After crossing the border at Nogales we spent the night at the Mountain View RV Park near Green Valley, Arizona. It was a Sunday night and there was no staff on site but the instructions said to just pick a spot and pay in the morning.
As we settled in we realized that we needed a key code to open the bathroom doors. Kristel was in need and I suggested she ask the lady outside a nearby RV who I had talked to earlier while I was walking Chester. The neighbor had obviously started “happy hour” early, and was in a very good mode. In that short conversation I had learned that her ex-husband, who lived a few RVs down, was leaving in May, but she wished he was leaving tomorrow because he was a real “stick in the mud”. As there was no one else about, Kristel approached her and not only learned the key code but, at the neighbour lady’s insistence, was taken over to the bathrooms to be shown how to enter it. Kristel’s plea that she didn’t need the guided tour fell on deaf ears and so off they went. When Kristel asked about the code for the men’s room, our neighbour thought she knew but that demonstration didn’t pan out. To resolve this, she took Kristel by the arm and led her to her ex’s RV to ask him. Despite the embarrassment of both Kristel and the ex, the code for the men`s room was given and it was only with strong resistance from both Kristel and the ex that a return trip to the bathroom to try out the code was avoided.
After doing our laundry the next morning (one last time before reaching home!) we headed for Phoenix to meet with friends from home who were wintering there. We spent a lovely evening with Al and Elaine and their friends from Wales who were visiting them. We discussed many hikes and, before the evening was over, had added the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to our bucket list.
Our next stop was in Sedona where we met up with my sisters, Louise and Joan, who were vacationing there. This was our first time in the area and Kristel fell in love with the countryside. Sedona has incredible hiking with easily accessible trails all around it. That, combined with some great food and conversation, meant that our quick stop ended up being four days.
Although Louise is an avid hiker, Joan is fairly new to it and Louise had been coaching her to try some more challenging trails. Joan is not a great fan of heights and the trails with “precipices” (as she describes them) generated the greatest discomfort. However, she bravely overcame her reluctance on our hike up Bear Mountain. We tried to help by making sure there were well placed trees between her and the “precipices”, sometimes these trees had remarkably human forms. Nevertheless, she carried on bravely singing “Working on the Railroad”. As the pitch of the song got higher, we knew the need for trees was greater.
We left Sedona and thought it would mostly just be a push for home, but did end up spending a couple of nights in the Denver area as the weather was beautiful and we realized it would probably be our last chance to camp for a while.
After Denver, our remaining days were filled with long drives towards the border. We decided to cross at Coutts, and spent the evening before making sure all our paperwork was in order and preparing a list items we needed to declare. We expected a thorough inspection and planned on at least an hour at the border but, to our pleasant surprise, customs was a breeze. After a brief chat with the friendly border guard, we were welcomed back to Canada. We never got out of our truck and were through in just a few minutes. The crossing was just plain boring compared to our Central American adventures.
We spent the night in Calgary where we caught up with the Fillingers. We got to watch Ian, our nephew, play in a water polo tournament and shared many beers (and more laughs) that night as we caught up over dinner.
The next day we made it home. It was a bit of a shock as the “white carpet” was rolled out for us!
We have been home for almost a week now and have unpacked most of our house and are gradually adjusting. We have a couple of weeks before we start back to work and will need all of it to get back into some kind of routine. We have not awoke to an alarm clock for almost a year now and our plans have always been adjustable, so things will need to change a bit, but we are both excited to return to work and begin thinking about where the next adventure might take us.
Thanks to everyone who has shared our adventure with us through this blog.