Ehrenberg, AZ

With the ending of the Fiberglass rally in Quartzsite on the 15th, the last social gathering on my list for this winter is checked off. I could go anywhere from here, which is a very liberating feeling.

My site at Ehrenberg, AZ's BLM camping area. Arrived on the 15th

My site at Ehrenberg, AZ’s BLM camping area. Arrived on the 15th

It’s already getting into the mid 80’s during the day so I could start heading north. I’ve heard Lake Havasu is nice and know people going that way. If I went west into California I could boondock near Joshua Tree National Park and get to see more of it than I was able to last year. Or I could go east and finally see those organ pipe cactus I’ve heard so much about.


Sunrise last Thursday, 2/18

So many options. Too many, really.

But there’s work and chores I’ve been putting off to attend these rallies, and if I head straight to a scenic location, the lure of sightseeing might prove too strong. Anyone who’s been a full-timer more than a year knows about the dangers of treating the lifestyle like a perpetual vacation. That’s a good way to run out of money.

Some of the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous people have moved to the town of Ehrenberg, just west of Quartzsite on the boarder with California. It’s not a very scenic place but that’s for the best when I have writing to do. I can also get my mail sent there and the Verizon signal is strong enough to do my taxes online.

Sunrise last Thursday, 2/18. Click for larger image

The same sunrise looking west. Click for larger image

So that’s where I’ve been. To get to the BLM boondocking here, you take Exit 1 off of I10 which leads into a traffic circle. Get off at the sign that says “East Frontage Road”, there’s also a sign that says it dead ends, but it doesn’t. The pavement does end shortly, continue on the dirt road for another mile and keep to the right, there’s road breaking off to the left that leads to a privately owned quarry, that’s not the BLM area it’s past that on the right. Once you come up the hill, you’re in the right place.

There’s not as much vegetation here and the mountains are distant. It’s not as pretty as Dome Rock and certainly not as neat as Saddle Mountain, but the sunrises and sunsets still wow. The ranger enforcement is notoriously lax. This area officially has a 14 day stay limit, but there are people who’ve been out here boondocking since November. I doubt I’ll be here longer than two weeks, but that is a draw for some.

Sunset on the same day. Less flashy, but still pretty

Sunset on the same day. Less flashy, but still pretty

Across the interstate in Ehrenberg proper, there’s a laundromat with $5 showers, a post office, and a convenience store. Just across the boarder in California is the town of Blythe which has an Albertson’s and Smart and Final for groceries plus restaurants, auto parts stores, and other essentials.

Views around Ehrenberg

Views around Ehrenberg

But, one special thing about this location is its proximity to the Colorado River. At Exit 1, if you take the west frontage road instead of the east, you’ll end up at a public boat landing, good for small fishing boats, kayaks, or inflatables. This past Sunday a couple of us went down with our swimsuits to get in the water.

Good thing the air temperature was so warm, because the water was cold! My grasp on western geology is somewhat limited, but I’m pretty sure the Colorado River starts up in the mountains. Here in the desert we may be getting freakishly warm weather, but at higher elevations it’s still winter. This is what I get for swimming in a river in February. This far downstream I’m pretty sure there’s agricultural runoff and other not-so-good stuff in the water, but I don’t want to think about that too much. I didn’t dunk my head under for that reason.

Cold cold cold!

Cold cold cold!

I’m getting this post up early so I can spend the rest of the day on taxes, woo. If it follows last year, this’ll be a two day project. Wish me luck!


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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Ethan on June 30, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Great photos. Inspiring stories! I am now sitting here wondering why I even bother to set my alarm clock for work tomorrow!

    • Becky on July 1, 2016 at 7:44 am

      So that you can save up the money to go full-timing yourself? Just a thought. 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed this Ethan, thanks for reading.

  2. Auntlordy on February 26, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Photos are amazing, as are your options! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

    • Becky on February 26, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      You’re welcome, thanks for reading. 🙂

  3. JimS on February 25, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    I’ve been reading about a “superbloom” of flowers in Death Valley. Apparently from an abundance of rainfall over the winter. Supposedly an impressive display, maybe lasting a couple more weeks. FWIW.

    • Becky on February 26, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      I’ve heard of this too Jim, sounds pretty awesome!

      • Jim@HiTek on February 26, 2016 at 4:58 pm

        Last time I saw that bloom was the year they had so many sudden showers that flash flooding was a problem. In fact, a car was swept off the road and the two occupants drowned. The road was washed out in several places and the FS employee I was talking to complained of having to drive 200 miles RT every day because of the washouts.

        But…those are the conditions that often cause the spectacular bloom. You stand most anywhere in the valley and look up the slope and there, every few feet, is another wildflower bloom. Eventually, as your perspective view changes it looks like the entire mountain is covered. Really worth seeing.

        Does not happen every year. Weather conditions must be right or the bloom is not as impressive, or far too short lived.
        Jim@HiTek recently posted..Flea Market Visit…My Profile

        • Becky on February 27, 2016 at 10:51 am

          Sounds pretty cool Jim! I visited Death Valley in October of 2014, was still very hot then. 🙂

  4. John Hussey on February 25, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Make your Amazon link more accessible!
    I had to search for it, since you almost hid it, written in small script on your website.

    You generate funds from your readers using your Amazon link, so make it more accessible, at the very least using larger letters. Having the linl placed In a more strategic place perhaps would benefit you even more?…
    The more the Amazon link pops out to us readers, the more we come across it, the more likely we are to use it…Advertising 101
    I just had to search for the link for a purchase I just made on Amazon.

    • Becky on February 25, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      John, thank you for purchasing from Amazon through IO, I appreciate it.

      I don’t get where you’re coming from with the “hidden” thing though, the link is at the bottom of every single blog post I write in the same size text as everything else and the banner is in right-hand column of the blog, unless you have an ad blocker of some sort?

      Thanks for thinking of me though. I’m one of those people who hate websites that are plastered with links and ads so I refuse to do that with IO, even if it would generate more income. It just feels false to me, I want to keep this site more about the content and connection than the money. 🙂

  5. Chuck on February 24, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Wow! Becky love those photos.

    • Becky on February 24, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks Chuck. 🙂

  6. Jodee Gravel on February 24, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Ditto on recommending the Intaglios! There is also a nice wildlife refuge that should still have some good birding nearby. Have been to all your listed choices and if you can make a trip to Organ Pipe you will be so amazed at the beauty. Good boondocking on Darby Well Road, or a couple simple but clean RV parks in Ajo. One decent grocery there as well. Can’t believe you were swimming in that river in Feb! I used to freeze when we’d put in our jet skies in June!!
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..In Search of KnowledgeMy Profile

    • Becky on February 24, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      I’ll keep the recommendation in mind Jodee!

      I’ve seen a couple wildlife refuges not terribly far from here and was wondering what they were like, good to hear that they’re worth a visit.

      Everyone seems to love the Ajo area. I was quite close at Saddle Mountain but it was a different landscape, no organ pipe there. If I hadn’t had the Fiberglass rally to go to I probably would have moved from Saddle mountain to there next but you know, best laid plans and all that. If I don’t make it this time I will next.

  7. Jim@HiTek on February 24, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Coincidentally, last night there was a local news report here in Phoenix about people who jump into inviting lakes and streams here in the area with the 77°F temps we’ve been having and soon are struggling to stay afloat as the cold, cold water saps their strength.

    Soooo, be careful.
    Jim@HiTek recently posted..Sailing, sort of…My Profile

    • Becky on February 24, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Yeah that’s smart Jim. I didn’t jump in, I waded in.

  8. JimS on February 23, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Ooh, Ooh, I know that one! The Colorado River’s headwaters are all the way up in Rocky Mtn Nat’l Park, just northwest of Denver. Some very scenic country if you ever get up this way.

    • Becky on February 24, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      I figured one of you readers would know, thanks Jim! I do want to spend time in western Colorado. Maybe this summer…

  9. Kay on February 23, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    We close on our house mid-March and will start our full-time adventure then. I am ready! Thanks for all your posts. I really appreciate them.

    Be safe and take care.
    Kay recently posted..SMS Softie Contest EntryMy Profile

    • Becky on February 23, 2016 at 5:19 pm

      Awesome Kay, that’s so exciting! I hope your transition to full-timing goes smoothly and you enjoy this lifestyle as much as I have. Safe travels and happy trails. 🙂

  10. Jeff on February 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Good advice Becky! An RV lifestyle is _not_ a permanent vacation. So easy to forget that and wonder where the money went. Thanks for pointing out there is another boondocking spot to consider. The Intaglios will make for a good side trip for you from there – they’re free!

    • Becky on February 23, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      Intaglios? never heard of them, off to Google to investigate!

    • Swankie on February 24, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      There was one N.E. of Quartzsite also, called the Fisherman. I could not find it when trying to take friends there. I was too far west. Good luck. I have not tried to find those on the river yet.
      Swankie recently posted..Loosing One’s Self, Finding One’s SelfMy Profile

      • Becky on February 24, 2016 at 1:49 pm

        Thanks for the intel Swankie!

  11. Pamelab on February 23, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Hi, Becky –
    Thanks for the update and good information and cool photos. Now that you have some company, you are able to have some photos of yourself along the way. Good for you.
    I haven’t done my taxes myself in a while, so will be doing my part to get that completed by March 1.
    Knitting a sweater to be finished by end of February so I want to finish that first.
    You mentioned your phone for pictures – you have been able to show some really detailed photos that way.
    Happy Trails and best of luck getting those taxes done.
    Pamelab in Houston

    • Becky on February 23, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      Thanks Pamela, glad you enjoyed these photos. I’ve been very happy with what my phone can do for pictures.

      Good luck on your taxes! They’re a bear for me as a nomad, but really 1-2 days of work for 363-4 days a year of traveling fun – its’ worth it!

  12. Jerry Minchey on February 23, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Becky you need to be careful. In that last picture, it looks like you are about to touch those power lines.

    • Becky on February 23, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      And about to put my leg down on a cactus! A very precarious position.

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