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

 

 

The Little Things

Rico and I are currently knee-deep in the overwhelming task of getting rid of our stuff, and it seems that we will never finish!

We are down to the little stuff; the papers and pictures and keepsakes and sentimental stuff that every single person accumulates a ton of over the course of a lifetime. It is maddening… do we keep it? scan it for a digital copy and throw away the paper copy? just throw it away? I have stacks and boxes in little clusters all over my living room. They are on the floor, on the remaining furniture, and spilling over into the bedroom and kitchen. How did we get so much crap?

The pictures are going to each of my children. I will let them fight over who keeps what. I have digital copies of my favorites, so I’m fine.

The important papers are being scanned, then shredded and discarded. The certified copies of birth certificates, the marriage license, etc. are being stored in a fire-proof lock box and will travel with us along with our passports.

The sentimental things… that’s the hard one. What to do with all those cards and letters and cute drawings and sweet scribbles my children and my husband have blessed me with over the years?

For many of them, I’m simply staring at them for a long time and rereading them many times over in an effort to commit them to memory. The ones I can scan, I will, but many things aren’t scannable so they will have to live only in my memories.

A few things I can’t bear to part with are being boxed up and will be taken to live in my childhood bedroom at my mother’s home until she either passes or moves into a nursing home. I’ll deal with those things when I have to.

A few other things will be living in my old room as well. Our PA system, Rico’s prized guitar, his favorite amp, our beautiful dishes, our awesome juicer, and a few other things that won’t be needed on the journey, but are too expensive to replace once we come off the road and get another home of our own (if we ever choose to do that).

The little things… I never thought they would be the most difficult and time-consuming things to sort through. However, I am finding that these little things do mean a lot (like the song says)… they mean a lot more than I could have ever imagined.

Big Love,

Lainie

 

The Learning Curve

The process of planning an epic road trip is overwhelming, to say the least, and often filled with more questions than answers. As a somewhat technically challenged individual, I have come up against a lot of things that have caused me to stop my forward progress just so I can watch YouTube tutorials on the thing that I am struggling with.

I love YouTube, and I especially love the people who take the time to make these tutorials. I am in awe of not only their knowledge but their dedication to educating people like me.

The latest thing I’m struggling with, in the technology realm, is learning how to use my newly acquired GoPro. We got it by bartering with a fellow artisan, and she cannot locate the manual. I have solved that problem by downloading the PDF of the manual I found online. Now comes the hard part—figuring it out.

My learning style is very hands on—I’m a Kinesthetic learner—I have to have someone show me while I have the thing in my hands and can do it right along with the instructor. That’s where YouTube comes in… Rico and I will be looking at the manual, watching the tutorials on YouTube, and playing with the camera at the same time. Hopefully, we will figure it out. If not, we have a dear friend who is a pro at the GoPro and he has offered to help us if we need it.

Recently, I had to learn how to edit videos. I’m here to tell you folks, it wasn’t easy for me to find software that was both awesome and easy, but I found it, and I’m going to plug it here. (I don’t get anything for this recommendation—they don’t even know who I am) It is called Filmora by Wondershare, and it is the easiest video editor I’ve found. I downloaded free trials of several different editors, and this one was the winner. Totally user-friendly, lots of built-in tutorials, and really great effects. If you are looking for video editing software, I recommend you check it out.

I also am learning all about domain names and website building, as well as promotion, public relations, marketing, and social media managing. It’s really daunting and extremely time-consuming, but I’m really enjoying it. I’ve found loads of information on YouTube about these topics as well.

I’m sharing all this information to let you all know that, no matter what it is you need to learn, you can do it! It doesn’t matter what your age, education level, health, or anything else is—you can learn how to do it. I’ve discovered, with the help of the internet and good friends, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

As I acquire more knowledge, I’ll be sharing little tidbits with all of you here on the blog and on our YouTube channel. Be sure to tune in and maybe you’ll learn something from this old dog.

Big Love,

Lainie