Another Day in the parking lot!



We are back in one of our favorite places, Phon D Sutton Recreation Area in the Tonto NF, and we never thought we would be so happy camping in a parking lot!

It’s the Salt River that makes it so special….(see above photo.) And the wild horses and bald eagles also entice us to stay. 

We moved here last weekend, thinking we would stay one night on our way back to the Cholla camp at Lake Roosevelt.  But as the day passed, we found no reason to move.

Now we are working on our fifth day!  The $3.00 daily fee for the senior version of the Tonto pass also helps us to stay put.

And we keep discovering places to hike!





One day runs into the next.  We chat with neighbors,  hike and sit and stare into the mountains.  Trying not to be sad….this is our last week in the desert.

Backing up to 10 days ago….

We pull onto the 202 after saying good bye to David’s family in Phoenix.  Not sure of our destination but have several camps in mind.  But after the Flatiron of the Superstition Mountains rises in front of us, our truck heads straight for Lost Dutchman SP.

We notice another Casita as we try to maneuver into our spot. Taking a second look, the Casita is waving at us!  What a great surprise, it’s Bob and Mary from Kansas! We last saw them at Quartzsite.

After talking them into  second night, we call other fiberglass friends from Mesa, John and BJ, and arrange a mini gathering.


David’s hand!

It’s great to see everyone again….may be another year before we visit again!

David wants to hike up the Siphon Draw trail as he has only looked up at the mountain looking over us.



(Our hike photos are on my camera….will insert here if I get to a place to download them. )

Less than a mile up the Siphon Draw trail in the Superstitions.

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Lost Dutchman SP


Our parking lot home.


Salt River


Unidentified desert flower.

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David feeling envious!

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Another Salt River photo.

Although we are sad to leave our winter home, we do have many good things happening in the future. We are excited to be attending the rally in Montgomery, Alabama in less than two weeks.  Just need to get through the several thousand miles between here and there!

Then we can go home, catch up with family and friends and, fingers crossed, sell our house!


More Lake Roosevelt and good news!

Our week at Lake Roosevelt  passes uneventfully.  Our time is more precious with the thought that it may be our last week in the desert.  There’s a path along the bluff above the lake.  We walk it each morning for exercise and entertainment.
Unidentified hawk….possible red tail?
The campground from a small hill…red truck..bottom right.
Four Peaks Wilderness Area is to the west of us….seems strange as the peaks have always been east of where we previously camped.
Although the lake level is down, its beauty still overwhelms us.
The campground allows the winter visitors to stay for months.  This makes for some interesting neighbors.
This Canadian has the right idea for simple camping.  Notice the smoke vent in the middle of the tent!  A good neighbor…very polite.
Found an old graveyard where workers who died while constructing the dam are buried.  The Theodore Roosevelt Dam was completed in 1911.
T Roosevelt Dam
Roosevelt Bridge…built 1992.
At the end of the week, on a mission, we leave this peaceful camp.  It is time to WASH CLOTHES!  This is capitalized due to importance…we have not washed since January 18th…4 weeks ago!.........(Later I realized that I am lying! Completely forgot about using a RV park laundry in Yuma...not a senior moment....a senior two days...so sorry!)

Deciding that we are not able to drive 90 miles, wash for two hours and then drive through traffic to Phoenix in one day, we move closer to civilization…back to the parking lot at Phon D Sutton Rec Area.  This way we will only need to drive 18 miles to the laundry.  The parking lot is full of a singles group and we move to the next lot.  From this position we are able to see the fountain at Fountain Hills shoot up at 6 PM and a bald eagle circling the Salt River looking for dinner!

Choosing to wash at the Superstition Laundry is a wise decision.  With the help of an assistant we are able to get everything in one 50 lb. washer! ($5.50) Twenty four minutes to wash and 30 minutes to dry and we are done!!
(Note: we did not go around dirty and stinking…)

This past weekend is spent back at the relatives and we are now, happily, back at Lost Dutchman State Park, near Apache Junction.
And, thanks to my friends and relatives, our house has been cleared of foul odors and brown liquids.  No need to go back home early!  Hooray!

But the countdown has begun….must hit the road going east in two weeks or less.


“Q”, a desert lake, & another problem


We land at Hidden Beaches in Blythe, CA to deal with the house issues.  (See former post.)  It is on the Colorado River and sounds like a beautiful park.  But not so with the full hookups.  We are stuck in a slum, looking at a storage shed and our neighbor’s refrigerator.  To be fair, the water sites are immaculate…we did not inquire on their cost. This is a PA park which is $16 with the discount.

DSC_0001Colorado River

We arrive at Dome Rock on Monday, 5 days before the huge fiberglass rally that happens the first weekend in February.  Parking in the back close to John and BJ, we think we have a good spot.   The next day Jerry and Wanda appear and then Glenda and Jeff .  It is bloggers row!

I take few photos…can’t seem to get excited about taking pictures of trailers that look identical.  The time is spent visiting and eating. 




John, BJ and Turk.

The weather is turning hot!  It gets up to 89 inside our trailer and more Casitas keep arriving.  We are beginning to feel like a sandwich.

On Saturday morning, no longer having fun, we head east to Scottsdale for another short visit with family.

Trying something new, we make reservations at Westworld of Scottsdale.  It is just for one night and much easier to park than the daughter’s back yard.

Our site is in a parking lot facing the polo field.



This large tent is the home of the famous Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.  West World is huge!  We walk 3 miles trying to see everything.

I know there are some cooler temperatures somewhere.  We head up into the Tonto National Forest to a campground on Lake Roosevelt. 

Beauty is found everywhere.





And it is cooler!  A lovely breeze caresses us as we walk in the morning sun. 

I am walking frequently, on a mission to lose some weight after seeing some disturbing photos of myself.  Manage to complete 6 miles (according to the phone) the first full day.

Life is good…much like life right before we had the home crisis 7 days ago.  And, again, another issue…much like the first one!  This time a clog in the plumbing has resulted in an overflow and a very bad smell! 

Thanks to a good friend who met the septic company and then met the plumbers, the crisis is resolved.  Not sure at this writing if we must head back home early to take care of the aftermath.  Don’t want to leave…each day here in the winter feels like a golden gift!

Will know something in a few days.


Peace in the Desert...Anza Borrego SP

It is late afternoon when we arrive at the Visitor Center in Borrego Springs.  Our trip from Yuma is uneventful except for seeing boon docking places, Ogilby Road and Salton Sea, frequently mentioned by a famous blogger.

As it is late, we are concerned about finding a spot to land for the night.  The volunteer at the Center is helpful and directs us to one of her favorite areas, but on the way we spot a huge expanse of land between two mountains with RVs sitting spaciously from each other.  And there is a cell signal!

That's us, the red dot in the middle!

Turning the camper door away from the setting sun, we think this spot is perfect for the night, not realizing that it will be perfect for the next four nights!

It's difficult to see from the photo, but there is no one close to us!  I can yell at Sylvester, David can yell at me, and no one can hear!

We want to see the pictographs that LuAnn  (http://paintyourlandscape.com/2015/01/25/natures-history-lesson-anza-borrego-desert-state-park-ca/) recently wrote about in her blog.

To find the trail we must take the truck for miles on sand roads...our little baby really got a work out, but it was worth it!

The photo is morteros.... holes made by the native people, Kumeyaay, used for grinding pinon nuts, mesquite beans and desert agave into meal.

There is a stunning view on past the markings where a wall of rocks opens up to this panorama.

The Palm Canyon hike is also recommended by a friend.  This time I set off alone as the hubby declines the exertion two days in a row.
This will be my 3rd hike into a palm canyon...one two years ago and another, recently, in Kofa. But this is different!

I am able to go right up into the trees!

Our time at Anza Borrego is special....relaxing with nature surrounding us.  Coyotes serenading us at night after the light shows are over.

All is well in my world....no cares, no frustrations, nothing that must be accomplished!  Each night I enjoy the solitude, sitting alone,  watching the clouds float over the moon while hubby spends his time inside reading.

Little did I know that my world would turn upside down, temporarily, a few miles down the road.

The call came as we were on our way to Joshua Tree NP.  My friend, staying at our house, called to let us know that sewage was coming up in the sink downstairs!!!

She is rightfully traumatized and so am I!  I tell her I cannot talk...must get off the road!

After 24 hours of stress, the situation is resolved.  My dear 87 year old mom met the septic contractor who pumped the tank..and she paid him!  Very important as he did not like dealing with his customer being in California.  

And there is always a lesson to be learned!  So ready to get rid of the house!!!

While on the road, we feel alive and happy!  Not so much at home.

Currently posting from the library at Quartzsite....not sure were we will be tomorrow.  But all is well, again!