Christmas at the Casino

For Christmas dinner some friends and I ended up driving to Blue Water Casino in Parker, Arizona to have Christmas dinner with friends who were parked there in their RV. We had dinner in the parking lot sitting in our camp chairs. The casino is on a pretty part of the Colorado River that we took a walk along. There was a lot of people there taking advantage of the free overnight parking, including us. I am now camping for free with friends on BLM land not far from the casino. We found ourselves a nice area tucked between the mountains. I went on a nice long hike yesterday๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธ

IMG_2262IMG_2267IMG_2281IMG_2271

Advertisements

Merry Christmas!

For Christmas Eve some friends I am camping with and I decorated a desert bush for our Christmas tree with lights, ribbons, jewelry and other items we had in our vans. We invited some neighbors we never met before over for a campfire since it was Christmas Eve which ended up being a great decision because we have some really cool neighbors. While sitting around the campfire we saw a shooting star which was pretty amazing! ย I had such a good time! I miss my family I grew up with but I am having a great time with my wandering nomadic family I met on the road. Today we are going to a potluck up the road to an area of the desert I’ve been calling uptown. I am calling our area downtown. I love our desert neighborhoods! Merry Christmas everyone! ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ

IMG_2231IMG_2236

IMG_2249

 

Desert Oasis

I love our desert oasis in Arizona. I am camping with four friends and I have several more friends camping down the road. I recently met some of these friends but feel like I’ve known them forever because of our common bond of living a life of simplicity, adventure and enjoying the outdoors. I will never get tired of the beautiful sunsets out here. There is a 14 day limit on BLM land that’s free to camp on. We are camping on an area of BLM land that’s usually not patrolled by the BLM rangers. However, everything changed yesterday when several BLM rangers and several Sheriff vehicles rolled into the desert. They told people they can’t stay more than 14 days. They drove by slowly and gave us an unfriendly stare down and were seen taking pictures of several people’s vehicles. Too many people on YouTube talked about how there’s no enforcement out here and I think law enforcement picked up on it. A lot of people think that if we stay out here too long we’re going to trash the place. We are model desert citizens out here. Everyone I hang out with packs out their trash and brings it to a dumpster in town. I usually never want to stay anywhere 14 days but this is an area where everybody gathers before the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous next month in Quartzsite, Arizona so we usually stay longer than 14 days. However, I will find somewhere to go for about a week ย before the RTR so I don’t stay past 14 days. I think I’ll be ready to take off somewhere in a few weeks anyway for some alone time before the RTR which is mad crazy busy with lots of nomads and awesome! A friend of mine and another guy are starting a singles New Year’s eve party out here in the desert of which I promised my friend I would go. Parties in the desert are way better than parties in a nightclub! ๐ŸŒต๐Ÿ’ƒ

IMG_2123IMG_2127

Perfecting the Hobo Shower

I usually use baby wipes or a washcloth sponge bath from my van sink to keep clean but every 3-4 days I really need to wash my hair and truckstops and other places that have showers aren’t always that convenient. I tried washing my hair in my van sink but that’s pretty messy and I’ve used a water jug with holes poked in the cap outside to wash my hair but since other people may be around I have to wear clothes. Also, cold weather is approaching which makes it a little cold to wash my hair outside. After a year of being on the road I finally created a shower that I really like. I got the idea online to use a hula hoop to hold up the shower curtain and then I just used the clips from the shower curtain to clip the whole thing to my thick picture frame wiring that I use for my van curtains. I then put a bin underneath to catch the water and to sit in. I then use the water jug with the cap with holes in it to hold over my head to get it wet to shampoo and then rinse. The bin is like a little mini bathtub to wash up in. Afterwards I just dump the water outside which is right by the door so convenient and the fabric shower curtain dries really quickly. I love the simplicity of it all and I am small so it works great for me! ๐Ÿ’ฆ

IMG_1959.JPG

Camping on the Colorado River in Arizona

I enjoyed camping with friends on the Colorado river this past week. We didn’t have any wood for a campfire last night so someone took a tripod that you use for cooking over a campfire and wrapped Christmas lights around it and put it in the middle, so that was our ‘campfire’ for the night. I met a nice couple at the river traveling around in a truck camper that belonged to their son who recently committed suicide. Their son didn’t travel in it so they decided to travel in it with their son’s dog to honor their son. The dad drew his son’s initials and artwork all over the truck camper. I can’t imagine losing my son. I feel so bad for the couple but it is nice they are taking the trip in their son’s honor and hopefully will help heal through it. Being in nature is very therapeutic. It was getting pretty crowded on the river so I moved to a nearby location in Arizona and am camping with different friends, one which I haven’t seen since the summer. It is always nice to meet up with my nomadic friends again ๐ŸŒบ

IMG_2084IMG_2090IMG_2091IMG_2092.JPG

Living in a Van Down by the River in Arizona

I enjoyed camping with friends outside of Joshua Tree National Park in California on BLM land. We parked in a circle with our homes and had a campfire in the middle. There was a ranch nearby that was kind of stinky though. One of the girls camping with us is a survivalist instructor. While sitting around the campfire we watched an episode of Bushcraft Build-off that she was on and won that recently aired on the Discovery channel. When I lived in a stationary home I watched a lot of survival shows so I thought it is pretty cool to know somebody that was on one. I am now camping with other friends living in my van down by the river in Arizona. Unfortunately there is some shady looking homeless people living here too we keep seeing walking down the road with these carts that look like their drugged up on something bad. One of our crew that wanted to camp alone further down the road had their solar suitcase (portable solar panel kit) they had sitting outside stolen and we think these guys did it. I have my solar panels bolted to my van roof. The free camping on BLM land is open to everyone including the criminals and there’s nothing we can do about it. I always lock up everything to be on the safe side. Last night we went into town to watch some of our friends sing at karaoke night at a pizza place. It is sometimes nice to get away from camp and do things like that. I am having fun at my home with a river view๐Ÿž

IMG_2038IMG_2041IMG_2044IMG_2064

Joshua Tree and Mountain Sunset

This past week I was camping by myself on BLM land outside Joshua Tree National Park in California enjoying my alone time. A few days ago when I was at my campsite in my van I heard someone call out my name which was someone I met in Arizona at the Van Build party. I thought I had a pretty run-of-the-mill white cargo van to stay incognito but he recognized it with my license plate and this reflectix strips I have on the back. Since I was ready to socialize again I met up with him for a sunset hike yesterday in the park and am now camping with him and some other people I met from the Van Build party along with this one guy’s dad who joined the group in his RV. We are camping on BLM land on the other side of the national park. Before we met up for the sunset hike I went to the cactus garden in the park, ‘skull rock’ which is a cool rock that looks like a skull and some other really cool rock formations hiking over the rocks. We walked up the side of very steep Ryan Mountain to watch the sunset. I almost gave up halfway up because it was very strenuous walking up all of these rocks at a very steep incline but then I decided I wanted to keep going. I made it to the top and the view was amazing! We ended up walking down half the way in the dark with a flashlight between us which made me realize I really like night time hiking. I will have to get one of those head lamps so I can night hike again๐ŸŒ›

IMG_1984IMG_1995IMG_2002IMG_2009IMG_2011IMG_2018IMG_2025

 

Wandering and Alone Time

I was enjoying hanging out with my fellow nomads but I got the itch to wander and spend some time on my own, which I often get like after spending a lot of time with other people. A lot of people I know are like me and do the same thing. We enjoy our alone time. I wandered over to California and I am camping for free on some BLM land there. It has been unbelievably windy here especially in the area that I am at. My van has been rockin’ and rollin’ but I kind of like being rocked to sleep every night. Today I went to the nearest town to run errands and saw two trailers that people were towing flipped over on the side of the highway, I’m assuming because of the high wind. One of the many reasons I don’t want to be towing anything and why I have a low top van instead of a high top van. You feel the wind more with high top vans, RV motorhomes and RV trailers. Even when it’s not windy you feel the wind from the big semi-trucks passing you if you have any of those types of vehicles. One of the many, many reasons why I love my low top van. However, it is so windy here that I actually felt it driving my van today. Had to use two hands on the steering wheel. I have to catch up on work tomorrow and then hoping to get some desert hiking in ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธ

I Love Living in My Van!

There are people like me living in their vans or RVs by choice because they love adventure, traveling, living the simple life and not the materialistic life and don’t feel like they have to conform to society’s expectations. However, there’s also people living in their vans or RVs because they have no choice because of financial reasons. There are a lot of people on disability benefits that can only afford to live in a van or RV and park overnight for free on city streets, out in the desert, etc. because no rent or mortgage or utility bills to pay. I hang out with both types of people but then there are those that don’t travel at all that are stuck in one city all the time that don’t like living in a van such as some people I met yesterday. I was parked outside a store in town and there was these young hippie looking guys in a beat up van that it was obvious they were living in. One of the guys was asking me questions about my van. I told him it was a cargo van converted to a camper inside that I live in. He then said ‘I am sorry that you have to live in your van’. I said ‘I love living in my van!’ He then said ‘well maybe one day you will get to live in a house’. I said ‘you couldn’t pay me to live in a house and I can afford to live in a house. I have traveled all over the U.S. and have gone to a ton of national parks over the past year in my van. I love living in my van!’ He then said ‘well maybe you can upgrade one day’. I didn’t know if he meant the type of vehicle or to a house. I just laughed and wished him a good day and left. He just didn’t get it. I guess if you can’t afford to travel or even have enough gas money to get to the pretty boondocking sites I camp at away from the cities you wouldn’t enjoy living in a van that much and that must’ve been these guys. Last night me and some of my campmates were sitting outside their RV watching the moon rising above the desert on one side of us and then turned around to see the beautiful view of the sun setting on the other side of us, commenting on how awesome our life is and what great views we have from our homes. I love living in my van! ๐Ÿš

IMG_1868IMG_1830