Blast Off!

Blast Off!

Blast Off… I’m writing this on day six of full timing from Picacho Peak State Park in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert…another gorgeous sunset as I look out!  I eased into my first week of full-timing fairly well…I’m having a great time! It’s been a very relaxed week and I’m settling into living in the Airstream quite well.  Let’s face it though, Sacajawea is not short on comfort.

I left Palm Springs on Monday and decided to break down the trip into two days of driving. I’m glad I did that because three hundred miles is a long day on the road when it’s book ended with a tear down and set up of camp.  I had planned to stay in a truck stop or Wal-Mart in Yuma, AZ that night but in the end thought that might be a little much for this newbie.  I found a BLM campground not far out of Yuma called Squaw Lake Campground. It was a very picturesque little spot at the end of the road (thanks navigation system…I had complete and utter faith in you).  Jim, a fellow camper, assisted with my back in to the spot and offered me a beer when mission was accomplished. This is the spot:

Squaw Lake Campground near Yuma, AZ

Squaw Lake Campground near Yuma, AZ

I left early Tuesday for Picacho Peak, which was about a three or four hour drive from Squaw Lake.  I highly recommend this place…the sites are large…I managed to score a great pull through (site B10 if you’re coming this way) at the outer part of one of the loops.  A couple a few sites from mine jokingly offered me $40 bucks to take my site but I didn’t take them up on it.  You can see why from the outlook:

Late January Morning…Picacho Peak State Park

Late January Morning…Picacho Peak State Park

There are a few hiking trails here, two of which lead to the peak…I opted for the Sunset trail which is longer and initially climbs gradually until it meets the other shorter trail (the Hunter Trail).  The Sunset trail is 3.1 miles one way and as you approach the peak and it steepens, there are about five cabled areas that are very steep (gloves would have been great!). The views along the way and from the peak were stunning:

Picacho Peak Sunset Trail…Enroute

Picacho Peak Sunset Trail…Enroute

One of the area attractions is Biosphere 2, an entirely sealed 3.14 acre closed system habitat that was built to explore the use of closed biospheres in space colonization.  There were two missions in the 1990’s one of which lasted two years.  I’d read mixed reviews of it on Trip Advisor but I think it was well worth the visit.  Maybe I should re-watch Bio-Dome to put it all into perspective:

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2

On the way to Biosphere 2 I could see an aircraft bone yard from the highway.  I’ve always wanted to get a closer look at one of those places so I looked it up and headed there today.  It was Pinal Air Park and I could see about 100 aircraft (lots of 747’s and DC-10’s) parked there. I knew my chances of getting in were slim but thought I’d give it a shot.  No luck. The gated entrance was miles from the aircraft and batting my eyelashes had no affect on the young guy manning it—I tried at least.  I also passed a Ritz-Carlton yesterday…maybe I’d have better luck getting in there. I’m wrapping up my week here in a couple of days.  Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and then the day after I’ll head into Casa Grande for domestic duties like laundry, groceries and hopefully some gym time.

Random thoughts…there is no full size mirror in Sacajawea (hardship)…and I need a good medium sized SLR to get some quality photos on here…though the iPhone camera is convenient.

 

Heading towards Tucson after this for Alumafiesta, an Airstream rally.