It’s great to be here and Jim’s especially thrilled he’s back in tennis-land. We’ve been all over the place in the last couple of weeks, a little above our normal pace. It’ll be nice to stop awhile in Mesa Arizona.
We’ve traveled 4,000 miles in October. Most of the miles, thankfully were via American Airlines. We drove from Washington state’s Long Beach peninsula to Boise to Ketchum/Sun Valley to Mesa, flew to Charlotte then drove to Lynchburg to Charlotte and flew back to Mesa. Can you believe we still feel a little inertia? We’re ready to settle down long enough to play some tennis and collect ourselves.
Early last week we left sunny and cool Ketchum (Sun Valley) Idaho for our long drive to Mesa. We broke the 980 mile drive into a long day and a shorter day by stopping in southeast Las Vegas the first night. The former Holiday Travel Park (and decades before that, the Holiday Inn Travel Park) is a pretty nice place to stop over or stay awhile.
The Las Vegas RV Resort (their current name) is located ten blocks from I-515, so it was easy enough to get outta there Monday morning. Getting there from the north wasn’t so pretty — we followed the gps routing and ran five miles of very busy four-lane city streets with poorly timed traffic signals and lots of construction lane narrowing. Take I-515 to Flamingo or Boulder Rds if you go.
Our route from Idaho could have been, like last year, through Salt Lake City or through Nevada. A lot of the Utah drive was fantastic, especially the southern parts. We spent a lot of time in Utah earlier this year and wanted something new.
We had over-nighted in all the western states except Nevada, so decided to see new things this time. Bob had given us great advice on roadside stopping places north of Las Vegas but we had our mileage hats on, it was Sunday, and we decided to clear Las Vegas before we stopped.
The plan worked great — we left Las Vegas around 09:00 a.m. on a Monday morning and had very little traffic until one mile past the Hoover Dam. Construction on the new bridge bypass highway caused us a traffic delay of 1.2 hours. Had we waited another few days to travel this route the new bypass would have been open.
But then we might not have driven across Hoover Dam and seen it and the new bridge high above it. Pretty neat, and next time we’ll probably try the new bridge.
We neared Phoenix a few hours later. Monday evening we parked in TowerPoint Resort within earshot of the gorgeous tennis park (all five courts newly resurfaced, new lights, new vinyl-coated fencing, and a great ramada overlooking it all.) Wednesday morning last week we hitched a ride to the Phoenix airport (thanks, John!) and flew to Charlotte.
Our first task was to shop for wedding clothes — in our storage boxes. We carried our storage inventory (on our Mac) and hustled Thursday morning to the storage unit. The mission was planned long in advance and we had done our homework. We knew a document we needed was in a certain numbered box. We knew where the clothes would be (that’s especially simple, there’s only one clothes wardrobe and one clothing tote).
We are delighted the document was in its appointed box and we were able to find clothes for attending the wedding and attendant functions. Coolest though was to test, for the first time in three years, our ordering of the boxes in our little storage unit. The space is five feet (5′) by seven feet (7′) and nine feet tall. We arranged 35 boxes according to the weight and the likelihood of accessing their contents.
The dreaded scenario is a hunt for something in a bottom box anywhere, particularly in the back corner of the stack. Sometimes an adjacent storage unit is empty. Especially sweet is when the one across the hall is empty — we just open that door and stack a few boxes in there so we’re not working in the corridor.
Imagine stacking 20 boxes in the corridor while we dig for something at the bottom of the stack? Moving all those boxes and totes would require some hard labor and an hour or two. And really great stacking in the hallway, all the time hoping the guy doesn’t need that storage unit behind your temporary stack.
The past week’s travel to North Carolina and Virginia marks the first time in three years we’ve abandoned our silver home on wheels. Thanks to Bob and Faith for loaning us a suitcase, our carry-on stays in the storage unit since there’s really no place to stash it with us unless we strapped it onto the truck.
We felt strange and sad locking up the trailer last week to go to the airport. Never mind the nagging questions like: did you turn off the water heater? did you stop the newspaper? did you empty the washing machine? did you kennel the dog? what if the sump pump fails and the basement floods? Oh, never mind, those are from the old house.
Our questions now would be: are the roof vents on automatic so they’ll close in even of rain? are the windows latched except for the one to allow ventilation? is the water off? There, that’s simpler. And we hit all the marks on our list. But we still hated leaving our home for the first time. We left a set of keys with the park office and gave our neighbors our personal card so they could call us if the house burned down.
Everything turned out fine.
Three nights ago we flew American Airlines from Charlotte to Phoenix after attending the wedding of Jim’s nephew. We flew from Mesa to Charlotte, drove to Lynchburg for the day and back to Charlotte again. The wedding, a fabulous social event, was in Lynchburg Virginia. Jim’s mom, brother, and two of three sisters also attended. It was really nice to see family and friends.
Even for full-timers, there’s no place like home, wherever you park it. We’re glad to be back in our own digs.
Jim and Debbie
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