At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Hello Arizona!

Yep, we crossed the border yesterday afternoon. Sherman has never been to Arizona before! Can you imagine, we've been traveling in a motorhome on and off for eight years now, and we've never explored Arizona...the winter RV'ing destination of the world.

So, that's why we're here...to explore Arizona (and maybe some of California and Nevada) over the next couple of months.

We left Hermosillo at around 10:30am. We knew we didn't have a really long drive even if we did make it to the border, so we weren't in a rush. But the more we drove, the more we thought that we're this close that we should just go for it. We had thought about stopping in to see Edgar and Anna, a couple who run a little RV park in Santa Ana. Not that their RV park is great, but we had read that they are just a nice couple. But by the time we got there we had already made the decision to cross the border so we didn't want to waste any time even if it was to stop in and say hello. So, it will have to wait for another time.

Parts of highway 15 heading north are in really bad shape. They are doing repairs though, and we did get 10 minutes of nice driving on this brand new stretch!

Starting to see lots of saguaro cactus...must be getting close to Arizona!

Made it to the border at 3:00pm. There were quite a few cars in the lineup, but we were directed to the bus lane where we were first in line. Had to sit for a couple of minutes while the border guard moved a van that was blocking the lane, and then it was question and answer time. Not many questions! Then he came on board and shined his little flashlight on a few things, and handed our passports back to us. Nice and smooth border crossing!

I had purposely run Sherman's gas tank dry. And I mean it was reading empty! But I had done the math and figured out that we should still have a gallon or two sloshing around on the bottom of the tank! But with gas prices here being nearly half of what they are in Mexico, it was worth seeing the tank empty at the border!

Last time we put fuel in was at Creel. So we got about 850 kms (530 miles) out of that tank of gas. That's about 9 miles to the gallon, which considering the type of mountain driving we were doing is not bad!

First stop...the huge Walmart supercenter in Nogales, Arizona. Fruits and veggies are noticeably more expensive. Especially when we add in what is now a 25% exchange rate to the Canadian dollar. That makes it tough to find real deals versus what we would pay in Canada. The only real deal even when you factor in the exchange rate is gasoline. Oh, and of course booze.

Sherman also needs an oil change. So I picked up the stuff to do that as well. And a couple of those small propane bottles for the Weber grill. And a few other miscellaneous items. In total, we spent $200 ($250 CDN)!

We could have stayed in the Walmart parking lot for the night, but Walmarts are a definite last resort for us. There is always somewhere better. 

So I spotted the new Home Depot up on the hill and I walked up there to see if they would let us park for the night. Spoke to the manager, and he said no problem. We have a nice view overlooking the town, and with one blind closed, we have a better view out our side window than we would have in most RV parks! Nice.

Oh, and of course free wifi, courtesy of the Home Depot.

Sherman, parked up at the Home Depot overlooking Nogales, Arizona. 

Yesterday's drive, 287 kms (178 miles).

Today, we're going laptop shopping. They actually had a nice little laptop on sale at Walmart for $218 ($272 CDN), but they were out of stock. I guess we're not the only ones who love a deal.

Speaking of deals, don't forget to check out today's deals at Amazon.com. Remember, if you buy through our links to Amazon, we make a small commission on anything you purchase...and you pay the same price you would anyhow.


36 comments:

  1. I visit your blog first thing after I pour my first cup of coffee & before heading off to my part time job :-) Today, I see I'm visiting right after you posted. Wow you're back in USA. I almost breathe a sign of relief LOL ..... don't know why. Anyway I was hoping to see pics of the little towns between Hermosillo & the border. I see the landscape is too much different than AZ. Welcome to Arizona....I'm a native zonie :-)

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    1. What a dedicate reader you are Rita, thanks for that! :-)

      Sorry, I guess we were just hell bent to get to the border that we missed a couple of small towns on the way. We actually meant to go through Magdalena but ended up on the by pass route which we felt bad about because the town looked really pretty. Next time we head to Mexico we will try to stop there for a night or two.

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  2. Your take on Arizona should be interesting. Enjoy your stay.

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    1. We have done a little touring around in Arizona back in 2006 but it wasn't in Sherman so we are really looking forward to exploring the state in the motorhome and having more time to do it in rather than just a week.

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  3. Yay, welcome to the USA! Great idea about staying at Home Depots--I ought to try that next time, cuz it was prolly much quieter than the 24hr Super Walmart.

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    1. Thanks Dugg, we are happy to be here but also sad to say goodbye to Mexico!

      We find the Home Depots to be much more quieter than the Super Walmarts, plus they have WiFi!

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  4. That Home Depot has been there for at least 5 or 6 years and is well used by RVers heading south. Perfect location for that 6AM border crossing.

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    1. I guess there must be two Home Depots then because this one only opened in October 2012. We were the only RV here although there were 2 smaller transport trucks in the parking lot. We did see at least 3 units at the Walmart parking lot though before before we came up to the Home Depot. Yep, it's a great spot to get an early crossing for the border.

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  5. Make sure you check out the proving grounds just north of Yuma BLM water & dump there

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    1. Thanks Paul, we will try to check that out after we have been to Quartzite.

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  6. Looking forward to your travels in Arizona and beyond. If you have a chance to visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum it's well worth a visit. Cheers from Portugal's Algarve! http://www.desertmuseum.org/index.php

    20YearsFromNow

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    1. Thanks Dianne, we will try to keep that museum in mind. Looks like we are going to have a lot to keep us busy while we are here.

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    1. We will, thanks Helen! Do you two want to come and visit while we are here? I think I remember you saying that you would love to visit Arizona. You know you are welcome to stay with us. :-)

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  8. Windy here at Q today. And be prepared for thousands and thousands of people. The low fuel prices have really made it easy for folks to get here.

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    1. We are trying to keep that in mind Jim and Sandie, I am hoping that we won't be disappointed by trying to put ourselves in the mindset of having tons of people around us. We are going in with an open mind! :-)

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  9. Welcome to AZ. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a must. Also, the Titan Missile site is awesome! Hope to see you at the Q on Saturday.

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    1. Thanks, Paul and Marsha! We will try to keep these in mind as a few people have mentioned them, so obviously they must be worth the visit.

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  10. Enjoy your travels in the southwest, so many wonderful things to see and do. We found the Yuma area has pretty decent prices on veggies etc...

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    1. I guess we will find out about the prices on the veggies when we get there but I beat they aren't anywhere close to what we have paid in Mexico!

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  11. my friend, Gerry, says you must visit Sedona!

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    1. We were in Sedona back in 2006. The area is really pretty for hiking but we didn't think the town/city was our kind of place. We would definitely like to go back and do some more hiking in the area though.

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  12. I agree that the Titan Missile Museum and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum are the Tucson area's best attractions. If you have to skip them to get to Quartzsite by tomorrow, they are worth returning for.

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    1. Thanks Dugg, looks like we will have do some back tracking then! :-)

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  13. Not sure if you'll be in the Yuma area, but if you are let us know. We'd love to meet you guys.

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    1. We will probably be in the area after we leave Quartzite as we need to cross the border so that I can get my crown done that we didn't have time to get done when we were in Mazatlan. So let us know if you are still in the area. We don't have a phone so email is the best way to contact us. karead7@gmail.com

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  14. so glad you are here in the US for a bit! we are heading out about mid march and might run into you somewhere!

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    1. Thanks Karen and Steve, it would be nice if our paths could cross.

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  15. Have fun exploring. Looks to sterile for me! hahaha

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    1. Thanks Chris, we will! And, yes we both said how we thought things looked a little too manicured for our liking.

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  16. Welcome to America! Well you can drink and drive a lot(not at the same time!!!) But not eat much for the next little while....
    Maybe we'll run across each other.
    Your first paragraph...that's how we feel about Mexico, lol! Next year.....;-)

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    1. No worries, there will be no drinking and driving but there will be drinking and there will be driving :-)

      I sure hope that we can get together. Let us know what your plans are over the next month or so and them maybe we can work out a plan.

      You won't be sorry about visiting Mexico, it is such a gorgeous country and so much variety that you will never be bored.

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  17. I don't know if they have Frys Electronics in Tucson but they have good deals also...might find a lap top there

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    1. Thanks for the tip Rita but Kevin picked up a pretty good deal today, more about that in the blog tomorrow.

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  18. I've been looking for an Acer netbook with Win. 7 to keep as a spare. I really like it's sz.....lightweight. (2 gb. 64bit) I know 7 won't be around much longer...mine was from Walmrt. 2 years ago.

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    1. There is/was a small Acer netbook at Target that was about 11" and was only $199 but every Target store we were in, in the last couple of days was sold out of it. Not sure if it has Windows 7 or 8. It was lightweight as well, around 3lb. We'll keep looking though because my Acer is getting old, 5 1/2 years now, it still has XP!

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