Heading to Central Arizona...

Prescott, Arizona

Did you know that Prescott used to be the capital of Arizona?

Today was “Move to Prescott Day”…we got up, skipped

breakfast but started working toward the move…we

didn’t do a “full pack up” because we’d just have to unpack it again when we got there ... we did what we think of as :short move” pack job … it was only about 60 miles to Prescott, after all.

Terry packed the truck and when he was done, Sandy came by and asked for a ride to the ranger station...she’d anticipated leaving Tuesday as well and had hitched up the night before, then decided to stay another day .. .but she didn’t want to unhitch just to go and pay for another night. When Sandy and Terry returned, we finished packing up and got the Girls loaded into the truck and went to say goodbye to Sandy … and we were off!  It was about 12:30 PM …

We took highway 260 back to I-17, the same we had come into Cottonwood... then drove south to highway 169 which cuts across to highway 69 which then proceeds to Prescott. Looking at a map there was a cut-across to highway 89 where our destination RV park was located on the north side of Prescott heading north toward Williams … we took what we thought was that cut-across, but after driving some distance decided we had missed the cut off or highway

89 completely … so we turned around and backtracked … sure enough,

                     in a construction area, the signage had been taken down so

                          what  was just a street name was actually 89 … so we

                           turned south back toward town thinking we’d soon be

                           at Point of Rocks RV Park. Nope. When w were

                           obviously too close to town to be in the area of the RV park, we

                             finally pulled off and called the RV park and asked how to find them…that’s when we learned that we had turned too soon for that cut-cross and had ended up further north of town and west beyond highway 89… so they gave us directions to go back north, make a turn east, go through a round-about traffic circle (hate those … they are soooo confusing) … and 1/4 mile north there it was — Point of Rocks — as big as life. It was about 2:30. It was a frustrating trip that took longer than it should have and was more miles than it should have been. So much for a short jaunt to a new location. But we made it. It just made our trip to Prescott closer to 75 miles.

We checked in and Rick, the son of the owner, drew us a rough map of the area and we saw the error or our ways … he wasn’t surprised because as the map he drew showed, Prescott is definitely a tangle of twists and turns and streets change their names frequently. Of course, we had not been to Prescott for many years, and we’d always come in from the other direction, so it was like we’d never been there at all.

We had made reservations in space #65 at Point of Rocks RV Park—a site recommended by Rich Charpentier, which is up on the higher loop up against the rocks of the Granite Dells … the owner of the RV park owns 80 acres of beautiful rock formations with lakes scattered about in them … they are absolutely beautiful and the inspiration for many a photographer. Rich lives at Point of Rocks, but his site is on the lower loop and spends a much time in the Dells as he does in his trailer!

We knew that Rich was still at work, but we had not been at our site for 5 minutes when Rich pulls up in his Titan (dwarfing the Tacoma, by the way)…  This was our first meeting, so we were all excited and talking at once…he’s a very nice guy, and easy to be around….After a while, he went home to get a bite, having just got off work, and we got back to the business of settling in…

Our site was up on the higher of the two main areas of the RV park, and right up against the boulders of the Dells...scrub oak and pine and a variety of bushes gave each site along the boulders some privacy, which was nice. There was a fifth wheel next to us and when we chatted, we found they had just arrived form Dead Horse as well!  Small world.  They were from Oregon and had been meandering about the SW but were almost ready to hit the road toward home... reluctantly.

After a while Rich came back and we took our first walk into the Dells … we took the Girls with us ... Rich knew just where to go so that the Girls could negotiate the climb without too much lifting help … the park has a trail that even has doggy duty bags so you can be sure to pick up after them … a good thing. The Girls were very excited at the rocks and path into them.

They scrambled over the rocks like little mountain goats … it

was fun to watch them … they were like little kids in a new

playground. Rich, obviously familiar with various routes,

carefully guided us to areas that he knew wouldn’t be too

bad for the Girls … they have sort little legs, you know! We

ended up on top of one formation in time to see sweeping

360 degree views of the Granite Dells and catch the almost-

sundown winds … Rich took great pics of the Girls and a few of us and I got a few shots of Rich taking shots … it was fun. The Girls were absolutely proud of themselves … Annie laid down on the rocks and squirmed all around and let Terry rub her tummy … she was having a blast ... almost as much fun as when she encounters grass to roll around in!  It was a great introduction to this wonderland of rocks. It’s a special place and it’s no wonder that people take hordes of photos ... Depending on which formation you chose to climb, the views are all new and different ... but equally beautiful. It’s a great place for sunsets.

We finally headed back to the Bambi and chatted for a while … Rich took off to get some rest … he was having some allergy issues, so he wasn’t feeling his best. He was off at 6 PM the next day so he said he and Sadira could come by about 7 PM.

Terry had finalized a project and had been trying to upload his production files to a printer...but when the files were received, they were corrupted, so most of his evening was spent trying work-arounds to get the files to their destination…  He was also having trouble connecting to his own FTP site, so he couldn’t even put the files there … soooo he ended up sending all the required files to the printer as email attachments piecemeal … not a very efficient way to do it

                       because there are size limitations on attachments to emails,

                             but it worked. The last file went through about 12:30

                              AM.  Long night. The uploading process never did

                              work even though he tried a number of things to make

                              it work ... finally, he just put  the matter aside to be dealt with

                               at a later time when his mind was fresh ... and he was less frustrated. (Once we were home he did manage to figure out what was going on ... it was really two different issues...one with his FTP software—for uploads to others’ FTP sites —and one with his web hosting company — relative to his own FTP site. Both were a matter of  small, well-hidden settings in the preferences of each of the softwares ... once the settings were adjusted to the proper mode, everything worked perfectly. It only took 3 days, countless tech support people, and head-banging to figure it out ... and in the end he figured it out by himself.  But now he is set for the next trip ... that will not be a problem any longer!)

Wednesday we had planned for out “chores” day … but before we could get out the door the phone rang. It was and editor for Saveur magazine. You may recall from the travel log of our last trip to Fool Hollow that we received an email from Bruce Littlefield, a lifestyle expert for The Today Show and author of the book Airstream Living. He had wanted information for an article he was asked to write for Saveur about cooking in an Airstream. We sent him an email

explaining that we prepare most of our main courses in advance and freeze them unless it’s a grilled meal...and that in a galley the size of ours, it makes sense to do as much pre-planning as possible, and we don’t have the space to

do elaborate cooking.  He had never responded to our email, so we

presumed he was not interested in our low-key take on cooking

while on the road. But apparently he did include us in his article,

and the magazine needed photos to go along with the article. I told

the editor that we were on the road, not in a city where she could

hire a photographer long distance, but that we could take some pictures and send them along if she liked. She said she couldn’t use “snap shots” but if we wanted to send them we could go ahead and she’d look them over. What she really wanted was professional photographs. Well! So we stopped what we were doing and did a little photo shoot in the Bambi...of the galley area, etc. It was fun...and we took some nice shots, too. We had the “Cayenne” decor in the Bambi for this trips, so it was quite colorful. Terry edited the  photos a bit

and packed them up to email to the Saveur editor. Being a graphic designer

Terry knew what quality the files needed to be in order to be of any use to

the magazine. And that was that...we sent the pictures off and went about

our day. See the July ’08 issue, page 33...we’re in the side bar on page 34!  

With the excitement of a “photo shoot” over, we went back to our chores. We needed to fill one of the propane tanks and stop at the grocery store…and Greg had seen a Joann’s Fabric store while we were trying to find the RV park, so he needed to go there to see if they had any of a particular fabric he wanted for a project…he knew they were having a bill sale that was going to be over by the time we are home…and while we were there, we went to the Wal-Mart fabric section to check that out…what the heck. Might as well hit all the big boxes. We needed to replace the locking nut on the propane tank brackets because the other one had frozen and we had trouble getting it off…no fun…so we stopped at a True-Value Hardware to get a 12 cent nut. We didn’t get out of there for 12 cents, though. While there we found a great wool lodge blanket with a forest, mountain and native American theme that will go great with a planned “Lumberjack” décor down the road…as well as a few other decors that include red, black and green components. Expensive nut….even thought the wool lodge blanket was deeply discounted. We came back to the Bambi, cleaned house, had an early dinner and fed the Girls so we would be ready for when Rich and Sadari got there…

After we returned from errands, there was an email from the editor saying the shots were “great” and thanked us so much. She was far less sure that we couldn’t give her the quality of photos she needed this time. :-) Shortly thereafter we got another call from a different editor who was checking the facts of the article...we talked for a bit and confirmed the information about us and our Airstream... The article is supposed to be in the June issue of Saveur. We haven’t seen the article yet, but we are anxious to see what Bruce said, and what our pictures look like!  Sorry we were so rough on you in the Fool Hollow log, Bruce. If you had responded we would have known better.

Just before Rich and Sadari arrived, Bill and Larry, who were camping at William Heise Campground (San Diego County) near Julian, CA called…they were dry camping and had lost all their 12 volt power and were

calling to get out input on the problem…we suggested that there was

                  something going on between the batteries (which showed

                           full charge) and the coach…a fuse, a breaker or

                              something like that…that’s about the best we could

                              do long distance, but we told them we’d have Rich

                             (who might be more help) give them a call then he

                                arrived.  Just after Rich and Sadira got to our site, Bill called

                                  back to let us know they had quickly found what the problem was…the battery disconnect switch had inadvertently gotten tripped…cutting all the power to the Airstream...it’s easy to do...we have done this before ourselves….glad it was not anything more traumatic…but glad they did call to let us know all was well and we didn’t have to worry about them. Whew! That was a relief… I told Larry when we spoke it was probably something really simple. It usually is, it seems....and thank goodness for that.  I can understand the angst it creates, thought...unexplained loss of power strikes terror into the hearts of RVers across the country!  We actually spoke to Larry and Bill several times during our stay in Prescott...they had recently gone camping with Rich

and Sadira at Anza-Boreggo Desert  in California...maybe next time we can

join them. We (meaning Rich and Sadira and us) are working on Bill and

Larry to get them over here to Arizona for a trip. We’ll get them here eventually!

We had a pleasant, albeit short evening with Rich and Sadira…Greg showed all the “Cayenne” décor elements to Sadira and explained how we mix and match parts of each décor with others to get a whole new feel...while Rich and Terry sat outside and chatted about Rich’s work situation, being connected on the road, and the troubles Terry was having with the FTP sites.  Rich was pretty wiped out from the day at work...those pesky allergies again…we all came into the Bambi and chatted for a while, but Rich needed to get some rest…so they took off early…we’ll see them tomorrow…he gets off work earlier tomorrow… Laid back evening at home tonight…but that’s OK…laid back is a good thing.

We “did” Prescott downtown touring the antique shops for the afternoon…the antique stores are still going strong in Prescott, and most of them are in the area of the old downtown city square, which seems to still be the center of activity in Prescott. It’s nice to see a old town’s downtown area so vital. Prescott used to be the capital of Arizona and the town square surrounded by hotels,

eateries and of course, Whiskey Row always feels so midwestern...

unlike other towns you’ll find in AZ.  Sadira’s resale shop,

“Snap Snap” is located about a block off the town square...

we went there one day when she wasn’t working, drat...but

we did get to meet her mother!  That was nice. We enjoyed

the day of antiquing, though we didn’t buy anything...until

we happened into an art gallery (mistake) that carried TJ Stone

goodies...we had to have another couple of bells...the result of having visited Arcosanti earlier. It took us all afternoon to do the downtown area antique shops...they were all a pleasure. We felt as thought everyone in town was very friendly and chatty...everybody wanted to know where we were from, etc... It was very pleasant and relaxed.

We came home for dinner and then met up with Rich and Sadira for another walk to the Rocks…that place is such a draw! We are not surprised that Rich spends so much time there...and of course there’s Rich’s tree in the Dells that he as taken ownership of and photographed in every which way possible...some great shots, too... Then back to Rich’s trailer for a while…Larry and Bill called again while we were there, so we put them on speaker phone and we all had a jolly time.  Larry sang “Happy Trails” to us all as we said our goodbyes. Too much, those guys!  Love ’em. Greg told Rich about the jack covers he’s making and he ordered one!  He’s got the same jack as Sandy’s.

Unfortunately and largely due to the time of year...despite all the wonderful things about Point of Rocks, it was very dusty.…particularly with the Girls bringing in dirt (and waiting to shake until they were inside, of course)…Each night before bed we had to give the Girls “spit baths” with wet paper towels...4 towels per pup. That helped. Don’t think the Girls did well with the dust...they are so low-slung that they breathe of lot of that stuff in and Sadie’s allergies were in high gear. Terry had some allergy stuff even, and he never has allergy problems. Rich was having a rough time of it, too...something was in the air that getting to him, too. He said there was a controlled burn south of the city that might have had something to do with it, but it seemed like the whole area was hazy...you can tell from the sunset shots we took  up in the Dells that the air was carrying some stuff in it. And Sadira developed a sinus infection while we were there...which meant that we didn’t get to see as much of her as we

had hope...

Rich was off Friday, but had to go in to work for a manager’s meeting (he leaned last night)…that bummed him out for sure...and then he had an appointment later in the afternoon…so we planned to meet him and Sadira around 5 PM downtown to go to a gallery show opening for a friend of Sadira’s and then out to grab a bite...somewhere where Rich can eat the food. Rich has extreme food allergies and has to be very careful what he eats...it’s a challenge for him and part of the reason he has settled in to Prescott.  He seems to be healthier there than anywhere else he’s been.  We feel for him...it’s rough.

Unfortunately, Rich stopped by about 4 to let us know that Sadira was not any better, nor was he, and they needed to cancel on the evening plans. We certainly understood...a missed opportunity to spend time with them.

Saturday we went back downtown to check out a few resale and junk shops that we’d passed by the day before… There was some sort of bicycling event going on in town, so the square was very busy and some streets were closed off…so we headed home, gassed up the truck in anticipation of leaving on Sunday, and went back to the trailer. 

Came home and took a hike in the other direction, south from where we went into the Dells earlier and ended up at Watson Lake Park, a city operated park, jus tover the pile of rocks...took the Girls on this one...and again, the loved the adventure...They even waded in the lake and Sadie sat right down in the water to cool off.  What a cutie...a then-muddy cutie. Annie was more sensible. The park had some grass, so we treated the Girls to a grass treat, which they always enjoy because there’s not much grass to roll around on in Tucson!

We called Rich after he got off work to see how they were... Sadira was still sick and Rich was not up to a walk into the Dells…so we went on our own one last time before we left the next day. We did some good climbing and Terry found a tree of his own to hug!  Got some nice pics of the sunset, and just as it started to get dusky we returned and dropped by Rich’s Airstream for burgers.

Saturday we started packing up for the trip toward home, planning to do an

overnight at Picacho Peak to decompress before going on home Monday. 

                             Rich and Sadira came by about the time we were ready

                                 to hitch up and said their goodbyes…it was fun

                                   meeting them...just wish they had felt better while

                                   we were there…next time maybe!  We enjoyed

                                  them a lot...

                                     We got out of the park about 11:45 AM and headed to Picacho…oh…stopped at the Ace Hardware we spotted in Prescott Valley so see if they had the aluminum edging Greg is using to edge the counter tops in the Bambi…(We’ve only found it in Show Low.)  They didn’t…but we might as well hit all the boxes, right??

We arrived at Picacho Peak State Park, about 45 miles north of Tucson on I-10... A pleasant and uneventful (yea!) drive down... We went through the heart of Phoenix on I-17 on this leg, which is the first time we’ve just gone ahead... right through the middle of Phoenix with the trailer...we figured it wouldn’t be awful since it was Sunday...and we were right...only one stupid person cut in front of us...acting like we weren’t even there.

It was pretty warm at Picacho...the high that day had been 92 and was still 89 at 10 PM...  Picacho Peak is
not a summer destination...so we are the

only...the only campers here...only one of the 2 electric loops

are open, and one of the regular 2 volunteers will be leaving

1 May so there is only them after that... It’s a little breezy and

hazy like it was in Prescott...but that means the sunset should

be great... By the way, we learned that Picahco Peak is going to be closed from

1 June through October 2008. They are constructing a new visitor center, which will be a nice addition. Just as well...it’s hotter than Hades there in the summer time... On the last dog walk of the evening, we learned we had neighbors...a van-camper has pulled in down the loop form us and a car-camper was on the other side...that was it. They were both gone when we got up Monday morning.  It was kind of eerie, yet nice to be there with very few others. We got some fabulous sunsets, too!  A perfect ending to a wonderful trip...

We headed home Monday about noon...and got the Bambi put away and unpacked to rest until the next trip... We are really enjoying this whole Airstream camping experience, and we hope that those who read our logs and look at our pictures fid some enjoyment in it as well...

Click on the slideshow button below to see the pics form this leg of the trip,  click “Dead Horse” to go back to the Dead Horse Ranch leg...and you can click “Other Trips” at the end if you want to return to the main trip list page...

Sometimes the magic works and sometime it doesn’t. Grrrr.
The Girls were like little billy-goats climbing through the rocks... and lovin’ every minute of it.
>Dead Horsedhpresc_dhorse_apr08.htmldhpresc_dhorse_apr08.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0
 We got lost on our way to the Point of Rocks RV Park!
So we’re in the article after all!
Larry and Bill from San Diego called while camping at Wm Heise Campground in CA.
We enjoyed the downtown antique district , but were good and didn’t buy anything!
Headed toward home on Sunday with an overnight at our old fave, Picacho Peak.
Dang warm at Picacho Peak, yessiree!
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>Other Tripstrips_08.htmltrips_08.htmltrips_08.htmlshapeimage_14_link_0shapeimage_14_link_1