Monday, April 29, 2013

Final Days at Cave Creek and moving on North

Saturday April 27
Why RVer's come to Arizona in the WINTER!
Why Arizonians with RV's leave for the Northwest in Spring/Summer!

101 degrees today.  We took the Harley to Costco in early afternoon, since this was our last chance for Costco for... ? awhile.
It was too much for me.  It used to be that I loved the heat... no matter how hot.  But I guess our bodies change, and I cant seem to handle this heat the past week.  I wonder how I will handle the Summer in Moab Utah.

Our friends, Harry & Drina, leave in 2 weeks for camp host assignments on the Oregon Coast and on the Columbia Gorge in Northern Oregon.  NOW I understand their love for Oregon in Summer.

But regardless of the heat, we have very much enjoyed our 2 weeks here.  Good times with good friends... crackling fires under a starry sky... warm rides... but not a lot of hiking on the trails.  The heat is one reason, the other reason is this...

Blends in with its surroundings quite well... don't you think?
Turtle burgers??
I had never had turtle before... but I was willing to give it a try.
Harry and Emma were quite proud of their turtle burgers.

Cute little boy...
One morning last week, Drina came by with Levi, a just turned One year old.  Drina babysits a few mornings a week.  He was a delight!  A much more enjoyable way to enjoy our morning coffee.

There isn't a lot of water in the desert, and it was calling our name.  Even though we didn't get in the water or go out on the water... it was still nice being by the water.  (They charge crazy prices to rent a boat!)

 Jeff and I rode out to Lake Pleasant last week and enjoyed lunch at Dillons at  Scorpion Bay Marina.  We (not just us... but everyone around us) tossed pieces of bread and fries into the lake where the ducks darted for it, but if we tossed in enough it floated down and got the attention of the fish... there were ALOT of fish... BIG fish... if only we could toss a string in!

BUT we forgot our camera that day.  SO we invited Harry and Drina to go for lunch with us on Friday.  We got a few pictures (those above) but SOMEONE dropped yet another camera.

Campfires with friends...

Desert Sunsets...

Monday April 29
Dead Horse Ranch State Park...
Yesterday was travel day.  After our 2 weeks at Cave Creek we traveled 90 miles North to Dead Horse Ranch SP, in Cottonwood.  The drive was nice, and 90 miles... now that's my kind of travel day.

 Even with only 90 miles to go, we made a stop to check the swivel wheel and let the tire cool.

We weren't sure we would like this park as much, especially since we got a pull-thru site... but we immediately knew we would like it here.

There are so many surrounding places we plan to go and things to see... and a train to ride!
Tomorrow is Jeff's birthday so maybe we will do the Verde Canyon Railway ride tomorrow.  WHATEVER my man wants!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Beautiful Day... Incredible Ride!

Yesterday we took the Harley out on a back road tour to visit three other parks/campgrounds in the area.  Since we've started camp hosting and workamping, we try to visit park and campgrounds in the areas we visit so we know if we might be interested in hosting there in the future.
Temps were in the mid to high 80s yesterday, with just a mild breeze.  I planned out the route so as to avoid traffic as much as possible, and it turned out to be an incredible ride.

The ride was 140 miles roundtrip.  We took McDowell Mountain Rd, and stopped at McDowell Mountain Regional Park (Maricopa County Park).  It was secluded and quiet with nice host sites, so it is a possibility for future hosting. 
Then we rode through the town of Fountain Hills, which gave us the impression of being the more upscale part of the Phoenix area, with beautiful golf courses on both sides of the road, and golf cart crossings.
From there we hopped the 87 Beeline Hwy headed toward Payson, but we went only a few miles and turned onto Bush Hwy which would take us through the Tonto National Forest, past Saguaro Lake, then bring us to Usery Mountain Pass Rd.
It was a little freaky at times because the road often did this... 

 The road would climb to a high point, then suddenly drop back down... so you couldn't see what was coming until you were at the very top.  On a motorcycle, that bothers me a lot more than in a car.

Off of Usery Mountain Pass Rd is Usery Mountain Regional Park.  THIS park may be the most beautiful desert park we have ever been to.  The sites are surrounded by every kind of cactus and desert plant.  The park just felt inviting.

... and all the host sites had a tall shelter for the RV


After letting the bike cool down a bit, we set out for the third park on our list... Lost Dutchmen State Park, which is out past Apache Junction.  This town gave us an opposite impression of that of Fountain Hills.

Our impression of this park wasn't good.  For whatever reason, we both described it as almost depressing.

This helicopter had been out searching for a man who went missing on a hike in the Superstition mountains a few days ago.  Unfortunately, they found his body this morning.  The man had gone hiking by himself, without knowing the area and without enough water.

From Lost Dutchmen SP, I routed us the quickest way home, since we had plans to meet up with Harry & Drina at the Road Runner.  But this was Friday in Phoenix rush hour... NOT FUN!  I was so tense.  People drive crazy at 75-85 mph weaving in and out searching for the fastest lane, and we are so vulnerable out there in the open on a motorcycle.  I had Jeff get off the freeway as soon as we could... I'd had enough.  The bike was running hot so we stopped to let it cool down and calm our (my) nerves with a cold beer.  I was so sun burned that I wanted to get back to get Aloe Vera put on it, so we went back home instead of meeting up with our friends.  Up until that last hour, the day had been enjoyable but by then I was just so glad to be off the bike and feet on the ground safely at home. 

We are meeting up with our friends as well as their grandkids in a few minutes, so better get going.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Back in Cave Creek, AZ

Monday, 4/15

Its time to work on those suntans... and we started on that this afternoon.  A Sunny 90 degrees... we're liking it!

We arrived after sunset last night, and getting into our site was a bit challenging.  This site is angled so that the driver has to back up on his blind side... so this along with being tired, it being dark, and the swivelwheel trailer with the Harley... it got tense.
We finally stopped with the truck still in the road, offloaded the Harley, removed the swivelwheel trailer, THEN tried it again.  We got it... and we were comfortable but we waited until this morning unhook the truck.

All was well this morning... I opened the bedroom blind to see the best view we have seen from bed in a very long time.  No people, no buildings, nothing artificial... just mountains and ground covered with a variety of desert plants and cacti... Saguaro, Ocotillo, Prickly Pear, Barrel.  It was a beautiful start to the day.
We're in the same site we were in when we were here last April.  What I hadn't remembered was that we can get television.  We are able to get over 40 digital channels just with the antenna.  This is good and bad.  We like having television... but we tend to go to bed earlier if we don't have it.  We seem to like to sleep... so the later we stay up, the later we sleep in the morning, so warm sunshine is wasting away.
We enjoyed our trip here... I would like to have had more days to get here... but we did it and still enjoyed it in the 4 days we allowed ourselves.  We stayed the first night at Sparks Marina RV park... a good park for a good price.  The second night we stayed in the RV Truck parking lot beside Banc Club in Tonopah, NV.  We stayed there before, and although it was busier this time, there was space for us, it was quiet and enjoyable.  By the time we got up... there was only one other rig in the lot.
Jeff checked on the Harley and Swivelwheel, and found that we had a broken strap!

So on the list to buy is heavy-heavy-heavier ratchet straps.  Especially after the next day, when  ANOTHER strap broke!

The third night we were hoping to make it to Boulder City... and we could have, but it was getting dark and we were approaching the center of Vegas where we would merge onto the 215, then exit onto the 515... and all that seemed too stressful to do in the dark.  On my map and the internet I found Oasis Las Vegas Resort which we would be going right by before we got much further into Vegas.

Just 10 minutes away, I called to see if they had a site that would accommodate our 62 feet... and they did, but it would require their "big rig" site.  Next question, "how much?" She told me how much... "WHAT? HOW MUCH??" then we lost signal.  So I called back.  Yep... I heard right.  $70.56 Wow... sure glad I have that AAA discount.  I told her I would tell my husband and let him freak out too then we would either be there or we wouldn't.  At first Jeff said NO WAY! but we decided we could find some way to justify it... we needed to stop for the day.

Until this night, the highest crazy amount we have paid was $65!  That was our very first night out in our new fifth wheel.  We took it from Elkhart, Indiana to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where we wanted to visit the Harley factory and museum.  The only place we could find was the fairgrounds... AND the fair was going on!  So we paid $65 to park on pavement in a lot backed up to the roller coaster!

So I have to admit... this resort was a lot nicer than the last ridiculously expensive stay, but give me a break!  I am parking my own home!  they don't have to make my bed or vacuum the floor or clean my shower.  And get this!  When I checked in, she asked if I wanted Wifi... it was EXTRA!!
So Did That... Wont Do it Again.

Sunday morning we pulled out of this fine resort and made our way through Vegas, around Hoover Dam, and into Arizona.  We stopped to relax and enjoy ourselves a few times, so we didn't arrive at our destination until dark... but I guess that's where I started this post.  Here we are... set up at Cave Creek Regional Park.

Now its Tuesday evening, and we have very much enjoyed our first 2 days here. 
Yesterday evening we went to our friends house.  We met Harry & Drina while hosting together at Carl Washburne SP in Oregon.  They are RVers but only part-time.  They have a beautiful home here in New River, Arizona.

We plan to see a lot of each other while we're here.

 Today we just enjoyed our site and the park, and rode the Harley to Wal-Mart to get a few things (like those heavy heavy duty tie down straps). It was a bit windy today and forecast is wind tomorrow, but hopefully that's it for wind.  I don't like wind.  We have lots of local Harley trips planned, sites to see, hikes to do.

Thanks for checking on us... and if you have time, will you leave us a note?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Moving South and East

We moved out of Redding RV Park as planned on March 29th.  Headed for Valley of the Rogue State Park, out of Rogue River, Oregon.

We settled into our reserved space for 8 nights… which turned into 13 nights.

The weather didn’t cooperate too well for working outside at our house or playing outside, but we did get some things done, and enjoyed our time back in Southern Oregon.

We had the chance to spend some time with family. 

My parents live just a few miles from the park, and my sister, Carol, came down from Portland.

Our hope was to have both of Jeff’s sons together for a few days, but we are happy for what we did get.  Jacob and his girlfriend Kody drove down from Madras and spent 2 nights.

Sadly, Jonathan did not join us, but we did get a chance to see him briefly a few nights later.  We spent a few hours together around a roaring campfire… but failed to get any pictures!

Now we are driving the familiar route from Oregon to Reno.  We take I-5 to Mt.Shasta then turn off on Hwy 89 that cuts us over to Susanville then we take the 395 into Reno.  It’s a beautiful drive, but a lot of climbing and descending, and a little winding.

We passed one of our favorite pull-over boondocking spots, where we would have stayed last night if we had gotten away as originally planned.  But since we didn’t leave until this morning, we will drive through to the Reno area 328 miles, where we hope to stay Sparks Marina RV Park.  I better give them a call.

Its good to be on the road again.  Although the same excitement isn’t there this time.  Maybe because we have plans and set destinations.  It isn’t like we are just free floating gypsy’s… that’s exciting… and we  could be doing that now… but when you are 62 feet long, you cant always just expect there will be a place to stay.  We have 2 two week reservations at parks in Arizona, then its off to Moab, Utah for our Summer assignment. 

Happy Travels all of you fellow RVers!