December 31, 2010. Usery Mountain Regional Park
|House Finches on Saguaro Cactus|
On this New Year’s Eve, we hope everyone has a Happy and Prosperous New year!
The last few days have been spent with my Father and Karen mixed with hanging out in the park with the dogs. A few nights ago we shared a nice campfire at our campsite. It was a cool evening with no wind which made it perfect for the fire.
|Desert sunset from our campsite.|
On Wednesday we drove to the local Verizon Store to update our phones. Our phones were two years old and showing their age. At one point, we had discussed getting a “smart phone” for Joyce to have internet on the road and because she’s always checking her Face Book account. However, we had decided against it due to the anticipated additional monthly costs.
At the Verizon Store we were helped by a very good saleswoman, Lesli who really knew their products and phone plans. Lesli showed us how we were overpaying on our current plans. The plan for our 5 gigs of broadband data on the MiFi had decreased by $10 a month. She said it looked like we were using only 2 gigs a month and they have a 3 gig plan that would save us another $15 a month, but we decided to keep our 5 gigs and just take the $10 savings. Lesli checked our phone records to determine that we averaged less than 200 minutes a month well below our 1400 minute plan. So, she reduced us to a 700 minute plan saving an additional $20. With the savings, we again began considering a “smart phone” for Joyce. After checking out the Droid phones, Joyce settled on a Droid X. Her phone is like a mini IPad that makes phone calls!
|Droid X and Casio Ravine|
I picked up a rugged phone (with no broadband service) called the Casio Ravine. So with the monthly service savings, the cost of unlimited internet on Joyce’s Droid was a wash making our monthly phone bill the same. So aside from having to pay the upfront cost of both phones we made out pretty good. After rebates, my phone will be free and Joyce’s will be $199.
After getting our phones we set off in the rain to a theater to watch the newly released movie, True Grit. We missed the 1:30 showing and walked around the shopping plaza as Joyce played with her new phone till the 3:00 show. The movie itself was very good and worth watching if you like “westerns”.
Lately, it seems we’ve done a lot of driving and shopping. Yesterday we visited both Sam’s Club and Costco just because, we like to look around and we were killing time staying inside from the miserable cold outside. I don’t mind the cold as long as the sun comes out. However, it’s been cloudy and cold. In fact yesterday we saw snowflakes here in Mesa and the local news captured pictures of a light dusting of snow that stuck for a few hours in the local area.
The low last night was below freezing. I disconnected the rig’s water hose last night and let the campsite spicket drip. We used the rig’s water tank and pump for water till late this morning. I turned on a 60 watt drop light in the basement next to the water tank and pump to help keep the basement warm. Our basement and tanks are heated but only if I run the furnace. We had two ceramic heaters running all night but we were still cold. When we woke this morning it was 60 degrees inside and 48 in the basement. I turned on the furnace this morning to chase away the chill. Outside the water in the dog’s water bowl froze solid! It’s suppose to be colder tonight with temperatures dipping into the 20’s! We don’t have any plans for “ringing in the New Year” so we will see what happens.
As some readers have suggested, we can in fact stay here at Usery Mountain Regional Park beyond the 14 day limit. It just requires that we move out of our current site and into another available site. We are undecided on whether or not we will move to another site and stay longer or just press on towards Tucson on Monday.
Happy New Year!