Sedona

Desert Shores is now but a distant memory. We left this beautiful resort in Southern California on Sunday with our first stop at Distant Drums RV Resort in Camp Verde, Arizona, only a gentle 5-hour drive, for two nights.

Our plan was to spend the afternoon, evening and the following day hiking in the Sedona area.

We left Indio, California later than planned. I was a bit rusty on getting the coach all set and ready to go. And, stiff. Physically stiff. I found the drive much tougher than I expected. The driving conditions were fine, clear weather, light winds, not much in the way of traffic, but I was definitely tense behind the wheel.

When we arrived into Distant Drums, I was pretty much spent. No hiking that day. In fact, I went to bed at 8pm and slept through to 6am. Very unusual for me.

Distant Drums RV Resort was a pleasant enough place to stay. The park is paved with concrete pads at each site. Well maintained, quiet and clean.

Sites are tight though. You need to be careful about where you get placed if you are coming in with a large coach. We had site 40. Fairly wide and a nice view out the front window.

The camp WiFi here is totally unusable. Campgrounds should provide a usable service or provide an honest assessment of the service: “We offer free WiFi but you really can’t use it for anything whatsoever.”

We used our hotspot for the two days we stopped here. Canadian data plans are amongst the worst and most expensive in the industrialized world. Our plan includes 15GB of data per month which is shared between Lorraine and myself. All that data for only $284 CAD per month.

We will be using a U.S. data plan when we return next year.

At just under 41 feet, our coach barely fit on the concrete pad and there was little room to squeeze our toad in beside the coach. This park was designed for much smaller rigs. Something to keep in mind if you come here with a large motorcoach.

The real attraction of this resort? Proximity to places like Sedona.

A 30 to 40 minute drive found us at the trailhead for Little Horse Trail, an easy hike out to Chicken Point Overlook.

We arrived to the trailhead before the crowds. After 9am or so, the parking lot becomes overwhelmed and you won’t find a spot for your car.

There is a unique beauty to Sedona. We have been here many times and every time we come back we are inspired by the majestic surroundings.

Although out in nature, the civilized world is never too far away. Contrails made shooting the trail challenging. The unparalleled Arizona skies were littered with them.

We spent a couple of hours hiking towards Chicken Point Overlook keeping in mind that we often diverge from the main trails that the tourists follow and that I am also taking a lot of photos along the way.

There are a constant flow of jeep tours that come out to the Chicken Point Overlook. You can make out a few of the tourists in the photo below.

Once we reached the overlook, there were 40 or 50 people from the various jeep tour companies. I was able to find a willing volunteer to snap this shot.

At least I can prove that I made it to the overlook.

The view from up here is really nice. I can see why the jeep tours make this stop.

But, if you hike on foot, away from the crowded jeep tourists, you can get a different perspective.

We spent most of the day hiking around this area. And, as the afternoon passed, we reluctantly said good-bye to Sedona.

When we left Distant Drums on the Tuesday morning, we had our longest driving day of the trip back to Canada. I am writing this entry from Ruidoso Motorcoach Ranch in New Mexico. More on the drive to New Mexico and this stunning park in our next post.

Last shot of the hike. Such an amazing day with my beautiful wife.

Talk To The Hand

I just do not get rude salespeople.

Wait.

Before I go there.

A bit of background.

I know I posted yesterday that we would not be back to California next year unless I did something silly, like buy a site.

Today we went shopping for a site.

We were really interested to learn more about the ownership opportunities at Motorcoach Country Club. And, for some perspective, we wanted to compare the ownership opportunities at Motorcoach Country Club with the Outdoor Resort Indio.

We have not purchased a site in this area but if we were to do so, Motorcoach Country Club would be a very strong contender.

Like Desert Shores, Motorcoach Country Club is a beautiful place. One of the shots of the property from their website. You can check out the full gallery here.

We called both resorts earlier this week to arrange meetings. Motorcoach Country Club for today at 10am and Outdoor Resort Indio for today at 12noon.

We showed up a few minutes before 10am at Motorcoach Country Club. We were greeted at the front desk and announced to the salesperson. He was running a few minutes late but he came out of his office on his phone to let us know that he would be right with us.

And he finished his call promptly.

He introduced himself. We introduced ourselves. We talked about our budget and what kind of sites we wanted and he took us out for about an hour or so to see the available inventory.

He was clearly skilled at selling real estate and he was a well developed, personal salesperson.

Kinda what you would expect from someone in a sales role. Courteous and helpful.

Outdoor Resort Indio?

Our appointment had been set for 12 noon at Outdoor Resort Indio.

We arrived a few minutes before 12 noon.

Now, I admit, I have a pretty strong value around punctuality. If I make an appointment for 12 noon, I will be there for 12 noon. I expect the same from the other party. Lorraine is far more easygoing on this front.

We checked in at the front desk and we were told that the salesperson was busy and might be another 10 minutes or so.

About 15 minutes later, an unidentified person entered the lobby and handed us some papers.

“Here,” she said, “took a look at the list of available lots.”

And then she left without saying another word.

Initially I thought that this was someone who worked at the front desk. I did not know that this was our salesperson.

We continued to wait.

30 minutes from our original appointment, the person who had handed us those papers came back.

“I am so busy. Another lot sold. I will take you out now. Let’s go.”

She did not introduce herself.

And she did not ask for our names.

No “Hello”.

No “How are you.”

No “I am sorry to have kept you waiting.”

Nope. We were interrupting her busy day.

As we walked outside, I stopped by the door. My punctuality value had reached its limit.

She continued walking but then she discovered that I wasn’t with her.

She turned around.

“Since this appears to be an imposition on your valuable time, we won’t be heading out to take a look at any of your sites.”

She appeared puzzled.

I continued, calm and polite, like a good Canadian, eh.

“My perception is that you have been quite rude. You kept us waiting without any apology. You did not introduce yourself. You haven’t even asked us for our names.”

I waited for a response.

Perhaps a response like this one.

“I am so sorry. I had an unexpected call. I really want to show you our beautiful resort and I would love to have you make us your home away from home.”

Nope.

Nothing like that at all.

Instead.

Talk to the hand.

“Well, I am so busy right now.”

Sigh.

We said goodbye and we left.

Puzzled at this approach to selling lots. More of an order taker role I guess. Business must be very brisk at that resort property.

Oh well.

We had a wonderful time looking at the lots at Motorcoach Country Club. Very nice place.

The Perfect Park

Where, oh where, should we park our coach? Part of our planning includes places we would like to visit and some nice places to park the coach while we are visiting.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Where me might want to park our coach is likely different from where you might like to park your coach. I lean on many others, wiser and more experienced than me, to give me ideas. And the list gets updated as we do our travel planning. We have yet to find the perfect park although we have stayed at some truly awesome places.

I’ve marked those places that we have stayed/visited with a basic rating: won’t be back, okay, good enough, more than good enough, awesome.

Perhaps this list might give you some ideas if you are looking for that perfect place to park your coach. And if you have found some gems, do let me know. Especially if you find some in Canada.

Alabama
Bella Terra of Gulf Shores
Heritage Motorcoach Resort & Marina: more than good enough
Pandion Ridge RV Resort

Arizona
The Motorcoach Resort: more than good enough

Arkansas
Ozarks RV Resort

California
Cava Robles
Desert Shores Resort: awesome
Durango RV Resort
Emerald Desert RV Resort
Golden Village Palms RV Resort
Motorcoach Country Club: awesome
Outdoor Resort Indio: more than good enough
Outdoor Resort Palm Springs
Vines RV Resort
Yanks RV Resort

Colorado
Tiger Run RV Resort

Florida
Aztec RV Resort
Bluewater Key RV Resort
Coastline RV Resort
Everglades Isle
Myakka Motorcoach Resort: awesome
Naples Motorcoach Resort
Pelican Lake Motorcoach Resort: awesome
Riverbend Motorcoach Resort
Santa Rosa RV Resort

Georgia
Crossing Creeks RV Resort

Louisiana
Reunion Lake RV Resort

Michigan
Hearthside Grove: awesome
Petoskey RV Resort: more than good enough
Traverse Bay RV Resort

Missouri
Riviera Villas RV Resort

Montana
Polson Motorcoach Resort

Nevada
Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort: more than good enough
Solstice Motorcoach Resort

New Mexico
Angel Fire RV Resort
Ruidoso Motorcoach Ranch

New York
Swan Bay Resort: okay (we did not have a good experience when we were there)

North Carolina
Apple Valley Farm Motorcoach Resort
Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort: awesome

Oregon
Crown Villa RV Resort
Seven Feathers RV Resort

South Carolina
Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort: more than good enough
Lake Greenwood Motorcoach Resort

Tennessee
Anchor Down RV Resort
The Dell
Two Rivers Landing RV Resort

Texas
Alsatian RV Resort: good enough
Rayford Crossing RV Resort: good enough
Stella Mare RV Resort

Utah
Mountain Valley RV Resort

Tour of Desert Shores

Curious to know what it’s like to stay at Desert Shores Motorcoach Resort?

I will say that it is the nicest resort that we have visited. Beautifully done in every way. The developer, Bob Lee, left quite a legacy here. Bob founded Country Coach, one of the industry’s premier builders of Class A diesel pusher coaches. Sadly, Country Coach failed during the Great Financial Collapse of 2008-2009. Looks like Winnebago bought out all of what remains of the company.

Bob passed away in October of 2017.

Perhaps Bob Lee’s influence on Desert Shores is the reason why we see such a large number of Country Coaches here.

This resort is very expensive to buy or lease. Class A Diesel Pushers only with a minimum length of 36 feet. No daily or weekly rentals. Monthly rental rates are between $4,000 and $7,000 USD so be prepared to dig deep if you come here.

And it is also very quiet and very private. When we walk the resort, which we do every day, we rarely see anyone. In a way, Desert Shores reminds me of living in a nice subdivision where you don’t necessarily get to know your neighbours all that well.

Don’t get me wrong. Everyone we have met here has been very friendly. The design of the park provides so much privacy that it is not hard to feel a bit isolated at times. Not a bad place to be isolated though.

Here is a video where we walk through the resort.

Desert Shores

We made it. 2,500 miles. 11 days. 55 hours behind the wheel including fuel stops. And now we are in beautiful southern California at the stunning Desert Shores Motorcoach Resort.

This is our site for the next two months.

You can just make out the back of our coach on the side of our coach house.

A better view of the back of the coach.

Lots of space on the pad. We could easily fit four vehicles along with the coach in this driveway.

We do not have the use of the coach house during our stay. This site is for sale and the coach house does not have any furnishings.

It is a good size though, easily 1,000 square feet or more.

The front of the site includes a private pool and spa. I know, I know. We are living the tough life in retirement.

Each site is secluded. The landscaping provides isolation from the neighbouring sites.

And the views! We have water, palm trees and beautiful landscapes nestled amongst the mountains.

Getting ourselves settled in and looking forward to spending a few months here before making the long drive back to Canada in April.

Last driving video from The Motorcoach Resort in Chandler, Arizona to Desert Shores.

In the video, if you wonder what happened to all of the fruit that we removed from our coach, we gave it away to another family. It did not go to waste. And the state of California can breathe a little easier knowing that we did not illegally transport any restricted fruits.