Arizona – first trip
Our first pass into Arizona, we did the Northern route. We stayed at Arizona Oasis RV Park in Ehrenberg, which is the Arizona side of the border, right on the Colorado River. We stayed here a few times, once for this trip, again, when we went back to CA after this trip, and then again, when we had to get the new Toad Car, and again on our way to Tucson, later on.
From here we went to Lake Havasu City, and stayed at Campbell Cove RV Resort, which was anything but a resort. (so I won’t link to it). Here we saw the London Bridge, which I remember being a big deal when I was a kid. But while the bridge was the same, the surrounding area was SO built up, it was NOT the same experience.
From here, we headed North to Kingman (Blake Ranch RV Park) as we were planning a trip to the Grand Canyon. Kingman was a quaint town with a lot of stores. I always think about this when I go to a town. If there is a Home Depot, some good food, a Big Lots, Walmart, then I think, just maybe, I could live here
We debated to go to Havasu Falls, or even the Grand Canyon Caverns, a privately owned tourist area. We elected not to go to either, thinking we’d go to Carlsbad Caverns (we ended up missing those too), and headed for Williams, AZ to be close to the Grand Canyon.
The most common place in Williams is probably the one near the Grand Canyon Railway, but we opted for Railside RV Ranch, which was pretty decent, and more affordable. The manager was very nice and makes you breakfast in the morning in the office: waffles, cereal, coffee/hot chocolate. This came in handy on the day we were leaving.
While here, we took a trip out to the Grand Canyon. This was the first trip by the kids, but we parents hadn’t been out here for decades. And, because Laney is a 4th grader, we have a 4th Grader National Parks Pass which is Free to ALL 4th graders and allows the entire family to enter ANY US Park in the Country for FREE. Here, Laney got her first taste of the Jr. Ranger program, but didn’t finish until the park had closed.
In the morning, we were planning to leave town, but it was pretty cold and our outside water spigot, a vacuum kind seen in some areas, froze on us. So, we just had a leisurely breakfast in the office, made by the manager, and then while sitting in there, we saw the the Grand Canyon Railway train backing up to go to the depot since the tracks run nearby the camp we were in. It happened to be Valentine’s Day and they were rolling out the Steam Engine, which apparently is pretty rare. So, we beelined it to the station to check it out along with the mock shootout they do.
This was a pretty amazing morning. The shootout is held daily and pretty common in some Western towns, but still enjoyable. From there many of the tourists were getting on the train to take a 2 hour? ride out to the Grand Canyon. We’d already been, so we just hung out and took pictures of the Steam Engine of the Train. While we were taking photos, the engineer came down and photo-bombed the girls, so we got a great photo of the girls, with the engineer, in front of the Steam Engine.
From here we journeyed to Camp Verde. We were going to Prescott, or Sedona, but due to time, and other issues, we decided to skip ahead because we wanted to be in the Phoenix area soon. In Camp Verde, we stayed in a nice resort style park (Distant Drums RV Resort) with a warm pool and spa. Right down the street was Montezuma’s Castle, another small National Park where Laney finished her Jr Ranger book and got sworn in as a Jr. Ranger.
From here, we headed to Goodyear, AZ, because most of Phoenix’s RV parks were full of Snowbirds, and this part (Destiny Phoenix RV Resort) which was a bit out of town, but rather nice, clean and quiet. Remarkably, it was near a huge Target Grocery Store and just about anything else you needed. And at night, we’d hear the occasional sound of a donkey to amuse us. While here, we were able to visit both my brother’s family and Michelle’s brothers family, who both live in Queen Creek about a mile from each other. Talk about a small world!
We made it to the Zoo, which was pretty nice, not as commercial perhaps as the LA/San Diego Zoos, but very pleasant.
We ended the week with me getting the flu for 4 days followed by a day of vertigo. Nice… Then we headed back to California to take care of taxes and see a play at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa.