Winter in Arizona BUT Winnie is Warm

With Chiricahua and its snowy surprise fading in the rear view mirror, Winnie motored happily to a lower elevation.  There was more Water on the Road but Winnie merely slowed to walking speed and rolled on through.

CrossCountry Bob was amazed at how some drivers did not slow much, obviously used to the situation but perhaps not familiar with the expensive engine repair that would result if those fountains of tire spray sailed into their engine air intake.  Well, we each have our problems and many seem determined to increase their load through ignorance or otherwise (a little philosophy by CrossCountry Bob, sorry, he can’t always resist even though he himself is far from immune to ignorance (or just keeps doing dumb things, take your pick)).

Meanwhile, Winnie was headed for Kartchner Caverns State Park, an old haunt from last year.  The large limestone Caverns were out, reservations to enter running well into April, but CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie were not much interested in any event ( the caverns in southern Spain and the prehistoric caves in southern France seemed more fascinating but, hey, maybe that’s CrossCountry Bob doing a bit of rationalizing because he wasn’t able to tour Kartcher Caverns).  Wintering in southern Arizona does come with flocks of snowbirds after all – and it seems enough of them were smart enough to make reservations well in advance.

Caverns aside, the park had two sparkling attributes that kept CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie happy.  First, four reserved nights with power and water (keenly appreciated after the chill of Chiricahua and, as it turned out, a happy happenstance as you will see). Secondly, a couple of interesting hiking trails (presumed CrossCountry Bob, soon to be set straight by Paintin’ Peggie).  The hiking trails had become a primary requirement ever since Paintin’ Peggie’s ebike went missing in action in Tucson and made mountain biking trails redundant.

The weather at Kartchner was much improved, reaching 22 degrees in the afternoon.  The Americans were all settled in…

Flag is a must accessory

CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie had no flag accessories but were ready to hike.  CrossCountry Bob had checked the trail map and had it figured (he thought).  Five miles all in, a perfect distance.  Starting out, the trail seemed familiar.  As CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie climbed up and away, the trail turned out to be the very same one the very same intrepid hikers had completed the previous year without being too much impressed.  Needless to say, Paintin’ Peggie was even less impressed this time around (very much annoyed would be more accurate, probably even annoyed enough to turn CrossCountry Bob to this if she had Harry Potter’s wand:

CrossCountry Bob doesn’t survive the desert?

But, wishing fire and brimstone on CrossCountry Bob aside, the reality was that reversing course was dumber than going forward (said CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie actually listened), as the trail would eventually intersect the “Other Trail” (that being the one Paintin’ Peggie had wanted to be on to begin with (oh, CrossCountry Bob, how did you mix up those trails on the map (easily it turned out as CrossCountry Bob’s boy scout map reading skills were more than a bit rusty).  Note to self: Study the map itself more closely and pay less attention to the poetic exaltations that pass for trail descriptions.

Perhaps to the surprise of Paintin’ Peggie, the trail intersection CrossCountry Bob promised actually showed up when he said it would, and then up and away Paintin’ Peggie went on the “real” trail with CrossCountry Bob tagging along behind (not his day, apparently).  From that intersection (with 5 km already in the bag), it was a further 6.8 kilometre loop way, way up, around the back and then tracking back down through a canyon busy with boulders.  Fun times for all (even CrossCountry Bob) at first, a nice trail up with grand views of the valley.

CrossCountry Bob was tired near the top and Paintin’ Peggie (bless her compassionate soul) offered to turn back. CrossCountry Bob thought about that (a lot), but then determination prevailed over logic and sore knees, and CrossCountry Bob said “keep going” and they did. Up to the summit (not too bad it turned out) and then down the other side of the loop through the boulder filled canyon and much harder going.

By the bottom of the canyon, the persistent signals from tired legs and sore knees lifted slightly as, like horses returning after a day on the trail and then smelling home, their pace picked up as thoughts of runners off and feet up took hold.

Well, once CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie were back at Winnie, all was right with the world; the gin and tonic was a rewarding elixir and paired with Miss Vickie’s jalapeño potato chips, well, there were sighs of tired relief with no complaints from the gallery.  With that perfect combo in place, what could go wrong?  Well, the weather (of course).  Storm incoming (again? Yes.). One of the storms tracking through California had apparently decided it would be fun to rush across the Arizona desert and torment the snowbirds.  Well, how bad could be it be thought CrossCountry Bob.  “Urgent wind warning” said the US weather office, winds of 40 mph with gust to 60 mph.  Hmmm, thought CrossCountry Bob.

By bedtime (barely made 9 pm that night – excuse is the hike if you must know) , the wind was up but the real stuff wasn’t due until after 11 pm (said the weather office with an accuracy pretension CrossCountry Bob found, well, surprising).

Around 11 pm, CrossCountry Bob woke to some shaking and buffeting.  A few gusts, but not too bad.  The weather office was wrong about the intensity (hoped CrossCountry Bob), after all the weather office is wrong as much as it is right).  Turns out this time it was right more than it was wrong, just an hour early.  From midnight on, the wind was relentless with gusts that shook Winnie meanly and snatched at the tarp convering the slideout.  Inside, Winnie was a howling echo chamber that kept Paintin’ Peggie awake, eyes wide.  CrossCountry Bob figured the tarp was a goner as it snapped hard back and forth.  And then the snow started sometime around 3 or 4 am, blowing sideways – a blizzard in the desert!  CrossCountry Bob dozed fitfully. Paintin’ Peggie didn’t (doze or sleep). But by morning, the wind eased and sunrise displayed a blanket of white. Temperature: minus 4 centigrade outside. Plus 18 inside Winnie with the heater cranked up.

The folks in nearby Benson said it was the most snow they had ever seen in one dump and for the month of February was a record total (Kartchner received much less snow than Benson that night, lucky for Winnie and occupants).  But by evening, the desert sun had finished its work and…

Evening and the snow is gone

Well, apparently CrossCountry Bob has some knack for picking (bad weather) camping spots with uncanny timing (this aptitude for timing not always applicable to his efforts in the stock market however).

None of this is by way of complaining it must be noted.  Just reporting the weather as it happens (it would be a treat if the news media tried that on occasion);  oops, don’t stray there warned one reader.  Why ruin a good travel blog with politics?  CrossCountry Bob suspects that reader is right.  So, Winnie (who, unsurprisingly, doesn’t care about politics), moved a few miles north to the town of Benson and stayed a couple of nights in a private RV resort with full hookups and a laundromat!  That was a pleasant respite and so was Benson itself, a town of approximately 5,000 with a lot of very nice people, quaint little thrift shops (Paintin’ Peggie loved those) and a café with the best pecan cranberry hot cakes that CrossCountry Bob had ever tucked into.

After Benson, it was southwest to Patagonia, home of Ovens of Patagonia Bakery which, last year, had imprinted itself on the brain of Paintin’ Peggie due to the best lemon slice cake ever.  Arriving in Patagonia, it was all systems go – weather -very fine; shops and art galleries – open (no Covid limitations like last year); Ovens of Patagonia Bakery open (it was Sunday).  And then, what’s this?  Hardly any bakery items and customer tables where the shelves of unique and eccentric merchandise once stood.  To say Paintin’ Peggie was more than disappointed would not be an exaggeration..

brave smile at Ovens of Patagonia Bakery

Paintin’ Peggie recovered with a chocolate chip cookie while CrossCountry Bob contented himself with a quite adequate cinnamon bun (turns out Ovens of Patagonia Bakery had been sold and the new owners were, well, cut from a different cloth).

The town of Patagonia itself was still fun to explore, more so because this year there were no Covid restrictions and the shops and galleries could be freely browsed, no problems.

The nearby Patagonia Lake State Park was Winnie’s station for the next two nights and that campsite was maybe cut from the same cloth as the new owners of Ovens Bakery.  In Canada, Patagonia Lake would qualify as Patagonia Puddle (but in southern Arizona you takes your water where you finds it).  Paintin’ Peggie especially loved the aroma of the inexplicably located effluent processor (say no more)  The area is famous for bird watching and Cross Country Bob found that interesting.  He saw his first Northern Cardinal (brilliant red, wow!), followed up by a Vermillion Fly catcher (intense red breast, also wow).  Too entranced to take a photo, it was Paintin’ Peggie to the rescue with this shot..

Colour plus!

Not to give Patagonia Lake too bad a rap, the bird watching was fun (so many birds in such a small area (says the brochure and that means its true (yes?)…even if CrossCountry Bob didn’t spot many…

and the evening lake view was peaceful…

Patagonia Lake

Leaving Patagonia Lake on a warm but cloudy morning, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie made a pit stop in nearby Tubac (an artist colony for sure and maybe a place to stay for  a month or two next winter). The galleries are certainly interesting…

With the Tubac refresher done, it was onward to  Catalina State Park northeast of Tucson (no longer the favourite Arizona city of CrossCountry Bob as bike thieves live there, damn it).

Ebikes aside, there are rumours that some desert flowers are blooming in the Catalina State Park area.  See you there.

And the latest from the grand baby files:

Arizona is Desert OR Water on the Road

Welcome to Tucson, Arizona…or not.

The drive to Tucson from Palm Canyon was pleasant enough, a combination of mostly desert with occasional blocks of agriculture where water was available.

Part of the plan for Tucson was to stop at a premium outdoor store and purchase proper hiking pants and good hiking poles (CrossCountry Bob’s knees are not what they used to be and assistance from poles is a premium idea he thinks and highly recommended by his sister, Marguerite, who has had her own challenges with knees).

The outdoor store outlet selected by CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie was the REI Co-Op, located in the Tucson Mall. Perfect thinks CrossCountry Bob, easy parking near the store, a busy mall with all types of stores (if we wanted to shop more); a no brainer as they say (note to self: often a no brainer means doing something without pre-applying brains to the situation). Into REI went CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie and that store turned out to be rich hunting grounds and within an hour CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie emerged with quality hiking poles and hiking pants.

Turns out that the REI store wasn’t the only rich hunting grounds in the area as CrossCountry Bob took one look at Winnie and swore (a lot). The bike tarp was flipped open and Paintin’ Peggie’s eBike was GONE.

Welcome to Tucson!

Nice big mall, lots of cars and traffic. What the??**!!

Well, CrossCountry Bob will spare you all the tedious details but a report was filed with the Tucson police department and the policeman at the station said that Tucson Mall is between two areas – to the north a fine area, to the south, not so good (CrossCountry Bob can sure pick ’em).

Lots of memories for that eBike, starting across Canada in 2018. All that is left now is those memories and this picture

Missing (probably forever)

Looking on the bright side – file the insurance claim and go bike shopping once Winnie is home. Meanwhile the rest of the journey, sadly, will include no biking explorations.

Before leaving Tucson, there was one more thing for that night – a storm with winds of 80 km/hour with gust to 100 km/hour. Ahhhh, the desert. Fortunately, we were tucked into a big RV resort (filled with snowbirds), hiding between park models, and the night passed with minimal shimming and shaking in the wind gusts (not always the case, as you may read about later as these storms are persistent and insist on passing through again (and again), oblivious to CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie and, for that matter, everything alive or inanimate.

And with that, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie said goodbye (and good riddance) Tucson, and pointed Winnie southeast for Tombstone. Yes, that Tombstone with the OK Corral shootout, Wyatt Earp and the entire crew, reenacted every day. Yes, sir! The legend lives on.

Pure tourist kitsch, that town, but that was expected and it was entertaining to see. Good place to take the new grandkids when they are old enough to get super excited to ride a stagecoach (might pass on the shootout though…in America you never know. Take this old fella in a small town Arizona cafe…)

And with that it was goodbye to Tombstone and hello Bisbee, twenty miles further down the road and a town Paintin’ Peggie (especially) wanted to visit. An old copper mining town that, after the mines expired, reinvented itself as a place worth visiting with an eclectic district filled with curio shops, art galleries and artisan shops with jewelry and pottery (of good quality, produced in the area and not imported from China – how original!).

Bisbee was a pleasant interlude with sunny skies and temperatures around 15. A mile down the road from Bisbee is Lowell, essentially a celebration of a bygone era. See for yourself…

CrossCountry Bob has to confess that he felt somewhat antique himself when he saw the Shell gas pump as he remembers watching a pump just like that put gas in the family’s 1960 big, brown Pontiac station wagon. Yikes! That is a few years back). Well, wanting to feel not so antique, CrossCountry Bob thought the best remedy would be to hike into a one of those scenic vistas that Arizona has in abundance. As coincidence might have it, not far up the road was the Chiricahua National Monument, a little bit north and a lot higher. Beautiful rock formations, great hiking and a pleasant campground. A natural remedy for feeling antique. No matter that remedies often have side effects. That was not a factor weighing on CrossCountry Bob’s mind which was focused on the hike and that balancing rock.

Gotta’ see that!

But Winnie had to get there first and in the desert water isn’t usually a problem, right? Well, the odd snow storm and snow melt had different ideas. A jeep…no problem. But Winnie wasn’t too happy and it took a bit of reconaissance before she crossed (if the asphalt was undermined and a wheel dropped down, well, it was a long walk to cell service…

Turns out the asphalt was sound and Winnie crossed a few “Water on the Road”. By the last one, Winnie hardly paused. Easy in, easy out? Maybe…

Well, before hiking Chiricahua there was an important item of business to take care of. Happy Birthday, Paintin’ Peggie!! Following protocol, CrossCountry Bob will not reveal age, suffice to say that Paintin’ Peggie looks fabulous. Birthday evening found Winnie boondocking outside Chiricahua as the campground was full that night. It turned out to be a quality boondocking spot, beautiful and peaceful.

Chiricahua National Monument lived up to the billing (even if the painting that got us interested exaggerated the size of the balancing rock). It was natural hiking weather, partly cloudy and cool which was a good thing as the trail gained 1,500 feet in elevation over several miles. Real antiques can’t climb that much (thought CrossCountry Bob with some satisfaction).

But of course, as noted, most remedies have side effects and after a fine day of hiking and a quality gin and tonic (favourite reward of CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie) those side effects came calling early the next morning…

No hiking in the snow (CrossCountry Bob may have a touch of antique but that didn’t make him dumb). It was time to move on, both CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie decided (they often think alike in that regard which makes the travelling a LOT easier).

The next destination was Kartchner Caverns State Park for 4 days. Great hiking area and a civilized campsite with power and water (boondocking is fine from time to time but CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie (especially) do appreciate the comforts more than occasionally).

See you there.

Meanwhile, the new grand children are getting along fine without CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie which is exactly how it should be. Both sets of new parents are working hard at it and are doing a fine job!

Signing off.

CrossCountry Bob

Into Arizona or Desert boondocking

There is hope that Arizona is warmer (in theory it is but in practice not necessarily so).

That sky looks promising!

Winnie entered Arizona from the west and after passing through nondescript Blythe (don’t bother visiting), the first interesting town on the horizon is Quartzite.  A little bit different, a little bit strange, certainly in the medal hunt for towns that CrossCountry Bob doesn’t ever need to return to.

But Quartzite has some of the best beef jerky around according to the sign…

Is it beef jerky or camel jerky? Classic Quartzsite background

Not usually taken by this kind of thing, CrossCountry Bob wanted to try that beef jerky. Verdict: Some of the priciest beef jerky CrossCountry Bob has experienced and that includes those gas station quick marts. Oh…the flavour? Not the finest in the land…and CrossCountry Bob won’t be back for more.


check out those ingredients – no refrigeration needed!

One thing that defines Quartzite – it is a place where the living is cheap scattered across the desert, off the grid, a cheap boondockers delight (you have to not mind company – this isn’t the place for solitary boondockers (that would be CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie)).

Quartzite is also a place where the off-road crowd gathers as the off-roading is great (so CrossCountry Bob is told).

Quartzsite wildlife

Well, everyone has their own preference.  And the preference of CrossCountry Bob and Paintiń Peggie is to keep on moving, so goodbye Quartzite!

An overall note – this trip south in Winnie is somewhat reminiscent of the cross Canada journey of 2018 as there is a theme driving the journey.  In Canada it was following the path of the Group of Seven.  Now, it is following the trail of several desert painting artists that Paintin’ Peggie has been in contact with, learning their favourite haunts where the painting is and the tourist isn’t.

The first of those spots in Arizona was the Canyon of Palms on the edge of the Koufu Wildlife Reserve.  Yes, painting country it is and, bonus, it is quality boondocking country

Happy Winnie

From Winnie to the canyon entrance is an 8 km bike ride.

From there, a half hour hike up the canyon to Arizona’s native palms that survive only in a cleft in the canyon wall

Not spectacular perhaps (and so not a tourist hotspot), and not exactly paintable, but the idea of these palms (the only Arizona native palm) surviving in this one unique spot shielded from the worst of the desert climatecertainly made a distinct impression on CrossCountry Bob.  Life always finds a way and the myriad adaptability is rather incredible.  The Earth changes constantly and life adapts.

CrossCountry Bob thinks people today would perhaps calm down just a little if they remembered that the world is not static.  As Paintin’ Peggie said during one hike, “All this beauty is from things changing all the time”

And CrossCountry Bob will leave that there (for now).

And now, after that brief reality check, back to Palm Canyon. CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie leave the canyon palms to their peaceful existence, and hike further up the canyon until the tumble of boulders makes further progress more pain than fun.  Being entirely adaptable (see how that works), Paintin’ Peggie decides right where she is will be a nice spot to setup and paint.  And so she does.  CrossCountry Bob (infinitely adaptable in the partnership game) sets up the portable stool (he wisely carted up) and taps away on the iPad keyboard.

Another form of adaptability is the location adaptability of CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie.  The weather in Arizona has been kind for a few days – sunny and, yes, warm! BUT change was coming in the form of high winds, dust and cooler temperatures.  No point in toughing that out so Winnie is rolling southeast towards Tucson.

Well, Tucson worked out for ducking the worst of the weather but it certainty didn’t work out for the eBikes.

The next post (coming shortly) will fill you in on that.

Meanwhile, with the grandbaby pictures receiving such rave reviews, here are a few more…

Grandpa or Fool on the Hill

CrossCountry Bob left Vancouver a new grandpa. But that didn’t make him any smarter, apparently.

Pointing Winnie south, Grandpa CrossCountry Bob (courtesy of Kenny and Steph) and Grandma Paintin’ Peggie (courtesy of Mariah and Troy), scooted down to the Oregon coast. Objective: get far enough south to be warm. Running interference on that objective were Ballard’s Beach State Park (great ocean painting country)…

And Bandon. Getting there through the rain and the bakeries was a chore (eased somewhat by contemplating Bandon’s super fish and chips, not to mentionTony’s crab shack.

Nice places of course, but not yet warm enough for CrossCountry Bob. Next stop sliding south was the redwoods. CrossCountry Bob wanted to hike through those giants. As it was cool, damp and dark in the redwoods, Paintin’ Peggie was not a fan at first but those redwood stands converted her. The hike was cool but fascinating (especially to the old forester in CrossCountry Bob), the camping (one night only, thank you very much) was dark and brooding…

The next morning Winnie (and Paintin’ Peggie) yanked CrossCountry Bob south and did not relent until MacKerricher State Park just north of Fort Bragg. This park next to the ocean was quickly added to Paintin’ Peggie’s list of “must return”, with classic beaches, a pleasant campground and nice painting perches.,

This coastal retreat held CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie in place for two nights and then the southward march resumed. Next stop was a last year favourite – Bodega Bay. The best campgrounds, Wright’s Beach and Bodega Dunes State Park, were closed due to the recent storms with high winds that had downed trees in the parks. Seems there was no sense of urgency by California Parks to clear the parks thought CrossCountry Bob, or perhaps (being charitable) all available personnel were occupied clearing trees on and near the coastal Highway 1. Over some stretches, trees by the hundreds had succumbed to the powerful winds. Meanwhile, Paintin’ Peggie checks out what is billed as one of the area’s most dangerous beaches…not a problem for Paintin’ Peggie it appears…

After escaping that beach, Paintin’ Peggie and CrossCountry Bob arrived in Bodega Bay which had survived all the winter storms in fine shape and, bonus, the warmth had a definite uptick even if that was moderated by crisp ocean breezes. But those crisp ocean breezes didn’t deter Paintin’ Peggie from some outdoor painting (plein air painting is the expression the artists use) which can inspire additional creativity (so CrossCountry Bob is told as he would otherwise have absolutely no idea, having not one flicker of artistic light to boast about). Now Paintin’ Peggie, that’s another story. Follow her on Instagram if you aren’t already: @peggie.collins.

Once again, two days were enough as the warmer southern weather continued to lure Winnie south. Surprisingly, so far the February weather of 2023 has been colder than it was in January of 2022.

The next day was a long haul from Bodega Bay to just outside Bakersfield and an RV Park called Orange Grove RV Park. Quite the surprise for CrossCountry Bob when it turned out the name was true to form (thinking of you “Paradise Valley RV Park”) as Orange Grove RV Park was populated with orange trees and, lucky timing, the orange crop was ripe and picking was permitted.

Fresh picked oranges after a long drive in Winnie

Didn’t take long to fill a couple of shopping bags. Best oranges CrossCountry Bob has had – tree ripened to a just right sweetness with a tangy overlay. And bonus, deducting the cost of those oranges from the nightly cost made CrossCountry Bob feel like a true budget warrior (a fantasy of course as Paintin’ Peggie could (and has) confirmed that there are few budget bones in CrossCountry Bob).

Orange Grove RV at sunset

Continuing with the quest for warm, Bakersfield did not qualify (not to mention that Paintin’ Peggie failed to find one redeeming feature in the bleak flatness and industrial air that comprised Bakersfield), and Winnie was pointed towards Indio, where CrossCountry Bob’s sister, Marguerite, and hubby, Tony, were spending a month in (what turned out to be) a spacious condo. A two day visit (with bathroom included, oh joy!) was a pleasant interlude. Much conversation, lubricated by gin and tonic and wine, about the troubles of the day (keeping in mind that the troubles CrossCountry Bob sees may be the joys of others) . Add in an afternoon visit to Palm Springs (where CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie had never been) to check out the downtown (right out of the sixties!) and the unique Marilyn Monroe metal statute which seemed to evoke her bright but sad life…

The weather in Indio was the warmest yet but still a bit cool (yes, said the locals, a bit cooler that usual – did you bring this weather south with you?).

Noting the weather trend, where did CrossCountry Bob take the intrepid Paintin’ Peggie next? Joshua Tree National Park, way up in the hills. Where. it. was. COLD. And that is how CrossCountry Bob evolved from a warmth seeking Grandpa to the Fool on the Hill ( as in “But the fool on the hill sees the sun going down” The Beatles). And when the sun went down it carelessly left behind a nighttime temperature of minus 5 and – the next day – a Fool On The Hill type of temperature, as in 4 degrees centigrade (afternoon maximum!) with a penetrating wind as icing (literally) on the hiking cake.

Yes, snow…

But the view from the Top Of The Hill made it worthwhile …

The descent was pleasant, a spring in the step like horses sensing a return to a warm barn. But even then, the trail was long and there were many glances ahead over the next rise wondering “are we almost there yet”. At a trail junction, as CrossCountry Bob went left, Paintin’ Peggie asked “Are you SURE that is the shortest way back?”. Of such stuff are memories made!

Back tucked inside Winnie there were no plugins at the Fool on the Hill Campiste, and so it was generator time for the permitted two hours (to run the electric heater), and then the propane furnace maintaining a modest 11 degrees overnight (yes, CrossCountry Bob is older and coddled). And so, The Fool on the Hill and Paintin’ Peggie were warm under the covers but the concept of California warm (morning coffee outdoors with the sunrise peaking over the hills, for example) was entirely absent. The campground had many empty spots and it occurred (finally) to the Fool on the Hill that there might be wiser RV people about that CrossCountry Bob and they certainly weren’t to be found in that Joshua Tree campground.

Winnie needed no persuading to head south to the Salton Sea for a recovery day. Some writing was salve on the Fool’s chilled brain cells, and Paintin’ Peggie painted and then all was sunshine and harmony. CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie were back in their groove.

The next move from the Salton Sea was not rocket science. Point Winnie at Arizona where it is reliably rumoured that the temperature is warm enough for shirt sleeves and perhaps even warm enough for CrossCountry Bob to forget that he once was the Fool on the Hill in Joshua Tree National Park.

And finally then, following the advice of Paintin’ Peggie that one picture of each grand baby is far from sufficient, CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie now remedy that detail with two pictures of each grand baby…

That is all for now…

Grandbaby delay

The first post by CrossCountry Bob of 2023!

In February, first post?? What happened to Winnie rolling south in January?

CrossCountry Bob calls it the double grand baby delay.

First on the scene, Ashley, 6 pounds 14 ounces, born to Peggie’s daughter, Mariah, and her partner, Troy, on January 3…


Paintin’ Peggie says to send more than one picture as everyone loves baby pixs but its one for now!

And then on January 15, after some delivery drama (don’t ask), an 8 pound 1 ounce baby boy born to Stephanie and my son, Kenny. 


Holding that baby boy flooded CrossCountry Bob with (long ago) memories of holding Kenny some seconds after his birth.  Life bursts forth in sudden pulses and, then, having burst forth, all is different…new and better but different.  CrossCountry Bob experienced it then and now Kenny starts out…the long road of parenthood is ahead for him, thick with responsibility and rewards that are unique and last a lifetime.

And after these new pulses of life, what is an RV trip down south? A dim light in comparison?  No.  CrossCountry Bob will tell you what an RV trip down south is – it is warmth for older bodies on the other side of parenthood, and the pleasure of travel and discovery and time for self-realization and exploration. These are the joys that come after children are well-raised, leaving a satisfied sense of being and a mind still alive and curious.

CrossCountry Bob will stop there. At times, words can only reach to describe, never quite capturing it all.

The next post from CrossCountry Bob will be the more usual fare – travel notes and photos and, possibly, some political horrors if CrossCountry Bob feels so inclined.

All for now.

CrossCountry Bob