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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Retiring (sort of) On the Cheap

 Tortuga Thursday 
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.
Sadi and her doggies romp
Winter has definitely come to Tortuga Flats Farm. We're all hibernating, doing odd jobs that get put off when the fields are alive and growing. We do have life with the garlic, but it's below ground and hidden.

We still intend to vend at the Prescott Farmers' Market on Saturdays, weather permitting. As Frank says "we're pirates, not Eskimos!"

Now is the time of year that I might not post weekly unless something noteworthy happens. Just a heads up.

Welcome to the Lazy JR
Other news in the land of Tortuga is Frank and I have moved the RV to Tonto Basin. We're at the Lazy JR Ranch which is an over 55 park set in the trees on the edge of Tonto National Forest. It's a short walk down to Tonto Creek. We're in a beautiful basin surrounded by tall mountains and a short drive to the rim country of Arizona. Some of the
Down our road
residents are year round while others are winter visitors. We're on a small site that still accommodates the RV, boat, both cars, outdoor table and barbecue. We have our name on a waiting list for a bigger site that will cost another $5 a month. But as I understand it, we might have to wait for someone to die before a spot opens up. I've written a few murders in my books. Hmm...

As promised, I'll share the details for living on a dime. It took some research on Frank's part to find this place. There are some other sites in the Tonto Basin area but they charge a little more and aren't nearly as scenic. This place has a rustic feel to it. But they have a nice laundromat, an outdoor barbecue
The Laundromat
gathering area and a nice clubhouse. Most of all, the people are friendly. The owners live on-site too. Our site is $180 a month. It cost us that for a week in Laughlin. Retiring on a shoestring, if you don't mind RV living, is possible. We're 35 minutes out of Payson - a great little cowboy town for those not familiar. We're under 2 hours to the valley and major shopping. And what is great for Frank is the proximity to three lakes. For a fisherman, this is like the best spot in all of AZ. I'm throwing myself into my writing cave while he fishes. And for retiring without much moola, it's great.

Across the street and...
We're 3 hours from the farm through some of the most gorgeous
...all around us
country in Arizona so I don't mind the drive which we've been making once a week for the Farmers Market. It's about 10 degrees warmer here than Paulden. Yesterday we had snow all around us, literally minutes away. As the winter progresses, I'll share more about this style of RVing.


  1. Sounds like heaven, Brenda - enjoy!

  2. Brenda, it sounds wonderful to me. We've just listed our home for sale and although it may take a while, we're headed down the RV trail ourselves and I can't wait. Happy Trails, as they say! :-) For now, I'll live vicariously through you until that 'sold' sign appears.

  3. I've done the RV thing and know its not for me, but I love reading about your adventures. I can't wait for the next instalment.

    1. Who knows, Marlow. I may grow weary of it. We don't have a huge RV so space is limited. It's kind of like glorified camping and I hate camping. Right now I'm having fun.