Saturday, February 4, 2012

Leaving the Sonaran Desert isn't easy!!!


Leaving behind the beauty, the solitude of the Sonoran desert was hard, leaving behind our new friends was harder.
We headed north on Highway 85 and saw this beautiful ranch at the base of this mountain and forest of saguaro. WoW! Nice place for a ranch!
One thing Chuck noticed when we left Ajo and headed out on the highway is that our trailer's RV brakes were working now! What the heck??? Well, he said that he wants to camp at a campground tonight anyway, to plug into electric and recharge the MotherShip's batteries.

After we turned east on I-8, I found this beautiful piece of heaven.  Not sure, but if you click on this image it will go to full size and then if you strain your eyes a bit, you will see the saguaro all the way onto the foothills of these craggy mountains! The Sonoran Desert was so green!
I-8 was almost deserted  then we entered I-10! YIKES! Most of you know that I do not do busy interstate highways very well! I even have a prescription for what I call "passenger pills"! I-10East was packed from folks travelling towards Tucson! OMG! It was not this busy, crowded, hectic highway when we were headed west just 2+ weeks ago!
Thankfully, Chuck was headed to just a few exits away to one of his favorite campgrounds, exit 211 at Picacho. He has stayed at the KOA there several times and has always liked it there.  I was ready to get off I-10E and didn't care where we stopped! Ha!
The Picacho KOA was very nice, clean and affordable.
I apologise for not taking any photographs there, but
we got there early and OMG we had wifi! We hadn't read email for over a week! For the remainder of the day, Chuck and I read email and caught up on Facebook! Then we went to the wonderful little restaurant next to the KOA office, Frankie's Chuck Wagon! WOW! For those of you who know us personally.... you know we like to eat! Frankie knows how to cook! She puts together a steak dinner that is hard to beat! The place is small, but it was full! Not just KOA campers have discovered her culinary prowsness! Locals keep her busy too! So if you head that way... better call first, Frankie is only open 3 days a week!
 The next day the sssllloooowwwww Wifi was still calling so I managed to put together the first part blog of this journey and that took 4 hours! It was frustrating, but I got it done. 
Next morning, we got ready to head East again on I-10. (groan...) As we were doing our road checks before we pulled out of the camp, lo and behold!, the MotherShip's running lights were now working! Now we had brake lights and running lights working?  The Sonoran Desert not only worked her magic on us, but apparently on the Mothership as well! It was probably just the bumpy dirt road out of our boondocking spot... but what ever... we were almost 100% working again!  Now if the truck would just keep the MotherShips batteries charged while we were going down the road we would be ok!

One thing I can say about the Southwestern states is how beautiful most of their overpasses are when you approach a city. This one was just west of Tucson!
Traffic was just as bad today as it was 2 days ago on I-10!  YIKES! About an hour east of Tucson, Chuck pulled over to get gas. I managed to peel myself off the ceiling and unglue my feet from the floor and walk into the gas station for munchies. Dang... I really do not do city interstates very well at all! What happened? I used to be able to drive through any city on any interstate with no problems! I was fearless! No More! No thank you! I like back roads whenever possible! That is where the real America lives!


Leaving I-10, we headed north on Highway 191. We have a favorite campground up near Safford AND a favorite Mexican restaurant, Casa Manana in Safford as well! We first visited Roper Lake State Park four years ago and fell in love with it.We made reservations for 2 nights.

Snow still on the mountains here and definitely cooler than our time boondocking in the desert! 

The campground was almost deserted when we got here. Depressing brown foliage everywhere, Spring had not sprung in this corner of Arizona. The park was still beautiful! The weekend came and the park acquired a lot more RV's!

The lake was a lot lower than it was four years ago! The drought has greatly affected it!

The campsites are great! Most of them suited to the larger RV's but there are several suited for smaller campers too, as well as tenters.

Huge, clean restrooms with great showers are always something we look forward to!

The main thing we love about Roper Lake State Park is the Natural Mineral Hot Spring here! Not overly hot at 92 degrees, it is great for a nice long soak!

We took the hound herd back to the MotherShip, put on our bathing suits, then dressed warmly and drove back here, to get into the inviting hot tub! At 92 degrees, the water wasn't too hot, but a lot warmer than the 50+ degrees of the day! This tub was built by park workampers/volunteers about 20 years ago!

We decided to stay two more days here, we called home and found out it was colder than here and windy... so we just stayed put! Besides, we had a great Mexican Restaurant to go to only 12 miles from the park, Casa Manana! They make the most wonderful sour cream enchiladas! We remembered them from four years ago and they were every bit as good as we remembered! We went there 3 nights out of four if that tells you anything! Best enchilada sauce I have ever tasted!

   If you remember, we had a very snowy Christmas.
 The photo above, you can see just a few sprigs of forsythia peeking above the layer of snow!

Imagine our surprise when we got home and the forsythia not only survived but was blooming! Only 6 weeks after the snow!  What a nice welcome home! We got home a week ago today! Laundry is done, MotherShip is unpacked and now we start preparing for our summer workamping job in Virgin Utah! We will be working at Zion River Resort RV Park, 12 miles west of Zion National Park! We will leave here mid April and work until Mid Oct.
Drop by for a visit if you are in the area!
We hope you have enjoyed these 6 blogs taking us from Truth or Consequences NM to Sue's Pond near Yuma AZ to Quartzsite AZ to our boondocking experiences near Ajo AZ and Roper Lake State Park!
It was a fun 3 weeks on the road!

Now we have to get the MotherShip and The Beastie (our truck) to the shop and see if they can fix the electrical problems!

Happy Trails from Geri, Chuck, the hound herd, Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar and of course from The MotherShip!


  1. Enjoyed reading all your catch up posts. Also..really enjoyed meeting you guys and your special poochies ! cute kids for sure ! Hope your repairs are easy...Take care and we shall certainly meet again !


  2. I am looking forward to the "meeting again" !!!

  3. Hi Chuck,
    I got your message from RV Sue's blog and appreciate the campground tip. Thanks so much. I'll definitely look into it.

    Not sure why you can't leave a comment on my blog. All you have to do is click the word comments at the bottom of the post. The current post says "13 comments". If you click that, you will see all 13 and at the bottom of that little popup window is a place for you to put your own. If it doesn't work, I suspect you have popups disabled. I set it up that way at the request of a lot of readers who said it was faster for them than to reload the whole page. Hope to hear from you. Sherry


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