Overlanding Arizona: Part 1

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If you read my last post…(well or the title) you know we are starting our first adventure in Arizona!

If you haven’t read my last post make sure to jump on over and check it out by clicking the button below

Now that your back (or never left) I want to explain overlanding. If you aren’t a crazy outdoor or Jeep, 4×4 person there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of this. The basic principle is we lived out of the Jeep for the week. There are people that do this full time and have their vehicle all decked out. This was our first overlanding trip so we made due with what we had. But if you keep tuned in the coming months we have some plans for the Jeep!

Now that you know the general overview of overlanding lets get into the good stuff! The actual trip to Arizona! Well with a pit stop in New Mexico but we will get to that in a moment.

Day 1:

We left before the sun from our home in Texas to start on the 16 hour drive to Arizona…Most of that drive will take place in Texas because Texas is just huge, but we wanted to take a small pit stop at Carlsbad Caverns. Small being the keyword like an hour to an hour and a half, you know just enough time to eat lunch walk into the cavern….. lets just say 5 hours later we were back on the road.

I seriously underestimated this national park the 2 mi trail down into the cavern took a bit more time than I thought but that was because of how amazing the views on the inside were. When you get to the bottom there’s a loop trail you can choose to go on to see some of the other rooms of the cave or if you want a snack or souvenir you can do that also.

So on a normal basis there is an elevator to bring you back to the top of the cavern, however, for our trip that was broken so that did add a lot of the time t our stay was then walking back up out of the cavern. With the elevator being the normal way out the path in is not quite designed to hold people walking both ways.

The drive in and out of this park is amazing you are right next to the Guadalupe mountains and as we took 62 down towards El Paso we drove right by the National park. We didn’t have a chance to stop in there but we want to make a trip back one day!

As we made it into El Paso it was already getting later in the day and remember we are living out of the Jeep and where exactly we were parking each night wasn’t predetermined. So a little sun light is require to not only find our campsite but also for set up and cooking dinner.

We always use this website called freecampsites.net and it is amazing. It is user based and people add info in about the type of campsite it is (Paid, free, ect.) and the gps coordinates because most don’t have an address being in the middle of woods or some other part of nature. So this is how we found all the locations we camped in!

The first night we camped in Las Cruces New Mexico up on a hill and the sunset was magical to watch… Don’t take my word for it just check out the following photos.

Day 2:

Today we will make it all the way to Arizona and until the end of our trip we won’t have to drive more than a few hours at a time which means more time for exploring! One thing I always love about camping is that you o to bed a lot earlier than you would at home this also means you wake up earlier. We generally can catch the sunrise while we make breakfast.

These campsites also come with the added benefit of no cell service it helps to disconnect and to really enjoy the world around you.

We got up and made breakfast and took camp down and organized the Jeep…. Very important step while living out of your vehicle being slightly OCD about how it is organized is a must for everyone’s sanity and finding things you need later.

Our first stop in Arizona was Tuscon and more specifically Saguaro National Park. You know how there are cactus’s on practically everything now those are saguaro cactus’s. Another fun fact if you think they are little you are mistaken because these suckers are taller than most of the houses they stand next to. These cactus can grow to be between 30-60 feet. They are slow growers though so the ones that are that tall are a few hundred years old. This all amazed me growing up in Kentucky we didn’t have cactus unless you had some growing in a pot.

We didn’t do as much hiking here as we thought we would but being a little over 100 degrees it was too hot for Lakey (our puppy dog).

For this trip we are on a slightly tight schedule because Kevin had to be back by a certain day so we made our way toward Phoenix to find where we would camp that night in the Tonto national forest. But not before running into an airplane graveyard…

Did you know that you can camp for up to 15 days in a row in the national forest for free. This type of camping is called disperse camping so there are no facilities generally there’s a fire pit to show where the site is and other than that it is just nature.

The site we ended up camping at tonight is probably one of my all time favorite views from the trips. and for a short period of time we called that campsite home. We made it with a bit of extra sunlight so we really got to enjoy and drove back a bit further off the beaten path.

Day 3:

Now that we are in full swing of the trip it is our first full day in Arizona! We pack camp up (as much as we would of liked to stay longer with those insane views). We are heading to a scenic drive at Apache Junction to Roosevelt. This drive is part Paved road all the way to Tortilla flats which is an old town that has a population of 6 people…… It is an old western town there is a post office, restaurant and of course a gift shop.

Right past this old town is when the road turns to dirt. I would cation anyone wanting to go further than this if they don’t have 4 wheel drive. The day we went it was dry not a lot of rain but there are some big inclines and a little rain would change the conditions tremendously. If you are in a 4×4 and don’t mind a few cliffs this drive has some amazing views.

During this trip, we did our best to take scenic routes and to stay off the highway as much as possible. When we made it to Roosevelt we took 188 towards Sedona (we had a few other highways but I won’t list them all here! If you want to know those just keep reading) These highways bring you around and gives you an amazing view of all the red rocks and what Sedona is famous for.

We will be spending one full day here because there is so much hiking! right off the highways are trail heads so there is no way we will make even a small dent into the trails possible but we are going to do as much as we can!

That is all for today next Monday we will pick back up in Sedona and the interesting place we ended up camping that night….

Happy adventuring!

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    February 25, 2019 at 10:07 am

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