Saturday March 21st 2020
Today I pulled the plug on my current travel plans. I’ve taken a site at an RV park in Eloy Arizona for the next two months. It is the same park I spent the month of March in during 2017. It is about an hour south of Phoenix along Interstate 10 south of Casa Grande Arizona.
My decision was driven by a desire to be ahead of the ever changing restrictions imposed by the government to fight the COVID-19 virus. I’ve been watching the news with respect to my next month of destinations closely. I probably would have been OK at my next stop at the Dead Horse Ranch State Park near Cottonwood AZ. This state currently seems committed to keeping the parks open for camping, but it could change at any moment. My options in the Cottonwood and Sedona area are not as plentiful as in Phoenix and points south, so it would be a risk.
My second stop in April was a week at the Grand Canyon. The park is still open, but the buildings and exhibits aren’t. The bus transportation has been stopped, but car traffic has not been opened into all areas of the national park. The Trailer Village campground is only open to fully self contained RVs with existing reservations. I meet the criteria, but who knows how long the current condition will apply.
After the Grand Canyon I was heading to Monument Valley on the Navajo Indian Nation. All access to Navajo tourist attractions has been suspended. I still have a viable campsite in the middle of the area, but what I could see would be very limited. I also understand the cell phone access and internet are not good at the campground. I’m not sure this is the time to be that disconnected.
The next stop was going to be at the Glen Canyon Lake Powell National Recreation Area. Once again the campground is open, but buildings are closed and tours aren’t running. The government and health officials in nearby Page Arizona have started to raise concerns about all the tourists in the area. Similar concerns last week by Moab Utah officials was followed a couple of days later by public and private campgrounds and hotels being ordered to close. This is probably a counter measure to the large number of people heading for Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks both of which remain open to a limited extent.
At the beginning of May I was planning to visit Zion National Park again. The campground is not the issue since my plan was to stay in Hurricane UT a couple of dozen miles west of the park. The problem is they’ve shut the buses down in the park, so it is one big traffic jam.
The next significant stop on my travel plan is Yellowstone NP at the end of May. I still hope to make that one, but time will tell. For now, I’ve got a site in a good size RV park that should be isolated from the changing government requirements intended to keep the health care system from getting overloaded.