Desert Hikes Picture Post: vacation commences!

Where: enjoying a month or so of travels between our spring job and our summer job. Current stop = Tucson, AZ.

I’m so happy to report that we made it through our 8 week work gig with the Renaissance Festival in Gold Canyon, AZ.  It was not at all what we expected, and neither of us was very happy with our jobs.  But, I know that the worst jobs make the best stories later, and this experience will be the basis of plenty of crazy tales to tell around the table this summer.  We lived, we made money, and we’re so ready to enjoy some travels before we start work again in May.

During our last week leading up the the final Ren Fest weekend, we made the most of our time, and got all ready for traveling.  One thing we continually do is refine our belongings, purging things we haven’t touched in a while.  Even though we share a closet the size of a wardrobe, both of us always have items to give to Goodwill.  It feels nice to have only items that we love and wear.

Last Friday was deliciously cool, only in the mid 60s, and with plenty of clouds.  After suffering through temps in the 90s for a couple weeks, it was perfect hiking weather.  We packed a picnic lunch and drove into the mountains to Saguaro Lake.   A hiking trail winds along the reservoir, and the wildflowers and cactus were blooming in full force.  It was a great escape from the city, and so pleasant to see water!

On Monday, we left the festival first thing in the morning, and headed to an Escapees park in the south end of the Phoenix area.  These parks are great places for us to get cheap full hookups after extended dry camping, so that we can wash and wax the RV, and sanitize our fresh water system.  The car and RV were both looking really rough after living in a dusty field for 2 months, but are shiny, gorgeous creatures now!

Our route back to Rock Creek Lakes Resort, our summer job, is going to be a bit circuitous.  We are starting in Tucson, to see our friends Ann and Nathan, and then continuing on to Las Cruces, NM for some RV work.  We’ll take a big loop to some cool places in NM and UT, and finally get to Bishop, CA in mid-May.  If there’s some kind of melting miracle at the resort, and the snow recedes a bit, we’ll only be a few days drive from the resort.  And if it’s going to be snowy til June, we can just extend our tour and hit more places.

In Tucson, we’re staying at one of our favorite campgrounds ever, Gilbert Ray.  Soupy hates it because she has to go out on her harness, and there’s lots of loud kids riding scooters in the street.  She tolerates the melee for the opportunity to go outside, but she would much rather be someplace she can run free.  (Soon, my love, soon!)

Today we hiked at Sweetwater Preserve, one of our favorites with views over the city, and of all the surrounding mountain ranges.

I most wanted to see a blooming Santa Rita prickly pear, with a raucous combo of purple pads and bright yellow flowers.  I found one, but it was a little too early for the blooms.

This weekend will be a farewell bacchanalia to Tucson and to Ann and Nathan, as we go out for eating adventures and do some fun touristy things, too.  I love vacation time!