Friday, February 28, 2014

Lake Pleasant BLM–north of Phoenix

We followed the directions to this BLM camping site — called The Old Air Strip — over about 7 miles of gravel, washboard road. We finally spied other RVs at the start of the area, & blindly made our way south on one of the many rough, rocky at times, ATV trails back into a veritable forest of palo verde trees. Once we got away from the main wide-open camping area, green was everywhere, along with some chollas (ugh), saguaros, & other assorted small bushes. We looked at one area but thought there’d previously been horses there & kept going. Finally we came to a nice open area with a dozen or so trees around for shade. We snugged the trailer along the north side of the trees with the door facing north so we had shade from the trailer on the patio mat most of the day. We realized afterward, our solar panels would be in shade in late afternoon, but we liked the view of the mountains to the north, the distance from the main camping area, & felt we might really need the shade.

Then we started hearing the burros (Spanish for donkey). And the numerous piles of horse poop???. . .nah, this spot must be a favorite hangout for burro siestas. I’ve read about wild burros being very intrusive around campsites overnight, but we’d see what happened. Apparently, Kira’s scent kept the burros from venturing too close, even during the night, ‘cause we didn’t have any problems from them at all. And we did see numerous wild burros up close & personal many times.

We made a run into Albertson’s at Desert Hills (I-17 & Hwy 74) a couple of times, as well as north on I-17 to Anthem for Wal-Mart. For the most part, we just hung out enjoying the desert stillness. In 9 days, we only had one morning with uncomfortably strong winds. Most of the time, we had a gentle breeze at most. And silence & solitude.

I rearranged some things in cabinets so the infrequently used items were tucked away making more frequently used items easier to get. I also rearranged our cushions so that we’re back to sleeping back to front since the sideways sleeping wasn’t working. We also have a separate area along the side for Kira to sleep without crowding Jeff & I. I can also remove the end cushion & support board nearest the frig to give us just a tad more isle space. (Every little inch really makes a difference in this small a space.)

My biggest accomplishment was securing the single sheet of vinyl flooring we picked up last Fall. As we’ve bumped & jarred down the road the last few months, it would slowly creep forward (over the carpet). We had the same problem years ago using throw rugs over the carpet. Sometimes I wish we had originally ordered vinyl flooring instead of carpet, but the carpet gives us a bit more floor insulation. Anyway, we got 18” of clear carpet runner — the type that has little teeth on the bottom — & used heavy-duty double-stick tape to stick it to the bottom of the vinyl, placed back under the bed. This same method would have worked to keep our throw rugs from crawling around too. Hopefully these little teeth will hold the vinyl in place.

We also cracked yet another screen door latch (our 4th in 5 years) so I decided to do a Google search (just in case) for a metal RV screen door latch. Yeehaw! Trimark makes a metal handle, & although we could have ordered one on line a little cheaper, Camping World also carries them. We’ll pick one up in Mesa when we return to civilization.

Our plans are to travel the Apache Trail one day soon, then head for New Mexico. For several months, we’ve talked & thought about getting the NM State Park annual pass for $225 (out of state residents), & since we’ve decided for sure to do this, we want to get to New Mexico on March 1st. Since the pass is good thru the end of the purchase month next year, we’ll get 13 months good out of it. We can boondock for free at any state park, but easily have water, trash, & dump station near by, & electric hookups for $4/night whenever we need it during cloudy or cold weather. We hope to visit as many of the couple dozen NM State Parks as possible while working our way back to MO in. . .April, May, or maybe even June — depending on the weather.

We’re sure gona miss this spot & definitely plan to return. I ‘m STILL surprised by 1) how the nights cool off regardless of how hot it gets during the day (it never does that in Missouri during warm weather) & 2) how totally silent the desert is even with miles & miles of vistas. It’s like being in a very, very large soundproof room! And then there’s that lack of snow thing.


  1. Sounds like you found a wonderful spot near Lake Pleasant. Safe travels as you head east!

  2. Love the pics of the burros - and oh baby one. The deserts have such a way with us don't they? Glad I moved here so I can see the pretty sunsets myself instead of wishing thru others pictures. Easy on the sole.

  3. Loved the burros.... I had miniature donkeys when I had a home and loved the little critters. They followed me around like a puppy dog. Looks like a fun time in the dessert.

  4. Sounds like you found a really great spot! Need to remember it for next year!

    The NM annual pass does sound good! Hope you get to camp in many of their parks this spring.

  5. Great looking camp, even with the burro's. Great plan for New Mexico. I know you are having a tough time leaving Arizona, though.

  6. Glenda,

    I have vinyl flooring but I do like to put down a throw rug or two. I've found the best throw rugs are rugs intended for bathrooms. They don't slip because they have a different type of backing.

    Nice boondock! Sue

  7. ya'll past right by me... I think... I was west and south. About four miles from where 74 connects with 60 over toward Wickenburg... I'll be starting my roll north for the Front Range in a couple days... have to stay south long enough for the snow to pull out up there!

    That whole country is littered with donkeys it seems... a good bunch over where I was at too. Not a problem as long as you don't mess with the kids, then they get testy! ;)

  8. Nice pictures. Nice camp spot. We are right behind you, or will be in a week or two.


Comments must be approved, so if your comment is promoting some irrelevant website or makes no sense in English, don't waste your time. It will be marked as spam & deleted.