Seasons Greetings from Catalina State Park

Christmas Eve, Catalina State Park, Arizona

Christmas Eve, Catalina State Park, Arizona

If you haven’t heard, we are back living in SD and loving it!  Amelia is teaching kindergarten at her old school.  Sara spends her days basking in the sunshine.  And I’m mountain biking year round.  For the time being, our Airstream travels will be limited to Amelia’s vacation days, which is a big chunk of time compared to other professions.

How many different places have you spent Christmas the last few decades?  Unless my memory fails me, I’ve spent the last 40 in either San Diego or Mammoth Lakes. Once upon a time, before I was on the scene, Amelia went on a cruise for Christmas and to Ft. Lauderdale, but other than that it’s been San Diego or Mammoth Lakes for her also.  This year we went mountain biking outside of Tucson with friends.  It’s never too late to get out of the box you’ve built for yourself.

Another Airstream adventure, a whole new set of lessons learned.  Everyone has heard me rave about our solar panel, well let me tell you it is a completely different story in the dead of winter when the sun never gets high in the sky and is not out for long.  During the summer, by 10am we were always 100% charged.  This trip it never happened.  Of course, I’m sure it didn’t help that the morning lows were in the teens and the highs in the low 50’s.  Quite a bit colder than we were expecting. One morning it was 36 degrees in the Airstream.  It was so cold that when Amelia’s cousin, Forest, arrived we told him to not even think about pitching his tent. Instead he became our second guest ever, R being the first.

This might be hard to believe, but I was driving everyone crazy, especially Amelia, by giving a constant status check update.  Inside temp, outside temp, and battery percentile.  I was stressing over the battery and worried about pipes busting.  It is kind of hard to crank the furnace when the battery is on the verge of dying.  One evening we plugged the Airstream into the truck, and ran the truck for 5 hours, just to get the battery back up to 70%.  I was surprised at how little gas we used and happy it was only $1.99 gallon! The next day we did it again for 4 hours. Basically we were fighting a losing battle.

The good news is the biking was super fun, the beers were cold, and all the home cooked food was excellent.  We spent multiple days riding the 50-year trail, which was right at our campsite. We also drove to Fantasy Island and Tortolita Preserve.  It’s always great to get together with friends!

Ok, this is random, but my group of friends have always had a go to nick name that we call each other and others. Bill has endured for decades, but before Bill, everyone was Ed. And way before Ed, everyone was Andy Gump (this predates Forest Gump).  But the problem is I can't remember if Andy Gump was a real guy?

Ok, this is random. This pic is from our first pit stop in Imperial Valley.  My group of friends have always had a go to nick name that we call each other and others. Bill has endured for decades, but before Bill, everyone was Ed. And way before Ed, everyone was Andy Gump (this predates Forest Gump). I think Andy Gump might’ve actually been a real guy, but I can’t remember?

Our campsite, you can't tell from the photo but it was cold.

Our campsite, you can’t tell from the photo but it was cold.

Amelia cruising the 50-year trail.

Amelia cruising the 50-year trail.

Barrel cactus bearing fruit.

Barrel cactus bearing fruit.

Matt, Timoni, and Amelia. Timoni is with child!

Matt, Timoni, and Amelia. Timoni is with child!

50-year trail is awesome! And yes, not only was it cold but it rained on Christmas night. At least it held off until we got off the trail.

50-year trail is awesome! And yes, not only was it cold but it rained on Christmas night. At least it held off until we got off the trail.

Late afternoon sun on the Catalina Mountains.

Late afternoon sun on the Catalina Mountains.

Christmas party!  We had 8 people cramed into the Airstream. From L to R, Tim, Matt, Timoni, the blogger, Chris, Mike, and Lisa.

Christmas party! We had 8 people crammed into the Airstream. From L to R, Tim, Matt, Timoni, the blogger, Chris, Mike, and Lisa.

Crested Saguaro. This are relatively rare.

Crested Saguaro. This is relatively rare.

Forest, Amelia, and Chris on Fantasy Island

Forest, Amelia, and Chris on Fantasy Island

Mike reliving his youth.

Mike reliving his youth.

I really dig the Saguaro cacti, not a big fan of the Cholla.

I really dig the Saguaro cacti, not a big fan of the Cholla.

Ouch!  Damn Cholla. Chris was a trouper, she didn't drop one F bomb. Now if it would've been me…

Ouch! Damn Cholla. Chris was a trooper, she didn’t drop one F bomb. Now if it would’ve been me…

Sara and her Uncle Forest

Sara and her Uncle Forest

Life is good.

Life is good.

On our final evening Mother Nature treated us to an awesome sunset.

On our final evening Mother Nature treated us to an awesome sunset.

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Seasons Greetings from Catalina State Park

  1. At a time when the rest of the country was out spending an arm and a leg on gifts and frantically getting everything ready for gatherings the two of you were truly living the meaning of Christmas by enjoying and focusing on the wonders that God created. We get too carried away with the materialistic aspect of Christmas and we let the real meaning of Christmas slip by. Thank you for keeping me grounded with your blog because it constantly reminds me of what is important in life.
    Hope you have an absolutely amazing New Year!

  2. This is how to spend the holidays. Being outside the box is the “way”. It is good to see you living the good life. Hopefully We will accompany you one day. Until then I Iove living vicariously through the blog. Pedal onward.

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