Saturday, May 10, 2014

Arizona vacation with Mom: Planes and campground restrictions

Apr 9 2013

Yesterday we made our leisurely way back down to Phoenix and had dinner out with the friends Mom stayed with overnight while I went back to the same nearby campground I was in a week ago.

This morning I picked her up, we stopped for breakfast and then I dropped her at the airport. Instead of leaving right away, I parked in the cell-phone lot where I could get a WIFI signal, probably because the lot is pretty close to the end of the terminal block, and kicked back reading a book and keeping an eye on the status of her flight. When it had been in the air for a half hour or so I began the process of extracting myself from Phoenix. I figured if anything had gone wrong with her getting on the flight I would have heard by then.

I had debated whether to head up SR88 to the north side of Superstition Mountain where there are a whole mess of trails, or stay on a more direct line of travel down US60 to Gold Canyon and check out the popular Hieroglyphic trail up the canyon of the same name on the southwest flank of the mountain.

The downside of the Hieroglyphic trail is that it is easy and well used; the upside is that it's easy. Don’t get me wrong, spending time like that with Mom was great. It’s something I have never done before and I think we both came away better for it, but I was really wore out from spending a week alone with my mother, (Though I guess technically that's not alone is it.) so I chose the easy trail.

This was a decent desert hike. It was a little crowded despite being a weekday but several hikers told me if you get there early in the morning during the week you can pretty much have the place to yourself. Other than an initial switchback just beyond the trailhead, the climb up the canyon is pretty gradual at first then starts to steepen; then gets really steep if you insist on climbing up towards the ridge that eventually terminates in Superstition Peak! (Which I did not.)

The views are good right from the beginning, especially if you remember to stop and turn around often on the way up before you’re too tired to appreciate them fully on the way down.  The petroglyphs are pretty cool to see, though I wish we could do something about the stupid, the idiots and the just plain malicious that seem to think it’s alright to scratch their own marks into this ancient artwork.

Speaking of stupid, I don’t know how I managed it but when I checked my memory card this evening all the photos I took today seem to be missing. Sure hope I figure out what happened because I don’t want a repeat of that!

The sun was getting pretty low by the time I finished the hike but, using The Book, I had located a campground very close by so wasn’t in any rush. That turned out to be a mistake.

The Canyon Vistas RV Resort threw me out when I tried securing a site for the night, literally. I was escorted to the gate by a  guy in golf cart and shown the door. (Maybe I should have shaved first since it's been a week now.) Seems they do not accept trailers under a certain length nor are Class B motorhomes tolerated. It would have been nice if they bothered to mention something so basic in the description they submitted to Trailer Life Campground Guide. I can assure you, that information has now been entered into my own personal campground guide!

So, having been soundly rejected, I turned my back to the setting sun, driving right past the next ‘RV Resort’ since I didn’t want a repeat performance, and drove through the deepening dark to the far side of Globe (Under other circumstances this looked like a pretty cool town to explore.) to the Apache Gold RV park, which is nothing more than a parking lot with some rather ragged out hookups sticking up out of the pavement alongside a casino.

But hey! It’s a place to stop for the night, wasn’t all that expensive, (You check in at the gas station convenience store.) I can’t hear anything going on over  at the casino because there’s a whole lot of parking lot between me and there, the trailer next to me seems to be vacant tonight and, besides I’m ready for bed, so it works.


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