Bye Bye Southern Arizona…..
Spring is in the air, the bees are buzzing & the flowers are blooming. The infusion of life invigorates us and has us moving north. Like salmon pulled home, we feel we draw of the Pacific Northwest and the lure of a summer rich in green forest & cool coastal waters….oh yes, I can taste it already. It’s still early days yet with around 10 weeks and the whole state of Nevada to go, but the urge to raise our jacks already has us whisked 220 miles closer to our destination. After a delightful winter in southern Arizona we are ON THE ROAD baby, turned around and headed the other way. It won’t be long now….
But before I get too carried away I should say adieu to our winter home. These past few weeks we wrapped up our errands in Benson at the lovely Escapee Saguaro Park intermixing practical stuff with lots of socializing. Our last few nights we hung with our good friends Jil & Tom exchanging evenings of excellent company with even more excellent wine (it’s good to know foodies, ya know….), plus we re-visited buddies Rick&JoAnne and Tom&Dianne.
I have to admit we’ve enjoyed our time here. It’s not often we stay at private parks, but the Benson Co-Op has a particularly relaxed feel which makes it a nice compromise -> they have nice, big sites with full hookups and all the luxuries thereof, but still have access to miles of BLM land for hiking with doggie right out the back door. Plus, you can’t beat the ~$17/night price. I can see this becoming a regular stop for us between boondocking sojourns on our winter stays.
Plus we did manage one more outing which I hadn’t gotten around to blogging about. In fact this latter happened a few weeks ago near our previous boondocking spot and it took us right back to the heyday of the Cold War & the craziness of the Titan II Missile Silo’s
The target of our day was the Titan Missile Museum just north of Green Valley, AZ where you can do an outstanding 1-hour tour for only $9.50. In prep for the visit we both read the Pulitzer-Prize winning book “The Making Of the Atomic Bomb“, an amazingly detailed history of nuclear physics, 20th century science and the war with one of the most moving/emotional last lines in a book that I have ever read (…nope, I’m not giving it away). We also met-up with good friends Watson’s Wonder who wrote a much better write-up of the visit than I can manage (check out their blog post).
Just to give you a quick history, there were 18 of these behemoths scattered around the US capable of launching a weapon that would devastate 900 sq.miles (2,300 sq.km) over 6,000 miles (10,000 km) away. The silo’s were buried deep in the earth under 8-foot thick concrete walls and were manned by crews 24-hours a day ready to hit the button if given the order (this particular one was aimed at “target 2” for the entire Cold War…a mystery location). Most of the communication & launch technology was kept deliberately “old-fashioned” so that it couldn’t be hacked, and no-one was allowed anywhere near the controls alone (2-man crews mandatory). Suffice to say that it was a deeply interesting visit to a time in history that now seems so totally foreign to us. Highly recommended!
With that I say formally adieu to Southern Arizona. We’ve migrated around 220 miles northwest(ish) and are back in the relaxed boonies that we love so much. I’m not going to divulge exactly where we’re hiding (just yet), but I’ll give you the hint that we’re overlooking some rather nice mountains which two other RV bloggers are currently also looking at, plus we’re parked next to a mine and a historic cemetery. Cryptic enough for you? I’ll be back with more soon….SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Curt and Marie says
I still have three more months of work and with another snow day here in Michigan that’s one more day still I have to work as a teacher yes we got six more inches of snow last night as our coach sits in the driveway ready to take Maria and I into our retirement on our full-time RVing experience. But once again it’s buried under snow. But we keep our spirits up because we know all of our RV days are ahead of us can’t wait to see you all on the road until then love to follow your post
Sitting there waiting, you’ve been waiting for years and the ‘magic’ date is only months away. That extra “snow day” has to be the longest day in history!
Hang in there!
Only a few months!! It’ll be here before you know it!
No place like the northwest, in my opinion. I love it. I’ve never visited the desert during the right time of year, I guess. I was fascinated by Red Rock, so was Rich, but after a few days, we wanted green, we wanted the ocean, we wanted cool! Looking forward to reading about your adventures, as always.
Odd that you’re coming from where we made bombs to the state where I *think* was the destination of the only bombs to land in the 48 states during WWII. Now I’m curious. I have to look it up.
I’m not even going to guess where YOU are…I have to guess half the time where I am. 🙂 Have fun where ever it is.
Tamara/Early Retirement Journey says
That would be Fort Stevens in Washington I believe. We visited there last summer and were amazed by the story.
Tamara/Early Retirement Journey says
Shoot! Fort Steven in Oregon, not Washington!
Rick Morgan says
Great seeing you both again. Safe travels and we perhaps we will see you next October.
It was lovely to see you too!
Ray Burr says
Hey Nina, we are exploring around Lake Mead/Valley of Fire SP area the next few weeks, if you get nearby let’s know. We are going to check out a few of the BLM sites around here and the amazing landscape photography opportunities. The colors of the rocks are amazing! Cheers Ray and Anne
We’ll definitely be there, likely for 7-12 days or so depending on how the weather holds up. Will let you know when we land in the area.
Wonderful spending time with you two….until the next time…
Likewise. Really enjoyed our time together. Have a great trip this summer!
Loretta Wagner says
I must have missed your post on coming to this area as we are a few parks away and would have loved to have said hello. One of these days we will cross paths again.
Sorry we missed you. We were at Benson almost 2 weeks, but it’s time to move on. Perhaps we’ll see ya down the road.
Mary Hone says
You must be somewhat close to us. We left Wickenburg and are now outside Cottonwood at the thousand lakes boondocking spot. We are headed north too. I for one will miss the desert.
We are indeed close. Enjoy the Cottonwood area…so much to see and do up there! We spent 2 weeks last year knocking around that exact spot.
Leslie and Chris says
Hi Nina and Paul!
Regarding your plans to visit Nevada…..hopefully our recent Post can be somewhat helpful for you. rvnomads2too.blogspot.com
Supposedly some good boondocking in Lake Mead NRA and BLM’s, unfortunately we haven’t had the opportunity to try them out yet, but while out hiking some of the awesome trails in the area, we have witnessed several boondockers parked with a view of sapphire blue Lake Mead. Every where we have been in the area, thus far, permits pets on a leash, so Polly should be happy about that. We recently had an inch or less of rain here, so the desert is indeed starting and will continue to become ablaze of color. Some other cool sights in the area include: Valley of Fire (Nevada’s largest and oldest state park), Red Rock Canyon area, Mt. Charleston and further up, Great Basins National Park and Lehman Caves. I am sure you know all this already though.
We would also like to Thank You for being such an inspiration to us with your AWESOME blog. We look forward to meeting you someday, along the way. Maybe Nevada, maybe Oregon, maybe Quartzsite……..who knows, the possibilities are endless.
Safe Travels and Cheers!
Oh, and good luck with your alien contact.
Cheers for the link and info. We’ve got a lead on several boondocking spots up there from friends in the area, so we should be all set. Definitely gonna be visiting Valley of Fire too. Thanks for the lovely compliment too 🙂
Bayfield Bunch AL says
We know where you is:))
That you do 😉
Hmmm, a little interstate highway math suggests you are now in Black Canyon north of Phoenix. Be sure to check out all the cool bike trails there!
I did the full top-to-bottom tour of the Titan Missile Museum a few years back and loved it. Even checked out the two “raw” silos in the Benson area.
Very close, but not quite….we are outside of Phoenix though.
Never heard of the raw silos in Benson. I’ll have to look into those of next time we return to the area.
John and Pam Wright says
It is great to hear about a nice place to stay in an area we want to visit. And SKP parks are always so friendly. Sounds another great social time for you. Enjoy your new boondocking area. It’s a neat place!
I do like the SKP parks in general. Always very relaxed and friendly.
Oooh…great book recommendation. Sounds like one that Tim & I would both want to read. Thanks for the blog mention 🙂 Have fun at Lake Mead, I suspect you will run into Leigh & Brian.
Yup, already communicating with them. Meet up and pot luck in the makings!
Bees are buzzing and flowers blooming – sounds wonderful! That would give lots of people the hitch itch. I like the idea of a laid back inexpensive FHU between boondocking stretches.
The SKP parks do a nice job of what they offer, especially for the price.
Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt says
Cannot wait until spring. Just dug out of 6″ of snow today in Michigan. The sun was out so that helped…
Yikes…6 inches! Here’s hoping you see some warmer weather soon!
Love your new view! Safe travels in Nevada!
It’s a pretty sweet view. I’ll reveal exactly where it is in the next post 🙂
Joan Austin says
I think you are near Congress, AZ. Will you be visiting the Bayfield Bunch? The old Vulture Mine near Wickenburg is a wonderful place to see and explore. I don’t know if it is still as open as it was two years ago when we visited. Then you could explore every nook and cranny without limits but they may have decided there is too much liability now to allow that freedom.
Ooooo…nice guess, and I’ll let you know soon 🙂
Enjoyed that titan museum yesterday, I had read Command and Control about them and the one that blew up in Damascus Ak and just had to see it in person again.
Glad you enjoyed it!! Learning about some of the errors that happened with the nukes is revealing (and scary) stuff. Paul recently Command & Control too. Pretty amazing stuff.
Glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay in Benson the second time around. We will be heading there later this year.
Yup, we found the spot pleasant and relaxing. A recommended stop!
Enjoy that great new site and those nice folks nearby! Had all intentions of getting to Benson SKP park, but got sidelined in Tucson!
So far it’s been a social few days out here in the boonies. Lots of pics to sort through for my next post.
We’ve had two..two!..days in a row of dry weather up here in SW Washington. Heck…it was 64 and sunny down in Newport,OR yesterday! That’s perfect weather(for me)…on the glorious Oregon Coast.
Whooo hooo….sun in the Pacific NW. Guess we better get up there quick!
Great info SKP and Titan Missile silo. We will have to run up there before we leave Patagonia.
Will be following closely to see the route you take north, I’m still getting used to the grades up and down.
Both are nice visits. The grades take a bit of time getting used to when you first start out, but once you’ve driven a few the rest will seem easy 🙂
As so many have commented, I too have learned so much from you and your fellow bloggers. One more question, What is the best and cheapest way to pay for fuel? Is there a membership card that automatically discounts the purchase? Or just search for those listed on say Good Sam RV etc.?
We use two things for fuel. I have the GasBuddy App on my phone and can search fuel prices anywhere that we go. We also have an RV card from Pilot/Flying J (not the one connected with Good Sam, but the free one you get if you walk in and ask for it at the counter). This card gives us the the cash price plus an extra 5 cents off as well as auto-start at the Diesel pump.
greg gino says
Holy Cow! Thank you for the fast reply! Excellent advise. We depart on our 1st trip at the end of May, for 3 months, so I am trying to minimize the “learning curve” as much as possible. Again you have been so helpful. It would be great if our paths connect some day and I would be honored to buy you a dinner.
We may well cross paths…you never know. Good luck with your first trip! Exciting stuff!
An interesting pose for sure. Thanks for the Missile Miseum info, it would be an educational visit indeed.
You must be exited to begin the slow journey north again. It’s always fun to be on the roll, new and exciting places and vistas. The alure of the nomads… 🙂
We feel VERY good to be going north again, especially since the snakes are coming out down south & heat is coming in. Time to move on!
Kathy Webb says
Hi Nina and Paul,
The Benson Co-Op is the Best! Fun friendly people and love the walk right out into the desert from the park!
Definitely time to head north, the snakes should be coming out, big motivation for me! LOL
Saw you on Bayfield blog, you two look great! I guess Polly was spooked away by Pheebs cone! (She must have thought she was from outer space. 🙂
Polly was totally freaked by the cone-headed monster, and Pheebs was just trying to be happy and friendly…LOL. It was quite cute and funny. They got along better after the cone came off.
Just saw my first rattlesnake yesterday…big one too! It’s time to move north for sure!
Nina’s right GasBuddy is awesome. I use it not only for finding the closest/cheapest fuel but also for planning enroute. During a quick trip up to Vegas from Phoenix, I checked Kingman prices vs Vegas and found Arizona prices to be .20-.25/gal less. Guess where I tanked up both ways? Sadly, rumor has it that the Flying J/Pilot fuel card discount will go away end of 2014 🙁
Oh bummer…didn’t know about the rumor on that card. Wonder if it’s because of the Good Sam partnership (I.e. They’re trying to push everyone onto that card)? I’ll keep an eye on it.