Mesa, Arizona

We’ve been in Mesa about a week.  Mesa is mostly a retirement community and reminds us of Florida without grass and humidity.  The RV park is certainly clean and well maintained but it is in the middle of a city populated by Snowbirds, mostly Canadians.  The park is also huge, with over 1,800 sites and recreational facilities.  The weather is still cool but we were able to use the hot tub a few nights.  Staying here is like camping in the middle of Van Nuys and we are looking forward to moving on.

While in Mesa, we spent several days and had some great meals with our friend Owen Norris, who Jeanne worked with at State Fund.  Owen recently retired and is living in Mesa full time.  Jeanne took some side trips with Owen while I ran some coach-related errands.  Since we had been living in the motorhome for about a month, there were still a few things we needed and Mesa is loaded with RV stores and supplies.

One memorable meal with Owen was a German restaurant, which was the best meal we had in a long time.  Another pleasant surprise was a deli Owen took us to where I was able to get a roast beef sandwich like the ones Grandpa and I would share in Buffalo, NY.  It brought back some great memories.

We discovered there is a lot of weight on the left-rear leveler and it will sink into soft soils.  To prevent this, we went to a Lowe’s and had blocks cut from a 2×12 plank to provide a stable base.  Between the 2 x 12 blocks and the plywood Andy cut, problem solved.

We did visit a few special places.  One day Jeanne and I drove to Payson, a small town in the mountains north of Phoenix where a very good friend lived for years.  It is a truly beautiful area and we very much enjoyed the day.  Another day, we visited the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) museum at the Mesa airport where there was a fine display of vintage aircraft, fully restored.  Our last day there Owen drove us past a beautiful lake for a visit to Tortilla Flats for a taste of the Prickly Pear Ice Cream. A treat.

We continued with our workout routine and discovered the maintenance roads along the irrigation canals provided the perfect running surface.  One day, it rained and I went to a local gym — the first time I saw the inside of a gym in fifteen years.

The high-speed internet connection through T-Mobile is working great.  All we need to do is find a hot-spot at Starbucks or Kinko’s to get our wireless internet connection.  I also got some time to update the CHFC (Compton Hunting and Fishing Club) web site and to investigate how to configure to accommodate this triplog and pictures.  It will not be easy and a lot of new code needs to be written.  I also got a chance to work with the internet server software, IIS that comes with the XP Professional operating system.  It is very different from the Personal Web Server I was using with Windows 98 and Windows ME.  The documentation isn’t that good and I don’t have a full understanding of how it works yet, but the pieces are slowly fitting together.

With our business in Mesa finished, we’re looking forward to getting back on the road.  It looks like the drive across the rest of Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas will include some long days.

Contemporary Note:  One evening, while soaking in the hot tub, we talked with a retired guy who ran a 7up bottling plant somewhere in Canada.  He explained, in excruciating detail, how to run a 7up canning line.  It was mind-numbing and there was no polite way to dis-engage from the conversation.  All I remember was being held captive in bubbling water, subjected to his endless beer-embellished work memoirs.  It was time to move on.