Monday, December 20: Sadly, we didn’t get to witness the anticipated star-filled sky last night and early this morning. Last night’s full moon brightened the sky too much to see many stars. It would have been a stunning setting for star gazing amongst the boulders, but it wasn’t meant to be. After Sadie and I finished a final morning walk among the boulders, we broke camp and set out for our next destination, about a 3-4 hour drive west on I-10, leaving New Mexico driving into Arizona!

We’ve set a few milestones today: 7+ weeks/54 nights on the road; 3,110 miles; 3 time zones (Easter, Central & Mountain); 7 states (Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico & Arizona); and 16 RV Parks/State Parks/Campgrounds. We will be in Arizona for the remainder of December and most of January.

We arrived at Roper State Park in Safford, AZ, around 3pm and could already feel the warmer temperatures. We’re on a paved site, which is nice after our last sand/gravel site (a lot less dust). We’re right across from Roper Lake and a mountain view. There are ruddy ducks and grebes along the lake’s shores. Behind us, we have a stunning view of Mount Graham (elevation 10,724 feet). After setting up our site, we took Sadie for a walk around the campground, taking the Mariah Mesa Trail around the park. We were interested in an area across the lake that looked like a great place of Sadie to run off leash (trust me, she needed to get her “ya-ya’s” out). During the walk, we startled a covey of Gambel’s quail, which quickly scattered for the brush, but not before Sadie made a play at them.

After our walk and a quick dinner, we took a drive into the town of Safford to check out the lay of the land. It was nice to see homes decorated for Christmas and the town square and City Hall were beautifully decorated. It reminded me that we won’t be home for Christmas.

We had hoped to see a sky full of stars tonight since this campground is fairly dark. Instead, we got to enjoy a full, orange/yellow moon, rising over the lake. A peaceful way to end the evening.