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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Up in the Sky!

~Saturday, March 12, 2022~

Day 636

It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No, it’s a hot air balloon flying solo right over our trailer. We woke up to the intermittent sound of its burner as the pilot tried to find the perfect place to land.

We think they probably take off from Sedona and use our large camping area as their normal spot for landings, forcing them to find a new location. It seems to be the perfect place to end the trip with plenty of landing spots and an easy access road to pick up those balloon travelers. Pretty cool that it landed just about 100 yards from us, though Sadie wasn’t all too happy about it. There are 3 things that our pups gets a little agitated about…….hot air balloons (we used to see a lot over the years at our home in Napa), flying ravens/crows, and contrails.

Finally, a beautiful day that warrants having a breakfast out on our new outdoor table (a Christmas gift from Jeff). It’s perfect for the places that don’t offer one and will really come in handy for the 70% boondocking we have planned for the remainder of 2022. While enjoying our breakfast, we were entertained by the kid’s voices next door playing on their perfectly situated dirt pile, and the attentive parents just trying to keep things running smoothly until a 3-year old decided to have a meltdown. Dad to the rescue! Ahhh… sure brings back memories.

In the 6 days of being here we’ve pretty much narrowed down the cost of running our propane vs. gas. Mind you, our use has likely been at its peak this past week with those chilly evening temperatures (low 30’s). But we’re in for nicer temps in the coming days. Running the propane in the morning for about an hour, and again at night for about 4 hours, costs us around $5/day. While we’re cooking dinner and charging the things that need charging we’re using the generator (so less frequent than the propane) at a cost of about $2/day. At the rate we’ve been going, our (3) 5-gallon propane tanks would last us about 10 days. The 5-gallon gas can would last about 1 week. So at the most, we’re only spending $7/day in “fuel” for the trailer; way cheaper than a conventional campground with services. Our water situation is holding up great! Staying here for 14 days will only require one trip to the dump station (yes, we’ll have to hitch up to do it) at the 7-day mark. The most we’ve gone on the black/gray tanks is 10 days while boondocking at the Markagunt Plateau at 10,000 feet in Utah (that’s where 100’s of sheep were being herded through our campsite to their new location). The plan is while Jeff and Sadie head into Cottonwood on Tuesday, I’ll hold down the fort making sure our stuff is secure (i.e. bbq, griddle, generator) and that no one takes our spot. Our neighbor even offered to park his truck in our spot if needed. Very nice!

We made a lot of headway today on our lodging for the Canada portion of our trip. We dialed in a few boondocking spots and booked reservations for 4 campgrounds. Kind of interesting that we’ll be landing in Alaska on the 4th of July in a quirky little town called Chicken, one of the few surviving gold rush towns in Alaska. Population, 7 and no services for at least 100 miles. Gee, I wonder if they’ll have fireworks?

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