Well, a couple days after Christmas, we left San Angelo and headed south and west for warmth. Our first stop was in Fort Stockton, TX, which really isn't too far away, but we never leave too early in the day, and it's a good stopping point for the first night. We decided since it was still really cold, to keep moving until we got to Arizona. So, the next morning we drove to Vado, New Mexico for one night. Both of these parks were Passport America parks and were right off the highway. Passport America parks are half price if you are a member. The next day we arrived in Benson Arizona, and there were several Passport America parks there to choose from. One in particular was recommended and though a little more expensive, it looked to be much nicer than the rest. So, we chose to stay at Valley Vista RV Resort at a very reasonable rate of only $15 per night. It was a very lovely place, and the people were very nice. Below is a picture of our site. I honestly think we had the nicest site in the place. We stayed for a week. I loved the Cactus garden in front. I'm not sure how it happened, but I did manage to get some thin needles from the cactus in my pants and right through to my leg. Just a small area. Duct tape works great in removing them from both the pants and my leg. Very fine needles and they can't be removed with tweezers (too tiny). They weren't painful, but I knew they were there. (ehow.com) We really like the little town of Benson, AZ. It has a lot to offer, just enough for us and is less than an hour away from Tucson. We spent the week getting caught up on housework and laundry and of course, Al had some busy stuff he wanted to get done. You know, man stuff!!
Someone in the office told us we should visit the Gammon's Gulch Movie Set. Not too much is advertised about it, but we did read something about it in a flyer. No brochures in the rack or anything else, just a small little something I happened to read that was hardly noticeable. This place was not easy to find either. Forget about the GPS. I guess if I had looked at their website, which I didn't know about til after, it would have told me. Yes, we got lost, but that was fun anyway! Anyway check it out here: http://www.gammonsgulch.com/
We found our way there many miles over dirt roads. It was quite a treat once we got there. We were the only people there and we got a private tour by the owner and founder Jay Gammons. Since we had called before coming, he was there to great us. It is recommended you call ahead because if they are filming, you won't be able to go there that day. Jay is quite a character, and not only did he give us a private tour, he played the piano and sang and played a banjo. He told us stories of famous people he knew personally and showed us pictures of himself with John Wayne and others. His father worked for John Wayne for many years when he was a boy. He told us who he liked (Paul Newman) and who he couldn't stand (Michael Landon). Apparently, he knew these people personally . It was very interesting. Quite funny too. The guy was a hoot. I had asked before we came how much admission was and was told it was $7.00 each. Now, that is reasonable, I would say. Only thing was, he didn't want us to pay until we were satisfied with the tour. I finally figured out just maybe he was looking for tips as well. Only problem was, it didn't dawn on me until after we left. Usually, we are really good about tipping people. Oh well, sorry Jay. I guess that's why you had us put the money in a jar. Duh!!! We were also surprised when he told us he only charges $500 per day for use of his set for Movies. I think that is pretty cheap when you think about it. He actually spent over an hour with us, and maybe closer to two.
Jay seemed to love singing and playing the piano and banjo
This is an icebox from Italy. Pretty Neat!!!
As you can see from the picture above, it had warmed up nicely. Not as warm as Yuma was to be and still cold at night, but a real nice improvement. We drove into Tombstone one day while we were here and had lunch at one of the restaurants. We had already toured the place a few years ago with our friends Carol and Al, so we didn't stay long. We also took a ride into Bisbee a really neat mining town. This is a really busy place. We got out and walked around a little and will definitely go back there next time. It was hard for Al walking on the street, because the sidewalks were very hilly and uneven. Until he gets his other knee replaced, he found it hard walking there. That new knee is gonna happen this spring/summer when we get home.
Al and I were thanking our dear Lord for watching over us one night as we slept. We woke up in the middle of the night to a popping noise and smoke coming from our little electric heater. We are so thankful we both woke up and unplugged it and immediately set the thing outside to let it cool down. Needless to say, we put it in the dumpster the next day. Letting our place air out a little too. Not too bad, but I could notice it after being outside and then coming back in.
We thought the Passport America rate was only good for one week, but they told us in the office we could stay longer at that rate. We were very tempted, but had a package (medicines) that were arriving in Yuma, and I needed one in particular, so we decided we had to leave. We felt bad, because the day we left, we found out some of our friends from the Montana group were getting together at a Steak place in Tucson the next night. We were invited, but were already en route to Yuma. Seems like we are always a day late. Hopefully, there will be another opportunity in the future. We loved Benson, so we will be back and definitely to the Valley Vista RV Resort.
Stay tuned! More later!