Tuesday, April 12
Today we move camp.
The crew and I are about to have breakfast when the unexpected happens. Bridget and Reggie bolt to the door of the Best Little Trailer and bust it open!
Oh no, there goes Reggie without his tether . . . . I must not have closed the door all the way.
Bridget and Reggie bark furiously.
I stick my head out the door to see what’s the matter.
I holler “REGGIE! CHICKEN!” while holding up his plate.
He stops running and sees what I have in hand.
Immediately I turn and step inside the Best Little Trailer. This sends the message, “Well, I guess Reggie doesn’t want his breakfast today.”
Message received, Reggie sprints to the BLT and soon he and Bridget are inside, chowing down their chicken breakfast.
I hitch up and we pull out.
“Goodbye, beautiful camp among cactus blooms!”
It keeps us moving.
You may be surprised where we go for our next camp. If you have a map handy, look at the location of Roosevelt Lake. See all those mountains? Mountains to the east of us, mountains to the north of us, and Phoenix to the west of us.
I don’t want to head toward Phoenix. We’ve already camped near Superior (Oak Flat). And I don’t want to drive up into the mountains.
Why don’t I want to take us into the mountains?
Sure, I love mountain camping. Right now, however, the weather is too unpredictable up there and too dang cold!
We need to keep our elevation low for a while longer. That’s why we backtrack to Globe and take Route 70, backtracking further to Safford (elev. 2,593 ft).
This time we don’t go to Roper Lake State Park.
I want to check out a boondock I’ve read about on other blogs and at freecampsites.com. It’s in a handy location and provides an alternative to paying $18 (without hookups) at the state park.
We stop at Safeway in Thatcher for groceries (yay, rotisserie chicken), chat in the parking lot with a woman interested in the Best Little Trailer, and then go east on Route 70, through the towns of Safford, Solomon and Gripe. Yes, there is a place called Gripe.
Can you imagine?
“Gee, I can’t wait to go home to Gripe.”
Anyway . . . .
Out where the land is flat and creosote is king, we turn onto Haekel Road.
Get ready for a shock. This is desert much different than our last camp. Bare bones desert. Take-no-prisoners desert. Well, not as harsh as the Sahara . . . even so, it’s not exactly what one would call lush.
“Crew? We ain’t at Roosevelt Lake any more.”
A few miles in, it turns sharply to the left on its way to the Dunes Rec Area where OHVers go. We don’t go that way.
Instead we go straight onto a gravel road toward the Pinaleno Mountains.
We come upon a large, unoccupied campsite.
I park the PTV and get out to inspect it.
The crew is impatient. “Hang on, guys. We’ll be home soon.”
Nope. Not a good feeling about this one. Plus those ant hills don’t look friendly.
We continue until the road comes to a dead end.
Right before the dead end is a campsite.
Great! This will work just fine!
I set up a basic camp, leaving the BLT hitched.
The crew and I share a celebratory feast of rotisserie chicken.
“Wasn’t that good?” I remark, putting the chicken in the fridge. “C’mon. Let’s take a walk and look around.”
I push the stroller empty in order to encourage Bridget to stretch her legs. She’s happy to do so. She wants to see and sniff the new surroundings. Of course, Reggie is excited, too!
Then I put her in her car and away we go!
The road is rough but her car can handle it.
Reggie startles a jackrabbit!
At an amazing speed, it gallops through the creosote bushes, across the desert until far from us.
Wow! That rabbit can move! . . . This breeze is nice. . . . I like this camp. We can go into town and do laundry. Good internet signal. I can work on those damn taxes without distractions . . . . Gosh, it’s peaceful. So vast. So open.
Some camps are great for what they have. Others, like this one, are great for what they don’t have.
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