Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting Ready for the Road

So here we are, back in Blog Land, the Blogosphere, whatever you want to call it. But where are we? Why, right here in Willcox, Arizona, 35 miles east of Benson, along I-10. We're here to get the regular periodic service that Rosie, our motorhome, so desperately needs. And why does Rosie need it? Because we're getting ready for our first big summer trip in three years, that's why.

Before we get to that, let's talk about Fort Willcox RV Park.

This is a Passport America park. kind of run-down, but that pretty much matches the entire town of Willcox. Willcox has one claim to fame: its favorite son, Rex Allen, the old singing cowboy of western movie fame, who grew up here. His son, Rex, Jr., still lives here and is the centerpiece of the annual Rex Allen Days celebration. Oh yes, there's also the Marty Robbins museum, 'cause Marty was a local boy too.

Oh yes, the Fort Willcox RV Park. It certainly would not be a "destination park," but it's fine for a couple of nights while we're getting Rosie greased and oiled. At $12 a night, plus $2 for electricity, plus tax, we won't complain that there is no swimming pool. There is a rec room of sorts, and from 7:00 to 10:00 each morning they serve free waffles with Log Cabin Syrup, and free coffee.

And this is where we met Ray, who has lived at this park for the past two years.

Ray was a Vietnam-era veteran; he served in Germany, rather than in the Asian war. Nevertheless, he returned to a country where young vets were scorned and reviled rather than honored, as they had been in the "Big Wars." Ray drove truck for several years, more recently lived in a homeless shelter until he received Social Security and was tossed out. Now he owns a 22-foot travel trailer and pays $300 a month for a space in this RV park. He has teen-aged grandchildren, but his uncle wouldn't let him work in the the uncle's bar because he wasn't clean-shaven. He can't even visit his aunt's home in Sierra Vista because of his long hair.

But Ray's wife bakes cinnamon rolls for the neighbors who helped when their water line froze. And she doesn't make them too sweet, because Ray doesn't like sweets.

So where are we? In a different world, a different world from our Saguaro SKP Co-op where Suzy is the Treasurer of Chapter 21 and I serve on the Co-op's Board of Directors. We don't have a pool either, but we have a great clubhouse where talented performers come and sing for us, where we have Friday Fish Fry twice a month, and grilled hamburgers on Saturday, and a Mainentance Department that takes care of the sewers and the waterlines.

But still, being on the Board of Directors, it falls to me to help decide what to do when that big pine tree on a leaseholder's lot has roots that are tearing up the sewer line, when there is an easement on that leaseholder's lot such that the leaseholder is responsible when the pine tree tears up the sewer line. And oh, yes -- will we allow metal roofs to be accepted on our casitas? They haven't been accepted for over 20 years, but now -- someone thinks they should be. And pretty soon we have to set a policy about what to do when leaseholders are no longer able to care for themselves in their own facility on their own leased lot, but this is the only home they have known for the past ten or more years.

But we get to act like foolish kids when it's Spring Fling and we drive our decorated golf cart around the park.

Or when it's Ladies' Night Out and I put on a grass skirt and dance a silly hula.

Or wear a funny hat to serve cake and ice cream to thank all the volunteers who work so hard to make our SKP Saguaro Co-op the lovely home it is for all of us.

Oh my goodness, where am I going with this? We have to get up early tomorrow to get Rosie over to Brewer's Truch Service so we can be back to the park in time for waffles and Log Cabin Syrup and coffee. I'll take off for bed now, and pick this up again tomorrow.

Now it is tomorrow, and Rosie's service is finished and we didn't go eat waffles -- we'll hold that for tomorrow. This morning we had a chorizo and egg burrito at the Plaza Restaurant -- THE place in town for breakfast. What a nice surprise with Rosie's service. For a job that usually takes about two hours, the tech at Brewer's Truck Repair told us that they got it done faster and only charged us for one hour labor. Now they could just as easily have charged the two hours, we would never have known, and that would have been OK. Now we know what kind of place this is, we'll likely come back to Brewer's -- and we will recommend Brewer's to everyone we know!
While Rosie was getting her fast service, we drove southeast on AZ 186 to the little virtual ghost town of Dos Cabezas. We had stopped there a few years ago, and wanted a second look. Dos Cabezas (Spanish for "two heads") is named for the mountain landmark behind (but invisible from) the little town. You can see Dos Cabezas Mountain in this windmill picture, taken especially for Mike McFall.

Is Dos Cabezas a ghost town? Well, there is at least one business there, and several residences, and the pioneer cemetery's last burial seems to have been in 2010. But there are a lot of ruins in Dos Cabezas as well.

 The Dos Cabezas Store

The cemetery has seen a lot of service over the years, and many of the graves have disappeared from sight, or are just a rock and a stick.

Others are more clearly marked. Even some of the very old ones still have colorful plastic or silk flowers in place, some faded, some more brightly colored.

You can see lots more of Dos Cabezas, the town and the cemetery, in our Picasa WebAlbum Dos Cabezas Ghost Town and Cemetery.

Now, however, it is late, and we need our beauty sleep, so we can talk next time about a very large insult from an RV service place, as we continue ... Our Life on Wheels.


  1. Just found your blog...interesting post & great pics. It's a shame what we have done to our Vietnam Veterans! We are starting our 2nd year as fulltimers & Escapee members.

  2. Fascinating pictures, especially the ones of the cemetary. So Rosie is all serviced up and ready to roll, huh? Hope you have a wonderful trip. When are you leaving?

  3. I remember that Dos Cabezas cemetery well. Many sad memories in those kinds of places. Always interesting to read the incscriptions on the tombstones. Yes, Wilcox is a pretty tired little town alright. One of Wyatt Erp's brothers is buried in Wilcox. Shot right there along the street where the Rex Allen & Marty Robbins museums are. Just down the street is one of the main wineries 'tasting' store. Stop in & say hello to our friend, Rosanna:)) Always nice to find a trusted service place. They are definately rare!!

  4. We liked Dos Cabezas when we went to the National Park nearby. We find it interesting when a little place looks falling apart, and yet there are a few brand new beautiful homes nearby, perhaps residents enjoying the pioneer spirit, need for space, and knowing all your neighbours.

  5. So glad you two are hitting the road again! I remember visiting Dos Cabezas with my parents when I was only 16! Wow, and it's still there...probably hasn't changed much except for a few new headstones in the cemetery. Looking forward to more news from your travels.

  6. Where are you headed? It will be good to go with you as you blog. It's 81 degrees at the other end of AZ at 10a.m. but we won't be headed north until the end of April.

  7. Great story and pics today. I am sure there will be lots of adventures ahead.

  8. Large insult from an RV service place? Tell me more! Free coffee, I've heard of. Free waffles? Never!

  9. OH YIPEE!! Let's get in Rosie and hit the asphalt!!! We can't wait..can I ride up front???

  10. Dos Cabezas Ghost town looks like a great place to visit. Thanks for the great tour and pictures.


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