Monday, November 21, 2011
Our New Escape Pod
Things are looking like my entire year of not setting foot outside of Yuma will come to an end a little shy of the mark by about four days, but who’s quibbling when one has endured the desert for such a long stretch? More than the blast furnace heat of a long summer, it has been the monotony of the same scenery which has weighed on my mind, forcing me to feel a wanderlust to get anywhere over the next hill just so I don’t see the same horizon.
Serendipity struck about a week ago and Marc fell into the golden opportunity to buy a small (23 foot), older (1996) fifth wheel which will provide the magic means of weekend escapes from Yuma. The Travel Supreme is just too cumbersome to take off with on the spur of the moment nor is it suitable for primitive camping. We’ve spent a busy week fixing a few items and tweaking things as we want them and loading it up with gear. Although the unit is in superb condition for its age (& especially its cost…$950); a window had been left open and it was filled with Yuma dust and grime so it took quite a lot of cleaning to bring back its pristine condition.
In lieu of purchasing new tires and because he also needed to get the trailer higher in stature to hitch properly to both trucks, Marc had the idea to switch out the puny 3000 pound axles with two of those 6000 pound axles which came off the Travel Supreme. This also gave us much larger and meatier tires and good rubber. Marc calls it the Nomad “Bigfoot Edition”, fully capable now of off-road travel through some of the toughest desert or forest environments! We will be pulling with the Freightliner (yeah, we know, a tad bit of “overkill”) this first trip out since it has the generator. Marc has an older generator he hopes to get running and mounted on the Dodge to use it for future trips as its four wheel drive capability will allow us many more boondocking opportunities.
Although my work schedule has been particularly busy of late, I have been trying to find time to research where we might spend our four day Thanksgiving break. Head west into the desert areas of Anza Borrego, California’s largest state park, with badlands, boulders, and palm oasis to explore? Head north to Lake Alamo, an Arizona state park out in the middle of nowhere with serenely empty views and hiking? Go east and investigate all the big city attractions of Tucson? Or southeast to Organ Pipe Nat’l. Park where giant stands of huge cactus dominate the mountainous landscape? One thing is for certain: I had better hurry up, because come early Thursday morning, Bigfoot, the Duskes, and two cats are off on the first adventure of the entire year! Come back next time to see where we landed.