As we had hoped, the rainfall this winter is turning the desert into a virtual carpet of green. Little yellow flowers are lining the hillside with long yellow streaks punctuated by tall saguaro cactus. Once your eye focuses on the details, you can see blue lupine (?) everywhere, and tiny white flowers just now budding in the shadows beneath taller plants.
After a morning of pancakes out by the Fabers’ Bambi, I collected all the excuses for why nobody wanted to do the full hike to the top of Picacho Peak. No matter — there is a shorter, easy hike (0.7 miles) up to a low saddle with an excellent view that almost everyone was able to do. Eleanor stayed behind to do battle with that virus, but Emma, Craig, Ken, Petey, Rick, and Mike all came along. Even for folks over 70 years of age, and those with questionable knees, the hike was easy thanks to plenty of photo stops along the way.
I mentioned yesterday, this was an official Tin Can Tourists event. We were surprised to get visits from other TCT members who had read about it in the newsletter and decided to drop in on Saturday afternoon, just to see what was up. Three guys with a 1960s Silver Streak motorhome swung by, and another guy came by with a custom hot rod. We also had a visit from a nice couple who left their converted GMC bus at home. If we organize more TCT events in the future I’m sure we’ll get a chance to see that bus. That’s motivation for me right there — I love to see the buses.
The TCT crowd is an exceptionally nice and diverse group of people, which makes camping with them a really great experience. There’s always something to talk about and stories to hear. That probably explains why we never did get away from the campground for that Dairy Queen Blizzard … but in the evening there was the traditional campfire (courtesy of Rick and Judy’s wood) and birthday pie in honor of Eleanor. Too bad she was back in the trailer snoozing again. We’ll do her birthday again later this week when she can properly enjoy it.
The Caravel test has been a success. Yes, it’s very small and we have to work around each other to function in the trailer. But it still works as well as it did the last time we camped in it — five years ago. Better, actually, since it no longer leaks or smells funny. The larger refrigerator is more usable, the beds are more comfortable, and we’ve learned in the intervening years how to pack it properly so we can actually fit what we need. I was really wondering if we’d come out of this weekend planning to sell it. Instead, we’ve got a plan to go camping again in two weeks up in the Chiricahua Mountains, where the national forest campgrounds are too small for our 30-foot Airstream.