…But a Whimper. That’s how our winter season in Arizona ended. With all of you aware of the various situations and restrictions we are all subject to, I am sure I don’t have to explain the why of it all, but the actual implementation of social gathering restrictions upon those of us staying in the various resorts in the Sunbelt meant that there really wasn’t much to do in Arizona. This meant that heading home as requested by the Canadian Government wasn’t that hard to accept. It was also a sad end to our year as two of our good friends have sold their trailers and will not be returning to Gold Canyon. With the hasty departure of all of us, we really didn’t get a chance to say a proper farewell.
Our departure day from Gold Canyon was Thursday and we managed to get away by 9:00 in the morning. Not bad when you consider that it was pouring rain when we were hoping to load the truck on Wednesday evening, and we ended up doing a lot more on Thursday morning than we planned. It also proved to be the coldest day of departure for us from Arizona, EVER. It was only 48F or 9C which is very cool by historical standards.
It was the first time I have had to wear Jeans and a Jacket to leave our resort. We are normally in Shorts for at least the first day of our travels, but not this time. By the time we ended our day in Ely, Nevada we had driven through a fair bit of snow and rain, and overnight the temps plunged to 19F or –7C. There was 2 inches of snow on the truck the next morning that I had to brush and chip off before we could depart north. Remote Vehicle starters are wonderful things, as I was able to start the truck from the Hotel Room and wait inside for it to warm up and melt a bit.
This was the very first time we had seen snow on the hills around Kingman AZ. I am sure it happens, but not when we’ve traveled through here.
Overall the temperatures this year were very cool, and that’s the third year in the last four that we have experienced similar temperatures. I remember blogging several years ago that the temps in Arizona over the winter were just about perfect in my estimation as it was usually between 75 and 85 F for at least most of the winter. This year I think I can count on both hands the number of times we reached over 75 degrees, and on one hand (Ok, two fingers) the number of days we saw 80+ on the thermometer. We can only hope that the trend reverses in coming years, or we may have to look elsewhere for warm temps and winter activities. Somewhere like Edmonton.
Our second stop was in Kennewick Washington, and while I wasn’t thrilled about stopping anywhere in Washington, the chances of dealing with Virus issues were far less in Eastern Washington than along the coastal route. Our eventual border crossing was very easy, but it always is when coming home. The only questions we were asked were when we last entered the US, and were we over on any of our allowed amounts of goods and food. We were handed a pamphlet concerning our upcoming Self Isolation period, and made it home by early afternoon on our 3rd day, which is a record for us, but we usually stop off and visit friends or sight-see on the way home and that wasn’t in the cards this trip.
Had we known, we wouldn’t be challenged on foodstuffs, we might have stocked up on all the items normally forbidden to bring across the border, like fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. We were torn about whether to pick up the basic staples we needed for our 14 day Isolation period in the States, or in Canada. Under normal rules, many of the things we consume daily are not admissible into Canada from the US, so we decided to do all of our Grocery Shopping in Canada. The day before we left, I had gone to the website of Save-On Foods to check out the delivery or pickup options available to us for our food. On that day, I would have been able to schedule a pickup or delivery for the next day. When we arrived home and I went to the website, the next available pickup date was April 1, or 9 days away. It seems that the return of the Snowbirds had put a bit of a wrench into our plans to do the right thing.
As we had a bit of a buffer regarding food for a couple of days, we started to research how we were going to get groceries, and found an Angel who managed to pick up almost $400 worth of food and supplies that we needed to get the house restocked and our pantry filled for the next 2 weeks. Sylvia drove over to pick up the horde, and I was shocked when she got home with how much stuff we seem to have needed. I don’t think we’ll be resorting to eating the cardboard boxes the cereal came in by the end of these 2 weeks.
We have spent the first 2 days of our ‘alone’ time putting everything in place and planning on what we were going to do at home. Our late winter arrival at home means that I will have lots of time to deal with cleaning up the yard that the animals seem to have had quite the party in this winter.
Today I ended up picking up about 10 gallons of Deer, Bear and maybe even Coyote poop from the lawn, which is some sort of a record. The deer even ended up leaving an antler behind, and I planted it in the bucket of poop to see if it will grow a new deer. Seriously I think it used to belong to a young buck that was hanging around the Harem controlled by the Big Buck we saw in January. I didn’t think he would be around for long as he would soon be forced out of the family group.
I bet that this fella is the reason the youngster lost his antler.
There were also Coyote paw prints in the dust on our front steps, and that’s a new experience for us. They must have been checking out view in our front windows.
In any event, we are home safe and sound, and hunkered down for the next 2 weeks along with many of our friends. Now if we don’t go crazy watching the news, we’ll be just fine.
It sure was nice to see ‘Our’ lake again. It was also warmer at 14C when we arrived home than it was when we left Arizona. What a Strange Year.