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.

Tamarisk LTVA

Tamarisk LTVA

After crossing the border at Tecate, I traveled down I8 to Tamarisk LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area).  It is in the same system of LTVA’s as the La Posa West LTVA in Quartzsite.  Therefore my annual pass covered the cost of staying there.  As it turned out the pass cost me $180 and I was able to save $20.  I could have probably saved even more but decided to move on and head to Southern California to visit with my family.

This is the area I moved to.

I was the 28th rig all season…

Once I got settled in Reynolds came over to invite me to their campfire they were having that night.  I met everyone who was camped at the park.  Everyone was so friendly.  I was only the 28th rig to come into the park since they opened it back in September.  At the present time I was one of six rigs in the park.  Many of the others had been there for several months.

Peter and Bea we have to stop meeting like this..

I had to get water and propane as well as dump my tanks.  They suggested Holtville where I could take care of everything at once including stocking up on some groceries and fill my tank with gas.  I headed there on Sunday and had just finished dumping my tanks and was headed to get some gas when I saw a rig pull into the dump station and saw my friends Peter and Bea from  http://american-traveler.blogspot.com/ jump out.  How ironic to see them again!  I had last seen them while I was filling up with water at Quartzsite.  We chatted for a while and then they headed off to Yuma and I to Tamarisk LTVA.

Surrounded by the Border Patrol

It was a ritual to go on a hike every morning.  I took part in several of the hikes while I was there.  They each lasted about 4 miles and it was great exercise.  One day we decided to hike over to I-8 and then back again.  It was about 2 miles each way.  We got over to I-8 and walked along it inside the fence of course.  Then as we hiked back we were met by 4 Border Patrol vehicles who almost surrounded us.  Evidently someone saw us while driving down I-8 and suspected that we were illegal aliens.  The Border Patrol were on us like flies on poop!  Of course they realized that we hadn’t crossed the border illegally but it was pretty funny!

Evidence of illegal crossings

Since we were next to the waterway most of our hikes were along it.  You could see evidence all along the waterway where the illegals had made their way across it.  Things like rafts, paddles, clothing, etc.

Off to Algodones, MX

Charlie invited me to go to Algodones, MX with them.  He and Reynolds had to have their hearing aids adjusted and also needed some medication from the pharmacy.  I decide what the heck and said I would ride along.  There was Charlie, Reynolds, Jim and myself.  We walked across the border.  It was much different the what I was used to seeing in Palomas, MX where I have my dental work done.  It seemed much busier.  Lots of stores and street vendors.  All trying to get you to look (and buy) their junk!  Too many people wanting a handout.

Walked around a bit and only took one pic.

Then we had to cross back into the USA.  What a hassle!  This is the long line that we stood in while everyone is trying to peddle their stuff.  They kept saying “Only $5, almost free”.  Sure think poncho!

But sir this does not look like you…

When I got to the gal checking the passports she said “This doesn’t look like you!  She made me take off my sunglasses.  Then I had to explain that the picture was taken 10 years ago and my body has changed slightly.  Like hair color, mustache, etc.  My passport expires later this year so it will be nice to get a new one with a new picture that actually looks like me.  She is the second agent that has told me that.  Don’t worry about it!  Just let me go thru!

Great woodcarvings

Several of the guys at the park did wood carving as a hobby.  Reynolds, Jim and Ken were all really good at it.  Reynolds showed me some of his collection and it was quite impressive.  I sure wish I was handy like that!

I will return…

I plan to return there next year.  Reynolds and Karen were the hosts and they have been coming their for 7 years.  Tamarisk LTVA does not have all of the facilities, but they make up for it with the wonderful people.