So here we are, Day 12 of our year-long adventure, parked in Coconino National Forest, our first attempt at boondocking. The past 11 days have been a whirlwind of acclimating to RV life, driving across the middle of the country, and seeing beautiful sights. It’s been a weird combo of “oh my gosh this is amazing!” and then “oh shit, how do we fix this?”.
To avoid snowy weather, we changed our plans just days before we left and decided to visit Sedona and the Grand Canyon before heading north to Colorado. We’ve crossed the country from Indianapolis to Flagstaff in just 10 days. The first three nights we used Harvest Host sites and jumped from a winery in Illinois to a Cider Mill in Kansas then down to an alpaca ranch in Oklahoma. We really loved each of these stops and it was a great way to ease into RV living. Each place we stopped had nice, flat open areas for us to park and we enjoyed meeting the hosts, sampling the wine and food and of course, petting and feeding the alpacas. During this part of the trip we were sort of just camping in our RV, we didn’t extend the slides out or get too comfortable.
We decided we needed a place with electric and water hook-ups so that we could do some general maintenance and relax for a night. We left the alpaca farm and went to a state park near Oklahoma City, Red Rock Canyon State Park. We landed there in the middle of the week so the park was pretty quiet and found a great pull through space with 30 amp and water hook-ups with a creek right outside our front door. They also have two free dump sites in the park which we used to dump some grey water. (we have the Nature’s Head Composting Toilet so we don’t have to worry about a black tank).
The park was our first place where we could breathe for a minute. We opened the slides, tidied up, made a real dinner, took long hot showers ($1.00 for six minutes), hiked around the canyon, birdwatched, and generally just got caught up on stuff. At this point in our journey, we’d worked up a list of items that we were trying to figure out: why did the water pump stop working?, how do we get the water heater to work?, our solar monitoring system has a fault alert, the check engine light came on in the truck, and lastly, don’t use the bathroom sink because it leaks underneath...so we were slightly stressed but mostly just reading all of our owner’s manuals, googling questions, watching youtube videos etc...trying to get everything straightened out.
After leaving the state park, we continued west through Oklahoma and stopped at a Harvest Host winery near Palo Duro Canyon in Texas, then an RV park outside Amarillo, a gift shop parking lot outside Petrified National Park and then finally, here, in Flagstaff at our first boondocking spot. So all in all, it’s going well. We found this boondocking spot through Campendium.com and then cross referenced it through some blogger reviews. We’re on S. Coconino Forest Road just outside of Walnut Canyon National Monument. It was pretty easy to find and so far we haven’t had any neighbors. In the past couple days, Alex has corrected everything on our maintenance list. The water pump, water heater, solar system, truck...all of it. And he’s up on the roof now, adding some sealant to make sure we keep our old leaky areas dry. He’s sort of been my super hero these past two weeks. Just when I start getting really nervous, I’ll hear him yell “I figured it out!”
So that’s our journey thus far. It’s been so much fun and we are slowly feeling like we’re getting used to our new little home. We’ll explore Flagstaff for a few more days and then head south towards Sedona.
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