Nov 6, 2019
We went to the Timeshare presentation at 9 and it was a lot cheaper than most, only $2,900 upfront and $480 a year for the next 45 years for the opportunity to possibly get a 1 bedroom condo at a location you don’t want to go for just $399 a week! Guess that is why their gifts are less. The good news is that we were able to get out of there on time for the 11:00 AM check out and they had daycare for Olivia during the presentation.
After checking out we went to Starbucks to get some quality writing and internet time before going the Pink Jeep Tours offices at 3. It was clouding and there was the possibility of thunderstorms so I called the Pink Jeep people but they said it was fine. As we waited for our tour it sprinkled a little but never did get to full rain. The Pink Jeeps can be seen everywhere in Sedona and have cute modified jeeps. They offer a number of tours and we opted for the bumpy 2.5 hour Diamondback tour.
The driver picked us up and another family and we were soon going into the backcountry for some off road adventure… except it turned out to be more of a really bad dirt road adventure. For the next hour and a half we drove along a dirt track some places where a normal car could and do drive and some places completely broken and boulder strewn which provided a good bit of bumpiness but at no time did we actually go off road nor did it feel dangerous at all. Mostly it was just a badly rutted road. Olivia made the most of it though and talked non-stop for the entire 2.5 hours and had a great time with the bumpy road while the adults just enjoyed the rugged red Sedona countryside and the beautiful sunset.
The problem with a sunset tour though is that by the time we got back it was completely dark and we had no place planned to stay. We had tickets for the Out of Africa animal park the next day which was about an hour and a half drive away. I wanted to park closer to the park so I looked on my trusty iOverlander app and saw a promising place in Cottonwood about 45 minutes towards the park so away we went into the dark.
In this case iOverlander failed us. The parking spot turned out to be in a multi-tenant strip mall that was fairly hilly so not suitable for us. We met a family traveling in a full sized converted school bus and they mentioned they stayed at a rest stop along the freeway down the road. I preferred not to stay at a noisy rest stop so I checked the iOverlander app again and saw a reference to a casino parking lot. However when we got to the casino parking lot I found out that you would have to gamble a certain amount and then they would give you an overnight parking pass. I have terrible gambling luck so that wasn’t going to work. Following our lesson in Los Angeles we decided that even if we can’t spend the night we could certainly park and hour and have dinner while we considered our options and that is exactly what we did. After dinner we decided to just go to the freeway rest stop and spend the night. It was just as noisy as expected with idling semi-trucks but we didn’t have any problems.