Saddle Mountain BLM Dispersed Camping

Visited on: Monday, February 5, 2024
Cost: Free

This big journal entry contains links to other journal entries. 

At the end of each of the other journal entries is a link to return to where you were reading in this big journal entry.

I arrived early in the afternoon and was able to find a camp spot fairly quickly. I set up camp, including my awning and my canopy, as there is a ton of rain in the forecast.

I’m at a nearby camper who is from Steamboat Springs Colorado. He was taking his cute dog Tiberius for a walk. As we got to talking, he shared that he was here last year and that the weather was spectacular 50s during the night and around 70 during the day. There certainly are times I feel like I picked the wrong year from a weather perspective to start this travel adventure.

A jeep parked near Signal Mountain in the desert and a teardrop trailer with its awning out and a privacy shelter

I am hoping the weather gives me some opportunity to do some hiking and poke around and see if I can find the petroglyphs that are marked on Google maps.

Signal Mountain.

February 6: Blah. More Yucky Weather

As the day began, the clouds were threatening, and I knew that it would be raining fairly soon and probably would be a long day stuck in the trailer.

Signal Mountain covered with a cloud

The rain began early today. As I sit in my trailer late in the evening, it’s still raining, and it’s forecast to keep raining through most of the night. This is definitely one of the less fun elements of what I am doing. I’m not really set up for wandering around in cold rain, nor do I really want to tromp about in the mud.

February 7: Hiking to Petroglyphs

There was a place on Google Maps nearby that was marked petroglyphs. The hike to the location was only about a mile and a quarter. And I did find petroglyphs.

Check out my pictures and a video on this post: Petroglyphs Near Tonopah. (There’s a link at the end of that post, it’ll bring you back to here.)

February 8: Laundry Day Nightmare: A Road Trip’s Sudsy Saga

Sometimes doing laundry on the road can be a real pain in the butt.

Today, I selected the closest laundromat to me to do laundry and drove for 40 minutes to get to it.

When I got there, I realized I’d forgotten my detergent. So, I went into the Family Dollar next door to buy some and returned to the laundromat.

Despite having low ratings on Google, the last review said, in essence – don’t believe the previous reviewers. They’ve cleaned this place up. And I thought, OK, that’d be great. I’ll go there.

Well, I go inside, and two-thirds of the machines aren’t working; the place is filthy, and every single one of the working machines is being used and has people waiting.

So, forget it. I’m heading further toward Phoenix to find a place to do laundry.

I was a little cranky when I left. And I left the bag of laundry detergent that I’d bought at Family Dollar there at that crappy laundromat!

So anyway, I drive another 30 minutes toward Phoenix, find a very nice little laundromat with a very helpful person, and clean my laundry. I have clean clothes to wear. Yay!

February 9: Beautiful Weather Finally Arrived!

After days and days of crappy weather and lots of wind, I woke up this morning to quiet. It was strange to sleep in, but I think I got over nine hours of sleep last night without the wind!

Today was mostly a workday. While the morning was cool, the afternoon was beautiful. I did take off to wander around near the campsite and snapped one picture of where I was camping from a distance.

A landscape of a desert with a cloudy sky.

Sometimes, when the saguaro cactuses die, they fall over like a tree and slowly break down like a tree on the ground. However, sometimes they break over, and then nature takes its course.

An interesting dead, saguaro cactus

During the afternoon, I was finally able to sit outside and work. It was absolutely wonderful, and I couldn’t complain about the view.

A laptop is sitting on a table in the Signal Mountain desert.

As evening began to approach, I decided to celebrate the beautiful day with a glass of wine.

A person holding a bottle of wine in front of Signal Mountain.

And would you look at that? My outdoor chair has a wine bottle holder!

A man sitting in front of a camper with a bottle of wine.

February 10: Foggy Morning

When I woke up this morning and opened the door, I understood why it was so humid in my trailer this morning. In some way. It was kind of creepy. It was totally unexpected.

February 11: Productive Fun Day

Today was a crazy, productive day. I got lots of work done, and the best part I was outside for the entire day. The weather has finally begun to cooperate. It was wonderful to be sitting outside with a beautiful view all day long. I also cooked and ate two meals outside, which is a great change from having to cook inside the trailer. 

While I prepared and drank my 1st cup of coffee in the trailer, the rest of the pot of coffee was enjoyed sitting outside.

A man sitting in a chair with a cup of coffee enjoying the stunning views of Signal Mountain.
A man sitting in a chair drinking a cup of coffee while admiring Signal Mountain.

I also managed to get one little project done that I planned and purchased back in September when I was in Lawrence, KS. I bought a kit to put snaps into fabric and a tapestry to add a little bit of extra shade to my canopy. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I still need to figure out something to weight the bottom a little bit, but for now, the clothes pins will work. 

A sun tapestry hanging on a canopy behind a teardrop trailer

In the afternoon, I decided to go for a long walk. This area is very popular for rock collectors, known as “rockhounds,” As I was wandering along one of the trails, I came across a couple with the wife slamming a hammer repeatedly on a rock.

They were very nice and explained a number of things about the area and what they were hoping to find. One of the sought-after semi-precious stones in this area is fire agate, which is formed when epithermal hydrothermal waters are injected into cavities in volcanic rocks. In this area, it’s usually a reddish brown embedded in a quartz-like rock called chalcedony.

As I trekked back across the desert to my campsite, I was a bit more aware of the rocks upon which I was walking. And wouldn’t you know, I was able to find some fire agate!

Two pieces of quartz with fire agate, sitting on a counter in a teardrop trailer near Tonopah.

It’s not the Motherlode, but it’s still really cool that I was able to find some without even really trying that hard after just learning about it. I’m sure I’ll go out looking for it again, but who knows how lucky I’ll be.

February 12: Start of a New Business and YouTube Channel

I had one task today – produce a video for my new project of sharing what it takes to start a business as a digital nomad.

I wish I could say I did it in one take, but of course, it took me a few and then a little bit of editing, but I am happy with the final product.

I launched the website,, and loaded the video to my new YouTube channel,

I’m sure part of the content that I create for this channel will find its way over on this website. If you’re interested in following the hiking CEO on social media, here are the links.

If you’re interested in checking out, the Etsy store connected to the business that I’m starting. Here’s the link:

Feel free to buy some stuff. It’ll make us all feel good. 😎😉😁

One final note: I’m considering shifting the focus of.The Hiking CEO and recording the progress of making an Etsy site. once I figure that out sure I’ll post it in the future journal entry.

February 13: My Reward for Getting My New Business Launched

After a few weeks of prepping and getting this potential new business ready, I launched it yesterday. As a reward, I hiked up Saddle Mountain.

Check out my photos and videos on Summiting Saddle Mountain.

February 14: Huarache? Count Me In!

It’s about 27 miles from my campsite to the nearest Walmart. It was time to stock up on food and grab some supplies. I headed into town, knowing I’d also be getting some Mexican food.

And Oh My! Was I ever happy with what I found! It was a treat to try a new place and a new-to-me dish called Huarache. Check out my post on Jacky’s Mexican Food!

Now, we also need to do one other thing. We need to pretend like I didn’t buy a new bin and forget the lid in the cart at Walmart.

I was left with two choices. Either drive back to the Walmart and see if I could get a lid for the bin or wait a week or so until I hit the next Walmart and see if I could get them to give me a lid for this bin.

When I got back to the Walmart in Buckeye, the lid was still sitting in the cart, in the cart rack in the parking lot. Ugh. I hate forgetting things.

February 16: The Sunsets Never Get Old

The one thing about the Southwest that I will have to say I have greatly enjoyed is the sunsets. However, the biggest problem is taking too many pictures of them.

Oh well here’s a few more.

February 17: Baja Jack Makes Me Happy

I grabbed a six-pack of Baja Jack from SanTan Brewery in Chandler, AZ, when I was at Walmart a few days ago. Cracked one open this evening and was pleasantly impressed with this salted lime logger.

And guess what? Another sunset! I was out walking after dinner and saw a saguaro cactus that I thought might be interesting in a photo if we got a great sunset. The sunset could’ve been a little better, but I was still happy with the picture turned out.

February 18: A Sad Sunday Without Tacos

I awoke to another excellent day for sitting outside and working. I must admit this is more of what I wanted to do when I started this adventure.

As always, I was working on one of my newsletters on Sunday. I needed to run to the rest stop out on I-10 for water. This would take me through an interstate exit with taco trucks and a few gas stations.

According to Google Maps, one of the taco trucks was open on Sunday. I should’ve known better.

Dinner ended up being a Subway in a gas station, but at least they have that new The Beast sandwich.

At least, the drive back gave me another angle to photograph Saddle Mountain.

February 19: I Should Be Geocaching!

I played around with geocaching for a little while a few years before. But I never got really really into it.

Then, after finding that geocache on the top of Saddle Mountain, I had to ask myself, Why Am I Not Geocaching?

February 20: Like Tacos Need an Excuse

Ever since I didn’t get my tacos on Sunday, I’ve been thinking about them. Maybe a little bit more like I’ve been obsessing about them. I need some tacos. 

And then I got the excuse I needed, as I shared in the video about Taqueria Lupe.

Earlier in the day, I shot a couple of pictures that seem apropos to include now.

For no particular reason other than to have a goofy text to send my friends, I decided to take a picture of what my view was like sitting on my toilet inside my privacy shelter.

And like so many nights once again, the sky did not disappoint.

February 21: Really It Was Only Going to Be a Walk

Sometimes I amaze myself. I know that when I get an idea in my head, I have a strong tendency to pursue it, especially when it comes to hiking.

That’s exactly what happened when I went out for a quick little walk and ended up with a pretty spectacular view and some beautiful little cactuses. Check it out in my journal entry, A Walk Turns Into a Hike.

After the rain let up, the clouds were beautiful in the sky and, fittingly, on my last night. A beautiful rainbow appeared in the distance.

February 22: Time to Roll onto the Next Adventure

I awoke to a beautiful morning and quickly finished storing things in the trailer and hooked up the jeep.

In many ways, I was sad to be leaving the spot. The weather had turned spectacular. I’ve been having a blast hiking, and I’ve been getting a lot of work done. Plus, I met some interesting people, including three people on a multi-month walk through the desert. Apparently, that’s a thing.

However, this nomadic life isn’t about staying in one spot. It’s about moving on to the next.

My plan for the day was pretty simple. Pop out onto the interstate, refill the water, grab a scrumptious breakfast at a nearby diner, pick up my stuff at the Amazon locker, hit Costco, stop at a Safeway, and head to my next camping spot.

Of course, life doesn’t always go to plan. Jump forward to my breakfast at the Black Bear Diner.