Sunday, November 1, 2020


 We left Amarillo under sunny skies and sloppy roads.   Our Jeep is unrecognizable under it's covering of road grime and cinder scum.      We made one overnight stop in Albuquerque (with a propane fill) and then one in Holbrook, AZ.  

near Gallup, NM

spooky Halloween moon in Holbrook

This morning we left Holbrook and took a different route to our final destination of Usery Mountain Regional Park outside Phoenix.     Instead of using interstates, as we usually do, we decided to drive diagonally south on smaller roads (77 to 377 to 277 to 260 to 87 to Bush Highway) to cut off quite a few miles.    We'd never taken this route before and were unsure of what we'd encounter.

Most of the way was on two lane roads through Arizona's high desert.   Not much shoulder but quite a few pull-outs along the way.    Once through the town of Heber we began to encounter pine forests and hilly terrain.

Driving through the mountains south of Payson was hard.   Route 87 is a fine road, four lane mostly, but it was slogging up long grades, then down long grades, etc. etc. for the entire drive.     We passed through miles of recent burn damage along the way.

We felt like we were home as we turned onto the Bush Highway and headed toward Mesa.  This is a road we've driven many times and it's scenery never disappoints (although today we didn't see any of the wild horses that roam the area).

heading down to the Salt River

Once through the entry gates, we quickly settled into our site and went outside to enjoy a nice warm happy hour.   Dave was grinning from ear to ear.    He was finally thawed out!


our happy hour view

Dave's bare feet make a perfect headrest


  1. Looks like a lovely drive but the steep up and downs are never fun. Arriving back in the beautiful land of the saguaro is always a joy. Your site is perfect with a beautiful back drop for Second Cup and Happy Hour. Dave must have warmed up to put on shorts. Sweet Lewis can finally catch up on his sleep after all the travel. Now kick back and relax while warming up. Good times!

  2. Finally a chance to relax and enjoy thee DSW. Looks like a nice spot on the outer loop to enjoy your Happy Hour.
    We stay there when going out for the cactus League games, the hummingbirds always found our feeder.

  3. Glad you made it Safely to your Site. Now you can Enjoy the warmer temperatures.

    It's about time.

  4. Wahoo! Nice weather, saguaros, beautiful sunsets, and time to relax...perfect! Love Lewis’ headrest!

  5. We've driven a similar diagonal route with a lot of up down. It's just terrible for trying to get anywhere because you can't go too fast down hill and then it's a slog out. If memory serves it was AZ60 into Surprise. But who can remember anything. Welcome back to the south west!

  6. I never get tired of those awesome scenery changes that come with long drives. One minute everything is brown and flat, and the very next, it's bursting with color and mountains. Love it! Glad you are where you want to be. Enjoy!

  7. Love that Salt River pass for beauty but those grades are so steep! Love those back roads you found. That was a long haul from Albuquerque to Holbrook. We broke it up in Gallup. So happy to see you in more comfortable temps. We're expecting snow on Wednesday here in the SoCal mountains!

  8. Will have to remember that park if I ever go down that way. I personally think you chose the right way to get there, so scenic and not as harried as the interstates and I'm really glad you shared it!