Starting to Make Plans

Saturday May 9th 2020

There were more clouds in the sky today. Along with the clouds came more humidity, so even though the mercury didn’t climb as high it wasn’t as comfortable as some of the previous triple digit days.

It was a two walk day. On my morning walk I manged to find a couple of photogenic cactus blossoms. My walk at sunset was under heavy clouds, so I didn’t get any pictures of the setting sun. On both walks I didn’t see nearly as many people as on previous walks. Departures and the heat have reduced the field of fellow walkers.

One of the things I accomplished between the two walks was making, as opposed to canceling, a couple of reservations. They weren’t major destination reservations, but a gradual return to travel at places with more to do than my current location. My two month stay here is up on the 21st just before the memorial day holiday. The popular places are booked for the holiday weekend. Staying here at a nightly rate is not going to happen, so I’m going to spend the weekend at Picacho Peak State Park. It is just down the interstate from here and isn’t a popular destination this time of year because of the heat. I’ve stayed there before among the saguaros.

After the Memorial Day weekend I’ll move north of Phoenix to Cottonwood for two weeks. I’ve booked two weeks at the Dead Horse Ranch State Park. It’s higher elevation won’t be as hot. I spent two weeks at the park in the fall of 2017 and was heading there again when I decided to make this RV park home for the last two months. The majority of the Arizona State Parks remained open for the entire “stay at home” period. There was one twenty four hour period at the beginning of April that a shutdown order was issued, but it was rescinded before it was implemented.

Arizona seems to understand that most of the state parks and campgrounds aren’t a major social distancing concern. The few that are indoors or in otherwise contained spaces like caves are closed. I think it also helps that none of the nearby states have major outbreaks of the virus. There aren’t many travelers by road to fear at a higher level than your neighbor. People flying in from the virus hot spots don’t typically jump in an RV and head for a state park. Of course this could all change without warning, but right now the Arizona State Parks seem to be a viable option.

I think I’ll be in Arizona most of June. Utah and New Mexico are the options that I’m trying to understand better. Utah is opening up faster than Arizona and New Mexico, but it has a few counties that are more restrictive. Some of the National Parks in Utah are starting to reopen. New Mexico seems to be the most shutdown of the three states. Its state parks are all closed and private RV parks are restricted to 25 percent occupancy. So far, I haven’t read anything about a reopening timeline. I check travel restrictions and options at least once everyday. I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon.

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