Wintering in an Active Adult Community – 2020 version

Last year, I wrote about staying at Recreation Plantation for the winter. RP is an active RV community with mostly seasonal residents. With a full-time activity office and variety of recreational facilities, the place is hopping! There are any number of activities and social events to plug yourself into. If you are bored — it’s your own fault! I made some great friends, learned new skills, kept super-busy, and just loved it.

When we decided to winter in Arizona this year, we looked at a variety of RV parks and zeroed in on Rincon Country West, in Tucson. At over 1100 sites, the park has beautiful facilities and offers a wide variety of activities for residents. We arrived in mid-November and settled in for a four month stay.

The facilities are quite extensive. The main recreation center is equipped with a large auditorium, meeting hall with kitchen facilities, swimming pool, indoor hot tub, lending library, fitness studio, and a dozen classrooms equipped for specific activities: cards, sewing, lapidary/silversmith, pottery/ceramics, stained glass, general crafts, digital photography, ham radio, billiards, and a large wood shop. An enormous outdoor model train facility sits just outside the rec center and is regularly maintained and run by the Garden Railroad Club. Other outdoor facilities include shuffleboard, tennis, pickleball, basketball, horse shoes, putting green, and bocce ball. There’s even a beauty shop right on site! The Loop paved bike trail is just outside the back gate, and mountain biking trails are a short riding distance away. Jeff can literally hop on his bicycle and ride out to his trails. The facility hosts more than 100 activity clubs including musical ensembles, arts and crafts, and sports. This place looked to be right up our alley!!

But ….. Covid.

For the 2020 season, most of the activities simply aren’t safe to hold. So there goes my exercise classes, card games, choral group, theater group, and arts/crafts lessons. Although the park is still hosting reduced-occupancy Bingo and concerts, I’m not comfortable attending indoor events, not with COVID spiking the way it is. Frankly, it really got me down — staring down at an entire season of boredom and isolation. On the other hand, Jeff found a mountain biking buddy literally the first day we were here. All of the months we’ve traveled, he’s had to bike by himself. But here, he’s found other kids to play with! Johnny is even more hard core than Jeff when it comes to biking (if you can imagine that).

Johnny is also into craft beer and is the ringleader for a “12 days of beer” event. The premise is that 12 folks meet on 12 consecutive evenings. Each evening, one person brings a new craft beer for the group to try – and usually brings a light snack as well. The event is held outside at Johnny’s site (bring your own chair) to facilitate social distancing. Jeff signed us up!

Joining that group has probably been the best thing I could have done. It has given us a chance to meet and bond with some really nice folks here. I showed off my latest Swedish Weaving project, and the ladies want me to teach them how to do it. So, we’ve planned a class for after the first of the year. It gives me something to prepare for and look forward to. Being able to regularly interact with real, live people has definitely given me a psychological boost.

It’s not the season I wanted ….. but it’s a start.

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