RV Days, Issue #010– It’s a Dry Heat – RV Travel in Arizona

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RV Days, Issue #010– It’s a Dry Heat – RV Travel in Arizona
June 30, 2006
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June 30, 2006
Issue #10

In this Issue:

  • Around the Park
  • Verde Valley AZ
  • Stunning Sedona
  • It is indeed Grand!
  • Visiting Lake Powell

It’s a Dry Heat…

We spent a good part of our lives on the east coast, where summer heat comes with accompanying high humidity. Now we find ourselves in the midst of a dry, hot Arizona experience.

Since we returned from Mexico, we have been spending time in various parts of the state. Many days have called to mind a popular postcard we have seen out here. It sports a drawing of a big Saguaro cactus, skeleton sprawled at its base and the well-worn caption, “It’s a dry heat. ”

Dry and hot has indeed been the norm in the past several weeks. But we are finding these sunny skies preferable to the soggy conditions back east. In fact, we have been keeping quite active and getting around to enjoy the sights.

Around the Park:

There are times when we no sooner get to an RV park than it’s time to leave. By the time we get around to seeing a few sights and/or taking care of miscellaneous jobs (washing the rig, fixing this or that, reorganizing, running errands), we are off to a new location.

While we have control over our itinerary, we do use our membership parks as much as possible. This may mean that we are limited to a stay of one, two or three weeks in a given park.

More and more often, though, we plan our travel with sufficient time to appreciate the park facilities as well as the local area.

Such was the case with our recent stay in the Verde Valley Thousand Trails Park. This is a big park and we made it a point to take part in as many activities as we could. Read more about our time in the expansive Thousand Trails Verde Valley.

Verde Valley:

Located in the middle of the state of Arizona, the Verde Valley is so named for the Verde River that flows through it. The area attracts many species of birds and has been the home of many groups of people for thousands of years. Visitors can explore the Native American ruins at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot. The old mining town of Jerome sits perched precariously on a hillside overlooking the valley and makes for delightful browsing. Since our RV Park was set in the midst of Verde Valley, we did a bit of sightseeing. Read more.

Stunning Sedona:

Our RV park was a convenient base for visiting the stunning landscape of Sedona. And we were fortunate in our timing, as we visited before the start of the recent Brins fire. Thankfully, the latest news is that the fire is 100% contained. Sedona residents and businesses have survived intact and welcome visitors.

The natural beauty of Sedona is not to be missed. Make a few scenic drives to appreciate the red rocks. And beyond just touring around, there are plenty of shopping and eating adventures throughout the lovely community. More about visiting Sedona.

It is indeed Grand!:

When we made our RV trip to Grand Canyon National Park, we wanted to do some hiking, see as much as we could and keep costs down.
Since we had just spent three weeks at Thousand Trails Verde Valley, we were well equipped to boondock on our RV trip to the Grand Canyon.

There is dispersed camping (boondocking) in the Kaibab National Forest. You must be at least a quarter mile from the main road, US highway 180/AZ Highway 64. There are National Forest service signs posted for several side roads where you can boondock. We ended up staying off a road marked 688, one of the Forest Service roads south of Tusayan.

There are also campground options convenient for visiting the South Rim area.

In making this RV trip to Grand Canyon National Park, we wanted to do more than just peek over the edge. We were interested in doing some hiking and seeing the Canyon from different vantage points.

When we arrived, got ourselves oriented.

  • We stopped at the National Geographic Visitor’s Center to look at the exhibits and see the IMAX movie about the Grand Canyon. Since we didn’t plan to splurge on river rafting or helicopter tours, the movie gave us a sense of these experiences and some history of the Canyon. We think it was worth doing.
  • Then we drove into the park and got a map and a copy of The Guide, which lists the hikes, ranger programs and details about the shuttles that traverse the South Rim.
  • We looked out at the awesome Canyon at Mather Point and then walked a bit of the paved Rim Trail up to Yavapai Observation point.
  • Then back to the rig to plan some hikes.

We ended up doing three hikes in three days. We enjoyed all of them. It is really important to read the Park Service material on hiking and heed their recommendations. Take plenty of water AND food. Do not try to hike to the river and back in one day. Avoid hiking in midday heat.

We started early for all three hikes. Read more about these hikes, campground possibilities and other things to do in the Grand Canyon.

Visiting Lake Powell:

We wanted to see Lake Powell on our way from northern Arizona into Utah. After leaving the South Rim, we headed north to Page, Arizona. This was a scenic drive through the area of the Painted Desert and along the Echo Cliffs.

In Page, we spent an overnight at the Wal-Mart, and then checked into the Page Lake Powell Campground. This park was convenient to route 89 and the stores in Page. After our time spent boondocking in the Grand Canyon, we enjoyed the 50-amp service and good water pressure to flush tanks, do laundry and refill the fresh water tank.

Our main sightseeing priority in this area was to see Lake Powell. This is a massive man-made lake with almost 2000 miles of shoreline (more than the west coast of the United States).

We opted to take a boat tour that took us to see the Rainbow Bridge National Monument, the world’s largest natural stone bridge. The boat ride also was a great way to see the scenic shores of the lake itself.

Read more about visiting Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon and the Glen Canyon Dam.

It’s the good ole summertime! Fourth of July just around the corner, plenty of summer days ahead. Gear up for outdoor living.

Keep track of your RV travels. The RVer’s Notebook helps you manage costs, keep track of where you have been and what you enjoy. Check out this handy software package to help manage all sorts of RVing things.

Take advantage of some of the helpful books for finding camping spots. Check out Camping with the Corps of Engineers. Other handy references include the Rest Area Guide, National Park Service Camping Guide and the Guides to Free Campgrounds – Eastern and Western editions.

The space may be smaller than a regular house, but it still takes some doing to keep the rig clean inside and out. We first heard about Mary Moppins at a County Coach rally and keep some of these helpful supplies on hand. We have used Advantage on the windshield, shower, and more. And Bi-O-Kleen is a safe and effective multi-purpose grease cutter. Check out the Mary Moppins Cleaning System.

RV Videos can often make learning about the world of RVs more interesting and enjoyable. Great way to learn for newbies, and a handy refresher for veteran RVers.

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Until next time, hoping you Put a Smile in Every Mile!

Jose and Jill

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