March’s “windshield view” for this view I decided to try (I need a little more practice…) a split screen view of a picture taken at 10.30 am March 1st amidst blizzard warnings for the Goderich area that is a view looking west from our site @ Lake Huron Resort and is compared a photo taken March 30th at 1:30 pm just 10 days after the start of spring taken from (close) to the same position.
March 2018: Our first winter away and we were already asking the question “where has the time gone”? After a little tour through the Arizona desert we moved back into Coyote Howls West campground to the same site we had been in for December of 2017. We booked in for a month so that I could make a number of needed repairs to the coach before we headed back east. I had to replace a roof air conditioner, we received our Clam pop-up shelter, and we fixed up a number of items that had come to light on our first few months of traveling. And we had met so many amazing people here during our previous stay, that we just wanted to go back for another month. But it was amazing how much the park had changed in just two months. We had left on January 1st and pulled back in on March 1st, but it was a different park, the manager had been changed and this new manager had no people skills at all and his wife had less than that. Happy hours in December happened every afternoon @ 4:00 pm and lasted until dark as it was December it was dark by 5:30 but now with longer days it was normal to run till 6 pm or later. Then all of a sudden we were told happy hour was only an hour, so as you can possibly imagine many of us disagreed with that idea which caused so apparent animosity between the campers and the managers. And this festered until it came to a head one Friday evening when we were told we had to disperse because his wife was trying to sleep at 6:00 pm so we moved to another site and were told that we would reported to the park ownership … let’s just say this – we seen the end of March in the park but the new manager didn’t.
One of the reasons we went back to Why AZ was to hopefully see the “desert bloom” which while is amazing to see, is also quite unpredictable being dependent of rain fall and temperatures, but usually occurs the last couple of weeks of March and the first two of April. Now we didn’t see the bloom this 2018 March because of the lack of rain so any bloom that occurred was limited and happened later in April. This campground was quite unique as full hookups for a month was $220 US plus electric. But what we found to be such a hidden gem in December had certainly lost some of its lustre by March. But that was when we truly discovered that the community make the camp ground not the campground it self.
March 2019: Yes you guessed it was spent at Oak Grove RV Resort in La Belle FL, but this was a little change from our original plans. We were scheduled to pull out of Oak Grove on March 9th and start making our way up the gulf coast as we started our journey north. But with spring break in full swing it became very obvious very fast that our best choice was to extend our departure date until April. So March was a continuation of the previous month with trips to the beaches, trips kayaking with the gators, weekly golf outing, pickle ball, bingo, happy hours, cornhole, and meals with friends. It was also a sad time, as friends that we had made earlier started to head out on their journeys back to their summer homes or onto new adventures, yes by the end of March, I would say about half of the park was gone.
March 2020: Well the first of the March found us still in Las Vegas at Arizona Charlie’s RV park and making day trips out to attractions in the area such as “Valley of Fire”, “Red Rock Canyon,” and “Clark County Conservation Area.” We even were able to hookup with Dan and Kathy from LHR for cocktails in Vegas one afternoon before heading back south into Arizona desert for a week long stay at Plomosa Road BLM to watch the desert starting to green up for the desert bloom.
It was at this point the United States was starting to acknowledge that there was a pandemic happening but every state was dealing with the pandemic differently. Many Canadian travellers were being contacted by their medical trip insurance companies and being told that they had ten (10) days to get home before their insurance would be cancelled. We actually had dinner in Ehrenburg AZ with a group of fellow Canadian travelers (in fact it would turn out to be our last sit in restaurant meal for a number of months to come) to hear of their plan changes to head back to Canada on the following Tuesday, in most cases close to a month early. Laurie and I had decided to stay in Arizona until the end of March and then start our trek back to Canada pretty much as we had planned. By this time there were already huge runs on many essential products such as toilet paper and pretty much canned or frozen anything, even some places we would find all the meat coolers to be totally empty. The only thing that always seemed to be available were fresh produce, while flour and baking supplies seemed to be the next item that were being horded.
After a repair on our refrigerator control board our next move found us heading south and east to Cottonwood Canyon which is Arizona State Land with a view of the Superstition Mountains for the last two weeks of March. We were close to Mesa AZ to do some supply runs and it also placed us close to our friends Ray and Karen who had wintered at Gold Canyon AZ. Our time was filled with kayaking trips on Canyon Lake, and a trip to “Boyce Thompson Arboretum” with Ray and Karen, and while going out for dinner was not an option, we did gettogether for some snacks and cocktails on afternoon at out coach out in the wilderness. The photos below show the unbelievable beauty that can be found in the Arizona desert.
On the 30th of March we headed further south to Tucson AZ to an RV park to dump our tanks and refill our fresh water for our journey back to Canada. With full hookups we made good use of the washer/dryer to catch up on our laundry. We also made a point of meeting up with Pat and Rhonda, whom we had met in January at the Beaver motor coach rally in Quartzsite, they also have a Beaver Patriot the same year as ours. Over time we have learnt to never pass up an opportunity for a visit with friends, and it was decided to go out for dinner at a What-a-Burger with Rhonda & Pat in Tucson where we were spotted by a reporter for the local newspaper as shown below. It is with a heavy heart that we learned of Pats passing this March, again proving the importance of taking the time to visit with friends.
March 2021: March 1st found us still hidden away in our rental house in Goderich ON, facing winter blizzard warnings, March was obviously coming in like a lion this year. It has now been a whole year since the Canada/US border was closed because of the coronavirus, we have started to see some relaxing of the pandemic restrictions in this area, eat in dining has reopened to allow up to six people at a table, and as the month closes out the area remains in the yellow restricted zone, but also finds the infection rate in Ontario on the rise again, appearing to have us well into the third wave of Covid-19.
With spring technically starting on the 21st, we have seen the days lengthening and sun getting higher in the sky and we are starting to feel it’s warmth through the house windows. And to our delight we have been blessed multiple days that have reached or exceeded 20ºC (69ºF), and as you are aware I have already un winterized the coach, in preparation for our move back early in April.
Something that has been pretty amazing has been the opportunity to watch the beach at LHR (Lake Huron Resort) on the eastern shore of Lake Huron as we went from multiple feet of ice to a sandy beach in just one week of the above average temperatures. We are starting to see the grass on the lawns green up, as well as spring flowers making their debut. The robins have made their return to our area and the birdsongs are prevalent every where that we wander, Miss Laurie has had a number of visits to the beach already in March, and while not the warm sandy beaches of Florida, it seems to be filling the beach need that we both craze.
So we close out March looking we are looking forward to moving back to the coach (home), and are making multiple trips back and forth from the house to move items. Also looking forward to another year as the managers at LHR, and starting to realize that there may be an end to this pandemic in sight, and a resumption of our nomad lifestyle. We have already started to plan our fall travel, as well as looking for work camping positions in Canadian western provinces for summer 2022. Yes it will be with heavy hearts and a little regret that we say goodbye Lake Huron Resort that has been our summer home for a number of years.
I hope you are enjoying our “windshield view” series even half as much as I have putting them together, as they have given Miss Laurie and myself a reason to look back over the past few years and how this “nomad lifestyle” has enriched and fulfilled our lives.