Sunday, April 09, 2006

White Tank Mountains

White Tank Mountain Park is 18 miles from our house in Sun City West. We camped there this past weekend with the Kactus Sams chapter of the Good Sams Club. We had 11 rigs with 22 people 4 dogs and an unknown number of cats. The group camped in Group Camp Ground #14 with no hookups. There was a restroom, fire pit, and two ramadas.

We were the first to arrive at the camp ground and got to actually set up our rig in a real live camp ground for the first time. At the Samboree in Casa Grande I would hardly call what we were parked in a camp ground It was a dust bowl that later turned into a lake. In Quartzsite we were parked in a field with no hookups and plenty of dust. We finally got to put out our awning, carpet, and chairs. After all the work was done I sat out in one of our chairs with a cool beverage and worked a Sudoku puzzle while listening to Rush Limbaugh. What could be better?

The other rigs pulled in and set up and before long we went over and joined a group outside another RV so we could get to know everyone. Lots of RV talk. How-tos and what-to-buys. Since we were new to RVing we just listened. I had forgotten my Lats and Longs for the DirecTV satellite so the club President went and got his reading for me. I hit the satellite on the first try!

One couple had a dog with no legs named Dusty - they carrried Dusty with them everywhere. They told me that that breed of dog cost $2,000 each so I guess I would have carried Dusty around too. Dusty had legs but didn't have to use them. The dog was a papillon or contentinetal toy spaniel. A really well-behaved, friendly, and beautiful little doggie that was fun to be around.

We had two night-time campfires. Of course, the sight of all the people gathered around the camp fire reminded me of the famous camp fire scene in the funniest movie ever made, Blazing Saddles (sound effects from that scene) and I smiled a secret smile. We had beans for supper the following night so that made it even funnier for me. Lots of talking and stories. One lady learned that her cat had escaped from their RV and was on the loose. She and all the cat lovers in the crowd hustled over in the dark to where the RV was parked. Coyotes love cats so finding it quickly was a priority. They found it. The cat had figured out how to open the door and let itself out.

During one of the camp fires I noticed something very strange. One of the RVs facing us had what appeared at first to be an unusual screen in its wind shield. I got up and went over to look and the 'screen's' images moved. Wow, I thought, then I realized the 'screen' was just a reflection of the mountains behind me. Now if reflection had been an image of Jesus on the windshield I would have paid the owner $1,000 right then for it and there and then sold it on eBay for millions.

I took a couple of hikes up Ironwood Trail from the camp ground for about 1.5 miles roundtrip. Nice, easy trail. On the first hike 4 of us went, but on the second one I went by myself. I had hiked by myself in South Mountain Park quite a bit so hiking alone didn't bother me. It is not a good idea to hike alone in the desert though. I had left the lat/long for a good geocache at home so I didn't try to find it. On the way back on the second hike I came across a diamondback rattle snake stretched out across the trail. It was originally 2 feet long but it has steadily grown another 6 inches every time I tell someone about it and it is now a healthy 6 footer. I watched the cute, but deadly little critter for some time and I guess it watched me. I finally took the long way around it and got back to the camp ground and told everyone about it. 3 people went back with me to look it. It was the first time I had ever seen a rattle snake in the wild.

Kactus Sams is a non-game playing group (except for beanbag baseball and Mexican Train) so Seven and I broke out our Texas Holdem set and Balderdash, Seven's favorite game, and taught everyone how to play. It was fun and people picked up on the games pretty fast.

All in all it was a great trip. The weather, the people, and camp ground were great.