The plan was to spend a few more days checking out the area around Tombstone, Bisbee, Douglas, Sierra Vista, etc. However, on Monday we got an e-mail from our friend Elli telling us about a little place that’s for sale in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. It’s a 38′ trailer with slide outs and some structures built around it. It’s in a park a few blocks from the beach. The price was low enough that it wouldn’t break us if we had to walk away from it someday. We’d never really considered having a place in PP but this was cheap enough that we could just keep it for fun. Probably live in it until we got our stateside place done and then use it for a place to spend the really cold months as well as just a fun place that we or the kids could use whenever. We decided to alter our schedule and head down to Rocky Point to see it. We don’t need no stinking schedules!
On our way to Nogales, we remembered that we had had some mail forwarded there. Didn’t want to head into Mexico until we got the mail so we hoped both items had arrived. It was a pretty drive over but was quite a shock to pull into Nogales traffic after all the quiet little backroads we’d been traveling. Due to an error on my part, Dora tried to take us to a US Post Office in Sonora, Mexico instead of the one I wanted. Managed to figure it our before we were committed to crossing the border and took the last possible turn-off before we would have been swept across with the rest of the bumper-to-bumper traffic. We finally did manage to find the post office only to find out that only one of our pieces of mail had arrived. We made the best of it and got some Christmas gifts mailed off while we were there.
The only thing to do was to cool our jets and wait for the rest of the mail. We got the phone number of the PO so we could call to check rather than having to drive back in. Good thing. When we got back out to Flipper, we checked several sources and found, much to our disbelief, that the nearest RV Park or campground was 25 miles north of Nogales. We found that very hard to believe but set our course for there anyway, keeping our eyes peeled for other RV Parks along the way. About 10-15 miles north we did see some small signs hung on a fence that said “RR RV Park” and gave a phone number. Took the next exit and headed back to where we thought the RV Park would be, based on where the signs were. What we found was a recreation area primarily geared towards horses (roping arena, etc.) with what looked like a long-defunct RV Park. The place was pretty much empty except for some guys on backhoes doing who knows what. Since we needed wifi to make our stopover productive and, since we probably would get chased out of here anyway, we moved on north.
Finally came to the RV Park which was, indeed, 25 miles north of Nogales. It was a nice park with excellent wifi. First thing I did was to go on-line and see if there was a tracking number on the package I was waiting for. There was and I tracked it. Turns out it had been delivered to the Nogales Post Office on Saturday and it was now Monday. I called the PO and told them and, after much looking around, they finally found it. Too late to head back now so we arranged to pick it up in the morning.
Tuesday morning we broke camp and headed back to Nogales. The post office opened at 8:30 and we were there before 9:00 if I remember right. Package in-hand, we got back on the road and headed for the border. On the way we passed a gas station and I decided to top off the tank. While the gas was pumping I had a thought. Although all our paperwork for entering Mexico and getting a vehicle permit was in order, I had forgotten to check the effective date of our Mexican auto insurance. Guess what? It’s not effective until November 20. When I had taken the policy out, this had seemed like it would give us plenty of leeway as we didn’t really plan to enter Mexico until at least the 25th or so. But now we were ahead of schedule. Too much hassle to change the date so we decided to make the best of it. Since we’d missed several of the towns we’d planned to see, we’d just go back over Tombstone-way and spend a day or two checking things out. It’s really not very far.
We headed back, passing through the cute little impractical-to-live-in town of Patagonia and decided to stay at the Quail Ridge RV Park conveniently located at the junction of Highways 82 and 90 in the “town” of Whetstone. The park is really nice. Everything is very clean and they have great showers. The only fly in the ointment is no internet. But, for $10/night for full hook-ups, we can live with going to McDs or Denny’s for our e-mail and to upload blogs.
After getting our spot, we removed the bikes from the back and headed back to Tombstone to take another look around. We drove through some of the residential areas, took a few photos downtown, had a couple beers at Doc Holliday’s, and then headed to Sierra Vista. We needed to get some internet so we decided to stop at Denny’s for lunner. We filled our bellies and got everything done that needed doing on the internet and headed home.
Tomorrow we plan to make a big driving loop where we’ll see Hereford, Bisbee, Pirtleville, Douglas, McNeal, Elfrida, Pearce, Sunsites, Dragoon, Benson, St. David, and Fairbank. We’ll just drive through each of these places but we’ll get to see them nevertheless. Then, Thursday we can head back to Nogales and finally cross the border for real.
Tombstone to Nogales to Mountain View RV Ranch in Tucumacacori, AZ: 113 miles
Mountain View RV Ranch to Nogales to Whetstone to Tombstone and back to Whetstone: 142 miles
Total to-date: 5,361 miles.