The astute reader may have been counting the days in their head and noticed that I reached the 14 day limit for Quartzsite free BLM camping long ago. I actually left Quartzsite on the 26th, time for a little catch up.
January 26, Tuesday
My fridge appointment in Phoenix is on Monday and I’ve run out of time here in Quartzsite so it makes sense for me to head east. Incidentally, Cherie and Chris of Technomadia are also heading east, and they’ve researched a boondocking spot not too far outside of Phoenix that should work well for me to the wait the six days.
Oh darn, six days of waiting in the desert with no plans.
This is going to be awful, nothing to do…
Yeah, who am I kidding? But I’m getting ahead of myself.
70 miles east of Quartzsite on I10 lies the tiny town of Tonopah, AZ. That night we stay in Saddle Mountain RV in Tonopah and for $27 a night (that’s with a discount for my Escapees membership). I dump my tanks and take on water for the first time in 18 days.
Think about it. My first time boondocking and I lasted 18 days. Pretty darn good for how small a Casita’s tanks are. We also make use of the heated swimming pool, and other amenities, good stuff.
In the evening, Chris and Cherie show me the ropes of scouting out a boondocking site. Ideally it’s best when you can come out in your tow or towed vehicle alone (this doesn’t apply to vans, Class B’s and truck bed campers naturally) and make sure:
That the road is in good enough shape for your rig to drive on – no soft spots, good grade, wide enough, room to turn around
That there are desirable sites available – level, not too close to neighbors, good views both around the site and in the distance
These steps weren’t as necessary for Quartzsite because that was a very different boondocking experience. You know the roads are going to be okay because everyone drives on them. There are so many people that unless you arrive early you probably won’t get a scenic spot and privacy is hard to come by, but you go there for the community. Cherie and Chris term Quartzsite as “low hanging fruit” boondocking, and what we’re doing out here as high hanging fruit: You need to work harder for it, but the effort pays off.
We drive out to the Saddle Mountain BLM area south of town and meander on dirt spur roads looking for flat established camping spots. The first two spurs we try are very rocky and the sites are few and unlevel. It takes some time, but near sunset on the third spur road we finally find what we’re looking for.
January 27, Wednesday
Time to leave Saddle Mountain RV and head to the boonies. While the RVs are parked at the start of the spur road so we can walk down and figure out exactly where we want to park, they get visited. Seriously? We’re in the middle of nowhere! Have to give them credit for persistence. We have a good laugh.
A short time later, I’m settled into my new camp. Yes, this will do nicely. I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done out here where there are fewer distractions, and views like this should keep me inspired.
Wispy clouds over the mountain turn pastel pink at sunset. I get a picture and plan to put it up on the blog but then sunrise the next morning really blows me away. What a beautiful spot!
* * *
And that’s pretty much how things stand. I’ve been writing during the day and taking breaks in the afternoon to go on hikes and geocaching, a new activity for me and quite addicting. There are numerous caches out here as well as other interesting stuff to see.
Tuesday night was quite heavily social with happy hour with friends of Chris and Cherie at the RV park in Tonopah followed by Taco Tuesday night at the Mexican restaurant in town with still others met through RVillage. Another couple has joined us out at Saddle Mountain too, Kelly and Anna who are also here primarily to get work done so I haven’t seen much of them. It’s been nice camping with others who understand that as an introvert I need my alone time, especially after two rallies and with one more coming up before it’s all done.
That last rally starts on the 8th back in Quartzsite. I’ll have been gone the required two weeks so I can go back to Dome Rock for it.
And after that? Who knows!
Other Articles You Might Enjoy
4/18/13 – Thursday Storms. I awake to the booming of thunder and pounding of rain on the roof of the Casita instead of my alarm. I do a cursory leak check like I normally do when it’s raining hard and things look dry. It’s a long walk inside Walmart to use the facilities and do…Read More
Wednesday, June 8 The day is already heating up as I exit 395 at Toms Place, CA onto Rock Creek Road. A sign looms ahead on the right: Rock Creek Recreation Area, Inyo National Forest. There are several NF campgrounds along this road, but I don’t stop at any of them. Local Knowledge says they’re…Read More