Usery Reg Park…

We leave Lake Pleasant a bit reluctantly, but excited to be heading to a new location.  The campground at Usery Regional Park is full and we opt to stay in their overflow lot for $10 a night.  The lot is a paved parking lot located right next to the park entrance.  Umm….not sure I’m happy with this location, but with an open mind we lever’er up, unhook and settle in.

It’s early in the day.  The sky is a lovely azure blue.  The sun is warm and the breeze is light.  Al and I decide to pack a light lunch, drinks, and the dog and travel “up the road a piece”.  (This was one of Al’s mom’s little phrases that always brought chuckles)  Our destination…Saguaro Lake.

Saguaro Lake

From Usery Park we head north on Usery Pass Road (aka Ellsworth Road to the south) and head east on Bush Highway to Saguaro Lake.  On the south side of Bush Highway is a picnic area called Pebble Beach.  It’s a lovely area with picnic tables covered with red-roofed cabanas.  We notice all the RV’s parked there.  We drive in, note “Camp Host”, drive around….time to ask questions.  Al jumps out of the truck to talk to some

Salt River

campers who are extremely helpful and forthcoming with tons of information.  Turns out dry camping here is allowed until May through the Tonto National Forest.  It’s $6 a night….$3 for those of us with the Old Farts Card.  There’s access to the Salt River for fishing, vault toilets, and water spigots.  Parking permits and camp permits need to be purchased in town prior to your visit and can be purchased at most gas stations, drug stores, and Big 5 Sporting Goods stores.  Al and I contemplate moving to this location, but decide to stay at Usery Reg Park for the time being…..note to self for a future visit.

Saguaro Lake is extremely picturesque.  We enjoy a snack and drink overlooking the lake.  It’s days like this, I miss my wave runner.  Oh, what fun we could have here.  We decide to check out the marina, and yes they rent various watercraft.  Awesome!  Put that on the bucket list.  We drive around a bit more and admire our surroundings.

Saguaro Lake

Prior to our return to the Rig, we check out the Rio Salado Gun Club.  Al gets all the information he’s looking for.  Yes, sporting clays 🙂   We then head home for dinner.  Usery Reg Park is beautiful and the campground offers very nice sites and amazing hiking.  However, the parking lot is not working for me.  Al and I decide to move to Lost Dutchman State Park in the morning.  Our plans will take us there in a few days anyway to join an Escapees get together.  So, guess we’ll show up early!

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Alas, it’s time to move…

It’s six thirty in the morning and Bear is ready to go out.  The sun is still tucked behind the mountains to the east, but will soon rise.  The winds have kicked up.  The waves roll in crashing a shore and reaching our fire ring.  Each morning we notice the water encroaching, swallowing up a bit more shoreline.  At this time of year, the lake is allowed to fill and soon our lake front property will be under water.

Knowing we will soon need to move due to the rising water, I glance up and down the shoreline taking in my tranquil surroundings.  This has been a week full of socializing, relaxing, exploring and discovery.  As much as I’ve loved staying here, it’s time to move on.  Time to explore and discover new surroundings.  I find so much joy and peace being near the water.  Perhaps it’s due to fond childhood memories spent near lakes.  I wonder, can I experience these same emotions without water?   I guess we’ll find out.

This little slice of panacea does have its pitfall.  It’s called the weekend.  Starting Friday afternoon the locals come to play at Lake Pleasant.  Most folks are nice and considerate but some are down right rude and ignorant.  There appears to be some unwritten rules or etiquette to boondocking.  First and foremost, space….space between rigs.  We boondock because we like our space.  We observed a motorhome pull in mid Saturday and shimmy his way between to vehicles, leaving approximately six inches on either side.  He had backed in between these vehicles, onto a bit of shoreline that jetted out a little more than other areas, and backed to the water’s edge blocking the view of the rig he had just squirmed by.   Oh, then started his generator a meer ten feet from a couple sitting at the shores edge.  Sunday morning the place starts to empty, and by Monday it’s a return to my little panacea.

With an itch to move on, Al and I discuss our options.  We’ve heard great things about McDowell Regional Park and Usery Regional Park, both located to the east of Phoenix.  Both Parks are booked leaving overflow parking as our only option.  Al would like to check out the Rio Salado Gun Club at Usery Park and I have an interest in the Cave Wind hike.  It’s unanimous….Usery Regional Park it is.