Sunday, February 23, 2014

What Were we Thinking???

We are currently staying at the Cocopah RV and Golf Resort in Yuma, Arizona. Very close to an area where a lot of bloggers I follow boondock for the winter. We would like to boondock in the desert but realize that we are not equipped to do so and have a lot to learn before we do more than spend a night at Walmart.

This was made very clear to us when we took a drive out to the desert to our west where we knew a lot of RVers park.

The area is beautiful. And looks exactly how one pictures a desert to look:
We saw lots of RVs scattered around the desert and there was a choice of two exits from the interstate we could take - Sidewinder Rd or Ogilby Rd. Ogilby Rd seemed more familiar to me so we chose that. It was a big mistake:
Ogilby Rd ended at a dirt road leading to the boondocking area all right but it was the wrong way to go. We could see the boondockers up ahead of us:
The red x marks the boondocking spot
So Arch decided to see if he could walk over and get help.

Not a good idea as distances are very deceptive in the Desert and it was hot. So he returned to the car and we called Good Sam Roadside Assistance - whom we highly recommend. They were speedy, helpful and kept checking to be sure we were OK. We were not very far off the interstate:
The red x marks the interstate
However the tow truck driver was a little concerned that he may not be able to get in to pull us out with his truck. While he and Arch were discussing all this on the phone help arrived

The man driving this jeep, a school teacher from San Diego, was out hunting for geocaches in the desert and noticed our situation. He did not have a tow chain but he and Arch improvised one from a nylon belt:
And then he hopped in the jeep and pulled. And pulled:
To no avail:
That is sand, not smoke, behind the jeep
So it is time to try the winch
Thank goodness!! It is working:
And finally we are high and on solid ground:
The end result: Arch and the man who helped us had a great time playing in the sand. Me, not so much. And we have added a jeep to our "must haves" before we boondock in the desert.

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  1. So now you know that is not an off road vehicle. I think sand is much worse than snow for traction.

  2. The desert sand is wicked. But what we found more important than 4x4 is the high clearance. We rarely have to use 4x4 but we have needed to be higher off the ground. We purchased our Jeep just after we arrived for our first trip west with our MH. We are so glad we did. The Jeep roads are so much fun and lead to great hikes and scenery.

    1. Everyday we see places we would like to explore but cannot, We will not come back to the desert withour a vehicle that allows us to explore more.

  3. Hi Anne,

    Deep sand is no joke! Fortunately, a lot of the boondocking spots near Yuma are on pretty hard desert 'varnish' (at least that's what I've heard it called) - it seems to consist of rock, very hard packed sand and gravel - very drivable. I camped on American Girl Mine Road which is just north of the railroad tracks on Ogilvy Road. Turn north of the highway instead of south into the dunes. Another precaution I take is to scout out any campsite either by car or on bicycle before I haul in with my camper ( sounds like you were trying that when you hit that deep sand - so glad you got out with a minimum of fuss!)

    1. That is exactly hat we were doing. And next time we will totally avoid anything that looks sandy - unless we ar at the ocean,


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