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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Can't Get Enough of Boondocking

~Saturday, November 21, 2020~

Day 160 (Travel Day)

Goodbye to Sedona, but not for long. We will not be waiting another 26 years to come back. Jeff and I have really fallen in love with the desert. So much beauty, outdoor activities, and an awesome food scene. Woke up this morning to a little bonus. I opened the door and saw our first hot air balloon in the distance flying over beautiful Sedona. That is one thing I miss about our hometown of Napa. Sometimes they’d fly right over our house, veering off course at times. Sadie has never liked them as she growls the entire time they’re in the sky.

First stop today was the dump station. Back to Verde Fairgrounds in Cottonwood (about 7 miles away). We decided to fill up on fresh water as well, even though it’s more weight to carry. But we didn’t have that long of a drive and no grades to climb, though we’re gradually going from 4,000 feet to 7,000 feet. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that over time, tank sensors are notorious for their inaccuracies. We’ve been noticing that both the black and gray are registering a reading that is impossible, especially if we’ve just emptied. Like today, we drained the gray tank, flushed it out twice and it still read ⅓ full. Our guess is that over time, more things build up on the sides causing the misread. We’ve decided from here on out we’ll be using the Happy Camper water treatment for the gray tank as well, to help break things down better. We’ve always used it for the black tank. Another tip we’ve read is to add Dawn and a lot of hot water just before hitting the road (as long as it’s a short trip). By the movement of the trailer, it helps slosh things around enough to remove more debris. Sorry for all of the details, but we’re only sharing in hopes it helps other RVer’s. 😜

Another item to address…..our power. We’ve definitely noticed a change in our power supply because of increased use with the shorter and sometimes more cloudy days. That’s where having the second solar panel will really come in handy (hoping to install in Tucson). The more we have to draw power (especially on those cloudy days), the more power we have to store in our 2 lithium batteries. And for those solar panels, it’s important to keep an eye on the dust. In the past 7 days, that’s all we’ve been in with all of the ATVer’s and other recreational vehicles going by. When we’re boondocking, we’re using the heater more (which runs on propane), but the starter and blower for that, run off the batteries. The lights seem to sip propane use, but think watching good ol’ Fall football uses a lot of energy (not sure though).

Our next stay in Flagstaff doesn’t have a name. Just Forest Road 171. It’s basically between Flagstaff and Williams. As we pulled on to it, we saw about 6 other RVer’s closer to the entrance, enjoying their forest setting. But we always find the better sites are further in. It just takes more effort. It’s kind of jarring to go from desert warmth and scenery to mountain coolness and forest smells. This area for dispersed camping is HUGE, so we had a lot of choices. They’ve definitely kept up with their forest management services here. Clean forest floor and nothing but large trees everywhere. Where are all the saplings? As soon as we selected our home for the next 4 days, Sadie had to take it all in. She has complete reign of the forest though she never wanders off too far.

Arrived with quite a dusty trailer inside. So while Jeff set up the outside, I did some deep cleaning. It always feels good to have a clean trailer. In fact, since our space is so tiny, it’s darn near mandatory… least for our standards. Since it was already late afternoon and with the sunset at 5:30 or so, we changed our plans of doing laundry and getting propane until tomorrow when we’re in Flagstaff anyway. So instead and even better, we had a fun evening playing cornhole, playing ball with Sadie all while listening to old 80’s music. What could be better!

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