Moving Camp to Cottonwood, AZ

I took this shot the day before we left Ehrenberg. I think these were the best Ocotillo blooms I've ever seen.

I took this shot the day before we left Ehrenberg. I think these were the best Ocotillo blooms I’ve ever seen.

It’s hot!!! Those are the words that have been coming out of my mouth too much lately so it’s time to move! I know, two-thirds of the county has been enduring a miserably cold winter so you may not be too happy about hearing that I’m struggling with being too hot but what can I say, we all have our crosses to bear and mine is being a snowbird!!

I love Arizona so I spend my winters in an area around Quartzsite and Ehrenberg, AZ while the rest of the country is shivering in snow and ice storms. But in the last few weeks the temperatures have been hitting the low 90’s and the sun has some real heat to it. By itself that isn’t too bad but the van and trailer are getting very hot inside during the day and staying too warm for too long at night; time to move on!

It was also an exceptional year for Brittlebush in Ehrenberg,

It was also an exceptional year for Brittlebush in Ehrenberg,

So my next move is to go up in elevation—but not too far up. For every 1000 feet you go up the temperatures drop 3 ½ degrees, so if you go up 3000 feet it will be 10 degrees cooler, which right now is about perfect. But if you go up 6000 feet then it will be 20 degrees cooler which means it will be below freezing every night. Even worse, this time of year there is still a lot of winter left and above 6000 feet it’s very likely there will be snowstorms and freezing temperatures. That has no more appeal to me than 90 degree heat! Here are the choices I was considering:

Wickenburg (2200 feet): I loved our camp there because it was beautiful with a nice view and close to town. But because it’s only 2000 feet higher than here, and I’d heard from friends that it was hot there as well, so I decided to skip it this year.

The view from inside my front door.

The view from inside my front door at Cottonwood. 

Cottonwood (3300 feet): which is about 20 miles from Sedona (which is a place I love!). It’s a beautiful camp at 3300 feet so it’s 10 degrees cooler than her which should be perfect for a while. What I liked the most about that camp is we are only 4 miles from a Walmart which makes shopping much cheaper. But enforcement is heavy here so we expect to only stay 14 days.

Prescott (5000 feet): Last year we found a great campsite 30 miles north of Prescott that had a good Verizon signal and we never once saw a Ranger the whole time we were there. But the closest store is 17 miles away which means we will spend more on gas.

Flagstaff (7400 feet): I love the area around Flagstaff because it’s a beautiful National Forest filled with tall Ponderosa Pines, deer and elk. Best of all we were there for a long time and never saw a Ranger. But at that elevation every storm that goes through will bring a good chance of snow and the certainly of cold weather. I don’t want that!

My van in our new camp. I love having mountains all around camp.

My van in our new camp. I love having mountains all around camp.

There were 6 of us left in camp so we discussed which one had the most appeal and decided as a group that Cottonwood was our best choice in every way. We would stay there as long as the weather and Rangers would let us and then leave for Prescott or Flagstaff.

So last Thursday we packed up and moved 240 miles to Cottonwood. We’ve set-up camp, settled in and now it’s our new temporary “home.” When we were here last year our very good friend Gloria found a wonderful camp up on a hill that we loved so we took it for ourselves. I think it may be one of the prettiest camps we’ve ever had. But it’s small and we all can’t fit in here so the main group is another mile down the road in a beautiful campsite tucked away in the trees. It’s difficult to see them from the road and there is a chance the Ranger won’t see them there. But it’s a small area with everyone pretty close together. It had two big disadvantages for us 1) Judy and I are pretty reclusive and like our privacy and people were just too close together for us 2) the Verizon signal was much worse there and that is critically important to me. So we chose the pretty but very visible campsite on a hill.

Judy carried my Honda Rebel for me. Thanks Judy!

Judy carried my Honda Rebel for me. Thanks Judy!

That fits in to my general philosophy of living for the moment to the greatest degree reasonably possible. I’d rather have just 2 weeks in a very beautiful spot than 6 weeks in a very nice but not as pretty spot.

Here are some pictures of it and out surrounding views, I hope you enjoy them.

 

A map to our camp.

A map to our camp.
Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Looking toward the town.

Looking toward the town.

What I always miss most about the Arizona desert is the non-stop spectacular sunsets!

What I always miss most about the Arizona desert is the non-stop spectacular sunsets!

Cotonwood-best

Bob
About

I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

Posted in Boondocking, Camping Locations, My Daily Life, Travel
42 comments on “Moving Camp to Cottonwood, AZ
  1. Myddy says:

    Bob, you have the most beautiful and stunning photos of the places you’re staying and have been. I love those sunset photos and always look forward to seeing them in your posts!
    Myddy recently posted…Recipe #2 Natural body lotionMy Profile

  2. Still in Pahrump, clearly not a summer site as I had hoped,but very beautiful in its own rite… Weather is perfect during the day and cools off very nicely at night… But alas with scouting this is no summer home… Heading to Ashfork-Williams when it warms around the first of next month and will hook up with you soon there after to catch up before you begin the AK adventure… Big changes this summer and lots to do… Bryce had an unwelcome visitor today in that a rattler would not give up his home near Bryce,s entry to his camper, we had to dispatch him humanely, oh well life in the desert… Gods speed and water jugs full… Dont forget the red rock area outside of Sedona where we had lunch, no enforcement and a comfy site…

    Me & Zeke…

    • Bob Bob says:

      Steve, glad you are enjoying Pahrump, it’s one of my favorite places as well. It is one of the places I saw rattlers fairly often. The weather is great here but will be hot soon. I’m thinking we’ll stay our 14 days or so and then move on to Prescott or Williams. See you there soon!
      Bob

      • Ann Finster says:

        Hi, Bob!
        Is it possible for me to join your camp for a few days? I am scheduled to do a dry run in my HHR May 10th during a break from physical therapy. I hope to close my apartment asap, but as long as Worker’s Comp comes through I am keeping it open rather than disrupt my finances at a critical time. I will stay out of the way. I promise. I spend most of my time in bed and do need that to be cool. May 10th would be my maiden voyge car camping for this new set-up.

  3. jim says:

    Great pictures mr bob do you ever camp down around tombstone just wondering how safe it is around there i’ve read good and bad

    • Bob Bob says:

      Jim, for some reason I’ve never made it down there. It’s at a pretty high elevation so I think it is cooler all winter than here. This was a very warm winter but usually it is pretty cool and I don’t want a colder place I want a warmer place.

      Anywhere close to the border will have warnings about illegals and drug-runners. But I think the danger is exaggerated. It’s pretty understood on both sides if you start hurting Americans on this side of the border bad things are going to happen. They don’t want to give us any more motivation to crack down on them than we already have. For whatever reason, Americas being hurt by illegals is very rare I believe. I’ve never been too afraid near the border. But generally I am in a group and well armed also.
      Bob

  4. Bill from NC says:

    Gmorn ok n Bob and Tribe! I am still in the big Q, Lapidary Club is open one more week and then closes until November. It is getting warmer but so far I am comfortable enough and its supposed to cool a few degrees the next few days. I hope to catch up with you on my Great Western Trip but I just have to go to Wickenberg for a few days and check out the Cowboy Museum and the town itself is supposed to be a cowboy meca. Then maybe on to Cottonwood. I liked the cook ok ng guel series and look forward to more installments. The photos of Cottonwood are stunning!

    Sadie n Bill
    Bill from NC recently posted…Open Range!!! Head em up, move em out, Rawhide!!!!My Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Bill, yeah the rock club in Qzt is famous for it’s friendliness and usefulness. Glad it’s doing so well for you. It’s a great deal, you get a LOT of very little money. I loved Wickenburg and it is truly on old-west cowboy town with cowboys and ranchers everywhere. You’ll love it!

      Drop by if you are in the area!
      Bob

  5. I’m fine with afternoon temperatures in the 80s and 90s because it means warmer evening, nighttime and morning temperatures. No need to bundle up. Shorts and t-shirts 24/7. Also, after suffering through summers in the Southeast, I’m SO happy in the West’s low humidity. The dry heat here is quite pleasant to me. The extended forecast still shows some nights in the 30s in Cottonwood. No thanks, for now. I’m in no hurry to move out of the low desert.
    Al Christensen recently posted…Zen and the art of sanity maintenanceMy Profile

    • LaVonne says:

      I do miss the mild nights in Ehrenberg, but daytime heat = no can do. For me, the price of chilly nights in the 30s and 40s for gorgeous days in the 60s and 70s (my ideal temps) is well worth it. Good thing we have so many choices, isn’t it?
      LaVonne recently posted…Here I go changing plans againMy Profile

      • Bob Bob says:

        So far I have loved the weather here laVonne. I’m really glad we moved to here. Daytime is still a little warm but I think with enforcement we will probably move on in a few weeks. If we go to Williams or Flagstaff next that should be just right cool days and possibly cold nights. But it’s easy to put on another blanket at night.
        Bob

    • Bob Bob says:

      Al, I saw that’s what the weather channel says but it’s not what is happening. The nights have been very pleasant and not cold at all. I do leave the windows and vents closed all day so it stays warm overnight. I’m thinking we will be leaving here sooner than later.
      Bob

      • Well, I’ve out-altituded you now. I’m at 6,200 feet, near Silver City, NM. It’s supposed to be in the low 40s tonight. Piece of cake. 😉
        Al Christensen recently posted…Back in New MexicoMy Profile

        • Bob Bob says:

          And here you are the guy who doesn’t like the cold! The Ranger came by so the clock has started on our 14 day stay. On the 16th we think we will go back to Belmont and be at 7000 feet! Your move!
          Bob

          • I was thinking of passing through Pie Town tomorrow — 8,000ft, on the Continental Divide. I’m not letting the weather get in the way of my traveling jones. I have a flight out of ABQ in a few days. I’ll wander until then.
            Al Christensen recently posted…Back in New MexicoMy Profile

          • Bob Bob says:

            Al, I’d never heard of Pie Town so I googled it, what a surprise to find it’s an actual town! Have a good flight!
            Bob

  6. Linda Barton says:

    As usually the pictures are spectacular. I look forward to yous next blog.

  7. Openspaceman says:

    Bob_

    I’m starting to think you could get by just fine with a covered wagon.

    *Once again nice pics.

  8. I was wondering if you folks had left Erhenberg yet! Wow! I thought you would have left long before now. And yaaay, Cottonwood! One of my favs. I’m glad you got that spot on the hill where I was. I was there, I think one month before they shoed me out. So many fun things to do in that town too! LOVE it! I’d be curious if they rangers will be more strict this time around.

    My adventures in Lake Isabella were pretty good. But, I’ve never seen so much enforcement in my time out here. So, if folks come to Lake Isabella, that’s what you can expect. They want you out after 14 days, period. You can come back at a later time for another 14 days as they allow 28 days total for the year. I guess that generous. But, I wasn’t ready to move on when I got the warning. I really enjoyed Remington Hot Springs and now, all I want to do is follow the free hot springs! Check my blog out if ya’ll want to read about it.

    See, with my fan broke, I prefer temperatures in the 60’s to low 70’s daytime with 30’s – 40’s at night. My great insulation and down comforter allows me to handle pretty chilly nighttime temps. Even below freezing, though it’s no fun having to get up to teach when it’s real cold out, though I did it in Flagstaff with pretty much flying colors. I’m going to be hanging in central CA for the summer and perhaps parts of NV. CA’s really in my blood now. Not sure how long It’ll be that way before I get the itch for a new state. I really do miss you, Bob and can’t wait to see you again, which I reckon will be Q in fall.

    I’m really looking forward to hearing about your Alaska adventures. Did you do the east coast RTR after all or did that not work out? I haven’t seen any blogs about it, so, I’m just curious.

    Best,

    Gloria

    • Bob Bob says:

      Gloria, there has been so little snow this year that you can get up into the Siera NF now and the temps would be just about right. I had a friend who was just up in my old Shaver lake camp and there was no snow. You might want to give that a try but you will probably struggle with internet.

      No, the east coast RTR didn’t happen. We couldn’t find a piece of land big enough that was free. We’ll be off to Alaska in late May.

      We miss you and we’re looking forward to seeing you again!
      Bob

      • Yes, I have looked at Shaver Lake. It looks like it only gets 3G, so, I’d probably only be able to use it as a weekend “get away” on my way towards the shore or something in the fall. I don’t want to take the chance and go all the way over there for 3G knowing already it’s not the best signal for online teaching. So, Mammoth, Lake Tahoe areas and perhaps the NF near Reno and or Carson City sound appealing too. Plus, I get to explore ALL these wonderful places.

        As long as I can stay out of the heat and get a good 4G signal this summer and find privacy, I’ll be a very happy vancamper! There are soooo many camping possibilities in this area, but, I also realize it’s a real popular area too. Especially Mammoth, I’ve come to realize but, I’m sure I can find some little dirt road to go off and be alone out here somewhere. There’s plenty of space!

        • Bob Bob says:

          Gloria, I’ve had friends spend the whole summer in both Mammoth and Tahoe and they both loved it!! Judy got a job at Amazon near Reno so we will be there sometime in September when she starts work. Maybe we will see you then. I know the west side of the sierras are still very nice in September. They are cooling off and more rain but still very nice. My guess is Tahoe and Mammoth are the same way.

          My friend Johhny and Jen own freecampsites.net and they spent the summer in Mammoth and they have LOTS of campsites on there website so check it out before you head that way. http://freecampsites.net/#!California&query=region
          Bob

          • Linda May says:

            We will be together in Fernley. Good news, did you make reservations for rv site? If not do that now, the closest park fill up first. That drive to Reno every day after a 10hr. Shift is no fun.

          • Bob Bob says:

            Linda, you and Silvianne were her inspiration!! Yes, we will see you there! But you are coming here to Cottonwood soon aren’t you?

            She still needs to get the reservation made! She will be in her van and I will be in mine so I probably won’t stay the whole time. I’m a big baby and will head south when it starts to get cold.
            Bob

  9. Lois says:

    Thanks for the location information, Bob. Great photos, as always!
    Lois recently posted…RVillage – Another Way to Connect With Others While Out There on the RoadMy Profile

  10. Sameer says:

    I have never spent this much time in Arizona, and I am loving it! It is remarkably beautiful here in Cottonwood. 4 miles to Walmart and beautiful scenery! My dog loves it too. TV stations! Hahahahha
    Sameer recently posted…Moving Camp to Cottonwood, AZMy Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      I love Arizona too Sameer! Gorgeous place with a good attitude. It does get hot but you just have to keep moving up in elevation and that’s easy.
      Bob

  11. Beth says:

    The mountains called and cold temperatures be damned 7800′ feels soooo good right now! 🙂
    Beth recently posted…New Mexico Antler HuntingMy Profile

  12. Ming says:

    thanks Bob, for the detailed descriptions and beautiful photos, it’s another one to save for my travel file!

  13. Douglas V says:

    I have lived in the desert all but a little less than 3 years of my life. I love it, except for the unbearable heat of the summer, but sometimes it’s not so bad. I also love being up near cottonwood and jerome. The wife and I went up through that area on our first anniversary. We may do that again soon. While I like the high desert, I really like the pines up north of the rim along 260 and 87. I have gone up their camping and hiking quite a bit. I have been looking into going up near the cordes junction area. This way it’s not too far from family if an emergency comes up, but still far enough not to have to deal with all the city stuff.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Doublas, the ponderosa Pines of northern AZ are fantastic! AZ has an amazing variety of climates and types of country. That’s why I love it so much!
      Bob

  14. Britt says:

    Have you tried the White Mountains in AZ yet? Beautiful country!

    • Bob Bob says:

      Britt, I haven’t tried them. Generally my summers are spent traveling and winters I am south in the desert of AZ. One of these days I will get to the White mountains.

      Flagstaff is my jumping off place to the north and I usually leave my trailer in the same place there.
      Bob

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