Alternative title: I Must Be Going, Hello.
We came up to Picacho Peak on the advice of the Ticknor Tribe who listed it as one of their favorite parks. The park is north of Tucson, nested up against the hills of the Peak next to I-10 running to Phoenix. The park has many hiking trails - including one that goes all the way to the top of the peak and features some sections where you have to climb using some cables installed for the safety of hikers. Data and I did most of that trail but chose to pass on the cabled section. The decision made sense at the time (it was getting quite warm, I needed to get some work done, I was concerned about having the stamina to both do that and get off the hill safely) but now I wish we had pressed on and taken on the whole challenge because it’s the first question people from the area ask you once they find out where you are staying.
This is our first experience with a multi-night stay where we don’t have a water hookup. The park provides only electric hookups so we have been learning water conservation techniques. We have a collection of water bottles and empty juice containers and milk jugs that we’ve been filling in the drinking fountain by the restrooms. We use this water for drinking, making coffee, and doing dishes. We’re trying to use our trailer water tank for toilet flushing only. So far we’ve gone 5 nights and still have water in the trailer so I’m quite pleased with how we’ve done.
While here MsBoyink and the kids made a day trip to the Saguaro National Park where they learned more about the Saguaro cactus and saw some petroglyphs. Miranda did another Junior Ranger program and earned another badge (which we turn into a fridge magnet).
We also took another daytrip as a family (and hence the alternate title). This past Thursday we were ready to move on, and MsBoyink did a fair amount of research to find places to go closer to Phoenix. This is difficult in this area, as most all of the private parks serve the 55 and older crowds exclusively. But we got recommendations for the same Phoenix-area county parks from online forums and our current camp host. So we packed up, hitched up, and hit the road by 8:30 AM Thursday morning. We stopped in Gilbert, AZ at a Sams Club to replace a dead trailer battery and stock up on a selection of meat. We then hit a Walmart for other supplies, and dropped some extra clothes, toaster, and blanket off at a Goodwill. From there we drove to the county park, and rolled up to see a “Park Full” sign and parking lot filled with RV’s waiting for spaces.
We knew about it but didn’t think it would impact us this strongly. Phone calls to other county and state parks got the same answer—full with waiting lines. Being only Thursday we figured it would be this way at least until Sunday. With not other obvious alternatives we called back down to Picacho Peak and found there was still room, so back on down the road we went. By now it was quite windy and warm - we saw temps of 94 on the truck thermometer. Arriving back in the park our previous site was still open so we settled back in for another 3 nights figuring we’ll call on Sunday to see if the weekender work-a-days have cleared out in the county parks and possibly try again.
It was good to get provisioned up, but still quite frustrating to kill a day and a $75 tank of gas to end right back where we were.
Yesterday we made the drive back to Tucson to visit the library and then meet up with some locals that we’ve met through various online forums. Present were representatives from all aspects of my world - another young tech couple just getting out of long-term RV based travel, other ExpressionEngine users, and another Jeeper from EarlyCJ5.com. The group melded quite well and we had a great evening of pizza, beer, conversation, and firedancers. We made it back to our park about 15 minutes before the gate closed (which we hadn’t gotten the combination to and it’s a long walk from the gate to our trailer).