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Old 04-12-2010, 11:56 AM   #1
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AZ State Parks Trip

With the word of possible closing of many Arizona State Parks, we packed the TinDen and headed out to put some money and numbers towards the effort to keep them open.
We took off to see friends in Phoenix and the manditory visit to Cabellas/Bass Pro Shops, dinner and headed East.
The run through Tonto NF was spectacular, cactus and flower blooming, Nanc had the "pull over" phrase down pat... We aimed for Roper Lake State Park near Safford to take in the birds, and some peace and quiet. We were not dissapointed. Nice place, easy paddle. Well kept campground with the fantastic hosts.
A few days later, we headed South to Patagonia Lake. Quiet and great during the early week, fishing was great, catching not so much. Lots of birds and a really nice lake to paddle. Weather got really nasty on the last day and the weekend crowd started comming in so we were off to Tucson and Catalina State Park next... More to come.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:26 PM   #2
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Hey! You were enjoying some of our favorite stompin' grounds! It's a cryin' shame that they are trying to close the AZ state parks down (don't get me started)...hopefully, someone else will take them over... Smart of you to get over here before it's too late. Glad you had a fun trip...thanks for the pics! We were at Roper Lake 14-18 Mar...we must have just missed you! Haven't been to Patagonia Lake since the end of January...want to go back there in late spring/early summer. (Thankfully, Patagonia is staying open.)
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Old 04-12-2010, 05:18 PM   #3
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Sounds like you had a great time. We spent last weekend at Monument Valley and Lee's Ferry. Had a great time, too.
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:15 PM   #4
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More on our AZ trip.

We had a great eleven day run. We tried to spend money and let folks know we supported keeping the parks open. This time of year its great hiking, and paddling weather. Our first trip to Catalina SP and we were met with great sunsets, running creeks, fantastic hiking trails. Campgrounds again we perfect, lots of room and peacful nights.
We took the opportunity to visit nearby Pima Air Museum, seeing an F-111 from Upper Heyford brought back memories.
We finished up our run with lay-up at Picacho Peak, again flowers and Nanc was in dreamland, and hey is there a better place for sunset campfires? We finnaly stopped at Painted Rocks near Gila Bend, AZ. Nice BLM campground, interesting rock art and spiritual place, great deal at 2 bucks for a visit...
Thanks friends, saw a few fellow Streamers out there, San Diegans in their Bambi headed for Miami, Biology teachers in a 25 Ocean Breeze really layed back in the relax mode, and Hans looking for the perfect free camping spot...Hmmm Monument Valley....have'nt been there for a bit, thanks Mike for the tip! TB, yeah, ya'll live in a great camping state.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:03 PM   #5
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Tale of two States

We headed across the state line to the Gila National Forest in New Mexico over the Easter school break. Leaving in the late afternoon we passed the barricaded Arizona rest area in the twilight and arrived at the New Mexico Visitor Center outside of Lordsburg after dark, where we were welcome to spend the night.

In the morning I chatted with the young man at the visitor center. He told me that New Mexico hasn't closed any rest areas, visitor centers, or state parks due to the economic conditions.

Maybe we need to move over one state.
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Old 04-14-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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One last note, we did hear at two differnt parks of a proposed tiered pay system, AZ rate and slight increased rates for out of state and/or out of country residents.
We felt the rates were more than reasonable for the fantastic facilities provided at Arizona State Parks.
More of our trip's photos on our A/S Member's photos site!
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