Tuesday, March 16, 2010




Despite a good night's sleep, the day did not start off well.  The gunfire started up about 8:30 a.m. & traumatized the dog's all over again.  I wasn't happy with our spot anyway because of all the usual garbage left scattered about by the locals.  I could launch into a huge rant about that right now but what's the point.   Kelly thought maybe we could change spots but I just wanted to get out of the whole area.......period!!

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A group of ATV people rolled in & unloaded about half a dozen ATV's.  They told us the gunfire was coming from a gun club just up the road so that explained that, so the writing was on the wall.....we had to move!!

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Drove the rig back out the bumpy & dust covered road to the pavement.  Found a place to pull over & leave the Motorhome while we took the car & scouted out highway 60 towards Superior, Arizona.   Our 'Free Camp Grounds' book by Don Wright told us there were some spots along the highway for boondocking but we only saw a couple & they were full of ATV trailers.  We continued into the mountains & eventually came to the town of  Superior.  Continued on about 10 miles towards Globe.  Very scenic with steep mountain grades & a tunnel.  Fair bit of traffic on this road but fortunately they had many passing lanes & one run-away road in case of brake failure.  We would have continued to Globe but we knew we had to find a place to stay Monday night & turned back for the rig.

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We returned to the area about noon & drove around looking for boondocking spots but just didn't like anything we saw.  Drove through the picturesque little town of Queen Valley.    Finally decided to leave Florence Junction & move on to Apache Junction.  We knew of a State Park up that way.   Figured we would take a long shot & drive up & see if we could find it.  State Parks are our second choice to boondocking & we knew because of our proximity to the large megapolis of Phoenix it was unlikely we would ever find any respectable boondocking sites.  Kelly led the way in the car & I followed in the Motorhome.  



Traffic was heavy & I kept thinking, how the hell did we get ourselves into this.  Not my idea of RVing that's for sure.  Urban sprawl everywhere.  Just south of Apache Junction Kelly spotted a mall in a place called Gold Canyon.  We had agreed to find a spot to park the rig before getting into Apache Junction & take the car to find the Lost Dutchman.  Luckily for us we pulled into a basically brand new & almost totally abandoned spacious mall.  Lots of room to leave the Motorhome.  The mall looked like another multi-million dollar business venture gone bust.  Left the doggy guys in the rig & off we went with the car.


Didn't take us long to get ourselves tangled up in Apache Junction.  And why didn't we use our Garmin GPS to find the State Park??  Because we never thought to bring it along.  OK, lets check our map.  Never brought that either!!  At one point stopped for a traffic light Kelly hollered over to the next driver, "are we on the road to the Lost Dutchman?"  The driver hollered back some directions & off we went totally lost all over again.  Another stop at a convenience store got us turned around & pointed in the right direction again & finally after about half an hour of floundering around we were on the road to the Lost Dutchman State Park.

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It was about this point when a very real & practical thought occurred to me.  I knew there were only 35 sites at this Park.  It was Spring Break & we were in a condensed area with millions of people.  What were the chances of finding a vacancy.  Zero to none I figured.  In fact when we pulled into the Park office parking lot I got out of the car with my camera figuring I might as well grab a few shots of Superstition Mountain before we have to turn around & leave in a few minutes.  Meanwhile, Kelly, ever the optimist headed into the office.  She was at the counter with one lady ahead of her who was renewing her stay.  Kelly asked the Ranger over the woman's shoulder if there were any sites available.  Yes, he said, one site left.  A big Class A rolled up to the window at the exact same time & the driver asked the Ranger if there were any sites open.  Kelly quickly hollered over the ladies shoulder to the Ranger...."we'll take that site!!  Had Kelly walked in that office 30 seconds later we would have been sleeping in  a parking lot somewhere tonight.  Yaaaaaaay Kelly:))  But you know what.....I still felt kinda bad for that guy in the Class A.  I knew the disappointment he was feeling as he had to get his rigged turned around & headed back out of the Park.


The Ranger suggested before we go pick up our rig we should drive to our RV site & put something there to give it the appearance it has been spoken for so that's what we did.  Had a couple lawn chairs in the car so placed them on the site before leaving.

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Next problem we had was to find our way back to wherever it was we left the rig.  We had been so messed up coming through Apache Junction that we didn't have a hope of finding our way back through there.  Luckily the Ranger came to our rescue & told us off a short cut that avoided Apache Junction altogether so we happily hopped into the car & headed back to the Gold Canyon area, retrieved the rig, & followed the shortcut back to the State Park.  Yaaaaaay Ranger:))

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This park has no water or electricity at the sites but that's fine with us.  Only $15 a night & we totally lucked out getting a pull through site on an outside loop.  For having to be in a Park we couldn't have a better spot.  Superstition Mountain towers over us with it's 3,000 foot spires.  Saguraro Cactus, Palo Verde Trees, & all kinds of assorted greenery surround us.


So, that brings me up to right now.  It's 8 o'clock Monday night, I've got my eyelids pinned to my eyebrows with a cactus needles trying to keep them open.  I am about 3.2 nano-seconds away from complete unconsciousness, I'm behind on my email correspondence, behind on my blog reading, & just so plum cranky right now I could eat a big ugly rock!!  But you know what...... despite a frustrating start to the day we sure lucked out by the end of the day & for that, we truly are Happy Campers tonight..........:))




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The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.


  1. That's a neat camp spot you ended up with Al, Most of us don't go anywhere near the East side of town. Way to crowded for us...

    As usual your photo's are second to none!!

    You should have came over Wickenburg way.... There is a neat little campground with no hookups, but lots of sites away from others that have good views... Vulture peak area south of town is a wonderful hike. In fact Ms Pat and I are just waiting for when we get caught up and can hike to the top again.

    I have worked my LAST rally.... I'm to old and grumpy for that BS.... Plus we are gona downsize,,I envoy you and your nice small easy to handle rig.. How in the he$$ did we ever grow so big???
    Be Safe..(load your gun!!) Plus, stay far far away from Phoenix!!

  2. Oh,those flower photos! With all the rain that has fallen this winter (everywhere!), I knew we would be missing good wildflowers in the SW - lucky we have you to post the photos for us. :)

    Doesn't it astound you when you end up without GPS or map?? Happens to us sometimes, too. What are we thinking, that we're locals??? Looks like you ended up in a great place, though. We've been in that state park (not as campers), very beautiful views.

    Safe travels!

  3. What a cool place to find! Even with all the frustration in finding it. Better than sleeping in a store's parking lot for sure.

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/

  4. Absolutely glorious photos - I have always dreamed of going to Lost Dutchman - never knew the wildflowers and vistas could be so dramatic and perfect - these photos should be in Arizona Highways magazine - please just slap yourself when you get a negative thought because you have no idea how truly lucky and blessed you are to have all this as your backyard with sunshine above and freedom and time to soak it all into your soul. Thanks for sharing - Cindy L (Moonfly13)

  5. Thanks Al for those beautiful desert flower pictures!

    Its been years since I was at Lost Dutchman State Park, but I remember enjoying the various hiking trails. Unfortunately, I seem to remember that the state of Arizona is closing this park in June. I suppose its too small to make a profit.

  6. Nice spot guys, hope you enjoy your time there, yes it is crowded but is beautiful too. We spent some time in that area last winter, McDowell Mountain State Park is also truly spectacular and out on the edge of all the traffic from Scottsdale. Miles and miles of hiking. The flower photos are awesome!

  7. How lucky can you get? Are all the cactus/flower shots from in the state park? What a great time to be in the desert.

    I'm hoping for the same kind of results from all the rain here in the Texas Hill country. All those blue bonnet are on their way!

  8. You've got a great spot there. You're right about the desert flowers as there aren't very many around here yet - terrific pictures.

    I had to laugh when I read about Kelly leaning out the window to ask "are we on the road to the Lost Dutchman?"? Two lost RV'ers looking for a lost dutchman certainly has the makings of a lot of great jokes!!

  9. Kelly saved the day again! She must be living right.

    I want to add my comments about the flower pictures. They are beyond beautiful.