Theodore Roosevelt Lake!

Wednesday, October 29

Jack, the guy we camped next to at Lone Rock near Page, Arizona, suggested we go to Roosevelt Lake.  He likes to camp in Cholla (pronounced “CHOY-uh”) Campground which is a national forest campground.

Usually I like to find my own way, clear my own path, so to speak.  However, Jack’s description of Cholla Campground entices me to take a look.

I’m glad I did!

1-P1010305Roosevelt Lake, Arizona.  The tall plant on the left is a cholla cactus.

Roosevelt Lake is northeast of Phoenix in Tonto National Forest.

Bridget and I go south from Payson on Route 87 until we reach Route 188 which takes us southeast into Tonto Recreation Area.  Several campgrounds hug the southwestern shore of Roosevelt Lake.

Although Jack suggested Cholla Campground, we arrive first at Bermuda Flat.

Bermuda Flat has corrals for horses, although the people I see camping on the beach don’t necessarily have horses with them.

1-P1010299How nice!  Right by the water and not too crowded!  No shade though . . . .

Strange as it may seem, I choose to keep going.

About two or three miles further we pull into Cholla Campground.

1-P1010302The entrance road to the campground.

Around the bend we come upon the entrance booth.

“What is this?  Uh-oh.  I don’t know anything about a recreation pass.”

1-P1010303I park the Perfect Tow Vehicle and walk over to a bulletin board that displays various notices.  Here I learn that I need to “purchase a Tonto Recreation Pass at one of the following locations…blah, blah, blah.”

Are you kidding me?  I’m tired from breaking camp this morning and driving and shopping and driving.  At this point I’m not towing my home anywhere but to a campsite.  Give me a ticket.  Sue me.  Whatever.  We’re here and we’re staying and that’s final. . . .  In the morning I’ll find a pass to buy.

I put the recreation pass issue out of my mind.

Bridget and I proceed further down the campground road.

Oh, there are the shower houses Jack told me about . . .

Cholla Campground is touted as the largest solar-powered campground in the United States.

See the big solar panels?  Hot water for showers!  Now you know one of the reasons this campground appeals to me.

1-P1010304The low camping fee also appeals to this frugal camper!

1-P1010315The daily fee for a site is only $6 regular/$3 with Senior Pass.

When Jack told me Cholla Campground is only $3 for seniors and there are two shower houses with hot water, I sat up and listened.  And I also wondered how that could be.

Ah, inexpensive solar power!  It runs the water pumps and heats the water!

Cholla has six loops consisting of 206 campsites.

Normally this would make me drive away in a big hurry.  Jack assured me the campground is mostly empty (some of the loops are closed) and the sites are widely spaced with plenty of vegetation for privacy.

People camp here for months at a time.  There’s a boat ramp and did I mention that the lake is pretty?

1-P1010310View of the lake as one drives to the boat ramp

Oh, I amost forgot another thing!

It’s summer here!  After a month of autumn in Utah, Bridget and I are back into summer. The elevation is 2,200 feet.  The temperature is perfect, night and day.  Okay, so it’s a little hot in late afternoon.  Not enough to complain about, not with November right around the corner!

1-P1010308The Sierra Ancha (Spanish for “broad range”), northeast of the lake.

Amenities, along with hot showers, include potable water spigots, flush toilets, dump station, trash pick-up, boat ramp, and playground.  Each campsite has a fire ring/grill, a picnic table, and a shelter. (No electric hook-ups.  Ha!  I don’t care!)

I’d say it’s worth three bucks a day (heh-heh).  Wouldn’t you?

1-P1010309This view shows how the water level has dropped.  The campground is at left.

The campsites aren’t at the edge of the lake.  That’s okay.  We’ve had a lot of shoreline camps.  At this point I want hot showers and all the rest.

Okay, so I drive the open loops and choose a site in the loop named “Christmas Cholla.”

Jack was right about few people here.  It’s possible to choose a site surrounded by empty ones.

By the way, there’s hardly any cholla in the campground.  Good thing, because that’s a hazard, especially to paws.

I set up a “minimum camp.”

In other words, just enough for the night.  I don’t raise the antenna/tooter pole or put out the mat. It’s a pretty campsite, good for overnight, but I notice the sun hits the refrigerator during the afternoon.  Don’t want that.

In the morning I’ll take my time looking around and we’ll settle into a different site.

Bridget and I share rotisserie chicken for supper at our picnic table.

I write a blog post, push Bridget in her stroller, read, and relax.

As usual, I push back the curtain above our bed in order to look up at the stars before going to sleep.

Well, so far, so good.  No campground police at my door looking for the $3.  In the morning, I’ll move us to a better site, unhitch, and go find a place that sells passes.  I think this is going to be a very good camp for us.  Thanks, Jack.


NOTE:  In the next post I’ll show you the campsite I choose and how I make it into our home.


Thank you very much, RVSue shoppers!

1-P1010306Blue sky, blue mountains, blue water

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