Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Queen Valley RV Park

The traveling Shaws have finally settled down for a few weeks!  We are in a delightful little RV Park nestled along the edge of the Superstition Mountains - and we will stay here till into the first week of March (it is nice to slow down - Barry has driven close to 30,000 km since we left home).  Queen Valley is about a 30 - 45  minute drive East of Apache Junction and Mesa - where we go for our grocery supply run etc.  The park is perched on a bit of a ridge overlooking the village of Queen Valley - which also has a lovely 18 hole golf course.  the attraction here is the scenery and the quietness -  all we can hear at night are the coyotes howling.  Bobcats hang around the fringe of the park and there are also Javelinas (wild pigs) but we have not seen either - although our neighbor had a bobcat on her porch the other morning - looking in the window at her cat!

The park is small - only about 200 sites compared to larger parks of 1000 - 2000 sites in the urban centers.  The people in this park are attracted to the remoteness and accessibility to a variety of activities including walking, hiking, biking, ATVing and off-roading (jeeps) etc.  We have joined a hiking group and so far have been able to keep up and have not fallen off the trail! There are also a variety of less physical activities including quilting, crafting, computer club, rock hounds, cards, aqua size (more exercise) zumba and yoga - etc.  The list goes on.  Everyone is busy!

Queen Valley RV Park nestled along a ridge of the Superstition Mountains.  The park is surrounded by State Land, so we can hike, bike or ride along any number of trails.

The main street entering the park.  The park models and RVs are along several different elevations and most with a view of the hills and mountains.

We are along this street along with Mori and Sheilah.  Our site is smaller than we'd like, but we'll manage for this year.

We plan to come back to this park for next season and have chosen a larger site that is available and with a view that we kind of like.

Another angle of the view that we'll have from the window side and door/patio of our site next year.

Mule Skinner Sandra.  One of the fellows in the park has a mule outfitting business up in Montana.  He brought 7 of his mules down for a pack trip into the mountains.  While he was waiting for his Son and family to arrive he offered free rides to anyone willing to go.

Sandra was a wee bit nervous at first and especially since her mule was the largest but the only one with stirrups that could be shortened enough!  What an awesome way to get a different view of the dessert.  Wasn't even stiff afterwards!

Apache Days in Apache Jct.  Good idea to wrap the cholla cactus in warning ribbon.  Barry had first hand experience with driving a cactus thorn into his toe, not once but twice - while walking Buddy.  The cholla barbs are very clingy and literally seem to jump out at you.

At Apache Days.  Superstition Mnt. in the background.  This is the AZ centennial - so there were many events to choose from every week.

Another view of the Mnt.

Hiking day - first we drove along this 'road' (???) in 4 wheel of course and at about 3 mph. to arrive at out staging area.  Big Blue now has a few AZ pinstripes!

Elephant Butte

Hiker Barry - we are thankful for our diamond willow walking sticks.  Many people have Saguaro rib walking sticks - also very effective.  The die hard hikers have much more gear than we do including the the water back packs - and GPS to guide them (someone experienced leads the hike and another experienced one is the tail gunner to make sure we don't loose anyone). 

Part of the trail along Elephant Butte.  A 'wash' actually - parts with large boulders and other parts with coarse to fine sand.  Definitely gives one a work out.

Pausing to rest on the trail

Lots of pretty country back in the hills.

Break time!

The trail led up to an area called 'dripping springs' and there was this wee stream that led out of the area.  This is open range land and every once in awhile we'd see Black Angus cattle off in the shrubbery - keeping a close eye on us.  Sure a good thing they are not an aggressive breed!

Trail Head of another hike up to the Petroglyphs - we're not sure they are authentic or the work of more recent graffiti - the hike was great at any rate.

Winding along the narrow trail over boulders and ridges. 

We made it - and had an awesome view down into the valley!
A group of people with musical skills hold a jam session occasionally on a Friday night.  The rest of us less talented folk can wander over to the club house and applaud the music.  We've also participated in a dinner featuring the cuisine of the central Northern States - and boy did they go all out - Decorations/pamphlets advertising their part of the country including foods and preserves native to their area.  Then they had a ticket draw to give away a variety of products and Barry won some pincherry jelly.  We were on a waiting list for tickets to a Premiere dinner this Wed. and managed to get on.  Apparently they have 3 premiere dinners per season - which always includes a feature entertainer for the evening.   The park seems to have an excellent group of volunteers who manage all the activities like clockwork.  Every Monday is park coffee with a bit of a program advertising the coming weeks activities and happenings - and this session is well attended as there is a feature speaker of interest at each one.

Our trip is quickly winding down.  In 6 weeks or so we will be starting the trek home.  It has been a great journey!

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