If you are visiting Phoenix, Arizona, be sure to take a few hours to visit historic Goldfield Ghost Town at 4650 N. Mammoth Mine Road in Goldfield, Arizona. Walk up and down Main street where you will see saloons, a boarding house, a general store, the smithy, a mine and many other wonderful buildings from days gone by. If you want some special entertainment, be sure to go on Saturday and Sunday when the town erupts with gunfights from noon to 4 P.M. You can also hop on the narrow gauge railway, ride horseback, attend church or dine in the local saloon or snack bars. You can also explore the underground guided mine tour and arrange for other tours into the Superstitions, home of the fabled Lost Dutchman mine. Goldfield Ghost Town is located 4.5 miles north-east of Apache Junction on the historic Apache Trail.
Several times a year, our U.S. national parks provide “free entrance days” allowing the public to enjoy visiting the national parks without an admission charge. You can find the information about free entrance days at their website: http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm. The next free entrance day is on Veteran’s Day so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to visit your favorite national park.
As the summer begins to wind down, a fun place to go is Pismo Beach, California. Located off Highway 1 in central California, this gorgeous little beach town offers many RV parks to choose from for a fun, beach vacation. The area has dog friendly beaches and cool ocean breezes. Known as the clam capital of California, there is golfing, fishing, hiking, biking, and water sports of all kinds. Take a walk on the 1200 foot Pismo Beach pier for an excellent sunset or for “people watching.” This is definitely one area that is fun for RVers and their 4-legged canine friends to spend a few days or even a few weeks.
Black Bart’s Steakhouse, Saloon and Musical Review is a fun place to go while traveling in the Flagstaff, Arizona area. Named for the wily bandit, Black Bart who made his living ripping off stage coach drivers in the area between 1875 and 1883, the restaurant boasts a lively fare of burgers and sandwiches, steaks, seafood and roasted chicken to name just a few items. The restaurant opens at 5 PM daily and guests staying in the RV park located just off of Butler Avenue and I-40, can receive a 10% discount on the meal service. The RV park has 174 spaces with full hook ups and many pull-through campsites. Black Bart’s also has a small general store with not only bread and milk but also antiques for the antique collector, laundry and a few RV supplies in the general store. Cost is modest and except for when the Cardinals are in town, usually fairly easy to get a reservation for a stay here. The spaces are generous, set in the cool pines of Flagstaff but the park could stand some renovation and updating. Overall, the RV park is a good value for the money per night and worth a few nights stay to enjoy the peaceful pines, cool weather and local singing in the nightly Musical Review.
A couple of months ago, we visited an RV park that had a high level of sulfur in the water which was being pumped from a ground water well. Needless to say, the smell was bad news and taking a shower would have required a nose pinching for sure. Having plenty of fresh water from home already in our storage tanks, we quickly disconnected and went back to stored water for the remainder of the evening we spent in this camp ground. We naively thought that we had escaped any bad effects since we had only been on fresh water for a short time. Much to our surprise, a month or so later when we again took out our RV, when we got to our camp site, we again smelled that same foul odor. Fortunately, we were able to make a quick trip to a nearby RV store for some water treatment tablets. This quickly solved the problem and made the water smell good again. It seems the water must have had a bacteria that entered our water supply and there multiplied while in storage. As a result of this stinky lesson, we now make sure that we keep water treatment tabs in the coach whenever we travel. Lesson learned…
If you don’t mind some bumpy, dirt roads and have a 4-wheel vehicle, consider taking a trip past Castle Hot Springs.
Located north of Phoenix off of I-17, this old resort was once the playground of the rich and famous. Today, the property is privately owned and there are no tours but you can drive past this beautiful spot.
We recently upgraded our old televisions to digital models so we can get all of the on-air stations when we are traveling. We used a tilt-able arm on our bedroom installation so we can angle the television better while we watch TV from the bed. To keep the TV from moving around during travel, we purchased the white tension rods from our local camping supply story that are made to keep things on the refrigerator shelves. Since the bottom of the TV cabinet has a slight lip on it, placing the rods vertically held the TV in quite well. The last time we took out our rig, the television stayed in place and we had no problems with it.
Looking to learn while you travel? If so, a trip to the Arizona Biosphere, located approximately 24 miles north of Tucson, Arizona may be just the place for you. Built in 1986 to research and develop a self-sustaining space-colony, the Biosphere served as home to two missions. Between 1991 and 1994, the company who owned the project sealed two different teams of scientists inside the airtight facility to test survivability. Although the missions did not produce the intended results that planners had hoped to see, there was much that was learned from these two experiments. Opened to the public in 1990, the Biosphere is no longer an airtight environment dedicated to the study of human sustainability within a biosphere. Instead, the University of Arizona now leases the property and conducts scientific research on how natural environments create habitable conditions for plans. This information can be used to help scientists understand the effects of climate change on earth by experimenting with conditions in the Biosphere’s 5 biomes. Tours begin daily at 9 A.M. with the facility closing at 4 P.M. A two hour tour includes a short film about the facility and a 2 hour tour through the structure’s 5 biomes and through the facility “lung” which was designed for use during the time when the structure was operated as an airtight facility. Cost is $20 for adults and $14 for children ages 6-12. This is definitely a one of a kind experience and one long remembered so be sure to stop by and learn about this unique place.
A wonderful place to visit is Natural Bridges National Monument located at the end of Highway 275, 35 miles west of Blanding, UT on Highway 95. The park is open year round with the visitor center open from 8-5 in winter and 8-6 in summer. The cost to enter the park is $6 per carload and is good for 7 days. Sites at the campground are $10 with a 26 ft vehicle length limit. Sites are equipped with fire grill, pad and picnic table but there are no services of any type. Pets may come into the park inside vehicles but are not allowed on any hiking trails. Remember that this is a desert location however and never leave pets unattended inside a vehicle as temperatures can rise very quickly in this park.
One of the first problems that I encountered the first time that I took my rig out was opening the coach door to find the entire roll of paper towels in a heap on the floor. Needless to say, spending 10 minutes rewinding the roll was not a fun way to start my camping trip. Of course, I could have always removed the roll from the holder but I preferred a solution that would keep the roll in place and yet not allow it to unroll from the vibrations of the moving coach. I found two solutions that worked well for this problem. The first was a short bungy cord wrapped around the roll however, I found that depending on the amount of paper still on the roll, this did not work well all of the time. I went back to my RV store and found some long velcro ties. These work really well since they are easily adjusted to the size of the roll, do not crush the roll, yet keep it from unraveling during travel. A great solution for this most annoying problem.