We have been camped out for a few days at the Lake Pleasant Regional Park in Morristown, AZ. With the cell phone tower as close as it is, I feel confident we have been spayed and neutered. I seem to be picking up Radio Free Europe on my fillings, and we seem to have a nice glow to us. But cell phone reception here is pretty good.
Speaking of cell phones, we drove into nearby Wickenburg (“nearby” is a western term that means anything under 50 miles), a kind of cute town made cuter if you like antiques, gift shops and biker bars. We checked in to the local Verizon retail store to inquire about the new unlimited data plan. I did change to unlimited, which should save us a bunch of money annually. And I bought a new, really small Mifi gadget that provides wifi in the trailer – a huge improvement for us. In fact, when we get home I will explore speed and connectivity and may (should) be able to eliminate our home land-lined Internet service, which if it works as I think it will, will save us another chunk of money, annually.
Lake Pleasant is a man-made, dam-controlled lake whose source is fed from the Agua Fria River but mostly water diverted from the Colorado River. The water from the lake is then fed into the Central Arizona Project Aqueduct that feeds parts of Phoenix and Tucson its water.
I wouldn’t call this our favorite campground, but we have a nice site, have water and electric, and… I am sure there was something else I was going to mention. Oh yes, we have one of the best sites in the park – with wonderful views!
During the weekend this campground is a bit Wolly World-ish, This is one of Phoenix’s playgrounds and there is much to do if you like speed boats, gliders, fishing, ATV’s, car racing (Friday and Saturday night circuit track somewhere close enough to hear clearly), hunting, target shooting… Get out your best camo.
On Sunday, since Karen was going to be making bagels from scratch (they are unbelievable, BTW), I took off in the truck to go exploring. I ended up driving up into Hells Canyon Wilderness, mostly on a dirt road, which a few miles in is actually a riverbed – largely dry but not entirely. There are 6-8 places where you have to drive across the creek, so 4-wheel drive would be highly recommended (read required). This is a beautiful canyon, although as you drive up into it the road is largely surrounded by private property, and I am pretty sure you don’t want to trespass here. Anyway, it is a pretty drive.
At sunset we watched a flight of hot air balloons take off and cruise – my guess – they traveled a good 30+ miles for those who gained sufficient altitude. It wasn’t the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta by any means, but it was kind of cool to see the balloons.
I said this wasn’t our favorite campground, but it is still a very pretty area. I grabbed my camera gear and went for about a 5 miles hike yesterday and it was really pretty.
If you end up north and west of Phoenix and in need of a campground I would stay here again – but probably only mid-week, and only as a stopover to get somewhere else. Your mileage may vary.