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Sat Oct. 17 to Fri. Oct. 23- Sun City AZ

Saturday- Since we had the vaccinations yesterday, we decided to have a very quiet day today. Bob still walked the dogs, but I did not do my bike ride. We read our books. At 12, I did phone calls for Biden/Harris/ Kelly. They are just, get out and vote, calls to Democrats. Most people were not home or were not answering their phones. We BBQ’d a steak for dinner and watched some movies on Netflix. We also made signs for a “Ridin with Biden” tomorrow morning.  We had our usual Zoom at 4 PM. Jackie and Bob will be going to the beach next weekend, so no Zoom next week.

Sunday- We did our usual Sunday tasks, then left around 9:15 to head to the gathering site for the “Ridin with Biden” parade. There were about 35 cars and golf carts. The “PBS” from Denmark was there, doing a segment on us! How cool was that!  Below is our Highlander.

Ridin for Biden 1

We left at about 10:10 and drove for about 45 minutes around Sun City, honking our horns and waving at people. Many Biden people came out, waving and giving us thumbs up. The Trumper’s gave us thumbs down or frowns. We just waved and smiled at them!

After the parade, we stopped at Dollar Tree, then picked up subs for lunch at Good Cents. They have the best subs with really fresh bread. Bob thought we still had a free 8” sub, so he ordered that for me. Turned out we did not, so I ate half, and saved the rest. We had a quiet afternoon. We ate all the leftovers for dinner.

We finished this puzzle

Water wheel puzzle

Monday-  I had a package to be delivered today, so we waited to leave until tomorrow for short trip. We worked on packing for a the trip to Saguaro National Park tomorrow.  My package was delayed until tomorrow, so I asked Mary Ann to pick it up for me.

We went to the Condo social at 5:30.

Tuesday-  We ran over to the storage unit to pick up the rig. Bob stopped and dumped and took on water on the way out of the storage facility, so I just dropped him off , unloaded a few items, and put them away. Then I returned to the condo to pack up more items.

Bob arrived and we loaded the refrigerator and the clothes. We left at 9:45, heading to I-101, to I-10. We picked up I-202, which is newly completed. This is our first time on the road, heading east. This took us around the “curve”, which is a busy area in downtown Phoenix, and we turned back onto I-10 east, ( which at this point is traveling south towards Tucson).  We stopped for a couple of groceries at a Safeway along the way. We turned off of I-10 north of Tucson, and headed west to Gilbert Ray Campground. The campground is a Pima County facility, located in Tucson Mountain Park, just south of Saguaro West National Park.

We stopped at the Red Hills Visitor Center, in the NP, but it was closed and did not open until Thursday. Hmm, guess they cannot accept payment for the NP if they are not open! Since we have the NP Senior Pass, we don’t pay anyway….We were able to pick up a NP map.

We continued on to Gilbert Ray Campground, turning on the second part of McCain Loop. There was a self-serve check in, so we grabbed the paperwork, and rode around section H, which is the non-reserved area.

Last Saturday, I had checked the registration section, online, and it was mostly empty, so we took a chance on not making a reservation. We arrived to find lots of open spaces in the “H” section which was “1st come-1st serve”.  We picked site 21, which put the shade in the afternoon on the passenger side of the rig, so that we could sit outside.  We parked, set up, completed the paperwork and wrote them a check for $60. It was $20 a night, for 3 nights of 30 amp electric.

We had a quiet afternoon, sitting outside with the dogs. Roxie did not like it there, as there were lots of rocks, and she has “tender tootsies”. She hates walking on rocks! 

We came prepared and had cooked dinner in advance, so all we needed to do was heat it up. We were surprised to find that we had great internet and satellite.

Wednesday-   Bob went to walk the dogs. I was doing the breakfast dishes, and I looked out the window, at a coyote in  our site. I quickly texted Bob to not return with the dogs. Then I went out and “shoo’d” him away. He was very skinny, so he was looking for food.

When we looked at the map, we were disappointed to find that the ‘scenic loops” were open, but not to us! They are dirt roads and have a weight limit of 12,000 lbs.  We are 20,000 lbs. They are not designed to large rigs. We are 25 ft, 10” long. The maximum length is 24 ft .  We had planned on doing the scenic loop in this section of the NP and the one in the East Saguaro NP, which was 33 miles away. Oh well…on the map and directions that we had seen, there was a road, Golden Gate road, that was listed as not drivable in large vehicles. We had not been aware of the loop roads., and had not brought the car with us.

We stopped at the Desert Museum, but there were a lot of kids and adults there. Plus the cost was $23 each, senior rate. It is not part of the NP, it is a private museum. We decided to pass on the museum.  This car was outside the museum.

Desert Museum

So we drove to Tucson. We stopped for diesel, $2.34 gal. It is so nice to be able to go a regular gas station. It gives us options of less expensive fuel.

We stopped at Costco and Walmart. Then we ordered dinner on line, at our favorite Mexican Restaurant, El Charro. We stopped at In’nOut burger for lunch. Interesting, that it was also the Border Patrol employees favorite restaurant.  The restaurant was crowded with lots of Border Patrol employees and lots of their vehicles. We only do carry out, so I waited for our order.

We ate lunch, then went to El Charro to pick up dinner. We returned to the campground and sat out reading and enjoying the nice weather. It was clear, and in the 90’s.  We ate our El Charro dinner and watched some TV.

Thursday-  We went to the Visitor Center and spoke with the park ranger. He said that the reason that we could not go on the scenic loops, was that they had a lot of dips, and large vehicles get caught on them. He said to do the McCain loop which we did. There was also a nice garden walk at the Visitor Center. So we walked the garden walk. \

Saquaro NP sign

Visitor Center building.

Saguaro VC

This is the view from the Visitor Center entrance.

View from visitor center Saruaro NP

Do not feed the coyotes

That is not a sign that you see everyday!

Not all Saguaro are like you think, some are crooked.

Crocked cactus

This sign was the first in the Garden Walk.

Desert Life sign

The funny looking creature on the right in the picture is a Javelina.  They sort of look like a pig, but are not one. The sign said they are found at 4000 ft, but we have them in Sun City. I have not yet seen one, unfortunately.

Garden walk 1

Saguaro sign

Below is a Prickly Pear cactus. The  locals make lots of items from Prickly Pears. It is one of my favorite Margarita flavors!

Pricly pears

Prickly pear sign

As the Ranger suggested, we drove the McCain Loop, on our way back to the rig.

McCain Loop We stopped to check out the dump station and water at the campground. We also drove around the reserved areas. The park was mostly empty.

We returned, ate lunch, and sat outside reading in the afternoon. We ate dinner and watched the debate. Ugh…

Friday-  We packed up to leave and left our site around 9 AM. We stopped on the way out at the Desert Discover Nature Trail. We walked the trail, with the dogs. We had to keep a look out for coyotes and rattle snakes, but we did not spot any of either. We did see this interesting saguaro…

interesting saguaro

We drove back to the condo, stopping for diesel at a QT market on the way. $2.28 gal.

We unpacked the rig, and took it back to the storage facility. Bob dumped at the facility.  We returned home and I sorted laundry, which I will do tomorrow.

We picked up Coconut Shrimp at Georges for dinner, worked on a puzzle, and went to the Condo social at 5:30. Everyone wanted to know about our trip. Our socials are outside and socially distanced.

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