A Visit with Mom’s Friend

After an awe-inspiring trip to Death Valley National Park, we reluctantly bid farewell to this incredible national park. February 2012 – Today’s destination is Mesquite, Nevada. The main reason for our visit to Mesquite is to connect with long time friends of my parents. The two couples met during their RVing days via their regular winter excursions to the Texas Gulf Coast. Even though both couples sold their RVs due to health and age, they still managed to maintain their close friendship regardless of distance.

We had met these friends previously during one of our Texas vacations visiting my parents at an RV Park on Mustang Island. Bill and Sigrid are a delightful couple that were currently splitting their time between their ranch in Montana and a Park Model in Mesquite. Even though they had sold their motorhome the previous year, they weren’t totally done with RVing and had recently purchased a little travel trailer for an upcoming trip to Alaska which I was particularly interested in hearing all about. This would be their third and final RV road trip to Alaska, and they were a wealth of information. Considering such an RV adventure was on my radar at the time, I was eager to soak up as much knowledge as they were willing to share.

Our route from Death Valley NP to Mesquite, Nevada

From our campsite at Stovepipe Wells, we headed west via Daylight Pass Road (Hwy 374) toward the town of Beatty, Nevada. In Beatty, we picked up Hwy 95 and headed south toward Las Vegas.  Once in Las Vegas, we picked up the 215 beltway east to I-15 north.  The trip took us about three hours including a stop for gas and lunch.

Finding a place to stay in Mesquite

Mesquite is a small town about an hour’s drive north of Las Vegas, Nevada, with a population of less than 20,000. We had lived in Las Vegas in the 1990s and kept this town on our shortlist of possible places to retire. So we were curious about our current feelings toward this community.

With only two exits off of Interstate 15, we chose to exit at the first one and stop at Walmart to stock up on supplies. Before turning into the Walmart parking lot, we notice a banner hanging on some fencing – RV Resort with an arrow.  Once our Walmart shopping trip was complete, we decide to check out that RV Resort on the banner. The Solstice Motorcoach Resort had only been open less than a year and was an absolutely beautiful facility. Considering it was so new, there were plenty of empty sites. We decide to spend a week and focus on ridding ourselves, the dog, and the RV of dirt and sand. I’m sure we were carrying a few extra pounds of weight in sand alone from our stay in Death Valley.

We enjoyed a beautiful RV site at Solstice Motorcoach Resort

The Park sits high above the town of Mesquite offering a beautiful night view of the lights.  No dark sky around here! The folks at the RV Park were extremely friendly, helpful, and made this stop perfect to tend to chores, relaxation, and a couple of fun visits with family friends.

Enlightened by seasoned RVers

One of the things I enjoy most about the RV lifestyle is the people we meet. There’s something about RVing that connects folks from all walks of life … age, economic status, race, religion, etc. doesn’t seem to matter as much as our common interest in RV travel and getting into nature.

We visit with Sigrid and Bill a couple of times throughout the week and our conversations flow freely. We talk about their plans for their upcoming Alaskan RV road trip. They bring out maps and The Milepost Book. They share photos and tales from previous trips as well as impending details of their upcoming trip. We are enlightened and soak up the information.

Eventually, the conversation switches over to photography and Bill brings out his new camera. He has owned many cameras, both DSLR’s and Point & Shoots, but really loves this new Panasonic Bridge Camera. Hmm, a bridge camera? … more enlightenment on my part. He shares the pluses and minuses of a bridge camera as well as some recent wildlife images taken with the new camera. I’m impressed and make a note for future reference. My little Point & Shoot camera was definitely limiting and I was getting ready to upgrade.

Before bidding farewell to this engaging couple, Sigrid and I turn our attention to her relationship with my mother, especially since this was the week of my mom’s birthday: Feb. 26th. Mom and Sigrid were particularly close and Sigrid and I bond over tears as we share tales about my mother and how much she is missed.

Life can be fleeting, and little did I know at that moment, but a month later, Sigrid would pass away in her sleep from a brain aneurism. 😥

Moving on

Our week in Mesquite was very relaxing and productive. We accomplished some chores, visited with family friends, and engaged with other RVers at the RV Park. This last week in February, the weather was still a little chilly so it was time to move on in search of warmer weather. As much as we enjoyed our week-long stay, we decided Mesquite was no longer on our retirement shortlist.

From Mesquite, Nevada, to Davis Camp Park in Bullhead City, Arizona

During our stay at Lake Havasu, fellow campers had shared some of their favorite campgrounds with us … particularly places in the desert southwest. One such place was the Davis Camp Park located along the Colorado River and right below the Davis Dam in Bullhead City, Arizona. We were in the process of working our way back to Phoenix and decided the Davis Camp Park location was perfect for splitting the distance between Mesquite and Phoenix.

Upon arrival, we were allowed to drive around the campground and pick out a site before paying and filling out the paperwork. After driving all around, we finally decide on a waterfront campsite with no hookups.  Ah, let the entertainment begin! I stand at the rear of the site to help direct Al in backing up into the RV site.  I begin to wonder if he even pays attention to me and my direction other than when to stop.  I ponder … perhaps I should get some of those orange wands ground crew use to direct pilots.  Maybe then, just maybe, Mr. former Airline Pilot would give dear wife more credibility.  Probably not!  I’ll just continue with my usual hand gestures, or as Al likes to call it “my song and dance routine”.

These two RV newbies continue to be stressed whenever arriving at a new campground and needing to back into a site. In addition to the normal everyday stresses of learning this new RV lifestyle, the extreme wind that was blowing all around us was another stressor and concern. The wind was so incredibly bad that the RV swayed from side to side. This former Illinois gal has seen first hand the devastating destruction caused by extreme wind.  I immediately have a fear of our RV being flipped onto its side by a gust of wind. I quickly extend the slides thinking perhaps the slides would act as outriggers. Al laughs at me, but in my defense, the RV did sway less with the slides extended.

We really enjoyed our great waterfront campsite … wind and all.  And no, we never did come close to toppling over. This was merely the first time we had encountered such extreme wind in our new RV, and this was just another lesson in our long learning curve.

Davis Camp Park
We loved our waterfront site but hated the wind.

The town of Laughlin and its Casinos are practically within walking distance from the campground, and Bullhead City is bigger than we originally thought with lots of amenities.  Although we liked our campsite, the warm weather, and the area in general, after three nights, we’d had our fill of the winds and were on our way bound for Phoenix. 

26 thoughts on “A Visit with Mom’s Friend

  1. I’m enjoying your trip down memory lane. I get to see that our experiences are not much different from other RVers. Backing up in a site is not my favorite task. And I still don’t like wind hitting us broadside. Visions of ending up on our side keep me awake all night during a storm.

    Like

    1. We’ve been at this RVing thing 10 years now, and we still hate backing into an RV site and still get nervous … silly! We had such high winds the other day that it literally ripped the RV license plate off. Skies were brown and a layer of grit was left in its wake. Crazy!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Al lived in Alaska when he was in the military and doesn’t have a great desire to do that drive with the RV. Maybe I’ll convince him one day 😉

      Like

  2. Reading through your post, Ingrid, and the first thing that comes to mind is how I think we have a “Milepost” magazine from the 1970’s somewhere in a box. I think you may know how we lived in the Yukon for four years. We would often vacation in Alaska. About ten years ago we went back for a visit. A funny visual how you were carrying extra pounds of weight in sand. My husband (and I, sometimes) use the Panasonic Lumix FZ300, although, I was not aware it was called a “bridge” camera.

    I am very sorry to hear about Sigrid’s passing.

    The waterfront campsites are always a gem, despite the wind, as you say. Always interesting posts, Ingrid and stunning photos!

    Like

    1. Thanks Erica. There’s nothing better than camping near water. Although I enjoy my time in AZ, I always look forward to hitting the road in search of a picturesque lake. I really like my FZ300 and every time I think of upgrading, I’m reminded of the need for various lenses, etc. I’m a lazy photographer and don’t want to be bothered with the need for changes a lens which is why I love the FZ300 and its capability. Perhaps one day I’ll upgrade but for now, I’m happy… just find me some water 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Like another reader mentioned I appreciate the inclusion of the map Ingrid. It helps put the story into perspective. I’ve certainly heard others speak of Mesquite but didn’t actually know where it was.

    Like

    1. It has been interesting stepping back in time and retelling these tales. Since I intend to put these stories into a book for my children and future grandchildren, I want to include as much info and details as possible including the exact route we drove.

      Oh, how I’ve wanted to retrace some of my parent’s RV excursions, but I can only guess. Thus, my thought process. Glad you find the maps helpful. They’re even helpful to me and I’m the one who drove 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ingrid, It’s so nice you were able to have a final visit with your Mom’s friend. That RV resort was a great find after being in the desert! I always enjoyed finding a nice full hookup park with a laundry after a stay in a remote area. I understand your concern about the wind. When we checked into an RV park in Hannibal, Missouri, the first thing they told us was where to go if we heard the tornado siren. I kept an eye on the weather the entire time we were there!
    I’m really enjoying following you along on your earlier trips and reading your stories. Keep them coming!

    Like

    1. It has been fun traveling down memory lane. Those first months, years, in the RV are such a learning curve. It seems to take a while before getting comfortable with the home on wheels … at least it did for me. Traveling through the Great Plains and Midwest always has us on our toes. I’m constantly checking the weather app and have alerts set. We’re not interested in any Dorthy and Toto adventures. 🌪

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful to hear of your RV adventures, Ingrid, and the photos were great too. You must’ve been so glad you took the time to hook up with Bill and Sigrid, espec. since she passed soon after that. Sending smiles your way….

    Like

    1. Thank you Suzanne. I have a few more posts to write regarding this six-week trip and then I might be ready to jump into printing. I’m hoping it does turn into a wonderful keepsake … that’s the plan anyway. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great stories. I am really enjoying them. Sorry to hear about Sigrid, and so glad you got to spend time with her when you did. What is the southwest without wind?

    Like

    1. Now a days, it’s even easier to maintain those friendships. Back then, it was good old-fashioned snail mail and telephone calls. Glad to hear you’re enjoying my tales from memory lane. It has been a therapeutic journey for me.😊

      Liked by 1 person

Let's connect. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.