Riverview Camp Ground, Gila Box

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October 30th and 31st
It’s an easy, early trip from Bowie to Safford, AZ where we find a Wally and get supplies, and finally, finally find block ice! Walmart didn’t have it, but there is an “ice house” (that’s what the clerk calls it) next door and she assures me they have it.
Supplies bought and put away, the clean cube ice now in liquid form, is drained out of the water container that I cut the lid off of to hold the bagged ice is poured into a drinking water container. The block ice is put into the now empty ice container and we are off to the Riverview Camp Ground in the Gila Box Reparian Conservation Area.

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One small sign obviously wasn’t enough. They added another, bigger one!

It’s quite a drive, not in miles, but in pucker factor. The last few miles are still paved road, but it is winding, one lane, oh-my-gosh-it-looks-like-they-have-had-a-serious washout-can-I-make it, 15% grade in places, praying-no-one-comes-along-in-the-opposite-direction kind of road. We make it, but BOY HOWDY!!!

Expecting trees I am dismayed to find they are along the river, of course, that is down in the canyon where no camping is allowed. It’s a pretty view, though.
I choose a campsite and walk up to the iron ranger and pull out my checkbook, paying for two nights. $5 per night is the fee, but it’s half price with a senior pass.

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We may or may not stay additional time. The temps and internet availability will decide that for us. Although they have covered picnic tables, fire rings, BBQs, potable water, and very clean pit toilets, parking in the sun can make for very uncomfortable van temps that take forever to cool down even after dark.

Discovering there is no internet or cell service I get a lot done in the van over our two-day stay: inside blackout inserts removed and replaced with lace curtains, doubled for more privacy. I like this a lot better. I will keep the inserts to use to cover windows from the outside to keep the van cooler. I also shore up the drawer unit where the passenger seat used to be—the boys sit on the top while we are traveling—as it has shifted with all the rough road and steep grades we’ve driven on since driving in the desert southwest.

I also decide to keep the camp chair with its fold-down side table inside and open. A one-drawer plastic storage unit fits perfectly underneath and extra water jugs along the side between chair and bed. It’s easily lifted up to take outside when I want to do that, and the drawer underneath can be pulled out to take out to the table.

I put clear mailing tape on the rare earth magnets that I use to keep the outside window covers in place. They are strong enough to put blood blisters on one’s fingers if you lose your grip while trying to pull them apart, and the tape tabs seem to not only prevent that but also makes them much easier to pull away from the van when it’s time to remove the covers.

Having a place to sit and being able to see out when we are stuck inside due to the wind wreaking havoc with my sinuses or if a storm blows through will make those situations a whole lot nicer to deal with.

The campground is nicely maintained and there are lots of little rock-lined trails kept nice and tidy. I couldn’t find the camp host when I thought about asking who did all the rock work, but I would imagine it was a civic group or perhaps some inmates. In any case it’s looks very, very nice.

On our last evening in this camp we are rewarded with a very nice sunset. And perhaps a little Halloween treat —- can you see the dog in the sky? Or perhaps it’s a hound from the Baskervilles …


Thanks for stopping by 2DogsTravel. Hugs, Shawna

CAMP AMENITIES
Water: Yes Garbage: Yes
Bathrooms: Vault toilets Electricity: No
Tables: Yes, with shade covers Shower: No
Fire Pit: Yes BBQ: Yes
# of Sites: about 15 with lots of space between Fee: $5 per night, half that with senior pass
Other: Nice walking trails, nice view, very steep downhill grade to get to this camp. The camp host had a large trailer, but honestly I would be very cautious if it were me towing that big thing down this road

We Took a Little Trip

Good morning!  Or evening, or afternoon……  Thanks for stopping by Two Dogs.

The boys and I took a little trip in Freedom; part business, part pleasure, but a whole lot of crazy.

I spent most of the beginning of the week getting ready to roll and since the first order of business was a vet appointment at the clinic down in the valley we headed out late afternoon so we could get settled in before nightfall. I wanted Charlie there the second they opened the next morning so if he did indeed need surgery they could do it that day or the next.  That would save me another trip over the mountain.

We got there a bit early (meaning before dark) so we stopped at McDs to check out the wi-fi connection.  It was there, weak, but there.  And I discovered that the direction you park — whether facing the building or not — makes a difference in signal strength.  You probably knew that, but I didn’t, so it was something learned to apply for the next venture out. After a short stay we moseyed over the vet’s office and parked behind the building.

The vet’s office is right off a very busy street in Redding and between an International House of Pancakes and a Burger King.  Actually there’s another fast food joint in there, but I can’t remember what it is.  This was our first night staying in Freedom in any place other than my son’s driveway.  It was interesting.  We still had some daylight and I walked the boys and cleaned up after them then settled in for the night.  It was a bit muggy from recent rain and I left the windows down, the small vent windows pushed opened and utilized my little O2Cool battery operated fan to try and keep things decent.  Since the sun wasn’t beating down on us, it was fine.  I read for a bit, then we went to bed.  And the Night People came out.  Teenagers, I assume, and transients evidently used this area for partying and sacking out, depending.  At one point someone must have approached the van because Burger the Wire Hair Terror (I mean terrier) began growling.  And whoever or whatever left.  Whew.  Good boy Burgie, good boy!  The Chiweenie Brothers slept well, while Burger and I kept vigil until the wee hours of the morning when a bit of a cloud burst drove the Night People under cover or home or whatever.  We got a wink or two.

About 6:30 a.m. I walked the boys and got Burger and Fries settled in then I took Charlie in for his appointment.  The vet agreed that the screw that seemed to be working its way out of Charlie’s jaw should be taken out, or at the very least he should be opened up and  looked at.  So Charles Barkley was left in the care of the vet and the other two and I had the whole day ahead of us to do as we pleased.

Coffee was definitely in order and we made our way back to McDs and spent a little time there before making the rounds at Home Depot and Walmart.  We then drove to Caldwell Park and settled in under a huge shade tree.  I called my sister who lives just a few miles from there and she came over and we spent the afternoon visiting and catching up on family events.  My brother didn’t answer his phone, but I left a message, however, he and my SIL didn’t show up. We also used the new tie out.  Adjustments need to be made, but it will be nice to be able to let the boys out and know they are safe and secure while I am busy with other things. 

Once it was nearing 5:30 and not having received the phone call I was expecting regarding Charlie, I called the vet’s office and they said he was out of surgery, doing well, and I could pick him up.  Sis and I said our goodbyes and the boys and I loaded up and headed out to get our Charlie Boy.  He was perky and eager to be out of there.  I spoke with the doctor before we left and he explained that all the hardware and five screws were removed, the jawbone graft had filled in and was thick and complete and once the incision healed Charlie would be good as new.  (this little guy is a rescue and a local animal welfare group had found him with a broken jaw.  He had two surgeries trying to get it repaired; fund raisers were done for the cost. Tremendously expensive, but if you knew Charlie you would know why it was done for him).  So after hearing the good news we had exactly 30 minutes to get to my son’s for my grandson’s 16th birthday party in Red Bluff.  We just made it!!!

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
My grandson Fletcher

My newest grand baby, Patton Lea,   celebrating her brother’s special day in her own imitable style; grabbing every cupcake she could get her hands on!

And that leads to our last night in the valley, in the van……and Burger wouldn’t settle down.  This dog has a sensitive stomach and one of the kids or maybe several of the kids, must have fed him people food that is not good for him.  I was in and out of the van with this dog a good portion of the night.  When we weren’t out, I listened to him moan and groan.  The Chiweenie Brothers had no problem sleeping, the brats.  
Two nights without sufficient sleep is not good for this gal.  But there was still much to be done.  We pulled up stakes and left as soon as the kids left for work, and we headed back to Redding to do our grocery shopping.  A trip to the valley is never complete without stopping for groceries.  Ever.  Food is very expensive in our little town in the mountains and with only one grocery store, they take advantage.  So, first was Costco and then it was Winco.  Then we went back to the park and I got the dogs staked out and tried to nap.  No dice.  I kept worrying that I would miss my afternoon dental appointment so the decision was made to head back up towards home and stay in the parking lot of the dental clinic. 
I had already made up my mind that I would feign vehicle trouble if it was too hot for the dogs, but we lucked out with some good-although-intermittent cloud cover and it was a good chance to try out the Reflectix window covers.  They work so well to deflect the heat!  With the front windows down to the point where no canine can escape, the Reflectix covering all the other windows, Reflectix in the windshield, vent windows open, and my O2Cool fan pulling in fresh air, it was good.  Will be even better once I get some Elastomeric on the van’s roof to block even more heat, but that’s another post.  
After two hours in the dental chair, we headed the rest of the way home, I off loaded the groceries into my Honda and headed to the next little burg to pick up a dog I was to pet sit over Memorial Day weekend, then finally, home!   Home sweet home and the weekend to rest up and recover from our two day mad rush to accomplish so much.  
If you got this far reading this long post, I thank you for hanging in there.  Hugs, Shawna   

Reflectix Window Shades

Good morning!  It’s another beautiful day.  Chilly, but not cold like it usually is this time of year.  Some say lows in the 20s is downright COLD, but it could be worse, oh yes, a lot worse. We have had no single digit overnight temps and no sub zero so yes, it could be worse; has been in past winters and will be again I am sure, but for now I am loving the warmer temps and looking forward to highs in the 50s. 
Today, I want to show you the window covers I made for Freedom that have a dual purpose; covering the windows to reflect the heat of the sun and blacking out the windows for complete privacy at night. This great idea was found on http://CheapRVLiving.com , a community of like-minded people who live in mobile shelter, want to live in mobile shelter, or just curious about the life style.  Lots and lots of wonderful information on that site.

This first photo is of the black fabric applied to the Reflectix with Super 77 spray glue.  It’s pretty simple, just spray the Reflectix with the glue, let it tack up a bit, then apply the black fabric (that you have pre-cut with 1/2 – 1 inch edges) by laying the fabric on the Reflectix (also precut to size for each window) and then smooth out starting from the middle and working from the center to the outside edge.  Let it dry completely and they are ready to use.  Start with the smaller windows……the large windows are kind of tricky, but the glue is a bit forgiving, so just pull it up and smooth it back down if it gives you any trouble or better yet, enlist a helper with the bigger pieces.

 This is the opposite side of the first photo.

 Here is the same shade pressed into the window with the Reflectix to the outside.

 Same window from outside the van.

This is the driver’s side back window with the fabric side of the shade facing out.  Perfect night time  camouflage for stealth camping.  You cannot even tell it’s anything other than Limousine tint unless you are right up to the window.  And the first person who does that is in for a rude surprise 🙂

When I am driving or parked and want a view, the shades are stored under the bed on top of some storage bins.  They are out of the way yet easy to get to when the time comes to use them. 

I bought the 48″ x 25′ Reflectix roll and there was enough for all my windows (didn’t make any for the driver and passenger windows), a windshield sunscreen, cover for my Cube Cooler, and I still have enough I think for making a solar oven. 

Huge thanks to the guy who posted this technique on Cheap RV Living.  I can’t remember who it was, but would love to give him credit for this so if you know, please let me know!

Have a great day!  Hugs, Shawna