Boondocking at the City of Rocks

Well we finally did it! We bought a generator and tried boondocking for the first time. Boondocking or dry camping is camping with no hookups, meaning no electricity, no water and no sewer. We have done no sewer many times, and even went without water a couple of times where we just had to fill our water tank before we got to the campsite, but this was the first time camping without electric. We quickly learned what we could and could not do with the generator. For instance, we learned we can’t use the A/C at all, and we can use the microwave oven briefly (like maybe 30 seconds). The coffee maker works, but you can hear the strain on the generator. Most campgrounds don’t want you running a generator all night, and we wouldn’t really want to run it that long anyway, so the nights are very dark and quiet.

All in all our first attempt at boondocking went very well. We had beautiful weather, and we couldn’t have picked a better place to try this out.

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Campsite among the rocks.

One of the benefits of boondocking is being able to camp in some pretty amazing spots out in the middle of nowhere.

City of Rocks State Park is in Faywood, New Mexico. We stayed at this park a couple of years ago in an electric and water hookup site, but these sites tucked in among the rocks are so much better! At night the skies were so dark we were able to see so many stars!

We had an interesting experience when we first pulled up to our site. A minivan was already parked there. I figured someone just stopped for a few minutes to take pictures or something so I got out of the truck to let them know we needed to pull into that site. The guy that was already there barely spoke English so I had a hard time communicating with him, but he basically said he was staying in that site and we were welcome to join him if we wanted to. Okay, that’s never happened before. This site was a reservation only site and I knew we had reserved it and there weren’t really that many sites in the park that we could fit in with our big rig. So I called the Visitor Center where I had just checked in and let the ranger know about this awkward situation. She sent some park rangers out to deal with it. They let us know that the guy just didn’t understand he couldn’t take reserved sites, so he went to find another one. Still, it made us feel really uncomfortable because it was like we had him kicked out of that spot, but what else were we supposed to do? He was only in a minivan and could basically fit in any site, and we didn’t really have any other options.

After that uncomfortable start, it took us FOREVER to get leveled in this site because it was on a slope. Finally we got set up and learned how to use the generator. Then we had a nice surprise! Our good friends from Ditching Suburbia just happened to be passing through this area on their way back to Texas and stopped in to spend the night with us.

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Hanging out with Mike & Crissa Boyink of Ditching Suburbia

We enjoyed beautiful sunsets and wide open spaces at this campground.

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Our campsite had a cute little nook tucked in the rocks with a picnic table and fire pit.

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Fat Cat liked climbing on the rocks.

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This park has a whole bunch of rocks to climb on, it’s like a playground of rocks!

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Our campsite is way back there in a cluster of rocks

City of Rocks was such a fun place to try out our first time dry camping. Now I guess we’ll have to get more adventurous and seek out some free BLM lands to camp on.

Categories: New Mexico | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Boondocking at the City of Rocks

  1. Liz

    super cool Chris! Randall and I enjoy reading these posts. Especially FAT CAT. hahahahaha. –Liz

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful photos, especially that sunset! I think you handled that minivan situation well. I felt bad for you, though–yikes, what an uncomfortable situation. What a gorgeous spot to boondock! I’m envious; we wanted to camp at City of Rocks this summer but had to choose between that and backpacking White Sands. Looking at your great photos, I really wish we had an extra night! Happy to have experienced it vicariously through you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that just might be the coolest campsite I’ve ever seen!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a great campsite with a rock playground in your backyard! Love those kinds of campsites where the campsite itself is a point of interest. Good job handling the “situation” with the other camper, you were really left with no choice. Congrats on a successful first time boondocking!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this place looks really fun, I am going to make a note of this for the future! Great photos and glad you got to hang out with friends too–bonus!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Heather! Btw, thanks for the book recommendation for The Night Gardener. My son is reading it now and said it’s the best book he’s ever read. 😀

      Like

  6. My son is reading it now and said it’s the best book he’s ever read.

    Like

  7. This looks amazing! I’m getting excited! We are set to full-time rv in 19 days!

    Liked by 1 person

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