Monday, April 2
Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, Cieneguita Camping Area, Sonoita, Arizona
A few days ago, Reggie, Roger, and I move into Cieneguita.
I cheerfully announce on this blog that I still get a thrill out of arriving at a “new” camp, whether it’s newly discovered or it’s a place where we’ve camped before.
We settle into a campsite at Cieneguita Camping Area and we’re happy.
For a couple days.
What I left out when gushing about returning to a former camp is one very important element: Timing.
Time often brings change.
Once in a while, the return is less than thrilling. One may arrive at a favorite campground and find it closed. Or it’s been put under a reservation system and one can be booted out after one night. Or maybe a boondock that was fresh and lovely two years ago is now showing wear and tear or cattle have pooped all over it.
Or what was a peaceful camp before has become party central.
When choosing to camp again at Cieneguita, I don’t think about the coming holiday weekend. The inevitability of neighbors celebrating during Spring Break never crosses my mind.
Sites are far apart. Other RVers are quiet and out-of-view. It’s nice here.
I’m confident we will enjoy this camp like we did a few years ago.
Then Thursday comes.
A group gathers and turns on their music. Talk and laughter floats over our campsite. Our nearest neighbor hangs a string of outdoor lights and builds a big campfire.
Hoo-boy. We’re up to our necks in dry grass and they build a huge campfire? With the way the wind kicks up? This is not looking good. And it’s only Thursday. What will the weekend be like?
“Boom-boom, Boom-boom, Boom-boom” goes the music chosen for all to hear. I lie in bed ruminating on the situation.
I can’t sleep.
I wonder if the wind will return in the early morning hours and blow life into the embers of that bonfire next door. We have got to move in the morning. No question about it.
It’s morning. I open the front door and a van camper is parked in front of our site. People wander around. I put Reggie and Roger on the tether. Immediately a dog runs loose down the campground road and the boys go nuts.
I hurry inside, gulp down coffee, and begin packing. Soon we are hitched up and pulling away.
We’re going to find a better camp!
Wherever there’s a campsite or a spur road, I park the Perfect Tow Vehicle and Best Little Trailer. The boys and I get out to check. This means walking up a road not knowing if there are any campsites along it. That’s okay. It’s early in the day and it’s a beauty.
We locate a big, flat site that would be fine except there’s another big, flat site behind it.
Uh-oh. People will see us and be drawn here like iron filings to a magnet.
Another site is next to a road where cars are parked. I see people on a nearby hill. They run and jump off the hill.
Okay. See Jack run. See Jack get picked up by the wind. See Jack be slammed into the hillside.
And Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.
The campsite near this activity would be okay, but . . .
We’ll find something better with no people around.
A few more explorations and we come upon a spur road that looks promising. I park the PTV and BLT again.
The boys need no encouragement.
This is our fourth walk in search of the perfect boondock and they’re loving it! The crew and I walk the road and find the kind of campsite that gives us privacy, solitude, peace and quiet.
“This is perfect! Wide open space for you to run around. Level. Clean. Pretty grassland and gentle hills. No people sounds. ”
The holiday weekend comes and goes.
The boys and I spend a pleasant Easter Sunday at our new camp.
We walk together and they run, explore, and play off-leash.
The only sounds, other than those made by my rambunctious crew, are an occasional songbird and the gentle wind whispering through the grass.
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