A New Campsite
Nope, I haven’t relocated to the campsite in the photo above, but I did simply find it on a walk. It’s actually a good-sized circle where only a little bit of is level enough to use for vehicle camping. But it should work. The issue is getting to it. It is a short but isolating distance off NF-493, 0.6 miles past where my current campsite is. That makes it GPS: 34.709066, -112.073265 and is visible on Google Maps. What it offers is mainly solitude. It’s in the high ground of a valley, so it should stay usable if it rains. It has a pleasant if unspectacular view in all directions. It is technically accessible by 2WD, but you do need some ground clearance and a bit of fortitude to reach it. Long-overhang vehicles not recommended, and without 4WD, you will have issues turning around should you miss the entrance. The trail gets nasty further on.
Coming temperatures have motivated me to relocate back in the high Woodchute Trailhead area after I practice some hoolinganism in town. But otherwise, this current campsite is primo. Oh, you’ll see a few hikers and sporadic traffic bumping by, but it’s still a five-star campsite in my book due to its combination of solitude and quiet, proximity to Cottonwood (about 3 miles on a rough road), and that view out my “kitchen” window every morning. Run-ins with dangerous critters are unlikely here, but you may still wish to consider wearing some protective measure that can still do its job in the notable winds that visit this area. Then there’s also the clown who let his two pitbulls scamper down the trail well ahead of his pickup. On the plus side, they weren’t yappy. You never know what kind of disposition and training pets have, nor the degree of control the owner may have over them, if any. It’s your body, of which only one is issued per person, so you make your own choices.
Among the wanderers who drove past was a couple of younger women in a big-tire Jeep who were out for a fun day of touring. They saw me outside and wanted to know where I hailed from. I must look pretty harmless, I guess. Anyway, they seemed impressed by seeing any form of RV up here. I assume that they’re used to seeing all the motorhomes and big trailers clustered in the easy-access places around Thousand Trails Road, and seeing a rig up here somehow planted me in the Adventurous category. Why did I choose here, they asked me. Most of the passers-by I’ve encountered were surprised that this area was okay for camping on, probably since most are locals who just use it for tootling around on. So I summed up my answer with the relative solitude and open space, the great view, and the absence of generators, barking dogs, and sardine can stack-ups. They got it. This is how it’s supposed to be, when you have a rig that can get you to places like this to camp. Whatever your particular rig is best at, take advantage of those qualities and enjoy them.
The Mighty Furd’s tires are still aired down, so tomorrow I’ll trundle down to where the pavement starts, run a mile or so, and check temperatures. If they seem fine, I hope to (slowly) head for the closest tire shop to air back up, which will minimize engine idling time. I also have the option of using the Viair pump to take pressures up to 40 PSI or so and then head in for more. Since the engine will idle all the way down the slope, it’d be best to avoid adding in another 35 minutes of it while I air up all the way with my own equipment. Then, errands!