Life is good. That's always a true statement, but it doesn't always feel true. It does when you are well-fed, have some free time on your hands, good air conditioning and good Wi-Fi. At least, those are high on my list right now.
We really enjoyed spending time with Larry and Paula again.
When I was growing up my father used to take the family camping. Camping to me meant we drove way out into the woods and pulled into an unimproved spot where we pitched a tent. There was a water spigot a few steps away from the campsite and a restroom even further away. In fact if I recall correctly during the first few years the restroom didn't even have flush toilets. But it was camping, and we roasted marshmallows and hot dogs and got close to nature. It was restorative.
One time I told a friend about our camping trip and he was impressed. "You were really roughing it," he gushed. I didn't even know what "roughing it" meant. A few years later I went with another friend to a "campground" that to me looked just like a parking lot. There were parking spaces for recreational vehicles and there was a lake nearby, but I don't remember even seeing a single tree on the site. To some people, that's "camping." To each their own. I already feel like I'm living in luxury in the motorhome, but I've discovered that "camping" can bump it up a notch.
I think I mentioned in my last post that Larry and Paula have a spot with full hookups right next to their house. We tested our electrical and water connections when we still had the motorhome next to our house, and of course we've made frequent use of the sewer connections, but we'd never actually made use of a full-hookup site before. With three connections, water, sewer, and electric, the "monstrosity" instantly transforms into a semi-normal house. Suddenly you don't have to watch your water usage and you can take a long shower if you want. Things most people in developed countries take for granted suddenly seem like giddy luxuries.
I didn't make any comment about electricity in the paragraph above because we already feel like we're enjoying a luxury without being hooked up. We already have all the electricity we could want (at least in the summer) with our mega-battery bank and solar array. However here in Arizona we have a compelling reason to hook up to electricity - air conditioning. Our dual air conditioners do a fine job of cooling the rig (at least so far - we haven't hit the high 90s yet!), but they don't run on 12 volts. In fact, they don't run on 110 volts. We need a 50-amp connection to run these power-hungry appliances. Larry and Paula generously let us connect to theirs. RV air conditioners are notoriously inefficient, and they probably took as much power to cool the RV as their heat pump uses to cool their home (also seen in photo above). Well, maybe not quite.
Air-conditioned comfort is great, but it becomes a necessity when you have a dog. Dogs are very sensitive to heat, and Gus-Gus let us know on our way into Kingman that he wasn't doing well. Fortunately we can also run the A/C units off our generator, so we fired it up on the road and - ah! Cool air again. I've tested the generator and run it a few times to keep it healthy, but this week was the first time we've really needed it.
We arrived in Kingman Saturday and were able to enjoy service and the meeting Sunday. My "house" projects stretched into two days but I really needed to spend that time to get things done I hadn't had time for up till now. I finally finished putting the trim on the floor, a project I started in December. The room slide-outs are properly lubricated (need that especially where it's hot), and I replaced the fresh water pump that was giving us trouble. It took longer than expected, like most repair projects. Apparently the old water pump (old being a relative term, it's stamped 2014) was going out when we bought the rig, because the newer one is the exact same model but much quieter. It took three tries to get the plumbing components we needed, but it feels good to have it fixed. Running water is pretty nice to have...
Despite being busy Larry and Paula were gracious hosts, as usual, but unlike our visit last year where we stayed in their house, it felt a bit more like we were next-door neighbors this time. I spent two full days working on the RV and Larry was out doing his studies both days. We spent some time together in the evenings but we attended the Tuesday night meeting in the other congregation because they had the CO. So we got his visit in reverse, Sunday first then the midweek meeting and talk. We enjoyed visiting both Kingman congregations.
That brings us to today and our visit with Paula and Larry was quickly over. It was time for us to head to Tucson and we wanted to get going before it got too hot. We made a quick stop at the RV store for more parts (which seems to be a regular thing when you drive an older RV) and hit the road. We drove through Phoenix around rush hour but other than a minor delay caused by an accident on the freeway we sped right through. At one point we got in the HOV lane and got a rare feeling of passing everyone else. Most of the time we are the passees rather than the passers.
We're in Tucson to see my ex-roommate Travis and his wife Shary. I used my Passport America app to find a reasonably-priced campsite 15 minutes from their home. Technology makes travel so much easier than it used to be.
The heat wasn't too bad today, but we fired up the generator about an hour before we arrived in Tucson. Once we got into town the weather cooled off pretty fast but it was still nice to have the electric hookup so we could keep the rig cool after we parked. Travis and Shary were worn out from working hard today, and we were worn out from the drive, so we agreed to meet in the morning since they have the day off.
The Tra-Tel RV Park in Tucson. Complete with real Saguaro cactus.
Our first time in a real RV campsite with full hookups. Old hat already.
After we made ourselves at home with the A/C running we decided to open the awning. I think the last time we had it open was in November. It was dripping with residue from the scores of rainy days we had in Portland since then. No doubt it's dry now. One of our fellow campers warned us the wind is supposed to pick up in the morning, but I'll wait until then to retract the awning.
Even Pablo got out and took a walk around the campground. The sunset was brief but beautiful.
Before we even pulled into the camp site Jaden was already in the pool. Swimming is one of her favorite activities so we had to find a campground with a pool.
After a little swimming and exploring it quickly started getting dark. We checked out the quail and a couple young jackrabbits on the other side of the fence and then headed inside for a late dinner. The picnic table will have to wait until tomorrow.