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North America » United States » Arizona » Lake Powell March 25th 2019

Ready to move again, we broke camp for the short trip up to Lake Powell. I say short, and as the crow flies (or, more likely raven, here) it’s only about 10 miles away. For those of us forced to more terrestrial forms of transport though it’s a trip of nearly 50 miles, that takes about an hour and a half. On our way out, we stopped this time at the Navajo Bridge, where the state highway crosses Marble Canyon. There are actually two bridges there. They are similar arched truss steel spans, the first one built in the 20’s, the second built in the 90’s. The new one is designed for heavier traffic, and is much wider to accommodate modern vehicles. Wisely though, the old span has been preserved for foot traffic and sightseeing. We ... read more
Condors on the Rocks
Condor Soaring

North America » United States » Arizona » Lake Powell March 24th 2019

We had talked about going to the Grand Canyon on this trip, but it had been staying very cold there lately, and also we had not been able to reserve a camping spot, so we gave it a miss. We’ve both seen it anyway, but neither of us have been to the north rim. That’s not possible at this time of year as the access road is closed, but we thought we’d drive up onto the plateau anyway, just to check it out. It was a pretty drive over there. The road curved around the Vermilion Cliffs, then through a wide valley before climbing steeply up. We went from sagebrush country up into the green of the junipers, then the piñon pines, and finally the stands of big ponderosa pines. By then, there was snow on ... read more

North America » United States » Arizona » Apache Junction March 21st 2019

We had hiked a trail on Superstition Mountain last year and really enjoyed it, but there was plenty more there to explore, so we drove back over there in the morning. We parked at a trailhead just east of LD State Park, and headed out towards the high ground. It was a perfect day as we wound our way through the saguaros and other desert plants. It was probably the best part of a mile before we began to climb towards the rocks. We passed a tree where other hikers had built a curving wall from stones found laying about, one stone at a time. We stopped and made our own contribution, this is the kind of wall building we do endorse. There were many options on routes, but we stayed to the east, having done ... read more
Rocky Spires
Superstition Cave
Mountain Goat

North America » United States » Arizona » Lake Powell March 21st 2019

Before I get into our trip up to the Colorado River at Lees Ferry, I'd like to post an update/review of some of our camping and traveling systems. First, our new Dometic fridge. After that "over voltage" problem caused by our old charger/converter, it has been perfect. The ice cream is always frozen, and the beer is always cold, what more could you ask? It is totally hands off too, you don't have to think about it. When we are connected to "shore power" the gas flame turns off, and the electric element takes over. Unplug, and it automatically lights the pilot and it cools on LP. And speaking of LP -- it amazes me how little we have used, even with the fridge going all the time, and the fact that we have seldom been ... read more
Sandstone Walls
In the Path of Powell
Lees Ferry Launch

North America » United States » Arizona » Apache Junction March 18th 2019

As soon as we had arrived at the Tortilla Campground, I had my eye on the ridge across the creek from us on the other side of the canyon. It began as a low hill a little bit west of us, then tapered up gradually to the east, until near the end, where it steeply rose to a sort of mesa, with sheer cliffs falling several hundred feet over the road. It looked very climbable, though the last pitch could be a challenge. The real issue though, was the creek. A few days ago, when we had come up here on our reconnaissance mission, it had looked like you could step over it. After the heavy rains of our last night at Dutchman, it was a torrent. So I watched it, and on our third day ... read more
Cold Feet
Trail to the Top
Long View Lake

North America » United States » Arizona » Apache Junction March 15th 2019

We decided that we were definitely not going to try to drag Fred over 40 miles of twisting, narrow, washboard gravel east on the Apache Trail to get to our next destination. So, we had to do an end-around to get where we were going. We headed back south on 188 to Claypool, then west on AZ 60, heading towards Phoenix. That road turned out to be interesting in its own right. Very mountainous, with some steep climbs and decents, lots of turns, and even a short tunnel. In due course though, we found ourselves back at Lost Dutchman SP, right on the doorstep of the Superstition Mountains. We were taking a chance here, as this is a very popular campground, and we had no reservations. It was Sunday, so we were able to secure two ... read more
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North America » United States » Arizona » Apache Junction March 15th 2019

With the weather still overcast, we hooked up and took our leave of Lost Dutchman SP. We were in no hurry, as this would be our shortest camp-move of the trip. It’s only about 12 miles to Tortilla Flats, but what a difference those few miles make. Nice as it is, Lost Dutchman is like camping in a city park, while up the twisty roads and over the ridges to the Tortilla Campground, it’s practically wilderness. We found a good spot open, with great southern exposure for our solar panel, and we were all set. The drive in was no problem, I actually enjoyed snaking Moby and Fred around the many curves. The guy we were camped next to said there were 116 curves, to be exact, but we didn’t count. Cathy seems to be getting ... read more
Into the Canyon
Sportboat Shore Lunch
Happy at the Helm


The next morning, a little more prepared for the road ahead this time, we headed back out onto the Apache Trail to find a spot to launch the boat. This being Sunday morning, we were hoping the traffic would be lighter, and it was. Other than the blind corners, I felt less nervous as we worked our way west. There was no relief to be had from the washboard surface though — that was just grin and bear it. Pretty soon we arrived at the first launch area, a dirt road down a sandy wash, leading to a good natural gravel ramp in a narrow part of the lake. There is camping allowed there too, but several of the folks we had seen yesterday had already left. We maneuvered the truck to a parking spot to ... read more
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As much as we like Bisbee, the weather report showed some cold air headed our way, maybe even snow! As far south as it is (nearly on the Mexican border) Bisbee is pretty high, about 5300’. Its good to remember out west that altitude is more important than latitude. So we looked around for someplace lower, farther north, into the Sonoran Desert. We decided to try one of the US Forest Service campgrounds on Roosevelt Lake. About 60 miles east of Phoenix (as the proverbial crow flies) it is at a more comfortable 2200’ above sea level. We had a nice drive up there, all low-traffic back roads, except for about 20 miles on I10. After a couple of hours we descended down into the Salt River Valley, and the Sonoran Desert - land of the ... read more
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North America » United States » Arizona March 8th 2019

We where a bit undecided where to go from City of Rocks. I had thought we might head Northwest, up into east central Arizona and check out the oddly-named “Show Low”. Checking the weather forecast though, the high-altitude Show Low looked cold, possibly even snowy — that’s not what we’re looking for. We could stay home for that. So we placed a safe bet and headed down south, almost to the Mexican border, and went back to Bisbee AZ. Of all the towns we’ve visited in the SW, I think we can surely say that Bisbee is our favorite (so far). It has a great vibe, funky, layed back, lively, but not expensive and overdeveloped (I’m looking at you, Sedona!). Cathy placed a call, and we lucked into a three night booking at the “Queen Mine ... read more
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