Olga and I took a trip to Blythe CA yesterday to do some scouting as well as pick up some Dr Bronners soap which we really like and is hard to find out in the desert as well as some diesel exhaust fluid. After picking up our soap we decided to check out a grocery store. We had never been in an Albertsons before but were familiar with the name. We were rewarded with a score on our search for bagels! Grocery stores don’t tend to have the best bagels in the world. Some of them just buy bagels from Costco and put them on their own shelves. Costco is great for a lot of things but a good bagel isn’t one of them. So needless to say we were surprised to find some Assiago Cheese Bagels in a grocery store that were actually good. We had bought some salmon when we were in Costco last time and had been holding on to it in hopes that our bagel search proved fruitful. So yesterday we had an awesome dinner of bagels, cream cheese and salmon.
We also checked out the Midland LTVA (Long Term Visitors Area) while in Blythe. We were pleasantly surprised with what we found. Once we have stayed there we will do a more in depth review but for now I would just say that the area is massive with plenty of room for many RVs to stay and still have all the privacy you could ask for. I took a panoramic shot of some of the backdrop to the area and posted it in the pictures section.
On the way back we also scouted the Levee Road BLM area in Ehrenberg AZ. It’s nice that it’s right on the Colorado River but something about the place made us a little uneasy. It’s hard to put your finger on it but we both felt it. Maybe it was the building in the middle of it covered in graffiti or maybe it was the sink hole we came across that covered half the road or maybe it was the sort of “living in a van down by the river” feel to it. No offense to van dwellers who are often fine folks in our experience. We just weren’t feeling it.
Just a quick note to let you know that while I will be adding more photos to posts, I also decided to just make one page dedicated to just photos alone
Thanks for the suggestion!
When I was a kid I hated homework and doing research. How dare those teachers infringe on our spare time! There were bikes to ride and friends to hang out with. Somewhere along the way this started to change. I’m not sure when but I’m sure it was well after my education was over where it could have done me some good. It went by the way of my dislike of steak (what was I thinking). Early on it robbed me of enjoying the Lord Of The Rings when we were supposed to read it in High School as our homework. I had no time or interest in reading about these little hairy footed buggers. Did they really expect me to read that? It sounded like something a little kid would read. It was only after I got to college that I actually picked up The Hobbit. Once I did I read the entire series through without going to sleep. I was riveted. I had to find that out by myself though. Such was my need to be contrary.
Then along came the internet. It completely turned research on it’s ear. With a few key strokes you could find out about anything. Suddenly research was fun! I also went back to college around that time to immerse myself more in this whole “computer” thing. I wanted to learn how to better use computers and hopefully how to use them to get myself a new line of work. I had worked much of my life for cable companies. I hated every minute of it, and it was physically hard work. At 30 I knew I didn’t want to do this forever nor could I. Computers gave me new life.
Anyway, I digress. Which I always do.
When we started getting serious about traveling full time I jumped into the research with both feet. I read books, watched videos, lurked in all the RV forums and read blogs. This went on for about a year. Not only was it fun but it was a terrific use of my time. Much of success in anything is learning what NOT to do. All that homework paid off in spades. By the time we got out here we felt like we had a pretty good grip on the whole thing. And we did. So far we have managed to avoid the majority of mistakes we have read about other people making. Not only that, but I’ve been able to use some of the knowledge I’ve gained to help out others. A fellow came over to our camp in Quartzsite the other day and started asking me questions about my solar and electrical setups. It felt really good to be able to give him some tips that might help him out with his rig. I had not only learned enough to build my own system but also to help somebody else out. It felt really good.
If I could only make one suggestion to a new RV traveler it would be. Do your homework! It’s actually fun and worth every minute of time you put in it. Miracles can happen 🙂
I’ve been reminded that I need to share more of my photos on the blog. I get a kick out of both writing and taking photos so it certainly makes sense from that perspective. I’ll try to do that going forward. Web design is not my forte so I’ve tried to keep a balance. But nobody has ever been hurt by having a little more beauty in their lives.
We must be doing something wrong. I’ve read many people say that they seem to find free water all over the place while they are traveling. While we have never run out of water I wouldn’t say there was free water on every corner. With the exception of filling our tanks prior to leaving RV parks we have mostly paid for the water we have found. As far as I know there is no repository of water locations for traveling RVers anywhere. What I’ll be doing from this point forward is cataloging all the places we have found water in our travels in hopes that the next person coming through the area won’t have to search for it. I’ll so a new post as soon as I’ve created the page since I can’t get WordPress to send out notifications for anything other than new posts. Nothing for updating existing pages.
We wanted to take a moment to say Merry Christmas to our legions or ‘couple’ of people following our adventures. We hope you get everything you wanted from Santa. And maybe even take a step towards freedom for yourself as well. The ultimate present.
When we set out on our adventure we knew the first year would be tight as we would be living on savings and didn’t want to drain the pool so to speak. We settled on the idea that we wouldn’t let that stop us from going though. We figured we would just get some work camping jobs to help tide us over until I could start collecting Social Security. Let’s put aside the fact that now it seems neither Social Security nor our health insurance may exist next year at this time.
Finding a work camping positions has turned out to be more difficult than we first expected. We have been looking at every major work camping job site there is. The problem is not so much that there are no jobs, although the numbers do seem fairly thin, but it is that nobody seems to get back to us. We both have had a variety of positions over the years and excellent references but so far nada. I’m not sure exactly what they are looking for. Granted, being a camp host would be new for us but I’m pretty sure we could handle it. The other issue is that many of the positions make the physical requirements sound like tryouts for the Olympics. “Must be able to stand on your feet for 15 hours straight without sitting down while repeatedly lifting 75 lbs over your head with a smile on your face, and preparing profit and loss statements for the campground while plunging toilets.” OK maybe that is a little over the top 🙂 It doesn’t seem like many of these are jobs for retirees as much as 21 year olds without jobs.
We will keep plugging away though and I’m sure we will find something eventually. If not we will be fine anyway.
Let us know of your experiences with work camping. We’d love to hear it.
Our trip has been awesome so far. Even if it is 35 degrees outside as I write this in the comforting embrace of our Big Buddy heater. One thing we have missed so far is bagels. Olga and I were talking about this yesterday. We’ve begun a search for Arizona bagels. It looks like we may have some luck in either Phoenix or Tucson. Probably not much luck outside of the cities though. If you know of any good bagel bakeries let us know. You just can’t beat a Sunday morning toasted bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon. YUM!
I wanted to take a moment to thank those folks who ordered some Amazon goods through our page. A mirror, iPhone accessories and leather gloves were ordered. We are grateful that you took the effort to do that. As we are doing this journey on a very tight budget, everything is appreciated. Happy Holidays!
OK sooo I said there was going to be some philosophy on this blog. Here is the first part of our discussion. Let me start by saying that it took us a long time to come to these conclusions. A really long time. For most of our lives we were like the typical Americans. We bowed before the gods of stuff. We wanted it and did whatever we could to get it. When I say “stuff” I’m not talking about the roof over your head or the car you get to work in, unless that car is a “super car”. It’s not the food on your table or the electricity that comes into your house. In modern society you “need” those things. If you live on eastern Long Island but work in Manhattan, walking to work is pretty much out of the question. You need to have a car. You don’t “need” a 6,000 sq ft house but you do need a shelter from the storms.
I’m really talking about all the other things that people only think that they need. If you are one of those people who absolutely love what they do for a living, then spending that time in pursuit of your stuff is not a labor it’s a joy. For most people though work it just that…work. We tried to live frugally and for the most part we did but we still had stuff through the years that cost a fair amount of money that we slaved away at our jobs in order to own. A number of boats over time, our first RV which was a pop up, a few instruments, a hot tub etc I have seen many people get buried in their need for stuff and not even realize it. The latest iPhone or the latest computer or an unused gym membership, a multi thousand dollar treadmill, a $250 per month cable bill, swimming pools, expensive electronics, ad nauseum.
It really hit us when we decided to go RVing full time. Suddenly we were faced with having to get rid of years worth of stuff. What would we do without all our stuff?! Then something funny happened. As we started to get rid of our stuff through Craigslist we started to find out that the less stuff there was around the house the more freeing it became! I know, I know, you can’t possibly imagine that. Neither could we but there it was. There were tools, furniture, lawn tractors, snow blowers (which I hope to never have to see again) and instruments I had wanted to learn but never had the time for. Not to mention our cars and our house.
The lesson we learned was that for one thing all that stuff didn’t “make us happy”. We already had everything we needed to do that. All it really did was imprison us. We had been saying for years that we wanted to get an RV and travel the country. See all that there was to offer out there. BE FREE! But as long as we had to work at jobs full time to keep a roof over our heads and to have our stuff we were trapped. Having made the decision to walk away from toiling to make other people well off (this last part alone bears another entire page) while we spent years treading water was the most freeing thing we had ever done.
Of course this will not work for everybody. Lives are complicated. If you are the type of person who is addicted to complication and drama this is not your way to a happier life. But for many others this option is within their grasp if they have the vision to see beyond their daily lives.
Well thank you class. Please have your mid-term papers in to me by seven weeks from last Thursday. In the mean time your assignment will be to daydream and think