No, not quite like the popular TV program rather more like holding down the fort – make that holding down the RV – while JoAnne is in St. Louis babysitting the grandkids.
After leaving Quartzsite last Sunday we headed east about 165 miles to McDowell Mountain Regional Park a few miles outside of Fountain Hills, AZ. The park is located in the lower Verde River basin at the base of the McDowell Mountains. We had heard a lot of good things about this park and it has certainly lived up to our expectations. The park and campground are spotless – clearly, the camp staff and volunteer hosts are doing a great job managing and maintaining the park. Kudos!
The campground is full – yet, it is still feels very “un-crowded”. The campsites are huge and angled in a manner to provide everyone with great and mostly unobstructed views.
While still in the Sonoran Desert the desert here is very different from the one around Anza-Borrego and Quartzsite. First, we are higher in elevation with the park ranging from 1500 to 3000 ft.. Secondly, I believe this part of the desert receives more rain – to that point we good a good rain last night along with some pretty strong wind. What we notice is a much “greener” desert landscape.
On Thursday, I drove JoAnne to Sky Harbor for her flight to St. Louis. I am sure she felt strange caring a heavy coat, gloves, hat and scarf. When you are in this part of the U.S and have been running around in shorts and tee shirts, it is easy to forget that we are in the middle of winter. That being said, we are having a cold spell. It is only 55 here, which is only 10 degrees warmer than Saint Louis.
Before JoAnne left we had time to explore a little around Fountain Hills – which one of Arizona’s fastest growing cities and only about 25 years old. It has a really nice "feel". Why the name Fountain Hills? Why for the fountain of course. It sits in the middle of a manmade lake in the middle of a large town park. This is their version of Old Faithful. Every hour on the hour between 9am and 9pm a column of water shoots over 300 feet into the air. The show lasts about 15 minutes.
So, what have I been doing? Not much. I have gotten in a couple of hikes. Most of the pictures here are from the North Trail hike. Also, I did get a chance to meet fellow travelers and bloggers Dave and Sue and their two traveling companions Lewis and Sasha. I also met Alex and Ellen who I was introduced to through Nina and Paul’s blog and who also know Dave and Sue – crazy. As it turns out, we are all camping in the same loop. Dave and Sue are kitty-corner from us and Alex and Ellen are in the space just west of us – what are the odds? I find it interesting to hear the stories of others who have become tin can nomads and who are enjoying the adventure of life on the road.
Lots more pictures here.
Today is our Anniversary and I am wishing JoAnne were here. We will celebrate when she is back next week.
Happy Anniversary – I love you.