Thursday, January 26, 2017

Plans Sometimes Change ... For the Better

Wouldn't it be cool to have an instrument ... kind of like binoculars ... that would allow us to look into the future? That's what we needed last week when we were trying to decide whether to try our our first "boondocking" experience at Quartzsite, Arizona. For those of you unfamiliar with the Quartzsite ... or boondocking in general, let me explain.

Quartzsite, Arizona is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The desert that surrounds the little town has a lot of land that is Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land ... ie: government-owned land. What this means is that anyone can "camp out" on the land free of charge ... but also without the "luxuries" of electricity, water, and a dump station ... ie: dry camping. Every January hundreds of thousands of RVers conviene in the Quartzite desert for fellowship, fun and free camping. Think of it as a "Stergis" for RVers.

Guess I should be happy that Doug's retirement plan didn't include buying a motorcycle!

Doug has followed the blogs of several full-time RVers for whom boondocking is a way of life. We were both intrigued to go to Quartzsite and learn from the best. But the weather forecast did not seem to agree with our plan to enjoy the great desert outdoors. Arizona was under a winter storm warning ... rain, wind and cold. OK, it is not quite as extreme as our Minnesotan friends who are dealing with 12 inches of new snow, but it didn't seem to be the ideal circumstances for hanging out in the desert without electricity.

So, since our plans can be "written in Jello", we made the decision to head to Picacho Peak State Park ... desert with benefits! The unique mountain peak halfway between Tucson and Phoenix holds the historical distinction of being the westernmost site of a Civil War battle. The battle of Picacho Pass was fought in 1862 ... click on this link for your daily dose of nerdly history!

The state park offered spacious sites, beautiful mountain views and plenty of great hiking. Those super-adventurous types can attempt the climb to the peak. Thanks, but no thanks!

The rain days were spent getting caught up on things around "home" and taking a trip into northern Tucson for a brewery tour.

Another coaster for Doug's collection ... Score!

We ended up realizing that our change of plans was a change for the better. We got to spend time discovering more desert beauty ... especially on the ocotillos with their delicate orange blooms that emerged after the rains.

And we were also blessed to meet some new friends, Dan and Nan, and learn a thing or two from their RV lifestyle. They, like us, retired, sold their house and most of their belongings and hit the road 18 months ago. The big difference is that they are living in their 20 foot campervan ... and loving it! As we hiked together and later during our campfire, we shared travel and life stories. They filled me with a desire to simplify my belongings even more ... and made me appreciate all the special friendships that develop during RVentures.

As Nan so eloquently summed up our conversation in an email this week: "How important it is for our Spirit to have "Sisters", who love, inspire, challenge, and encourage us. Our men are a necessity, but we NEED our girlfriends!!"

Doug and I both couldn't agree more! Yes, it is good that plans sometimes change ... For the better!

Until next time ... appreciate the better plans that come your way ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!

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