Lake Havasu City, AZ – Part 1

Oh, Lake Havasu City, how I love thee.

It’s really a great little town, and if you’ve never visited, you should put it on your list. It’s right on the Colorado River, across from California, and sits pretty on Lake Havasu, which was created when Parker Dam was built in the mid-1930’s.

Lake_Havasu

It is also home to the London Bridge… really… not kidding. Seems there was a guy – a very rich one – who for some reason decided to purchase the actual London Bridge from London, England when they decided to replace it with a newer one. This guy, Robert P. McCulloch of McCulloch Chainsaws fame, spent a ton of money to buy it, have it meticulously disassembled and numbered in London, shipped to Lake Havasu, AZ, and then reassembled. And there it still sits for your curious enjoyment.

There are other things about this delightful little town that make it a desirable destination, such as the multiple festivals they have during the year, the lake and all the water activities that go with that, the fantastic temperatures during the winter months (we are here in January and it was 80 yesterday!), and the large amount of nearby BLM lands, which makes boondocking easy. [For those of you who don’t know, boondocking is a term used for “dry camping” or camping without amenities like water, bathrooms/showers, electricity, etc., on public lands, and it’s free!] There are also several State Parks and multiple RV parks and hotels if boondocking isn’t your style.

There are also a lot of casinos nearby, and even a ferry that will take you from the shores of Lake Havasu City out to an island casino for $2 roundtrip. Quite the bargain!

Here are some of the sites you might just see in Lake Havasu City, should you choose to visit:

LakeHavasuCity-BalloonFestival2011-1

If you’re adventurous and want to try boondocking, stay tuned for the next blog. I’ll be including pics of our camp area and our set-up.

Big Love,

Lainie

2018 RTR – Our Tribe

When we arrived at the RTR, we were welcomed by a wonderful group of people who quickly became friends. We felt blessed to immediately find a tribe.

Garrett welcomed us first and introduced us to Miss BJ, James & Kim, Jim, and Tina. Shortly, we added Leon & Jan, Rick, Sara, Theresa, Tony, and Kathie.

As the RTR progressed, we got to know these wonderful people very well and began sharing meals together. Everyone was pleased to discover that Rico is an excellent campfire chef and that he really enjoys cooking for everyone.

Jim and James are great at building and tending fires, so we were all pleased to be able to gather around the campfire each night to laugh and talk. They even encouraged Rico and me to play and sing, so we did… no need to twist our arms!

We also found a wonderful group of fellow musicians over at the music RTR area. G, Rivers, Mel, Omaso, George, and so many others lent both their space and their talent to make our evenings spent around their fire very memorable.

When we left the RTR, Rico and I headed up to the Lake Havasu City area to meet up with our camp tribe. We’ve been here a week now, and we have really enjoyed getting to know these awesome people better!

Garrett, Tony, James, and Jim know everything about everything, and how to fix almost anything! Theresa, Tina, Sara, and Kim love to pitch in with the cooking duties and, man, those ladies are good cooks. BJ, who left us already, was a fantastic bread baker and teller of good stories. We all miss her a lot.

Tony… well there aren’t words for that old codger. We just love him, period. He’s sassy and sarcastic, curmudgeonlingly adorable (is that a word?), and an expert on most subjects. And the guy is as generous as they come. He left the other day to head home, and we miss him already.

rico-phone-1-29-18-461.jpg

Theresa left today for the Grand Canyon and then back home, and she will be greatly missed. She is sweet as pie (and those delicious no-bake cookies she makes), her stories are funny, and her generator has provided lots of coffee in the mornings that most of the camp will hate to do without.

Tina leaves for Texas tomorrow and I just don’t know what I’ll do without her sassy wit to keep me laughing. We’re threatening to follow her and camp out in her front yard.

The rest of us are staying put for a little bit, at least until the Lunar Eclipse, then heading our separate ways.

Rico Phone 1.29.18 417

From l to r: Theresa, Tina, Sara, BJ, Jim & Rico in front

Rico Phone 1.29.18 410

Front to back: left: Sara, Theresa, Rico and right: Tina, BJ, Jim

BJ, Rico & Jim            rico-phone-1-29-18-412.jpg

Rico Phone 1.29.18 413  Rico & Jim

Rico and I are going to Palm Springs and then on to slab city where we hope to meet up with some of our music tribe.

I’ll fill you in on the Lake Havasu sites and activities next time, (and yes, there will be busking!), plus more pictures of our tribe, so stay tuned!

Big Love,

Lainie

PS – there is about to be a couple of new videos up on our YouTube channel about our adventures, so go check it out 🙂

Busking Bohemians YouTube Channel

2018 RTR Part III – Meeting Bob & Carolyn

One of the most exciting things for me at the RTR was getting to meet the people who are directly responsible for us choosing this rubbertramp lifestyle… Bob & Carolyn.

For those of you who don’t yet know them, go check out their YouTube channels. If you are at all considering making the road your new home, they have a lot to teach you!

Cheap RV Living

Carolyn’s RV Life

While you’re at it, you might want to go check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We don’t have a lot of content up yet, but we’ve just begun this adventure, so stay tuned!

Busking Bohemians

Anyway, meeting Bob and Carolyn was one of the highlights of the RTR for me. I have been watching and learning from them both for years, so getting to say hello and thank them in person was amazing!

 

I was even part of one of Carolyn’s videos!

Lainie on Carolyn’s Video

Suffice it to say, we really enjoyed our time at the RTR, and we can’t wait to return in 2019!

More RTR stuff (about our new tribe of fellow rubbertramps) to come, so stay tuned!

Big Love,

Lainie

2018 RTR Part II

I’ve heard that the 2018 RTR had between 2500 and 3000 people in attendance, and I believe it! I am still amazed at the number of people out there on the roads living free and unencumbered.

We saw all sorts of rigs from the super expensive, massive RV’s to the smallest little trailers. We saw homemade rigs and van conversions, and we saw people like us, living in tents. We also saw people, a lot of them, living in their cars or SUV’s. It is still surreal to me.

To think that so many people feel compelled, either by necessity or a strong case of wanderlust, to live life on the road is still hard for me to grasp. It is truly a counter-culture, and it is so refreshing to me.

We met some incredible people (Bob Wells and Carolyn Rose are two of them) and learned so much from the seminars and the people we camped with. I am still processing everything…

We really enjoyed the seminars and I was pleased to find out they were using a PA because I could sit right in front of my tent and hear everything just perfectly.

After the orientation and being made aware of the “rules” of the RTR, and learning that music wasn’t allowed in the main camp where we were, Rico decided to try and organize a Potluck Jam at the music camp. He made a sign and posted it on the bulletin board, and we waited for Friday with much anticipation.

On Friday, we grabbed a bag of chips and some trail mix and headed over to the music section. One of the guys we met early on (Omaso) had told us how to find the music fire, and after a couple of missed turns (it’s difficult to navigate effectively in the desert), we made it. The awesome people who were camped around the music fire (G, River, Mel, George) welcomed us like old friends and people began arriving. It did our hearts good to host another jam. We had been missing interaction and fellowship and JAMMING with fellow musicians since leaving DC, and this was just the thing we needed.

We opened up by sharing a song and a little bit about ourselves. After that, Rico strummed a simple tune and we went around the fire asking people to sing a little about themselves and whatever they wanted to say. It was a lot of fun.

After that icebreaker, people began stepping up to play and joining in when others played. A lot of people brought food to share, and G’s lady, River, cooked a delicious Thai meal for everyone. It was a wonderful night!!

More RTR to come, so stay tuned!!

Big Love,

Lainie

The 2018 Rubbertramp Rendezvous (RTR) Part 1

We arrived in Quartzsite, AZ on January 9th for the 2018 RTR in inclement weather conditions. It was cloudy and raining off and on, which doesn’t mix well with tent camping. We were certainly dreading setting up the tent in the rain, and we didn’t know what to expect in the way of campsites.

With trepidation in our hearts, we set off down the worst paved road I’ve ever driven down – worse than anything DC has to offer. Because we were pulling the trailer, we took it very slow, which only made the bumps worse.

At the end of that four-mile long pothole filled road was a dirt road that was marginally better. We only had to drive that road for a little over a mile, so we were optimistic. Because it’s the desert, we were hopeful that the road wouldn’t be too muddy and that we wouldn’t get stuck.

We finally made it to the first RTR sign, and since it said RTR Music, we turned right and headed in. We weren’t expecting a different section for musicians but were pleased with the prospect of camping near fellow performers.

After driving the entire length of the music section and not seeing anyplace that looked smooth and level enough for our tent (the entire ground was covered in rocks), we reluctantly pulled back out onto the main road and headed for the main RTR camp.

After driving down into the main section of the RTR camp and finding more of the same, we were at a loss as to what to do and where to camp, plus the rain was still coming down.

As we circled back around by the main camp area where all the seminars were going to be held, a guy in a white truck flagged us down. He had seen my disability placard hanging from the rearview and told us that we were in the section set aside for people with disabilities to camp.

Rico got out and scouted the area for a good tent spot. After deciding where to camp, I backed the trailer in (I’m getting better at backing!) and we started setting up the tent in the rain.

It didn’t take long, and the sun finally came out a little. We were even blessed with a double rainbow, which made me feel confident that our RTR experience would be a good one. I wish I had thought to get a picture of it…

I must say that we were very lucky to find the spot we did, and we are eternally grateful to Garrett for flagging us down! We met the most wonderful people in that spot and feel we have made lifelong friendships. I will get into more of that in a later blog.

The first night was great, not too cold, and pretty uneventful. We were there a couple of days prior to the start of the RTR, so we had plenty of time to get our camp set up, which is what we did the next day.

Here are some pictures of our first couple of days in Quartzsite:

I’ve got so much more to share, so stay tuned!

Big Love,

Lainie

 

 

The Journey West

We departed the Texas Hill Country on January 5th and headed for an overnight stop in Abilene to visit Rico’s family.

On the 6th, we headed west to Roswell, NM and camped overnight in a really nice State Park – Bottomless Lakes. The scenery was beautiful, the accommodations were quite nice, and the price was right at just $14.00.

The next morning we headed into Roswell to take a look at all the UFO stuff. We really enjoyed the museum and I’ll admit, it made a believer out of me!

The doggies were sure thirsty, so here are some cute pics of them drinking out of the console:

lainie phone 1.12.18 174lainie phone 1.12.18 175

lainie phone 1.12.18 176lainie phone 1.12.18 178

We had a great time in Roswell, but we had to get on the road to Alamogordo so we could get our tent set up before dark. The drive was really pretty and we’ll be posting some of our GoPro videos on our YouTube channel soon, so be sure to subscribe – youtube.com/c/buskingbohemians – so you can see them once they’re up.

Once we got to Alamogordo, we decided to stop for ice before heading to the campsite. Rico was walking the pups, so I went in and got the ice. When I opened the trailer to put the ice in the cooler, I set my wallet on the top of the trailer, and… you guessed it… I forgot about it.

I can only assume it flew off the trailer once we pulled out of the gas station, but I didn’t notice it until we arrived at the State Park and I went to get my wallet so we could register. I was totally FREAKED out, as you can imagine because EVERYTHING was in that wallet. I was picturing all the trouble I was going to go through to replace my ID, etc., so I grabbed my phone and started to look up the gas station where we had just been on the off chance that someone had found it and turned it in. Lo and behold, there were a text and a voicemail from an awesome guy who had found it. He and his lady had spotted it scattered all over the highway, stopped to pick it up and gathered all my stuff, including my ID and debit card. They also found one of our Busking Bohemians cards, which has our phone numbers on it. That’s when they texted and called. I was so flabbergasted that it took me a moment to register what had happened. I called and spoke to the man, who then offered to drive out to the State Park and bring it to me. What??? I was blown away!!!

Here is a picture of the two angels, Gordy King and Donna Countryman:

rico phone 1.16.18 275.jpg

My faith in the goodness of humans was definitely restored that day!

Our camp that night was okay… not great… but cheap (only 10 bucks). I was a little disappointed in the amenities of this small park (Oliver Lee Memorial State Park), but for the price, you can’t beat it.

I had a little mishap at this camp. I was trying to pull out a tent stake, lost my balance, stood up and stepped back to try and regain my balance, and tripped over a pile of rocks, landing flat on my back. I probably cracked a bone in my right arm up near my elbow, but without insurance, it wasn’t possible to get it checked out. I swelled up and bruised a lot, but the pain was minimal (until I bumped it). Since the last time I cracked a bone up near my elbow (on my left arm) looked and felt very similar, I think it is probably fractured. The last time they just told me to wear an elbow brace and put my arm in a sling, so that’s what I did this time. I’m all better now and no worse for the wear!

After leaving Alamogordo, we headed to Tucson and stayed the night with friends, which was very nice. We took hot showers, did some laundry, ate some pizza, laughed, talked, and generally had a great time! Thanks, Annette and Clayton!

On the morning of the 9th, we woke up to cloudy skies, a rainy forecast, and a 5+ hour drive to Quartzsite, AZ for the Rubbertramp Rendezvous. We contemplated putting it off another day, but both Rico and I were anxious to get to the RTR, so we loaded up the dogs and our clean clothes and hit the road.

Stay tuned for more posts about the RTR!

Big Love,

Lainie

The Friends & Family Tour

It’s been a very long time since I posted… can’t believe it’s been over a month! So much has happened during that time, I will break it all up into several posts so you don’t miss a thing.

First of all, we spent a very enjoyable 6+ weeks with friends and family in Texas. We saw almost everyone we wanted to, got to enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the ringing in of the new year with the ones we love the most, and even got to do a little site seeing, music, and art. Rico even decided to shave his facial hair – all of it – much to my surprise and chagrin.

lainie phone 1.12.18 090

So much happened, I have decided to show you in pictures. Enjoy!

When we first arrived in San Antonio, we were instantly whisked away to the birthday party of a long-time family friend. A good time was had by all… except the poor piggy.

We had a great Thanksgiving celebration – twice!

And an awesome visit with Rico’s father, brothers, nephews, and other family members. He has a BIG family!

We also got to hang with friends, make some art, make some empanadas, smoke some really good food, eat some really good food, do a little site seeing, participate in San Antonio’s First Friday, and play some music.

lainie-phone-11-29-17-084.jpg         lainie-phone-12-9-17-008.jpg  Rico Phone 12.10.17 242

And Christmas was off the chain! We had three!!!

lainie-phone-1-12-18-028.jpg             lainie-phone-1-12-18-016.jpg

But the time came for us to leave. Though we were very excited to get on the road again, we knew we would miss all our loved ones back in Texas.

Where will the road lead us? Stay tuned to find out!

lainie phone 1.12.18 091

Big Love,

Lainie