It’s hot!!! Those are the words that have been coming out of my mouth too much lately so it’s time to move! I know, two-thirds of the county has been enduring a miserably cold winter so you may not be too happy about hearing that I’m struggling with being too hot but what can I say, we all have our crosses to bear and mine is being a snowbird!!
I love Arizona so I spend my winters in an area around Quartzsite and Ehrenberg, AZ while the rest of the country is shivering in snow and ice storms. But in the last few weeks the temperatures have been hitting the low 90’s and the sun has some real heat to it. By itself that isn’t too bad but the van and trailer are getting very hot inside during the day and staying too warm for too long at night; time to move on!
So my next move is to go up in elevation—but not too far up. For every 1000 feet you go up the temperatures drop 3 ½ degrees, so if you go up 3000 feet it will be 10 degrees cooler, which right now is about perfect. But if you go up 6000 feet then it will be 20 degrees cooler which means it will be below freezing every night. Even worse, this time of year there is still a lot of winter left and above 6000 feet it’s very likely there will be snowstorms and freezing temperatures. That has no more appeal to me than 90 degree heat! Here are the choices I was considering:
Wickenburg (2200 feet): I loved our camp there because it was beautiful with a nice view and close to town. But because it’s only 2000 feet higher than here, and I’d heard from friends that it was hot there as well, so I decided to skip it this year.
Cottonwood (3300 feet): which is about 20 miles from Sedona (which is a place I love!). It’s a beautiful camp at 3300 feet so it’s 10 degrees cooler than her which should be perfect for a while. What I liked the most about that camp is we are only 4 miles from a Walmart which makes shopping much cheaper. But enforcement is heavy here so we expect to only stay 14 days.
Prescott (5000 feet): Last year we found a great campsite 30 miles north of Prescott that had a good Verizon signal and we never once saw a Ranger the whole time we were there. But the closest store is 17 miles away which means we will spend more on gas.
Flagstaff (7400 feet): I love the area around Flagstaff because it’s a beautiful National Forest filled with tall Ponderosa Pines, deer and elk. Best of all we were there for a long time and never saw a Ranger. But at that elevation every storm that goes through will bring a good chance of snow and the certainly of cold weather. I don’t want that!
There were 6 of us left in camp so we discussed which one had the most appeal and decided as a group that Cottonwood was our best choice in every way. We would stay there as long as the weather and Rangers would let us and then leave for Prescott or Flagstaff.
So last Thursday we packed up and moved 240 miles to Cottonwood. We’ve set-up camp, settled in and now it’s our new temporary “home.” When we were here last year our very good friend Gloria found a wonderful camp up on a hill that we loved so we took it for ourselves. I think it may be one of the prettiest camps we’ve ever had. But it’s small and we all can’t fit in here so the main group is another mile down the road in a beautiful campsite tucked away in the trees. It’s difficult to see them from the road and there is a chance the Ranger won’t see them there. But it’s a small area with everyone pretty close together. It had two big disadvantages for us 1) Judy and I are pretty reclusive and like our privacy and people were just too close together for us 2) the Verizon signal was much worse there and that is critically important to me. So we chose the pretty but very visible campsite on a hill.
That fits in to my general philosophy of living for the moment to the greatest degree reasonably possible. I’d rather have just 2 weeks in a very beautiful spot than 6 weeks in a very nice but not as pretty spot.
Here are some pictures of it and out surrounding views, I hope you enjoy them.