In January we wanted to experience the remarkable transformation of the desert in Quartzite, Arizona. Once a year, thousands of RVs all converge in the same place. Normally the town has 3,000 people approximately but during the time of the “Big Tent” hundreds and thousands of people congregate for the biggest RV gathering on earth. The town grows into a parking lot full of vendors for the annual Quartzite Sports, Vacation and RV Show.
In Quartzite we met Marc and Julie Bennett from RVLove. They are full-time RVers who have traveled to all 50 states over the past 4 years. We had communicated with them via email and taken their RV classes for newbies through the internet, but it was great to finally meet face to face.
To connect with other full-time RVers on the road, Michael and I belong to a social media group called RVillage. RVillage assists us to find fellow RVers with the same interest along our route? When staying at Desert Gold RV Resort in Quartzite, Michael communicated with Mary and Rex who were hanging out at this resort for a number of weeks.
After a pleasant evening of getting to know each other, Mary and Rex decided we dearly needed to explore and observe the Sonoran Desert close-up. With a Putt-Putt you can’t haul much, so an ATV hitched to the back is out. Mary and Rex have a 40 feet/ 12m RV so hitching a jeep to the back is not a problem. The jeep tour was definitely a unique experience in itself. Michael is witty and gracious with his awkwardness of unfamiliar situations. He enjoys novel experiences no matter what. With the “foot” I mostly stayed in the jeep capturing videos and photographing the cacti or Michael at his best.
Arizona is traditionally known for the Grand Canyon, the mile-deep chasm carved by the Colorado River. But another natural site including the Saguaro National Park, which protects the cactus-filled Sonoran Desert landscape is a must see. The Sonoran Desert occurs primarily in Mexico. More than two-thirds of its combined area is in Baja California and the state of Sonora. In the US, most of the Sonoran Desert can be found in the southern third of Arizona, with small areas in southeastern California. It is a subtropical desert and the most complex desert in North America.
At the end of January, we moved on to the Justin's Diamond J RV Park in the Tucson Estates area. Alone, since Michael flew to England, I spent my days writing my blog post and take snapshots of the cacti around the park. At dusk, I would take the camera out for the most wonderful show. Yes, I know you have all seen a sunset but have you laid eyes on a Sonoran Desert sunset?
The glow of the fading sun before dusk makes the desert come alive. The complex beauty with its changing hues of orange, and then almost tangerine. The clouds like cotton-candy, blush at the warm touch of the sun naturally turning them bright red, fire red, scarlet, mauve then amethyst, as the sky darkens to obsidian. It is magnificent!!
When Michael returned, the fun began as we did the tourist stuff. Genuinely trying to forget about my swollen foot, we walked through the streets of Tubac and trough the whole Miniature Museum. Tiny renditions of famous abodes headline at this educational & interactive museum of miniatures. I enjoyed the Mission San Xavier del Bac, a historic Spanish Catholic mission located about 10 mi/16 km south of Tucson, on the Tohono O'odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation.
We finally decided a trip to Congress was in the cards. Congress is a census-designated place in Yavapai County, Arizona. Once a gold-mining center and then a ghost town, Congress presently serves as a retirement and bedroom community for nearby Wickenburg. This place brought us rest and boredom so, we drove back 82 mi/132 Km to Phoenix to get ready for Flavie’s visit.
Talk to you later when I write the next details of our memorable journey during the months of March, April and May 2018!