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THURSDAY - Everything was going just like we planned this morning.

We were on the road by 8:00AM heading towards our next stop at a First-Come-First-Serve campground on a Thurday morning and strategically scheduled ourselves to arrive shortly after the 11:00AM check-out time and long before 1:00PM check-in time (i.e. 11:15AM).

We'd perfectly applied everything we've learned over the last 5½-years to increase our chances of scoring a campsite at arguably the most popular campground in the entire Coronado National Forest at the absolute most popular time of the year.

Traveling south on NM-80 towards the Chiricahua Mountains.

At the base of the Chiricahua Mountains is a wide flat basin that includes the NM/AZ border.

Our hopeful campsite is in an area known as Cave Creek Canyon which is a birders paradise.

We arrived at the Sunny Flat Campground and were quickly approached by the campground host, who coincidentally is also an Airstreamer, only to be informed that the campground was completely full. Worse yet, no one with a campsite large enough for us to fit into was scheduled to leave for the next two days.

Half of the 13 campsites here are too small for us to fit into, they are more suited to van campers and tent campers.

We have a Plan B for just such a situation, but that required us going nearly 20-miles back out of the forest and into the basin to a private RV park. Definitely not our first choice!

We decided to make the best of a bad situation and spend 2-nights at the private park. On the bright side it will give us a chance to get the laundry done at some very reasonable prices.

Tomorrow we'll still get to do our planned sightseeing activities in the area and then on Saturday morning take one more shot at scoring a site in the forest campground. If we get shutout again we'll move on down the road to another location.

Trying to add a little levity to our somber mood, after not getting into the campground we wanted to, we learned where the Minion Family lives when not in Hollywood furthering their movie making careers. Turns out they live on a tiny ranch in the tiny town of Portal, AZ (pop. 784).

We spotted them out and about doing a little yard work and a having little play time. Their home is apparently halfway between the camp we want to be in and the camp we ended up in.

FRIDAY - We awoke this morning to a pretty spectacular New Mexico sunrise, but later in the morning the cloud cover made for some pretty Arizona mountain photos.

Here at Rusty's RV Ranch in Rodeo, NM we are less than a mile from the Arizona border. Our entire sightseeing outing will be a scenic loop drive though the Chiricahua Mountains of Arizona.

We are hoping the clouds will blow over before too long, so we can see what most people call the "Yosemite of Arizona". The mountain peaks of the Chiricahua Mountains are pretty spectacular.

The sightseeing loop we have planned for today is a 45-mile loop that begins and ends right here at Rusty's RV Ranch.

The first stop on the route is Sunny Flat Campground, just to make sure nothing has changed since yesterday when we were told there would be no empty campsites until Saturday.

Guess what? We lucked out and for once we were in the right place at the right time.

The camphost was happy to see us visiting the campground because just 30-minutes earlier the campers on Site #3 told her they were leaving a day early and their campsite would soon be vacant.

She asked if we would be interested in Site #3 and after a very quick look we accepted the site.

The site is plenty big enough to fit ROVER and THE POD. It's not a great site for solar collection or Starlink reception, but it is in the Coronado National Forest and the Chiricahua Mountains, we'll make it work!

Now all we have to do is head back to Rusty's RV Ranch, check-out of the campsite and then hookup THE POD and tow him up to his new home for the weekend. Sightseeing will have to wait for another day!

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