I Can’t Drive 55

We decided to get out of town for our first official, from home, RV trip to Clint’s Well, AZ.

“I didn’t know he was sick” – Jeff Bandes

You can always depend on Jeff for a good Dad Joke.

June 11th, 2020

It was also the first trip with Oreo, our favorite Tripod. She did pretty well on the car ride up. She sat up most of the nearly 2-hour drive trying to see out the window. One time she climbed onto the seat and then stuck her head forward along Jeff’s left side proceeding to get herself totally stuck. I had to climb in the back to assist her. 

For our second trip, we had a little more challenge hooking up as I tried to coordinate giving Jeff a hand while holding on to Oreo. All minor novice issues.

The park backs to National Forest Service land. We took a walk after getting settled. There were a couple of strange structures built in the forest that reminded me of the old movie Blair Witch Project.

Story Time! I wrote a story about discovering these spooky structures in Camping Trip.

June 12th, 2020

One of the few camping experiences we’ve had in our 20 years of marriage up to this point was near here at the Blue Ridge Resevoir. Here’s a little throw back photo for giggles.

Jeff, Nicole, Tom, Brad, Roxie and Lucy

The hike down to the reservoir is quite nice, but the hike back up is just as steep as I remember. Nothing most people couldn’t do but this out-of-shape hiker needed to stop several times on the way back up.

Happy Jack was supposed to be a small town near the Clint’s Well campground. Or so I thought. I think there were a few houses tucked back there and a fire station but no small town. It’s a good thing we aren’t crazy committed to outcomes!

This trip could have been named after some Windy type song with the winds we had back at the campground. There was no extending the awning to block out the sun today. Fortunately, it calmed down enough for us to grill outside since I sorta didn’t think about bringing foods that might be able to be cooked inside JUST IN CASE weather didn’t allow for outdoor cooking. There’s another novice lesson learned!

The kebobs recipe I discovered was delicious. I mixed the marinade before leaving for camp and threw it in the bag with the meat before heading out for the day. They were all set to skewer and grill upon our return!

June 13th, 2020

And now we come to the reason we named this trip as we did. We set out this morning, after a leisurely breakfast, to find a great place to hike near Strawberry and Pine since we were going into Pine later in the day anyway. We found the Barefoot Trail and headed that way.

And then…

At first, we thought it was just a minor slow down…

5 minutes later, we put down the windows…

15 minutes after that, we took Oreo out for a potty break…

And then it was my turn. I really could have used one of those Go Girls right about now…

Well, if you have to be stuck on the road for over an hour due to a car accident on a very sharp curve, this is the place to be stuck!

But the hike was sure worth the wait!

Story Time! Read about the couple that decided to make this place their home in This is Home.

The hike was beautiful but it did run alongside the highway and you could hear lots of traffic noise. Since we got a late start, we didn’t make it the full length of the trail before getting too hungry and heading back.

So, again, I had great plans to visit Old County Inn for their AMAZING pizza (or so say all the reviews). However, since we are still in COVID times, there weren’t many options open and this place was PACKED! Our first check in would have taken 45 minutes to get seated. Since I wanted to visit the Pine Valley Lavender Farm as well, we decided to go there first and come back.

The lavender farm wasn’t open for tours but had a few items for sale out front. I was able to capture a few photos from the fence before we headed back to Old Country Inn.

Story Time! This one is a love story called Lavender Fields.

Well, as it turns out, we should have waited…

The line was now over an hour long. Since I am the proud owner of a t-shirt that declares:

it wasn’t likely we’d be able to wait that long at this point.

So! What does one do when one wants pizza and doesn’t want to wait?

Well OF COURSE! We stopped at a convenience store that just happened to have a little deli that served hot pizza. Hey, beggars can’t be choosers…

But our adventures weren’t done for the trip. We learned one more very valuable and important piece of camper etiquette. Jeff left our amazingly well behaved and wonderful dog Oreo off her leash as we were enjoying the cool weather. She saw a couple of little dogs and bolted. You wouldn’t think a three-legged dog has much speed, but she definitely does.

We are SOOO sorry to our neighbors who were totally terrified and fully masked up as we entered their space to retrieve our rascal of a dog.

Even the most well-behaved dogs have their moments!

The next morning we packed up and headed back to Phoenix. Another trip down. When do we head out again???

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