Vermont and New Hampshire

Last night I stayed in the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont at a free camping area called the Old Airfield. They actually mow the area, have fire rings and pit toilets. I met a couple there that took a year off from their careers as engineers to travel in an RV. I told the woman that they should try to find a way to do their jobs remotely so they can travel longer. I told her that I work remotely as a lawyer. She told me that she has seen my blog. I said ‘hobo lawyer?’ and she said ‘yes’. I didn’t think that many people have seen my blog. I rarely tell anyone about it since I mainly started it so my family knows where I’m at and what I’m doing. I hope other people enjoy it too though. She said my blog came up on a website that lists full-time travelers’ blogs. Today I enjoyed driving part of the 100 Route Scenic Byway in Vermont which is a scenic two lane curvy road that goes by a lot of country homes, general stores, antique shops and places that sell maple syrup. On my dad’s recommendation I then went to Fraconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire and went to Flume Gorge in the park, which is beautiful gorge. I am now camping at another free campsite in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. I love my campsite because it is very quiet and secluded without any neighbors nearby. I love hanging out with other people but I also love the peacefulness of just being alone in a beautiful forest. I am going to camp here until after Labor Day weekend so I can avoid the holiday traffic on the roads and since I have a great campsite with cell service (although not the best cell service)  so I can get some work done and research online where I want to go next 🌻

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Hiking Day in Connecticut

It turns out there isn’t a lot of fall foliage to see just yet but since I am traveling through New England over the next couple of months I have plenty of time to see the changing leaf colors. I didn’t do any interstate driving today because I wanted to drive the more scenic roads. I drove around pretty Candlewood Lake in Connecticut. I then drove to Macedonia Brook State Park in Connecticut to go on a hike. I hung out with one of the employees there for about a half hour because he wanted to talk to me about traveling in a truck and 5th wheel when he retires next year. I suggested a van because it’s a lot more convenient but I realize vans aren’t for everyone as usually people that are new to living on the road want more of the conveniences of a home that they are use to, such as having showers and regular bathrooms. I much prefer my van to traveling with the truck and 5th wheel I had several years ago. I saw a sign for the Appalachian Trail on  the way to the park so I went back to it and hiked part of it. While there I met a nice couple that’s backpacking sections of the trail. I was thinking of doing the same  thing somewhere along the Appalachian Trail, maybe in Vermont or Maine, since I have my backpack and my backpacker tent in my van. The Appalachian Trail is approximately 2200 miles long. It goes from Georgia to Maine. A lot of people try to do the whole thing but not many make it to the end, which would probably be me if I attempted to do it. I am happy just hiking sections of it 🌳

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New England and Fall Foliage Tour

The last couple of nights I slept overnight in my van on a side street by an apartment complex in Bayonne, New Jersey which worked out well. It was quiet and only 5 minutes from the port to see my son. When I drove into the New York City/New Jersey area on Friday there was mad traffic, aggressive drivers and all these turns I had to take. I was so glad my navigation talks to me because I wouldn’t of wanted to glance at my phone, not even for a second. I needed to watch out for the crazy drivers and pay attention to where I was going. However, leaving the area on a Sunday morning was way better. I’m going to have to remember to travel on Sunday mornings when near big cities from now on. I had to pay a lot for tolls in the area including $15 alone just to go over the George Washington Bridge. I guess the poor people stay at home. I was going to head to the Catskill Mountains this morning but when I woke up I pulled out my Lonely Planet book called USA’s Best Trips. I had bookmarked the page that is titled ‘Fall Foilage Tour’ which is a road trip that goes through the New England states with the best viewing spots for the changing leaf colors, so I decided that’s what I’m going to do. Part of the road trip has views of the Catskill Mountains. Most people would probably be embarrassed to admit this but since I don’t embarass easily because I care less and less about what people think of me the older I get I will admit that I actually thought New England was a state, like New York 😁 but now I know it’s an area consisting of several states – Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampsire, Vermont and Maine. I am looking forward to going to all of those states. I am in Connecticut right now at a rest area where I have been most of the day trying to catch up with work still because I don’t know if the next place I’m staying at is going to have cell service and therefore internet. Most of the best boondocking places I have been to didn’t have cell service or had bad cell service. The rest area I am at has beautiful trees where the leaves are changing colors, a preview of more to come 🌿

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Boo Boo Bear Day!

I woke up early this morning and drove to the end of the port to the same park I was at yesterday to watch the sunrise with NYC in the background. I hung out with this nice guy that drove there on his motorcycle. He said he was at the Sturgis motorcycle rally I was at a few weeks ago. He told me that he drives there every morning to watch the sunrise and clean up the park because he said the city doesn’t. He had on this reflective shirt that said ‘Babe’ on the front of it so I guess that was his name. We watched the ship that my son works on dock at the port. I was so happy to see my son! I went on the ship as his guest. They even let me eat at the delicious buffet with him of which I definitely over indulged. He then gave me a tour of the many venues on the ship that he works at as a lighting technician. Everyone I met that works with him kept telling me how great he is and how he is always willing to help where needed. His boss told me they were short a lighting technician for one of the venues and knew he could count on my son to take on the extra work until they got a new one. Even the people he doesn’t work with directly had great things to say about him. I am one proud momma! I stuck around to watch the ship head to sea. My son hung out on this thing that pops out of the side of the ship while it was taking off so we could wave at each other. I didn’t put a close up picture of my son on here because I didn’t think he would want me to because I keep calling him ‘boo boo bear’ on here. I think it is cool that we both live in homes that move and that go to exciting places. He is off to Bermuda and tomorrow I will be off to the Catskill Mountains 🏞

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I am Going to See Boo Boo Bear Tomorrow!

I prefer camping in forests or deserts which are more abundant on the West Coast. However, I have spent a lot of nights at truck stops lately because I was in route to New Jersey to see my son. He got me a day pass to hang out with him tomorrow on the cruiseship he works on when it docks in Bayonne, New Jersey in the morning. I am so excited to see him! He made me promise to not call him ‘boo boo bear’ in front of anyone (I did that at his old school and some of the other kids started calling him that 😬). I am stealth parked in Bayonne for the night hiding that sleeping in my van by keeping my lights off inside since there are no truck stops or Walmarts that allow overnight parking nearby. Today I went to the Tear Drop Memorial at the end of the port that is a beautiful park with memorials for the 911 victims that lived in Bayonne. Bayonne is a quick train ride into New York City. You can see the New York skyline from the park. At one of the memorials there was a touching letter that a 16 year old girl wrote about terrorism to god and to the people that died in 911 and to their families. I really like that NYC erected a building taller than all of the other buildings in the city to replace the twin towers because it sends a message to the terrorists that we won’t let them terrorize us. I don’t plan on going into the city. I have been there many times. The last time was with my son about 4 years ago when I was a full-time RVer with a truck and a 5th wheel. I paid about $100 a night to park at this RV park that was really just a parking space with electric and water at a marina in Jersey City that was a subway ride to NYC. So much cheaper (like free) and easier doing this full-time in a van. I don’t need reservations and I can park pretty much anywhere in my van since I just need a regular parking space 🚐

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Bye Ohio and Pennsylvania and Hello New Jersey

It seemed like right after I left Ohio and entered Pennsylvania it immediately got more pretty. Last night I stayed at a travel plaza/truck stop and this morning I drove to Hickory Run State Park and went on a nice hike and then worked on my bed that doubles as my office with my back doors open with a pretty view of the park. Usually I don’t work that much but for some reason this week I’ve had a lot of work to do. I don’t enjoy my work but it pays the bills and having a pretty view of the park while working makes it a little better. I was originally planning on quitting being an attorney when I set out full-time in my van and then after my savings ran out I was going to get a seasonal job working six months or so at a national park and then travel the rest of the time because that would be more enjoyable to me. I love the outdoors and our national parks. However, the attorney work pays better and I don’t have to work that much. Who knows maybe one day I will be hobo park lady instead of hobo lawyer. I am at another travel plaza/truck stop in New Jersey right now. This may sound wierd but I actually like the sounds of the trucks running all night at the truck stops, kind of relaxing to me 🚛

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Police At My Door and Lake Erie

Last night I stayed overnight at a travel plaza on the Ohio Turnpike. Late at night there was a couple having a really heated argument in the parking lot. The girl was screaming and running to different parts of the parking lot and the guy was chasing her down. They were near my van for a little while. They eventually got in their van and left. About 10 minutes later I hopped in my driver’s seat to drive to a better parking space because the one I was in was right where the semi-trucks come in and their lights were shining into my van. As I was looking at my mirror to back up I noticed a police officer parked right behind me. He then started walking up to my van with his hand on his gun in his holster. I asked what the problem was and he told me that he got a complaint of a disturbance involving people in my van. I told him it was a different van and they already left. He told me they called about my white van. I told him that whoever called was wrong because it was a brown passenger van and they left. He eventually let me go to another parking space but still looked at me like he didn’t believe me and hung around for awhile. He didn’t ask to look in my van. The bad van people are going to ruin it for us good van people 😉  Over the past 15 years the police haven’t pulled me over or come up to any of the other vehicles I was in but since I’ve had this van, about 10 months now, I’ve had the police come up to my van several times. One time it was because Cracker Barrel called them to make me leave their parking lot even though an employee earlier said I could park overnight there. Another time it was when I was pulled off on the side of the road to talk on the phone and the police officer told me I looked suspicious being on the side of the road. I guess people are always going to be more suspicious of people in vans hanging out in their neighborhoods, etc. Today I had a lot of work to do and needed a break from the road so I went to a nice park next to Lake Erie in Ohio. I took a walk on the beach and walked through their pretty rose garden. I also enjoyed the view of the lake from my back windows while I was working. It was a rainy and windy day today so not a good day to drive a lot anyways. I like not having a schedule where I have to be somewhere. I am now at another travel plaza on the Ohio Turnpike hoping for a peaceful night ✌️

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Eclipse in Ohio

I hit the road again today. I stopped in a small town in Ohio to go to the post office to send out some work mail and to buy groceries. While I was at the grocery store I realized it was eclipse time so I took out my eclipse glasses that I bought at a national park a few weeks ago and looked up at the sun. I thought it was so cool to see the moon covering part of the sun. I hung out at that grocery store parking lot for about an hour watching the eclipse progression. In order to take the picture below I put my eclipse glasses against my camera on my phone and took the picture while holding my camera up to the sun. It ended up going all the way to about 80% coverage of the moon over the sun where I am at. I then went to pump gas at the gas station by the grocery store. I was so excited about the eclipse that I asked the guy pumping gas in front of me if he has seen it. He said he didn’t so I showed him my eclipse glasses and asked him if he wanted to see it which he did. He was so excited to see it that he thanked me at least six times. So then I decided to spread the eclipse joy to everybody at the gas station. I walked up to everyone one by one showing them my eclipse glasses and asking if they wanted to see the eclipse which most did and were happy to see except for one grumpy guy that looked at me like I was crazy. It was the most fun I have had at a gas station 🌏🌞🌛

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Celebration and Family

I have enjoyed my week with my second couisin and her boyfriend. Today they had a birthday party for my second cousin’s grandaughter – I still don’t know what relationship she would be to me. I also met some more family members. They all know about the homeless guy Otis that lives in the nearby swamp, still haven’t seen him. One of the people at the house said that he would probably go in my van if he saw it and fall asleep in my bed, so I made sure I kept my van door locked 😬

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The Beach, a River and a Casino

I am enjoying my time in New Buffalo, Michigan. I went to the beach yesterday and today we took a walk by the river and then went to the casino where my second cousin met her boyfriend that she has been with for 10 years. Watching the people gambling in the casino made me a little sad because they all looked so serious. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of them are gambling addicts gambling away their mortgage payments or other bills they need to pay. I put a dollar in a slot machine and after losing it in about one second walked away. That was enough for me. We ate some great food at the Hard Rock Cafe. The casino gave my cousin and her boyfriend free food credits to lure them to the casino to gamble, which they did a little bit of but were smart enough to stop while they were ahead. We listened to this really talented guy play guitar and sing on the outside deck while we were eating. It is really hot here. I walked around the neighborhood and took a nice walk on the beach this evening when it wasn’t as hot. Every day that I have been here I have seen deer running around the neighborhood. I never associated deer with being near the beach. I will end with a quote I saw recently that I really like – “Time is the most precious currency. Get out there and spend it wisely”, which I intend to keep doing ⌛️

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