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Boondocking in Coconino National Forest, Arizona



So last week, we left the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona and headed north, to higher elevation.

Temps had reached mid-80s down there, which isn’t so bad. However, we’re full timing in an all-aluminum trailer, and these aluminum cans get heat up pretty quickly. Even though dual air conditioning units can still keep things cool inside, hearing the noise from the AC all day long can wear you out.

It was time for head for higher ground.

We left there in 90 degree temps.

We arrived about 20 miles outside of Flagstaff, at 6,000 feet elevation. We found day time temps in the mid-60s. Ahhh! So cool!

arizona schnebly hill road boondocking

Forest roads here had just opened the day before. In fact, they were still muddy in places. We had actually gotten our truck and trailer stuck in the mud. I knew we should have gotten a 4-wheel drive when we started our RVing adventure.

But, we found someone to pull us out, and now here we are.

There’s something special about camping in the middle of a pine forest. It’s not just the smell of pine, and it’s not just the sound of wind rushing through the pine needles. It’s sense of being deep inside Nature. It’s seeing the elk tracks. It’s seeing a lone fox wandering outside. It’s gathering wood for a fire. It reminds us of why we’re boondockers.

In the midst of all this is the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arizona seems to have taken more voluntary approach towards social distancing. The Grand Canyon State has allowed its residents to take on the burden of responsibility, rather than tasking its police force to bust anyone not wearing a mask. As a result, people here remain friendly, and less upset about what’s going on around the country. Since we’ve boondocking Arizona the past few months, you’d never know there was a pandemic going on.

I think there’s a parallel of perspectives between boondocking and Arizona’s approach towards self-enforcement. Freedom is still important here, as is staying healthy. The state has found a good balance between the two, and as a result, people are happy.

On top of that, people are healthy too.

As of this writing, Arizona ranks 24th from the top on the number of COVID-19 infections, yet ranks 14th from the top in terms of population. That just goes to show that when you let people take care of themselves, they do it happily.

I think boondockers are the same way.

We boondockers already know how to take care of ourselves. We already know what we need to plan for the next two weeks of isolation. We are social distancers by our very nature.

2 thoughts on “Boondocking in Coconino National Forest, Arizona”

  1. Its the way I live full time, a 89 dodge D150 pulling a 23ft 1978 wilderness, just me and my old houndog, I’m 76 and the houndog is 14, currently about seven miles out of Bullhead,az on BLM.


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