Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the category “Campsites”

Change of Pace

A walking path.

A walking path.

I’m temporarily in Columbus, Ohio as a diversion while I wait for the wheels of medical assessment to turn, but here are a few shots of a walking path very close to where I’ve been staying in Indianapolis. As with every other place in the country, the weather has been markedly warmer than usual. In practical terms, you’re out of the hot sun while you’re along this path, but on a hot and humid day, the air is so still and humid that the heat you produce by walking will make you grateful for the invention of air conditioning by the time you get home. In cooler mornings, the path is a rewarding retreat.

A little farther along.

A little farther along.

This path goes along the shoreline of a small lake, so now and then the Read more…

The July 4th Crunch

Early Friday bliss.

Early Friday bliss.

Holiday weekends are a big time for locals, who pack up and then pack into any camping facility around. Rock Cut was no exception. Because of a fully booked park, I had to move a hundred yards into the site that I’d originally reserved for that weekend. It was far from level, but my weird Anderson levelers got the camper into the “acceptable” range when placed under the front tires – even though they sank well into the soft ground. I did have to cheat and run the Furd forward between a BBQ and a picnic table to find less sloped ground. My end of the camping loop was Read more…

Movin’ On Up

Semi-secluded, almost.

Semi-secluded, almost.

I’ve been at Chain-O-Lakes State Park for the maximum two weeks, so a move was required. Rock Cut is quite different, the major items being electricity and higher prices. Many of the sites are fab, while others are badly improvised on slopes that defy leveling spacers. I chose blind by the online map, since I’ve never been there. I assumed that all sites would be roughly the same in usability. When I rolled in a few days ago, I found out that my site was one of the most disastrous in the park. The slope is such that rain will require 4WD and a little tire churning. Going past the bottom of it offers decent leveling, but is in a water collection area. Backing in offers a superb view of the outhouse. It’s also in nearly intimate contact with another site.

I took a look at it and headed back to the check-in booth to ask whether they had the capability/authority to override my online ReserveAmerica reservation. To my surprise, they Read more…

Chain-O-Lakes State Park

Beautious.

Beautious.

I made it to Chain-O-Lakes State Park in Spring Grove, Illinois at 3 PM yesterday. To say it’s lush is pretty accurate. In fact, the undergrowth is so thick that you’d need a machete to carve a new path through it. You can’t simply walk into the woods. Signs say that ticks are plentiful here. I don’t know about that, but my hopes of coming in too early in the year for the mosquitoes and biting flies were in vain. Still, the classic rule to avoid sunrise and sunset works, as does keeping moving.

The spot I made reservations for has no hookups of any kind, and the overhead treetops limit solar power to most of the day rather than all of it, which will likely be good enough. I had to be careful about that, since most of the Read more…

A Busy Weekend

A tree, just like any other tree, only long-dead.

A tree, just like any other tree, only long-dead.

One thing that had conveniently skipped my mind is that although the Overland Expo is great, the following weekend may have a team roping competition to watch, but it also brings hordes of holiday campers to Mormon Lake.

The area where I was camped had some very, very big pines downed long ago, most falling in the same direction, as if a storm had blown them over long ago.

The area where I was camped had some very, very big pines downed long ago, most falling in the same direction, as if a storm had blown them over long ago.

The lower area where I was pretty much filled up, and a parade of fifth-wheel toyhaulers began making their way up the Read more…

Trippin’ to Mormon Lake

I found this on a Land Rover coming into the show grounds. Asked where he got it, the owner could only fumble, saying he'd had it added some twenty years ago in England. I love it, as it's certainly appropriate for the Intrepid!

I found this on a Land Rover coming into the show grounds. Asked where he got it, the owner could only fumble, saying he’d had it added some twenty years ago in England. I love it, as it’s certainly appropriate for the Intrepid!

High on my list of things to see is another round of the Overland Expo West, taking place May 20-22 in Mormon Lake, AZ. Since Mormon Lake is not that far from Williams and Flagstaff, they’ve been on the receiving end of the same rainfall I’d gotten in Williams. Last year, the Expo took place in a mudpit, and it actually snowed one night. Fortunately, this year promises drier weather and temps in the high 60s, which is good for me because the sun here pops the perceived temperatures into the 70s. This year won’t be without challenge to the vendors however, since the first two days should net winds approaching 30 MPH. That ought to test the mettle of the canopies and display boards.

Also parked at the show entrance was this 2WD Russian-made bike.

Also parked at the show entrance was this 2WD Russian-made bike.

They have classes on just about anything you can think of related to overlanding, from navigation, equipment choices and use, to extricating your rig out of bad trail conditions. I might sign up for something sometime, but considering the cost, I want to Read more…

Easy as Falling Off a Log

Walking FR140 toward Dogtown Lake.

Walking FR140 toward Dogtown Lake.

The Williams District of Kaibab National Forest struck me one way and then another over the course of several days. When researching it prior to arrival, there were the usual cautions about “Don’t plan on being able to get out if it’s raining.” And true enough, the ground seems to have a high clay content that wants to goosh and then stick to whatever comes in contact with it when soaking wet. Only after I moved in did I discover that there would be moderate rain in the last three days of my stay here, but I’d assumed the worst and my campsite avoids the low-lying pitfalls that the majority of sites have here. Most drop away from the road, most capture and hold water in troughs, and most show signs of earlier wet weather struggles. Two in particular revealed epic, if unsuccessful, challenges of man and machine against Nature, challenges having no particular point involving necessity or destination. They simply involved manly attitudes and manly calls to action. Man quickly lost both challenges. Read more…

A Trail

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A trail, just like any other trail, only more so. In the middle of 3 days of overcast and variable rain, the skies opened for close to two hours, and I went for a walk in the direction that I had initially rolled in.

Originally intended merely to show the Intrepid in camp, this photo decided to place its own emphasis on something grander, don't you think?

Originally intended merely to show the Intrepid in camp, this photo decided to place its own emphasis on something grander, don’t you think?

What strikes me about this trail is that it has signs of long but infrequent use. There’s very little slope to this plateau but, as with all such trails, what there is in the direction of travel causes Read more…

Same Situation, New Camp

While I was airing up the tires, I figured this shot might show that this is cattle country. Most stay contained within fences and cattle guards, while a few strays go all over the place.

While I was airing up the tires, I figured this shot might show that this is cattle country. Most stay contained within fences and cattle guards, while a few strays go all over the place.

While heading for town on a supplies/laundry trip, I decided to do two things: try a partially-different trail route back to Perkinsville Road, and scout for a markedly different campsite in Prescott National Forest, north of Paulden, AZ. The return to Perkinsville was via a sort of loop that wandered across State Trust land, and that trail was easier overall than the forest road trail I’d taken in. The drawback was that I’d have to cross the ditch that I’d chickened out and turned back at on FS638, which required putting on my big boy pants and listening for ground contact while crossing it. I had my door open at a couple of points to check how close I was to grounding out the running board on that side. Made it!

I’d left tire pressures down, since although the newish route was less hazardous to tires, it was still rocky enough to need a softened ride. This allowed faster speeds overall, along with less trauma to the camper, but of course the airing up process at the end takes enough time (35 minutes) to cancel out any speed gain. It’s worth it, though, and after my early experiences with Read more…

Camp Hunting II

This is the gatekeeper for getting to town.

This is the gatekeeper for getting to town.

A day trip into Chino Valley for assorted necessities was needed after a week of camping miles east of town, so I decided that I may as well find a new campsite at the end of it – because I now can. I’ve hopefully outfitted the Intrepid for 1-week stays, and that was technically pulled short a few days when I failed to keep tabs on breakfast items. I was having soup or kippers for breakfast, which works, but it just felt…wrong. So wrong. Water was holding out fine after 7 days out, being somewhere between 1/3rd-2/3rds full, thanks to a simple menu that doesn’t require much cooking or cleanup. And I’m still waiting to run out of the first tank of propane despite running the furnace for minimum temperature each night.

And from the rear, it looks like this! I don't have all that much articulation to play with. This is where an overly-stiff frame can work against you.

And from the rear, it looks like this! I don’t have all that much articulation to play with. This is where an overly-stiff frame can work against you.

So, I made a late start and spent the day picking up packages, buying sundries, mailing off a failed memory stick at the Post Office, refilling the Intrepid’s water tank, doing laundry, buying groceries, disposing of waste bags, and of course enjoying breakfast out. I generally don’t eat any meals out because the expense adds up, but when a great place for breakfast is available and cheap, I’m a sucker for it.

By the time that was all done, it was after Read more…

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