Arizona 2024: Day 13: Vail, AZ: I can’t drive 75!

Well hello there! Warning: This episode contains graphic descriptions of wind which may offend some audience members.

When I took off my watch last night I noticed it was exactly at 10,000 steps for the day. There is nothing personally meaningful about that other than I liked that it was exactly 10,000. Back in the day when we didn’t have many electronic toys, one of the games I would play was to see if I could stop the stopwatch on my watch (now that is a mouthful) at exactly 1.00 second. If I got it, then I would try for exactly 2.00 seconds. You can do your own research on the value of 10,000 steps in a day (hint, it isn’t really based in science) but, what is based in science is that we need to get up and move. That’s why I’m sitting on my van bed writing a blog post.

Exactly 10,000 – sorry for blurry picture

We had a lovely night sleep at Tirrito Farms. Wind died down for a bit which was rather kind of it. For the morning walk I had intended to just walk around the massive parking lot but then decided to walk a few hundred meters to the parking lot for the Willcox Playa and see what it was like. You are permitted to camp overnight in the playa parking lot. There were two campers there. I walked by and headed towards the playa. I walked for some kilometres and never saw anything that lives there. I saw some poop and foot prints.

As I reentered Tirrito Farms I attempted to capture the a representative image of the property. I probably failed at that. It’s quite impressive. They are obviously putting a lot of money into it and employ a fair number of people.

Tirrito Farms. You will need to zoom

By the time we left, the wind was really strong and gusty. Plenty of dust storms just getting to Willcox and then plenty more as we drove down the 10 towards Tucson. The speed limit on the 10 was 75mph. With the heavy wind gusts directly on our port beam, the van was hopping all over the place. I was driving like I was in one of those old movies with hands and steering wheel constantly moving, except this time it was real. I kept the speed at or below 65mph as the van felt more in control at that speed.

We stopped at the Safeway grocery store in Benson, AZ to provision. I popped into Ace hardware to get a socket adapter and some lube. Oh, come on, dry lubricant for the van doors! Amy kept an eye on the van for us.

It was a short drive today and we arrived at our destination just after noon. We are stopped for the next few days (we hope) on some government land near Colossal Cave Park. We are not far off the road, but the spot is pretty good. Except for the 1 bar of cell service. We are using the mobile hotspot with MIMO antenna to get a more consistent signal. We have at least 5 different types of cacti just outside our window. My favourite is the big saguaro that is either the robot from Lost in Space or the cowardly lion (put ’em up) from Wizard of Oz (thanks to Randy, aka: Les Stroud’s new BFF) for that reference.

Post dinner (penne pasta with homemade sauce) we took Amy out for a short walk. Any trails here require a walk down the road. Fortunately not much traffic.

Oh. People are slobs. Please clean up after yourselves! Mrs Milddogs gathered a full bag of other people’s trash in about 25 minutes.

Did I mention the wind? I’m a bit tired of the wind. Yes, it is windy here in the southwest at this time of year. Oh, it rained too. I had a nap. We had a discussion about destinations post Phoenix and possible routes home. We currently think we want to keep chasing warmer weather. Maybe we chase some crawdads too? Stay tuned.

Make mine a cheeseburger!

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