Pic 1: VFW sign
2: Rich all geared up for a hike
3: An old swimming pool in the desert which is now a giant sandbox.
4: Moonset over the campground
5: Charlie sure loves his naptime…..
We are now camping (boondocking) near a local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) location near Yuma, Arizona. It is on BLM land, we can stay a total of 14 days for free. There are no amenities but hey, it’s free and only 5 miles from town. There are some drawback to this location, it is right on a main highway, trains run night and day, and a plane zooms by several times a day. It is also very popular in the winter as we are packed in very close just like a regular campground.
In talking with other folks here we have found out about other BLM free camping in the area. Maybe next winter we will try some of them.
There is a mountain range two miles away so Charlie and I go hiking nearly every day and have explored many canyons and silver mines in the area. The wind is minimal in this area and it is sunny and in the 80’s every day. Amazing!
Next week we are headed north to Quartzsite and Lake Havasu.
Will add pictures later…..
We have moved from the Tumco mine townsite and closer to Yuma. It was an enjoyable experience utilizing all of our boondocking experience. I used my solar shower there for the first time. The jug of water heats up in about 3 hours and is plenty warm. Our new Renogy 100 watt solar panels in a suitcase kept our two 12-volt batteries topped off. I am glad that we replaced the batteries before we left. We had the place all to ourselves some days. It turned out to be rather windy most days which is probably why it was deserted.
Charlie and I explored the old townsite and the gold mines. Most of the old mines are closed off for safety but a few small ones were still open. It is managed by the BLM but we only saw them come by once.
Enjoy the pictures…
- Charlie at Clark dry lake.
2. Who needs a gym membership….
3. Just another day in paradise ( note the sunset). That is our “back yard”!!!
4. Charlie at edge of open pit gold mine. Yeah, he looks close to the edge but he is very obedient.
5. Looking out from inside a gold mine. I did look around on the ground for nuggets or in case an old miner happened to leave behind his bag of gold. No such luck!
We have moved on to Arizona near Yuma. The Sonoran desert is beautiful in the winter. Sunsets are wonderful. Been hiking every day with Charlie. Charlie got a mohawk haircut. Very few other campers near us. We are near an old gold mining town with plenty of old mines and ruins to explore.
Enjoy the pictures……………..
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Our next stop was to Anza-Borrego State Park, at over 600,000 acres in size, the largest state park in California. I had been there once for a couple of days, but Tammy had never seen it. It is part of the Sonoran desert so we were surprised with rain for a day and a half. We found a great boondocking spot off of Rockhouse Trail, along with about 35 other rigs. It is only 7 miles to the nearest town of Borrego Springs, a cute little desert oasis of small shops and a few country club type RV resorts.
We stayed 2 weeks there and had great weather in the 70’s the whole time. The new suitcase solar panels worked so well we hardly had to use the generator at all. I of course went hiking every day with Charlie who was very warm in his winter coat (we are getting him groomed as I type this). My favorite hike was to a large Palm oasis as seen in the pictures below. Some were as tall as 60 feet. It was a great place and we plan to visit again in the future. The people were pleasant.
Honestly we did have some qualms about the full-time RV lifestyle, but it did not take us long (about 10 min) to agree that we did the right thing. We have less stress and love the freedom to travel where we want whenever we want. Campground reservations will be kept to a minimum so we can remain flexible.
Tammy and I decided to be brave and head out on the open road again in our RV. We quit our jobs, loaded up the RV and got out of the rat race one more time. This time we have our dog, Charlie Brown with us. He is a very lovable cocker spaniel.
The RV is different than last time. We sold our Miss Sea View, a 32′ class A motorhome and bought a 29′ class C with no slides. It is much smaller and cozier but easier to drive. We remodeled the interior with new recliners and added little items to be able to pack more stuff into a small space. Everything we own is in our RV.
Our first stop was to a casino for a couple of nights to unwind.
Then we headed to a favorite of ours, Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree National Park. An old friend of mine is the camphost there. We had a good time getting caught up with Dave.
Well, we finally arrived at our work site for the summer. It is very beautiful, in a little community of cabins halfway between Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino mountains of southern California. They have a small lake for fishing but it is private and they charge to fish there. I do plan to get my license and try the fishing in the area. There are many hikes around too, plus museums and all kinds of store so we will hardly ever have to ‘go down the mountain’ for anything.
We took a side trip to Lake Arrowhead which is a jewel of a lake and a very upscale area with many mansions right on the lake. It is also private but we can visit the businesses.
We started work several days early because we are already here and have Camp Host experience. We have to manage four different campgrounds, two of which are on rough dirt roads. Good thing they provided us with a work truck for the drives because we wouldn’t want to take our old Cherokee out there very often. There is a pond that you have to drive through and one section of road that has been severely eroded from storms.
Last night we had almost 6″ of fresh powder snow. It is very pretty but I am sure that most campers will stay home rather than tent camp in the snow. The high today was about 34 degrees. One camper just showed up and I am curious if they will stay through the night.
Rich in full snow gear
We are looking forward to another great Rich adventure up in the mountains…………………..
The next leg of our trip found us at Black Rock campground in Joshua Tree National Park. This was the same campground where we camp hosted in 2013. April is the best month to be here as the wildflowers, cactus, and Joshua Trees are in full bloom. Unfortunately with California being in the fourth year of a major drought it was very dry.
I did get to go on two nice hikes that were very familiar to me and was able to take some photos. Charlie had to stay home as dogs are not allowed on the trails. He got his hair cut at the dog groomers and now has to wear his sweater on cold mornings.
This Sonoran Gopher snake was right across from our campsite and was about three feet long. It was going into several gopher holes looking for a meal. We also saw a Scott’s Oriole from our RV which is a very beautiful black and yellow bird.
Warren Peak which was a six mile out-and-back hike from Black Rock
Mt. San Gorgonio
Mt. San Gorgonio (11,503′) with a little snow still on it. Green Valley CG is not many miles from it.
Rock outcropping along Cliff trail
Next post will be from Green Valley CG. We will not have internet so the posts will be done infrequently.
Happy trails and God Bless………………………………