Trip To Hardin – Wrap Up

We are finally home after our partially successful trip to Hardin Missouri.  I say partially because we didn’t make it to Hardin.  I say successful because it was a fun memorable trip.  Not only did I get to cross some items off my bucket list and see some sites we never would have seen had we gone to Hardin, but we learned some things about our RV’ing style.

What I learned

  • We like RV parks
    Although I had planned to stay in some state parks along the way, and boondock at some Harvest Hosts, we really enjoyed the social aspects and easy of life at the RV parks.  You have unlimited electricity, water, and sewer.  It made life just that much easier and less “camp-like”.
  • We need a bigger trailer
    Duh.  If we’re going to do this full time, we will need a bigger trailer to live in.  We saw the exact unit we wanted camped right across the street from us at Distant Drums RV Resort.  When I talked to the gentleman who owned it the next morning I asked him what he did NOT like about the unit.  He said he wished he had bought the higher end unit rather than the middle of the line unit he had.  Good to know.
  • It’s all uphill
    I say this only slightly tongue in cheek; no matter which direction you drive in Arizona and New Mexico, it will be uphill.  If it’s not uphill it will be against the wind.
  • Never enough horsepower
    See the previous bullet point.  As a result, no matter what size trailer you get, make sure you get the maximum amount of horsepower you can to tow it.  You can’t have too much.  Especially with AZ an NM’s 75 MPH speed limit.  For ALL vehicles.  They don’t limit the speed of commercial trucks like they do in California.
  • Never too many plans
    I had a plan A, B, and C.  And when plan C fell through I came up with a plan D.  Always be flexible in your travels.  You never know what the weather is going to do.
  • Reservations never hurt
    One thing I didn’t take into account was the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.  As a result for a month or more leading up to and a month after all RV resorts in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area had special “Fiesta Rates”.  In some case almost 50% higher than their normal rates.  And most parks did not have space.
  • Keep travel days short
    I found that when I planned for 4 hour travel days, they usually became over 5 hour travel days.  That’s.  Too.  Long.   In the future I’m only going to plan for three hours of travel.  Any more than that and it’s too fatiguing.  Plus you have time to do life once you arrive at your destination; laundry, email, bills, etc.
  • Travel less, stay longer
    Our next trip will be a short drive, and then a week’s stay.  Moving every couple of days is very tiring.
  • Keep track of time
    The days began to blur together.  We’re going to put a calendar in the trailer and mark off the days so we know what day it is and when we need to be where.  It was easy to forget.

That’s about it.  The last thing we found out is that we could very easily adapt to this lifestyle.  Cristy was somewhat worried to begin with but after about a week and a half she really began to enjoy herself.  If we could stay at our destinations longer she would absolutely love it.  I’m counting on that.

Oh, and we finally came up with a name for our trailer:

Little House on the Highway

 

Trip To Hardin – Day 22

Travel Day

This was just a travel day and not much to write about.  Other than the steep 6-8% uphill grade from Camp Verde 30 miles north up to Flagstaff.  It went better than I thought.  The truck performed better than I thought it would.  We stopped off in Kingman to make lunch in the trailer and then after lunch continued on to Needles to stay in the same park as before, Desert View RV Park.  We spent the afternoon catching up on phone calls and I took a much needed nap.  Then dinner, TV, and bed.

Trip To Hardin – Day 21

Sedona some more

This was our last full day in Sedona.  We decided to go back and do some more urban hiking in the downtown district.  It’s like any other touristy spot, like Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, or Cannery Row in Monterey, but we really enjoyed it there.  It’s fun to look at all the “Indian jewelry” and “mystic crystals”.   Pretty but nothing mystical about beveled glass.  We had lunch at Wildflower Bakery near the Hyatt and enjoyed the cliff views from their balcony.  Then we slowly walked across the entire shopping district and then the art district of Tlaquepaque.  This was the extent of our hiking today.  Then back to the RV resort and the hot tub!

 

I really enjoyed the hot tub at this park.  It was large, clean, warm, and I had some of the best conversations with people that I’ve had in a long time.  Learning about where they are from, how they are travelling, and where they are going.  Like the Germans who had come from Detroit and were on their way to San Diego before flying home to Germany.  They rented a Class C RV and were scouring the country looking for girls.  They hadn’t found any as of yet.  They were the only ones other than me to see the giant green meteor with the orange tail streak across the sky as we were sitting in the hot tub.  Or the couple from Surprise, Arizona who just come over to Sedona to relax.  The couple from Hawaii that keep an RV in Las Vegas because flights are cheaper from Honolulu to Las Vegas for some reason.  They come stateside and travel for several weeks before going home.  There was the single woman who lived full time in her RV travelling between Texas and Colorado.  All of them were great conversations and it was hard to leave, even after soaking for three hours.  All that to say that even though this RV park was next to a freeway, and a casino, it was easily my favorite park and we will be back.

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Trip To Hardin – Day 20

Chapel of the Holy Cross

Our first stop in Sedona today was a trip to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.   An architectural wonder!  There is lots to read on it’s history on Wikipedia but nothing prepares you for actually seeing this wonder.  Or at the very least, the views from the chapel.   We didn’t take any pictures of the interior out of respect for those who were praying inside.

Airport Mesa Trail

Afterwards we drove up to the Sedona Airport (KSEZ) and walked about 1/4 of the airport loop trail.  The trail circumnavigates the runway down on the side of the mesa and provides stunning views of the red rocks surrounding Sedona.  There is a parking lot just outside the airport where you can park for $3.00.  However, (pro tip) you can continue just past that lot and you come to the airport parking lot which is free and only adds about 100 steps to your hike.

The trail drops one or two hundred feet before joining up with the main loop trail.  It’s VERY rocky so watch your step.  Otherwise it’s an easy hike.  Down at the airport loop trailhead there is a rock with a trail and steps leading to the top of it.  It’s called the Sedona Trail View Point on Google.  Think mini-Half Dome.  We climbed to the top of that and found the most stunning views of Sedona.   The airport loop trail was a let down after this rock

After eating lunch at the top of the rock we headed back up the trail to the airport.  The downhill hike we had enjoyed had now turned into a longer uphill hike.  Luckily I found a shortcut to the airport frontage road which cut a lot of time off our hike.  We found the airport terminal to use some CLEAN restrooms and then headed back down to town.

Just when we thought we were done taking pictures…

Tomorrow is our last day in Sedona.  We’re going to go back to our favorite places in town (which will most likely include Starbucks) and just chill.

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Trip To Hardin – Day 19

Sedona

This is the grand finale of our trip.  We have wanted to visit Sedona for years and finally we are here.  Today was tourist day.  We stopped at some of the scenic overlooks on the way into town but mostly spent our time on tourist row.  “Indoor hiking” as Cristy calls it.  We bought some gifts for family and continued to take in the magnificent views of the cliffs.  Tomorrow we’ll do some outdoor hiking.  For now, enjoy the photos we took…

And in town I saw this statue which I’m including in homage to the folks I work with at San Joaquin General Hospital.

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More pictures of Red Rock Country tomorrow…

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Trip To Hardin – Day 18

Travel Day

Today was the shortest travel day yet.  Only about an hour.  We traveled from Flagstaff down to Camp Verde, AZ.  After a little up and down hill driving there was a long 5 – 6% grade drive (18 miles) down into the Verde Valley.  We stopped at a scenic overlook prior to tackling the long downgrade.

We are staying at Distant Drums RV Resort.   They were gracious enough to let us arrive before normal check in time and were really helpful in taking us to our spot and guiding me into the back-in spot.

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We don’t have many pictures from today but expect some really good pictures from Sedona tomorrow.

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Trip To Hardin – Day 17

Flagstaff, AZ

Downtown

img_20191007_143929Today we spent the day strolling around downtown Prescott.  We checked out their visitors center which is built into an Amtrak station.  Far more freight trains went past than passenger trains.  The we strolled around the downtown area.  It reminded us very much of San Luis Obispo on the California coast.  Probably because this is a college town just like SLO.  We found a Thai restaurant and ate lunch there.

Lowell Observatory

Afterwards we headed up to Lowell Observatory.  We paid the admission and strolled around the observatory looking at the various buildings and exhibits.  They, like I, very much hold that Pluto is INDEED a planet.  Pluto was discovered at the Lowell Observatory.  Pluto and Mars both fascinated Lowell and there are many Pluto and Mars themes throughout the grounds.  Except for the library, it’s Saturn-themed because Lowell’s wife loved the planet Saturn.  Lowell is entombed onsite.  There is an amazing view of Prescott from his mausoleum.

Then we headed back home, hitting Starbucks on the way.  Our home, our Lance 1995 travel trailer which we have nicknamed, “Little House on the Highway.”

Tomorrow we head down to Sedona, AZ.

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