Thankful to be in Phoenix

These are a pictures of something we saw in England as we were driving and I forgot them on the last post.  Crazy!

Our return to the US from England was a happy time. We left behind the rainy weather to enjoy the warm sunshine outside of Las Vegas at Lake Meade. We decided to stay at Boulder Beach right at Lake Meade only 30 minutes away rather than go any further. When you come out of Vegas the 30 miles and come through Boulder City down the hill and see the lake it is amazing.  The view are incredible with that big lake in the middle of the desert surrounded by mountains. I loved the view. Our campground was full of trees and like a little oasis. We decided not to boondock in the middle of nowhere, but the campground doesn’t have power or water, so although we weren’t all alone in the desert it was just like boondocking. The only bad thing is you still pay $20 to stay there. It was nice to be so close to Boulder city and here was a lot of hiking and a great bike trail very close by.

We pretty good advantage of the hiking and biking trails. One day we hiked 7.5 miles on the tunnel trail to go see the Hoover dam. It’s a nice flat trail that used to be a railroad track, there are 5 old tunnels you go through along the way. Most of the time you can also enjoy nice views of Lake Meade. We also took a 12 mile bike ride along the bike path. The wind was blowing a little that day so on the way out the ride was quick and easy, but when we turned around it was a different story.  We did one other hike, river mountain trail in bootleg canyon. That was a nice 6 mile hike that we had to drag ourselves through because we were tired that day, but we wanted to get out and explore and we knew we would be disappointed if we didn’t do it.

We saw these people taking photos and tried to recreate it…Kat didn’t have her bikini  with her, so it wasn’t quite the same, but still…

We kept ourselves busy with normal activities like reading and stuff. And as usual, we did spend some time in Starbucks for good internet service. We had a little bit of cell signal which we could use as wifi, but not fast enough for our liking. By using the solar panels we could charge our electronic devices for reading and watching things we had downloaded on Kats iPad. We never got to have a fire because after the first night it was always too windy. After the big beaver moon came up we usually went inside.( It really is called the Beaver moon and it is called that because after the supermoon or harvest moon it is the largest and brightest moon of the year. In the past trappers called it that because they could use the light to set their beaver traps.) We would go inside because so many people around us would turn on their generators and it was noisy. They also pretty much ignored the quiet hours from 10pm to 6 am. I guess they needed to use their coffee makers or something? It was annoying. We never saw a camp host while staying there even when we walked though the campground. So no one was enforcing those rules. Other than being woken up early by the generator noise and one night of coyotes howling really nearby it was usually kind of quiet.

Beaver Moon

Just another nice sunset

There should always be a roadrunner picture.

We stayed there 4 days longer than planned because it was so pretty. We took a drive further around the lake and it was always interesting as the views and light changed. And of course we didn’t want to leave on Sunday because of football. We had to go into Boulder City to watch though because there was no TV signal at the campground, but we found a good place to watch TV and have a snack. For dinner we chose to go home and make our own burgers, which were delicious as usual.  A few days before we left we planned our next stop at Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

I got a really good vibe from Lake Havasu City. We stayed at the state park and It’s pretty much a wide open gravel lot, but it is right on the lake and the sunsets are amazing. It was getting really busy in town because of the Winter visitors, but there are lots of shops and outdoor restaurants and bars. I can see how it would be a great place to spend the winter. There are tons of boats stored all around the lake so I can only imagine how it is busy in the summer too, but I bet it gets really hot that time of year. We took a look at the London bridge which is one thing for which Lake Havasu city is known. The bridge really was the original London bridge, but at one point it was not usable in London anymore for structural reasons, so it was bought, taken apart brick by brick, shipped over to the US and brought here and reassembled in 1971. They numbered the pieces and put it back together exactly as it was originally. Quite the engineering feat.

After leaving Lake Havasu the next stop was Quartzite, AZ to boondock a few days. The drive was fantastic just outside of Lake Havasu City as we followed along the lake. There were so many other places we could have stayed that looked like they would be really nice. At Quartzsite we stayed at a different area on the other side of town down Plumosa road. Pretty much the same terrain as the last place we stayed when there, but a lot quieter since we weren’t near the highway. We treated ourselves on Thursday night by going into town for dinner and to watch football at Silly Al’s.  Well, we didn’t get to watch much football because it was Karaoke night and that was even better.  I think the majority of singers were about 60+ years old and having a blast.  Some were pretty good.  Kat made a new friend who loved buying her drinks and talking to her and I think if she could have been persuaded to dance he would been in heaven.

Our boondocking site

Kat’s buddy.

A long road for my bike ride.

Every night had a nice sunset.

See? Sunsets in the West are awesome.

Sunday we went  into town  to Silly Al’s pizza place again to watch football and have some more delicious pizza, then afterwards when we got home I sat outside awhile to enjoy the dark night sky and all of the stars. Of the 5 shooting stars I saw one was so amazing. It was like a bottle rocket coming down on a Fourth of July night. It burned so bright and came down so orange at the end I thought it may hit the ground. When you sit outside under a starlit and clear night you had better have your wishes ready. And remember not to tell anyone what you wished for or they won’t come true. This was a great falling star to wish upon and I hope my wish comes true. Oh, how I love the night sky and we have been so lucky to be able to see the Milky Way so often lately.

While I was out there a little night creature had climbed onto the table, but I couldn’t see it clearly and he disapppeared before I could get my phone’s flashlight turned on.just before I saw it, but when I got my phone’s flashlight turned on. I only saw it with the help of the light of the sky. Please little guy don’t come into the camper.

Quartzsite to Phoenix was an easy drive with some great views along the way and we got into our site at White Tank Mountain easily at about 130 pm. The campground is about 3 miles from the gate, which is a bit annoying if you are going in and out as much as we did, but what can you do?

Phoenix was as good as I expected because we got to spend time with my family and I got to meet my new great niece-Riley. Pictures just didn’t do her justice, what a sweet baby. We had the usual family meals which we mostly ate at Kyle’s house, but we also had some delicious meals at Alli and her boyfriend Logan’s house. She had us over for homemade pierogies and with help from us, Eric and her dad Carl we made a ton of them. Alli is so nice to let us do laundry while watching football Kyle and his wife Abbey letting us wash the truck at their house. In return we try to do cooking for them and just get everyone together.

We had a huge Thanksgiving meal at Kyles with everyone there, except poor Eric who had a stomach bug. Even Logan’s mom Kathy came. After dinner and cleaning up we played cards for awhile at Alli and Logan’s place. Our campsite at White Tank Mountains was once again about 30 miles from anyone’s house, but it was a really good place to stay. It was usually pretty quiet, but being close to town the locals showed up on the weekend to bring and visit their friends. Everyone asked if the planes from Luke Air Force Base nearby bothered us, but we didn’t notice them too much. When we did see them it was neat to see them flying in formation and peeling off to circle and land. We learned that it was where Prince Harry trained to fly Jets and a lot of people in Phoenix were pretty excited about that.

I had Kyle, Abbey, Riley and Alli over the Sunday night before Thanksgiving week for dinner and a campfire to keep me company while Kat was away on a trip. She took a quick trip to Sweden to get some miles-as we mentioned before she needs to keep her status so we get all those lounge visits and upgrades. Plus she got to take her mom, so they had a nice girls weekend.

It was a very productive time in Phoenix, we got the oil changed in Fat Henry, his tires were rotated and he got a spa day with a wash and vaccuum. Eric helped me with that and I appreciated it a lot or it would have taken much longer.

The good news is we also spent some time on us. Kat and I both got our teeth cleaned at the dentist office where Alli works and I got a haircut before we left. We took a hike one day with Logan and I went on a birdwatching walk one morning with a local group. I am not really an official birder, but I do enjoy watching the birds all around our campsites as we travel to new places, so I thought maybe I could learn a little something about the local birds. I met some interesting people and it was a good morning even though we didn’t see as many birds as the leader expected. I had to miss the morning mountain bike ride because of my dentist appointment, but I have nice clean teeth now.

Once again, I really enjoyed the nightime outdoors and one night some little animal was so close to my feet I jumped. I scared it away, but it didn’t go far and I could see it was like a cat with a long tail. I went inside to get a flashlight and it ran into the bushes, but I could see its eyes. I don’t know what it was, but it was pretty exciting. The lights from nearby Phoenix were nice to see in the distance and the moon was waxing, so it wasn’t pitch black or anything.

Monday night was our last night together and we spent it at Kyle and Abbey’s house having a make your own pizza night, which was delicious and fun. Alli always gets the best pizza shape because Logan used to work in a pizza place and can actually make a round one.   We said our goodbyes and went home to get some rest and be ready for our travels to our next big destination of Lubbock, Texas which would take us two stops of just quick stayovers in NM.

Eric and his masterpiece.

Abbey and Carl building their pizzas.

Alli and Kyle waiting for their turn.

Logan giving Alli some advice

Logan showing us how it should be done.

We had some good together time with everyone which is always nice, but we also got to see them individually so we can get to talk in depth. I said it before and I’ll say it again… I really like getting to know them more each time I see them.

That is a BIG Saguaro cactus!

 

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6 Responses to Thankful to be in Phoenix

  1. Diane says:

    That was a nice blog Bert! Keep up the good work!
    You are totally right about those sunset pictures. They are awesome 👏

  2. Breck says:

    +2 on the western sunsets!

  3. DebbieM says:

    The tunnel trail sounds like it was fun. I still have not seen the London Bridge. Loved your boondocking site. Maybe that critter you saw was a pole cat? Always nice to have family time! I’m still catching up on blog reading/writing. Nice to “see” you both again!

    • Kat says:

      It was a great boondocking site – let us know if you want the gps co-ordinates!
      Hope you guys are doing well, Happy New Year and hope to see you in 2018.

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