So here we remain, at our “winter headquarters” for this year – Tucson. The population of over a half million seems to be spread out enough that it usually doesn’t feel too overcrowded, although we do try hard to avoid commute hour traffic when possible.
We love that this city is ringed by mountain ranges offering endless hiking opportunities, especially when combined with the many miles of desert trails in the immediate area. And we also happen to love the Sonoran Desert! We’ve stayed in three distinct areas during our visits here, and have always enjoyed the many nearby points of interest.
In January, 2013 we camped at Catalina State Park in northern Tucson (our tales of that stay are here and here). Returning in January of 2016, we hung out for a month at the Lazy Daze/KOA in southern Tucson (the activities we enjoyed during that stay are detailed here).
So far this year we’ve stayed on the western side of Tucson, one month at Western Way RV Resort and we’re currently residing for a second month at Desert Trails RV Park just up the road. The choice of these campgrounds was based mainly on their excellent access to the many great hiking trails in Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain Park and Robles Park. We wasted no time getting started on those hikes to burn off the mega calories we packed on while partying in Puerto Peñasco.
We’ve been here for several weeks now, plenty of time to repeat trails we followed last year and to discover new ones. For the first time we’ll be staying long enough to catch the colors of spring in the Sonoran Desert, which we’ve missed previously in our haste to head north.
On the desert floor, area sidewalks and vacant lots was a profusion of dainty vibrant wildflowers. I can’t help but stop, take a picture and admire them:
The birds are also enjoying the blooms, sucking sweet nectar from the flowers and whistling at us as we stroll by:
Of course, mild winters here are the main draw for us and thousands of other “snowbirds”. It’s a place where we congregate to meet up with old friends and make new ones. I think of our meet-up here as a renewal of our friendships, and it’s always a joy to see those folks to exchange travel stories and the adventures we’ve had on the road during the past year.
At the big gathering below, we met Paul and Marsha of Where’s Weaver for the first time. Everyone else were folks we’ve forged relationships with over the years through our blog sites – Hans and Lisa of Metamorphosis Road, John and Pam of Oh the Places They Go and Dave and Sue of Belugas Excellent Adventure.
We’re always excited to meet new friends, but we were sorry we missed out on meeting up with Jim and Barb of Jim and Barb’s RV Adventure. I was recovering from a flu bug and wasn’t about to risk infecting them.
Just before Hans and Lisa left we had an alcohol-free happy hour at their coach (well, it WAS in the morning), followed by a mini-tour of Desert Trails RV Park. They showed us around so we could note the best sites to request for our upcoming stay. Two weeks later we got one of the most-desired sites (M28), and we are enjoying the afternoon shade here. It’s nice to have friends to help us gather good intel!
As we remain here enjoying all the trails and spring blooms, our friends have all moved on. We hope to see them here again, at our favorite rendezvous spot in the desert!