The crew and I are northward bound!
We’re on Highway 85 when we approach a checkpoint. A young, uniformed man waits for me to stop at the rumble strips. I bring down my window and say hello. He’s curious about the PTV, peering through the window toward the back seat. The crew barks. “Oh, you’ve got dogs.” I can see he’d like more information, so I offer some.
“My two dogs and all my possessions are here on wheels. I live in the travel trailer.”
This throws him off a bit. “What do you do for a living?” he asks.
“I’m retired.” I reply. “I like to travel.”
He hesitates a moment. “So. You’re a transient.”
“Yes, I guess you could say that.” I hold back a giggle at his word choice. I’ve never been called a transient before! (I find it’s not a good practice to laugh while being questioned by someone in a uniform.) He asks me if I’m a citizen of the United States, the standard question, before sending us on our way.
The drive to Gila Bend goes quickly.
It’s about 45 miles. It’s another 35 miles to Buckeye where Highway 85 intersects Interstate 10. I spy a Shell station off to the right. Yay! This is the place that has free dumps! Once that task is completed, the crew and I head east toward Phoenix, take the loop north to Highway 6o, and continue northward to Wickenburg. I’m so pleased with Bridget and Spike. They don’t make a sound.
It’s Saturday and Wickenburg bustles with tourists.
We don’t stop. We’re on a mission to locate our boondock site! Continuing northwest on Highway 89, we come to the town of Congress and meander over to Ghost Town Road. The BLM land is northwest of town.
The day’s journey was about 150 miles.
It took us about three hours going around 60 mph and stopping to dump tanks on the way.
The first thing I notice as I pull into the BLM area off of Ghost Town Road is five or six big Class A motorhomes parked in a tight cluster, as if they’re in a campground with hook-ups. That’s not for me!
As we pass through that area I see a couple of tents pitched next to the motorhome group. Two vehicles squat alongside the tents, doors wide open, radio blasting. A guy sits in the front seat of one of the cars with a beer bottle in his lap. He’s sitting bolt upright with his eyes closed, obviously in a stupor. A glance at the other car gives me a glimpse of a woman’s bare behind. Oh, Lord help us. Gotta get away from this mess!
The PTV cautiously carries us onward.
We go up the dirt road through prickly pear cacti, palo verde, and mesquite toward the mountain. No one is camped back here, and it’s quiet.
We come to a lane off to the right. I stop, get out, leaving the crew, and walk to investigate. I come to a big site but it’s too close to the lane. I continue on. Around a bend I see another offshoot road leading to a clearing. It has a tree! I hurry to look. Yes, I like this! This is nice!
Spike and Bridget sense my excitement.
After riding asleep since morning, they’re ready to get their paws on solid ground. Spike bugs me for a walk while I try to set up. He’s full of energy. Okay. Let’s go, guys! As we walk away from our campsite, I turn and take a photo.
I can’t stop smiling. What a great success! I revel in my accomplishment. I researched, made a decision, brought us safely to new, unfamiliar territory, and parked us in a beautiful, free campsite . . .
And I did it all by myself!
Darby Well doesn’t count as MY first .boondock
When the crew and I were caught in a snowstorm in New Mexico, Al and Kelly (The Bayfield Bunch) felt sorry for us and invited us to camp near them in the warm, Arizona desert.
I’ll always remember how they helped me transition from campground rver to boondocker. Together with Rick, they helped me pick a spot and get settled.
I had guides to that boondock . . .
Now I’m on my own!
This camp is my first independent boondock and I’m absolutely delighted with it!
I leave the BLT hitched to the PTV overnight.
I want to make sure this is the place where we want to camp for several days, and also whether the BLT is in the best position in regards to the sunrise, sunset, and such.
We explore the surrounding paths and roads. There are so many different trails. That will keep the crew happy!
When we return, I’m so hungry I cook up a big spaghetti supper with a green salad. Bridget and Spike fall into deep sleep right after eating.
I try the laptop and see there’s a strong Verizon signal. Great! After dark I turn on the television and run the channel scan. Thirteen channels! I pull up the blind and see the lights of Congress in the distant night. The stars shine brightly above.
Yes, rvsue, you did good, girl, real good.