February 2 – 16, 2020.
We are so lucky. We have a nine-pack of toilet paper. I have bought TP twice this year. I know because I keep meticulous track of everything we buy. If my numbers are correct, we use anywhere from a roll to a roll and a half of TP each week – so we are good for at least another 6 weeks. Yay! for meticulous tracking.
We are lucky. The biggest inconvenience we have suffered is standing in line at Trader Joe’s. They were only letting so many people in at a time. The wait wasn’t long, the weather was beautiful (we are in Tucson) and our TJ experience was so much better! Fewer people – no crowded aisles. We think TJs should do this all the time!
We are lucky. We have a great place to stay in Tucson – a big vacant lot owned by friends. This lot sits on the road directly in front of their house. We have the advantage of being socially distant while still being close to grocery stores. And our friends like having us here – we joke that it’s just because we will be the first line of defense when society completely breaks down and the War Lords come. When our friends hear our screams they will know to be prepared.
This post was intended to be about the little (and big) disasters in life that throw us off track but ultimately lead to something positive. Like our VW Van that finally bit the dust but ended up convincing us that perhaps a tiny 33-year-old van wasn’t for us. Or the time we lost our forestay and headsail in the Gulf Stream when we were sailing to Mexico. The boat was broken, we had to turn around, and it was a tad bit scary but when we finally were able to leave Key West to return our marina and have the boat hauled out we got to see a part of Florida that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. And once we got back on land, we sold the VW and purchased our beloved Ballena Blanca (the current van). Then there was the time in Mexico that our computer broke. It ended up costing us lots of money but we would have never visited Guadalajara if it hadn’t. This fall we had numerous van problems that cost us even more money but the upside was that we ended up on a different route across the country than we had originally intended. I’m so glad we got to experience the Forgotten Coast of Florida and beach camping in Texas. And then finally more recently, Greg lost a crown. We had to leave Texas sooner than I would have liked and rush to the dentist in Los Algodones Mexico. But on the upside, we found ourselves in the southwest just in time to experience a couple of events that we would have missed if we’d lingered longer in Texas.
And now there is COVID-19. Campgrounds are closed. National Parks are closed. Borders are closed. We have been planning to leave Arizona in the Spring, head up the West coast, up through British Columbia and Yukon, ending up in Alaska. The Canadian border is closed, cities are quarantined, and who knows, whole states might be next. We are still planning for Alaska but we are also prepared to readjust those plans.
When I started writing this post I realized that readjusting is something that everyone is going through now. People are trying to figure out the facts, new recommendations, new rules. People are sick, losing their jobs, deciding what to do about funerals, canceling plans, and readjusting the normal things they do every day.
My hope is that this disaster will put us on a better path. And that we will be able to pull together (separately, of course), recover from the many losses, and find a better country, a better world at the end of it.
On to the blog..
After our visit to Big Bend, we needed to make tracks to the dentist. But because we were already on the trail of the Buffalo Soldiers we first made a little afternoon stop in Fort Davis along the way.
Fort Davis National Historic Site
We wrote a bit about our visit to Fort Davis in our previous post about the Buffalo Soldiers. Here are a few other things we saw.
One of the upsides of our rush to the dentist was the opportunity to attend an astronomy event in the desert by GeoAstroRV. This husband and wife team (John and Brenda) drives around the country giving free astronomy presentations. The presentation we attended was held off-grid in the California desert on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land.
Fort Verde State Historic Park
Changing our plans to head west earlier also gave us the chance to attend the Buffalo Soldiers Festival at Fort Verde State Historic Park in Arizona. We wrote what we learned about Buffalo Soldiers that day in our Buffalo Soldiers post but there were also few other things going on that day in the park.
Verde Valley Archaeology Center
Right down the street from Fort Verde we found the Verde Valley Archaeology Center.
Montezuma Castle & Montezuma Well
We had no idea that Montezuma Castle National Monument and Montezuma Well were close to Fort Verde but when we saw the signs we decided we had to give them a visit before we left the area.
Have you ever had a sudden change of plans that led to something else positive? How are you currently having to readjust your life due to COVID-19? Please leave us a comment below. We love hearing from you!
6 thoughts on “Rush to the Southwest”
Great to hear from you guys and know that you are safe and sheltered. We are good – staying at home. Really enjoy your blogs and the history that you share. Much has been cancelled – schools, Skunkfest, restaurants closed except for take out – no gatherings of more than 10 and best practice is to remain at home.
I just returned from Aiken where we went horseback riding. Much changed from when we left on Friday and returned on Monday. Fortunately, we were out of doors most of the time – sprayed our entire room down and wiped with disinfectant and kept our distances. You guys stay safe!!! HUGS!
Things sure did change quickly. We were out in the wilderness last week and when we came back to town everything was different.
Thanks for the update. Glad you guys are ok. Hopefully come fall Skunkfest will be back on!
Glad you are in Arizona and settled in. We got home yesterday and are glad to be here, but we still didn’t get to experience our first 2 week road trip. I have groceried up and plan lots of yard work and starting my spring garden, knitting, reading etc. walk the neighborhood daily, check on friends and family via FB, email, and phone. I am so glad I don’t need to go to the nursing home anymore either. I am worried for the friends we left there when Mom died. I am worried for my friends at the hospital. Debbie C already is sick and she didn’t work in the main hospital but in their offices downtown. We were very mindful of cleaning our hands all the time we were away, but we still could come down sick. We all could come down sick. We must obey the social distancing and flatten the curve. We all need to love one another and think of the greater good.
Yes, hopefully, people are thinking of the greater good – and reaching out (at a distance) to those who aren’t as lucky as us.
So sorry your trip got cut short – but so glad you were able to hang out with Ariadne. She said she had fun.
Some of our habits have changed. Besides being more diligent about washing hands we are no longer using public toilets – which we often did in order to not have to clean and dump our composting potty as often. But not anymore. I am so glad I have my own potty that I take with us where ever we go.
You are a positivist, Duwan! I have a hard time seeing the benefits when something changes that we looked forward to or planned for (like a few potential job opportunities recently). I often try hard to see the why for these actions and changes, but rarely can.
Wow, you managed to still fit a lot in on your “rush” west. Haha, you two are amazing explorers. I also like how you’ve visited a few museums now where the stories of several people are portrayed throughout the exhibit.
I hope you guys have found a nice camping spot in the NWR. Here, in Florida, Georgia, and further north National Forest campgrounds are closing… 🙁 We will see how this goes.
Since we started traveling I have felt that our lives are very tenuous. It can sometimes make me feel uneasy but I’ve learned that we have no other choice but to work through whatever problem comes up or the consequences could be dire (like when we lost our headsail crossing to Mexico). Perhaps I’m a positivist by necessity?
I really hate that you have had so many disappointments but I believe that both you and Mark are very resourceful and you will get to a better place. But I do understand how frustrating and disappointing things can be.
Well, we are slowing down with our exploring now. No more museums for us anytime soon. Thankfully there is so much to see in the natural world. We are loving the NWR.