Monday, November 25, 2013

Catalina State Park, AZ

The View From My Front Window
Monday, November 25, 2013, Catalina State Park, AZ - 76 miles, 4,477.6 For the Trip

I can't tell the mileage today because the RAV4 is in Tucson getting a recall done. I'll fix it tomorrow when I get the RAV4 back. After setting up in site 14 at Catalina State Park on the north side of Tucson, I drove to Precision Toyota to get an oil change, possible brakes & a cover reattached that I think the people at Mechanicsville Toyota left loose after doing my transmission service. They needed the vehicle overnight, so because it was a recall I got a free rental. They gave me my choice of vehicles, and since my local Toyota dealer stated that the Highlander would be my replacement for the RAV4 as a tow vehicle (starting with the 2013 model they dropped the V6 in the RAV4). It's a pretty vehicle, but drives and rides like a boat. Maybe I'm used to the "Sport" suspension of the RAV4, but the Highlander feels like the driver is detached from the vehicle. On to of that, it feels very under powered. It is bad enough by itself; I'd hate to try to tow the trailer with it. I do admit that the RAV4 is the fastest car I've driven since my 1969 Camero, but I definitely don't see a Highlander in my future.

Unfortunately, I broke one of my plans for the trip - I wanted to stay above freezing for the entire year. Not a very practical goal, but I didn't expect to break it in November. Last night it got down to 31°F in Kartchner State Park. I was warm in the trailer, but it did freeze outside. When I stopped by the bathrooms in the morning they had an oil filled electric heater in the middle of the men's room. Evidently it got cold enough that they felt sorry for anyone wanting a shower. Wish it was there yesterday! I also saw my first snow on top of one of the mountains outside of Tucson. The photo is a "Through the Windshield" shot since there was no where for an easy pullover.

Catalina is a very pretty park with mountains all along one side. I had hoped I would be able to stay through Thanksgiving, but there are no sites (including mine) available after the 28th. I checked with the next state park along I10, and now have 4 nights at Picacho Peak Campground, Site PCP-B1. Since the state parks seemed to be heavily reserved, and they don't have non reservable sites like some states, I also made a reservation for a week at the Lost Dutchman State Park near Apache Junction, AZ. So, I know where I'll be until December 8th.

I hope my car will be done early tomorrow - I want to find a Nikon dealer in Tucson to try to pick up a replacement lens cap for my 70 - 200mm lens. The Nikon cap "pinches" to attach, which is pretty necessary when the lens hood is on the 70-200. I also need a battery cover door for the D700. The hinge pins are a very poor design - I've always been careful & have broken the plastic pin on two covers in the 3 years I've owned the camera.

Dinner was the second to last batch of frozen Crock Pot bean soup.

Until Next Time -


  1. AZ can be a freezer in the winter. Get down to Tucson--maybe you'll do better they.

  2. It must be a nice place to be so busy. We have reservations there in April but hopefully it will not be crowded. Have a nice Thanksgiving!