11/15/2015 until 4/15/2016. The morning was overcast so the drive through the mountains towards Surprise didn’t give me the opportunity for very good pictures. We have made the drive before so these are scenes from last fall as we headed to Tucson from Camp Verde. It really is a pretty drive as you begin to see the Saguaro Cactus.
Surprise is a city in Maricopa County in AZ and is the second fastest-expanding municipality in the greater Phoenix area. The city was founded in 1938 by Flora Mae Statler, who named it Surprise as she "would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much". Although there were only a few houses and a gas station on the one-mile -square parcel of land when it was subdivided to build inexpensive houses for agricultural workers, Surprise has experienced tremendous growth in the years since. It incorporated into a city in 1960. Even now in 2015, the whole place is just exploding with development! There is a huge enclosed mall and most of the chain stores and restaurants you would find in any other larger town. Unfortunately, excessive traffic came with it!
This is our first stay at Happy Trails Resort. We visited friends in the park last Spring and decided to stay here this year after the crime we experienced in Tucson last winter. The first question we asked at the gate was about the security. We were very pleased with the answer. The park is very large, very well landscaped and maintained, and also has a golf course.
The “Town Center” is located in the middle of the park and includes several buildings. It has the usual library, post office, several craft rooms, and activity office for upcoming entertainment in the ball room. I also like the fact that the park has its own church services in the ball room. The park has its own little restaurant with really cheap prices for breakfast and lunch cooked and served by folks here in the park.
In this resort, people own their lot and have built RV ports and/or park models and AZ rooms. We like the idea that just about all the sites do have RV ports over most of the site area to protect your RV from the AZ sun and offer some nice shade. I picked our site from the on-line rental listing with picture and thought I was getting a pretty easy site to get into. Boy, was I fooled! Doug said it was the hardest back-up job he has ever had to do! The RV posts were closer together than we thought. I sure was glad our friends were here and watched one side of the RV while I watched the other and Doug had to maneuver close to one post while watching the structure supporting the RV port roof. But at 37’, we got in. Then we had to move back and forth so we could let out our 4 slides between all the other support posts. Whew, I was glad that was over with! But, our relief was short lived. Our friend said he saw something dripping from under the truck. Sure enough we had an oil leak! How long we had it, we didn’t have a clue. So even before we got all set up, we had to put a pad down on the driveway to catch the oil until we could find a Dodge dealership for the repair. So in the picture below you see our rental car that we had for a full week. Thank goodness it was a free rental!
Even the resident Hummingbird helped us park. I think he was telling us the first thing we needed to do was put he feeder out! The couple behind us have the back of their motorhome painted with a scene. Funny, after I hung the feeder, it looked like the feeder was intentionally placed in front of the mountain scene that could be anywhere.
We feel we made the right decision. Everyone that we have met has been so nice and we have already had our first “street party”. We met more nice folks that we will be getting together with over the winter. We like the security and they patrol 24/7. The park is surrounded by nice neighborhoods witch add to the feeling of safety. We don’t even have to lock our doors or lock up our bikes (after ours were stolen in Tucson). I think our stay will be enjoyable.