Sunday, February 27, 2011 (Tombstone Territories RV Park, Tombstone, AZ)

Neither one of us got much sleep last night...the wind was just ahowlin’! And the trailer was arockin’ me, it was the wind! We finally decided to get up and upon opening the blinds...oh look!!!...IT’S SNOWING!!!! I must say that I didn’t expect to experience snow in southern Arizona but at 4000 feet, I guess they do get snow occasionally here.

This is another Montana across the road from us...look at the snow on the truck!

Well, one year ago today we moved into our 5th wheel and lived at Oceanside RV Park while still working the final 4 months of our “work life”. Going to work while living in our trailer was tough at just didn’t seem right...I associated RV’s with vacations, relaxation...anything but the routine of daily work life. But those 4 months were a good decision on our part, allowing us time to get used to RV living, making it truly our home...wherever we are located.

And 8 months ago, the day before yesterday...February 26th, marked the start of our adventures! I still remember being in the ferry line up bright and early for the 8 a.m. ferry...just like it was yesterday! Our new lifestyle is everything we had hoped and dreamed it would be...we are having a blast!

With the forecast for cold, wind, rain and snow today, our only plan was to get the travel blog up-to-date. We are almost a week behind due to poor or no internet service. I was disappointed that WiFi was only available up in the library rather than throughout the whole park...oh well, I guess I will be spending some time up there today.

We were enjoying a nice leisurely start to the day with our coffee when the power went out. Hmmm...I guess there were a lot of heaters overpowering the electrical system! Steve checked the breakers on our post and they hadn’t tripped. Our neighbour came out of his rig and said that he found out that only the power in Loop C had gone out and maintenance was working on it. It was awhile before someone finally reset the breaker...I guess it was the first time that had happened. We carried on with our morning and just as I was going to start breakfast, the power went out again. After breakfast...and with the power still not on...Steve flagged down the maintenance fellow. He didn’t know that the power was out again and reset the breaker. The power still wasn’t coming back on to our trailer, so assuming all of loop C was out Steve walked down to the office. He returned with the maintenance fellow and it turned out it was the breaker on our power post that had tripped this time. Okay, we got that all fixed up. It seems whenever we are on a 30 amp service instead of 50 amp funny things happen with the power even though we monitor the voltage/amperage display panel...trying not to exceed the amperage.

It was almost noon by the time we walked up to the office with the laptop...time to work on the blog. Steve wanted to pick out the pictures he had taken on our tour of the Caverns of Sonora...and that was the next blog to be posted. It took a long time...he had taken so many great pictures! After that day was done, Steve returned to the trailer to set up the satellite dish and while I continued updating the blog with the remaining days...I finally managed to get it up-to-date but it took over 2 hours!!

When I returned to the trailer, Steve was waiting for me to help with the satellite signal. We managed to latch onto a signal without too much trouble. It’s so much nicer having the satellite stations. Because there was a hard freeze warning Steve had also done a partial water fill to our tank. Just before dark he will drain the water filters and hoses and plug the block heater in the truck. Are we in southern Arizona?!

After a bit of lunch, I headed back to the library to see if I could update Serena (our GPS). The signal was strong enough and I managed to get it all paid for and what I thought was downloaded. The final process was updating the GPS and I thought that since it had downloaded to the laptop that I would not need the internet anymore...but I was wrong. And the final update of the GPS was going to take over 3 hours! Sheesh...I hadn’t expected that and I couldn’t stay there so I paused it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pick up from where it left off next time I connect it.

Here are a couple of pictures of the rec hall and pool area...

We went for a power walk around the campground when I got back. It was a cold blustery day but there had been bits of sun coming through. There had been snow and sleet off and on all day but there was no accumulation at all. Tomorrow it was supposed to warm up to around 60 degrees and then into the 70’s Tuesday for our ATV ride....YAY!

Beautiful views on our walk...

We hunkered down in front of the fireplace and watched TV for the rest of the evening.  We were looking forward to seeing the town of Tombstone tomorrow!

Of course, we must include some beautiful sunset pictures...

Saturday, February 26, 2011 (Travel day to Tombstone, Arizona)

We woke to bright blue sky this morning...a little chilly but no wind...yet, anyway! After a shower and a quick breakfast, we were packing up...and on the road shortly after 8:00.

We continued on Interstate 10 towards the Arizona border...a beautiful day for travelling! We had an uneventful drive west stopping for short breaks a few times along the way. Such diverse changes frequently from flat to hills but we were now heading into some mountains...we noticed areas where the incline didn’t appear to be steep but the truck had to gear down so we were obviously reaching higher elevations...eventually crossing the continental divide The wind had also started up...sure enough, it was after 11:00, the time it was predicted to start.

We arrived at Tombstone Territories RV Park at about 1:00. It is 10 miles northwest of Tombstone and actually considered to be in a community called Huachuca City...but it is really 10 miles east of there in a wide-open flat valley but the elevation is 4000 feet. The forecast was for strong winds with rain and snow overnight and tomorrow....snow??!!!

We got the last site that was available for 4 nights...whew! But it only has 30amp power...oh well...I guess I won’t be able to use my hairdryer...and with the weather forecast, I don’t think we will be requiring the air-conditioner. The regular rate is $33.74/night plus electricity @$.13/kwh...interesting, the first time we have to extra for electricity. With our Passport America membership, we paid $15.75 plus electricity. There is a large rec hall attached to the office with a library where they have WiFi. Just outside is the enclosed pool/spa and exercise equipment. They sure seem to have lots of activities going on. Steve asked about the ATV ride that was planned for had been cancelled due to weather but had been rescheduled for Tuesday. Perfect...we weren’t leaving until Wednesday; we’ll get a chance to go for a ride! Ann, the lady in the office said that she and her husband are leading the trail ride so we got all of the details. We’re quite excited about that...we haven’t ridden the ATV’s since we were in the Ocala National Forest in Central Florida in early December!

We were escorted to site C10 by a nice fellow in a golf cart. All sites in the park are big...80’x40’ and gravel with a cement pad for the picnic table. There is a little vegetation between sites...but everything is pretty brown this time of year. After getting levelled off, we unhitched from the truck and I left Steve outside to hook us up to everything while I went inside, put the sliders out and got all set up in there.

Just before 3:00, we headed into Huachuca City for diesel. Steve had found a new website ( that tracks gas/diesel prices. With the price of diesel going up so drastically, we are really going to have to watch where the best prices are. There was a Shell station on the corner where we turned off the highway and diesel there was $4.30/gallon...yikes!! But Steve had found a station in Huachuca City this morning on MapQuest where it was $3.53/gallon. Sure hope we can find it and that the prices haven’t gone up!! We backtracked to Hwy 90 and continued another few miles into town and found the Circle K station. The price had gone up to $3.60/gallon during the day but it was still a lot cheaper than $4.30! Pretty bad when you feel like you are getting a deal at $3.60/gallon!! We filled up with diesel and also got 5 gallons of gas for the quads.

Back home, we decided to battle the wind and go for a power walk around the campground. We noticed numerous ATV’s and side by sides throughout the park...obviously ATV’ing is popular here...sweet!!

We hunkered down for the rest of the evening inside in front of the fireplace watching TV. They have cable hook-up so Steve didn’t bother putting up the satellite dish in this wind. It’s supposed to be a real yucky day tomorrow but clearing up later tomorrow afternoon, so maybe he will put it up then.

Friday, February 25, 2011 (Hacienda RV Resort, Las Cruces, New Mexico)

We woke to bright sunny skies and no wind this morning. We had a nice leisurely start to the day...and then it was time for exercises, showers and breakfast. Our original plan had been to take care of all the laundry this morning and then go to Mesilla this afternoon but we decided to switch it around and do our sightseeing this morning.

The old town of Mesilla ( is a very pretty little town only about a mile further down the road from the RV resort. It was early when we arrived so there were few people wandering around but it got quite busy a little later on. There are a lot of little shops and restaurants housed in all the old historic buildings that are set around a big town square.

These pictures are taken inside LaPosta...

After wandering around for a couple of hours, we stopped at a little chocolate shop that advertised homemade ice cream. We each got a dish and took it across to the square and sat enjoying it and the sunshine. Then we headed home...and laundry.

I did five loads of laundry...thankfully no one else was trying to do their laundry so I had use of all machines! On one of my many trips back and forth to the laundry, Steve said that Ron had told him that it was Margarita night at the resort. Hey...sounds good!

While I was doing laundry Steve was on the laptop checking out the RV Park in Tombstone that our Michigan friends said that they were going to stay at. He was really excited when he read that there was ATV riding. It was also a Passport America campground...bonus! Our big decision was whether to head there tomorrow or wait until Monday. There was a big storm coming in tomorrow afternoon so we decided to get on the road early tomorrow for the 4 ½ hour drive before the high winds were scheduled to hit. Down here they have warnings about driving high profile vehicles in windy conditions as there is the danger of been blown over. Yikes!- Unfortunately, the park did not take reservations for Passport America was on a first come, first serve basis but she said there were a few spots available at this point, so we decided to take a chance on a spot being available when we arrived. The sites are 50% off with a PA membership.

Once the laundry was all done, we decided to take a power walk around the park before the Margarita Party at 4:30. It was a little breezier this afternoon than it had been this morning but not nearly as windy as it had been yesterday.

Margarita night was from 4:30 to 5:30 and hosted by the was very nice. We chatted mostly with our Michigan friends...over a few margaritas...

We said our goodbyes and headed back to the trailer at about 5:45. It was getting pretty chilly out by this time so we put our sweats on and warmed up by the fireplace. After dinner, we spend the rest of the evening watching TV.

Thursday, February 24, 2011 (Travel Day to Las Cruses, New Mexico)

We were up bright and early this morning...and as the sun came up over the mountains, we could tell it was going to be another beautiful sunny day...but windy! It was very windy as we packed up and made our way to the sani-dump before hitting the road.

We were on the road heading back to Interstate 10 West shortly before 10:00 a.m. Just a gorgeous travel day! But that wind was cold!

The countryside is diverse as we travelled through vast open flatness to rolling hills...all very dry and arid. This part of Texas is not nearly as populated as the central and eastern parts and I feel like we are really “in the wilds of Texas”.

We stopped at the first town we came to; just under an hour of being on the road. There was a truck stop and we needed diesel so we rallied for a spot with all of the big semi’s that decided to fuel up at the same time as us. It took awhile but we finally pulled up to the pumps. Well, as you are all aware, the problems in Libya are having an effect on the fuel prices. We paid the most we have yet paid...$3.68/gallon!

A little further down the highway we decided to pull into a “scenic lookout” and eat our lunch. We pulled in behind a fellow from Montana...he walked over to us and asked us laughingly if we were following him. I guess he had seen us at Lake Braunig RV Park...we’re hard to miss! We chatted a bit and he asked us where we were that point we said El Paso. They were heading to Las Cruces for a few days then onto Tombstone and Tucson. That is when we thought...Tombstone...right...wouldn’t that be a great place to see. So after we finished our sandwiches, we went out and asked him where they were staying.

After getting back on the road and discussing our destination plans....agreeing that we didn’t really care for our options in El Paso anyway, we decided we would continue onto Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is less than an hour further from El Paso, just across the state border. We were indeed following them to Hacienda RV Resort...a little pricier than we would normally go for but it’s nice when you hear about a place from others and that they are staying there.

The drive through El Paso...

We stopped at the Visitors Centrer as we entered New Mexico...

We arrived at Hacienda RV Resort just after 2:00...mind you, we had gone through a time zone change today so we gained an hour...we are now only one hour ahead of BC. We had had roughly a 5 hour drive. We stopped at the office...a big lovely check in. of the things I was hoping for at this fancy dancy RV resort was to have a good WiFi connection so that I could get our blog up-to-date...but guess what was temporarily out of service? Figures! To her credit, she did tell us this before we actually checked in so we could change our minds. No, we will stay for the 2 nights we had planned.

The sites are all wide level gravel off paved roads. We pulled into our site (159) to find we were right across the street from our new found friends from Michigan...Ron and Deb and Bill and Stacy. We unhitched from the truck, levelled off and then I went inside to unpack while Steve got us all connected outside.

After we were all set up, we decided to go for a power walk around the the wind! The park is really very nice and well laid out. Our main issue is that there are no picnic tables at the sites. The sites are all manicured gravel...yes, they are all raked...with a vegetation barrier between every 2 sites. Between the 2 sites are the water, power, cable and sewer hook-ups, so each RV is back-to-back facing the vegetation barrier.

The reception building houses the restrooms/showers...very nice showers—they are individual rooms with a shower stall and change area...a big laundry room and a very nice lounge. Outside there is a big patio area with an outdoor fireplace and chairs and tables. There is also a large hot tub that should be reopening tomorrow after suffering from broken pipes from the freezing temperatures a couple of weeks back.

After our walk, we retreated inside out of the wind and relaxed. I managed to get a fairly good signal on the Rogers Rocket Stick so I worked our travel blog...I am way behind!

Tomorrow we want to explore the old town, Mesilla plus I have a mountain of laundry to do!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 (Balmorhea State Park, Texas)

We had a very leisure start to the day...just the way I like it! After coffee...and more coffee, it was exercise time, followed by showers. By the time breakfast was ready, the sun had come around so we sat outside and ate at the picnic table. So nice! We have not had the opportunity to do that much on this entire trip!

It was almost noon by the time we headed to the pool. As we were walking through the campground we noticed a truck and trailer from BC so we stopped to see where they were from. Brent and his family are from Enderby. He and his wife are both teachers and decided to take a year off to travel with their 4 kids, home schooling them along the way. So they bought a big trailer and left Enderby last July. We actually have met a number of families that are home schooling as they travel.

Another picture of the motel and canal...

At the pool, I had a sitting on the pool edge with my feet dangling in the water, hundreds of the tiny little fish nibble at the calluses on your feet. I wasn’t too sure about this but we met an older fellow that decided to sit by us and he convinced me that it doesn`t hurt...just tickles a bit. Too funny!
This is Steve having his pedicure...

We enjoyed a few hours of sunshine with dips in the was really nice...

Back at the trailer, we actually had to turn on the air-conditioner and sit inside...we wouldn`t have any shade to sit outside until the sun was lower in the sky. Although the area is flat, it`s really pretty with the mountains in the distance and the blue sky.

I spent the next hour or so trying to find a campground in the El Paso area...there aren’t many and the few I found didn’t really have very good reviews. We finally decided on one...but we won’t make reservations.

Although there are fire pits at each site, fires have been banned...I can understand is so dry! So we spent the evening inside watching TV...and the sunset...the skyline is so pretty...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 (Travel Day to Balmorhea State Park, Texas)

We were continuing our trek west today and with a State Park about 3 ½ hours away, that would be a perfect drive. It was a beautiful travel day...clear blue skies! The forecast for the area we were headed to was for a high of 82F’s been a long time since we felt temps that hot!

The countryside was very unique...from flat... mountains...
One area had miles and miles of windmills...
This is a picnic area where we stopped for lunch...notice all the blue sky?!!

We arrived at Balmorhea State Park around 1:30. It is located in the flat scrubby part of Texas...pretty typical Texan countryside. After checking in at the office, she said that we could go and pick out a site and come back later. So in we went...all sites are paved and many of them have neat cabana¬-like structures built over the picnic tables. We chose site #34, a pull-through along the outer loop. After a stop at the sani-dump, we got set up in our site. No need to unhitch...we were level and would not need the truck to go anywhere.

After getting the essentials done (power and water), we decided to walk back to the office and pay for the 2 nights we had decided to stay. At first the rate sounded too good to be true...$14 including electricity and water...then we learned that if you do not purchase a $60 annual Texas Park Pass, the cost is $28 ($7 each per day for the pass). Well, if we were going to be spending more time in Texas State Parks, then it would make sense to purchase the annual pass but in our case, this was likely to be our only stay...maybe one in the El Paso area but it still wouldn’t pay.

After getting settled up at the office, we took a walk to the pool. Balmorhea State Park has the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool, which covers 1.75 acres and stays at 72—76 degrees year-round. The water is so clear and is full of tiny little fish...and larger catfish.

The State Park also has a motel—San Solomon Courts, a retro lodging built in the 1930’s with a southwestern adobe look.
Canals from the Springs lead past the Courts to a restored wetland, called a cienega.

Once back at our campsite, we finished getting set up. I couldn’t get a very strong internet signal so decided to walk up to the office and sit at the picnic table...that is where they have free wifi. So away I Steve set up the satellite dish. After checking email and looking up the satellite co-ordinates, I returned to the trailer and we managed to latch onto a satellite relatively easily.

There...with all our work done, we decided to sit outside. Well, it wasn’t long before we moved into what little shade we could find. It was pretty darned hot out! But we’re not complaining!

Tomorrow we will spend some time down at the pool...enjoying the water and sunshine!