Bloody long drive

So this week we headed out to Alamo Lake um… Prescott Bloody Basin. We spent so much of the day driving around looking for where we were going to camp. Our original plan was to head out to Alamo Lake and boondock out there, but we saw the temperatures, and decided against it. Then we were going to head up to Prescott, but we couldn’t find the camp site we were looking for. We turned around and headed back to town.

“There’s camping here.,” she says and we follow down a path past filled camp site after filled camp site. We get to the bottom and have to turn around. A somewhat less appealing choice with a trailer on the back. I hear the metal popping as the trailer hits the side of my truck. I’m becoming less pleased, and I let myself snap at her while she’s trying to help. I’m not proud of that. I try to keep my cool, but the tight turnaround combined with being unable to know that there would be no open camp sites has left me a bit frayed.

Six hours of driving through back roads and dirt roads have pushed my nerves near the breaking point. People cutting in so close that they nearly take off my front bumper, and me having to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting them has finally driven me to a place I really don’t like to go. And the military voice comes out as I bark at the woman I love. She goes quiet, and initially I’m happy. Then I immediately start to feel bad. It wasn’t her fault. Not really. The drive had just finally caught up with me, and I hadn’t eaten anything before we left. The kind of hard driving we had done drained me mentally, and I hadn’t even charged up by having food before we left.

Even the dog was sick of the drive

We stop trying to find the camp sites in the area, and thankfully my sweetheart suggests we head to Bloody Basin. Kind of an odd choice given our level of anxiety, but oddly it was the best decision. About four miles into the road, we came across a small town. If you can call it that… It’s about 4 buildings put together at the intersection. We turn left and about another two miles we spot the site.

They were everywhere

The wind was strong and steady. This would have been a great time to fly the kite. But we had to get the RV set up. All around there were caterpillars. And even the wind didn’t deter the butterflies. I rolled out the chairs, and the tables, and set them up while my sweetheart made sure to get a few pictures of the area around the camp site. And of course the caterpillars.

Food cooking by the setting sun

I finished doing my part for setting up the RV, and decided to cook some kind of food. Ribs on the grill and corn on the cob on the stove(it’s a small grill, and the ribs were big). And so, as the sun set on this really long day of driving, we finally sat down to eat the first meal of the day. And I enjoyed it. I can’t imagine why I might have been grumpy all day.

We sat around the fire for the rest of the evening. The next morning my sweetheart would check out the rest of the camp-site. She grabbed a few pictures, and then we went for a drive. It seems odd that we would enjoy a drive after the prior day, but this was a more enjoyable drive that wasn’t going to tear up the RV. We headed toward Crown King. The road to Crown King is fine. It gets bumpy, but for the most part it’s a fairly easy drive. But after Crown King the road became somewhat less friendly.

Road isn’t too bad. Only bottomed out three times

The roads were washed out and rutted. Rocks looked like they were ready to tear the tires right off the truck. But, I’m a guy, and I refuse to let a little thing like sanity prevail over being macho. So rather than turn around, I say, “Meh, I’ll just go forward. How bad can it be?” Most people know never to tempt fate like that, but I still had no plans on turning around no matter what… The Jeeps made it, I can make it. You know, in a vehicle with a longer wheelbase and wider, with no winch. I’ll press on. We come to a point in the road where the road looks suspiciously like the road went away and was replaced instead by huge hunks of rock piled ahead of me. I stop.

At this point there is a voice that says, we need to separate the men from the boys… Unfortunately the little boy in me won, and we played on the big rocks. I dropped it in 4 LOW and shoved it in first gear. I crept along those rocks until I heard metal slam on stone. The rear differential is now sitting on the boulder I was creeping over. Fortunately my front wheels have enough traction to back me up. I back it up a little bit line up my front tires again and start creeping across the rocks again and BAM! The rear tires slipped off the boulder again, and I’m sitting on the pumpkin. I back it up much further this time to the point where I can really align my rear tires better. I creep over the boulders, The tire slips again, and I feel it hit again, but this time I still have enough traction on my left rear to drag us over the boulder. And we bounce to freedom. Take that grown-up responsible me! We pass a few more people going the opposite direction, and someone asks if the road I came down was a bit rough to take a pickup through… I try not to laugh, but I say, “If they have a truck like mine they should be fine. I made it.”

The road starts to get a little better by the time we get to Senator Road. but before that we had to cross a few water crossings, and places where Jeeps looked at me funny for bringing a full size truck into an obvious Jeep trail over the Bradshaw Mountain Range. There’s a small piece of me that takes pride in making the big ole F350 work where even a Jeep might question going. Maybe it’s because I have the attitude that if you worry about getting a scratch on your truck, you don’t need a truck. Maybe it’s because I enjoy making things work that don’t. But we made the trip over the mountains, and found those camp sites we were looking for in the first place. We learned that the maps we were looking at gave us wrong directions. And we made note of where they were for a future trip.

And more photos from this trip here

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