Friday, April 04, 2008

New Experiences

No matter how long we RV, we keep experiencing new things. In 1988 we borrowed John's sister's very old tent trailer for a trip to the East Coast. That fall we bought our own Coleman trailer. In 1997 we bought our first 5th wheel trailer.

Still, this past two weeks we have seen so many new things. All across southern Arizona there are RV parks, Park Model Parks and storage lots built to accommodate snowbirds. We are in Yuma, Arizona, and half the town seems to be RV parks and winter residences. The estimated population here in 2006 was 86,000. I wonder how many people are here in February.

In Florence, AZ, between Tucson and Phoenix, we stayed in a park where they are selling lots to RVers, as well as offering long-term space rentals and storage. Desert Gardens RV Oasis is a beautiful park with large sites and excellent facilities. They are truly surrounded by a desert garden. There is a trail that encircles the park that is nearly one mile long and passes through beautiful desert flora. It was a delight for running our three miles. Plus, there is so much oxygen here for running!

Before we checked into the I-10 RV Park in Benson, we used a car-RV wash. While we were waiting in line, a man approached our truck and told us about Western Horizons parks and gave us a certificate for four nights free in one of their parks if we would listen to a 90-minute presentation about the campground network. Since one of the parks was in Yuma, we decided the price was right for four free nights lodging. Saturday morning we will learn more.

There is a difference between RVers who have 5th-wheel and travel trailers and those who have class A motor homes. Part of the difference is the amount of money they spend cleaning their rig. The biggest difference is that motor home owners really like to shine up their rig and clean the windshield. In Benson we watched our neighbor spend more than 30 minutes polishing his windshield and the front of his coach. He used two or three cloths to clean each area. I have never worked that hard to polish silver at our stick house. Since we don't care for our rig that way, I guess we can never buy a motor home.

On the south edge of our park here in Yuma there is BLM land with boon docking sites. A camp host oversees the registration site. Campers can stay 14 nights for $30, unlimited nights for $60. A nearby gas station has a dump station and sells water. We have heard of this camping. Even seen it as we have driven by recreational rivers in Colorado and Utah. But this is the first time we have seen it in the desert. The countryside here may be warm in the winter, but it isn't very pretty. Staying for two weeks where there are no amenities, no trees or other plants, doesn't sound very interesting. At least the RV parks here have landscaping.

Here in Yuma we are right on the US-Mexico border. Thursday night I watched 5 Chinook helicopters looking for illegals crossing the boarder. Among the materials we receive when checking in to our RV park was a notice reading: "While you are here you may experience brief interruptions in your cell phone service as well as interruptions in wireless internet or satellite television. This is due to the highly sophisticated surveillance devices used by the Border Patrol to detect illegal aliens crossing our border." We hear about these issues on the evening news. But, living far from the border, we haven't experienced any of this till now.

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