Thursday, October 30
After breakfast I scurry around to break camp. (Bridget and I arrived yesterday at Cholla Campground on Roosevelt Lake in east-central Arizona.) We’re moving to another campsite because this one places the refrigerator in the sun all afternoon, plus it’s unpleasant stepping out the door into the sun’s glare.
I find a lovely, double site on the other side of Christmas Cholla loop.
Jack told me that it’s okay to take a double site and it doesn’t require an additional fee. I find one with the right orientation to the afternoon sun. A water spigot is nearby and it’s a short walk to a trash bin. It’s a lovely, spacious campsite.
I back in and unhitch.
I set up a sitting area on the outdoor mat. (I put out the awning later in the day.)
As you can see in the above photo (somewhat), I position the Perfect Tow Vehicle so that it isn’t aligned with the Best Little Trailer. Instead I park it with the back end of the PTV forming a “wall” for the sitting area. This blocks the view from the street.
The picnic shelter/lounge area is circled by desert trees.
There are three palo verde, three mesquite trees, and several smaller ironwood trees. The spaces are filled in with rabbit brush with fading yellow-gold blooms. Very pretty!
I place Bridget on the bench seat and away we go to Butcher Hook.
I know, weird name. Butcher Hook is a gas station-bait house-grocery-restaurant-saloon-whatever. A sign on the door reads, “Tonto Recreation Area Passes sold here.”
“Be right back, pumpkin.”
The young woman cashier explains how the large cardboard passes are to be used.
“You scratch off the year, the month, the day, and the time of your arrival and put it on your dash or hang it from your mirror.”
“I’m confused,” I reply. “How many days do you get with each pass?”
“One,” she explains.
“What? You mean to say that people have to buy one of these cards for every day? (The cards are at least the size of a business envelope.) My gosh, that’s an awful lot of trees!”
I think of the 200 sites in Cholla Campground alone, when full that’s 200 cards every day.
“Gee, you must have boxes and boxes of these things.”
“Yeah, we do,” she says with a wry twist to her mouth.
I buy seven passes for $21.00.
Bridget and I return to the campground.
On the way I make a detour to see the boat ramp and take photos for the previous post.
I park the PTV in our campsite, plug in the cord connecting the PTV’s battery with the house battery, and take another look at our new home.
I grab my Paperwhite and some refreshment and climb into the lounger.
Four black ravens chortle in the sky above as they circle in pairs. Chortle doesn’t exactly explain the strange sound of ravens. It’s more like they’re belching under water.
Later a man appears at our door.
“Hey, I saw you at Wal-Mart in Payson!” he exclaims. “Well, I didn’t actually see YOU. I saw your rig. You were already inside. Then I went inside but I still didn’t see you. When I came out, you were gone.”
We sit in the chairs under the awning and chat.
Jack’s campsite is in the next loop.
In the evening, around eight o’clock, Bridget is asleep in bed after being pushed around the campground in her stroller. I’m happily looking at my laptop.
I hear the unmistakeable rumble of a diesel truck followed by the squeak of metal. Uh-oh. Sounds like we’ve got new neighbors arriving.
“YOU’VE GOT TO COME THIS WAY!. MOVE OVER FURTHER!” the woman yells. “THIS WAY!”
“I CAN’T SEE WHERE YOU ARE!” the man yells.
On and on it goes . . . .
“OKAY, THAT’S IT!” the woman yells. “KEEP COMIN’, KEEP COMIN’, OKAY, OKAY, STOP!”
The yelling is followed by slamming doors and clanking this and clanking that. The diesel truck rumbles into position. Doors slam. More yelling.
Friday, October 31
Bridget and I enjoy the start of a pleasant morning. It’s another beautiful day, we have a beautiful campsite, all is well. Someone is running a generator, but that’s okay. That’s part of campground living.
I’m reading in the lounger and Bridget is well into her morning nap. We’re happy, happy, happy.
And then the new neighbors turn on a radio.
It has that distinctive sound of an AM station. I can hear the static and every word of the frenzied announcer’s voice.
“Oh, nooooo!” I groan. I try to ignore it but I can’t focus on what I’m reading. I get up, walk across to their fifth wheel, and call at their open door, “Excuse me. Excuse me.”
“Would you please turn down the radio?”
“I can do that,” she replies, looking down her nose from her open door. No “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize…”
Oh well, at least she’s going to turn it down. I don’t need an apology.
Before long TWO more fifth-wheels arrive.
We’re surrounded! Conversations are conducted via yells through a window as one stays inside and the other stays outside. A man and a woman trot from one campsite to another, exclaiming over their covered dishes. Diesel trucks roar, someone repeatedly calls a dog, a woman stands in the street yakking on a cellphone, more hollering, on and on it goes. No one talks at normal volume.
I don’t begrudge them their get-together, but do they have to be so LOUD?
Well, I have a choice.
I can stay here and suffer or I can move us to another campsite.
I fold up the chairs, roll up the mats, take up the awning, secure the inside of the BLT, crank up the hitch, back up the PTV, hitch up, pull up the rear jacks, remove the chocks, and just as I’m about to pull out, a man appears.
His name is Rick and he’s camped a few sites away. He asks about the Wilson antenna and we talk, standing next to the PTV. Rick has solar power, too.
“So where ya’ headed?” he asks.
“To the other side of the campground,” I reply. “I can’t take that any more,” I explain with a nod toward the neighbors.
“Oh yeah,” he acknowledges. “And the generator noise,” he groans.
As he leaves he calls back to me, purposefully louder than necessary and sporting a big grin, “GOOD LUCK FINDING A QUIET CAMPSITE!”
I back the PTV into another campsite in a different loop.
I unhitch and set up our new home. The chairs, the mat, everything is in place. I plop into a chair with a bottle of water, look around, listen to the silence, and smile.
“It’s nice here, isn’t it, Bridge. I like this.”
Thanks for shopping Amazon from my blog!