Boondocking our way to Denver
Boondocking is basically camping without hookups. It means we have to be fully self-contained. It also means we need to conserve our resources, such as, power and water.
"You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!
We are twenty months into RVing. After a couple of practice runs, we glamped our way from the Pacific Northwest to the Southern tip of Florida. Our nightly rates ranged from $10.00 to a whopping $125 for Fort Wilderness Campground at Disney World, we averaged around $50.00 a night.
After moochdocking for the summer in Anacortes, WA, we are working our way to Arizona for winter via Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. This route, we decided to Boondock more, at least five nights a month, and to really take advantage of our Harvest Host Membership, this should help our nightly budget.
(This article has a Harvest Host affiliate link, you join via the link you save a little and we get a little. Enjoy!)
For us, this will be a bit of a challenge; 1. We are more of the glamping-style RVers, but that can be a bit costly. 2. Boondocking will involve a new skill set and learning how to locate and plan locations for our size rig of 50’ total with the truck, and then there is our comfort level. 3. More Nature-like. I am a city girl so “camping” in nature is not something I am familiar with and I am not always comfortable in that setting, so pushing the limits is a new mantra for me.
Our first Harvest Host stop was a coffee stand, connected to a farm, in the small town of Boardman, Oregon. Just a smidgeon off Highway 84, we pulled into a large gravel parking lot with fields on two sides. It is late in the farming season so we missed most of the fun. After checking in, we parked by the edge of a driveway, leveled the Airstream, and wandered over for an iced coffee and fruit smoothie, a delicious treat on a warm travel day.
As the day came to a close and evening started to settle in, we were treated to a brilliant sunset glowing on the remaining sunflowers hanging on to the last minute.
Harvest Host #2 was a delight - A goat farm in Idaho, just outside of Caldwell. As a city girl, I didn’t get much exposure to farming or farm animals and one of the things I love the most about Harvest Host is the exposure to great farms and their farmers and learning more about them.
Our host was fantastic and so cordial. You could tell how much she loves her little farm. They have a variety of well-loved goats, a couple of happy pigs, a llama whose sole job is to protect the goats, horses that just hang out, and a small herd of cows (many of which had been bottle-fed and raised by our host.)
After an informative tour of the farm and an interesting story of how it came to be and how it operates now, we walked back to the Airstream for a late supper and to settle in for the night.
Harvest Host #3 was odd. There wasn’t much to choose from in Evanston, Wyoming, it was either the parking lot of Walmart or the parking lot of a local bowling alley with a restaurant that served pizza. We decided pizza sounded better than the noisy parking lot of a Walmart. The host was accommodating but not much interaction. We ordered a small pizza and called it a night. The place closed at 10:00 p.m. on a Sunday, so the few patrons who had been inside drinking piled into their cars and left us with some final peace and quiet.
It’s strange to me (still) how in some places we park for the night, I sleep soundly and confidently, while in others (like the bowling alley) my sleep was restless and uncomfortable. It wasn’t because I felt“unsafe” at the bowling alley, I felt safe, it could just be the way we were parked. Who knows?
Our first Boondocking spot was to be at Jug Hollow Dispersed Camping at Flaming Gorge in Utah. I had read the reviews and input the GPS coordinates and felt as ready as I could be. Our first Boondocking on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) was at the Salt Flats in Utah, it took me a night to “feel” it, so we stayed an extra night and I became more comfortable with the idea and the location. This time I felt more prepared and I was kind of looking forward to it - until we got there.
We pulled into the road then got out and walked around, we were judging how comfortable we felt going down a bumpy road like this. The reviews said it was a bit washboard and about 5 miles in but take it real slow. Just as we were contemplating it, a local pulled up and said it was a really bumpy road and maybe we shouldn’t try it, maybe he didn’t think our fancy schmancy Airstream could handle it. He suggested we try Antelope Flats Campground just up the road about a half mile. We were already a little leary and uncertain so we accepted his advice and did just that, only to find out Antelope Flats Campground was closed for the season. I wasn’t feeling good by this point so we gave up Boondocking and called it a bust, then went in search of an RV park - back to glamping.
We have another Harvest Host in mind as we continue our journey from Wyoming to Denver - a buffalo farm in Nebraska. Then it’s back to glamping with full hookups at Chatfield Dam Reservoir just outside of Denver before we continue on south.
We may not be Boondockers, but we're giving it a shot. Who knows, we may discover we are.
As we roam the roads and highways, looking for that next fantastic stop, keep track of our travels in our Airstream - Betty Jo