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

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

Week Two of our Fulltime Adventures-NOLA, the Mardi Gras that Wasn’t, Record Cold Weather, and a Cold

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Week  two of our fulltime living has found us heading to NOLA for what was supposed to be our trip to see Mardi Gras but what we found is little festivities, record cold weather and one of us getting a cold. Where I left off last week was that we were heading to NOLA for Mardi Gras, where we knew that it would be different but would make the best of it anyways.  So off we headed from Mississippi in the rain and ended up at our campground just has the rain has stopped for a brief moment.  We are staying at Bayou Segnette State Park.  This is a beautiful park, with level, asphalt sites, some (like our first one) have a deck and the picnic tables are all on concrete slabs.  If the weather would have cooperated with us we might have taken our bikes off the back and ridden them, but that has yet to happen.  Being that the roads are asphalt we are able to walk around and not get muddy so that is a huge plus.  We are after all right on the bayou so trails off the asphalt will have to be eiher boardwalk or plan on getting muddy and soaked.  We settled in for our week here and to get some needed chores done.  The first priority was that Mike had an appointment to get the truck’s ac fixed, which he was there for a couple hours only to have to bring it back on Monday for an appointment when he could get to it as it was going to take 5 hours to fix.  Meanwhile, I started doing our weeks plus worth of laundry.  Two laundry rooms, each with two washers and two dryers in it.  

One nice warm, semi-dry day we went to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.  Jean Lafitte was a pirate that interrupted his pirating career to fight for the United States in defense of New Orleans in the War of 1812. They have hiking trails  but as we are seeing in the southern states most of the trails were either damaged by the summer’s hurricanes or were under water due to the current non-stop rain, however, there was one trail that we could do.  The ranger told us no dogs allowed.  We left Eris in the truck and headed on this short boardwalk trail, that was basically just decking over the swamp, like maybe a foot above the swamp.  That is where we encountered a fairly decent sized alligator.  We were happy that Eris remained in the truck. After getting my NP passport stamped we went to the little community of Jean Lafitte.   In this little town they had a really nice hiking trail (all boardwalk) and a cute museum.  There was a movie in the museum that talked about the people of the area.  It was very reasonable and at the time of this writing it was $6.00, and worth every penny.  

The next day we dropped Eris off at doggie daycare so we could go to the French Quarter.  The weather turned cold and was still gray out.  We got a ferry card which is good for 5 days and was $18.00 each.  We took off from Algiers Point and got dropped off at Canal Street.  Walking distance to everything we wanted to go to.  The $36.00 we paid for the passes would have been one day’s parking price in the Quarter so worth the money and parking at Algiers Point is free and unlimited time.  It was definately a different vibe than years in the past where we went (we went after Mardi Gras too), buildings weren’t nearly as decorated and the crowds were thin.  While there we went to the Louisiana State Museum, another reasonably priced thing to do, at the time of this writing was $7.00.  The downstairs display was dedicated to Katrina. It was a  great depiction of what happened during Katrina and to see the destruction and the loss and all of the inequities that came out of it was heartbreaking.  (FYI Katrina came in as a catagory 2, then increased to a 3 and then a 5, honestly if we were here we wouldn’t have evacuated either for a 2).  After seeing that we went upstairs for some fun-that display was all about Mardi Gras, so it was a nice way to end our tour at the Louisiana State Museum.  

The following day we took Eris to the Doggie Daycare again.  We asked them to cut her nails while they had her and of course they said no problem.  Not only did they cut them but they were bored so they painted them purple to get her her ready for Mardi Gras.  We highly recommend Shampooch. Reasonable prices and they love their guests we could tell.  Since we took her there we headed back over on the ferry, it was a dry day, which came far and few between, still ugly looking but at least it was dry, cold but dry.  We headed to Mardi Gras World.  Upon arriving at Mardi Gras World we were greeted with King Cake.  We learned more of how the floats were made and more history. We had no idea that a good portion of the accessories on the floats, ie the Scooby Doo’s etc. are made out of styrofoam.  It was worth the $20.00 we spent on it.  (If you go look for groupons).  After our great tour we headed back to the French Quarter for lunch and a stop at Cafe Du Monde for some beignets.  Again I got to say it was weird to see no bars open and less decorations and less people for what has become Mardi Gras 2021.  

Sunday our first nomadic Valentine’s Day was spent driving over the longest continuguas bridge over water in the WORLD-Lake Pontchatrain Causeway.  It is nearly 24 miles long over water.  Honestly, it was boring.  Not much to look at, especially since it was cloudy and gray.  However, we did have some fun on the other side, we went to 2 state parks, Fairview-Riverside  State Park and Fontainbleau State Parks.  Both are beautiful.  What I find weird is when hiking, you are clearly in swamp country yet the trees in the woods are all hardwood.  

On Monday, Mike left on this frigid morning to get the ac in the truck fixed.  Hard to believe that it is so cold and we were ever going to need the ac again.  The day started off cold and got colder.  While he was sitting in the frigid garage for 5 plus hours waiting on the repairs to be made it was sleeting outside.  I was not there to nag him so of course he did not put a hat on his head and now he has a cold.  (Side note-we did go and get Covid testing done just to be sure it is just a cold).  Honestly we were really ready to leave here after 4 days and if we didn’t have the appointment to get the truck fixed we would have left, but am grateful we did not as the big storm was coming and really bad where we are heading.  We attempted to get some insulation for our underbelly for the impending freezing temps and none was to be had.  So we just put on our electric heaters and opened our kitchen cabinets and hoped for the best.  We did fill our water tanks.  While it was freezing out we were toasty inside as the weather deterioated around us.  Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) there was nothing happened.  Staying off the streets is what was best for everyone.  It was super cold, so if there was a year that the parades didn’t happen it was good that it was this year.  

Due to the continuing impending doom (the bad upcoming weather) we have changed our plans and asked to stay until Friday, we had to move sites but they are very accommodating, we had to empty our tanks anyway so it was good.  As I write this we have another bout of crap coming our way but by Friday it should warm up to the upper 40’s and hopefully we will be free to move about the country and should be in the 70’s by next week.  If we have to be stuck someplace at least this is a nice campground to be stuck in and we still have electric and water.  

All and all we are trying to make the most of it and are happy to be just together and enjoying this crazy adventure together.

So until next week, take care, stay warm and stay safe…..and we will hopefully come to you from Texas.

Hope and Mike

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Let me tell you about my home town/Part or should I say Park 2-John Chestnut Sr.

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This is another great Pinellas County Park that should be on everyone’s bucket list. There is a lot of wildlife to be seen. Deer, alligators, racoons and many birds call this beautiful park home. This 255 acre park is situated on Lake Tarpon, it has a boat ramp and canoe launch and landlocked canoe trails. It has miles of nature rails, including many boardwalks. This park was built with cooperation of the US Army Corp of Engineers and it is located near Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs. There is plenty to do in this park. Between the softball fields, the 13 picnic shelters, dog park, horseshoe pits, boatramp, canoe launches with a canoe trail and and two playgrounds, nature trails and of course the chance to see deer, alligators and birds, and many more wildlife and foliage you will not be bored.

The location of your next adventure is 2200 East Lake Rd., Palm Harbor, Florida, bring a picnic lunch and plan on spending the day being surrounded by beauty and if you are lucky you may spot a deer. So be sure that if you are in the Tampa Bay area to add this location to your bucket list.

Until next week,

One of the beauties

Hope