Goodness! So sorry for the delay in my posts. I have been on a theme here lately that has continued, I think you will understand greatly after reading what the last two weeks have brought.
After a week back in Albuquerque, we were distraught to get the news that Ed’s sister had been hospitalized and things were not looking good. After all the time visiting family, the emotional turmoil of losing his mom, and his business trip travels bringing long work days, then flight delays including a miserable night stuck in Dallas, and now another devastating blow – it’s not hard to understand he was exhausted. We tried to embrace some relaxation the weekend could offer before flying back. If you are the praying type, keep Ed and his extended family in your prayers- it’s been a lot and it’s going to take some time to process all of it.
Las Cruces was a beautiful, clean town. We enjoyed a nice hike in the Organ-Peaks National Monument on a trail called Dripping Springs. It’s a nice walk to an abandoned hunting camp and sanitarium. The camp was once owned by Eugene Patton, who was formerly a confederate soldier. He owned not just the camp but all the land that is now Las Cruces. In it’s day, it was a successful and lavish resort with beautiful gardens. He rented part of it to Dr. Nathan Boyd who’s wife was suffering from tuberculosis. He wanted to create a place where TB patients could stay and heal. Instead, it became a place of terrible experiments for TB patients. In time, Van Buren spent a lot of time trying to evict the doctor only to fall into bankruptcy when he finally sold the land to him for one dollar.
Despite it’s grim past, it was a beautiful day to soak up some sunshine and relax. The butterflies were out full force, and that little pop of color against the muted background of the desert was spectacular to look at.
On day two of Las Cruces, we visited Old Messila Village and had a nice lunch and just walked around looking in their many shops. We then headed over to check out this funky art/antique place called “Art Obscure” and the new business in the back called “The Hood”. It was a nice time just marveling at the creativity and how they have curated all of it is a work of art in itself.
We then moved to Tuscon, and found the park that was waiting for us to be an unexpected win! We have recently purchased a Thousand Trails Zone pass, which allows us to stay on properties without any additional fees. This was a nice introduction to their parks (which we understand are all different levels and experiences). Voyager RV Resort is a 55 and older park, with a lot on the grounds to support their 1600 sites. Four pools, two spas, saunas, pickleball and tennis courts, daily social schedules, a restaurant and market, a medical clinic, barber shop, and so on. It was a nice place to relax ahead of our travel, so we had a pool day before flying out to Raleigh the next day.
Upon return, we had a few days left in Tuscon. I have to say Tuscon is a city with a lot of sunshine, a great vibe, and lots of recreational opportunities. Definitely our kind of town!
One evening, we drove the Mount Lemon Scenic Drive. The University of Arizona has a great app that narrates the hour long drive to the top. It was fascinating to listen to as they described the 4 distinctly different life zones and how everything was formed. We started at the base where there is a cactus forest, climbed into some grass lands, then a pure rock area with lots of hoodoos, to another section thick with pines that gave way to oaks before showing us the remains of a forest fire. We stopped a lot taking in each section and I would say this is a must do if you are ever in the area. It’s much cooler up there, about 20 degrees less so if you want to do any of the hikes, come prepared.
The next day we explored the Mesa Verde Loop trail in Saguaro National Park. That was amazing to be standing in the desert with cactuses that stood 15-20 feet over our head! We saw some wildlife – tons of lizards, a prairie dog, some deer, blister beetles, etc. Very enjoyable morning, it didn’t get hot until we were leaving.
That’s when things started to go south. I had friends recommending that we go to Gate’s Pass in the West District for one of their legendary sunsets. We had talked about it and thought maybe we’d hit the pool again in the afternoon, have an early dinner and head back out. But, Ed was coming down with something and seemed pretty tired so we skipped it.
By the next day, we knew he was sick and I ran out to get some COVID tests. He was positive. Based on our activities, I would say he probably contracted it while we were traveling back from Raleigh. I thought maybe change our travel plans and hunker down, but he wanted to go ahead and move as planned. We had a 3.5 hour drive to Sedona to make, and I got us here. Usually I drive our more rural routes because changing lanes in thick traffic with a 44 foot trailer behind me is a little nerve wracking. Luckily, I adapted because we were passing though Phoenix and Scottsdale in some very heavy traffic for a Sunday with detours due to the wildfires.
Since then I have tested positive, and other than some body aches and major sleeping it’s been okay. Ed has had it worse, but as I write this on Ed’s day 5 he is on the upswing now. Thank goodness we were vaccinated, I can’t imagine what nightmare we have so far been spared in a strange place, far from family.
Other than that, I have also had a tough time getting this website back up from where it expired while we were gone. I apologize it’s been giving you errors about being unsafe, thankfully with a little help from my very smart husband I got that fixed today as well. You might still receive them for the next day or two as the host updates their records.
I am almost afraid to say I hope things are going to go back to normal now, it seems to be the magic phrase that keeps us from doing exactly that. But, after the rain always comes the rainbows – we are ready for those now please!