A Chilled Camping Weekend

Before moving from Kansas we had a fantastic camping trip with my sister, one of her friends, and a friend of mine. We had a wonderful time in the Ozarks camping with friends and had planned on doing more trips like that. Then Kirk got a new job and we were sad to give up that hope but excited about being able to camp more often year round.

The littlest cactus on the trail

After our last trip to Prescott we knew we wanted to go back. Since it’s at a higher elevation we thought it would be a good quick summer camping location. And boy were we right. We researched campgrounds in the area and found a few that had first-come, first-served sites that seemed promising so after work on Friday we headed up. All of the first-come, first-served sites were taken but at one of the campgrounds we talked to the camp host and she was kind enough to tell us where some dispersed sites were.

We got to a dispersed campground at dusk and set up the tent while we still had some light, made some dinner (doubled a dinner the week before and dehydrated half), drank a beer, and went to bed. The forecasted low for the area was around 50º F and we packed accordingly, or so we thought. That first night we slept in shorts and our jackets with our 30º rated blanket and we were freezing. Once the sun came up the tent got warmer and since we get up at 5am weekdays and most weekends we decided to sleep more. When we finally got up we made breakfast (hard boiled eggs instead of our planned omelet since we forgot butter, whoops) and walked up the road to a trailhead.

At the trailhead we looked over the map to find trails we could string together to create a loop and headed off. The parking lot was busy but with 3 trails leaving from it the crowds were pretty dispersed It was an easy day of hiking through Ponderosa pines. We got sidetracked by an alternate route and were fascinated by an abandoned corral and remnants of a chimney. After completing the loop we walked back to our campsite and met a ranger that was checking the area. In the morning I had found a cooler and a few grocery bags full of stuff behind a tree near our site and we had just been talking about what to do with that if no one came for it so we let the ranger know and went back to our site.

We read for a while, made dinner (mashed potatoes), drank, and stargazed for the rest of the evening before pulling on socks and climbing into the tent. Socks ended up making a world of difference to our sleep. We were much warmer and slept much better the second night. In the morning we packed up camp and drove down to the trail for Thumb Butte. It was a steep climb up a paved path that had seen much better days. The views from the lookout at the top were wonderful. We were taken aback by Falcon Nest, a residential home built in 1994 designed by Sukumar Pal. It is the tallest single family home in North America and it’s definitely something to see.

Prescott is a really cute town, and area, that we want to explore more of. There’s a lot of camping and hiking around but the downtown also looks like it’s up our alley so we’re excited to go back next year and stay in a bed and breakfast or Airbnb close to downtown.

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