Camping and living on my bike in Flagstaff

6:29 p.m. on May 14, 2012 (EDT)
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Been in Flagstaff now 2 1/2 weeks after my bicycle ride up here from Tucson last month. I am currently camping in the Coconino National Forest till I find a place to live and a steady job for the summer. I may just stay out camping the next 3 1/2 months till I leave after Labor Day weekend in September.

The following are my camps, I stay in a different spot every night and photograph them like I would if I were traveling. Seen some interesting views. The forest is Ponderosa pines and Oak tree's. In the evenings there are runners, mountain bikers and people walking their dogs in the woods nearby, but I have been the only camper since I started staying in the forest.


This is actually down lower close to town. The San Francisco Peaks as seen from a local park.


A couple lone Mallards feeding in the cattails near the same pond as above.


An old Ponderosa pine tree stump that fell sometime in the past.


Another old upturned tree stump.


My first cam a couple weeks ago. The tree was too thick at the bottom for my Ulock so I lifted my bike up to where it would fit around the tree.


A large pine and a smaller one in the late afternoon sunlight.


A long dead log is almost rotted away, just the stump stays longest.


An Elk and a deer skull left from a old hunting camp.


Volcanic rocks left after the San Franciso Peaks last erupted 250,000 years ago or longer. The area around Flagstaff is littered with boulders of every size and coler. Plus huge lava flows.

A second night in the woods.


The full or sclose to full moon rises in the east above my camp.


The setting sun lights the clouds above for one final moment.


Me at sunset.


Another evenings camp shot. The trees are young here.


Lambs or Mules Ear weed. Edible when boiled, also a good toilet wipe! The leaves are soft like velvet.


Another sunset in the forest.


The setting colors reflected by the pines and dead needles.


More lava boulders slowly erode away. Been there millions of years and except for some lichen growing and working on them they have changed little since landing here long ago.


Yet another camp spot.


 A over one hundred year old ponderosa stump from the late 1800s when logging was the main work around Flagstaff. Flagstaff literially means a Flag's staff. On the Fourth of July the woodsmen cut the limbs off a tree they would later fell and hung Old Glory on its top.


Here and there are old camps made by locals and homeless folks.


An 1960s Budwieser can with chuch key openings. I also found old Pepsi and Coors cans.



Camp between the pines.


While its brother still stands a pine tree dies next door.


Camped in the open where the sun might be warmer earlier in the morn.


Mountainman and his camp.


Bought a new hat at Goodwill. Looks more the wild style.


Little tree's and a stump for company this night!


A stunted pine with huge knarled limbs.


Streak of setting sunlight on the pines.


An old lightning struck tree slowly heals. Anyone got a huge bandaid?


Inside look at the tree's scar.


Say goodnight kid!


Another well made stump leanto from the back.


From the opening side and...


Inside! Room enough for one comfortably.


Giant old Ponderosa pine. Must have been too small in the 1800s to cut. It is now about 5 feet across at the base and 75 feet tall.


The trees sunset shadow reached back a couple hundred feet.


My fully loaded bike and daypack before I sat up camp.

Last nights camp between two trees. The sun hit my tent this morning at 6 am. Earliest since I have been out there. Part of Mt Elden seen behind camp.


Covered saddle packs to camoflauge against raiders.

I am still looking for a place in town like I had in Tucson last winter. Have had a few answers to my ad, one was 18 miles away, on 10. I may have a bite with one close to where I am living now a guy on one care of land willing to exchange my labor for camping on his property. I want to stay for 3 1/2 more months but am tiring of pedaling around with all my gear everyday and then up the 1000 feet to where my camps have been the last couple weeks.








8:26 a.m. on May 15, 2012 (EDT)
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Some nice pics, that second sunset pic is beautiful.  I like the new hat, it just seems right.

 Looks like you've been enjoying some nice weather. Where bouts have you been staying?

Hang in there, something gonna pop up for ya Im sure.

12:00 p.m. on May 15, 2012 (EDT)
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I am camping near the Shultz Creek TH. Its just off 180N where the Shultz Primative road goes between the Peaks and Mt Elden. I am just a mile east of 180 not at the pass.

10:13 a.m. on May 20, 2012 (EDT)
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Okay I know where your at, nice area. Alot of Turkey in that area, atleast there was back 2006.

6:09 p.m. on May 20, 2012 (EDT)
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Have'nt seen any turkey there in three weeks. Mostly deer, elk, ravens and Kaibab squirrells. Maybe all the mountain bikers scare off the turkeys?

7:23 p.m. on May 20, 2012 (EDT)
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I am new here, found the place by searching for reviews on Shangri la 5 shelter. I've just been browsing some of your posts Gary ( some of your posts came up on the shangri la search. This thread is great. I'm in the UK and not much places to camp really....they like getting you onto campsites...paid. I havent camped properly for YEARS, as in just gone off and pitched a tent somewhere away from everywhere. I want to do it again but have 2 kids now, early teens and and 8 year old. I'm trying to get a lightweight and cheap ( not easy lol) kit set up so we can just all head off somewhere....though I'm nervous of doing it. I often see pics up of peoples back packing travels in the USA, there seems so many places you can camp up, and the place looks so lovely. Your photos are lovely....are you still out there?

11:23 a.m. on May 21, 2012 (EDT)
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I have been camping anywhere I want now for 31 days since I left Tucson, the last few weeks here in Flagstaffs national forests. I hardly ever stay in campgrounds that charge to sleep on the ground.  I recently stopped even paying the Grand Canyon to sleep in the wilderness for $5 a day. My monthly budget does not have room for $150 more a month. I barely spend that on food a month.

6:03 p.m. on May 21, 2012 (EDT)
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Nice stuff Gary. If I wasn't my own boss I think I'd be tellin me to go @#$%#@#$ and moving into a tent somewhere.When I stop paying my mortgage I'm going to tell my wife you made me do it.  :)

5:35 a.m. on May 22, 2012 (EDT)
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LOL Jersey. better make sure your wife doesn't see that comment then :P

Here they will pretty much move you on if they see you *wild* camping a lot of the time I think, though people do it up on the Lake District and so on....its very big so.... you dont get noticed. I'm just not confident enough yet! You can camp anywhere in Scotland so long as its 100m away from the nearest dwelling I believe.

10:04 a.m. on May 22, 2012 (EDT)
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Very nice in the ponderosa woods.  Coors, "Brewed with Pure Rocky Mountain Spring Water".

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