Life seems to be speeding up – I guess we are cramming in much more than usual. Thankfully, we are able to take a short break (until next week) in our renovation planning, so we moved 10 miles to Usery Mountain Regional Park on Thursday. How we managed to snag a reasonably level campsite at this popular park is a story in itself (I’ll save it for slower news day!), but snag it we did and have settled in until Sunday.
Our first stay at Usery was a bit over a year ago, in December of 2009. I reviewed the campground back then (click here to read that review and see more photographs) and nothing has changed – though we had forgotten that just about every site has some leveling issues. Though the extremely well maintained sites (cleaned and raked between campers) are very spacious, the sloped parking pads are better suited to shorter rigs than to longer, and to 5th wheels than to motorhomes. Big motorhomes settle into many of the spaces anyway (sometimes with a tire or two off the ground) - the beauty, proximity to the Phoenix metro area, the birds, the hiking and the ambiance are irresistible.
This visit had an added attraction for us: blogger JB (John and Brenda Brown, of John and Brenda’s Incredible Journey) let us know that they were already in the park – and it turned out that our site is a very short walk from theirs. Not unlike ours (and many RVer’s), JB’s blog is food-centric – and we immediately accepted their gracious dinner invitation.
Two more guests – also known to me through the blogosphere – took a seat around the happy hour campfire, Rod and Loyce Ivers (Retired Rod). Rod and Loyce are spending the winter in Mesa, and so it was by happy circumstance that we three couples, known to each other through the internet, were able to meet in person.
And even better that the meeting was in the Brown’s big, beautiful motorhome over Brenda’s wonderful meal! Grilled steaks, garlic prawns (recently purchased in Louisiana), Caesar salad, garlic bread… and even a dessert of angel food cake, fresh berries and cream. Incredible! Thank you, thank you, thank you – it was such a pleasure to relax in the company of friendly fellow RV’ers over a delicious meal that required nothing from us but to show up and enjoy! An excellent antidote to the rush of the past few days – and I picked up an idea for an improvement to our motorhome that I will be adding to the list for RV Renovators (a narrow shelf behind the sofa with a few cup wells and a magazine holder).
Rod and Loyce brought along their new puppy, Biscuit. As John said, it is not possible to get a photo of Biscuit sitting still (let alone posing). I would have loved to see her tear around in a frantic display of excited puppy energy, but the lush Sonoran desert simply isn’t puppy-friendly.
Time now for a quick breakfast, then we are off to Gold Canyon for a visit with our friend Gloria Burke. I know several readers of this blog know Gloria and follow her blog, now an insightful journal of her life as she moves forward following the loss of her beloved husband and travel partner, Tom, a year ago. We’ve caught up with Gloria in Kerrville and Detroit, now in Arizona. I always look forward to our meetings with this remarkable woman.