Here we go to Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and Kanab, Utah and the Favorite Addition of the Week We Added to our Camper…

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After leaving Glen Canyon we headed to Kanab for our free boondocking spot and to explore the area.  Actually, the campsite we chose was called Kitchen Wash BLM in Grand Staircase Escalante.  It was a very peaceful place that was near some hikes we wanted to do.  The three nights we were there we were the only ones.  It was super windy and a couple of the mornings we woke up to below freezing temps, one of those mornings to 15 degrees, however it warmed up quickly.  

We scored some permits to do a hike in Wirepass/Buckskin Gulch. The permits can be scored at Rec.gov  for $6.00 each.  If you are in the area we highly recommend doing this hike.  It was so beautiful and made us feel like we didn’t miss anything by not being able to go to Antelope Canyon.  There were some people but for the most part it wasn’t as crowded as it could have been.  The drive up there however is much to be desired.  It is an 8 mile horrible road to get to the trailhead.  The trailhead shares the same parking area as if you were doing the Wave.  We had a nice day and the views were great.  We could have brought Eris, however we decided she would be happier at home, after all it was a 5.6 mile hike and we had to go down this sketchy ladder.  Ok maybe it was sturdy but it had a huge boulder in the middle of it.  Anyway, that was the only sketchy part.  I am glad we did this hike.  Basically, we did what we wanted to and turned around.  If we were to hike the whole thing it would have taken us to Lees Ferry. Of course that would have been 4 days later and 40 miles more.  Mike, being the smart man that he is, did not tell me that Backpacker Magazine rated this as the most dangerous hike in the United States as there is no escape in certain/most of the trail. After that hike we felt bad about leaving Eris at home so we took her to Box Canyon.  Short easy hike.  There were many other hikes but we were ready to move on, so move on we did.  

We went into Kanab a couple times. One was to do laundry.  What we also found was the headquarters for Stampin’UP.  It was fun to see where a good portion of my money went.  Beautiful facility, however, when I went in there wasn’t anyone at the receptionist desk.  Oh well, still sort of neat.  As we were only there for a few days we didn’t do much else.  

Oh and the other thing that happened we got stuck in a cow jam. But look how cute.

This is a short post this week, however, next week is all about our time spent in Zion, so be sure to check in next week.  

This weeks favorite addition to the camper is our door mat.  We got this at the recommendation of my sister inlaw at the Tampa RV Super Show.  It is a little spendy coming in at $50.00 but is worth every penny. It is handmade in Florida and the name of the company is Florida Outdoor Mat Company, their phone number is 727/258-8162.  We love this thing so much it is the very first thing to go down when we set up camp and also, when we may plan on getting another one when we return to Florida for our cabin.  Anyway, if you need a good, durable mat, give them a call.  

So enjoy this weeks pics and we will check in with you next week from Zion, and remember to like and follow if you find these interesting and useful or at least entertaining.  

Remember to keep exploring, discovering and dreaming and keep asking yourself whatrwewaiting4…

Stay safe,

Hope, Mike and Eris

COME ALONG WITH US AS WE TALK ABOUT BOONDOCKING IN GLEN CANYON AND OUR FAV ADDITION OF THE WEEK

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Glen Canyon has it all, cliffs, buttes, sand dunes and whitewater rapids.  It spans from southern Utah as part of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument to northern Arizona.  It includes Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Lees Ferry.   We wanted to go to Antelope Canyon but as it is on Indian land it was closed because of Covid.  However, Horseshoe Bend was open so we were able to go there.  It was $10.00 for the car load to get into Horseshoe Canyon.  There is a short walk to go see it.  The day we were there it was a busy weekday, however, it was not so bad that we felt unsafe as far as Covid goes.  There is not really anything there, you can purchase water and stickers at the entrance booth. Make sure you carry water as there is no shade and while it is not a long hike it is still hot, and we were there in early April.  Also, there are bathrooms in the parking lot.  Pups are able to go on this hike and Eris seems to like the edge of rocks.  Was it worth going? Heck yeah…

Now let me tell you about Lees Ferry, where we boondocked  for 7 days.  While it was not free it was boondocking just the same, no electrical, water or sewer.  There was access to water and a dump in the area.  There were bathrooms in the campground with running water.  I can’t speak of the cleanliness as we didn’t use them.  Each campsite has a table and pavillion or as they call it here a ramada and I believe they all have a view. The campground sits in the canyon on the Colorado River. Glen Canyon is basically the bottom of the Grand Canyon, as a matter of fact, if you (it won’t be me) wants to raft to through the Grand Canyon you start your journey here. While we were there the campground was $20.00 a night, first come, first serve.  My advice is to get there early as it fills up every day by 3 p.m.  

 There are plenty of hikes that kept us busy.  Mostly short, and all that Eris went on with us. One hike that we did was Lonely Dell Ranch Walking Tour which connects into Paria Canyon Trail, which we did part of the following week. You’ll have to return next week to hear all about that hike. Let’s just say it took care of our need to hike Antelope Canyon.  Anyway, back to the Lonely Dell Ranch hike, it starts by going up a dirt road where there is a parking lot.  Lonely Dell Ranch is what it the name implies, a ranch that was the home to the families who operated Lees Ferry in the 1870’s-1880’s. Let’s start with wherea and why is Lees Ferry. Lees Ferry is located in a secluded area of northern Arizona, it was a ferry operation established to offer transporation across the Colorado River for the Morman pioneers headed south from Utah into Arizona.  On to the hike, we started at the parking lot and walked past the orchard.  Sadly there wasn’t anything blooming, otherwise they were free for the picking.  After passing the orchard comes the ranch which is collection of buildings that was the homestead of the Lonely Dell Ranch.  We continued walking down the trail and saw some old trucks and equipment.  Then we went beyond the “Lonely Dell Trail” and continued on down the Paria Trail, we came to a ledge, I was not comfortable continuing on but I saw the Paria River was pretty low and I was willing to go across the river that way, so that is what I did. Mike and Eris continued with me going across, we walked for a little while longer and then turned around.  When we got to the ledge, I again said “ahh nope” so I went across by myself, Mike and Eris went across the sketchy ledge.  

Another memorable hike was the Cathedral Wash Hike.  This hike was rated as moderate, a 3 on the scale of 1-5.  Not very long but to me it was everybit a rating of 3.  This hike began in the wash and if we would have reached the end would have ended up at the Colorado River. However, we stopped before that because we got to an area that we would have gone down this huge drop and I wasn’t about it.  It was a beautiful hike but I hate having to try to figure out how I am getting out of these situations that don’t make me comfortable to begin with.  We did bring Eris, oops we realized after that she wasn’t supposed to go.  

We did a few other hikes around the area. All had their views.  My take on Lees Ferry, the area and the campground, will we be back, heck yeah.  Oh forgot, the night sky is crazy beautiful. 

Enjoy the photos of the area and I hope this will have you wanting you to add it to your bucket list.

As for the favorite addition that we made to our camper, this week it is our solar system, and Battleborn Litium Batteries.  We have 650 watts of solar panels, two charge controllers, 3 Battleborn Litium Batteries and two small invertors.  We have never come close to using all of our available power. On a sunny day, we can charge my computer (it is a power hog), use our crock pot and cook all day on it.  We watch tv every night, charge all of our items that need to be charged.  This has made it easy for us to boondock, and when looking at campgrounds we don’t care if electrical is offered as it is not needed.  We have not needed our generator that we have been carrying with us.  We do wish people would invest in solar it is so worth it, environmentally friendly and not annoying to any fellow campers around.  Mike could go on and on about our solar system, so if you have any questions about our set up, don’t hesitate to ask. 

I hope you enjoyed this weeks blog about Glen Canyon and makes you want to add it to your bucket list and also our fav addition to our camper.  Come back next week to hear about Kanab and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. 

If you liked this be sure to like it and follow us. 

Until next week, 

Stay safe,

Hope, Mike and Eris

Sedona/Cottonwood, Covid Vaccine and Fav Addition of the Week

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We left William on a very brisk 15 degree morning to head to Sedona.  We had some BLM picked out for the next few nights between Sedona and Cottonwood.  We use RV Trip Wizard for navigation, so we figured all good safe roads…well it was safe but OMG it was scary, beautiful but scary, it was twisty, turny and up and down, 89A which took us right in the middle of Sedona.  Which is a beautiful little town with red rocks everywhere.  It was super crowded but we figured ok we will check it out after we get set up in our boondocking spot.  What was recommended was The Main Drag 525 Dispersed Camping.  We were actually using the coordinates off of someones review from Campendium.  Unless this dude went off the side of the cliff there was nothing there, so now we are about 2 miles up the gravel, washboard road and have no where to turn and yet it was a drag strip, all these ORV and trucks hauling but passed us.  Mike had to back down the road for and he wiggle his way into a 50 or more point turn to get us turned around.  By the time we got back down to the bottom of this road we were spent. Recap of the drive, I40-not smooth, then up and down the twisty turny roads of 89A and then to the campground with way wrong coordinates.  We thought about setting up down in the middle of it all however, we had no cell service, so we decided to move on.  

We ended up at Coffee Creek Camping, where the site was uneven and some sketchyness was happening around there.  Nice views and we made it work.  However, the cell service wasn’t much better but we were able to get a signal for a little bit to get our Covid vaccines done, but it was farther away then even Cottonwood.  We headed to Dead Horse State Park in Cottonwood to do a little hike.  While we were there we decided that it would be nice to have some conveniences for when we go to get the vaccine, as with all of us, we didn’t know if we would have a reaction and we were out boondocking for 12 nights by this point.  We made reservations at Rain Spirit RV Park and it is just what we needed. We were able to get everything cleaned up, there was a pool, a hot tub and we got our vaccines and we were able to order some stuff from Amazon, we ordered a cell booster.  Which works ok.  We went to Jerome, what a cute little town.  It was a hilly little western town.  With some history.  

One day we went to Tuzigoot (which is Tonto Apache for “crooked waters”National Monument.  It preserves the 2-3 story pueblo ruin on the summit of a limestone and sandstone ridge.  Pretty cool place.  We could almost see our campground from this location. Another day we we went to Montezuma’s Castle National Monument.  This protects the dwellings which was built by the Sinagua people. While there aren’t any rangers giving ranger tours or anything it was nice that they had volunteers who were willing to speak of the history of the area.  We then went to Montezuma’s Well which is a natural limestone sinkhole. Very cool and again they have volunteers that are full of knowledge.  We decided that while we knew we couldn’t take Eris on any trails in the Red Rocks State Park maybe we can drive around.  Around we did, around the building, no pets allowed at all in the park.  Sort of a bummer so we left and started to find our own scenic drive.  We did see the Chapel of the Holy Cross and went to downtown Sedona.  It was so crowded and no one was wearing face masks, some of the stores, like in Jerome said sorry there is no mask requirement.  While we have had Covid and we had our first shot, we still don’t feel safe.  Maybe we just like our little bubble. Cottonwood is another adorable western town.  We didn’t do much there, but drive through it.  Cottonwood also has everything one might need, like a Home Depot or Walmart.  We stayed at Rain Spirit for a few nights and then headed north to Glen Canyon.  Which is amazing and that will be in next weeks blog post.  

My favorite accessory of the week is our cutting/extension table next to our sink.  Living minimaly we don’t really have a large galley nor counter space. Mike added this to our counter top almost immediately after us getting the camper.  It hinges up and down, so it can be a staging area for things that are coming in or out, or even for dishes that need to be washed.  

So bottomline, when in Sedona, be sure to check out the National Monuments, if you get a chance do some hikes, there are some amazing hikes in the area, and check out Cottonwood as well.  

That’s all for this week, catch ya’ll next week where we head to Glen Canyon.  

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Thanks, 

Until next week, safe travels and remember life is short so get out there and explore, discover and dream.

Hope & Mike

Joshua Tree to Williams and Grand Canyon and Favorite Item of the Week

We left Joshua Tree to make it towards Grand Canyon.  We made it after a very long drive to Williams where we found a decent campsite and then headed to the little town of Williams.  It is such a cute little town that really is the gateway to the Grand Canyon.  They Grand Canyon Railroad takes off from there and if we didn’t have a 4 legged kid with us we would have done it.  Anyway, we were only gonna stay at the campground that we stayed at for one night and then move closer to the Grand Canyon but there was things we needed to do in Williams so we stayed where we were and drove the hour to the park.  

The campground we stayed at was Garland Prairie Road Dispersed Camping.  It was free and was really a nice area. My only complaint was no real workable cell service.  We figured ok, next place will have it so we will just suffer it out until then.  

We headed into the Grand Canyon in the afternoon on the second day and it was a good time to go, crowds were lighter and our wait to get in was not so bad.  Well the I should say the crowds were lighter as far as waiting at the gate and parking.  However, the first thing the both of us thought was wow this is like Animal Kingdom (Disney for those of you who aren’t familiar), heavy crowds and sort of hot.  We got the papers from the Rangers and got the lay of the land.  Eris was able to do anything on top of the rim, which I was good with that, I didn’t have any intentions of hiking down at least not this time.  So we hiked the rim and oh my it did not disappoint. I am grateful for digital camera and I did not have to print the what would have been rolls and rolls of film in my previous days.  We headed into the park twice like this, in the afternoon and the second time in we did the scenic drive and again were not disappointed.  We did see some Elk, and deer on both days.  Eris really doesn’t know what to make of them.  Really since we weren’t really going to be doing any of the hikes other then on the rim two days or should I say 1 full day was really enough.  The beauty was amazing and every step we took was breathtaking.  But after a while we realized that everywhere we turned would not look much different then the other locations.  

One day while there we headed into Williams to go to the laundromat.  It was clean and reasonable.  Another evening we were so looking forward to going to the Grand Canyon Brewery.  Well when we got there we were sadly disappointed. It was filled to capacity and no one, I mean no one, except us was wearing a mask.  Felt so unsafe.  We had Covid once and we do not want to get it again. So we left. 

Another day we took a drive to Flagstaff, what a beautiful place.  We could move there if we didn’t already have our winter home in Florida.  We took Eris to the groomer, got her bathed and nails done, got an oil change in the truck, found an REI where we got Eris a pair of boots, she was not thrilled with them when we tried them on her but she may like them in the future.  Also, we decided that all the REI’s out here have amazing views.  The view was San Fransciso mountain range.  Mike asked the girl at REI and said if there is one thing we have to do in Flagstaff what would it be, she did not hesitate to say Snow Bowl. We were taking the scenic drive home so we passed right but the mountain pass that took us up to Snow Bowl.  Eris did not know what to make of that white stuff.  We didn’t try her in the boots, maybe we should have.  Snow Bowl itself was closed but there were trailheads there.  We weren’t really prepared for snow and ice so we headed back down.  We drove the rest of the beautiful drive back home and just chilled.  

After a few days we figured we have seen enough and were ready to move on and on the morning we decided we needed to head down to lower elevation we woke up to 15 degrees.  We were headed to Sedona for a few days to check out the red rocks.  

So be sure to check back next week to hear all about our stay in Sedona. 

This week I am most grateful for the addition of the handle on our screen door.  Where we are currently it is 25-30 mph winds with 50 mph gusts.  It’s crazy, to hear about this be sure to check back with us next week. 

If you want up to date status be sure to check out our Instagram page, I update that daily.  @what_r_we_waiting_4 

Until next week, if you enjoyed this be sure to like and consider following us and subscribing to the email list.  

Hope, Mike and Eris

YUMA TO QUARTZSITE TO JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, WHERE TO GET GREAT PHOTOS, WHERE TO HIKE WITH FOUR LEGGED FRIENDS AND CHEVY TRUCK BUILT LIKE A ROCK…..

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We headed to Quartzsite where we were treated to a nice boondocking spot at the LTVA BLM (Long-Term Visitor Area-Bureau of Land Managment).  We could have stayed there for 2 weeks for the cost of $40.00, there is a dump, trash and potable water available. Also there are people who stay for the whole season, (7 months) for something like $180.00. Pretty reasonable place to be.  It is about 2 miles from  Quartzsite, which is where the Big Tent (RV Show) is held as well as the gem show.  Oh, the rocks, were everywhere.  Poor Eris feet.  I tried doing yoga outside and I used the rocks under under my mat as pressure point relievers.  We can only imagine what this place was like during the rv show.  Quartzsite truly is a nomad mecca.  We do plan on coming back for the Big Tent next year. Our campsite was nice and private in a big field.  But no one really was that close to us.  It was super windy when we were there so the dust and sand was everywhere.  But can’t expect much different since it is the desert afterall.   We spent 4 nights there, had 4 beautiful sunsets and then  it was time to head to Joshua Tree.  

We arrived to Joshua Tree, South BLM after a couple hour windy drive.  We couldn’t have been any closer to the Joshua Tree sign even if we were staying inside the park.  First thing after we got camp set up was to head into the park to the Visitor’s Center, where we got the maps and lay of the land.  Of course there was not much we could do with Eris so it was a mostly drive thru park.  We did stop and see alot however.  The park is layed out and is condusive to pulling off and seeing and climbing up and over rocks, which we did.  We were able to take Eris on two trails, one honestly really sucked it was supposed to be an Oasis and the other was Keys View which was a beautiful overlook, not really a hike.  This is a beautiful park.  Joshua Tree is famous for it’s namesake the Joshua Tree, which is only found here.  The park roadway winds it’s way from the Colorado Desert to the Mojave Desert where all the Joshua Trees are.  It is such different landscapes.  We drove through the campgrounds to see what it is all about.  While they would have been nice to stay in, we were quite content to be right outside the south entrance for free.  We had the same amenities they have except we had a lot more space.  Basically outside the park on the south entrance there really is nothing.  We did find some hikes the pup could do we picked one called the Painted Canyon.  The drive to the hike was as beautiful if not in some spots as driving through the park.  We realized that Eris while she is a 3 mile dog in normal conditions she is a 2 mile dog in the desert.  After the canyons we went down to check out the Salton Sea.  Very interesting, it is a body of water that was made by accident.  Sadly the accident was pollutants.  There is the highest concentration of salt in this body of water that only two forms of sea life exist.  However, it was nice to smell the salt water as we haven’t had that scent since Mississippi. Also, what I noticed while we were having our picnic was the sound of the sea birds.   Down there they offer camping, fairly reasonable with hookups. But there really is nothing to do there.   

One day Mike had me drive him up the mountain from the campground so he could ride his bike back down.  He smiled all the way down. 

If in the area and need someplace to stay I highly recommend Joshua Tree South BLM, great space and super great cell service, amazing sunsets and great stargazing.

Best place for photos in this area is in Joshua Tree National Park at all of the pull offs.  Supposidly the best place for a sunset photos is at Keys View.  We couldn’t get a parking during the sunset so we came back in the daytime.  The sky was sadly hazy. I got better photos elsewhere in the park and I got amazing sunsets at our campsite.  Also, I highly recommend doing the other trails in the area outside the south of the park.  I got some amazing photos of canyons.

Oh where can the four legged friends go, all over Quartzsite and the BLM land around it, only two trails in Joshua Tree and mile and miles of trails by the Painted Canyon. 

We have done a lot of upgrades to our home, I would like to take the time to mention one a week. However, this weeks is not our camper it is our truck.  All I can say people if you are planning on going off road, make sure you have the proper vehicle to get yourself unstuck. Mike had to pull two people out of the soft sand. One couple spent the whole night in the sand in the park, the other rescue was in our campground.  

The weather was warming up so it was our time to move on and up, so follow along to see where our next adventures will take us.  

Don’t forget to explore, discover and dream and ask yourself what are you waiting for, life is short.

If you like this consider subscribing and like it and follow.  

Safe travels,

Hope, Mike and Eris, the lowerrider camping hound.

Tucson to Why….why you ask, well read all about it below….and then on to Yuma..

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Last week I left off with us at El Pais in Tucson and we were headed to Organ Pipe National Monument.  We arrived at our boondocking (no hook-ups) spot at Gunsite Wash BLM (Bureau of Land Management) set up our home for the next few days and went to the National Monument to be able to make our plans for the next few days and to see what, if any, trails Eris could hike on.  

Gunsite Wash BLM is in Why, Arizona.  It was an excellent and free campsite with amazing sunsets, (and probably sunrises, they happened before I was up), privacy and amazing cell service.  While there was no trash, or hook-ups of any kind in the area we were able to go to a campground in Why, Coyote Campground to take care of all of that when we we left, for $12.00. Speaking of coyotes, we heard them in the distance.  Why (haha) stay here, because it is free and a great place to be to go to Organ Pipe National Monument, the beautiful sunsets and peace and quiet.  Why has a gas station and the campground and nothing much else. There is plenty of hiking that can be done in this area and/or biking.  We did take my bike off the rack for the first time and I went out exploring, it is huge and man am I out of biking shape. 

 Why you ask, that is the question and we don’t have the answer.  If you ask where we would answer Why.

There is another little town about 10 miles away, called Ajo. Ajo is an old, little mining town with a town plaza, built in 1917. Which has a train depot with a visitor’s center, which was closed at our time of visits.  Mining was the operation of the times and we went up to check out the Mine Lookout. It has a visitor’s center but when we were there it too was closed.  So all we could do was look through the fence. The mine pit is over a mile in diameter.  John Greenway was a business man who had settled in Ajo, he was the general manager of the mining company.  He was married to Isabella who was the first congresswoman for Arizona.  John built Isabella a beautiful home in Ajo.  He died shortly after it was built.  The employees made a cross out of flowers for the funeral.  Isabella had it caste in concrete and brought it up to the top of the mountain, which can be seen for miles in all directions.  Our trip to Ajo was to sightsee but mostly to do laundry and pick up a few provisions.  

The reason for even going this direction was to to go to Organ Pipe National Monument.  Organ Pipe has a visitor’s center where all the information can be found.  Our trip has been to be able to find hikes we can take the pup on.  There is not much in this park.  Organ Pipe is known as the “Green Desert”.  There are 2 distinct plant commuinities the Lower Colorado Valley and the Arizona Upland.  The Lower has adapted to North America’s hottest climate it is the dryest of the Sonoran Desert the Upland is the wetter of the Sonaran Desert.  There are 28 cactus species but most prevelant is the Saguaro and Organ Pipe. Organ Pipe is a  large rare cactus in the US. The Organ Pipe blooms in May, June and July, we won’t be here to see.   Organ Pipe is more common in Mexico, which is on the border of the National Monumnet.  There are warnings about illegal (I hate to call people that) about them being there, don’t pick them up, watch for people with black water bottles and carrying packages.  Border patrol is the most prevelant in the park. Border Patrol reports that there were over 4,000 arrests and they seized approximately 100,000 pounds of marijuan in Organ Pipe during 2013.   We did not see anything or anybody who didn’t belong while we were there.  We did  get to see the wall. There are two beautiful and yet distinctly different scenic drives.  I am glad we had a truck to to them in.  One is the Ajo Mountain which is 21 miles long we spent one day doing that one, because after all you can’t go fast and there are so many overlooks and hikes to see and the other is the Puerto Blanco Trail which is 41 miles and would only recommend doing with a high clearance vehicle.  It is 41 miles long and took us nearly 6 hours, of course we did do a couple hikes on this road.  While in the area be sure to make the trip into the park it is worth the time. While there wasn’t any hikes we could take Eris on we did do the few we could and our quest to find more hiking trails for her continues. 

After spending 5 super peaceful nights at Gunsite Wash it was our time to go, we headed up 85 to I-8 to Yuma.  There was a beautiful mountain pass we had to do.  I’m not going to lie, while they still freak me out they aren’t as bad when there isn’t construction and plenty of room. We made it to Yuma, we weren’t 100% sure where we were going to stay.  We ended up in Kofa Co-Op which is an Escapee’s only park and 55 + as well.  It has a pool and nice laundry facilities and super nice people.  

What I am digging about this lifestyle is the ability to take the time and stop and smell the roses.  On our way from Gunsite Wash to Yuma Mike saw on the map something about Painted Rock Petroglyph Site and Campground.  We needed to stop, because you never know if you will get the chance again. Take the time and pull off when you can.  Painted Rocks is an  ancient archaelogical site containing hundreds of rock etchings.  It does not take long and we were able to stop, stretch and and have lunch, because afterall we have our home with us.  This was worth the stop for sure.  

Yuma has it all.  Honestly if we didn’t have our homestead in Florida we could easily find ourselves spending our winters here.  It has a cute little “old town”.  While in the area we wanted to see the BLM land that was around, which is mostly in California.  While exploring we stumpled upon Tumco.  Another off the beaten path.  Tumco is an abandoned gold mining town and is one of the earliest gold mining areas in California.  In it’s span of 300 years or so, it had several periods of booms and bust.  It was pretty cool. Again, if you have the choice while traveling to stop and see things, do it.  

Back to Yuma.  We stayed in a full hook up site for 7 days.  Got laundry done and made many trips to The Home Depot.  We ate at a Chili’s for the first time since the pandemic.  Very interesting.  There are malls and everything here.  While we were here we did go on a 3 mile hike at the East Wetland Park.  Partly wooded and partly wide-opened.  It follows the Colorado River and it was a great chance to see some wildlife. There was plenty more hiking we could do.  But I needed to get some much needed work, well all of my work done as I am not sure what type of signal I will have for the next few weeks,  and Mike was working on more upgrades, we got laundry done.  

Of course even with having to work some we played alot.  We went to Mexico.  This too is a border town and on the other side of the border is Mexico.  Because of Covid when returning to the US we  must be over the border back in the US by 2 p.m.  Well we heard mixed things, like we needed to be in line by 2 or we had to be over.  Not sure we weren’t going to take chances.  We gave our neighbor the code to our door for the just in case we weren’t able to make it back so she could take care of our pup.  It wasn’t needed.  Next year when we go I plan on getting dental work and eyeglasses.  Where we crossed was Los Algodones.  We choose to walk over, which is very common.  Getting into Mexico they barely looked if we had any documentation.  Everyone was masked up, so made it feel somewhat safer.  It is like on a cruise where everyone trys to sell their wares.  Just say no thank you and they leave you alone.  However, not only are their wares the usual hats, ponchos etc., it is also dental and optical services.  A comparsion someone we spoke to had gotten a dental quote in Houston for $7,500.00 and had it all done in Mexico for $250.00.  Another comparson is my eyeglasses. I just paid nearly $500.00 for my glasses, frames included, there I was quoted $140.00 including frames, and eye exam.  So next year we will be back to Los Algondes for both of those services and of course a delicious Margarita and some lunch, both of which we had at 10:45 a.m. yup, 10:45 a.m. We figured it was noon somewhere.  After our delicious, intoxicating lunch we headed back to the border crossing.  We also heard that it could take hours to get across.  There the US Custom’s Agents actually did look at our passports, made us take off glasses, masks and any hats we may have had on.  But it was smooth.  When asked by the agent what I was bringing back I said alot of stuff I don’t need nor have room for, we did come back with a poncho, a jacket, a spoon rest, a wooden turtle, a bracelet and a dress oh and of course a bag.  We had a great time and we made it back in the US within 30 minutes.  

Another fun thing we did in Yuma was the Yuma Territorial Prison which is the historic prison in Yuma.  It was opened in 1876 and shut down in 1909.  It is named as one of the most haunted places in the US.  Over the course of 33 years it had 3,069 prisoners, 29 of which were woman. The crimes ranged from murder to polygamy with a little adultry in there as well.  This is the 3rd historic park in the Arizona.  There is a graveyard where there are 104 prisoners buried here.  After the prision closed down it became the high school while the new high school was being built.  There were movies made there, 3:10 to Yuma to mention just one of them.  It was said that the area was being stripped of anything valuable there, the citizens of the City of Yuma put a stop to it and made a historic site. There is a museum and a gift shop.  After touring the old prision of course it was time to go the Prison Hill Brewing Co. for lunch.  The beer was delicious and the lunch was equally as tasty.  We traded stickers.  When our server put it on the wall, one of the other server’s said wow that has to be the farthest away from us.  

We saved some stuff to do for the next time in Yuma and after a week of civilization it was time to get on some free land, so we left and headed north.  

Come back next week as our adventures continue up to Quartszite.  

Please like, follow and share.  

Until next week,

Hope and Mike

Extra, Extra read all about it: A lot has happended since Loma Paloma there was Carlesbad, Guadalupe Mountians, Tuson and Saguaro National Park

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I left off with us leaving Loma Paloma in Presidio to Texas to go to Carlesbad Caverns National Park. The day we were departing it said that we would be having a lot of wind. Wind we did, however, it was a tail wind so not as scary as it could have been. When we were leaving Loma Paloma we realized our water pump in the rig died, so we had to find a place where we could get one as we were boondocking and wouldn’t have hook-ups for the unforeseeable future and we needed water. So while we had service off an on and on our way towards El Paso Mike made a ton of phone calls. There was a Camping World outside of El Paso, so our plans were gonna have to change and we thought maybe we would hit Carlesbad another time. However, as luck would have it there was an RV dealer with a store front in Carlsbad. Mike got a hold of them and indeed they had our water pump, so plans were back on to hit Carlsbad. We got to Chosa and dropped the rig at what became our home for the next few nights and headed to Carlsbad to get the water pump. It was a nice store and had everything you could need or want. We headed back to the camper, Mike fixed the water pump and we had a decent nights sleep. It was warmer then it had been and we had our windows open and there was a rig that ran his generator all night long. Anyway, we got up early and headed to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. We got to use our National Park Pass for the first time, which was a great gift given to us by our besties, Nancy, Mark and Nya. We chose to walk down into the cave and everyone takes the elevator up. Felt totally safe, everyone was masked up. It was truly beautiful. After we picked up Eris and did the scenic drive through the park. That too was well worth the time. We got back to the rig and relaxed the rest of the evening. Carlesbad Caverns is an amazing sight to see. Above ground is the Chihuahuan Desert of the Guadelupe Mountains. Pre-covid they had ranger led tours, now you are on your own. After walking down the 733 feet below the surface is a rest area with a lunchroom, that of course was closed because of Covid. We did the walk down and then went into the balance of the cave. We highly recommend the walk down as it was just as beautiful as the rest of the caverns. After about 2 hours we got in line to take the elevator back up to the surface. Because of Covid it is only one party at a time, which I imagine pre-covid the elevators would have held at least a dozen or so people. The visitors center and exhibits were open. After returning home the peace and quiet of the campground was great, until the evening when all the other folks were returning to the campground or coming in. This would be the time for me to say how grateful we are to have solar on our rig. We still have not even started our generator yet. Honestly, I am not sure what people need to run at night that their house batteries wouldn’t be ok, but a schoolie pulled in on the one side and another travel trailer on the other. The schoolies’ fumes were coming right into our rig, even with closing the windows. They were outside, I asked if they could turn it off as the fumes were killing us and they apologized and did. The other folks kept theirs on for a while but the other guy who ran it all night the first night, ran it again the second. Solar and Battleborns…way to go. The following morning we got up and went to Guadalupe Mountains National Park on our way out of the area and heading to El Paso for some needed stores, Cabelas and grocery story. Guadalupe Mountains National Park is amazing and the hiking mecca. Of course we were just passing through and decided to see if there were any hikes that we could do with the dog. Only two were to be had, one to the campground and one on a nature trail. We did both. Guadalupe Mountain National Park as the park states: “preserves the rugged spirt and remote wilderness of the American West. The views were amazing and I believe that was the first and second (first-heading to Carlesbad and second leaving Carlesbad) mountain passes I did towing the rig. Heck maybe ever. They had pull offs and honestly the best place to get a picture of El Capitan is from the rest area. The visitor center was open as were the displays. After doing our short hikes we headed on the road to El Paso. Cabela’s was waiting for us. It was a semi-quick stop. Then we hit the road again and made it as far as Deming, New Mexico, where we stayed a Harvest Host for the evening. D.H. Lescombes Winery, where we had some delicious wines (I had a beer) and a charcuterie tray and purchased a bottle of wine for the road. After a serene and quiet night we got up and headed to Tuscon, where we planned on staying a couple of nights at another unique Harvest Host. El Pais Motel and Campground is a Mid Centruy themed Motel and Campground featuring vintage trailers, airstreams with a pool, (it was cold so we did not use) a clubhouse with all kinds of vintage items in it and chickens. We paid to stay here as we wanted full hookups. While visiting Tuscon (which again had everything we needed and then some, including an REI) we went to check out Catalina State Park. Very beautiful. We arrived later in the day, so we were only able to get in one short hike. The big thing we did was go to Saguaro National Park which is on the outskirts of Tuscon and is a small part of the Sonaran Desert The park has two distinct parts that are bascially split by Tuscon. We went to both sides in one day. A lot of driving but so worth it. As we couldn’t really go on any of the trails (no dogs) we did the scenic drives on both sides. My suggestion is, if a scenic drive is offered take it. They have pull offs and you never know what you are going to see. Both vistor’s centers were open and we were able to get our passport stamped. I think the Saguaro is my favorite cactus. After spending a few days in Tuscon it was time for us to move on…catch us next week as we talk about Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Yuma, Arizon.

Walkway down to the cave
Chosa
El Capitan
At El Pais

If you like this give it a thumbs up and considering following us so you will be sure to receive the blog posts as they come out.  

Until next week have a great week…

Hope

Loma Paloma RV Park in Presidio, Texas and Big Bend Ranch State Park

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After we spent a glorious 5 days boondocking in Amistad National Recreation Area we were due for some clean laundry and some a/c, even though now as I sit here writing this in Tucson, Arizona I have a heater down by my feet. But that was then and this is now.  We headed down US 90 from Amistad a little sad to be leaving that beautiful area, but the drive on 90 did not disappoint with the views either. 

 We made it down to Presidio after a long drive to a wonderful welcoming campground called Loma Paloma. For $22.00 a night it comes with free wifi, and full hookups.  Just an FYI they only take cash.  Their address is 17138 FM170 Presidio, Texas, their phone number is 432/229-2992. We were invited to happy hour which started shortly after us checking in. The laundry room has  3 machines of each washer and dryer and it is $1.50 each. Also, this is paid in cash in a honor system. This was a perfect place to get into Big Bend Ranch State Park and for the more ambitious you can drive through it and get to the west side of Big Bend National Park. We were told to take the beautiful ride through the State park and don’t underestimate it. Beautiful sunsets were a daily occurance.  

Presidio itself is a quant border town.  Doesn’t really have much of anything but it is cute nonetheless.  

We were at the Visitor’s Center of the State Park at 8:30 in the morning. Fort Leaton State Historic Site/Visitor Center, where we paid our entry money to get in the park and we went through the Fort and our daily pass gave us access to all the hikes we wanted to do. The reconstructed  Fort served as a trading post in the old Chihuahua Trail from 1848 to 1884.  It was interesting.   

We have a dog, so that limited us to the hikes we could do, but honestly the four we did do was enough.  We did not feel like we missed anything.  We did the short nature hike at the visitor’s center and then got in the car to drive the scenic road through the park and stop and see what we wanted to see.  We did a slot canyon hike and a hoodoo hike, which was a first for all of us. The Hoodos Trail is a 1.1 mile loop trail.  Has some elevation but not too terrible.  We got down the Rio Grande where the moutains on the other side were in Mexico.  Eris got to drink water out of the Rio Grande.  The Closed Canyon Trail (slot canyon) is about 1.4 miles long (round-trip).  It is a narrow slot canyon that divides Colorado Mesa in two. The Colorado Mesa was created about 28 million years ago.  The canyon leads to the Rio Grande but is unpassable without climbing gear. I had a hard enough time trying to climb over the boulders so when a sign said end of trail, I was good, I did not need to see what was beyond the sign.  If here be sure to do the Hoodoos trail first as it is exposed and the Closed Canyon is cool due to the canyon walls.  

The views on the scenic road were truly amazing.  This road is one of the scenic drives in the US and should not be missed if in the area.  Of course I was extremely grateful that it was just us and our truck, I would not want to have been towing the camper.   We did the short nature trail on the other side at the other Visitor’s Center and decided to head back through because the thought of driving the scenic drive at night was not overly thrilling.  We saw a moutain goat and some deer.  By the time we returned home it was after 7:00 p.m.  

So if you are in the area and can’t get into Big Bend National Park don’t underestimate Big Bend Ranch State Park it is so very much worth it and should not be overlooked.  

If you enjoyed this please like it and consider following us as we travel on to our next destination, Carlesbad, New Mexico.  

Hope, Mike and Eris, the lowrider camping hound

 

Our Adventure’s in Amistad National Recreation Area 

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Amistad National Recreation Area has changed my opinion of Texas. It is beautiful in an undescripable way.  The rocky coast, the miles of terraces that were once the bottom of the water, the blue/tourquise water that was at the base of the rocky terraces, were a beauty that must be seen to describe it. 

Our campsite that we chose was Governors Landing, on a reservor of the Rio Grande.  While it is right off US 90 is still gets quiet at night. The view cannot be beat. It was the more expensive campsite at $10.00 per night. The other sites ranged from $6.00-$8.00 a night. It was so worth money.  Originally we were going to stay 2 nights and we quickly added an additional 3 on, only because we want to try to beat the heat further outwest, otherwise we would have stayed longer.  You are able to stay there for up to 14 days in each of the camping areas.  There is a total of 5 camping areas. All the areas  have a covered table, a grill and fire pit and trash cans available.  Ours not only had that but access to potable water and was close to Diablo East which has a marina and some great little hikes but also most importantly a free dump.  Honestly, if these make it to your bucket list places you can’t really go wrong with any of the campgrounds.  

Amistad means friendship in Spanish.  Amistad lies between the United States and Mexico border.  The park offers hiking, water sports, fishing, birding , canoeing, kyacking and bow hunting in season.  The reservior was created by the Amistad Dam  in 1969 for flood ontrol, water storage and power generation as well as recreational use.  There are two bronze eagles symoblizing the cooperation between the US and Mexico in building and managing the dam. We did not make it over to see the eagles but maybe next time.  Also, when not Covid times they give dam tours but well as we all know things are a little different right now.  So hopefully we will be able to do it next time.  

There are miles of hikes, all beautiful.  Diablo East has three short easy trails and the Sunrise Trail and Figueroa Trail.  We did all the ones at the main area but did not do the Sunrise nor the Figueroa trials.  We need to safe something for the next time.  Plus we only have a 3 mile dog.  But what we did do was go to Seminole Canyon State Park.  What a really great place.  They have miles and miles of hikes but again we have a  3 mile dog so pushing it with our about 4.5 miles was more than enough for her.  We highly recommend that you do this park if in the area.  All the trails we were on in the area are dog friendly. 

Connectivity (Verizon) was amazing while in all of the Amistad area, however when we went to Seminole Canyon it did not exist and we even received a text (when our service came back) welcoming us to Mexico.  

We met some super nice people, some heading east and some heading west.  Hoping our paths will cross again sometime.  

We had to move on, so next weeks blog will find us at Persidio, Texas.  

Until then, remember to like this blog, and considering following as we continue to head to the west.  

Take care and safe travels,

Hope, Mike and Eris (the lowrider camping hound)

Month  1-Louisiana-Texas and the Must To Dos  in San Antonio

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As I sit here and write this we have officially been on the road for one month today.  Did it start out as planned?  The short answer is a big fat NO!! Today was the first day since we left St. Pete that we had any sun. Besides the lack of sun and basically crap weather, we got sick, got stuck in Louisiana because of the worse weather in Texas. We were grateful for Bayou Segments State Park for their hospitality while we were forced to stay.    However, we were finally able to leave our Louisiana home of 2.5 weeks and venture west. After a long, uncomfortable ride we made it to our home for the night in Beaumont, Texas.  I will never complain the roads in Florida again. I don’t think it would hurt them to  use a little concrete or asphalt every now and then. I digress, we stayed our first Harvest Host, Pour Brother’s Brewery. The beer as well as the hospitality was great and we spent the night in a level lot. Beaumont is a very cute little town and is home of the largest fire hydrant the is spotted like a Dalmatian.   We got up early and headed to San Antonio where we had reservations at and RV park.   We spent 4 days there.   

Honestly the weather was not great but for the most part it rained very little so we made due.  The first two nights we needed AC and the last night we needed heat.  The campground was interesting With its miles of trails and even had some elevation. The neighbors were horses, cows and chickens. On Sunday we met Deb and Larry (#gettin_there) and we went to Government Canyon State Park where we did a nearly 7 mile hike and saw dinosaur prints.  We highly recommend doing that if you are in the area. Then on Monday the weather was cold and blustery but we went to do the Missions anyways.  We went to all 4 that are run by the park service and went to Alamo. There was no charge to go in the Alamo like we heard there was, because We didn’t do the guided tour. We did not find the Alamo as impressive as all the others. After the Alamo we walked down to River Walk. We decided to do the river boat tour.  There was one other couple on the boat plus our guide.  It was so worth the $ 13.50 each we spent on it. 

 So the musts of to dos while visiting San Antonio are the Missions, take the cruise on the river boat and go to the Government Canyon Stare Park and check out the dino prints.  

Come back next week where I tell you all about Amistad National Recreation Area. Until next week give me a like and follow me. 

Till then,

Hope