wild, wild horses, couldn’t drag me away…

After an 18 month working marathon, we finally got out of town for a (long overdue) trip to the cool forest. I finally built up a week of vacation so we headed north 130 miles from Phoenix for a 25 degree drop in temperature. After all of the maintenance I did prior to this trip, we had a couple last minute surprises and some more work to do once we get home.

In the days before any trip, I start up the fridge and to my surprise it became a heater instead of the refrigerator this time. After some diagnostics I found out it has a bad weld on one of the pipes in the cooling unit. Apparently the corrosion inhibitor broke down and the ammonia refrigerant caused a major leak. That will be a project when we get home, for this trip we took three ice coolers for the food and beverages.

Our next surprise was pulling out of the driveway, the electric steps began malfunctioning trying to go in and out over an over. Basically discovered we need someone outside to push the steps in so we can drive away. That’s another project for when we get home. When you own an RV, you better expect repairs every bit as often as your house will.

Despite all of the mishaps, we enjoyed our week long trip to escape the 100 plus days above 110 degrees (most of them have been above 115). Once you get above 6500 feet onto the Mogollon Rim, there have been enough rains that the campfire restrictions had been lifted about a month before Labor Day weekend. It was so nice to get up to the woods. Our best man Greg and his wife Denise were able to join us, they were eager to get up north as well since Greg has just finished some outdoor projects at work in the extreme heat in Phoenix.

We arrive on Wednesday to get a spot before the Labor Day crowds arrived, we had two peaceful nights before the crowds arrived. Luckily there’s plenty of room to spread out but apparently we picked a favorite place of a big group that camped quite close to us. We probably should have picked a smaller clearing off the side of the forest road and could have avoided generators running from sunset to sunrise each night.

The ATV’s and Side By Sides were speeding though until 10:00-11:00pm Friday through Sunday. We were far enough off the road that we weren’t eating any dust. And despite the crowds, we still had an awesome time escaping the Phoenix heat and basking in the tall pines and cold mornings. We even got to see wild horses every day, one evening they even came through our camp. Only saw one deer and strangely never saw a single squirrel on this trip.

Two miles south of the highway, boondocking near a forest road.
Blue skies and green trees, am I in heaven?
Tall pines in the largest stand of Ponderosa in our great nation, happy Labor Day!
The patriarch of the herd came through on his way back to the meadows
Sunset looking south, Phoenix on the other side of the most distant mountains on the horizon. The shorter trees are from seedlings planted after the Rodeo-Chedisky fire in 2009. The smoke creating the beautiful sunsets is from the fires in California, our thoughts have been with California, Oregon and Washington.
Full moon greeting us on the first night.
Alice found a recipe for Bell Pepper Nachos, tried them out on the pellet smoker!
Smoked burgers, taste even better in the woods!
Grilling some brats boiled in dark beer, just a few more minutes to ahhh….
Our Green Mountain Davy Crockett pellet grill, earns the best compartment in the basement of the RV. Started using a jump starter power pack so I can get the smoker in the shade and away from the roof vents of the RV. Also prevents me from tripping over a power cord if it was still being connected to the RV, yeah I’m that clumsy… 🙂
The Solar Panels topped off the batteries each morning, the new AGM’s were down to 12.4 to 12.5 by sunrise, 13.2 to 13.4 by 11:00am.

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