As we have often said, our plans are set in Jello. This continues to be the case.
After spending the holidays with the Jennings in Texas, we traveled west to Mesa, AZ to find warmer weather and visit family. We found warmer weather but we also managed to arrive in time for one of the worst winter storms in history in the southwest. The storm resulted in the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded in Phoenix. When the big storm went through Arizona we were camped along the Salt River north of Mesa and Apache Junction. The wind blew over three trees in the area where we were camped, and the rangers put us on notice that we might have to evacuate because the river was rising so fast due to rain and water released from the dams. We didn't have to leave, but it was a pretty wild night anyway.
We then moved to our current location in Quartzsite where we plan to stay until the first of April. We arrived to much warmer weather and lots of people. The large RV show is held the third week of January, and there is a real crowd of people here. It will clear out soon and by the first of March it will be just us few diehards.
Our plan was to stay here until the first of April and then begin our camp hosting position at San Onofre State Beach where we have been for the past four summers. After last year we decided that six months is just too long to host in one spot. It had begun to feel much more like a job than a volunteer position, and we made tentative plans to stay only three months, then travel east so we could attend our niece Patricia's wedding in Boston in August, then visit other relatives in the northeast, and finally swing south during the fall and spend some time near Darin in Tennessee.
I sent an e-mail to the Park Ranger who coordinates volunteers, letting him know of our desire to spend only three months at San Onofre this year, as we did in 2007 when we went to Alaska. He responded that he wanted only people who would stay for the full six months, so unless we change our minds he would recruit new hosts. We're not changing our minds so the Jello has slipped again.
It will be interesting to see how things work out for San Onofre. They have historically been unable to find and retain camp hosts for the position we held. Given the less than ideal conditions there, I think they would have better luck finding two hosts to serve three months apiece during the summer months, but that is not my decision to make.
Anyway, our plans are not set yet, but we will stay here or in Yuma until about the end of March when it gets too warm, then probably somewhere in Southern California for the months of April and May, and then head north in June, work our way across the northern part of the US more slowly than previously planned, and still arrive in New England around the first of August. We were not looking forward to making the trip from California to Massachusetts in only four weeks, so this will give us more time to see things and will make the trip much more relaxed.
Stay tuned. We'll let everyone know what develops as we go along.