Day 17 & 18: 01/12 & 01/13/2016 – Oro Valley, AZ

Destination: Oro Valley, AZ Day17Route

Route: US-60W, NM-12E, US-180E, AZ-78W, US-191S, I-10W

Mileage: 390 miles

New state: Arizona

We have a schedule to keep, and Guy and Sharon have commitments. We had a wonderful visit and hit the road around 9 am. Guy gave us some excellent advice on a scenic route to Oro Valley. Since we can’t achieve 65 mph anyway on the highway anyway, the scenic route fits right into our agenda.

Cell phone photo of the VLA.

The drive does not disappoint. We drive by the NRAO Very Large Array (VLA – think the movie ‘Contact’) and are surprised that it is so compact. We cross railroad tracks and discover, with a bit of research, that the tracks are for moving the arrays around the valley. There are beautiful high mountain meadows along the drive.


We see snow again the Gila National Forest, and, alas for Penny, do not stop. It should be noted that this part of the trip is pretty desolate and there are not many opportunities for gas and even fewer for diesel. We are glad for the topped of tank before leaving Socorro and stop in Safford, AZ to fill up and purchase Powerball tickets (did not win).

On I-10, it is very strange to see so much traffic after the isolation in West Texas and New Mexico. We arrive at our friends Nils and Felicia’s house around 7 to a delicious dinner. The dogs are thrilled to be allowed into the house; all our previous stops they stayed in the RV overnight. Alex is put to bed and laundry is done while catching up.

Dave hard at work at RestoCycle

The next day, Nils takes Dave to visit his business, RestoCycle, which does  vapor blasting and restores Japanese motorcycles. Jess, sensing that this trip could take awhile, opts to relax at the house with Alex and Felicia. This is a wise call because Dave is shanghaied into motorcycle repair. Although, one could argue, he seems awful happy about it. Another fantastic dinner and off for to sleep on a real mattress one last time before our final week in the RV. It was a great rejuvenation stop with Nils and Felicia.

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