Since Jeanne and I were not going to be with our kids for the end of the holidays, we had a nice family get-together for Thanksgiving/XMAS/Max’s birthday in Atascadero. Jenn, Gus, & Max drove down for the T-Giving weekend to spend the time with family at Chad’s house. It was great to spend the time with the grand-chitlin’s all at the same time. So here are a few (OK, more than a few!) parting shots of our time spent together.
After being on the road as full-time RVers for over (7) years now, hitting all of the lower 48, Jeanne & I are starting to think about settling down again, just not decided on a location. The Prescott, AZ area is on our short list, so we decided to head over there and spend a little more time exploring the area for that purpose. A couple of mishaps (OK, brain-farts on my part) happened along the way. The first was our stop at the Palmdale Elk’s Lodge for an two-night stay. On the morning that we pulled out, as I neared the driveway, I could see the dip was pretty intense with evidence of previous RVers failures to clear the pavement (where they bottomed out/scraped the asphalt). But hey, I am the most intelligent person on the planet (a legend in my own mind) and I KNOW how to navigate such hazards. I crept along at a speed where you could clock me with a calendar, achieved an extreme angle to avoid bottoming out, and nevertheless scraped the $hit out of that asphalt anyway, only with one corner of my rear cap. “%&$*#@!” That was enough to wreck one’s day, but travel on we must. (The second mishap soon to follow.) We next two-nighted at the Needles Elk’s Lodge, this time without incident. We completed our escape from The Evil Empire and landed in the Prescott/Prescott Valley area. There we split our time between the Prescott Elk’s Lodge, the Prescott fairgrounds, and Point of Rocks RV Park. My second brain-fart happened when we were moving from the fairgrounds to Point of Rocks. Due to the park’s prohibition from early check-in, we had to kill a couple of hours. On the way in we found the Constellation Trails, a small park, where we took Woodrow Wilson out for a short walk. This park is off of one of Prescott’s INNUMERABLE traffic “roundy-rounds” (complete with skinny lanes) and as I pulled out to head for our new destination, somebody put one of those $%&@*^# low guardrails alongside the road. I promptly scraped against said guardrail and caused yet more minor body damage. “%&$*#@!” (We’ll be hunting down an RV body shop in our travels soon). Jeanne’s brother Dave wanted to take his son Alex on a vacation, so he booked a flight to Vegas where he rented a small Class-C motorhome and drove out to meet up with us. Dave & Alex joined us at Point of Rocks RV Park. The weather was a little harsh, most nights the temps were teens to twenties and we had to disconnect water hoses. But the days warmed up into the blazing 30’s to 40’s…
Playing tourguides for Dave & Alex, we first ventured out on a small hike around Watson Lake (OK, small is a relative term. This “small” was about 8 miles, plus or minus). Alex got a kick out of the weird ice formations we ran into.
On a fairly clear day we drove up to the old mining town of Jerome and walked the streets taking in the views and reading some of the history of what is now considered a ghost town.
Jeanne wanted to shake off the dust bunnies from her 4-wheelin’ skills, so what better way than to try to jar Alex’s eye teeth on the dirt road to Crown King, AZ. S. Senator Hwy leaves downtown Prescott and 7 miles out loses the asphalt. The road/trail is not particularly difficult as far as 4-wheelin’ goes, but there were a couple of fairly deep water crossings. We came upon Palace Station, touted to be one of the oldest structures in Arizona. What was once a stage station on the Senator Trail from Phoenix to Prescott is now used residentially by the U.S. Forest Service. Crown King is but a “wide spot in the road” where a couple of folks have set up businesses and call it a town. We stopped in to the local saloon and had a beer before we headed on back to civilization.
The “big kahuna”, the “piece de resistance”, the “BMOC”, has to be Grand Canyon N.P. We dragged Dave & Alex up to the South Rim where they were awed by the spectacular views of the canyon, even on a semi-overcast day like it was. There was just a touch of snow added to the scenery and the short couple mile walk along the rim was envigorating.
What visit to the Prescott area would be complete without a trek into Sedona? First stop on the way was the Nat’l Park site called Montezuma’s Castle. We got to give Alex exposure to some early Indian cliff dwellings that, even though named after Montezuma, Montezuma never actually had anything to do with and never visited. Then it was on to Sedona and the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Views were extraordinary from the small hill this church was built into. It also overlooks “The House”, a good sized mansion built by the inventor of Lasik eye surgery. From there we ventured into downtown Sedona for a stroll and lunch at Oaxaca Restaurant.
Dave & Alex stayed with us through XMAS and up to the end of December. We had a nice XMAS dinner, fun times touring the area, and many cold nights of UNO, Phase 10, and Wits & Wagers. I hate it when Alex gloats over his victories…But, alas, all good things must end and it was time for Dave & Alex to return to the real world. We said our good-byes and headed out to our respective destinations. Ours just happened to be about a week’s stay in the Mesquite, NV area, another prospective choice for settlement.
In Mesquite, our home of choice was the Casa Blanca Resort & Casino RV Park. Scouting the area, including another run into St. George, UT, we looked at some properties, shopped locally and actually got pretty good exposure to the area in just the short week we stayed. Enough to decide a very small “retirement community” such as Mesquite was not for us, at least for now.
That about catches us up for now. Next destination…? Until next post…