Time to Move On, Destination New Mexico

Currently at Pilot Knob BLM Long Term Visitor Area in Winterhaven, CA, just west of Yuma, AZ:

Our annual visit to the Yuma area is drawing to a close. Our last two-week permit expires today, and with the weather starting to warm up into the mid-to-high 80’s, we’ve decided it’s time to chase 70° again and move on to higher elevations.

Break in the clouds on a rare overcast day in the desert

Andy has his last doctor’s appointment this morning (dermatologist). He saw his regular doctor yesterday for a final time to check his blood pressure after the medication change. He also got the results of the lab test they did for gout (negative!), so he’s good to go on the medical front.

Since our LTVA permit expires today and we don’t want to pay $40 for another two-week permit in the heat, we need to leave this area. But since Andy has to see the dermatologist this morning as well as run a couple other errands, we won’t be able to get everything ready to move until after lunch. We really don’t want to get on the road for a long drive so late in the day, so we came up with another idea.

This afternoon we’re going to move to the Quechan Casino and Resort just two miles up the road toward Yuma. They allow overnight parking for $10 in their large RV lot next to the casino. This is the same place where we go every week for the $7.99 breakfast buffet. So we can camp there overnight and tomorrow morning we can have a big hearty breakfast while the kitties are safe inside the rig. Then we can bring in the slides, load the kitties in the truck and take off for Tucson without having to stop for lunch (we never eat lunch after having the casino breakfast buffet).

We plan to spend one night in Tucson, returning to the Desert Diamond Casino where they allow free overnight RV parking in their large south parking lot. We’ll have the dinner buffet there (yay, no need to cook!), and then on Sunday morning we’ll pull out of Tucson and head to Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, New Mexico.

We’re excited about going back to Pancho Villa for several reasons. First, the weather is much cooler there with the higher altitude. Second, with our annual pass we’ll have electricity and water hookups for $4/night, as well as easy access to hot showers and flush toilets, meaning we can conserve space in our tanks so we don’t have to dump so often. Third, we can walk across the border to the Pink Store, one of our favorite places for lunch. And lastly, we’ll be in Columbus for their annual Camp Furlong Days celebration, which is a commemoration of the Pancho Villa raid for which the area is known. We’re told that it’s a huge event for the area, so we’re excited to be able to experience it!

For the month of March and most of April, we’ll be moving between state parks in New Mexico, since each park has a two-week stay limit. We’ll be gradually making our way north as the weather warms, until we finally make our move to Cañon City, Colorado for our summer work camping jobs. We are due to arrive there by April 25.

We’ve enjoyed our four weeks here in the Yuma area. We’ve had a couple of very windy days with blowing dust, so the rig will need a good cleaning when we get back to water hookups. For the most part the weather has been good with lots of sunshine, cool nights and pleasant days. And we’ve enjoyed some great Mexican food, including a new discovery, Eduardo’s Mexican Food in the historic downtown area. We’ll definitely be revisiting them when we return next winter!

We’ve put Lizzy Too through her paces, testing all our boondocking systems–generator, solar panels, managing our water usage and waste tanks. We’ve hitched up and moved the rig three times to dump the tanks while here, so that’s given us even more confidence and experience in handling a fifth wheel as opposed to our little Class C. I’m not feeling nearly as stressed about travel days as I was before we got here, and that’s a good thing.

I’ve enjoyed desert hiking this year

So, time to get things ready to move on! But don’t tell the kitties–they can always sense when we’re getting ready to travel and they hide behind the recliners. It’s a royal pain in the butt to drag them out and load them in their crates. 🙂

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Safe travels!!

5 thoughts on “Time to Move On, Destination New Mexico

  1. Happy trails! Love reading your blog, it is very informative. I would love to explore New Mexico this trip so, if you have any recommended state parks, that would be great! Will be in Tucson for about another week and then heading to cooler climes. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you’re enjoying the blog! The state parks in New Mexico vary a lot from north to south, just like in Arizona. If you like being around large bodies of water, then Elephant Butte or Bluewater Lake might suit you. The high desert parks in the south like Rockhound are beautiful. Pancho Villa is great if you like history and want to go across the border for the day. And Coyote Creek is nice is you prefer a more wooded area (although they’re supposed to be doing a park expansion this year so not sure what may or may not be available there). You can do a search on our blog to see our pics and reviews of these parks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like you need to train the kitties to run to their crates at the sound of the extensions moving inward. Failing that, they hopefully are forming habits about where they hide so you can find and extricate them fairly easily. Failing that, I guess you’ll just have to suffer the pain of hunting and capturing them. Who said that the days of hunting were over? Enjoy finding 70 degrees again!

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    • It’s definitely a process. We need them in their crates and out of the rig before we even start to bring the slides in. But way before that, they’ve picked up on certain sounds coming from outside where Andy’s loading things in the storage bays. They also see me moving everything off the counter tops and other horizontal surfaces, and securing the dining chairs. They’re smart cookies. Fortunately I’m still small enough that I can actually crawl behind the recliners to drag them out. If I put on any weight, not sure what we’ll do! 🤣😂

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