After doing laundry, stocking some groceries, dumping tanks, and filling with water, I drove Rt. 260 up to the top of the Mogollon Rim. There is a free campground along the Rim Road I wanted to visit again and make sure nothing had changed. It is always a good feeling when you go back to a campsite that you’ve enjoyed before. When I look for a new camp there is usually a little anxiety of finding the right place to call home for a few days, whereas going back to an explored area takes some of the pressure off.
It seemed like it took longer to get here than it did last year. The winter has done a lot of damage to the road and the few miles I drove along the dirt road were at a crawl. Everything seems to be the same as it was last year. Because it has been so cold – it was 39 degrees this morning – few people are here, so I had my pick of many nice sites. I took a walk along the road this morning, and of the 30 or so sites designated for camping, only about 7 or 8 were occupied.
I chose a camp away from the exposed cliffs, nestled back in the trees away from the fiercest wind. It has a nice tree-lined driveway and a secluded area that makes a pretty little campsite. The only problem with camping in the trees is trying to find holes for my solar and dish to see the sky.
As I was writing this, the camp host pulled in behind my rig. I went out to talk to her and catch up on any news about the area. She told me that the forest service is thinking about making this a pay campground because it is so popular. She said that it often fills up on weekends. She asked if I was interested in being a host here because the previous helpers wouldn’t be back this year. I asked her what she got for all the work she does. She said she gets to stay here all summer instead of the 14-day stay limit for campers. Even though there is dump and water for free, they still have to drive 5 miles to get it. Sure doesn’t seem like a good deal to me. I’m not quite ready to settle down yet.