Glampout at Arizona State Parks: Alamo Lake

November 17, 2019

Why do I do this? I finish one trip, and even if it was tiring or the kids were cranky, the evening we return or the next day, I begin researching the next possible adventure. We got back from our Labor Day campout, and I saw my husband had the Friday before Veterans Day off. He's a veteran, and we usually do something outdoorsy that weekend. I remembered I had a pass to the Arizona State Parks from the kids' summer reading program at the library. I immediately began searching for available campsites. 

Then I realized some sites have these little, rustic camping cabins complete with AC! I wanted a location with water so we could possibly bring our kayaks or take the kids fishing. I found Alamo Lake State Park had a cabin available and immediately booked it. When I drive to California, I always see the sign and exit to Alamo Lake and have been curious about it. 

That Friday I pulled the kids out of school at noon and we drove west. Way west. Like, halfway to my aunt's home in Covina, CA, west. The rolling hills gave way to some rocky ranges and I eventually found us driving through a little farming community called, Wendon. From Wendon, there's a 33-mile-long, two lane road that twists through the desert. On that road I saw no one. Our silver Subaru meandered along the road and I lost cell phone service. Eventually landed at our destination. My husband and uncle had beat us to the cabin! 

The kids were relieved to be out of the car and ran around, very, very, very excited about the bunk beds in the back of the cabin. The immediately claimed their top bunks, and then we realized the cabin did not come with a queen bed that was described online. My tall husband pulled a mattress from one of the bunks and put it on the floor. I ended up on one of the bottom bunks, and my Uncle is smart, and traveled with his cot! 

Once beds were established, we got our fishing gear out and walked down the road to the lake. It's a quiet, rocky shore, but not as steep as Lake Pleasant, which is our go-to Arizona water location. The kids started casting their rods out and I snapped pics with my new mirrorless camera. That night we roasted some hot dogs and bratwursts and enjoyed a toasty fire. The temperature change was extreme, it had been about 85 during the day, but dropped down to 50 by the evening. The kids enjoyed roasting marshmallows and chasing the little kangaroo rats that showed up to eat their crumbs. 

The next day we set out to do some more fishing and explore the area. Overall, I'd say the kids were the most excited about the bunk beds. This is a quiet, secluded area, and I like that the campground and cabins are so far away from the BLM land where a lot of people bring RVs and ATVs to explore the hundreds of trails. I'd love to bring our kayaks back and try fishing on the water. Being that the lake is stocked with bass, we didn't have much luck and only got a few nibbles. It seemed the folks with boats were catching the most fish. 

My husband had to work on Sunday, so he took off on his motorcycle around sunset. The kids were tired and went to bed early. My uncle and I stayed up chatting and looking at the stars. Then I got an idea to set up my tripod and capture stars and trying light painting. Our collaboration worked out well and we caught some interesting frames. The moon was close to full, and provided a natural light to illuminate the desert floor. Alamo Lake is supposed to be one of the darkest skies in the state, but with the moon, we didn't see as many stars as we hoped to, but it was still a spectacular sky. 

I'm already looking at the next state park to visit... 


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