Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Month Later

Mid December when I arrived in Tucson for a three month stay, I had some concern about my ability to survive without getting stressed out. Now I am beginning to wonder about that inevitable day when I will have to hook up and head north. It will have become too comfortable not having to hitch up all the time. Routines will have set in. At any rate, that is all projection about a future.

The Diamond J RV spaces are large. No passing a cup of sugar to your neighbor from your RV's window. Some RV spaces back up to the desert and others look over the wash that runs through the park. I have neither of those, but my lot location has a great view of the Tucson Mountains from my "table for two". Seated at that table for breakfast, my social hour or dinner, the Tucson Mountains scenery changes as the sun moves. Okay. So it is the earth that moves. The landscape colors change throughout the day. Not a tiresome view.

This remote location also provides night time interest. In the middle of the night, it is not unusual to hear the great horned owl or the coyotes. Also heard a mockingbird one night. Some of the guests on the wash or those backed up to the desert have seen the javelina in their back yards. Not seen any at Wandrin Wagon. One night I hung garbage on the railing as bait to see if I could draw one in. Didn't happen. That approach worked several years ago when boondocked at nearby Snyder Hill.

With lots of exploring to do, I've been keeping busy. Two days a week it is hiking. Steve (park resident/guest) leads the hikes. Good for me. I don't have to do any hike planning. I just show up. Tuesday morning, the hike is in the desert behind the park. A short hike with little elevation gain, it is more like a walk in the park. Thursday or Friday, there is a more serious hike with elevation gain and requires a drive to the trail head.

The most recent hike was to the Quantrell Mine on the slopes of the Santa Rita Mountains. The trail to the mine offers a profile view of Elephant Head.

For me a negative at the Diamond J is the poor cell phone (Verizon) service. Considering there are cell towers less than three miles away, this should not be an issue. However, digital signals are essentially line of sight. For me that signal may be blocked by another RV or a dense grove of saguaros. The park's Wi-Fi provides backup when the Verizon signal is overloaded.

The other possibility is that there is too much demand for the Verizon band width rather than signal quality. Two o'clock in the a.m., the throughput is fine. Looks to me like too many people with unlimited plans downloading stuff during those daylight hours.

Depending on one's point of view, the 15 miles to downtown Tucson (and other exploring destinations) could be a negative or a positive.

The three months here will go fast. With relatives, friends and road acquaintances living here or passing through, I may not be able to do all those exploring items that are on the list. Whatever. Life is great.


  1. Sounds like a great place to me, but I know the feeling of, "hook-ups for 30 days, hope I don't miss that when I go back to boondocking again." But I've found I just roll with the options available, and each place has benefits that the other doesn't.

    I'm finding that I like the boondocking wide open spaces much better than the hookups. I really liked the LTVA at Quartzsite, lots of room, lots of neighbors at a distance if interested in socializing. That surprised me. :)

  2. We are using the Verizon MiFi card for the first time on this trip. It works great in Ouray, Colorado... a dinky little town of 800. But since we hit Arizona it has slowed down, and even stops frequently... even around the edges of Phoenix, with 4G and sitting on high ground. So I don't think it's a line of sight problem, it's an overbooked problem... too many snowbirds nesting around here. And they have the gall to oversell by pushing phones that will stream movies, football, tv shows, WAR AND PEACE!!! We heard Verizon was everywhere, but what good is it if you only have dial up speeds? It's like we went back to the '90's. Think this is only going to get worse, too. We are currently in Catialina State Park north of Tucson and are having the same problems. Was going to Gilbert Ray, but maybe not now that you've told us it's just as bad over there.


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