Family Time at Houston In Payson

Aspen Campground

I call out “rise and shine Aiden”, as Jagger jumps on his bed trying to stir him up. He spent our last night here at Aspen Campground with Jagger and I. Once Aiden got up we fixed breakfast together and after finishing our breakfast we worked gathering up our outside furnishings and storing them in the basement. Finally he helped me hitch the Coach to the Workhorse, remove the tire chocks and store them in the basement as well. I think to myself, “I’m going to miss my helper as I move further down the road”.

As the Workhorse tugs, we easily slip out of our campsite and we both look back thinking of the fun times this camp had given us. Then taking a look to make sure nothing was left behind. It was pretty quiet in the truck as we pulled out of the campground and turned left on hwy 303. I’m sure Aiden, like myself, was thinking of the fun weekends with friends and family that we experienced together. While we reminisced and visited with each other the Workhorse pulled the Coach down the hill, rumbling as the exhaust brake held us back from the steep descent about thirty miles to our next camp.

Arriving At Houston Mesa Campground

Turning left into the campground road we pull to a stop at the small “ranger station”. No one was there so we walked over to the kiosk and bulletin board.

I excitedly think, “Self check-in is in order here and they have a map, excellent! Self check-in kiosks that don’t have a map is one of my pet peeves. When you’re pulling a long heavy trailer behind you, making numerous turns searching for your campsite is troublesome. But for some reason many campgrounds don’t have them.” (Yes, these are the things I now get excited about as I travel)

Houston Mesa Campground

With Aiden’s help we found our spot quickly and he jumped at the opportunity to spot for me. The Workhorse roared as it pushed the Coach up the shallow paved slope into her nesting place for the next ten days.

When stepping down from the Workhorse I immediately notice the road noise at our campsite. It’s not the best site, but as it turns out the road is very quiet at night. One feature I really like here is all the of room and privacy. Aiden will be setting up a tent here also and will had room to be back away from the Coach in the trees.

Campfires and Family

I’m getting more excited by the minute as we finish the setup of our camp. I’m thinking about all the fun we will have with our family and friends. My Son, his family, along with his friend from work and his family, will be arriving tomorrow. They have reserved two tent campsites, not too far from the campsite where the Coach rests.

After setting up camp, Aiden and I ride our bikes over to where my son’s campsites are located just to check them out. The sites are large, well hidden in the trees and overgrowth. They are connected by a small path through the trees and they have lots of play area for all the children. This is a perfect setting with privacy and room.

Tuesday, the first of our family arrive. Aiden and I went over to help them unload as they spent the next few hours unloading and setting up their tents and camp. They definitely have done this before. I smile as I watch them, it brings back so many memories of their younger years. That night we celebrated with our first community campfire. Starting tonight we will meet together for dinner and campfire with storytime (everyone takes a turn reading a continuing story) and of course roasting marshmallows and S’mores.


Wednesday morning, Aiden’s grandma drove up the mountain with Aiden’s brother, Seth. Since Aiden has spent the weekend with me in the Coach, it was now Seth’s turn to hang out with the family at our camp.

Their Nana stayed and loved on all the children and visited with family. Then after a  few hours, she went back down the steep mountain road to her home in the Phoenix basin taking Aiden with her.

This month is definitely family month, now that Jagger and I are within driving distance of the Phoenix area. “Wait, what about me?”, I read in Jagger’s baby blues. “You are having visitors too Jagger! Phoebe and Jax will be staying here this coming weekend. Phoebe is my Son’s German Shepherd and Jax is Janessa’s Blue Heeler.

Oh no, I’m running out of time for this post. I’ll finish up our stay here next time. I have a lot to cover. Hiking, night hikes, tarantulas and hunting for dinosaur bones.

Safe travels…Gary and Jagger

6 replies

  1. We have a grandson named Aiden too. He is 2 1/2 and loves his Campie as he calls camping. We live in Iowa and go winter camping a few times this winter. Our extended family goes to. Love the photos and keep those stories coming!


    • Hi Sharon, when I wrote this post I was wondering if anyone, except my family, cared about reading another’s family times. But it is part of my adventure, a big one. In the next couple of days I will finish writing the sequel as Jagger and I once again mosey on down the road. Thanks so much for letting me know your interest. Safe travels


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