Friday, February 11, 2011

Phun in Phoenix

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Every time I had passed through Phoenix in the past, I’d never been all that impressed.  Maybe it’s the contrast of coming from such grand wide-open scenic vistas to suddenly seeing miles of suburban track homes and big box stores along with all the traffic that goes with them. 

This time around, I decided to stay on the far east side of town in the foothills, hoping to still get all the connectivity and modern conveniences of the city, while also enjoying some desert beauty as well.  A number of full-time RVers had raved about Usery  Mountain Regional Park in their blog posts, so I decided to give it a shot.

I arrived late Sunday afternoon figuring the campground would likely have a few open spots by then….but not so here in February!  This first-come-first-served park is so popular, that folks stay in the overflow parking lot up to a few days before finally getting a real spot.  Fortunately for me, I was only # 5 in line and the ranger thought for sure I’d get a spot the next morning.  So, I pulled into the overflow lot for the night and enjoyed the amazing sunset above!

I got a site the next morning as promised, and it was a great big one with a great view of Usery mountain and the cactus trees.
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Not a bad view from the office window either:
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I stayed a full week here to soak up the all the sun and warmth I could before heading back towards Chicago.  I also needed to get the motorhome serviced—both headlights had managed to burn out within a week of each other, and I also wanted to get the oil changed, so made an appointment with the nearby Dodge dealer. 

Whenever I had taken my motorhome for service in Chicago, I just took my laptop along and was able to work from the customer waiting room, so that’s what I planned to do here as well.  But then I realized a big difference between getting service work done at home versus on the road—what would I do with Millie?   Fortunately, the Phoenix dealership had an outdoor waiting area, so Millie was able to hang out next to me and I was still able to work!

One other evening after work, I decided to take a short drive through the Superstition Mountains to Canyon Lake along the first part of the Apache Trail.  The scenery was spectacular and I dearly wished the winds had not been blowing so hard--- otherwise, I would have inflated my Sea Eagle to take a paddle on that gorgeous lake (that will certainly be a “to-do” for my next visit)!
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After seeing this view near the entrance to Lost Dutchman State Park on the Apache Trail, my overall impression of Phoenix has now completely changed—no wonder so many people have decided to call this area home, it’s gorgeous!

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