15. Arizona

After a couple of relaxing days with good friends Krista and Tina in the San Diego area, it was on to major league baseball’s spring training in Phoenix, Arizona.

As a home base we chose Picacho State Park about an hour south of Phoenix. This gem of a park reminded us of all the camping conveniences we missed out on while in Mexico. Full hook-ups, yes! Clean bathrooms and showers with hot water, yes! Wifi, yes! $4 a night and nearby tacos so good they make you want to cry? Sadly no, but I guess you can’t have it all. Before catching some baseball, we decided on a day of hiking. To start getting our muscles back in shape we chose to tackle the strenuous Picacho Peak Trail.


Picacho Peak in the distance, our goal for the following days hike.

After making it about ½ way up we realized we hadn’t brought enough water. Wendy and Indi selflessly turned around and gave Jason the extra water bottle so he could summit this afternoon and not be a grumpy hiker this evening.


Happy girls


Only a few sketchy parts on the way up


Thirsty, but at the top

Spring training in Arizona is truly the way baseball was meant to be watched; small ballparks, friendly and enthusiastic fans, and beautiful weather. Jason’s cousin Anna–who lives in the area–graciously offered to take Indi swimming with her boys while we caught the game. We thought about forcing her to go with us as part of her “American education” but decided we’d probably have more fun on our own.

There were many options for games, naturally Jason chose the stadium on the opposite side of Phoenix that required us to navigate 28 different freeways to reach, during rush hour. Why you might ask? The Cubbies! Our family doesn’t have any strong baseball allegiances, but we have enough friends that are die hard Cubs fans that we decided it was worth the extra travel time. Yep, taking one for the team. Again.


Cubbies warming up



Hit ‘n Run


Jason enjoying the “Ruthian Dog”

Peoria Sports Complex was an awesome place to catch a ball game. We only wish we had brought a blanket and got a seat on the lawn in the outfield. Jason is already planning a future guys’ spring training/golf trip with his friends. It’s going to happen.

Before leaving Arizona, we had to stop at the historic town of Tombstone for some Western culture and old fashioned sasparilla. I’m not sure what was more entertaining, the re-enactment or the storm chaser that was sitting next to me trying that Oregon was a good market for tornado tours.


Doc Holliday takin’ care of business in a re-enactment of the shootout at the O.K. Corral


Just in case anyone is in the market for a private storm chasing tour.

And lastly a night of camping in Chiricahua National Park. Next up… New Mexico!

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