Why It’s Good To Take A Vacation

Me, the first afternoon when the sun blessed us for a few hours.

by Neva Bodin


February, 2015 found us in sunny Arizona for a wonderful time of sun, swimming, friends and sightseeing. 80 above in the daytime. Might as well try it again.

However, since February, 2016 is when I am opening the nurse aide 95 hour training program, we chose to go in January. Big mistake. Gone 23 days.

This year we had the sun peeking at us the first couple days, but down to 39 degrees Fahrenheit or lower at night and 50’s in daytime. My brother-in-law arrived with his camper the third day and the rain started. Just a few showers the first couple days.

We were in a more rural area trailer park this year in Apache Junction, and about 10 acres of undeveloped desert lay about 50 feet maybe from our camper.

We could see Superstition Mountain from our camper.

We had brought our ATV’s so went for a ride on a cloudy afternoon next to the park. There was a wash and near the beginning of it we saw a small pup tent and a blue piece of tarp strung on some bushes. A man was kneeling near the tent. “Homeless” we deduced and went another direction so as not to disturb them.

I have wondered since what happened to them when the rains began in earnest the next day and continued for five days and nights. I know what happened to us: Some visits with friends, two museum visits—the Music Instrument Museum and an aeronautical one—supper at one of my favorite spots—the Organ Stop Pizza—and lots of dominoes in the camper, and later Farkle.

The high points for us country folk were the coyotes howling at night (and seen trotting through the front yards of nearby business and by the fence near our camper), a donkey braying each morning, (lots of little ranchettes with chickens, horses etc nearby), and spending good quality time with friends and family. Also finding out the park employee who helped us situate our camper is from a small town in ND where I worked for 11 years, a dining couple at the same restaurant we ate at are related to two families we know from another small town in ND, and sharing our vacation with my brother-in-law.

And equally wonderful were the friends we love including us in their lives and my two cousins and their wives, whom we love, spending time with us.

Finally, our second weekend there, the sun began to play peek-a-boo again and we were able to spend just a little time in the afternoon on my cousin’s patio. But jackets were always worn during this vacation.


My husband sitting in the large rustic restaurant and bar at Tortilla Flats. Every square inch of the interior is papered with donated and autographed dollar bills–about 600,000.

Another sunny afternoon, we drove to Tortilla Flats, an old stage stop on the tortuous winding dirt road, 1-1 ½ lanes wide and in a zig-zag pattern full of switchbacks, to Roosevelt Dam. We drove it and saw beautiful scenery and my first fleeting glimpse of the fleet Roadrunner.

This cactus wren came right up to my toe at one lookout by Canyon Lake.

Finally, our last Tuesday, (we left that Friday) we hauled our ATV’s to Bulldog Canyon and went on a two hour ride through the desert. We saw what looked to be a colorful mountain man out for a horseback ride, and beautiful scenery and experienced silence and peace. I could have spread a sleeping bag and stayed right there. Alas, the scorpions and poisonous toads.

So we came back to Casper, having navigated tons of heavy traffic while there and while traveling through Las Vegas and Salt Lake City to and from, and shivering and saying over and over, “Well, at least there’s no snow and ice.”


The mountain man out for a ride in the desert.

Now, home is warm and cozy, I expect it to be in the 40’s outside so no disappointment there, and what I thought was increasing traffic in our town is merely child’s play, even on icy streets.

It is important to take vacations, so we can know the value of home.

The modern cactus in the desert: Highline poles
This cactus has had a hard life, but still he smiles.  We were told they don’t add arms until they are seventy years old.

20 thoughts on “Why It’s Good To Take A Vacation

    1. Thanks Cherley. And your word “subshine” was actually pretty accurate for most of the days we were there! We were disappointed in the weather but got lots of warmth from family and friends which made it worth it. Neva


  1. Sounds like you had a great time. Too bad about the temps, but it sounds like you enjoyed it nonetheless.

    On a nearly unrelated note–I love Farkle! I played it for years with a group of great friends with whom, sadly, I don’t get to see anymore.


    1. It is a good game. Not much concentrating involved and easy to visit while playing or just have fun. We did have fun, just needed to quit comparing it to last year’s visit which was perfect. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Arizona and temps in the 50s–that’s my kind of vacation, although 80s and swimming is good, too. Your descriptions and your photographs make me want to start planning a getaway for my husband and me. Great post.


    1. Hope you are able to have that getaway. I love the contrast of being at home and being somewhere else. I appreciate both so much more as I like activity and variety. And a nice quiet retreat sounds good to me right now! Thanks for the comment.


  3. Glad you were able to go, Neva, and that you and hubby spent quality time with friends and family. I guess we always hope for sunny and warm when visiting Arizona in the summer, but if nothing else, the change of scenery and the love and sharing help make it warm no matter the temps. Welcome back to icy, snowy, windy Casper! Coffee sometime soon, my friend! ~ Gayle


    1. Yes, would love coffee sometime soon. February 22 starts my three weeks of teaching school! Let’s do it before then. Thanks for the comments. Glad you got on your writing retreat! And actually, Casper is peaceful compared to four lanes of bumper to bumper traffic, each car containing folks close to having their number come up in my estimation.


  4. Your vacation sounds both relaxing and energy zapping at the same time. My husband and I always go loads of places when on holiday- museums, parks, sites of interest etc like you just did during the wetter days, but that can be quite tiring as well as enjoyable. I find that it’s never easy to re-do a vacation situation because it’s never quite the same second time- too many variables… like the weather to contend with. I’ve never heard of Farkle- will maybe do some investigating about it!


  5. Love the photos, Neva. Especially the one with the smiling cactus! 🙂 They make me miss visiting my best friend who lives in Phoenix. We spent a day at the Desert Botanical Garden and it was beautiful. There was a fantastic butterfly exhibit at the time too. Glad you’re home safe and sound.


  6. I have enjoyed my time in Arizona, but know I don’t want to live there. As for vacations, it’s been a bit, but on the agenda. Loved the photos. Doris


  7. What a nice post Neva! Even though the weather wasn’t as nice, it sounds like you still had a great time in January. What a difference a month makes! Love the pictures. The point is, to take a break, right?


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