Plus, by putting on a few miles right away we could use Sherman's engine heat to warm us up instead of using up propane.
We drove about 20 miles on to the town of Winkelman where we spotted a municipal park that looked like a good spot to sit for an hour or two and have breakfast and use the internet.
The town of Winkelman has a big copper mine.
There's a small campground at this municipal park. But we had been parked at the far end near the park entrance. A maintenance guy drove up and told us that we had to pay $15 for parking for the night. We had to explain that we had only just arrived, and that we hadn't been there the night! Of course it was only about 7:45am, so you couldn't blame him for thinking that we had been there all night.
Around 10:00am we got back on the road and headed towards Globe. Really nice scenery, and a nice drive too, with not much in the way of traffic. Hard to believe that we're this close to the big city of Phoenix!
On the highway towards Globe, AZ.
Not much traffic.
Fun to drive too!
Entering Tonto National Forest.
Tonto National Forest is a little different because there's not much in the way of forest! But it's a huge land area, and it's administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Don't ask me why...there's no agriculture being done here either!
Sherman, at a lookout along the way.
Ruth, enjoying the same lookout.
We arrived in Globe, and headed straight for the ranger office. We were a little confused about pricing (that problem was only going to get worse!) and we wanted to ask about the best places to hike and camp.
But the girl there said that if we were headed to Roosevelt Lake that we were better off going to the ranger station there. Tonto National Forest is so big that there are five different ranger stations and they're each responsible for their own areas. But, she gave us a good free book that lists the different recreation areas and what they have to offer.
So we drove on.
Yep, they call this a "forest".
So, Tonto National Forest is a forest, with hardly any trees, that's administered by the Department of Agriculture and there's no agriculture going on. Strange.
But despite all of that, it's still a very scenic place!
A beautiful drive.
We made it to the Ranger's Office and Visitor's Center at Roosevelt Lake. I was a little miffed because we had passed two campgrounds along the way and the girl at the Globe Ranger's Office had said there was nothing between Globe and the next Ranger's Office. Now, if we wanted to go to one of those campgrounds, we would have to backtrack about 6 miles.
Inside, we asked about camping and fees. It's all very confusing, and I'm still not positive that we fully understand it all. There are day use area fees of $6 per vehicle per day. And camping at a developed campground is a very reasonable $6 per night. No, there are no hookups. If you pay the camping fee, you don't need to pay the day use fee.
We have the National Parks Pass, but it's not accepted here You have to pay a $15 "upgrade" to your parks pass, and then you don't need to pay the day use fees. But you still have to pay the $6 a night to camp in the "developed" campground.
And then, they get into the "dispersed" camping. Some of which requires you to have paid a day use fee, and some of which doesn't!
The guy was really patient about trying to explain it to us, but man...why can't they simplify the whole system just a little bit?!
Us, at Roosevelt Lake in Tonto National Forest.
We decided not to pay anything! He directed us to a service road area where there is free camping without day use fees. We drove about a mile off the highway, and hadn't seen anywhere suitable when we came to a perfect spot. And it's only good for one RV, so there is no chance of having a nearby neighbor if it gets busy this coming weekend.
The view out our front windshield!
Sherman, parked up by himself.
Really pretty spot. The whole afternoon only one car went by. We did some reading and relaxing, and I got our campground set up with our camping mat and chairs. Built a fire ring and collected some wood, and even had an evening campfire.
Pretty sure that we're going to stay put here for a few days! GPS co-ordinates 33.62866 -111.08162.
Not very often we relax by the fire!
Here you go ladies...Amazon.com has a fantastic deal on Singer's most popular and highly rated sewing machine. On sale today only!
Yesterday's drive, 89 miles (142 kms).
(A) Mammoth, (B) Winkelman, (C) Globe, (D) Roosevelt Lake.