Monday, November 14, 2011

Camping among the Saguaros

Noisy night at the rest stop.  Sounds like a good book title. :)  We slept pretty well in spite of the really noisy big rigs that woke us up during the night.  I think the one next to me must have left early, because I slept like a log between 4:30 and 8:30.

As we were driving along Highway 17 toward Phoenix, I saw a brown State "Camping" sign and turned off toward Lake Pleasant Regional Park in Maricopa County to see what they offered RVers.  We checked in for one night at the park entrance and ended up here in the Desert Tortoise Campground.  After we got set up in our site, I called and extended our stay for a few more days.  There are water and electric hookups, but if I reach the electric plug, I can't reach the water hookup, it's weird, one is at one end of the site, the other at the opposite end.  I'm full-up with water in my tanks, though, so it doesn't matter.  I could also connect my electric extension cord that I have for this kind of site, but it's not worth the trouble.

There are tons of TV channels available with my antenna and Verizon works perfectly here.  The weather is warm and calm, a beautiful day.  This afternoon at 5:00 it was 72 degrees.  I'm loving it!

The landscape here is different than other areas I've camped in. This area has a cactus called Saguaro which is only found in this part of the world.  Some of the Saguaros here are from 150 to 250 years old, per the Ranger.  I've seen photos of them, and now, here they are!

There are also Wild Burros here - when we first drove into our campsite I heard a strange noise and thought it was a cow.  Turns out it was a Burro. I tried to find it with no luck, but later got some photos of burros drinking from the lake below us, and walking around that area.  I'm hoping to see some up close while we're here.

Some photos from the day:

 Our site, nice... lots of privacy, the park is almost empty.

 Barrel Cactus

 Bird on Saguaro Cactus

Lake Pleasant looks pretty low.

The sun is going down

Here are some photos of the burros I saw this afternoon, don't you just love them? 

And the last photos of the day:

I'm glad we took the off-ramp and ended up here - this is a really nice, quiet park and I think we'll like it here.  We've signed on for four days, but might stay longer.

BTW, a reader asked what kind of cold weather setup The Palms has.  This rig is actually prepared for freezing temperatures with an "Arctic Package" (cold weather package) that I turn on with a switch.  It ensures that The Palms won't have any frozen pipes or tanks.  I've used it twice, the last time at Zion where it got down into the 20s while I was there.  If I'm afraid it's going to freeze during the night, I just flip the switch.

From Me and My Dog, have a great Monday night, everyone!  :)


  1. We love that area up around Lake Pleasant. Where are you headed from there? Anywhere close to Apache Junction?

  2. The last state park I was at had the water and electric on opposite sides of the rig. I have a long and a short water hose and just ran the long hose under the RV to the hookup. I don't think I have an Arctic setup on my RV, but I am going to check into getting it added on, I had a few cold nights last week and did not hook up to water.

  3. That looks like a pleasant campground (pun intended!!). Love the burros. Hope you get to see some up close. So nice when you can just find a place you like and decide to stay there for a time. I can see you are loving your life!

  4. Great place and the donkeys are so cute.
    I sure love those sunset pictures. I wonder what it would cost to put that system in my couch. We had some really cold temps last winter and it sure scared me. I don't want to winterize because I like to just take off when the mood hits me.

    Have a wonderful rest there.
    BTW watch out for the stickers and the little pieces of cacti that Fred picked up twice in his leg. Use a comb to pull them out I used keys like a tweezer since I forgot the comb.

  5. Those burros are the cutest! I have stayed at a couple places like that with the electrical and water nearly inaccessible if u park the way they want u to. Even in New Orleans the water spout was right over the sewer outlet, eewww. The electrical way in the back and the sewage on the wrong side and way forward! Once had to unhook the pick-up as had to park so far back on the space it would have been sticking in the road! What were they thinking? And i paid for a pull thru so i would not have to unhook...???

  6. If you have an artic package, you must have enclosed water tank and pipes and the switch turns on electric heat tape or heater. As long as you don't have the hose hooked up, you should be fine.

  7. Your sunset pictures are beautiful! I'm glad to read that someone in the RV world sleeps later than 6:00 am! Seems so many of them are up and out before sunrise!

    I'm not a morning person any more. Craig never has been.

  8. Barrel cactus and burros...pretty nice change from snowy Sedona, huh? You're having a wonderful time and enjoying your travels...that's what it's all about! You and Katie take care now and don't sit on any of those barrels!!

  9. I bought ear plugs for exactly those kinda noisy overnight spots.

    And 72 degrees ! Now that's much better !

  10. looks like a great spot to park for a while!!..nice sunset and the burros are a nice touch!!

  11. Looks like another great spot! The burros are so they bray a lot? Now that would be noise!!

  12. What a great place to camp! Those burros are adorable. The last two photos are gorgeous! I bet you stay longer that 4 days. You must be so happy that you bought the Palms and are having such great travels. Life is good.

  13. The Palms looks mighty comfortable with The Cacti. What a cozy home you 2 have!

  14. Welcome to Arizona Barbara. You're not too far from Tucson and I'd be happy to show you around if you come down here. There are cheaper RV parks than the one I'm staying at and aren't too far away. Today should be the last day in the 60s and then it'll be back in the 70s, which I'm looking forward to. Let me know if you plan on coming down so that we can get together. I'd love to meet you in person!!


  15. As usual, great pictures.
    I believe that it takes 75 years before the saguaro cactus grows an arm. At least that is what I was told when I lived there.


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