Hanging Out in Tucson, Arizona

Evening at Rincon Country West RV Resort

We have been in Tucson now for about three weeks, hanging out and not doing a lot. It seems strange after more than two years of full time RV living filled with lots of road tripping and sightseeing, to be “grounded” for an indefinite period of time. But we are happy to be here and to wait out this time of uncertainty. Luckily, the weather has been lovely and not too hot yet, with temps getting up in the low 80’s. Hopefully in another week or two we will be in our park model where we will have a better air conditioning system than we have in this trailer. If we hadn’t found a park model, we most likely would be moving in a month or so to a cooler climate which we don’t want to do. But our small air conditioning unit would have a difficult time handling the high desert temps.

Old Man Cactus – When I walk by I want to give it a hug because it looks so soft!

I had mentioned in my last blog post that all the activities and clubs were canceled last month before we got to Rincon. So without the usual dozens of things going on to occupy everyone, what is one to do with all this time? Although social isolation is the keyword these days, this is a very close knit place where people love to get together. While out for walks to get some exercise we see little groups of people in front of their park models or on their decks visiting. Some seem to be sitting a ways apart, but others appear to be closer. We have decided to stay mostly in our trailer or outside on our patio and not socialize other than a hello here or there. The virus situation is just too scary.

Big Bertha Torch Cactus

One pastime I have enjoyed is walking around to see what people have planted out front and the variety of decorative accents. Some plantings gather more attention than others. The Big Bertha Torch cactus with its giant white blooms are the most showy of the flowering cactus I have seen. They start blooming at night and then wither in the mid afternoon, only blooming for a day. I walked down to one site several times to get a glimpse.

It has been great to be here during cactus blooming season as there is always something beautiful and interesting to find like the bright pink blossoms on this hedgehog.

Hedgehog blooms

Even the shabbiest looking cacti, no matter how small can put forth some amazing blooms, like the one below.

I also get some ideas for decorating as there are lots of whimsical sculptures and interesting decorations to be found.

I love glass themed objects and think I want one of these!
Golden barrel, one of my favorite cacti – might be planting one of these

It has been a real challenge for us to sit for so long on the narrow bench seats of our travel trailer. The foam cushion is very thin and we go stir crazy after awhile. We do sit on the patio some if the wind and sun are tolerable. So, I have appreciated not only having a large park to walk around in but also being able to enjoy some bike riding. After not having a bike of my own since setting out on our travels, we purchased one over a week ago and I love how well it rides.

Fortunately, there is a biking trail right outside the gate of our park that supposedly goes for 100+ miles around Tucson. I have ridden on the trail a number of times now although not going very far. Plus, I am getting more concerned about being on the trail lately as besides bikers, a number of families like to walk and it starts to feel a little crowded in spots. Might hold off doing much trail riding until conditions improve in our country.

The Loop Bike Trail
From the bike trail, view of the Santa Catalina Mountains in back of Tucson

I like to stop on the trail to see the large cactus garden right behind our park. It is planted with many cholla, prickly pear and barrel cacti. While many consider cholla a nuisance with their spiny pieces getting stuck in people and animals, I think they are beautiful plants.

Cholla
Prickly Pear in bloom

Another favorite attraction for residents is the owl nest high in a palm tree. The owls nest here yearly and it is fun to check them out. The babies are difficult to see but the parents🦉can regularly be viewed sitting on the nest as well as coming and going.

Great Horned Owl
A variety of other birds can be seen – above is a Gila Woodpecker – they are noisy!

Then there is the model railroad club which still operates several times each week. They have a large layout of track, scenery and buildings with members running a variety of trains (G gauge – garden size). One day during an evening walk, our route went past the layout where people were having fun watching the trains. I stopped and got a few photos as they went by.

In spite of the Covid-19 crisis, several different food trucks are still coming to Rincon throughout the week and are a welcome change for some. The Flying Buffalo with their burgers, sandwiches, fish and other specialty items is a regular, and they advertise being rated one of the top burger food trucks in the nation. It does sound nice to be able to not have to cook and get something to go, but so far we have been just cooking in our trailer.

All of us have had to deal with so many changes. For us, besides staying put in a small space there has been our weekly early morning run to Fry’s grocery store. I never would have thought I would be getting up at 5:30 a.m. to get to a store by 6:00 when it opens for senior hour. Mark and I are not morning people and never get up at this hour, but at this time it seems the responsible thing to do. Plus the store is really less crowded and I have walked down aisles and been the only person which is a comfort. I usually enjoy grocery shopping, but now it has become something to dread. We used to try and shop several times a week because our refrigerator and cupboard space is so small that we can’t stock much. But now, there is no running to the store for a few things, it is a major shopping trip when we go.

There are some really generous people here at Rincon – for example, several are sewing up cloth masks and giving them away. I saw on the Rincon Facebook site that there were free masks being offered and went over to pick a couple up. When I arrived, two were just being finished and were “hot off the press.” I wore a mask for the first time during the last grocery trip.

April 2020 Super Moon

It is good to see that people still have their sense of humor and fun in spite of such a serious time. Two days ago was the Super Moon, also known as the “pink moon” – supposedly the largest full moon of 2020. As I was riding my bike through the park I noticed some people on one street howling as the moon 🌝 was rising in the sky. The loud howling went on for some time and was really rather humorous.

Sunset at Saguaro National Park

In closing, we hope this finds our readers healthy and staying as calm as possible during this crisis. You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Be good to yourselves as we all carry on!

3 thoughts on “Hanging Out in Tucson, Arizona”

  1. As always your pics and descriptions are delightful! I have never seen cactus flowers up close and personal so it was a treat to see your photos! I can imagine that trailer confinement is trying. It’s hard enough being confined to a home, but as you are doing I too am walking long distances.
    It’s such an unprecedented time. Makes you wonder why the USA never thought we’d be in this predicament, and was better prepared. With rouge nations out there wasn’t that a possibility? Just can’t get my head around this situation. I don’t interact with anyone. My family drives up curbside while I stand six feet away to chat. It’s the new normal!
    Stay safe. Stay well. Stay at home/trailer.
    Love, Arlene

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