Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Howdy once again folks! This trip, we cruised up to Sedona, AZ, from our home in Scottsdale. After brutally hot summers here in "The Valley," (Phoenix), it's a welcome relief to experience highs of 68 and nights at 45. Fall is beautiful up there in Red Rock Country, with the leaves changing colors, light winds blowing cool, crisp air, and the sounds of nature abound. But, alas, I am not a poet, nor even a writer, by any stretch of the imagination (as if you haven't figured that out by now), so let's talk a subject I know and can relate to: Football!

This weekend was the Battle for Los Angeles... USC vs. UCLA. I'm from L.A. (Pasadena, also the home of Van Halen), and my parents attended, graduated, met, & married at USC. I've grown up a huge fan of their football team since I was crapping in diapers. My Grandmother, Helen Morgan, even graduated from there in 1928, same class as Marion Morrison, aka John Wayne. But, after hefty expectations, being ranked numero UNO, pre-season, it has been a let down year. This weekend was no different, as the Trojans fell to cross town rival and historically inferior UCLA Bruins. However, I did have a really great time watching the game from the campground inside the little Shasta trailer!

Looks like UCLA scored again! Ouch!

Now, once again, I will run into the argument that this isn't really "camping." But, ya' know... Who gives a sh..... You get the point! I'm really digging the little TV in HD, with the little surround system which has good enough sound to bring you the experience of the game right to the campsite. At sunset, I tend to watch from outside, have a few brewskies, and grab a biteful of nature with modern amenities streaming before my eyes.

It's the best of both worlds. The little Shasta vintage camper is like having an apartment on wheels. If I were to stay in a hotel room, it'd be $79-$350 a night in Sedona, and in this campground, it was just $27.50. A bargain at any rate. Not only that, we cook what we want, when we want, get to experience nature & the elements, without any suffering or inconvenience. I like the setup!

So, while I was ensconced in college football, the little woman was out and about shopping for Christmas gifts in town. Only in America, I tell ya'! Upon her return, we did manage to watch a game together.

Wifey with the front row seat

Sunday, we hiked down to Oak Creek with our coffee, before we had a regular mondo-breakfast, just to breathe the fresh air and experience the sights and sounds of nature. In the summer when it's blazing hot outside, the Creek is a great place to spend the afternoon just soaking and hanging in the cold water. It's really tranquil down there, and only 5 minutes from our campsite.

For this eventful breakfast, we tried whole wheat waffles with blueberry syrup! We don't cook inside often because the odors permeate the place, clothes and all. So, we just ran a cord across the campsite and made those babies right there!

Of course, no morning wilderness breakfast would be complete without bacon... The fifth food group.

After the hearty, wilderness breakfast, it was time to pack up and sort of head towards home. We stopped for nice hike at Bell Rock, and I couldn't resist getting a few pics of the "apartment on wheels" with such a nice background.

Peace out... Dude... Bro...

So, it was another great trip under our wings, and we were off to drop the camper at the storage place back in Verde Valley... But NO!!!! There was one of those art fairs off on the side of road in a parking lot that we just had to stop off at! All guys hate these things. How much jewelry, freaky artwork, trinkets, & sculpture can you browse? I can only stand these things for about 10 minutes or so, then I look for something else to do... Such as, staring up into the sky; counting how many breathes I take in a minute; watching the sprinklers water the lawn. 30 minutes later, and a few hundred bucks gone forever, it was time too leave beautiful Sedona, and the parking lot art fair behind.

Until next time, happy camper-camping, and super merry Thanksgiving to all!

Twisted, gnarled tree by the Creek

 Oak Creek

 Rancho Sedona RV campground, under the oaks!

 Making breakfast outdoors, then...

 Grubbing down inside.

 The dish station behind the laundry facilities. (I seem to spend a lot of time here).

The end... Of doing dishes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Phoenix Rover's Camping Blog: Veteran's Day Weekend- Dead Horse Ranch State Park...

Phoenix Rover's Camping Blog: Veteran's Day Weekend- Dead Horse Ranch State Park...: Veteran's Day Weekend- Dead Horse Ranch State Park Greetings Earthlings & others. Been a while since I Rock & Rolled! Had a lovely 3 day ...
Veteran's Day Weekend- Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Greetings Earthlings & others. Been a while since I Rock & Rolled! Had a lovely 3 day weekend at "The Horse." Each time we visit, we always find another thing to do there, another little activity we haven't tried or experienced. Dead Horse

Dead Horse Ranch is a State Park here in Arizona, about 8 miles from a famous place called Sedona, home of the red rocks. It's kind of amazing what you can actually do here at this place... Camping, fishing (lagoon and Verde River), wildlife viewing, hiking, Native American ruins (Tuzigoot National Monument); just outside the park: hang gliding landing fields, skateboard park, Frisbee golf course, kayaking, horseback riding & trails, etc. Then, in the town of Cottonwood, there's shopping in Old Town, a few restaurants worth visiting, and "The Riot." Rendevous in Old Town

Most campers wouldn't consider the restaurants, shopping, and other civilized forms of entertainment when camping, and therein lies the difference between tent camping and camping in a motor home, RV, pop-up, etc.

I used to think that people who went camping in an RV were wussies. Even tent camping in an organized campground was just too safe and organized for me. But, as I have grown a tad older, there are many benefits to RV and "apparatus" camping. 

First and foremost, the elements are manageable. In the Desert, when we camp at the lake (Roosevelt) in the Summer, temps can reach 112 at night! Ever try sleeping in a tent in those kind of temps? Good luck. I'm done with that. Then, last year's New Year's trip, it was 11 degrees outside, and it sure was nice to go into the '62 Shasta camper with the heater blasting, and watch movies on the blu ray player, and NFL playoff games at night!

Second, you are basically sleeping on a bed, and not a mat, a pad, or the ground. Nothing like a jagged rock poking you in the should when you roll over at 4 am while trying to sleep in your tent.

And third, tent camping is a survival mode experience, where you cook, clean, hike around, and really experience the pure aspects of nature. It's nice and swell to be able to set up the camper, go out and eat breakfast, shop, visit cultural landmarks, and come back to a civilized dwelling. Both experiences have their benefits and drawbacks, but at this point in my life I have changed my tune... I am not a Wussie, and I enjoy "Camper Camping!"

You have the best of both worlds... We cook outside, start a camp fire, use our camping gear (lanterns, propane stove, pop up, EZ Up canopy/shelter), & have a few beers while braving the elements in my North Face down jacket.

So, that being said, this trip we visited the cemetery at Cottonwood. It was a spur of the moment decision to check it out, and we had just finished breakfast at Georgie's Cafe, (Georgie's) and decided to take a peek. Glad we did! Not sure when the town of Cottonwood was founded, but we found gravestones of folks who passed in the 1850's! That's not something you see every day in and around Scottsdale/Phoenix, where we live. 

There's a lot of western history in this small town. Life must have been very hard in those times- Fighting off the Natives, surviving the elements, lack of medical attention, tough climates, and more. Makes you appreciate the comforts of your camper, huh!!!

On the way home, we stopped at a place I had hard about for many years, Arcosanti. It is billed as an urban laboratory. 

"Arcosanti is a place where the green (lean) movement has been practiced for 42 years in a coherent and consistent way, not reforming by improving inherited patterns, but reformulating the present into something more promising."—Paolo Soler

 Although we did not take the tour, we did walk around and check things out for an hour or so. (We'll go back another time and take the guided tour for ten bucks). You talk about a place that's truly in the middle of nowhere! Yeah... This is it! The architecture is simple yet interesting. The concept is unique as well. Worth a visit, for certain.

For more on Arcosanti, see their website here: Arcosanti

 Well, its onwards and upwards from here! Next weekend, it's camping at Rancho Sedona! Low 70's, day; upper 30's night. Not too bad... If you're inside a CAMPER! I still say I am not a Wussie

(Crappy Iphone photo)