March 23 – 26, 2020.
We had to go. We had been spending a good bit of time since arriving in Tucson at the beginning of February camped out on our friends’, Julie and Jason, vacant lot catching up on our life – working on blog posts, improving our minds, planning our trip to Alaska, researching things we needed to buy, doing taxes, etc. We had actually left a few times. Once to the Buffalo Soldiers Festival, and once to Cibola National Wildlife Refuge. The road and adventure are always calling to us. But this isn’t why we had to go this time. We had to get away from our friends.
We had gotten into a bit of a comfortable routine while we were in Tucson. Every morning we’d wake up, make the bed, and drive to a park just a few blocks away with a public restroom to pour out the previous day’s liquid eliminations. And while we were there I availed my self of a real flush toilet for more serious eliminations. Some days we would arrive back at the lot when Julie and her dog Pearl would be returning from their morning walk. Julie would stop to chat and Pearl would come into the van for a visit. After that, we would gather up some clean clothes and a towel and head inside for showers. Julie and Jason work from home so we would try to be unobtrusive but still always had to pay the shower toll by giving Pearl a few belly rubs. Once clean we were off to the ever-busy library – or as we came to know it the community center/after school care/homeless shelter or even a place to find a best man for your upcoming wedding to the woman you were on a date with at the very same library the week before.
Our friends were extremely generous with their house. I did some baking in their oven. We hung out on their porch to use their internet and work on van projects. And every 2 or 3 weeks I lugged all our dirty clothes inside to do laundry (an extra toll to Pearl on those days).
But then COVID – 19 got real and everything changed. We stopped using public restrooms. We stopped going to the library. We stop using my friends’ toilet paper. We stopped petting Pearl. We did a last load of laundry and we stopped using our friends’ shower.
Another Tucson friend, Deanna, had already stopped letting us in her apartment. Which was good, she didn’t want to risk getting the virus and passing it on to her parents. Subsequently, we realized that we shouldn’t be going into Julie and Jason’s home either. If they were going to catch the coronavirus we much rather it be from each other and not us.
We spent a day driving all over Tucson replenishing our dwindling food and drink supplies, topped up on gas, filled our fresh water tanks, and then did what we are good at and headed out into the middle of nowhere for two weeks of quarantine or as we came to call it, splendid isolation.
* Click on pictures to enlarge and view in a slideshow.
** We loved the refuge. This blog only covers our first 3 days. The next post will be about the next 3 days with lots more pics of wildlife, birds, and Baboquivari.
Ok, how many times did you spot the peak? Have you ever seen a Gila Monster in the wild? Have you ever heard of Spreading Fleabane, a Phainopepla, or Parry’s Beardtongue before this post?