White Tank Regional Park

Freedom to Change our Minds

“Freedom is like standing on the bow of a boat, in the middle of the ocean. Even where the sea and sky meet, it is only the illusion of a boundary. The only true boundaries are the ones we think we see. The only true limits are the ones we impose on ourselves.” Kay Peterson co-founder Escapees RV Club

One of the great freedoms we have as retired full-time RV’ers is that, if we are not happy where we are, we can change our plans anytime.  When we left the Pacific Northwest our intent was to hopscotch down to Corning, CA with a couple of one night stays along the way in Oregon at the Woodburn RV Park and the Valley of the Rogue State Park then spend a week at a casino.  Again, trying all the different ways to camp.  After a beautiful drive

Mount Shasta from I-5

on a rare sunny day passing Mt. Shasta we reached the Rolling Hills Casino only to realized that the rainy, cold weather had followed us down I5 so after two dreary days in a rather blah campground we decided to change our plans and continue south looking for sunshine.  We took the interior route  down to  I99 through Chowchilla to avoid the LA traffic driving through olive and almond orchards and had 2 one night stays in CA at The Lakes RV Park and the Newberry RV Park.

We drove through the Mojave desert into the Sonora desert arriving at the Saddle Mountain RV Park in Tonopah, AZ  (just east of Phoenix) to find lots of warm temps and the long awaited sun! This park is definitely a snowbird haven with shuffleboard, bocce ball, a wood working shop, and bingo and would have been a great park except that the largest egg farm in the US was a half mile from our campsite and if the wind was just right the smell and flies were absolutely obnoxious.  We needed a longer stay to recover from the days of driving so we decided to stay in Tonopah but we got out of the park as often as possible.

One of the places full-timers had suggested was a must see was the Quartzsite RV and Recreation Show held every year in southern AZ.  Since we were only an hour away we took a drive to see the attraction.   Most RVer’s boondock in and around Quartzsite so  there was an impressive number of RVs scattered about the desert as we approached the small town.  The show was huge and many other gem and rock shows take advantage of the large crowds and set up tents.  It was an expensive stop as we purchased an air compressor, silicone lids, a taser, silicone grill sheets, nifty bag clips, a flag pole light, 2 hats, a steam iron, and (what we were originally shopping for) a pin & ring for our tow bar.  Definitely a one time experience – we can now say we have been but we would most likely not return.

We very much enjoyed getting out to the White Tank Mountain Regional Park.  We spent a day hiking & picnicking in this gem of a park in the desert.

On Jan. 31st we got up at 5:30 am to watch the eclipse of the Blue, Blood Moon.  This was our second eclipse this trip and it was just as cool.

Lunar Eclipse

That night we went back to the White Tank park and participated in a full moon hike.  There were many more people than we expected, but the crowd made for a fun group to hike the Mule Deer Trail to see the huge moon rise up over Phoenix.

The Desert Botanical Gardens were up next.  This garden has an amazing array of cactus!  We loved walking around the paths and coming across another species we had never seen before during our other hikes in the desert.  Joanna’s favorite is now the Teddy Bear Cholla or Cylindropuntia bigelovii.

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The last place we went while we were near Phoenix was to Wickenburg, AZ. When we were researching this excursion we thought this was an old west town, and they do have an amazing museum, but what we found was a western cowboy town with lots of links to the past but is now a thriving modern city.

Our week was up and to be honest we were ready to get away from the smell of the chicken ranch so we headed on up to Carlsbad to see the caverns with a quick trip to Roswell, NM.

Up next caverns and aliens!