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Grand Canyon, AZ

Jan’s 1st Selfie


We arrived at Trailer Village at the Grand Canyon last Saturday afternoon. It’s a full hookup campground and we’re here for two weeks.

This is our third visit here. The first time we essentially drove by in 1992 during our Route 66 tour. In 1994, we stayed at El Tovar for several days and absolutely loved it.


Click on map to enlarge


On our way up this time up we had concerns about the cold and the possibility of getting snow. We saw patches of it on the sides of Interstate 40 outside of Flagstaff.

Also, the Grand Canyon is at 6,800 feet. Elevation plays a huge role in weather as the further up you go, the colder it gets.


Click to enlarge


On our first day here we walked to the canyon’s rim and logged about 3 miles. There is plenty to do here . . . more later . . .

Some photos from Jan . . .



Camp Verde, AZ

After we left Alamo Lake State Park, we spent one day in Wickenburg, AZ because it was halfway between Alamo Lake and our next destination Camp Verde.

Click on map to enlarge


CAMP VERDE (3,147 ft elevation)

We’re staying 4 nights at a campground that looked promising. It’s under new ownership, and the online reviews sounded good. We have strong signals for both Verizon and AT&T, plus the camp WiFi is passable.

Our Camp Verde Site


While we camped here, Jan baked a loaf of banana bread in our convection oven . . .



JEROME (5,066 ft elevation)

The View from Jerome (click on photo to enlarge)

After resting a day, we drove to see the abandoned copper mine in Jerome, AZ which is about 2,000 feet higher in elevation. We didn’t really notice, besides occasional ear popping, until we started driving the ledge roads coming into Jerome. Ledge roads have steep drop offs and I was driving the outside lane near the drop off. Nancy, Mary, are you hearing this?

Also, most of the buildings in Jerome are built on ledges — steep ledges.

Jerome, AZ (click on photo to enlarge)


There was a mining museum there and lots of stuff to look at.


SEDONA (4,350 ft elevation)

We kinda sorta planned a driving tour of Sedona on our third day in Camp Verde. What a mistake! Seriously, if you want to explore Sedona, stay in one of the hotels for a month. The traffic in and out of Sedona was horrific. There was really no place to stop and take pictures as there was a plethora of PRIVATE PROPERTY, NO PARKING, and NO TRESPASSING signs. Really inviting.

High point of this trip was Pizza Lisa where we stopped for lunch. We highly recommend this restaurant.

However, we were able to grab a few photos . . .



Red Rocks Everywhere



While I slept in on our fourth day here, Jan drove to theĀ Montezuma Castle National Monument just outside Camp Verde.

Visitors are no longer allowed inside the cliff dwelling, but Jan did take these photos.



NEXT STOP: Grand Canyon

The Grand Alignment Weekend Has Arrived

This weekend the planets align . . .

FRIDAY – Blackpink play Coachella


SATURDAY – BTS appear on SNL


SUNDAY – GOT is back

Alamo Lake State Park (Wenden, AZ)


Click on map to enlarge

We left River Island State Park on Friday, April 5th and traveled to Alamo Lake State Park near Wenden, AZ. We stayed three nights.

As the crow flies, Alamo Lake is not far from River Island. However, there are mountains and rough terrain in between the two parks. So it ended up to be about a 100-mile trip.

Alamo Lake is a huge natural catch basin that was made into a lake when the Army Corps of Engineers built a dam to create the lake in 1968. There are three fishing ramps into the lake, each at a different elevation. This is necessary because lake levels can vary dramatically — up to 11 feet in just overnight.

Wild burros inhabit the area. Both Jan and I spotted a burro near our campsite. We heard them braying at night. They are loud.

Our Site

We had to use our HughesNET Gen 5 satellite Internet dish again as there was no AT&T or Verizon coverage. However, we did have full hookups.

Here are some photos from our stay . . .

Jan’s Painting Table


They’re Everywhere


Corps of Engineers Dam



Jan’s Alamo Lake Watercolor


HughesNET Gen 5 Evaluation 3 Results

This is my Internet speed test 3rd Evaluation of my HughesNET Gen5 satellite dish.

The results of this latest eval show a rather drastic speed decrease when compared to my previous two HughesNET evaluations, but I think these latest test results are the most realistic.

In my previous two evaluations I used several speed test programs —,, and Bandwidth Place. I thought that averaging the results from three programs would be more accurate than from just a single speed tester.

Now I don’t think so. I noticed wildly different results, and some test programs always seemed to skew high. For example, Ookla’s highly recommended Speedtest application yielded contradictory results: it came up with higher speeds for my HughesNET Gen 5 than for the actually faster campground WiFi (see attached PDF for my raw test results).

After some research, I settled on using just a single Internet speed tester: To me’s methodolody (see “How It Works”) more accurately predicts actual web browser behavior than other Internet speed testers.


While download and upload speeds are very important, there are other considerations. One of those is ease of use.

I’ve been able to set up my .98M dish HughesNET system in about half an hour. It’s actually easier to aim than my DISH satellite TV.

Finally, I can live with my latest download speed findings of about 6 Mbps. It’s dependable and allows me to stream video in the middle of the desert.