Blue Ridge has been and probably will remain our favorite spot to go to each year. There’s no phone service, and no electric, but it’s cool enough during the summer that you don’t need AC, so if you have solar panels to charge your batteries, it’s a really good place to boondock. I didn’t know at this point that my solar panels were yanked from the roof and likely in a field along I-40, so we thought we were good. Apparently not. But the great thing is that we were out there. And as I said, you really don’t need a lot.
We normally camp in the Rock Crossing Campground, but we happened to leave late on Friday, and I figured we had no chance of finding a spot there. When we arrived, my suspicions were confirmed. Every spot was taken. There are, however several spots along the road that you can free camp. I had been thinking of trying them out for a while, and it was either that or find another place to camp. It was too dark to really see, but I got everything set and in the morning we would see our campground.
I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous about what the site would look like in the morning, but we had seen the whole area before, and there was not much likelihood of us actually hating the site. Of course, we loved the site. It wasn’t as lovely as the campground sites we liked, but it had it’s own charm. And a little pond right next to us. Though I would NOT recommend swimming or wading in that pond, hearing the frogs singing to us at night was kind of relaxing.
After breakfast we set out to explore the areas around our camp site. We saw the road leading past the site we chose, and decided that it looked a bit too rough to travel down with the 5th wheel attached. I eyeballed it and thought, Meh I could do it. Fortunately my lovey was smarter than me and said not to. Just past the section we stopped at, was a section of deeper ruts and rather large rocks just begging to rip the undercarriage from the RV. Score one point for all the passengers who scream “NOOO STOP, WE CAN’T MAKE IT!” She was right. It would have required a bit of bridge building to keep from losing chunks of the RV. Possibly an axle(again). But there were some very nice spots back there. And a bit of livestock.
We figured that since there were lovely places back there, maybe there were more along the way. We checked along the road and discovered there were tons of sites that were both accessible with our 5th wheel, and lovely as well. Sadly, the little woman didn’t think to take any pictures of those…
We love this place because of the reservoir. If you have kayaks, a canoe, a small boat, dingy, or a Huck Finn raft, you would enjoy the scenery of the reservoir. They recently redid the ramp so you won’t be crushed by a falling rock. I call that a good thing. It’s wider and somewhat smoother than it was. If you need the disabled parking, they have that on the ramp. Otherwise it’s kind of a pain parking, because they put it up a hill. We cut our kayak trip slightly short since my sweetheart left a rather important piece of equipment behind… And that would be the seat. Apparently kayaking without a seat is both uncomfortable and exhausting.
This is what I love showing people from outside the state. Many of them believe that all of Arizona is the huge desert. While I will admit, we have a lot of desert, not everything is sand and cacti.
That afternoon, we were going to watch a movie. I tried to start the inverter and it immediately shut down. Battery too low. Wait, what? I thought I had plenty of battery. I go over to the battery compartment/charging indicator, and sure enough, I was low. What the heck, why isn’t it charging? The charge light isn’t on. I check the wires, and sure enough no volts coming in to the charge controller. I figure, maybe the panels on the roof are dirty, or in the shadows… So I set up the ladder and look at the roof. Well that would be why the solar panels weren’t charging, they aren’t there.
I used my truck to charge up the batteries. We didn’t watch the movie after all. This was only the second time we were somewhere with no electrical hookups, and here we are with no solar. Fortunately after I charged up the batteries we could still have fun. We weren’t going to let that stop us from enjoying the place. So I fired up the inverter and we made smoothies. The next day we headed home, and it seemed there were commercials for solar companies every 5 minutes on the station we were listening to.