Wednesday, February 22, 2012




Saw 3 spirited horses gallup down a dusty trail beside us last night with heads high in the air.  Half a dozen curious cows approached our campsite in the evening to wish us well & welcome us to the neighborhood.    Pheebs doesn’t know what to make of these big 4 legged critters & this may very well be the first time she has ever seen cows & horses.  I just love having animals for neighbors.  DSC_0004


We are the only folks here in our new location.  Not another rig in sight anywhere.  How great is that eh:))  Despite being in the northern end of the Sonoran desert we haven’t seen a lot of cactus around.  We also love the lush green color of many large Desert Broom plants.   Noticed some nice yellow flowers blooming as well.  The ground here is a hard packed fine gravely clay sand so we will have to keep an eye on the weather because it could be pretty soupy if it rains.  The ground is also much friendlier to doggy paws & Jeep tires.


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I could see the lights of Wickenburg on the horizon last night & a huge glow on the same horizon from the large city of Phoenix, Arizona.  Not to worry, we will not be going anywhere near that big Phoenix place.  We are about 66 miles away & that’s plenty close enough to any big city for this small town boy.


I know fellow RVing Blogger Mike from MIKE & PAT'S TRAVELS  is in the neighborhood somewhere so we’ll be looking up Mike & Pat for sure in a few days.


One of the great things I like about Arizona is it’s wide diversity of scenic landscapes.  The desert around our present location is yet again different from other areas we have been.  We are ringed by ever present mountain ranges but the desert floor is different.  Greener than Bouse but we don’t have the cactus so abundant near Ajo.  More  vegetation than Cochise County’s Sulphur Springs Valley though.  Mesquite trees & scrub make up the desert floor here forming a mini forest with scrub averaging 3 or 4 feet & trees reaching maybe 25 feet.


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Jeeped ourselves into Wickenburg around 9:30 this morning to have us a look around & familiarize ourselves with the town.  Wickenburg is one of those places a person is probably going to like right away.  We did.


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Headed ourselves right downtown to visit the old streets.  Lots of parking & the town center is small enough to easily walk everywhere.  Great southwest architecture & great southwest colors.  The town has pulled out all the stops to make it people friendly.  Focusing on it’s history, we enjoyed the Cowboy Museum as well as our walk around the downtown area.  Kinda reminded my of Jackson Hole Wyoming a bit.


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Kelly was feeling a need for Mexican Food so we stopped into a place called Anita’s.  I was a bit alarmed when I didn’t see hamburgers on the menu but was assured something called a shredded Chimichanga would not set my face on fire.  Closed my eyes & wolfed it down pretending it was a McDonald’s Big Mac.


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This Wickenburg place is a mighty fine little town alright & for sure we will be back again over the next few days or so.  Slipped into Safeway on the way back to the rig for some groceries & headed back out of town to our quiet little spot in the desert with all the cows.


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We had about 40 visitors this afternoon & we really enjoyed their company as they gathered around our rig & fire pit.  We had ourselves a great Happy Hour.  Our company was particularly enjoyed by the Pheebs as she made herself a whole bunch of new friends.   Their bathroom habits left a little to be desired but we didn’t mind because it was just so great watching Pheebs interact with her new Pals & having so much fun.  What a special little dog she is:))

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The Last Paragraph:  I have always been in the habit of sharing locations & information about boon docking spots with others & up until yesterday I have often blogged about our daily location.  I am now re-thinking all that.


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From the beginning, I oriented my blog around RV traveling & sharing our experiences of where we are, where we go & what we see.  I have always tried to pass on information to other travelers in hopes they may see & experience many of the same things we do.  I recently blogged a fair bit about the great scenic boon docking spots on Darby Wells Road in Ajo.  Since then a few blog readers have journeyed there & enjoyed the beautiful scenery just as we did.  I felt good inside knowing that I was directly or indirectly contributing to someone else’s enjoyment of nature whether they be friends or strangers.  


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However, a long time boon docker at the Clark Dry Lake Bed near Borrego Springs a few years ago was miffed that I was blogging about the great boondocking opportunities there.  He figured my telling everybody about it would attract too many people.  Happened a few times since then & again recently at Darby Wells when a long time boon docker made it clear my blog could very well attract too many people to the area.  I do understand the other side of this coin & being a private person myself I do understand not wanting to have a lot of people around.  But, my blog is not a national travel magazine reaching thousands of RVing people so there is not going to be a flood of RV’ers flocking to an area threatening the few people who may like it there.  In fact, we have noticed a decline in boon docking RV’ers the past 3 years compared to 5 years ago………..Anyway, this was just something that’s been sitting on my chest for awhile & today was the day to finally get it off.    


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GROANER’S CORNER:((  A newly appointed young preacher was contacted by the local funeral director to hold a graveside committal service at a small country cemetery in Iowa. There was to be no funeral, just the committal, because the deceased had no family or friends left in Iowa. The young pastor started early to the cemetery, but soon lost his way.

After making several wrong turns, he finally arrived a half-hour late. The hearse was no where in sight, and the workmen were relaxing under a nearby tree, eating their lunch. The pastor went to the open grave and found that the vault lid was already in place. He took out his book and read the service in its entirety. As he returned to his car, he overheard one of the workmen say: "Maybe we'd better tell him that's the septic tank."

-Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of
right  now...AL.


  1. I liked the looks of Wickenburg - went there once to shop for groceries, and the second trip was to the ER after my fall.

    I just love seeing different kinds of animals getting to know one another. I have photos of my trail dog, Smoky, up close and personal with the wild ponies at Grayson Highlands, VA.

  2. So agree with your last thoughts tonight re: sharing great boondocking locations with others. If you were on private land and the owner objected, that would certainly be a valid reason not to share the specifics of that location. But nearly all these locations are public lands and you have as much right to publicize these locations as we, your appreciative readers, have to camp there in the future and share our own thoughts and photos.

  3. That Pheebs - what a dog. Just look at her making up to the cows and not chasing or harassing them. I so enjoyed all of those photos. She is something else. Oh, Wickensburg was nice too!!

    I have to agree with a previous commenter. We don't do much boondocking, but if/when we do, it's so nice to read of places that are safe and accessible. We need to respect one another's privacy but the public land is there for all to enjoy. Thank you for your many wonderful posts and for sharing your stories.

  4. Well I don't think you'll have to worry about me breathing down your neck any time soon. There have been those who even include GPS coordinates for where they are in their RV travels.
    Makes no matter to me, but does make it fun if I want to take a closer look on the net.
    Some sort of "arm chair travelling".
    Folks will go wherever they go whether you mention a spot or not. I think.
    There's probably some high falutin' mathematical formula that could show just how few extra people are going to find one of your spots that you mention. One has to consider all of the odds. There's better odds at winning at Bingo.
    It's a big world out there.

  5. Looks like Pheebe's is having a ball with the cows, That steam engine will last forever in the dry desert. It is a Baldwin product, Santa Fe bought just about all their steam from Baldwin. Glad all is well with you guys. be safe out there.Sam & Donna..

  6. The cows are looking for a handout - probably range cubes. lol

  7. Hey Al and Kelly, we are so thrilled that you are in our area,,,,and sure want to see you. However today (thursday) we will be gone all day to that BIG CITY,,for a special Dr/ appt for Ms Pat.....
    But be sure to stop by, we look forward to meeting you....
    We have room in our front yard for you, or there is a nice boondocking area just a mile south of North Ranch,,,,,,,very private.

    Hope you get to hike Vulture Peak. When you get up to the center saddle of it, go on up the rocks to the top of the Peak...Beautiful view and the city of W/burg has a guest book up there to sign...

  8. Thank you Al! Glad to see you guys are enjoying Wickenburg, if we could afford it that area would become our winter home! Mike feels he "fits" there as a cowboy. I absolutely LOVE the photo of Pheebs and the cow! There are some incredible jeeping roads, you can go out across the desert from the spot where you are now parked and end up on the other side of Wickenburg.

  9. Al, I have rarely commented lately but have kept up with ya'll. I am so glad you are having such a good trip. Watching Pheebs blossom is such a joy! Although we are static for a while (and enjoying it, actually) I know there will come a time when I can show Dave the Great Southwest, so thanks for sharing these small-town gems. Peace!

  10. Instead of feeding explicit directions to boondocking locations, why not mention the DeLorme or Benchmark atlases? They identify BLM land versus state, national forest, private, etc.

    Then you could say that you're on "BLM land near Bouse." The reader can study these atlases for a minute or two, and then go off exploring in the approximate area. When they find a spot, they will be thrilled! It will be THEIR discovery (with a little help from Al and Kelly).

    By being so explicit you are taking all the mystique out of it, and making it as prosaic and mundane as a night at the KOA. If a camper is so unadventurous that they need to be led by the hand and constantly reassured by a blogger that it's OK to go here or there, they might consider that boondocking really isn't for them.

  11. What a way to ruin the taste of a chimichanga by imagining it to be a Big Mac... yuck!


  12. Just wondering how Pheebs liked the calling cards that her new acquaintances must have left. :)

  13. Thinking back to the day we were all so disappointed that you didn't get the pup you had your eye on. What a great dog Pheebs is--see, she was meant to be with you guys.

    What a happy, full, and rich life you have given her.

    I was surprised, on my trip, to find how intelligent and friendly cows are. Pheebs proves my point. ;-)

  14. A very nice town Wickenburg, we visited a few years ago and really enjoyed the area. Nice happy hour friends with lots of stories to share I am sure.

  15. Al -- Although I understand somewhat the desire to keep good locations "secret," as one of the other commenters said, these are PUBLIC lands. Why shouldn't others be able to enjoy them? This "it's all about ME" attitude is part of why this country is in the shape it is now. (Let the flaming begin...)

    And truly, how many fulltime, or even part-time, RVers boondock? There are a lot, I'm sure, but percentage-wise -- not that many. We boondock off & on during the year, but we really won't infringe on the boondocker's special piece of paradise for long.

    Thank goodness that most the folks are like you when finding a good place that is accessible; they want to share. Then there are those who find something good & immediately want to say "mine, mine, MINE." On PUBLIC lands, to boot. I don't get it...

  16. GREAT photos Al ~ Pheebs is definately a good fit for you & Kelly. As far as sharing where you are ~ that's what we do on our blogs. Alway love reading your post!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  17. It is so great that you can again find something new and fresh in your beloved Arizona desert. Love the cows and the photos today. On another note, it seems that anyone who is really interested in real information about a boondocking location could just email you personally and knowing you, I would imagine you would willingly help. Maybe that is a way to continue your willingness to share without putting all the public information out there that could possibly ruin the experience for boondockers.

  18. I am amazed at how Pheebs just makes friends with a herd of cows, like they are all long lost buddies!

  19. I boondock for months at a time in SE Utah, especially the Moab/Green River area. I have shared my great camp spots with anyone who wants to know. Does anyone ever show up? It's rare that I return to a spot and find someone there. I agree it's fun to find your own spots, but for a newbie or someone coming in late at night, it's great knowing a general area is accessible.

    The BLM manages those lands for all of us, and who knows, if someone goes to a spot you've mentioned and you show up camping there again, it's an opportunity to meet someone who shares your same lifestyle. I might add that I'm about as private as it gets (solo woman camper w/ dogs) and have been known to move camp if I can even see anyone in the distance - LOL. Chinle

  20. Pheebes is amazing, not one of our crew could be still long enough to allow a cow that close. Wickenburg looks like a neat town,we'll put it on the list.

  21. I suspect your critics are greedy and selfish. They wouldn't tell you where they like to fish, and wouldn't share a recipe, without changing one of the ingredients.

    My guess is that only 1 out of a 100 readers have a motor home, and only one out of a 100 RV owners would actually attempt to find the spot you describe. So if they are so worried about 1 or 2 distant neighbors, they should find their own boondocking spot. There is enough space for all of them.

  22. we greatly appreciate you sharing your 'boondocking secrets' on public land..just the ins and outs are good to share..the rest most of us can figure out for ourselves..
    and yes it is a big old world out there and there is plenty of room for everyone!!

  23. We really enjoyed Wickenburg and we also ate at Anita's. But no thinking about Big Mac's for us. I also don't understand why people get upset when you state your location. Most of us don't spend all that much time boondocking (some through choice and others because of extenuating circumstances)and if we encroach on someone, they have wheels. When we are boondocking we never park close to anybody else (well except for when we're with a group). But you do whatever you think is the right thing to do for your peace of mind.

  24. Al, you go ahead and write about these places you see. We love to read about them and think that someday we'll go there, but we aren't boondockers, and I suspect a great many of your readers don't do much boondocking either, so you aren't in danger of causing any flood. Wickenburg? Yes, neat little town. And Mike is just up the road a little way in the community called Congress. If you see him, please give him a howdy from us!

  25. Pheebs reminds me of our beloved Duke...the vet called him everybodys buddy...he adopted a stray cat, played w/ our bunny, took a rescue pup under his paw and played w/ the deer the farmers field. Don't let a couple of detractors veer you off your coarse..our idea of boondocking is parking overnite on a long trip. Do people keep RV parks they like to themselves ? No. they want their fellow rvers to know whats good and whats not..its called generosity and kindness...Keep up just the way you are.

  26. me again...forgot to mention, I love the one pic of Pheebs out in front of cows looking over her shoulder...looks like she is saying "Come on boys follow me "

  27. I understand your thoughts exactly about sharing boondocking locations. I made my mind up (early on in my blog) to share ALL the places I go to...boondocking or otherwise. I've always felt that it will help others to enjoy what I've enjoyed. Maybe a few more folks will go, but overall I don't feel boondocking (or even dry-camping) is for everyone. So I am already "speaking to the choir" so to speak, and don't feel I'm going to cause a major migration to the spot.

    It's not an easy decision though. I've also had negative reviews from other boondockers feeling that I was giving secrets away. I guess like everything in life, you're going to end up making some people happy and pissing off others :)


  28. Annie says "Just wait until Pheebs rolls in their bathroom habits."

    And, good grief.

    A boondocker in a big rig (ahem) appreciates another big-rigger blazing the path and reporting back. Not a matter of being "unadventurous," just not ridiculous. No one, no matter their pioneer spirit, wants to truck down a path only to find it's perfect for a truck camper and no one else.

    Everyone likes the feeling of "my spot," but the truth is it ain't my spot. I'm going to enjoy it for 14 days, then it's gonna be "your spot." And, do you imagine a reporter for a national travel magazine is going to find something great, then decline to write about it so old-timers can keep it for themselves?

    Well, so there.

    The Good Luck Duck

  29. AND another thing ...

    I meant to say that I don't blog our coordinates or exact location until we've left because of security concerns, not because I don't want someone else to find them.

    The Good Luck Duck

  30. Pheebs is so cute! Thanks for posting about Wickenburg, beautiful town! I am sure the town of Ajo is happy about the "Darby Wells" visitors. With gas prices and the economy, businesses are begging. Most of us will never be lucky enough to see it in person but it is nice to know it is there.


  31. Pheebs is so cool!

    I have to say that ONE of the reasons I read blogs is simply for learning about places to boondock. We both work fulltime now so we're no immediate threat. We stayed at Darby Wells one night and were so thankful for your directions.

    Until we retire, we don't want to purchase a bunch of maps and books to tell us where these places are. We are much obliged to those that share their information online! Thank you, thank you!

  32. I absolutely LOVE the statue in front of the museum..and put Wickenberg on our must see list....Just wondering, is it open range out there??? no fences?? Unusual to have a herd of cattle by the campfire unless the Bayfield Bunch is organizing a cattle drive...:-)))

  33. We are pretty sure we saw you trying to decide how to get onto the BLM property. We were on our way to Wickenburg. Don't worry...we won't blow your cover! :-) We recognized the motorhome and jeep. The gun show is this weekend. A couple of good places to eat is Screamers (west end of Wickenburg along Hwy 60) for juicy huge burgers and the Hog Trough downtown for ribs. There are plenty of jeeping trails/roads to wander. Scenic Loop road is a good start and wander off this main road. Constellation road past the rodeo grounds. Enjoy your stay!!!

  34. butterbean carpenterThursday, February 23, 2012

    Howdy Kelly & Al,
    We love all of the places Y'ALL HAVE TAKEN US TO!!! Thank you, for the trip and I'll use the $$$ saved to buy gas just to go to the store(20
    miles).. We're ranchers so yes we're surprised at the 'wild' cows and Pheebs.. Also, surprised at her.

  35. Al, please keep writing your blog exactly the way you have been writing it. I may or may not ever get the chance to boondock at one of the locations you give but it is so nice knowing that I could find a place if I was in that neck of the woods. Sorry Boonie but that is public land and there should be room for all. Al doesn't seem to have any trouble finding locations that allow him enough space to breathe without selfishly keeping the info to himself. We love your blog just as it is.

  36. Yup.. agree with Good Luck Duck Roxanne.... when we are boondocking in a 38ft diesel pusher, it's great to know we can find a good spot when we pull into a dirt road. Tried and true are your locations. I have marked them on our Streets and Trips to assure future visits will be in the right areas.

    West of Wickenburg we had a nice spot, and then also north of there before North Ranch RV park is a great place too the we boondocked by a big old rusty water tank. (that one had a gate to keep in the free range animals that are leasing the land) It's still BLM land and great to boondock on.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  37. Great pictures as always. You sure did luck out when you got Pheebs!

    The first time we were in Wickenburg
    was 1985 and it looks like they have a new addition to the museum. At that time, all the work of building, setting up and staffing the museum had been and was done by volunteers. There were several beautiful Frederick Remington sculptures then and I wonder if they still have them?

  38. everyone trades off their parking info on the blogs..that what we all do...I love the pics of sure lucked out with her...the one of her looking over her shoulder I wonder if she wanted to bring em all in the MH with her like her friends at the you better keep the doors closed just in case...

  39. butterbean carpenterThursday, February 23, 2012

    Howdy Al,
    I just read the Wiki about the Burmese Mountain 'Skunk Hunting' Dog' AND THEY SHED LIKE ALL OF THE TIME!!
    They are often confused with the BurneseMountain Dog of Switzerland
    a farm & hunting dog that looks a lot like them.. The Burmese is a
    very calm and easygoing dog;unlike we know who!!! I think Pheebs is a Burnese instead of a Burmese.. Also, the Burmese will climb 50'up in a tree to kill a skunk.. Don't ask me how they get down.. We had coonhounds who'd climb trees, but never any 50'!!