I love these mountains! I drove down to Douglas, AZ which is right on the US/Mex border. In WalMart I heard more Spanish spoken than English! I had planned to go from Douglas up to the Chiricahua National Monument but got a late start. The little road the campground is on also continues on to the monument so I thought I’d just take that the next day. Here’s what happened, it was so dumb! I have a little battery-operated alarm clock. The first morning at the campground I was wide awake and light was just touching the tips of the peaks at 5 a.m! Amazing how early it gets light there, I thought. I dawdled over breakfast and kept telling myself how great it was to get up really early….time was going by so slowly! Finally at 11 a.m. I left for my trek to Douglas and points North. I didn’t notice a thing until I got close to town, and then my car clock said 3:15! What the heck! My cellphone said the same thing. So I didn’t have time to go anywhere else; as it was I didn’t get back to the campsite until 5 pm and it was 40 degrees inside. My little alarm clock’s battery was dying, and it ran really slowly that day, until it stopped for good at 1:20 p.m.!! So all that time I thought I was so goody-goody for getting up early, was a lie. The sun didn’t even start to hit the top of those peaks until almost 8 a.m!! I should have known it doesn’t get light at 5 a.m. in December; I feel like an idiot. Oh well, that’s OK, I don’t want to get into the habit of getting up that early anyway.
The next day I tried to go to Chiricahua National Monument the back way. But I had to turn back, the road got narrower and narrower and more and more snow/ice-covered. I hate that I had to miss seeing it. I did see lots of deer on that road though.
I did make it to Paradise, which was supposed to be a ghost town. It was not very ghostly…..there were quite a few occupied homes there! The way up there was a little scary, a very rocky narrow mountain road. A white SUV showed up behind me and I started to get nervous, what if it was a drug-runner? There were signs on the way to the campground that warned of illegals and drug smuggling in the area! Ooooh, how stupid of me to go up these teeny roads all alone! I finally decided to pull over and see if the SUV would go past, and did so at the first opportunity. The “drug-runner” was a beautiful native American lady who waved and gave me a huge grin! I was reminded of the song lyrics from the 70’s, “Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep.” I really don’t like letting fear rule my life.
Today I left and went to Benson. I had planned to stay at the dry camping area of the Saguaro Co-Op RV Park, only $5 a night with the Escapees membership. But when I got there, they told me they don’t allow pop-ups. I had read that about some of the other parks but didn’t notice it about this one. Crap. So I ended up in a Passport America park ($15) right next to I-10 AND a train. Red Barn RV Park. The owner is very friendly and nice but here I am in yet another parking lot! I was going to stay 3 days in Benson but it would be way too expensive to stay here so I guess tomorrow I’ll move closer to Tucson. Maybe to one of the casinos with free RV parking. At least the weather is better here, the low is only supposed to be 37, it’ll be like a heat wave! And I can use the electric heater too. One of the problems with using the propane heaters is that they generate a lot of moisture. And so does my breathing. So every morning there’s a thick coating of ice on all the windows including the upper skylight window, and all the metal hinges & place where the two roof panels meet. And when the sun hits the camper and starts warming it up, all that ice melts and drips all over the place. While sitting on the porta-potty this morning, just minding my own business (so to speak), a little stream of ice water from the skylight ran down the back of my neck! Aaarrgh!
Every morning when I woke up, it would be 40 degrees in the camper, and 20-something outside. I tried running Big Bertha, my Coleman ProCat 3000 btu heater, but she’d run through a 1# propane bottle in 3 hours! I can’t afford that! So I would just run the little Coleman SportCat heater (1500 btu’s) all night and turn on Big Bertha around 6 a.m. so it’d be nice and warm by the time I was ready to get up. Those heaters are really nice; I wonder why Coleman quit making them? The ProCat even has a built-in fan to distribute the heat! Sometimes I also just turn on the propane stove and set a little fan above it to blow the heat towards the bed. It says not to do that, but I don’t see the problem as long as I’ve got the window open a bit for ventilation…???
I bought a foam camping mat at WalMart for $8 and shoved it down beside my mattress so it runs the whole length of my bed, insulating me from the cold back wall and the cold and wet hinge. That helped. Last night I forced Roxie to sleep with me because it’s at least 10 degrees colder at floor level, which would mean it’s below freezing down there where she sleeps! It took her a long time to settle down but she had no choice, I wouldn’t put her down and she’s too delicate to jump all the way down from the bed. It’s not that she can’t do it, she just doesn’t think she should have to. My bed is only 34″ wide though, really not enough room for both of us.
I hear some people were a little worried about me because I was silent for 3 days. I’m going to be in a lot of places that don’t have wifi signals, so don’t be concerned!