This Nomadic Life ~ The People You Meet

I have a little secret to share.  I am an introvert, and being such, I was more than a little nervous about plunging into this RVing lifestyle.  Who would we meet? Would I have anything in common with them?  When I was firmly ensconced in my career, few saw me as an introvert.  I knew my stuff and felt totally comfortable standing up in front of a large group of people, giving presentations. Doesn’t sound much like an introvert, right?  This new adventure was taking me out of my comfort zone so I wondered if I might retreat back into my little shell, much like a hermit crab when you pick him up.

Who is that with Terry?
Who is that with Terry?  Hard to tell with my blurry photo!

I have been pleasantly surprised by the wonderful folks we’ve met in the past 1.5 years on the road.  What I have discovered, and should have known had I stopped to think for five minutes, is that we all share the travel bug.  We all have a passion for seeing this beautiful country, the good old USA, her exciting cities and all their variety, soaring mountains, stunning desert vistas, rugged coastline, national monuments and parks… so much to offer.   A passion for nature weaves a common thread through each of us, so I no longer wonder when we pull into a new campground.  I feel certain that we will meet interesting people with whom we can forge that connection, even with just a passing greeting.

When we booked our reservation into Cave Creek Regional Park, what I did not know was that a couple from Colorado, whose blog I follow, Live Laugh RV, would be parked right next door, a little serendipitous for sure.  We have had the opportunity to enjoy a meal at the Buffalo Chip Saloon (cause we are in the Wild West you know) and a few hours around the campfire with Ingrid and Al, swapping stories of where we had been and where we are headed.

Terry, Ingrid and Al
Terry, Ingrid and Al

This RV lifestyle, once approached with trepidation, I now look upon as a grand adventure, in awe of the jaw-dropping beauty around every corner and thankful for the great folks who have provided such color and texture along the way.

Desert at dusk
Desert at dusk

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Desert Hikes and RVing Friends ~ Cave Creek, AZ

dancing saguaro

Soft breeze, deep blue sky

desert delight round the bend

Saguaros dancing!

When I rounded the corner on the Spur Cross Trail, this saguaro, with his arms extended, looked to be dancing.  He didn’t seem to have a dance partner at the time and, given his prickly nature, I wasn’t about to oblige him either.

We have enjoyed a few hikes now while hangin’ out in the burbs north of Phoenix, taking advantage of these warm winter days.  Spur Cross Trail is one of many in what is the newest addition to Maricopa County’s Regional Parks system, Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.  A moderate hike at 5.2 miles; link up Elephant Mountain Trail with this and you have a nice 7.5 mile trek.  We chose to just gaze at Elephant Mountain on this day as I was looking forward to another 7.5  miler the next day with the gals, friend Nina and her most precious pooch Polly.

Hiking destination for the girls’ outing was Pass Mountain Trail in Usery Mountain Regional Park.   Terry and I had done this hike last year so there was zero risk of me being found wandering aimlessly in the desert.  I do have quite the reputation for having a pitiful sense of direction, which I will not even attempt to deny. This trail offers sweeping desert vistas, mountain views, and saguaros dotting the landscape, a most enjoyable way for Nina and I to catch up on the adventures we each have had over the past few months.

Meeting other RVers is always an enjoyable part of this lifestyle.  What we didn’t know when we booked our reservation at Cave Creek Regional Park was that we would have the opportunity to meet another nomadic couple and they would be camped right next to us!  Stay tuned for my next post when I introduce you to our new RV friends.

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The Sounds of Silence ~ Cave Creek Regional Park, AZ

Calming beauty of a desert sunrise
Calming beauty of a desert sunrise

We have seen some fabulous country since we began this nomadic RV adventure and many times we find ourselves asking “could we live here”?   The west is where  we feel the greatest pull, from the sandy beaches in So Cal, to the mountains in the Eastern Sierras, to the rugged Oregon coastline, we seemed to fall in love with the land around every turn.

Driving across the deserts of Arizona, looking out over the layers of craggy peaks, spiky cacti and the vast open spaces, I felt a strange pull, oddly comforted, like I had come home.   Having lived in Arizona for 20+ years I wondered, when we leave an area we have loved, does a little piece of our soul remain, to be reconnected with us upon our return?  This is exactly how I felt.  Looking across the great expanse of desert, I felt I could hear the whispers of our native ancestors welcoming me back.  The hawks circling overhead seemed to be guiding us towards our destination, Cave Creek Regional Park.

Me and my shadow on the Go John trail
Me and my shadow on the Go John trail
Spiky ocotillo in her winter wear
Spiky ocotillo in her winter wear
Barrel cactus with its menacing fish-hook needles
Barrel cactus with its menacing fish-hook needles
Stately saguaro, home to the cactus wren
Stately saguaro, home to the cactus wren

I could hardly wait for the next morning’s sunrise, wondering how I would feel as I walked alone in the desert.  Out the door before the break of dawn, complete silence enveloped me, the air punctuated only by the trilling of songbirds and the distinctive sound of the desert quail, which will forever remind me of our home in Sedona. Bunnies merrily chased one another and the stately saguaro, barrel, teddy-bear, and ocotillo cacti seemed to quietly nod their welcome as I passed by.  The scent of desert sage wafted over me as I inhaled deeply. In the early morning splendor of the desert, all manner of creature was awakening for the day.  I walked back to the RV, a deep sense of contentment filling me, as the thought of sunny days hiking deep into the desert mountains filled my thoughts.

A desert awakening at Cave Creek Regional Park
A desert awakening at Cave Creek Regional Park

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