Arizona, have another look at the world…

So, here we are 2,435 miles away from Virginia Beach in Mesa, Arizona. We are presently “workamping” at Valle Del Oro RV Resort.

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Workamping is basically a barter system where we camp in exchange for working at the resort. We both work 12 hours per week in exchange for the site you see pictured above. Sounds like an awesome deal, especially when you consider some of the perks offered here!

Valle Del Oro is one of many 55+ “retirement” RV Resorts in the valley of the sun. It is a year-round facility that can have as many as 1870 units at any given time. Some are “park models” which are simply single wide trailers parked in a site with all services. Others are traditional fifth wheels and Class A and Class C motorhomes, like ours.

Back to the perks… this place has a lot to offer – tennis courts, pickleball courts, 2 pools, several hot tubs, lots of entertainment, nightly happy hours, a fully loaded softball facility (which happens to be where we work – at the “Sunset Grill” at the ball park.) They also have dog parks, putting greens, shuffleboard, bocce, game rooms, an internet cafe, and classes for all kinds of things. There are activities including Euchre and Cribbage nights. They even have a Culver’s within a mile. All of this in the temperate Arizona winter… yeah, you can imagine the big grin on my face as I type this…

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We are still in the process of getting settled in. Our paperwork isn’t quite ready to officially begin working but we have already spent a day the grill getting familiar with our workmates and boss. They are all very friendly and a lot of fun to hang around.

The puppies are having a great time and they are definitely getting a lot of attention as well as exercise.

This is the first time we will actually spend more than a week or two in one place… so it is kind of an adjustment for us as we have been used to moving a lot and having to fill our gas tank, etc. We got the bikes out and ride all around the RV Park to go to work and get mail, etc.

All of this and (fingers crossed) we will close on the condo tomorrow and put that whole thing behind us finally!!!! That will help so much with expenses as we really didn’t plan to have to keep dealing with the condo for this long. It has caused us some rather stressful moments as we wondered if it was ever going to close. Here’s hoping for the best and to moving on!

For an East Coast couple to be out here in Arizona for the first time, it is still kind of amazing… the weather is SO nice and the mountains surrounding us are almost surreal. Our trip to get here took us through mountain passes over 7,000 feet in elevation. We paralleled the old US Route 66 from Amarillo, Texas and saw many of the historic roadside attractions along the way. That included a stop in Winslow, Arizona because it was “such a fine sight to see.”

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The Falcon Diner in Winslow was amazing… great food, friendly service, and full of the locals!

Funny that Amarillo saw us find the lowest temperatures on our way West… it got down to 18 degrees during our overnight stay and there was a serene blanket of frost/snow on the ground as we scraped the windows to get underway. As we drove along through the winter wonderland, it was hard to believe that it was actually Texas. In my practical mind, I knew that Texas got snow and such but this was way too cool! As we went westward into New Mexico, the scenery changed into much more desert and warmer temperatures.

Our goal was to get to Albuquerque, New Mexico in time to meet the Bills Backers of Albuquerque at their meeting hole, Duke’s Sports Bar. We made it in plenty of time and the weather was so nice I wore shorts as we watched the Bills beat the Dolphins and the Bengals beat the Ravens in dramatic fashion to send the Bills to the playoffs! The food was great and the comraderie was fantastic! Thanks to the gang there for showing us such love!!!

Of course, the only downer since our arrival in Mesa has been the Bills loss to Jacksonville in the playoffs. We went to the Hub Sports Bar and Grill in Mesa to join the local Bills Backers and watched the game. The food was excellent and the group was a lot of fun, even in defeat. However, I don’t think Kerri has been the same… she says she is just happy they broke the drought but I know she wanted more. I can’t blame her (speaking as a spoiled Packers fan… it was a lean year for us.)

Some notable accomplishments – we went over 20,000 miles on our RV during our trip west. We went over our highest elevation yet (7,000+ feet) and are going to spend the longest time in one place since retirement.

We are already looking at workamping opportunities for the summer season… stay tuned! By then it will be time to have yet another look at the world…

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