Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Nice, really nice, crappies ( pronounced croppies).


The R(o)Ving Rods are really great at throwing the best potlucks. These people really know how to cook.
We had a "bring whatever" potluck, a chicken dish potluck and a fish fry. Plus all the goodies at happy hour. Nobody ever goes hungry.


I didn't get a picture of Wayside but I want to tell you about it. On Thursday night the R(o)Ving Rods decided to go to Wayside for burgers. Now remember, Alamo Lake is 38 miles from the nearest town and I can't imagine where these burgers are. Some of the group has already left and some are still enjoying happy hour, so we got directions and headed out. About 4 miles up the road from the campground there's a small sign that shows Wayside with an arrow. We turn onto this "road" (a dirt road that isn't maintained and has lots of signs that say Flood Area, Do Not Enter If Water). Five miles bumping down this road and we arrive at Wayside.

Out in the middle of nowhere, Wayside is a small RV park with a restaurant. They serve breakfast and burgers. A very unique dining experience. And definitely out in the middle of nowhere.


So, not only bug, snakes, lizards, and coyotes, but burros as well. Welcome to Alamo Lake.


The best part of boondocking is the view from your living room window. Also, on Tuesday night the coyotes were in our campground singing to us. It was too dark to see them but it was wonderful to hear them. Scooter had to challenge them but only from the safety of the bedroom.

The worst part, for me, was the bugs. Anyone who knows me very well, knows that I don't tolerant bugs well. In fact, I can get pretty hysterical about them. But I am working on this problem that I have and Jim is willing to compromise with me. So at night, before he takes the girl's out for a walk or he goes out to shut off the generator, we turn out all the lights inside the RV. Then he can go can out and come back in as quick as possible so the door isn't open very long. Then we can turn a light back on.

Alamo Lake is 38 miles from the nearest "town" which has a gas station, a small store, and a restaurant. There is a dump station not far from where we camped (a dump station is where you can empty your tanks from the bathroom and the kitchen) but to get to the dump station, you have to put everything away in the RV, pull in all the slides, and hitch up. Which means when you come back to you have to relevel the RV, unhitch, put out the slides and do all of the stuff all over again. So you want to avoid this as much as possible.

Therefore, you have to be very conscious of not wasting any water. Showers are short and not every day unless you use the showers at the other campground. Dishes are paper with plastic silverware that can be thrown away. I was really proud of us that we made it for the whole week without having to go dump.
Also, I could not have toast every morning for breakfast unless Jim ran the generator. Toaster's don't work off of 12 volt power. I really did learn a lot while we were out there.


Okay - here's the deal. I do not like bugs, snakes or lizards. And I mean I really don't like them. And guess what Alamo Lake has a lot of. All of the above.

But I ended up having a really great experience. As long as Jim can fish, he's having a great time.

We met up with a group called the R(o)Ving Rods, a bunch of people who like to fish and eat and visit and have fun. Didn't know any of these people but they welcomed us with open arms and lots of food and fun.

By the way, there were no hookups where we were camping. Alamo Lake does have some full hookups and some electric sites - but these people don't believe in that kind of thing. So boondocking was the name of the game and that's a game I'm not sure how to play. Quite a challenge.

Isn't this a gorgeous picture of the lake?

Alamo Lake is a nice size lake out in the middle of the desert. But it is an extremely popular spot for fishing and camping.

Monday, March 30, 2009



Wandering the back roads around Congress, AZ we found this pioneer cemetery. Most of the graves did not have any headstones but the few that did show that these people died in the late 1800's or the very early 1900's.

The graves are outlined in quartz and many of them are quite small which suggests that children were lost during these hard years.

It's hard for me to imagine the life these pioneering people led. I think it's hard when I have to live in my rv without benefit of electrical hookups.


Stanton, AZ is another old ghost town rich in the history of this state. It's located north of Congress, AZ off of Highway 89. You take a dirt road that is not maintained for six miles and then you see it.

Stanton's post office was established March 5, 1875 and was discontinued June 15, 1905. At the base of Rich Hill, Stanton had in its heyday a five stamp mill, boardinghouse, store, and at least a dozen houses. Originally named Antelope Station, the name was changed to Stanton after Charles P. Stanton. The camp is rumored to have started as early as 1863 because of a gold find. Stanton was killed in his own store by two Mexican bandits who were revenging Stanton's insult to one Cristo Lucero's sister.

The town had a stagecoach station, owned by William Partridge and a country store which was owned by G. H. "Yaqui" Wilson. Wilson had pigs, and they were often on Partridge's ground eating the food stuff that Partridge had stored for the travellers. Charles P. Stanton plotted how to make use of arguments between Partridge and Wilson so he could eliminate both of them, thinking they would leave both businesses to him.
So, one day when he met Partridge, he told him that Wilson was after him. This was a big lie, but Partridge believed him, and he shot Wilson as soon he saw him. Partridge was arrested, questioned, convicted and sent to jail in Yuma. In Yuma he complained that Wilson's ghost was after him all the time. But, things did not go as planed for Stanton. Wilson had a secret partner by the name of Timmerman who took over the store, and the jailed Partridge had creditors who sold his stagecoach station to Barney Martin.
Stanton is now an RV park, and the area is owned by Lost Dutchman Mining Association who preserves the original buildings.


It still amazes me the things to see surrounding all these small towns. This rock is about 2 miles north of Congress, AZ on Highway 89. In 1928 Sara Perkins decided that the rock looked like a frog and she and her sons decided to paint it so it would definitely look like a frog. The townspeople of Congress keep the frog painted today. This rock weighs 60 tons and is 16 feet tall so painting it is definitely a challenge.


This Saguaro Cactus, which is the state flower of Arizona, is approximately 410 years old. Most of these cacti only live to be around 150 to 200 years old. They get their first arm when they are 75 years old. I thought it was interesting that these cacti only grow in Arizona and a small part of southern California. Needless to say, the volunteers at North Ranch, take very good care of this plant.


North Ranch is an Escapees park between Wickenburg and Congress, AZ. This is a huge park with mostly long term lease holders several of whom have built homes here, not just park models. We decided to stay here for a couple of nights on our way to Alamo Lake in order to meet Jackie & Charlie in person. I've corresponded with Jackie for a couple of years about fishing and they belong to a group called Roving Rods. So she invited us to Alamo Lake to enjoy the fishing and the group.

North Ranch has this beautiful small park that is taken care of by volunteers. It was just starting to bloom when we were there and I'm sure it is gorgeous by the end of April.
The girls really enjoyed walking through here and taking time to smell all the great smells such as the lizards and rattlesnakes. It cooled off while we were there so the snakes stayed hidden and I am so grateful. The desert does offer some challenges.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This is Norma Mercer, my aunt, who lives in Mesa, AZ. She was married to my Dad's brother, Don, who is deceased. Growing up she was always Aunt Happy to our family. She and Don lived in Billings, MT where Norma taught grade school and Don was the first Montana State Highway Patrol Officer. One of the great things about this life style is being able to have the time to stop and visit.


We are back in Apache Junction, AZ at the KOA. One of the nicest KOAs we've ever stayed at. About 8:30 p.m. we were watching TV and all of a sudden we heard this noise. I turned to Jim and said, was that a gunshot? And he said, yes it was. Sure enough, two cop cars showed up.

Jim went out to find out what was going on. Seems a guy three campsites over from us had gotten drunk and accidently shot off his gun. He told the police he was going to put the guns away and go to bed to sleep it off. I guess that's what he did because we didn't hear anything else from him and the next morning he was gone quite early and didn't come back while we were there. Thank goodness.

This sign is at the exit to the KOA as a reminder to RVer's. Be sure to read the last item on the list.


We had checked out this state park when we were in Casa Grande (it's 10 or 15 miles south of there) and could not believe how beautiful it was. Like all Arizona State Parks, it offers both dry camping and sites with electric. Big pull throughs. Relaxing. Clean restrooms and showers. And the peacefulness. Lots of room between rigs. Quiet. Wonderful. Another beautiful sunset.


Do you like apple pie? And I mean APPLE PIE! Then you have to stop here when you're in southeastern Arizona. I heard about this place when we went to Boot Camp last year in Gillette, WY. People were talking about places that were not to be missed and several people mentioned Stout's. I had no idea where Willcox, AZ was but suddenly found ourselves there.

We ended up with 3 pies, fudge, and some apple butter. That apple pie had to be the best pie I've had in years. My Mom and Dad really made some good pies and this one ranks right up there with theirs. That truly is a tribute.

A definite must stop!


We spent the night in Lordsburg, NM which is a very small town in southwestern NM. Shakespeare Ghost Town is located about two miles from Lordsburg, so Jim and I went out there. This ghost town is privately owned and is only open on the 2nd Sunday of each month with tours at 10 and 2. So we didn't get to visit. Billy the Kid used to hang out in this area.
However, we did find this wonderful Veterans Park. This park is a beautiful desert park and extremely well taken care of. I thought it was a wonderful tribute to our Veterans like my Dad. Thank you to all of you for giving us this great land to live in.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


We liked this RV park so well that we made a reservation to spend a month here starting the middle of April. It is so clean and nice and lots of room. The view out of the living room window is beautiful - day or night.