Casino Camping

Leaving Williams, we decided to dry camp at a casino near Camp Verde, Arizona. There were a few places we wanted to see in the area, but one night would be enough; then we would head to Apache Junction, Arizona where we had reservations for two months at Meridian Park.

We arrived at the casino late in the morning; the RV area was plainly marked so we pulled in. After having a light lunch, we unhooked the Jeep. We headed for Montezuma’s Castle, a National Monument only a few miles away. After taking the short trail to the Indian pueblos and looking at some of the exhibits, we headed west to Cottonwood, and from there took the south section of 89A to Jerome and Prescott, AZ. It is a very scenic trip, and as the magazine article Joan had read, “not a trip for the faint of heart”. Jerome is a small town (about 450 population) that is literally built on the side/top of a mountain. Elevation about 5000 feet, with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. The streets are narrow-many are one way-and were crowded as it was late Saturday afternoon by the time we arrived. Parking places were hard to find, so we decided to make a brief drive around the downtown area and will come back again sometime, but during the week when it’s not so busy. According to information about Jerome on the internet, it has a long history of copper mining, and was “one of the wickedest cities of the West”. It has a fascinating history, and will be a place to spend a whole day.

We continued on 89A until shortly before Prescott, returning home shortly before dark. We decided to eat at the casino as they offered a prime rib buffet on Saturday nights for a very reasonable price. Joan started feeling nauseated, and had stomach cramps shortly after eating. The abdominal pain got worse so we went back to the motorhome. She is sure that she got food poisoning, as she had all the symptoms; diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, and she spent most of the night in the bathroom. Luckily she had medication left from her bout with gastritis/colitis in March and within a few hours, it was effective. By morning she was much better but decided to eat a very bland diet until she was fully recovered. She has decided that buffets are not good for her digestive system!

Outside of Joan’s bad experience with the buffet dinner, our first night of dry camping went quite well. David uses a CPAP at night, and had found a battery pack he could charge up ahead of time and use to power his CPAP machine. It also doubles as a car starter, and has USB ports so it can be used to charge electronics. This machine still had over a 50% charge left after being used all night, and will be useful if there are times we don’t have electric hookup or don’t want to use our generator.

Our motorhome is pretty self-sufficient without hookups of any kind. As long as there is plenty of gas in the tank, enough propane for heat if we need it, and we have water in the holding tank-we could survive for several days or longer of dry camping. There are two RV/marine type batteries to operate the 12V lights, and with the generator powered up we can use the microwave or outlets as we need them. Although we both prefer to have at least electric power, and enjoy the convenience of full hookups, we wouldn’t mind an occasional night of dry camping when we are traveling.

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