Between Willcox and Safford, Google Maps showed a line running west from US-191. A line thick enough to mean it was paved. A line that seemed to stop in the middle of nowhere.
I zoomed in. Highway 266, along the south slope of Mount Graham. It doesn’t just stop, it goes to the town of Bonita. And an Arizona State Prison. Then it becomes a smaller road.
Hey, most of that along there is National Forest. I wondered if the satellite view would show some boondocking areas. Zoom… scroll… scroll… mmmmmmm… no… scroll… scroll…scroll… There were none that I could see, but there was a campground.
I looked up Stockton Pass Campground on the Forest Service site. Free (free is good), open year round, about 5,600 feet up (it wouldn’t be too warm), a variety of trees, vault toilet… horse corral… It sounded promising.
FreeCampsites.net had a review. It said the toilet was old but clean. What more could I ask for.
The campground road got a little, um, rustic after it crossed a cattle guard. Ruts, washouts, et cetera. To the left was a parking area, the old-but-clean toilet, and a sign that said Group Camp, along with notices it was reserved. To the right, over even more rustic single tracks, was the corral and some boondocking-ish areas. That’s where I found my spot.
The drawback? No cell service. I spotted towers on a ridge, but with my binoculars I could see they weren’t cellular.
I decided to hang through the weekend. Better to hold onto the spot I had than to compete with other weekend campers for a new spot. Meanwhile, I’m making notes of things I want to look up on the web when I have access again—like what’s the word on that campground I saw in my atlas? And what’s the forecast for Alpine AZ?