This was printed on one of our pamphlets from the Kofa Ko-Op.
Don't know why I could not add more photos to the last post! I'm not accustom to using the Blogger format....normally use Windows Live Writer but also been having problems with Live Writer.
Sylvester in his new harness.
Our spot just off Dome Rock Road.
David and Duke.
These are the same sunset..about 30 seconds apart! Dome Rock
David just informed me the refrigerator's off! I must have washed too vigorously around the vent...fingers crossed I can get it going again!!
This is a first for us...the Escapees thing! (Just joined but more about that later.) Got a chance to see inside our neighbors' park model. This is probably boring stuff for those who live in the west or Florida, but we were fascinated with the tiny houses that dot many of the RV parks here in the southwest.
The Salt River in Tonto National Forest
Our time in Scottsdale starts with rain! This is a first for us! We remember a light mist falling on Valentine's Day in 2012, but this is an outright gully washer. And we are taking our morning constitutional...coming in soaked and throwing everything in the dryer. Happy to be in the back yard at hubby's daughter's home in this unusual Arizona weather.
We decide to explore a regional park, McDowell, that's much closer to town. Circling the campground and the overflow area, we find the fees to be a bit higher than we care to pay....$30 per night. But the desert is beautiful and we take a short walk enjoying the calm emanating from the landscape.
Nearby is the town of Fountain Hills with a huge fountain that gushes hourly into the desert sky. We play tourist and stroll the park.
After another day of being spoiled with good food and lots of family time, it's time to head back to the boonies. Our refrigerator has been on the blink with no cooling while using propane. There's no problem on the electric setting. We have an appointment early Thursday morning in Apache Junction with Apache RV Supplies and Service.
On a previous scouting trip, we find Phon D Sutton Recreation Area in the Tonto National Forest. We stop at the local Chevron to dump and buy three $3 passes for the Tonto. It's a big parking lot with several pit toilets and a few picnic tables. While setting up, we notice fly fisherman unloading their gear. Huh? Must be a river around here!
The recreation area is located where the Verde River rushes into the calm Salt River. There are numerous birds including eagles coming to fish in the early morning...(we did not see the eagles).
Also there are horse droppings around the riverbank and in the parking lot. The camp host, a very friendly guy, tells us there are wild horses who come down from the hills to drink from the river each evening.
Needing the exercise, we decide to climb the hill next to the parking lot. Not really expecting to find wild horses, we scan the vistas. And this guy, with his two mares, appears a few hundred feet away!
He must have told the mares to vamoose as we barely get a glimpse of them. Having never been around a wild horse, we are a bit intimidated as he begins to walk straight to us. But he's only checking out the threat level and stops to continue to graze. (I had already located the tallest palo verde...where I was heading if he got any closer!)
The photos above have the Four Peaks Wilderness in the background.
Need to wind this up!! Our refrigerator is working, finally, after two days of dragging the camper down the mountain for service in town. Needed more pressure.
We are currently back in Scottsdale for a final visit before heading west to Quartzsite and other boonie places. This is the end of our third week...time is flying!
We have good friends just 30 plus miles south in Pancho Villa State Park but it seems too far away after the long drive. I text Glenda and make some tentative plans to meet later at "Q". We winterize the windows and snuggle down for what we hope is our last frigid night.
Monday, arriving at Picacho Peak SP just north of Tucson, we feel warm...actually hot....for the first time in months!
It is like heaven to see the green desert foliage, the mountains and the beautiful sunset. I-10 runs beneath us, endless points of light moving through the desert. Rocks around us glow red during the sunset.
Now we are only 60 miles or so from our favorite Arizona place, Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction! If we time it right, we will be able to get into the overflow loop where no reservations are necessary. No reservations and no electricity...we arrive at noon....check out time!
Quickly we claim a primo spot at the top of the loop, just a few feet from the mountain bike trail. The mountain, Superstition Mountain, looms over us and I am feeling that it will heal me from this ### trip!
I take a few photos!!!
All I want to do is sit in the sun and stare at the mountain....but, life gets in the way. We must find a place for David to get his blood tested and medications renewed. And there are other chores....our refrigerator that worked perfectly in Deming and Picacho..now refuses to cool and we need ice. The truck is filthy from a muddy dirt road in San Antonio and we have no groceries. At the end of the day all is accomplished, thanks to a Walgreen's that has a lab, and ice store and grocery all in the same parking lot.
Warning! Wednesday is Seniors' Day at Fry's Supermarket! (For you southeasterners...think about the grocery when snow is forecast....it was a nightmare!!)
The next day our Arizona friends, John and BJ, invite us for a drive through the Tonto National Forest. Traveling over rough dirt roads in his wonderful little Tacoma, we explore potential boondocking spots while enjoying the Four Peaks area. No photos..guess I was enjoying the ride too much!
Decide to stay another day at Lost Dutchman to get some much needed exercise. It feels great to get back on our bikes after almost 10 days of inactivity. Now it's time to pack up and head for the Scottsdale backyard to visit with David's family.
Which takes us up to the present!
Took a few photos on a walk around the neighborhood this morning. This pm is all about the blog... playing on the computer while all the rest of the family is watching some very important football game...
The plan is to stay around this area until we can get the fridge into a shop and David's blood tested again. Then we are westward bound.
The trip that took forever (8 days) has finally come to an end! We are in Arizona at a beautiful state park, Picacho Peak, and only had 250 mile driving day. We had time for a short walk before sunset but those photos are still in the camera. Relying on the new phone’s photos……
Interrupting the story to tell you that I got a S5 on Black Friday…it was free…kind of free…with another 2 year commitment to Verizon. Now I am like a teenager…can’t do anything without it!!! I’m constantly asking Google…”Ok, Google” everything from “what time does the sunset in Deming, NM” to “where is the closest McDonalds” , “what is the elevation of Picacho Peak” And love the camera!
So back to the story! It has been a hell of a trip!! Thought that we would never, ever get here! From our very slow start…our Garmin issues and the rain, the never ending clouds and mist, damp and cold to the nightmare of the western Texas freezing rain. Can close my eyes and still see that weather radar map so full of pink..indicating the freezing mix that was falling over Texas off and on for days.
We have only taken I-10 through west Texas one other time and it was a miserable trip. This time we were better prepared and knew we needed to know where we were sleeping and where we would be buying gas before we passed our only opportunity. Still totally unprepared for what we found in Fort Stockton! Due to the prolonged ice and snow, the gas deliveries had not been made. The few stations with gas were over run….our exit ramp was backed up to the interstate with everyone waiting in line for gas. We waited over an hour for our 8 or 9 gallons of gas. And if you are thinking “why did they not go on down the road?”, there is no down the road…well maybe 60 or 70 miles away!
Another thing on this drive…(last Saturday…our first day of sunshine).. was seeing the totaled tractor trailers in the median. Terrifying to think what might have happened….hoped most of them made it out alive. Most of the autos on the side of the road or in the median did not look demolished like the big trucks!
The ice and snow is now behind us! Temps in the 70’s with the famous abundant Arizona sunshine! Sitting in the camper with bare feet and a short sleeve tee shirt, rejoicing that it will not be in the low 20’s tonight. (In Van Horn, Texas, and Deming, NM we woke to temps in the low 20’s.)
It feels good to be back in the desert!
Forgot to mention that we relied on our Passport America app and the All Stays Camp and RV app to find our overnight stops. Prices ranged from $27 (Comfort, Texas) to $13.50 in Van Horn Texas. It was too cold for us to be without hookups and the weather was too bad for us to care what was outside the trailer. Most nights we even had cable tv…..amazing for us!
Not sure how we could be moving at this turtle pace, but tonight, on this new year’s eve, after three days of travel, Google says it is only 729 miles back home! I am sure our truck odometer will show more but maybe it is a divine intervention to keep us out of this storm that’s bearing down on us.
Our first day of travel we made it to Meridian, MS….just like the trips in 2012 and 2014. But this time my 2 year old Garmin gps announced that all the maps had been locked!!
After driving all day, I spent another 3 hours on the laptop (in the tiny trailer in a rv park) trying to find a way to unlock the maps. Then more time on the phone the next day with customer service. A stop at Auto Zone for new windshield wipers, a stop at Dollar General for a kitty litter scoop and a stop for food and gas ate up more of our travel day. Tried using my phone’s navigation system but grew impatient with the inability to see where we were going. After several wrong turns, I thought I was turning right onto I-59 south and wound up in a Best Buy parking lot! After making several less than spiritual comments, my husband urged me to go buy a new gps. Which I did.
Spent last night at Fontainebleau State Park near Slidell, MS. Very cold but we did get in a nice walk to see Lake Pontchartrain.
This am the skies were clear with a beautiful blue …wonderful to see the sun again. We were making great time all day…no need for extra stops….until we decided to stop at the Texas Welcome Center to discuss the possibility of taking 90 instead of I-10. We were warned to stay off of the roads past San Antonio, I-10 or 90, for the next 36 hours due to ice and possibility of snow. It was after 3 by then and we started looking for a PA camp for the night. Got the last site at Hidden Lake Park in Beaumont.
So our new year will arrive in another 90 minutes. Occasional booms can be heard in the distance from those who celebrate with noise. They are not bothering Hubby and Sylvester who have been asleep for an hour. I am snuggled into the corner of the bed with my laptop keeping me company.
Don’t know what tomorrow will bring…other than rain. We still have not de-winterized and camping with the pink stuff is getting tiresome. Guess we will either stay here or head to San Antonio.
Highlights of our three days……