Hot Air Ballooning, Ghost Towns, and Bull Riding from Mesa, Arizona!

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Mesa, Arizona

We arrived in Mesa, Arizona pretty excited about the Encore resort we had booked through our Thousand Trails Trails Collection membership. Unfortunately, when we got to Viewpoint RV and Resort our check-in experience was awful. Mostly because checking in on a Sunday is non-existent due to the office being closed. We had arrived at the resort after a long travel day from Lake Havasu and were advised by the security office to wait for someone to assist us in the parking lot. We pulled into the parking lot and an older gentleman drove up on a golf cart and bluntly told us to fill out a form and asked which spot we were in. We told him we didn’t know our spot as normally that’s given to us upon check-in. He said since we didn’t know our spot we’d have to sleep in the parking lot for the night and talk to the office when it opens in the morning.

This didn’t feel right to us so I called Encore Customer Support and thank goodness they knew our spot number! While I was calling Encore, the older gentleman went to show someone else their spot. 30 minutes later he came back and I told him we got our spot number! Once I told him the number though, he got very huffy and advised that was NOT an RV spot; there was a manufactured home on the lot. I found myself on the phone with Encore Customer Support yet again. This time I put them on speaker phone so the gentleman could hear what was being said. Finally, Jason asked the man to show him that there was a manufactured home on this spot and they left in his golf cart. Another couple approached me while I was still trying to find someone else in the resort to call and let me know they worked here as well and the spot we were given was an RV spot. When Jason and the older gentleman returned, it was all sorted out and we were escorted to our spot. This entire process took over an hour simply because this gentleman thought he knew every spot out of the 1200+ that were at this resort. Frustrating to say the least.


Thankfully, that was the only rough patch we hit the entire week. The rest of the resort staff was amazing and the amenities were like nothing we’ve ever seen! This place had multiple pools, tennis courts, exercise rooms, golf courses, and so much more. Our neighbors were the friendliest people too! On top of loving the resort, we loved the surrounding area as well. These were our highlights:

Hot Air Ballooning: We have never been on a hot air balloon but it’s been on our list forever. This seemed like the best place to do it, and it was! The scenery was gorgeous. Of course being that high seemed scary at first but the balloon moves so slowing it actually quite relaxing. The company we booked through even had a little snack and champagne toast for everyone at the end.

Goldfield Ghost Town: We wanted to get some cool pictures of the desert landscape and while researching we found the Goldfield Ghost Town. We thought it would make a great background to sunset pictures so we headed just outside of Mesa, Arizona to Apache Junction. Once we arrived we were surprised to discover this was a functioning ghost town! The buildings were still the originals from the 1800s but they had brought life back to everything. There were horse rides, train rides, mining tours, and plenty of shops. It was actually really awesome. We explored the area a bit and then took our pictures and went home.

Amateur Bulling Riding at the Hitching Post: On our way back from the ghost town, we stopped at a place called the Hitching Post for dinner. The waitress was super friendly and ended up chatting with us about all the activities happening over the next week at the bar. We were definitely intrigued by amateur bull riding so we made a point to come back over the weekend to see. What we didn’t realize was that “amateur” meant teenager, not unexperienced drunks having fun at a bar lol. We still had a good time watching the kids ride the bulls. They were trying to get a qualifying time to move up to bigger competitions. Unfortunately, no one qualified that night (a win for the bulls).

We saw a meteor! While this wasn’t necessarily an activity, it was still exciting. One of the nights we were out walking Carmen around the resort when there was a giant flash of light in the sky. We watched something streak through the sky over Mesa, Arizona and then explode! We figured it was space junk or a meteor so we kept an eye on the news over the next couple of days. Sure enough, three days later there was coverage on what we saw. We have a clip in the video above if you’re interested in seeing it too.

We even managed to film our RV walkthrough video this week as well. If you’re interested in what our rig looks like go take a look! Overall it was a great week in Mesa, Arizona and we can’t wait to return one day. We packed up and rolled out to seek adventure in Tucson, AZ next.

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