We didn’t realize how spoiled we were in Sedona (small town vibe, national park like views, our off grid + FREE gorgeous camping spot) until we drove into the big city lights of Phoenix. The sixth largest city in the U.S…. over 1.5 million people… over 4+million in the greater Phoenix area… we were not in Kansas (I mean Sedona) anymore.

In an attempt to stay away from the city bustle, we stayed at Usery Mountain Park (over 30 miles from downtown) which is one of six parks in the Maricopa County Regional Area. Their spacious $30/night sites with water and electric are reservable and will fill up this time of year (winter is the on season for Phoenix). We spent a few afternoons hiking and biking in the Park. Wind Cave Trail was our favorite hike in the Park. We enjoyed the short 3 mi RT hike at sunset.

What is he doing!?
Campsite views
View from Wind Cave Trail at sunset
Biking around Usery Mountain Park 


We eventually gave into the city’s pulse but only for… friends, more hikes and sports!

Stanford vs. ASU – Women’s Volleyball
The BEST comp tix to Sharks vs. Coyotes
Awesome seats right!? A huge thanks to my old co-worker from the San Francisco Giants for hooking us up!
Biked to Scottsdale for a trip down memory lane at Scottsdale Stadium
Quick smoothie/acai break at Old Town Local Cafe… so good!
Great catch up session at Sip Coffee and Beer Garage with an old San Francisco friend!
Hiking Tom’s Thumb about 35 miles NE of downtown Phoenix
Hiking only with our thumb’s up
It was a two thumbs up hike for sure (ha, lame I know)
Quick morning hike up Echo Canyon to Camelback Mountain  – most ppl will say this is a must if you are near downtown Phoenix
In December, volunteers carry a X-Mas tree to the top of Camelback and hikers decorate it with environmentally friendly ornaments 🙂


Phoenix was the perfect hub for us to fly home to Florida to see my folks for Thanksgiving. Luckily (through a friend of a friend of a friend) we met Ceda and her son, Matt who let us park our trailer at their horse ranch. The mother and son duo board horses from Rancho Pacifico in Scottsdale. They were such lovely people! If you are a traveling equestrian or passing through the area, check them out here. They have a 1,000 sq ft one bedroom back house you can rent!


The Lance amongst horse trailers… she felt right at home