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Old 08-29-2015, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Cochise County, AZ
1,317 posts, read 833,123 times
Reputation: 2864

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
If push comes to shove, and if the weather is bad (setting up your tent in freezing rain is no fun), Motel 6 offers reasonably priced accommodations. My experience has been that Motel 6 prices are lower in the out of the way, smaller towns. I remember a little over a year ago getting rooms at $35 or $40 per night. In larger cities the rates will be higher.

Are you planning on sight-seeing along the way? Besides the obvious (the Grand Canyon) I would recommend Carlsbad Caverns (in southern New Mexico) as especially worthwhile. Any interest in World War II? If so the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredricksburg, Texas is excellent.

Practice setting up your tent and taking it down at least once before you leave on your trip. Struggling to figure it out in the dark when you're tired on your first night out is no fun. (Don't mean to be insulting, as you may well be a very experienced tent camper - just sayin'....)
I had planned on setting up the tent at least once before I start my trip. It's been a few years since the last time I went camping (kids were still small back then lol) but I do remember how I struggled with the dome tent the first time I tried one - but thanks for the reminder!

Did the Canyon last time I was in Arizona many years ago - it was awesome but I'll save it for whenever family comes out to visit me

I'll look up info on the Carlsbad Caverns, and southern NM will definitely work out with my trip planning. I'll keep your Motel 6 tip in mind too. Thanks!

 
Old 08-29-2015, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
226 posts, read 204,841 times
Reputation: 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathydit View Post
Just go is my motto now. Having listened to people my whole life, I can now make my own mistakes. If things don't work out, try again. Americn grl, if you go the FL route, mobile home parks can be inexpensive with lots of people moving there doing the same as you. starting over. warm enough to walk the beach in winter and many new people to make friends.
Thank you for your input - good idea regarding mobile homes. I mostly reject the idea here locally or anywhere tornado's happen regularly - Oklahoma one state south seems particularly hard hit with major tornado's because they don't fair well - almost always tragic stories. The home I have now has a basement. I don't give tornado's a lot of thought having lived in this area practically all my life; however, I take them seriously when the threat exists. Not for sure but I don't think they are particularly a threat in Florida. I think I read once that almost every state has experienced tornado's but in some it is extremely rare. I've notice that people contemplating moving to "tornado alley" states express a lot of concern about them - the thing is to remember they aren't an everyday occurrence.

Anyway, maybe I will investigate further the mobile home option in Florida. Good idea thanks for suggesting.
 
Old 08-29-2015, 01:08 PM
 
2,626 posts, read 4,950,140 times
Reputation: 2220
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericnGrl View Post
Thank you for your input - good idea regarding mobile homes. I mostly reject the idea here locally or anywhere tornado's happen regularly - Oklahoma one state south seems particularly hard hit with major tornado's because they don't fair well - almost always tragic stories. The home I have now has a basement. I don't give tornado's a lot of thought having lived in this area practically all my life; however, I take them seriously when the threat exists. Not for sure but I don't think they are particularly a threat in Florida. I think I read once that almost every state has experienced tornado's but in some it is extremely rare. I've notice that people contemplating moving to "tornado alley" states express a lot of concern about them - the thing is to remember they aren't an everyday occurrence.

Anyway, maybe I will investigate further the mobile home option in Florida. Good idea thanks for suggesting.
Tornados are not such a threat in Florida but hurricanes are! I was living in one and had it totally destroyed in Hurricane Andrew!
 
Old 08-29-2015, 05:36 PM
 
7,977 posts, read 11,655,757 times
Reputation: 10473
Deelighted I don't think it sounds crazy at all! Sounds fun. I might be prepared to actually sleep in the car if it rains but it probably won't in Arizona. I never seemed to pick a tent/campsite that fared well in rain. Sleeping in your car is more secure too if that's a concern. What will the temps be, have you checked?
 
Old 08-29-2015, 05:37 PM
 
7,977 posts, read 11,655,757 times
Reputation: 10473
Quote:
Originally Posted by popcorn247 View Post
I can totally relate to your situation. I, too, am single, never married, no children. I've been living and working in south Florida for 40+ years. I am so eager to move out of this crazy, touristy, chaotic, corrupt area. I truly miss the four seasons. I grew up in the Midwest and am considering a move back up there now that I am retired. I have had a really hard time fitting in and finding other people who share my interests. I enjoy hiking, botanizing, gardening, my dogs and going on road trips. I am interested in geology, rocks, etc. I would love to spend more time out West.

So many people I know are married, busy with their families, etc. and they don't have much time for anything else. I would love to go traveling with a friend, etc. I, too, had a bad relationship and another one in which we shared little in the way of common interests.

I am not weird or anything, I just have never married. I am free to move anywhere, but I need to downsize and make sure that I live in a relatively low COL area. Decisions, decisions....I feel almost paralyzed about deciding where I would like to live. I will need to sell my home - the only one I have ever owned and all the hassles that go along with this.

Maybe you should move to Traverse City? We share a lot of common interests.
 
Old 08-29-2015, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,612 posts, read 9,674,534 times
Reputation: 10950
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deelighted View Post
Ok getting a bit excited here as I've set my travel dates

You will probably think I'm crazy, and maybe I am a bit, but with limited travel funds, a girl's gotta do what she has to do I originally hoped to leave here in October, but won't have the car paid off until that month. So I've set my leaving date to be November 8th and am praying that there won't be much snow and cold weather along the way! Since my budget is so shoestring, I decided on camping in Arizona while I explore a few areas and decide where to plant my roots. I'm planning on buying a 4-season tent & air mattress, and taking a sleeping bag and 2 extra blankets beside those that will be stored in the vacuum sealed storage bags.

So I've booked 4 nights at Patagonia Lake State Park so I can explore Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Benson and St. David (probably a few others as time permits), then up to Picacho Peak State Park for one night, and onto Dead Horse Ranch in Cottonwood where I'll explore Cottonwood, Verde Valley, Prescott, and Prescott Valley. I've allowed myself 4 days to travel from Northwest Indiana to Patagonia State Park in Arizona.

Now I'm trying to figure out the best route to take and good places to stop along the way during those 4 days. I've never been in Oklahoma, Texas or New Mexico. I'm hoping some of you will provide suggestions for places to overnight at along the way that won't be budget busters. Thanks!
Yay! I'm glad that things are coming together for you. Sounds like a great trip and one I wouldn't mind doing myself. I did one sorta like that when I came back to Cottonwood from Detroit. I think I spent the first night just outside of St. Louis. The second night in Oklahoma City and had planned to stay 'somewhere' in New Mexico along I-40. But the closer I got to home the more I just wanted to get there so drove 14 hours to do it. lol Unfortunately I didn't take the time to do anything else so no suggestions from this quarter.

Better watch it because Nov. is a time of year it's real easy to fall in love with AZ. lol I looked up the temps for the Verde Valley in Nov. 2014 and it was just about perfect. From Oct. 26th to Nov. 31st there were 4 partly cloudy days, 1 mostly cloudy and 1 fair. All the rest were clear and sunny. The temps ranged from 56 to 81 over that time period but averaged about 65-70. Perfect exploring weather for our area. We did get that odd snowstorm last New Years but that's really rare.

Dead Horse Ranch park used to be about two blocks from my house. Now it's a tad over a mile.
 
Old 08-29-2015, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,294 posts, read 3,339,856 times
Reputation: 4824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deelighted View Post
Ok getting a bit excited here as I've set my travel dates

You will probably think I'm crazy, and maybe I am a bit, but with limited travel funds, a girl's gotta do what she has to do I originally hoped to leave here in October, but won't have the car paid off until that month. So I've set my leaving date to be November 8th and am praying that there won't be much snow and cold weather along the way! Since my budget is so shoestring, I decided on camping in Arizona while I explore a few areas and decide where to plant my roots. I'm planning on buying a 4-season tent & air mattress, and taking a sleeping bag and 2 extra blankets beside those that will be stored in the vacuum sealed storage bags.

So I've booked 4 nights at Patagonia Lake State Park so I can explore Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Benson and St. David (probably a few others as time permits), then up to Picacho Peak State Park for one night, and onto Dead Horse Ranch in Cottonwood where I'll explore Cottonwood, Verde Valley, Prescott, and Prescott Valley. I've allowed myself 4 days to travel from Northwest Indiana to Patagonia State Park in Arizona.

Now I'm trying to figure out the best route to take and good places to stop along the way during those 4 days. I've never been in Oklahoma, Texas or New Mexico. I'm hoping some of you will provide suggestions for places to overnight at along the way that won't be budget busters. Thanks!
Not knowing how experienced you are with regard to "Camping" as you travel cross-country; camping in areas that you are not familiar with; what precautions would be adviseable to consider, etc, etc, etc......I will offer a few suggestions that you may want to consider.

Utilize a " Ground_Cloth" under your tent.......get a size that will extend out about 12" on all 4 sides, and get one that will allow rain water to "go through it", rather than having the water "pool-up" under your tent.
Keep the following inside your Sleeping Bag or Right next to your Sleeping Bag in case you need them "quickly" during the night:
.......A Can of Bear Spray (not so much for use against a Bear),...but rather for defense against a "TWO LEGGED BEAR".
.......A Loud "Whistle" and/or a small 'AIR HORN" that you can use in case of "an emergency"!
.......A reliable (Bright) Flashlight.
.......Keep your Cell Phone (Fully Charged) close by.
Other Suggestions:
......Buy a Rectangular Shaped Sleeping Bag.......NOT a "mummy or semi-mummy shaped " Bag.
.......Keep your shoes or boots that you take off before getting in sleeping bag.....keep them in a large Plastic Bag (tied closed) right next to your Sleeping bag.
.......Any clothes that you take off when getting into your Sleeping Bag....,....Put them IN the bottom end of your sleeping bag.......including socks, hat, etc, etc.
.......Pick a camping spot as close to "The Camp Host's location" as possible.
....... Do not "eat any food in your tent".
.......When getting up in the morning,..."Shake-out" any clothes you will be putting on, AND, Shake out your shoes or boots!!...........Many years ago I was camped out in an area about 50 miles south of Tucson and had neglected to put my hunting boots in a bag overnight........The next morning I went to put my foot into my right boot and at the last second I decided to "shake-it-out-upsidedown"..........yep, out came a "Bark Scorpion"
.......Make sure you set up your camping spot at least an hour before Sunset.
.......ALWAYS keep and extra set of Car Keys "on a necklace" around your neck at all times.

I have been to EVERY ONE of the locations, towns and Parks that you mention in your third paragraph.
I'm sure you are aware that Patagonia State Park is quite close to the Mexican Boarder.

IF, I were in your position (situation), I would keep Cottonwood close to the "top-of-your-list" for selecting a final location in which to "set-my-roots."...................This is just my opinion.....not a suggestion.

EDIT:......I'm sure you are aware that the total miles of your proposed trip is approx 1800 miles (& approx 28 hrs of "straight-through" driving) with No allowance for "pit-stops"; rest stops or ???. It will also get you into Patagonia State Park at "the end of your 4th day of driving".
I would strongly consider you allow (5) days for the trip and thus get into Patagonia State Park early afternoon of the 5th day.....................Again this is just my opinion.........................


Good Luck and ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings.

Last edited by Montana Griz; 08-29-2015 at 09:56 PM.. Reason: Additional info re "distance"
 
Old 08-30-2015, 02:18 PM
 
4,571 posts, read 7,054,651 times
Reputation: 4217
Don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but I've driven across country 3 times by myself, including NM and AZ and there is no way I would camp anywhere by myself. The route is very desolate for very long stretches (probably without cell coverage) so you will need to make sure you have supplies with you, water, food, and some sort of crime protection, fill up with gas wherever you see a gas station because you will go many miles without seeing one. Also please make sure your car has been checked out before you leave. My car almost broke down on one trip and I got so ripped off but had no choice. It's beautiful but very rough country, as I said, very isolated and can be kind of scary. And it is very close to the Mexican border so that in itself can be dangerous. I would seriously recommend staying at a motel 6 or someplace similar, if for no other reason that you can shower and get a good night's rest. the towns you are stopping at must be very small, are you considering moving to one of those? As I recall, I was very happy when I arrived in Albuquerque and back in civilization. I'm just worried about you. As an afterthought, Prescott is a pretty great place to live.
 
Old 08-30-2015, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,119 posts, read 9,073,863 times
Reputation: 11540
Yes, Autumn, I agree with you. I just drive a half hour out of Phoenix and I think I am in Saudi Arabia. So much desert and so little civilization. I am not a camper anyway. Girl Scout camp did me in one summer in Wisconsin. Never again. But some of us are definitely less fearful than others !!
 
Old 08-30-2015, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,969,510 times
Reputation: 15649
I echo Mountain Griz's and loveautumn's precautions. We're not in our 20s anymore, and older women can be targets of crime. While getting excited about a trip, it's important not to be naive about it. Someone you know should know at all times where you are. Having all kinds of survival items with you is essential. Cell towers are NOT everywhere if you have a virgin mobile. The ability to communicate is top of the list. Being super aware at a time of a car breakdown can save your life.
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