It’s a cold and gloomy Sunday. We said our good-byes to our new friends that morning and are now sitting in the warmth of our dry comfy RV parked in our little corner campsite all by ourselves. The abundance of windows in our tiny home allows us to watch the nasty weather roll in. It turns into an entertaining sight, and I’m incredibly thankful I’m camped in an RV and not a tent.
Al and I are shocked when we see snowflakes fall. It’s March 2012 near Phoenix, Arizona. We’re camped at the Lost Dutchman State Park, and I’m seeing snow accumulate on the Superstition Mountains. Really? The rain, hail, and snow continued most of the day. Bear’s walks were quick, much to his displeasure. I call my dad, who lives in the Chicago suburbs, and tell him where we’re camped and all about the weather. My dad can barely contain his laughter as he briefs me on the sunny blue sky and 80 degrees F weather he is enjoying.
It’s mid-March and I’m sitting in the Phoenix valley bundled up in winter attire while dad is in the Chicago area wearing shorts and a golf shirt. What’s wrong with this picture? We enjoyed a good chuckle and I promised to send him lots of photos.
RV Group Camping
Shortly after noon, the first of our Escapees Boomer Club starts arriving. This is our very first ever RV group event and first with the Escapees organization as well. We brave the elements with each RV arrival to introduce ourselves. Wanting to return to the dry warmth of our RV as soon as possible, we kept the introductions short. By late afternoon, our formerly empty group camping area was nearly full.
The next day, the only sign of the inclement weather from the day before was the dusting of snow left behind on the Superstition Mountains. From what we gathered, snow is a rare treat to behold around here which caused photographic excitement amongst locals and non-locals alike. Al and I changed our opinion from disgruntled to fortunate. After all, we did leave Colorado to escape the cold and snow, and here we were in Arizona experiencing the very weather we were trying to avoid. But back home, that weather is the norm while here it is a rarity, and we were able to witness this rare sight. So, we considered ourselves fortunate even though we weren’t necessarily happy about pulling out the winter coats.
With fair weather upon us once again and a group of around twelve RVs gathered, the organizers posted a list of activities for the upcoming three days. We had a choice of activities in which to engage. While the days were filled with hikes, seminars, and outings, the evenings centered around various get-togethers either at the pavilion or inside someone’s RV, activities determined by the weather.
One of the daytime outings with a couple of our new neighbors included a visit to Tortilla Flat for lunch. A few days earlier, Al and I had driven through this entertaining town and vowed to return. So, here was our opportunity. The restaurant walls are plastered with dollar bills covering every square inch of wall space and the bar stools are made from saddles. It’s a fun and busy place plus the burgers are tasty.
I believe this was the first time I ever snapped a photo in a lady’s restroom. The stall doors were each painted with a different dance hall gal dress design. So once you stepped up to the door, your head finished off the design. Too cute! After lunch, we stepped into the gift shop for a look around and then over to the ice cream shop. We had heard that the ice cream is delicious and shouldn’t be passed up. Feeling compelled to confirm that tidbit of info, Al and our friends confirm that the ice cream was definitely worth the indulgence. Nice job team! Unable to tolerate the dairy, I looked on longingly … sigh!
One evening, a large group of us car-pooled over to the Organ Stop Pizza for a meal and entertainment. This was our second visit to this one-of-a-kind establishment. Organ Stop Pizza is home to the world’s largest Wurlitzer Organ and even if you’re not a fan of Organ music, it’s an experience I highly recommend at least once. We enjoyed the food as well as the entertainment, but others in our group shared a different culinary opinion. Regardless, we all had a fabulous time!
RVing education seminars
Our days whizzed by as our RVing education with the Escapees Club continued. We learned about solar panels, batteries, inverters, holding tanks, boondocking, and more. We learned so much from these seasoned RVers and appreciated their time and friendship. We were sad for this way too short of a gathering to end. Alas, it was time for us to move on with more education to be had at the Good Sam Rally being held in the town of Goodyear, AZ.
Our stay at Lost Dutchman State Park and the Superstition Mountains left an indelible impression upon us. It’s a magical place … a spiritual place … a place we feel compelled to revisit time and again. There’s a unique draw to explore this wilderness area, a longing to experience its ever-changing personality with the weather, and a pull to uncover its hidden secrets. We left with the solace of knowing we’ll return … I must return!
Good Sam Rally
Our drive from Apache Junction to Goodyear took less than an hour. We set up camp at the Destiny RV Resort which was an easy 15-minute drive to the Good Sam Rally location. Thus, we could spend all day at the event with a quick return to the RV for lunch and a dog walk if necessary. Thursday morning we headed off to the Rally. We looked at dozens of RVs and visited the majority of vendor booths set up in a huge event tent. We looked at the seminar schedule and attended a partial seminar with a lackluster interest.
I think we were on RV information overload at this point especially after the previous days camped with the Escapees. By late afternoon, we had accomplished our goal and decided we wouldn’t return to the Rally the next day. We also knew our six-week road trip was nearing its end, and we’d need to start the 800-mile journey home soon.
On one hand, it felt good to be home, on the other, we felt sad. Our appetite for RV travel was awakened and we wanted more. We weren’t sure what the future held, but we knew we wanted to keep the wheels rolling in new directions.
Is this the end of our RVing journey or is it just the beginning?
This concludes my series of posts stepping back in time for my blog to book series. For more info on what I’m talking about, please check out this post – My Plan
24 thoughts on “Is This the End?”
I don’t have any suggestions for a book publishing platform, in fact, I’ll be curious to see what you decide.
A blogging friend used a couple of these but I’ll still need to dive in and see which one will work. I’ll keep ya posted.
Funny that I should stumble across this post today, as I sit here watching it snow. Again. Two days ago it was 70° outside… ah, Colorado and its ridiculous spring weather.
Oh, I remember that Colorado weather. Usually, in April, there’s at least one last hurrah before winter moves on. I was always caught off guard and had to remind myself not to plant annuals before Mother’s Day. Don’t be fooled by the 70 degree days. 😎
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Yeah, I have to keep reminding myself that it’s very much not summer yet. 70s again forecasted for this weekend and then some more snow is on the way next week… oh Colorado
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I know what you mean by RV information overload…happens all the time to us. Thanks for sharing this post and the memories. One of the nicest things you and Al shared with us was “Organ-Stop Pizza”. This place is an amazing entertainment venue–the pizza is good too! Have a great week! Joe
Yeah, we’ve stopped going to any rallies, etc. Besides, I think it’s safe to say that we are now the ‘seasoned’ RVers 😆 There are so many fun and interesting things to see and do throughout the Phoenix valley that’ll keep most RVers entertained for years. 🌵
This was a fun post and we all knew the happy ending or should I say beginning. I think a lot of us will be very interested with what others have experienced with any of the companies that convert blogs to books. I’m approaching my 10 year and have been thinking of doing the same thing.
You’ve written so many wonderful posts about your international travels that it would be a shame for your writings to just disappear if you once stopped blogging. That was my reasoning for getting some of these travel tales printed. Once we move into a house, I’m not sure how much longer I would continue with this blog. Although I say that now, yet every time I take a blogging break, I miss it and can’t imagine stopping all together.😏
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Hi, Ingrid – I greatly enjoyed following this series. Michael Nelson, a blogger and wordpres wizard whom I know, has created a blog to book WP Plugin called “Print My Blog.” If interested, you can find out more about it here: https://printmy.blog/2019/01/15/preserve-your-story-with-print-my-blog-wordpress-plugin/.
Thanks for the link, Donna. I think I checked it out once before but might need to review it again. I’m glad you enjoyed my trip down memory lane. After a little breather, I may start into the four-month road trip. However, I have missed the photo challenge engagement. So I’m being torn. 😏
A fun series, Ingrid. These are precious memories. So glad you are going to put into a book. I have used blog2print.com once. It’s easy to convert posts into a book format. 🙂
Thank you Amy and glad to hear you were happy with blog2print. Now it’s time for me to sit down and get this figured out and see which platform is going to work best for the number of pages I may have.
Will be curious what your research concludes for converting blog to book! I have thought many times it would be nice to preserve some of my blog posts with photos from over the years but wasn’t sure if there was a convenient way to do so other than cutting and pasting into Shutterfly type service!
I have a friend who has used all four platforms I listed in the yellow box for printing out her various travels. Your recent posts on your Alaskan cruise would be perfect to put into print. I already have my reservation for the end of June in Two Harbors and can’t wait for more north shore explorations this summer.
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Fun reading this post! I love that you are revisiting the beginnings of your RV Life.
The Superstitions look pretty with a dusting of snow.
As you know we experienced snow with the kids last week. Crazy Fun for us when we see it here in AZ.
Looking forward to seeing your blog to book experience.
The dusting of snow against the red rock and desert landscape is always a treat to see, but I’m always glad it melts quickly. We have a busy week this week, but maybe we can meet for coffee the following week?
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Ingrid, snow in Arizona?? i would have never imagined that. It’s great you can look back on it now and be happy you had the experience. I would guess you were at the beginning of a new chapter in your life when you got back home. Keep these posts coming, I’m really enjoying them.
Glad you’re enjoying the posts, Beth. The following year, we experienced a snowstorm in Tucson that was incredibly beautiful but cold. They had to postpone an international Golf Tournament. Who would’ve thought? Yes, that six-week road trip was indeed the beginning of a new chapter for us. We sure didn’t see that coming, but oh so glad we jumped in.
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It’s an interesting exercise to go back to the beginning and see how your love of the road began. I can imagine there was a great deal to learn. How fabulous to find like-minded and experiences friends so willing to share knowledge and good times.
It has been fun going down memory lane. Plus, when I first shared these tales, I had very few readers. So, many of my current followers aren’t familiar with how we began our full-time RV journey. We have developed some amazing friendships via the RV lifestyle as well as here on the blog. Always great connecting with like-minded people.
It’s just the beginning! Your elevation must have been pretty high there for the snow. I had snow in my backyard this winter very briefly.
Yep, just the beginning. Little did we know what an impact that six-week road trip would have on us. Snow in the desert is always an entertaining sight because it’s so unexpected. 🌵
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