After a great visit with family and friends over the holidays we returned to Dallas to get our rig out of storage and prepare for more adventure.  When we left Dallas for the holidays we left gray days with temperatures in the teens and twenties.  When we returned it was was more of the same as we hit our record low of 14 degrees.  Yikes...we never expected such temperatures in Texas. Everybody was cold and rigs were freezing-up all over the campground. So run we did.  That's one reason why we live on wheels!
      It didn't take a "brain surgeon" to figure out that we needed to head south and head south fast.  So we made a 10 hour "bee-line" to Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, New Mexico.  Columbus is 2 miles from Mexico and rewarded us with sun and 65 degree temperatures.  Ahhh...what a delight!
     Columbus has nothing to offer except a unique state park and close proximity to the Pink Store in Palomas, Mexico.  The Pink Store is full of Mexican bric-a-brac, aka junk.  Also, it has a decent restaurant with continuous entertainment and free margaritas.  So off we went for lunch and drink. Since I can't drink in the afternoon, 2 margaritas at lunch took its toll.  Upon our arrival back at the campground around 2:30 I needed a nap.  The next thing I knew it was 6:30 and a slight case of "Pancho Villa's Revenge" had set-in.  Sort of a crappy ending to a weird day.
The Pink Store
The Pink Store
     Pancho Villa State Park is located on the site of a former military base.  One night in 1916 Pancho Villa and his troops snuck around the military base and attacked the town of Columbus.  When things finally sorted out 15 US civilians had been killed, 7 US soldiers had been killed and 90 Mexican troops had been killed.  As a result of the attack General Pershing and his army advanced approximately 500 miles into Mexico on a fruitless pursuit of Pancho Villa.  In the chase, the first armored vehicles and the first airplanes were used in warfare.  Hence the start of the Air Force.
A replica of our country's 1st armored vehicle.
       There is strong disagreement of the reason for the attack as well as whether Pancho Villa was actually present.  3 reasons for the attack are most prominent: 1) a local store-keeper screwed Pancho Villa in an arms deal; 2) the US government induced Pancho Villa to attack Columbus to give the US an excuse to invade Mexico; and 3) Germany pressured Mexico to attack the US in oder to distract the US from entering WWI.  Sounds like the plot of a good conspiracy novel.  The weirdest thing is that New Mexico now has a state park which honors a person who, today, would be classified as a "terrorist."

Coronado National Forest near Portal, Arizona
     Next, on the advice of Gaila Mallery, we headed toward Arizona to the Rusty's RV Park located on the eastern side of Chiricahua National Monument near Coronado National Forest.  What a beautiful location in a lush, desert mountain setting.  Every spring the area is swarming with millions of migrating birds.  We took a long drive on a dirt road into a valley tucked behind the mountains. Along the way road signs warned us that drug cartels frequented the area and shootings had occurred!!!  We ended up finding a unique B&B in the middle of this isolated area.  We stopped and chatted with Jackie, the owner, who invited us sit on her front porch for a spell.  We stayed for a long time chatting about the hundreds of birds in her yard, about area information and about life in the middle of nowhere.  She was a unique and funny person with a big ol' dog to sort out the riff-raff.
Nancy inspects our river crossing on the
road in Coronado National Forest.

Coronado National Forest
Winn Falls.
Coronado National Forest.
     Then it was on to Quartzsite, Arizona for 17 days of free desert camping with several friends.  157 rigs made an appearance and we formed our own little wagon circle of 5 rigs.  As usual Kathy Scranton was our trip leader so our stay was jam packed with activities.  We had campfires, happy hours, group dinners both at camp and in restaurants, donut runs, hikes, bike trips, a jeep trip to the Desert Bar, as well as, activities with the other attendees at the annual gathering of the "Boomer" component of the Escapees RV Club.  We had a blast!  When we finally departed "Boomerville" we had 13% of our fresh water left, our black water tank was 95% full, and only 3% of our propane was left. It looks like somewhere between 17 and 19 days is our "boondocking" maximum.
The Desert Bar is located 7 miles down a jeep road
near Parker Arizona.
     Our only problem with Quartzsite this year was that the temperatures rarely got out of the 50's so we had a chilly time.  However, upon departure the temperature blasted into the mid-70's and was predicted to remain there or higher for the next 2 weeks.  So YAY!

Sunsets in Quartzsite.



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