Tuesday, December 17, 2013



74485 National Park Dr, 
Twentynine Palms, CA 92277
(760) 367-5500

The drive from Arizona to California was a straight shoot on I-10 for almost 3 hours. However, there is nothing to see along the way but open desert. I set the cruse control and passed the time with good old fashion rock n' roll music playing in the car stereo. As you exit I-10 turn right and drive 7 miles to the Cottonwood Visitor Center. There are two more entrances to the park one in Joshua Tree and the other in Twentynie Palms both off of 62. Exhibit hall, shop and theater are located at Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms. While Cottonwood has a small display, and shop. Entrance fees is $15 a car or with a National Park Pass is free. I can't stop talking how good of a deal this National Park Pass has been for us. We would have paid more than the $80 annual fee on all the parks we have been to this year and we still have five months left on the pass. For anyone interested in the National Park pass

I have to tell you up front that you can not see Joshua Tree National Park in one day. We only stayed one day but there is numerous camp grounds for 25' or less RV and tent camping at  first come, first serve. There is no services in the National Park so make sure your gas tank is at least half full and bring your own food and water.  Joshua Tree National Park is a beautiful area that has thousands of acres of barren desert with many different plant life and rock formations dotting its bleak landscape. For the rock climber, hiker or adventurer it holds miles of hiking trails and vertical rock walls to scale with days of adventure to fill up your time. Lot of the hiking trails are not that rough to walk but are sand and rock trails. We wore shoes, but brought our hiking boot just in case. For the trails we took we did not need hiking boots. However, when we returned to the car we had sand in our shoes. For those who can't hike, there are exhibit areas along the main road where you can stop and read the signs and take in the views. We only made four stops to hike trails at Cholla Cactus Garden, White Tank, Key View and Barker Dam. We caped the night off with one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.

Our first stop not that far from the Cottonwood entrance was Cholla Cactus Garden. We opened our cooler to make our lunch and ate in the car looking into the Cholla Cactus Garden. What an amazing view with cactus so close together and as far as the eye can see. The Cholla Cactus are a yellow-green color with pricks all over, look but don't touch. If the cactus is a brown color it's dead, but new cactus grow on top of the dead.

Second we made our way to White Tank to see the Arch Rock. We were surprised to see two coyotes cross the road in front of us. By the time we got the camera out they were gone. The Arch Rock is in White Tank Campground with no parking. We just parked in an empty campsite and made the half mile hick to the Arch. When you turn the corner and see the Arch Rock with its 30 foot across arch resting on top of a pile of rocks it is pretty amazing.We made our way around the path and the wife noticed a formation that looked like something out of a Star Trek movie.

On our way to see the Joshua Trees we came to Skull Rock and made a quick stop. You can see it from the main road. You can walk to it or view it from your car. There is a parking spaces on both side of the street so there is no danger of being in the way of on coming traffic.

After you pass Skull Rock you start to see Joshua Trees everywhere. You can stop along the roadside or see them at any hiking trail parking lot.

Next, we made our way to Key View. The elevation wass over 4,000 feet  and the weather started to get cool and windy. When we arrived the view was breath taking looking down into the valley, but the windy weather made this stop very short. When we opened our car door they just swung open with force we thought the doors would fall off.

Last on our trip (because of the time and sunset at 4:30 pm) we stopped at Barker Dam. Just over 2 miles hike round trip and the trail got confusing as we lost the trail markers over a rock mountain trail. We saw people and made our way to them and followed them the rest of the way around the trail and back to the parking lot. Most of the water to the dam was gone, but you could see the dam and some wildlife in the remain water.

As the sun started to set we pulled over and was just shocked how beautiful the view was. What a way to put the closing touches on a great day.

Saturday, December 7, 2013



For those who may not know who Todd McFarlane is, he is a Canadian cartoonist, artist, writer, toy designer and entrepreneur. Best know for his work in Marvel Comics' Spider-Man who drew the first appearance of supervillain Venom and the creator of Spawn.

He was holding a free autograph signing at his store in Westgate City Center in Glendale, AZ from noon til 3:00 pm. We arrived around 11:00 am and Tod McFarlane showed up around noon and started signing autographs. It took us about an hour and half to get in, but after meeting him it was worth it. I took two 5x7 to get signed and got a picture with him. He is one of the most friendly famous people I have met. He greeted and shook everyone's hand, he answered all questions that was asked.  We even received the new NFL small pros just for coming to the signing. 

After an hour and half, there was still a line people waiting to get in

When I was there I picked up some MLB figures that I have been looking for. Since they are being sold in his store the prices are the best you'll fine, so it was a no-brainer to pick them up. I also received a 10% military discount.

Check out the full life size statues of Halo and Assassin Creed that is standing in front of the store windows.



1100 Ruins Dr
Coolidge, AZ

Today's road trip we decided to go to Case Grande Ruins National Monument. We packed our lunch in our cooler and hit the road. About a hour and a half later we arrived at the NM. the parking lot is small, but there was plenty of spaces open, there are also RV spaces so any rig will fit. Fee is $5 a person, but our National Park Pass came in handy one more time and we got in for free. There is a small museum and theater that plays a movie every half hour. 

After the movie we started to get hungry, so we took our cooler and went to the picnic tables near the parking lot. If you don't pack your lunch, there is a KFC, Sonic and Walmart in front of the park entrance.

After our lunch we went back inside and exited the back door to make our way to Case Grande Ruins. You can see it from the door and are only a few feet away. As you walk through of what is left of the outer wall you enter the ruins. There are several square blocks that would have been homes and in the middle is the remains of the "Great House". One time it stood four stories high with several rooms, seven feet high. Ancient Sonoran Desert people who built the Casa Grande also developed wide-scale irrigation farming in one of the world harshest climates that lasted over a thousand years until about 1450 when the Casa Grande was abandoned.

The ruins was never seen again until 1694 when  Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino visited and called it the "Great House". With travelers and treasure seekers the Case Grande was being destroyed and defaced with graffiti. In 1892 President Benjamin Harrison set aside one square mile of Arizona Territory surrounding the Case Grande Ruins as the first prehistoric and culture reserve established in the United States. In 1903 the first shelter roof was placed over Case Grande and in 1932 a new steel shelter roof was installed that still stands today.

Thursday, December 5, 2013



1500 S Apache RD
Buckeye, AZ 85326

With every RV Resort and campground having a website it is hard to find "THE ONE" you want to call home. This winter we wanted to head west and see everything Arizona has to offer. A few key points play a roll in where we want to stay for long periods of time. As always the number one thing is military base. Luke AFB is about 10 miles away, it has a nice size commissary and exchange, gym, library, VA is about 30 minutes and we even found an American Legions. Two, what can we do and see close to the RV Resort. There are numerous National Parks, State Parks, shopping, downtown Phoenix, not to mention sports NBA, NFL and NHL team all play their season in the winter and MLB Spring Training. Third, we like family owned parks as they have always took care of us and made us feel welcome. Being an Ohio native and the RV Resort located in the town of Buckeye it just felt right. This winter we call Leaf Verde home.

The very first thing I noticed when we arrived was the designated lots for active duty military. Leaf Verde has two sites for active duty military that are traveling though Arizona complimentary up to two nights. Also, they offer a 20% discount on daily rate for active and retired military. This is the first time I have seen any RV park offer free nights to the troops. If you know any active duty military that is traveling though Arizona pass this information on to them and support your troops in anyway you can. Everyday I walk by the sign it just puts a good feeling in my heart, class act Leaf Verde.

Leaf Verde sits on 27 acres accommodates 377 spaces which 272 are 70' or longer with 30 and 50 amp services. Every site has a picnic table some have a palm tree and a picturesque view of White Tanks Mountains. A newly renovated laundry facility, nice and clean shower house, lounge with TV and two pool tables, heated pool year round, basketball and pickle ball court, gas fire pit courtyard with charcoal grills, dog walk park and two community rooms for activate events.


Services provide are small shoppette, RV supplies and you can fill your propane tank on site. To put the icing on the cake, Leaf Verde was honored twice in 2013 for "Arizona Park of the Year", "Business of the Year" and 2014 "Top Rated Good Sam Park". Everyone from the staff that checks you in at the front desk to the ground and pool crew who keeps the resort clean and beautiful to the night security patrol everyone is devoted in making your stay as comfortable as possible. For everything Leaf Verde has to offer their rates will fit any RV'ers budget. 

Most of the time we are the youngest couple at any RV park, however we still want to be active in the events held. There is a full calendar of events all week long from sunrise to sunset to keep you busy. Just to name a few are walks into town, water aerobics, water volleyball, yoga, crafts, dominos & cards, pot lucks and movie night a little something for everyone. There are also trips scheduled to Mexico and Vegas this year. Being active in the community events allows you to bond relationship that will forge friendship for a lifetime.
Friendly game of water volleyball
 Thanksgiving pot luck
 Walk into town, meeting up at Wendy's (free senior coffee)


For all those ladies (men too) out there who don't want to travel far to get a hair cut or manicure, no worries Desert Flower Hair Salon is located in the Resort. Privately owned the last 14 years under current management with no affiliation with Leaf Verde. Hours of operation Tuesday - Friday by appoints and walk-ins on Wednesday.  Locals and campers alike have many places to go, but they choice Desert Flower for the personal and friendly one-on-one experience. Any type of hair cut, perm or style you'll come out felling great about your choice.

If you are driving through Arizona and looking for a place to park for the night, weekend or longer Leaf Verde is the perfect place to park your rig and call home.