A surprising layer of clouds kept the temperature from reaching triple digits today. It still reached 98 degree, but the psychological impact made it feel much cooler than yesterday’s 103.
I was up early enough to get in a morning walk before the temperature climbed into the nineties. A couple more RVs were in the final stages of packing. By my second walk of the day near sunset they were gone. Because many people have left their RVs on site, the RV park doesn’t look that empty. What I notice most is that there are fewer people out and about in the morning and evening. When I arrived last month there were a couple of groups of five or six bicycle riders circling the park every morning. Every week the number in the groups went down. Now I just see an occasional lone rider.
My day was filled with the usual mix of reading and TV. I continue to monitor the RV park situation in the neighboring states for possible travel plans. So far I haven’t come up with any interesting alternative travel ideas. The National Parks are now talking about mid June openings if the local states agree. Maybe that will create some opportunities.
I didn’t get my first walk of the day in this morning. By the time I got up the temperature was already climbing toward its triple digit peak. Today’s temperature peaked fifteen degrees above the norm for the day at 103 degrees.
Most of my day was spent reading, surfing the internet and watching television. One of the things I watched on TV was the Arizona Governor’s presentation on re-opening the state. He is continuing the “stay at home” order until May 15th, but a lot of other things will be gradually changing. Elective surgery which seems to include most types of doctor visits including dentists restarts on May 1st. Next week appointment based service business and later in the week other types of retail can reopen if they have delivery or curb side pickup. All with the provision that social distancing must be maintained. Restaurants might open the following week if the industry develops a plan for cleaning and social distancing inside the facilities. Movie theaters, bars and anything that might produce a crowd continue to be closed.
I got my walk around the park in at sunset. It is amazing how much nicer the temperature is after the sun gets out of the sky. I went up and down each road in the park to get an extra long walk in.
I was up early to get my first walk of the day in before the heat took over the day. Once again I started the breakfast coffee and set out on my walk around the RV park. My first stop was the cactus garden at the office to get some better pictures of the blossoms on the cactus. There were many more blossoms this morning and I got a few nice pictures to include in this blog entry.
My morning walk was short. In my rush to beat the heat, I forgot to put on a hat. Keeping covered up from the sun is important out here in the desert. After a quick loop around the park I returned to my RV home for breakfast.
Today was a bit of a break from the triple digit heat. It only made it to 98, but more important, there was a steady breeze. I prefer to spend the days in my RV home with all the windows open and the fans blowing. Running both air conditioners only gets the inside temperature into the eighties with the strong sun beating down on my RV home. The RV is oriented in the best way with respect to the sun. The front windshield faces east getting the morning sun. The drivers side with all the windows faces north. The south and west facing sides don’t have many windows. So far, with the windows open the breeze keeps the inside reasonably comfortable. After sunset I turn on the AC to get the inside down to sleeping temperature. In a humid area or if the wind wasn’t blowing I’d run the AC a lot more.
On my evening walk I tried to make a count of the number of occupied sites. I ended up doing a little bit of counting and a little more estimating. My current guess is that out of the 350 sites fifty are actively in use and another twenty or so are occupied by RVs with no residents. About a third of the occupied sites have Arizona License Plates. They are probably year round residents of this compound in the desert.
There was a little more wind today. It kept the high temperature from being as oppressive as Sunday. As long as you weren’t in the direct sunlight the heat was tolerable.
I got in my first walk of the day early in the day. As soon as I got the coffee started I set out on my morning walk around the RV park. The bigger cactus planted in the garden by the office have started to blossom. I tried to get pictures of the blossoms, but only the single picture included in this blog entry was good enough to include in the blog. By my evening walk the blossoms had closed up for the night. With any luck, I’ll get better pictures tomorrow.
By the time I got back to my RV home the coffee was ready for breakfast. Combined with a little internet reading and some TV, the coffee and a couple of cinnamon roles lasted well into the morning. The remainder of the day was taken up with more reading and TV with a short nap thrown in for good measure.
The second walk of the day started a little later than normal. I let the sun get much closer to the horizon before I set out. It was dark enough that the RV park lights were on by the time I got back to the RV. The down side of night fall is the wind went away with the daylight.
When I chose this location to sit out the “stay at home” orders I knew it was going to be warm. I checked the average temperatures for the area. The average high for the area isn’t supposed to get to triple digits until June. Since I plan to leave the area by the end of May, I didn’t think I get too many extremely warm days. Today was the first triple digit day of the year at 101 degrees Fahrenheit. The milestone is about a week early this year. To make matters worse, the forecast calls for five more triple digit days this week. The high temperature isn’t forecast to be in the nineties until next Saturday.
One of the advantages of living on the road is the ability to avoid temperature extremes. In normal times I would be well north of extreme warmth in the summer and well south of freezing conditions in the winter. Following this years plan, I would have been at Lake Powell today. It was in the low eighties in Page AZ, about twenty degrees cooler than here.
I’ve done pretty well avoiding triple digit warmth on my Rambling Road Trip. I don’t recall any extended periods of extreme heat. There may have been a single day high in the triple digits along the way, but certainly not several in a row. I have experienced a few ninety plus humid days in the southeast that may in the overall scheme of things be more oppressive. As the saying goes, this is a “dry” heat. With the wind blowing or a good fan aimed at you, it is possible to survive without the AC if you aren’t in the direct sun. So far, I’ve only turned the AC on near bed time to get the temperature down to sleeping level. In the humid southwest I’d have the AC on around the clock.
I only took one walk today near sunset. It was too hot and bright by the time I was ready to walk this morning. A couple more rigs have departed the RV park and a few more seem to be in the middle of packing. I’m beginning to wonder just how many RVs will be here when I leave just before Memorial Day weekend.
I am afraid all I’ll have to write about for the next few days is the heat. Today the temperature peaked around 98 degrees. Tomorrow will probably break into three digits and by the end of the month a new record for the month of April my be set at 106 degrees. The average temperature for the end of April is eighty eight.
I woke up this morning to watch out my bedroom window as another neighbor hooked up and departed. There are still people here, but there are more empty sites than occupied ones. As the heat of the day increased everybody retreated inside. Most people had the AC running.
I took my morning walk before breakfast to get it in before the heat of the day arrived. It was ninety by noon before reaching the high for the day around 4:30 or 5PM. Occasionally a breeze developed to cool the air off a little, but overall it was a fairly still day. My second walk of the day was as the sun was setting. A few people were back out and walking around by that time.
The daily high temperature continues to climb. Today’s high occurred around 4PM. It was in the upper half of the nineties. The current forecast shows an increase in temperature each day through at least Thursday. Several record setting days are possible.
It has been over four weeks since I subjected myself to the circus that is a grocery store, but today I had to make the journey. I’ve been out of bread and milk for more than a week, but I still had plenty of frozen meat, frozen vegetables and pantry goods. The catalyst for the grocery run was water. I was out of bottled drinking water. Consuming large quantities of the tap water in this campground to offset the heat was not a pleasant thought. It tastes terrible.
The shopping experience was not as different as I’d been led to expect by the news coverage. They were regulating the number of people in the store, but there was no wait when I arrived around 10:30AM. The floor had lots of keep your distance decals to remind everyone about social distancing. They had not instituted one way aisles. I wish they had. The shelves were better stocked than a month ago. I found just about everything that I remembered I needed and then some. They didn’t have any paper towels or toilet paper, but I’m not really in need yet. Paper towels may be the next reason I have to return to the Walmart circus in a couple of weeks. Once again I had to buy larger sizes than I would normally purchase. They may be deliberately only stocking the larger sizes. Judging by my checkout receipt, I bought about twice as much as I would on a normal grocery run.
The walk around the grocery store was the substitute for one of today’s walks. It was too hot and sunny for a walk when I got back to the RV park. On my evening walk around the park I found even more residents had departed. The couple from New York across the street were among the departed. They shut up their trailer, took in the utilities, loaded up their SUV and drove away. I didn’t see that one coming.
Today was another day without much to document in this blog entry. The key feature of the day was the temperature. It made it into the low nineties this afternoon. While the wind was blowing it was comfortable. Unfortunately, there were a few periods without any real wind blowing. The weather forecast is for steady increases in temperature over the next week.
My first walk of the day was shorter than normal. I was late getting started so the sun was high in the sky and I didn’t have sunscreen applyed. Before I cut the walk short, I noticed that six to ten more RVs had departed. The middle of the park is getting empty. Most of the remaining units are around the perimeter and at the front and back of the park. I’m located on the inside of the perimeter road in the back. My view toward the front of the park is now barely obstructed by other RVs.
It was more comfortable during my evening walk as the sun was setting. The temperature was still in the high 80s, but the sun was no longer a factor. A couple of hours later, it is still in the 80s. I’m going to have to crank the AC to get the bedroom down to sleeping temperature.
The temperature didn’t quite make it to 90 degrees, but it gave it a good try. It was a clear sunny day with just enough breeze to keep things tolerable. I being a little obstinate and not turning on the AC. So far, with the windows open living conditions have been fine. I’ve noticed some of my neighbors have retreated into indoor mode with the AC cranked. It’s a dry heat. In humid conditions I have the AC on too.
Other than my two daily walks around the RV park, I did a few chores around my RV home. The TV and reading continue to be my primary way to fill the day. This is my 45th day with only essential interaction with people away from home.
After a calm and cool start to the day the weather changed rapidly. By early afternoon the temperature had crossed the eighty mark and the wind was howling. The wind was strong enough to blow lawn chairs around and the gusts were even higher. Tonight it is calm again.
I paid for another month at this spartan oasis in the desert this morning. I’m sure I’ll be here until at least the fifteenth of May, but probably until the twenty first. A departure on the fifteenth would allow me to catch up with my original travel plans, but that is highly unlikely. My developing alternative plan keeps me in Arizona for another month, but at higher altitudes further north. Arizona has been very good about keeping the state park campgrounds open, so I’m exploring staying at a couple of those for a pair of two week stays. After that maybe New Mexico.
On the day that I committed to staying here longer, several others departed. My neighbors departed for Wisconsin at about 7:30 this morning. I knew they were leaving, but the number of others that departed late yesterday and early today was surprising. It may be that the weather forecast for the next week kicked them into action. Tomorrow is forecast to be in the nineties and starting on Sunday the high is forecast in the 100s through Tuesday.
A neighbors on the other side from Oregon are currently packing. Many of the other long term residents and snowbirds have been stopping by to say good-by. It is a real traffic jam, since most of the visitors stop in the road and hold a proper socially distant conversation. I’m guessing they’re leaving tomorrow. There are still many RVs here, but many are empty. On one of my walks later in the week I may try and count how many of the 350 sites are actively occupied.