Welcome to Holbrook, AZ: Land of Uranium Springs, the Painted Desert, Route 66, and an Amazing National Park

Welcome to Holbrook, AZ:  Land of Uranium Springs, the Painted Desert, Route 66, and an Amazing National Park

April 4, 2022

This week we had more adventures in and around Holbrook, AZ.  We got some chores done and were productive with our artistry of making videos and taking photos.  I’ll tell the story of the week in the order it happened for you so you can follow along in our adventures.  

First, we had to bring our truck in for servicing.  We did this in a nice little town south of here called Snowflake.  We were waiting in their waiting room for a bit when a technician who seemed to be in charge told us that he follows us on YouTube.  So awesome right!  He spent a little time talking to us and telling us the places where he likes to camp with his family in the area.  One of our tires needed patching and he took care of it free of charge and gave us a free tire tread gauge when he realized we didn’t own one.  By the time we left there, we had a couple more subscribers and I’m pretty sure it was the other two people working there that day.  

The next day we took the dogs to the local vet so we could get their prescription Heartgard.  The vet was very nice, reasonably priced, gave us a quick appointment, and sold us a year supply of the medication for both dogs so we wouldn’t have to get it shipped.  I know that many of our friends and family struggle to get appointments at the vet back east.  I have heard that this is due to the amount of people that got a dog during COVID, but this didn’t seem to be an issue out here.  It’s funny how the pandemic has had different effects on different parts of our country.  Many people who were able to start working remotely got new pets during COVID. I’m guessing that the people that do the type of work which enabled them to do this are likely more concentrated in the coastal states.  This is all my assumption, not backed by any research, but I think it may be a valid hypothesis.  

We are still staying at the same free campground.  I don’t know if there is a limit on how long one can stay for free and we have not tried to find out.  There is nothing posted on the signs here about a limit, but most people that have come while we’ve been here have only stayed for a couple of days.  Perhaps that is just because most people are just coming to see the park and then they move onto the next one.  We have found more to Holbrook than the national park though.  We have also found that visiting the park more than once is worth it.  We will leave here by the 14 day mark even if no one tells us to so we are not monopolizing nice camping that someone else wants.  It has started to get busier here this week anyhow.  Maybe I should have held off on the nice reviews I posted about this place…  I have gone around the park to pick up trash as a way to offer gratitude for the spot.  We get good solar here and it feels safe to leave our rig if we go out for the day.  I’ve even met a couple of other full timers who enjoy boondocking and we traded tips on great places to camp for free that we’ve found.  I met a couple yesterday who built their own camper out of a trailer.  It was really cool as were they.  I think I’ll try to make a video tour of their camper and have them explain how they did it for our channel.  Here is our lovely campground.

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We made some videos this week as well.  Luke put together his video from his backpacking wilderness milky way adventure in the National Park.  We made a video about downtown Holbrook and historic route 66 that runs through town.  It was fun to make this one as we took a little walking tour of town while doing it.  There are a great deal of rusty old cars in town.  It seems like almost every business has more than one parked outside.  A museum that is closed has used a bunch of old broken down cars as barricades to block off the parking lot from traffic.  My favorite spot downtown was the old Wigwam Hotel.  They had the best and brightest old cars in their parking lot.  It was also a cool themed motel.  Luke went on a little rant about the town seeming to claim that several roads here were the old route 66.  He thinks it’s a trick that’s being played on him.  Not every road can be route 66…

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As I mentioned above, we also spent more time at the Petrified Forest National Park this week.  It was a bit windy and overcast for a few days, but it only made the colors of the painted desert even more magnificent.  We also took some time to walk some of the trails.  I am quickly learning that this is the way to really see the good stuff at national parks.  Wandering down within canyons and among formations really offers a different perspective than what you see from the pull outs and parking areas at the park.  We are working on making a video about the national park and I put together a list of what I’m calling “Forest Facts” to tell people while we show off some of the cool things there are to see here.  There are a tremendous amount of interesting things here, especially once you learn a bit about the thing you are gaping at.  For example, the painted desert shows a geological story of changes the land went through over time in the colored layers of the rock.  Arizona was once a rainforest area situated near the equator on Pangea. These old trees in the Petrified Forest are now fossilized rock and the quartz and other materials have completely replaced all the organic material of the tree while still keeping the original shape.  Cool stuff I tell ya.

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I did tell you that it’s been a busy week.  We also found an apocalypse style role play group just outside of town that had posted a public event on Facebook.  They have a big party event in late May and this past weekend they were opening up the site for people to come work on their builds.  I messaged the leader and he said we could come down to take photos and video so that is just what we did.  We drove about 11 miles down a very bumpy dirt road (it took awhile as we had to go slow) in the middle of nowhere in the desert to get to this place called Uranium Springs.  We arrived and were amazed to find an apocalypse themed village that covered a very large area and was made out of recycled items.  They had modified vehicles with flamethrowers mounted to the roof that looked straight out of Mad Max.  There were hovels that people built to dwell in, sell goods in, or party and hang out in.  A couple that was there working on building “The Wreck Room” took us on a tour of the place and pointed out the camps belonging to the different factions as well as “the city” area where they had small structures set up to sell food, drinks, chair massages, and other goods and services during their big public events.  It was an amazing place with a group of seemingly very friendly people who spent their free time doing the thing they loved.  We talked about how most of what this camp was about is adults dressing up in costumes, building elaborate forts, and having parties.  In short, the type of things we all loved doing as kids, and felt discouraged from doing as adults.  I felt glad for them that they found a niche community to do what they love with.  They tried to get us to come to a party they’re having next weekend, but for now we are planning to be onto our next destination by then.  

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