Isn’t it just wonderful when a plan comes together? Those little things that just fall into place and seem to be perfect for that moment? Things go so smoothly and work out so exactly its just amazing? I’ve had that happen many times and often to such a degree of perfection, that I am astonished at how well things went.
However, you must realize, there is the opposing corollary that also holds true. If things can go really well, then they can also, yes, you’re going to hear it, things can go really wrong!
Another camper told me last year. Wait it was actually the fall of 2013. I have been on the road since July of 2013. My two year anniversary is coming up. Time certainly flies whether you’re having fun or not!
At any rate, another camper told me the best thing you can do is have a fallback plan. That when you go to a certain location, lets call it Plan A, obviously a preferred location, it may not work. Maybe it’s filled with other campers, or it could be something unforeseen happened and you can’t park there anymore, then too, with the places I go, the likelihood of a road being washed out is not surprising and don’t forget many locations are just not doable for me since I am Allergic to the 21st Century. This suggestion seemed like an eminently sensible thing to do, so I started implementing it. Having a Plan B.
However, it doesn’t always work.
The places I go in the winter time like the long-term visitors area on BLM land in either Quartzsite, Arizona or Winterhaven, California have specific rules about vehicles like mine which tie me certain locations. At the LTVA if you do NOT have a 10 gallon black water tank that is permanently installed in your unit you must be within 500 feet of one of their, ahem, facilities. They are best known as restrooms or bathrooms. Some are better described as porta potties or vault toilets. Then on occasion, as Spock once noted, other more colorful metaphors can be used as descriptors. Personally, when naming that particular structure, I prefer the term, privy.
Now if you look up the term privy. You will find that it can be used both as a noun and an adjective. The adjective means that you’ve been told something in private. That someone has spoken to you privily. That you are privy to some knowledge that others don’t have.
But if you look at the noun, you will find that privy is also another name, I would call it the classy or preferred and polite term, for an outhouse.
Essentially both noun and adjective come from the same root word.
It’s private. It is also not something I usually discuss, especially in such a public forum. Life out here tends to strip away the veneer that one accumulates. I think perhaps it is doing the same for me on this subject as well. Oh dear!
But I digress. As I was saying at the LTVA I need to stay within 500 feet of one of their privy’s. Please understand I do have a little personal portable privy, But that word portable disqualifies me from being able to park anywhere I want to on the over 10,000 acres in both of those locations.
However, easy access to a good grocery store, a dump station, good water, and dumpsters, plus much warmer temperatures, make those locations preferred places to park for the winter.
I try to get there as early as I can in the fall and stay as long as I can in the spring but as you may know and I certainly know, summer down there is absolutely intolerable. At least it is for me. Some people do it, but I truly do not see how they survive it.
Usually by the middle of March those temperatures are getting up into the 90’s and I am running like a scalded dog for the higher elevations.
When I am at the LTVA I have to do the best I can with the parking situation that I have. You see the areas that surround the privy’s, especially in Winterhaven, are almost always crowded. I do try to seek out other people who like solar instead of generators. That way I’m not dealing with toxic fumes anymore than I have to. Sometimes it works out quite well and other times I find myself running for my charcoal mask with words like dagnabbit, trailing off my lips!
Once I leave there, the possibilities of where I can park open up in some ways but in other ways, finding a good spot becomes a little more challenging. When you’re parking on BLM land or in the national forest or even on state trust land there is a two week limit. You can park there for two weeks and then, according to the letter of the law, you have to move along and you have to move along so many miles and usually for an extended period of time before you can come back to that location.
So I have found that wandering around in Arizona a hundred miles or so at a time has a tendency to solve most of those time and mileage conundrums. Plus it takes me back to places that I discovered in the last year that work well for me. Timing it right with the weather and chasing the Sun always adds a little more challenge to Scheduling but it’s becoming more doable.
This year I wanted to head back up to Wickenburg again because, for the most part, I had such a great time there last spring. But funds were exceptionally tight this time and I was looking at the possibility of just trying to go straight over towards Sonoita which is my preferred location in that quadrant of Arizona. There were two possibilities that might have been doable that were on the way or not far out of the way, but you never really know if they will work for you until you actually get there, and now I had my brand new trailer to consider as well. I was not very sanguine about the possibilities of clear sailing in a new location so I thought, I’ll go back to Wickenburg. Its only 70 miles out of my way and it’s much cooler than any place else I could be until I get to Sonoita. You see, I did not want to get to Sonoita until after April 1st because I have appointments near there that will keep me there for that two week period from April 1st to April 15th and there really is not any other place for me to stay down there once I’ve used up that location.
Now you’re starting to see where scheduling my stays can become a little challenging. So I decided to bite the bullet on the 70 miles and go. Wickenburg was a great place for me because I not only had Plan A, I also had Plan B and Plan C! Yes, I actually had three different locations there which were good possibilities for me. Each were places that I had been to before and so I knew the in’s and out’s and ups and downs of all three. There was even a Plan D but I knew from the previous year that that was not likely to work, so I did not really count it as one of my options.
Plan A. A good location located quite far from cell towers and any chemicals. There isn’t any real farming out there mostly horses and cattle country. You do wind up driving through a couple of big washes but the roads are kept in fairly good condition until you get off the beaten path. Everything went really well until about a five hundred feet from my destination: One tiny little wash. Last year with only my van, I wouldn’t have even noticed it. I would have gone bouncing down through it a little slower perhaps but it would not have been a problem. This year I have my beautiful little trailer, which is very low to the ground, and I am officially gun shy about any drop or sudden rise in the road that might cause that van rear end to dip down a little bit.
Why? I’m glad you asked!
I’ve already made a booboo on my beautiful trailer.
Please notice on these before and after pictures if you take a close look at the trailer Jack there is a subtle difference.
Can you see it? Can you tell what’s different? Okay maybe not so subtle. I knew that the trailer Jack was hanging down terribly low but I just didn’t understand exactly how low that meant and I found the ground with the bottom of my trailer jack which has now adjusted its position on the trailer. The kind-hearted tell me that it’s a better position because now I can crank the jack up and down without hitting that mighty prow that’s on the front of my trailer, but the simple truth is I made a big boo boo.
The wash, back to that tiny little wash.
From the picture it doesn’t look like much. I’m quite certain you’re wondering just why there was a problem. But there was a fairly steep, although short, little rise on the other side of that tiny little wash and there was no way to come at it from an angle or try to make it better and I was officially gun shy. So I backed up and turned around and decided to go for yes, Plan B.
Plan B is on the other side of Wickenburg. So I trooped back through town then out into the country again and discovered to my chagrin that there is now a nice little post planted right in the middle of the dirt road that led to the spot I was parked at last spring. One of those long flat brown posts that you get to recognize when you live out here.
That’s the spot where RV Sue helped me. No she didn’t just help. She came to our rescue. When Macha got really badly involved with a cholla cactus. Thank you again RV Sue! I still don’t know what we would have done without you!!
Am I’m wandering? The sign says “no camping. road is closed”. This would explain why Plan C was so incredibly crowded. No doubt there were others like me who intended to park there at Plan B. As I recall, there were quite a few of us last year and now Plan C was their only option.
Unfortunately for me, this included several rigs who had their generators humming along nicely.
In desperation about 4 miles down the road was Plan D. Yes, I tried it. Plan D is parked right next to a very large tower. Some kind of broadcasting Tower? Cellular? Television? I’m not certain. All I know is I couldn’t stay there much more than an hour before I left in horrible pain, tears streaming down my face. Chanting to myself over and over again, it’ll be okay, it’ll be okay, it’ll be okay. Praying with every sob that it actually would be okay!
It was going to be dark soon and I was running out of options. I went back down to the crowded Plan C parking lot to attempt to live with the humming generators that I prayed would be shut off at 10 o’clock. Somehow that seemed smarter than trying to live with a broadcasting tower that would continue to emanate its destructive waves all night long!! It was smarter. I still believe that, but trying to live with those crazy generators running for hours at night was also more than I could handle.
So where did I finally wind up?
After purchasing new tires for my beautiful Jehosheba, thank goodness I had help there, I was not doing very well at that point! In fact, I still can’t believe that actually happened today! Well I can believe it happened but the fact that it happened correctly and I’m going up to end up with the right tires is only because of the help of a friend! Am i digressing again? Back to the topic at hand. After that I moved to Plan E.
Plan E is a paid campgrounds that has no facilities, no water, no electric, just 20 or so spots that are fairly nice that you can park in for a fee of $5 a day. I gratefully put my $5 check in the Dropbox today. Only one night you ask? Remember, I’m gun shy. Officially gun shy. In several areas. I didn’t want to pay for the 7 days all at once. I would like to stay for 7 days but, I’m going to wait and make sure Plan E works before I drop another $5 in the bucket.
Now you can look at this post of mine two ways. Some might read this post and say “Oh my, her plans went awry”. Which for a while, I must admit, that thought did wander in and out of my mind. Others might say “Man, her plans turned to doggie ___ ___ ” How do I say this politely. Let’s just say there are other terms that can be used colloquially as both a noun and an adjective. When referring to specific, ahem, matter that would wind up at the bottom of one of those structures that I was discussing earlier. In this particular case using it as an adjective would come into play. (Please be assured the word I have in mind is Not one of the colorful metaphors I referred to earlier)
Perhaps, just perhaps, I also did not digress earlier, as far as one might think? 😉
Personally, I prefer to look at this as an Adventure, Experience, Opportunity, even an Escapade! All things considered, for me, this truly was an Incredible Feat!
The fact that I was actually able to do all of this and come out of the other side, yes, rattled a bit and certainly tired and hurting but still in one piece is far better than anything I could have done when I first got on the road.
Then tonight I have actually been able to sit here and write up this post?
For me, this is an amazing success story and while I do beg your pardon for referring to specific items of a more private nature, I also hope you enjoyed the reading as much as I enjoyed the writing. To resist the word play was simply beyond me.
This particular post is dedicated to a friend who often tells me that whenever an ad for a portable privy of some kind is stumbled upon, it causes thoughts of me. I usually also rate an email showing the product or idea. It never ceases to amaze me how much research can actually be done on a portable privy. Yes my personal portable privy is having difficulties and I am looking for a new one. As much as I would like to be able to have a 10 gallon permanent privy and park where I want to in the winter, I simply don’t see that happening with the space and especially the funds that are available. So. The quest continues.
Humor! Yes, I like it and use it where ever I can. Although I rarely get this, hmmm, organic? It is the best way I know, to get through some of the craziness in this life.
So smile. Laugh at the crazy things that happen in your life. It always makes it easier to see that silver lining. 🙂