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.

Blogs I Follow – Ed and Carol Lazy Daze Travels

Another blog I follow righteously is Ed and Carol Lazy Daze Travels.  They have been writing their blog since November, 2005 and have told many great stories and have been at many wonderful places throughout the country.  Right now they are in Pennsylvania on their way up to Michigan.

I first met Ed when I was camped at Crater Lake, OR.  I had been in a no hookups site for several days and when the crowd all went home I opted for one of the few electric sites in the park.  I signed in and was given one for the remaining night I had planned on being there.  I moved and got hooked up in my new site and finally had some electricity without having to run my generator.  I was on my way to Eugene, OR at the time where I was going to have my solar panels installed.

I got set up and was gazing out my window when a newer Lazy Daze pulled up in the campsite directly across from me.  I was so excited, I couldn’t believe it.  By the way, whenever I see a Lazy Daze motorhome I always get excited.  I didn’t want to bother them while they were getting set up in their site so I continued going about my business.

A little while later Ed came knocking on my door and introduced himself.  I was really excited.  Not only was I meeting another Lazy Daze motorhome owner, but the motorhome was the same color as mine.  Of course his was much newer and had a different floor plan.  We talked about a variety of subjects, but I do remember mentioning that I had to run my generator a couple times a day to recharge my laptop computer.  Ed had told me that he had a solar panel and he only recharged his computer once a day in the morning.

I did not have a chance to meet his wife Carol since I was going to a ranger presentation given at the campgrounds.  I am a late riser in the morning and they were gone when I awoke.  They were also going north but to a different campground.  I guess I only spoke with Ed a short time but it was fun meeting another Lazy Dazer.  I don’t remember exchanging email addresses. DUH!!!

I guess I forgot about Ed and Carol for a while since I had met so many other Lazy Daze people after that.  There was the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM in Oct 2010 and the Death Valley Rally on New Years 2011.  Then my friend Rodger who had encouraged me to attend the Death Valley Rally had organized a bunch of us Lazy Daze owners to meet in Quartzsite, AZ.

Then all of a sudden Ed and Carol pull up and out pops Ed.  I was in my rig at the time and just about went through the roof.  I am yelling “I know that guy” referring to Ed.  It took me a while to remember where I had seen him (a senior moment), but then it came to me.  I was very excited and happy to meet him again.  Plus this time I was able to meet Carol and Gopher their dog.  We had a great time there and also shared our daily experiences around the campfire.

I also met up with them again at the SW Lazy Daze Rally in Benson, AZ in Feb/Mar.  It was there that I found out that Carol’s brother John Wagner is the creator of Maxine for Hallmark.  She handed out a bunch of autographed cartoons at the rally.  I guess it really is a small world.  I have enjoyed these cartoons for many years.

I don’t know when I will see my friends again but I am hoping it isn’t too long, but in the meantime  I will keep up with their travels via their blog Ed and Carol Lazy Daze Travels.

White Sands National Monument

It was a nice calm day and perfect for visiting the White Sands National Monument.  I checked out the Visitor’s Center first upon arriving and watched a 30 minute video on how the White Sands were formed.  Then with my “Geezer Pass”(known as the America the Beautiful Senior Pass) and my drivers license in hand I drove to the park entrance.  Cost to get into the park – $0.00.  That’s what I like to hear – a big fat $0.00!!

The first thing I came upon was the Dune Life Nature Trail.  It is a one mile trail that takes you into the dunes and has great signage about the plants and animals that call the dunes their home.  Below are a few pics I took on this nature trail.

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

I even was lucky to run into this little guy.  The skin color of this lizard has evolved over the years to protect it from predators.  You might want to click on it to get a better view of this little guy.

This is a Rio Grande cottonwood tree that is able to live off the water located under the dunes, even though most of it is covered by the dunes.  As long as the top leaves still flourish the tree will remain alive.

It is amazing that plants can grow and flower with only a small rainfall each year.  The area gets less then 10 inches of rain yearly.  I was able to get pics of a few plants that were still flowering.

My rig looks more like it is in Mammoth Lakes CA on a winter ski trip then the White Sands desert.  I’m ready to hit the slopes.  LOL!!

White Sands does give you the feeling you are in the snow high in the mountains.  It is really unique and no other place on earth is like this.  Their signs say that you were not allowed to take any sand from the park.  When I got back to my campsite I realized I had a great deal of sand in my shoes.  Oh well !  I didn’t take it.  It just decided to come along with me. HA!

Saguaro National Park

My next stop was at the Saguaro National Park.  It is just a day park with nice picnic areas and hiking trails.  The entrance to the park was $10 per vehicle but I got in for nothing thanks to my geezer card (National Park Senior Access card).  There is a one way 9 mile loop that takes you through the cactus forest.  I decided to take a few pics of the various types of cactus to show you.  I will do my best to identify them for you.

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

This first pic shows the Giant Sagauro Cactus.  In the background you can barely see Tuscon, AZ

The Saguaro Forest.

Barrel Cactus.

Prickly Pear Cactus.

Two pics of Ocotillo.


A mesquite tree.

A yucca.

Teddy Bear Cholla.

If I got any of them wrong please let me know.  The nine mile driving tour was very nice and the scenery was beautiful.  Too bad the cacti weren’t in bloom.  That would have been spectacular.

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

I planned to fly back to CA to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  I began heading north to Albuquerque where I was going to catch a flight to Orange County.  I was on my last campground at Elephant Butte State Park before leaving for Albuquerque when I got a call from my friend Jack to meet him at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge where the annual Festival of the Cranes was taking place.  He had located a campground just a few miles from the refuge.  So I was off to the refuge.

Once I got there and checked in we both took our rigs through the refuge (which was free using my America the Beautiful Senior Pass).  What a place!!  You could drive through the refuge and stop anywhere to view the wildlife.  Our first stop was a pond where we saw thousands of Snow Geese.  They were everywhere making lots of noise.

Farther along we came across a corn field where the Sandhill Cranes were feeding.  The Sandhill Cranes feed on the corn during the day and then migrate to the safety of the ponds before sunset where they will stay all night.  This protects them from the coyotes.

The cranes fly in packs to the ponds.  They look like planes coming in for a landing.

I was able to get a pic of the sun setting over the pond.

The next day I checked out the Visitor’s Center where they had all kinds of displays that related to the wildlife in the refuge.  There were many people that brought injured owls, and hawks that had been found that they nursed back to good health but were unable to survive in the wild.

Even had a beautiful wolf that was very tame.

Here is a Red-tailed Hawk.

This turned out to be a wonderful weekend.  I learned a lot about the wildlife and how the Wildlife Refuge works.  Thanks Jack for calling me and let me know about this event.