Well, it’s time for us to update our blog. We’ve been silent during our months as workampers so now I will take a moment to let you know what we’ve been up to since you last heard from us.
We have been workamping in an RV Resort called Pueblo El Mirage in El Mirage, Arizona. It’s an absolutely gorgeous place with beautiful landscaping and facilities. To be a workamper means that you work a certain number of hours per week (28 for us in this case) in exchange for a free campsite. Steve and I were on the Activities team at Pueblo El Mirage, which didn’t turn out to be anything like what we expected. We were thinking that we’d be dishing up ice cream at socials and calling Bingo. Oh no, not even close. I worked in the kitchen helping to prepare and serve the two meals/week we served to 250+ people, and Steve worked in the “set-up” phase – meaning he put up tables and chairs and then took them down multiple times each week. He also served at the meals. Additionally, we acted as ushers at the various concerts and the weekly dances, and occasionally dished up ice cream. I also worked on the resort’s newspaper which was a 36-page, newspaper-sized publication. It was a lot more work than we expected which didn’t leave us much time to explore the desert environment in which we were stationed.
Nonetheless, we did get to do some cool things. Here is a list of the things we were able to do/accomplish:
There were many things that surprised me about the desert and the Phoenix area. One is that there is a great deal of agriculture in the desert valley. Surrounding us in El Mirage were fields and fields of rose bushes, cauliflower, and other veggies. The farmers get their water from the Colorado River (40%) and the other 60% comes from underground aquifers. The other thing that surprised me was just how dry that environment is. I had no idea just how much my skin would be affected by the dryness. I don’t know how those people stay lubed up!!! The nicest surprise for me was the effort the State of Arizona puts into decorating their roads and bridges. There are millions of people who live in Phoenix so you can imagine the number of highways it takes to move those people around the city. But because these highways and byways are decorated with various birds and animals and mosaics, it made every journey we took similar to visiting an art museum. Loved that!!!
We had a wonderful visit from our friends, Paul and Annette Neumann, in January. We were supposed to visit the Grand Canyon but the weekend they were there it snowed four feet up there. We had a nice time hiking and visiting Indian ruins in the Phoenix area and just hung out. In April, my sister Carolyn and her friend Ken visited us and we gave them the whirlwind tour of the area. In the two days that we had to do things, we did all of the following:
Once Steve and I left Arizona, we headed to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. Santa Fe is a cool little town with some great architecture and a ton of art galleries and hand-made jewelry stores. The coolest part of this visit was walking the length of the Palace of the Governors where the Native Americans sell their wares. It was interesting to hear them speaking their native language. I don’t often get an opportunity to hear that and I loved it. The drive up to Taos was lovely but the city itself was a disappointment. It was a mishmash of touristy stores jammed into a very small area. Nothing special really, which surprised me. We didn’t even get to see Julia Roberts. The one thing we did in this area which was cool was walk across the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge. I got a bit of vertigo so I hot-footed it across. Steve, however, hung out and took pictures. He was even lucky enough to see some Big Horn sheep grazing along the bottom.
We are now in Colorado Springs visiting with our son, Steve, and his wife Aime, but especially our newest grandchild – Tytus. Gosh that boy is just adorable as can be and it’s such a blessing to be able to spend time with him. The last time we saw him he was only 3 weeks old. Now he’s sitting up on his own and grabbing things and “talking” up a storm.
In a couple of days we will be flying to Detroit to visit with my family for Easter. From there we will be driving to Asheville, North Carolina to visit with our son Terry, his wife Jill, and our granddaughter Sofia who just turned two on April 8. From Asheville we will be flying to Punta Gorda to take care of some business with our house (new roof and some other things) and to make a decision about whether or not to sell, buy a condo, live in the trailer full-time, or keep the house and be snowbirds. Because our three children live in three different parts of the country, we know we will be traveling at least 6 months out of the year to visit them. The question is - - what do we do the other 6 months??????? We are praying for guidance on this issue so stay tuned. After Punta Gorda, we head to Toledo to visit with Steve’s family and then fly back to Colorado. From there, we will be heading to Cheyenne, Wyoming and the official start of our Pacific Northwest journey.
Ok, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed our update and the pictures that Steve has taken of our travels and adventures. The next time you hear from us, I will bring you family pictures and an update of our plans with the house.
Take care guys,
Lauren and Steve