Bill and Kit’s 2020 Excellent Adventure, Journal #14

 

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Not I, not anyone else, can travel that road for you…you must travel it for yourself.

Walt Whitman

Saturday, March 7 through Sunday, March 14, 2020-DewBea RV Resort, Tucson, Arizona…Part Two:  As the title implies, this issue details the rest of our very enjoyable stay in the dooryard of brother Dewey and sister-in-law Bea’s home.

We basically just hung around while visiting and sharing meals together, usually joined by brother Dan who is a master of Giant Jenga…

…but he met his match when competing with Eagle Eye Bea!

Spent most days outside relaxing and visiting in Dewey and Bea’s backyard…

…if the weather was a bit cool then a mesquite wood fire was called for.  Or near evening…

….we would take our cocktails up to their rooftop patio…

…and marvel at the glorious sunsets.

Most homes in the Desert Southwest lack lawns, for obvious reasons…

… but utilizing appropriate plants a nice landscape can still be created.

We enjoyed a few movie nights…

…although as warm as it is in Arizona, Kit and Bea felt it was a two-dog-night!!

In our opinion, there are only a few regions in this country that feature truly authentic Mexican food…and Southern Arizona is one of those spots!    In Tucson, one of our go-to Mexican joints is Guadalajara Mexican Grill.

Where Salsa…

… is made to order at your table…

…the margaritas are ample, and the…

…strolling mariachi bands add delightful ambiance.  No wonder this place is consistently ranked near the top in various Tucson restaurant polls.

Dewey and Bea recently purchased two high-zoot electric bicycles, or E-Bikes.

These pedal-assist bikes, made by E-Spin, feature a 500-watt electric motor powered by a 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack that propels the bike to a top speed of 28 MPH.  They have a cruising range of up to 50 miles and the battery can be fully recharged in 6 hours.  The bicycles have three operational modes…full electric, electric pedal-assist, or bicycle.

In full electric, a thumb operated throttle will cause the bike to accelerate using the electric motor so you just basically hang on and steer.  In pedal-assist, the rider selects a level of assistance and then starts pedaling…when that pedal effort level is reached, as in climbing a hill, the electric motor comes online and assists the rider in their pedal stroke thereby lessening the effort.  In the standard mode, the rider turns off the electric motor system which reverts the bike to a normal pedal operated bicycle with an 8-speed derailleur.

The bicycles are equipped with LED headlights and taillights, a warning horn, rear cargo rack, and hydraulic disk brakes.  Dewey was kind enough to loan me his E-Bike so I could accompany Bea on an afternoon ride.

Tucson is an extremely friendly bicycle town.  There is an amazing network of paved and unpaved trails that honeycomb the city connecting nearly all regions.

We rode part of the 135-mile Tucson/Oro Valley Loop Trail.  Accessible by riding a few surface streets from Dewey and Bea’s home, we hopped on the trail and headed north toward…

…Catalina State Park, a regional favorite of ours, and one we have camped at many times in the past.  Being on bicycles, we were granted free admission to this amazing park, which contains numerous multi-use trails…

… that wind through the foothills of the majestic Santa Catalina Mountains.

Being a multi-use trail, one is sure to encounter pedestrians and equestrians…

…and a little courtesy goes a long way toward making it a pleasant encounter.  The gentleman leading his group of horse folks thanked me for stopping, pulling off the trail, and letting them pass.

After about an hour in the park, and with threatening clouds over the mountains, we decided to hightail it back home…

…a much easier task with pedal assist set to the highest mode.

Arriving back at the house, we looked at the onboard information screen and discovered we had “ridden” a total of 33 miles on our 3-hour trip.  Accounting for numerous stops, that was a fairly good pace!

When electric pedal-assist bikes first exploded on the market a number of years ago, I was a bit skeptical as to their value, and I will admit, I felt like it was cheating.  However, after experiencing one firsthand, I have become a believer in their value.  These machines are perfect for most everyone, and especially those folks that are beginning to suffer mobility issues.  I see an E-Bike in my future…but please don’t tell Kit, she thinks I already have too many bicycles!  Seventeen isn’t too many, is it?

Speaking of Catalina State Park, amongst all the other amenities, there are…

…free weekly music performances held on their picturesque outdoor stage…

…by talented performers such as this folksinger from Canada.

Relaxing and enjoying the music…

…in the great outdoors…

…being performed in nature’s grand amphitheater…

…surrounded by awe-inspiring desert landscape was truly an amazing experience.

One morning, Dewey and Bea wanted to show us their new favorite breakfast place…Baja Café.

However, Dewey wasn’t feeling well, so Kit, Bea, and I visited the café and were impressed with the quality and quantity of the cuisine.

I enjoyed a benedict made with chipotle bacon, Pico de Gallo, avocado smothered with tomatillo hollandaise sauce and onion straws…it was delicious!

And since it was our first visit, we were presented with one of their famous snickerdoodle pancakes!

Which is as tasty as it looks!

And that brings to an end this year’s stay at The DewBea RV Resort…

…where we enjoyed time with family, and…

…some really nice sunsets, that illuminated the…

…desert flora, as well as the…

…eastern mountain range that borders Tucson.

Goodnight!

Sunday, March 15, 2020:  This morning, Kit and I were treated to a nice sendoff breakfast artfully prepared by Bea.

Featuring fruit filled Crepes.

And boy, were they ever delicious!

We departed The DewBea RV Resort around noon.  It’s sunny and 71 degrees as we meander back south toward Davis Monthan Air Force Base (DMAFB) for a few days stay.

Arriving at 1240 we discovered that in the ten days we had been gone, a number of snowbirds have decided to head home…

…so we only had to stay one night in overflow, before scoring a full hookup site!

Monday, March 16 through whenever, 2020-Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona:  Well, after a few days stay to resupply and prepare for a cross country trek, we would normally be departing to head east.  However, due to the worldwide pandemic that is disrupting life as we once knew it, Kit and I have decided to hunker down here at DM AFB and evaluate our options on a day-by-day basis.

Other than taking care of various mundane chores like shopping to fill our larder, cleaning up the truck and camper, performing periodic maintenance, and closely following the news, we took advantage of the forced downtime to get in some reading, visit with the remaining snowbirds, take some long walks in the Arizona sunshine, attend to some photo editing, and catch up on journal writing.

Most days, the winter weather was typical Arizona…blue skies, sunny and temperatures in the seventies!  However, to add variety, a few days featured white fluffy clouds and slightly cooler days.

Which helped accent photos of the US Air Force doing their thing in the skies over south Tucson.

Then one day, the skies turned dark, and ominous toward the west…

…quickly followed by an intense rainstorm.  Then as quick as it started, the storm abated as the sun peaked under the lingering cloud formation…

…which created a brilliant…

…double rainbow!

Our stay a DM AFB was a bit of a roller coaster of emotions.  We were confident in our decision to stay on a military base during a time of rapidly changing pandemic reports and government orders to restrict movement.  In addition, nearby Tucson has some world class medical facilities and if were going to get sick, far better here close to family than in some small community in the middle of the country.

However, the base commander has been making decisions based on direction from the pentagon and his own concern for the men and women who are stationed here.  At one point, we were told us retiree snowbirds can stay as long as necessary, but no new campers were to be admitted into the RV park.  Then a few days later he stated that if someone came down with Covid-19, then the base would be locked down for 14 days…no one on and no one off unless they have a permit from base security.

In addition, we were getting reports from the RV grapevine that some states were beginning to restrict travel, and closing down community gathering facilities including municipal and private campgrounds.

So over the next few days, we witnessed a daily exodos of snowbirds which was turning the DM AFB campground into a ghost town…it was this final factor that caused us to decide to leave in the morning of March 6th.

So, did we make it home without incident?  Stay tuned to find out!

Kit’s Bit’s:  Our last few weeks in Tucson were very enjoyable!  Lots of camaraderie with family and lots of sightseeing around town.  Once we headed toward the base for our last few days, things were getting dicey, having to deal with this COVID thing!  It’s very rare that we make “snap” decisions, but, with all the questions and unknown circumstances, we decided to leave the next morning.  We felt a sense of relief, on one hand, but were fearful of what lies ahead…

3 thoughts on “Bill and Kit’s 2020 Excellent Adventure, Journal #14

  1. I love the Tucson area. It is truly a gorgeous area. The sunsets are stunning…loved the pic of the red mountains! …I remember going to that restaurant quite a few years ago. …I’m sorry that Covid interrupted your trip but coming home sounded like a good idea!!!

  2. ROLL OF THE DICE ABOUT DEPARTING ARIZONA, BUT NO QUESTION IT WAS THE CORRECT ONE!
    SURE HOPE THAT YOU CAN GET BACK ON THE ROAD SOON SO AS TO SEE THE RELATIVES.
    LOVE THEIR AMAZING LAWN! ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL!
    CHET AND JEANNE

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