Saturday, February 14, 2015

Verde Valley

At last the day arrived that we were to change our view once again.  We were in Wittmann for 23 delightful days with our friends Tom and Darlene, and just like every other time it is always bittersweet to say 'until next time'.  There is this wonderful tension between being in one place with good friends for extended periods of time, and wanting to see what is over the next horizon and have some 'alone time'.

Just before 10 am we fired up the Detroit, let the coach come up to ride height, and then it was time for 'until next time' hugs.  Tom always takes a picture of his friends as they drive away, and this time was no exception.

Off to the next horizon

Our first stop of the day was just a couple of miles away......since we'll be boondocking for much of the next couple of months and our propane was down to a quarter tank we stopped off at Wells Market

By 'clicking' on the picture and dragging it to the left you can move it to see the propane station

If you are ever in Wittmann and need propane this is as easy as it gets......easy in, and easy out, plus it's right across from the Post Office if you need those services, also.  We took on 37 gallons of propane at a cost of just over $3/gallon......not as good as Sparks Marina RV Park, but still one of the best prices we have paid on our journey to date.

From there we crossed over to HWY 74, which eventually connected us with I-17 northbound.  Our total driving distance for Friday was a staggering, mind numbing 99 miles, and our destination was the national forest land just off of HWY 260 between I-70 and Cottonwood.  We spent five, or six days at this location last year, and were determined to return when we could spend more time.

Just north of New River I-70 begins climbing, and eventually we hit a 6 mile, 6% grade.  The 6V92 purred up the grade, and the temps never got past 200 degrees.  At one point we were down to 23 mph in 2nd gear, but she held there and gradually began to edge back up to 32 mph.  If I didn't know any better I would bet that section was a tad more than 6%.

Eventually we reached the Camp Verde exit (287) and headed west on HWY 260 toward Cottonwood.  The NSF free campsites are just 7.5 miles from I-17, and we arrived just after noontime.   We found a spot to park for a few minutes and then took a walk around to see where we would decide to set up camp for the next 10 can stay here 14 days, no charge, and there are several other places in the area with the same deal.  From our site it is only another 6 miles into Cottonwood proper, and another 17 from there to Sedona.

We spent about 20 minutes walking around before finding our ideal spot with an unobstructed view of the Verde Valley, and just a mile downhill to the Verde River.  When we boondock we want our site to have the "it" factor, and this site has it in spades for us!

No sooner had we parked I saw a rig that looked so familiar to me just a 100 yards away.  I kept staring and finally I said to TLE....."I think that is Brian Gore's outfit parked over there!"  I have been following Brian's blog 'Goin' RV boondocking' for years.  A lot of what I know about 'boondocking' I have learned from reading Brian's blog.  Brian is also a writer of westerns, and to date I have read all his books.  I am currently reading his most recent book "The Horsemen" which is the third book in his 'Jeb Taylor' series.  Brian describes himself as a 'broken down old cowboy'.....I don't know about the 'broken down' part, but he has been a cowboy most of his life, so he is uniquely qualified to write westerns, and I have thoroughly enjoyed his books.  If you are into westerns go to and type in 'books by Brian Gore' and you will get a list of the books he has published to date.

I sent Brian a message via Facebook, asking if he was indeed boondocking at the NFS land outside of Cottonwood, and within two minutes I saw him walking towards the coach.  We exchanged hugs, and got caught up on each others lives, then I went back to tilting the solar panels to optimize our energy capture from the sun whilst we are here.

While I was busy with that TLE began 'glamming' up our campsite by getting out the awning mat, the wind chimes and malibu lights.....I added the recliners....sweet!

The Verizon signal out here bounces back and forth between 2 bars of 4G and 3-4 bars of 3G....nevertheless, it is working quite well for me....right now I'm getting 4 bars of 3G.

Once our camp was set up we spent some time reading, and around 5 TLE declared it was cocktail time.....I got out my last 22 ounce Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout from our Cape Blanco days and sipped away as the sun set on another day lived well!

Thanks for stopping by!

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