My Summer of Fame

You want my picture!

Last year while visiting Monument Valley I took the following picture.  You can see the whole post here.  A couple of months ago I was contacted by Robert of Tesoro Metal Detectors.  He was interested in using my photo in an ad they were running in a publication called RV Journal.  Well the Summer 2012 edition of RV Journal finally hit the newstands and you can usually pick one up FREE at Camping World as well as other RV Supply houses.

Now I am really famous!  HA! HA!  Not too shabby though.

I will be glad to autograph your copy.  HA!  All you have to do is catch up with me.

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 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.

Monument Valley Tribal Park, UT

The Old West

Heading northwest I decide to stop at Monument Valley, UT.  What a beautiful place!!!  It reminds me of cowboy movies and the old west.  It is nothing like I had ever seen before.  I was disappointed that I could not use my geezer card for free entrance to the park, but it is not really a National Park but a Navajo National Tribal Park.  The fee was only $5 so couldn’t really complain given the spectacular view I was to see.

You can camp on a primitive camp site for $10 per night with no hook-ups.  It is on a bluff overlooking all the fabulous scenery.  Here are a couple of views of my newest back yard today.  Whoa Nelly!!!!

Big bucks for tours!

I checked out the Visitor’s Center and it was very nice and educational about the area as well.  The balcony offers you a great panorama of the valley and looks down on the road used for the tour.  I signed up for one night’s stay in the primitive camping area and asked about the canyon tours.  She couldn’t give me any information because the tours were run by private companies.  I then went down to the tour booth and the girl there was very helpful in explaining the costs and what you see.  It is $65 for the normal tour that lasts about 1 1/2 hours and $75 for the extended tour that takes you farther into the canyon and lasts for 2 1/2 hours.  She did mention that they had improved the road and that I could probably drive the tour in my RV.  Since it was late I decided to put off taking the tour.  More on that later.

I went back to The Breeze where I enjoyed a glass of wine while taking in the fabulous scenery.  I even got a few pics of the sunset.

Rain, rain go away!!!

The next day I checked the weather forecast which didn’t look too good.  They were predicting isolated thunder storms throughout the day.  I looked out and there were lots of storm clouds but it looked like they were passing over.

I am ready to spend the BIG BUCKS on the tour..or am I?

After talking to a group of Australians camped nearby I decided not to drive The Breeze on the free Self Guided Tour of the Canyon.  They said the route was quite bumpy so by then I had decided to fork over the $75 (OUCH!) and take the 2 1/2 hour tour.  I went over to sign up but found out they wouldn’t accept credit cards.  WHAT!! The lady yesterday was taking them!  They did tell me there was another tour group that would accept credit cards but weren’t sure when they were going to be there.  FORGET IT!!  I decided that I will definitely  be back in this area and would take the tour then.

Decided on the FREEBIE Wildcat Trail hike instead..

In the meantime I had decided I would take the Wildcat Trail.  It is a 3.3 mile trail that circles the West Mitten Butte.  The best part of it was that it is FREE!  There were just a few clouds in the sky so I decided it would be a great way to spend the day.  The following are a few pics of the trail.

The West Mitten Butte.

The Merrick Butte.

The East Mitten Butte.

The backside of the West Mitten Butte.

Caught in a thunder-storm.  YIKES!!

As you can see from the last pic, the clouds are starting to come my way.  OH NO!!  I have at least a mile to go.  I could see rain way off in the distance.  Then I heard huge claps of thunder and even saw lightning.  I then started to put my legs in gear trying to make it back before the storm caught up with me.  I wasn’t too worried about getting wet but the lightning scared the HEEBIE JEEBIES out of me.  When I heard a clap of thunder I would kneel to the ground hoping the lightning wouldn’t come anywhere near me.  I must have been a sight for sore eyes.  The bummer was that the most difficult part of the trail lay ahead of me as I had to hike uphill to get back to The Breeze.  I finally made it although I was quite wet at the end.  Here are a couple of pics taken during and after the storm.

I was even treated to a beautiful rainbow over the Sentinel Mesa.

After drying off I decided that was enough Monument Valley for me and decided to hit the road where I traveled to Page, AZ.  Only one more stop after this and I will be in Fernley, NV.  Monument Valley is a beautiful place and is like the true southwest.  Just like it was portrayed in so many westerns.