Before we leave Ajo, I stop at Belly Acres RV Park.
A friendly couple manages the place. The gentleman pumps propane into the one empty tank. I walk with him over to the little office to pay for 4.2 gallons of propane, as well as an additional $10 for the use of the dump station and the hose for potable water.
As I write a check for $25.05, the gentleman begins to inform his wife that I bought propane from them previously in order to let her know my check is good. His wife cuts him off. “I know who she is. I remember her. She’s the lady who knows what she’s doing.” We laugh. I’ll have to remember that the next time I do something really dumb.
Dumping is successful.
Considering the condition of my much-abused sewer hose, I’m surprised no catastrophe occurs. Over time I’ve carelessly twisted both ends loose. In fact, the end that goes into the sewer hole falls off as I set up. Oh well.
I put the end of the hose with no fitting on it in the hole,secure it with two big rocks, dump, and then throw the sewer hose in the trash. It’s a Rhino-flex, the best on the market, but I can wreck anything and without really trying.
After filling up the water tank, I walk next door to Kord’s Auto Repair.
In my hand I hold the connector for the cable that runs power from the PTV to the BLT. I ordered it online. It replaces the connector that bumped along for several miles on the pavement of an interstate several months ago. (See what I mean about wrecking stuff?)
I watch the repair guy carefully.
He discovers that it’s not necessary to do any soldering as I had anticipated from reading the instructions. I watch him remove the old and attach the new. The next time it needs to be replaced, I’ll do it myself and save $19.50!
I back the BLT out of the garage area.
To get out of there I have to back up through a one-lane-wide gate, and immediately turn, still backing up, to avoid the row of customer cars beyond the gate. While backing, I recall something I read recently. I think I read it on a blog or a forum.
Someone mentioned that they had their travel trailer for over a year and hadn’t backed it up yet. They always camped in campgrounds and had to find a pull-through site. That’s about the craziest thing I’ve ever heard!
The crew and I head north on Highway 85. My spirits are high.
I get a freedom rush.
I always enjoy that stretch of road from Ajo to Gila Bend, coming or going. The mountains on both sides jut up from the flat desert plain making strange and dramatic horizons.
I stop halfway to Gila Bend and let the crew walk around. Spike and Bridget were so good waiting for me to complete all those tasks back in Ajo.
We stay on Highway 85 through Gila Bend to Buckeye.
At Interstate 10 I take the eastbound ramp. Two exits later we go down the ramp to Wal-Mart. What a busy place! And a very big, Super-Wal-Mart, the nicest I’ve ever been in.
And I’ve been in a lot of Wal-Marts in the past few years.
Each one gives clues to the character of the region it serves. This particular Wal-Mart stocks up on the hard liquor. A LOT of booze. I pass an island of Jack Daniels on the way to the pet department! Whoa! An entire aisle on the grocery side is devoted to liquors and wines! Bottles of Smirnoff vodka beck0n at the check-out! Buy me! Buy me!
We return to the interstate and head west.
Our destination? BLM land at Saddle Mountain! I take the exit at Tonopah, pass a huge RV Park, and continue on into the desert on Salome Road. Salome turns onto Courthouse Road. Soon I see the BLM posts indicating 14-day free camping. There are four dirt lanes off to the left (south side) of Courthouse Road. I take the third road.
Bridget and Spike have slept most of the morning and now they want to help me check this road. We walk past several campsites with fire rings. We discover that the road is good for quite a way.
Absolutely no one is here!
We walk up toward the mountain and back again.
I pick a campsite and do the basic set-up chores.
Later, as I sit at my laptop (two bars go to four bars with my antenna up!), I notice a dramatic change in the light outside. I rush out to see. The mountain that was dark when we arrived (see photo with Spike, above) is now glowing with light!
I wait and watch as the sun sets behind a hill. Bridget and Spike come out to be near me. I turn and look to the north. It is completely quiet, peaceful, serene.
This is a great camp. The crew and I are going to like this place!