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Old 09-19-2007, 11:15 PM   #1
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AZBAMBI...On the Road Again...

We're really stir-crazy...we have not been able to get out since June when we spent a week in NoAZ in the Bambi...but it's finally beginning to "cool" a little in SoAZ (relatively speaking), so we are planning to head out Friday for a long weekend...returning Monday... We're revisiting a favorite SoAZ haunt of ours for local get-aways...Roper Lake State Park...about 35 miles north of I-10 just off Highway 191, about 6 miles south of Safford, AZ...it's an easy trip of about 120 miles from Tucson. Roper Lake is a small man-made lake that used to be a hatchery lake for catfish and is now managed by AZ State Parks through a cooperative management agreement with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Here's a link to the Park's website for more information. Roper Lake State Park

The Park has 2 loops of electric and water hookups, and a large group camping area with cabins and yurts as well (one of a handful of AZ State Parks with yurts). Each site has a fire ring and picnic table and thoses in one of the loops have shelters. The "Island" (not really an island but a pennninsula) has open grassy areas, ramadas and picnic sites scattered along the perimeter...no RVs there (dang), but a favorite gathering place for locals for picnics, fishing and swimming (not much of a beach but there is a designated swimming area). One can walk around the entire lake, and fishing piers and launching ramps are found here and there... One of the park attractions is a small soaking tub fed by a natural mineral hot spring. This is one of the very few AZ state parks that takes reservations, too...but we have never seen it filled to capacity. There is a dump station in the park near the entrance/exit. This is a great little resting stop if you're heading up toward the Mogollon Rim via Safford, Globe and Show Low...or if you're heading east or west on I-10 and want to take a day to refresh and relax.

A few pictures from previous trips are below...the first is from the west bank facing NE toward the "Island"...the second is from the "Island" facing SE along the "beach" and across the lagoon to the RV loops. That's Mount Graham is in the background. We'll post more pictures and details after this visit...our first time there since we got the Bambi, our last time there being Oct 06...so we are excited to get there again...

TB & Greg and The Girls (Cockers Annie & Sadie)
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:40 PM   #2
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I have never been to Roper State Park, but from the pictures it looks like a great place to spend a weekend. It might even be a future 4CU rally location.
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Old 09-28-2007, 08:17 PM   #3
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We had a nice time at Roper Lake State Park last weekend...left Friday around noon and got there about 2:30p...easy trip at 60-65 mph, no problems. We had not made reservations, but I did call ahead just to make sure there wasn't some big crowd or event there taking up all the spots. We were lucky in that our favorite site was vacant...in the Hacienda Loop on the southern side of the park and the outside of the loop so there's nothing but desert behind it and a short walk to the lake...The mesquite trees give nice shade at the hottest times of the day...

There were quite a few campers there...we were sorta surprised to see it as busy as it was, but there were still plenty of spaces left, and the group area was unoccupied...

The weather was still a bit warm...low 90s-mid 80s in the day, but the nights are getting cooler...the AC served us well, and we enjoyed just relaxing most of the time... And we had a little rain during one evening...that was nice...the AS sounds so great in the rain!

The grass on the "Island" was green and inviting...Annie & Sadie enjoyed that, as they don't get much chance to roll around in the grass in SoAZ... It was busy with locals swimming, boating, fishing, picnicing and BBQing... there as also a volley ball game in the making when we were there...

We took a walk to the mineral hot water spring soaking tub to take a picture for you... On another day we took a drive around the lake...got some nice pics of the park and island from the far side of the lake and the mountains to the SW of the park (Mt. Graham) and the beginnings of the Rim country to the north and northwest.

All in all it was a very pleasant little escape for us...back home on Monday afternoon, and rearing to go again!

TB & Greg and the Girls
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Old 09-28-2007, 09:21 PM   #4
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Spectacular photos! You got the multi-photo submit thing going good!
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:36 PM   #5
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Yep, those are some great shots. In fact RLSP was the very first destination we went to after picking up our AS. Safford has a nice small town feel and has festivals from time to time. Phelps Dodge at Morenci gives daily tours of their monster open pit mine on a daily basis.

Just a side note, I have a moon lighting job working for a trucking company near Globe and have taken a semi full of acid down into that pit. I thought I was hot stuff in a big truck until one of the haul trucks came by at about 35. Made my 18 wheeler look like a hot wheels toy.

Mt. Grahm has a hill climb for cyclists every year also, can't remember it that is spring of fall.

Nice rig!
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:45 PM   #6
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Congratulations on your new thread, AZBAMBI… On the Road Again!

Nice, colorful pictures and commentary.

And the dogs look like they are having a great time!

I like the festive bedspread with the matching pillow covers.

Looking forward to following your adventures…

SilverGate
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:34 PM   #7
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Bisbee, Arizona and The Shady Dell

Thanks, SilverGate...we took our inspiration to share our trips on a regular basis from you, of course!

We made a long weekend of it for the Show America Your Airstream weekend...we took off to Bisbee, Arizona, an old mining town in the SE part of Arizona, in Cochise County, nearly on the Arizona/Mexico border. It's home to the Copper Queen Mine and the Lavender Pit, an open pit copper mine. The town has become an artist's conclave of sorts.., and toruism is a big part of the economy now... It's a great place to walk the hilly streets and take in the local color, relax at one of several coffee shops, stay in the Copper Queen Hotel or take a tour of the mine.

Bisbee is higher than Tucson, so even though it is further south, the temps are about 10-15 degrees cooler...and this weekend was no exception to that...very pleasant days and sweater-weather in the evenings... Below are some pics of the mountains coming into Bisbee and the "Old Bisbee" part of town that is literally built on the hillsides with tricky, narrow winding streets lined with shops and antique stores...not exactly where you'd want to try towing a 34' Aristreem through!

At the southern end of Old Bisbee is the Copper Queen mine and the Lavendar Pit which is right next to the road...this is on the way to our camping destineation, The Shady Dell, whcih you'll see more of in the next post...

TB & Greg
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:39 PM   #8
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Is that a Tundra you're pulling with? If it is, what year and what engine. It's a beautiful truck, whatever it is. Beautiful pictures too. What a wonderful week-end you had. I'm jealous.
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:57 PM   #9
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Bisbee, Arizona and The Shady Dell, Part 2

Just as you get past the Lavender Pit, you hit a round-about circle drive affair from which you can go in several other directions...I must say tha the round-about is very confusing to the uninitiated and I nearly had an impromptu meeting with a semi truck when I failed to properly yield (too many signes to know what you need to do right off the bat). My bad. Thankfully, the driver of the semi was watching us and slowed down in time to let us "tourists" by without mishap. Lesson learned.

Anyway, we had made reservations at The Shady Dell, which is an RV Park just off the round-about next to a wonderful old grave yard... The Shady Dell is not only an RV park, but they have several wonderful vintage trailers that they have fixed up, decorated in the appropriate vintage period, and rent out like motel rooms...complete with black and white TVs and phonographs stocked with records and old movies on DVDs. We'd been The Shady Dell before several years ago in our SOB motor home, so we thought it would be fun to take the Bambi there and introduce it to some of it's elders... We stopped at the office to check in. Next door is "Dot's Diner," a retro working diner that has a quite brisk breakfast and lunch business... Ken, the manager was not in the office, but left his cell number so new arrivals could call him and get settled in... He put us in a nice quiet site up the hill from the main grounds...so we had a commanding view of the goings-on through a veil of trees and shrubs...quite pleasant...

Once we were settled in we began the walk through the park with the Girls, and took some pictures for you to enjoy...some are here and continued on the next post...

Some of you will know exactly what these old trailers are...

TB & Greg
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:01 PM   #10
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Is that a Tundra you're pulling with? If it is, what year and what engine. It's a beautiful truck, whatever it is. Beautiful pictures too. What a wonderful week-end you had. I'm jealous.
Hey Juel...

It's actually a 2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road...V6... quad cab with a factory tow package...rated at 6500 lbs...

We love it...and it does jsut fine with the 19' Bambi.

TB
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:34 PM   #11
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Bisbee, Arizona and The Shady Dell, Part 3

Here are some more pictures of the vintage trailers...the trailers that look like they are sitting in a field are in an area of the park that isn't really for rentals...it's filled with a number of old trailers that the owners have acquired and are working on as time permits. They will eventually become part of the "rentables." The sharply-angled aluminum trailer is a home-made job that they are fixing up to sell.

The last picture is of the wonderful old grave yard next door...with graves dating back to the 1800s...very gothic...the grave yard backs up to one side of The Shady Dell grounds, and only adds that much more charm...a great place for a Halloween night!

We stayed Fridiay night through Sunday night at The Shady Dell... Monday as we were breaking camp, a couple came up the hill to our site...they were in a 25' 2007 CCD, and were from Bellingham, WA...checking out The Shady Dell for a possible place to stay once they had been down into Mexico to visit relatives there...They were working thier way back home after nation-wide 6-week tour with their grand daughter along...and were so excited to run into other Airstreamers (as were we)! They were WBCCI members, but had not heard of the Airforums...we encouraged them to check us out...

Monday we left Bisbee, but instead of back-tracking directly to Tucson, we headed furher east to Douglas, AZ, just to see what it was like, as neither of us had been there before...after a drag through town, we headed north on the west side of the Chiricahua Mountains and the Chiricahua National Monument...(we'll save the Bonita Camp Ground in the monument for another trip)...and north through little burgs like McNeal, Elfrida, Sunizona, Sunsites, Cochise..then cut across to Dragoon in Texas Canyon, and met up with I-10 for the last leg home...nice loop and out-of-the-way places... There's a guest ranch in Dragoon that looks interesting...we stopped to check it out...they have both casitas to rent and RV spaces! Might be a fun place for a weekend getaway...perhaps with a couple of our non-RVing friends.

We only saw two Airstreams on the road...the folks at The Shady Dell and an older AS heading east on I-10 just as we were getting into the eastern outskirts of Tucson on our way home... We did see several along the way in parks, etc...an Argosy in an RV park in Benson, AZ...an Avion in a trailer park in Tombstone, AZ...an older AS in a field south of Bisbee...and one in Sunsite, AZ in a yard...the glint of aluminum always gets us excited!

All in all it was a fun weekend...we enjoyed the Shady Dell and the folks that were staying there...we infused a little tourist money into the local economy...and we enjoyed seeing all the old trailers...Greg got a little freaked out when he was picking up the leveling blocks from the AS on Monday morning and looked down to see a little scorpion on his hand...it has been hiding under the block he picked up...didn't get stung, but he jumped a foot!

As always, the cockers, Annie and Sadie, loved the trip, enjoyed all the new smells and got pets from new people...

So we are home again, and ready to hit the road again ASAP...now that the weather is getting cooler we can take more shorter local trips to some of our favorite haunts.

Happy Trails...and we'll see you down the road!
TB & Greg and The Girls
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:34 PM   #12
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Beautiful truck. I've been looking at new Tundras but just can't make myself give up this Tundra step-side. Your truck has about the same outline as a step-side and I really like it.
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:57 PM   #13
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Beautiful truck. I've been looking at new Tundras but just can't make myself give up this Tundra step-side. Your truck has about the same outline as a step-side and I really like it.
Thanks, Juel...we have noticed that the newer Toyota Tacomas are similar in size/stance to the slightly older Tundras...seems like all their trucks are getting a little beefier as time marches on...the smaller trucks are becoming larger trucks, and the larger trucks are becoming even larger!...One of these days they'll have to introduce a new smaller truck to fill that niche! We too, looked at the new Tundras, but when we realized it wouldn't fit in our garage, we decided on the Tacoma!... So far we have been happy with the decision...

TB
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:05 PM   #14
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I had to move things around in my garage to get the new Tundra to fit, but it was worth it. I traded in my 03 Tundra for the 07. The performance towing on my trip to New mexico was great. I am very glad i made the move.
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