How we discovered our new boondock in Wikieup, AZ

My spirits are high as the crew and I merge onto the Joshua Tree Scenic Parkway.

I feel well prepared for finding a new camp on Bureau of Land Management land.  Yesterday I called the BLM office.  A young man politely answered my questions about boondock areas and the Burro Creek Recreation Area.

“From Wickenburg to Nothing, it’s all state land.  But you can camp anywhere from Nothing to Wickieup.   It’s BLM on both sides of the highway.”  He also tells me Burro Creek Rec Area is $14 a day.  My senior pass reduces it to $7.

Spike leaves the bench seat to come up to the passenger seat.

He’s excited, too, about a new adventure.  He has his intense, terrier focus on the road ahead.   The little guy loves this life.  However, the motion of the PTV makes him too sleepy to do his copilot job.  Soon he’s snoozing.  Oh Spikey, you’re still the best copilot in the world.

No news is good news when it comes to Bridget on the road.

She’s learned that whining serves no purpose on the open road.  That’s a good thing because the traffic on this stretch of two-lane road is fast and pressured.  I like to keep my speed down to 55-60 mph on highways.   I’d better step it up to 65 mph, otherwise someone is going to get killed.  That last car cut it awfully close to oncoming traffic.

I spot my first Joshua Tree!

What a weird looking plant.  Actually they’re pretty when standing alone.  When there are hundreds of them on both sides of the highway, branches lifted heavenward, sticking out this way and that, they look like a mass round-up of guilty trees.  Yes, a forest of Joshua Trees looks very . . . weird, but delightfully so.  I want to capture it all in a photo but it’s too dangerous to stop on the shoulder.

The landscape keeps changing – gradual slopes, jagged mountains, volcanic formations, mesa, open desert, and those crazy-looking trees!

Where in the world is Nothing?

Oh, there it is!  I drive into the parking area under a dilapidated sign announcing this is Nothing. The crew needs a break.  I walk them over to a cattle guard and notice the familiar BLM post and a sign about the primitive road.  Oh, so this is a boondock road.  I look up at the pile of boulders.  This area has lots of boulders.  Nope, not for us.  Boulders mean snakes.

The highway improves as we continue in our northwesterly direction.

A long stretch of road with regularly-spaced passing lanes turns into a  four-lane divided highway.  Up, up, up we go on a 6% grade through a cut in a mountain.  I allow the PTV to slow on the climb.  We’re at 45 mph by the time we reach the crest.  Now we can glide smoothly down the 6% grade without having to manually downshift or jam the brakes.  Just a few taps keeps us at a comfortable, downhill speed.  Thank you, brake controller.  I love you!

I see a sign:  ¼ mile to Burro Creek Recreation Area

The highway bridge spans a river gorge.  Workmen and cones are all around.  I look for another sign until I realize I must have passed it.  Oh well, we’ll keep going to Wickieup and get propane and gas up.  I note that the BLM land along the highway, although stretching away for miles, is too exposed and there’s no obvious access.

The first sign of Wikieup is a Shell station selling gas for $4.29 a gallon!

There has to be something better.  Up the road is the Wickieup Trading Post.  Not only is the gas $3.99, there’s an interesting gift shop next to a restaurant.  A replica of a Native American sits in the foyer.  I ask a pleasant-looking shopper in the gift shop if she’s been to Burro Creek.  “Sure.  We’re camped there,” she responds.  She describes how nice it is and confirms that I did indeed pass it about ten miles back.

The Trading Post doesn’t sell propane, so we continue on.

No propane signs.  What is going on?  I look the full length of the town, which isn’t much.  I turn around and go back to the Shell station.  No propane.  But the guy behind the counter is friendly and says, “Go back up to Hidden Oasis RV Park.  They’ve got some and it’s cheap.”

I drive us back to Hidden Oasis, the BLT  tagging obediently behind us.

A man is building a cactus garden alongside a large building. His name is David. He leads me through the park on his quad.  While pumping the propane, he asks where I’m going to camp.  I tell him Burro Creek.  We talk some more.  “You like to boondock?  I know a place right here.”

“You do?” My ears perk up.   I like information from locals.  It’s usually the best.

“Yeah, go back about a quarter-mile.  Turn right onto Chicken Springs Road.  There’s a bunch of side roads up there where you can camp.”  He points to a mountain behind us.  “You can even cross that mountain and camp on the other side.”

“Gee, it’s awfully nice of you to tell me this, being the owner of an RV park and all.”

“Well, you obviously aren’t going to camp here,” he explains cheerfully.

David tells me I can pay his wife up at the café. 

The place is brand new and immaculate.  I look around.  No customers.  Gee, it’s lunchtime.  Brenda greets me warmly.  She and David are obviously working hard to make this place a success.  I order a sub and a Pepsi.  We chat while I pay for the propane and she prepares the sandwich.  I compliment her on her restaurant, and she smiles.  “We’ve only been open two and a half weeks.  The locals come in but people on the highway drive right by.”   The poor girl is worried sick about her restaurant.  ”I don’t know what to do.”

“Well, look what brought me in.  I couldn’t find any propane at all in this town until the guy down at the Shell told me to come here.”

“Oh, that’s Nate.  He helps us whenever he can.”

“Maybe if you put a sign out, Propane Sold Here, people will stop for it and end up buying a sandwich, maybe park here, too.”

Brenda is rightfully proud of her place. 

“You can stay at our RV park for $20 a night.  We’ve got Wi-Fi, a cactus garden, a fountain, and  . . .  did you see the pond we’re building in back with paths, and bridges and gold fish. . ?”

The place is beautiful, log chairs on the porch, flowers at your feet.

“Come on.  I’ll show you our laundromat.  You can come by and use it, even if you’re not at our park.”  The appliances are brand new, sitting shiny and unused in a new laundry room.

“How much to stay here for a month?”  I ask.  “I want to tell people on my blog about what you have here.”

She tells me $200 a month plus electric.   If I ever want to rent a place to park for a month, I’d want it to be here.  These people are a pleasure to be around.  God bless them.  (For more information and photos:  www.hiddenoasisrv.com)

Up Chicken Springs Road we spot our first snake.

Yep, lying right in the middle of the dirt road taking a sun bath.  About three feet or more.  Well, well, well.  I take a photo out the window of the PTV.  This is good.  This picture will stick in my head and remind me to be careful.  Snake season has officially begun for rvsue and her canine crew!

We continue on, passing up some side roads for being too low in the valley.

We need to be higher up.  Signs appear.  “Mountain grade ahead.  No shoulders.”  Uh-oh, not going up there.  Fortunately there’s a place to turn around, although  a high ridge of dirt has to be crossed.  This is the better choice.  I’m going for it.  At least we won’t be scraped by rocks.  I wince as I hear the PTV’s bottom scraping the dirt. The BLT wiggles over the ridge without scraping.  Off we go back down the road, take the first left, and go past a tiny church.  The road becomes narrower with rocks in it.  Good, it’s going higher.

Right when I’m about to give up, I see it.

I get out and walk up to evaluate it.  Yes, this will work just fine.  It’s a tough maneuver to park on it, actually the toughest I’ve experienced so far on the road.  If all six wheels were mounted sideways, it would be a piece of cake.  After about twenty crisscross movements, back and forth, the Best Little Trailer is situated where I want it . . .  with the door facing the mountains and the afternoon sun at our backs.

The crew and I stand in amazement. 

I look out over the green valley below.  This is Camp Wikieup . . .  We’re home!

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rvsue

 

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Fulltime nomad
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85 Responses to How we discovered our new boondock in Wikieup, AZ

  1. Seems like no matter where you go in these great United States you find good people. I would stay at a place like that for 20 or 200 a month just because of good young folks just reaching for their dream. Plus my fiver like electric spots, and my bride isn’t into boondocking although we do carry a generator just in case. Have a great time in your new spot. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The slogan on their business card is “In Harmony with Nature.” They are working to make every inch of their property beautiful. It’s already lovely. People like that deserve success.

      • This campground sounds so nice. I would love to try it and it is very affordable if its $200. for the month. What do you guess elec. a month they would charge?
        What is this senior pass you have that gives you a site for 1/2 price?
        I get nervous thinking of traveling on some of those roads with boulders and trying to turn around if you pass your spot. Makes me think of getting a smaller rig. Glad your settling in and can’t wait till I see more pictures and more blogs from you. What do you have for on the road emergency? I have so many questions, sorry for picking your brain. lol

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Don’t hesitate to ask questions, Sharon! I’m not an expert, so just keep in mind I’ve only been doing this for about seven and a half months. (My disclaimer . . . LOL!)

          I think you would pay for whatever you use according to the power company rate. I’ve never stayed in a private rv park.

          Senior Pass is sometimes called Golden Age Pass. When you turn 62, you pay $10 at a National Forest/Parks office. It gives you free entrance to national parks and half-price at federal campgrounds like Corps of Engineers parks or BLM parks, and you only pay the $10 once!

          About turning around when on a narrow road and you don’t want to go further. You can always back up if you can’t turn around, even with a travel trailer. I could have backed up to another turn around, but it’s easier to just take a chance . . . Ha! That’s me.

          I have Good Sam road service. Haven’t used it yet.

          • hobopals says:

            Do you save your coordinates in your GPS when you park, Sue? I wonder if a company would come out unless they knew exactly what was ahead of them.

            I have a friend who had a problem on an old logging road and her service wouldn’t come out – for insurance reasons.

    • Chuck says:

      Agree with you, Sam and Donna on that RV Park! And our 5th wheel must be related to yours!!!
      Sue, that would be nice for you when you dump to spend the nite, shower, do wash, etc. Not much more than paying to dump and buy water…. This is kinda’ what we do, is boondock a few nites, then RV Park it a nite or two, dump if needed, etc.

  2. Susie says:

    You make this Southern girl want to experience the desert! I never thought that would be true, loving pine and moss laden Oak trees. I read your blog every day and share your experiences with my husband. Now when he gets home from work each day, he asks what you have been up to. You truly have a gift of writing and a neat life to boot.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Susie. What nice compliments! I must admit today’s post is kind of rambling and rushed. There was so much I wanted to tell, I didn’t have room to describe our site. Another day, another post.

    • hobopals says:

      I almost hesitate to say this, but I’m just not a desert person. I love reading your blog, the Bayfield bunch, and others, but I just don’t take to the desert. I read Desert Solitaire years ago and thought I’d try to have a different outlook, but it didn’t work–I thought it did on one trip, but three days later… Maybe it’s because I’ve only been in the southwest in the summer. A day of the heat and I’m ready to head to the northwest.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        My guess is you didn’t like it because you were here in the summer. Heat will take the appeal off of anything. I was introduced to the desert in winter. It was a place of refuge from cold and snow . . . totally different perspective.

  3. kayjulia says:

    You have come a long way lady … I remember when you were just starting and now look how confident you are :)
    Happy Trails

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You, too! All the way back to Mexico with a newly constructed house!

      I hope I never lose my wonder at all I’m seeing for the first time. It’s such fun.

  4. RVingFT says:

    Great post Sue. I prefer the new format you are using of a video vs. a few individual pics selected. We get more of what we love from you …I hope it easier for you also.

    I was REALLY disheartened to hear about your North Ranch experience. We are members, always recommend Escapees to new RVers and are so ticked abput how you were treated I am tempted to write Angie Carr in protest. I am sure Joe & Kay Peterson would be thumping on management if they knew. That is NOT in the spirit of the club they started years ago.

    Policy or nit, there

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad you like the post! And I appreciate the feedback about slideshow instead of photos.

      Please forget about the North Ranch episode, and please don’t contact anyone. The more we talk about it, the worse it gets. It’s a good club.

    • RVingFT says:

      Yes Ma’am…but just for you because you asked me to. I am always sooooo excited to see what your day has been like. Discovering tbe wild horses was SO exciting, I checked my email more often, just to see if there was an update from you. Thanks for your commitment to your blog …we really appreciate it.

  5. Geri says:

    Happy Happy Happy Campin’! You found another beautiful home…. just be realllly careful of the neighbors that rattle! Love the Joshua Trees, I guess I have seen them, but it has been awhile! Great photos…. is that a rattle snake in the photo?? Couldn’t see any rattles on it’s tail!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I think it is a rattler. I’m sure there are other readers who can verify it for us.

      I’m disappointed in my photos. For some reason the sharpness from Picasa was lost. My computer is having a midlife crisis.

  6. Teri says:

    I really hope that business picks up for those folks. Well, word of mouth is a great way to advertise! Can’t wait to read about your adventures in your new spot.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hope anyone reading this blog will remember them when passing through this area.

      • Geri says:

        Put the RV park on your resource page!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The Resource page is for products only. The purpose of the Resources page is to have a place where we can find things (stuff) easily. If we start putting links there it’ll be a hodgepode. I’m waiting to see how the page works before deciding whether to do something for other categories, like favorite boondocks or rvparks.

          Nice that you haven’t forgotten the page!

    • hobopals says:

      Me, too. Sue, here’s a place that reaches a lot of people. I’m hoping that someone who stays overnight will take the time to leave a review. http://www.rvparkreviews.com/

      They have a very big following–it just about replaced any of the campground books in my travels. I used it more than any other resource, and I know a lot of others who use it, as well. Trailer Life and the other one (forget the name) left us disappointed a number of times and I think it’s driven by how much advertising space a campground buys. (That’s just my opinion). The review site is written strictly by consumers, and the ratings for the most part, are right on the money.

      I left a review for each campground I was in.

      I agree that it would be worth it for you to stay a night to get a shower and do your laundry, and dump. Can’t beat that for $20.

      I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I still can’t get comment updates to my email. I’ll try using a different email address.

  7. geogypsy2u says:

    You have found another beautiful back yard. I like that drive up 93. Wickieup also has a Chicago hot dog joint. Much better plan than the Prescott NF right now. But do watch out for the snakes.

    • Robert says:

      Yes! Sue, Dazzo’s has real Chicago hot dogs. Was there last fall and they’re what I grew up on. Sooo good. It could cut into your expense budget though if you find them to your liking. Thought about all that land around there for boondocking when I got my solar set up. Very interested in how things go for you there. Dogs on lead and a good hiking staff for walking in spring snake season!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Unfortunately I can’t eat hot dogs (only the crummy chicken or turkey kind). My system can’t take it, puts me in bed for 24 hours, running to the bathroom, vomiting, the whole bit. And I LOVE hot dogs. Used to eat them all the time. And when they’re the specialty of the house . . .yummmmm!

        I’ll take your advice. I’m looking for a good hiking staff.

        • Page says:

          Sue, I couldn’t eat hot dogs either due to digestion “issues”. If you find a Whole Foods or similar, look for the Field Roast Frankfurters. No meat, made with grains, and they are delicious. And no after effects!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Glad you approve of my plan, Gaelyn, as you’re the voice of experience. I sat there in Congress looking at that mountain with snow on it thinking, what in the world am I going to do . . . It’s getting warm down here in the desert!

      Today it’s in the 80s here. There’s a cool updraft through the BLT.

  8. Emily says:

    Safari wouldn’t let me use the link you posted to Hidden Oasis RV Park, “due to possible phishing”, so I went to http://www.hiddenoasisrv.com in case someone else has the same situation. Looks like the couple has done a lot of work with reasonable prices. I have them bookmarked. Way to go gal. You are doing sooooo good in such a short period of time – Okay I got weeds to pull in the back yard! Groan.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Emily. I think I fixed it!

      Weeds? I forgot all about weeeeeds.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Emily . . . I want to order a monocular. Up here I have mountain and valley views I’d love to see more closely. What kind do you have? If you can, would you describe it on the Resources page? You know, the level of zoom, brand, model . . . whatever you know. I’d really appreciate it. Forget the darn weeds.

      • Emily says:

        Sue, if you pulled any “weeds” where you are you would be in a heap of trouble with those govt people!

  9. Chuck says:

    Hi Sue! If you can correct Hidden Oasis to: http://www.hiddenoasisrv.com (WEBSITE)and hiddenoasisrv@yahoo.com (email address) ,they would probably appreciate it! Folks, I’m not being critical, honest, I’d never pick on Sue….well, almost never….

  10. cathieok says:

    Was going to point out that the website is http://www.hiddenoasisrv.com/, but I see someone beat me to it! :) Going to look into it. Would love to give them some business.
    That is some snake!

  11. Chinle says:

    Sue, it’s hard to tell from the photo, but I think that’s a bullsnake. They don’t have the pit viper looking head and the stripes are a bit different. Harmless, though they will sometimes coil and act like a rattler when cornered, but no rattles. They get big – I saw one here in Utah that went across one and a hlaf lanes of the highway. It was huge. They eat rodents and such.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I knew someone would identify it for me! At any rate, it’s a sign to be on the lookout. I would have nightmares if I saw a snake as large as the one you describe. Gee whiz.

      • Emjay says:

        Sure looks like a bullsnake.

        Rattlesnakes like shady places so when you step out of the PTV, look before you step down, and even if you have the little hairy kids in their pen, watch them. Snakes know no bounds.

        Instead of a walking staff as protectant against rattlers, try carrying a shovel. Seriously.
        Sorry. I don’t like rattlesnakes.

        Emjay

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Emjay..

          Funny you should mention stepping down . . . Our first night here I put the broom inside by the door. In the morning I held back the crew while I banged the broom handle on the metal step, making plenty of noise and vibration. I waited and then stepped down.

          Our walks are in the middle of a road. No more walking through brush to find wild horses or whatever! I’m not leaving the crew in the pen alone like I often have in the past. I sit out there with them. Fortunately there’s a lot of open ground around the PTV/BLT. Oh, and I also don’t walk near either the PTV or BLT without looking under first.

          Like you, I don’t like rattlesnakes. At all. You can’t be too vigilant.

          • Elizabeth in NC says:

            We have been told not all rattlers have rattles…lost some way, or perhaps not born with them? You cannot be too careful. Glad to hear your methods of making noise to drive off things…well, snakes feel vibrations right? I am not sure they actually hear. Do you think your elevation is high enough for the snakes to not yet be about? I hope so!! Also it is said that babies are the most venemous so be so watchful!! (I once mowed over a baby one…just blessed it did not get me!!) Natives in that location told us to be sure to bury the heads VERY deep if we killed any…I guess yellow jackets and hornets, etc will get into the poisonous glands of the dead ones about which makes their stings even more dangerous…never knew that before we lived in a remote mt. location.

  12. Kathe says:

    I concur…it was a bull snake…also called a gopher snake…harmless except to the small rodents it likes to eat.

  13. Larry Rife says:

    Sue, I believe Chinle is correct. We have lots of both here in Arizona but the bullsnakes are the good guys… Their color sure fools ya, huh? I too am enjoying your posts daily. You remind me of why we enjoy travelling so much in the hot summers…

  14. Kevin says:

    You are turning into a great little boondocker, pretty soon you will have a macerator to pump waste into a blueboy carried in the PTV to go dump, some fresh water jugs, and an extra 7 1/2 gallon propane tank to tie into your system, so you don’t have to tow the trailer around to dump and fill. Have fun.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      We shall see. One baby step at a time . . .

      But you know, Kevin. . . If I didn’t have to tow the BLT to dump tanks, I might never move to a new campsite. I’d just wither up into an old crone in a funny hat who hides behind the blinds and won’t come out and talk.

      • Kevin says:

        Oh I don’t know about never moving, but it does make your life alittle easier and convenient and I don’t think you have to worry about “withering up into an old crone” unless; you go out a get a “cat woman starter kit”.

  15. theresa says:

    OMG, sue, i feel like i cursed you by discussing snakes! that is some mother of a snake!!!
    (Can you tell that i am fearful of them?????)
    again, i am in awe of you. i would be not comfortable out in the desert by myself. i know that about me. again, i repeat from yesterday, i am in awe of you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Aw shucks, Theresa. Time will tell if I’m awesome or foolhardy. Ha!

      Hey, I’m not brave about snakes. My eyes are scanning the ground all the time.

  16. Sherry says:

    Being so unfamiliar with the areas you’ve been in……….well actually all of Arizona, I wasn’t sure if you’d gone to cooler climes (higher elevations) or not. Your looking out on the valley below makes me think Yes. Hope you get some cows or better horses in your new spot.

    Nice plug for the little up and coming RV Park. Love the picture of Spike the Co-pilot!

    Sherry
    http://www.directionofourdreams.blogspot.com

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Sherry, I’m probably a little bit higher up than Congress Acres. I haven’t checked yet. I do know I’m not high enough to make a discernible difference in temperature. It’s in the 80s today and may reach 90 by next week. What’s good is being on this bluff, we get a cool breeze coming up the slope which is pleasant. I haven’t turned on my fan yet because of that breeze.

      I moved because of the 14 day limit and to see new things. No cows up here. There are signs that horses come up here but I think people are on their backs. Now burros . . . hmmm. . . maybe . . .

  17. Wow, I never heard of Nothing Az or Wickenburg, or Burro Creek until I read your post. As I read your posts, I google these places and read up on them. Be careful because Wikipedia says that Nothing is the “rattlesnake” capital of Arizona. I especially enjoyed this post. Learned a lot. Enjoyed your pictures.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No kidding!!! That’s where the boulders are . . . right next to the Nothing sign. I had a bad feeling about that area.

      Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed today’s story. The pictures were not the quality they should have been for various reasons. I guess the subject matter makes up for that somewhat!

      • Chinle says:

        I like that photo of Nothing. My kind of place. Here around Moab, the bullsnakes have evolved a pinkish color to hide better in the redrocks. They’re really pretty. Having a bullsnake aorund your camp is very good as they’re territorial and will keep rattlers away. All critters need water, so don’t leave water dishes out or you’ll attract them.

        I have to add my two bits’ worth about monoculars. I have one and never use it, as it’s hard to spot things with because you’re only using one eye. I instead bought a small pair of pocket binoculars for hiking, which I greatly prefer. But one of the best investments I ever made was a nice pair of Nikon binoculars, really good quality and big, not for the pocket. You can sit and watch things for hours (well, I can, but I don’t get bored easily), but they cost over $500, so like I said, it’s an investment.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, Chinle . . . Guess what. I left a small dish with water in it in the pen overnight. Never gave it a thought. Thank you for telling me. I should know better.

          I’m thinking monocular for a couple of reasons . . . When I use binoculars I automatically close one eye (!), maybe my bifocals have something to do with it, and I want something light and compact, to put in my pocket when I walk the crew. The monoculars are within my budget. Lightweight binoculars probably wouldn’t be. I don’t know. I saw Emily’s monocular when we met in Chloride, NM, last fall and I liked it.

  18. Ron says:

    Sue
    That was a great post, thank you very much .
    I had a crazy ideal you might want to think over, a walking stick was discussed in some of the comments, I think at every campsite you should find a walking stick maybe slick it up a little bit and then put the area and date your were at sign it put paw prints from the pups on it . Bet you could sell one from every location you boondock at.
    Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Ron for the idea. I believe every idea we receive, even if we dont’ act upon it right away, goes into our memory bank and contributes toward other ideas or evolves into an idea we act upon.

      Wouldn’t it be nice to have a hobby on the road that brought in some money . . . I wonder how many people have that thought!

      Marketing what you make is a big challenge . . .

  19. Geri says:

    Sue. One of the coolest walking sticks I have ever seen was made from a long, thick as your wrist up top tapered down to thick as your thumb on the bottom CHOLLA limb skeleton! It was maybe 5 feet long. I had to comment on it because it was so beautuful and so unusual! He had used it about 12 years already and said he had made it and it was very strong. That alone amazed me as cholla skeleton looks like a wooden version of swiss cheese ! He said when he made it that he sanded it first then soaked it in a resin (in a wall paper hanging tray) overnight and that gave it even more strength. In about 3 days it was dry and he had been using it ever since!
    We wish Brenda and David well with their new campground and cafe! Chuck and I will for sure drop in if we ever end up in their neighborhood! The name, Hidden Oasis, is perfect !!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Geri . . . I never would’ve thought cholla skeletons are strong enough. They are the kind of thing that look like they should be made into something.. . fascinating structure. You made me realize I haven’t seen one cholla around here.

      That guy is very resourceful. What a great way to make some money while creating something useful and artful (if that’s a word!).

      • earthdancerimages says:

        There is a restaurant here in town that uses chairs made from Cholla skeletons! Beautiful chair frames! Who woulda thunk it?

  20. Bob Giddings says:

    Just out of curiosity, what is the ground clearance on your Casita? Do you have what they call a “Hi-lift” axle?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, I have the high lift axle. It puts the Casita higher than the clearance of the PTV. The PTV will hit bottom before the Casita does. I’d like to fix the PTV so it rides as high as the Casita (couple of inches). Heavy duty shocks? Maybe someday . . .

      I think I measured the clearance for you once, didn’t I . . . before you bought your new trailer? I just got up and I’m having my coffee right now . . . . . a sacred time of day . . .

      ADDED LATER: Thanks for mentioning clearance, Bob. I went back and reread my post and the way I wrote it, it sounds like the BLT scraped bottom. It didn’t; it was the PTV. I’m going to change the wording to make it clearer.

      • Bob Giddings says:

        No worries. You probably already measured it for me, but I’ve got a mind like a sieve.
        And yeah, I did think your trailer rubbed bottom.

        A quick way to increase the PTV height at will is to install air shocks and carry a little DC air compressor. Another is with air bags, but they are a bit more trouble to install. At least if they fit inside your coil springs.

        Check out Glen Morrisette’s installation of air shocks:

        http://www.tosimplify.net/2012/03/coffee-air-springs.html#comment-form

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Very interesting. I appreciate the link. I already have a DC air compressor!

          • Bob Giddings says:

            I put air bags on my new truck today, and they do what they are supposed to do: improve the ride under load.

            If what you want is to raise the body of your truck, especially the back bumper, I recommend them. Of course, it does nothing to raise your axle, if that is what you are dragging.

  21. Chinle says:

    Sue, I just got the coolest fan ever, runs on 12V or 110 if you get the adapter, I put it on your resources page. You might want one for when you can’t run your AC, as it’s getting warmer.

  22. rand cott says:

    Hi Sue– Been enjoying your adventures sitting in the trailer in the driveway at home.. We live on the edge of the river valley in San Diego so there is a variety of wildlife flying or scurrying around..
    Sunset last night spotted a FOX .. first one in 30 years of being here.. now i know why the TERRIER goes into high alert on our night sojourns.
    Wanted to point out the snake is a GOPHER SNAKE… They have a bad trait of appearing like a viper.. they are GOOD snakes unless you like rats.. I have used this type of snake to train dogs to back away and not tease a snake.. Dogs are fast learners and will be happy to warn you on the trail or around your campo. Just cautiously walk a wide circle around the snake with a low voice signifying danger say: BACKOFF, DOWN, LOOKOUT, PELEGRO etc.. Dogs and people get bit teasing snakes.
    Enjoy the desert Spring season— Rand

    from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pituophis_catenifer
    The Gopher snake has an odd defense mechanism, in which it will puff its body up and curl itself into the classic strike pose of the pit viper genus, but rather than an open mouthed strike, the gopher snake is known for striking with a closed mouth, using its blunt nose to “warn-off” possible predators. It will often also shake its tail to confuse predators into thinking it is a rattle snake.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rand!

      Nice to see you here … Lots of good info in your comment. Obviously you know your way around snakes. Interesting about the Gopher snake . . . kind of like designer knock-offs . . . not necessary to have the real thing (like venom), just look like you do!

      Enjoy your wildlife, at home and at camp!

  23. RVingFT says:

    I agree about opinions of the desert after first intro … MY first experience was in Phoenix in August. 115 degrees so when I stepped out of the vehicle, I went STRAIGHT to the hotel room and didn’t come out until we left the following week. When my hubby tried 2 years later to convince me how “nice” it was in the winter, I didn’t believe him. Plus, being from the east coast my whole life, I didn’t understand “but honey, it’s a DRY” heat”. To me, HOT is frickin’ HOT, no matter what.

    So, I gave in and decided to try it … if I didn’t like it, we could always move … again. So, we moved to Phoenix during February … and I LOVED it. Dry heat is MUCH MUCH more tolerable than humidity. Houston is now HUMID Houston to me, and I really have no desire to return to the humidity of Florida, other than to visit – in the winter, and leave after visitations are completed.

    Now the HIGH desert, I REALLY adore. 4500′-5000′ elevation is really, really nice, such as Sierra Vista, in the SE corner of AZ near Tombstone. Other than when it might snow at 7000′ elevation in Flagstaff, Arizona offers many locales with a moderate, dry climate that is comfortable just about 9-11 months of the year. So far, I haven’t found ANY other state with weather as nice … and HOW BOUT THEM Sunsets ?!! Maybe New Mexico ….maybe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a wonderful review of the desert! Thank you! I’m glad you gave it a second chance. Very informative and interesting comment . . . I feel the same way about the Southeast . . . too humid. It’s great to enjoy warm weather without clothes sticking to your skin.

  24. hobopals says:

    I don’t know how many readers go back to read replies so if you don’t mind I’ll leave the review URL here, too. It might generate a lot of business for that young couple. You’ve done a good deed, Sue.
    http://www.rvparkreviews.com/

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I followed this link and Hidden Oasis hasn’t been reviewed yet, as best I can see.

      • hobopals says:

        That’s because it’s so new–no one would know about it except for your blog. I hope anyone who reads you and has an opportunity to stay at HO will leave a review. I used it, almost exclusively, to find state parks and private parks when I had to stay in them. Even though they are listed, I have a book for all COE and state parks, but I’d decide on a place close to where I thought I would stay, and check it out on the review site. I’d love to see this young couple get a start–I’d stay there if I were out that way.

        Don’t want to stir things up, but I noticed some negative reviews regarding the staff at one campground. ;-) You can cut this, but I thought you’d be interested.

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