We have stayed at the nice, homey Flying W RV Ranch in Tubac, Arizona for the last six weeks or so (last part of February, March and some of April). It’s quiet here this time of year; it’s mostly been cool and sunny– perfect! Our host and hostess have been gracious and accommodating. There are usually only a couple of other guests staying here, and they have given us their best spot (50 amp, water and sewer hookup) with a fenced-in yard and partial shade, where our dog, Duke, likes to hang out, outside and not chained up. He crawls under our RV or sleeps in the shade most of the day, with a few stints of “Dog Park!” and “Frisbee!” intermixed with long naps. We’ve been here so long we’ve almost fallen into a daily routine.
In less than two weeks we need to head out to Las Vegas for the annual HSCG Conference, where Marie will speak on “How to promote your soaps and cosmetics… legally” to hundreds of handcrafted soap and cosmetic makers. But while we are here, we are enjoying the relaxed pace and the rock-lined Meditation Pool. I swim in it every day–the only taker. The water was 66° F today, cool but very refreshing compared to the 85° outside.
We are within easy walking distance of the Santa Cruz River, which is more of a creek-like stream this time of year than an actual river. Apparently during the Monsoon Season (July and August) it fills up and goes roaring along. One can observe a lot of damage to the cottonwood trees on their upstream side, where things have crashed into them and stripped off the bark. I enjoy walking with Duke during the hour before sunset when the heat of the day has passed, on the de Anza trail which runs along the side of the river in places, through the riparian areas. I’ve taken many photos on our walks; several thousand of them over the last few weeks. The curves and textures of the shadowed cottonwood trees fascinate me, as well as the fast-growing bamboo thickets here and there. Since we’ve been here I’ve observed the youngest bamboo sprouts put on several feet of height.
We haven’t seen any rattlesnakes yet despite keeping a very sharp eye out. Nor gila monsters nor jaguars (they all inhabit the area), but we have seen wild javalinas, brazen daytime coyotes, and the biggest, fattest horned toads I’ve ever seen. As well as innumerable rabbits, vermilion flycatchers and black hawks and buzzards. Even a few very shy ducks on the river. And roadrunners and many woodpeckers. This place is a birdwatcher’s paradise. At one point in March there were hundreds of “birders” flocking to the local dog park to observe the annual black hawk migration, quietly observing through their binoculars and cameras from the open space the park provides. But for the last week or so, there have been no birders; the annual birdwatcher migration to Tubac appears to be over.
We are of course, working like Trojans during the day on our various work projects. Our mantra is “We’re not retired!”
We’re going to miss this place if we over-winter in Washington next winter, which seems likely based on where we want to go next year.