Saturday, July 25, 2009

Where nothing can possibly go wrong go wrong go wrong

We are at Westworld in Scottsdale, Arizona (map). I keep looking over my shoulder for an animatronic Yul Brynner hunting me down with a six gun.

Westworld is an equestrian and event center operated by the City of Scottsdale, on Bureau of Reclamation land that serves as the emergency flood buffer zone for the Central Arizona Project. Because of the nature of the events held here, they have at least ten distinct RV lots with water and electric, with hundreds and hundreds of pedestals. I'm not certain of the total count, but it is immense.

We are the only rig here. For that matter, we are the only vehicle of any kind here. Whereas, clearly, there are at least a handful of RVs in the myriad commercial parks in the area. I think Westworld is just not well-known in the RV community. It is also probably the case that public RV parking here is not available during events, but, again, I have not really checked on this.

In any case, we are enjoying having the whole place to ourselves. It was well past the century mark when we arrived, and we decided to set up the "hot" tub, fill it with water (from the fastest spigot I have ever encountered -- with only one rig here, park pressure is enormous), and use it as a cold splash pool in the heat.

Ha. Even after running fifty gallons or so out of the spigot first, to fill our water tank, the water coming out was still 100°. We put probably 200 gallons in the tub, and still the spa thermometer read 100° when we were done. Fortunately, it had cooled down to around 94° by late evening, and a quick splash felt good at the end of a hot day.

In addition to the high-pressure spigot (bring a regulator if you plan to use city water pressure here), we have a nice modern pedestal with 50-, 30-, and 20-amp service, and we've been able to run all our air conditioners as needed. Absolutely essential here, or we'd have cooked pets, including the fish (well, OK, the cats might actually enjoy it). There is also free WiFi and a dump station.

We picked this spot because we thought it was close to the Alltel Ice Den, where our niece competed. Little did we know just how close -- a mere three blocks away. Walking distance, if not for the sweltering heat. We pulled the scooters out on arrival, and it was a quick ride there and back both yesterday afternoon (short program) and this morning (long program).

Our niece competed in the 2009 Cactus Classic, a US Figure Skating sanctioned competition that, for her, is out-of-region and thus does not affect her points standing. But it was a great opportunity for her to participate in an out-of-state competition that draws skaters from around the country, and try out some new elements to her routine without penalty. She did not place very highly in the standings, but we thought that both of her programs were beautiful and well-skated.

Now that the competition is over, we are looking into ways to spend the rest of the day with our two nieces and their mother. They have a nice pool at their hotel, but in this weather you can't "hang out" at the pool -- you either need to be in the water, or indoors. We're looking into museums, movies, and scenic drives. Their flight is not until mid-day tomorrow, so we will end up spending the rest of the day and then having dinner with them.

We paid for two nights, and I expect we will clear out of Westworld mid-day tomorrow, destination unknown. I made tentative plans to have a couple of minor issues with the turbocharged looked at by either of two shops here in the Phoenix area, but I am now leaning towards having that work done someplace cooler; the forecast for Monday calls for 112°, and that's too hot to want to be standing outside poking at a hot engine.

Photo by robotography


  1. I lived in Mesa for 9 years, never could get used to the unbearable heat! Head for the high country again!

  2. I'm curious what kind of hot tub you use. Do you use a cover of some kind?

    I love reading about your adventures. :)

  3. @Christy: You can read all about the hot tub in this post (with photos):


  4. When did Westworld start providing Wifi? In my annual treks there, I've only been able to get connectivity through a friend that runs a small network with his broadband air card..

  5. @Anonymous: Since this is our very first visit to Westworld, I have no idea when they started. I only know that when we drove in, I noticed WAPs at the tops of several light poles, and so we searched for networks and found "Westworld-Guest."

    Getting on-line was somewhat of a challenge -- we have our security settings on our computers set very high, and the intercept-login mechanism they are using here redirects to and then has an invalid security certificate (self-signed). So we had to set a security exception for their network, and I had to set a script exception as well.

  6. If I'd seen this earlier I'd have recommended a tour of Wright's Taliesin West on the eastern edge of Scottsdale.


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