2nd Year on the Road

On July 12, 2012 I just completed my second year of fulltime RVing.  I can’t believe I have been on the road so long.  So once again, as I did last year, I will summarized this fantastic year with some of the highlights.

Remember you can click on any pic then click again to enlarge.

Working in Texas

To start I was in Texas and decided to work for a month to help defray costs of traveling to Texas to see my family.  What a mistake that was.  It was 106 degrees and higher the entire month I worked.  Oh well I will definitely know better next time to stay away from there during the summer.

Grand Canyon of Texas

After my work duties were over I headed to Palo Dura State Park in northwestern Texas.  It is know as the Grand Canyon of Texas and a very beautiful place.  While there I hiked the Lighthouse Trail and took this pic of myself standing on the plateau in front of the lighthouse.

Taking advantage of my NM state pass

Then it was off to New Mexico where I wanted to take advantage of the last few months of my New Mexico State Pass.  My first stop was Clayton SP.

Then on to Sugarite SP, just south of the NM/CO border.  This next pic shows Lake Dorothy just north of Sugarite SP.

My next stop was Cimmaron SP and the town of Cimmaron.

Fulfilling a boy scout dream

I also visited Philmont Scout Ranch, which had always been a dream of mine ever since I was a Boy Scout.

More of beautiful new mexico

After that it was Eagle Nest SP, Coyote Creek SP (where I saw a bear), Storie Lake SP  and then on to Villanueva SP where I got my semi-annual haircut.  Finally it was off to Hyde Memorial SP.

Then in October I met up with all my good friends at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta where I stayed and partied for 10 days.  Even had a balloon land on top of my rig.  HA!

After the Balloon Fiesta I drove south to Poncho Villa SP to enjoy a Escapees Chapter 21 Rally.  Of course that also included a trip to Palomas, Mexico where I had to have some dental work done and make sure the margaritas still tasted as good as always.

A visit to the Whitehouse

Next stop on my route was Canyon de Chelly (pronunced d’Shay).  Located on an Indian Reservation it is a beautiful place and a must see for anyone in that area of Arizona.  Of course I had to hike the Whitehouse Trail, which is so beautiful.

Monument Valley

From there it was to Monument Valley, UT.  Talk about a fabulous area, don’t miss out on seeing this.

On my way to Amazon

Then I drove north to Interstate 50.  It is known as the loneliest highway in America.  And believe me it really is.  You could drive for miles and miles and never see a car or truck in either direction.  You would not want to break down on this road.

My destination was Fernley, NV, where I worked for Amazon for 8 weeks.  By the way it was probably the hardest job I have ever had.  Thankfully the 8 weeks went by fairly fast, although it took a couple of months to get healed from the aches and pains I suffered at that job.  OUCH!!!  On top of that it was very cold as well.  Four degrees when I left there.

I then drove to Reno, NV and parked my rig and flew to SO CA to spend a week with my family over the holidays.  It was really great seeing everyone and getting caught up.  I even played some golf.  Actually I tried to play some golf.  HA!  What a joke!

Time to warm up

Then I hit the road to get out of that cold weather up north and drove down to Quartzsite, AZ.  There I met up with a whole bunch of Lazy Dazers (about 20 rigs at different times) and relaxed in the wonderful Arizona sunshine.  Of course I also saw the crazy RV show and even saw a concert by Paul Winer (the Naked Book Seller) although he was fully clothed.  Great show by the way with SRO.

With the help of all my friends I was able to upgrade my rig with new LED lighting, another 12v receptacle and an outdoor motion sensor light.

Next stop – Imperial Dam

In February I left Quartzsite and headed to Imperial Dam just outside of Yuma, AZ  I really enjoyed my stay there with more friends.  Got to do a lot of hiking in the desert.  Plus don’t forget the wild donkeys.  HA!

Heading south of the border senor!

Then it was south of the border to Mexico with the Harvest Host Wine and Whale Watching Tour.  What a fabulous trip that turned out to be.  Visited 5 wineries, with great wine tasting at each.  The wineries were located in the Valley of Gaudelope with very beautiful scenery around.  Also stopped in Ensenada for a day, where we had a great lunch down at the fish market and an opportunity to stock up on lots of great seafood.  Of course we also had to have some cervasa’s (brewskies) at Hussong’s Cantina.

Later visited La Bufadora (the blow hole).  Another very scenic spot.

The wineries were great plus the wine was even greater!  Even got to see a colt that was born that very day.  How exciting!

I am NOT an illegal alien!

After crossing back into the US I drove to Tamarisk LTVA where I stayed for a week and met some really wonderful people.  We hiked ever day in the desert and one day we were surrounded by Border Patrol cars who thought we were illegal aliens.  No comprende  Senor! What a trip that was!

One of my very favorite spots

After spending so much time with so many wonderful people, I needed a break and decided to head for one of my most favorite spots in the Clark Dry Lake bed of the Anza Borrego desert in southern California.  It is 7 miles outside of Borrego Springs.  This place is so peaceful and always gives me a chance to reflect on my future plans.  It was here where I made my resume on workamper.com and emailed it to various people.  Within 10 minutes I had a call for the job I would be working at this summer. More on that later.

Back to the coast

Then it was off to the west coast to Oceanside, where I parked my rig at the Elks Club and took the train up to Orange County to see family.  It was back and forth visiting different members of my family and it was great seeing my Mom.  Love you Mom!

Heading up north

Then it was time to hit the road and head up north.  My first stop was the Trona Pinnacles outside of Ridgecrest, CA.  It is like a trip to another planet.

From there it was off to the Alabama Hills just outside of Lone Pine, CA.  This has been one place I always dreamed of venturing to even before I had an RV.  An absolute MUST SEE.

From there it was off to Mona Lake, where I stayed for about 5 days and ventured around the area seeing the tufa’s at the edge of the lake and the weird cloud formations.

I also took a side trip to the old ghost town of Bodie, CA.  Much of the town is still intact as it was a hundred years ago.  Really neat and another MUST SEE.

Then I finally made it to Oregon where I stayed at Goose Lake SP, La Pine SP and finally Crooked River Ranch.

My workplace for the summer

I met up with my area managers who I would be working for the summer in Prineville, OR.  I am the camp host at the Ochoco Divide, a NFS campground.  It is on the summit (4,726′ elevation) of Hwy 26.  This campground is nestled among giant (200′) Ponderosa Pines among other pine trees as well.  I have now been here 2 months and love this job.  I get to meet a lot of interesting people and have lots of areas to hike in.

Well that about wraps up another fabulous year of my fulltime RV lifestyle.  There were some tough times (truck breaking down) and some great times (caravan trip to Mexico) as well as taking time out to see my family, which is very important to me.  I had lots of times spent with great friends and even some time to myself to ponder how lucky I am.

I almost can’t believe it has been two years since I have set out on the road.  I would also like to thank all my wonderful followers who have been with me as I experienced each and every day.  Every day is a new adventure.

Big News!!!

Workamper News benefits…

As previously mentioned in another post, I enjoy staying in Anza Borrego because it gives me time to reflect on my future plans.  I have been a member of Workamper News even before I started fulltiming.  I felt if the right work opportunity came along I would take advantage of it.  Last winter it was Amazon in Fernley, NV where I was able to earn extra money to help pay for my travels.

To make a long story short, Workamper News has an online resume that you can fill out and send it to various employers.  One morning I sat down and completed the form and sent it out to nine different employers.  Within 10 minutes I received a call and he thought he had a position that I may be interested in.

I’ve got just what you are looking for

The position that he had was for a camp host in the Ochoco National Forest located in central Oregon.  It was a small campground with only 28 sites.  There were no hookups for any of the sites but they did supply water and sewer to the camp host.  They needed a camp host for the summer from May thru September.  But the big surprise was that it is a paid host position and I would be working for the Forestry Service.  Plus I will be paid extra by the State of Oregon for cleaning the rest stop about a mile from the campgrounds.  I told him I wanted to at least check it out and asked him to send me some links that I could look at.

Ochoco National Forest here I come…

Well after a few emails back and forth, I accepted the position.  So now I know what I will be doing this summer.  There is not a lot of information on the Internet but I was able to find this link  http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/centraloregon/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=38724&actid=29

It is a beautiful spot and I am sure I will enjoy this job.

Some Anza Borrego photos…

I took this pic the last night I stayed in Anza Borrego.  I just love it out here.

Prior to leaving Anza Borrego I drove down to the Visitor’s Center to check out if any plants were blooming.  There were a few so I  took some pictures.  I don’t know the name of the plants but just thought they were really beautiful.

My time at Anza Borrego was very well spent.  Even though it rained a couple days and the wind blew I accomplished what I set out to do.  I got a bit more organized in my rig and figured out what I was going to do this summer.  Also made my resume online and was able to secure a great summer job  Not too shabby!

Now I am off to Southern California to visit family and friends.

 

Rainfall in the Desert

Rain predicted for 3 days

There were predictions that it would rain here from Saturday thru Monday.  However it looks like that has changed.  It rained off and on all day yesterday and it also rained hard last night and a bit this morning.  There are still big clouds in the sky but it looks like the rain is over.

Before the rain…

I took some pics during the last few days and thought they really illustrated the beauty of the desert.  This first pic shows the clouds rolling in over the mountains.

This was taken early in the morning just after sunrise.  It hadn’t started raining yet but it wasn’t going to be much longer.

Clouds starting to cover the mountains.

A beautiful morning sky.

Who took the mountains…

Where did the mountains go?  They are completely covered by the rain clouds.

After the rain…

The following pics were taken on Sunday afternoon.  There were still large rain clouds passing over the area, but it had pretty much stopped raining.

Not sure if we will get too much more rain.  But the rain sure makes some beautiful scenery out here in the desert.

I Love Anza Borrego !!

One of my favorite places…

Anza Borrego State Park has to be one of my most favorite places.  It is located in the desert east of Oceanside.  I guess the main reason I like it is the peace and calm of the desert.  This is my 2nd year here and it gives me time to sort out my rig and my thoughts to prepare for the year.  You can park just about anywhere you like, but I found out yesterday that it pays to park on some higher ground.  I found a nice spot, but had no Internet or cell phone connections.  So I moved to a little higher ground and the connections are much better.  It isn’t the fastest Internet where I am now but who is in a big hurry anyway.  However my closest neighbor is at least a half mile away.

This is my campsite now.  Doesn’t it look familiar?  I am not sure how close I was to the spot where I took my header photo above, but it is very close to it.  The only thing that is missing is the rainbow and that might just come a bit later.  Stay tuned.

Love the mountains

Here are a few pics I got while enjoying my adult beverage.  I even got this pic of myself!

I am located near Clark Dry Lake just about 7 miles from Borrego Springs.

This is the Santa Rosa mountain range.

The end of the day.

Millions of stars in the sky

I awoke at 3:30am and went outside to see the night sky.  The stars were just fantastic.  I tried to get a good picture of the moon but didn’t come out too good.  The wind was blowing very hard and it was hard to keep my camera steady.

Batten down the hatches….

The weather prediction for the weekend is not good.  It is supposed to rain Saturday thru Monday.  I won’t be going anywhere until at least Tuesday.  I am well stocked up with everything and tanks are empty.  I don’t want to be driving around the desert while it is raining.

One Year On The Road

It has been one year on July 12 that I started my fulltime RV’ing lifestyle.  I can’t believe it has been a whole year.  I took the time to go back through this year and show you some of the highlights of my adventure.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

July, 2010 – Inyokern, CA -  My very first campsite at the beginning of my adventure.  I was really a rookie back then.

July, 2010 – Sequoia National Park – Boondocking in Fish Creek Campsite in the Sequoias.

August, 2010 – Sisters, OR – Camping on the Metolius River outside of Sisters, OR.  What a fantastic spot.

August, 2010 – Crater Lake National Park.  Words cannot describe this beautiful place.

September, 2010 – Eugene, OR – Getting my solar panels installed.  My boondocking will be much quieter and more efficient from now on.

October, 2010 – Albuquerque, NM – Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – 10 fabulous days with other fun Lazy Daze owners.

October, 2010 – Palomas, Mexico – Central park.  Visited there after attending Escapees Chapter 21 Rally.

October, 2010 – Deming, NM – Rockhound State Park – This a rock hounds dream park.  Lots of different rocks.

November, 2010 – Socorro, NM – Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge – Visited there during the Festival of the Cranes event.

December, 2010 – January, 2011 – Death Valley, CA – A beautiful view of Death Valley during an annual Lazy Daze Rally.

January, 2011 – Quartzsite, AZ – Got together with a bunch of Lazy Daze owners during the Quartzsite RV Show.  It was a blast boondocking in the desert.  Lots of food, a campfire every night and the BIG TENT RV Show.

February, 2011 – Anza-Borrego, CA – Boondocking in the Anza-Borrego Desert.

February, 2011 – Niland, CA – Boondocking with the LOW’s (Loners On Wheels) at Slab City.  Everyone should go there at least once.

February/March, 2011 – Benson, AZ – The winter SW Lazy Daze Rally at Pato Blanco RV Resort.  Lots of great food and people.

March, 2011 – Picacho Peak, AZ – A civil war re-enactment at Picacho Peak State Park.  Event lasted all week-end with gun battles and actual tents and other equipment during that era..

March, 2011 – Douglas, AZ – Visiting with friends at Bell Starr’s Silverado Ranch.  Belle is wearing the pink hat.  We all helped Belle work on her ranch projects.  A MUST see.  She is quite a lady.

April, 2011 – Alamogordo, NM – White Sands National Monument.  Very surreal.

May, 2011 – Carlsbad, NM – Carlsbad Caverns.  A MUST see.

May, 2011 – Melvin, TX – I just had to visit there.

May, 2011 – San Antonio, TX – The Alamo in downtown San Antonio, TX.  Another MUST see.

May, 2010 – San Antonio, TX – The San Antonio River-walk.  A really neat and fun place.

May, 2011 – San Antonio, TX – The Tower of Americas.  The view from the top is spectacular.

May, 2011 – Luckenbach, TX.  I just had to visit here because of the song made famous by Willie Nelson and Waylan Jennings.

May, 2011 – Blanco, TX – My campsite in Blanco State Park.  How about that for a back yard?

June, 2011 – Fort Worth, TX.  The highlight of my year.  Being able to visit my family.  It was sooooo much fun.

July, 2011 – Karnack, TX –   Caddo Lake State Park.  I spent a week here and loved every minute.

It has been a wonderful year.  I have traveled 12,702 miles in 6 different states and 2 different countries.  I have attended 8 RV Rallies where I have met a lot of people, learned a lot about things I never knew anything about, and spent money upgrading my rig.

This year has been much better then I even anticipated.  I met a lot of great people who I continue to keep in touch with.  I am looking forward this next year to travel to places I have never seen before and meet more wonderful people.

Slab City

Before leaving Anza-Borrego I got these last two pictures.  I had some rain on several days while there and the temperature was down in the 30′s at night.  This was taken after the rain showing snow on the mountaintops.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

Prior to leaving I got this pic of my campsite with the snow in the background.

My next stop was Slab City, but first I stopped in Brawley to load up on supplies.  Slab City is an old abandoned WWII Marine Base that has been taken over by squatters and RV’ers.  You can read more about Slab City here.  It is located outside of the small town of Niland, CA on the eastern side of the Salton Sea.

When you first arrive you are greeted:

Then you get to Salvation Mountain.

Leonard Knight is the creator of Salvation Mountain.  It is an ongoing project that has been in the works for over 25 years and more then 100,000 gallons of paint.

I followed the “Yellow Brick Road” to the top of Salvation Mountain.  This my view from there.

I also go a view of “The Slabs” from the same spot.

This is Leonard’s truck that he lives in.

Now I’m entering Slab City.

I will tell you that when you first enter Slab City you are not impressed.  One of my friends who had only spent one night their described it as a “giant hobo camp”.  There are trailers, RVs, trucks and cars with tires so flat it appears they have not been driven for years.  Plus the trash is disgusting and everywhere.

HOWEVER, if you continue driving as I did (I am too curious for my own good sometimes), you will find a great camping area further out.  It is made up mostly of snowbirds that come here as early as Oct/Nov and then leave around Apr/May.  It is a nice clean area with lots of really nice friendly folks.

I followed the signs to the LOW’s group (Loners on Wheels of which I am a member).  I was told they have been located out here for over 25 years.  They have 4 permanent trailers and a large group area for dining and gatherings.  They meet everyday at 3:30 for Happy Hour.  Sometimes they show movies and they play cards in the evening.  One of the trailers houses a 2000 book library another trailer is used as a kitchen, one for the card games and one trailer for the movies.  In order to show the movies they have lots of solar panels and batteries set up.

One day I decided to walk around and see just what made up Slab City.  This is the stage that was used in a scene of the movie “Into the Wild”.  Nothing seemed to be happening the whole time I stayed there.

Not far from where I was camped there had been a alien crash as you can see.  Some pretty weird stuff.

This shows some of the area of Slab City when you first drive in.  This isn’t really too bad compared to some of the areas I saw.  I have seen some areas where the trailers and trucks had been completely gutted and only the frame showing.

Slab City even has some real classic cars that I doubt you could find anywhere else.  They are not exactly what my father would have considered classic but they are unusual just the same.  Check them out.

But they don’t stop at just classic cars.  No way!  Try a house boat on for size.  He had a sign on it for $49k.  At least he wouldn’t have any worries about a flash flood out here.

On the other hand here is a pic of my campsite for a week and my neighbor’s Lynn and Gloria.  As you can see there is no trash around.  Lynn and Gloria in the Airstream are an older couple in their 80′s but have been coming to the same area in  the Slabs for the last 19 years.  They were really nice people and I really enjoyed talking with them.

Another pic of my campsite.

This is where the LOW’s group met every day for “Happy Hour” and dinners on occasion.

I really enjoyed my stay at “The Slabs”.  I found a very nice site and met a lot of really nice people.  Plus it did not cost me anything to stay there.

Anza-Borrego Boondocking

I spent the night at the Jojoba Hills Escapee park and at 8am Mike and Lisa Sylvester stopped by to check out my Seal Level Gauge.  It works great except those times where I am plugged in to the campground electricity.  They worked on it for 2 hours and concluded after speaking with Lazy Daze that the problem was caused by the method Lazy Daze used in the wiring bundles.  Both the AC and DC wiring were bundled together thus causing interference  with the Sea Level gauge when it was plugged in to the campground.  They could fix that problem but it would require direct wiring from the gauge to each tank.  This would be an expensive fix.  They showed me how I could get around the problem and still utilize the gauge.

Mike and Lisa hand completely gone through my rig trying to locate the problem.  They spent over 2 hours working on it and my total bill came to $0.00.  What a deal !!!  They didn’t charge me anything since they had originally installed it at the 2010 Balloon Fiesta.  It was warranty work.  If anyone is looking for a team that does quality work and backs up everything they do then I would suggest giving them a call at (502) 228-1381.  You can also look up their website at http://thervguynm.com On top of that they are just really nice people.

I left Jojoba Hills about noon and headed off to the Anza-Borrego desert where I planned to stay at least a week in the dispersed camping area.  Since I got my solar panels I love to boondock.  It usually costs you nothing to stay and you have everything on board to enable you to live off the land. I found a spot east of Borrego Springs off highway 22.  There were lots of folks out here but very spread out.

The next day I checked out the Anza-Borrego Visitor Center.  It was underground and built into the side of a hill.  Good idea to keep it cool in the summer as it can get up to 115 degrees or hotter.  This is a view from the bridge that goes over the visitor center.  They have a nice area you can walk through that identifies all the different plants and trees.  While there I also went on a tour with a volunteer that explained all the trees in the desert.

Be sure to click and then click again to enlarge all photos.

This is a photo of the mountains from my campsite.  As you can see my nearest neighbor was quite a distance away.

The following morning I decide to hike over to a spot where it looked to be a canyon.  From where I was camped it didn’t look that far.  But was I ever in for a surprise.  It is hard to judge distance in the desert.  What looks very close to the eye can be very far.  This is the road I went down before I came upon a dry lake bed.

This is the dry lake bed.  It was actually very hard and easy to walk on.  But the lake bed was at least a mile across.

Finally I reached my destination.  By that time I estimated I had hiked about 5 miles based on the length of time it took me to get there.  I was hoping I could find some shade.  It wasn’t really too hot (low 80′s) but walking in the sun the entire distance seemed hotter then it was.

I found this little shaded spot from the sun and took a break there.  It was very cool and refreshing.

After plenty of rest I started back the same way I came from.  I found these flowers at the side of the dirt road.

I was very happy to return to my little home on wheels.  I felt very good that I had hiked 10 miles but was ready to kick back for the rest of the day.  I took a pic of the sunset.  The California sunsets are nothing compared to the Arizona and New Mexico sunsets but beautiful in it’s own regard.

I am glad I took a hike that day.  For the next 4 days it has been very windy and not good hiking weather.  There were huge gusts both at night and during the day.  It was supposed to rain yesterday but it sailed right over us.  Even though it didn’t rain Mother Nature did give me a beautiful rainbow.  The bottom of the mountain to the left of the rainbow was where I had hiked to.

I used the following pic to create my new header which you probably noticed at the top of the page.  I finally found the “Pot of Gold” at the end of the rainbow.  It is my wonderful little Lazy Daze house on wheels.  How cool!!!!

This shows the clouds I had most of the day yesterday.  It did threaten to rain but passed over.

I will probably be here a few more days and then move on.  I love this area and it’s complete freedom.