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Old 12-19-2009, 07:23 PM   #169
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Thanks, Paul & Dee...are we going to get to see you around a rally campfire this year?? Hope so... Have a great holiday...
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:26 PM   #170
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Bad Day for AZ State Parks

We are totally bummed by a meeting held today by the Arizona State Parks Board... 9 state parks to remain open...13 to be closed between 22 Feb and 3 Jun 2010. Read about it here. We use the Arizona State Park system heavily and we are distressed that some of our favorite state park destinations are slated for the chopping block. Unless something changes very soon or a local municipality (or other entity) chooses to take over operation of some of these facilities, we are going to lose them forever. While at Lost Dutchman State Park over Christmas the staff was noticeably distraught about the situation. It was our first time there...and it may very well be our last time....such a beautiful place. We did hear, though, that Apache Junction, the nearest town will take it over because it's so important to the local economy. We hope that happens...but what will it mean for the camping fees? Picacho Peak State Park (where the 4CU holds it's annual New Year's bash) is one of them that is supposed to be closed 3 June...and they JUST built a brand new visitor's center! Roper Lake State Park near Safford, AZ, another favorite, is also due to close. So sad.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:52 AM   #171
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This is terrible news for the State of Arizona. Pretty incredible too with the amount of people who RV and use these parks.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:55 AM   #172
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Oh, man, what a bummer.

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Old 01-16-2010, 09:00 AM   #173
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This is terrible news. The state parks were forced to close many locations after the state took money from the system. Most of the money was raised by the parks and in many cases was donated to the park system. In a recent news story a woman willed over $240,000 to the parks. The state took that away and put it into the general fund.

BTW, Dead Horse is not on the list of closures. We are camped here this weekend...
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:03 AM   #174
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This is terrible news. The state parks were forced to close many locations after the state took money from the system. Most of the money was raised by the parks and in many cases was donated to the park system. In a recent news story a woman willed over $240,000 to the parks.
Bummer they closed Alamo Lake, one of our favorites.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:11 AM   #175
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We now need to find good areas for disbursed camping plus arrive mid-week to try to ensure a spot. With more parks closed, more people may be boondocking.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:31 AM   #176
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As a volunteer with Arizona State Parks, I'd like to mention that many of us spent many hours giving the State free service. This is a slap in the face. Our State is now #1 in park closures, even ahead of California. Why do we always have to out do California?
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:00 PM   #177
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Park closures...dedicated funding is the answer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
This is terrible news. The state parks were forced to close many locations after the state took money from the system. Most of the money was raised by the parks and in many cases was donated to the park system. In a recent news story a woman willed over $240,000 to the parks. The state took that away and put it into the general fund.

BTW, Dead Horse is not on the list of closures. We are camped here this weekend...
As many of you know, California State Parks are going through this same scenario! The big problem both park systems seem to be suffering from is that they rely on the General Fund for support. Not only that, any $$$ that come in, from camping, day use, annual passes, etc., also goes back into that same General Fund. The California State Parks Foundation (a private group) is starting a petition process, by gathering signatures, to put an initiative on the ballot to add an extra $10 or $15 to each car license in California to support State Parks. This would be dedicated funding. I would rather see camping equipment, hiking boots, binoculars, camera equipment, and maybe even trailers (!) taxed at some very low rate (<1%). Certain activities at the Department of Fish & Game in California is supported in this way, by taxing guns and ammunition used for hunting. I guess what I am saying is that DEDICATED FUNDING is the answer to the budget woes for State Parks!

I am glad to hear that Dead Horse is still open! I have encountered a couple of State Parks in California that are closed....as a former State Park Ranger, this saddens me. So many employees and volunteers have dedicated their hearts and souls to these parks.
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Old 03-10-2010, 06:05 PM   #178
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2009 4CU Balloon Fiesta Rally

We are terribly behind in having our travel log up to date, but we are making progress...promise. Please bear with us!

Having said that, we have FINALLY finished the 2009 ABQ Balloon Fiesta Update. (Never mind that it was 6 months ago!) Interpret our being so behind as a signal that we are out there camping and enjoying the Bambi. We had a very busy fall and so far a relatively busy 2010...

The Balloon Fiesta was wonderful. Being up close & personal with the balloons is a kick and frankly, the number of ballons surrounding you in all stages of lift-off and all directions is overwhelming. There's a lot to see and a lot to enjoy. It was a great gathering of 56 rigs and 100+ people.

After leaving the Balloon Fiesta on 6 Oct we headed to Fool Hollow State Park, AZ (again) for our fall visit there, and to meet up with 4 other Airstream rigs for a few fun-filled days. We made a sort of marathon trip out of it, enjoying every minute.

Following are some pictures...please go to our website to see more and read all about it. The link in our signature takes you to the main "Trips" page...click on the ABQ Balloon Fiesta link to go to this trip. (You can access all our trips through the "Trips" pages.)

Pic #1: staging the 2nd of two 23-unit groups to caravan into the Fiesta Grounds
Pic #2: caravan heading to the on-ramp of I-10 ABQ-bound...
Pic #3: "Aluminum May Be Closer Than It Appears"
Pic #4: in the Fiesta Grounds just yards form the lift-off field
Pic #5: pre-dawn balloon glow (we need a tripod!)
Pic #6: inflating a balloon
Pic #7: up, up and away!
Pic #8: view from the Airstream convergence
Pic #9: just a nice shot
Pic #10: 4CU folks (and others) helping take down a balloon that landed near our rigs on the last morning, after folks began leaving and the aluminum had thinned a bit...
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:48 AM   #179
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Picacho Peak - Oct 09

We're getting caught up...little by little...

We have posted three more trips on our travel log...

The first is a long weekend at Picacho Peak with friends Deb & Loretta who just acquired a new-to-them pop-up...the mission of the weekend was to have a little good down time with them after the Heron Lake and Balloon Fiesta Rallies nearly back-to-back...and to help them test and get familiar with the pop-up's electrical and propane systems... It was a good weekend and we all had a great time...no one got electrocuted or blown up in the process, so it turned out well!

Pic #1: Picacho Peak form our campsite...
Pic #2: Deb & Loretta's pop-up through the Bambi window....
Pic #3: Chef Deb preparing dinner at sunset...
Pic #4: Picacho Peak from the new visitor's center....
Pic #5: Greg relaxing with the flamingos at camp...
Pic #6: Sunset from the campground...
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:59 AM   #180
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Halloween at Roper Lake State Park

The catching up continues! click on our travel log link in our signature below to go to the Trips page, then click on "Halloween 2009"... OR click here: Our Halloween Weekend at Roper Lake to go directly to this trip...

This is the 2nd Halloween we've spent at Roper with the Bambi...and we ran into the same folks this year as last year...all dressed up and trick-or-treating! It as a blast...

Pic #1: Our quiet corner of the park...and one of our favorite sites...
Pic #2: Our jack-o-lantern...looked great at night...
Pic #3: Facing the Lake at dusk...
Pic #4: The Ghouls found us...
Pic #5: Halloween dinner on the grill...
Pic #5: Airstream lights and flags...
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:18 AM   #181
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Thanksgiving at Quartzsite, AZ

We had a great time at the 4CUnit Thanksgiving Boondocking Rally in Quartzsite, AZ.

We had never stayed in QTown before, so it was a new thing for us. If you haven't tried it you should do it at least once...it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it IS entertaining, for sure!

You can click on the link above to go directly to this trip or click on the link in our signature to go to the trips list page...

Pic #1: Our Bambi flanked by Michele & Carol's next to us...there were no designated sites so we parked wherever we wanted to...(free up to 14 days!) We formed a sort of lose circle of aluminum around a central area where the fire pit was...
Pic #2: Inside the Circle...
Pic #3: The turkey goes in the fryer...
Pic #4: Is it turkey yet?
Pic #5: It's turkey time!
Pic #6: Chef Michael doing what he does really well...
Pic #7: Terry made fresh turkey dressing from scratch...(and 3 pies!)
Pic #8: Lined up for Thanksgiving Dinner...it was wonderful...
Pic #9: The Bottle Garden in QTown...
Pic #10: Sunset from camp...
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Old 03-28-2010, 01:51 AM   #182
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Hi, Thanks again for the updates; I really enjoy traveling with you Via the internet. Great time, nice pictures.
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