It was very windy all night, the gusts rocking the van. At 2 AM Sherman does his typical move from his blanket and curls up behind my knees.
We wake up and I have to solve the morning pee logistics. If we just hop out of the van and pee like we usually do I’ll have to unsticker Sherman’s feet. So my solution this morning is to rearrange the van for driving. Drive a half mile up the road to a lookout point we saw last night. We can walk the perimeter of that paved area –surrounded by stones.
As were getting ready to drive away I realize I can’t find my phone. I haven’t been out of the van. Haven’t opened any of the doors. So it has to be in the van. I do a quick search in the back and don’t find it. OK… Pee first. Phone second.

Go to the lookout. Empty our bladders. Then the phone mystery. I take everything out of the van that’s on top of the platform. No phone. Maybe it fell down along the side of the boxes under the platform? No phone. Okay. What else is possible? I could have wrapped it up when putting away the sleep gear. I check the sleeping pad. No. The down quilt. Yes! It’s there wrapped up in the middle. So, with the van empty, I sweep off the platform and put things back in what seems a better order. And, we’re off. Headed further east.


When we get past Flagstaff, I stop at a McDonalds for wifi and look for places to stop in a few hours. Not good. There are no sleeping places near the freeway other than rest areas, Walmart, and truck stops. None are my favorites. I decide to try the 1st rest area. No places to be away from the lights and unobtrusive… onward.
We stop at a small county park with a small brown lake for lunch.
This visitor came by a few times to look at us while we looked at him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this particular species of squirrel before.
I try the 2nd Rest Area on the AZ/NM border. Better. But so close to the freeway the noise is horrible.
Onward to Gallop, NM. Now it’s truck stop time. There are a dozen in Gallop. My preference is Love’s. In tune with the name they’re clean and friendly. I get gas, then drive into their overnight area. Full and brightly lit. No thanks. There are two across the street. As I head over there I notice a dark, empty lot behind a truck repair shop, next door to a Flying J truck stop. Perfect. As I pull in I see four trucks in the lot. We head for the back fence away from any lights.
We walk the perimeter of the lot and Sherman does what he needs to before sleep. Back in the van, I move our stuff around and talk on the phone for a bit before konching out. A train briefly wakes me up every 2 hours blowing its horn as it approaches a crossing. I go right back to sleep each time.