top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Which is the washer?

Mar 10, 2023 (Fri)

12:00 pm Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

There are no security guys zipping around to see if we’re out of our space on time. In fact, there’s nobody around, so it doesn’t matter when we mosey on down the dusty trail. Still, we want to make it to the next oasis before darkness falls (in this case, “oasis” = RV Park).

We notice on the map that there’s a town just down the road a piece and that it has some RV parks, so that’s where we’re headed. Bidding a fond farewell to our little oasis of solitude, we also realize that we’ve seen pretty much zero wildlife (we heard coyotes and we saw a crow, but that seems pretty weak).

1:00 pm Arivaca, AZ

We have arrived at Arivaca! Between where we started and here, we traveled over a whole bunch of windy roads with dips and coming around a corner we suddenly came upon five cows. This is what the Free Range signs mean—cows anywhere. Near the town there was a pull-off for folks to view wildlife at the Refuge.

Pulling into Arivaca (which means “little place where water can be found,” according to the O'odham natives, who have been here way longer than we have and know their water places), we see a general store and a cantina. What we don’t see are any RV parks, although our app insists there are three of them.

So we pull up the app and are directed out of town to RV Park-ville. All three of the parks are next to each other, but we end up at La Siesta, because it looks the homiest. Also, there’s a killer view of the valley below.

We see a fellow working nearby, so we ask him where the office is.

“Well, Steve’s not there,” he replies.

Can someone else check us in. We don’t have reservations.

“No reservations, huh?” replies our lad.

Is that a problem?

“Oh no, we’ve got plenty of spaces available,” he quickly assures us. “I guess the girl in the office knows how to do reservations.”

It took her a while, but she did get us checked in. This is another place that only takes cash or check and after some digging through the couch cushions, we discover that Gini had a checkbook at the bottom of her back pack. (But seriously—an out-of-state check? Back in the day, we would have been laughed right out of the saloon!)

So we get situated, and we pay an extra $5 to do laundry and go set up camp.

Harvey enjoys the view over the valley below

2:00 pm Arivaca, AZ

Harvey actually has two ways he can handle water. We can use the on-board tank, which is what we use when boondocking. When water is available, though, there’s a spigot we can connect a hose to, and it’s like our very own plumbing system.

We’ve been reluctant to do so, because of the many (many) stories we’ve seen on-line about campers who do this, and then go into town and come back to find their RV now has an indoor swimming pool. Yikes!

But Robert has filled up the water tank, and doesn’t want to have to do it again tomorrow morning, so he decides to connect Harvey straight to the mainline water. Yup, he’s lazy enough to risk a leak in the plumbing. Fingers crossed! Off to do the laundry!

3:00 pm

The “laundromat” at this RV park is an old stacking washer and dryer stored in an open wall shed. There’s a sign that says “Washer Out of Order, Do Not Use,” but since they charged us $5 for laundry, we figure we can ignore this sign.

Robert stuffs all the clothes into the machine with the “Out of Order” sign and sets everything up, starts it and walks off.

3:45 pm

Gini heads over to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer. She phones Robert.

“I think this thing is broken, the clothes aren’t even wet,” she says.

“Oh,” says Robert, “That’s probably because it has a really good spin cycle!”

“And they don’t look clean!” replies Gini.

“Well, maybe the wash cycle isn’t very good,” replies Robert, “You know, to compensate for having a really good spin cycle.”

Fortunately, Gini has learned that Robert is often inaccurate when he says pretty much anything, so she goes into the office to get the manager and ask him about it. He comes out and says, “The washer seems to be working fine.”

As he adjusts the other machine from the one Robert used.

In other words, Robert put the clothes in the dryer, hoping they would get washed…

4:30 pm

The clothes are now thoroughly washed and dried (although you have to use the provided wrench to start the dryer).

The best way to dry Aloha shirts is on a tree!

We decide we need to have dinner at the cantina…

6:00 pm

Here we are at (according to the sign inside) “The oldest bar in the oldest inhabited townsite in Arizona.” It started life as a dance hall, then became a dance hall/courtroom/polling place and community center. These days, it’s a bar and café.

Robert outside the oldest bar that used to be a dance hall

The café is deserted, because all the action is in the bar. We get a seat (and some drinks) out on the patio, which isn’t as noisy and we get to listen to a couple of old-timers gripe about how hard it used to be to farm up in the frozen north (the Dakotas) and how they “couldn’t give a good [swear] about the lazy [swear] son who [swear] up everything and [sweared] the [swear] until he [sweared] the [swear].” Another guy sitting at a different table said that he was a gold miner and that his job was to crush rocks.

Fun local color!

We finally return to our campsite and fold ourselves into bed.

Sunset over Harvey


How we got here

Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page