We left the Yuma area late afternoon after my final dentist appointment & a stop at Wal-Mart. I had fillings made or fixed in a total of five front teeth & other than the deadening shots (during & tenderness the next day), never had a bit of pain. Glad I gathered up my gumption & made the appointments. We’ll also return to the little boondocking hilltop overlooking the All American Canal between I-8 & Los Algodones.
We didn’t want to travel far & decided to stop for the night in the boondocking area around Weldon, AZ that RVSue mentioned. Unfortunately, she said to go north from town (which we did), but the boondocking is actually south of town. I found this out later (after hopelessly wandering around lost) from reading Nina’s Wheeling It blog where she mentioned using FreeCampsites.net website to find boondocking locations all across the country. Yep, there was the Weldon boondocking area SOUTH of town — where we WEREN’T. I really like this website tho & have found all the places we’ve boondocked & many more we can check out in the areas we’re going to travel.
Since the sun was behind us & the traffic on I-8 was light. . .we just kept heading east. About dusk, we finally stopped at Painted Rock Petroglyphs for the night (north of I-8, about 10 miles west of Gila Bend where we camped last winter). The nearly full moon gave ample light to enjoy the cool night air around the picnic table. We woke up early & actually left the campground before sunrise tho since this wasn’t our destination. The Shell station at the east end of Gila Bend (just off I-8) provides a free dump station & overnight parking across the street (where we could’ve easily stayed).
We headed north on Hwy 85 from Gila Bend going toward Buckeye (a Phoenix suburb), but turned west off the road about 10 miles south of Buckeye to check out the FREE Buckeye Regional Park. The sites are well spaced but right next to the loop road. Some have covers over the picnic tables but we selected a site that didn’t because it was the only one facing the outside of the loop. We had a nice sized pale verde tree instead for shade near the picnic table in the afternoon. We had a private view of the sweeping valley leading down to Buckeye & I-10 with a DISTANT view of nighttime lights & traffic.
We had a pleasant few days of relaxation, including a visit from our friend Rob Rupp from Wichita who we’ve camped with at Chase County Kansas Fishing Lake. Rob is SOOOO knowledgeable about so many things, not just RVing but techo gadgets as well. He gave us a demonstration of his latest toy — a remote controlled quad-copter with camera. Now THAT could eat up a lot of leisure time.
The Valentine’s Day full moon was spectacular, but by Saturday morning, we needed to make a much-needed Wal-Mart stop (yes, again) in Buckeye. Then we drove to my cousin’s house in Sun City West (Phoenix suburb) for a great weekend visit. We finally got to visit a Trader Joe’s store. . .& among other things, purchased some Mexican avocadoes. Jeff got three huge ones in Algodones but Customs wouldn’t let him bring into California. Bummer! Southwest sunsets are almost too vivid to describe or photograph sometimes.
Using my new favorite website (FreeCampsites.net), we headed off north of Lake Pleasant in search of BLM camping, north of Phoenix. The weather sure has been heating up in the SW, & besides having no boondocking A/C if we’re at risk of melting down, snakes (think Rattlers) are coming out too I’ve heard. NOT a good thing between Kira & Boots hanging around outside (on leashes – but still. . .) or me wandering the desert in search of wildflowers. Don’t know how long we’ll park there but may have to forego our plans to see Apache Junction this year & head north to higher elevations & cooler temps. At least we’re not walking in the deep, wet, white stuff like most of the rest of the country!!!
In fact, I almost (well not quite) feel guilty about enjoying so much of our winter in the SW desert. Eagads, it seemed to take forever to be able to head west from MO this winter, with more than enough single-digit temps & ice to last us awhile. At least I feel sorry for everyone whose stationary status forces them to endure whatever Mother Nature tosses their way. It’s getting harder to understand why the vast majority of our society remain in the same place (house, city, state) their entire lives in all kinds of weather & disasters, without ever even considering other places to live that might be more comfortable. Well. . .there’s that job thing that pretty much keeps pre-retirement age people planted where they are — & even if a job was portable or no job needed, most people just can’t imagine functioning without lots & lots of STUFF in a permanent location & structure. Little do they realize the degree of community available for RVers. And with cell phones & Skype, they don’t have to be right on top of grandkids to keep up with them. I’m so very glad for our vagabond life, & my worst fear is having to give it up some day.
This is probably more information than anyone wants to know, but I’ve believed in (almost more of just a feeling) reincarnation most of my life, & I can’t help but wonder if this fulltime RVing lifestyle isn’t the modern-day version of some previous life as a nomadic American Indian, a mountain man, or a frontier traveler in a covered wagon. This just feels normal, natural, & where I need to be.