“For as long as there’s anyone to ask ‘Why?’ the answer will always be, ‘Why not?”

Just another great Arizona sunset

Just another great Arizona sunset

The green desert

The green desert

The eternal quest for the answers to life are often rooted in Why, or so I’ve been told. We start to ask “why” almost as soon as we can speak, continue to barrage the world with “why” during our formative years and even pass onto the netherworld with the same question lingering on our lips. Yet, the truth in life is often in the doing rather than the asking. Therein lies the meat of the matter and the juiciest part, so to speak, of the time we’re given here on earth.

It was with these thoughts in mind, or rather these thoughts that I just made up this very moment (the boonies makes me rather philosophical don’t you know) that we arrived at the town of Why, AZ. We had in fact planned on being somewhere entirely different, or at least 10 miles further back near Ajo, AZ, but it turned out they were paving the road we were planning to boondock on and had blocked off the entire area, forcing us not to ask Why, but to drive onto that very spot and settle therein.

Bright pinks illuminate a Cholla tree

Bright pinks illuminate a Cholla tree

Am I doing well with the whyse-cracks so far? Or am I being too much of a whyse-ass?

Oh yes I could go on and on (I do amuse myself sometimes), but in order to avoid going off the deep-end here I’ll stick to the facts. Thanks to travel serendipity (and some pavers) we’ve found ourselves in yet another gorgeous boondocking spot right next to one of the lushest deserts in the world. As deserts go this place is green. Our site is surrounded by vibrant bushes, shade trees, green growth peeking through the sand and tons of birds. We also happen to be near a sign with a massive warning about illegal immigration, but the active border patrol and our killer cats mean we sleep soundly at night. Truly, the only weird activity that’s happened so far is that Paul scared the pants off an older gentleman walking in the wash (he does look rather shifty, that man). The rest of time it’s just been us, the bushes and the birds.

Our new boondocking site...with our very own Saguaro cactus!!

Our new boondocking site…with our very own Saguaro cactus!!

Last rays on "the beast"

Last rays on “the beast”

We’ve been here for a few days, rejuvenating ourselves in nature & the peace of the wilds. We’ve also done the very first of our exploring around the area and are already loving this place! Historic Ajo is only 10 miles away, fabulous Organ Pipe National Monument is only 2 miles down the road and there’s a fiddler’s festival on this week-end. But those adventures are for a future blog post. For now just imagine ourselves basking in our new spot betwixt chirping birds, excellent sunsets & warm weather. Ask not Why, but Why not?

P.S. For those who like to follow our travels on a map, our new 2014 travel map is up and running on Google Maps. As usual I’ll be marking all the roads we travel as well as the places we stop plus the blog posts for each of those spots. You can always find this map & older maps for each of the years we’ve been on the road on our Journey page

2014 travel map

The WheelingIt 2014 travel map

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You pay the same, we get a few dimes…

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72 Responses to Do You Really Have to Ask Why, AZ?

  1. Sue says:

    Why indeed… The ability to amuse oneself is valuable in the boonies. What a beautiful green spot.
    Sue

    • libertatemamo says:

      As a whyse man once said, “I talk to myself because I like to keep company with interesting people”….:)

      Nina

  2. John and Pam says:

    So glad we were able to observe you entertaining yourself:) You really crack yourself and all of us up!! Thanks!!

    Please be careful. You are really close to the dangerous area.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Sometimes I just sit and chuckle all by myself…that crazy lady in the desert thing is being more and more real :)

      This place is littered with those warning signs, but our local camphost (who’s been doing the job for years) says he’s never experienced an issue here. I honestly think the hype is bigger than the actual danger. We’ll still be careful, but I’m not too worried about anything happening.

      Nina

      • The only thing I’ve read about was illegals coming to ask for water. I guess if they managed to get that far, they don’t want to blow it.

        • libertatemamo says:

          Me too John & Pam. I’ve heard of a few RVers being asked for water, but really not much else.

          Nina

          • Doug says:

            Whenever I camp in the border region—several weeks every year—I always put a gallon jug of water in the back of the pickup, so if anyone knocks asking for water, I just tell them—through the window—help yourself.

          • libertatemamo says:

            Not a bad idea, actually. We’ve thought of the same thing ourselves.

            Nina

  3. Don says:

    Catalina State Park is a great place to stop if you are coming through Tucson.
    Our favorite camping place 10 miles from Tucson. Hiking in the Catalina mts to Roma pools stunning.

  4. Ralph says:

    Nina,
    Whyle you’re basking in the sun and parked next to a Saguaro..I’m looking out the window..watching the rain..up here in SW Washington.
    I know..I sound like I’m whyning..and I am. Please do me a favor and make a toast to a gorgeous AZ sunset!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Why, my heart breaks for you :) Hoping my pics bring a little sunshine into your life. When does it stop raining up there in WA? We’re planning on a summer trip you know.

      Nina

      • Ralph says:

        Well..the only time I expect dry weather is July and August. But….I’ll be watching your schedule and maybe I can order you sunshine….if you go thru Portland/SW Washington.

        • libertatemamo says:

          Well I think I’m going to book ahead for that request. July/Aug is exactly when we plan to be there. Make sure you prepare the weather for us, now…:)

          Nina

          • Rowanova says:

            Fun and entertaining post, Nina. Thanks and keep enjoying the area. It looks awesome!

            I live in Western Washington also. The month of June can vary lots year to year, but usually the rain isn’t to mush here in June. July and August are near no rain and mostly sunshine, with daytime temps usually far mor comfortable than most of the rest of the country. September is generally very nice also, especially the first half of the month. The last half of the month, some years, can see a little moisture begin to move in and daytime temps a little cooler, but not a big concern. October ushers in noticeably shorter days, more dew and fog, generally some overcast skies and a little rain. And the temps are cooler too.

            As you’ve often mentioned how much you enjoy Oregon, and you’re familiar with that after several summers now, you’ll feel comfortable here then too. Our weather is very comparable. You’ll enjoy your time here.

            Back on topic, (whew! Excessive digression here?) have fun in the green desert.

          • libertatemamo says:

            Excellent info! I think we’re planning for the right months. Can’t wait!

            Nina

  5. Jeff and Cheryl says:

    Organ Pipe, a must see, IMHO. No need to ask why? Seeing is believing.
    It rains in Washington because it can! When ready to create an itenerary for there let it be known. Why? you ask. There ara a slew of places to visit, Wineries, and produce stands, farmers markets and so much more. BTW, the wind is really blowing here in Palm Springs this afternoon.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, I’m about to post on my WA planning soon. I’ve got some super-secret-special plans in the works, but once they firm up (or fall through) I’ll be posting for recommendations.

      Nina

      P.S. We’re definitely hitting Organ Pipe. Probably early next week.

  6. Suzanne Schleck says:

    We have been one step ahead of you since Quartzsite and Yuma. We are enjoying Sierra Vista to see the Coronado National Monument. Could not find any decent boondocking though so we are at Vista View Resort for $18 a night. Not a bad deal. The desert in Why looks really pretty. Next time!

    • libertatemamo says:

      $18/night is a pretty darn good deal. There is boondocking just down the way from you in Las Cienegas National Wildlife Refuge, but it might be a bit more remote than you want for the Coronado NM. Enjoy the area…there is still tons there we haven’t explored.

      Nina

  7. Sheila says:

    Excellent! I loved this post!
    Why,I don’t know.
    Why, I ask myself. Why not, I answer!! {grins}

  8. Thats what I am talking about….Heading west or wherever with no set in stone plans and letting life happen as you live it. Well add a decent glass of wine now and then and the occasional KILLER hotdog extraveganza and I be one happy, content cowboy!!! Rock on wheelinit yall be livin the dream!

  9. Richard Oliveria says:

    We have been down that way and saw more than a few illegals crossing through the desert. Please keep an eye on you place.

    Rich

    • libertatemamo says:

      Cheers for the warning. We’ve implemented a few extra precautions (e.g. Locking up items), but otherwise we’re hanging as usual. I’ve heard from other RVers who’ve met illegals down here…mostly they’re just looking for water, food and to move on. I do think the danger of anything bad happening is rather low. Still, I appreciate the warning and we’ll be vigilant :)

      Nina

  10. Donna K says:

    Very fun post! I like the looks of your site. Hope you get some great bird pictures to post. The fiddlers thing sounds fun. I do like an old time fiddle.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I have to admit I’m not much of a bird photographer…got none of those fancy long lenses and not much talent in bird spotting either. But you never know. Every now and then I manage to get close enough for a good shot.

      Nina

  11. Why that is some lovely looking desert there!

  12. Janna says:

    I think I just might have to whine too! Beautiful sunset photo!!

    • libertatemamo says:

      The weather up there in MT is looking pretty icy, so I don’t blame you. Hope it warms up a tad for you.

      Nina

  13. We spent a fair bit of time in our first couple RVing years in the Why Arizona area. Hickiwan Trails. This is where we basically learned the do’s & don’ts of boondocking. Camped a couple times at the 2 mile marker spot just south of Why. Gotta love Organ Pipe National Monument. Don’t miss the Ajo loop drive which begins across from the Park’s visitor center. May be a bit bumpy but the view in the Ajo Mountains are great. We loved that whole area & it holds many treasured memories for us. Enjoy your time there………..we did:))

    • libertatemamo says:

      That’s just around where we’re camped Al. Pretty little spot and super easy to get in and out of. We just did the Ajo loop drive yesterday. What a fabulous little drive!

      Nina

  14. Trisha says:

    I just love reading your blog. We do not boondocks and we have not been out West yet. This is my way (through your wonderful dialog and photos) to experience new areas and dream of maybe getting there down the road.

  15. Deb Holder says:

    OK I’m hooked on your blog and am eager to share the love! But I have trust issues and want some way of confirming that when I click on your Amazon link and shop, that you are getting the proper credit! I’m just not seeing any mention on Amazon that my purchases are being linked…..any advice?

    • libertatemamo says:

      It’s actually a really good question and I admit I’m still learning myself. If you use my link or search-box on the blog it “should” work, but one way to be absolutely sure is to check the link detail (in the address bar of your browser). For affiliate links there should always be a little tag at the end of the link that identifies the affiliate (in my case ?tag=wheel02-20). If that little tag is in there, it will definitely credit properly. If you’re searching for products directly on Amazon you can also add that tag to the end of the product before you check-out and it will also work.

      So, for example a product like this one:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U2DPUE/

      With my affiliate link it will look like this:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U2DPUE/?tag=wheel02-20
      (basically the same thing with ?tag=wheel02-20 added onto the end)

      Hope that makes sense?

      Unfortunately I can’t see who does the purchases using my links since that is hidden from me. I get info on what is purchased, but just not who purchased it. I sure appreciate everyone who does, though!!

      Nina

  16. LuAnn says:

    You two find the most interesting places to boondock. It has been years since we have been to Why, AZ and I am now asking myself why we haven’t been back after seeing some beautiful photos. :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      I must say we’re really loving this spot. Very, very pretty surroundings and Ajo is a super cute town.

      Nina

  17. Lynda says:

    And Why not! Just wondering if the paving near Ajo is in the Darby Wells area? We are planning to head there in a week. Thanks…

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, it was in the Darby Wells area, but it’s all finished now (the road has opened up again) so you should be fine. Note that part of Darby Wells area has been fenced off so there are not nearly as many boondocking spots out there as there used to be, at least that’s what the locals are telling me. I’d say that area is best suited to smaller rigs. When we scouted yesterday I could only find 2 spots that fit us, and they were not terribly appealing. If you’re smaller in size though, there are still lots of cool spots out there.

      Nina

  18. Debbie says:

    Absolutely beautiful! We can’t wait to get to some of those southern AZ spots in the future. Thanks for sharing!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Winters here in AZ are pretty darn amazing, especially if you love deserts as we do. Since AZ has a lot of elevation changes (from near sea-level around Yuma to over 12,000 feet near Flagstaff) there are tons of variation in the landscape too. It’s a very beautiful state!

      Nina

  19. TexasTwoStepper says:

    Nina, are you between Why and Organ Pipe?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Somewhere around there, yes. Not disclosing our exact position just yet since we’re enjoying some much-needed solo time :)

      Nina

  20. Jenny Waters says:

    Wow, that is a lovely campsite. I love the saguaro pics. We are months from spring in E Washington. We haven’t had much snow this year, though, so I shouldn’t complain. :) I noticed you are quite close to Mexico. Do you ever RV there? I was thinking that Cabo might be quite wonderful. I also have been reading a blog from a Canadian who goes to Stone Island in Mazatlan every year and wondered how safe most RVers feel about driving there. I lived in Mazatlan for a while in 98 (in school) but did not drive around out of town much. I know people get quite dramatic about Sinaloa, but I am not sure how much of the fear is warranted. I know there were certain areas my host mother told me I should not go alone. The RVers went through Nogales and made it a 4-day drive to Mazatlan with carefully-chosen night stays. Do you know many RVers that do this, and maybe go down in a group?

    • libertatemamo says:

      We’ve started thinking about Mexico RVing, but haven’t taken the leap yet. I’d have no problem going down there, but would want a pretty stunning destination to rival the desert boondocking we do here in the SW all winter. So far, I haven’t found something that would tempt me enough, but I’m keeping my mind and eyes open….you never know when one of my blog readers will come up with a great suggestion :)

      Not many blogs I’ve seen based down there either. I know Tioga George blogged for many years in the area, but he’s back in the US now. Would love to find other blogs that cover it.

      Nina

      • Jenny Waters says:

        http://www.contessajewall.com/

        http://winnieviews.blogspot.com/

        Those are the two blogs that I found recently. The first one is the Canadian lady who goes down to Stone Island every year. The second one is a lady who knows her. I suppose it just comes down to personal preference whether desert or beach is better. The beach would certainly be less secluded.

        • libertatemamo says:

          Excellent. Cheers! I will check them out.

          Nina

        • libertatemamo says:

          Spent some time reading around the blogs you linked and looking at other webpages. I have to admit that despite the draw of a (very) nice beach it doesn’t tempt me…there are the costs of driving down there, the costs of Mexican insurance plus the costs to stay in a pretty crowded RV park (not as cheap as I expected -> about equivalent to or even more expensive than the RV park costs here in AZ!). Far too tight for my liking, although I’m sure the beach and food are excellent.

          I’ve heard there is good boondocking along Baja which looks much more up our alley, but everything I’ve read there has been about smaller vans and campers only. Haven’t ever heard about a big rig boondocking down there.

          So, for the time being we’re still not tempted. You never know though. Maybe something will crop up to draw us there in the future.

          Nina

          • Jenny Waters says:

            You make some good points. It is a very long drive. I have been interested in it not so much based on cost but for the cultural experience. It is so different than the US. There are many places to explore here too, though.

          • libertatemamo says:

            True, true..the cultural experience is interesting. I did business in Mexico for many years (part of my prior life) and absolutely love the country, the people and the food. Just not keen on RVing it in the big rig. Maybe we’ll travel there in a smaller rig one day (so we can boondock), or simply rent a flat to stay and explore more of the local culture. Always so many interesting places to see!

            Nina

  21. Sandybee says:

    We visited Organ Pipe a couple of months ago. You can pick up a booklet from the visitor center that’s like the Junior Ranger program except for adults. We even got a patch for completing the booklet. It was much more fun than I would have expected and we learned quite a bit abut the park. We have quite a few patches from various places we’ve visited. I’m going to sew them onto a lap blanket. Things like that amuse us. What can I say?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hey I love the idea. One of the RVers we met recently had a wall collage of all their patches inside their RV. I thought it was super cute! We all record our memories in different ways. It’s a fun pass-time.

      Nina

  22. Papa says:

    Fact: the community applied to the government to name themselves “Y” before they became Why because of the Y in the highway going to Mexico and Tucson. The law requires that in order to name a town the name must be spelled out and not just be a letter. That is why “Y” is named Why. This is based on my survey of the towns folks several years ago in order for me to explain to my grandchildren why they called it Why.

  23. Lauren Brown says:

    Love the sunset picture.

    Wondering how your link to Amazon works. If I want to use that do I have to come to your blog every time or can I click on it once and save the Amazon page that I get to via your blog?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Good question Lauren. As I understand it, the key for my affiliate link to work is to have my tag info ?tag=wheel02-20 at the end of whatever link you use. So, if you’re searching for products directly on Amazon you can add that tag to the end of the product before you check-out and it will work to credit the affiliate account. Re-posting what I wrote in a earlier comment:

      For example a product like this one:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U2DPUE/

      With my affiliate link it will look like this:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U2DPUE/?tag=wheel02-20
      (basically the same thing with ?tag=wheel02-20 added onto the end)

      So, I’m thinking saving the link will work too.
      Cheers for checking!

      Nina

      • Lauren Brown says:

        I checked the link I saved from your blog and here are its properties: http://www.amazon.com/?tag=wheel02-20. So it worked. I will plan to use that in the future. Already used it once. You’ll probably become a millionaire from all the Amazon purchases made by your blog followers! At least pay for a bottle of wine now and then.

        • libertatemamo says:

          Now that would be fodder for blog material…tee hee. Not sure we’ll be reaching millionaire status anytime soon, but the possibility of a bottle of wine is looking real good, and we will be honoring it to our blog readers :)

          Nina

  24. Cherie says:

    Enjoy the new location, warmth and solitude! It looks beautiful. Toasting you from Florida and missing you all!

  25. Geoff says:

    We know exactly where you are!!! Why …you ask? Because we have been there! Many times as we head to Mexico and after we return from Mexico. We just left Why a few days ago and are now in Yuma doing the Superbowl and dental work. Make sure as some have already suggested that you take the road through Organ Pipe. Visit the open mine pit at Ajo Thurs,Fri or Sat so that Bill is there to explain things to you. You could also take a day trip to Puerto Penasco to look around…don’t forget the insurance. We also know another “secret” BLM boondocking place near where you are on the other side of the road down close to the border patrol checkpoint. We can almost guarantee that you will be alone if you go there! I can tell you where if you want but then you may not be alone if I do! Hint: The host knows it!!Lastly if you need to hookup to replenish and “relinquish” before you go further, Hickiwan Trails RV at the Casino on the Hwy to Tucson (about a mile east of the Y in Why, or is it the Why at Y?) is really reasonable and quiet with hiking trails that run from the campground into the beautiful surrounding desert. Dave and Marsha the hosts are nice peeps as well.

    Take care and hopefully we will meet up somewhere along the way.

    Geoff and Pat

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yup, you know the spot :) We are definitely taking the Organ Pipe drive next week, and will probably be using your recommendation on Hickian Trails to dump/replenish before we go on. Excellent stuff!
      I am intrigued by the secret spot. I will have to go scouting now….

      Nina

  26. Sherry says:

    You just have the ability to find THE BEST spots I swear. And the comments you are ‘ALMOST’ as fun to read. Why can’t I ever think of any good whys? I’m just not as whys as the rest of you I guess.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hey that wasn’t too bad….you got one wyse-crack off :)

      Nina

      • Evenin Nina, this is a little off topic but it all goes sometimes right? Yall got the big ole motorhome and I am sure it has amor plated tires. Then the toad probably has regular street tires. My truck has good ave type pickup tires. Not super armor plated 10 ply sidewall etc. I notice in your pics of camping spots the road is a rocky track thru the desert or mountains a lot of the time. I know yall talk to a lot of rvers, what is the tire situation? Are there a lot of flats and rock torn tires? I really dont want to trash my fairly new tires and be stuck in the boonies. I also dont want to buy a VERY expensive set of tires if I can help it. Thanks, Bill

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