Archive for November, 2014

Map. Darts. Our Next Destination.

Searching the Arizona BLM map for free camping

Searching the Arizona BLM map for free camping

Jeff and I are having a hard time deciding where we are going next. I know…tough problem, right?

This RV travel planning was easy when we had events on our calendar. But once the Rim2Rim/Rim2Rim2Rim at the Grand Canyon and Ironman Arizona in Phoenix was over, we found ourselves in a “throw the dart” moment on where to point the RV.

So, how do you decide where to go when you don’t have to be anywhere?

Mesa AZ

Visiting a highschool swim buddy in Mesa, AZ.

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Caught the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta!

Here are some things that helped us finally hitch up the RV and go.

1. Just pick the next stop. We got stuck trying to figure out the next 2 months at one time. So rather than throwing darts (which I don’t recommend in a small RV…you’ll poke your eye out) draw a 150 mile circle around your current location to narrow your choices on where to stop next.

2. If you don’t like the destination, hook up and move.

We had another RV’er tell us, “we have wheels under our homes for a reason and we can use them any time we like!”.

Too hot…hook up and move. Neighbor with loud music or barking dog…hook up and move. Don’t like the local ice cream…hook up and move.

There is comfort in knowing that if you don’t enjoy your destination you can leave and go somewhere else…unless it is your Mother-in-laws house for the holidays. Then it’s best to stick around as long as your wife says.

Mittry Lake, Yuma AZ

Mittry Lake, Yuma AZ. Moved earlier than planned due to swarms of mosquitos at 5pm sharp every day!

  1. Look at where others have gone before.

Consult your favorite RVing blogs to see where they have gone. This helped us find our current free BLM campsite in Yuma.

  1. Check out a cities calendar of events on their website.

Once you narrow down your search, pull up the cities calendar of events to see if they are doing something that interests you. We saw that Lake Havasu is having a festival of lights, lighted boat parade and an ugly Christmas sweater 5K in December. Who wouldn’t want to run a 5K in the dessert in a hot ugly Christmas sweater?

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  1. Look for inspiration

A relative’s birthplace, a memorable childhood camping trip, a place you have always wanted to see. For us, Jeff’s Mom was born in Yuma. We felt a pull to visit while she still had some memory and stories of the place that would bring the town to life.

Surprisingly, picking our next destination has been the hardest and biggest surprise so far about full time RVing. But with a little bit of thought, research and inspiration we have managed to pull up the jacks and move on down the road 150 miles further.

Now, where did I put those ugly sweaters?

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The Beauty of the Dessert Is Cast Low

Nothing to see here folks

Nothing to see here folks

Jeff and I have been on the road now for 4 months. We tend to gravitate towards trees, hills or mountains and higher altitudes so that we have natural air conditioning to keep us comfortable.

But as November comes into view and talk of a Polar Vortex descending out of Alaska, we made a run for the flats of the Arizona desert.

 

Jeff adding a bit of color to a sea of brown

Jeff adding a bit of color to a sea of brown

But after the first evening at Lake Pleasant, AZ, what I discovered was that the real beauty of the dessert is found in the sunrises and sunsets as the sun casts low on the horizon.

Hills and mountains begin to glow red, pink , orange and purple and cacti cast dark humanlike shadows. The sky is big and unobstructed and the complete darkness allows you to see galaxies beyond. Throw in a yipping coyote for good measure and you have the making of an incredible, surprising western experience.

Oh yes…the dessert. I am now a huge fan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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