Escaping the Cold

Yes, it gets cold in Arizona, especially in Prescott.  We’ve fled just before the first cool spell of the season and we don’t plan to return until it’s warm again.  After being home for about six weeks, we’re back on the road and are heading south…eventually. 

You can do a lot in six weeks! The previous blog post highlights a few of our Arizona and Mexico adventures. I also mentioned that another foot surgery was in the works. As soon as we came off the road in September we paid another visit to Dr. McAlister at the Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute. I’ve been hobbling around ever since my lapiplasty surgery in May.  It became apparent that the pain in the ball of my foot was not going away and the surgery had not relieved the pain. 

Dr. McAlister confirmed what I already knew: another surgery was in my future. After an MRI, ultrasound, and several x-rays it still wasn’t clear what was causing the pain but I’m still blaming high-heeled shoes. After an in-and-out procedure, I had a torn ligament repaired, two neuromas removed, and two osteotomies (basically straightening of my toes with pins). I’ll be in a surgical shoe until Thanksgiving and hopefully back on the bike by Christmas. Fingers crossed!

Now back on the road, our first stop was McDowell Mountain Regional Park, north of Fountain Hills, AZ to escape a cold front. We were lucky to have Russ and Shelley visit and bring us dinner one evening.

Steve also got in some mountain bike riding with some buddies from Mesa Public Schools. Thanks to Steve Hogen and Shawn Lynch for coming out to see us!

Once the weather cleared a bit we headed towards the midwest to visit family in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. After a quick overnight stay in Albuquerque we spent the night with Sam in Denver and got in a good Mexican dinner with Sam’s brother and sister-in-law, Lorenzo and Janice. It was fun to catch up!

Across Nebraska we drove with the goal of making it to Elkhorn and Steve’s brother’s house by Halloween. We made it just in time and had a fun few days moochdocking in the Green’s driveway. We saw all five of the Green kids, saw Nathan play a few games, and enjoyed the time together. 

While in Elkhorn Bob started feeling super lethargic, threw up and then the next day had a seizure. We rushed him to the vet and after two days of tests he was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease. He’s doing great now with the help of a daily dose of prednisone. It was a little scary for a bit but thankfully the awesome Dr. Opdahl at The Pet Clinic in Omaha got Bobby all fixed up. We were all very relieved and he’s doing so much better.

We couldn’t come to the midwest and not make a visit to the see the family in Iowa. We spent one night parked outside Sandy and Jerry’s house in Corning, Iowa, and it was just enough time to have a party in the garage with all the cousins. We ate BBQ, made s’mores, and toasted to Grandma Green. Though it was a short visit it was wonderful to see everyone!

Heading south we next stopped for visit with the Kansas City Greens. Gary, Kristy, Hudson, and Brynn welcomed us with great food, a little Cornhusker football, some shopping, and lots of love to the puppies.  We’ve decided that Mia has lost her sight so she is getting extra attention these days too.

We’ve had great weather the entire time we’ve been in the midwest but it’s supposed to get cold this week. So, it’s time to head eastward and southward with planned stops in Branson, Memphis, Nashville, Montgomery, and the Gulf Coast. Eventually we’ll end up about 90 miles north of Cuba. Even with the COVID pandemic we are staying as safe as possible and feeling great. So stay tuned for more updates and highlights.

Dry Camping, Mexico, and Another Surgery

We’ve been home for about a month and are already longing to be back out on the road. The freedom we feel traveling is like nothing else, and we’ll be back on the road soon (with new blog posts, of course). In the meantime we have been busy and thought we’d share a few updates.

Once we arrived home to Prescott after 81 days on the road we set out to clean and fix up the trailer. We washed, we polished, and we added a few decorations. Thanks to my dear friend, Dr. Michelle May, for hand-painting two pictures inspired by our photos of North Cascades National Park. They are now framed and proudly hang over our bed in the rig.

We also did a dry camping experiment. In our almost three months on the road this summer we never went more than a day or two without electric, water, and/or sewer hookups. We wanted to see how we’d fare without utilities, so we headed to a dispersed camping area south of Flagstaff and survived four days without the luxuries! It was a beautiful spot, nice weather, and a good place to just hang out. We probably could have gone another day or so, but we figured four days was good enough!

We also made a trip down to our condo in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. With our dear friends Sam, Nancy, Tom, Rick, and Mary, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner out at our favorite restaurant, Regina’s. After being closed for six months for the pandemic, the restaurant was as warm and welcoming as ever.

We also enjoyed a nice dinner on the patio of Pane y Vino with sweeping views of the Sea of Cortez.

It was great to catch up with friends while taking care of some business for our rental. Beach time and sunset happy hours on the patio were also on the agenda, as usual.

On the way home we ran into a protest being conducted about 1/8th of a mile north of the Mexican border. A group aligned with the local tribe has been protesting the construction of the border wall and its encroachment on sacred lands and water sources. Luckily it was only a short delay and we were on our way.

Next up is another surgery on my left foot. Tomorrow I’ll go in for another procedure to hopefully alleviate the still nagging pain in the ball of my foot. My previous Lapiplasty surgery didn’t seem to do the trick. This time the doctor will be focusing on the nerves between my third and fourth toes, which are separating after numerous, ineffective coritisone shots.

They say this surgery will be easier than the last one. After four+ years of dealing with pain I’m hoping this is the end of this journey. I’ll post an update as soon as possible.

Six Weeks Already?

Tomorrow I’ll visit my doctor for my 6-week check up and hopefully be cleared to begin transitioning out of the boot. I can’t believe it’s already been six weeks since my lapiplasty surgery!

So how’s it been going? I think the best way to describe it is…slow. While the six weeks have seemed to fly by, the days have sometimes been long and difficult. Little by little, however, my incision has turned into a pretty good looking scar and the bruising on my toes has faded. All good signs, right?

In the past few weeks I’ve focused on going to physical therapy twice a week and doing my exercises faithfully. We’ve been working on range of motion and strengthening of my foot while being careful not to interfere with the healing process. Some days I have quite a bit of pain on the top of my foot near the incision, but hopefully that’s normal nerve pain that will eventually disappear. There’s still some numbness here and there but it seems to be lessening with time. All of these sensations and daily variations have been fascinating and encourage me to follow the doctor’s orders to remain non-weight bearing and focus on PT, elevation, and ice. And, I’m trying to pace myself and not run around too much, which is a real challenge! Oh, and I got a pedicure (which makes everything better 🙂 )

We also took in a new family member during this “down time.” My sister Mickie had been keeping my father’s two dogs since Dad passed away last year. Sadly, last month she had to put down Bebe which left her with Bobby. We had lost our Nica last year and were looking to add to our little family. Gratefully Mickie allowed us to take Bobby into our home. We are happy to once again be a family of four. Bobby seems to be settling in and is a real hit around our dog-centric neighborhood. Even Mia is getting used to him!

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We also celebrated my birthday with a family dinner. Having Mickie and Jay over was a real treat and the red velvet cake, decorated lovingly by my sister, was a nice touch.

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With lots of time on the couch while healing we’ve had time to dream about our next adventures. And, if you know us, you know we don’t dream too much without action. During this time of isolation and recuperation we began to assess our needs for a bigger RV for our future explorations. After a number of stops to “just look” at our local RV dealer we’ve settled on a new home on wheels! Here’s a sneak peak.

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If the doctor approves my transition out of the boot and the stars align with the delivery of the new unit, we should be back on the road by next week. We are searching for remote areas, which will allow us to enjoy the great outdoors while social distancing. Our larger rig will also allow us to be even more fully self-contained, meaning we won’t need to use public restrooms or restaurants along the way.  Stay tuned for the big reveal and a complete look at the new RV in the coming days!