We had a bit more of an adventure than we bargained for early yesterday morning when we tried to get out of our boondocking site in the Coconino National Forest. After many consecutive days of rain, the once previously dry and dusty forest became saturated and there was no place for the water to go. It turned into a giant muddy mess, and the forecast was predicting more rain, so we cranked up the Lazy Daze as the next round of thunderstorms was building in the sky.
We took no pictures over the next couple hours as we attempted to get Debbie’s rig out of the deep ruts of mud. Jim managed to get us out of our site, but he was concerned about getting stuck in ruts as he crossed the road so he went faster than he should have. That resulted in some serious bouncing which caused the corner of the black tank gate valve to go into the muddy ground. Fortunately it only caused some minor damage to the black water pipe. There appeared to be a slight drip initially, but he tightened the clamp and it seems to be fine now. Whew, our full tank would not have been a pretty sight or smell had it broken!
After that we moved on to Debbie’s problem. She had really gotten mired down in the mud, and was almost at the point of calling a tow truck when she decided to go down the road about a half mile to where we had seen some other campers. A toothless guy there had two shovels (we had none, although we have always thought we should carry one). He told her we ought to just go have breakfast and let God and the sun take care of it! She opted to borrow the shovels, which was a much better decision. After we dug out the tires, we put down some sticks and finally got to where we could get a couple Lynx levelers in front of the back tires. Jim did the driving and finally managed to get up on the levelers and get her out. It wasn’t funny, but we joked about how our free campsite could have been very expensive.
This mud was like glue. We were so happy we got out because the rain started just as were were getting onto I-40, only about 3 miles from our camp.
Our plan was to do a long (for us) 245 mile drive to Vegas but we were wiped out, hot, and dirty. Jim wanted to dump our tanks in case he needed to do some repairs so we headed to Williams, just 25 miles west, dumped at an RV park for $8.75, then went to Kaibab Lake Campground, a national forest campground about a mile off the interstate. It had been upgraded a couple years ago, and the road and sites were all paved, which we desperately wanted. About an hour after we arrived the thunderstorms began, and you can’t imagine how happy we were to be off the dirt and mud. With the senior pass it cost $10/night. There are vault toilets and drinking water, but no electric or dump. After weeks of boondocking it was strange to see so many people around, but it is actually a very nice campground with widely separated sites.
If all goes as planned, we should be in Las Vegas sometime this afternoon. We have a lot of cleaning to do. And as much as we liked Flagstaff, we don’t recommend staying in the forest during the monsoon season. Don’t learn the hard way like we did!