It’s the realtor’s mantra, and it’s true. The right spot makes for great camping, the wrong one, not so much.
I settle in easily anywhere we camp, but there are some elements that make a good campsite for this particular foursome of RV travellers. And, when we rolled in here to Craggy Wash BLM near Lake Havasu, the site they chose just didn’t have enough of the boxes checked on the good campsite list.
Our first mistake was arriving on the Sunday of the Presidents’ Day weekend. The place was packed with campers enjoying a long weekend in Lake Havasu City. T and Nollind keep an eye on the calendar for such things but they were keen to get out of Phoenix and decided to chance it.
One of the items high up on the good campsite checklist is privacy, which was sadly lacking in the main part of Craggy Wash. T and Nollind referred to it as the “fish bowl”, which I came to understand was not a compliment. We parked near the host site, Fang was unloaded, and off they went in search of a spot outside the fish bowl to park the rig. Back before we had Fang, we’d just drive on in with the trailer but there was always the risk of getting into a place where it was difficult to turn around.
When they returned, Nollind drove the truck with trailers and T lead on the Wolverine, on up into the wash. A mile in, after driving past motorhomes, trailers, and campers tucked into various spots on each side of the road, we pulled off into an open area on the left. Seemed alright.
But before I was even out of the truck I saw the first flaw in the campsite choice … close to and facing the road. They rationalized that it wasn’t going to be a busy road so would be fine, but it had more traffic than you’d expect two miles up a sandy wash with only a few campers beyond us.
The second flaw in the campsite choice … it was well-used and had numerous fire pits to work around, a pet peeve of T and Nollind’s. They couldn’t position the trailer where they wanted without driving over a couple of nail-filled fire pits.
The third flaw … one of the closest neighbours liked to start and run his truck very early in the morning and late at night, maybe charging his batteries?
The fourth and fatal flaw of the campsite … the cell phone reception was terrible. With T and Nollind still running a business and responsible for a farm full of animals while we’re away, cell service is pretty important.
They lasted one day.
Tuesday morning, long weekend over, we were out scouting in Fang. Yes, you read that right—we! I rode along, keeping my eyes peeled for the perfect spot, checklist at the forefront of my mind. We’d drive into each potential location, check for ease of in and out for the rig, proximity of other campers, view from the “front yard”, and cell reception. There were more options than when we’d arrived on Sunday, but nothing that felt just right.
And then we drove around the side of the fish bowl and found a road we hadn’t known was there, a road into a smaller wash. A short distance past the fish bowl, an open area large enough to accommodate us with enough room to get in and out—check. Only one other camp in sight and an acceptable distance away—check. It was still on a road, more of a wide trail really, but a road that didn’t go anywhere but to a few camp spots—check. There were great views of the craggy hills all around—check. And, the clincher, five bars on the cell phones—check!
It was perfect.
They dropped a chair in the site to hold it and drove back to camp to pack up and move. An hour later, it was all done and that afternoon we were relaxing in front of the trailer, soaking up the solitude and the view, T and Nollind enjoying celebratory margaritas.
As for me and Logan, we like it better too. Happy humans, happy life (it doesn’t rhyme but it’s the truth). And when we’re away from other camps and on a quiet road, the cables don’t come out. We have our freedom. Logan’s even started on a nest, but I’ll let him tell you about that next week, once it’s finished and fluffed.