Peoria, Arizona

Pleasant Harbor RV Resort

February 21, 2021

After a little more than a month in the Golden State, our time was up, and the calendar told us that it was time to make our way east into beautiful Arizona. However, as we were packing up, we realized that the rig wasn’t quite as ready to leave as we were. Everything appeared to be shipshape, that was, until I went to dump the black tank. I grabbed the pull handle like I had done dozens of times by this point, but when I went to pull it to open the valve – nothing. It was like the damn thing was fused in the closed position! No matter how hard I pulled, the damn thing wouldn’t budge.

We tugged on that thing for at least an hour before reluctantly admitting defeat as it was well past checkout time by this point. And since it was Sunday and all the RV repair places were closed, we had no option other than making the drive with a full poop tank! Not quite ideal, to say the least.

Thankfully, the drive to Peoria was a relatively flat, straight trip along I-10 and the “contents” of the black tank didn’t go anywhere that they weren’t supposed to be during the trek – whew! Since our site in Peoria didn’t have sewer hookups, we made a beeline to the dump station once we got there to further assess the situation. After a little RV surgery through the underbelly insulation and into the guts of the trailer, we figured out that the problem stemmed from the valve handle and that the black tank valve itself was still operational – thank God! This meant that we could bypass the handle entirely and dump the tank by yanking on the valve cord with a pair of pliers. It wasn’t an ideal solution, and the broken handle would need to be addressed in the future, but we had a way to dump our black tank and that’s all we really cared about in the moment.

Crisis adverted; we finally had a moment to appreciate our new home (at least for the next week), the Pleasant Harbor RV Resort. Located right next to beautiful Lake Pleasant on the northeast side of the Phoenix metro, this RV park was truly fantastic and easily one of our favorite campgrounds among the 50+ we have stayed at by this point. From the iconic Saguaro cactuses (yeah, I say “cactuses” instead of “cacti” big whoop wanna fight about it?) to the gorgeous sunsets over the lake each evening, this place was downright idyllic and it didn’t take long for us to realize why Pleasant Harbor has become a Mecca of sorts for snowbirds from all across the country (hence the multiyear waitlist for full hookup sites during the winter months).

Because our site lacked sewer hookups, we opted to make the trip over to the clubhouse each day to use their showers and avoid filling up our wastewater tanks before the week was up (we can usually go about four days before needing to dump). Although we would always prefer to shower in the RV, this setup was far from unpleasant thanks to the clean, high-quality facilities that the park provided. This is also how we discovered the fun little pool area attached to the showers – and you better believe we took advantage of it! Hell, how many people could say that they were swimming outside in friccin February?

Although we could have easily just chilled in the park all week, we figured that we should explore the surrounding area a bit before the week was up. Our first escapade outside of the campground was a quick little trip over to the Lake Pleasant Regional Park on the other side of the lake. We originally planned on hitting a hiking trail after work one evening, however, upon reaching the trailhead, we discovered that it was closed for some reason, so we decided to call audible and do our exploring from the truck. This turned out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise as it allowed us to see way more than we would have otherwise including a pack of burros (wild donkeys) and a great view of the sunset from the highest point in the area.

Once the workweek was up, we ventured south into downtown Peoria with the goal of properly pampering ourselves in honor of Valentine’s Day – and boy, did we meet our goal! The first order of business on our Treat Yourself Day was a trip to the spa for a couples massage! Who doesn’t love a good massage? Once we were thoroughly loosened up, we worked up an appetite doing a little shopping around Peoria, before venturing over to the highly acclaimed Picasso’s Healthy Italian Kitchen for a late lunch. To say that this restaurant lived up to the hype would be an understatement. By this point Sam and I have had more than our fair share of gluten free pizza, but Picasso’s easily stands out among them all. If you’re ever in the Phoenix area, do yourself a favor and go try their pizza – even if you’re not gluten free, it’s that good!

Man, did we enjoy our stay in Peoria! We loved this place right from the get-go, and it continued to impress as the week went along, shooting up the rankings with each passing day. Not only was the weather perfect, but everyone that we interacted with was so nice and personable (and not scared of life, very few masks to be seen around Peoria). Admittedly, we don’t do a ton of socializing within the campgrounds as we’re usually the youngest couple there by at least a decade, but we quickly hit it off with our neighbors, a lovely couple from Oregon in their late 50’s, who were kind enough to give us a tour of their class A and pay us in wine to watch their rig while they ventured down to Tucson for a few nights.

We sure were sad to put Peoria in our rearview, but Sunday was rolling around once more meaning it was time for us to hit the dusty ole road once again. Luckily, our next destination was a powerhouse in and of itself and somehow managed to rival Peoria in terms of overall enjoyment. Tune in for our next post when we detail our visit to the exotically wonderful town of Page, Arizona!