Sunday, April 10, 2011

Winding Down at Palm Creek RV Resort

(Photos today are from cactus blooming in and around Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort)
I had no idea cactus could be so beautiful!
After much deliberation, weather watching, and discussion, we've decided to lop off about three and a half weeks off our stay here in Casa Grande at the Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort. The weather has cooled down nicely these past two days. (NICELY?! I'm freezing my butt off! says Eldo.) But, my kind of weather for a couple of days, a nice breather from HOT, HOT, HOT!....high today was about 49 degrees, I think that was the weather in Elkhart, IN, too! (Eldy's workplace for 42 years)....Not only that but it was cloudy all day and it rained...another break from those relentless UV rays....the activities here at the park have been almost completely shut down...last Zumba class was Friday, parts of the park are closing (laundromat), clubs have ended, activities have ended, dances have ended, etc....and the park has really emptied out. We really came too late in the season (March 1) to get to take advantage of all the wonderful activities there are here--stain glass, pottery, basket weaving, photography club, and tons more activities which are heavily dependent on the snowbird volunteers who love to teach the many activities offered here. Since most of them have left, so have the activities. So, we have decided to leave early.....

We're planning to head to the northwest--Oregon and Washington, perhaps by the end of the week....leapfrogging our way through Escapee Parks and possibly boon docking at a winery or two for a night or two...(Harvest Host program) out come the maps and the apps...Eldy is a great planner when it comes to trip planning. He reads lots of blogs to see what routes people before us have taken, he checks atlases and trucker info for the best way to avoid heavy duty big city traffic, low bridges, stuff like that... (sometimes you just can't avoid driving through a big city) and so we begin our preparations to get underway soon...figuring out the most economical way to cover about 1700 miles with high fuel costs and what direction we will go to get there. Originally, we were going to stay out of California, but now feel that is the more direct way to go and makes the most economic sense-- especially since we have to be back in Sedona, AZ the third week in July for a family reunion.

We got our propane tank filled in preparation for cooler weather, (YES! says Sparky) we are going to be making plans to map out approximate stays and destinations so that we can make some reservations. Eldo does not like to plan that far in advance, but with fuel prices keeping people staying in spots for longer periods of time, we think it might be a little difficult to just show up at some parks and hope for a spot! We got a northwest zone membership Thousand Trails deal at the Fort Myers RV show (199.00, that's it!), so we are going to definitely use that for most of our stays in the northwest. After paying the membership fee, you get to stay 30 days free a year, and thereafter, it's 3.00 a day for our zone. You've got a two week maximum stay, then you have be out of the system for seven days. Then you can check back into a Thousand Trails park. Pretty sweet deal!

I made it to the pickleball court yesterday for a round robin set. It was probably next to the last time I would be able to play with a bunch of people since we are leaving soon, so I made sure to get to the court in time to check in this time! It was really great fun! At first, I panicked when I saw we were playing SIX games, but after a couple of games were over quickly due to superior talent on the opposing team, I knew I would not have any difficulty with my stamina getting through the remaining games. Pickleball is a really enjoyable game, especially playing doubles. A lot less strenuous than tennis, and an interesting game to keep you on your toes just the same. Great exercise! Pickleball is so popular here at Palm Creek, that instructors have trained over 450 people since the program started at Palm Creek. They have TWELVE pickleball courts and FREE lessons offered twice a week. They rate your skills, and you can move up through skill levels in round robin play as your skills progress. They had a huge tournament about the first week we were here which was a very well organized and a very successful one, and it definitely sparked our interest in the game. We hope to play more wherever we go....we'll see you tomorrow. We've got a couple of special things planned for the last week of our stay so hang around to find out what they might be!

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