It has been a really stressful couple of months and I was really scrambling to get all the work done that I needed to get done before leaving. I think I was driving my poor coworker Katie crazy. Plus, I had to upgrade the truck and I wasn’t sure the Tonneau cover would be there in time. It was but they couldn’t get me in until after we left. Gak! I begged them and they managed to get me in on the 20th. I brought them a dozen donuts. They were quite pleased.
We spent the morning getting packed. It took a lot longer than expected and all the running around really was stressing out the dogs. We have ended up packing a lot of stuff.
Fattie: check. Mountain bike: check. Stand-up paddleboard: check. Wine: check. Scotch: check. All the essentials.
We finally got out of Ruby Ranch at around 12:15. We had a pretty long drive for our first day, about 5.5 hours. We were heading to a boondock site [boondocking is essentially free camping on public land, completely dry and unserviced] on the San Rafael swell in a place called Buckhorn Draw. It is a very beautiful area situated in the Capitol Reef formation.
The driving was pretty easy and the trailer handled well, but we were fighting an 80 mph headwind so we ended up getting a whopping 8 mpg. Sorry mother earth. I was very glad to have upgraded from the Frontier to the RAM. Hauling the trailer up and down those hills definitely required a bit more oomph.
We pulled off the freeway at mile maker 131 and headed down the dirt road to a campsite that I had scoped out on Google Earth. The road was pretty easy going and we got to camp area around 5:45 pm. It was a nice evening with some clouds in the sky. Definitely a bit cool, but very nice.
We managed to unhitch and level without too much trouble, although I did forget to unplug the power cable, which unplugged itself when I moved the truck forward. Oops. No harm done, but better work on that checklist. When I opened the door of the trailer, the roll of paper towels had completely unrolled itself and was sitting on the floor. Note, add that to the checklist: secure the paper towels.
One other thing we learned is that Jayco doesn’t have a very good design on the fresh water tank. It has an overflow tube that automatically vents water so you don’t blow out your fresh water tank, but there’s no way to close it off, so when you drive most of your water ends up on the highway. We left with a full tank and arrived with 1/3 of a tank. We are going to have to find a way to pinch it off if we are going to boondock.
It was a very nice place to boondock and we had a good view of the many rock formations. The dogs were pretty stressed out, so we played a bit of Frisbee, grilled up some sausages and had a nice dinner with a good bottle of Unti Montepulciano. We hung inside the trailer and dogs got on the bed. Things settled down and we slept well.
All in all a good first day.