Great weekend in Northern Arizona

We decided to meet up with a group to do some off-roading and camping. Great group of folks. Brandon the lead took us up to Sedona where we bounced up Schnebly Hill Road and then crossed I-17 and continued on dirt road toward Flagstaff. Northern Arizona has gotten quite a lot of summer rains so everything was green and gorgeous. We found a power line road and worked our way to Potato Lake. It was getting late so we cut back to Flagstaff for some gas for the thirsty trucks before finding a campground in the Cinders OHV area.

We found a nice big group campsite, and quickly set up our camp. It’s kind of neat with all the work that I put it over the years. It takes about 10 minutes to set everything up. Although with the rain coming, it took a little bit longer for the awning. we just made sandwiches for dinner, and then sit out by the fire until the rains came. The group quickly retreated to the awnings and we lit up our camp box fire. We had been up since about 4 AM that day, so we turned in around 9 PM with all the dogs up in the tent with us.

We got up around 6:30 in the morning, quickly made some coffee and breakfast, and then I think we packed up around 730, 8 o’clock in the group headed out around nine. We did a bunch of trails in the cinders, climbed a pretty steep mountain And did some racing across the cinder field. we spent the day up on the mountain, and then came down and did another cinder cone before peeling off from the group, which was heading back to Phoenix.

We headed back on 89, and turned off at a fourth service road and headed behind the San Francisco peaks. We found a really nice campground, set up camp for the evening, made a delicious Dutch oven enchilada, and then went on a hike. There was no rain this evening, and we turned in and had a great nights sleep.

The next morning we packed up, spent a couple hours four-wheeling, and then hooked up to I-40, on to Ash Fork, and then down into Prescott where we visited some relatives, before finishing off the drive back home.

Lava Box Review

We attended the overland expo in Flagstaff in May of this year and found this really interesting product called the Lava Box. It was a bit of an expensive replacement to the Amazon propane fire pit we used. We decided to drop a huge pot of cash on this product.

Well we had a busy summer and finally got out camping again on labor Day weekend. Up in the mountains of Arizona, a rainy chilly night pushed away from the burning embers and we set this little guy up just outside the awning. It came on, and we felt some heat. But the flame was not adjustable with the dial on the regulator. Kind of weird. We hung out for a while and turned in.

The next night we fired it up again and a little flame entertained us for a while. But it didn’t create a significant amount of heat and sent one of us off to bed to warm up. I fiddled with the regulator a bit and found it to be the defective piece. At some point while turning it up, it will click, and an uncontrolled inferno erupts from the Lava Box. I’m talking 6 foot flames and a roar of gas causing me to lurch back. Several attempts to regulate and I gave up and watched the little flame dance in the breeze while I zipped up my fleece.

The last attempt on our final morning of camping I played with the regulator, vacillating between a minuscule flame and a fireball that chased my girlfriend away until I tweaked it to something that provided heat without signaling the forest service with a heat signature that might indicate danger.

I’ll call their service department and have them send a new regulator. Lesson for me, test equipment at home.