Apr 13-24, Camp Verde AZ to Indio CA

(NOTE: having issues loading photos…check back later for about 30 pics)

Well it’s good to know we have many followers of this blog, since we’re getting complaints of too much lag in between posts. Thanks to all of you for your concerns…rest assured we are doing very well and enjoying our journey. Also, some housekeeping tips on this blog…..each posting includes pictures at the end. If you are not seeing the pic, go the individual blog post heading and clink on it….it should then load all the pics associated with that posting. So…..we left you after our evacuation from the red dust storm in Monument Valley as we limped to Camp Verde. We couldn’t get a 2-day early arrival to our planned RV Park, so we found another right next door. Half of our hydraulics were still not working so we were cramped inside the RV with the full wall slide not opening, leaning since jacks not operating, and a 3 foot step in/out of RV with entry steps not working. We were fortunate to find an RV mechanic who arrived the next morning. When you find an experienced RV tech/mechanic, it’s like the sun just came out from behind the clouds. Within 10 minutes with voltage meter in hand, he found the culprit of a faulty solenoid attached to the hydraulic pump ( 1 of 2 which explained why half the things were not working). That’s the good news…..next problem finding a replacement part. However, this tech was a genius…..he jumped the bad part by hand-holding a wire to bypass, allowing us to extend our steps, push out our slide, and operate our front compartment which extends out to access the generator and all the hydraulic components….hooray! While trying to get Newmar to identify the faulty part and send to us, the bad solenoid starting working again….go figure. But after 3 days, Newmar finally sent the new part…supposedly overnight but the Easter weekend took 4 days to deliver. But by then, I figured it was just dust from the storm so no need to replace the part just yet…against advice of the rv tech…but what does he know? More on that decision later. So Camp Verde is within 30 minutes of Sedona and 90 minutes of Scottsdale/Phoenix. We took a day trip to Sedona where we honeymooned…..more gorgeous than we remembered. Did some shopping and had an early dinner before heading back to camp. BTW, Verde River RV Resort was a good stop for our 1st 2 days. Very clean, spacious, and incredible mini golf course complete with water hazards, rough, jumps over water, and sand traps. Cindy as the good wife let me win. Then we went next door to Verde Ranch RV resort, back to our planned schedule of RV parks. This was a large and 4-yr old new resort….over 400 sites, clubhouse, pools, hot tubs, pickle ball courts, bocce, horseshoes, and more….lots of kids but brought back memories of how Kimmy/AJ loved getting to kid-centered parks like this. Our site backed up to the Verde River with HUGE cottonwood trees which were shedding cotton puffs….several times looked like we were in a snow storm….but still better than the red dust. We went to a local church for Easter service which was held outside under tents with gorgeous mountain views in all directions. We cooked a rack of lamb on the barbie for dinner….yum. Hard to believe, but when we made our plans we did not intentionally plan to be near our wedding location of a year earlier. But we took advantage of it with an overnight trip Scottsdale and eating at the fab restaurant our wedding group went to during wedding week………Ocean 44. Check out the Uber ride we took from our hotel. To Cindy’s chagrin I made decision to walk back to hotel. After afternoon Rose’, cosmos before dinner, wine with dinner, and dessert expresso martinis…..probably not best choice…..but my mate begrudgingly tagged along with occasional complaints along the way. Was a beautiful walk…..at least what I remember of it. We also stopped on way into Scottsdale at the home of the lady who made our wedding cake and had her make us a smaller one for our anniversary…wasn’t exactly small but just as delicious as we remembered…..our freezer now full of sliced pieces we’ll be enjoying for a few weeks. Oh, lest we forget, our wonderful Sleep Number bed had been deflating throughout our trip with its remote control not engaging. Each time one of us got out of bed the other would roll and sink into the bottom. So on the way back from Scottsdale we stopped and bought a new mattress that comes vacuum sealed in a box. We ‘thought’ it would fit! So into the RV I dragged the box and opened it up, worried if we could ever get it out again once it opened and worried if it really would fit. We disconnected the air tubes of the old mattress and squeezed as much air out as we could…it was still heavy and bulky but got it out. The moment of truth now for the new mattress….we slide it into position and voila!, with no excess room to spare it fit snugly into position. Whew, another challenge conquered. We then packaged up the old mattress and shipped it back home where we think we can get it working again and reused somewhere….it’s a $3-4,000 item so worth a try….anyone out there want to make an offer??? Meanwhile, back at RV park, we noticed smoke rising from the far side of nearby mountains. Local news reported on the wildfire, along with a larger, more damaging one about 75 miles north of us, closing the interstate we had travelled to get to Camp Verde. The sunsets through the smoke were beautiful…see pics below. We also toured the Montezuma Castle Nat’l Historic site….a mulit-level dwelling built into the side of a mountain and occupied for 100 years back around 1000 AD. Pretty impressive piece of preserved history. So we departed Camp Verde on the 20th, continued are westward path to California. Mountain and desert views were stunning along the way….enjoyed a fresh polish sausage by private food truck at a rest area…….wish more states would sell permits to food vendors to do so instead of the stupid vending machines…..aah, it’s the little things that provide smiles along the way. So we arrived at the holy grails of RV parks in Indio CA after a 5 hr trip….Motorcoach Country Club Of Indio…..check our their website. It is quite remarkable with a series of interconnecting lakes and waterways weaving their way throughout the resort. Most of the waterfront sites have a dock with electric pontoon or gondola-type boats. Watching the parade of them at sunset with their lights is a beautiful scene. There’s a 9-hole par-3 golf course that also meanders throughout the resort and the water ways….all holes have water in play, into which I donated a number of balls. The course was impeccably maintained. There are also 3 separate community pools/hot tubs and a few tennis courts. The main clubhouse has it’s own restaurant/bar which we visited several times. Mountains surrounded the area making the visits view like being in a postcard. And the food/drinks were top notch. And then there was our individual RV site….actually the initial one had issues so we moved to another site the next morning. Oh, and then there was that brilliant decision to NOT install the new solenoid still in it’s shipping box. Upon arrival steps and living room slide would not extend, and leveling jack would not operate….so we slept in cramped quarters and leaning….Cindy really liked it! We limped over to our new site and spent the morning calling mobile RV techs. Only 2 of 5 ever responded and 1 of those 2 said could get to us in a week. Our final hope said they’d be there the next afternoon….Friday. About 3:30 they called to say tech was sick and could not come but promised would be there the next morning at 8 AM. While I considered installing the new part myself given my electrical expertise, the 8 wires connected to the old part gave me pause….finally I made a wise decision to not undertake myself….i know Cindy internally gasped a sigh of relief. So after 3 days of walking sideways into the bathroom and closet/cabinet doors slamming shut from our lean, another RV angel appeared at 8 am as promised. Watching him carefully wrap each wire he removed from the old part so as not to burn out the entire hydraulic pump, confirmed my decision to have someone else perform this job. Hooray …the familar whine of the hydraulic pimp was music to our ears. Once again we could walk straight through the RV and not feel like we were walking though West Virginia. So what else makes this place the #1 RV Resort in the USA? Pics below will show our site includes an outdoor kitchen, hot tub, infinity pool, outdoor living area, boat dock, 2 gas fire pits, and looking out at the golf course and majestic mountain views all around. There’s also a stone casita on the site with glass walls revealing an interior full kitchen, dining table, bar, living room, artwork, and generally looking like it was out of an interior design magazine. Unfortunately access was not part of use, but beautiful to look at just the same. The whole Resort is truly incredible. We took a day trip to nearby Palm Springs including a gondola ride up to 8500 ft of the rugged snow-covered mountain, 37 degrees vs 85 down below, with spectacular view of the valley below on top of the infamous San Andreas Fault. We also did the ticky-tac tour or the old movie star homes including Elvis, Zsa Zsa, Liberace’, Frank Sinatra, and the incredible hill top monstrosity of Bob Hope. We had a great Italian dinner at a place recommended by our bartender back at the Resort. Home in time to watch the sunset, the parade of electric gondola boats, scotch in the hot tub, dip in the pool…..ending with a Hallmark movie in the coach before slipping into our new bed on the level and spacious interior. 🙂

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