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A little town called Surprise…

Posted by on November 18, 2013
Welcome AZ Surprise 2009 WBlog

Surprise, Arizona looks like a nice place to live. It’s near an absolutely beautiful lake, the property is reasonable priced and it’s a short drive or flight to San Diego to visit friends and relatives. Who knows…we’re just getting started.

NOVEMBER 18, 2013.

When Brad told me that one of his friends had moved to Surprise in Arizona I thought he was joking. Who’d name a town “Surprise?” Turns out that he wasn’t joking and we decided to visit the place. It’s a nice town with lots of new housing, a huge tennis and sports complex, nice restaurants and all the trappings of a much larger city. It’s about a 45 minute drive to Phoenix, so it’s not really too far off the beaten path.

One of the main attractions at Surprise is its proximity to Lake Pleasant Regional park, located about 20 miles out of town. The lake is beautiful. It’s used as a major water sports recreation center for the Phoenix metro area, as well as serving as an important storage reservoir for the rapidly growing region. A number of boat docks as well as beach access make the lake a popular destination for scuba diving, water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, windsurfing and other water sports. Not only would it have been a super jet ski trip destination with the kids in the old days, it has a wilderness-type RV camping area on the bluffs overlooking the lake. The spots are far apart and most have great views of the lake. We decided that if we ever “winter” in Arizona,  Lake Pleasant might be a great place to stay.

Florence even thought we might apply to be Camp Hosts there, to eliminate our “rent” and have a chance to meet lots of nice folks. Camp Hosts are


There’s a tram that runs down this track to get to the marina at Lake Pleasant.

volunteers who work at almost all RV Parks in exchange for free rent and hookups. The work is usually not substantial: I particularly like the spots where one of the duties is driving around the campsite in a golf cart offering firewood bundles for sale to other campers. Sometimes the hosts work in the entrance kiosks checking in the new arriving campers or they serve as docents in the park. Occasionally hosts are expected to clean the public restrooms but that’s a job that doesn’t interest me at all. I’d rather pay full price for my campsite, thank you.


We even toyed with the idea of being camp hosts here. The campsites are spaced far apart and many have a view of the lake just like this.

There’s also a marina at the Lake and getting to it requires a trip from the bluff to the lake in a little tram that runs down a ramp to the water. Seems like a lot of work to get your boat supplies down to the dock for a day on the water but nobody seemed to mind.

The locals tell us that Arizona is famous for its sunsets, and the one we saw at Lake Pleasant was ample proof. I wouldn’t even be surprised if we settled in Surprise at the end of our Adventure

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