After tossing and turning most of the night Tuesday the 23rd we decided to roll out of the sack at around 5:30 and start packing the 5th Wheel for the start of what would prove to be a LONG trip to Cody.

We had some business to take care of before we hit the road. Things like going to Dads one last time. Breakfast at the Pour House with the obligatory Bloody Mary (small) and a stop by Auto Experts to say goodbye to the "Boys".

Even with all this cruising around Havasu we still managed to be north bound on London Bridge Road by eleven-ish and not a bit sad to see the last of the Lake Havasu City road construction.

When we first made the decision to take an "alternate route" to Cody, we settled on seeing Arches National Park in east central Utah. Neither one of us had ever been there and it sounded like a unique place to spend a couple of days putting around on the bike.

Since we didn't get out of Havasu at exactly the crack of dawn, we realized that we probably wouldn't get much farther than Flagstaff. The idea was we'd just pull off on one of those "ranch" exits and find us a spot to park the 5th wheel.

Now we've all seen those "Ranch Exits" as we scoot down the interstate right? Well...when you're looking for one,let's just say, they aren't as plentiful as you think!! We did happen to find the exit for A-1 Mountain Road which happens to be the exit they are using for a spanking new housing development smack in the middle of National Forest land.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Start Of An Adventure Of A Lifetime!!

Now, keep in mind this rig you're looking at measures just over 51' in length. And the trees are closer together than they look!!!
National Forest Access allows simple folk like you and I to camp (usually for free) for up to two weeks. Sounds like just the right spot for us!! (Over the next three weeks we will learn volumes regarding what is known in the RV world as "Boondocking").

Anyway, the new development had a whole bunch of land cleared and leveled that looked perfect for an RV but they also had "road closed" signs posted. Given that Joe believes that discretion can sometimes be the better part of valor we continued on up the dirt road and lo and behold discovered we were in a National Forest Access area.

After running the obstacle course between a few pine trees and finding out in the process that even though the ground looked dry, it wasn't, we managed to get our "house" where we wanted it. Thanks in no large part to the truck having 4-wheel drive. (This will not be the only time we need it to get into a camping space on this trip).

Now keep in mind, four hours ago we had left one of the most desolate areas in North America, only to find ourselves camped among towering pines.

What a beautiful area, the wind through the trees, the cool air, and the off chance that an elk might even wander by while you're cooking dinner.

Early the next morning when Joe got up to get a drink of water (yeah right) and looked at the thermometer. It was 44 degrees....inside, 31 outside. (Two and a half weeks later this would seem almost "springlike".) The decision was made that maybe we should leave the furnace set at around 55 at nite from now on.

Anyway, once we got the frost off the countertops, Joe cooked omlets for breakfast while we enjoyed the sunrise over the San Francisco peaks from the comfort of the dining room table. Yeah, this is camping all right!!!!

Today our goal is to make it up towards Zion National Park where we'll stay for a couple of days before moving on. All we had to do was get the combination of F-250 and a large 5th Wheel out of the trees without getting stuck or hitting anything expensive. No problem...

There's no goin' back now!!