It's been quite a week. Our time at Organ Pipe included spending some good times getting to know Bert and Audrey Epp from Manitoba. They had been our neighbors at Gilbert Ray and then arrived at Organ Pipe two days after we did. We had a good time visiting with them. Then Saturday we spent time talking about volunteering at Organ Pipe with David and Jo-Anna Kikel. We met them last year while staying at the Kamper Corral in Klamath, CA. They have been volunteering at Organ Pipe since December.
On Monday we left Organ Pipe for Yuma. We had planned to check out the weather there and see what we thought of the Escapees co-op park. Last fall we fell in love with the Escapees park in Benson, except that the winter nights there are often near or below freezing. We would like to winter somewhere warmer than that. Yuma seems to be the warmest place in Arizona.
When we began calling about a place to stay in Yuma, we found many places were full. The Escapees park doesn't take reservations and they even had folks in dry camping, waiting for a hookup site. We finally called the Cocopah Golf and RV Resort and found a place—at $43 a night—whoa! After spending eight nights at Organ Pipe for a total of $48, that was really high.
After two days in Yuma, we decided it really wasn't a place we were interested in spending a lot of time. After a good visit with Bruce and Nancy Butler, full-time RVers we met several times while visiting eastern Canada and the Maritime Provinces two years ago, we turned around and came east to Desert Gardens RV Oasis in Florence. We stayed here a year ago and really enjoy the park. The sites are very large and the park isn't crowded. It is surrounded by a cactus forest and they have a great trail, about 2 ½ miles long around the perimeter, where we enjoy running.
Saturday we visited the Coolidge Cotton Days nearby, as I described in yesterday's post. After lunch we went to Casa Grande National Monument to apply for a volunteer position next winter. We learned they are short staffed and could use some help for a month. Today we worked out arrangements to volunteer there till early April. That will give us and them a chance to see if that will be a good place for us to spend next winter. This flexibility and uncommitted time come from living on the road and not being controlled by a vacation itinerary that tells us what we have to do each day and week.
Learning about the Hohokam Indians and the ruins at Casa Grande will be a great challenge. We learn so much as volunteers. It helps keep us sharp and expands our minds. It also helps financially—a month in RV parks and state and national parks costs somewhere between $450 and $600 or more, so we really save money by donating our time.