Travel Plan Reveal, Fun With Friends in Prescott, AZ

Leaving behind the lush Sonoran Desert around Wickenburg was a bit melancholy, but we wanted to move on before the weather really heated up.  We were finally on our northward trajectory, after figuring out where we’d spend our summer and fall this year.

Since we’ve checked off most of our “must-do’s” in the western states, we decided to revisit some of the awesome places, and further explore the pacific northwest – including Vancouver Island, Canada.  We hadn’t planned any more border crossings with Betsy, but while looking at the adventure that Laurel and Eric experienced there several years ago we were inspired to return to our beautiful northern neighbor.  Our route (beginning in May from Tucson) is below:

A rough image showing our route, not including most of the stops we’ll make along the way.  See our home page for actual upcoming stops and dates

Prescott was our first stop as we headed north.  We gave the city a second look as we had left prematurely in 2015 due to early snowfall (we’re California wimps, after all).  This time we hooked up with local residents Randy and Joseph, RVers we’d met on that trip, and with new residents Hans and Lisa, also RV friends and serious hikers we’ve hung out with many times in the past who have settled into a beautiful home here.  Our visit confirmed that Prescott remains on our list of “definite maybe” places to become “permies”!

Randy and Joseph, long time residents
Outside the home of Hans and Lisa

Al and Ingrid were in town on personal business, and we definitely wanted to meet up with them again.  They gave us further insight into life in the Prescott area, and we’re hoping to see them this fall – yay!

Al, Mwah, Ingrid and Steve (trying to smile, but challenged by that whole selfie thing)

Next to where we stayed at Point of Rocks RV Park was beautiful Watson Lake.  We had hiked here last time, but now the weather limited us to short walks while admiring the area.  The good times we had with friends and excellent hiking we did then brought back fond memories.

These greeter quack-quacks welcomed us to their city!
Gray day at Watson Lake
Much more water now than what we saw on our last visit – nice!

We wanted to stay at least a week at Point of Rocks, but could only get four nights.  Luckily we got the next 3 nights at Fairgrounds RV Park, only 12 miles east of Prescott, where we spent the Memorial Holiday weekend.  While there we drove to Cottonwood to meet up with Tom and Allison, who were camp hosting at wonderful  Dead Horse Ranch State Park.  These folks love snow and generally head in the reverse direction we do, camp hosting in places like Bend, Oregon in the winter where they ski during their stays.  Not our cup of tea, but they’re fun to hang out with for sure!

Tom and Allison

A 5-minute walk from Fairgrounds RV Park allowed us to check out some horse racing during our stay.  Arizona Downs is a newly-reopened horse track in Prescott Valley, and the Memorial Holiday weekend happened to be their grand opening.  We chose a windy day for our visit, since hiking in a dust storm didn’t appeal to us.  We’re not horse-racing fans and didn’t bet, but for $2.00 each to get in it was fun to watch a 1-minute race after 45 minutes of track preparation:

$2.00 per person, the best deal in town!
The surrounding mountains created a scenic backdrop that made the price of admission worth it
After only a minute the bright colors and sleek horses charged past the finish line
The winner on race #3 was a lady jockey, you go girl!
Steve was more entertained by the track preparation between races 🙂

Lots of fun on this stop, but it’s time to get back to some serious hiking!




  1. I’m so glad we had a chance to meet up for lunch. Always fun reconnecting! We had spent the last two summers camping at the Fairgrounds and watched the reno on the race track facility. Since the track wasn’t open to the public, we used it as our personal health club and would walk the track and use the stadium stairs for our workout.

  2. Looks like a great adventure, we love the NW and want to get back up that way someday ourselves. The horse track looks like fun as well!

    • Thank you so much Lisa for welcoming us into your new beautiful house. I know you will be pretty busy with gardening now that furnishing and painting is almost complete.

  3. Always fun to meet up with road friends again and catch up. Your maybe list continues to grow. One day you will land in a spot and you will know that you’ve found your settle area.

  4. Sounds like an awesome summer/fall. Looking forward to lots of info and beautiful pictures!

    So awesome seeing Hans and Lisa and their beautiful new home!

  5. Fun to see where you’ll be this summer, sorry to see that there aren’t any “cross over” spots in the future for us. We enjoyed our stay at Point of Rocks also, we had one of the couple nice front in spots. It was fun to hike right out of the campground. So nice for you to be able to meet up with friends along the way. On your way through southern Oregon, try to stop on the Applegate Wine Trail near Grants Pass. Good wines and pretty places to stop and linger.

  6. I love that picture of the horses racing in front of the mountain scenery. Wow! So beautiful!

    Your planned route looks wonderful. So much beautiful scenery up that way, and lots of variation too. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about Vancouver. Can’t wait to hear all about your experiences there!

    It is a wonderful perk of this lifestyle to have friends to meet up with no matter where you go. I think whatever place you settle down in should have a nice level RV pad outside so all your friends can visit you!

    • Arizona Downs is the most photogenic horseracing track I’ve seen. Yes, that is one of the requirements in our new stick and brick house, full hookups for our visiting RVer friends.

  7. That looks like a great route, so much to see and do! The route through California looks similar to our tentative one next year if we stay west. Meeting up with friends is always a special treat.

    We are looking forward to time in the Prescott area this autumn, and you’ve given us some good ideas. Can’t wait to see the hiking post!

    • You will enjoy and love Prescott, so many trails to follow! This fall we will retrace our highway 395 route in 2012 and check what has changed since then but fall is always the best time to be there.

  8. Your summer adventure looks fantastic! You’re visiting so many of our favorite places, and I know you’ll be adding to our list of things to do in the future. I’m looking forward to following your journey, and especially your time on Vancouver Island. That’s an adventure we would happily repeat!
    What a great time you had with so many friends in and around Prescott. I can understand the appeal of settling down there some day.

    • Oh, and I agree with Laura…wherever you decide to settle down, will you please make sure there’s a nice pad for your RVing buddies to come to visit you? Then again, with all of your friends, you may never have a moment to yourselves, LOL!!!

      • Hey, you planted the idea on our heads with your informative and your great time in Vancouver Island. We copied 90% of your route so we are excited. Hopefully Betsy can handle highway 4 on that narrow and steep grades 🙂

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