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McDowell Mtn Park - E.I. Rowland CG

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McDowell Mtn Park - E.I. Rowland CG
« on: September 14, 2011, 03:41:00 pm »
I put ~20gal (~$65!) of gas into the RV & headed out of town on 9/9 to the nearby Regional Park known as McDowell just outside Fountain Hills.  I've been there at least 3X previously but always over the New Year holiday; & always w/in-laws & their RV.  This time, when I arrived, I thought someone forgot to tell me that E.I. Rowland CG was closed!  Except for one lone, unoccupied 5th wheel @ the W end of the N loop - there was no one else there!  No camp hosts, no trailers, no tents, nothing.  I checked the elec & water masts as well as the showers & rest rooms & everything seemed in order so I picked the perfect spot (no, it wasn't the one the 5th wheel was in!) & commenced hooking up, distributing the gear, flying the jolly roger & the stars & stripes.  Had a quick sandwich for dinner & settled in to watch the 1st of the early evening thunderstorms.
Awaking on Saturday morning I was surprised to see that the desert had soaked up all of that rain water.  Rode the mtn bike on the 15.7mi Pemberton Tr counter-clockwise & thought I might've missed the route directional sign as every other mtn bike & runner I saw was coming the other way.  Did the complete circuit & made it to the Nature/Visitor Center in time for the reptile feeding.  Turns out, they purchase "rat-in-a-bag" (deceased) to satisfy the snake's appetites.  Young Ranger acting as waitress made a big deal out of explaining that the rats are raised specifically for this purpose & are killed humanely.  Excuse me - its a rat!  Headed back to the RV & it's A/C  where lunch was prepared, napping was pursued & the awning was rolled out for more shade.  As the dinner hr approached, I struggled w/choosing between a light meal which would enable me to participate in the moonlight mtn bike ride on the competitive track (normally closed @ sunset) or the full-out steak & mashed potatoes on the grill .  Noticed the clouds approaching along w/lightning/thunder & the former cow parts won out (wonder if it was killed humanely?).  Sure enough, right @ the start time of the ride (& ever so slightly after I rolled the awning back up! ), the heavens opened up for the regular early evening dowsing.  Relaxed the rest of the evening watching M.A.S.H. reruns & eating Cherry Garcia ice cream.
Sunday, 9/11, 10th Anniversary.  Donned the "Never Forget" T-shirt & started putzing around the RV, putting things away while the TV was playing the reading of the names at the NYC memorial.  W/unit all packed up, I headed for the CG dump where, wouldn't you know it, the only other folks in the CG (who had come in the night before) were hooking up to dump their trailer waste.  No worries, there were 2 access caps!  The other folks related to me their sordid, wet tale of getting caught in the downpour at the competitive track the night before.  I started to tell them Tom's Tall Tale  of the Chupacabra, rumored to be up from it's lair in southern Arizona when they mysteriously finished their flush & drove off.  As the only unit in the CG now, I headed back to one of the pristine shower units & freshened up before a brief & uneventful drive home.