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Published on October 14, 2017, by admin in Adventure.
Sunset in Camp Verde.

Sunset in Camp Verde.

I moved to Cherry Creek today. This area of dispersed camping is a lot nicer than Thousands Trails. There are only a few other RVs parked here so it is a lot quieter and cleaner. My friend John has been here for a few days and it was nice to hook up with him for a good visit. We will probably go walking tomorrow morning for some exercise.

Hauling in boulders to close areas down.

Hauling in boulders to close areas down.

The officials around the Sedona/Cottonwood/ Camp Verde area are closing some of the dispersed campsites down. It’s probably a combination of reasons why they are trying to move people out, but it usually comes down to a few people that spoil it for the rest of us.

This area seems to be a magnet for the homeless. A few years ago, homeless people were living in the Walmart parking lot and a confrontation actually ended in shots fired. The Walmart quickly put an end to any overnight parking.

Trash left this morning by someone living in a tent.

Trash left this morning by someone living in a tent.

The campground by Thousand Trails has also become a haven for degenerate types. All around the desert is trash left by people that are stupid or that just don’t care. Abandoned tents, pieces of junk RVs, broken chairs, and bags of garbage are just some of what litters the camping area.

I’m sure the RV parks in the area don’t like to lose the business, and some people don’t like the idea of even seeing RVs parked in a tourist area of scenic red mountains, but you can hardly blame the Forest service for moving people out that make a mess and destroy the land.

 
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Published on October 11, 2017, by admin in Adventure.
I sat by this pond on evening hoping to see wildlife come to drink. I may have been too noisy.

I sat by this pond on evening hoping to see wildlife come to drink. I may have been too noisy.

I’m back in Cottonwood for a few days. I really enjoyed the two weeks I spent in Payson, but I felt it was time for a change. That’s the nice thing about living with wheels. When you want a new view or neighborhood, just pack up and find a new place to stay.

Remembering the family lost in the flash flood. Only two miles from my camp.

Remembering the family lost in the flash flood. Only two miles from my camp.


Payson was almost perfect in temperature. The nights were a little cool sometimes but the days were usually great motorcycle riding weather. I rode several back roads around town and near Star Valley to places I have stayed before, mostly to check on cell signal with my new carrier, and also to see how many had found my secret campsites.
I was only five miles from Walmart so it was quick for supplies, and I found a water spigot just three miles from my camp.

When Richard and Dianna took me to explore new places to camp we ruled out the spot I ended up staying because the road looked to rocky to drive my rig on. When I arrived later I decided to check the road again. I got out and walked back to a beautiful secluded site beyond the bad section of road. As I looked the road over I realized that straddling a couple ruts and dodging a couple rocks would get me back with no problems. It was easy as pie!

McDonalds waitress.

McDonalds waitress.

I stopped at McDonalds for lunch today on my drive to Cottonwood. They had several workers there helping people use the kiosk to order. She offered to go through it with me so I said OK. It’s a little different than I thought, because you order, then take a GPS device with a number on it, and they bring the food to your table. I don’t see how this will be more efficient because now they have to have workers bring the food to your table. It seems like all the retired people there felt the girl running the food was their waitress, and they would ask for extra supplies which they could have picked up at the condiments counter. It seemed like it took longer to get my food, too.

The trip from Payson to Camp Verde always makes me think of my hike on the AT. You start at the bottom of the Rim, drive 2000′ up to the top, then come back down the same side to the same elevation. There should be a road that goes straight across. The AT was like that in places, too, making us climb the mountain and come back down the same side. We would always exclaim, “Come On!!!”

There are a couple people here in the Cottonwood area that I know. I may look them up tomorrow.

 
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Published on September 24, 2017, by admin in Adventure.
Nice campsite!

Nice campsite!

I’ve been almost a week in the Coconino National Forest, 40 miles north of Payson, Arizona. It’s a beautiful area of tall pines and grassy meadows, situated at 7000′, high on the Mogollon Rim. The best part about the area is that it is only two miles from Richard and Dianna, and it has been great to see them after a summer traveling in the far north.

The monsoons seem to be over so we have not had any rain since I’ve been here, but this step into Autumn has brought some chilly nightime temperatures. I have had three nights that have dropped below freezing, and a jaw-dropping reading of 18 degrees this morning.

19 degrees

19 degrees

It has been quite a bit warmer at Richards home two miles away. He is a little more protected than I am and lives in a small community. I am in an open meadow that sits in a valley of sorts. Even with the difference in topography the variance of our readings has me wondering if my thermometer is accurate. We may do a double-blind test with our instruments tonight to get to the bottom of this.

At any rate, I know it was cold last night. My furnace came on several times in the night even though I have it set at 50 degrees. When I checked outside this morning, the water in my solar shower was half frozen and the tube running down from my roof was solid ice. I’m thinking that tomorrow I will migrate a few miles lower in altitude to save on my propane bill.

With Richard and Dianna working and making trips to the Valley for Dr. appointments, it’s been a challenge to spend a lot of time together. We have gone out to eat a couple times, and of course Dianna makes delicious meals when I’m up there. We are taking a trip to Payson this afternoon to check on some camping places and find a restaurant to share a meal. I’m looking forward to it.

I like to blog at each place I stay to keep a record of where I’ve been. It seems like the older I get the harder it is to remember what I did two days ago. Why is that?

 
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Published on September 16, 2017, by admin in Adventure.
A cave in the forest.

A cave in the forest.

Mile long cave

Mile long cave

I have been camping in the Coconino National Forest for a few days. I knew from reading blogs that three friends I met last winter were in the area of Flagstaff, so when I arrived in town I emailed John to see if I could drop by for a visit. He replied back that he, Nancy, and Jeanne were all camped north of Bellemont, about 10 miles west of Flagstaff. He said there was lots of room where they were staying, and to come on out and camp with them.

It has been nice to see them again. We go for walks in the morning and catch up on all the news of places we have been this summer. Yesterday, John drove us all to McDonalds at the end of the road where we all enjoyed a breakfast. They have been saving their receipts and going online for a coupon for free food. I thought you would have to give out your email address but they said no.

This afternoon I drove 8 miles north of here to a lava tube cave. The Lava River Cave is almost a mile in length. It has not been improved in any way, and in fact the forest service tries to remove any trash or graffiti left by humans. It is really kind of a nice place to go.

Because it was a Saturday, there were many people there to hike the cave. There is only one entrance to the cave so everyone has to walk two miles to do the whole length. The entrance is quite technical with large, jagged, slippery boulders, where you scramble down a steep slope for about 50 feet. Then the cave levels out for the rest of the way. There are still piles of rocks to climb over that sometimes roll around under your feet, and low ceilings that don’t move if you forget to duck. Ouch!

Picture in the cave.

Picture in the cave.

A lot of the walking is on a floor of bubbles, seams, and lava flow, turned to rock. It is quite easy to twist an ankle or lose your balance in the dim light of a headlamp. I saw a few kids that moved too fast over the uneven rock, trip and fall.

As I traveled further back into the cave, the crowds thinned and there were even times when I was all alone and out of flashlight flicker from people ahead and behind. When I reached the end of the cave, there was a group of young people playing band instruments. I not sure what kind of celebration they thought they were doing, but to each his own. The noise ruined the affect for me.

I was pretty tired by the time I got back to the entrance. I had already walked 4 miles that morning, and the additional two of the cave left my legs pretty rubbery. I would like to do it again someday when there were not so many people.

Cave entrance.

Cave entrance.

I’m going to leave in a couple days and travel down near Richard and Dianna. They are leaving to travel to Texas in a couple weeks and it will be nice to see them before they go. Then it will be time to find a lower altitude to camp – it has been down to freezing the last two mornings! Brrrrrr!

 
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Published on September 13, 2017, by admin in Adventure.
Monument Valley

Monument Valley

After a relaxing two weeks in the Monti-LaSalle National Forest above Moab, I have moved further south into Arizona. I’m presently camped at a free campground in the Navajo National Monument about 30 miles west of Kayenta, Arizona.

I really liked the camping spot I found in the Monti LaSalle National Forest. My site was secluded and pretty, I had a stream nearby for cleaning and washing, I had some shade trees behind my RV, and I got pretty good cell signal.

There were also a couple of things that were not nice. Even at 7500′ the weather was warm in the middle of the day. I would take walks early in the day or late in the afternoon and sit in the shade through the hot part of the day. The road up the mountain was under major construction, so to miss long waits for the pilot car, I had to time my trips to town during the weekend. When I left camp yesterday, I drove to another forest road past the construction zone after all the workers had parked their yellow machines and went home. I parked just before dark and left early this morning.

When I drove the road to Navajo National Monument I noticed several vehicles parked alongside the road and the people crawling around under the trees. This morning as I waited for more construction, I asked the flagman what they were doing. He told me they were gathering Pinyon Nuts. I didn’t Google it to see if he was right, but he said the trees only bare nuts every few years. They roast and sell them along the road for pretty good money.

 

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