Alone – Sort Of…
In the Gila Box Wilderness
We took our camper out for a trek into the Desert. I got out our book that tells us where we can go for free or on the cheap! Love this book. Highly recommend it, if you’re into RV camping. It’s called the Guide to Free Campgrounds.
(See More Below)
We knew we wanted to be out in the middle of no-where for a few days, and by a river if possible. I checked around areas not too far off from our home in Tombstone AZ – and found the Gila Box Wilderness. It’s a little Northeast of Safford Arizona.
We started out and found the turn-off, which crosses over the Gila River east of Safford. A good road, but once you enter the wilderness area, it becomes gravel, much more narrow & twisty turny! But our good ole RV made it through – carefully! We stopped at the first picnic area, river overlook…
Gila River below overlook in Gila Box RNCA
The turn-off has a picnic area, for a nice outdoor lunch. You can see Mount Graham in the background.
We had our eye on Riverview Campground, listed in Wright’s book. It was priced at $5 a night, with water available, no hook-ups, rest rooms, river access & hiking trails. Each site had a picnic table, shade & a grill. The Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Barrel Cactus at the front of our campsite.
You can see the Campground hosts’ RVs way down the road in the distance. Only 1 or 2 other campers were there when we were camped.
Entrance Area to Gila Box Riverview Campground - The Board with all the instructions & area info
Got our RV situated so the door aligned with the ramada & picnic table. Left lots of room in front, a long way to the roadway!
View off to the NE from the entrance to our campsite.
Bill’s relaxing by the ramada next to our RV. View of the cliffs adjacent to the Gila River.
We got settled that first day, and just relaxed, as there wasn’t too much daylight left. It started getting pretty chilly outside. It was wintertime (you really wouldn't want to be here in the summer!).
But we tried to relax outdoors until the sun got so low that it didn’t provide much more heat. Then we retired inside the RV to fix our evening meal.
The next morning we took a walk along the road to explore the campground. We met the campground hosts as they were walking their dogs. Very nice people, they host here each winter. They invited us over to their site later in the day.
Roadway thru campground for access to sites – 13 of them all well spaced!
Walked by farthest site in – Snow-capped Mt. Graham just peaking over the hills.
After walking & exploring awhile, we took the hosts up on their offer for a visit. Had a nice little chat with them just before dinner-time.
We asked about cell service, since we were waiting on word of a new great granddaughter! They said it’s very difficult way out here. But the one location it sometimes reaches is a rock located outside the farthest campsite!
We tried for it after leaving them, just before going back to our RV – but no luck. We were in true Social Network “Alone” !!
Yes, we walked on to the farthest part of the campground – where there was a group area, with some activity areas – like a horse-shoe pit. We also passed some trail-heads which we planned to get to the next day.
Group picnic area & horse-shoe pit.
We walked to a river access area - there was a small sandy beach.
Across the other side was a small slot type of canyon – sort of!
We returned back to our RV, did some afternoon relaxing, and some nice reading! Caught up on some of those books! Good way to spend time when you don’t have access to all those electronics. We could run our generator for electric power. They do have a time limit rule for running generators in the campground, because of noise.
We ran it in the early evening for a short time to watch a couple DVDs. We have a whole set of the Gracie Allen & George Burns show, that we just laugh & laugh over. So funny! Look into it, if you’ve never seen their TV show. What a crack-up Gracie was!
The next day we wanted to check out some of the trails. So after breakfast, we started out on our new explorations.
We started out on the trail near the beach access. We’d noted it crisscrossed some others.
Went over to the Cottonwood Trailhead – Took a small section & then looped back by our campsite – would love to return for the whole trail sometime!
The Cottonwood Trail is 2.5 miles long & makes a loop which includes the Riverside Campground. It’s a basic hike, great for nearly anyone. Most of it is relatively flat, but there are a few sloping areas – not bad. Some gravelly parts can be a little slippery – so be sure to have good hiking shoes! We didn’t do the entire thing, since we wanted to stay within the campground on this trip.
Nice views of the Cliffs – Monoliths that almost looked like ancient buildings into the cliff-side! Alien-built? Whooo-ooo!!
We circled back to the road & took the Campground trail.
The trail parallels the Gila River, for nice views of the riparian areas & the cliffs.
This weird zip-line looking feature went across the river! We asked the hosts – they said it was to lower water testing equipment into the river!
We approached our RV in the campsite as we ended our treks. It was a good day! And a good trip. The next morning we headed out – quite satisfied with our visit to the Gila Box Riverview Campground!
If you think this might be an interesting camping area for you when you travel the American West - here's where to go for some detailed info: Click Here>
As we said also, highly recommended is Wright's Guide to Free Camping. He also has some other cool camping guides. Look them over, see if they might be right up your alley...
Far American West Travel
Big Island Hawaii
We love to spend time in Hawaii. We travel there fairly frequently. Remember - Hawaii is part of America! And it's in the American West!
We don't usually go to resorts, but instead try to find a nice house or even a condo to rent. We typically look around for something on Air BnB, VRBO, Home Away or something of that nature.
We also try to find the best deals if we look for a hotel - which is something we do need to use from time to time. On lots of trips, we'll get best finds when we go to the Hotelwatchdog - Homepage. You might want to give that a try.
We used to have a Time-share, and we'd trade for a place in Hawaii. Then suddenly it was very difficult to get a trade there - no matter how early we tried. Even though we owned a top flight place in Scottsdale AZ.
We got rid of that Time-share. Now we just have a vacation club, but haven't traded for anything in Hawaii with it yet. We may try at some point.
Beautiful Big Island Rainforest
But right now, we're happy enough with the places we get. On our last trip we spent 10 days on the Big Island of Hawaii. We rented a great little cottage in the rain forest about 45 minutes from Hilo. The little frogs around the place made an absolute cacophony at night. It was amazing!
Each day we traveled around the island for an exploration road-trip. We love it there. The volcano was active in two places. UPDATE: Early May 2018 - our beloved Big Island rainy side is now getting more eruptions. The home we rented for our 2017 trip when we took these photos, wasn't in it's path - it was further West of Pahoa.
But we took our Granddaughter with us for a week's stay there in 2009. We rented a beautiful 2 bedroom home in Leilani Estates, where these 2018 eruptions are happening. I don't know if that home was affected. Hopefully not. The photo was taken of the upstairs lanai, right off the master bedroom.
Check out a few of our photos.
The Beautiful Restful Lanai
The Volcano is Steaming!
Old Lava Flow was Downhill Along Chain of Craters Road
Puʻu ʻŌʻō Lava Flows Into the Sea
Parker Ranch History - Paniolo Saddles
South Side Shaka
Heiau - a Hawaiian sacred site