And Back to Arizona 11/11/22

After a great Sumer in northern Utah, it got really cold and even snowed! So we packed our things and headed for the warmer weather of Arizona. We now have four cats to pack up, but they first wanted to play in the snow!

The two new kittens are growing so fast! They have names now, the Tortoiseshell Tabby is named Francis as she reminds us of the children’s book character of the same name. We call her Frannie for short. The Orange Tabby is named Tally after the orange cat in the Reader Rabbit Math Adventure computer game. Her name was lengthened to Tallitha Jayne because it sounds pretty. I digress…

After 6 months of being parked in the same place, we wanted to make sure that we sufficiently cleaned up our area, so we actually moved the bus down to the main entrance to the Outpost the day before we left so we could make sure everything was packed, tied down, and in the best places possible.

The sunrise painted a great backdrop for a final Rocky Ridge Outpost picture!

This was the first time that the kittens had ridden in their bus home and we wanted to make sure they were comfortable. Our adult cats ran and hid under the bed as usual as soon as they heard the battery-assisted brake kick in, but the babies didn’t mind the sounds of the engine at all! They actually handled the trip really well and would just nap on the couch while we drove down the highways!

Tally is fully embracing her role as Bus Cat and found herself this lovely perch. Yes, she climbed up there herself!
Francis made herself at home on the couch while we drove. She’s such a chill young cat. She is the epitome of “if she fits, she sits”.

We also celebrated Braydon’s birthday before we left! He turned 6 and now likes spicy things, can give really strong High Fives, and can count to 100. Oh, and he likes math now, too. It’s amazing what turning 6 can do for a boy! We got him a few good bus-sized things for his birthday such as a blue deck of playing cards, some blue Plus Plus (kind of like Legos, but not quite), some new crayons, and a light-up Frisbee. He used some of his birthday dollars from other people to buy himself the complementary markers to go with his crayons. After tossing all of his old and mismatched art supplies, Braydon finally enjoys coloring!! Stay Tuned for some of his artwork!

Braydon had a “pancake” cake with cream cheese maple frosting and blue sprinkles.

We decided to take our time with our trip South and actually stop to see some of the things that normal people would stop to see while driving though the route we took down to Arizona. We drove past the Hoover Dam on SR93 without stopping, but were able to visit Bryce Canyon and hike part of one of the trails. It was so cold we didn’t want to stay too long, but we did want to experience it! Here’s some photos!!

We left the Bryce Canyon area pretty quickly even though it was in the middle of a snow storm as the projected low for the following night was 7 degrees! Our wood stove works well and can keep us at over 100 degrees inside even in the teens outside, but it would just take so much wood and we would need to wake up so many times throughout the night that it’s just not worth it! We only travel with so much wood as it is heavy and takes up SO MUCH ROOM! So we continued our trek South in the snow until our next stop in the Kingman area.

When out on the road at the mercy of other drivers’ attention spans, you can never be too safe. Moreover, when you’re driving your HOUSE on the road, its good to have a backup plan in the event that your engine goes out or you have an accident that doesn’t total your rig, but would take a while to repair. We didn’t have any backup plans, but were made vividly aware of our oversight this summer. So we saved up and put a down payment on a piece of property that we could only see pictures of. It was in Dolan Springs not far from Kingman, AZ, and near the Skywalk of the Grand Canyon. We were going to make one of our overnights on the property as we had permission from the owners to do so while we checked it out before paying the remainder of the balance and getting the Deed transferred over to our name. And good thing we did! We were not able to access the property even in our 4×4 Jeep let alone in our 40′ Bus Home! So we drove the rest of the way to Kingman, spent the night in a Truck Stop since it was late, and then re-evaluated after a good night’s sleep. We figured it would take infinitely longer and/or be impossible to explore the area and other properties if we took the bus with us, so conveniently there was a KOA in Kingman with some non-hookup sites cheap and available. We went over and they let us check in early and leave the bus and our utility trailer there while we explored 6 other properties in the Jeep. One property was “just for comparison’s sake” as it was almost 7x the price we were looking at for the same amount of land – we just wanted to see if that exorbitant price came with modern conveniences such as a paved road or anything. Nope, we got as close as we could in the Jeep and turned around to head toward the other 5 properties from the first company we had a down payment with! Out of the other five, four of them were barely accessible with the Jeep. We had to put it in 4WD and be thankful for our extra 3 inches of lift, four inches in wheel spacers, and extra large and knobby tires. DEFINITELY not bus-accessible for fun let alone being accessible by a tow truck towing our bus in the event of a disaster! But we did find one piece of desert not far off the main road and down another dirt road that was very wide and and very flat and perfect for the bus! We called our contact and she wrote up a down payment transfer document that we e-signed and then we went to the bank and deposited the remainder of the cost into their bank account. We got a copy of the Deed from them this week and we are the happy owners of a piece of desert in Arizona! What’s super neat about land in this county is that it is zoned for full-time RV use if you get a septic system installed. With hauled or delivered water and solar as your power, you’re able to apply for an RV permit to live full-time on the property! Super simple! We are very excited to say the least!

With property decisions out of the way, we made our way over the last leg of our journey (for now) to the town of Cottonwood, AZ, where the glass artist that Jeff welds for has his new shop. We are spending the first week and a half of our time in Arizona here as there is a huge Art Show to get ready for and Jeff’s help was needed for the preparations to go smoothly. We are almost two hours north of the State Trust Land that we will head back to this Winter where we will go back to our other jobs. One day a week Jeff will drive the Jeep over the mountains to this place and help out with things throughout the Winter, but hopefully – once we make it back down – the bus will never have to come here again. This is a gorgeous place, but is a valley at the base of a whole ring of mountains. After miles and miles of climbing and even having to pull over once to let the bus cool down, we aren’t looking forward to our return trip out of here as, regardless of which road we take, we have to climb our way out.

Before we embarked on this part of our journey, we were sure to increase the declared vehicle value on our Insurance Policy as another way to protect ourselves against devastation in the event of a disaster. To do this, we had to take pictures and send copies of receipts of as many “big-ticket items” as we could so there was a record of what it was exactly we were insuring. Be sure to look for the pictures on an upcoming page on the website with a virtual Bus Walk-Through!

7 thoughts on “And Back to Arizona 11/11/22

  1. woohoo.. what a trip..snow! but glad you got to sightsee! awesome pictures as usual!!
    glad Braydon got new art supplies and great job on the math! πŸŽ‰.. hope you get an RC car for the desert! πŸ˜‰
    great thinking on a back up plan!! πŸ‘πŸ»
    and so happy it worked out that you found a nice piece of land!! you mentioned septic but could you do a well too? that would be perfect!
    so you are heading back to the original spot? and not on the land you purchased?
    upping the insurance was great too! you guys got it together!! so proud of you!! good luck with the jobs! thanks for posting the blog, still enjoying being part of your travels…πŸ€—
    stay safe and take care!!! πŸ’œπŸ’œhugs to all!!


    1. There’s always the possibility of a well, but it is the desert and they charge by the foot of drilling, so a well might be like in a 10 or 20 year plan lol. There’s a place that fills water about 10 minutes away and most people there just get a water trailer and fill up there!
      Yes, we will stay on the same land as last year. We can’t stay on the purchased property for more than 30 days/year until we have that RV permit which requires the septic system and all. It’s also 3 hours away from out jobs that we already committed to this winter. We will probably look for new jobs for next winter if we stay on the property, but not sure.


  2. Wonderful to hear from you and see your photos – Braydon looks good it is growing up. Takecare/ You are all in my prayers
    Love you so much- miss you …
    grandma Barb


  3. Glad you got to sightsee on the way down. Bryce still looks Amazing..!!
    BRAYDON, Nice job on the drawing/coloring supplies. My dad was an artist; I hope you got his talent. I can’t draw a straight line…lol. AND, so glad to hear you like math, it is a fun subject and gets even better in Algebra – “the cheese stands alone”, etc. I hope you had a chance to put up your growth chart….you’re getting sooo big..!!
    Tally and Frances are so cute, glad they traveled well..!
    So glad the land worked out. (Uh oh…… “10 to 20 year plan”….??)
    Can’t wait to see Jeff’s new artistic creations and those colorful balloons again..!!
    Love to all..!


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