Sunday, January 18, 2015

Columbux NM, Tucson, Why AZ BLM, & Buckeye

So we FLED south on Monday before New Years to Poncho Villa SP, south of Deming NM. We stayed there one night last January, but didn't care for it at all. We can't either one remember what we didn't like - possibbly roads on all sides of every site. We prefer back-in sites with some degree of privacy. . .for what, I have no idea. Just don't like feeling like we're sitting in a fish bowl, I guess. The site we picked was near the only road in & out, but we overlooked the group gathering area which was very empty during our week's stay. And we had a nice picnic table under a shelter with some landscraping of yuccas & cacti on both sides.

The first evening a gentleman walked over & talked for a bit. Then later, a retired camp host for NM State Parks came by to welcome us. It really felt good to have friendly neighbors again. Oh, did I mention - there was no snow or mud around, still nippy with the wind, but definitely OK. We were invited to a campground meet & greet New Year's Eve afternoon, early enuf for everyone to walk home before dark. We had a good time meeting everyone.

We ate breakfast one day at a kewl, little bread & breakfast located in an older home there in Columbus. There's not many businesses or houses there, but as someone said, "there's at least one person in town who sells or does whatever you need."

Since I desperately needed a new pair of glasses, we decided to go across the border to Palomas Mexico instead of going to Yuma & Algadones later. There is a FREE parking area on the US side ($7 in Yuma) & a much shorter walk across the border to a much smaller town. There weren't a bunch of men standing around to send you to their dentist, pharmacist, or optician either. I found an optical shop, walked in, waited 15 minutes or so to be seen, had a VERY thorough exam, & picked up my new frames (just like my old ones) & scratch-resistent, progressive transistions lenses after a 2-hr wait for $195. Another shop advertised glasses in 1 hour, but I was very happy with Medical Vision Optical (575-544-1776). I shopped for a new t-shirt, but the only real store in town is the Pink Store (painted pink, of course). We each had a (huge) quesadia & Mexican Coke. It's the Coke I remember from my teenage years - real sugar but not as acidic or horribly sweet like today's version.

When we first got to the campground, we noticed one of the braces on the receiver deck at the back of our trailer had broken loose - probably from the rough, bouncy ride over the snow & frozen ruts getting our of Albuqueque. Thankfully, we found an English-speaking welder right outside of Columbus who not only welded the break but also put a couple of extra braces under the deck - all for $40. We were pleased.

After a week of warmer - but still needed jackets weather, we knew it was past time to get back to the Arizona desert!! We took Highway 9 which runs from El Paso west through Columbus & all the way to the AZ border. It's pretty lonesome out there with only a few tiny little communities. And we saw evidence of previous snow. We drove north then & picked up I-10 just east of the AZ border. I kept watching for siguaros, but didn't see any until on the west side of Tucson. We were going to boondock on the west side of town (in a sand lot), but it was getting too late to put out the solar panels & we still needed a little heat at night, so we checked out Gilbert Ray State Park at $20 for an electric hookup. It was a nice, quiet campground, & the sites in Loop H had nice space between sites.

Our first 2015 Arizona sunrise was gorgeous. But we left early & drove the Ajo Highway west out of Tucson, as usual. I don't think we've ever been on I-10 between Phoenix & Tuscon. But we ended up in Why AZ, & hung a left for about a mile & hung out for a week at the BLM there. It was fairly flat, not too gravely or sandy, & had good bushes all around for "privacy". We made a few trips to Ajo for groceries, & even went south past Organ Pipe National Park to cross into Mexico again. Parked for free & walked over. . .'cause we wanted another Mexican Coke. There wasn't much to the "town" we saw.

After a week of more clouds & a sprinkling of rain several days, we pulled up stakes & headed north through Gila Bend to dump tanks & get water (free) at the Shell Station on the east side of town. . .to Buckeye Regional Park, SW of Phoenix. It's a nice little campground & free boondocking (with shelters). This time we went on a side road heading north out of the park & found a nice site & shelter perched on the hills overlooking the night lights of Buckeye & I-10. Amazingly peaceful site so close to "the city" & a Walmart with some gorgeous sunsets. Also ran into Phoenix to visit with my cousin one day. We're off tomorrow to the Quartzsite RV show before heading north for new adventures. It sure feels like coming home being back in the Sonoran Desert!!


  1. A real COKE....sweet. Great to tag along!

  2. I arrived in Q this afternoon, staying until Friday at the Road Runner area to test the new solar panel. Headed to the show tomorrow, just to say I did.


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