Usery Mountain

When you have power hookups, why not light it up?

We so rarely have hook-ups that we kinda lose track of what we do with them. Oh we have plenty of power, great, lets flaunt it? We wanted to stop in to one of our nearby campgrounds because we haven’t even fired up the air conditioner in so long we wanted to cycle it to make sure it was still working right. There is a park very close by to our house, and a short easy drive. Usery Mountain Park is just a short hop from our home. well about 30 minutes, which is less distance than many of our trips to get things we see on Craigslist.

After setting everything up, we were all ready and relaxing before 7 pm. I made several attempts to get the fire going but unfortunately all the wood in the bed of my truck had been wet and as far as I know water is pretty difficult to light on fire. I grudgingly relented on the fire since it refused to light. I decided that it’s probably best to save any charcoal fluid for the next day when I am actually lighting charcoal. The previous day, before we left, I had murdered a couple steaks, so this time we went with a nice scallop meal. That I ruined.

That night it was rather windy, but not too bad, so I stuck the awning clips on just to be safe.It’s been a while since we pulled in at night and had to wait until morning to find out if the site was worth it. Fortunately the park’s website has a pretty good set of pictures of each site when you are picking. It also listed the amperage available, and whether there was shade. Rest assured, if you are traveling from another state, and the pictures looked good for the spot you wanted, it’ll look good. Though I would recommend you look at the placement of cacti if you have pets. Some spots look lovely, but might be rather… pointy.

Oh, this will end well

Because I’m horribly out of shape, we decided it would be good to hike up the mountain. Usery Park is on the border of National Forest land. And there is a great trail that leads up to the wind cave near the campground. We parked and headed up the trail, and see a rather foreboding sign warning that out of shape folks should stay their happy buts down here. Not to worry, I am out of shape, but prepared. With the backpack full of water, I feel I’m pretty well good until the rescue team comes and drags me down the mountain again.

The trail starts out easy enough. It’s a slow gradual rise leading to the mountain. Aside from the trail itself being really rocky, there’s not too much of a challenge here. As we get closer to the mountain, the trail gets steeper. You really start to feel that breakfast. What’s that? Sure, let me have another slice of bacon. is repeated through my brain for each step. Honestly for the most part it’s easier than many of the mountain trails in Phoenix.

Here’s another one for Miss Theresa’s collection

Aside from having to watch where you put your feet, most people wouldn’t find it much of a challenge. It’s much more difficult for my sweetheart than for me, because she’s fun sized. Her legs don’t reach quite as far as mine. When we reach the top, we stop for a bit of a snack, and as we do, my sweetie sees a squirrel. And of course she can’t stop herself from feeding it. Yes, I know it’s not good for them in many ways, but you aren’t going to be able to retroactively stop her from it. Besides, the way they reacted to food dropping, I doubt this was their first rodeo. There were actually two squirrels. One was just a bit more aggressive than the other, and chased it off. after lunch we headed back down the mountain, and back towards the truck.

We head back to the camp site, and it starts to cloud up. Great time, too, I mean I would hate to have clouds covering the sun as I’m hiking up a mountain in the desert. I decide that now would be a good time to cook dinner. Seeing as how the wind was picking up, I wanted to get the steaks cooked before the rain came. I managed to get my sweetheart’s steak cooked properly, however mine was a little too far on the rare side. As I cut into my steak and heard it moo, I took that chunk of meat and dropped it on the grill. I was able to finish the steak though it involved a bit more rain than I would have liked. So I had two steaks that were ruined in a week. Later, we had a smoothie to make up for my steak. We wanted to have pina coladas, but that is a campfire kind of thing. And the rain was simply not letting that happen.

That night while we were sleeping the wind and rain got to blowing hard. I was hearing the awning snap with the wind, and figured I really didn’t want to have to replace that thing, or repair the fabric in the rain. I quickly removed the lights, and rolled up the awning. Water dumped from the thing, and surprised me a bit. I managed to not get soaked by quick reflexes alone. My girl slept peacefully through the whole ordeal. Or as peacefully as can be expected. I was pretty pleased that we had all of that rain, as it proved to me that the leaks I had fixed were really fixed.

I slept the remainder of the night through rather peacefully. In the morning the I made breakfast, and we hung around the RV for a while. Thankfully, we had no damage, and it appeared that we didn’t even get too waterlogged. Well, aside from the ton of already wet mesquite in my truck bed. That’s gonna make it soooo much easier to light next time.

Around noon we decided to hit the nearby ghost town. Goldfield is an old mining town that had mined gold(figure the odds). It started with the finding of a gold vein, and five years after it started, it was gone. Unlike Jerome, Goldfield is only a ghost town and tourist trap. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice tourist trap, and they have some awesome fudge. Including prickly pear fudge. I loved that stuff. There’s a saloon, and steakhouse there as well. We stuck around for the gunfight, and wandered around the shops. For a touristy place, the shop prices were extremely reasonable. In fact one of the shops is marketed as the cheapest souvenir shop in Arizona. And I can believe it. Their prices even on things that were more than I wanted to pay, were still very good for what they were. We picked up a chain snake for the RV, and about two pounds of fudge. All right, the tourist trap got me. But it was well worth it, and not expensive at all.

I almost forgot about the cool sight of the wolf someone brought in. It was neat to see them with a wolf hybrid that was obviously still a puppy(though still pretty big). How cool is it to see such a lovely animal.

After we left the ghost town we decided to stop by the Mining Camp steak house. across the way. I wanted a non-ruined steak for dinner. So I ordered a good juicy steak and got it. Thank heavens, nothing was wrong. We headed back to the RV, and got everything all packed up to bring home. We packed some stuff up already because of the rain, but what was left needed to dry out. We made the trip home in about 45 minutes.

More pictures from the trip here

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