In this Blog Post I want to tell you about my future plans with the idea in mind that if you are free, you may want to join me. Most boondockers have a fairly similar travel agenda, so it’s possible our paths may cross over the next year and if you know my general plans, maybe we can try to get-together. Not only that, but if you are new to boondocking, maybe you can learn from how I make my plans and use them to make your own travel plans, modifying them to fit your needs.
While I have been a loner nearly all my life, as I get older I find myself looking for and enjoying the company of other people more and more. Steve has been camping with me for almost a year now and I have been so glad to have his company. This last summer numerous other people have joined me for varying lengths of time. Some stayed for a day, weeks or even for months, and I was blessed to have every person here. I liked it so much that I want as many people as possible to camp with us.
But, you must understand that all these plans are very tentative. There is a saying among vandwellers that, “All my plans are written in Jello.” And that is certainly true for me. I am reluctant to make too many plans, or make them too far in advance, because I know that as soon as I do, something is likely to come up and change them. That might be unsettling for some people, but I love it! The reason I became a vandweller is because I cherish my freedom to do what I want, when I want to do it, wherever and however I want to do it. So I have minimal restrictions based on jobs, money or obligations. For the most part, I come and go as I please as the mood strikes me at any given moment. Not being able to make firm plans very far in advance is a very minor price to pay for all the freedom I have.
However, even though vandwellers are freer than most, there are still limits on our freedom. One of the biggest is the weather. That is one of those things that helps remind me of my true place in the Universe. We mere humans have absolutely no control over the weather, so all the broad strokes of my plans have to be made with it in mind. So basically in the winter I will be in the desert southwest, and in the summer I will be at higher elevations in the mountains.
A second thing that restricts our freedom and controls our lives is the cost of gas. If gas remains expensive, or goes up even more next summer, I will have to limit my travel plans to fit my budget. One of the things on my Bucket List has been a trip to the Canadian Rockies. But it is such a long drive that if gas goes up too much, I can’t afford to do it. But if gas is reasonably priced I may try to go up there next summer.
Another thing that controls my life is the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous which I host every January in Quartzsite, Arizona. Since it is the most important event in my life, I have to make all my plans around it. I would highly recommend you do the same thing!! Last year we had our first summer Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in the Sierra National Forest, and it turned out well. However, it had fairly low attendance so I am not sure I will bother doing it again. If I do try it again, my summer will have to be planned around it as well.
With all those factors in mind, here are my tentative plans for the next year:
NOVEMBER: Quartzsite, AZ. The weather here in Victorville is just about perfect right now, so we will stay here for as long as it lasts. Once it starts to turn cold and windy, we will leave here and go to Quartzsite because it is generally about 10 degrees warmer there than here and has less wind.
DECEMBER: BLM desert land near Quartzsite. In the past the Rangers at Quartzsite have gone around at the end of December and enforced the 14 day rule, asking people to leave. I think they know there is going to be a huge influx of people for the Big Tent RV Show, so they are clearing everyone out to make room for them. I don’t want to have a problem with the 14 day limit during the RTR, so I am planning on camping somewhere else in December. I’m not sure where, we are hoping to find a place on the Colorado River near Blythe, CA, but we could go to Yuma, or Parker instead.
JANUARY-FEBRUARY: Quartzsite, AZ. In the past I have not had a problem with Rangers even though I stayed in the same spot until the end of February, and then they enforced the 14 day rule, so I will probably be at the location of the RTR both months. But, I may go down to Ajo, AZ near Organ Pipe National Monument. It is gorgeous in the spring and I would love to go down there. Tucson and Phoenix (especially the Superstition Mountains) also have a beautiful wildflower bloom in February/March, so it is a possibility as well.
MARCH-APRIL: High Desert.. It’s hard to say where I might go next. The Arizona desert will be starting to get hot in March and April, so generally I will move up to higher elevation desert. Probably Pahrump, NV because I love it there in the spring. But one of my best friends has property in Northeast Arizona at 6500 feet, so I may go and spend time with him. Another great choice is New Mexico, where I have spent very little time.
JUNE-OCTOBER: Colorado. As of now, my plans are to spend next summer in Colorado, because I love it so much. The wildflower bloom in July is spectacular and the fall colors are magical. If there is a second Summer RTR, it will be in Colorado. But, it is always possible that gas prices could stay reasonable and I may make my run up to the Canadian Rockies.
NOVEMBER: Southern Utah. I can’t put into words how much I love the Red Rock country of southern Utah with its five stunning National Parks. The first time I drove into Arches NP, it literally took my breath away and I actually wept over its beauty. November is the best time to visit Zion NP because the crowds have disappeared and you can drive into the Valley without riding on the Shuttle. There are also huge Cottonwood trees along the river and they are a beautiful yellow with fall colors then. It’s a spectacular photograph against the red rock walls of the canyon.
DECEMBER: Florida. It is a possibility that I will spend December in Florida visiting my mom, but it is too far away to have any firm plans.
JANUARY: Quartzsite, AZ. And the cycle is complete.
Here is a map of my tentative route. I snipped it from Google Maps, an outstanding internet mapping tool. According to Google, this is about a 2600 mile route, which is only about 220 miles a month. If I spread it out over a year, I can afford that! Notice that it is a giant loop so I never backtrack. Google choose freeway travel everywhere it could, which is fine with me. My goal is to move the trailer as easily as possible, then spend time in an area exploring in the van.
Much of this is country I have been over before, so I can tell you with confidence that it is all spectacularly beautiful and if you get a chance you should join me if at all possible.
I hope our paths cross Some Where Out There!! Bob