Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Boondocking in the White Mountains of Arizona


SILVER FIRE
 
We had been planning a trip to Arizona anyway, but this Silver Fire as seen from our front yard was not a wildfire to ignore! It was over 80 miles away, but still very imposing!
 
 


We packed The MotherShip, filled our bird feeders and headed off to Arizona!





Our first stop is only 2.5 hours from Truth or Consequences, but it is a great little boondocking campground at Datil Well, just off Highway 60 west.
$5.00 a night for non-geezers and $2.50 a night for geezers! It gives us a chance to "settle in", put things in proper places. Seems we always leave in a bit of a frenzy, so having a nice cool place in the mountains to stop and re-organize a bit makes it nice!

BOONDOCKING 101

I have always been a fan of boondocking, tucking myself away in some corner of my world, like I spent my early camping days. Chuck.... not so much. He has always preferred campgrounds. But I think RVSue and I have changed that idea a bit. Datil Well is step one... It's a campground BUT it's dry camping! NO UTILITIES, but they have good clean pit toilets and a place to refill your water jugs.

Last year, we took our first positive step towards boondocking more often!

 
We had a big metal box welded to the frame of the MotherShip!

 
 We then installed our Honda i200eu generator and 2 propane tanks.  Chuck had the generator converted to propane because he didn't like the idea of carrying gasoline around with us everywhere!

 
Propane is definitely the way to go for us, it lasts a very long time. We are still on the little tank and it has been a week now since we left home!
 
After we left Datil Well, we went up to I-40 and camped at Homolovi State Park near Winslow AZ.
$25 for full hook-ups. We wanted to fill our water tanks and use their dump station. I understand the ruins there are worth the visit, but we got there late and left early.
 
One sad note, as we got close to Flagstaff, we saw an elk doe carcass on the road. I have been wanting to see an elk for years.....  but not this way. Bummer!
 
Finally we got to Sheilah and Chuck's home in Paulden. They have quite a farm going there! BIG garden and fruit trees and bee hives and lots of yummy things from the garden. I am sorry, we were so into visiting after so many years.... I forgot to take pictures! But Sheilah decided to try and make Navajo Pizza like we had in Bluff Utah. Her daughter Alana came to visit with her two sons so we got busy in Sheilah's kitchen.  Sheilah made the frybread while Alana and I loaded on the tomato sauce, cheese, onions, avocado, asparagus, & elk meat! YUM!
All 7 of us pigged out on amazing Navajo Pizza!
 
If any of you would like to learn how to make fry bread, here is a link to an earlier visit to Shiela's kitchen where she taight me how to make frybread!
 
When we left Sheilah and Chuck's great company, we headed to Camp Verde to meet our old friend John.
We went to a very fancy campground where John used to workcamp! Distant Drums come complete with pool, spa, laundry facilities, and gym with a high price tag too! Distant Drums was $39 per night but well laid out and a fun Casino across the way!  John tried hard to get off work... but as it turned out, none of his co-workers would cover for him at his current workamper job in Apache Junction and (as much as we love you John)we didn't want to get involved in Phoenix traffic or heat! So we left Camp Verde after one night of leaving the Yavapai Apache some of our hard earned $$$ at the Casino!  We headed east down highway 260 through the mountain towns of Strawberry and Pine on to Payson and Star Valley. We ended up in a beautiful pine forest in the White Mountains.
 
 
We are tucked away comfortably, lots of room to play!  We took Young Road off of highway 260 and within the first few miles found this lovely site!
 
 
 Doogie Bowser and Radar love being off leash and raising the dust level in the forest!

I think they would both add a huge hip hip hooray for being free of campgrounds into FREE campgrounds!

 
In fact, it's so nice here, at noon temp is all of 74 degrees, the trees are gently blowing in the breeze and we have the whole place to ourselves! We have decided to stay one more day!  YaY!
 
So that's it from the crew of the MotherShip, Geri and Chuck with our K-9 kids DoogieBowser and Radar!  I sure hope we boondock like this more often!  Thank you RVSue for being such a good influence! For those who have never read her blog...   take note! rvsueandcrew.net  She writes a fun blog about her life choice of life, living in a Casita and boondocking full time!
 
 
 

24 comments:

  1. And there you are in the cool comfort of the pine forest and here I am scraping old paint off of the trim in the back bedroom. But, I thought of you and your scene while I was scraping. My turn is coming up!

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    1. Yes, your turn is coming! It is so nice here, we figure about 3 hour drive from Datil Well. The wind is whispering through the pines 24/7! I hope you get to bring "Eggie" here!

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  2. What a great post, Geri! (and not because you mentioned me)...

    Lots a good content . . . boondocking, campgrounds, Navajo pizza, new generator box, Chuck in shorts . . . Wow!

    I laughed out loud at the sight of Radar and Doogie running free. You've got two little boondockers there. LOVED the pics!

    So glad you're enjoying "happy trails" and sharing with us.
    Love ya! Sue

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    1. Those two floor mops are enjoying running free! Radar even got to chase a squirrel up a tree! The squirrel properly scolded him! hahaha!

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  3. I had noticed a couple of blog comments that you were out and about, and I made sure I didn't whine about you not posting. LOL Looks like a lovely place (especially as I roast in 90 degree heat WITH humidity!) and I love those fuzzy ears flying in the wind!!

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  4. Ladybug, when we read that it was 101 in T or C and windy... staying here was not a difficult decision! I can't believe that we are literally miles in either direction from civilization and here we sit with 5 bars of wifi connection!
    I gotta say that Verizon MiFi is pretty darned good! DoogieBowser and Radar have had so much fun here! We got flyin' ears and waggin' tails!

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  5. Enjoyed your blog this evening. We would much rather boondock than be side by side with campers....The more you do it, the more you will love it.

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    1. I have always been a bit of a "wild Child", I started boondocking in the early 1980's. I had a slide in camper on a GMC Pick up that I lived in and travelled the SW USA for 6 years! I had no bathroom, no hot water, a 2 burner gas stove and an ice box! I was in heaven! Leading Chuck down this road has been a bit of a challenge, but what has helped is all of you in the boondocking community. Thanks!

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  6. So glad you're getting out into the wilds with cool temps, good WIFI and happy dogs. RV Sue is a great influence.

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    1. Everyone in the boondocking community has been a wonderful influence! RVSue and Bayfield Bunch have been the main 2 blogs we read, but lately Chuck has gone off reading more and more from folks who boondock and I think he is finally understanding the WHY of it!

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  7. And a double triple big huge hip hip hooray for being free of campgrounds......& crammed up RV Parks. Yay team:))

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    1. Al, I think you and Kelly have been the best influence! We had been reading your blog for about a year when we finally met down in Ajo. It became easier to accept the idea when he met 2 very reasonable, sensible folks doing this. It's not just a bunch of whacko's out in the woods, there are real human beings living free!

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  8. Great update you guys ! It has been a few years since we escaped the oppressive heat down the valley of the sun and fled to cool nights and mild days up on the mogollon rim.

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  9. Hi Mountainborn! I sure should have mentioned you and Betty as our longest and bestest boondocking buddies! You 2 have been boondocking since day 1. I'm sure sorry that I didn't say something sooner! You 2 were the first we knew with solar panels installed and then Sherry and Paul! But you guys went big big time solar with 4 panels on your roof! Everyplace you have workamped you needed every bit of all that solar energy too!Chuck and I respect your boondocking influence and advice!

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  10. We take off soon full-time in a little Casita! Been a long wait planning and so many of you have been the best influence and offered so many tips! I'm going to have to see if my Jerry knows about making the Honda run off propane...interesting! Happy boondocking....can't wait!

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    1. Hi CJ ! Chuck says you will have to seek an an independent propane gas dealer who knows how to convert from gasoline to propane. Then they usually have to order the parts... so if you are gonna be fulltiming soon... you might want to start dialing the phone to propane dealers in your area! We love our converted generator and highly recommend it! Would you (or anyone) like some close up photos of our generator and the parts involved? Hope you can find someone in your area!

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    2. We have one in our area...Jerry is going to check with them this week. Does it affect the noise at all...better or worse or the same? Just curious...

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    3. Our generator is very quiet, but Chuck says that this model of Honda runs very quiet anyway. The propane factor might help it some. We have had several people comment on how quiet it is, you never hear it until you are actually close to The MotherShip!

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    4. Sounds like the perfect solution....I'll let you know how it goes!

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  11. Eileen in PhoenixJune 22, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Geri,
    I stayed in the Datil campground a couple years ago. It was a stopover in my Class B on a trip from home in Phoenix to ABQ for a wedding. My planned stop didn't work out, so I told my doggie pal Trax that "either the next campground is home for the night, or we're headed to WalMart in Albuquerque". We were both pleased to stumble on such a cute campground at Datil. Enjoy the White Mountains!

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    1. Did you stay in the Forest Service campground or in the RV Park in town? Forest Service is dry camping, the one in town, south of intersection is full hook-ups!

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    2. Eileen in PhoenixJune 23, 2013 at 7:22 PM

      The Forest Service...pulled in around 5:30 on a beautiful Thursday evening in June. Just a few campsites occupied. Then the next morning, spent some time poking around the Very Large Array just east of Datil. That was really interesting, and could offer some great photo ops at the right time of day.

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  12. Now you know that the cafe/grocery in Datil is well worth a stop if you find yourself back in that neighborhood!

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