We entered southern Arizona near Yuma after a few days in Southern California. We’ve traveled through the northwestern part of the state before on a tour of the Grand Circle of National Parks last year, but have never visited the incredible deserts along the southern border of the United States before.
Upon crossing into the state on our first day, we stopped in Yuma with visions of the wild west scenes from the movie “3:10 to Yuma” and were not disappointed by our first visit to the Yuma Territorial Prison Museum. The museum is well designed and welcoming. It was also fun because the Travel Channel was there shooting an episode about Pearl Hart. The actress playing Pearl actually got stuck in her costume and asked me to help her!
After a visit to the museum, we walked down the hill to explore the Yuma wetlands at the Colorado River Historic State Park.
That evening we stopped at Copper Mountain RV Park, a highly recommended and friendly campground in the Passport America family.
On our second day, we woke early to continue our more intensive PCT training with some High Intensity Interval Training in the Copper Mountain Fitness Center. We realized that despite all our hiking, our legs really need to get stronger based on how long our bodies hurt afterwards (they still do as I type this days later…).
After such an intense workout, all we had time and energy for was a 3,000 foot climb up the steep and cabled Picacho Peak on the Hunter’s Trail! Though this trail is only 4 miles around trip, it really packs a punch! Scary but totally worth it!
On our third day, we were VERY excited to visit Saguaro National Park. I thought Reuben was obsessed with Joshua Trees, but realized he is bewitched by Saguaro cacti! These incredible plants are over 150 years old, grow to about 40 feet tall, can weigh up to 4800 pounds, and only have a tap root about three feet long. How do they stay standing??
While in the park, we hiked the Sweetwater Trail to Wasson Peak. The trail was easily accessed, well marked, and beautiful. We even met a local hiker who provided tons of information on the area!
In the afternoon, we decided to escape the heat with a quirky visit to the Mini Time Machine of Miniatures in Tucson. This not so mini museum houses a serious collection of miniature houses. While neither Reuben nor I have ever had much fascination in miniature houses, it certainly was impressive to see the incredible detail of these Lilliputian lodgings.
That night, we drove just south of Tucson to stay with a Boondockers Welcome host. Our host’s ranch was incredibly beautiful for sunset and he welcomed us in for some delicious tacos and delightful talks.
On our fourth and final day, we drove just half an hour northeast to visit the now touristy Tombstone, “the best preserved wild west town.” We expected to be underwhelmed, but actually really enjoyed walking through the main street and visiting the historic Bird Cage Theater. While we didn’t pay to visit the underbelly of the infamous brothel, we may have if we had more time.
Next, we visited the Boothill Cemetery, where many of Tombstone’s most unfortunately residents are buried. They say that death never took a holiday in Tombstone and the bizarre tombstone markers in this cemetery made us believe it!
After this brief jaunt, we had to hit the road to make a beeline for El Paso, where we arranged for a flight to Williamsport, PA to help welcome a new niece of nephew into the world! Unfortunately, en route tragedy struck! We had a terrible tire blow out that caused significant damage to our rig. We were able to get it rolling with the spare tire and are safe! We’ve left the rig at an RV repair shop while we’re in PA, so stay tuned for updates!
Also stay tuned for our latest Youtube episode on our visit to both Southern California and Southern Arizona!