Wednesday, March 20, 2013



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A year ago today it was a beehive of activity around our house.  Work had begun in earnest on our house in preparation for having it stuccoed.  A nice fellow by the name of Doby & his 2 young Mexican workers were hard at work all day completely sheathing our house in Styrofoam in preparation of for the encompassing chicken wire that would hold the adobe on the house.  Or mud as the boys called it.  Hard workers all three & they wasted little time in prepping the house & doing minor structural repairs as they went along.  It was an exciting time for us as Kelly scurried around to various garage sales & second hand shops gathering things for the house.  Well, Kelly was making me do a bit of scurrying too ya know:))


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MERIKAY had a few questions about my Tuesday post one of which was, How long can Americans stay in Canada? I don’t have an answer for that one & wondered if any reader’s did.  Also keep in mind each Canadian Province has their own laws regarding how long it’s inhabitants can be in the United States.  Ontario is now 7 months.   And for Canadians who don’t think anyone keeps track…..think again!!  Here’s what George from OUR AWESOME TRAVELS had to say in a comment,  “When we made a quick drive to Ontario in December for a family function we were quizzed on our return to the USA. And one question was why did we cross the boarder last August? The only way he knew this was by scanning our passport. We had only walked on a small ferry and went into Michigan for lunch and a stop at the duty free shop. In the USA for about 4 hours. They are watching us”.



I was saddened this morning to read of Mike’s decision to suspend his RV travel blog.  Mike from MIKE & PAT'S TRAVEL BLOG has had his blog up & running for a long while now & I think I first came across it about 4 or 5 years ago.  It has been on my sidebar ever since.  Sorry to see Mike pack it in but nothing is forever. Priorities, interests, & circumstances change in our lives & decisions have to made as we go along.  Sometimes those changes are temporary & sometimes permanent.  Let’s all hope Mike at some point in the future just makes this a temporary suspension.  In the meantime I am going to miss your bi-weekly posts Mike.



Had us some long time Blog readers stop by today.  Fellow RV’ers Betty & Dan Folsom, with their little dog Kiwi are staying over at North Ranch for a bit & decided to look us up.  Dan said he’s been reading the blog from when I first started it way back in 06 or 07.  Now here’s some mighty nice down to earth folks who haven’t let life’s challenges get either of them down.  They had a dream, they had a country to see & by golly they are out here on the roads & highways of America in their Motorhome making it all happen.  It is people like Betty & Dan who give me the inspiration to keep this blog going.  Even on the down days……………


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Just as suddenly as the pains started in my right hip/leg last week….they suddenly stopped again.  It dawned on me around 7 Tuesday night that I hadn’t felt that short sharp pain happening for most of the day.  And no pain all day today.  Strange thing & I have no idea what caused it to come & go twice now.  Oh the joys of aging eh:((



Noticed this morning we have a new Blog Follower.  A big Bayfield Bunch welcome to SANDI RATKE from way over there in that Illinois State. 



Quite often the material for my nightly post comes from my fellow Bloggers.  Tuesday morning I noticed there was a bit of buzz going around about the problem some folks are having with anonymous comments & spam.  RETIRED ROD wrote about it in his post entitled ‘Nasty Comments’.  I had trouble with some nasty comments the past couple years & the only way to put a stop to that BS was to block ‘Anonymous’ comments.  By doing so it solved two problems at once.  It not only stopped my annoying ‘anonymous’ commenter but it also stopped the every day reams of spam dead in it’s tracks as well.   It’s not likely I will enable the ‘Anonymous’ feature in my Blogger set-up again.  It’s unfortunate that folks can’t comment as Anonymous but as quite often happens it only takes one or two bad apples to spoil the whole bushel.



Had it not been for our boondocking RV lifestyle the last bunch of years our RV life would probably have ended before it ever got started.  I’ve posted about this a few times before over the years.  It’s an important part of who we are, where we are, & why we are the way we are.



It all comes down to personal choices.  From day one our priority was on the Nature side of RVing.  Our dream was to travel & search out the natural beauty of the American Southwest.  My focus in particular was in the land’s natural photogenic landscapes.  I love that ‘WOW’ factor one gets when seeing new things for the first time.  And we wanted to see those things the same way they were seen hundreds of years ago before all the people influence flooded the land with cities, towns, shopping malls & tourist traps, etc. 



Only way to do that was to get ourselves out into the landscape itself.  Out into the deserts & canyons.  We not only wanted to see as much of the land in it’s natural state as we could, we wanted our Snow Bird RV travels to be a part of that natural state as well.  We would soon catch on to a wonderful lifestyle known as boondocking.  But first we had a lot to learn.



It was in December of 04 that we set off in a small Class C on our very first maiden voyage.  Destination was Big Bend National Park in southern Texas.  It was our shortest trip ever because of work commitments back home but right from the outset we were inescapably hooked on the RV lifestyle.   But, there was a problem.  We loved the idea of traveling in an RV, the camping, the hiking, & all the outdoorsy things that go along with that.  But we did not like the idea or concept of having to stay in RV Parks.  That was our number one problem & we knew it had to be quickly resolved.  We just wanted to be away from all the people stuff & spend our nights under canopies of stars & quiet crackling campfires, desert breezes, & long warm days beginning & ending with fiery sunrises & sunsets.




In 06 we ventured out again with a truck & 5th wheel heading for New Mexico & Arizona.  We quickly learned that if we had to stay in a Park we much preferred State Parks to private RV Parks.  At least most State Parks were in more of a natural setting with larger sites & the emphasis often focused on the surrounding topography & not the almighty dollar.  State Parks are generally in rural natural settings & we liked that.  Didn’t realize it at the time but State Parks are somewhere kinda in the middle between private RV Parks & Boondocking.



On our journey south in 06 we stayed in New Mexico’s BRANTLEY LAKE STATE PARK, ROCK HOUND STATE PARK, & PANCHO VILLA STATE PARK.  Arizona’s PATAGONIA STATE PARK as well.  And a few others on the way home again through Texas.  On that trip we stayed at some private RV Parks too including Hickiwan Trails near Why Arizona.  Hickiwan Trails was our first RV Park experience besides a State Park.  We did like it there but we were beginning to see a pattern that didn’t appeal to us.  There was just no way of getting away from the close proximity to rows & rows of other RV units.   Also stayed a couple night’s at the Beaudry (now Lazy Days) RV Park in Tucson while getting a few repairs done on the 5ver.  Nice spiffy place for sure but way too fancy for the Clampetts & we were happy to be out of there & back on the road again.  Another overnighter in a private RV Park in Tombstone left us just shaking our heads.  



In only a matter of months after leaving Ontario for the southwest that year we knew we had some very major decisions to make if we were going to continue our RV dream in a manner we wanted to continue it in.  First, the truck & fifth wheel had to go.  It was just not practical for us traveling with 3 dogs.   Second, & most sobering was the realization that if we had to stay in RV Parks we would just sooner pack the whole RV idea in & stay home.  The idea of being parked right next to dozens of other RV’s for a night or 6 months at a time was not our idea of the lifestyle we wanted to pursue.  We knew that having to live & be that close to people just defeated our whole purpose for traveling in the first place.  As I said before, it was the naturally beautiful country we wanted to see & be a part of 24/7.  We not only wanted to just see the land, we wanted to live in it.


We were home less than 3 months before we traded in the truck/trailer combo for a more practical (for us) Motorhome.  Now that we had the right vehicle we could get on with the right RV lifestyle that best suited us…..boondocking.  With our solar installation in California in 07 we were finally & very happily on our way to a lifestyle we have never regretted for one single second.  It is a lifestyle we will continue to pursue whenever out & about in our newer little Class C as well.


In conclusion let me just say that these opinions are just that, opinions.  Nothing about right or wrong, black & white, better or worse, or good & bad.  Just my thoughts & opinions on a lifestyle that works for us & an attempt to explain why it works for us.  Just our story & our story alone.  I will have more to say about the boondocking lifestyle in future posts:))



GROANER’S CORNER:(  A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a man who's dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket and jeans.
Saint Peter turns to the first man and asks, "Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?"
"I'm Joe Jones," says the man, "and I was a taxi driver in New York City."
Saint Peter consults his list and says, "Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter."
When it's the minister's turn, he stands erect and booms out, "I am Joseph Snow, pastor of New Covenant Tabernacle for the last 37 years."
Saint Peter consults his list and says, "Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter."
"Just a minute," says the minister. "That man was a taxi driver and he gets a silken robe and golden staff. How can this be?"
"Up here, we go by results," says Saint Peter. "While you preached, people slept; while he drove, people prayed."


(hmmmm, think I might have posted this one before)

- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.


  1. Yup.. we sure enjoy the quiet of boondocking... and really are not the "rows of tin cans" type of an RVer. Solar panels and large holding tanks are an added plus. Makes the whole boondocking thing more enjoyable!

    Karen and Steve
    RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  2. AMEN to the boondocking philosophy!

  3. Could not have said it better!

  4. It seems like you've been in your Arizona place a lot longer. I wish I had either been a few years younger or had a partner when I started out RVing, and I might have been able to do the boondocking I always wanted to do.


  5. We are like you and Kelly there is no way we would do the snow bird thing if we had to stay in private parks.
    It might be cheaper than boondocking sometimes but there is nothing like the feeling of being alone with the desert.

  6. Great pictures of the Southwest in today's post. Love the colors.

  7. Nice trip dowm memory lane, Al..we all came from somewhere and we are who we are..great photos of boondocking days and nights from past adventures!!

  8. Don't know how long I've been a Bayfield Bunch reader, but it's been a couple of years, maybe.

    Been thinking about all the spammers signing in with "anonymous." Since I do not want to be associated with any of THOSE commenters, I guess it's time for me to woman-up and really sign in with other than an anonymous signature.

  9. We really haven't boondocked yet. Slept in the parking lot of the RV repair place, and on the street where our daughter lives. On our next trip we plan on trying an overnight at a Walmar or Sam's club. Not brave enough to try the wilds yet. The closest we have come is dry camping in a National Park.

    I'm sure once we get going we will give it a try. It seems scary.

  10. Like you said state parks are in between and we are in an actual membership park that is just beautiful,(like a state park but with full hookups ) huge sites, no one behind us a view of the lake and lots of wildlife, very quite here at this time of year too.

  11. Thanks for the kind comments my friend....
    It seems kinda funny to be sittin on the sidelines now, just reading and not having to think about what I will be writing about. It was much easier for me when we were traveling more.....
    I'll miss it I'm sure, but one thing is for sure Al, and that is I will be here reading your Blog every morning at 4am when I get up. Because, yours is the best,,,plus your pictures are PRICELESS!!
    The best time to stop and see us is anythime,,,We are almost always here at Happy Hour,,,thats 4pm every day rain or shine....It only lasts a HOUR,,,starts at 4 ends at 5.....Thats why they call it HAPPY HOUR, not happy hour and a half or happy 2 hrs....
    However stop on over anytime,,,,But I'll be right here watchin ya be good!!:-)

  12. I enjoy the comforts of electric, water, and sewer, but most often do it in the natural setting of our National Wildlife Refuges. I can be one with nature this way while having only a few like minded neighbors. :)

    I'm not comfortable with boondocking alone. Nice that it works for the two of you.

  13. Greetings from sunny Florida.

    Just a quick correction if I may on the length of time Canadians are permitted in the USA. Ontario residents are not allowed to spend 7 months in the USA. I believe US immigration laws permit all B2 class visitors, Canadians included, a maximum of 182 days in USA. Ontario (OHIP coverage) and some other provinces now allow residents to be out of Ontario for a maximum of 7 months per year without any adverse effects on their OHIP coverage. There is no correlation between US immigration and OHIP days. I know it is confusing but overstaying the 182 days is a popular misconception.

  14. How ironic that you boast about the wonders of boondocking while you live in a house with all the comforts of home, with neighbors, for twelve months of the year. Just a few weeks ago you scurried out of the desert because of the harsh conditions. Despite your romanticism of boondocking very few rvers adopt that lifestyle and that’s not just an opinion it is a fact.

  15. I know you and Kelly enjoyed many boondocking adventures for many years and I sure enjoy reading about them. Just because you have a house in AZ now doesn't mean you can't still enjoy boondocking when you can. (lighten up, Lou!!) Russ and I are still trying to find our "niche" but I am sure we will figure it out one of these days. Just need to get out more.

  16. Thanks for the effort you put into keeping the Bayfield Bunch Blog going. It would be a shame to wake up one day and not have you to read over my morning cup of coffee.
    This, just in case you are getting any funny ideas about hang in' up your "pen."
    Box Canyon Mark

  17. It was back when we were first thinking about going full-time that Annie found your blog, and the scales fell from our eyes. We could LIVE OUT HERE, even if "out here" changed every few weeks. Especially if it changed. Annie said, "Did you know that you can park in the wilderness?" and that's where it started.

    When I would get discouraged and depressed in the gray, gray, gray NYS winters, Annie would hold up her laptop and show me your latest picture.

  18. Hi Al,
    I agree on the Boondocking. My concern is finding good places to park. We pull a 5er and I guess our only option is to scout out places to bookdock? We do not have a toad. Any suggestions?

  19. We sure enjoyed the drive down Darby Well Road near Ajo....sure enjoyed Hickiwan too, but I guess it has changed...too bad....I can see why a woman travelng alone would not feel comfortable boondocking...I'm not sure I would like it even with Den in some areas of Arizona's desert.

  20. When we start traveling again, it will be just Joe and I. Al, because of your wonderful blogs and pictures,we will be trying out the boondocking life. I too lift up my lap top and show Joe the pictures of your boon docking days. We will be installing solar panels on what ever rig we choose to get ( but at this point we are pretty sure it will be a very small Sunseeker with no slides) That is why we were so tickled to see that was the one you had purchased. I don't know that it will be all boon docking because Joe loves playing pickleball, pool and horse shoes. In any case, thank you so much for all your wonderful blogs and hope you continue to do this for a very long time. I too will miss Mike's Blogs.