I know there has to be water around here somewhere.
The creek is dry until the snow melt fills it again. Yet I’ve seen a lot of animal tracks running alongside its rocky bed. The crew and I follow it up to the corral area where we previously encountered the big, golden-tan coyote. Sure enough. Behind the corral is a man-made, dirt basin obviously for the purpose of collecting and holding water. We climb to the top of the berm around the pool, and three ducks fly off the water before I can pull up my camera.
The small pool is surrounded by animal tracks.
Walking beyond the pool, we enter a shady glade. The ground is covered with deer droppings. It’s apparent the herd uses this spot for resting. How I’d love to be a bird on a branch to see what comes to the watering hole and then rests in the shade of the nearby trees!
Tiny purple flowers are blooming close to the ground.
We come across an interesting cactus with yellow bulbs at the end of its branches. I don’t know whether to call them flowers, seeds, or fruit. Of course, occasionally when out walking in these fields, the skeleton of an unfortunate animal is found. Life in the wild is more than sweet flowers and pretty views.
Having only eaten a few almonds, our walk gives me a good appetite.
Back home I pull out a carton of eggs from the refrigerator. I think of Rusty. Geez, he’s over there with crackers and peanut butter. I go outside and look over at his camp. I see he’s working on his truck. I walk over.
“Hey, Rusty! Good morning! Are you hungry?” He leans on his truck with a smile on his face as I approach.
“I’m cooking myself some eggs with salsa in a tortilla. Would you like to come over and let me fix you one?”
A few minutes later he’s in the camp chair on the shady side of the BLT, two hands wrapped around a dripping breakfast tortilla.
I know a big conversation is coming.
Rusty loves to talk. He compliments me on the breakfast, noting, “It’s a long time since I’ve eaten eggs.” Then he teaches me how to keep eggs when you don’t have any refrigeration. Rusty is a natural teacher.
“Take a dozen eggs, boil ’em and shell ’em,“ he begins. “Put them in a jar and take the juice from a can of jalapenos and pour it over the eggs. Close it up good and wrap the jar with papers. On top of that wrap it with wet wool. Leave it out at night and it’ll get real cool. During the day, put it in the shade and the wool will keep it cool all day. Just keep doing that to keep ’em cool.”
He cleans up the pieces of egg and salsa on his plate with the spoon, and thanks me again for the breakfast. We talk some more. I never encounter Rusty that I don’t come away having learned something.
Once again the crew and I go the seven miles to Ash Fork.
This afternoon I pick up the breakaway cable at the post office. Then I stop at a water dispenser and fill up jugs, only four gallons because I only have four quarters with me. This’ll keep us going. Next I stop at the Texaco station because there is a big dumpster out past the pumps, apparently for public use. I go inside and buy a Pepsi. In case someone does object, I can say I’m a customer. I’m thirsty, and for some reason I’m feeling sleepy. I can use a jolt of caffeine!
My supply of fresh groceries like fruit, milk, eggs, and bread is running low.
That stuff is costly in Ash Fork’s convenience stores. I think I’ll drive the 23 miles south to Chino Valley in the morning. I’ll see some more of the countryside and a Safeway is there. Rusty says the prices are lower than the Safeway in Williams where I shopped last. “You won’t have to pay the tourist tax,” he explains. And I won’t have to drive up that endless, steep grade to Williams.
When I pull out of Ash Fork Fields Camp for more propane, I’ll probably keep going to our next campsite, wherever I decide that will be. A young man at the laundromat, a local guy, told me camping a few miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is “iffy” regarding weather. “Some days in April are great. Then I was up there in a tent in May, around Mother’s Day, and it got down into the teens at night, snow and everything. You never know.”
Fulltime boondocking is like life. Success depends a lot on timing.
P.S. Look for the white speck in the photos. That’s the PTV and BLT.4/9/12 . . . $0 4/10/12 . . . $0 4/11/12 . . . $0 4/12/12 . . . $0 4/13/12 . . . $0 4/14/12 . . . $0 4/15/12 . . . $0 (I love typing zeroes.) 4/16/12 . . . $8.00 laundry 4/17/12 . . . $1.69 soda, $1.00 for 4 gal. water
You were worried on the other post how to approach him about food. How nice it just happened with no planning. I like that. Sounds like a nice man. The zeros sure are pretty. LOL
It’s better when things happen in their own time.
Yes . . . zeroes! I love how little I’m spending out-of-pocket. Not going to a mall, department store, or restaurant helps!
BTW, your comment had me questioning my spelling . . . zeros or zeroes? So I checked and both are correct.
Sue… if you wish, email me pfundt (at) gmail.com and I can send you a close up map and description of where to free boondock camp just south of the rim in the Grand Canyon… the first spot to pull off is on high ground and not mushy…(we were there in April of 2011) I can send you a blog post of that day so you can see the pics. Be forwarned… the south rim of the Grand Canyon is a zooming noisy area of helicopters buzzing overhead every few minutes… not kidding. Also, you can buy a pass that is good for a week to come and go from the boondocking area into the park as much as you want for sightseeing with the PTV.
Won’t my senior pass take care of any entrance fee to the park? Thanks for the offer. I will email you. It’s nice of you to offer your help from experience.
I don’t see us staying in that area long.
Yes your senior pass will take care of entrance fee. Camping in the park is NOT at senior rates as the campground is a contracted company and they don’t honor the lower rate
I’ll be boondocking in the Kaibab National Forest, not in a contracted company’s campground.
You are gonna love it. The roads to the right (E) are generally higher ground and drier than on the left (W). Also, the roads on the right take you a bit further away from the heliport than the roads on the left! The very last road on the right, just before you enter Tusaysan, goes back some 30-40 miles! Lots of off shoots roads from that one, lots of privacy.
Thanks, Geri! I see them on the map but it doesn’t tell which are higher and drier. I need to check the NF site to see if there’s any scheduled burns in the area, before I go.
Rusty told me about boondocking around Williams and Flagstaff. I’m really getting to know where to go! After a few years, this boondocking will be a piece of cake.
Hi Sue, I am really enjoying your daily blog. You said that you would love to know what is going on at that tank ( watering hole ) well you can and it can be a lot of fun. Go to bass pro shop online and look at the Trail cameras, they strap to a tree and are triggered by a motion sensor, the data is stored on a SD card and you can check on it daily, its like Christmas every time you open it …lol . You will get some amazing pictures of animals that you would otherwise never see. They have many different models and run anywhere from 75 to 300 dollars. Hope you get a chance to check them out ……Scott
I would LOVE having one of those cameras, Scott. I’d pretend I’m a naturalist or something, being paid to research animal behavior. What fun!
That purchase would really blow away a zero for the day . . . but, gee, oh well . . . sigh
Sue, Check in with Mick on the trail cam info. If I am not mistaken he is quite familiar with them. He has a sweet set up at his place that you can access on line and watch his birds at the feeder. I haven’t done it in a while but it is quite fun.
I’d like to see that. Hello, Mick? Are you there?
Marinanne Edwards is a Canadian who has been boondocking 6+ months of the year for many years with her hubby in a RopadTrek B-class RV. She writes a website http://www.frugal-rv-travel.com that offers different e-books, one of which is for Arizona and it lists many boondocking areas. You may want to look into it. It is a GREAT resource and is very reasonably priced.
Your feeding the camo guy breakfast makes me happy on the inside. Not only did he get a good meal, he also got to spend time with another person – recluse or not, everyone gets lonesome and needs that little bit of human interaction on occasion.
Someone above was smiling when you saw his truck the second time!
I was smiling, too!
Eggs will keep a long time without refrigeration, but not in heat. Always a good idea to turn them once in a while.
That pond looks terribly dried up. Oh how we need rain.
You’ll like Chino, it’s a nice Safeway. That hill to Williams is a bear.
Too right about the SR forest weather being unpredictable.
Glad you invited Rusty for breakfast. Doesn’t have to be any further invite than a meal with good company.
The guy in the laundromat explained the South Rim weather being unpredictable. He said the jet stream brings storms and even the weather people don’t know if it will dip far enough south to affect the South Rim.
Yes, that hill to Williams — I thought it would never stop going up! Good thing you’ve got a big truck to pull your home.
Breakfast shared with a friend is the best breakfast you can have! 🙂
Geri . . . I don’t know why you sometimes aren’t allowed to comment with the name Geri. What happens when you try? I wonder if any other people run into the same problem.
WordPress tells me I am not signed in, then when I try to sign in, it tells me I cannot use that name (Geri) as it is already being used… duh… yeah by me! Yet it insists that I use earthdancerimages from my email address and seems to have no problem remembering me that way. Won’t let me enter my blog site either, insisting again on using only my email address. Not really a problem, I can get used to using earthdancer!
All those zeroes are very impressive! And how nice to share breakfast with Rusty – after reading one of your recent posts about egg and salsa burritos, I decided to try them – yum. Thanks Sue!
Egg and salsa burritos . . . Not only do they taste good, they’re easy! You can regulate the heat by the type of salsa you buy. I like them because I yearn for carbs with my eggs, but toasting isn’t easy when boondocking. Flour tortillas heated in a skillet do the trick!
If you have a source of free water and don’t want to move your trailer, you might want to try what I just did. I bought a potable water sprayer tank and a transfer pump from Northern tool. Mine is 26 gallons, but there are much smaller ones. Here’s a URL for a 13 gallon one.
AC pump transfers 26 gallons in about 6 minutes. They also have DC pumps. Here’s a pic of it working.
We do tofu and salsa burritos and they are also yum! You are sure getting good information about boondocking. I’m trying to keep it all in a file so when ever I FINALLY get out there to do it, I’ll have a head start on information.
Between friends through the internet and people I meet like Rusty and even the guy at the laundromat who told me where he boondocks . .. the information is easy to get.
Well, I feel obligated to comment on the coyotes. Coyotes are naturally mostly rodent and rabbit eaters, so any larger animal bones you find are more likely a natural death or something else. Yes, coyotes will have a snack of dog and cat when they’re handy, but they really aren’t the terrors everyone makes them out to be. Sheep ranchers may beg to differ, and sure, a young lamb is easy prey and coyotes will kill them. But in general, coyotes aren’t really dangerous and are a part of the natural ecosystem. I’ve hiked many miles in coyote country and grew up around them, and they mostly want to be left alone. They are getting more used to humans around urban areas, so I can’t answer for that scenario.
That’s very interesting, Chinle. I appreciate you educating me and probably many others. I had this picture in my mind of a gang of coyotes bringing down a large animal, but you say that’s not what they do. I hate having misconceptions like that. Glad you straightened me out. Now I need to decide how to edit my post. Don’t want to put out misinformation, if I can help it!
Nice to hear from you!
Hi Sue, It’s a very minor point, so no need to edit. I just like coyotes and hate it when they always get bad press, but they do eat other critters. I had a cat killed by them and didn’t like them so much for awhile, but then I realized that’s their nature. They actually jumped a coyote-proof fence that was over 6 feet tall to get her. It broke my heart. But when their ecosystem isn’t messed with and destroyed, they eat rodents mostly. I watched one hunting rodents in Yellowstone, it was quite the deal. My Blue Heelers (not so far from their heritage of wild dingoes) use the same technique, they rear back on their hind legs and actually stomp down with their forefeet.
No, it’s not a minor point. People need to understand animal behaviors, especially since we keep moving into their territories. I’m sorry about your cat.
You’ve changed my view of coyotes which helps me a lot since I like to walk in places they inhabit. So in other words, they are keeping the rodent population in check. Boy, the one I saw the other day was beautiful, still had his winter coat.
I was sitting on a big rock near Arches NP with my dogs, just looking at the scenery, when a coyote walked up on a rock about 30 feet away and watched us for awhile. It finally turned around sevreal times, like a dog does, then lay down, head tucked under its tail and went to sleep!
I guess it’s cause I love dogs. But make no mistake, they will eat small dogs like yours. I once had my beagle chase a coyote off, but I didn’t like it, he just wouldn’t listen to me.
Thanks for the good word on my cat. Her name was Kiwi. I amde this video for her, it’s where I’m camped right now and where she’s buried.
Chinle, Sorry about your cat. I am a cat lover and love my cat.. Can’t imagine losing her like that. OMG, Be still my heart. The video is so beautiful and moving. Thank you for sharing for us all to see. What a beautiful country and a beautiful place for your cat to rest. Enjoy.
Thanks, Sharon 🙂
Lovely, Chinle. A beautiful tribute. Thanks for putting it here. I need to get over to your blog and find out where you are.
Thanks, Sue. I’m above Moab in the Sand Flats Recreation Area. $10/night, but no amenities. The camping is really nice – it’s like being in Arches NP but dogs are allowed, lots of hiking. Wish you were here. And thanks for plugging my blog. 🙂
Hi Sue, great pictures and stories of your days. I think I will try the eggs and salsa, never had it myself. Sounds good. Nice you gave Rusty breakfast. I know he appreciated it and will always remember you for being so giving. Anxious to see your next stop. I would like to follow Chinle if its ok. I want to learn everything I can before I start out on my first trip. I would love to try to start a fire. Sounds like fun and probably something that might come in handy. Take care of yourself and the crew…. till next time. Sharon
Sure, follow Chinle’s blog which is called Spotted Dog Ranch. You can click on her name to go there. You probably know that but I’m taking this opportunity to plug her blog!
The cactus you show is a type of cholla. Nasty barbs so best stay away from them. The chollas are also places where snakes like to burrow, mainly because small rodents also make their homes in the ground near or under rocks nearby.
Good to know, Emjay. Thank you!
The yellow things on the Cholla are fruits.
Rob Wondergem (Netherlands)
Another form of cholla . . . Thanks, Rob.
Sue, a friend here in Moab collects cacti fruits and makes the best jams…yum.
“We come across an interesting cactus with y”ellow bulbs at the end of its branches. I don’t know whether to call them flowers, seeds, or fruit.
If I’m looking at the right pictures in your slide show then the yellow bulbs are fruit. There are seeds inside that fruit ‘bulb’ and I’m a little surprised that they are still there. I would have thought the birds would have got them all by now. They must not like that particular cactus fruit for some reason.
Maybe the seeds aren’t formed well enough yet? Or they need to cure? I’m guessing. I don’t know.
I’m curious, Sue, how often, and where, do you dump your holding tanks? it seems you haven’t taken the Casita anywhere recently.
Wow! You are really paying attention!
I dumped my tanks the day I left Burro Creek Campground which was April 5th, 13 days ago. Yes, I’m going to need to dump soon!
This is just a test, Sue. My previous comment has been “awaiting moderation” since last night.
I’m sorry, Bob. You must have posted it right after I turned off my laptop for the night. I put your comment about your new potable water sprayer with transfer pump on the Readers’ RVing Resources page…. hope you don’t mind. Then it can be found more easily in the future. Thanks for the helpful links. I will check it out.