Monday, November 2, 2020

RVing in the time of COVID 4: Moving on

Well, for me, after a while of hanging out for a while, I tend to get itchy feet that want to roam.  So after a month north of Phoenix in New River, some great hikes, some bad pentaque games, so nice meals with friends, we slid out of town this morning heading to "no man's land," otherwise known as California.  I like California but I'm also afraid of California.

First, the Diesel is 1.40 a gallon more than in Phoenix, but I guess the residents like paying more, no one complains, but I do.  I had to make sure we filled up in Arizona.  COVID, would we even be welcome.  Where we went an RV resort located in Jacumba Hot Springs, just got sold last week, would it be a housing development next year?  Would this be our last trip here?  Some yuppy place?  Who knows, I'm glad we don't go here for the whole winter.

Would the trails be open, even anything open to buy food?  Would there be butterflies.....

The road in is the worst access road for any RV campground we've ever driven in, but no one seems to care and the former owner has always been considered the town hero, but alas...the hero has sold out.  

 There are even a couple of birds down here, I'd maybe try to go see, but this is California, is anything open, so we are going to just sit up in the mountains, find some trails, I'll work on my elusive futile quest to photo mountain quail and well, hopefully a butterfly or five, maybe see something rare...

On the drive over....The Campgrounds in Yuma seems a lot less full than last year, where we were in AZ was down a little, and as there were not Canadians, I suspect that largely, the decrease is Canadians. There are a lot of campers on the roads, many out in BLM land, few who don't do this realize how many thousands and thousands live like this.  Gila Bend Arizona looks like it needs a fire, the grocer closed, many other stores, closed, sad really, a town based to service I-8 traffic.  A helicopter was at the clinic, which in my history as an ER doctor was never a very good sign.  Helicopters at clinics were some of the worst.

We met many in Arizona, one couple was moving on to Texas, another was looking to move out of California, as the state is not their kind of people any more, and others off like us to other spots, sort of moving on

There are three types during COVID, those paranoid and afraid, still locked down, hidden, using the age old strategy of hibernation which has worked for many creatures, those who just don't give a f&&k, had enough of it or deny it.....met many of those camping, some had good ideas and good observations

LIKE WHERE ARE THEY GETTING IT FROM THIS CURRENT SURGE, dakotas, Michigan, even Europe?  ARE WE NOT BEING TOLD....IS IT THE AC or central heat FROM APARTMENTS?  idk....questions I don't know

then there are the ones in between, careful but not overly so and trying to enjoy their lives.  Eating outside, but not afraid of pools, I don't know which is living in isolation and not doing anything any way to live?  I'm a not a big risk taker in a good day, but living has risks, heck, Silja ended up in the ER down here eating tainted salad......

I say, get outside, get vitamin D, fresh air...

So we poked around Phoenix, got warranty work done on my Volvo before it turned over 36,000 miles which it just did.  We would have shopped and enjoyed some more restaurants but we ate at the campground some and my wife had to make a trip to Michael's for yarn for weaving projects.  

In Phoenix, we stayed outside, got vitamin D, and fresh air.... we did our now annual climb of Daisy Mountain, it is a scramble up 1100 feet from the bottom, pretty steep through the cacti and cholla ...some year we'll have to take the trail on the other side

We found the White Tank Mountains, this year and as a bit of a surprise (in Surprise) we found some cool petroglyphs

always a neat find anywhere

a Rufous crowned sparrow in a hidden waterhole

we had whiter throated swifts, a Crissal thrasher, lots of cactus wrens and even more cacti, lots of saguaros, many saguaros, wow..... 

Elsewhere, we saw birds, phainopepla 
went hiking with friends, like Robin and Steve from San Luis Obispo 
and after a shriek I had to go back and photo desert tarantulas

Gilded flickers, which never seem to get photogenic

a verdin

all of this, and I got inspired and wrote a book
but that is another story

There was a COVID case at the campground, the first I've heard at about 30 affiliated campgrounds we either stay at our get into the politics of.  The only case?  Luck or large vitamin D levels by the campers, or all campgrounds....I don't know.  He is doing fine apparently, not sure if anyone we had contact with had contact with him but as such, we sort of laid low at the Halloween party and stayed home.  It was just 50 feet outside our RV, it sounded like everyone had fun, and lasted until 1:30 there, it was a slow month in Arizona, stumbled upon a non-fiction book to write, hiked, birdwatched, met some friends, and got irritated watching political commercials, tomorrow, it is over, thank GOD for at least 2 years....can we finally do something everyone likes....?  

Doubt it, but where we are now, the only riots here will be the if the rabbits organize.....or if the cacti can walk.
Stay safe


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