I probably shouldn’t blog because I am in a very grumpy mood.
So proceed at your own risk . . . The crew and I set out in the PTV this morning. I want to find another place for our morning walk and at the same time look over another forest road for a possible camp during a future spring. Once out on the highway we immediately cross over Hell’s Canyon. Not far we leave Prescott National Forest and enter Kaibab National Forest.
I turn onto a forest road that looks promising for boondocking.
I park the PTV at the intersection of three dirt roads, let out the crew, and off we go.
It’s a beautiful day for walking, perfect temperature, clear, blue sky. The road I choose soon looks like it would be too narrow and rough for towing the BLT, so we cut across a field and pick up another road.
We investigate several short spur roads that lead off of this dirt road. Campsites are plentiful and most are pretty nice.
Bridget and Spike begin to tire.
“Well, let’s go back and I’ll drive us up this road to see where it goes.”
I can tell the road ascends a ridge. I like to camp in an elevated place. We get to the beginning of the road and I spot the sign post.
“On darn! No motorized vehicles. Gee, such great campsites and the road is off-limits.”
I’m beginning to detect a pattern.
I look at the National Forest maps online (www.nfs.org) to determine where camping is allowed so I don’t break the new rules. For instance, Old Highway 89 is a road where camping is allowed. The map shows many sites on both sides of the road, maybe 50 or 60. Wow! A goldmine of campsites for boondockers!
However, when you actually drive Old Highway 89. . .
There isn’t one decent place to camp! The rules say you must camp within 300 feet from the center of the road. The road has a deep ditch on both sides, or there are trees and boulders in the way, or it’s too exposed with no trees at all or the ground is soft and mushy or it’s so dang sloped it’s impossible. Mile after mile, no place to camp.
Actually there is a decent place . . . ONE.
In fact it’s spectacular! A short spur road runs away from Old Highway 89 up to a ridge. From this flat spot you can enjoy an expansive view, including the red rock cliffs of Sedona. It’s the kind of campsite where you get out of your vehicle and stand transfixed, mumbling, “Oh my. This is so beautiful. Oh, wow. I love it here. This is perfect . . . .”
Well, get over it because you can’t camp there.
Why? Because it’s about 800 feet from Old Highway 89 and the rules are you can’t camp beyond 300 feet. Even though there’s a road out to the campsite and no plants or wildlife would be disturbed if you camped in the flat spot alongside the spur road. Frustrating!
I’d rather there be NO designation for camping on Old Highway 89 (because in reality there isn’t any place to camp and who wants to camp along a thoroughfare anyway if you could). Just let that one heavenly site remain for camping. We boondockers would come out ahead.
I’ve seen this phenomenon in several places.
The map shows lots of campsites. In reality there are none. Find a beautiful campsite. It’s too far from a designated camping road. Sometimes it’s a matter of a few hundred feet too far. I’m about to get paranoid: Is this a plan to discourage boondocking?
I warned you I’m grumpy.
I know, I know, I’ve got no reason to be grumpy. But as long as I’m letting it fly, let me tell you, the crew has got on my last nerve. Both Bridget and Spike lie in the dirt instead of lying on the 9-foot-by-12-foot mat. I guess it isn’t big enough for them. Then they come in the BLT, roll around on the floor, jump on the bed, in and out, dirt and dust everywhere! Not cute. I sweep and wipe down the place repeatedly.
Spike is getting really obnoxious with this licking of Bridget’s ears. He slurps and slaps his tongue around inside her ears, morning, noon, and night.
I’m sick of him slopping up her ears.
Now Bridget has this deal where she has to be lifted up onto the bed because she’s too precious to jump up on her own. And if I don’t lift her up, she starts a high-pitched whistle-whine. I lift her up and two minutes later, she jumps down so that she needs to be lifted up again.
I just had to get up and throw Spike on the bed because he lies in the doorway barking. No apparent reason. Just barks to hear his own voice. I’m supposed to blog with this going on? I want to pop both their butts.
Tomorrow Rusty goes to the VA.
I hope all goes well.
Goodbye. I’m going to turn on the TV and fill my head with crap.