Updated: Feb 22, 2020
We left Mcdowell Regional Park in Fountain Hills around 11am. We are heading close to the border with our sites on a Saguaro National Park for a few nights. The drive is only 2 hours. It was mostly flat desert and fairly boring. I called to make reservations before we left. They can’t make reservations the day of arrival. The gal on the phone told me that there were 3 sites left. I figured we would get one when we arrived. Wrong again! The ranger said that there was no space and I received bad information on the phone. Oh Joy! We pulled over to regroup. I found another campground in Colossal Cave Mountain Park. This one looked cool and they had space. Reroute and go!
We found the park and registration area. It was at the top of a hill, not too bad pulling the trailer. Thank goodness. The young man checked us in for 2 nights and gave us a map to find the campgrounds. He ran the gift store at the cave entrance. I asked a few clarifying questions about the directions he gave us and where it was located on the map. His response was, “Don’t complicate it”! Ok. He said, “ Just look for the big cowboy and turn there”. I guess it would be easy. Wrong again!! We drove down the hill, never saw a big cowboy but read a campground sign. We drove in a bit and the road got really sketchy. It was a very narrow dirt road that I was worried we would get stuck and have to back out. We turned around and then went down the road again….looking for the big cowboy. We drove 5 miles and then decided to give up. I called the gift shop and talked to my young man. I told him that we could not find the campground and his directions were bad. He said he was sorry. So was I!! I asked for a refund to my credit card. He said he was very busy right now…….Oh NO!!! I was heated now! I told him I was very busy too and had to look for another place to camp. He refunded me and we were on our way again. It was a really bad experience. It’s hard to drive and call about campgrounds. Larry said we should just pull over to have a beer and chill.
We found a restaurant on the corner of Old Spanish Trail and Escalante Road called Saguaro Corners. It had a large parking lot so we could get the trailer in. We went inside to calm my frazzled nerves. Luckily they had 22 craft beers on tap!!! I think all of my problems will be solved now. Perhaps more problems for Larry! Lol My driving shift was over for the day. I had a lovely IPA and Larry and I shared the Monument do Nachos. I had an additional Stout with a ABV of 10.2%. I was feeling much better as I googled Campgrounds near me……..LazyDays KOA Resort. I called, they had space, I didn’t care that it cost $50 a night, we drove over to end our driving day!!!
It was a Huge parking lot with little green stuff! They had a citrus tree at every site with green lemons and oranges. It was right under highway 10 in the industrial part of town close to Davis- Monthan Air Force Base! It felt like home right away…...Not! It will have to do. On the plus side, it had great bathrooms with fabulous showers close by our site. We were directly across from the pool which had a lovely hot tub! It had a small gym, which I only used the scale inside and went to the hot tub instead. The park is mostly filled with Snowbirds that winter down south. We never met any neighbors but the hot tub folks were friendly. We got some traveling advice for Grand Canyon for future visits if we want to hike or raft.
Our mission is Tuscon was to get everything in order to cross the border into Mexico on November 7th. They had a consulate and I thought we might be able to do all of our paperwork there before we left the country. We thought we might ride our bikes down the cute bike path as it was only 5 miles away. I also wanted to stock up the pantry with things that I NEED and may not find in Mexico. I walked around the Resort and talked to my mom after we settled in and got our barings. I spied an Iguana in the front of someone's Winnebago!! The resort had fire pits on every corner that I thought was adorable. I baked the homemade lasagna I had saved in the freezer and we soaked in the hot tub til dinner time! It was a relaxing evening and we needed it.
Sleeping under a major highway was not the greatest. It also seemed like there may be an informal drag strip somewhere down a street in the industrial park that opened around 1 am. We had crazy thunder and amazing lightning about 4am for about 30 minutes. It shook the Airstream and lit it up like daylight! Then it poured for another hour. Finally it passed over. At 6 am the fighter jets from the air force base started their morning training. Wow! What a night.
Larry took some great pictures of the rainbow in the morning. A new day with the possibility of magical things ahead. We drove to the Mexican Consulate because of the iffy weather. We took a number and waited our turn. The girl at the counter spoke no english...we waited for someone else to help. Bottom line…..you need to do all of the “stuff” when you cross into Mexico. We couldn’t save any time here. A nice english speaking man who was getting a VISA offered us a bunch of useful information. Mostly about where to buy auto insurance for Mexico and exactly what the immigration building looks like and where it is located. He said one time he drove right past it and never let the Mexicans know he was in the country!!
Since our day seemed less productive than I was hoping, I scheduled us both massages in the evening. We had delicious lasagna leftovers and spent more time at the pool too. I have to get my money's worth since I didn’t use their gym. I was hoping for a more restful sleep after our massages. Unfortunately there must have been a huge accident or police chase close by because at 3:30am there were lots of sirens and a helicopter that circled around us for an hour and a half. I covered my head with a pillow and tried to sleep. Larry stood outside and tried to figure out what was going on. All I know is that I didn’t sleep very well for 2 nights and we were crossing the border soon.
We found a Safeway and I was able to stock up on some yummy essentials. I was pleasantly surprised when I checked out and the cashier asked my age. I thought it was for the beer I bought but it was for their Senior Discount!!! Holy Shit!!! Guess what?? 55 in Tucson will get you 10% off!!!! I gladly took my age earned discount.
We are ready now to cross into Mexico for an undetermined amount of time!!! I hope this goes well…….