Getting Cold, Hosting Opportunity and World’s Largest Chili Pepper

October 15-21, 2019 — Never say never is the theme for this third week of October. We have been traveling steady for the past three years and although we’ve highly enjoyed it, we’ve come to the realization that a break was in store. Not a break from all traveling but instead a break from constantly moving.

We seldom go to actual campgrounds and have only stayed at one private RV campground/resort in all the time we’ve been actively traveling in our motorhome. Having solar and lithium batteries make boondocking so easy that it rarely made sense for us to spend the effort finding campgrounds and paying the hefty fees for the privilege of staying overnight. 

Because we haven’t had the desire to stay in campgrounds or resorts the thought of camp hosting has not appealed to us before. Most positions that we had been familiar with required a time commitment each week that limited a hosts’ ability to freely travel during the hosting time frame. We knew we would enjoy the perks of meeting lots of new friends while doing a hosting stint but we needed the ability to take off for a week if desired. 

Never say never. Fast forward to this third week in October where we found ourselves leaving Missouri and traveling to Arizona over a three day period to stay the winter in an RV resort where we will be camp hosts. Follow along below to see how this big change came about. 

All nights this week were free stays with one night at a Harvest Hosts location, two nights at Walmart stores and four nights at Fiesta Grande RV Resort in Casa Grande, Arizona. ** Resort fees are charged then reimbursed through camp hosting efforts. 

Mile Driven - RV
Miles Driven - Car

Have you ever felt like your head was not on right or even totally detached? While in St. Louis, Missouri we came across this sculpture and had an epiphany moment. We decided right then and there that we were done being tourists for the year. It was time for a break from the hustle and bustle of activity and instead, time to sit back and relax, visit with friends, read, research next year’s travels, take long walks, and enjoy the Arizona desert. 

The very night we saw this sculpture friends sent us a message informing us that they were camp hosting at an RV resort in Arizona for the winter and were in need of another couple to help out. After garnering the details we decided to join them. The hosting is purely concierge work a few hours a day with one week on and two weeks off leaving plenty of time to do whatever we want and go wherever we want with or without the RV. We didn’t set out to do any type of hosting but the timing and perks of this opportunity just seemed to work out in our favor. We may love it or we may grow to hate it but either way, we’re going to have fun and enjoy a nice winter in sunny Arizona. Now we just needed to drive 1,500 miles to get there……

Just the right amount of bourbon to help make our trip to Arizona seem quicker and be less stressful. 

We spent our last night in Missouri at the Route 66 Welcome Center near Conway. The rest area is very popular with trucks and RVs with a seemingly never ending stream of traffic an is interesting enough also a Harvest Host location. It wasn’t the quietest place to spend a night but it worked for a quick impromptu overnight stay. As you can see by the car windshield it wasn’t a warm stay, either, with overnight lows dipping below freezing. We saw a few snowflakes in the morning just as we were leaving and that solidified our decision to move on to Arizona as soon as possible. 

Traveling on I-40 through Oklahoma and Texas is always a challenge due to the windy conditions. Because of the constant winds, turbines are present in vast numbers along the route. 

The Welcome to New Mexico sign was a glorious sight as we traveled west as it meant that we were past the halfway point of reaching our destination. 

We stayed at two Walmart stores during our trek from Missouri to Arizona. One in Elk City, Oklahoma and this one in Alamogordo, New Mexico. We’re grateful that many of the Walmart stores allow overnight parking as it is very convenient stop when traveling long distances. We do make a point of patronizing the stores to thank them for their hospitality. 

At 47 feet long and weighing in at 2.5 tons, this bright red chili pepper located at the Big Chill Inn in Las Cruces, New Mexico is deemed the world’s largest. Somehow we missed seeing this last spring during a multiple day visit to Las Cruces and vowed to hunt it down the next time we were in the area. Another check mark complete on the quirky-want-to-see-someday list. 

Our Thor Vegas has a desk on the passenger side of the cab area making it convenient to pass the travel time when on long trips. 

Woohoo we made it to Arizona after 1,500 long miles of traveling. It feels so good to finally be here. Since we aren’t accustomed to long stays or even staying in campgrounds/resorts we have some adjusting to do. We also have a few projects to attend to like a proper awning sunscreen and window shades to block the bright Arizona sun. The first endeavors, though, are to rest up from the long trip and to explore the immediate area on our bikes. 

We are so glad to be in Arizona and look forward to a long rest from traveling. Follow along next week to see what we discover at the resort. See you then!

Thank you for hanging out at Off Our Rocker RV.

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