Thursday we left Gallup to drive to Mesa, where we will spend the last three months of 2010. The storms of earlier in the week were gone and it was a beautiful day. The scenery heading south from I-40 on the Beeline is beautiful--and not what I usually think of as Arizona.
But eventually the mountains and conifer forests gave way to the desert and saguaro cactus--and the promise of a moderately warm winter.
This is the third time we have stayed at Valle del Oro, a "+55 Active Adult Community." Right now it almost feels like we are living in a ghost town. If you look very carefully, you can see our Montana 5th wheel trailer on the right side of the road, past all the empty sites.
This gives you a little idea of how many empty RV sites there are right now.
Don't let all that open space fool you. We plan to spend nearly three months here because they have a fall special--3+ Months for 1 Price between Sept. 20 and Jan. 2. Last year we came in during the last week of October and were able to get in on the sale. Thursday, they only had four or five sites available. We were shocked, and really glad we hadn't waited any longer to drive down here. Next year we will make a reservation early.
It is pretty easy to tell when the people who own a park model haven't come in yet for the winter. The windows are covered with aluminum sun shields.
And the golf carts are still under cover.
The landscaping crew is beginning to prepare for winter by trimming the citrus trees. Don't they look good when the job is done?
There is both trash and recycle pickup in the city of Mesa and each empty site has the containers waiting for new occupants.
We do see some evidence of residents here. Fall decorations are out.
There will be more about our life in the Valley of the Sun in the weeks to come.