"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Bittersweet Visit in Arizona

Navajo County, Arizona
Homolovi State Park

Winslow, Arizona is one of those places we love to stay at for a couple of days when we pass through that area.  We usually stay at the free McHood County Park just outside Winslow, but this time we wanted to visit the Homolovi State Park and its archeological pueblo sites.
$30 for an electric/water site.  The sites are very open but nicely spaced.  Very dark at night and quiet. Front and back view of our site.

Plenty of space between sites.
Beautiful dark skies.  A slice of moon still out just after the sunset with the lights of Winslow.
Our favorite reason to come again was visiting the Turquoise Room at the La Posada Hotel.  We absolutely LOVE their food.  The hotel is a gorgeous Spanish/Native Indian style.

We have never had dinner here so for Steve's birthday we made an evening reservation.  Dinner was great but we much preferred the breakfast.  So of course we returned the next morning for breakfast.
Pretty courtyards all around outside and some very unusual artwork upstairs.
Much of this artists work involved bullets and had a dark element to it.  Interesting though.
Back to the corner.  Another visit with the new state of Glenn Frey of the Eagles.
We've been here a few times but it's one of those places that never gets old.

We took a walk down the other end of town and saw this memorial to 9/11.  We've seen a few of these over the country as we've traveled.

Hiking along the paths to visit the historical sites in Homolovi, we came across quite a bit of pottery scattered around.  Some we'd put on larger rocks along with other pieces of pottery that were there.
When we were at the Visitor Center later and asked about it, we were told that everyone keeps doing that and that they go out there every few days and scatter it back in the desert.  They want the area to remain as it is and you're not supposed to move them.  We should've known better :-(   They should put some signs out though since it's such a problem.
One of the old stone and mud buildings.
 A rather large Horned Toad that didn't care we were there.
On the way back we could see our trailer out in the distance.  Kind of shows how open it is here. 
We took some hikes out to see the pictographs.  We spotted a few on our own besides the ones they pointed out with signs.

After our hike we headed up to visit our friends Jodee and Bill of On the Road Abode blog who were staying at the same campground.  It was nice to visit with them and fluffy Tessa again.  After talking up breakfast at the Turquoise Room, they decided to join us the next morning. We all ordered the Arizona Green Chili Eggs over Creamy Polenta.  Delicious!
 Me, Bill, Jodee, Steve.
It was a short but fun visit then we drove south to our next stop just outside Phoenix. It was very smokey and at first we feared there was a forest fire as we drove through Payson.  We really love the mountains in that area and hope to do some camping there some time.

A great picture I took out of the window showing Weaver's Needle to the left and Flat Iron to the far right.  We have hiked to both and they are great trails.

Scottsdale, Arizona
McDowell Regional Park
Before arriving at Steve's Dad's place in Surprise we wanted to take a couple of days to decompress.  We knew the next few weeks would be stressful and we rushed a bit to get back to Arizona.  We really enjoy the regional parks and have not camped at this one yet.  It was $30 for water and electric.

There were some geocache power trails in the park and we enjoyed some early morning and late afternoon hikes.  It was in the mid 90s and quite hot!

Gotta watch out for spiny things that go ouch! 
We arrived a couple of days later in Surprise.  It was a bittersweet visit.  It was nice to see Steve's youngest brother, Jeff again.
 We took him on some of the great desert geocache hides along Bell.
This one was real fun.  You had to blow through a straw and the cache flies out of the container.
Another crazy surprise was finding out that more of our RV friends were actually parked in the same RV Resort as us!  We haven't seen them for a couple of years.  They just happened to be here because they sold their 5th wheel and bought a beautiful Class A here in Phoenix.  They drove up from Texas to pick it up.
We had so much fun catching up and Jo made us some fantastic meals!  They were a great comfort to us as we were dealing with a lot with Steve's Dad who was in the end stages of his disease.
The last picture of Steve's Dad taken a few days before he passed away. It was nice that Jeff could be here to visit with his Dad before he passed.  We'll be back in February to help out his stepmom and for the memorial service.  It was a tough time but once more shows some of the pluses to being fulltimers.  You can be where you are needed for an extended period of time when it comes up.

Later that month we said goodbye and drove back to Placerville to have the holidays with our kids and my family.

A quick stop for gas in Quartzsite where we'll be once again in January with my brother who is heading out fulltiming too!

We got caught in horrible traffic on I-10 just before the border. Another pretty sunset as we crossed over into California. We took a different way home that we haven't driven the trailer on.  We went through Lancaster/Palmdale and eventually the Tehachapi Pass instead of going over the Grapevine.  I don't know why we don't go this way more often!  Much less traffic and not as long or steep as the Grapevine.  We pulled into the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds late at night and just went to sleep.  I didn't get a picture, but it was a nice enough area, tight between neighbors if you have them but deep spaces. It is $20 for water and 30amp or $35 for water and 50 amp.

An interesting, huge plant.  I think it was a concrete plant.
More windmills.  These dot the hills all along the central valley.

A fun burger place in Tulare.  We didn't eat here but saw it while we were getting gas.  I'll gladly pay you Wednesday for a hamburger on Tuesday!  We decided to drive straight through to my parents for the night as it would be late and we can't get into my brothers ranch once it's dark.  Plus it was supposed to rain the next day and we wanted to arrive early before the rain.  We did make it just as it started to rain at the ranch.  We'll be here until January when we'll head back to Arizona for the rest of the winter.

I'll do a 2017 Wrap Up soon and tell you our plans for 2018.

Happy New Year Everyone!
Have a great time and be safe, Always!