Williams, AZ Boondocking

April 29, Sunday

It’s time to bid farewell to Kingman, AZ, at least for now. I’ll be retracing this route along I40 back west in a couple weeks for a much anticipated road trip with my parents and brother, but there’s still time before then to make it to make it to one particular destination in northern Arizona that’s been on my list for a while.

One last walk down “Iffy Road” 193 near Kingman

I’m sure you can guess what it is.

But first, it’s spring. Which is wonderful, I love spring. The lengthening days, shedding all the extra layers of clothes I live in during winter, and all the green. But spring weather is unpredictable, and not too far east of here I40 climbs up onto a plateau and higher elevations mean… yep, snow.

My bi-monthly RV park pit stop tonight is Blake Ranch RV Park and Horse Motel, where I take care of the usual necessity of dumping, taking on water, laundry, and propane fill up. My site is basically a gravel lot and I pay $40 for the dubious privilege of full hookups, but the view is nice and it lets me get done what I need to get done.

April 30, Monday

Up, up and away! I’m pleased to put the gravel lot in my rearview mirror this morning as Bertha chugs up I40 into a grassland dotted with juniper and pine. No more desert, at least for a while.

The sun is shrouded by a a thin layer of clouds which softens the landscape. It’s a good driving day. Okay, really any driving day is a good day in my book, but the winds are blowing gently out of the west, assisting my drive, and traffic is light. Before too long I’ve arrived in Williams, AZ where I’m going to wait out the predicted snow – there isn’t suppose to be as much here as farther north at the Grand Canyon.

I’ve traded sandy unpaved roads in the desert for dirt unpaved roads up here in pine country. My drive down Garland Prairie Road just north of I40 off of 64 is marked by ruts and dips and like many boondocking eligible roads, becomes impassable after a good rain.

Photo taken on a later, sunnier, day

The place is quite busy for a boondocking spot. I drive past numerous rigs crammed together in the first half-mile or so back to where the road gets rougher and fewer campers care to venture. I exit the pine forest into a meadow dotted with cow pies and sage, and cross to the other side back into the trees. My spot is far enough back to be completely hidden from view of other campers. Ahhh, now this is more like it!

The weather starts to turn as the afternoon progresses, a sign of the coming snow, and now the wind sings through the boughs overhead, a novel and welcome sound after winter in the desert.

May 2, Wednesday

It’s harder to get out of bed on a cold morning. My sleeping bag under the covers is toasty warm and keeping away the 30’s chill that has slowly invaded the Casita overnight. I don’t have a furnace and don’t like running my Little Buddy propane heater when I’m asleep due to safety concerns, so waking up to a cold camper is par for the course. I lean out of bed to start the heater, and then part the blinds to see what daybreak has brought.

Snow.

Ignoring the temperature I practically leap out of bed to bundle up in warm clothes and stumble outside. This is true snow: not snow pellets, not sleet, not a “wintery mix”. Real, certifiable, snow.

It’s beautiful. The temperature hovers between 32 and 33 degrees much of the day, the ground is warm enough that it doesn’t accumulate, but it snows off and on for several hours. Around 11 am it even sticks in the trees for awhile and a light dusting coats the fallen needles below. I take a walk and it’s so quiet out, you can hear the faint tinkling of the snow as it lands.

Back inside Cas, my heater gets a true workout, keeping me warm while I read and watch the snow through the windows. It’s a good day.

May 3, Thursday

One thing five years of RVing has taught me, the best sunsets often come after a bout of bad weather. Today the clouds from yesterday’s snow break up, and the sunset I come home to after my evening walk doesn’t have the brilliance of my 10/10 sunset in Mojave last month, but is still beautiful.

I’ll stick around Williams through the weekend, letting the roads dry and stocking up on groceries, and then on Monday it’s off to the Grand Canyon!

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Becky

Forget about what the world tells you your life should be like. At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and go full-time RVing before retirement. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.

12 Comments

  1. Bob Kent on May 9, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Forty dollars to stay in an RV park in Arizona sounds rather steep. Are you a member of Passport America? Membership offers a 50% discount on selected T.V. parks.



    • Becky on May 11, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      I agree, $40 is a lot! I’ve looked into Passport America and it can be a good deal for certain RVing styles but doing what I do, only spending one night in a park here and there between boondocking, it wouldn’t be worth it.



  2. Dale on May 9, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Beautifully written post Becky. It’s so easy and a delight to follow you on your adventure.



    • Becky Schade on May 9, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Thank you Dale and I’m so glad to have you along on the journey. 🙂



  3. Cinn on May 9, 2018 at 3:41 am

    So pretty in the snow! I was at Garland Prairie late March into early April, and it instantly became one of my favorites! I went way back in there too, and had wild turkeys in my “backyard” and even saw a coyote up close one evening. Heard lots of them at night. I’m sure you know there is good boondocking just 3 miles from the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Had elk in my “front yard” there!



    • Becky Schade on May 9, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      Turkeys! I haven’t seen those since I started traveling, although we’d get flocks of them at my parent’s house, sounds like you had great spot. Yes, I’m currently boondocking just outside the park boundaries, I’ll take this over the crowded campgrounds any day!



  4. Judy Blinkenberg on May 8, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    We head that way this Friday. Our reservations for Grand Canyon North are not until the 20th so we may go boondock near Zion a few days. I sure wish I could camp near, but far enough to let you have space. I didn’t get to say much at the RTR and it would be nice to learn some ideas from you. Maybe someday. I am thankful you are doing well. I look forward to your next post. Blessings



    • Becky Schade on May 9, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Zion is a beautiful place, definitely worth a stop on the way to the north rim. Have fun up there and yes, I’m sure our paths will cross again someday. 🙂



  5. Jodee Gravel on May 8, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    We left there ten days ago and I’m glad they got some more moisture. Your snow pics are wonderful – I can almost touch the flakes in that first one 🙂



    • Becky Schade on May 9, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Yes Jodee. Camping in lasting snow wouldn’t be very fun, but a one-day event like this was magical.



  6. Elisa on May 8, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Isn’t Williams, AZ beautiful? Peaceful and serene. One of my favorite places in AZ.



    • Becky Schade on May 9, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Yes Elisa, I’ll have to stop by again some time!



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