Apache Junction

 Posted by at 2:03 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 292011

It sure feels good not to have to wear a jacket, run the furnace, or have to put the motorhome’s engine block heater on before we start it up in the morning! I could get used to this! 

In yesterday’s blog I said that we planned to be up and on the road early, but while we woke up at 7 a.m., we just couldn’t seem to get in gear. We were lazy and stayed in bed snuggling and relaxing for another hour or so.

It was almost 10 a.m. by the time we pulled out of the Pima County Fairgrounds and got onto Interstate 10. We always wait until rush hour is over before we start out in the morning, but that didn’t mean traffic was light by any means. The highway through town, and all the way to the Phoenix area, was busy with cars, trucks, and RVs going in both directions.

I 10 traffic

I love driving our Winnebago Ultimate Advantage. The motorhome just purrs along, unfazed by passing eighteen wheelers, with never a hiccup climbing the steep grades out west.  

Nick driving

We passed Picacho Peak, site of Arizona’s only Civil War battle, and now a state park. Every year the battle is re-enacted by costumed Civil War buffs; this year’s event will take place March 13 and 14. Since the state is going to close Picacho Peak State Park in June, due to budget cuts, the future of the annual re-enactments is in doubt. 

Miss Terry always has her digital camera at the ready, and got this great picture of a motorhome passing the peak. I’m always amazed at what she can do with a cheap point and shoot pocket camera.

Picacho Peak motorhome

We stopped for fuel at the Flying J in Eloy, and thought about getting a couple thousand miles of road grime off the RV at the Blue Beacon Truck Wash across the road from the truck stop. But they had a long line of big trucks in line, and we didn’t want to wait that long, so we got back on the highway with the same dirty coach we pulled in with.

North of Casa Grande, we pulled into a rest area for a quick potty break, and thought we must have intruded on a drug bust or something. There were six or eight Highway Patrol cars in the rest area, and officers were swarming over every commercial truck there. Apparently it was some sort of spot safety check, because they were checking drivers’ log books, vehicle lights and turn signals, air brakes, and even had the hood up on one truck, examining the engine compartment. They didn’t seem to have any interest in us, so we were on our way soon. 

We arrived in Apache Junction about 1 p.m., got settled into our RV site, and then drove over to Terry’s parents’ house. Pete and Bess were happy to see their daughter, as always, and we had a nice visit that stretched out over several hours. We’re looking forward to lot of family time while we’re here.  

We have a page on our Gypsy Journal website that lists RV Un-Friendly Communities that do not allow overnight parking in places like WalMart. Yesterday, longtime reader Bob Derivan sent me a story from the Lake City Reporter newspaper, telling how that Florida community has banned RV parking overnight on any commercial property in the city, except for RV parks. 

According to the article, Cecil Shaw, owner of the E-Z Stop RV Park, has succeeded in his efforts to have the city enforce a ban on RVs parking overnight at WalMart, claiming that it takes customers away from his business.

We have spent a lot of time and money in Lake City in the past, but we’ll avoid it from now on. I also sent the newspaper and mayor an e-mail telling them that we’ll vote with our wallet and keep right on driving when we come to Lake City in the future. The mayor’s name and e-mail address are Mayor Stephen M Witt, witts@lcfla.com. The newspaper publisher is Todd Wilson at twilson@lakecityreporter.com.

There are plenty of other places that welcome us and our dollars. And if we ever did have to stop in Lake City overnight for some reason, you can bet it won’t be at Mr. Shaw’s RV park!

Thought For The Day – Hold yourself to a higher standard than anybody else expects of you.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  14 Responses to “Apache Junction”

  1. Read the article on the rv unfriendly city of Lake City,Florida. Could you put up the address where we could let them know we have wheels and can move on to where the next town would love to have our money. Like you this campground owner will not get our money. Its a shame when a town listens to one person for advice.

  2. Here is a tiny url of the article. http://tinyurl.com/4ocjkxy

    I had expressed my opinion as an RVer and the editor asked me if I wanted my thoughts to appear in the “letters to the editor” on Sunday. I submitted a revised writeup, addressing the issues that we have often discussed in the walmartrving@yahoogroup.com group.

    Incidently, the ordinance has been on the Lake City books for 10 years plus according to the editor. It was only recently that it became an issue when the two local RV park owners pushed the issue. The campgrounds are: In and Out RV park at I75 exit 427 386-752-1648 and E Z Stop RV Park at I75 exit 414 Local Phone: 386-752-2279.

    Walmart put up the signs, but has stated that they will not enforce the rule, neither has the city done any enforcement. The report on the Walmartrving group is that RVs continue to use the lot.


  3. I agree. We will also cross Lake City off our list of places to stop. This should be posted on the Escapees site as well to spread the word.

  4. We too will cross Lake City off our list of places to stop! When will Campground owners realize the difference between someone wanting a place to stop for one night vs those who wish to spend several days or more? I have told campground owners who “hassle” me at a “freebie” overnight location that if I have a good experience and want to come back for a longer period of time I will use their CG. It is up to the town to make it worthwhile to come back for a longer stay, not a CG owner trying to get a few overnighters. In the long run CG owners with this attitude loose!

  5. Nick:

    Please leave town ASAP! The weather here has been wonderful with highs in the 70s. You come to town and now the NWS predicts a high of 55* by Wednesday. You must be the Pied Piper of bad weather!

  6. Lake City sure could use the money, but this town seems to always be short sighted .The other year some of the dining business in old downtown wanted to put out a few tables in front of store so patrons could enjoy the weather and have lunch or dinner. Shot down in an instant. I never see more than 4 RVs in Walmart here, and they always shop and eat…
    Lake City (unfortunately)

  7. I just sent the mayor of Lake City a long email letting him know that we will boycott Lake City from now on unless they rescind the law.

    Mayor Stephen M Witt, email address: witts@lcfla.com

    I also sent an email to Casey Jones RV Park where we always stay telling him that we will be by passing Lake City from now on and who to blame for the loss of business,

  8. I sent an email to the Lake City Reporter (newspaper) and to the mayor.

  9. Nick, If you still need a wash job when you get to Yuma, I had my MH washed yesterday, toad included for $35.00 There are several ads in the local paper at this price, they come to you and furnish spot free water.

  10. Nick after reading the article concerning Lake City, FL’s decision to enforce the RVing ban in the local WalMart in their local newspaper (dated 1/28/11) I fired off a letter to their publisher expressing my displeasure with the City’s decision.
    I thought that it might get more “air play” than sending it to someone in their government (letters tend to get lost in govenment offices, you know).
    I certainly have no problem with bypassing Lake City, FL and spending my money elsewhere.

  11. I sent the following e-mail to Lake City Mayor Steve Witt witts@lcfla.com and Lake City Reporter publisher Todd Wilson at twilson@lakecityreporter.com:

    Mayor Witt,
    My name is Nick Russell and I am the publisher of the Gypsy Journal RV travel newspaper http://www.gypsyjournal.net.

    In the past, we have spent a lot of time and money in Lake City, dining at favorite places like Cedar River Seafood, attending the annual Battle of Olustee re-enactment, and shopping at local merchants for everything from groceries, to Christmas gifts, to clothing.

    When we were going to be in town for any length of time, we stayed at your local RV parks. If it was a quick overnight stop, we usually parked at Wal-mart, or the big empty parking lot between the mall and Lowes, long enough to visit a local restaurant for dinner, and then back to our motorhome for the night. We usually fueled up while in town.

    However, given your new stance against RVers parking overnight on commercial lots, with permission, we will be bypassing Lake City in the future. We take absolutely nothing away from your town’s economy if we park overnight at Wal-Mart and places like that, and spend money in town shopping or dining. But the decision to enforce an RV parking ban means we will take all of our money away from now on. Not just from the RV parks where we have stayed in the past, but also from your restaurants, stores, gas stations, etc.

    When RVers visit a place to spend time, they like the amenities of an RV park, But when all we want to do is sleep and get back on the road the next morning, we don’t want the expense, or the extra time involved in checking into an RV park, hooking up to their utilities, etc. We never stop at an RV park for a quick overnight stop, so by enforcing this rule, you are still not going to bring extra business to your town’s campgrounds. It is business they never would have had anyway.

    However, by trying to make a couple of campground owners happy, you are actually depriving other businesses of sales, and your community of tax revenues. That seems pretty short sighted to me.

    I have urged my readers to take the same course of action as we are, in my blog at https://gypsyjournalrv.com/2011/01/apache-junction/

    I hope you will reconsider this foolish move on Lake City’s part. We like your town, and we will miss stopping there. But we refuse to let a couple of greedy RV park owners dictate to us where we must stay!
    Nick Russell

  12. Nick — You can add Everett, Washington to the list of cities that are unfriendly to RV’s. We had an early a.m. appointment at a local dealer for RV repairs and he suggested that we park at the local Walmart just down the street for the night. We asked for and were given permission to stay by a Walmart employee. The next morning we were visited by the local gendarme at 7 AM, who told us to leave immediately or risk arrest. The city of Everett apparently has a no RV overnight policy anywhere in the city. You can bet we lit out of there as quickly as possible and were early for our repair appointment. Never again!!!!!!

  13. Nick, I too sent an e-mail to Mayor Stephen M Witt, witts@lcfla.com. and Todd Wilson at twilson@lakecityreporter.com.

    I think you need to know. Your decision has made the Escapees (a large
    RVing group) Discussion Forum and Nick’s Blog of the Gypsy Journal (a
    respected RV businessman and RVing newspaper). The information is
    spreading thoughout the RVing community. The word is getting out NOT to
    stop in Lake City for anything: camping supplies or anything. We agree
    with the decision. We are Florida residents but also RVers. Since your
    city has taken on such an unfriendly stance we can not support your city
    or it’s merchants. Cutting your nose off to spite your face is a sad
    commentary for Lake City.

    I ran a rally at Stephen Foster State Park and brought a number of
    people into your town for dinner and shopping. I will not longer
    recommend to other groups looking for a rally spot to use this venue or
    use your city. You are already losing business. You need to rethink your

    God luck, you are going to need it.

    Connie Ohlman Bradish

  14. I think it’s ridiculous that you pay registrations fees and taxes on an RV just like any other vehicle yet municipalities and county governments can profile and discriminate against the RV. You could pull into Walmart at Lake City in a car or minivan shut of the motor and sleep all night and no one would bother you but try it in an RV…

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