Moving On… It happens every 2 weeks

As boondockers (camping somewhere without water, toilet, electric, showers, etc.) we have to move camps frequently. Most free sites (BLM land, National Forest land, etc.) only allow a 14-day stay, which means every 2 weeks or so, we have to pack up and move. This also means a lot of my time is spent researching new sites and driving to them to scope them out if they are close enough.

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The worst thing is to arrive at a site we haven’t been to before and find out it doesn’t meet our needs. It is either full, or the road in is too treacherous for the Mini to make it, or it has no shade cover for the tents or has no cell signal or something else that makes it unsuitable. That’s why I like to go investigate it first.

When we do find a good site, the move takes about three days. Day one is packing everything up (we don’t have a rig, so we have a lot of stuff in the tents). Day two is actually moving and setting up enough of the site so that we can cook and sleep, and day three is finishing the setup. So in a 14-day period, 6 days are spent moving. It gets tiring for sure, but it’s free, so we do it.

The best thing about moving every 2 weeks is the adventure of exploring a new site. And, if we move far enough, we also get to explore a new town or city. That’s always so much fun!

However, most of the time, we make short moves. It’s just easier, and since we’re not on a schedule, for the most part, it is our preference. Right now, Rico and Eric (my brother from another mother) are working in the town of Buena Vista, Colorado at a restaurant for the season, so we need to stay close. We’ll probably have to move at least 2 more times before the job is finished, so I’m currently scoping out our next site.

After the guys finish working, Eric will head back home to Texas for a bit, and Rico and I are thinking about going over to Utah to see the National Parks there before it gets too cold. I’m really looking forward to that.

We had hoped to see more things in Colorado, but the job was too good to pass up, and we really needed to save up some money before winter. There’s always next summer, right?

The area we are in now is amazingly beautiful. I had been here before as a child, but Rico had never seen it. On his days off, we have been exploring. We’ve been wanting to go up to Maroon Bells near Aspen, but the smoke from the wildfires west of us has been hovering over the mountains, and we really want to see the Bells in all their glory, so we’re waiting it out.

We are going to go see The Royal Gorge over in Canon City (pronounced Canyon) and make a trip to Colorado Springs to see all the sites there. It’s really great that we’re so close to so many awesome places!

Before we head out to Utah, we’re definitely planning to drive through Rocky Mountain National Park if we make it out of here before the first snowfall.

Stay tuned for awesome pics headed your way, and be sure to go subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you can keep up with all our adventures!

https://www.youtube.com/buskingbohemians

Big Love,

Lainie

An explanation of my extended silence

Dear Friends:

I wanted to let all of you know why I have been silent for so long here on the blog…

In March, while in Southern California, I had a severe relapse of my Multiple Sclerosis. Rico and I made the difficult decision to leave the road and return to San Antonio, Texas so I could try and recover and get back into remission.

We stayed with Rico’s parents and Rico got a job. I tried to write and paint, but I mostly just slept.

After the weather became too hot for me to bear, I started a gofundme to help us get out of Texas and to cooler temperatures.

We are now in beautiful Colorado where the nights are consistently in the upper 40’s and the days don’t get above the mid-80’s. The humidity is also very low, so I am doing much better.

Rico is again looking for work, and I’m recuperating. We are living in the tent again and roughing it, but life is so much better here!

I will be posting some old videos from our travels in February and March, as well as some new ones from our current adventures. I will also be blogging again, so keep an eye out for updates.

Thanks for hanging with me through the silence!

Big Love,

Lainie

A Day In The Life…

Good morning all! I thought I’d let you get a peek inside our world of boondocking. What is boondocking? It’s a term for those who camp without hookups or any typical camping conveniences (i.e., bathrooms, water, electricity, etc.). It’s also called dispersed camping or dry camping.

 

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Morning:

Wake and head to the toilet – for us this means exiting our sleeping tent and schlepping over to the bathroom tent next door (or across or behind, depending on how we set up the camp), making sure to let the dogs out at the same time. We have a nice RV portable toilet, but many people use a bucket or something similar… that would not have worked for this girl, so we have a “real” toilet. After using the toilet, I clean it (there is no water in the bowl, so I like to add a little bleach water before I “flush” it), and then wash my hands.

Next, I round up the pups and give them their breakfast, after which I check the weather (extremely important whilst camping). If all is right with the weather, I usually sit back and read the news, scroll through social media, and watch a video or two. If there is something bad forecasted in the weather, I let Rico know and we get busy addressing whatever issues need to be handled before the inclement weather arrives. (It should be stated here that we ALWAYS check the weather before bed, so we’re usually well prepared before morning, but weather forecasts have a bad habit of changing rapidly, so better safe than sorry.)

Once Rico and I are fully awake, Rico cooks breakfast. Our typical morning fare is eggs with some sort of protein on either tortillas or toast. Sometimes we have oatmeal and fruit, or bean and cheese tacos. When the weather is bad and Rico can’t cook, we have sandwiches because they’re easy. Sometimes I do the dishes after breakfast, but more often I don’t, much to Rico’s annoyance.

Afternoon:

Laundry

After breakfast, we plan our day. Here are some of the activities that we have to choose from:

  • Go to town to do laundry
  • Go to town to get ice
  • Go to town to get groceries
  • Go to town to dispose of our trash
  • Go to town to dump our toilet
  • Go to town to busk
  • Scavenge for firewood
  • Practice music for busking
  • Edit videos
  • Upload videos
  • Blog
  • Write things other than the blog (i.e., music for Rico/novel for Lainie)
  • Visit with our neighbors and/or camping companions
  • Make art
  • Go sightseeing (where we are now, that is mostly going to the hot springs)
  • Play with the dogs
  • Research where we are going next
  • Take a nap… or two… lol

For the town runs, we always combine activities, but laundry and showers rarely happen on the same day because they both take a lot of time.

As you can see, we have a lot of activities to choose from, and every single day includes a nap, for sure.

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Lunch is usually something quick and easy, and we often skip it and have a light snack instead.

Evening:

Once the sun heads toward the western horizon, Rico starts making a fire and preparing to cook dinner. Our meals are often shared with those around us, which is really nice. We enjoy the community feel of these dinners, and everyone pitches in groceries and/or helps cook or tend the fire. I usually get stuck with the dishes (which I detest), but sometimes Rico does them for me (which I greatly appreciate).

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After dinner, we hang out around the campfire and talk about life on the road, past adventures, and future destinations. Rico usually gets out his guitar and we sing songs or just listen to him play something beautiful. It’s really nice. Sometimes we pass the phone around the fire and allow each person to choose a song to play for everyone. You wouldn’t believe some of the songs we’ve heard… from Opera to Irish folk tunes and everything in between.

Night:

We also like to stargaze, and we’ve seen a lot of falling stars. We are super in tune with the phases of the moon now that we’re out here away from the cities. With nothing to block our view, and no bright lights to compete with the beauty of the night sky, we’ve been awed by the things we’ve seen in the heavens. We even saw the SpaceX rocket boosters fall away earlier this month. We thought it was a UFO at first… lol. I’m sure we’ll see one of those eventually.

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We are usually in the tent by around 8pm, and in bed by 9 or 9:30. No late nights for us because once the sun is up, so are we. I expect this to change as the days get longer.

When it’s cold, we have our little heater that we huddle around before climbing, fully clothed (sometimes in multiple layers), beneath a mound of blankets. The dogs snuggle up to us and we keep each other warm.

So, that’s a typical day in our lives. We don’t have jobs, we live without a clock or a calendar, and we try not to plan things too far ahead. We are truly free to live life as we choose, bound only by our budget, which isn’t too bad. We have the time and the talent to make a living out here on the road, and the freedom to do that is worth all the struggles we face.

Yes, I’d rather have a real flushable toilet and a hot shower on board, but I don’t mind doing without those creature comforts in order to live this life of freedom. I have a very comfortable bed, a nice tent, a great portable toilet, plenty of clothes and jackets to keep me warm, a great man to share these adventures with, and I’m unencumbered by the trappings of a “normal” life. To me, this is bliss.

We’re heading to Slab City, so stay tuned for pictures and fun stories from our adventures there!

Big Love,

Lainie

 

 

Hot Springs… Aaahhh!

Paradise! That’s all I can say… it’s truly a paradise in the midst of the desert. Don’t they call that an Oasis or something?

We are currently camped on BLM land in Southern California, about ten miles north of the Mexican border, and forty miles West of Yuma, AZ. We found out about this place via word of mouth from some of our RTR peeps, and we are so glad we decided to check it out!

Holtville, CA is a sleepy, dusty little farming town about two hours East of San Diego. It is much less like California and much more like rural Texas than I would have thought. The people are friendly and helpful, the town is quiet and slow, and the prices on everything (except gas) are pretty cheap… sometimes better than Texas.

Another thing, there is a free hot spring pool.

Yes!!!

You read that right…

FREE

HOT SPRING POOL

And it’s right out here where we are camping.

We have a really great spot, it’s got some natural protection from the wind, and it’s an easy drive (two miles on a graded dirt road) to the hot springs. We’ve been going a lot… sometimes twice per day… and we LOVE it! It’s especially good for my Fibromyalgia, and if I don’t stay too long, it helps with the MS as well. I love it!

It’s clean (kept that way by volunteers and the camp hosts), and it’s got both a hot pool and a warm pool, and it’s FREE!

What could be better?

We also have a fairly strong and dependable signal out here, which is why I’m able to blog and post new videos more regularly.  This is a HUGE plus for me! I wish we could stay for a month, but the BLM rules say we’ve got to move on after fourteen days.

We’re planning on going to Slab City to check things out in a couple days. If we find it to be hospitable, we’ll probably move there after we leave here. It’s close enough to Holtville that we can come back to soak at least once a week, which is fine with me!

I’m currently uploading a video about the hot springs on our YouTube channel, so look for it.

Our YouTube Channel

Hope to see you out there on the road!

Big Love,

Lainie

Thoughts on Going Home

Rico wrote a song years ago about a guy we had met who was a nomadic musician. One of the lines is “Sometimes you just wanna go home.”

I’ve been feeling that way a lot of late.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE this nomadic life… but sometimes the thoughts of a real roof over my head, a flushable toilet and hot shower in the next room, a comfy couch, and cable TV are a bit distracting.

These thoughts usually hit me in moments when we are having difficulties ( The Tent Killing Winds – Part Three ), or when I’m up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, and bored. I think back to our last home in DC that we loved so much. I think about all our friends and wonder what they’re doing. I think about my children and how much I miss them. I scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, trying to catch up on what everyone is doing, and inevitably get depressed because I’m not with them.

But then, usually while sitting at a beautiful campfire, or watching an incredible sunrise or sunset, or just spending time with Rico and the friends we have made on the road, I come back to myself. I realize this journey is a necessary one for me, and I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it is good for me, no matter the difficulties I face.

These thoughts are especially pervasive when I’m not feeling well. But then I remind myself that pain is a constant part of my life no matter where I am. If I was in a house, I would still be in pain, still have gastrointestinal issues, and still need to take meds and get rest.

I also realize that any time we feel the need to be with family and to enjoy some time in familiar places, we can always turn Pearl’s nose East and head back to Texas. It’s as simple as that. So, for now, we’re going to continue our journey.

We’re planning on visiting Slab City this week, and will probably make our way to the West Coast and Mexico by mid-March. I hope you’ll follow along on our journey via this blog, our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, and YouTube.

Our YouTube Channel

Our FB Page

Our Twitter Feed

Our Instagram Feed

‘Til next time… Big Love,

Lainie

Lake Havasu City, AZ – Part 2

The best-laid plans of mice and men…

Yeah… I fell again. Rocks… I blame it all on those darned rocks so prevalent in the Arizona desert. Anyway, I am a beautiful array of purple, green, and blue bruises on my right side and quite sore. Thankfully, it seems I was spared any broken bones.

That being said, we haven’t busked in Lake Havasu City yet, and we probably won’t. We are also delaying our departure to Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs to give me a chance to recuperate.

Right now, Pearl (the Mini Cooper) is getting a check-up and oil change and I am looking forward to another shower and hydro-massage at Planet Fitness later, after which I will visit the local Wal Mart to purchase a new air mattress. The one that came with that wonderful Coleman cot is torn beyond repair. I really liked it too but it seems it was no match for the desert (you know, cactus and stickers out the wazoo!).

I’m doing all of this because it is easier than being back at the camp packing things up. Rico is doing that, thankfully. I’m so sore, that bending or picking things up brings tears to my eyes. Sitting in an auto-repair shop and going to Wal Mart is a breeze in comparison (sort of – only the occasional wince), and that hydro-massage will be amazing I’m sure.

Here are a few pictures Rico & I took around the camp:

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Most of our companions have departed for other adventures, and once Rico and I and Garrett leave, the Craggy Wash area where we’ve been for the past two weeks will only be a memory. I’m sure we will all return there eventually, as it has been a great experience, but leaving now is somewhat bittersweet. It was truly hard to say goodbye to all our new friends as they left one-by-one, or two-by-two, but we are already making plans to meet up again in the early summer.

I’ll try to keep you updated on our wanderings as much as possible (finding a signal in the remote areas where we camp is difficult at best), and I’ll be sure to check in as often as we are in town and can get free Wi-Fi.

Until then, we hope to see you out there on the road!

Big Love,

Lainie

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

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.

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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.

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

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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!

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Big Love,

Lainie

The Good Citizen

We departed the peace and tranquility of the Florida Panhandle and headed West for Texas. After trying to find a spot for the night at a roadside park in Mississippi off of Interstate 10 (we had read on freecampsites.net that it was allowed), and discovering it was okay for RV’ers, but not tent campers, we did a quick internet search. We found a nice enough State Park in Louisiana that wasn’t too expensive and wasn’t too far. I called ahead to make sure there would be a spot for us and informed the Ranger that we would be in after dark. He assured me it would be fine and gave me instructions on what to do to find a campsite. He said we could pay in the morning once the office opened.

With everything set, we hit the road and made it to Tickfaw State Park around 7 p.m. It was a nice little out of the way park not too far from the Interstate, but far enough that it was really quiet.

We set up our tent in record time (we are getting pretty good at setting up in the dark), and had a quick bite to eat without making a fire. It was cool, but very humid and muggy, which is to be expected in Louisiana. We took the dogs for a walk and then went to bed, tired and road weary.

I woke up at around 4 a.m. feeling achy and awful. I knew the humidity was affecting my MS, despite the fact that it wasn’t hot at all. Everything was wet, and I don’t mean damp, I mean wet. It was as if it had rained, even though I knew it had not.

Rico and the dogs woke around 5 a.m. and I suggested we go ahead and break camp. I wanted to get out of that humidity as soon as possible before I started having an exacerbation.

We quickly packed up the very wet tent and the few things we had taken out of the trailer and the Mini the night before. We were on the road, without breakfast, by about 6 a.m. We discussed how to pay for our night’s stay, and I figured I could call in later once the office opened and take care of it then.

With plans made to find a cheap breakfast spot on the road, we made our way to the exit. Upon arriving, we found a locked gate, no one in the office, and no way to get out. I was shocked. What if there had been some sort of an emergency? What would we have done then?

A few minutes later, a car approached and a kind young man offered to open the gate for us. I went back to thank the driver and was surprised by her surly response. She said I was being very crappy. I asked why she thought that.

“It’s very crappy to stay the night at a State Park and then try to sneak out without paying.”

“I’m planning on calling to pay once they open,” I replied.

“Sure you are,” came the snide reply.

Believe me, it was all I could do to keep myself from calling her all sorts of names and snatching her up by the hair. Instead, I said, “Thanks for not judging.”

Her passenger got back in the car, and she put it in gear and hollered out the window, “Thanks for being a good citizen.”

I’ll admit I did flip her off and yell those nasty names at her quickly departing car.

I was incensed! We, like the Lanisters, always pay our debts (eventually) and I had no plans to stiff a State Park for a comfortable, albeit wet, night’s sleep. I was angry that this woman had judged us so harshly without even knowing our circumstances.

We left the park and headed toward Houston, stopping for a great breakfast along the way. I was still fuming a few hours later when I called Tickfaw to pay my bill, and I let the Park Ranger know what had happened. She laughed and said, “Some people…”, and thanked me for my honesty and my payment.

I felt like a good citizen…

Big Love,

Lainie

 

The Sights & Sounds of Savannah

We really enjoyed our stay in Savannah, GA in the company of a dear friend, Venessa. She was an excellent hostess and even cheffed it up for us, feeding us delicious meals that warmed both our hearts and our bellies.

We were rather disappointed with the weather (and very sick of the rain) because it didn’t allow us to explore the Savannah area like we had anticipated doing. However, we now have another reason to return (the first reason being we want to hang with Venessa again!).

Skidaway

On Saturday, Venessa cooked a FABULOUS meal, and then we headed to Tybee Island for a taste of the nightlife and some Karaoke. It was a great night, with loads of laughter, fun, good music (and also terrible music), and memorable moments.

Our first stop was Benny’s Tybee Tavern, and we all fell in love with the place instantly. It was decorated with typical kitschy beach themes, and there was an already drunk group of girls from Tennessee celebrating the upcoming nuptials of one of the girls in their party. They were hilarious and provided a lot of entertainment throughout the evening.

 

benny's

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Rico, Venessa, and I put in several songs apiece and enjoyed the other “entertainers” while we waited for our turn. It was a good time, but we were ready to explore more of the island nightlife after a while.

Our next stop was Doc’s Bar, where they had a live band. We grabbed some drinks and settled in to hear the band’s last set. They were pretty good, and we enjoyed their brand of 70’s rock covers.

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After Doc’s we were all pooped and headed back to Venessa’s very cozy home. We really enjoyed our respite in the care and company of Venessa, and we certainly needed it! Even the dogs were ready to get off the road for a few days.

We stayed through Sunday and were sad to say goodbye to our friend and the lovely city of Savannah, but we will be back! We loaded up the trailer, the dogs, and the Mini, and pointed ourselves South to Florida, hoping to finally outrun the rain, wind, and cold. Were our hopes dashed? Find out next time…

Big Love,

Lainie

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