The Old Airstrip

After a lazy morning at the stabby/spiky things campsite we’ve arrived at the self-storage place in Glendale later than I would have liked. It takes a couple of hours to go through the stuff and decide what comes and what stays in storage and then offload into the storage unit and rearrange what remains. We’ve driven away from the self-storage place about 1000lbs lighter! That should certainly help with the gas mileage. After dropping off the load of stuff that’s been filling up the camper shell for the last few days it will be nice to be able to sleep back there once again.

The general plan of attack is to head north up towards Flagstaff as we explore the possibilities Arizona has to offer. Since we had a late start we don’t have too long before darkness sets in so we only drive about an hour north of Glendale to the Lake Pleasant Area to look for camping opportunities. Once again the Free Campsites page helps narrow down the possibilities and we choose The Old Airstrip.

From I-17, exit West onto Lake Pleasant Road (Hwy 74). Stay on Lake Pleasant Road about 14 miles. Two miles past the Lake Pleasant Dam turn Right onto Hot Castle Springs Road, travel North 4 miles you will pass the Entrance to Lake Pleasant Campground (it’s a weekday so the crowds are probably light but still…). We continue North for another few miles until the road dead-ends at a Stop sign. We turn Left because to the right is the North Entrance to Lake Pleasant Campground…more paid camping and crowds…not for us. In 1/4 mile the road turned into a well maintained hard pack dirt road. We air down again because it makes it so much more comfortable. After about 3 miles we crossed a bridge, then two miles more we turned right on Cow Creek Road. Drive Cow Creek Road less than two miles, when we intersect Cougars Run (cool, Mountain Lions) the entrance to Old Airstrip (officially called Bradshaw Foothills on the sign) is just on the right. Pick a spot, any spot.

BLM info sign
BLM Info Sign

There are a few groups of people, right near the entrance, mostly with young children and a few pre-teens about. A couple have 4-wheel ATV’s out and are learning how to make dust and noise and annoy their neighbors by doing donuts around and around and around. That’s all the reason we need to head to the far opposite end of the airstrip.

After getting situated we do a quick garbage pickup as is our habit.

a pile of garbage I collected
The pile of garbage I collected

Besides the assorted case of various beer bottles and cans I was actually pleasantly surprised that there was not a whole lot more like we expected.

As darkness starts to set upon us everyone else at the airstrip packs up and heads out. We have the place to ourselves for the rest of the night. We wake up the next morning nice and refreshed after sleeping in the shell, on a big pad with plenty of space for the two of us listening to a pack of coyotes barking their signals to one another as they let the pack know that interlopers are about.

After my morning coffee and Willow’s breakfast we pack up and head out on the road again at a much earlier time than the day before.

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