Cows Invaded Our Camp!

Over the last couple of days we have seen a huge truck drive by our camp area atleast five times loaded with cows that they unloaded nearby in the forest we are staying in. There weren’t any cows here when we got here. I have stayed overnight in several cow pastures while camping in national forests. I believe the forest service leases out the land to farmers to keep their cattle. There are cattle guards that you drive over at the entrance to the forest that keeps the cattle from getting out. Not sure where the cows here were relocated from. As the day has progressed the cows have moved closer and closer to our camp area. I just took the last two pictures below of cows that came right up to the back of my van. I am enjoying watching and listening to the cows. I will have to dodge the big piles of cow dung they are leaving behind though when outside of my van. The cows are making so many interesting sounds that I had to Google it. I found out they are communicating with each other. Some are calling out to their babies and each cow makes a different noise so that their baby knows it is them and if a high pitched sound they are stressed because they can’t find their baby. I didn’t realize there are so many versions of ‘moo’ that a cow can make. Unfortunately these cows will probably end up being hamburgers and steak dinners. I am so glad I am a vegetarian. They are too cute too eat 🐄IMG_7438IMG_7446IMG_7455IMG_7456

Band Camp is Awesome!

As stated in my previous blog entry I’m calling our camp ‘Band Camp’ because of all of the musicians we have here. Last night we had a dance party. I had a lot of fun dancing with everyone. I invited some of our neighbors over from the ATV group that danced with us and had one of their kids use the microphone to sing for us. Afterwards they gave me a ride on their ATV. We did donuts and went flying up and down hills, so much fun! I am also enjoying forest walks and potluck dinners with my camp mates. Today one of my camp mates gave lessons on shooting an air rifle and another one gave lessons on how to use a bow and arrow. I didn’t try the air rifle but I tried the bow and arrow. On my fourth try I actually hit the target, which was a small circle in a tree. I am having so much fun at band camp! 🤗IMG_7362IMG_7366IMG_7401IMG_7404

ATVs, Band Camp and Taking a Bath at a Truckstop

A lot of RVs towing ATVs came into our camp area for memorial day weekend probably because there are tons of dirt roads and trails here. My goal is to get a ride on an ATV before the weekend is over. The ATVers posted signs in front of their camp area with ‘Camp Wannabeer’ on them so I decided to name our camp ‘Band Camp’ because we have a lot of musicians at our camp. Several of my camp mates jammed out last night with two playing guitar, one playing her ukulele and singing and another one playing a drum. They sounded great. There is also someone here who set up a recording studio in his RV. He travels around the U.S. and records people for free and then gives them a free CD of their music just because he enjoys it. The link to his facebook page for his rolling recording studio is if you’re interested in seeing the video he has on it and to get to know one of the great people I am hanging out with. Two more people joined us today. It kind of feels like the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous I went to in January but on a much smaller scale. We are rubber tramps (people that travel in vehicles) and we are rendezvouing. Today I went to a truck stop I haven’t been to before to get a shower since it’s been over a week since I washed my hair and I prefer a shower to do it in (baby wipes keep the rest of me clean in the meantime) and it was the nicest truck stop I’ve ever been to. I paid the lady the $10 for the shower and when she handed me my towels she asked if I wanted soap, shampoo, conditioner and bubble bath, all included. I was kind of confused about the bubble bath until I went to my shower room and saw that there was a bathtub next to the shower like there would be in someone’s house. First time I’ve seen a bathtub at a truck stop, kind of cool. I guess some truckers like baths 🐥IMG_7355

New People and Night Blooming Flowers

I was reading forum posts online from this website I often go to on the mobile lifestyle that I lead and two people posted that they are new to living full-time in their vehicles, that they just arrived in Flagstaff and wanted to meet others, so  with the approval of my camp mates I invited them to our campsite. They ended up being a great addition to our group. They both live in SUVs. A couple in an RV  that one of my camp mates met at a different dispersed camping area in Arizona also joined us today. The husband is a composer for music used in video games that he does remotely from their RV. I am the only other person in our group that works, which I had to do a little of today. Most everyone in our group is retired. I enjoyed hanging out with everyone around the campfire tonight listening to Beatles music and sharing stories. We noticed that every night that we have been here there are these pretty yellow flowers that only bloom at night and then fold up and disappear in the morning. I googled it and found out they’re called evening primrose flowers. I never knew until now that there are flowers the only bloom at night 🌼IMG_7337IMG_7342

Back in Flagstaff, Arizona with my Tribe

I escaped the intense Nevada heat (it was getting up into the hundreds when I left) and am now camping back in Flagstaff where the days are comfortably warm and the nights are cool. I met up with friends, some that I haven’t seen since January, and we are camping in a really nice part of the forest. There are sections of the forest spread out all around Flagstaff with lots of beautiful places to camp. You are only allowed to stay up to 14 days out of every 30 days in the forest but everyone just moves around to the different parts of the forest. They don’t have enough rangers to keep track of everyone and one of the rangers just flat out told me to keep moving around to different sections of the forest so I can stay longer. I don’t think they really care as long as you are a respectful camper that takes your trash with you, which I always do. Right now I am hanging out with everyone around a campfire listening to some great blues music lovin’ life! 🔥🎼IMG_7324IMG_7325

Lake Mead and Historic Railway Trail

We watched a beautiful sunset over Lake Mead from our campsite last night. We camped at an area called Government Wash which has free dispersed camping within Lake Mead Recreation Area. Usually I try to stay overnight at places far from big cities to avoid the criminal element but since Las Vegas is only 30 to 45 minutes away depending on what side of town you’re going to there was some shady looking characters staying in the area. There was a car parked near us with some people in it and a girl outside calling for someone. This guy then comes strolling out of the ditch dragging this filthy blanket behind him from where he was obviously sleeping. They came back again the next day. We assumed they stayed out all night in Las Vegas and then just come here in the daytime to sleep and hang out. They made me a little nervous until my friend pointed out that after staying out all night in Las Vegas this is probably home for them and they’re not going to cause any problems to ruin staying here. I always keep my door locked with my tazer and my mace on my nightstand just in case. I also have a panic button to set off my alarm system. We didn’t have any problems. Today we hiked the Historic Railroad Trail through tunnels where there once was trains that brought supplies to the Hoover Dam when it was being constructed. I may check out the Hoover Dam tomorrow. It is starting to get hot here so I’m going to hit the road again tomorrow back up into the mountains where it’s not as cold as it was before. IMG_7256IMG_7265IMG_7282IMG_7283

Red Rocks and Lake View Property

Yesterday I went hiking at Red Rock Canyon which is about 45 minutes West of Las Vegas. I then drove about 45 minutes East of Las Vegas to Lake Mead National Recreation Area, where I am camped at now. My America the Beautiful pass covered the entrance fee and I am camping for free in a designated area. They even have toilets and a dumpster,  although I will still use my own toilet. I met up with a friend headed through the area on the way to California. We had a nice campfire last night and enjoyed seeing all of the stars and the light from the Luxor hotel pyramid in Las Vegas going straight to the sky (I hear it can be seen from space) and a huge amount of lights from airplanes flying into and out of Las Vegas, probably because of the weekend. I remember the last time I was in Las Vegas that it explodes with people on the weekends, good reason for me to head to Lake Mead. We are camped near one of the fingers of Lake Mead. I love the view from my lake view property today 🏞IMG_7157IMG_7162IMG_7167IMG_7191IMG_7212IMG_7213

Neon Signs and Dead Bodies

This morning I went to the Neon Museum for a tour of the old Las Vegas neon signs and to learn some Las Vegas history. I heard about the sign graveyard several years ago and have been wanting to go there. I took a long walk on the Las Vegas strip this afternoon and I went to the Real Bodies exhibit at Bally’s this evening. They are bodies that were donated, dissected and preserved so that we can learn more about our bodies. I thought it was fascinating. I ended the night with a stroll along the Las Vegas strip enjoying all of the lights and watching all of the people. I am now comfy in my bed in a parking lot of one of the resorts on a nicer part of the strip than last night that costs $10 a day to park. Not sure if I am allowed to sleep in my van overnight so I am keeping my lights off. For all they know I could be sleeping in the hotel or up gambling all night 😁IMG_6994IMG_7005IMG_7007IMG_7029IMG_7070IMG_7076IMG_7088IMG_7089IMG_7091IMG_7103IMG_7104IMG_7119IMG_7126

Thawing out in Las Vegas

As I was lying in bed last night trying to fall asleep with the temperature outside in the 20s (it isn’t safe to fall asleep with my propane heater on) with several layers of clothing on me, a wool hat on my head and a thick scarf around my neck I thought to myself “I need to go somewhere warmer” so now I am in shorts and a t-shirt in Las Vegas, which was just a four hour drive from Flagstaff. I love that I can just do that. I didn’t want to go too far away since meeting up with friends back in Flagstaff the beginning of June. Las Vegas is not too hot yet and there are lots of outdoor areas surrounding Las Vegas that I want to explore like Red Rock Canyon and Lake Mead. I stopped at some scenic overlooks of Lake Mead on the way here (pictures below) and am looking forward to going there. Right now I am in a parking lot adjacent to one of the hotel/casinos that allows free overnight parking. The area looks a bit sketchy but I am surrounded by five RVs and four camper vans so I feel comfortable staying the night plus the hustle and bustle of the strip with lots of people walking by is just steps away from my van (thank goodness for my sound machine app). I am not into partying it up at the nightclubs but I am into going to some of the attractions here and maybe even seeing a Cirque du Soleil show, which I really enjoyed the last time I was here 🌻IMG_6966IMG_6968

Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Arizona

For the last several nights I have been camping with friends near a lake outside of Flagstaff. I am enjoying hanging around the campfire every night with everyone talking about where we have been and where we want to go next. It’s funny because most of us don’t know exactly where we’re going next as we always decide the night before or when we wake up if we want to go somewhere new and where it will be, which is pretty awesome. Yesterday several of us went to the Overland Expo which is a big outdoor adventure expo with tons of cool rigs that people live in off the grid like me. I would love to have the big monster tires and a four wheel drive vehicle like the ones at the expo to be able to go anywhere. I bought Gotreads at the expo to help me get unstuck if I get stuck in the mud or sand since I almost always camp out in the boonies on dirt roads. They also can be used as levels to drive on to level out my van since sometimes I have a hard time finding a level spot. It isn’t comfy to sleep on a slant feeling like you are going to roll off the bed. I am going to stick around the Flagstaff area for awhile waiting for my aunt to show up to go traveling with. She is going to be traveling and sleeping in her minivan. I may take some side trips not too far away before then. I really love the Flagstaff area, as it is a great outdoor area to explore 🌳