Flagstaff, Arizona – Boon-docking

Heading out of Utah was bitter sweet.  It meant it was time to settle in, get back to work for a while in Arizona and that our traveling adventures would be put on hold for a bit.  But we were also looking forward to seeing family and friends we hadn’t seen for a while.  The drive was beautiful into Arizona.  I was shocked to see some amazing sites once we crossed into Arizona.  All this time I thought it was flat, hot and prickly.

We arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona on August 11th after a 267 mile drive.  We made a choice to drive straight through from Utah, which made it a VERY long day with the drive time of 4.5 hours plus stops.

The plan was to get to Flagstaff, get water and propane in our tanks and find out boon-docking spot for the next two weeks.  Things don’t always go as planned.  We arrived as it was starting to get dusk with time to still get water…so we thought.  Nothing was available.  We stopped at places that were closed, passed places we couldn’t pull into, and pulled into a place that was sold out.  We got into a park that was way to small for our rig and on a hairpin corner on a hill got “high-centered” on the back of the RV,  slightly bending a corner brace and not allowing us to back up in order to actually make the turn.  We had to pull up a sign pole in order to make that turn because.  Lucky the sign wasn’t cemented in.


Got out of the tiny park with minimal cosmetic damage, and a little nail biting and sweaty brow.  We finally decided that because it was dark we would forgo the water until tomorrow and head to our satellite picked-out camp site.  We headed to Ashurst lake which happened to be up a decent paved road (for most of the way….but was also very steep.)  We found what looked like the first perfect spot (in the dark) right in front of the lake after passing quite a few spots that were full (it was still the weekend so lots of weekend campers).  We were totally spent from the day of driving and looked forward to a great night sleep.  We would set up in the morning.

Morning came and as I opened up the blinds to admire our new view on the lake I could only laugh…and laugh…the lake was bone dry!  Well you cant win them all!  Welcome to Arizona.

The water tank is part of the RV (in case you wondered).  In order to get water we will need to drive  the RV back down the hill, out of the forest, fill up and then come back and find a better spot to camp.  We saw a small store called Marys Lake store (that is part of a RV Park) and they sold water and propane, but were closed the night before.  So we headed over and fill up.  They gave us the scoop of a great place to boondock that we could possibly see 100 plus elk in the large field next to Lower Lake Mary.  We decided to check it out instead of heading back up the mountain with the full tank of water.

The road in was a single lane gravel road with dirt roads into camp sites.  Remember with a rig this big once you commit going back can be very difficult.  We found what looked to be a great spot with a pull-through road amongst the tall pines.  There was a bit of rutty dirt road getting in, but we took it slow.  Once we started in, some of the branches were a bit low, so we tied them back with a cable and made our way through.  We got settled in, set up and ready to hang for two weeks.   Cell service was surprisingly good and better then up the mountain.  The spot we chose didn’t get 100% sun so solar wasn’t at its peek, but generators ran when solar could not maintain the batteries.

Then the rain came!  THUNDER, lightening..rain, hail, more rain.  Rivers ran through camp.  This went on and off for days.  I dug trenches to allow the water to stay away from the RV.  It’s all part of the adventure.  Boo sure loved the mud.

We realized at some point that the way out was more narrow then we thought and lots of branches would need to be trimmed.  It would be a tight squeeze.  The way in was partly flooded and the ground could potentially be too soft for our RV…so we had to make a choice…road less traveled, tight squeeze and prep work, or the road we came in on that we could get stuck, sink and rip off our sewer pipe, and branches that could tear the roof.  Once you commit its harder to change the plan.  We chose the road we came in on.

We headed out on August 25th and were nervously anticipating the unknown.  It could have been worse.  We didn’t get stuck, we didn’t tear a hole in the roof liner or in the side of the RV from low branches…but I did rip off the beloved weather station.  A big sigh of relief once we made it out.

After being on the road for about 4 plus months it really felt like we were on the way home.  It was familiar road.

Then the heat hit…UGH!
Welcome back to Phoenix….

One thought on “Flagstaff, Arizona – Boon-docking

  1. Ya gotta watch those trees! I tagged my sewer vent on the roof the same way. Luckily it was just a pop back on. Looks like you've had an amazing summer. Way to go! There's a big hole on the map where Washington is suppose to be. Whatcha gonna do? LOL Oddly enough… my map has the same hole. We're going to fix that next summer. 🙂

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