*I decided to break this down and make it two posts. This is the first half of 2020. I was just too preoccupied during the year to write...
What a ride!!
January to March 2020
The year started out great with a six week trip for work and ended up at the Pima County Fairgrounds for an Escapees Hangout.
We headed out January 22, 2020 working in three different California locations before crossing the state line into Arizona. We had made the Hangout reservations back in the fall of 2019. We had never been to a group rally and we were looking forward to meeting new friends, enjoying new experiences and figuring out if we would even like the desert setting.
Before we arrived I had found out that Tina and John would be joining us. They told their friends to expect us. Imagine our surprise when Laura, Rob, Amy and Dan greeted us at the welcome table by name! New friends and we had only just arrived :-) The week would be filled with entertainment, games and plenty of memories in the making.
Activities are optional during a Hangout. You can choose whether or not to participate according to your mood, physical abilities or whatever.
|we saw a unique heart shaped leaf|
|friends on the trail :-)|
One of the activities I joined was a hike at the nearby Saguaro National Park. There were about a dozen or so others who joined. This is where I saw my first Crested Saguaro on the trail, along with plenty of other majestic giants!
Rufus isn't allowed on the trails inside Saguaro NP so Ron decided to take him on a walk in a green grassy park instead. We all had a good time in our respective activities.
|even giants start out small|
|my first Crested Saguaro sighting|
Plenty of other bloggers have seen Crested Saguaros before me. I've been fascinated with them for quite awhile. While on the hike through the park, we spotted this beauty. It was a little off the trail so in order to get a better look, I had to walk carefully around other cacti. So worth it! I think it must've been near 25' tall.
We had pre-purchased tickets for the Sonoran Desert Museum when we signed up for the Hangout. This unique museum is part nature trails, part aquarium, part animal enclosures, part gift shop and so much more. Take a look here. I'm sure there's something for everyone!
As expected Rufus isn't allowed in the museum or on the grounds. We sure are glad for full hook ups and cooler temperatures. He stayed back at the rig by himself enjoying some peace and quiet.
|nice resting spot along one of the trails|
|so many hats :-)|
During the cooler months, yes it gets cool in the desert, the staff cover some of the more delicate species with bags. The purpose of the coverings is to protect the new growth. When you see a saguaro with a narrow spot, it likely froze during that period of growth.
One of the most spectacular avian shows we've seen was put on during our visit. Unfortunately the shows are temporarily discontinued due to Covid. The birds are free flight. The birds are varied for each show depending on their health and mood. Ron got some awesome photos!
Yes, the Saguaros are really tall!!
Another outing was a visit to the Pima Air & Space Museum. There are nearly 400 aircraft on display at the 80 acre field. There are six hangars, three of which are dedicated to WWII. Rufus joined me for the day! He and his friend, Fergie, enjoyed the shared car ride.
|Fergie (L) and Rufus (R) enjoyed their visit |
All of the armed forces divisions are well represented here.
There are so many aircraft here, most with descriptive signs. I strolled around for a few hours admiring them while I wondered about the lives impacted by each. From the people who made them, to the people who flew them, to the people who missed their loved ones while away from home, to those that never came home. So many lives impacted!
|AirForce One 1961-1965|
|they forgot a "P" in KIPP|
|Super Guppy Cargo Transport 1965-1995|
Nights were filled with games, socializing (pre-Covid) and other fun shenanigans. Of course, what's a great time without a great send-off dinner. This was held inside the Cantina at the fairgrounds. The taco bar was delicious, the drinks were abundant and the entertainment was fantastic!
|The Status Crowes|
|Laura (host), Amy, Dan, Rob (host)|
|new friends: Dan, Amy, Ron, Rene', Tina, John|
We sure had a great time! The Hangout met and exceeded our expectations! Ron and I are looking forward to another one in our future :-)
Our next stop before returning to California was another moochdocking experience. Jodee and Bill bought a house in Tombstone, Arizona and put in an RV spot on a portion of theie property. They even have water and 50amp power :-) To our surprise Raven is too large to fit easily. Instead of staying on their side yard, we get front row parking in their driveway!
|a cold dusting of snow was a surprise!|
|great spot out front|
|no one else around for miles|
|petroglyphs on the rocks line the trail|
|Hurley (L) and Rufus (R) are soon friends|
California closes down. What the heck! It's a good thing we make it back to our rental pad. While some are wondering what they'll do for work, we're very busy at our shop making sneeze guards for a local hospital. Time flies by and it's soon time to head out again. We ordered a new rig back in February. Covid halted the production line but it's back on the line and we'll need to be in Michigan to pick it up before our loan approval runs out of time.
Stay tuned for more of the year we'd rather forget!
*As always, the photos can be viewed larger by clicking on them.