Thursday, March 17, 2016

From Palms to Pines! -- Mar 17, 2016

Nikko and I have landed in Payson, AZ.  I’m not sure how long we will be here, but one thing’s for sure….we are out of the 90’s of the Yuma, AZ desert!  The weather here is close to perfection!  The elevation in Yuma is 141' above sea level (mid 90's)  Scottsdale is 1,257’ (about 90*) and Payson is way up there at 5,000’ (mid 70's!!)

We stayed one night in Scottsdale…a stop over to presumably put some things in the storage unit I have there.  UHHHHHH – that did NOT work out!  I unlocked the door and I thought I was watching that cable TV hoarders show!  I was surprised everything didn’t tumble out on top of me and bury me alive!  I had remembered it was “pretty full”, but I didn’t remember it like that.  It’s only 5’x10’ and I do remember, for the most part, what’s in there.  I think what happened was at the end of deciding what was going to be stored, at the last minute, I just threw in (or more accurately, “shoved” in) the final remaining items that I couldn’t take with me when I went back to Ohio.  At that point, there was no rhyme or reason to it….just get it all in there!  Someday, I’ll figure out what I’m doing with it all, but I doubt it will be anytime soon. 

Soooooo….I bought two new totes for the back cargo rack.  The originals were almost two years old…cracked from the sun and various “accidents”.  The new ones are a little smaller but fit better on the cargo rack.  I reorganized “stuff” throughout the RV to try to redistribute weight.  The new totes are now secured, tarped and ready for travel.  I won’t need to get into these at all for travel, so I’m not concerned about the ease of “unwrapping”.

Moral of this story?  If you are planning to full time RV, get rid of everything BEFORE you embark on your new lifestyle!  To my defense, at that time, I had no idea I would be a full time RVer, but for those of you who might be thinking about it, just keep in mind, it will not be something you will want to deal with later! Trust me on this!


The drive from palm tree laden Scottsdale up to pine tree encased Payson is a pretty one.  60 miles on a mountain highway (Route 87).  It’s a roller coaster with curves and 6-7% grades which are a little unnerving.  The key is….just drive an RV slower than you would normally drive a car.  You can’t care that cars are passing you…let them! 

Before the pine trees start, the drive quickly leaves the palms behind and the climbing terrain changes to mountains and huge groves of saguaro cactus.  Cactus doesn’t always mean “desert” in the dry, sandy sense of the word.   (Photos taken while driving --- NOT recommended!)

Being springtime, the brittle bushes are in full bloom along the way.  Vast amounts of yellow everywhere!  Great bursts of color penetrating a more or less camouflage-like background. 

Other spring blooms appear along the roadway, too.

Once in Payson, the cactus and anything resembling the aforementioned landscape vanishes.  Pines are everywhere!  Payson is virtually in the middle of the Tonto National Forest.  There’s not much dispersed (free/no amenities) camping in Tonto for some reason.  That’s unlike most every other National Forest.  However, there are “pay” campgrounds.  With my “Golden Pass” I would pay only 50% of the normal camping fee…maybe something like $7/night...that's doable in the budget.  Before we leave Payson, we might go into Tonto and camp for a few days…whatever campground is closest to town.  I don’t want to get too far away from Payson because, ultimately, we will probably be going in the opposite direction for the summer. 

So, we went from literally sleeping under palm trees to sleeping under pine trees….all in about 1.5 hours!  Such a nice change!  I never want to take my house on wheels for granted.  It's the perfect solution to changing your environment rather quickly!  

The inevitable pitfall has landed, too.  I’m back to the real world of paying the high Verizon internet fees.  So ridiculous!  Any purchases you make via my Amazon link give me a small commission (your costs are not affected) which goes directly toward my internet bill so I can continue this blog.  The link takes you directly to Amazon just like you are used to. I very much appreciate your purchases!  Thank you!

That’s a wrap for now from our residential driveway parking spot in this small, unique Payson neighborhood.  More on that in the next post.  It will be especially interesting to those of you who take note of the differences in real estate from one area-city-state to another. 

So long for now!


  1. Nice pics (as usual) and nice accompanying comments!

  2. I've been following you for over a year now. I've been full timing since 2009 and still I learn something new from you all the time. I enjoy your posts. Keep them coming when time permits.