Rest Stops Closed in Arizona

Yesterday, we left New Mexico and arrived in Arizona.  We went through Deming, New Mexico on our way and saw this art work on the entrance to the interstate.

Deming, New Mexico

The first thing we noticed in Arizona is that the beautiful rest stop was closed.  And, 79 miles later, so was the second one.  This was the longest trip we did without a stop since we started traveling last summer.  We looked it up on the internet and apparently Arizona has had budget issues and closed most of their rest stops in 2010.  We have not seen this in any other state.  We are based in Florida and they seem to have a rest stop every 3 miles and they are all in working order.  The second thing we noticed in Arizona is all the state troopers.  We saw lots of state troopers either having pulled a car aside, in the process of pulling a car aside, or sitting in the median strip waiting to pull a car aside.  Is this how Arizona is trying to close their budget gap?  Anyway, I don’t feel particularly welcome in this state.

We managed to make it as far as Tucson without getting pulled over for breaking some kind of rule.  We visited the Saguaro National Park.  We went reasonably early this morning and saw a lot of bird activity.  We saw a couple lizards and a small ground squirrel.  We don’t know what it is, but it isn’t much bigger than a chipmunk but looks like a squirrel.  I haven’t see Saguaro cacti before, so I was thrilled to see lots of them in the park.  Of course, they are all over the place around here.

Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park

I love the Saguaro Cacti.  They are in lots of different shapes and make me think of some kind of critter with a long body, a crew cut, and pom poms in it’s hands.  They remind me of the Candlestick in the stage version of Beauty and the Beast.

Saguaro National Park
Saguaro cactus in bloom
We think this might be a Cactus Wren on a Saguaro Cactus
Gila Woodpecker feeding its young in a Saguaro Cactus.

When we were camping at City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico, we found out our heater didn’t work.  We didn’t have a need for it until then.  It got very chilly at night!  Regis has been working on trying to fix it and thinks it might be a problem with a sensor.  We were unable to set up a service appointment in Tucson without impacting our trip schedule.  We have some reservations in Utah that are the most important to us.  We have no problem with changing any other plans.  Regis tried to get the part in Tucson and nobody has it. Ms. Maggie at the parts counter at LaMesa RV was very helpful and called several other dealers looking for the part, no dice!  It’s not encouraging to here from ALL the  parts people “that’s an unusual part number.” Even if we got a service appointment today, because of the unusual part we probably couldn’t have gotten it fixed quickly.  We will forge ahead and try to get it fixed later.  Last year, we had an electric  fireplace to help when our heater didn’t work.  This time, Regis has some other solutions up his sleeve.  We’ll see if we need them.

One Comment on “Rest Stops Closed in Arizona

  1. I didn’t know that about Arizona and its budget issues. Too bad the rest stops are closed!! Tourist season is coming up soon, they better do something quick. I’d love to see saguaro in person, that’s got to be an amazing sight. Hope you can get that heater situation solved soon.


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