Sunday morning, October 27th, we headed for Apache Junction, Arizona, and arrived at Meridian Park about noon. We had called just a few days before to ask if they had any openings. The manager gave us a site, and some information about the area. We were very pleased with the site we were given, and happy to see that the mobile home park is clean, well maintained, and that the rules are enforced; it is a very nice looking park with great views of the nearby Superstition Mountains. We stopped in to check out the rec hall and laundry, and were given a key to a box in the mail room-we can receive our mail here-and found the dumpsters/recycle bins. The manager and her husband have made us feel very welcome, and we are anticipating an enjoyable stay. We do have to leave early in January, because someone has reserved our site for then. So we will be checking out places to stay in Tucson and possibly also in Yuma for the rest of the winter.
Although we have enjoyed traveling, and have been to many beautiful places and enjoyed exploring several states so far; both of us are ready to stay somewhere for a while and just enjoy being retired. So far, it appears that we have made an excellent choice in picking this particular park in which to spend a couple of months. There is much to see, and to do, in this area of Arizona. We have been here for almost a week now and have enjoyed several scenic byways to the east and south; we have taken our Jeep on a dirt road that goes through the mountains nearby. Route 88 starts out east of Apache Junction as a paved hiway, but once you reach Tortilla Flats-an old stagecoach stop-the road turns to gravel and dirt and is very narrow in places. Not only do you encounter steep grades, hairpin turns and one lane bridges; the road is washboard rough. As you go from one mountaintop to another, you enjoy great scenery and views of valleys and lakes. It ends at Roosevelt Dam, and then you gratefully (after all the bouncing and the rough ride) get back on paved roads again.
During this past week, we have found our way around Apache Junction, parts of Mesa, and the countryside east of here. We went to a swap meet, checked out a couple of Goodwill stores and a St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop, bought produce at country market stores, tried out 3 different grocery stores, and ate out at a home style cafe. We went to coffee and donuts at the rec center on Wednesday, meeting quite a few of our neighbors. The couple right across the street from us have taken us under their wings and have introduced us to many other couples who are here from Iowa; either relocating here or come back each winter. During walks around the park, we have met more residents, and are gradually getting to know more people. The managers do their best to keep everyone entertained with frequent activities and potlucks at the rec center. There is a welcome back party tonight with a dinner provided by the park owners. Some of the residents are very social and attend most activities or events. Others keep to themselves for the most part, and we have noticed that there is no pressure on those who choose not to attend the activities. So it is a matter of choice for those who live here, as to how much you socialize with other people. And although there are groups with people of similar interests or backgrounds; as far as we can tell, they are open to newcomers and accepting of them.