And it couldn’t have come at a better time for this canine. Leaving Alberta did not leave behind my digestive issues, and let’s just say my bathroom needs do not fit well with asphalt and the many close neighbours of the RV parks in St George and Las Vegas (pics below).
Out here in the desert, the world is my bathroom, at any time of night or day. Nollind likes it better too. As my main man when it comes to getting outside overnight, he doesn’t have to worry about what he’s wearing, or isn’t, out here in the boondocks.
For those unfamiliar with the term, boondocking, according to Wiktionary, is “to stay in a recreational vehicle in a remote location, without connections to water, power, or sewer services.” I’d say the term has expanded to include places that aren’t remote at all, like the parking lots of casinos and Walmarts, but the no connections is a standard.
We’re currently boondocking in an area called Dome Rock, the same place we spent about five weeks during Logan’s last journey to the desert. Gee, I hope that’s not a sign. But, at my age, with less-than-awesome health lately, I will enjoy this winter like it is my last. Good practise at any point in life, really.
Our camp spot here at Dome Rock isn’t exactly where we stayed last trip, but it’s just down the road from our first spot that year and across the wash from our second. Out here there aren’t any posts or painted numbers or lines to stay inside, just a general rule to camp a respectful distance from the next rig. If you’re wondering how we know what that distance is, well, it depends on how many campers are in the area when we arrive.
At this time of year, things are pretty quiet around Quartzsite, so we’re about 250 feet from our closest neighbour and he’s 250 feet from the next, and so on. If we wanted, we could find a spot that stretches that out to two or three or ten times the distance in this Dome Rock area, but we don’t mind other people nearby to chat with on walks and such. Once mid-January rolls around and all the Quartzsite shows start—the rock & gem shows, the RV show—that 250 feet will shrink to 100 or 50 or even less depending on where you are.
If you like pavement and hook-ups and swimming pools, boondocking won’t be your thing. But if you enjoy a little elbow room, dark skies, and open desert, well, you’ve come to the right place. After staying in campgrounds back home the past few years, it felt a little weird when we first arrived, just parking and setting up camp wherever we wanted, but once we settled in, well, it was pretty familiar, and made all those rules, and lines, and numbers seem a real nuisance. Boondocking is freedom.
Four years ago, we spent Christmas here at Dome Rock, and the year before that at Hi Jolly, another public land area near Quartzsite. So this feels a little like coming home for Christmas, our desert home. We’ll venture on at some point in the new year, but for now we’ll bask in being here, because there’s no place like home for the holidays.
Merry Christmas, everybody! I hope you find yourself somewhere homey and happy this year. I know I have.