Alamo Lake State Park (AZ)

Sorry readers… haven’t been able to post since we got to Alamo Lake State Park last Thursday due to limited connectivity.  Our Verizon MiFi Jetpack had zero signal and our iPhones on the AT&T network only had one bar and we were “off network”.  We were lucky to even be able to make phone calls.

We are now in Prescott Valley at the home of Scott and Julie Richardson.  Julie is a friend and former co-worker from my days at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).  We were both in the MDA Contracting Directorate together at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.  Julie retired at about the same time that I resigned from my position back in May of 2014 and moved here to their lovely retirement home in Prescott Valley, AZ.  We drove straight here from the lake (about 150 miles) when we learned that they were home and also willing to put up with us for a day or so.

Scott & Julie Richardson at their “retirement ranch” in Prescott Valley, AZ.

Plus – They have great internet connectivity 🙂

But first, let me bring you up to date with our adventure(s) since I last posted.   It’s been a fun week with lots of off-roading on the ATV and even some fishing in the Sea-Eagle inflatable…

19 Feb (Thursday):

We got ready to leave Havasu Springs Resort and I noticed one of the tires was low on the Silverado.  It was only at 20 psi, it should have been at 35 psi.  The truck has a built-in sensor in each tire that alerts the driver on the instrument panel when it’s started or while driving.  At the same time, one of the rear tires on the Coach was reading about 85 psi and it should be at 95 psi.  I have a tire pressure monitoring system from Pressure Pro that I bought shortly after we got the Coach.  It has sensors that replace the valve caps on each tire.  Each of these valve caps have a non-replaceable battery in them that send a wireless signal to my display that I plug into a cigarette-type power outlet each time we get ready to roll.  This particular tire, a rear inner dual, has been slowly leaking down (2-3 psi each month) since I last filled it in Colorado Springs back in January.  I’ve had this problem before on the opposite side inner-rear tire.  It seems that Redlands Truck & RV didn’t properly tighten the stainless steel valve stem extenders that I had them install a couple years ago while we were in Quartzsite having new shocks put on.  The only way to tighten the valve stem is to remove the tire.

So, I used a can of Fix-a-Flat that I keep on hand, for the Silverado tire and then topped it off with my air hose connected to the Coach’s on-board air compressor.  With that done, we hooked up and headed into Parker AZ, only a few miles away, to find a tire repair shop for both vehicles.


After a quick stop at an RV Supply store to ask for recommendations and directions, we were directed to a small garage/service shop in downtown Parker.  The tire technician couldn’t find a leak on the Silverado… guess the can of Fix-a-Flat did it’s job.   They even pulled off both rear tires and leak-checked them.  Although, this was due to miscommunication between their techs.  Oh well – Total cost was only $13.


While a tire technician was working on the Silverado, another one made good time removing the rear tires on the Coach.  He was amazed that I was able to use the HWH leveling jacks to raise the right rear of the coach when it was obvious his hydraulic floor jack wasn’t up to the task.  Once the inner tire was off, we quickly confirmed that the valve stem was leaking by using a soapy water solution in a spray bottle.  The leak was evident where the valve stem goes through the rim, and was made worse by wiggling the stem.  A quick tighten was all that it needed.  Total cost $14.

With our tire situation resolved, we stopped at the local WalMart to stock up on groceries for our week at Alamo Lake State Park.  We were told about this state park by our new friend and fellow Alpine Coach driver, Nick Escamilla.  We met Nick at the Fireworks Rally that we had just attended (link here).  Nick and his wife Romana did an awesome job hosting the rally.  They told us they had spent a week at the park prior to going to the Fireworks Rally and said it was a “must-see” for anyone that likes ATV’ing and fishing.  But they warned us to take everything we might need in with us, because it’s about 35 miles from the nearest gas station or grocery store.

I made online reservations for the park and was able to find what looked like a good spot in the C loop for the 20th through the 27th.  The park has different rates for different areas, depending on whether you want full hook-ups, just electric and water, or are willing to dry-camp.  We followed Nick’s advice and reserved a spot in the C loop.  Our cost was $22 per night for 30 amp electric and water hook-up.

So, we headed south out of Parker and turned east on 60.  We figured we would find an overnight spot somewhere on our way there since it was still the19th and our reserved site wasn’t available until the 20th.  However, after passing several opportunities that just didn’t have that “it” factor we quickly found ourselves at the turn-off to Alamo Lake at the town of Wendon.  So we decided to just head on up north towards the lake.


After traveling the 35 miles or so up to the lake, we still hadn’t seen any spots to spend the night at, so we ended up at the ranger station and asked the nice ranger guy if a spot was available for the night.  Our reservation wasn’t until tomorrow and the spot was currently occupied by someone else, but the site across from them was open.


The park ranger directed us into the site across from our reserved spot and told us that when the current occupants leave our reserved spot in the morning, to just move on over and then come back to the ranger station to settle up the extra night’s cost.

20 Feb (Friday)

On Friday morning, the occupants in the site across from us left early in the morning, so we moved on over, put up the flagpole, set out the tablecloth, and put up Stilla’s chili pepper/cactus awning lights since we were going to stay put for a while…  Nice spot with nice views!  We even have a few Saguaro cacti in the back yard.


Then we went back to the ranger station / general store to pay for the additional night and got I also broke down and got an Arizona fishing license for $55.  The general store portion of the ranger station had plenty of basic commodities, like milk, cereal, drinks and ice cream.  But I was certainly glad we had already stocked up on food after seeing the prices.


Here’s a layout of the parks campsite loops.  We are now in site C34.


And here’s a bonus… it’s a hand-drawn map of the area ATV trails and significant destinations, courtesy of the nice ranger guy.


We took the pickup and toured around all the campgrounds and quickly decided we liked our choice of spots.  We even drove over to check out the dam.




Here’s Stilla and little Coach with Alamo Lake in the background.  You can tell the water level is low.


After we got back from touring the campground loops and the dam, we downloaded the ATV and rode down to the lake.IMG_6765



We found out that there is a dirt road that bypasses the state park campground and leads to many  boondocking spots.  Oh well, maybe next time… it’s nice to have electricity sometimes.



Back at our campsite, we relaxed for the evening.  Nice view eh?


And Stilla made us some Nacho plates for our own personal “Happy Hour”.


Well, gotta go now… Scott and Julie are going to show us around the Prescott Valley area… maybe Sedona…

Will finish updating you later… stay tuned.