At least it's back to the grind for one of us. Mandy started her temporary contract position for the VA Medical Center in Prescott, Arizona. During her working days, Loki and Rob will be adventuring in and around the town. On weekends, we'll all be exploring various parts of Arizona. Remember that we have to leave Prescott National Forest lands to satisfy the stay limits within the national forest. Since the adventures will be on a bit smaller scale, it probably makes sense to condense a week into each post here, rather than a day per post. Hopefully that's okay with you all. These posts have fallen quite far behind real time, so this will help to catch you guys back up to present day. Or at least a bit closer.
Day one of work for Mandy, and we already have a pretty well-established morning routine. We get up, take showers, eat breakfast, make the bed and raise it to the ceiling, feed Loki, take him for a walk, then drive Mandy to work. We drove through the security gate which was a little awkward because she didn't have an ID, we didn't have a parking permit, we have a pet which isn't allowed, and so on. We were allowed through, but we decided right then that in the future, we'd just park outside the gate and she could walk in. Mandy put on her brave face and set off to work. Loki and I left to run some errands. We got groceries, opened up a mailbox so we could receive mail and packages. Real exciting stuff. Eventually, we returned to our campsite and set out to hike to Goldwater Lake, which is about 3.5 miles away from the campground. Somewhere around the halfway mark, Loki started dragging behind, so I took it as a sign to turn back so I could avoid having to carry his 85lbs all the way back. Because that was just not going to happen. Back at camp, we relaxed in the sun for a while until it was time to pick up Mandy. Back at camp, we decided to grill a BBQ chicken pizza over our campfire. The gluten-free dough, which was all we could find at the grocery store, was a little difficult to work with, but the pizza came out awesome anyways. We devoured it, and spent the rest of the night cleaning up and relaxing by the dying fire before heading to bed.
Wednesday Loki and I went to Phoenix to meet a dog-sitter from Rover. So, we spent most of the day driving there and back again. We were going to try to do a hike before picking up Mandy, but the diesel pump was moving so slowly that we ran out of time to do the whole thing. Filling up the tank took over a half hour. It was incredibly, even impressively slow. I'd never encountered that before, so it was really strange. After we picked up Mandy we did a different hike, but still one we'd never tried. My back was hurting from all the driving by the time we got home to make dinner, I just had to lay down. I'd planned to make dinner but Mandy wouldn't allow it, and she handled it all herself.
Thursday was pretty much all errands. Loki and I mailed some post cards. We wrote to you guys here. I worked on some weekend plans, trying to figure out where we might go. We went back to work to deliver Mandy's wallet which she'd forgotten and needed to get a work ID. I called the van insurance company to discuss getting a rock chip repaired in our windshield. I reached out to some local companies to install window tint. I edited some video for our YouTube channel. Oh, you didn't know we have one? We post videos every week here. Check it out if you want. I found a laundromat in town we could go to after we picked up Mandy. So we picked her up, and went to Iron Springs Laundry to do a load of laundry. Mandy ran the laundry and I made chicken pesto pasta for us for dinner. A little bit of bacon is key to kick it up just a little bit. It came out wicked good. We ate, washed all the dishes, finished up the laundry and stored it, then returned to the campground to sleep.
Friday we woke up early. Enough time for a little sunrise hike. It's super chilly when we start out, but by the time we get back, about a half hour later, we're warmed up and comfortable from the effort. Plus the sun starts warming things as soon as it shines on them out here. There's no moisture in the air, so there's almost zero lag. But as soon as you're in the shade, it's cold again. It's a strange effect. Loki and I got groceries after we dropped off Mandy. Then I set to work installing a cell phone signal booster. We haven't needed one before now, but cell signal is so wildly variable in Arizona because of the landscape, we've been a little frustrated by it. If you're on the wrong side of a particular hill, you might just be completely out of luck if you need to make a call, send a text, look up something online, write a blog post, etc. Our hope is the signal booster will help alleviate that. Loki and I walked around a park a couple times to get his energy out and ensure he'd be nice and mellow the rest of the day. We drove across town to Affinity RV dealer and dumped our grey water and topped off our freshwater tanks. It's free there!
We circled back to work a bit early, so we prepped the navigation in the van, and waited patiently for Mandy to come out. We'll give you the weekend in the next post, as it's more interesting than a work week, I think.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.