A Few Days Rest @ Congress, AZ

So having had a fun time with Judy & Bob, we headed out from our site at Shangri-La RV Resort @ Vista, CA on Monday the 18th and headed for another one of the Escapee’s RV parks .. This one is called The North Ranch and it’s just south of a little berg called Congress, AZ.

Congress is even smaller than our home town of Mt. Gilead having a gas station, post office, auto repair shop, and a wonderful little restaurant called “Nichols West” that more than one other resident at the North Ranch told us we had to check out.

We pulled in to The North Ranch mid-afternoon Monday, so we had plenty of time to get hooked up to elec/water/sewer and get our home “tricked out” for a few days stay.

Tuesday morning I was up with the sun (about 5am) while Kathy slept until about 7 or so. We took a morning walk around the campground and discovered a beautiful cactus garden that has been planted and is continually cared for by some of the full-time residents here. I’ve written a short post about that garden including loads of pictures of these beautiful and rugged flowering plants.

While strolling the garden, we met Ruth who shared with us some information about the gardens and we sat and watched all the different bird species flying in and out of “Methuselah”, the 600 year old Saguaro Cactus that’s peppered with holes the birds have used to make houses and nesting pods.  Ruth and her husband Dave were originally South Dakotan’s but have been full-time RV’ers  for years now.  They Workamp sometimes for a few months, sometimes just traveling visiting friends or locales that they’ve never been to.  Turns out Ruth and Dave are in the site right next to us.

The rest of the day Tuesday took us on a LONG drive, ended up being about 12 hours of driving up to the Grand Canyon and back with just over 500 miles.  We took a circuitous route up Route 89 into the hills with a lot of “switchbacks” so thank goodness we were driving the car and not the motor home!  We stopped for lunch in a wonderful little town called Williams, AZ and known as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon”.

Wednesday brought a more laid back day.  In the morning I washed the driver side and rear of the motor home (they were in the shade) and then we took a drive early afternoon down the road 30 minutes or so to the historic gold mining town of Wickenburg, AZ.  We strolled the sidewalk poking our heads into the shops peddling local artwork, leather goods, sliver jewelry, and a couple junk shops too.  I was pretty proud of Kathy, she only spent about 90 bucks!

Thursday was an even more laid back day.  We stuck around the park, washed the car and the other side of the motor home, went down to the club house and were entertained by local park residents (both full-timers and drop-ins) for the weekly jam session.  All are invited to play or just listen.  We listened and enjoyed since neither of us have any musical talents.  The highlight of the day (besides the jam session) was our quick trip 6 miles north to the local gas station to buy some ICE CREAM for our nighttime snack!

We generally buy our groceries at a local Walmart (since we know what to expect) and prepare and eat our meals at home.  We generally take walks in the early morning and just before sundown when it’s coolest and we enjoy seeing the desert critters scurry about.

Today it’s Friday and we are heading out to meet Paul and Sue Middaugh, who live in Surprise, AZ.  Kathy used to work for Sue at the Mt Gilead Rite-Aid pharmacy.  Sue and Paul moved out here about 3 years or so ago.  We’re meeting them and then heading to Sedona for the day to see what kind of trouble we can get in to.

More on that day trip later.