Last week we made our way quickly to a campground so we could stay in one place for a while. We had been asked to leave Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument because they suddenly closed the campground. The state parks in Arizona are still open but who knows for how long. We decided that a private campground probably made more sense right now.
For RV full-timers, it is not so much that private campgrounds are closing but rather that they are not accepting new reservations. The reservation criteria at many places across the country seems to be limited to stays of at least 30 days. The first three places we checked out were not closed but were not letting any new folks in. It made sense to get to a place where we could stay for a while, if needed.
We are now in the small town of Camp Verde which is near Sedona and Cottonwood, Arizona. Camp Verde is north of Phoenix, a very large metropolitan area with its suburbs having such names as Surprise and Apache Junction. Camp Verde is also not too far from Prescott, the original capital of Arizona.
As some of you might know, this is a beautiful area and is at a higher elevation so it stays cooler when things heat up farther south. No doubt you have heard how hot it can get in Phoenix in the summer. I have seen people driving their cars with oven mitts on!
One of the best ways to “social distance” is to go hiking. There are plenty of opportunities to do so in this area and we took advantage of that. Some places, like the Grand Canyon, are closed but there are many hiking areas in other parts of the state.
The Fay Canyon Hike in Sedona is a short one that has wonderful red-rock views on both side of the canyon and also has some rock scrambling beyond the end of the maintained trail. A little extra effort here pays dividends resulting in some great panoramic views.
The trail is an out-and-back trail but the viewpoints are unique each way. With every step you take, you are surrounded by the famous red rocks that define Sedona.
Of course, like many of you, we are staying at home almost all the time. We now have time to do some projects that we have been putting off for a while.
One that I have been putting off, for obvious reasons, is taking the RV toilet apart and replacing the valve seals. Unfortunately the toilet has be to be completely removed and disassembled. Fortunately there are some great YouTube videos that helped a lot, especially since the instructions accompanying the parts were terrible. Success. No more leaks.
Yesterday we heard the announcement of the new “face mask” recommendations so Celia spent some time today sewing, by hand, some face masks out of some materials we had available in the camper. She is great with needle and thread but misses her trusty, but very heavy, sewing machine. She did not bring it in the Bighorn since it would take up so much space and weight is always a consideration with a home on wheels. Here is the link to the pattern that she used.
I have been impressed by the precautions that the campground has taken in the light of the pandemic. The facilities are very nice but the only building that remains open here is the laundry. They have disabled every other washing machine and dryer to allow for easier physical distancing and only allow two people in the building at a time. Moreover, you cannot pay with coins. Instead they have a great smartphone app for paying online. As you can see, after a month, we had a lot of laundry to do!
Our hearts go out to the numerous people who are suffering during these difficult times. We are so grateful for the heroes who are daily in harm’s way, but are showing up to work to help others. We remember not only the doctors and nurses, but the cashiers, cleaning crews, truck drivers, and many others who are sacrificing for all of us every day.
God bless and be safe.
Some shots from our last day at Organ Pipe Cactus NM.