Farewell Flagstaff

A change in circumstances has us leaving Flagstaff a few months before we had planned to leave. Mary has been having back pain for over a year. Various doctors and physical therapist have tried to fix it with pain meds, steroids, exercise and so forth. Nothing made a difference. A week or so ago, Mary had an MRI. A cyst was found on her spine at L5 and Mary was sent to a neurological surgeon. The surgeon said the spinal canal through which main nerves in the body travel had narrowed and a cyst had formed within the canal. Long story short - Mary has to have back surgery. The surgery will require several months of recovery.

Our original travel plan had been to spend the summer in Flagstaff then head back to North Carolina for the winter. We decided that perhaps it would be best to immediately head back to North Carolina so Mary can have surgery at Duke and have a place larger than the RV to recover. The surgeon in Flagstaff referred her to Duke and she is currently waiting for an appointment with a surgeon there.

Our hastily made plan is to pack up the RV, truck & car and drive four days to Asheville, NC. We will spend a few days there unloading the RV and truck. Hopefully by then Mary will have a doctor’s appointment at Duke. We will pack up clothing and things we will need for an extended stay and head to Shelley’s & Dave’s house which is about fifteen minutes from Duke Hospital. Our plan is to stay at Shelley’s and Dave’s for the surgery and at least part of the recovery before returning to Asheville.

Yesterday we packed up everything and we will pull out this morning and follow I-40 from Flagstaff to Asheville.

Flagstaff has been a unique experience for us. Mary has been in pain the entire time we have been here. I have had a tough time finding friends to do things with. Up until about two weeks ago it has been very windy and that made being outdoors pretty uncomfortable. The RV park we stayed in was great despite bad reviews online. It is adjacent to Coconino National Forest and we have access to a huge trail system right in our backyard. Moxie and I will miss our daily hikes in our backyard. Despite Mary feeling bad, we enjoyed many adventures in Northern Arizona.

Mary will be taking a leave of absence from REI and will return to work at the REI in Asheville once she has recovered from the surgery.