Having cleared the two-week hurdle, we’re setting our sites on two months. We plan to keep our base in Congress for the rest of January, then spend Feb 1-5 in the Tucson area. We’ve got our eyes on a couple of places to stay, but they don’t accept reservations, so we’re just going to wing it. Then we’ll return to Congress to store the fiver at North Ranch and Abbey at the K9 Korral in Wickenburg, while we jet off to Kauai. I know, do we really need a vacation from our vacation? This is a trip we’d planned with friends for some time. When we return it’s off to New Mexico for the rest of February.
The weather has been pretty nice this week. We did a little exploring around an old mine outside of Congress, poked around Congress itself, and discovered that Nichols West is a pretty good place to eat. We spent another pleasant afternoon biking BLM trails behind North Ranch.
We took a day trip to see Taliesin West in Scottsdale. We had a very enjoyable 90 minute tour and really liked hearing about the architecture programs, both when Frank Lloyd Wright was around and current day. It was a perfect day and the setting was mirrored so nicely in the angles, materials, and colors of the buildings. A perfect place to “destroy the box.” And yes, FLW was a quirky dude. Afterward we met Ted’s cousin Matt for lunch and then went to see the new Star Wars movie in Glendale. The theater was right next to the University of Arizona Stadium. I was confused on first seeing it, thinking, “The University of Phoenix has a football team??? Three days later that was the site for the playoff game in which the Cardinals beat the Packers.
Friday we went to Lake Havasu, driving through Aguila to Parker and up along the Colorado River. The river was gorgeous, wending its way through steep, dramatic mountains. As we got closer to Lake Havasu it flattened out and the scenery got tamer. From what we saw, Lake Havasu City is just a string of strip malls. The area around the London Bridge seems to have optimistically been built for crowds that weren’t there. We hiked out a peninsula in Lake Havasu State Park and could see enough to know we needed to get out of town and back to the river. We headed south to Cattail Cove State Park, which was lovely, had some nice hiking trails, and even a dog beach! (Arizona state parks like dogs more than California state parks do.) We were at the right place at the right time. We came home through Quartzite, the “boondocking capital of the world.” Our idea of boondocking is to be in a pretty isolated part of a national forest, but in Quartzite, boondocking means getting real close to hundreds of other RVs. Not for us, but fun to see.
We took a road trip up Castle Springs Road out of Morristown, crossing a couple of mountain passes on an unpaved road through BLM land. It was a little exciting, not knowing what we might be getting into, and the scenery was spectacular.
We came out at a former hot springs resort and then continued on to Lake Pleasant, an aptly named lake not too far from Phoenix. We hiked around at the lake and explored more by car before heading home.
Now we’re just hanging around North Ranch, enjoying music, the dog park, the cactus garden, sunsets — and planning our next excursion.