Hualapai Mountain Park – We finally got around to visiting after so many winters in the Havasu area. This is a Mohave County Park high above Kingman with 11 miles of trails and elevations ranging from 6,200 to 8,400. Absolutely gorgeous – Ponderosa and Pinon pines and huge granite rock formations – though we certainly felt the elevation since we have spent the last six months at 400! We normally acclimatize at a couple thousand feet per day – not six.
The name ‘Hualapai’ is derived from the word for “People of the Tall Pines” for the Native American tribe that once called these mountains home until they were relocated by the military in the 1870s.
Originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the 1930’s, it today offers 20 cabins, 70 campsites, picnic areas, a playground and 35 RV camping sites are just across the street from the main entrance.
Hualapai Mountain Park is home to elk, mule deer, fox, raccoon, squirrels, chipmunks and skunks. There are also a variety of songbirds and birds of prey including hawks, owls and an occasional Golden Eagle.
Now that we’ve finally visited, this will be a great place to escape the heat that often happens in October when we return from our travels.
Camping – we bought a camper shell!
And some would say, why do you want to go camping when that’s all you do? But it’s not really like that.
Our RV is our home and we travel from one gorgeous campground with full hookups to the next. In eight years, we have spent exactly one week and one day without hookups. That was plenty; we don’t need to ever do it again.
There are places we love to go and would love to spend a few days, but there is no way we are driving our home down a 30-mile washboard!
A camper shell gives us the flexibility to visit and stay at some of our favorite places just like “back in the day!” (And then we’ll be happy to return to our rolling home.)
At dinner the other night, our friend asked if we had seen Nomadland and what we, as full-time RVers, thought. We hadn’t seen it, but it was not that I didn’t want to. The only movie we’ve seen in a theater this year was “News of the World,” which we very much enjoyed. Between Covid restrictions and always trying to contain our wi-fi usage (a problem we can talk about another time), we seldom stream.
Since we are currently using Havasu Falls’ wi-fi instead of our own hotspot through Verizon, I took the opportunity to see it.
In a word or two: “Heartbreaking yet inspirational.”
We are not naïve to this… We winter in AZ, about 50 miles from Quartzsite. I have visited a couple of those “boondocking” communities to see friends. One I visited travels with a group of Escapees (a club). Some have homes in cold regions and travel winters and some are full-timers, but these folks have assets and are traveling in a way they love. One day my friend was talking about going dancing every night and I said, “I didn’t know you were a dancer,” and he said, “Neither did I!” His statement made me so happy for him. Our lives expand exponentially when given the opportunity. We don’t always know what an “opportunity” looks like.
There but for the grace of God
The flipside to that seems to be Fern’s situation and you really saw how difficult it all looked: a 5-gallon bucket for a toilet (and how the heck do they dispose of the contents anyway) is probably the most obvious, having to travel from one grueling job to another, never being able to get to a point where a needed vehicle repair wasn’t a disaster. But who wouldn’t be inspired by the sweet connections she made with people and the incredible natural sights she/we saw while traveling the country?
Fern was very brave. Imagine how desperate you would have to be to leave your former life with only what you could carry in your van. She became an – the only suitable word I can find – “immigrant” in her own country. I related completely to her return where she noted she no longer wanted or needed those items she had carefully placed in storage.
Remember, Fern had options. People offered her other living arrangements and she turned them down. Who are we to judge what is right or wrong for another person? Fern had her happy and sad moments – don’t we all?
The point to me is – a recurring theme of our times – we cannot judge another’s life, values or decisions. We can help, assist, aid, but we cannot judge until we – as they say – “walk a mile in my moccasins.” There are people who would never want that experience. There are people who would give anything to “go on the road,” whatever that means to them.
Nomadland gave us the opportunity to see that in such an up-close-and-personal way. I am touched and grateful.
Kudos to my Sidekick
Don (D.A.) Allen is that Sidekick. We are starting our 15th year together, 8 of which have been full-time RVing. I could not have made a better choice. I once stated I loved him because he was happy to eat leftovers and could fix anything, but it’s grown a lot from there. I simply could not have picked a better partner for this stage in my life. I am touched and I am grateful.
See ‘ya down the road…