State Parks, Free Air Show and 265 Acre Greenhouse

March 22-31, 2019 — It feels great to be back on the road traveling frequently again after spending a majority of the past few months relatively stationary in the desert southwest. This week found us finally leaving the great state of Arizona and moving on to New Mexico. Although we’ve been in the state before we haven’t stopped to explore the amazing landscape, history and culture the state has to offer. 

Sadly we will be spending a mere 10-12 days in New Mexico and will only be able to hit a few select highlights. Our time is limited as we are on a mission to be in Minnesota by the beginning of May and need to keep moving. We like to keep our RV travel days to around 100-150 miles at the most which necessitates moving every 2-3 days in order to make the 1,400+ mile journey in our given time frame. 

Now 1,400 miles may be only a two day road trip for many folks but long driving days are not in our wheelhouse. Luckily as full-time RVers we have the luxury of slow travel that allows us to take in many more experiences while on the road. We have time to immerse ourselves in the culture, history and landscape of the areas we travel to along with meeting new friends along the way. 

If you’ve ever even remotely considered a lifestyle like this we strongly encourage you to jump in with both feet as the rewards are so great. Experiences over possessions is the way to go. “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” (Democritus, Greek Philosopher)

All overnights were free stays with three nights at a casino and seven nights at three different Boondockers Welcome host sites. 

Mile Driven - RV
Miles Driven - Car

Great day at the free Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona air show at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona. All the performers, pilots and airplanes were amazing. 

You just never know what you’re going to see when traveling down the highway. Here a truck transporting a helicopter passed us. This was the third one we saw within a few minutes on I-10 east of Tucson, Arizona. 

Chiricahua National Monument in southeast Arizona near Wilcox was established in 1924 to protect  the extensive hoodoos and balancing rocks found within the 12,000 acres of the park. The scenery is spectacular! It’s a great place for hiking with many trails to choose from but beware of the high elevation (7000+ feet) that can cause issues if you’re not acclimated to the altitude. 

We spotted our first javelina (also known as collared peccary) crossing the road. Interestingly enough, peccaries are not members of the rodent family or the pig family. even though they closely resemble them.

There’s just something so majestic about a wild horse that compels us to stop and take a photo.

The Swift Trail Parkway Scenic Road near Safford, Arizona is a 35 mile long byway full of twists and hairpin curves with a 7,500 foot elevation climb that takes travelers to Mount Graham in the Coronado National Forest. What a beautiful drive!

Here’s the view looking south from approximately 6,000 feet of elevation while on the Swift Trail Parkway Scenic Road. The long white horizontal line in the center of the photo below is the Naturesweet Tomatoes Farm greenhouses in Willcox, Arizona. It is one of the largest greenhouses in the world and spans more than 265 acres under glass.

Sunset at our Boondockers Welcome host site in southeast Arizona. We’re sure going to miss these nightly colorful displays as we leave Arizona.

A new state! After spending the last four months in Arizona we have ventured to New Mexico for 10-12 days of exploration. Not nearly enough time to take in all the sights but we we’ll hit the highlights and take notes for our next trip to the state.

New Mexico has an amazing state park system with thirty four sites spread across the state.  The City of Rocks State Park near Deming, New Mexico is named for the unique volcanic rock formations in the park. The pinnacles or sculptured rock formations rise as high as 40 feet and are separated by paths or lanes representing city streets. The park offers hiking, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, stargazing, a desert botanical garden and camping for a reasonable fee.

Pottery is synonymous with the southwest so it is fitting that Deming, New Mexico would have a larger-than-life pottery fountain in downtown at Leyendecker Plaza.

Sand dune parking on an undeveloped plot of land near Deming, New Mexico. Thanks to our Boondockers Welcome host for providing this quiet, private retreat for RVers.

What a wonderful way to wrap up the first quarter of 2019! The week was a busy one but a good one. Stay tuned for next week as we continue our exploration of New Mexico and discover what it has to offer travelers. See you then!

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