We stayed in a beautiful site Friday. This Wickenburg BLM is a year-round campground with the usual 14-day limit. I missed the road the first time I passed it, not sure exactly where the campground was, and when I turned around, I totally didn't see the parking lot from the road going back and had to turn around again. Once you find it, you won't miss it again. Here are the directions, in case you're in the area and want a nice place to stay with great hiking and beautiful desert plants all around you. I've added a couple of landmarks to the directions I had.
The road is immediately before the Safeway store (1999 W. Wickenburg Way) traveling north. Turn right at Vulture Road, right before the Safeway. Good paved road all the way. Go six (6) miles on Vulture Road. You'll pass Syndicate Wash and Mile Marker 20. After the memorial sign for the Fire Chief on the left, there is a 25 MPH sign. The road will curve right, and right there on the left (the road is hard to spot) there will be a parking lot for a trail. Turn left into the parking lot, drive through the lot to dirt roads on right and left. Take either, campsites are along the road, most are pull-through with rock fire rings. There was a vault toilet, but I didn't see it up close. I saw some hikers park their vehicles by the toilet when they took off for their hike.
The area is beautiful, probably the prettiest I've seen yet, with lots of cactus and trees. These are the views out the windows of The Palms:
We were in a very large site, you could fit a long RV with a boat or toad easily in this site, or 3 or 4 smaller RVs. There was a nice rock fire ring to our right, and behind The Palms was this large campfire pit made from rocks and ashes that looked like they had been wet and formed to make it larger.
The campsites are pretty private - I was a little worried that we were alone except for an RV I could barely see, but when we drove out, there were others there, they were just blocked from view by the gorgeous trees and cactus. It's a small camping area, I think around 20 sites. I definitely would have stayed the 14 days, but it was still really hot there, and I wanted to keep driving north.
As were were driving north along the freeway yesterday, there was a large load coming toward us with police cars before and aft with their lights flashing. I moved over to the right, but the police apparently didn't think I was over enough and made a swerve almost in front of me, forcing me to quickly move further into the shoulder. Kind of scared me, I was over enough already. As you can see, the large load wasn't into our lane very much, and I couldn't completely drive in the shoulder, it wasn't wide enough. But it was an exciting group to see coming at us.
So, we continued on and stopped yesterday afternoon at Camp Verde, AZ. Cliff Castle Casino has a large parking lot on the street below the casino that is okay to use for one night. The sign says if you want to stay longer, call the casino, and the number is on the sign.
They have a courtesy van that comes through the parking lot frequently in case you want to go to the casino up the hill. I thought I might do that and have a meal as a thank you for the overnight parking, but it was too hot to leave Katie.
There is an RV park across the freeway (recommended on the casino parking lot signs) that looked nice on-line, so I have a reservation for tonight ($30 with Good Sam discount - ouch!), but they have showers and a laundry, and I need both right now, and I need to dump the tanks and get more fresh water and all of that will also be accomplished. I can see why boondockers occasionally stay at an RV park. There are things we need to do, and if I can stay every couple of weeks at a park and get them all done, I think that will be a good plan. Two weeks at BLM, one night at RV park.
When I was at the Quartzsite LTVA area, I didn't understand why boondockers would spend the money at an RV park every week or two, but the LTVA has dumpsters, a dump site and free fresh water, so you have everything you need. It wasn't until I moved to the BLM 14-day areas with no services that I realized it's a problem getting rid of the garbage bags and taking showers.
Today is supposed to be the end of the heat spell Arizona has been having, and with the electrical hookup at the RV park, Katie and I will be cooler with the A/C running as long as I want. I've found if I turn the large vent in the ceiling off, the cool air is disbursed throughout the ceiling vents, and I don't get blasted with cold air. (Can you tell I haven't used the A/C much until now?)
I'm looking forward to getting the laundry done and taking a long shower. All you boondockers know what I mean! :)
The plan is to continue driving north tomorrow toward cooler weather.
From me and Katie, have a great day, everyone! :)