Originally published 22 February, 2014
Set up in our new campground in the Apache nation!
We traveled today. We bid our home of a 6 days goodbye, packed up the motor home, and headed north. Northwest actually.
We drove through Tucson and then on to Phoenix. Tucson has about half a million people, and Phoenix had 1.5 million. While I'm sure both have their nasty areas, both cities looked like very nice places to live. Clean, well kept, and neat..........with a lot to offer. Economically, it seems pretty strong. It seems like a healthy place as well.....the people seem to be in fairly good shape, active, and engaged. I can see why some people like living here. There are certainly much worse places to live than here.
We needed to stop for a few groceries and I can't get our rig (53 feet long) just anywhere. I need a decent size parking lot with enough spaces in a row open to accommodate a tractor trailer. We stop at Walmart more often than we'd like simply for this reason.....which is what we did today. Yeah, we'd like to stop at one of the regional grocery stores, or Trader Joes, but they just don't have the room we need.
There's a world market type store in the same shopping center, so we take a look. It's a western chain and they have furnishings, home decor, and oddly enough, food. The foodstuffs they have consist of imported and fancy foods......not fresh stuff. We got a couple of bottles of wine and some chocolate for Laurie, and I got some of the Italian waffle cookies. We put our treasures in the motorhome and headed to Walmart to shop.
The store was massive...probably 300-400k sf. They had everything the other Walmarts have and a bit more. While Tennessee is struggling to get wine in grocery stores, Laurie bought bargain Glenlivet at Walmart for about 20 percent less than back home. Liquor in grocery stores isn't new to us.....when we lived in Maine, nearly 30 years ago, they had it then. It just makes life simpler and easier.
I LOVE this place!
We thread our way out of a very crowded shopping center on a Saturday afternoon and head north......and go a few exits and stop for lunch. I do know my fast food....so we stopped at the undisputed world wide king of fast food burgers..............IN-N- OUT BURGERS!!!!!
For those unfamiliar....these were a west coast (with a few in Arizona and Nevada) phenomenon until just recently, when they opened two in Texas. The line on opening day for the drive thru was over two MILES long. In addition to being just great, their customers are loyal.
The menu is very simple. Burgers, fries, and drinks. There are secret menu items you can order if you know the lingo and you can find these secret off menu items listed on certain websites. I'm a double double guy myself.........which is double patties of meat, and two slices of cheese.
Where the magic happens
Their fries are made by putting a whole potato in a cutter that looks like a screen, and cutting the fries right as you order them. The stuff put on the burgers is all fresh, and none is pre-cut. Their business model is something I had said for years. Find something you're good at.....and do it better than everyone else. In-n-Out Burgers has this down cold. And I'm one of the loyal....if I come out west....I gotta have at least one.
Looking down the valley at our new neighbors
We head out from there, with about 90 mins. to go before we stop for the day. We head on over the mountains and arrive at our destination. We are staying as guest of the Yavapai-Apache nation, on the reservation. We are staying beside an old indian travel route that the Apache call "Interstate 17", in the Apache camping area......called an RV resort. Across the old travel route from us is the livelihood for many Apache....the Cliff Castle Casino!
Pool and hot tub
All joking aside, the Apache have made a great RV resort with all the amenities, beautiful views, and they have a really nice casino with a shuttle bus that will pick you up at the camper. Laurie and I took the bus over tonight just to check things out, had a snack, and walked around the casino a bit. It's not huge....but has everything you need, including a nice poker room. I played a couple of hours, had a nice time, and profited a cool eighteen dollars. I can make that motorhome payment now!
Semi pulling a fifth wheel. With a ATV.
After the nickel and dimeing we endured at Tombstone, being a guest out in the indian nations is quite nice. I don't smoke, but cigs are cheap. Most casinos I play poker in (although my food is usually comped) have very expensive food. The Apache casinos have prices in line with any chain restaurant, and food of better quality. The casino and campground, both owned by the tribe, provide jobs for a LOT of people in this area. And while the Apache are famed as a warring tribe....the Apache I have encountered have been as nice as they could be. Suffice to say, I like it here.
My people were mostly eastern band Cherokee, with a few Wyandotte and Chippewa thrown in. I don't know much about the western tribes...so I'm looking forward to learning more. Tomorrow we check out some of the sights. I've also included some pics of our motorhome and how things work. Some people are familiar, but we have some friends who have no idea how we live and travel...so pardon the things scattered about......and check out the pics.
Slide out, a room expander
Driving area and TV
Laurie in the kitchen
Rest of the bathroom
Song of the day: By the time I get to Phoenix- Glen Campbell (One of my favorites)
Quote of the day: "Wine AND liquor in the grocery store! It's so civilized!"- Laurie
I'm Bill. My wife Laurie and I love to travel and share our stories. We especially love it when we have been able to motivate our readers to start traveling on their own, and making their own stories.
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