Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the tag “Cottonwood AZ”

A New Campsite

Not much of it is level, but finding “the spot” should be possible.

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 Read more…

NF-493 – The Movie

Well, due to its length of 29 minutes, not too many folks are going to suffer through this thing because it’s not relevant to how they camp or would want to camp if they could. Then again, if you harbor the same “get out there” delusions I do and want to find out what you can unknowingly get yourself into, then this is for you. All the trail surface variety and wild 3 MPH action is here. plus there’s all that blue sky on one side and mountainside on the other. Looking at the footage, it’s obvious that I dropped a wheel solidly into that erosion hole at ledge’s edge, and yet I can’t explain why no tire tracks can be found in the dust around the bad part of it. I’ll have to leave that mystery as it is. Not being a Read more…

Campsploring Turned 4-Wheeling

Even this flat rock shows why a tire’s shoulder wrap can become vital when rocky roads loom.

Yesterday, I attempted the trip from my campsite near Cottonwood to Mingus Mountain Recreation Area via fire roads. And yes, “attempted” means that I didn’t make it. As I mentioned in my previous post, the blessing of “Approved for Camping” on any National Forest MVUM implies neither areas usable for camping, nor passable conditions for anything short of a Unimog.

After picking up a package in town, I doubled back to my campsite on NF-593 and then kept going. The shipment didn’t arrive until about 3:30, so that signaled that time might become an issue in making this trek. As soon as Read more…

Cottonwood NF-493

There’s a trail route from Cottonwood to Mingus Mountain. How passable it is, is anyone’s guess. 493 turns unto 413, which eventually reaches Mingus Mountain.

Having the bug to find camping spots not on any boondocking website can be either rewarding or disappointing, depending on the results. Normally, if you want to go from Mingus Mountain or Woodchute Trailhead to Cottonwood, you’ll take route 89A through Jerome. And normally, if you look at the MVUM map of any area, you’ll see routes laid out that are approved for camping, yet be unlikely to find any usable campsites on those trails.

Cottonwood sprawls in the valley below.

That can be frustrating, because many such approved trails are quite rough, and the going for a fully-laden 3/4-ton truck can be quite slow (1-2 MPH) over distances of many miles while looking for a site – or even a place to turn around. Ah, but if you do find a campsite, it can be a very nice situation. The complication of course is that Read more…

Backtrack!

A forecast heatwave moving into Cottonwood, Arizona made me chicken out and climb back to the cooler air of Mingus Mountain yesterday, something like 6.5 miles away, but 16 on the road.  Cooler, but probably not cool. Mingus is more problematic to get accurate temperature forecasts about, so you get what you get. This time, the trip was all climb, so the Mighty Furd burbled its way up the serpentine that is 89A. I’m not the only one who deserted Cottonwood’s 3,500′ elevation, which is expected to hit 90 degrees today and head for the mid-90s until Sunday. My location at 7,300′ should knock that down by perhaps 10 degrees. Of necessity, I’m not conforming to my pre-planned travel itinerary, but the time prior to the Overland Expo consists mainly of mucking about at various unfamiliar sites onroute, their elevations being unknown but certainly not as high as Mingus, so forget it.

This pastoral scene is at the campsite just south of Cottonwood. Moo.

The talk among vanners and RVers is that Cottonwood has some great campsites, but with my interests, I’m just not seeing it at this time of year. The town itself is a great place to Read more…

On to Cottonwood

FR104 as it descends down to Route 89A.

By the time I left the Mingus Mountain Recreation Area, daytime temps were lucky to hit 60, and except for one motorhome, the place had cleared out. Having run low on water and edibles after a little over a week’s stay, I packed up and made my way toward Cottonwood on the mountain highway of State Route 89A. Wow. Up, down and all around, 89A is packed with turns that are appropriate for 20 MPH, and one at 15. I was thankful for the Furd’s Tow/Haul transmission mode, which let me pretty much avoid the brakes.

Peeking between two mountains to view the Verde Valley.

The little burg of Jerome is onroute, and it is astonishing in its own way. Much like an Italian village perched Read more…

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