Live Reality Show

I am mostly camping with people that have YouTube channels on their rv and van life adventures, some with rather large followings and fans that treat them like celebrities. One of them has 105,000 subscribers with a parody skit that recently was on Comedy Central. They are all pretty funny and I am enjoying hanging out with them. They are always filming at our campsite. I let them know I don’t want any close ups of me on camera but am okay with being in the background, which they are respecting. So me and my van are in the background of several videos. One of them took a video of the inside of my van for her YouTube channel. You need to have a big following to make money with advertisements that play before a YouTube video. Today while I was doing my lawyer work in my van with my side doors open I watched as one of the YouTubers fans showed up with gifts after driving four hours since they sent her directions to our campsite. They filmed her when she drove into our campsite with this great comedy routine that I felt like I was watching a live reality show from my van, better than tv. I am definitely being entertained out here. I haven’t received great cell service at a lot of the campsites I’ve been at since there are usually out in the boondocks so I bought a booster for $179 at Best Buy called We Boost for vehicles. The antenna has a magnet on the bottom that I placed on the roof of my van and I ran a wire through my window to the 6 volt outlet in the van with another wire that goes from the outlet to this cradle that I put my phone in. It worked great! I have learned a lot of tips that have helped me on the road from fellow rvers and van dwellers that I have met along the way and from YouTube videos, which I am grateful for 🌷

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Walnut Canyon National Monument

There was a little snow yesterday but it melted before it hit the ground, but still cool for me to see. After the weather cleared up I drove to nearby Walnut Canyon National Monument to see ancient cliff dwellings that people use to live in up to 800 years ago. I also went on a hike and saw several deer who stared at me for awhile before trotting off. My America the Beautiful pass saved me the entrance fee because the pass includes national monuments. I was camping by myself for the first two nights here because my friend from Tucson wanted to wait for the weather to clear up before coming here. She is coming here today. Yesterday I found some people camping nearby that I met at the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in January that invited me to camp with them, which I am doing now. I enjoyed hanging out with them last night around the campfire. They are mostly RVers with one box truck dweller and another cargo van dweller. We all live full-time in our vehicles. I enjoy camping by myself but I also enjoy hanging out with like-minded people 🌺IMG_6839IMG_6851IMG_6871IMG_6873

Back in the Forest

I left the Grand Canyon and headed back into the forest just outside Flagstaff, Arizona a few days ago. I moved to a different part of the forest today near Walnut Canyon National Monument which has trails to hike and cliff dwellings to explore. Last week I bought some great hiking boots that make hiking so much more comfortable for me when walking over rocks, up and down hills, etc. I have a friend joining me tomorrow. It is supposed to get down to the 20s tonight so I will probably be firing up my propane heater (with a window cracked for ventilation). I don’t run it while I’m sleeping but I stay really warm because I layer my clothes and I have tons of blankets and a sleeping bag. It is supposed to snow here Tuesday and Wednesday which I’m kind of looking forward to. I haven’t seen snow in close to 20 years when I was in New York in the winter time. I loaded up on food, water and other supplies when I was in town today so I don’t have to drive anywhere and I have cell service here so I can get on the internet to work, etc. All I need is the sun to power my solar panels to run everything in my van. I recently signed up for unlimited data with my cell service company so I have been watching some TV shows online at nighttime. I haven’t done that in awhile. I am defintely not roughing it. This is glam camping to me, although I’m sure some people wouldn’t think so. I am so glad to be back in the quiet and peaceful forest. It is my happy place 😊🌿IMG_6808IMG_6809

Sunset over Grand Canyon

My friend talked me into staying at the campground at the east end of Grand Canyon National Park due to it being quieter than the rest of the park because there aren’t any hotels or restaurants at the east end and there are no shuttle buses that go the approximate 22 miles to the east end. The campground does not have electric or water at the campsites or shower facilities so really not much different than me parking my home in the nearby forest, except that I had to pay $12. However, I was able to get a campsite across from my friend’s campsite and it was a short walk to the rim of Grand Canyon where I found a nice spot to watch the sunset over the canyon with a nice view of the Colorado River in the distance 🌻IMG_6766IMG_6750IMG_6743IMG_6724

Grand It Is!

I was going to head to the Grand Canyon with two friends but decided to head out on my own because one of my friends has to work a little longer in Tucson and can’t meet up until next week and the other one needs work done on his RV. I was too excited to wait any longer and I enjoy exploring on my own so I headed out on my own. I think I went to the Grand Canyon when I was a kid on a family summer RV trip but I don’t remember so even if I did today when I saw the Grand Canyon it felt like it was the first time and it was amazing!  I walked at least a couple of miles along the rim of the Grand Canyon which is pretty good for someone with a fear of heights. The beauty over came some of my fears. Most of the rim trail doesn’t have railings and I was surprised at the number of people that walked out onto the rocks just a feet or two from the edge to take pictures. I thought ‘you people are crazy!’ I saw this girl walk a really narrow rock just to take a selfie. Unfortunately a lot of people have fallen to their deaths over the years, many because they wanted to get the right picture. I saw several elk while I was taking my walk. One even let me go up to it to take a picture, kind of like he was posing for me. It was nice to go to the park before the summer crowds and the summer heat. Most of the people there today were tourists from asian countries and Europe. A lot of foreigners get more vacation time than Americans but my boss gives me a lot of vacation time 😁 I love being my own boss. I think while I am here I am going to do what I did today which was go to the park early in the morning, park at the visitor center, hike and then take the shuttle bus back to my van. They have free shuttle service all around the park. It was nice to have my van there to eat and to rest. A picnic table was right in front of my van so I brought out my propane stove and cooked up a nice meal. My America the Beautiful pass saved me the $30 entrance fee, so I didn’t spend any money going to the park today. I am now camping for free on forest land only half a mile from the south entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. While on the shuttle bus I saw the park campground where everyone is paying to be crammed in right next to each other. A friend of mine is trying to talk me into a campground in the park for one night but I don’t think I can do it. I love the open and free forest 🌿IMG_6640IMG_6645IMG_6647IMG_6650IMG_6651IMG_6655IMG_6664IMG_6668IMG_6670