Mountains, Deserts, Cacti and Camping…

As our plane touched down in Phoenix Arizona we had no idea where we would be spending the night! We had booked a rental car and planned to go to Walmart, buy a tent and all the equipment we’d need for the next 8 nights then head off to a camp ground we’d seen in Oak Creek Canyon.

Our rental car ended up being the size of a Fiat punto so with our 2 cases, and sleeping bags we’d saved from when we hired the motorhome, there wasn’t room for much else! We were laughing to ourselves as we were buying plastic plates, fold up 7 in 1 survival kits (knife, fork, spoon tin opener etc) a 3 man tent and enough packet and tinned food we could cook in the one pan we’d bought and a one ring camping stove! We’re getting dafter as we get older. We should be staying in fancy hotels but instead we chose to do things by the seat of our pants. We loaded the car up and set off

What we hadn’t bargained for was that it was Labour Day weekend so the traffic was horrendous and that meant the campsites were going to be full. We had tried to book in online but it wouldn’t let us so we thought we’d just rock up and hope. If not we’d have to sleep in the car

The drive to the campsite was stunning with red mountains surrounding us. It was 107 degrees outide so the quicker we got into the cool mountains the better. The traffic ground to a halt and we noticed black smoke up ahead. A car transporter had literally just set on fire as we were approaching it.

We had to drive through the thick black smoke and quickly sped off just escaping the 3 hour wait that other people behind would have to put up with until the road was cleared.

We had to drive with the windows open to prevent the car overheating as it was so hot outside and there were warning signs not to have the air con on. I’ve never been anywhere so hot! As we drive down the road taking in the views we turned a corner and the red rock mountains rose splendidly ahead of us! Wow wow wow

We reached the campsite only to be told they were fully booked and there wasn’t any vacancies on any campsite in Oak Creek Canyon! Damn!

Not to be put off we went driving around looking for somewhere else. We spotted an rv site and called in there. No room at the inn again but she told us we could wild camp in the forest for free. that’s what we did!!! 😀 we unpacked all our stuff and pitched or tent in the wilds of Sedona! We didn’t have a clue what we were doing as we were taking the cellophane of everything and trying to erect the tent. There were a couple of other families around with their rv’s, bbq, camping table and chairs and me and Kev with a 3 man tent and 2 sleeping bags and the thinnest piece of foam to lay on. Spot the newbies

It had been a long day, we had gained 2 hours with the time difference, so by 9pm we were both fast asleep in our sleeping bags. The downside to wild camping in the State Forest is that there are no toilets or showers. At 4 am and desperate for the loo I knew my she wee would come in handy haha. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Beats crouching in a bush when you’ve got dodgy knees, especially when you can look up at the black sky full of twinkling stars 😂

7am we were up and ready for breakfast. We had a one ring cooker, one pan and some plastic plates and bowls. We had this planned to precision . The water went in the pan first so we could have a coffee, then I cracked 4 eggs into the pan, sprinkled some salt and pepper on (that I’d acquired from the works canteen before I left), tore a chunk off a baguette and that was us sorted!

I’d got a large plastic salad bowl for 88c and this was to be our “washing up ” bowl with 2 inch of cold water in the bottom of it, and 2 cloths, one to wash and one to dry, we soon got the dishes sorted. We laughed, high fived each other, got in the car and went to explore the town of Sedona. This wild camping lark was easy peasy.

Sedona was beautiful. We were in Red Rock Canyon and were surrounded by beautiful red rocks! Weird

Had a wander around the town then went off to find another camp ground for the night. We knew the sites would be full so didnt even bother checking. We found another entrance to the state forest found some ground that looked level and pitched up. We were next to a group of Mexicans that had everything with them. The Mexican music was blaring out, the bbq was on, kids playing. It was great….

Or so we thought. At 2.30 am the music finally stopped along with drunken karaoke. How I held it together and didn’t shout “shut the f*ck up” is beyond me. At 6.30 am we cooked scrambled eggs on our one ring cooker, packed the tent up and by 7.15 we were ready to leave. Not before I put the car radio on full blast and gave them a taste of their own medicine. Haha revenge is dish best served cold. Anyone who knows me well will know I like peace and quiet at night time and woe betide anyone who wakes me 😂

Kev felt the need to make fire. He got all caveman like on me. “I like this camping life” he says as he’s throwing glossy football mags in the fire and just making them smoke…hmm maybe a bit more practice needed.

We need to find a campsite for tomorrow so we can shower! Hahaha the shoes will need a wash too. Maybe even throw some clothes in…..

Next stop the Grand Canyon

4 thoughts on “Mountains, Deserts, Cacti and Camping…

  1. Wonderful wonderful wonderful I’m so jealous. I know we did the same 4 years ago for nearly 9 months we lived in a small tent and got around in a rental car & I would do it all again. Following your travels just bring it all back. XX


  2. Your experience in Cuba served you well so you can utilise all the condiments properly! And the wild camping is getting you prepared for when you come down under….one day! X SandS


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