Here's the problem: We keep meeting fellow RVers.
We were ready for some peaceful, quiet time to ourselves. That's all. We did have it - for a few nights, at least. And then we met more RVers - incredible people who we just couldn't resist spending time with.
From Tucson we drove east to hike and relax at some higher elevations. At Cochise Stronghold, we did a 6-mile hike to the Stronghold Divide and back. At Chiricahua National Monument we hiked the 3-mile Echo-Park Loop, unintentionally adding a mile because we parked at Massai Point.
We didn't use the parks' campgrounds, but chose to camp nearby in the Coronado National Forest. We had done the scouting work on previous trips. It was a pleasure to follow our own guides and know exactly where to go. Chiricahua's small campground was full anyway; the park now accepts reservations and, without one, travelers are pretty much s.o.l. - especially at this time of year. There are no other campgrounds for miles in any direction. But that doesn't bother us.....
We enjoyed secluded camping and four campfires over our five-night stay. We have no room to carry firewood but there's plenty of downed, dry wood in this area.
We shared the last night's fire with a couple from British Columbia who we met at the Massai Point trailhead. (You see, there's a reason we parked at the wrong trailhead.) They were on route to Silver City, NM and had no plans to stop overnight. After a brief conversation, we went our separate ways and Randy and I commented that it would have been nice to spend more time with them. They obviously felt the same because, on route back to camp, we saw their rig on the road ahead of us. They had changed their plans to spend an evening with us.
Whenever we meet RVers who we "click" with, its seems we spend as much time as we can - socializing over cocktails, campfires, morning coffee, and, sometimes, if there's time, hiking a trail together. I presume it's because we're aware our paths will quickly diverge and this opportunity is unique. Knowing that, seems to make getting to know eachother easy. But, also, almost urgent. We find we encounter more like-minded people among RVers than we do in our "stationary" life at home. Is RVing just a common denominator? Or does the lifestyle attract similar personalities?
We said our goodbyes in the morning and turned our trip north, stopping for one night (or so we thought) to camp and soak in the tubs at Hot Well Dunes.
Now it was our turn to change our plans. We had barely set up camp when we met three couples - RVers who were camped beside us. One of them recognized us as "the people who wrote those RV Boondocking Guides". In fact, we had freinds in common, who had introduced them to my guides. Before we knew it, a campfire night was arranged, with all four couples attending. It turned into a very special, social evening. We all discovered something we had in common with each other aside from RVing.
Dan built a blazing fire and we talked so much that no one noticed it was 1:00 am before we retired. (Most RVers go down not long after the sun does). We extended our stay an extra day to enjoy more time together.
On our travels, we can choose where we go and when. We think we can always revisit places and even people who live there. But chance encounters with fellow RVers are opportunities that present themselves just this once, at this exact moment. Knowing this, we don't pass them up. How often do we put off other adventures, presuming there's plenty of time and that we'll pursue them "some day"?
As I post this, I remind myself that tomorrow is not guaranteed and fellow RVers are not the only transients passing through my life. I am at a point in my life (retired) when many unique opportunities present themselves. Which am I passing by - and why?
Days on the road on current trip: 75
Total camping costs to date: $98.00
We'd love to hear your thoughts.