Arizona 2024: Day 24: Quartzite, AZ: Flip that script

If I were to ask you, what is the least probable thing that could have happened last night? You might guess many things, but you would never guess a healthy dose of rain for the third night in a row, would you? The upside is that the green bits are green and that it happened at night, when I was in no way inconvenienced. OK, it was a bit windy as the front came through and the old van was rocking a bit. A decent night sleep was still had.

Morning walk time: I tend to prefer the Siphon Draw trail when we are at LDSP, but today I chose to do the Treasure Loop trail. It’s only 3.4 km, has a bit less elevation gain (compared to the part of the Siphon Draw that I do) and is 100m closer (650) to the van than the Siphon Draw. Oh, it’s also a loop. We were on a schedule this morning so I was up and out earlier than recent history would predict.

Trail was quite nice, I went up the south side and down the north. On the south side, as every time you think you have reach maximum altitude, there is another climb. The substrate was good enough coming down the north side that I could get some running in. Far less likely to roll an ankle.

Back at the van after 5.21 km and 151m of elevation gain it was time for a quick breakfast and then getting the van ready to head out. Our target departure from the site was 1000. We missed that target by 12 minutes. Off we went and drove to the showers on the way out. Time for a shower rating. Private, but dirty as they can get. 3/10. Once at the showers I realized I had left my hat on the windshield to dry out in the sun. We backtracked on the way over to the dump station and found it! Yeah, no hat shopping required!

As we headed to the dump station there was another RV coming slowly down the road. Oh yes I did! I pulled out and sprinted to the speed limit to get to the dump station first. It was a slightly aggressive move. As we approached the dump station the inbound and outbound lanes were both empty. That’s a miracle unto itself. I pulled around and used the inbound lane allowing the other guy I may have cut off use the outbound. We had a nice chat as we relived the memories at the dump station and they thanked me for yielding the outbound lane. “Least I could do, having cut you off”. The chat was so nice I may have forgotten one small step.

I forgot the cap

We stopped to provision at Fry’s in Apache Junction. Backstory: Yesterday Mrs Milddogs did the accidental shake of the phone and deleted a few items from the provision list. We remembered them all except beer (the watered down kind that I like).

This is what Amy does waiting for Mrs Milddogs.

Amy waiting for “mom”

Now we needed to make a decision on where we were going. We had planned to go south to Cactus Forest but the weather forecast was not ideal. We had debated going west to Quartzite, AZ. So right there in the Fry’s parking lot, we made the call. Quartzite it is! An extra hour of driving and it makes our Friday drive longer to Tucson, but we chose the weather!

Uneventful drive through Phoenix and its environs. We stopped at the same rest area we had 2 years ago (when we also made the last minute decision to go to Quartzite). I probably posted a picture of this sign.

Rest stop warning

We stopped at the Anco in Quartzite for some fuel and then headed over to the BLM area we had stayed at 2 years ago. From memory we ended up pretty close to where we were last time.

Blue dot is now, pin is last time

Quartzite is not busy this time of the year. Our nearest neighbour is about 400m away (and probably calls himself a neighbor). We got settled in our site and I flew my crazy glue reinforced, puffy battery equipped drone. Look at that awning. We parked in a way that we can use the awning (at least for now). Did I mention we are perfectly level?

It’s funny as we were looking for where to camp, that our standards have shifted from the 15 feet of space we often get at a real campground (“that’s not too bad”) to wanting to be a kilometre from the nearest neighbour.

Dinner time! Burgers on naan, beans and salads. Burgers cooked on the NomadiQ and it did a pretty good job. For those really paying attention, that is, in fact, Buc-ee’s BBQ sauce on one of the burgers.

We went for a walk after dinner. The rocky substrate is a bit hard on Amy, so we cut it short. I totally forgot to get sunset pictures.

Let’s conclude the saga of Vanilla Gift Visa and the Arizona Land Trust Permit. I had a moment of clarity around 0214 this morning and thought: “aha, what if I need to look like I am in the USofA? (roaming on Telus gives me a Canadian IP Address). So this morning I fired up my free copy of ProtonVPN and it selected a server for me in Netherlands (in the free version you can’t pick your location). Never mind! Later, I tried again. Japan! Never mind. Good pal and fellow world travel blogger, Tony pinged me to suggest the VPN idea as well. I tried again. Sever selected = USA. Boom. Let’s try this series of failures one more time. Vanilla Gift site: same failure on hCaptcha. Let’s try the AZLT: same transaction declined problem. Well, it’s a moot point now unless we cut Quartzite short and head to some AZLT spots. Maybe I will buy some beer tomorrow with that stupid Vanilla Gift Visa. End of story. Or is it?

Tomorrow it shall be hot. We both have a craving for pizza so we might take the risk of losing this great spot and go get some pizza in Quartzite. Maybe get some beer too??


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