backroads bob

This morning I met Bob at the RV park. Bob came rumbling through, driving a diesel pickup in all browns, fitting for the desert.

I was outside as he drove by and slowed. Through an open window he hollered cheerfully, “How you liking it here?”

A bit about “here,” first. We had parked for the night in Douglas, Arizona, a border town, after spending a day kicking around Bisbee (“Mayberry on acid”). We just needed a stopping place for one night and picked an RV park which was basically the front parking lot of a golf course. Nothing fancy, but it was quiet and cheap and had full hookups.

Anyway, based on his interrogative greeting I initially assumed he may be a campground host. I answered that we’d had a great quiet comfortable night had enjoyed our brief stay.

Turns out Bob wasn’t a camp host, just a gregarious campground permanent resident. We talked for a good 15-20min, him sitting in the driver’s set parked & idling and me hanging my elbows into the open cab as I leaned against the truck.

“Backroads Bob,” they called him. He’d traveled all around the country but was now here at this Douglas RV park for good as he’d scored the golden gig. He works nine hours a week doing odd jobs for the golf course and RV park and in exchange gets free electricity, water, sewer, and WiFi.

His passions, other than traveling, are cooking and mixology. He’s converted the back of his toy hauler to shelves to accommodate his spices and ingredients and liquors and mixers. He’s befriended the golf course bar staff & through them has wholesale access to a wide array of craft booze & microbrews.

Bob was a super happy dude, and interacting with him brightened my morning considerably. Even moreso when, after shaking hands on our initial goodbye, he walked back over with a dropper bottle in hand.

“I made you a martini for later, I’m a bit of a gin nut.” He goes on to tell me of the local Arizona distilled gin, high-end vermouth and homemade juniper bitters he used. “If you guys were here longer I’d have you over for dinner and drinks,” he says.

We shake hands again and I’m sure to get his contact info so I can send him my impressions of the drink this evening.

Can’t wait to try it. Road life.

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