November 10, 2017. It’s true! There is a dog park in Yuma, and oh what a park it is! HUGE! Bigger than a football field, it actually belongs to Walmart. It was their drainage area where excess water is routed during an epic rain storm. The city wanted a dog park and went to Walmart with this proposition: Let us build a dog park on this piece of property and you won’t have to pay taxes on it. Win-win, wouldn’t you say?
It slopes so doggies and doggie moms and dads get really good exercise. There is a concrete sidewalk on three sides with benches if you need to sit. Shade trees. There’s even some agility props for those wanting to utilize those things. They, I assume the city, even provide poop bags, as many do, so there’s no excuse for not cleaning up after your dogs!
Meet Max, the pit bull/boxer cross. Charlie found a new best friend. Fries was a bit wary.
We spent the night at a nearby Walmart (undercover because there’s no over-nighting at this Wally) and we repeated the trip to the Bark Park next morning before heading out to Q (Quartzsite, AZ) where we will spend the winter in various BLM boondocking sites.
And because we will be staying in one camp for up to two weeks at a time, I will be taking a break from the blog for the month of December. We will be taking short day trips or possibly even staying longer in the surrounding area, and I will, of course, do posts about those, but they won’t be published until January. I know you are all busy, busy, busy this time of year so I won’t bother you until next year!
I’ll be busy with adding tags to previous posts to make things easier to find if you want to go back and get information on a particular spot, and adding a page on the various dog parks we come across along with some who, what, when, and where for those who may not have utilized dog parks before, and some etiquette and what to expect.
October 31, 2017. From Gila Box we head northwest on Hwy 70 to Globe. A planned stop and camp near Pinal Pass is nixed as I can’t find the BLM office and the sign pointing toward the area took me into a residential area. It’s me, not them, but I decided I was too stressed driving through the traffic in Globe (which is a cute little town, by the way) to spend any more time looking. It’s getting a bit late in the afternoon anyway and the decision is made to travel on.
By sheer luck I was looking in the right spot at the right time and spy a campground sign between the little towns of Miami and Superior on Hwy 60. We pull in seeing these brush teepees on the left. This sweet little campground was not on my map, so I am thrilled to have found it. Honestly a lot of these little places aren’t on the map I have!!
It’s a free campground with minimal amenities. We find a suitable site and settle in for the night. Around 2:00 a.m. the boys go nuts and a peek out the door reveals the silhouette of a very large wild pig. I shine the flashlight at him its eyes glow green, and he wanders off.
Being very curious about the area I look up some information. There is an on-going controversy between mining interests who want to privatize Oak Flat and the surrounding area so the copper can be mined, Native Americans who claim it is a sacred site and want it closed to the public, other Native Americans who claim it is not a sacred site, and outdoor enthusiasts who want to keep the area accessible for their activities.
We stay two nights here and leave midmorning, November 3rd, heading toward Florence, AZ. The drive takes us along the Gila-Pinal Scenic Route and it doesn’t disappoint. Devil’s Canyon is gorgeous and the bridge over Queen Creek is high … I did not get a photo of the bridge; no place to stop.
Thanks for coming along on our big adventure. “See you” in a few days! Hugs, Shawna
CAMP AMENITIES Water: NoGarbage: No Bathrooms:VaultElectricity:No Tables:YesShower: No Fire Pit: YesBBQ: No, but there’s a grate over the fire pit # of Sites:16Fee: Free Other: Elevation is 3900 Ft, open all year, pets need to be kept on leash or restrained. There is an area suitable for group camping. Trailers over 30 feet not recommended.
October 30th and 31st
It’s an easy, early trip from Bowie to Safford, AZ where we find a Wally and get supplies, and finally, finally find block ice! Walmart didn’t have it, but there is an “ice house” (that’s what the clerk calls it) next door and she assures me they have it.
Supplies bought and put away, the clean cube ice now in liquid form, is drained out of the water container that I cut the lid off of to hold the bagged ice is poured into a drinking water container. The block ice is put into the now empty ice container and we are off to the Riverview Camp Ground in the Gila Box Reparian Conservation Area.
It’s quite a drive, not in miles, but in pucker factor. The last few miles are still paved road, but it is winding, one lane, oh-my-gosh-it-looks-like-they-have-had-a-serious washout-can-I-make it, 15% grade in places, praying-no-one-comes-along-in-the-opposite-direction kind of road. We make it, but BOY HOWDY!!!
Expecting trees I am dismayed to find they are along the river, of course, that is down in the canyon where no camping is allowed. It’s a pretty view, though.
I choose a campsite and walk up to the iron ranger and pull out my checkbook, paying for two nights. $5 per night is the fee, but it’s half price with a senior pass.
We may or may not stay additional time. The temps and internet availability will decide that for us. Although they have covered picnic tables, fire rings, BBQs, potable water, and very clean pit toilets, parking in the sun can make for very uncomfortable van temps that take forever to cool down even after dark.
Discovering there is no internet or cell service I get a lot done in the van over our two-day stay: inside blackout inserts removed and replaced with lace curtains, doubled for more privacy. I like this a lot better. I will keep the inserts to use to cover windows from the outside to keep the van cooler. I also shore up the drawer unit where the passenger seat used to be—the boys sit on the top while we are traveling—as it has shifted with all the rough road and steep grades we’ve driven on since driving in the desert southwest.
I also decide to keep the camp chair with its fold-down side table inside and open. A one-drawer plastic storage unit fits perfectly underneath and extra water jugs along the side between chair and bed. It’s easily lifted up to take outside when I want to do that, and the drawer underneath can be pulled out to take out to the table.
I put clear mailing tape on the rare earth magnets that I use to keep the outside window covers in place. They are strong enough to put blood blisters on one’s fingers if you lose your grip while trying to pull them apart, and the tape tabs seem to not only prevent that but also makes them much easier to pull away from the van when it’s time to remove the covers.
Having a place to sit and being able to see out when we are stuck inside due to the wind wreaking havoc with my sinuses or if a storm blows through will make those situations a whole lot nicer to deal with.
The campground is nicely maintained and there are lots of little rock-lined trails kept nice and tidy. I couldn’t find the camp host when I thought about asking who did all the rock work, but I would imagine it was a civic group or perhaps some inmates. In any case it’s looks very, very nice.
On our last evening in this camp we are rewarded with a very nice sunset. And perhaps a little Halloween treat —- can you see the dog in the sky? Or perhaps it’s a hound from the Baskervilles …
Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna
CAMP AMENITIES Water: Yes Garbage: Yes Bathrooms: Vault toilets Electricity: No Tables: Yes, with shade covers Shower: No Fire Pit: Yes BBQ: Yes # of Sites: about 15 with lots of space between Fee: $5 per night, half that with senior pass Other: Nice walking trails, nice view, very steep downhill grade to get to this camp. The camp host had a large trailer, but honestly I would be very cautious if it were me towing that big thing down this road