By Megan Hottman, courtesy of MeganHottman.com
This van trip kicks off with a lovely dose of #americana – some ball sports, some lively hockey, some bike racing, kids running around, the requisite amount of dirt and dust, loads of campers and RVs, ample flag flying and one helleva sunset . I took the @canonusa out to capture all the feels.
Life these days offers glimpses of normalcy and it feels really *really* good. 🙏🏼
Also can I get an amen for @dippindots ?! I haven’t had these in probably 20 years. What a treat.
Ok so where are we? We’re in a large sports complex park in Prescott, AZ. Here for a mountain bike race, I’m experiencing for the first time this parking lot-event style camping vibe.
This wouldn’t be my top vanlife venue choice on a regular basis …but for this event and experience it’s totally fine. This location boasts temps a full 20-25 degrees than in Phoenix so we’re enjoying the nice cool evening temps and the escape from the big-city-heat.
Pros: restrooms close by, lots of friendly humans around, safe.
Cons: all the humans. And pavement.
Saturday’s race went GREAT! I actually warmed up for this race and implemented lessons I learned in March’s bike race … and took the win! I raced women intermediate 40-49, won my age group.
More importantly I felt great – I executed food, warmup and race strategies. I hit the opening stretch and hole shot into the first climb, at the front, and it paid off. I got more and more comfortable with the fast & flowy portions of the course as the race went along. We raced at noon so I did some yoga and a walk beforehand. Not normally things I’d do pre race but I wanted to keep my face out of my phone as I sat there nervously waiting for my start 🙂
One of the race organizers shown above- Les- was so kind. The young gal Pictured -Cat-was the one in front of me I could never quite close in on. She races NCAA triathlon for ASU. She’s 20 years younger than me. The girl who finished right behind me was 18. You have to love a spot that allows women of all ages to closely compete and root one another on ! I highly recommend the MBAA events. This was mY first and I’ll definitely be back it was great !
As I chatted with Cat at the finish I met her friends including a guy named Jason from Bend OR. I mentioned the campsites I was considering for the evening and he gave me some great recommendations as he’d been camping in Prescott for over two weeks. Thankfully we had this convo as the place I planned to camp was full (so many are not doing online reservations only First come First serve). So I moved to the spot Jason had recommended and he was right — it is amazing !!! We were super lucky to snag the last spot.
Once Ramsey and I got settled in we went out for a short hike. There are so many trails right here ! She is such a patient photo subject 😉
Some quick dinner (eggs, Tomato, guac, grapes- a little Bit of everything from the fridge) and some CBD drops and soda to recover from the day and wind down … and then it was time for some evening yoga and star gazing before bed.
Sunday morning we awoke to the best sights and sounds: quiet. And big trees. The kind of stillness and peace we really can only find in nature and these big trees surrounding us make it even more magical. Our Campsite is nice and big, With ample room for me to throw the ball for Ramsey and for her to walk around and explore. There are birds all around us. It’s delightful. 🐦
I made some coffee, oatmeal, got out my journal (and yeah my 👩💻 too) and soaked in the special vibes of this place. I paid to stay a second night since I’m liking it so much. (I usually wait till after night 1 to decide, to be sure my gut has a good vibe about the spot).
I highly recommend this place If you’re ever in the area. It’s west of Prescott and we’re at close to 6000 feet elevation so it’s nice and cool here. I use the Recreation.gov app to scout spots like This- some even have a QR code so you can use a CC to pay for your campsite (otherwise it’s always cash or check).
again though- many are only doing FF right now and not allowing online reservations.
Pros of this site: great cell signal so I was able to use my hotspot to work on my laptop; sites are spaced apart so you have lots of room to move and privacy; great tree cover and lots of trails nearby.
Cons: the ATV crowd riding through the campground BRAAAAAAPPPPing. 🤦♀️
…the other spot nearby I had planned to stay was the Yavapai campground.
It was full but we got to see some cool stuff on the drive, like this overlook :
Then, as these things often go, I connected with Cat, Jason and their crew and we went out for a fun and chill mtn bike ride on the trail system near my campground. Jason is a professional photographer and he brought his camera along and snapped shots of us on the ride and “sessioning” certain tech sections. It was so fun to be part of a totally random group ride. I’ve missed this so much- being out in the world meeting people like this.
Post ride, Ramsey and I went for a nice long run up here in the woods. It feels like Colorado … and if I’m being honest, I think we’re both a bit homesick. 😉