The crew and I traverse a lot of unpopulated desert terrain today.
We drive further south on Highway 395 from our Fossil Falls camp, and we don’t stop until we reach Kramer Junction. For an intersection in the desert, what a busy place! I pull into the Pilot Station for gas. Semi-trucks are all over, crisscrossing this way and that.
The Subway sign beckons me, “RVSue, RVSue, come to me and you will taste bread.” Oh shucks. I’ve only eaten two slices of bread in the past eight months or so. I’m goin’ in.
My foot-long sandwich in hand, I board the PTV.
We turn east toward Barstow on Highway 58. Lo and behold, not far out of Kramer Junction, we come upon Bob Skelding of wagonteamster.com!
The crew and I travel the same route today as Bob, crossing some pretty harsh landscape with no water or forage for the horses. Now that’s what I call brave!
I don’t want to impede their progress in any way, so we merely exchange waves, and I return us to the highway.
Have a safe journey, Bob!
Owl Canyon Campground is north of Barstow at the entrance of Rainbow Basin.
This is geology I can enjoy! And the campground is surrounded by it!
It’s a Bureau of Land Management campground ($6 a night, regular price, or only $3 with the Senior Pass). It’s in excellent condition with new shelters, picnic tables, vault toilets, playgrounds, and very nice grills. A few water spigots are located around the campground with signs cautioning campers to take water sparingly.
The campground is bordered on two sides by deep washes.
I choose a site away from the washes so I don’t have to worry about Spike ducking out of sight.
The place is almost empty, just three other campsites are occupied. We’re spaced apart from each other.
I pay the fee for five nights.
On the way to the self-pay station I meet Lisa and Chuck from Victorville, CA, which is about an hour’s drive south of here. They tell me one of the other campers is the first of forty more campers expected for a night or two. They think the people are coming in tomorrow. “He told us not to worry, that it’s a religious gathering. There won’t be any booze, just some music.”
As you’ve probably figured out my now, I can get online! I don’t know how long we’ll camp here. It’s warm during the day and not too cold, I’m told, during the night.
It’ll be fun exploring and photographing this place. I like it here. Bridget and Spike seem to like it, too!
Your journeys are fun to follow but do you ever take a break and stay put for weeks or months? We look forward to full timing but don’t think we can break camp and move on so often. I admire your energy!
I won’t travel as much during the months of Dec., Jan., and Feb. Unless I buy a Long Term Visitor’s permit, I’ll have to move every 14 days. (Some places aren’t strictly enforcing the 14-day limit rule.) Since I like to camp on public land, the two-week limit keeps me moving. I love the change. It isn’t tiring at all. Remember, I’m not commuting to a job ever weekday…. Hallelujah!
A “commute” from campground to campground every 2 weeks….what a tough life!!!!
Interesting fellow traveller! Wonder where he camped for the night. I always thought of Barstow as boring via I-10 so it’s good to see such an interesting campground just a few miles away! You are almost in AZ now !!!!
Highway 58 to Barstow isn’t very interesting either. It’s quite a drive from Barstow to Owl Canyon Campground, but it’s worth it!
Yeah! You made it to Owl Canyon. I just knew you’d love it there! Cool that you got to meet wagonteamster. We saw him make his way down 395 near June Lake. What an amazing way to travel.
I can’t imagine having the responsibility of feeding and watering those horses while crossing so many miles of desert. He apparently knows what he’s doing!
Yeah, thanks for recommending this campground.
Well, Sue your getin’ close to timber n’ me, we’re 12 miles south of LaKe Havasu City, just off 95, i was just getin’ ready to e-mail ya about whats comin’ as far as weather, n’ a post pop’d up from your blog…… WIND is comin’ n’ all of south Cal is under red flag, i was just outside n’ could smell smoke, it’s blowin’ from th’ northwest, i have th’ CFN website, only fire in Lake Co., 300 acers. now…….stay safe n’ Bless you n’ th’ Crew
Thanks, Rusty, for the information on the wind. I’m glad we’re settled in a place to stay for a while. I hope you are protected from the wind and smoke. You and Timber stay safe, too, good friend.
That looks like a nice campsight !! And so close to Barstow. I am surprised as well. Well, you never know what hidden jewels are around to be found.
Like Karen, I wondered if you ever stay in one place (not one campground exactly ) but maybe one state for awhile . When I full timed for two years I spent a whole summer in Colorado. Moving around the state but loved it there . Also spent a whole winter in Florida . The gulf coast is amazing as are the keys (keys not great for boondocking alltho I did it for months! mostly by moving around a bit. But, everyone has their own style. You cover a lot of ground.
I’ll spend several months in Arizona… winter into spring. I’ve done a lot of moving this first year because I was seeing the West for the first time and wanted to experience the breadth and scope of it. I’ll probably be a more conservative traveler in the future.
I lived on the Gulf Coast for several years. It has some beautiful campgrounds and beaches.
Yes, that makes sense wanting to get a perspective of the whole area. Lots to see. You will have to spend a few years in the West.
Good to know you had a great time traveling down Hiway 395 (ok, except for the lava rocks!) – I see you made the turn at Kramer Junction and Hiway 58 – That was the turn Gary mentioned to you when you were up here at Washoe. FYI – You came thru and left up here at the right time,,, all those hills & Slide Mountain that you took pics of from Washoe Lake campground are now covered in snow and it is supposed to be 28 degrees here in Carson City tonight!
When you have a chance, can you share (or maybe I missed it??) the details on the type of camera you are using now.. the pictures in the Alabama Hills and the Sierra were really impressive and my favorite 10yr old Olympus is eating batteries like crazy – asking Santa for a new camera this year…
28 degrees? Not good. It sounds like the crew and I have managed to stay just ahead of the snow and cold.
The camera that Santa (Mick) gave me — the one I’m using now — is a Panasonic TZ3 Lumix with 10x optical zoom, 7.2 megapixels, 3.0 inch (diagonal) LCD. I hope your Santa is as good to you as mine is to me!
I purely despise wind. Ugh, ugh, ugh. This is almost the time of year in two weeks that I take the little trailer to the desert south of Tucson for a camping family reunion. Last year, the wind howled out of Arvin and Tehachapi in California and howled in Arizona, almost all the way to Tucson. I’m hoping for NO wind then. If I”m lucky. I don’t like rocking and rolling on the road.
I hate wind, too. I hope it doesn’t spoil your reunion. Rusty says wind is bad now in many places, so maybe it will be gone or at least tapered off in the next 2 weeks.
One thing I wouldn’t tow without is my stabilizer bar. That thing helps a lot in the wind. I know because I forgot to put it on for the drive from Bozeman to Butte. It wasn’t a particularly windy or gusty day. Just the same, I could feel the difference.
Pretty cool that you got to see the Wagonteamster!! I clicked on the link to read about him.
Enjoy your new campsite. It sounds like it might be a busy weekend with all the campers there.
The wagonteamster’s ongoing story is very interesting. I’m fascinated by the way he manages the logistics of feed and water for the horses, as well as his nightly camps.
I’m bracing myself for the influx of campers, and also trying to keep an open, positive attitude, rather than my usual reclusive reaction!
I was like you Sue when it comes to much “company” when I am on the road in camps (which I am not anymore). I prefer my own company with my wife and we used to take our “traveling cats”….Getting close to my old homestead at Lake Havasu city where I lived a few years. Too rowdy much of the time there for me. Keep on Truckin…..
“Bob the Horse’s Deep Thoughts” under the Philosophy button on Wagonteamster.com site got me laughing. Spike and Bob would have an interesting powwow around the fire.
As luck would have it we were at Kramers Subway at sunrise when they were tossing out a giant plastic bag of yesterdays bread .. Fresh baked bread is what Death Valley smells like for me since that trip.
Did you take a look at his solar set-up? Wow! 700 watt solar panels and 4 batteries …
Your experience with Kramers Subway reminds us how food is wasted in this country. Subway does have pretty good bread, all things considered. I love bread. Unfortunately it puts pounds on me faster than anything, even if I eat it without butter.
I don’t know about you, but I was thrilled to see a post from Rusty & Timber. I think about them alot. And the Crews OCD is doggie love & affection…Go Figga..they really do love each other. Not suprising, look how darn cute they are. :0) My little dogs have this same OCD behavior and the vet says its a good thing. One of my dogs kept licking the others teeth and ears and it turned out she had a bad tooth to be removed. My dog is an aspiring dentist…thats right, Im braggin’ a bit..LOL Be safe :0)
Oh definitely, Spike and Bridget love each other. One of the sweetest things I see . . . When I have the crew on leash and they are trotting along, side-by-side, Bridget suddenly will plant a kiss on Spike’s cheek. Makes me wonder what she’s thinking when she does that . . . a spontaneous outpouring of love?
Aren’t dogs great? I couldn’t live without them.
Sue…..thanks for posting about the Wagon team master and his wonderful horses. Anything about horses sure gets my attention………..horses and dogs……..!!! I read his site and was so upset to read about the accident and the loss two of his beautiful horses……….how tragic……..I don’ t know how you could recover from such a loss. Get back on the road again I guess.
Thanks for sharing and the photos…………..the crew love each other………..awrrrrrrrrrrr!!
To see the wagonteamster and his new team plodding along the side of the road was a treat. Highway 58 has a broad shoulder of dirt, several yards wide. I was grateful for that when I went on down the road, knowing they were following the same route.
Owl Canyon looks like a great place to camp, much better than your last stop I think. As for the wagonteamster, we encountered him many times on our drive on 395. Quite a trip he is on and quite the celebrity you are as well Sue! 🙂
I’m still surprised that I’m meeting people who used to be only images online. For years I read blogs by people like Al and Kelly of The Bayfield Bunch, Chuck and Geri of Happy Travels, Barney of Old Fat Man Adventures, Jim of Jimbo’s Journeys, Roger and Dianne of Travel with Whippits, Bob of Kamper Bob, Nina and Paul of Wheeling It (and some others I’m probably leaving out — bad memory, sorry!) . . . and then I met them on the road!
I guess the world is not as large as we think it is! Have a great day Sue. 🙂
I have finally made it to AZ for the winter after leaving ND and coming here via… Virginia. (really wasn’t lost… honest – save 3 or 4 Casitas along the way). What a thrill to catch up on you and the crew and also hear from Rusty and Timber… and you saw Bob the wagonteamster!! So much good news like Bridget’s recovery. I have a dog staring at me since she knows that I have finished my breakfast… off for our morning walk. Still unloading the rig and getting organized.
Looks like a beautiful place to stay awhile. (Although the prospect of 40 new arrivals would probably send me packing!). That’s so cool you saw the wagonmaster. What stories he must have!
That’s great you saw Wagonteamster, great pictures. And yes it is a small world. I met a Casita couple from Texas at the Big Oregon fiberglass rally one year and a year or so later I was out in the middle of Wyoming when I saw a Casita so been friendly me I drive over. This lady gets out of the TUG and I say to myself, I know her. Sure enough the folks from Texas. I really never thought I’d see them again after Oregon.
Say Sue, how far is it to Owl Canyon from town?? I’ve over nighted at a Flying J in Barstow several times and probably should have considered Owl Canyon. Nice know there is water, even limited. That’s something to keep in mind when going to Joshua Trees. I think only the campground at the south entrance has water and it maybe next to the Visitor Center, quite a ways from Jumbo Rocks..
Hi, Joy! It’s less than 8 miles to town but it seems a lot longer because a few of the miles leading up to the campground are washboard dirt that must be driven very slowly. It wouldn’t be a place to camp for the night if you only wanted to get off the freeway and back on again in hurry, but it is worth the drive out here.
Thanks Sue, good info. I’m never really on a hurry anywhere. 8 miles out there isn’t bad for a much quieter night’s sleep. I’m likely not to be there on a Fri or Sat night. I always leave or head for home during the week, especially through the southland.
Hi Sue and Crew!! You are not that far from me…can you see me waving? No? (I’m actually about 2 to 2 &1/2 hours from you) Anyway, I’m really enjoying the photos, the new camera seems great.
Hey Sue! So glad you saw the Wagonmaster! I’ve been reading his blog for quite a while and I knew you two were close and hoped you’d run across him on your travels. I read alot of the same RV blogs that you’ve mentioned. I’m a ‘wanna be snowbird’ that revels in others’ journeys. I first came across your blog at Al and the Bayfield Bunch. Tioga George has been a favorite for years, too.
Well, I was jonesing for info about Bob since his latest set back, and it showed me a link to the story you told about passing him on the road to/from Lake Havasu. Now that I found your page, I am bookmarking it so I can go back through the archives and start from the beginning. Ron Dakota has gone strictly Facebook and faceplant is soooooooooo slow, that I give up on that traveler…Bob (www.wagonteamster.com)as you know ran into problems outside of Lake Havasu (as previously stated), Chuck and Mary Reagan (www.americafoundbestofthefreelife.com) had a fire in their covered wagon drawn by mules outside Chloride, AZ, Bernice Ende (www.endeofthetrail.com) is wintering in Montana after another Long Ride on her horse, and I think the only other American Rider out there right now is Sea G. Rhydr, (www.freerangerodeo.com) who is in mid-Texas, having started from Philo, California, and only updates sporadically as she is on horseback, doesnt always have internet access, or a place to re-charge the old laptop. I guess what I am trying to say is, I need a new adventure! *lol* Since I cant have one of my own right now, I am looking for an outlet. I read a lot but suddenly got bored with it. At least in books. I wanted something more immediate. Thats what I figured out all this blog reading was to me. More immediate. Something any of us could do. You have an interesting voice and I look forward to starting at your beginning so to speak. By that of course, I mean your blog. Happy Trails to you until we meet again!
P.S. I dont edit myself enough. The first line should have included that I googled Bob to see if there was any news since he hadnt written anything other than that they were all safe and in Oregon and that was about a week ago and he usually posts more often.