Tucson, Arizona

7/7/2018 to 7/11/2018

Wickenburg AZ, Catalina State Park, Visiting Family

Saturday 7/7/2018     From Las Vegas we planned on traveling to Tucson AZ to visit with Nikki, Joe, Joey, Don and the kids. But it was just a little too far for us to drive in one day so we stopped in a small town about halfway there. I researched a couple of campgrounds and picked one in Wickenburg, AZ.  It was a 228-mile scenic drive to Desert Cypress Mobile Home and RV park. One section of the drive reminded us of Joshua Tree National Park, there were large piles of boulders and Joshua Trees on both sides of the road. We got to the RV park in the afternoon and no one was in the office but there was a sign on the door with a number to call. The person told me to just pick a spot and she would collect the money before we left. This park was divided into two different sections. The older section had a couple of empty sites with a little bit of shade but was mostly filled with long-term occupants. The newer section, on the other side of the road, was very nice and almost empty but had absolutely no shade. We chose the newer section because it was easier to get into and after spending 11 days in Vegas we were used to being in the sun. It turned out to be a very nice place and the next day when I met the owner she gave me a big discount on the camping fees. 

Sunday 7/8/2018     We really didn't have any plans today so we ended up finding a self-service car wash and washing the truck. It was looking pretty bad with all the desert dirt and dust. After that, we explored the small town of Wickenburg. Wickenburg does have a little history. Henry Wickenburg discovered a very profitable gold mine in 1863. Once word got out other miners came to the area looking to strike it rich. These miners had families and the town grew with a church, school, stores, saloons, ranches and more. Once the railroad came to town and supplies were easy to transport it really grew. But eventually, the gold dried up and the town lost a lot of its population as people moved on. But since Wickenburg had the appearance of a classic western town a lot of people came here to vacation at the dude ranches starting sometime in the 30's. As of 2007, some of these ranches still offer their hospitality. One is now a golf resort, and another has been converted into the nation's largest eating disorder treatment facility and is now Wickenburg's largest employer.

Monday 7/9/2018     We've been having trouble with our refrigerator since our stay in Morongo Valley at Danny's workshop.  It can't seem to stay very cold.  I've researched online and tried to figure out what was wrong with it through the process of elimination.  Finally, I decided it must be the cooling unit.  It would be very expensive if I purchased a new refrigerator so I wanted to buy a re-built cooling unit.  I could only find a couple of people who sold the re-built cooling units and the one place didn't have any.  The second place said he did have one and he was located in an RV Salvage lot near Phoenix which we were passing through on our way to Tucson.  We stopped at the salvage lot and were actually a little startled at the quantity of fire damaged motorhomes and trailers they had.  We never really worried about fires before but now we're really going to make certain our smoke detectors work.  The salvage yard must acquire the wrecked motorhomes and trailers after the insurance companies total them.  Then they completely tear down anything inside or outside the trailer that they can sell.  They have a large warehouse with shelving holding all the spare parts, anything from cabinet doors, medicine cabinets, chairs, air conditioners, appliances, etc. which they sell for a good profit.  The man showed me the cooling unit but said he was too busy to install it but offered to drive to our campsite near Tucson to put it in before we left there.  So, we just continued on our way to Tuscon.  

Tuesday 7/10/2018    We are now settled in the Catalina State Park in Oro Valley, Arizona which is about 8 miles from the Caccarozzo and Jone's families homes.  It's a very nice state park once again in the desert and not too many campers willing to stay out in the heat and sun.  But we've had a pleasant change of climate here as we've arrived in the middle of their rainy season - sometime monsoon rains.  The temperature is down in the high 70's or low 80's and it is raining and humid but at least our air conditioning is able to keep up now.  We hung out in the trailer this morning and early afternoon waiting for the man to arrive to fix our refrigerator.  I texted and called him but he didn't respond until late afternoon that he was unable to make it until Wednesday afternoon.  We defrosted the refrigerator yesterday and bought a cooler and ice that we are trying to keep our food cold in.  So now we have another day that we have to buy ice and hope our food doesn't spoil.  We drove over to Marana, AZ which is the town Nikki and family live in around 1:30 pm and visited with Nikki and Joe who were watching Kat, Travis and Elly until 4 pm when Don picked them up.  Around 5:30 we drove over to Don and Joey's house where they treated us to pizza and veggies and Nikki's dip.  We were able to tour both their houses and had a very nice visit with everyone.  We don't get a chance to see each other very often and it was great to catch up with their lives.

Wednesday 7/11/2018     The man that was going to put a new cooling unit in our refrigerator told us he would be here in the afternoon so we didn't make any plans today. We did meet Nikki and Joe for breakfast around 9:15 after they dropped the kids off at volleyball. After breakfast, they came with us to visit a while in our trailer. Right after they left I got a text from the refrigerator man telling me he would be leaving Phoenix in about an hour. So we expected he would be here around 1:00. Well, one o'clock came and went and no repairman. Over two hours after that he sent me a text telling me he wouldn't be able to make it. But he could probably be here tomorrow morning. Well, that was about all I could take. I texted him back and said it was too late because we were leaving around 10:00 tomorrow and to forget it. That's one of the problems of being on the road. If something goes wrong we cannot stick around and wait for parts or a serviceman because we have reservations somewhere else. I've been trying to get this refrigerator fixed for over a week. The refrigerators in RVs are not the same as a home refrigerator. RV refrigerators run on electric or propane. At a campsite with hookups, it uses electric. When you are on the road or camped somewhere without hookups it runs on propane. So, of course, this makes them more expensive. A new RV refrigerator costs anywhere from $1150.00 to $1500.00. A rebuilt cooling unit runs around $520.00 and that's just for the cooling unit, not installation. This man I contacted was going to drive over 100 miles and put it in for $600.00. Well, now I don't know what I'm going to do. Right now we have all our food in a cooler and we buy ice every day.  We ended our day with an evening walk around the campground and on their Bridle Path.

Thursday 7/12/2018     We didn't have to leave our campground until 11:00 so we made plans to meet Nikki and Joe for breakfast one more time before we left. We met them at a place called Kneaders Bakery and Cafe a few miles away. We sat and talked until it was time to say our final goodbyes. Then we headed back to the campground, packed up and moved on. Today we are headed to Yuma, Arizona and San Diego, California.

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