Palm Springs & AZ Pit Stop (2/13/2016 – 2/17/2016)
On our way back to Phoenix, we stopped in Palm Springs for three days. Once again, we were advised not to park here after dark due to the tight spaces and huge date palm trees at the edge of each site. Of course, we arrived to the campground after dark. We were hoping that one of the pull through spaces would be available, but they were already taken. We considered spending the night in the parking lot and waiting until morning to pull into a spot, but when we drove around the campground we were able to locate a site that was deep enough to fit our 40 foot coach, and had enough area around it to make the maneuvers necessary to back in to the site. Jon has become quite a pro at the backing in game and with some flashlights and a little guidance from Cathy, he was able to back it in easily and safely. As has been the case at most sites, a couple of friendly neighbors came out with flashlights and offered to help. It is always a team effort at the campground.
Palm Springs had a lot of activity going on. We enjoyed walking around the park and met more really nice people. Right across from our site, we met Bob and Esther who had the same RV as us. We introduced ourselves and ended up chatting with them for a few hours, touring each other’s coaches, and sharing stories about all the idiosyncrasies of our model. Esther teaches women how to drive RVs and gave Cathy some great tips and the confidence to get behind the wheel.
Our stay in Palm Springs was short, but enjoyable. The many palms make for some pretty spectacular views day and night.
On our drive back to Phoenix from Palm Springs, we decided I-10 would be the perfect place for Cathy to get some experience behind the wheel since the traffic was light and the route straightforward. It’s amazing how a vehicle as large as the RV can feel smoother and safer than a car. Because you are seated higher than everyone, visibility is so much better. Cathy did a great job driving but isn’t quite ready to try backing the RV into a tight campsite at night yet. That will be a lesson for another day.
Our first stop as we pulled into the Phoenix area was the RV repair shop. We were having an issue with one of the slides not retracting all the way. We had it looked at in California and were advised it was not an emergency fix, so we opted to hold off on repairs until our return to Arizona. Al’s RV Service in Glendale, AZ came highly recommended. In addition to work on the slide, we had them install a new ultra high def TV (to replace the original super heavy boxy TV that came with the coach), side view cameras, and knock out a few other lingering fixes. They were super nice and knowledgeable and even let us stay overnight in their shop. They adjusted the slide which now closes flush, but it still needs more work. Because we replaced the original carpeting with tile, the slide requires a different “glide” to climb the tile as it closes. The remaining piece from the original glide was scratching the tile as the slide closed. Now that the slide is even and flush again, it has been scraping even more. Al’s has been in touch with the manufacturer of our slides to see what modifications are necessary to remedy the problem. We’ll plan for another stop at their shop on our way out of Phoenix in March. If you need any RV work done, we highly recommend Al’s RV!
When we left Al’s RV, we headed to the Monte Vista Resort in far east Mesa where we will stay until March 18th. This is the first time we have stayed at a resort versus a campground. The big difference here is that it has mostly manufactured homes, with just a few open lots for RVs. There are some permanent residents but also a lot of snow birds who spend a few months to half the year here. We continue to be amazed at the activity level of the people here. It is not a 55+ community, but most of the resident and guests are seniors. We attended a block party at our neighbor’s house and one of the guests described it perfectly. She said it’s like they are teenagers again. They get up in the morning and hop on their bikes, head over to a friend’s house, then over to the park to swim, play ball, etc. They are so young at heart and are just living and loving life. Age is definitely just a number here!
We have been busy taking care of business, but hope to take advantage of some of the amenities as well. They have a full woodshop, metal shop, art studios, computer lab, billiards hall, tennis, pickle ball, pool and hot tub, etc. We signed up for a beginner pickle ball class this afternoon and are excited to see what all the hype is about.
We have been working on planning our travels for the coming months and have tentative plans through July. When we leave Arizona mid-March, we’ll head west again to California and then mosey up the coast through Oregon and Washington. We’ll make it to Washington in June for our niece Maddie’s 8th grade graduation and our niece Kenzie’s high school graduation. We are exploring our options beyond July and are toying with the idea of stops through Yellowstone, Colorado, the Dakotas, and possibly the northeast for the early part of fall to watch the leaves changing color in the New England states. We would then head south before it gets too cold and spend some time in Florida before heading westward to be back in AZ for the holidays.
Our time on the road has been busy with projects, finalizing commitments, and learning a lot, but we have certainly been enjoying the journey. Once we hit the road mid-March, we hope to be done with all the busy stuff and to switch into full “reboot” mode.