share the meatloaf dinner shortly after they arrived. And before we left we had a frozen lasagne that they bought somewhere. We went over to their Leisure Travel Van for dinner one day. We all fit in but it was tight quarters.
We also went with Judy and Bruce to a restaurant on the far side of Tucson, maybe 45 minutes away for a birthday dinner, mine. The dinner was very good. A person came to our table and made salsa from scratch. It had lots of flavor. Then she made us a batch of guacamole. Avocados, tomatoes, a bit of garlic, and juice from a lime. It had a very bright taste. Judy and I had a great green chili stew, Bruce had a boiling pot of molé and seafood. Susan had a chicken quesadilla. We all left full and with a takeaway box.
While we were at Diamond J’s, I helped Hans hook up a new DirecTV satellite dish that they bought while in Tucson. It didn’t work at first, I had a long coax cable that we used to connect directly from the dish to the TV. That worked. So then the issue had to be in their coach’s inside coax wiring. Hans checked it all out and figured it was one of the cable ends. He replaced it and then the new dish connected through his wiring worked.
Bruce and Judy had the same problem. We tried connecting their roof top dish to their box and then to the TV. The box to TV connection worked but not the dish to the box. I tried connecting the dish to the box directly with my long coax cable, it still didn’t work. There wasn’t anything else to try so I gave up after several hours of trying.
Their small, pedestal-mounted table was pretty wobbly. I added 4 more pop rivets to secure the plastic pedestal end to the aluminum post. It was much more secure than it was with just 2 rivets. I also added one wrap of clear packing tape around the top of the pedestal tube to make it fit tighter into the plastic part on the bottom of the table. When the changes were all done the table was much more stable.
The last time we were at Diamond J’s, Susan and I went to the Titan Missile Museum. None of the others we hung out with had been there so we made arrangements for 6 of us to go again. Susan and Judy went to the Sonoran Desert Museum and Marjet and Sandy were planning a shopping expedition. You can look back to our blogs from March of 2019 https://home2rv.com/2019/03/ for more on our first visit.
The tour of the missile site included a stop in the launch control room. Hans (blue shirt) volunteered to be part of the launch crew. Hand on the key, 3, 2, 1, and turn. After 58 seconds of lights coming on, systems getting checked, and alarms going off, the missile was launched.
But not really, just a simulation. It was an interesting visit, something most never see nor knew about back in the 1960s until the missiles were retired as part of an arms reduction treaty with Russia. There were 54 of these single missile silos. Each missile carried a 9 megaton nuclear warhead. How big is that? Much more than all of the bombs dropped during World War II by all sides.
After the museum tour, we drove to Tubac, about 20 miles further south. It was a small town with lots of local artists that is quickly expanding to be a tourist destination with much more than local artists. I explored a nice kitchen and food store, bought a package of molé spices and a jar of spicy chili bacon jam. Then we all met at a small deli for lunch and a bunch of Foretravel talk.
One afternoon we taught Han and Marjet how to play Quiddler, we played at a table in a screen room tent they had set up. They were quick learners and good competition.
On another evening we had dinner in the screen room with Hans and Marjet and Jeff and Sandy. It was fun. We liked the screen room so we ordered one. The directions say it takes 45 seconds to set up. Not the first time, it seemed complicated. But the next time it was much easier. It will still take some practice to get to 45 seconds
The Fishhook cactus and the prickly pear cactus were starting to bloom. Bright yellow flowers for both.
Three weeks went by quickly, it was time to head to Quartzite, 4 hours further to the west, almost to California.
More Later, Much Love,
Roger and Susan