The Adventure Begins
Finally! I buttoned up the Defiant at the RV park in Wellton yesterday and took off for the grocery store in the Yuma Foothills, then headed for a trial overnight at Adair Park, a few miles north of Yuma. Trial? Yep. I’m not above knowing that I might forget to pack a thing or three, so a quick overnight at a place within striking distance of Wellton struck me as a good idea. Adair Park has half a dozen firing ranges, so I can’t recommend it as a quiet getaway, but it did the job. By morning, I had a list of 3 things that I’d missed packing. Important? Yup. Can opener, kitchen/utility shears, and Amoxicillin, something I must take just before I visit my dentist. I’d also neglected to wear a decent belt, as I had temporarily swapped in a worn, undersized one that eventually stains whatever it’s wrapped around. My only regret of that return trip was that I didn’t think to toss that bad belt in the dumpster on the way out. Why do I even have it? “Packratism” never dies, I guess. It just lies dormant, waiting.
So back to Wellton I went for these things in the morning, and then looped through Yuma Foothills to drop off a bit of waste engine oil I’d gathered in order to make room for an additive. I’d forgotten to drop off that, too. Then up to Palm Canyon in KOFA I went, where I’m now camped for a couple of days of sunshine in the low 70’s. KOFA is a wildlife preserve a few miles south of Quartzsite. After that, it gets beastly hot, and it’s time to head for the higher elevations of Wickenburg by way of Bouse.
I had intended to try my luck along King Kofa Road, further south, but the GPS coordinates I had led me further north somewhere. But where? A quirk of my psyche suddenly made it more important to discover what on earth I had noted down. Turns out, those coordinates led to the intersection of Palm Canyon Road and the branch leading to where I camped last year. I was tempted to take that branch, it being remarkably rocky as it climbed a long rise. But a combination of “been there, done that” and the fact that 3 miles or so of ground-pounding at a shuffling pace had produced little privacy from 4-wheelers during the day, made me prefer to simply pick a campsite on the windward side of the main road.
A broad area of what resembles volcanic rock laid atop dust, it requires a sudden climb up of about a foot to enter. That simple climb in past years would have solidly grounded the Trailer Defiant, so it was a reminder to me to appreciate the Intrepid’s abilities, such as they are, as a five-ton mountain goat. It’s quite windy here and will remain so for the duration of my stay, so it pays to camp on the side not exposed to the dust of passing cars. Oddly, there’s been virtually no traffic all afternoon, so peace and quiet has been the rule here. My nearest neighbors on either side are just short of half a mile away. Not too shabby, I must say.
The Intrepid is packed to the gunnels this year, which makes accessing things more cumbersome. Some things are not available on the road and must be stocked for the entire 7-8 month trip, but the situation should improve somewhat as time goes on and those supplies are gradually used up. As always, this trip will eventually help shape future ones as to what must be carried versus what can be, but really need not. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the ride. Honestly, given the Grandby’s creature comforts and spaciousness, it’s hard to believe that I’m living in the bed of a pickup truck most of the year, and that it’s enough.