Exploring an Olive Grove
We are down to our last week in Mesa and our workamping positions at Val Vista Villages. Working at the grill is really heating up. Literally!!! This week they are forecasting upper 90’s. The bar and dining area are all outside and most in full sun with some table umbrellas, but when you are running around, delivering food and drinks, it really is hot! Even if it is a dry heat. Rick has some reprieve in the kitchen with an AC, but on hot days and the fryers going, it only helps a bit. Even after all that whining, we really do like working here and have had a good time with co-workers. We are ready however, to get the wheels rolling and head to more scenic, cooler locations, especially if they include a campfire!
Since we knew we would be here in late spring and would be tempting fate with the hot temperatures and no shade at our site, we decided to put up some Reflectix in the windows on the driver side of the RV were the afternoon sun beats on it. The window over the oven and the two side bed windows do not have the tinting like the rest, so we wanted to be sure those were included. We also like a nice dark bedroom to sleep in, so for those windows we used some Velcro strips in beige that blend in with the wall. This way we can take the Reflectix off when we don't need it and easily put it back up when we do. The Reflectix is very easy to cut to size and we also labeled it to know what window it goes on so the velcro lines up. That, coupled with the dual pane windows, has been fantastic and as I write this, it is 97 degrees and the AC is not running all the time and still keeping the RV a lovely 72 degrees. Well worth the investment all around!
With having been stationary for a bit, we are getting things ready to roll on down the road. This week we cleaned out the outside storage bays and mopped them all. Our front bay had a latch that wasn’t contacting correctly and Rick fixed that with a bit of composite shims to tighten that up. He also gave the RV a bath with the Aero Cosmetics waterless system and the truck got a bath last week; however, we are full of pollen again. Oh well tis the pollen season, even here in sun valley!
We also finally took the cracked plastic covers off the recliner foot rests. We wanted to protect them as long as possible. Rick watched a video from the manufacturer that walked you through the process. It was a lot easier than others made it sound on social media. I then gave the furniture a good cleaning with some cleaner/conditioner to keep them looking good. I am hoping that with the conditioning they will not tear or peel like others have experienced. Fingers crossed!
This coming week has a lot more “To Do’s”, a good spring cleaning, just like our old house but on a smaller scale! I love when cleaning the bathroom takes less than 20 minutes!
We took a day to be tourists and drove to Queen Creek to tour the Queen Creek Olive Mill. They have over 700 olive trees, with 16 different varieties and they sort of resemble a willow tree with breezy type branches and leaves. The trees are just starting to bloom with little white flowers everywhere. Interesting fact, if 4% of the tiny blossoms become olives, it is a big crop. Wow!!!
We then took a tour of the processing room and watched a quick video of the olive oil making process. The guide was really informative and answered all our questions. All of the olive oil they make is extra virgin olive oil. We had taste tests and learned how EVOO differs from other olive oils and how most of us are used to tasting rancid olive oil! My tip to all, always buy EVOO and the darker the bottle the better as light promotes oxidation which greatly diminishes the freshness. Plus EVOO has alot of healthy qualities such as decreasing LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. Good stuff!
The mill also had all of their oils available to sample and buy as well as balsamics and other seasonings in the gift shop. Another plus to this location is the wonderful café, where they use their oils in addition to the citrus and garden vegetables, they grow. We split a yummy kalamata prosciutto pizza with balsamic drizzle and a fresh caprese sandwich. If ever in the area, this place is really neat to explore!
We also got more hiking in on a day where it was forecasted to only be in the high 70’s. Even with that, the bright sun really warmed things up fast! This trail was in Usery Mountain Regional Park, one the wonderful Maricopa County Parks. This park encompasses over 3,600 acres, has a 75 site campground, numerous picnic areas, a premier outdoor archery range and lots of great hiking trails. We hiked Blevins Trail, another easy 3.1 mile trail that took us past Usery Mountain and the Cat Peaks. We are feeling confident now and might try a more difficult trail next, just as long as there is no scaling and descending steep cliffs. That is where I get in trouble!!!
Once we leave Mesa, we will head north of the city to another Maricopa County Park, Cave Creek. We are looking forward to dark skies and campfires!!!
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