Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Why do they make it so confusing?!

Yesterday morning, we got up and started driving right away. We were in a cellular dead spot where we had parked in Mammoth, so we had no internet. It was the first time our Verizon mi-fi had let us down.

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.


39 comments:

  1. You are so right, some of those rules are very complicated and confusing.
    Looks like you did find a wonderful spot though, enjoy.

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    1. Yep, very confusing but we think we finally have it figured out and we managed to find a great spot and didn't have to pay a penny! :-)

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  2. Your campfire photo, along with knowing you won't have any neighbors is priceless, especially since it is free! My kind of camp. Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks Gumo, we think it is perfect too, especially when it's free!

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  3. My goodness...why all the different prices and how confusing! I agree....get it simplified!

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    1. We are so glad that we went to the Visitor's Center/Ranger's Office to get it all explained to us.

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  4. That is truly a beautiful spot. Even better it's free :)

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    1. Free is good, and our camping spot is fantastic! :-)

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  5. Yay, you steered clear of the silly fees and found yourself a great spot. It may not look like a forest, but all those mesquites and saguaros are trees.

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    1. We sure did! :-)

      I thought saguaros were cactus not trees?

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    2. Oops, you're right---although saguaros have woody interiors, they do not produce rings like true trees do. However, a forest is any collection of trees or woody vegetation, so you're still in a forest.

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    3. Thanks Dugg! We actually went through one small area yesterday where I said to Kevin, this looks a bit like a forest, it only lasted a very short distance but yes, there are lots of mesquite and iron wood trees (more like bushes) here.

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  6. After all the turmoil, you two found a great place to stay. That is always gratifying at the end of a day after such a beautiful road trip. Looks very peaceful there.

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    1. We are really enjoying this area of Arizona, the scenery is beautiful!

      It is peaceful, we have only had a couple of vehicles go down the road past us yesterday. It might we different today with it being the weekend, guess we will soon see.

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  7. looks like we are going to miss you two again as we will be heading to where you are vacating... maybe next year...

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    1. Maybe our paths will cross next year! Enjoy the Casa Grande and Tucson area.

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  8. Yup, very confusing on the prices! Great spot with a fantastic view....

    We are exploring New Mexico more this time out here.... and gleening info for retirement as snow birds (still keeping the house in Wisconsin as a summer home base) In NM you can buy a yearly pass for $225 and stay at any campground in either dispersed, primitive or non-electric sites for free... and if you want an electric/water site it's $4 ...well, we are figuring if we split that up over 5 months.. and say use an electric site 1 or 2 days a week to get laundry done in our onboard machine and dump tanks and refill with fresh each week, it's still only going to average out at $2.50 a day overall for the five months. We are liking the temps here and the terrain and not so sandy and dusty as southern AZ we were before. Sooo this is a "research trip" for us! LOL

    KarenInTheWoods and Steveio
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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    1. Yep, great opportunity. I checked this out a couple of years ago and you could actually travel all year in the park system for $138 a month including the out of state pass and electric everyday. What a deal. Where else can you stay with full hookups for that monthly price. Granted, there are length of stay restrictions that I think are now 3 weeks in one park before moving on. Would love to do it for a year. New Mexico is a fantastic state year round!

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    2. We've looked into that as well. Maybe we'll have to explore New Mexico next winter. Especially now that we've got the Mr. Heater Buddy!

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    3. We used that pass to explore NM a few years ago. Best deal in the nation IMHO, and the NM state parks are just excellent.
      Nina

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    4. That's just one more confirmation that makes us think we will be exploring more of that area next winter. We have talked about it before and it definitely sounds like a great deal.

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    5. Spending a year in NM is on our list, too! What a beautiful state and they love us RVers, too!

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    6. Yep, not like Florida where they only like you if you stay in a RV park, State Park or National Park!

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  9. A beautiful desert forest. I, of course, had to Google forest after reading your post and it says covered with trees or other woody vegetation. "Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function." So I figure that is about as confusing as the rules of use are. We buy a yearly Tonto Forest pass so we don't worry about the day use fee which is nice.

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    1. Agreed they make both confusing!

      We were going to buy the yearly upgrade Tonto Forest Pass to our America the Beautiful Pass which is only $15 but after talking with the ranger and figuring out the whole price scheme we found that we didn't need to buy the pass after all as long as we stayed in certain areas. We may buy 1-3 nights of camping and if we do that we don't need the pass because camping in the developed areas includes the day's admission price. It's all very confusing!

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  10. Perfect spot - the header photo says it all - you all did good - love it!!!!
    B&C in PA

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  11. You had the last laugh after all the confusion! :cD

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  12. A great spot! If you are dealing with the Feds, confusion is the way they operate best:(

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    1. They can't make anything easy, can they?!

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  13. Hey is your answer
    The lands administered by the four land agencies are managed for many purposes, primarily related to preservation, recreation, and development of natural resources. Yet each of these agencies has distinct responsibilities. The BLM manages 248 million acres and is responsible for 700 million acres of subsurface mineral resources. The BLM has a multiple-use, sustained-yield mandate that supports a variety of uses and programs, including energy development, recreation, grazing, wild horses and burros, and conservation. The USFS manages 193 million acres also for multiple uses and sustained yields of various products and services, including timber harvesting, recreation, grazing, watershed protection, and fish and wildlife habitats. Most of the USFS lands are designated national forests. Wildfire protection is increasingly important for both agencies.
    The FWS manages 89 million acres of federal land (plus several large marine areas), primarily to conserve and protect animals and plants. The National Wildlife Refuge System includes wildlife refuges, waterfowl production areas, and wildlife coordination units. The NPS manages 80 million acres of federal land in 397 diverse units to conserve lands and resources and make them available for public use. Activities that harvest or remove resources generally are prohibited.
    Federal land ownership is concentrated in the West. Specifically, 62% of Alaska is federally owned, as is 47% of the 11 coterminous western states. By contrast, the federal government owns only 4% of lands in the other states. This western concentration has contributed to a higher degree of controversy over land ownership and use in that part of the country.

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    1. Thanks for trying to help us understand why this area is considered a forest.

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    2. There is one exception, All National Monuments are run by the National Park Service. But we have one national monument that is run by the Forest Service which is Mt. Saint Helens Nat. Monument. With the confusing pricing is they had fee for camping, but were tied some how to that. Then someone figured to add a daily parking permit for day use to help generate revenue. The best use for your money is to plan to camp then you pay no daily parking fee.

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    3. That is true, if you camp in their developed sites then it is best to just buy the daily camping fee but if you park on the side of the road that the lake isn't on then you can camp totally for free, no pass required. There are other dispersed camping areas though that require a pass but no camping fee. We are camped where we don't need the pass or the camping fee. :-)

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  14. Very confusing rules. So in the end, they lose out and you get a free site! Looks like a nice one too!

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  15. Looks like you found a good spot. That area is very confusing.
    Nina

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    1. Yep, we are very happy with our choice and the fact that it is totally free! :-)

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