We were able to spend several weeks in SW New Mexico at 7800 feet and in the forested mesas during May of this year. And that was it. Moving further out into the open country with some acreage and more space was not enough, so we built a two level, 2400 square foot storage building and finally are ready to close on our former home southwest of Littleton, Colorado. The 23 foot Safari is safely tucked into one of the home's garage stalls. Yea!!!
Spread 45 tons of #6 road grade rhyolite for landscaping and a driveway: 30 tons by a front loader and 15 tons the wife and I did with one wheel barrow and two shovels in two days. We are not only ready to find Spring 2011 coming, but are physically ready for a couple of senior citizens and two Blue Heelers.
One improvement we will need to add to our current Airstream provided solar panel is a second panel to add to our 12 volt
recharging system. I think it is number one on our list of upgrades. Especially if we encounter some cool/cold weather that can catch us on our western camping at altitude. More so due to the amount of drain the furnace fan will do after several cold nights. (18 degrees in July north of DuBois, Wyoming is an example...)
I have to admit that dry campers/rockdockers are a very small number of people. My wife always tries to let me know that we are a very different kind of couple and not to expect to find others tucked away in some far off place, that are like us. It is hard to get that through my head, but after decades of finding only a handful of hard core explorers, it is true. Maybe Alaska has the most rockdockers and the rest thin out as you arrive to the continental 48 other states of the union. Western Canadians have to be a bit more comfortable living in the open spaces than the majority of Americans. From the age of 5, living in the wilderness came naturally not knowing there were towns and cities, even in western Montana. So I have to apologize for thinking that my sense of the world appears reasonable to the majority who do not venture too far from an electrical cord.
I promise in 2011 to provide the foot work for those of you who are considering taking, one big step towards "camping independence" and try some mild Rockdocking trips. Of course, many locations I will not offer as they are "ours" for the time being. If your trailer, camper or tent does not return home without dust, mud, grime, brush marks (bushwhacking I call it), rock dings on the rock guards... you are wasting a wonderful mobile home from a world that needs to be explored. Do it for the family, the dogs or just to please the neighbors for the time you are gone... and enjoying it. I had a birthday in October and now am on some kind of count down, like the bucket list, and wanting to fill in the gaps missed before I cannot physically jump barb wire fences and take off on those back country hunts for treasure and adventure. Don't just think about it. Plan a short trip into some back country and see if you find an additional trip is needed. Learn to depend on one another and cut out of the herd mentality. It may be only scary because you have not tried it. Trust me. After several back country camping trips, you will be laughing at those boondockers paying $27.50 a night to watch local television and talk about how remote Santa Fe, New Mexico is compared to Los Angeles... I want to hear YOUR leaving the chickens behind. Good luck and get that trailer in off road conditioning, stock the shelves and leave that other crap at home... you will not need it where you are going.