In which we finally arrive
Loki made sure we were awake around 4:00am or so. He heard coyotes, and he just wanted to verify that we heard them, too. We appreciate him keeping us safe, though. The coyotes don't have a key, so they can't get to us in the van. He was very alert, so it took some coaxing to get him to go back to sleep so we could do the same.
We eventually got up. This was the least-hurried morning we've had yet! It was quite nice. After we ate, we took a stroll around the campground to put our trash bag in the dumpster. On our short walk, we bumped into the host, Brian. He was super friendly and had a very laid-back approach to hosting. We expressed interest in hiking from the campground but that we were planning to move the van out of the site so we wouldn't violate the checkout time. He said not to worry about it. Thanks Brian!
So, after chatting a bit more with the host, we set out. With no map and no trail markers, we didn't want to get too crazy. It wasn't a full-blown trek by any means. We just meandered up the dry riverbed a while. We enjoyed the solitude together. There wasn't another person around the entire time we walked. And we could only hear cars if we listened really closely. It's incredibly rare to find a place like that anywhere near Ipswich, so this was an interesting new experience for us.
When our water bottles were half empty, we turned back. Back at the campsite, Mandy whipped us up some leftover tacos with the addition of chorizo to stretch them a bit further. We relaxed at the site in the sun for a while - Loki really loved this part. He's been deprived of his midday naps because he doesn't sleep well while we're driving the van yet. He's improving each day, so hopefully someday he'll be able to sleep on a drive. He laid out on his bed in the warmth, and you could just tell the was at peace.
Eventually it was time to go. We packed up and made the last little push to our final destination of Prescott, AZ. We made our way to White Spar Campground but stopped for groceries along the way. The campground is very nice and super clean. It's probably the cleanest national forest campground we've seen. Ever. We picked an open site and reserved it online through Thursday. We did some basic math and came up with a decent plan. We're allowed to stay 14 days in a 30-day period in Prescott National Forest. So, if we do Monday-Thursday nights while Mandy's working in town, we'll have to vacation every weekend away from Prescott. And then we'll just have 2 days per 30 days to find parking somewhere else.
We made, then ate, baked ziti for dinner and then we watched the Tinder Swindler before bed.
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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
- Bilbo Baggins
We're just an adventure-loving couple with a puppy looking to share our stories with the world.