Bloggers, Neighbors, and Happy Hour

Camping near water always makes me happy; add in fabulous sunsets, fun company, and an easy twenty-five minute commute to our son’s home and I do believe we’ve stumbled upon the perfect place to call home….. for a while anyway.

ocotillo cactus
ocotillo cactus; a favorite especially when in bloom

ocotillo cactusWe discovered Lake Pleasant three years ago and have camped in several different areas around the lake focusing on boondocking aka dry camping.

This year we opted for something a little different.

There is a fee to access Lake Pleasant since it’s part of the Maricopa County Regional Park system.

There are several campgrounds as well as lots of boondocking possibilities…….all for a fee….not free.

On the eastside of the lake is Pleasant Harbor.  Pleasant Harbor has a RV Park complete with full hook-ups, swimming pool, and other amenities.  Pleasant Harbor is NOT part of the Maricopa County Park system and is privately owned.  In addition to the full hook-up sites they offer “temporary sites” with electric and water. They also offer plenty of land for boondocking.

Pleasant Harbor
Pleasant Harbor….our rig is the center one

The temporary sites all back-up to a large square parcel of green grass with a community picnic table. This is where Al and I find ourselves parked.  We don’t mind forgoing the sewer hook-up for a view.   In this lifestyle there’s always trade offs and it’s important to determine ones priorities.

In addition to all the RV parking is a large marina.  The marina is complete with docks, a restaurant, and boat rentals.  We enjoyed lunch and drinks at the marina more than once and checked out the various watercraft available for rent.  From paddle boards, to kayaks, to wave runners, and boats, they seem to have it all.

Pleasant Harbor Marina
the marina at Pleasant Harbor

We’ll keep those boats in mind for next season when I have my energy back.  I’ve always wanted to try paddle boarding.  Looks like a heck of a workout.

It isn’t long before Al and I get settled into our new home and are invited to join our neighbors – fellow RVer’s at the community picnic table for happy hour. Most evenings found us hanging out at this picnic table enjoying snacks, drinks, fun company, and watching fabulous sunsets.Pleasant Harbor

Mike and Linda; Bear Tracks Blog

And then there’s the blogosphere…. it would’ve been rude of me not to invite my fellow RV bloggers in the area to join us for happy hour and a sunset.

We met Linda and Mike from Bear Tracks blog before and were quick to meet up again when we realized we were both camped at Lake Pleasant.

We introduced Linda and Mike to our side of the lake and they liked it so much that they came over to boondock for a couple of nights.  Personally, I think they had way too much fun hanging with our group that they didn’t want the party to end 😉

Bob and Susan of Travel Bug Susan.   Note – Linda and Mike’s RV in a boondock spot to the left of Bob’s head

Then there’s Susan and Bob of Travel Bug Susan.  I used Susan’s blog as a reference tool when we were in Texas this past winter.

Although they are full-time RVer’s, they spend the majority of their time in San Antonio.  Schedules and weather didn’t allow for a meet up in Texas but Arizona worked perfectly.

How about non-bloggers Karen and Curt… about a small world!

We ran into Karen and Curt last winter while camped at Cave Creek Regional Park.  Here’s a quick excerpt from last years post when I wrote about running into them……..

It’s time to take Bear for a walk.  It’s Christmas Eve 2012 at Cave Creek Regional Park and it’s a gorgeous, sunny, and warm day.  As I walk around the campground, I enjoy looking at the various license plates.  I come across a rig with Colorado plates.  I wave to the woman outside.  She waves back and says, “Isn’t this a beautiful day?” and starts walking towards Bear and me. 

I ask, “I see you’re from Colorado, what part?”  I expect a response like, “Denver area” and was shocked when she said, “Pueblo West”.  Pueblo West is located two-hours south of Denver and has a population less than twenty thousand.  What are the chances of camping in a small Regional Park in Phoenix, Arizona, and running into someone from the same small town we live in? 

I tell her where we live and ask what street she lives on.  She proceeds to tell me and offers details of where the street is located.  I look at her quizzically and remove my sunglasses as I ask, “Is your name Karen?”  Startled she responds, “Yes.  Do I know you?”  “I’m Ingrid…. Al and I built your home”.  “Curt, Curt…..come out here”, she yells.   

Al and I owned and operated a business in home building for fifteen years.  We built a home for Karen and Curt in 2001.  So it had been awhile since we’d last seen each other.  We spent that evening hanging out and catching up over cocktails.

What are the chances we’d run into these folks again?  Well, two weeks ago Karen and Curt pulled in across from us.  They don’t follow any blogs and thus had no idea that we were here.  Some meet ups are just meant to be, and now I’m working on turning Karen into a blogger.

Karen & Curt’s RV is the first on the left. We’re on the right next to the black trailer that belongs to Ron and Linda.  The black MH on the left is home to Diane and Bruce.
sandhill cranes
Oh, how I’m missing the birds of the Gulf of Mexico! Sandhill Cranes

We’ve had a great time getting to know our neighbors around our square of green grass;  Ron and Linda from Wisconsin have the white Super C and black trailer next to us.

Ron is into cars, thus the big, black trailer.  He travels with a rebuilt hot rod that he just won a major award for at one of many car shows in the valley.  Their Escalade travels in the lower half of the trailer with the hot rod riding above….2 cars, 1 trailer-how cool.

Diane and Bruce from Iowa are in the black motorhome on the left (photo above).  Diane and I share a passion for cranes and had fun discussing the Sandhill Crane migration in Nebraska.  Next time we return to Illinois for a family visit, I may have to schedule that trip around the Sandhill Crane migration.

RV social life
Happy hour – Karen, Al, Linda, Don, Bob, Susan, Curt, and Mike in the background between Susan and Curt

I know we’ll stay in touch with these folks and perhaps even rendezvous back here at Lake Pleasant next season.  However, we’d love to meet up with Diane and Bruce at Custer State Park in South Dakota for the Buffalo round-up held in September.  They try to go every year.  We’ll see if we can make that work.happy hour

dunkin donutsAs with all RVer’s, there’s a time to stay and a time to move on with the promise of meeting up again somewhere down the road.

The morning of moving day provided the perfect excuse for good-byes over donuts and coffee. We bid farewell to Diane and Bruce as they head south to Tucson and Karen and Curt as they head north to Cottonwood.  Until we meet again!

dunkin donutsboondockingYes, I’d say we’ve found the perfect place to call home……until the desert starts heating up and pushes us in a northerly direction.

Well, maybe not so perfect after all.  There is a downside to staying at Lake Pleasant and we’ve endured our fair share of less than pleasant moments.

I’ve shared the good, next up I’ll share the not so good.

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Phoenix: Including Tempe, Scottsdale, and Glendale

KEEN Women’s Clearwater CNX Sandal

St. Dalfour Gourmet On The Go, Ready to Eat Pasta & Vegetables, 6.2-Ounce Tins (Pack of 6)

68 thoughts on “Bloggers, Neighbors, and Happy Hour

  1. Hi Ingrid,
    Thanks for the shout out. We had such a great time at happy “hour.” Even though it was more like 3-1/2 hours. LOL. Here’s hoping we see you again out on the road.


  2. Serendipitous meetups are evidence that magic exists. I love how you all join up in different places and float off and meet again somewhere else. I thought about you this past week (I hope that isn’t creepy; I wouldn’t have known about some things in AZ if I didn’t read your blog) when we visited Lost Dutchman and walked past the coyote sun dial — I had forgotten it was there and thought of your post immediately. Best wishes for a continued recovery as you prepare for Moab.


    1. Aw thanks. Hope you got some good shots of the superstitions. You sure picked a great time to visit. The desert is coming alive a little more each day as more and more blooms appear. Have a great visit 🙂


  3. When we began RVing, I thought the places we went would be the highlight, but I’ve since learned that the folks we meet are the real highlight. I had one of those chance meetings while sitting in the TN football stadium with 90,000 others. Turned out the woman right in front of me lived just across the street in my hometown in WV and while she was a few years younger, we knew each other.


    1. Proves my point – it’s a small world. And yes, it’s all about the folks we meet along this journey. Al and I have managed to find a nice balance between solitude and socializing 🙂


  4. WOW that was a pile of socializing, makes me think of our boating days. ALWAYS a crowd and bunch of camaraderie in the (any) marina we ever called home traveling or our home port.
    Looking forward to the down sides, can’t be as impressive as those positives?


    1. The weekends are usually pretty crowded with partiers. We don’t mind, we love the view and the weekdays are quiet, but it’s not for everyone.


    1. Ah, the beauty of the community picnic table was no one needed to play hostess. I definitely was not well enough yet for that. Everyone brought their own drinks and snacks to share. It was so nice to just sit in my chair, drink my water with lemon juice, watch the sunset, and mingle with great folks.
      I’m actually walking out and about and in search of desert blooms. Feels good to get the legs moving again 🙂


  5. We love meeting up with fellow RVers. What fun to have a whole gang together. The covered picnic table is an excellent touch. With all the fun you are having with your friends, I hope you made time to visit your son…lol


    1. Oh trust me, we visit the son as often as possible. Tonight he’s coming over for dinner 🙂 There’s so many RVer’s and bloggers in AZ for the winter, it’s hard not to run into someone. Fun times!


  6. Sounds like an awesome stay. That is so cool about meeting up with Karen…twice! I hope you talk her in to blogging. I have had a blast and your type of lifestyle seems perfect for it.


    1. She and I have been emailing back and forth so I think eventually she’ll start her own blog. It was fun running into them again and we had a blast hanging out. 🙂 Hope you’re still smoke free!


    1. As much as I enjoyed the ocean, the sunsets aren’t nearly as spectacular as the desert sunsets. And the desert in bloom is beautiful 🙂


  7. Sounds like you are on the mend…medicinal alcohol always works…How neat to run into old friends….You have a great community at that picnic table! It has finally warmed up SOME here..They had snow this morning in Sandwich,,,just great.


    1. Aren’t you glad you didn’t stay in IL this winter? It’s been a brutal one. Enjoy the rest of your journey. Unfortunately it’ll be over before you know it!


  8. Sounds like a great time visiting with lots of friends. Think we’re going to try Lake Pleasant in October, the kids are talking of having their wedding there.


    1. There’s two sides….the Maricopa County Reg Park side (west) and Pleasant Harbor privately run (eastside). I think you would enjoy the RV Park with full hook-ups but as is typical sites close together. My preference is one of the temporary sites END unit. With the community picnic table and grassy area it makes for great family entertaining. Feel free to email me if you’d like more detailed info. Who knows, we may bump into you here in Oct 🙂


    1. It was definitely a fun time. Karen is working on Curt to go full-time but he really likes their house…..I know, a couple of pats on my back LOL. I managed to stroll around for 45 minutes today. It felt so good. I have 3 weeks to get ready for Moab 🙂


  9. I love the story that you ran into Karen and Curt, small, small world 🙂 How joyful to watch the gorgeous sunsets at the picnic table… Happy travel, Ingrid!


    1. Fun indeed. Last weekend was a nightmare though. Now we are comfortably parked in an end site enjoying a beautiful view. Now that I’m getting my energy back, I’m looking forward to hitting the road. Is the weather cool by you?


    1. For us it’s always a great place to crash for a while, especially when we don’t make reservations. There’s always room somewhere. Our plans will always include Phoenix as long as our son lives here. We met Kay and Tom when we were both boondocking along Lake Pleasant’s shoreline three years ago.


  10. strange, but i have never taken that road off to lake pleasant. it is duly added to this year’s list! love the ocotillo in bloom- pity that for the rest of the year they look like burnt dead sticks in your yard 🙂


    1. Sounds like an outing is needed. Pleasant Harbor has a restaurant at the marina as does Scorpion Bay – Dillions Restaurant…..both are perfect for a Sat. or Sun. luncheon. Those ocotillos do look like dead sticks except for this time of year. I guess that’s why I find them so fascinating and I love the bright orange blossoms.


    1. I love listening to those wren’s as well. We are definitely enjoying our time here with the exception of last weekend….story forthcoming 🙂


  11. How fun to meet up with all your blogger friends and convert others to blogging. Lake Pleasant looks just like it’s name–Pleasant.


    1. Sunshine, sunsets, and socializing turned into the perfect recipe for my recuperation from the flu…..just what the doctor ordered 🙂


  12. Great blog post….very enjoyable to read. Isn’t it fun when life drops nice surprises in our lives like finding folks on the road we know. I didn’t know you were from Pueblo West. We are from Alamosa….another southern Colorado town. We are in Deming, NM waiting for Colorado to get a bit warmer till we move up there for the summer.


    1. I’m very familiar with Alamosa. Perhaps we’ll run into each other in CO this summer. We’ll be bouncing around the state – Grand Junction, Denver, Ridgway, Crested Butte. Stay in touch. I had trouble finding your blog 😦


  13. What a fun time you’ve had! We love sharing our travels with friends, and it sounds like you’ve connected with a wonderful group. I’m planning our journey west right now, and was considering Lake Pleasant…but I think I’ll wait for your reveal on the “not so good” points. 🙂 Love your photo of the cactus wren — one of my favorite desert birds.


    1. Thanks Laurel. We enjoy Lake Pleasant but then again we know what we’re getting ourselves into. I’ll send you an email later and give you the ins and outs 🙂


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