|Crossing the desert Southwest
||[Jan. 5th, 2014|07:46 am]
I hope everyone had a great holiday season! Ours was wonderful; in December, after escaping the winter weather in Texas, we gift-shopped across New Mexico and Arizona. We had a pleasant stay in Mesilla, where we met the Pancho-clad Santa complete with reindeer-burro (picture posted earlier) after a tree-lighting ceremony in the old town square.
Arizona was nice and warm and we didn’t get to spend quite long enough there, as we were hurrying to reach Palm Springs for Christmas. We stopped in Benson, AZ, for our first ever stay at an Escapees park (SKP Saguaro.) Escapees is a club which offers services and support for RVers, especially full-timers. They have a number of RV parks across the US, mostly in the South. We’ve been members for about 3 years and this was the first time our schedule matched with their locations.
The park is a co-op, where RVers can purchase sites which are rented when they’re not using them if they give permission. The sites were nice and large; most had small “casitas” serving as extra living and storage space. Escapees members have a reputation for being “huggy” and everyone was very friendly and eager to welcome us. We had a nice couple of nights and plan to return on our way to Baton Rouge this year. I hadn’t realized how close Benson is to Tombstone, which is one of those places we’ve wanted to visit for a while but always seem to miss.
Our next stop was Tonopah, just west of Phoenix. I made the mistake of routing us right through Phoenix on I-10, thinking that the direct route would be easiest. It wasn’t that bad: the traffic was city-heavy and the road was wide, but next time I’ll put us on the bypass around the city via I-8 and 85. The RV park we stayed in (Saddle Mountain) was very nice; landscaped gravel with palms and the occasional cactus. That’s pretty much the norm for the desert parks, and the look ranges from “gravel parking lot” to “sere but pretty”.
When we checked in I was all set to pull out my Good Sams card (another RVer’s club) and take the usual 10% discount. Fortunately J had noticed the Escapees logo in the window and asked if that discount was different. The Escapees deal is half off for three days, only usable every 6 months. That was a nice surprise after a rough drive!
J had to go in to his local corporate office in Scottsdale to take care of some paperwork and we took the opportunity to see the Old Scottsdale area. We found a small old-fashioned jewelry store chock-a-block with cool stuff and had the chance to pick up a few Zuni fetishes, gorgeous little sculptures in stone and shell. On learning that we were unfamiliar with fetishes aside from liking their looks, the saleswoman threw in a paperback art book with our packages, which is where I learned that the cougar is considered good for travelers. Serendipity for the win!
Now to figure out how to display these small artworks; I am pondering a shadowbox of sorts, where they could sit on small platforms but be protected from bouncing around as we travel. I think that will be a goal for this year; we have a lot of small art pieces which could be on our walls instead of in boxes. I’d like to figure out how to securely mount them so we can enjoy them.