Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tucson – Desert, Mission and Justin’s Diamond J

We needed our regular service done on the motorhome and also on our vehicle.   We called all over the Tempe area3mar_25 and couldn’t find any availability in the short time slot we had.  We used to have it done at Camping World when they were just off Hwy 60.  Since they moved to Main Street in Mesa, we figured we’d get it done someplace else.   I called the Camping World in Tucson and left a message about what we needed and when we’d be there.  I didn’t get called back for a couple days.  In the meantime, a friend posted a great link for RV service.  Just as I was about ready to start down the list, I got a call back from Camping World and they could fit us in at 8:30 Monday morning … perfect!  We left Tempe on Sunday.

We had also stopped at a Jiffy Lube on Ray Road in Tempe to have our vehicle serviced.  First thing we were told was that their prices had a slight increase.  Instead of it being the $19.95 we had previously paid at Jiffy Lube, this franchise was were now charging $43.00!  Egads!  We had the service done on our vehicle the same time the motorhome was being serviced.  We found Midas  right down the road running a special at $12.99 for an oil change, full service  and tire rotation.  What a deal!.

3mar_18Both vehicles were finished about the same time and now it was time to decide where to boondock that night.  We checked out Casino del Sol and Desert Diamond Casino.  The parking lot at Casino del Sol was packed with RVs.  The parking lot at Desert Diamond Casino had lots of spare room.  We much preferred everything about Desert Diamond.  The slot machines were more common.  Casino del Sol had a bunch of slots that were different and unfamiliar.   We would have stayed at Diamond Desert except the buffet was closed on Mondays and Terry had been looking forward to the buffet.  Thus, we moved on to Casino del Sol and their packed RV lot.  We parked along the curb next to their bus stop.  Big mistake.  Don’t do that.  It was a very noisy place until late at night and starting again early in the morning.  A lesson learned --  don’t park next to a bus stop!


When we signed into each casino’s players club we discover another difference.  Desert Diamond Casino offered a veteran package plus we each got $10 free play.  You know that really means I got $20.  At Casino del Sol we didn’t get anything the first day but if we wanted to come back in 5 days, I would get the amount I lost on that day back. I didn’t lose much so it’s not worth going back.

Tuesday the clouds, rain and wind came in.  We were really glad we were traveling on side roads and not on the freeways.  We were happier to see the sunshine return even though it was still a little nippy.

We were up early and within a few miles of the San Xavier Mission.  We decided to go there before moving to our next destination.  It was beautiful and almost deserted when we arrived. However, when leaving it was starting to get packed with others. 



Just down the road was a cemetery.  I’ve walked through many cemeteries but never seen one quite so colorful as this. 

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We had heard a lot of RVers talk about Justin’s Diamond J RV park in the foothills of Tucson.  That’s where we headed.  Finally into our site we decided to walk on some of the trails in the desert.  It was absolutely gorgeous and the desert scenes on this blog are from the trails behind us.   We knew several folks already at the park.  To begin with Dave and Nancy were here and also John and Sharon.  On Wednesday Roger and Lynn roll in.

Later in the evening we attended the park’s musical and show.  That was also a fun event and we called it our anniversary present to each other.  Happy Anniversary to us!  We were really blown away by the 12 year daughter performing.  She had been taking lessons on the harmonica since she was three and could really play it!!  In addition, she was quite an entertainer and sang several songs.   There were lots of change of costumes and change of wigs.

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3mar_1The owner of the park served spring rolls she had made plus passed around trays of cookies and coffee cake.  I’ve never seen an owner of an RV park do that.  So far this park has definitely lived up to everything we’ve heard about it and more.

It was a good evening. 

‘Tis life on the road.


  1. So sorry about Casino de Sol. Things have changed.

    Diamond J is exactly that, a gem. We were there at Thanksgiving in 2013 and wow, what a spread.

  2. Nice that you are moving about a bit again and making your way east, have fun.

  3. Since you seem to be hitting casinos a lot and losing, maybe I should send you that dollar I owe you (plus interest)? :c)

  4. Oh what a relief to have all the service done! Always a dreaded chore for us with the 4 pups!
    I love your pictures of the mission....very nice!

  5. I love San Xavier Mission. We had a guided tour. What a fabulous tour guide he was.

    We really enjoyed Justin's in 2012. The owner is a doll. That trail is the one we almost stepped on a rattle snake. Enjoy your stay. The entertainment sounds like a great start.

  6. After the parking lot, that little campground must have been even more inviting! That little girl's costume changes are pretty impressive :-) I haven't been to that mission in a long time, it is so beautiful inside. It really pays to shop around for pricing - saving $30 on one service is a great deal!

  7. Yep we will be heading to the casino today and spend a couple days in the parking lot waiting for it to warm up a bit more before moving on to Bisbee...

  8. Do not spend much time parked at casinos, but sure enjoy the buffets from time to time. The mission looks well worth the visit:)


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