Thankfully there are people out there in the blog-o-sphere that delight in providing very detailed information on their favorite “secret” camping spots. I located one of our favorites in Utah, at Valley of the Gods, from a YouTube video. Clare took the reins and found a blog with details on a great spot, out in the desert near Carlsbad Caverns. So, that’s where we are! It’s peaceful, beautiful, and as much cactus and yucca as you care to shake a marshmallow stick at.
We have come to realize that we really prefer boondocking (camping self-contained out on public lands) to most any RV park we’ve come across. The luxury of plugging in to electricity and piping in unlimited water is nice, but we honestly do pretty well un-plugged. We have 2 big solar panels on Stella, and that gives us all the power we need, as long as there is sufficient daylight – which has not been a problem. I can even power my expresso machine in the morning with batteries alone. Life is good. As long as we don’t shower much, we have water to spare. Showers are over-rated anyway.
Today we went in to the caverns and were truly amazed. I always associated “Carlsbad Caverns” with the Disney version, and hadn’t really taken it seriously as a national treasure. And wow, it really is! My photos don’t begin to do it justice. It is so enormous, gorgeous, and other worldly. The hike down the 80 stories (and back up again) was a great way to prove that we can still kick the butts of many of the younger tourists – which was great for our egos. The bats aren’t really in season, so we didn’t get to witness that mass exodus, but the cave itself was well worth the visit.
A few days ago, we were in Taos and stopped at the Mothership – the community of (nearly) self-sufficient homesteads designed like alien habitats. Apparently, the android styling is not required to be a “Mothershipper”, but it fits the design asthetic of the founder. It was pretty cool to see how they re-use tires, bottles, and soda cans to make very efficient structures. The use of solar, wind, hydroponics, and creativity was impressive. I think our Stella is just as good, and she has wheels.