Tag Archives: van life as an introvert

RV Live as an Introvert – The View from Here – Tucson, AZ – Desert Trails RV Park.

We are in Tucson, Arizona, and we’re staying in one of our favorite areas. We love the area west of Tucson near Saguaro Nat’l Park and Tucson Mountain Park. In fact, Desert Trails RV Park, where we’re staying, is very close to Tucson Mtn. Park.

Every morning I walk to the trail head behind the RV park and enter desert heaven. I make my way through various cacti, creosote bushes, sand, rocks, and palo verde trees toward Tucson Mtn. Park. Sometimes I make it all the way to the park, sometimes I don’t go that far. It is seldom I see anyone on the trails, and that completely fills my little introverted heart with joy. LOL

I stole the photo at the top of this post off the Desert Trails RV Park website btw, b/c as hard as I’ve tried to take my phone and get photos of the trails I walk every day, I can’t bring myself to do it. I just can’t “ruin” the walk that way. Today, in anticipation of needing a photo for this post, I actually put the phone in my pocket and got out the door. But I couldn’t do it. I turned around, came back inside, and left my phone as usual. I did take this one (below), though, but only b/c it’s in our “yard” and right outside our door.

One of the main reasons we left Colorado was to escape to warmer weather and less snow. This is our first winter in this area, and the weather here is mild and sunny and just what the proverbial doctor ordered. We are finding that “cold” here means dipping down to the high 30’s at night and high 50’s during the day. But that is not the norm. Most days are in the low to mid-70’s and the nights are in the 40’s – just right, in other words. When it gets chilly and one of us complains about it, we both realize what we’ve done and we start laughing at ourselves.

We’ll head to Yuma, AZ (also great winter weather) in January and stay there for a month, then we’ll be back to the Tucson area for awhile. After that, we only know we’ll be back in northern Colorado for the month of May 2023. We continue to watch the housing market, and we continue to scout out places where we’d like to settle down for this last stretch of our lives.

And we both are ready for some more space. LOL. Living in an RV is fun. It is exciting. It is an adventure. And it is also tight – with little privacy. We are both looking forward to having our own separate offices again at some point in the future. However, if you are thinking of trying it, I totally recommend it. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

RV life has taught me a lot about myself. One of the main things it’s made me aware of is how few physical things I really need. To have his lifestyle, you have to pare down your life. And for me, that has been eye-opening. It has also forced me to always put things back where they go. You have no other option. It’s either that or there is no space to do life.

Once again, I have no wise, or even witty, summation for this rant. I just wanted to keep you informed about what we’re up to, b/c life got busy and I haven’t written in such a long time. And btw, I can recommend Desert Trails RV Park for introverts. B/c despite having lots of sites, it is mostly quiet. Plus, it has such great trails to explore at the back of the park that take you for miles. You can even go as far as Tucson Mountain Park and keep hiking into the park.

RV Life as an Introvert – Kaibab Lake Campground in Williams, AZ (Grand Canyon)

Kaibab Lake Campground is just a few minutes north of Williams, Arizona, on your way to the Grand Canyon. Williams claims to be the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon.” It is a small and quaint little town that still has most everything you’d need if you decide to camp here awhile.

We chose this campground because it isn’t an RV park and also isn’t boondocking. It is somewhere in between the two. They don’t have any hookups, so it’s like boondocking, but all the roads are paved and the sites are marked and already set up, so it’s also quite orderly like an RV park.

It is situated in the forest and is quite beautiful. The sites are far apart, there’s a lake, they have vaults (bathrooms), trash cans, water faucets with drinking water, plus it’s only one hour south of the Grand Canyon. If you’ve ever visited the Grand Canyon, you know that the closer you get to the Grand Canyon, the more expensive everything gets. So it was nice to find this spot that wasn’t too expensive, but still gave us access to the park.

I can highly recommend this spot for introverts. It’s quiet, beautiful, close to – but not too close to – town, the sites are far apart, and it’s easily accessible for all. It has back-in sites, pull-throughs, and double pull-throughs for those traveling with a group. It is also great for tents, of course. We paid $26/night (cheap by RV park standards), and I think the double sites were $40/night. Even though there were quite a few campers while we were there, it was nice and quiet. We were there in early May, and it did get chilly at night but was great during the day.

Playing the Ball Where the Monkey Drops It

In colonial times, the British built golf courses in India to offer them the same recreation as back home. But they did not foresee the monkey problem. Monkeys loved to take the balls and run off with them. They tried all sorts of things to keep the monkeys from taking the golf balls – including building tall fences, luring them away, cutting back the jungle, trapping them (the list is long), etc. As time went on and they had tried dozens of cures, they finally concluded that there was nothing to be done to keep the monkeys from the golf courses.

So instead, the made a new rule for British golf courses (for in India only, of course): You must play the ball where the monkey drops it.

And that is what Kevin and I are doing now, I feel. We are playing the ball where the monkey drops it. We don’t know where he will drop it, when he will drop it, or if he will even drop it at all. He might chew on it first, or even swallow it. We just don’t know from minute to minute.

In other words, there are no guarantees. We are traveling and coping and learning and adapting. We had to stay in Yuma, AZ recently much longer than we wanted to for repairs to our RV, Gordito. We like full hookups, but don’t like to pay too much for sites. We like the amenities of RV parks, but not the noise and crowd. We are now trying to figure out how boondocking works for us. Our list is long too.



All this to say that there is a new flexibility requirement with this lifestyle that I, as a recovering control-freak, am attempting (most of the time, unsuccessfully) to navigate.

And I am certain that this part of our journey is just as important for me (us) as seeing the sights and traveling the land. It feels monumental for me to radically accept that I am not in control of pretty much anything except how I react and respond to what and who is around me, to realize that I want freedom more than I want to continue that fight.

So yesterday I danced with trees. We are now near Williams, AZ in Kaibab Lake Camp Ground, and it is beautiful here. And it has been hella windy (yes, I said hella). The tall, straight, pine trees protect us down below from the gusts, but we can hear the wind in the treetops. I can see them sway and hear them creak – which is one of my all-time fave things on our planet. So yesterday I grabbed onto a nearby tree and let it take me dancing.

It was like following a micro-blues lead on the dance floor – only a thousand times better. I could feel the subtle shifts and sway. I could hear the “music” (wind through the treetops). I had to focus and get quiet inside to be able to follow. I had to ground. I had to settle. I had to wait for the next gust of wind. I had to be patient and trust my lead. I had to let go of any judgements about anyone walking by and possibly seeing me hugging and dancing with a tree. I had to stop trying to control anything. I had to let go while still holding on.

And it was one of the most wondrous things I have ever allowed myself to do, one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever given myself. I highly recommend it. It’s a great lesson in following, in allowing, in just Being.

I have no profound end to this rant. Maybe it’s just about allowing – on the dance floor, in life, in our hearts, in our minds, in our dear bodies. I don’t really know. I am still learning, and we are simply doing our best to play the ball where the monkey drops it.

RV Life as an Introvert – Telephone Cove BLM near Laughlin, NV

After leaving the Yuma area, we traveled north to Laughlin, NV (Bullhead City, AZ) to meet Kevin’s brother for a late lunch. Then we made our way to Nevada Telephone Cove Dispersed Camping area, which is on the banks of the Mohave Lake. It is only about ten miles northwest of Laughlin and camping is free. It is my understanding that if you go to the Arizona side of Mohave Lake, you have to pay for camping, but please do your own research to make sure. I found it, once again, on FreeRoam.

That’s Gordito, looking all handsome and everything. LOL

While the site is only about 10 miles from Laughlin, be advised that 4.5 miles of that distance is on a sandy, gravel, washboard road with some twists and some steep grades (short though they are). So be prepared to have your gizzard jiggled out for 4.5 miles. We have a 27’ Class-C (who gets a bit cranky on washboard roads) with a toad, so had an issue with one steep hill. Gordito began to spin down into the sand. We did make it, though. On the way out the next day, we unloaded the car and I drove it out ahead of Gordito, and he made it just fine.

We are discovering that most BLM lands are accessible by gravel (usually washboard) roads, so if that is the price we have to pay for peace and quiet and privacy, then so be it. It is worth it.

Out our front door, away from the lake.

We arrived there late Friday evening, knowing it would probably be busy/crowed with weekenders. And we were correct. Telephone Cove (TC) is simply a stretch of beach on the shore of Mohave Lake where you can stop anywhere and camp. There wasn’t a place on the shore, so we circled around and got a primo spot on the opposite side among some shrubberies (you are required to say that with a British accent, ala Monty Python style – LOL). We put our door facing the mountains and not the lake, and so got privacy that way. The ground was level enough to not have to use levelers – for just one night, anyway.

We noticed rigs bigger than ours when we got there, so don’t worry about getting in. If we did it, and they did it, you are bound to succeed. There was one site right on the shore that was obviously un-manned but “saved.” Not sure of the rules on BLM land for that sort of thing, but we thought it was really bad form. We could have camped on the shore were it not for that.

See that unmanned “save” by the lake? Not cool.

The area offers a vault (bathroom), a huge dumpster for trash, a few trees and shrubs, and a boat launch. There were plenty of toys present: side-by-sides, jet skis, boats. Due to it being the weekend, we expected this. The sign there stated that you can stay up to seven days in a row.

The lake was cold, and the breeze was hot – nice combo. However, it was so hot that we had difficulty getting to sleep later, even with all the windows open and a (hot) breeze. It finally did cool down sometime later in the night. This is when we decided to invest in some smaller, rechargeable (maybe solar), clamp-on fans. We ran the generator for a bit so we could use the air conditioner to cool us down before going to bed, but we are hesitant to run it too much, because we know peeps want peace and quiet. However, we noticed several other rigs running theirs, and from our camp, we could not hear them. I think we just need to get used to running it more when we need to.

I would highly recommend TC BLM area for introverted boondocking – especially during the week, not on holidays, and not in summer (kids are out of school and on vaca with the fam). Please note that we were there in mid-May. On our way out the next morning, we saw LOTS more folks coming in with more toys for weekend fun, so introverts beware. LOL

What’s your fave rechargeable (maybe solar?), smaller, clamp-on fan for camping?

RV Life as an Introvert – VFW BLM North of Yuma for Boondocking

After several days of waiting on RV repairs in Yuma, we are FINALLY(!) on our way north (and hopefully to some place cooler). We could have gone ahead and driven Gordito as is, but he had a few things that needed to be done and now we can feel more confident about getting to where we want to go safely.

However, we only got as far as a few miles north of Yuma to the VFW Bureau of Land Management (BLM) camp because it was late when the shop finished with Gordito. But we were determined to leave and break the holding pattern we had been in for nearly a week. So around 6pm we pulled into the area. And after beginning to feel like we were being held hostage in a bad version of a low-budget horror film about being unable to exit a hot city with little to no T-Mobile cell coverage (even with our cell phone booster), we were happy to have made it even this short distance away. At least it’s progress, right?

Anyway.

I was surprised to find that I actually liked the VFW BLM land. Yes, it is right next to I-95 and a railroad track – so it is somewhat noisy. But hey, that’s what earplugs are for. We heard a few human voices, but not many, and nothing loud. The area is mostly flat with some native, shrubby plants scattered throughout. RVs and vans were parked at intervals – but not too many (remember, it’s hot as hell already in Yuma even though it’s only early May), because most everyone else has, wisely, bugged out.

At the back of the area are large trees, and we managed to snag a spot right against the trees, thus putting us in the shade (hard to come by in these parts!). We put our front door facing the trees instead of the camp area and have a lot of privacy that way. It’s so much nicer than the one photo I saw on FreeRoam. I took some photos the next morning to include here and on FreeRoam if it’ll let me add some. I’ve only used the app a few times so far, so I’m not sure of the possibilities.

The VFW BLM has no services, to include no dumpsters, no water, no dump station, no electricity. So, pack it in; pack it out. Anyone can stay; you don’t have to be a veteran or anything (even though I am a veteran). At the entrance, it said to register with the camp host, but we never figured out who or where that was. And considering the week we’d had (stressful!), we were exhausted, so drove in and parked. No one ever said anything to us about it, so…

The site was very level, so that no leveling blocks were needed. Although I’m not sure we would have bothered anyway, considering we would only be there for one night. The ground is mostly rough sand, so in high winds it might be dust-stormy around here, but it was good weather for us. I expect it would be hot as hell – even in the shade – during the day, but we got there late and left early, so it was mostly cool breezes through open windows for us.

Even with the highway right nearby, there was plenty of wildlife – birds, crickets, bunnies. And because there were so few folks here and everyone was parked with plenty of space between, this introvert felt quite comfortable. I didn’t like the lights at night, however. I like to sleep with no lights outside at night. People-made lights ruin the nighttime, IMO. There were a few lights near the entrance, around the VFW venue (building) there were really bright once we went to bed.

Google said VFW BLM was only 2. 6 miles (8 minutes) from Yuma, so if you stay here and need to shop or go see a movie, you’re well placed to do just that. It’s kind of the best of both – outside the city but with the city close enough for comfort.

I would tentatively recommend this place for introverts – probably dependent upon the season. Do some more research about other times of the year if you plan to make this a destination. Keep in mind how hot it is here, too, in the summer. In the winter, this would be a perfect stopping place, IMO.

As boondocking goes, this is only our third time trying it. Once was last year and in a Wal-Mart parking lot. So that one doesn’t really count for the introverted boondocking experiment. However, the other two times have been successful as far as this introvert is concerned. I could get to really like this.

What are your favorite boondocking (and good-for-introvert) places?

RV Life as an Introvert – Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden.

Just take a look at those little sprouts of new spring growth – so cute!

I was at this sweet little garden in March 2022. It is tiny and so worth seeing. The best part for me was the fact that the cacti were just beginning to blossom. Although small, this garden packs in the delights. It has a gazebo, a kid’s area, several benches for sitting in the shade, an amphitheater, a vegetable garden, a herb garden, etc.

It is across from a high school, so introverts should choose their visit time/day carefully. I was there early on a Saturday morning and had the whole place to myself. Perfection! Because it has a kid’s area, be aware that families may show up later – especially on weekends. Also, it is located within the city and right on a city street, so there will be some traffic noise. When I was there, however, the noise was minimal.

Directly from the county extension’s website: “The Robert J Moody interactive demonstration garden is an ongoing project maintained by Master Gardeners and the Moody Garden Society. Their efforts benefit the entire community, as a plant resource and educational area. Moody Garden is comprised of many different gardens including cultivated plants, emblem, native plant, tropical, vegetable and xeriscape displaying the many different types of plants that can be grown in Yuma County.

“Plants are labeled for identification, and you can take a self-guided tour or have someone from the Master Gardener Program, Moody Garden Society, or University of Arizona do a tour. There are also numerous kiosks throughout the garden identifying each area and its purpose.

“It is located next to the U. of A. Yuma County Extension office at 2200 West 28th Street, Yuma, AZ.”

I highly recommend you visit this place – whether introvert or not. Take a book and some snacks, and enjoy the beauty, diversity, and education offered by this little sanctuary in the city of Yuma, AZ.