Camping at Flagstaff: A Summer of Change Part 1
I’m finally done with all my summer travels and I’m back in Flagstaff, AZ camping on A-1 Mountain Road, one of my favorite camping areas. If you’ve been following my travel blogs you know I’m way behind in my summer 2015 travel blogs so you’ll be seeing those for another month or so. Because I’m done traveling and planning to be here until the weather turns cold, I wanted to let you all know so if you are in the area you can stop by. I’m also changing my winter travel plans so I want to give you as much notice as I can about that.
For some reason, this summer has had a profound effect on me and I’m set to make some big changes in my life. I can’t really give you logical reason for all the changes, I just have an inward knowing. I have a great deal of trust and faith in the Universe to lead and guide me, so I don’t need to know, I just need to faithfully follow it to the best of my ability. I also have a great capacity to mislead myself, but this is one of those times when I’m fairly sure that’s not the case.
First, I’ve canceled my plans to go to Bosque del Apache NWR for the Festival of the Cranes. I’ve had a very jam-packed summer of constant travel so it just feels very forced to add a trip this late in the year, plus I was just there last year and while I’d love to go again, it’s just not going to work out. Plus, it’s a minimum of 800 miles round trip and the potential for it to be severely cold is very high. That’s not very appealing to me! I’ll try to work it in next year.
The biggest changes I’m aware of is how desperate I had become for time alone.
Because Judy was back East all summer, I was alone for almost the entire summer. Normally I stay in one place for long periods of time, but this summer I was constantly on the move so if someone wanted to come by, they couldn’t; I was already gone by the time they contacted me. And I was moving so fast that they wouldn’t have a chance to catch me.
It was also a summer without any plans, which is unusual for me. You know the old saying, “My plans are written in stone” meaning that you have very firm and unchanging plans? As a vandweller all my plans are written in Jello, meaning they are very loose and shaky. But this wasn’t even Jello, it was Kool-Aid! Because all the areas I was exploring for the book were new to me I never knew where I was going and what I would find when I got there. If I couldn’t find a campsite I would just keep moving, if there was no internet, I would have to move on. If it was too hot or too cold, I’d stay an afternoon or if it was perfect I might stay a week. All the rushed travel wore me down, so every so often I would stay at a place for up to a week to write and recover.
My point is I could never tell someone, I’ll meet you at X place at Y time because I never knew where I would be the next day! The bottom line is than other than running into a couple of vandwellers who knew me from the website, I was alone all of June, July and August. By alone, I mean the only people I talked to the entire time were clerks in stores, and of course those aren’t very deep conversations.
Like most nomads I enjoy being alone and need alone time, but for the last several years I’ve had almost none and it was taking a heavy toll. Instead of looking forward to meeting new people and the crowds at the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, I was dreading it—in fact it was almost like torture to me. I’ve always known that I needed alone time to recharge my metaphorical batteries I just wasn’t aware how deeply discharged they had become. I desperately needed the three months alone! I don’t want to let this happen again, so my plans for the future are my summers are for me-time and winters are for the tribe.
I probably owe many of you apologies because in the past you’ve made the effort to meet me and I wasn’t nearly as receptive as I should have been. I hope you’ll forgive me and give me a second chance.
Now that my batteries are back to 100% I’m looking forward to a winter of making community connections with a tribe of the best people I’ve ever known, my fellow nomads. So please, feel free to drop by and say hello! Last Rubber Tramp Rendezvous I was at a very low point in my communal feelings, and I virtually hid-out the whole time. This year I’m actually looking forward to meeting as many of you as I can!
Please, come to the RTR, you’ll make so many friends and learn so much you’ll be very glad you did! Get more information on the RTR here: https://www.cheaprvliving.com/gatherings/
In fact, I’m going to get serious about a YouTube channel and one of my goals for this RTR is to video tape interviews with as many of you as I can and then video your rigs.
Also, if you are in the area, feel free to come by Judy’s and my camp in the beautiful Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff AZ. I’ll be here until it gets too cold, which will probably be in mid to late October. It’s a truly beautiful area only 5 miles from Flagstaff which is one of my favorite towns in the country.
In the past Ranger enforcement of the 14 day camping rule has been very strict in the Coconino so when we got here I looked for a somewhat hidden camp. I really like it, and cars or vans can get to it, but most RVs can’t. Fortunately there are tons of great campsites for any size vehicle just a few minutes’ walk away. It turns out this summer they have virtually stopped enforcing the rule so you can camp right on the main road and stay as long as you like. I hope to see some of you!
Here is a map to our camp: