Life on the Open Road (April 2006 - May 2008)

The continuing saga of a single fulltime RVer who travels the western US. This is part one of my journey, from April 2006, when the blog started, to May 2008, when the blog continues at

My Photo

I have been a full-time RVer for 18 years, primarily "boondocking," camping free without hookups, in the Western US. I am connected electronically with the world via satellite TV, phone and internet. My batteries are charged solely by solar panels. I welcome your comments and emails.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Advanced Boondocking II -- Camping on AZ State Lands

Over 680,000 acres of Arizona state trust land is available to all who purchase a state land permit for $15. To get one, call their office at (602) 364-2753.

To take full advantage, you will need a detailed map showing where these lands are. On Delorme maps, state lands are colored purple. You can also get maps on the internet here.

We found this super-lovely spot 1+ miles east of I17 exit 236 north of Phoenix.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Close Call

I've been looking for a new trailer for awhile, and almost bought one the other day. I've always wanted a couch, and planned to remove the dinette and put in a desk and entertainment center. We agreed on a price, but then the salesman added on over $600 in fees. When I objected, they let us walk out the door! Surely some of the worst salesmanship that I've ever seen...

Randy's relieved, because it would have meant a lot of work for him.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Advanced Boondocking--How to Escape Heat

1. Look at the map

2. Find the mountains

3. Go to the mountains

Here's our most recent escape only 50 miles from a sizzling 99 degree Phoenix. From I17 north, exit 259, west 3.3 miles, south 1 mile. Free camping on BLM land, elevation 4000', 360 degree view.
Randy has poetized on the subject---

Where the Cool Is

To all who sizzle at a hundred three,
Come to the mountains and camp with me.
See on your road map the color green
Shows the mountains cool and clean.

For every thousand feet you climb,
Four degrees are left behind.
Keep on climbing and it’s for sure,
You’ll find the perfect temperature.

Somewhere between the heat below
And the chill of mountain snow.
Find a spot near aspen trees;
Let God cool you with his breeze.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Living in a Cactus Garden

We’re now at one of our favorite spots, in the desert near Florence Junction. The cactus are so beautiful you would swear you were in a garden. Lots of chollas and palo verde trees, along with some saguaros and prickly pears.

Donna came by with her new baby, 12-week old Mitzi.

In our exploring we stumbled upon Bonnie and Clyde’s car. I had no idea they were in the area!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sonoran Desert National Monument

Maricopa Road, running between Gila Bend and Maricopa, looked like a shortcut to Phoenix on the map, so we decided to take it. What a surprise! Not only is it paved (it looks like a dirt road on the map), but it goes through Sonoran Desert National Monument, which we had never heard of.

A dirt road then goes north 4 miles to an old trail, established by the Morman Battalion on its trek to California, and later adapted by Butterfield for its stage route.

This was on of the most heavily traveled trails west, as it was open 12 months a year.

Here's Randy on the trail.