Mesa, AZ: 3/23 – 4/15/20

Originally, we planned to break up the eight-hour drive to Mesa from Durango, CO, and stop about half way. Due to the Coronavirus, we thought it best that we drive straight through. We called ahead and Towerpoint RV was able to accommodate us two nights early.

As we headed west on 160, the landscape remained constant.

All of a sudden, we were in four states at one time. This place is known as Four Corners, where four states (Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona) border. I knew that it is the only place in the United States where four states border, however, I wasn’t expecting this.

It was closed (like so many other places) due to the Coronavirus.

I googled Four Corners and was able to see more of what I imagined it would look like.

We continued traveling on Hwy 160/64W to 89S to 40W to 17S to 101S to 60E. Exit 185 would take us to Towerpoint RV Resort, where we would enjoy a warmer climate. This year we had site F37.

Directly across the street was a palm tree which affected the angle with which Scott needed to be able to back in. Plus, the incline of the driveway was about two feet, and the bottom of our toy hitch was about one foot from the ground. Needless to say, it became an hour-and-a-half ordeal to park our rig. This happened next.

Here is another angle.

We were stuck. We couldn’t go forward and we couldn’t go backwards. So, Scott had to remove our toy hitch. All of a sudden, several neighbors came by to help.??? Scott had to detach our toys and then the hitch so that he could back into the spot. OMG

Toys Off. Now the hitch.

As a result of the sharp turn, our cooler that was in the bed jammed into the our brand new tool box, which we later gave to one of the resort’s workers. Now we know that it was probably not the best place to put the cooler.

We finally got settled into our new location for the next week.

The summer-like weather in Arizona was delightful, but it was unfortunate that the pools and most amenities at this 55+ resort were off limits due to Coronavirus. Fortunately, we were lucky to be able to play some tennis. There were four courts with doubles games taking place, but Scott and I preferred to play alone. The media was beginning to talk about social distancing. Besides, we were not interested in playing doubles. In addition to tennis courts, the facility also had four Pickle Ball courts. We used their equipment, remembering not to touch our face and to wash our hands thoroughly afterwards. It bothered us a little bit that the regulars were still playing doubles and moving around close together. Perhaps they didn’t care because they are all neighbors. And at this point, there were so few cases in the state. Then, on March 31, all outdoor activities were closed. Even access to water where we could play with our water toys was barricaded. With the warm/hot weather, any hiking would have to occur early in the day. There were a few trailheads in the area that were open to the public, and they were not very crowded. At this point, we realized how much our world was changing. We had begun to feel the punch of this new beast.

Usery Mountain Regional Park was still open to bikers, hikers, and dog walkers. We hiked there on four different occasions. The first hike was 8.7 miles with 1,516’ elevation gain on Pass Mountain Trail to Wind Cave Trail.

Cactus Arms on Pass Mountain Trail
Heading Up to the Cave
Hanging out by the Cave

Our next hike was 9.2 miles, 1,007’ elevation gain and a full loop around Pass Mountain Trail. This trail was not as steep, but the views to the north were gorgeous. My pictures don’t do it justice.

It was a warm, windy day and I just had to capture the sounds in the desert.

The wildflowers were beginning to bloom, which made for a colorful desert.

The third hike was much shorter, 2.3 miles with a 771’ elevation gain, on Lone Mountain to Lone Peak. We started late morning and it was a hot day. The views were breathtaking.

Jumping Cholla Cactus (on the left)
View at Lone Peak
Heading back down

Our last hike was again on Pass Mountain Trail, except we went in a different direction this time so that we could go over Pass Mountain Pass. This hike was the longest, 9.9 miles with a 1,942’ elevation gain. The wildflowers and views were gorgeous!

More Jumping Cholla Cactus
Red Flowered Ocotillo Plant
The Notch to the Peak

Scott was pointing to the notch where we would reach the peak at an almost 2,000’ elevation gain. We were tired puppies following today’s hike.

A few days before we left Mesa, we took one last hike at Lost Dutchman State Park. We were surprised to find that the park was open for camping since most National and State Parks were closed. If we had known it was open, we probably would have left Towerpoint RV Resort to stay closer to the desert mountains.

Today’s hike was 6.8 mile round trip with an elevation gain of 2,838’ to the Flat Iron via Siphon Draw Trail.

You can see the Flat Iron in the distance below as we began the hike.

This trail started out with a flat, wide dirt path. It quickly changed to rocky, narrow trails.

After 90 minutes, we reached a point where the view below opened up.

At about this halfway mark, the incline became quite steep. There were hundreds of some kind of bug flying around, and it was grossing me out. I told Scott that I was done and would meet him at the bottom. He continued up and I started back down. I met a 69 year old woman who was on her way up. She told me to ignore the bugs as they would dissipate as I got higher up. She wasn’t going to the Flat Iron today but she had done it once the previous week with a friend. She insisted that I join my husband as the views at the top were spectacular. She encouraged me that I could do it. So, up I went. It wasn’t a very easy scramble and at times Scott had to talk me through my next step.

I survived the steep climb and we finally could see our destination.

We finally arrived on the Flat Iron.

On April 15, we left Mesa and headed north to Flagstaff. Goodbye to 70-80 degree days.

One thought on “Mesa, AZ: 3/23 – 4/15/20

  • I’m told Springtime in the desert is a magnificent thing. The blooming cactus is amazing. So glad for all the memories you are making together…..and sharing them with us. I don’t have a bucket list anymore, but one of the last things I wanted to do was visit the Southwest in the Spring, and go to Antelope Canyon. That won’t happen for me now, but I’m so happy you two have been to similarly wonderful places in the desert. love you

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