Bryce Canyon Day 3

We went to the two grocery stores in Bryce Canyon City, Ruby’s and also Foster’s on Hwy. 12. BOY they sure are proud of their groceries….unbelievable prices!  $8 for a box of cereal, $8 for those 1# propane cylinders, $8 for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, $1.99 for a soft drink.  Definitely a good idea to bring everything you need with you to visit the national parks! Trouble is, we’re on our 3rd park in a row and we are running low on some stuff.

Hey have you seen the new Bounty paper towels with Dawn detergent embedded in them? It’s water-activated…great for washing dishes while camping! It’s quite expensive though, I saw a pack of 3 rolls at a “normal” grocery store back in Sedona for around $8.  It wouldn’t be too bad if you could split the pack with a couple friends, it sure looks handy.

There is a big bad black cloud right over our heads, and it’s starting to thunder. Poor Princess Roxie hates that! She is snuggling with me on my bed….she only gets on the bed when she’s really scared.

Deb’s mouse and his wife have gone to a better place. We hope they haven’t left any children behind!

We took the park shuttle today to finish up seeing the points we missed yesterday.  I loved this twisted old tree!  tree

On the way back to camp we saw a pronghorn by the side of the road. With no pronghorns.  He looked pretty scruffy, I think he’s shedding his winter coat.



Bryce Canyon


It’s a sunny/rainy day, can’t seem to make up it’s mind! Jeanne and I went into Bryce this morning and saw part of the park before it started raining really hard. The highest point is over 9100′ in elevation and it was COLD up there!  The photo colors change with the sun or rain on them, I see. It’s interesting, you can walk just a few feet along one of the scenic lookouts and see completely different scenery!  I really like this park a lot; it’s my favorite so far! We have Capitol Reef, Arches and Canyonlands to go, plus Canyon de Chelly so we’ll see if it’ll hold it’s top spot.

At one scenic turnout this big raven flew up and landed on the wall and didn’t mind people coming right up to it for photos!  A few days ago in Zion I saw one that was the same way, I went right up to it and chatted awhile and he turned his head this way and that but wasn’t a bit afraid!  DSCN5842

It was quite cold last night, around 35 degrees. It’s supposed to be much nicer for the next 3 days of our stay here, sunny and around 70/40. The town of Bryce Canyon City is very cute but very expensive!  We checked out the little rock shop, which was awesome! They had big piles of cool rocks outside that were $2.50 to $10 a pound. I picked up a few really small ones, due to my space AND money restrictions! I got five pretty rocks for $4.  This is the best one, it’s “Crazy Lace Agate” about 2″ x 2″.   I guess it must have cost me about $1! DSCN5866


Bryce Canyon Campsite


Tee hee, I did it again! Found us a really pretty free campsite in the Dixie National Forest, less than 2 miles from the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park! And only about 1 mile to the little town, with 3G Verizon and 4G ATT signals! Whip Hop!!!  It is .7 mile from the pavement on a little one-lane dirt road but it’s a decent road. It’s not the site I was aiming for; that one was down a pretty muddy road and we opted not to chance getting stuck.

We had a rainy ride here but now it’s sunny and beautiful, though chilly. We’re in for some cold nights, in the low to mid-30’s.  We came through a bit of the same rock formations as inside the park and I was so excited to see the hoodoos! Now THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about! This is Jeanne’s favorite park and I think it could be mine too.

Here are some other views from our camp:

And here’s a better photo of that flourite rock I bought, it’s so gorgeous with green and purple, yesterday photograph (or today’s either for that matter) doesn’t do it justice.  DSCN5792

Deb has gone to town for some groceries and a mousetrap. She’s had a little hitchhiker for a while….the other day she dug around in the closet and found her shoes stuffed full of dog food!!!  Mousie Must Go.

Finding This Campsite: Forest Road 090 is just 100 ft north of the ‘Welcome to Bryce Canyon National Park’ sign on Highway 63, about a mile north of the actual entry gates and pay station.  The road will be on the west side of the Highway (and may be unmarked until you get further down the road, there is a cattleguard about 100 yds down this road). You actually turn into the scenic pullout parking lot and the little dirt road goes back into the woods from that. To our site:  About .7 miles straight back on that little dirt road, N37.66698 W112.17327   Elevation 7772′   Another good site closer to the highway: N37.6579⁰  W112.16799⁰



Grand Canyon and Zion

Well I’ve been without wifi for several days so I missed blogging from the GRAND CANYON, whoo hoo and whip hop!  We found a gorgeous free campsite in the pines about 2 miles from the park entrance, with plenty of space for our 4 campers.   We were supposed to stay here just 2 nights and then move to Page & Lake Powell, but the temps in Page were very high so we stayed there for 3 nights, then one night at a pretty campsite in the pines near Jacob Lake, and today have arrived at Zion National Park! What a gorgeous drive we had these past two days, through the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and entering Zion from the east! Here’s the view from my campsite in the Watchman Campground inside Zion. We all agree that having electricity is really nice, but we don’t like the “subdivision” atmosphere of a campground anymore.  DSCN5638

Last night’s campsite just outside of Jacob Lake:    DSCN5634

We saw lots of elk and mule deer in the Grand Canyon, so many in fact, that they became almost a non-event. “Oh there are some more elk”, ho hum! I think the mule deer have beautiful faces.

DSCN5628And here are some elk parts (we think) that were scattered around our Grand Canyon campsite.


Oh we also saw a very long snake I think is a Gopher Snake.  DSCN5624

Back in Sedona, Deb and Jeanne saw a big king snake. We could do without seeing any more snakes up close and personal.    KingSnake

We went to the Imax theater and really enjoyed the show, though I did have to close my eyes several times to keep from getting motion sickness!

One evening we went to watch the sunset over the canyon….nice!   DSCN5517

I have a new (to me) camera! Bless my generous friends! My friend Martha in CT sent me her Nikon 8800 camera!! And what good timing, since I broke my own little Nikon S8100. So sad, I loved that little camera. I had put it in the pocket of my sweatshirt and it hung down on that side, so when I sat down, I sat on the camera. It did not survive.  It looks fine but I guess the lens is jammed because it won’t retract or focus.  I’m hoping I can get it fixed fairly inexpensively some day. The new camera is not at all compact so it’s not in any danger of being stuck in a pocket and sat upon. Anyway I’m still learning the new camera so the photos may not be quite as good as usual, but I’m sure soon they’ll be even better!

One day I decided to leave Roxie in the camper while we went sightseeing and when I returned, I opened the door to look eye to eye with her….she was standing on the stove!!  She must have jumped on the bed and then climbed onto the kitchen counter & stove…..I didn’t know she COULD jump up on the bed!

Here are our three girls….Roxie, Annie (Toy Schnauzer) and Partly (Yorkie). Annie and Roxie regularly hang out in the exercise pen but not Partly; this was just for a minute to get a photo. Partly’s attitude is “We don’t need no stinkin’ ex-pens”!!  If Roxie is a princess, Partly is the QUEEN.   DSCN1943

Here are more photos from the Grand Canyon. It sure is a beautiful big hole in the ground! We ate lunch one day at El Tovar Lodge. Someone said (I won’t mention any names) there was a cafeteria in the hotel but there wasn’t. I nearly died when I saw the menu; I got the cheapest thing which was a little cup of soup for $9.50 including the tip!!  Even the desserts were $7.50 and up.

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Directions to our campsite near the Grand Canyon:  As you are coming into Tusayan, you’ll go through a traffic circle. The moment you exit the circle onto Hwy. 64, turn right onto Forest Road 302. There are many sites along this road but try to go at least a mile back to escape the noise from flyovers! Our huge nice site was 1.6 miles back.

Directions to our campsite near Jacob Lake:  On Hwy. 89A about 3.2 mi. east of town, turn North on FR257 near MM 576. There’s no sign for FR257 but there is a sign for FR225 which is directly opposite. It is a trailhead for part of the Great Western Trail which runs from Mexico to Canada. Very large area right at the junction.




Sedona & Montezuma Castle

Yesterday we went to Sedona…what a gorgeous place! A little pricey too. We went to the Tlaquepaque Plaza shopping center which is supposed to have the best arts & crafts. It’s beautiful, with statuaries, fountains and pretty flowers. Of course we couldn’t afford a THING, but it was fun to look.  Does anyone know what these flowers are? Maybe hollyhock???

Views of the red rocks….I couldn’t capture the true colors!  It was a rainy day and we even had some hail for awhile, when we were trying to go to the Holy Cross Church (church on a rock, it’s often called). It was designed by Lloyd Wright, the son of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the views from the tower are supposed to be really incredible. Well it was raining and hailing so hard, the little golf carts used for the handicapped people (3 of us!) were not available. So we crept up the hill to the church in a long line of cars, then crept back down.

We had a really good lunch in honor of Jeanne’s sister Joanne’s upcoming birthday at Oaxaca Mexican Restaurant, then came back home.

This morning three hot-air balloons landed in the field right next to us! I missed it, I slept through the whole thing and only saw them when they had the balloons all rolled up and ready to put into the chase vehicles.

Today we first went to the RV dealer to see if they could figure out why Jeanne and Deb are having so many battery problems, dropped the batteries off and went to Montezuma Castle, some really interesting ruins that go back to about the year 1125. And it was not a really long walk, so even *I* could go!  DSCN1915

On the way back we stopped at a little booth at the side of the road and had some Indian Fry Bread for $4.  OH MY!!!  I want more of that!!!   Jeanne and I split one and I wish I’d gotten one all my own. We got 1/2 cinnamon-sugar and 1/2 honey. Both were really REALLY good.DSCN1918

We stopped back at the RV place and they said both batteries were good; they felt maybe they were not getting fully recharged during the day, so they were not holding a charge all night. It’s still a mystery why those batteries won’t run their refrigerators all night (set on propane, so they should only draw 1/2 – 1 amp per hour fort the electronics & fan!)  I checked my battery and I see why I never have these problems; I have a Group 31 AGM battery with 105 amp-hours. Jeanne’s is only 56 amp-hours and Deb’s is a Group 27 @ 75 amp-hours. Plus my old fridge has no electronics, so it uses no electricity. They put a good full charge on both batteries so hopefully we can keep them charged up now.  I’ve been putting my 100 watt solar panel on Jeanne’s battery every day but perhaps not for long enough.

Last night’s pretty sunset……DSCN1904


Still near Sedona

We’re still here, halfway between Sedona and Cottonwood. Now there are SIX of us! Jeanne’s sister Joanne has come up from Chandler (near Phoenix) for the weekend, and Bernii and Donnis have arrived in their brand new PleasureWay van camper.     DSCN1871

Jeanne, Joanne and I went rock-hunting above Cottonwood. We didn’t make it all the way back to where the “good” rocks were supposed to be; the road just kept getting rougher and rougher so we stopped almost 2 miles from the target area, but we still found some interesting rocks there.  We were way above the town!   DSCN1869

Yesterday we  went to Old Town Cottonwood which we enjoyed immensely…very cute town area just a few blocks long, with interesting shops. Of course we loved Jim & Ellen’s Rock Shop the best! They had lots and lots of pretty rocks from all over, and their prices seemed really good too. A lot of the AZ rocks were only $1 each.   DSCN1854We then went on to Jerome, a copper & gold-mining town perched way up on the side of the mountain above Cottonwood. The homes step right up the mountainside (and we wondered how often any of them slide down??) We had a very good lunch at the Haunted Hamburger.   DSCN1856We climbed a lot of steps to get to it., only to find we could have parked right in front and skipped all those stairs! I made them drive up to pick me up afterward. Here’s the view from our table out on the patio.   DSCN1858

Deb left her camper door open and our friendly Grackle hopped right up the steps and wandered in to check it out!  She distracted him with a Dorito so he came back out to get it.

The only bad thing about this great boondocking site is that there are lots of foxtails all around. They have barbed seed heads and can work their way into the skin of dogs anywhere on their body (most often between the toes or in the ears) and cause nasty infections and even can work their way from the nose into the dog’s brain or be inhaled into a lung and cause death! Yikes.

We went to Tuzigoot National Monument but I wasn’t able to climb up to the ruins. We’re hoping to get to Montezuma’s Castle and it may be the same story there….darn this knee!


I’m making gingerbread sourdough pancakes for 6 this morning….that’ll be a first! I’ve never tried to make such a big batch before.




Sedona Again

We’re back in Sedona! Well, we’re boondocking about halfway between Sedona and Cottonwood, again off Red Canyon Road (FR525) but we have a nicer spot than I had last time. We got here yesterday, a very hot day (89 degrees!) and found a nice camp off a little side road. We didn’t have shade for the campers but there were nice shady areas where we could sit.  Spent a restless night because it was TOO HOT! Wow, that’s unusual! The low was 56 and my camper stayed around 65. Normally that’d be fine but I guess I’ve gotten used to sleeping quite a bit colder than that.  As I drove up to that first site, a little herd of antelope was across the street! They have really good camouflage, don’t they!DSCN1840

This morning a man came up and said we couldn’t camp there; there was a teeny sign down near the road, in a driveway that was blocked off, that said No Camping more than 30′ from the road.  He said the BLM guys had been coming around every other day or so and the fines were $300! So we hustled out of there and Deb scouted out this new site. It’s even better….we have a nice big shade tree that shades two of the three campers. Deb is especially happy because she can get about 20 TV stations here, so she can watch her  special program, Scandal. It was very windy again today, 20-25 mph sustained winds. Every time we get up out of our lawn chair, it blows right over.  That gets old in a hurry, especially if you’ve forgotten and left a drink or camera in the chair pockets.  Here’s Deb pulling a tree branch back so Jeanne can get her slide out.DSCN1842

Little Veggie, what a good little car-rider she is! Never a peep out of her.   DSCN1843

I went to town and finally did my laundry, got rid of the garbage and bought some water in the dispenser machines. It’s $.30 a gallon here, Highway Robbery! (It’s usually $.25) I think tomorrow we’ll go see Old Town Cottonwood and Jerome.

We have a camp follower….this crow insists we feed him!  He yells at us if we don’t. So we’ve given him a little bread, and I gave him some nice healthy sweet corn and Deb threw him some popcorn. Just like a kid…he went for the popcorn instead of the healthy stuff!  On the other hand, she also gave Princess Roxie some of that popcorn (store-bought) and of course she didn’t eat it. She only likes home-made popcorn with lots of butter! If I offer her a piece that doesn’t have enough butter on it, she’ll turn her nose up and wait for a properly buttered piece.DSCN1850





Oatman, AZ

Today we drove out old Route 66 to Oatman, AZ. It’s 28 miles from Kingman, mostly on a very twisty road up & over Sitgreaves Pass, with lots of switchbacks and sheer drops with no guardrails. Flatlander Deb was a little concerned about that.

DSCN2555It’s an old gold-mining town from the early 1900’s that’s now a bunch of cute shops, with wild burros roaming the streets looking for handouts. Many of the stores sell burro pellets, and I had brought some old carrots to feed them. As soon as we parked, three burros came over to welcome us. Annie wasn’t too sure about this thing, but they did get nose-to-nose. I missed getting a photo of that, but here they are having a little discussion.


I think Jeanne and this burro are french-kissing??  Well, they would be if the window glass wasn’t in the way. It looks quite passionate!DSCN2559

And this one is after the bag of carrots I’m holding….really! It sure looks like he’s interested in something else…….     burro

Here’s the old Oatman Hotel, famous because Clark Gable & Carole Lombard spent their wedding night there in 1939, after getting married in Kingman.   DSCN2562

We were going to leave the dogs in the car but Roxie was barking incessantly and getting herself all overheated, so I had to take her with me. One shop owner told me to be sure and not let her anywhere near the burros, as they had already killed four dogs! They STOMP them to death! The local dogs know to leave them alone.   DSCN2563



Because of my knee, I couldn’t keep up with the other two so Roxie and I just sauntered along, stopping to rest on benches along the way. So I got to see all kinds of burro capers.  One lady was walking along trying to eat an apple and she had two faithful sidekick burros that stuck to her like glue. She’d turn and go back the other way and they’d follow like trained dogs!  She finally took some big bites of the apple and gave them to her new devoted friends. Another lady stepped off the sidewalk onto the street carrying a paper bag and a burro came up behind her and ripped the bottom out of the bag! The lady was shrieking “my CANDY!” and she and the burro had a big race to see who could pick up the most candy. I didn’t see what it was and don’t know if it was wrapped candy or what, but I think the burro was winning.

On the way back we stopped alongside the road so Deb could hike up to check out a mine. That little tiny black dot in the lower right is her.   DSCN0012

On the way back we stopped at In-N-Out Burger. Jeanne was anxious to go there because it had been 24 years since she’d had one in California.  Pretty apt name as far as I’m concerned, because I could barely make it back to the camper before that burger came back OUT.

I took this photo of last night’s sunset….very serene, and I love seeing the shadows on the folds & shadows of the mountains.   DSCN2550



Hoover Dam….almost!

Jeanne and I went to the Hoover Dam today but we didn’t actually get to see it. I usually research places I’m going to go but for some reason, this time I didn’t do it. Wish I had. It was only a little over an hour’s drive from Kingman and we stopped in Chloride along the way to show Jeanne the cool junky yards, boot fences, bottle trees and the neat little general store.  When we got to the dam I missed the parking garage closest to the visitor center so had to drive over the dam to the other side. We turned around and went back, and the lady in charge of collecting the money ($10 to park, but free if you have a Handicap Placard) asked us if we had any dogs in the car. We said yes and then she said we could not leave the dogs in the car alone, someone would have to stay with them. We asked if there was anyplace we could park and see the dam and she told us to go to parking lot #9. So we drove back over the dam again.  We could NOT, in fact, see the dam from there but I took a photo of the teeny bit of water we could see:   DSCN2545

I don’t know what those big columns are for.  So we decided to go back over the dam to the parking garage and Jeanne would stay in the car with the dogs while I went into the visitor center, since she’d already been there before. This time when we pulled into the garage, the lady said we could not have the dogs in the parking garage at all, not even if someone stayed with them! So Jeanne offered to drive the car somewhere & wait while I went into the visitor center. I walked down to it (farther than my knee wanted to go) and found out it costs $10 to get in!  That’s not for the tour, just to enter the visitor’s center. Hmmmm.  Well I can’t pay that, and the Geezer Pass doesn’t work there, so I called Jeanne and asked her to pick me up out front.  She came along and I hopped into the car and we went over the dam, turned around and headed back to go back to Kingman.  Have you kept track? We went over the dam six times! But never actually SAW the damn dam.  Oh well, nice day for a drive.  (Pouring rain the whole time, actually!)   I guess I can still say I’ve been there.  When we got back I read that pets are not allowed on the premises at ALL.  I wonder why?

Yesterday I finally bathed poor filthy Princess Roxie. We went to the do-it-yourself dog wash for $10.  She did not appreciate my efforts at all but I’m a lot happier!  She looks pretty grumpy, eh?   She HATES water! DSCN2536

Yesterday we went to check out a sort of tiny quartz quarry (?) that Deb found on one of her walks. LOTS of pretty white rocks there with red and/or golden veins, and Jeanne loaded up some medium-sized ones for her rock garden at home in NC. This is only the first stop and she’s already loaded up at least 20# of rocks in her car….wonder what she’ll have collected by the end of the 6 week trip! DSCN2540


This is the 3rd straight day of rain…sometimes off & on, sometimes hard rains. I hope this is the last of it. I guess I’ve been pretty lucky so far that there hasn’t been much rain at all.


Blowin’ In The Wind at Petrified Forest

Boy this the second time I’ve had to completely rewrite a blog post; I hate when that happens!

I met up with my best NC camping buddy Jeanne and we camped at Crystal Forest Gift Shop & Museum at the South entrance to Petrified Forest National Park. They offer free dry camping with picnic tables (some covered!) and dumpsters, and you can use the restrooms in the gift shop when it’s open. Across the street is camping with electricity for $10, but you know I’m on a roll here with the free camping thing, so we chose that. They sell petrified wood in the gift shop for $2 a pound, but they have a bazillion dollars worth of it just laying around in the parking lot!  I guess it would take a forklift to steal it though. Here’s a few photos of the log that’s near my campsite:


For some reason I woke up at 5:30 in the morning. When I went outside to walk Roxie, I was amazed by the gorgeous sunrise.


A couple pulled in next to me in a Jucy Van. They’ve got everything you need in a mini-van, including a “penthouse” popup tent on top! There also must be a dinette/bed inside because the wind was too strong for them to pop the tent up, and they slept inside. Open the back hatch and there’s the kitchen.  They can be rented! Here’s the website:   DSCN2493

Yesterday we drove through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks. We picked up Junior Ranger booklets (it’s not just for kids) but I was too lazy to complete all the tasks so I had to resort to BUYING my way into the program….$2 for my Junior Ranger badge! OK, I’m not proud of myself, but isn’t it pretty?DSCN2519

All day the wind was blowing at sustained winds of 40 mph and gusts up to 65. Wheeee!  At one overlook we had to hold onto our glasses so they wouldn’t get sucked right off our faces! Here’s Jeanne blowin’ in the wind. DSCN2503

We stopped at one of the vault toilets. Ya know, those toilets are vented to keep the smells down. Boy….you sit on one of those things in a 40 mph wind and REALLY get air-cooled Lady Parts!!   Here are a few photos I took in the park. Frankly I found these parks rather underwhelming.DSCN2500

Then we went into Holbrook for a few groceries and had lunch at a Holbrook landmark, Joe & Aggie’s Cafe on Route 66. It’s been in continuous operation longer than any other restaurant in town. The interior is pretty tired but the food was good!   DSCN2518DSCN2517

We also went petrified wood-hunting. There was a site mentioned in a book I have on gems in AZ so we drove out there and found a few small ones, which thrilled us. Then we went on up a little dirt road north of Woodruff on our way back to camp, and Roxie was complaining so I stopped at the side of the road and took her out. Well! There  was lots of nice petrified wood just laying in the road, and more alongside! Here are a couple nice pieces I got.

Today we are en route back to Kingman to meet up with Deb for a few days. As I was driving into Holbrook I saw this pickup truck with a big black & white dog in the back.  No…’s a GOAT!  Poor thing!  DSCN2525




More Beautiful Campsites

I swear I’ve never seen so many gorgeous free campsites as there are around here!  Today I went to check out Rock Crossing Campground in Coconino N.F., on the recommendation of Aida Schenck who I think knows more than anyone about boondocking in AZ.  What a great place! It’s got water, toilets and even dumpsters! (Finding places to drop your garbage is one of the hardest jobs of boondocking, so finding a dumpster is like finding gold!) The water was not turned on quite yet. It costs $8 a night (1/2 price with Geezer Pass) though some are double sites so they cost…..double! There are several pull-thru sites but the best ones are back-in sites perched right on the edge of the Mogollon Rim. How would you like this as the view from your campsite?!DSCN2474

I really liked the bbq grills they provided at the campground…have never seen any like this before, they have hoods! That would allow you to be a lot more creative with your cooking!          DSCN2475

Someone suggested I give more complete directions to these campsites, so I’ll try to remember that.  To find Rock Crossing CG, go 4.4 miles from the intersection of Hwy 87 and Lake Mary Rd. in Clints Well. Turn right onto FR 751 and drive 2.3 miles to the campground.  N34.34082, W111.13258   Elev. 7222′

To get to Blue Ridge Reservoir, go an additional 2.1 miles past Rock Xing CG. There’s a boat launch and up the hill, a vault toilet and dumpster!!  I believe it you go farther up the road past there, there are some free dispersed campsites (Aida said there’s a road that goes off just before the “No Camping” sign). I went a little ways up the road; it’s very rocky but you don’t need a high clearance vehicle, just go slow. I turned back because I had to pee……boy that reservoir looked like a great place to kayak!   Here are a few pics, including some brave hardy flowers that seemed to grow right out of the rocks!  N34.5558 W111.19927  Elev. 6783′

There were also some pretty dispersed campsites between Hwy. 87 and Rock Crossing CG.

I haven’t been able to get a photo of them yet, but the squirrels here have about 1″ long pointy ears that stick straight up!!  I think all the squirrels I’ve ever seen have tiny ears close to the head so you don’t even notice them.

It’s supposed to get quite windy today, 15-25 mph sustained with gusts up to 40 mph. I hope these tall Ponderosa pines have good roots!  And I’m glad they took that huge dead tree down yesterday.

Yesterday I drove out to check out Kehl Spring CG, deep in the forest. It’s 7 miles from Hwy. 87 on a little one-lane dirt road (FR 300).  There are 5 campsites there with picnic tables, fire rings and a vault toilet.  I didn’t get the GPS coordinates for it, but you turn off of Hwy. 87 near Mile Marker 281 onto Forest Road 300. The sign out on 87 says “Rim Road and Knoll Lake”. Go just 500′ and then turn left and go 7 miles to the campground. At about the 6 mile point there’s a gorgeous overlook for the Mogollon Rim, and I got really great wifi and phone signals there! (no Verizon or ATT signals at all at the CG)  I think it’s at about 7700′.

The camp host here, Rudy, said that there were several elk feeding with behind my campsite at 6 a.m. a few mornings ago!  So I’ve been getting up around then and looking out the windows, with no reward. Yet.




Clints Well


I’ve moved to a beautiful little campground in the Coconino National Forest (free, too!), Clints Well CG.  It is just 1/2 mile outside of Clints Well on Lake Mary Rd (Hwy. 3), though it’s not much of a town….gas station, mini-mart, post office and little restaurant. The post office is housed in an 8×10 metal storage building!!!  That’s a first.


There are 7 sites in the campground, in the Ponderosa pines. There’s a camp host there in summertime and he keeps the vault toilets well stocked and immaculately clean. They even have fly strips and good-smelly thingies inside! I think all the sites have a mix of sun & shade, so it’s good for solar energy, though I do move my panel around a bit from morning to afternoon sun. Here’s a couple views. The first two are of the gigantic tree the forest service guys felled this morning!

Nancy Brooks, another A-frame camper, joined me on Sunday until today. We had a nice time yakking and one day we went to Payson via the very long way around!  I saw a sign that said “Mogollon Rim” so we took that little dirt road to see what was up there. Well it turns out, it was 20+ miles on that little one-lane dirt road before we got to the Rim, but it was stunning!

And as a matter of fact, I’m parked at that same overlook right now, it’s the closest place I can get a wifi signal for my ATT mobile hotspot! It’s another 8 miles further to get back to the paved Hwy. 87, and when we got out to there we saw a sign that said “Payson 28 miles”.  We’d gone almost 30 miles on a teeny dirt road that would have been only 5 miles via Hwy. 87!  Oh well, it was a gorgeous drive through the Coconino National Forest, beautiful Ponderosa pines with lots of beautiful dispersed campsites all along that road (FR141) And as I always say when I get lost, “It’s a nice day for a drive”.  We saw one wild turkey (don’t they usually go in groups?!) and a coyote along the way.

I’d be tempted to move to one of the dispersed sites except I like having a picnic table for a change! And I’m getting a good Verizon signal there. (no ATT signal at all in Clints Well)  Here are a couple of the dispersed sites on FR 141, less than 1/2 mile from Hwy. 87:

I am staying at Clints Well until the 25th or 26th, when I meet up with my best camping buddy from NC, Jeanne Lloyd.  We meet back up with Deb & Bernii around May 1, back in Kingman.








Verde River

We’re still at the Verde River campsite; I’m tinkering with the idea of moving but I seem struck with inertia when it comes to actually packing up and doing it.  I’ve been looking at the weather for some of the surrounding areas but can’t decide where to go next.

This morning I saw this bright yellow bird across the river….and I can’t identify it. It appeared to be mostly yellow with some black on the back or wings. Anybody got a guess?  Sorry the photo is not very good, it was far away and it kept hopping around a lot. It sure was a bright splash of color!


It’s been cool at nights, down to 35 degrees sometimes but the days have been really nice, right around 70.  We had two days of rain!!!!!!  That was strange, after going so long in the desert with no precipitation at all. We even get dew at night here!   The sunsets are pretty but much milder than in the desert too.


I saw this sign near the library. I just love weird signs!  Ehhhh…no comment on this one, though there are several that come to mind!


I need a dentist again.  That bridge I got in Mexico is already loose and wanting to fall out!! Well I can’t afford to go to a dentist until after my next SS check on April 27, so it’ll have to be loose til then.  How depressing that it seems like there’s always something going on that needs money thrown at it.



Payson, AZ

I hope everything goes OK today; we are moving to Payson, AZ. It’s supposed to get hot here in Wickenburg (high 80’s, low 90’s!) and Payson is at a higher elevation, around 4500′, so daytime temps should be in the mid-70’s.

I got my rear car window fixed yesterday, yayyy!  I hated driving around with it wide open all the time. One of our “neighbors” here was able to get the inside door panel off and had it fixed in about 15 minutes!!  I guess it had just been jostled off it’s track on the rough road in Chloride. When I had talked with his wife earlier she said she was excited because today was Payday for them and they were going to go buy a $20 stovetop griddle that would span 2 burners. Well I had one of those that I never use, so I gave it to them in exchange for fixing the window, and we all were happy!!  Nice.

THANK YOU all for using my Amazon link to order your goodies!  I earned $127 this month!  There’s a link at the top right, and if you use that to get to Amazon, I get 4-6% commission on everything you order! And it doesn’t cost you anything extra.  (If you get the email version of the blog, you’ll have to actually go to to find the link)

Well. Two days later. The first time I used that window, it broke again! So now I have it pulled up tight and a very pretty piece of duct tape holding it shut. I’ve said it before….my poor car!!

I’m camped at Flowing Spring about 3.5 miles outside of Payson.  Deb was going to stay an extra day and Bernii was going to take the scenic route through Prescott and join me.  Once I got to Payson I discovered that  Bernii had decided to stay with Deb an extra day. Then the next day, I hear that they’d both changed their minds and were on their way to Pahrump, NV! Wow, my head is spinning from all the changes! But it’s fine, I don’t mind; y’all know I am fine being alone.  We’ll all meet up later at Kingman on May 1 or 2.

I thought Flowing Spring was just 2 big parking lots with a vault toilet in the middle, and nice tenting sites on 3 sides.  I had a really hard time getting my camper leveled and it still could be a little higher in front, but my jack leg is up as far as it’ll go! On the 2nd day I drove farther up the road and discovered some beautiful dispersed campsites right on the Verde River!  They were all full but I’m hoping some of them were just weekenders and maybe I can move today to a nicer site.  I saw the sign below and I didn’t have a bucket so went to the Dollar Tree in Payson and bought one. I actually do carry a shovel! I found one with a broken handle somewhere and brought it along. Later I realized these tools are only needed if you have campfires, and I don’t!


There are high hills all around with sections of layered rock exposed; it reminds me a lot of Eastern KY and TN.

There’s no ATT wifi signal here but I get 2 bars of Verizon phone, so I can send and get texts. And town is really close. Right now I’m at a national forest campground which has flush toilets and running water, dumpsters and a nice shady place for me to part and write!

Payson is a much larger town that I thought it’d be….Wal-Mart, PetSmart, Dollar Tree, etc. are all here. And gas is quite a bit cheaper than we’ve seen in a while; only $1.85 a gallon.

Doing my monthly bookkeeping. Since Jan. 27 I have spent $20 on campsites. I think that’s something like 8 cents a day??   Since Dec. 23 I’ve spent $20. Isn’t that amazing?!!  Well I think so.








Back to Wickenburg

We’re baaack! There were really high winds predicted for Kingman and a huge surrounding area today, plus a very cold snap starting tomorrow, so we packed up on short notice and moved back to the Box Wash (at the Vulture Peak Trailhead), about 6 miles S. of Wickenburg. They’re having some wind here too, but only 15-20 mph, not the 25-30 mph predicted for Kingman!  And the nights here will be going down to the low 40’s, not mid-30’s.  We scored a really nice big campsite about 1/3 mile from Vulture Mine Road this time. Last time we were very close to the road, in a big gravel parking lot. Our new site has quite a bit of Teddy Bear Cholla though, and Roxie has already gotten a little clump of it in her leg hair, just from walking in the parking area! I caught her trying to pull it out with her teeth….no no no! She would NOT want cholla spines stuck in her mouth!  Deb came to our rescue with the needle-nose pliers while I held onto her leg and head so it wouldn’t get embedded. I learned that last time we were here that you can’t just pull them off with bare hands, as they leave little teeny microscopic hairs in fingers.  I guess I should start carrying the pliers while we walk.

I’m  very surprised to get a decent wifi signal occasionally here, especially since we are about 1/3 mile from the road! It comes and goes but I’m grateful to get anything at all. I couldn’t get anything when we were parked near the road last time.

We met up with our new friend Cheryl yesterday afternoon and had a chat-session. She is just up the road a little ways; I can see her van from here.

I don’t think we have any plans except I’m kinda hoping to experience some more of that good pie from Nana’s Sandwich Shop.  Deb’s friend Bernii is held up in Tucson waiting on a new windshield for her RoadTrek, and will be joining us here on Wednesday or Thursday, and by Saturday it’s going to be getting hot again here so we’ll probably leave for cooler climes.

Here’s my new view out the door. I am right next to a small palo verde tree that really doesn’t throw much shade at all. The bark is really VERY green! I had to look up “palo”. Palo Verde means “green stick” in Spanish, which certainly is appropriate! DSCN2385

palo verde

There are quite a few saquaro cacti here; I really love them. Those fuzzy cacti in the foreground are the Teddy Bear Cholla. Hey that’s a lot better than being around the Jumping Cholla, which can throw their spines at you if you get too close!DSCN2389

The desert is starting to really blossom. This is an Ocotillo tree, naked except for the strange blooms.



The creosote bushes are nearly done blooming, and where there was a bloom, now there are the cutest little tiny round balls of seed fuzz, like dandelions but tiny, only about 1/4″ in diameter.







Just got back from a little day trip to Chloride, a little tiny silver mining town incorporated in 1865. It’s now an almost-ghost town. It’s got a lot of character!  Lots of metal “yard art” in several places. (Click on a photo to make it bigger)

A boot fence,


Pretty cool little general store with lots of Rt. 66 goodies (naturally)



And I loved these boot birdhouses:

And Deb says she’s changing her Facebook photo to this. Yep, we buried her still wearing her sunglasses and her Breathe-Right nasal strip.


Outside the store was this fantastic rock!  I wanted it BAD but it’s a bit too big.


This old gas station had a tiny railroad track running around it, and it even had a little roundabout for changing tracks!



A nice young lady in the store gave us a map and showed us what to go see. She told us about some Roy Purcell rock murals that were 1.3 miles down a dirt road…hahaha, ROAD!  It was a really rocky little path (at best). A couple times Deb had to get out and show me where to drive so I wouldn’t bottom out on the big rocks sticking up.  But once we finally got out there, the murals were pretty cool.

On the way out to the murals we saw a couple bright red patches way up the side of the mountain. We looked at them with the binoculars but still couldn’t figure out what they were; they looked like mums!  Then later in town we saw this cactus in full bloom, and we are pretty sure that’s what was on the mountainside.


After that rough road, the next time I stopped the car and rolled down the windows to keep the dogs cool, one of my rear windows would not work! It will not roll up at all, and if I pulled it up by hand, it just slid back down. So Deb had the bright idea to pull it up all the way and jam some little sticks in at the bottom as wedges, to hold it in place. So far it’s working but….my poor car! It’s going to be a total wreck by the time I get done with this trip!

On the way out of town we saw this old station wagon passing by….heaped up with pure junk on the top of the car and all over the hood!  ???


We had lunch at Yesterday’s Restaurant which used to be an old stage stop, and there was a big group of people there who were filming a music video! We weren’t able to find out the name of the group, but the waitress said they were from France.  Who’d come from France to make a music video in little bitty Chloride, AZ?!  Maybe someday we’ll find out. There was also a very strange stuffed Doberman behind a glass case inside the restaurant. We should have asked for the backstory on that!  We could have had Spam sandwiches, or peanut butter & bologna, or peanut butter & bacon sandwiches!!  (We didn’t.)