Monday, December 31, 2018

Arizona Weather - December 2018

December 31, 2018
Arizona Weather in December
Yuma, Arizona

We enjoyed mild weather in December in southwestern Arizona. We had a few exceptionally windy days, but overall it was quite pleasant. Daytime temperatures ranged from the low 60s to the mid 70s, with nighttime temperatures ranging from the mid 40s to the low 50s.


Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Arizona Weather - November 2018

November 30, 2018
Arizona Weather in November
Yuma, Arizona

We always enjoy the November weather in southwestern Arizona. Warm temperatures and sunny skies... what's not to like! Not too many windy days were also a pleasant surprise.

Daytime temperatures ranged from the high 80s to the low 70s, with nighttime temperatures ranging from the mid 40s to the low 60s.


Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Yuma, AZ - 11/11/18

November 11, 2018
Imperial Dam LTVA
Yuma, Arizona

We spent a restful night at a BLM campground located a few miles west of Tucson, Arizona.

We got off to an early start this morning to avoid arriving at our destination near Yuma, AZ in the evening.


We arrived at the Imperial Dam Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) in the early afternoon. This provided us with plenty of time to secure a campsite and get everything set up for our extended stay here. We plan to stay here through March 2019.


This is our third visit to Imperial Dam LTVA. Our first visit was November 2014 to March 2015 and our second visit was December 2015 to April 2016.

Upon our arrival at Imperial Dam LTVA we were surprised at the number of campsites that were not occupied. On our past visits, a majority of the campsites had already been occupied. We were fortunate to find the campsite we had occupied during our second visit was available, so we chose it again for this visit. This campsite is located within the Florida Flats section of Imperial Dam LTVA. It has a spectactular view of the desert landscape and the surrounding mountains.


The Imperial Dam Long Term Visitor Area is located north of Yuma, AZ on the California side of the Colorado River. The LTVA was created in 1983 to accommodate the needs of winter visitors and to protect the local desert ecosystem from overuse. The campground is approximately 3,500 acres in size, flat landscape, sparsely vegetated with plants such as creosote bushes, palo verde trees, ironwood trees, mesquite trees and various species of catci.

Imperial Dam LTVA offers solitude in a unique desert landscape and a variety of recreational opportunities such as hiking, swimming, boating and fishing.

It feels so good to be back in the desert again. Our little companion, Bella, is thrilled with her first visit to the desert and the opportunity to explore new territory.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Tucson, AZ
Departure Time: 7:00 am
Arrived: Yuma, AZ
Arrival Time: 1:00 pm
Miles traveled: 289

Campground: Imperial Dam LTVA
Type: BLM
Campsites: 1,000 plus (too many to count)
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 32.90293 N
Longitude: 114.50792 W


Camping Fee: $40.00 for 14 days
Camping Fee: $180.00 for September 15 through April 15
Campsite: Herman's Horse Path (Florida Flats Section)
Campsite Hookups: None – Dry Camping Only
BLM Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Outdoor Showers, Water Spigots, Trash Dumpster, Sewer Dump

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Tucson, AZ - 11/10/18

November 10, 2018
Tucson, Arizona

We spent a restful night at Escondida Lake County Park, located a few miles north of Socorro, New Mexico. Our destination today is Tucson, Arizona.

On our previous visits to Tucson we camped at the Gilbert Ray Campground, a county park campground. On this visit we are just looking for a place to spend one night. I remembered seeing a BLM campground during our travels around Tucson on our previous visits. Within no time at all “Navigator Sharon” locates the BLM campground.


In short order we arrive at the BLM campground and find it suitable for our purposes. There are no amentities here (no water, no sewer dump, no trash containers). Camping here is free! I make a mental note to use this campground on our future visits to Tucson.

Here are a few places we have previously visited in Tucson:
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Biosphere 2
Davis-Monthan AFB Aircraft Boneyard
Mission San Xavier del Bac
Mount Lemmon SkyCenter
Pima Air & Space Museum
Saguaro National Park
Titan Missile Museum

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Socorro, NM
Departure Time: 9:00 am
Arrived: Tucson, AZ
Arrival Time: 4:45 pm
Miles traveled: 386

Campground: Tucson BLM Campground
Type: BLM
Campsites: 40 (approx.)
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 32.15788 N
Longitude: 111.11542 W
Highway 86 and San Joaquin Rd.

Camping Daily Fee: Free
Campsite: Just Pick a Spot
Campsite Hookups: None
Campground Amenities: None

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent

Friday, November 9, 2018

Scorro, NM - 11/09/18

November 9, 2018
Socorro, New Mexico

We spent a restful night at the Rocky Point Campground located within Santa Rosa Lake State Park in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Our destination today is Socorro, New Mexico.


We will spend one night at the Escondida Lake County Park, located a few miles north of Socorro. This is our third visit to this park since 2014.


We had a late lunch at The Owl Bar & Cafe' in San Antonio, NM (located 11 miles south of Socorro on I-25). This is where we always come to enjoy their world-famous “green chile cheeseburgers.” These burgers are the best! Once again we left The Owl Bar & Cafe' very full and satisified!


Campsites at Escondida Lake County Park are now by reservation only. During our previous visits they were first-come-first-serve. Campers must call a phone number, posted on the campground information board, to reserve a campsite. We called the number and were fortunate to secure a campsite for the night.


Places of Interest Near Socorro:
San Antonio – 11 miles
Very Large Array – 40 miles
Pie Town – 84 miles

San Antonio


This small town (population 150 or so) is home to two establishments that serve up the best green chile cheeseburgers to be found throughout New Mexico.


Visitors worldwide come to San Antonio to sample the green chile cheeseburgers at the Owl Bar & Cafe' and Buckhorn Tavern.


Very Large Array:
The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array is a centimeter-wavelength radio astronomy observatory located in central New Mexico, between the towns of Magdalena and Datil. It is located 40 miles west of Socorro and open to the public.

The Very Large Array, or VLA, is a collection of radio telescopes that provide the same resolving power as a single telescope 22 miles in diameter. One dish this size would cover more area than New York City, with all its buroughs. The VLA is used primarily by astronomers from around the world. Radio telescopes look toward the heavens at planets and comets, giant clouds of gas and dust, and stars and galaxies.


Pie Town:
Its name comes from an early bakery for making dried-apple pies that was established by Clyde Norman in the early 1920s. The town is located 84 miles west of Socorro, NM on U.S. Highway 60. The town has a "Pie Festival" on the second Saturday of each September. There are currently three establishments that serve up delicious pies as well as other fare. Definitely worth a visit!


Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Santa Rosa, NM
Departure Time: 8:30 am
Arrived: Socorro, NM
Arrival Time: 12:00 pm
Miles traveled: 177

Campground: Escondida Lake
Type: County Park
Campsites: 16
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 34.12300 N
Longitude: 106.88904 W

Camping Daily Fee: $18.00 (no senior discounts)
Campsite: A15
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water, Sewer
Campground Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Water Spigots, Trash Dumpster

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Santa Rosa, NM - 11/08/18

November 8, 2018
Santa Rosa, New Mexico

We spent a restful night at a Walmart in Newcastle, Oklahoma. We purchased a few items at the Walmart as a thank you for allowing us to use their parking lot for the night. Now it is time to move on.

We get off to an early start to achieve our objective of reaching New Mexico today. As daylight is fading, “Navigator Sharon” consults our Allstays Camp and RV mobile app and finds Santa Rosa Lake State Park is nearby. We arrive at Rocky Point campground and select a campsite for the night.


Santa Rosa Lake State Park features the large 3,800-acre Santa Rosa Reservoir that is home to various fish species including largemouth bass, catfish and even walleye. The park elevation is 4,800 feet above sea level.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Newcastle, OK
Departure Time: 8:10 am
Arrived: Santa Rosa, NM
Arrival Time: 5:00 pm
Miles traveled: 448

Campground: Rocky Point
Type: Santa Rosa Lake State Park
Campsites: 48
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 35.03577 N
Longitude: 104.691857 W

Camping Daily Fee: $14.00 (no senior discounts)
Campsite: A17
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water
Campground Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Hot showers, Water Spigots, Trash Dumpster, Sewer Dump

Verizon Cellular Service: 3G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 3G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Did not set up.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Newcastle, OK - 11/07/18

November 7, 2018
Newcastle, Oklahoma

We had a wonderful visit with Sharon's family in Jacksonville, Illinois. Time to get moving and put some serious mileage between us and the cold weather we will leave behind.

We decide after twelve hours of driving, traveling 647 miles, it is time to take a break and get some rest for the night. “Navigator Sharon” consults our Allstays Camp and RV mobile app and finds a 24-hour Walmart in Newcastle, Oklahoma where we can spend the night.


We arrive at the Walmart and find a spot close to other RVs and semi-trucks that are spending the night. All is well, we are ready for a good nights rest!

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Jacksonville, IL
Departure Time: 9:15 am
Arrived: Newcastle, OK
Arrival Time: 9:15 pm
Miles traveled: 647

Campground: Walmart Supercenter, Open 24 Hrs.
Type: Retail Store Parking Lot
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 35.29215 N
Longitude: 97.60484 W

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: Excellent

Monday, November 5, 2018

Jacksonville, IL - 11/05/18

November 5, 2018
Jacksonville, Illinois

Once again we have arrived at the time of year in northern Illinois when the weather becomes too cold for our aging bodies to tolerate. Time for us to head to a warmer climate for the winter season. This season we will travel to the southwest to spend the winter months near Yuma, Arizona. Every other winter season we alternate between Florida and Arizona. This season, we look forward to returning to the scenic beauty and vastness of the southwestern Arizona desert.

Our little traveling companion “Bella” is anxious to explore new territory. This will be her first trip to the southwest. Bella is a 10 year old, 15 lb., shih tzu mix that we adopted in October 2017. She is such a sweet little dog and has brought so much joy into our lives. We just love her to pieces!

We depart Chicago under a sunny sky, with mild temperatures in the mid 40s. Bella snuggles in between us as we travel south on I-55 to our first destination. We will spend two nights in Jacksonville, Illinois where we will visit with Sharon's brother and sisters.


Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Chicago, IL
Departure Time: 11:10 am
Arrived: Jacksonville, IL
Arrival Time: 4:15 pm
Miles traveled: 259
 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Chicago, IL - 04/30/18

April 30, 2018 – Monday
Chicago, Illinois

Once again we are grateful that good health has allowed us to travel south to warmer weather for the winter period December 2017 to April 2018.

On this winter sojourn we visited the following states (in the order they were visited): Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

It is good to be home again and to remain in one place for a few months.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Jacksonville, IL
Departure Time: 7:30 am
Arrived: Chicago, IL
Arrival Time: 12:30 pm
Miles traveled
: 259

Expenses – 12/04/17 to 04/30/18

Total Expenses $6,844.00
Towed Miles 4,783
Total Miles 6,805
Fuel (Gallons) 570
Fuel Cost $1,376.00
Average Price per Gallon $2.414
Average MPG 11.9
Camping $1,433.00
Groceries $2,450.00
Dining Out $1,585.00


 

 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Jacksonville, IL - 04/23/18

April 23, 2018 – Monday
Jacksonville, Illinois

We travel to Jacksonville, Illinois to visit with Sharon's brother and sisters for a few days.


Jacksonville, Illinois was founded in 1825. Jacksonville is located 35 miles west of Springfield, Illinois (the state capital). The population was 19,446 at the 2010 census.

The attorney Abraham Lincoln (16th President of the United States) ocassionally had legal business in Jacksonville, frequently acting either as co-counsel or opposing counsel with David A. Smith, a Jacksonville resident.

David A. Smith is the great-great grandfather of my wife Sharon. A few years ago Sharon, along with her siblings, neices and nephews, were honored in a ceremony held in front of the David A. Smith home to celebrate the publication of a book by Illinois College on a biography on David A. Smith.

The David A. Smith home was built in 1854 and is still used today by Illinois College as a meeting space for the women's literary societies at the college. It is also a destination for tourists and research scholars interested in studying the period of the 1850s and 1860s.

There is a lot of history to enjoy in Jacksonville, Illinois.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Metropolis, IL
Departure Time: 10:20 am
Arrived: Jacksonville, IL
Arrival Time: 4:15 pm
Miles traveled: 249

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Metropolis, IL - Ft. Massac SP - 04/22/18

April 22, 2018 – Sunday
Fort Massac State Park
Metropolis, Illinois

We arrived at Fort Massac State Park during a steady, rainy downpour that continued thoughout our visit here. In addition, the temperature was in the 50s, making our stay here even more miserable. Fortunately, our campside had electric hookups, so our electric heater kept our trailer cozy warm.


On warm sunny days and cool autumn days, you cannot beat the scenic splendor of southern Illinois at Fort Massac State Park. Overlooking the mighty Ohio River from the southern tip of Illinois, this majestic location has been preserved and maintained since 1908, when it became Illinois' first state park.

The 1,500-acre park is perfect for picnics, camping, hiking, fishing, boating, and seasonal hunting programs. The park also has a 18-hole disc golf course.

Within Fort Massac State Park, there is a replica of a 1802 American Fort, a museum and visitor center.


October's big Fort Massac Encampment and several other living history event weekends scheduled throughout the year bring the past to life for American history buffs.


We will spend one night at Fort Massac State Park.

Tomorrow another adventure begins.

Travel Details:
Departed: Florence, AL
Departure Time: 8:15 am
Arrived: Metropolis, IL
Arrival Time: 1:30 pm
Miles traveled: 226

Campground: Fort Massac
Type: State Park
Campsites: 50
GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 37.14670 N
Longitude: 88.71025 W

Camping Daily Fee: $20.00 (no discount for seniors)
Campsite #: 45
Campsite Hookups: Electric, Water
Campground Amenities:
Flush Toilets, Hot Showers, Trash Dumpster, Sewer Dump

Verizon Cellular Service: 4G-3 Bars
Verizon Internet Service: 4G-3 Bars (JetPack)
Dish TV Satellite Service: None (trees blocking southern sky)