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