Deservingly so, mountain bikers regularly flock to Sedona, Arizona. Well known as a mountain biking playground, there is no denying the allure of the famous red dirt and stunning mesas. Include me among the many that will always jump at the chance to ride the area.
But, those in the know are well aware of the awesome, but less known trails overlooking the nearby town of Cottonwood. Offering a slightly different riding experience, Cottonwood doesn’t bring the vast scale of trail networks one will find in neighboring Sedona, but don’t let that fool you. I’ve been riding here the past few days and have been pleasantly surprised with the variety of riding conditions, lack of crowds, and immediate access from the Dead Horse Ranch State Park campsites.
In a move that can only be described as being highly uncharacteristic, last week Kelly and I made a snap decision to leave the soothing vast emptiness of Death Valley National Park and visit its evil twin – Las Vegas – for a few days.
We made the decision knowing that during the stay I would have a chance to meet-up with former colleagues attending a conference while also making time to visit family. Coupled with a few other to-do’s while in the area, these “up-sides” became justifications Kel and I anchored to as we ventured into the city known for showcasing much of the urban trappings we otherwise loath.
And yes … we did spend an evening on the strip dining and walking – not gambling – through casinos.
Valley of Fire State Park is located about an hour from the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas strip, but scenically the park may as well sit atop another planet. This being our second visit to VOF we knew what to expect. The park is not particiually large and ambitious hikers can easily traverse most of the trails in two or three days.
As an escape from the Vegas circus this place is just about perfect … even more so if you camp in the (cheaper) non-hook-up sites.
As a full-time RVer I’ve seen my share of state park campground showers.
Sadly, most are old, dirty, and in desperate need of repair.
South Dakota’s #bigsiouxrecreationarea is a nice exception to the trend. While it won’t displace Utah’s Kodachrome State Park from its solid hold atop my #bestcampgroundshower ranking, it’s nice to see Big Sioux campground bring its A-game.
Over the weekend we relocated from Alfred A. Loeb State Park to Harris Beach State Campground, a quick 20 minute drive away. Reservations are not accepted so I was a bit nervous taking a chance at this park, especially since we would be surrendering such a great spot – one we could have kept another seven days before exceeding the maximum stay limit. Nevertheless we decided to risk it.
The picture above confirms that Fortuna (Roman Goddess of chance, luck and fate) must have been rooting for us, as we managed to snag this sweet ocean view site … on a Saturday morning no less!
Once settled, we took advantage of low tide, walking the beach with Lilly – who immediately began to frolic in the waves, something she tremendously enjoys and which always make us smile.
We’ve settled nicely into our Oregon state park campsite. And, as evidenced by the picture above, there has been no complaining about the office views. In fact, it will be a damn shame leaving this serene site when we move onwards to the next place.
But then again, this is Oregon and there is no shortage of spectacular.