Walnut Canyon National Monument

Our final day at this campsite near the Walnut Canyon National Monument starts out with a long walk for The Chiweenie Brothers to give them some exercise to start their day off right.  When finished with that I finish breaking camp and we head out to take in the monument before the “to-do” list gets in the way.

You know those days when everything that can go wrong does?  It’s one of those days for us.  Breaking camp, visiting Walnut Canyon National Monument and finding out I could have taken the dogs on one of the trails—oh well, The Chiweenie Brothers never tire of another walk!—dropping my camera, a Wally stop, laundry, Charlie throwing up in the van, getting the van’s tires rotated. It was a very trying morning, but like all “those kinds of days“, it got better, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The highlight of our day:  Walnut Canyon, just east of Flagstaff is so named for the small walnut grove growing there. It was once home, 800 years ago, to the Sinaugua (without water) people who built their cliff dwelling homes in the limestone layers resting on Coconino limestone.

The walnut trees, leafless this time of year, grow in the bottom of the canyon

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The cliff house of the Sinaugua people

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All photos are taken at the rim of the canyon. There is a trail to hike to the bottom, but it looks like it would be a brutal trip back up to the top. My excuse not to do it is that the dogs can’t stay in the van that long, and I have a ton of things to do today. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

We head out and get our “to-dos” done and head north on Hwy 89A.

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I drive about 30 miles—and I may be way off on this. I am so tired—I spy the sign for Wupatki National Monument. Hey! I want to see that! Blessedly I find our secluded campsite and decide Wupatki I will see, but it can wait until tomorrow.

As the sun reclines toward evening and the shadows lengthen, I take the boys for their evening walk. They so enjoy every new camp with all the new smells and places to explore.               Humphrey Peak from the north side.




The area is covered in black cinders as there has been volcanic activity in the area as recent as 100 years ago.

On the way back to our camp after our evening walk I spy this cleft in the earth. We walked right past it on the way out, but it’s plainly visible on the way back. I don’t know what’s down that black hole, but for sure I am not going to try and find out!

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As the sun sinks farther and evening begins to slide in I admire our view of the San Francisco Mountain Range and Humphrey Peak, the tallest mountain in Arizona at 12,633 feet, from the north side.

DSC_0007Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs. Hugs, Shawna



Flagstaff and Walnut Canyon

After our few days on the Forest Road off of 89A we head on into Flagstaff. The usual routine ensues.  Walmart to pick up groceries, water, and ice, and find the local dog park.  Flagstaff has THREE. I find the one closest to where we are and the boys get their playtime in. No photos of the little beasts as the park is completely shaded. And besides I am too lazy to go back to the van and get the camera.

Flagstaff is a beautiful town nestled in pine trees. It is surrounded by volcanoes and in most places you can see Arizona’s highest mountain, Humphrey’s Peak, 12,633 feet in height.

After The Chiweenie Brothers are sufficiently tired out we stick around the park and I check out the map then we’re off to Walnut Canyon.  We can stay very near the Walnut Canyon Monument and still be within ten miles of town when we need to re-supply.

We find a very nice spot beside an huge old juniper tree.

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Charlie, forever on the lookout for lizards even if it means wiggling under the windshield cover in the early morning sun.


The boys enjoy some sunshine outside while waiting for me to get the gear gathered for a walkabout in our second camp within this same boondocking area of the Coconino  National Forest on the east side of Flagstaff.

DSC_0001 (1)Thanks for stopping by!  Hugs, Shawna


CURRENT READ:  Turbo Twenty-Three, a Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich


April 5, 2018. We leave White Spar Campground just outside of Prescott and head to Prescott Valley—again—to make a stop a Petco for a new harness for Fries and some dog food along with a quick stop at Wally World for a couple of things I forgot to get the other day.
We head toward Montezuma’s Castle, near Camp Verde. By the time we arrive here it is mid-afternoon and it’s way too warm to leave the boys in the van. I turn around and head back to Cliff Castle Casino and we spend the night in their parking lot.

In the morning I am not enthused about checking out the castle so I decide today we do Sedona.

The highway to Sedona takes us through Red Rock Country and it’s spectacular.


Sedona is a gorgeous town, but the traffic and tourists are horrendous.  All can be forgiven though with a back drop like this!


The dog park in Sedona has to have the most gorgeous backdrop of anywhere!


The boys have a good time and, as always, meet new friends. Charlie is as bossy as ever!


I repeat, Sedona, Arizona is a gorgeous town with spectacular views of Red Rock Country. Rotarys or roundabouts or traffic circles, whatever you may have heard them called, keep traffic moving pretty steady through the touristy part of the city, and every time we approach one the woman in my GPS says “Enter rotary and take the second exit to 89A.” Alrighty then! A half-dozen or so roundabouts later we are out of town.

Rather than take I-17 I prefer to take the scenic route toward Flagstaff. Oak Creek Canyon, highway 89A, is a two-lane road following Oak Creek for about 20 miles and full of twists and turns. It is a beautiful drive, and the only time I can imagine it being better would be to take it in the fall when the leaves are turning. It’s also a very busy little road!! There are campgrounds along the end towards Flagstaff, but I pass them by.

It’s been a very interesting, but busy day, and once out of the canyon I begin looking for a place to call home for a few days. It isn’t long  before I see a forest service road that looks promising.

The dispersed camping sites aren’t too far off the highway, but far enough that traffic isn’t easily heard. I find a nice spot among the pines and we settle in. It’s at about 6000 feet so daytime temps won’t be a problem, and there’s a pretty stiff breeze, too.  Nights are cool. We’ll sleep good tonight!

Thanks for stopping 2Dogs!

CURRENT READ: Tricky Twenty Two by Janet Evanovich

CAMP AMENITIES: Nothing but a fire ring. This is dispersed (boondocking) camping. No water, no toilets, no garbage, no tables. Bring it in, take it out.

Prescott AZ


Prescott is a pretty mountain town, set on the northeast edge of the Prescott National Forest in the Bradshaw Mountains.  It’s kind of where the granite rocks meet the pine forest, and at 5400 feet in elevation the days are beautiful and the nights are cool.  This is the backdrop of the local Walmart …


Prescott, founded in 1864, has a well maintained historical district which was very busy, but I manage this shot while stopped at the traffic light on my way back to the campground.


I take this photo while waiting for laundry to finish up.


Also crammed into the day is a trip to Willow Creek Dog Park.  A Prescott resident entered a contest held by the Purina dog food company and they won. This beautiful park is the result.  It’s dedicated to the Granite Mountain Hotshots who lost their lives in 2013 in the fire near Yarnell, and has a “fire station” theme.


Read more about this dream dog park HERE.

I know my boys had a good time here!

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!  Hugs, Shawna

White Spar Camp Ground

Saturday, March 31, 2018 turns out to dawn bright and beautiful with no wind.  I decide we will leave today instead of tomorrow.  Scurrying around breaking camp the boys know we are leaving and they are beyond excited.  As we pull out Fries does his usual thing of putting his front legs on the dash, hind legs still in the seat and gazes out the windshield. I have tried and failed to get a photo of him doing this, so you’ll just have to picture it in your mind.

Highway 89 North toward Prescott takes us on a climb in elevation toward the small town of Yarnell. This may or may not ring a bell for some of you, but it was near Yarnell, Arizona that a wildfire, ignited by lightning on June 28, 2013, overran and killed 19 City of Prescott firefighters, members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. God bless our courageous men and women who do firefighting for a living.  Not too many braver than they.

Before we actually get to Yarnell I spy this alongside the road.  Someone else sees things in rocks and mountains!  Ha!


As we cruise through Yarnell I spot this as we drive by and had to stop, walk back, and take a photo of it.


The only goal for today is to find a place to stay for the rest of the weekend that has cell service so I can call the clinic in Prescott Valley and see if they can get me in to look at that tooth in the upper left corner. 

We have managed to level out after Yarnell, but soon we begin to climb again and it’s about 15 miles of wonderful road (saying that with tongue in cheek).  For those who know Pit One Grade from where I came from it’s like that only a lot longer; not enough guard rail, two-lane, mountain-on-one-side-gorge-on-the-other, but with many switchbacks and a lot of traffic.  And what goes up must come down … YIKES!!!  Sorry folks no photos here!

After that adventure in driving we come to White Spar Campground, a USFS offering that is just a couple miles from Prescott.  Not thinking we will find anything else on up the road before we hit town I pull in and sign us up for two nights. It’s actually all the camp host will allow us and we get site #2 only because the people who reserved it decided not to take it.  It’s a blessing and the two days will take us to Monday when I can make that phone call. From there on out the site is available for two night stints until the 6th when it’s reserved for someone.  

I much prefer boondocking, but sometimes that just isn’t available, so I am thankful.  Our neighbors to the right have bird feeders out and when I am not reading or blogging, I am watching the birds. 

Nuthatches, rufous sided towhees, and a big ‘ol raven keep us amused

There are TREES here—oaks, pines, and some juniper—and I am able to run a line between two oaks so the boys can have a lot more freedom while I am slaving away at the computer.  Being in a campground means lots more noise and a lot less privacy, but nights are quiet and that, too, is a blessing as this campground is right on the highway.


Thanks for stopping by 2DOGS! Hugs, Shawna

Water:  Yes                          Garbage: Yes
Bathrooms: Vault toilet     Electricity: No
Tables: Yes                           Shower: No
Fire Pit:  Yes                         BBQ:  No
# of Sites:  50+ (I think)        Fee: $14 per night, half that with pass

OTHER:  Reservations are recommended, but if someone hasn’t shown up or there is a spot that isn’t taken prior to a reservation you can stay two nights at a time. Reservations take priority.

There are hiking and biking trails just as you pull into the area and a picnic table and parking lot.  These trails are BUSY!

The campground is right along Highway 89 so it’s quite noisy, but the traffic is almost nil at night. 








Congress AZ, Post Three

Mid-week the weather turns a bit chilly; nights down into the 40s and the days barely entering the low 60s. Sixties aren’t bad, but the wind makes it feel much colder and after a decent walk the boys want back inside the van. Fries is still chilly so I close up Freedom  and let the sun warm her.
After a very brief nap The Chiweenie Brothers decide it’s time to fight. Not literally, just the play fighting the dogs like to participate in with each other…. but it sure looks and sounds fierce. They take over the platform area where the passenger seat was removed to install drawers and a nice plywood top for the boys to call their own space. Round one begins!

If you can’t get ’em down one way, concentrate on one area.  Fries goes for Charlie’s ear!

We’re coming to the end of our almost two weeks here. I peruse the map to plot our course to a higher elevation as it’s supposed to be in the 80s here soon. That temp deems it necessary for me to find cooler weather.
Our next camp tentatively decided on, we do a walkabout that takes us to the old pioneer cemetery (we’re camped at the newer cemetery) that is located here in the dispersed area of the old, long gone town of Congress. It’s the one spot we haven’t been to.

If you would like to know about this tiny town and the old mining town of Congress click HERE.

March’s Blue Moon rising above the Weaver Mountains and our camp.


Goodbye Congress. We will be back if we pass this way again in the future.

Hugs, Shawna

This is a BOONDOCKING site. No ammenties


Congress AZ Part Two

March 25th. The boys and I take several longs walks a day. I read, they nap. I enjoy the early evening listening to the birds and watching the clouds, they nap. I cook dinner, they’re sitting at my feet. *smile*

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As much as the days are seemingly the same, each one brings something different, as does our walks.

There are many spots along the winding dirt roads where houses once sat when this old area of Congress was a bustling gold mining town. There is broken glass everywhere, probably every house had a dump site nearby. I can see where people have dug into the earth searching for old bottles and relics of Congress’ early era.
There is also evidence of much target practice or just mischief here. The old glass bottles, what are left of them, are broken further into shards and little pieces that litter the ground and make it sparkle in the sunlight. Not much of that beautiful lavender colored glass can be found, but there is a lot of the light sea foam green. This is the biggest chunk I found.


The majority of the glass is beer bottle brown and Gallo green. There is also evidence of where locals have been dumping trash, but it’s not much.
Jack rabbits are everywhere. There are lots of quail and small ground squirrels of a type I believe are Hamilton squirrels, but with the dogs I haven’t been able to get a photo of them. I spied this bird in a nearby greasewood bush that I believe is a female cardinal.DSC_0015
It’s a terrible shot that I had to enlarge in an attempt to identify it, and I somehow double exposed it.  I learned that Northern Cardinals actually inhabit the southwest and was surprised to find this out. Have yet to see the male, but I am keeping my eyes open.

Anyone know what kind of hawk this is?

The Chiweenie Brothers thank you for coming along on our adventure.

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Congress, AZ

We leave Wickenburg and head back west on Hwy 60 to catch Hwy 71 north to Congress. It’s a gorgeous day, and as I turn right to head up 71 I notice that the scenery on the left side of the road is vastly different than the right. I pull over the take some photos and Fries goes berserk when he sees something black and ominous flapping in a creosote bush. DSC_0012
I take care of the black plastic scary thing and commence taking photos.
Left side of this two-lane road is plowed acreage being prepped for planting.
The right side is the untouched landscape of desert and mountains.
A bit farther down the road I remember that I forgot to let the boys out for a potty break and to stretch their legs. It’s not far between Wickenburg and Congress, and in fact the tiny town of Congress is considered a bedroom community of Wickenburg, but stops are stops and The Chiweenie Brothers look forward to those however brief they are. So as to not sadden these two hooligans I begin looking for another place to stop. I find a nice wide area with a view of an interesting rock mountain.

Shortly I find our turn, Ghost Town Road, take the short drive back into the boondocking area that was once the old town of Congress and commence scouting a site for us to call home for a couple of weeks.

There are a lot of little dirt roads that meander through the cacti, greasewood, and palo verde, some better than others. If you need an area that will accommodate a large travel trailer or motorhome turn at the Cemetery sign and begin looking immediately. The sites branching off farther along this nice graded dirt road can be anywhere from great to disastrous if you don’t look before you leap.
I find a nice area with a bit of shade and make camp. This consists of covering the windows and the side of the van where my cooler sits beneath one of the windows on the left side with Reflectix to keep the heat from building up inside. I cover the windshield with the heavy white vinyl shade I have to keep the sun off there, too. With these steps and keeping the back doors cracked, the front windows down, and the side doors open it keeps our vome much cooler.

I set up the solar panel to catch the afternoon rays, and place the woven plastic outdoor rug, my lounger, and dog stakes at our side doors and we’re set. The Reflectix panels I use on the outside are the same ones I use inside the windows at night if I have to park in a Walmart or campground where there are close neighbors.

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And speaking of neighbors, we are at least a quarter of a mile from our nearest neighbors on both sides. It’s so quiet and peaceful here, and we haven’t heard a peep out of anyone, not even our closest neighbors to the left.


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Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs!
CURRENT READ:  White Rose, Black Forest by Eoin Dempsey. WWII story based on actual events from the perspective of Germans who despised Hitler and his vision.