Wednesday we arrived at our winter home, Valle del Oro in Mesa.
This is our 8th winter to stay here. The first year it was for only a week. Each year the stay has gotten longer. As we parked, we saw that three couples we know on our street had already arrived, so we feel even more at home.
We left Kansas on Saturday, going to Oklahoma, then Texas. Next, it was New Mexico.
As we drove toward Albuquerque, we saw this ominous smoke on the horizon.
We were relieved when we learned it was some sort of trash pile being burned.
Then, we were on to Arizona.
In Colorado, we were surrounded by pine and spruce forests. Then we spent six weeks passing through flat farm fields and prairie grass. The mesas, buttes and mountains of western New Mexico and Arizona are familiar and welcome sights.
We saw some honest-to-goodness fall colors.
And a structure that I believe is used to burn wood chips or sawdust from lumber production.
Wednesday morning, we left Holbrook, AZ, at nearly 6,000 ft elevation, then went up and down, over 7,000 to eventually 1,400 ft here in Mesa. That meant numerous stretches of road with signs like this.
And roads that look like this.
We began to see the familiar creosote bush and prickly pear cactus. Next came teddy bear cholla and ocotilla. But we know we are almost here when our favorite cactus, the saguaro, comes into view.
Now we begin reorganizing all the storage in our new RV. We put everything away before leaving Kansas, but we don't know where anything is. After moving things three or four times, it will take a while to remember where we put it last. But we are beginning to make progress.