Saturday March 17
the northeast is dealing with a foot of snow. We were in Quartzsite and
decided we just could not put up with another day of over 100 degree heat.
So we got in gear and got out of town. Terry had done a wonderful job of
getting things ready. Friends from the rock club are storing our
sun shelter, picnic table and bikes for the summer on their lot.. (Thanks
Joann and Terry) See the above tomato picture as we let our grow project
with the guard station hosts Mr. and Mrs. Seal. It is at last looking
good, take a close look. Ought to produce more tomatoes any week
now. It just didn't do what we thought it would. It grew but the fruit
just didn't do much. Anyway it will be a good conversation item at the
5 months in one spot and you know this was a big move day. We didn't get
out of town till about 11:30 AM as we had to dump and check for mail. No
mail that we were expecting at our PO box in Q so Bob and Sandy were nice,
and will check for it us on Monday so we could get out of town. We will
meet them later in northen NM at Navajo Dam.
and Sandy have become very good friends to us and it was kind of
hard to say bye to them. (Next time Sandy gets an SKP hug. ) We will see
them soon in NM.
season in Q has been enhanched beyond measure by meeting and getting to
know Bob and Sandy.
would have never met them but for the web and our web site. Now they are
doing their own blog and growing with knowledge each day. Special people.
You can met them as campgropund hosts this summer in the Snowy Range in
Wyoming. And see their new blog Colored
Outside The Lines
hit Wickenburg about 1:30 PM and pressed on since it was still 96 there
and the new goal was Cottonwood AZ and Dead Horse State Park hoping
it would be cooler there.
up north on I-17 was not much fun as it was still 96 out (as the temp senser
on the rear view mirror stated) as it makes it a harder pull up a big grade
(surprised of the number of big rig trucks pulling over) (did turn off
the air as the temp gauge was starting to go up) (backed it down from 3K
to just over 2K reves on the diesel (was able to pull at the lower revs
just fine) and the temp came right back in line so turned the air back
on high. Then next later on back down at 6% grades to Cottonwood for 10
miles is again a thrill. Thought I would do it in 3rd bit I was lucky I
got to get it down to 2nd gear and hold on and hope things didn't overheat.
pull up, then big downhill grads... Our Chevy 1 ton dully Duramax with
the Allison trans. just makes me glad I decided on this combination every
time I have to do an up and down event like this pulling our 5er.
knowing they had electric service which we have not had for 5 months to
run our AIR gave us courage to press on. We needed relief from the heat.
Of course we didn't need it in Q and the solar and generator was more than
great, but when it gets hot I NEED to cool down.
pulled into the campground to the dreaded CAMPGROUND
We pulled up the guard station right at closing 4:30 and as the volunteer
leans out of the window... and I give her that I'm tired and worn out from
dirving all day look, like I need a site, sad look.
sez.. You just lucked out as they have a site for us.
a mess after driving all day and not shaved and they still offered us a
just vacated site.
only one, as someone just left. (We were going to ask where
else we should go.)
could have just said, no go, and turned us away but another volunteer got
in a golf cart and led the way to the very top of the campground, to site
110 (they have lower and an upper campgrounds) and we think it is the best
one in the park as it has a view to kill for. Right next to the upper campground
host site at the end of the loop up high. They told us to self register
as they were closing. Happy to do and at $19 for water and electric. A
couple bucks more than we would like to pay but we are thrilled to be here
and right now at any price. This picture does not do justice to the site.
Will get a better one on Sunday.
plan to spend a couple of days here exploring the BLM east
of here for future boondocking camping and of course driving up to
Jerome a gem of a tourist trap. Terry will love it. If we have to, might
even head up to Sedona for the sites. Kind of scarry to be in the
tourest mode. Get me back in the outback, please.
Sunday March 18
slept well with the AIR cooling us down and ready for a relaxing Sunday
and reading the (If we have to) Arizona Republic Sunday newspaper. After
a English muffin we headed out to find the BLM 14 dry camping area they
tell us east of Cottonwood at the Thousand Trails Rd. About 8 miles from
the interstate off I-17 on AZ HW 260 . Could not believe all the great
boondocking sites with great views of the Verde Valley. We will think about
going back to stay few days when the heat cools down, which we think will
happen by early this week.
then came back and stopped and where else Super Wal*Mart as we rushed through
on our way in last night. We picked up a hoagie sandwich to split as we
were not head to Jerome. The Old mining town up high in the hills over
looking the valley. We had been there a few yeas ago and were looking foreword
to stopping and doing the walkabout to see the sites. It was
Sunday and the tourist trap was filled to the brim with big bikes, and
no place to park. So we kept going on out of town on the road to Prescott
and stopped at an overlook to eat lunch. While there got a cell call from
Sandy back on Q wondering how we were doing. It is still HOT there
and they have not left yet. The pan them is for Tuesday. Looks like a coolling
trend for all the state in the next few days.
there was NO stopping in Jerome due to the traffic we didn't get the pics
we would have liked so here are couple of local web sites which will give
you the flaver of what to expect here.
Historic facts and some
good pics of the area.
here for the Text and photographs by Howard A. Sheldon
Grand Hotel also has a web site in addition to promoting
It has a GREAT Historic
Web Page about the town with info and pics of
the early era. Very nicely done. People love to saty in the hotel,
the highest building on the hill. What a great history this building has
had, all the way from an early modern hospital, with one of the first user
I did a little research and
State Park was only $3 for person. We are thinking about going back
up on Monday to explore this site and be able to not have the weekend tourest
A little about it if you
don't go to the site.
Jerome State park.
The "Billion Dollar"
Jerome's modern history
began in 1876 when three prospectors staked claims on rich copper deposits.
They sold out to a group which formed the United Verde Copper Company in
1883. The resultant mining camp of board and canvas shacks was named in
honor of Eugene Jerome, the venture's principal backer. Hopes for the enterprise
ran high, but the costs of operating, especially for transportation, outstripped
profits, and the company folded in less than two years.
It took the vision and vast
financial resources of a new owner, William A. Clark, to bring in a narrow
gauge railroad and reduce freighting costs. By the early 20th century,
the United Verde was the largest producing copper mine in the Arizona Territory.
Jerome was becoming a frame and brick town, and could boast two churches,
an opera house, a school and several civic buildings.
In 1912, James S. Douglas
purchased and began development of the Little Daisy Mine. By 1916, Jerome
had two bonanza mines. Copper production peaked in 1929, but the Depression
and low grade ore deposits reversed the fortunes of the town.
The Little Daisy shut down
in 1938. Phelps Dodge took over the United Verde in 1935, but loss of profits
brought the operation and Jerome's mining days to an end in 1953.
The Douglas Family
Douglas' grandfather began
the family's involvement in copper mining in Canada. As an engineer and
scientist, his father, James, traveled all over the world. Son James Stuart
took to mining with gusto. It was in Nacozari, Mexico, that he acquired
his nickname ("Rawhide") inspired by use of rawhide to reduce roller wear
on a cable car incline.
During development of the
Little Daisy Mine in Jerome, his men cut into an extremely rich ore vein
just in time for the soaring prices of World War I.
His eldest son, Lewis, chose
politics instead of mining. In 1922, Lewis left Jerome for Phoenix, where
he served in the Sixth Arizona Legislature. His long career took him to
Washington, D.C., and finally to England in 1947, as Ambassador to the
Court of St. James.
James, the younger son, carried
on the family tradition. His worldwide career in geology brought him home
for work on the Little Daisy in its last years.
The Douglas Mansion
The Douglas Mansion has
been an eye-catching landmark in Jerome since 1916, when James S. Douglas
built it on the hill just above his Little Daisy Mine.
Douglas designed the house
as a hotel for mining officials and investors as well as for his own family.
It featured a wine cellar, billiard room, marble shower, steam heat, and,
much ahead of its time, a central vacuum system. Douglas was most proud
of the fact that the house was constructed of adobe bricks that were made
on the site.
He also built the Little
Daisy Hotel near the mine as a dormitory for the miners. The concrete structure
This former home is now a
museum devoted to history of the Jerome area and the Douglas family. The
museum features exhibits of photographs, artifacts, and minerals in addition
to a video presentation and a 3-D model of the town with its underground
mines. One room, the Douglas library, is restored as a period room. There
are more displays outside along with a picnic area offering a beautiful
panoramic view of the Verde Valley.
So there you have it, except
for a better pic of where we are at that I had promised.
I was not big on the Cottonwood
area fan (just thought it was the entrance to the RICH who recreate at
Sonda) but it does grow on you as a nice location to visit and even (No
I didn't say put down roots.) We are still fulltimers after all. Clarkdale,
just west of Cottonwood and down the hill from Jerome is a gem and has
not lost its little town charm. Not sure why. It looks like a little town
in the midwest with a town square and park. Small stores and NO franchise
businesses you find on the main strips where you just can nnot tell which
town you are in. High on a bluff , who could ask for more. Lots of nice
comfortable homes, I found nice looking. Must be a reason this, like
other areas in AZ and the southwest, has not been deluged with rebuilding
and overpowered with turning this little town into something that would
destroy its character. Must be the localsare working hard to keep the charm
alive. I hope they win. It might be the rest of the Verde Valley is going
nuts and they are on the verge, to the west, to be left alone. Wouldn't
that be nice to see.
So to end this... We
are going back to Jerome on Monday and explore, without the traffic, and
go to the State Park up there. Listen to me, Ron and I am excited about
the plan... What is wrong with me?
Monday March 19
We slept in and I had a late
egg sandwich at about 10:30. As we we thinking about getting ready
to head back up to Jerome to go to the State Park. Up walks a park
volunteer asking if we we checking out or staying as checkout times was
11 AM OOPS. We said we were staying another couple of days.
Next she asked if we would be willing to take a survey on AZ State Parks.
We said sure, and we were told if we did we would be offered a FREE nights
So tonight we are staying
Anyway we went to the Jerome
Historic Park (entrance $3 per person) and had lunch in the shade in a
nice overlook on the grounds. See above info on the park that I posted
yesterday. I dislike paying to go into museums, but this AZ State Park
was well worth it. If you get the chance do go on in. If cheap you
only have to pay to go inside so you could do lunch on the ground
with the great view with havinge to pay. They had a very good long video
all about the history and 3D cutouts of all the mine tunnels.
Terry just outside the main
entrance. You can see forever from up here.
Another picture from the
park grounds looking back up toward the town of Jerome.
After the park we went up
into the town and walked around. Anything to make Terry happy. He
knows I hate doing tourist traps (historic little mining towns). Oh, we
had a good time and now back at camp with happy hour and typing this, it
didn't seem so bad.
UPDATE: 8 PM
Got an email from Sandy
and Bob who are still in the BLM in Q and leaving tomorrow. She sent us
this pic of our old BLM campsite. Can't wait to meet up with them at Navajo
We had left about 20 wood
pallets on the site that we hadn't used for firewood. (Yes we did try to
clean up the nails left over from the burnt pallets.) Bob brought over
his pickup magnet and ran it through the ashes to gather up the spent nails.
We left a big free firewood sign and are glad to see the site is now clean.
We want BLM Ranger Cyde
to welcome us back.
The BLM long term visitor
area in southwest AZ has many RVers who return for many years in a row,
and with people living (boondocking) for 5 months or more on the same site.
You tend to bond with others in this kind of environment. And then we all
head off for the summer to other adventures. BUT for many months we are
Some short stay campers only
come for the 10 day big tent events, but for others this is their winter
home. Before, and after the crowds leave, we are left to bond and
share the beauty of desert.
Tuesday March 20
was a day to just step back and take inventory. Terry went for newspapers
and later did laundry. He did sneak off to Reactive Metal Studios for supplies
he sez he needed. Low and behold it has a chance to rain (forgot
what that looked like) the next couple of days and be much cooler. We are
thinking of just staying right here in Cottonwood, AZ till Friday
and watch life go by. How does that sound. No need to rush to Navajo
Dam as it looks like SNOW there. Too hot in Quartzsite and to cold
in new Mexico. As fulltimers you have to take it as it comes and move with
we are spending bucks to staty in the State Park but we lived very cheap
in the BLM and next stop will be Winslow, AZ at their great FREE
park south of town right on a small lake. After the DRY desert, that is
what we need, to look at water and and riasing fish and mud hens to amuse
us. More about that later when we are there. If you can't wait it is listed
on www.freecampgrounds.com. Oh did I say the AIR was NOT needed today.
NOW what would you think of this...
A couple of days ago we went
looking (see my above post) for the BLM 14 day area on HW 260 east of Cottonwood,
AZ north on Thousand Trails Rd. and then later after we found the nice
BLM 14 day area we futher north drove to the Thousand Trails RV park and
asked if we could just drive in and turn around, which we did. We did not
get out of the PU and gave the gaurd no info about us. BUT
now a few days later we receive email at myGoogle email@example.com
email account an offer to came back and stay free for 2 nights at the Verde
Valley - Sedona, AZ resort. Not a general email to visit their
parks all over the country. But to this park. So seems to me they knew
we were here and drove in and out. Do you think they wrote down our
plate and found my name and did search for may email. Scary
Want to see the exact
web site on the email: http://www.1000trails.com/offer/scripts/index.pl?offer=223_wgm402&pin=9950833471&list=SBXP
My gmail email has never
been connected to anything RV related.
Do you think the State park
gave them my name? But can they search and find my email in Google that
Wednesday March 21
We re-upped for a couple
more days in this Cottonwood state park, and got it done 15 min before
the requested time of 11 AM. Then off to the post office to send out an
Alarm It Unit. Of course the Cottonwood US Post Office didn't have a clue
about Click-N-Ship and how to scan the the computer generated scan sheet
so it would be entered in the USPS system and on the web for people to
see that the package was received at the post office and then later see
that is was delivered. They were nice when I explained the process
and after back room discussions they got it to scan into the system. Its
great when the public has to educate the post office on procedures they
promote online. It got scanned and they learned something new, and we were
nice about, it but not sure about the people waiting in line behind me.
The bottom line it is a great service and at a good price. We like the
USPS. Will see how the new rate increase works out.
Next off to Bank Of America
and a rude teller. I had a couple of misc. checks to deposit and handed
them to her with my debit card for ID. SHE siad we have deposit forms on
the counter. I said I have not needed that in the past in many other BOA
branches. She filled one out and it didn't work because my acocunt wasn't
started in AZ. I had told her that. So she had to get a special depost
form from under the counter and fill it out with the state the account
was originated in. So the form I would have filled out on the bank
counter would have not of worked anyway. Our address is in SD the account
was opened in IA. BOA does not have accounts in SD. Banking can get
confusing from state to state with state rules and interest rates are different
in each state.
Thinking back I do think
I have filled out depost slips, while on teh road, but this time didn't
think of it as it has been awhile since in a BOA for a simple deposit.
Most times they take my debit card pull up my accounts
and say HOW MAY I HELP YOU. Get my drift.
Enough of that... we
left Cottonwood and headed back up to Jerome on US 89A and on to a fun
drive over the mountian to Prescott. Just becasue
we could. The drive was fun and up and down with some severe hairpin
To see these maps and much
more about what the west has to offer go Public
Lands Info Center
to Prescott and drove around and our thoughs were this is a big mess. Didn't
realize how the big the Valley was driving down from on 89A to Prescott
Valley. (which is a bedroom sort of town with homes for working people.)
of years ago we came down US 89 from Williams and didn't know better
to take a 5er down 89A south to Congress, AZ . Thank god we did it on an
off day and we made it. Do not try that if heading south from Prescott
from the north on US 89... take HW 10 (called Iron Springs Road). We have
not been on this road so take it at your own rick.
for todays drive we stopped in Prescott Valley on they way back and had
lunch. Heading back on US 89A for the fun drive to Jerome and then on down
to Cottonwood. We needed a few things and instead of going out to Wal*Mart
we pulled into
This is some store. They have more variety than any store that I think
I have been in for some time. This was not just a grocery store by any
means but a Super Food Store. Many sections of above and beyond
items with prices to match. Choice at all levels. They have it covered.
now later back at Dead Horse State Park, Terry is making chicken soup from
scratch with home made noodles. He has had scratchy throat and we hope
it doesn't turn into something worse. SO good old home made chicken
soup might do the trick.
If we are up to it, we may
head up to the Ultimate Tourist Trap....Sedona...
Photo from Sedona.net
Do visit their great web site.
The forcast is for
rain with thunderstorms, but we shall see if that happens. When they say
a 20% chance they get excited, but us from the midwest don't think that
is a big deal. We do wish it would rain big time as they need it!
Thursday March 22
My statement above about
a 20% chance of of thunderstorms. It has been much more than
that with on and off downpours all day and now into this night. This is
just what this area needs. I even had to take down the dish as we saw lighting
and we are up high looking over the Verde Valley.
So we didn't go to Sedona.
Terry found a notice in the ranger station that there is a Verde Valley
Gem and Mineral Show in Cottonwood this weekend. I thought we got away
from that after leaving Q... Guess not. Think we will stay a few more days,
as it is wet and cold, and we are nice and dry and enjoying our RV site.
Learned it's good to stay over the weekend and move during the week. Also
this is spring vacation and campers are here with kids. Also after opening
our forworded mail, Terry now has to go to BOA and get an tax form corrected.
Yes banks do make mistakes.
I broke down and worked on
taxes today since it was raining and I had been putting it of. I
was done earlier last year. I use TaxAct.
sort of get locked into a software program if you use it year after year
as it imports old data to the new forms. TaxAct is a local company from
IA and we like they way it works.
As usual I was not thrilled
to get a W-2 form and have to pay full taxes (Income, SS, Medicare) on
over $7000 that is imputed
income for the value of Terry's Health Insurance. I know it is not
the way the company I retired from (Qwest) would like to classify this,
but it is a IRS government ruling. We are glad he has coverage as we know
what others are going through to get health insurance coverage at any cost.
50 million people do not have any at all.
Anyway that is life as we
know it for now...
Friday March 23
. Rain... Rain and more Rain...
Kind of cool also. Listen to me after the heat in Q I'm not complaining.
The spring break tent campers with lots of kids in this State park are
not happy campers. But the when it stops raining from time to time they
are out in force. We heard form Bob and Sandy and they are stuck
just south of the Grand canyon at Tusayan with a PU that was overheating
and will have it looked at on Monday. But stuck till then in a expensive
RV park without Verizon National internet service for their laptop. And
it is snowing. Talk about not happy campers. They have cell phone service
(not Verizon) and were able to call us. The last time we were there we
also found no Verizon cell phone service.
When we started this fulltime
life I vowed never to be without Internet access. So that is why we spent
the big bucks to get internet satellite service. It is not for everyone,
but we live online. It was the first addition we added, and now just upgraded
it to a D3/7000s service. Everyone has their priorities on what they want
from traveling and living this lifestyle and this was a big one for us.
OK Terry also loves fly fishing, but I think he spends more time online
then fishing. Ok we do have to go so south in the winter... So you think
that has anything to do with being able to fish. But in next week or so
he will try to get his fill trout fishing at Navajo Dam in New Mexico.
You should see his face when he comes back to camp and talks about the
ones he cought and released and, the bigger ones that got away. And this
year we will meet Bob and Sandy their for the heading north fishing
adventure. We plan on a long stay as NM parks has extended how long you
can stay from 14 days to 21 days.
It is clearing a little here
in Cottonwood, AZ and Terry is going to make beef stew for supper.
The tent campers might have
a good campfire afterall. Go for it!
This Old House
is on PBS and you know Bill Mahr will be on HBO later so
a good Friday night is planned.
Saturday March 24
.We were just going to to
to Radio Shack and take back a WiFi USB adpator and then Wally World but
we thought why not and went for a drive. Wound up in Sedona without a camera.
How could that happen? The afternoon light through the clouds were making
some great wiews. Guess we just have to remember them in our minds. That's
what counts after all.
Got back about 4:30 and Terry
ran the vacuum clearner getting things ready for a departure Sunday morning...
heading toward Winslow, AZ. Via HW 260 and HW 87 instead of up I-17 to
Flagstaff and on over east on I-40.
from the Public
Lands Info Center
Anybody can take that route,
we like to take the back roads and thsi time through the Coconino Natl
Not worring about campgrounds
in the NF as they will be closed this time of year. But the drive is nice
knowing a great FREE campground awaits us at Winslow, AZ.
A picture from our stay
Think this site would do
you for a free overnight stop? Just south of I-40.
This is the www.FreeCampgrounds.com
listing of the park.