Cornholing and Boondocking

cactus wrenYou know that saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is”?  Well, I’ve carried on about Lake Pleasant and what a perfect spot it’s been for me to recover from the flu and the first few weeks it was, but all good things must come to an end.

Lake Pleasant is located northwest of the city of Phoenix, Arizona.  It’s a favorite with locals and travelers alike.  So one can expect a fair amount of traffic on any given weekend when the weather is ideal for water activities; add in a three day weekend or fishing tournament and the crowds come in droves… central.

Pleasant Harbor

Pleasant Harbor marina – a floating village

ferris wheelAllow me to share the recipe;  Fishing tournament, Carnival, Car Show, Spring Break, and $10 a night dry camping.  Let’s add in some alcohol, carnie type people, loud music, and no restrictions on generators.  Oh yeah, what fun!

Bill Luke Bass Days took place the weekend of Friday, March 14th.

Al and I were comfortably nestled into site T-59 enjoying a little quiet solitude, perfect weather, and just the right about of socializing.  Friday and Saturday night we’d need to move out of our site and boondock as all sites were previously reserved prior to our arrival.  No problem, or so we thought.

boondockingThe event tents and carnival rides started arriving Monday and an area was fenced off.  Local camper’s started arriving Tuesday to position themselves for the upcoming weekend and a regular flow of traffic continued the rest of the week.  The locals parked their RV’s then returned home for the work week.  They came back Friday after work with their wagons already circled bringing lots of friends, family, and plenty of kids.boondocking

By Tuesday afternoon, Al and I quickly moved our trucks into a position to try and save a small parcel of gravel lot for ourselves fearing we wouldn’t be able to find a spot to homestead.  By Thursday morning we didn’t recognize the place.  Our little slice of paradise was being transformed before our eyes…..and not in a good way.dry camping

Thursday we found ourselves needing to make a run to the dump station and as long as we broke camp we opted to position ourselves into our boondock spot a night early.  Al talked to our boondock neighbors and came up with a plan to park the vehicles so no one would try and squeeze in between us.  We’ve seen that happen before.


Our boondock spot for the weekend – we’re on the left – blue truck

These new neighbors were quite happy with Al’s friendliness and cooperativeness.  A conversation ensued and Al asked if they were here for the fishing tournament.  Although they planned on doing some fishing, their main purpose was cornholing……. SAY WHAT!!!

As a matter of fact, they informed Al that they were getting ready to practice cornholing for the upcoming tournament and he was welcome to watch…..SAY WHAT!!!cornholing

The internet is an entertaining tool.  Wanting to provide you, my dear readers, with information on Cornholing, I did a quick Google search on the term and you can imagine the interesting information that popped up.  Since this is a G rated blog, you’ll have to do you’re own Google search on the other meaning of cornholing. boondocking

For the purposes of this post…… cornholing, also known as bean bag toss, is a lawn game in which players take turns throwing little bags of corn at a raised platform with a hole in the far end.  Our neighbors practiced cornholing into the wee hours of the morning in preparation for Saturdays big tournament.  Thanks for the great nights sleep guys….grrrr.

That’s ok, they were still nice neighbors compared to what we could’ve been stuck with so I won’t complain.  There was a lot of craziness that occurred that weekend including some serious accidents.

Lake Pleasant

Law enforcement looking for the missing diver – body was eventually recovered

Brawls, arguments, loud music, unruly children, dust and noise from ATV’s, and regular visits from law enforcement rank mild in comparison to the head on ATV collision or the missing diver and this is just the stuff I know about.

I found the weekend to be more stressful than fun and I’m glad it’s over.  I do plan to return to Lake Pleasant but I’ll be sure to do my homework and avoid any events or three-day weekends.

That said, I’m parked near my favorite square of green grass and back to enjoying a little slice of paradise.  And best of all, I’m feeling better than I have in quite some time.Arizona sunset

Campfire Treats

Vino2Go Merlot and Pink 10 Ounce Insulated Wine Tumbler Set With Drink-Through Lid, Set of 2

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


61 thoughts on “Cornholing and Boondocking

  1. Well, there was a time in my life where I would have enjoyed the party atmosphere you describe here… fact, if I’m in the mood for it, I could still enjoy it. When I was a kid, my parents took every three day weekend they could to go boat camping, and that included a lot of wild trips to Lake Havasu on big weekends. By the time I was grown up and had my own family and my own boat, I avoided those scenes like the plague. The final straw was when a fellow boater almost hit one of my kids, who I was pulling behind the boat in the “ski brisket” (a specialized inter tube). This boater came flying around a corner, looking for a place to beach. When he realized how close he came to hitting my son, he drove his boat over and apologized. He was a big burly guy, but he was so upset that he was crying. Obviously he was a good person. This incident scared me a lot…after that, when we went to lakes we tried to make it mid-week only, at least at Lake Mohave, where this incident happened.

    Thanks for the nice article!

    • I know what you mean about crazy boating scenes. We’ve witnessed way too many close calls ourselves. It’s best to try and avoid the crowds at all costs. I know we won’t be staying at Lake Pleasant again when there’s an event happening. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Phew! Sort of like a bad dream sequence. Do you feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz after being whirled off by the tornado? We always referred to the game as bean bag toss, but here it’s referred to also as cornhole. What do you suppose croquet is now called?

    • Thanks Sheila. I’m doing much better and excited to hit the road in a couple of days. It won’t be long and those CO mountains will be within reach 🙂

    • Timing is everything and there’s no way we could’ve enjoyed a visit with you during those crowds. It was crazy and so not my thing.

  3. Sometimes we get a surprise when we arrived at a park. But you had a carnival of surprise! Perhaps if you were feeling better then and in a party mood you and Al might have jumped in and joined the fun.
    I saw my first corn holing when we arrived in GA but not as many as what you have witnessed.

    • Nope, I’m sure I still wouldn’t have enjoyed it….just not my thing. Plop me down in a preserve surrounded by birds and I’m one happy camper 🙂

  4. WOW what a change in paradise, hope nothing like that takes place when we head there. They do the cornholing even in VT forget what they call it though. Glad to see you’re feeling better.

    • The fall is pretty empty around here and the lake is low. So I don’t think you’ll run into any issues. And thanks, it feels good to be feeling better.

  5. Looks like a beautiful place…when no one is there:) What a crazy weekend! But times like that are also entertaining, as you saw. Interesting to watch how others live and vacation.

    So glad to hear you are feeling much better…great news!!!

    • For the most part we’ve been enjoying Lake Pleasant very much and I’ve needed the down time to recover. Come April I’ll be more than ready to hit the road again 🙂

  6. GREAT pictures. After your last post I kind of thought the down side may have something to do with a rush of camping activity. We have had that here with the rolling spring break in 3 nearby counties. BUT wow, that sounds like the month of January in Quartzite would be less intense.

    • I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of crowds to contend with during the spring break(s). And yes Q during the big tent sale seems less intense than this crazy weekend. It’s not so much the crowds that bothered me but the stupidity I witnessed that I found so stressful…..stupidity that lead to injuries and arrests 😉

      • Agreed, we are very familiar with the ‘STUPID’ that can be part of a crowd. We used to see a lot of it from the beach on the Island in the Mississippi every weekend. Boats + Drinking + a lack of experience and common sense = disaster.

  7. Whoa! Paradise became… NOT FUN! I never saw so many cornholes ever. Now… I am from the midwest… I have played cornhole before. Thank you for posting… I am going to remember to not go near the lake when this is all going on. I still loved your photos!! 🙂

    • Thanks and we too are originally from the Midwest. My sister has the lawn game but she refers to it as bean bag toss. Do you still live in the Midwest?

        • We usually go back to IL once a year but will be forgoing a trip this summer. Welcome to AZ. Our son has lived in Phoenix for the past 4 years and enjoys it.

  8. Glad you survived and are feeling better. You seem to be getting over your thing a lot faster than I have. Mine hit at Thanksgiving and I’m still having some very tired days. Guess it comes with age. sigh

    • Gosh Gunta, I’m so sorry to hear you haven’t recovered 100%. I’m still having issues with a little coughing and low energy. I have a good day, go out and about, then need two relaxing days to regain my energy. Hope you find that energy soon!

      • That one good day, then two to recover sounds about right. I just mowed the little patch of grass I have (with a push mower) and I know I’ll pay for it, but there’s supposed to be a storm coming in, so I’ll just flake out and have some soup ready to go….. 🙂

  9. So glad to read that you are feeling better!

    Egads…what a week you two had. That carnival and all those people would drive anyone nuts.

    We love playing cornhole. When we get back to Ohio, our family has a tournament with the game, but we don’t stay up all night practicing….lol

    • Thanks Marsha. We’ve played cornhole at my sister’s house before but they always refer to it as bag toss. I’m pretty sure it was the beer and camaraderie that kept those guys up a better part of the night. Cornhole was just the excuse.

  10. Sounded a good time to go “indoors,” pull all the blinds and put your aircon fan on high to drown them out. O_o Glad it’s over! At least you’re getting some great sunset photos while you are there!

  11. Sorry you had to be in the middle of that. I was at Lake Pleasant in February for a couple of weeks and it was a wonderful stay. I too stay in the “temporary area” and I left on the 28th. When leaving I was given brochures for the fishing tournament and carnival. My first thought was your experience. Fun short term for the kids, but not a place I would enjoy camping at during the “party”. Glad you made it through okay. I will definitely research before returning. I understand they have a big blow out on the 4th of July too.

    • That 4th of July weekend is their busiest of the entire year. Thankfully I’ll be in CO. Thanks for commenting. I just subscribed to your blog and will spend sometime later today checking it out 🙂

  12. There I was laid out on my beach blanket, book in hand and I hear the sound of “bam” and then a yell out “ya”…..and that’s when I first figured out what cornholing was! Grrrrrrrrr So glad you are on the mend….watch out, there goes Ingrid!!!

    • You’re going to miss that beach. I was only on the Gulf a month and I still miss it and can’t wait to return next winter. And it feels good to be feeling like myself again….thanks C

  13. Ingrid quite the transformation of your paradise! When we travel and end up in some desperately long line or unforeseen crowded situation my blood pressure starts to rise. Yes all about the research. 🙂 glad to hear you continue to feel better.

    • The stress and anxiety put a damper on my recuperation. But all is better now and the sunsets the past few nights have been spectacular…..better yet, I managed a one hour walk yesterday and getting ready to hit a easy trail today 🙂

  14. Aha! I knew that had to be down side, although it would be a lovely place to park during the quiet times. What an experience! The park we summer at is like that on Memorial Day weekend – a weekend I loathe with all those weekend campers and partiers. It makes you wish for rain storms, not nice I know, all those working people trying to enjoy their weekend, but there it is. We saw cornholing while in Bushnell, but didn’t try it. I can’t even imagine what the internet search comes up with…afraid to find out.

    • Google it for a little blunt entertainment. Haha, I too wish for nasty weather during 3 day weekends. We’re mean! By tomorrow afternoon this park will be half empty and I’ll be dancing on the picnic table 🙂

  15. Pure Hell, or hell as I envision it….. I would have moved to a Walmart Parking to wait the “festivities” out…..


  16. Oh wow, that sounds like a nightmare of a weekend!! What a convergence of raucous events and people in such a peaceful setting! Good to hear that it’s once again paradise, and most of all, it’s wonderful to know that you’re feeling so much better. Cute cactus wren photo. 🙂

    • Yes, it feels good to be almost 100% and I’m back on a few easy trails meandering. Very glad that weekend is in the past. The stupidity is what stresses me out and then there’s always accidents. Sad but law enforcement expects it and is ready. Tomorrow we’ll practically have the place to ourselves 🙂

    • I almost thought I was going to have a relapse from the stress and anxiety of it all. But alas, it’s over and the birds are chirping 🙂

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