Two backstories preface this post: First, I was miserable in the Phoenix heat last summer and started scheming to never do it again. My first idea was to buy some land near Flagstaff and put our trailer on it like a summer cabin. That didn’t work because of zoning restrictions. The RV parks that are open for seasonal rentals have long waitlists and just weren’t very appealing. I started working with a realtor to consider buying an actual cabin, but Randy was not enthusiastic. He didn’t want two homes to maintain, especially one that involved winter at 7000 feet.
There was White Mountain Vacation Village with RV Lots for sale in Show Low, in the White Mountains, about three hours east of Phoenix, but Randy thought that was too far for quick trips. The best plan seemed to just be gone in the summer as much as we could, either in the trailer or by renting a hotel, home or cabin short term.
Second story: My parents bought these two rocking chairs for about $25 in Panama in the late 1970s. Randy and I acquired them about fifteen years ago and they were among the few things that transitioned from the house into the trailer when we started full time RVing.
in 2017, one of them got crunched by the RV slide after rocking and rolling on a Nevada road trip. We took it to Boise and Randy and our friend Darrell repaired it. The chairs were a bit of a pain, always having to velcro them down to anchors in the carpet when we traveled, but it wasn’t a big deal. You know…family heirlooms and all.
Then we got the new floor in the trailer. It is nice. I like it a lot but there was no way to anchor down the rocking chairs.
This is what I did to protect the chairs and the back window: Exercise pad down first and then the chairs nested together with blankets and bungee cords….not quick or fun.
The extra work got me thinking about a stationary sleeper sofa instead. An easy idea but a challenging feat as we had space limitations and a very narrow entry door, eliminating almost all household and most RV models.
I found a sleeper sofa online that would work. It was on clearance through Camping World and wasn’t available anywhere in Arizona. I couldn’t order it to be delivered to home because we weren’t there. I found one in Albuquerque and bought it without ever seeing or sitting on the sofa when they agreed to hold it until we came through Albuquerque three weeks later.
We got the sofa about a week before the end of our trip so it wasn’t a huge deal to have it and the chairs. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the rocking chairs once we got them home…but they were going.
We tried putting the rocking chairs in the crew cab but they wouldn’t fit.
We couldn’t fit them safely in the back of the truck with the hitch and all that other stuff.
So, they stayed on our bed until we needed in it. It worked – short term.
We enjoyed our trip very much but were ready to go home. Randy would have driven straight there if I had suggested it but we had one last stop on the itinerary. It was Show Low, in the White Mountains, about three hours east of Phoenix. Ding, ding, ding, ding….
I had wanted to drive to Show Low just to look at White Mountain Vacation Village but with COVID we didn’t do it. I wanted to see if we would be interested in pursuing an RV lot there. If so we needed to be prepared because they came up for sale very infrequently.
The White Mountains are forested beauty at 6500 feet and a stark contrast to the desert we live in. The population swells in the summer as people like me escape the heat. We liked the area very much and spent a day exploring several RV and park model communities. All of a sudden we weren’t just looking at potential RV lots, we were looking at park model “cabins” and Randy was fully on board. The contrast between our two best choices were stark: leasing or owning the land, and partial or full year access.
Within 24 hours we had purchased a fully furnished 2005 park model on a lot we own in White Mountain Vacation Village, in Show Low, in the White Mountains, about three hours east of Phoenix. We have year round access just in case we are interested in experiencing cold and snow for a few days.
The previous owners moved to a larger place within the village and are very willing to help us learn about the cabin and the area.
It has been fun to plan cabin modifications but, given everything else we have planned for the summer, it may be awhile.
The nicest feature is this great deck but the whole thing is turn-key ready. Maintenance is minimal. We have a wooded corner lot with lots of aspens.
The storage shed comes complete with tools and electricity.
The biggest hurdle to buying our “cabin” was deciding if it made any sense to do so while we still have the trailer or whether we were ready to be done RVing. In the end we decided to try and have it all. We plan to keep the trailer for a year or two or three but we can sense the end coming. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy our cabin knowing that our time there will grow in coming years.
It is just 3 hours up the road….and a very pretty road it is transitioning from city, to desert, to forest.
And when we get there…….we’ll find our cabin and our chairs. We bought a cabin for our chairs! They look very nice in their new home.
There is one other aspect to this story. Randy and I are usually very low key about celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. We usually go out to eat, or do a special activity, but we aren’t big with gifts. But, we committed to purchase the cabin on our 41st anniversary. Randy says he bought me a cabin. I say I bought him a deck. Happy Anniversary to us!
Congratulations on your new place!! Three hours away sounds pretty darned close to me. And I know that you’ll enjoy having a change of scenery and temperature to escape to whenever you want.
Wonderful! Congratulations on your new cabin and your anniversary!
Love it!!! Looks like the perfect solution 💗
Sounds like you had a great anniversary! Your new place looks beautiful!
I absolutely love your new place! Cool mountain air sounds wonderful right now!
Terrific story! Happy Cabinanniversary!💖 (new vocab word for you) Very happy for you both.
I love new vocabulary – and the meaning is perfectly clear!
Belated Happy Anniversary and congratulations on your new cabin!