Long shadows and a dark day at Why, AZ

Long shadows and a dark day at Why, AZ

We’re winding down to our very last day here at our boondocking spot in Why, AZ. Our 2 weeks are up and we’re feeling the itch to go. What can I say? Once a nomad, always a nomad…you might love a spot and immerse yourself totally in it, but lure of the next hill will always be in your soul. I guess that’s part of why this lifestyle suits me so very much. The time spent here was perfect, in this moment, but the time has come to go.

Before we fly, however, I’ve got to share a few last impressions. The little town of Ajo has definitely struck a cord and the green, lush desert that surrounds it has captured both my heart and my lens.

The gorgeous Ajo Historical Society

The gorgeous Ajo Historical Society

The last few days we’ve lounged around at our site and snuck a few more trips into town. Our first goal was to see the Ajo Historical Society, a fabulous mish-mash of Ajo history and historical artifacts located in the pretty  St. Catherine’s Indian Mission just above town. The visit was made all the better by Jose, the local museum docent (and former New Cornelia Pit miner) who added colorful stories and topped it off by handing me a free walking stick….”just to make you smile” he added. What a guy!! Our second trip was to hit the farmers market held 9-11am the 2nd Saturday of each month. It was a teeny affair, mostly craft-driven but it was also a lovely reflection of the diverse population here. What a cool little town this is!

More moody clouds at our boondocking spot

More moody clouds at our boondocking spot

Pinks color the rig

Pinks color the rig

The rest of our time has been spent hanging in our green site, walking the landscape and biking the BLM roads. When we first arrived here there was probably no more than a handful of rigs in the entire area, but that has since grown mostly from folks driving south from Quartzsite after the big show (so the camphost tells me). Despite the additional influx there’s been plenty of space, plus our neighbors have all been quiet and respectful (always a bonus). In fact, it’s been sooooo very nice that we’ve completely maxed out our two weeks, feeling not the least inkling to move. Birds have kept up company, clouds have made for a million moods and the very first desert blooms have been peeking through the ground. Even the cats have been going bananas, bouncing around in the green surroundings like 6-month old kittens and taking long hikes with pooch each morning. The animals know when a spot is good!

And of course we’ve bumped into a few more blog readers. Chris & Rosemarie dropped by (lovely to meet you!), plus we hiked right into Ray & Anne from Love Your RV! on a morning stroll,. They’re a couple who’s blog I’ve been following for a while, plus I can’t help drooling over Anne’s excellent photography (go check it out!). We may well hang out with them one more time before we leave.

That about brings me to the end of our Ajo sojourn. We’ve totally loved our recharge time here in the green desert and I can see this becoming a regular stop for us going forward. The town is great, the area gorgeous and the price is right…what more could you want? I’ll be doing my usual boondocking site write-up (once I get around to it), but in the meantime I’ll leave you with a few sunsets to color your day :)

P.S. Our next stop will be even further into the boonies where we may (or may not) have internet access. Aaaalll will be revealed soon :)

P.P.S. THANK You to everyone who gave me tips for our Washington summer travels. Lots and lots of excellent ideas were exchanged in the last post and I’ve saved them all. I’ve been working to book our July stops and I can tell the route is very popular. Almost every State Park is booked solid (!) and sadly, all the national forest campgrounds along the Olympic Peninsula are 21-foot limits (this is where I wish we were smaller, I tell you). I’ve managed to snag a few last-minute sites and it looks like we may have to spend more time than we like in private parks, but at least we’ll have spots to stay. Also I’ve re-routed our travels to take advantage of more ferry crossings (and avoid the Seattle traffic nightmare) -> Thanks for that tip!! Our July bookings are aaaalmost done. Probably one more day to go and we’ll be set.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the product links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. That said, I only ever recommend products or services I personally use and love! Wheelingit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Tagged with:
 

53 Responses to Final Round-Up & Sunsets From Why, AZ

  1. Lee and Shelia says:

    Enjoying life through you both. I am sitting planning our trip around the U.S. (still) right now I am about to Big Bend National Park in southern Texas.. We leave mid May after a visit to Bodie…

    Safe Travels to you

    • libertatemamo says:

      Enjoy your trip! We never made it to Big Bend, but I’ve heard so much about it. Should be amazing! Just watch that temp. Big Bend gets hot fast!

      Nina

  2. Mary Hone says:

    Looks like a very nice spot. We have wanted to get closer to Tucson, but probably not this year. I will have to keep the cute little town of Ajo in mind for when we do get that way.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Lots of good spots to stay near Tuscon if you prefer to be closer. We stayed at Catalina State Park on the north side, and we’ve boondocked on the south side. Yo can find both sites on my RV park review page.

      Nina

  3. Roger Menendez says:

    We used to boat in Puget Sound and a favorite
    marina was Point Hudson in Port Townsend. There is an RV Park part of the marina http://portofpt.com/recreation-and-lodging/rv-facilities/ with gorgeous views of Admiralty Inlet. I think is a must visit. The town is old Victorian with great history and a great Thai restaurant. Please check out the saloon and whore house.

    • libertatemamo says:

      We JUST booked a site at the Marina today!! Got the very last open site for end July. Cheers for the tips on food. We loooove Thai!

      Nina

  4. Wendy says:

    Hi Nina and Paul, Love your blog and we are learning so much. Another school year until we can head out. If you are ever on the east coast ( Vermont)we have plenty of land for a boondock…Wendy

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh, I would so love to visit Vermont!! Really hope to make it out there sometime!
      Good luck with your RV plans!

      Nina

  5. So glad to hear you enjoyed your two week visit to Why so much. Nice to see a photo of one of the other furry creatures. Beautiful desert sunset:)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Taggart is pretty camera happy, but Rand is very shy and really hard to get a shot of. I’m glad I caught her!

      Nina

  6. Pamela H says:

    Hi Nina!
    This is totally off subject but one that is of a serious matter to us. We are just 10 days into our winter ‘adventure’ in AZ and a problem has reared it’s ugly ‘head’ :). That is the problem of the smelly toilet. We have cleaned meticulously and added holding tank chemical (which works for only a day), before the rank smell returns. Have you had this problem and if so, what technique so you use to rid the ‘beast’ of it? Thanks! Pam & Jerry

    • libertatemamo says:

      I’m not sure what the problem is, but I’m guessing either your toilet seal or your tank vent. If either one isn’t functioning properly you’re likely to get a smelly interior. Check your seal and get up on the roof to check your vent. Hope that works for ya!

      Nina

    • Brenda McCoy says:

      one time we thought it was the toilet but it was our batteries putting off a bad odor because they were too low on water.

      • libertatemamo says:

        If the smell is sulphur (rotten eggs) then this is a strong possibility. Over-boiled batteries can give of a strong sulphur smell.

        Nina

  7. Ray Burr says:

    So nice to meet up with you guys. Thanks so much for the happy hour drink and chat. Safe travels and I’m sure our paths will cross somewhere on the road again. If you need any info about visiting Vancouver Island don’t hesitate to shoot us an email, eh!
    Cheers Ray

  8. Mike Lehr says:

    The Columbia Gorge is a wonderful place to visit- especially from the Dalles westward. I recommend spending a few days exploring the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson, WA., the cities of Hood River and Cascade Locks. The Bonneville Fish Hatchery is a must see as well as adjacent Dam. The Historic Columbia River Highway east of Troutdale, Oregon offers wonderful views of the Gorge and many waterfalls. Park the Beast as the road was built for Model A Fords! Camping at several Oregon State Parks available. You won’t regret spending a few days in the beautiful Gorge.

  9. Pleinguy says:

    Several bloggers have commented about how nice it is in Garlic AZ. I wonder how it got the name; perhaps it was grown there. Looks like I’ll have to make a point of visiting Ajo during my travels.

    • libertatemamo says:

      One of my other blog readers set me straight on this one. More than likely the name was derived from the Native American Indians (Tohono O’odham) who used the word au’auho (“paint”) to describe the red pigment they obtained from the mines at Ajo. The first Mexican miners caught onto that and miss-pronounced or changed it to Ajo….or so the story goes :)

      Nina

  10. Jil says:

    we loved boon docking in that area…and we really liked Ajo….it is a hard place to leave…safe travels and we will see you soon

  11. Jodee says:

    The deserts of southern Arizona and the forests/coastline of the Northwest initially seem so different. For me it is their similar wildness that is the draw – how their ever-changing weather and landscape just take you along for the ride! You capture that so beautifully and make for a wonderful “visit” to some of my favorite places. Safe travels and continue to embrace the wildness!

    • libertatemamo says:

      I agree entirely. It’s the wild nature that draws me, and I love that quality in both places! The desert and the NW are very different, but uniquely beautiful in each their own way.

      Nina

  12. Gmornin Nina! Sounds like Why was a succsess and well worth the stop. You mention that a lot of places in Washington State have a 21 foot limit on campers. I am.looking at if I.like this Rving trading the slidein camper for a 24 foot travel trailer next year. I knew about the length limits but had no idea that they went that low. Do you run into that a lot? I mean 21 foot, your 40 foot is very different from 21 but a general impression from you would be appreciated. Thanks, Bill

    • libertatemamo says:

      The sites that have 21-foot limit in WA are the National Forest sites around the Olympic Peninsula, and yes we do run unto this quite allot. If you camp in private parks there’s no problem, but for folks like us who prefer the natural settings the size limits can be an issue. 21-foot is particularly low…most places I see sites up to 30-35 feet, even in the forests, but it just varies by state and place. There’s no doubt that the smaller you are, the more flexible you are. I wish our rig were around 5 feet smaller.

      Nina

  13. Lois F. says:

    I can’t believe I found a web site for boondocking with a beastie. ours is 38 feet. We discovered boondocking in Quartzsite. Totally ran the beast dry but managed to find a button somewhere that re-generated us. We are just outside Lake Havasu now. But the black water smell issue. We are using the Geo Method. Google it on line. It treats your black water tank like a giant chamber pot instead of a sewer system. They suggest Calgon water softner but that is expensive and hard to find sometimes. 20 mile Borax works just as well. We have reduced the amounts suggested. We never need chemicals .This is the best life ever. Will keep in touch.

    • I dont know what the Borax does for your tank but I would not use it if something else worked better. I use to use Borax to burnish my rock tumblers final polish cycle but switched to Dreft. Dreft does not kill things, Borax kills grass, weeds, bushes, trees, flowers etc. when I dumped it out in the yard. Anything that indiscriminate cant be good for the environment. Think about the 20 mule team pulling the wagon thru the borax desert, nothing is growing there. Also just as a aside it was a 18 mule team. The two hitched right at the wagon were horses. The mules would sometimes kick the wagon to pieces, horses wont do that. Just my two cents worth.

    • libertatemamo says:

      We’ve used the GEO method for a while and have also found Borax works just as well. Like you, we never dump Borax on the ground, but it works fine for the tanks. In fact you can read our write-up about the GEO method here:
      http://www.wheelingit.us/2012/03/21/rv-tank-sensors-the-geo-method/

      Nina

  14. Joel & Diane says:

    If you are in the Forks, Wa. area, Be sure to check with the Forks Timber Museum. They have a fee shuttle that takes you to a working logging opperation in the hills outside of town. It only goes out once a week. Also, Rialto beach, just outside of forks is great. We took our dog. Be sure to go at low tide so you can make the crossing thru a hole in a rock formation. We almost didn’t make it due to tide coming in. Watch out for the Vampires if you stay in Forks. We stayed at Forks 101 campground. Small and friendly. $33, per night.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Looks like we’re going to miss Forks based on the reservations I’ve been able to get so far. We’ll drive through, but won’t be able to stay. I’ll make sure to keep my neck covered however :)

      Nina

  15. Laurel says:

    We started traveling full-time last June in our 21-foot Bigfoot trailer — with our 18 year-old kitty!! We can can squeeze in anywhere and it’s a terrific little trailer, with all the amenities we need. Then again, there are times we would love to have another 5 or 10 or 15 feet of living space, haha. It’s all a trade off, isn’t it? (Love the photo of Taggert — that is one happy kitty!)

    • libertatemamo says:

      21-feet…wow! I BET you guys can go anywhere at all!! I can imagine it takes some doing to get used to the space, but it’s certainly flexible. I have good friends of mine who fulltimed for 5 years in a little trailer, and I even know folks who fulltime in pop-ups. Anything is possible if you’re flexible.

      Nina

  16. Gina says:

    I just came across your wonderful blog and I already know I need to read all your suggestions from the beginning. Meanwhile, I have a question about your cats. I’m a recent widow and planning to get RV sometime in the end of this year. Because I’m a vivid hiker there are times when I’m away for a few hours. What do you do with your cats when you’re away from your RV? How do you know they won’t get too cold or too hot? I noticed in your great pictures your cats are leash free? Do you watch them closely or just let them be on their own when outside?
    As to the state of Washington my husband and I loved hiking in North Cascade NP. Also don’t miss those delicious juicy cherries in July. Sequim Lavender Festival takes place in July.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hi Gina,

      Welcome to the blog! We’re pretty avid hikers too and when we’re gone from the RV we leave the cats inside. We are always aware of the weather. In winter we stay in the SW which has moderate temps, so the kitties are always fine. In summer we’ll either choose a site with shade or get electric hookups (or both!). Also as backup we pre-set our air-conditioner and have AGS (auto-generator start) on the generator in case the electric fails.

      For the outdoors we always watch the kitties closely. They are never outdoors by themselves. In crowded parks we leash them, but in the boonies we don’t bother. They are older cats now and they prefer to stay close to us, although Taggart (the orange tabby) does like to go for walks with us and the dog. She’s never more than 10-feet away from us at any time.

      Nina

  17. Sherry says:

    I can sure see why you enjoyed the little town and your two weeks so much. I actually always like to leave a place with a few things I want to come back for. IF I liked the place that is. I can really sympathize with the wishing I were shorter at times and with the….it’s already booked up dilemma. Of course I blame you a bit for that since so many more people want to full time now that you write so wonderfully about it. :-))

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yeah, I guess I’m a direct result of the love of RVing :) can’t believe how early summer books up on the coast, although I guess I should know by now. Next time I’m thinking I need to plan 6 months ahead…yikes! At least there are a still a *few* spots that offer first-come-first-serve, and also some less popular ones.
      Nina

  18. Lois F. says:

    We never dump our tanks onto the ground just into dump stations.

  19. Gina says:

    Forgot to add when you’re going through Idaho you might want to check out City of Rocks National Reserve. Lots of history, fascinating rock formations, wildflowers, campgrounds, hikes. Dogs are allowed on hiking trails.

  20. Dan M says:

    About camping spots in Washington state..
    Port Towsand..Jefferson county fairgrounds
    Oak harbor has a city park, no reservations, so usually can get in on weekday. Take ferry from port townsand.

    There are a couple more that I can’t remember the name of

    Good luck

  21. dan says:

    Hi, tried to post earlier on the tablet about camping spots we have used in the Olympic Peninsula but it does not look like it made it to the site.

    so here goes..
    Clallam County Parks-Dungeness Park – Nice park, no hook ups, not real dog friendly, but would check it out for the beautiful views and the hiking down on the spit out into the bay. Not dog friendly because they don’t let you walk out there with the dog. However it is close to Port Angles and you can get to the ONP easily.

    I see you already found a place in Port Townsend. Great place, there is also a state park and in a pinch or to save money try the
    JeffersonCountyFairGround,PortTownsend,WA. I think you can reserve it but usually can just show up. Give them a call and see. It is cheap place to just hang out when everything else is taken. It has full hookups. It is walking distance to Ft Worten state park that is often full up. That state park does have room for big rigs also. It is a great place to watch fireworks on 4th of July.

    While you are in Port Townsend you might check out the drive in movie theater outside of town in case they are showing something you like.

    From there you can get on a Ferry to cross over to Fort Casey which is on Whidbey Island that gets you real close to Anacortes where you will probably take a ferry out to your state park. That ferry to Fort Casey is about 65 bucks for your beast, but it saves maybe 160 miles driving through Seattle which might be worth it. We stayed at a Casino in Anacortes so we could get on the ferry to San Jaun’s on time.

    Whidbey island has a great cheap place to camp also, in Oak Harbor Staysail campground. It is right downtown on the bay, easy walking to grocery stores ect, free bus service all over the island. From there you can get down to the ferry that takes you to Everett and Seattle area. Staysail does not have reservations, so if you show up on Monday or Tues you can get a spot usually and stay up to 2 weeks for 20 bucks a day. full hookups. Lots of thing to do from there.

    Have fun!
    Dan

    • libertatemamo says:

      Cheers so very much for the tips!! I’ve mailed in a booking request for Dungeness based on your recommendation. I know we can’t take Polly to the spit, but looks like there are other dog friendly tails in that park, plus the location seems perfect! Thanks so much!

      We are definitely taking that ferry. Already decided! Thanks!

      For Whidbey Island we’ve snagged a few nights at Deception Pass State Park so we’re set for now, but I will definitely check out the place you mentioned. It’s fabulous to have options for the future, and I really enjoy parks that are easy walking distance to a cute town.

      Nina

  22. Superb cat picture!!! In less than ten minutes it went viral among the Albuquerque cat crowd!

    • libertatemamo says:

      How fun! Love it!! I guess I need to include more pics of the kitties on the blog, especially if they’ve got fans :)
      Nina

  23. DBATOOTS says:

    I did a loop of Seattle, down to Eureka, CA. up the 101 ,around the Olympic peninsula back to Seattle in 2 weeks last year. One thing(of many) I found interesting was Fort Stevens near Astoria, Or. Below is a description from Wikipedia. And, it has a great rose garden.
    “On the nights of June 21 and 22, 1942, the Japanese submarine I-25 fired 17 shells at Fort Stevens, making it the only military installation in the continental United States to receive hostile fire during World War II (the oil fields in Santa Barbara, California that were also shelled by the Japanese military, was not considered a military installation).[2] The attack caused no damage to the fort itself. The backstop for the post’s baseball field was the only casualty.”

  24. The cowboy says if Washington is all full up this summer maybe you should wander over to Montana, we know this really, really nice boondocking spot with no stay limit! :)

    • libertatemamo says:

      You know I’ve heard about that boondocking site…it’s rather famous (infamous?) and very, very tempting. One of these summers we’ll make it there!
      Nina

  25. Barb and hounds says:

    Don’t give up on Pt. Townsend, just because the state parks are booked. You can “parking lot camp” at the transit lot across the street from the Safeway grocery store. My driveway might be a tight fit, but you are welcome to it in a pinch! Many, many cool things to do here in the summer, and the farmers market on Saturdays is one of the best.

    • libertatemamo says:

      We’ve booked a site at the Marina so we’re all set for Port Townsend, but cheers for this tip for the future. Never know when we might need an overnight spot.

      Nina

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.