Our plan was to spend the winter in Arizona, then head back to Northern California after tax season ended. In Arizona, we could visit my parents and David could work on snow birds’ RVs. Plus Arizona is nice in the winter (for about 2 months, anyway).
In January, after a couple months in Goodyear, AZ, we decided to move closer to Quartzite for the rest of our stay. We booked a month at a small sleepy little park where David had worked a couple jobs. But the day we arrived, a very friendly orange tabby and self-appointed welcoming committee came up to our rig and taunted our cats. Even Lillian, an endlessly laid back and friendly cat, had reached her limit, growling through the screen door at him.
After the first night, the cat tried to get into our rig, which caused a scary fight between our cats, and no one slept well that night because the humans worried about the cats and the cats were worried the visitor would come back.
After the second night, we realized it’s better to waste a month of site rent than to risk our health and safety (pissed off cats can be very sharp and pointy), so we packed up and headed to Buckeye, AZ. David had been taking many jobs at Leaf Verde RV Park, so we figured we should go where the work is. As an added bonus, we were right next to a cell tower and routinely had speeds over 100mbps.
As with much of the Phoenix area, the temperatures in Buckeye start getting unpleasant (for us) by the end of February. The air conditioners were keeping it bearable inside, but none of us like listening to the air conditioners run all day. It’s just not relaxing, and I was working long days directly underneath one unit.
With tax season extended until May 17, the idea of staying in AZ that long started getting really depressing. So we started planning.
Up until now, our approach for long distance trips has been to go 200 miles in a day, stay for two nights, and then keep going. Sometimes we do one-night stops but usually we want a full day to rest, recover, and do mundane things like grocery shopping and laundry. I rarely worked on our long stretches. But that wasn’t going to work this time, so what would happen if we kept to 200 miles per day but stayed for a week at each stop? We would be in hot weather for a couple of weeks but by the third stop, we’d be back in bearable climates again.
This ended up working out really well. We moved on Mondays, and I worked Tuesdays through Saturdays. We had time to see a little of each city, and then we and the cats had plenty of time to rest between travel days.
In the past, our long distance trips have been time-sensitive. We went from AZ to FL for David’s RV tech school on a deadline. Then we wanted to get away from the southeast because we worried about hurricanes. Then covid hit when we were in Austin, and we decided to stay put and wait it out. But then it got much too hot and David got heat sick at a job (and the heat just makes me sick all the time). We decided to get the heck out of Austin. We hurried to Questa, NM, where the weather would be perfect, but poor David got altitude sickness. We got the awful work camping gig in northern California so we hustled to both to get David to lower elevation and to help out the campground ASAP.
Now we are going to slow things down. We thought we’d been fairly slow all along but we’ve realized we can slow it down even more. There will likely be times in the future where we need to get somewhere on or by a specific date, but we’ll be slowing it way down as much as possible.
We are in Crescent City, California right now. It’s one of our favorite areas: a small city on the ocean, with redwoods and rivers. The local Safeway carries a lot of our favorite foods, there’s Wild River natural foods store for GF vegan treats, and David gets to work on a lot of interesting and diverse rigs. There’s a biking/walking path we just love, too, with sea lions at one end and the lighthouse at the other. And the T-mobile service is incredible for internet access.
For a couple of weeks in July, we are going up to Gold Beach, a place we only recently visited for a few hours and loved. We plan to explore more of the Pacific Northwest this summer, and particularly the coastal areas.