Sunday, March 31, 2013

Arizona February Travels 2013

So on!

Once again we hit the road with our RV for another adventure to Arizona. Our plan had many destinations; the Arizona Renaissance Faire near Apache Junction, a visit with my cousin Louie, a small concrete job for a friend in Wickenburg and a rendezvous with my buddy Mike and his wife Jennifer at Joshua Tree National Park.

We departed on Wednesday in the late afternoon and drove to our first stop - Chiriaco Summit. Any time we plan to head towards Arizona, we usually try and make this location to spend the night before we cross the state line. I have previously mentioned why we  stay the night at Chiriaco Summit on some of my other posts. (see Quartzsite)

Thursday: The next morning we got up, had breakfast at the Summit Cafe and headed to my cousin Louie's house in Peoria, AZ. At my cousin Louie's, it  was going to be an overnight stay, because we were going to camp at the KOA in the city of Apache Junction for a few days. 

Any time we stay at my cousin Louie's, one of it's advantages is he lives really close to Cabela's Outfitters. Oh I should also mention that Jean like the idea of going to Cabela's because there's a Cracker Barrel restaurant next door. 

KOA, Apache Junction
Friday: Over the years when we visit the Faire we have stayed at local hotels to  be close to the event. Now that we have a motorhome we now stayed at the KOA at Apache Junction. The KOA campground is not far from the faire, which makes it a good base location while visiting. This will be our second year camping at the Apache Junction KOA. When we arrived to the campground we were assigned a good spot under a large Mesquite tree, which provided some nice shade.

Sunday: For the past ten years we have traveled to the Arizona Renaissance Faire near Apache Junction. The first time we attended the faire was by accident. We were staying at a condo in Fountain Valley, picked up a local paper to find something to do and saw an advertisement for the Faire. That caught our interest and we were glad that we went. Now we try and make it an annual event to go to the faire!


Why? The Faire offers a Pleasure Feast where you get a delicious 5 course meal, some really great entertainment and a souvenir ceramic goblet. (We now have 20 goblets).We always make it part of our visit at the faire to be part of the feast. If you every decide to attend the faire, I highly suggest you get tickets to the Feast, it's a lot of fun and a raucous event!
Just cause I like Belly Dancers - Arizona Renaissance Faire
Great entertainment at the Arizona Renaissance Faire...Clan Tynker
The Queen came by for a visit at the Feast
Lady Jean Marie and the Notorious El Feo...

Pyrate's and Gypsies at the Renaissance Faire

Monday:After our stay at Apache Junction and visiting the Renaissance Faire we headed back to Peoria, AZ., to spend another night at my cousin Louie's before  traveling to Wickenburg.

Tuesday: Our next destination on our trip is Wickenburg Arizona. We planned  to stay a few days with my Old Chief Ranger and friend Ken and his wife Susanne. We were going to driveway camp at their home while we stayed there. 

Last year when we stayed at Ken's,  I made the remark about the broken up porch for his backdoor. His wife Susanne said, "well then you need to come back next year and fix it".  Of course I said I would and and that was the plan to fix the porch.

When we arrived I first started setting up the Motorhome for our stay. After that  I went right to work setting up the forms for the porch. The plan was to pour the concrete on Thursday because of a storm that was moving through Tuesday night and Wednesday. Sure enough the weather did get cold and on Wednesday it tried to snow. The cold weather didn't deter us from hanging out in town, we still manged to make to the Hog Trough for some delicious Ribs, and walk around the town to visit the various shops.

            The above photo was taken on Tuesday while I was setting forms for the porch concrete project.

Thursday: The day of the pour finally arrived and the concrete truck was scheduled to show up at 7:30 a.m. It was cold 28 degrees that morning and I was trying to figure out , while I was still half asleep,  how Susanne talk me into doing this. It has been awhile since I poured any concrete so this day was going to be interesting.

The Job..

Despite the cold weather the concrete did behave that morning and it allowed me to finish the project without any complications.The job actually came out looking really good. But wouldn't you know It, by evening it started to rain hard. We had gone to dinner and all I could think about was what kind of holes the rain was creating in the concrete porch. When  we finally made back to the residence, I was surprise to see that there were no craters or holes in the porch  The concrete had set enough during the day so the rain did not ruin it. 

The next morning I looked the project over and decided later that day I would be able to strip the forms from the porch.

Later that morning my friend Ken took me to get bowls of Menudo at a local restaurant in town. When we returned I stripped  the forms and the concrete porch came out looking good.

To celebrate Ken and I went to have a few drinks at the local Elks Lodge in Wickenburg. 

Wickenburg Elks Lodge

Saturday: On Saturday morning it was now time for us to move on to our next destination...Blue Water Casino, located in the city of Parker, AZ.

After a great breakfast that Ken had prepared, we packed up our rig and said our good-byes to Ken and Susanne and headed down the road toward Parker and the Blue Water Casino. 

From Wickenburg we took the Highway 60  and then took the Highway 72 cut off to Parker. We rolled into town around 2 p.m. 

While staying in Wickenburg I had made reservations at the Blue Water Casino for us to stay the night there so we could do a little gambling and have dinner in one of their restaurants

Since we got into town a little early, we stopped by the local Walmart to pick up a few RV supplies before we could check in at the Casino. While I was shopping at Walmart, Jean stayed behind in the RV and did some internet stuff.

The Bluewater Casino is RV friendly place. You can dry camp in their parking lot if you are passing through. But I guarantee you'll go inside and check the place out. They also have a RV Park there as well. See the link for more information about the BlueWater Casino.

Our view from the hotel room...Colorado River. That's California  we are looking at.

Sunday: Well I didn't make any money that evening, but I did have a good tasting Steak at the Casino. Jean enjoyed having an opportunity to take a bubble bath and do some relaxing in a hotel room.

Now on the road, today's plan was to travel to Black Rock Canyon Campground, located on the North West portion of Joshua Tree National Park. Actually the campground is near the city of Yucca Valley.

Black Rock Canyon campground is where we were to  link up with Mike and Jennifer and camp with them for a few days. From Parker we took Highway 62 all the way to Yucca Valley and the campground in the National Park.

Well we arrived early and found a nice campsite for us to stay. The site was somewhat uneven, but I managed to level off the RV for our time there. The campsite also had plenty of room for Mike to park his truck and set up their camp.

Our Camp, Black Rock Canyon

Eventually, Mike and Jennifer arrived to camp and began setting up their area for the stay. Within an hour we were already hiking around the area. We pointed toward a small hilltop and began walking and before long we had some nice views of the area.

Since we were close to the city of Joshua Tree, we decided to go into town and eat at the Crossroad Cafe. It has been awhile since we ate there and we all decided that would be fun to do.

When we got back from dinner at Joshua Tree we then examined the park map hiking trails and came up with a 7 mile loop hike for the next day. This would be the first time any of us have ever hiked in this part of the park. We were looking forward to seeing some new desert area.

Monday: It was a cool brisk morning, we all finished our breakfast and began preparing ourselves for the hike today.

By 10 a.m. we were off on our hike. Our trail started on the Black Rock Canyon Trail, then connecting to the Burnt Hill Trail and over a ridge connecting to the Eureka Peak Trail, next connecting on to the Short Loop Trail and then back to camp.

On the Burnt Hill Trail

The hiking party on the Eureka Peak Trail

Desert Travelers

By late afternoon we finally made it back to camp from our hike. The good part was we were all feeling pretty good. My feet were a little sore, but nothing to cry about. It was a good hike we took that day. 

Back at camp we started our dinners and kicked back to a nice campfire that evening, sharing stories and observations we had seen that day. Joshua Tree is truly a magical place to be.

Tuesday: Bummer, it was now time for us to start heading our separate ways back home. That morning we broke down camp, prepped the RV for travel and said our good-byes for now. We know that we will be seeing Mike and Jennifer again soon, but it's still not a pleasant thing to do with good friends.

The RV was ready to go and off we went back to our home in Thousand Oaks, California. This was again a fun adventure we took for the month of February and with many memories to enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! Still hoping I can join you one of these years at the AZ Ren Faire!