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From IKEA to the Prescott Dells

I missed a blog entry last night. I can only plead distraction — Friday was a very busy day. We pulled out of Picacho Peak State Park around 10 a.m. and made our first stop at the new IKEA store in Tempe. Being future homeowners, we are thinking about the things we’ll need to buy to outfit the house. So we parked the Airstream in a corner of the parking lot and spent a couple of hours making notes inside the store.

Tempe IKEA.jpg

While we were inside, browsing and then having lunch (Emma had the Swedish meatballs), the temperature outside once again soared into the upper 90s. The inside of the trailer was 100 degrees when we came back to it, but fortunately I had remembered to turn on the refrigerator boost fans and so the fridge was comfortable at about 42 degrees.

Plowing through Phoenix-area traffic on I-17 is not much fun, but we had little choice of an alternate route since our next stop was a restaurant a few miles further north, where we had planned to meet a friend. Normally we don’t have the trailer behind us when we are doing errands around town, so at all times the consideration of where we could go with our 50-foot parade was paramount. This makes for tricky logistics but we have a lot of experience at this game so it worked out just fine.

From Prescott we headed north up I-17 and then west to Prescott. Prescott is an absolutely beautiful place dotted with eroded granite outcrops called the “Prescott Dells”, buttes, and rocky mountains. Being about 5,300 feet in elevation, it’s also much cooler than down in Phoenix and Tucson, so this was the time to come up here.

We’ve joined up with our friend Rich C (gadget) and our new friends Brent, Tiffany, and their two children, who also have an Airstream Safari 30 bunkhouse just like ours.

Prescott Dells kids.jpg

I can’t begin to convey the natural beauty of the area we are camped in, so I’ve uploaded a few pictures from our hike this morning with Rich C and the kids. You can find them on our Flickr album. The pinkish-orange granite dells surrounding us are magnificent to hike and climb on. They are very similar to the exposed granite of Acadia National Park, in Maine.

Even the campground is absolutely amazing, with most campsites surrounded by giant rock walls. I am sure that this area will be a favorite spot for us to return to, once we are established in Arizona. It’s a cool respite from desert heat, and a great jumping-off point for other beautiful spots such as Sedona.