Starship Southwest for Christmas!


From Las Cruces, we had planned to stay a night in Benson AZ, but we had made such good time, we called Michael & Kathy Lempert (our ultimate destination) and asked if we could possibly come a day early… they said “Sure” and so we continued on and made the beautiful “Starship Southwest” (their name for the property) around 2:30pm. The views from their place are absolutely amazing. We sat on the hill above the RV’s drinking wine and enjoying some cheese and crackers as we watched the sun setting and the beautiful colors on the Santa Catalina mountains. While at the starship we had 2 trips (with overnights) to Tucson for fridge repair and a new windshield. We learned all about the ins and outs of service warranty repairs and the fridge repair took far longer than planned and we didn’t get the repaired part back before we had to leave for Phoenix on 12/26 so back on 1/10 for the repaired cooler to be re-installed… Ugh! Thank goodness for our slide out chest fridge/freezer in the basement. A PITA to go outside to get stuff, but far better than the alternative of no fridge at all! Michael loaned us a 12v mini fridge for in the coach so we could keep a few things inside too. Thanks Michael!!

Putting the staging in place to replace the old (cracked) windshield.
Old windshield out!
Setting the new windshield in. Weighs over 350#.
Andy putting the final touches on the new windshield.
Getting the leveling system issue analyzed (wasn’t dumping the air bags before leveling. Pretty strange seeing 42,000 go up on a lift!
The yellow powder shows the amonia which had been leaking on our fridge. The cooling unit off the back is being sent off to be repaired as it’s not made any more other than special order.
The whole cooling unit removed from the back of fridge ready to be sent out for repair.
The front hubs of the rig are in a live oil well. The seals were weeping so they were redone at the shop.
The new front air dump valve for the coach. Installed by Mechanc at Freedom RV in under 10 minutes and fixed the problem we had with the air bags not dumping when we leveled the coach.
Our RV service “fellow inmates” who camped over night with us for 3 nights while our rigs were worked on. L-R Jim & Margie, Kieth & Linda, and Jane & I
Keith and Linda in their beautiful 2016 Newmar Mountain Aire.

We stayed at the Starship through Christmas and enjoyed many holiday outings with Michael & Kathy and also Doug & Julie. We had a wonderful turkey dinner at Doug’s place prepared by Kathy, as well as 2 nights of Christmas parties at their friends Gary & Lilly and also Doug’s sister Sarah & her husband Don’s beautiful home overlooking Tucson. Great food and great people, all with roots in Maine too! We had a nice Christmas morning with Michael & Kathy and Kathy made some wonderful waffles with Maine blueberries! I grilled up some nice thick smoked bacon on the grill to go with them. It was nice to be with friends from Maine on our first Christmas “away”. We chatted and videoed with Sarah & Ryan as well as some of ourĀ siblings & friends which was nice too.

Michael ready to head out with Wool Bear and Hitchcock along for the ride in the sidecar.
Hard to decorate but strung a few lights on the rig and a Rosemary tree with mini LED lights on the dash! Merry Christmas! Mickey Santa a gift from Doug Field!
Hard to decorate but strung a few lights on the rig and a Rosemary tree with mini LED lights on the dash! Merry Christmas!
Michael gets indoctrinated to Buttershots. Ironic that it was our mutual friend Kenny back in Maine that got me hooked on it! Michael & Kathy were teaching (or re-teaching) us how to play cribbage.
TS Webb singin the blues at the Coronet in Tucson. TS is a friend of Michael & Kathy’s and we had a great evening there!
Got out for a nice ride with Michael! Felt great to ride again! The helmet was my old one I left in AZ in 2015 when we visited.
Our home, setup at Starship Southwest in Catalina AZ. A big thank you to our gracious hosts, Michael & Kathy Lempert.
Here’s the view from our accommodations at Starship Southwest.
The view out our window at Starship Southwest.

We left the Starship on 12/26 and headed to Tolleson AZ (part of metro Phoenix) as the coach had a service date there and Jane was flying out of Phoenix early on 12/27 for a visit back to Maine & NH to see Sarah and her family. They repaired the heater core at the Freightliner shop so we now have heat and defrosting capabilities again! Also had an oil change, lube, fluids checked, greased chassis etc.

Many more AZ photos here on my website.