Rubber Tramp Rendezvous

We didn’t quite make it to the Coconino Forest last night. At around 11:00 we got tired of driving and turned off the highway into Kaibab National Forest, where we spent the night.

You don’t really realize how spooky the forest is until you’re smack dab in the middle of it, traveling down a washboard dirt road, with no lights, and no other people for miles—that you know of.

It was definitely spooky. It was pitch black, except for the four flashlights we brought. Yes, four. For two people and a dog. Jef was afraid of coyotes. I was afraid of other humans. It was the kind of place where no one would hear you scream. Where serial killers go to dump bodies. Where rabid zombies with glowing eyes and sharp claws suddenly appear from behind trees. One of us has an overactive imagination.

Sleeping in the van went off without a hitch. No major bumps in the night. No serial killers, no zombies. There were, however, an absurd number of moths inside the van, banging against the walls. Really, banging. The moth mosh pit kept me up for quite some time, the noisy little buggers. After waking up this morning to 80 degree heat, we skedaddled in search of the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous.

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We had a little mishap on the way. One of our water jugs tipped over, and flooded the floor of the van. The reversible spigot had fallen into the jug, leaving a gaping hole in the cap, and the spigot floating around inside. This isn’t the first time having Jack Skellington hands has come in handy, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

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So the first order of business after arriving at the RTR was getting all of out stuff out of the van so we could clean up the water. I was very thankful for two things: a bedlined floor, and the fact that I hadn’t gotten around to screwing the subfloor down. And of course, as soon as we got all our stuff out of the van, giant cracks of thunder started ringing out. A light drizzle began, and we scrambled to clean up the water inside the van before it rained on all our stuff that was sitting outside the van.

Luckily, the rain never materialized. After cleaning up and doing some reorganizing we had the pleasure of chatting with Bob Wells, the RTR host, and some of the other RTRs. We watched as people helped install a whopping 600 watts of solar panels on one guy’s van. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seriously exclaimed, “Nice rack!”

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We happen to have chosen a parking spot on a “closed” road so we’ll see if a ranger comes by tomorrow and tells us to move. For now, this is home.

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  • Stephen

    Looks good! Some nice Wildcamping sites there.I can’t believe you managed to get your hand inside that water carrier!!