Konyaaltı Beach at Antalya, Turkiye.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Antalya, Turkiye.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Paris, France on May 1st.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Great first experience with Boondockers Welcome

Yesterday, we drove down from Payson to Mesa to escape a cold front weather system that was forecast to eliminate the sunshine from Payson for the better part of five days. We could have dealt with the colder temperatures...but our electricity supply comes from our batteries, and when there is no sun, our solar panels can't charge our batteries!

And there was definitely no sun when we woke up yesterday morning!

In fact, it was pouring rain, windy, and the temperature was about 46F (8C).


We waited for a break in the rain, and got Sherman fired up to hit the road.

What is that? Sunshine in the distance??

It's pretty much all downhill from Payson to Mesa. We drop from 5,000 ft to 1,240 ft during the 76 mile (122 km) drive.

In fact, we only had to drive about 15 minutes to get out of the rain! From there, it was a pleasant scenic drive on a four lane highway.

Some wet patches, but no more rain.

A few mountain passes to get down to the Phoenix area.

It was getting close to lunch time when we spotted the Fort McDowell Casino. Right by the highway, so it was easy to stop and pull into their big parking lot.

I checked their website, and sure enough they have a Players Club where you can sign up and get instant free slot machine money. $10 for Ruth, and $15 for me because the extra $5 was because February was my birthday month. 

We had lunch, and then went into the casino to pick up our free money. Long story short, we turned that $25 worth of free play money into $35.80 cold hard cash without ever touching a dime of our own money.

That's almost $140 in two days. We won't make an effort to specifically go to a casino, but if we happen to be driving by one you can bet we'll be stopping in to pick up some more free money!

Then, we headed into the busy Phoenix metropolitan area.

Yesterday's drive, 76 miles (122 kms).

Many of our regular readers know that we're fans of couchsurfing when we travel. That's where you make contact with a host who has space in their home for you to visit for a night or more. We've used the couchsurfing website more than 40 times over the years, and we've also hosted travelers in our own home.

Well, now that concept has come to the RV'ing world in the form of Boondockers Welcome - Be My Guest RV Parking and we are currently using our membership for the first time ever.

We had made contact with a host here in Mesa, where their profile indicated that they had driveway space sufficient for a 30' RV, and they even had a 30A electrical hookup and water available.

We pulled into a nice residential area of Mesa at about 2:30pm, and found the address we were looking for. Before we could even get out of the motorhome, Jeff and Star came outside to greet us and direct us into the driveway. We got parked up, and had a chat and got acquainted for a few minutes.

Sherman, parked up in Jeff and Star's driveway.

Jeff said that we could get set up, and then they had to run out for a few minutes, but invited us to join them. They were going to their local neighborhood bar to give something to a friend, and probably have a drink or two while there. We haven't even been in their house yet, and they're inviting us out for a drink. Our kind of people.

Did we want to join them? Yep, sure did!

We were trying to figure out the last time we sat in a bar and had a drink. I think it was in Namibia over a year ago!

So we had a couple of drinks and got to know each other. Jeff is a retired software engineer, and Star was in nursing. They own a 2007 30 ft class C that they bought brand new, and they use it to escape the Arizona heat in July and August to travel up to Oregon area.

I forgot the camera, so you'll have to visualize what four people look like sitting at a bar with drinks. Can you see it?? Picture my big glass of beer with a nice white foam top on it!

We got back to the motorhome and relaxed for a bit, then Star knocked on the door and said that they had more than enough food for four people and that we should come in for dinner. Ruth will make dinner for everyone tonight!

After dinner, we played a few rounds of LRC, the dice game. 

This morning, they've offered to take us to the big Mesa flea market, so that should be fun!

So far, a great first experience with Boondockers Welcome - Be My Guest RV Parking!

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  1. Now that sounds like a great way to spend the day.. .rushing south to get out of the cold and finding some sunshine! So good to have wheels under your home. Don't like the weather? Change it! LOL

    Great driveway "moochdocking" we call it. We have had several bloggers and fellow Safari motorhome owners meet us over the internet that we have hosted in our driveway. Of course, you guys are welcome to stop in ours anytime you are in Wisconsin. Although this time of year isn't so pleasant.....

    KarenInTheWoods and Steveio
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

    1. We are sooo happy that we have wheels on our house. The weather was so much nicer here in Mesa.

      I would call it "moochdocking" when it is with people you know but not with strangers. If we are ever through your neck of the woods, you know that we would be happy to drop in and meet you both. :-)

  2. That Mesa flea market is a huge one. We gave generously to the locals.

  3. Whats not to like, warmer weather, out to a for a drink, free camping, home cooked meal and the Mesa market Place, it is huge and fun to walkabout , though we seldom buy anything, enjoy.

    1. We have definitely had a couple of good days so far. Doing things we don't normally do, like going to a bar and a flea market! We hardly bought anything there either George.

  4. Always nice to meet some nice like minded RV people. You are on fire with those casinos!

    1. Yes it is Cheapchick. This experience is very much like our couchsurfing experiences, we have something in common right from the get go.

  5. Absolutely astonishing that you were able to find a free site in the Phoenix metro area during the middle of winter!

    1. The amazing thing is that out of all the people in the Phoenix metro area there are only 4 Boondocker Welcome people registered. There are lots of other spots though that a boondocker could stay at in this area.

  6. What a life! Casinos, sunshine, great meal, sunshine, cold beer, sunshine..... I'm just visualizing it all.....

  7. Love the post about boondocking we are very interested and will look into it soon, after we move into town. Lots of work ahead of us.

    1. So far we would definitely recommend the site. I take it, that Phil sold his house?

  8. I have not heard about that kind of boon-docking but sounds like a great idea:)

    1. Just another great way to boondock and to meet new people.

  9. i let my membership expire as there were few opportunities for larger rigs... glad you found one for your 30 footer...

    1. Yep, I can see that especially in a city, in the country I am sure it would be easier. One reason that it is nice to have a smaller unit. We are actually 28', that 2' can make a difference at times. ;-)


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