Tag Archives: boondocking

Morning Dog Walk at Burro Creek

Morning Dog Walk at Burro Creek

AdventuresInAHallway-MorningDogWalkAtBurroCreek

One of the best parts of boondocking at Burro Creek was taking the dogs on their morning walk. We have never seen Eliza, our Chiweenie, so excited! She was hopping from scent to scent like a jackrabbit, ears up, pulling at the leash. We couldn’t stop laughing.

Meeko, our Rat Terrier, and Penny, our Chihuahua, enjoyed it, too, but being older, they were more restrained. ūüėÄ

From the picnic area, you can follow a trail down to the creek. You start by descending a very cool stone staircase. Then, ease yourself (and your animals) through an opening in a barbed wire fence and follow the path to the creek.

I thought I was going to fall into a giant crevasse – until I realized that the creek was reflecting the cliff. The reflection is extraordinary!

We didn’t have much time to explore this time, but we’ll make sure we’ve got a few days on our next visit.

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Boondocking at Burro Creek

Boondocking at Burro Creek

AdventuresInAHallway-BoondockingAtBurroCreek

Up to now, our boondocking – or drycamping – has consisted of overnights in Walmart parking lots and rest areas. We’ve always wanted to do more “real” boondocking, where we’re in some remote, beautiful area with no one around. But we’re always working!¬†(Good problem to have, I know.)¬†At first, we had to run all over the country for Mike’s training gigs and then the LiveWire tour, both of which required full hook-ups. Now, I have to be connected to keep up with my writing and social media business.

We were driving along I-10, en route to Austin for the #SmarterArtist Summit, when Mike mentioned that he’d always wanted to check out Burro Creek. Talk about perfect timing! He said it right before we saw a sign for Burro Creek campground. Sweet! One mile south of the Burro Creek Bridge, we exited the highway and followed a winding road down into the canyon.

This BLM campground’s mostly level sites cost $14 a night. Each has its own¬†metal fire grill and a shaded picnic table. Up top, the sites are more spaced out, so there’s more privacy if that’s what you’re looking for. Most of the sites are back-in, but we camped in Site 13, which is a pull-through. There’s even a handicap-accessible site! Not to mention a¬†group camping area and tent spots, too.

The restrooms have flush toilets and sinks. Yay! No showers, though. Boo! There’s drinking water and a dump station. Along with the hiking trails, there’s an desert garden to explore. It reminded me of those labyrinths. You know, where you walk and meditate?¬†You could contemplate cacti in this one. It has a bunch of native plants, all identified with a brochure (you can pick up on site) if you want to know what you’re looking at.

Mike flew his drone, a Yuneec Typhoon Q500+, and got a couple of amazeballs overhead shots of the area, including the bridge.

The bad news? There was barely any cell signal. I was able to send and receive text messages on my phone, but I didn’t have strong enough wifi to do any work. Honestly, it was a welcome break. I work every day, even if it’s only a couple of hours. So a little forced time off was appreciated.

We ate dinner outside at the picnic table with a gorgeous sunset for our entertainment. Then we popped on our headlamps and walked the dogs. (Gotta see to pick up the poop!) After the exercise, and with utter quiet and no light pollution, we slept like babies.

In the morning, before we left, we took the dogs on a walk down by the creek.

Boondocking at Burro Creek was fantabulous! We’re looking forward to camping here again for a longer stay.

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Videocast: Sun-n-Fun and NASA with a little mud thrown in

Videocast: Sun-n-Fun and NASA with a little mud thrown in

Whew! It’s been a whirlwind few weeks! Mike’s visited his daughter in Savannah. I’ve been to Spain and done a mud run. We’ve volunteered at the Sun-n-Fun fly-in¬†and toured NASA. It’s taken us a while, but we’re finally getting caught up on our videos and blogging.

Thanks for continuing to be patient with us on the video stuff. We’re getting better at the audio, but there’s still lots of room for improvement. We bought new microphones, which has helped, but this time, the mic is too far away from Mike, and he’s hard to hear. We will get it right soon. Promise!

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the latest installment!

Milwaukee to Cedar Key in Instagrams

Milwaukee to Cedar Key in Instagrams

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

Before we left Milwaukee, probably for the last time this “season”, we had dinner with our good friends Larry and Maribeth at Mo’s Irish Pub. The company was awesome; the steamed veggies were crisp; and I was digging the light fixtures.

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

In the morning before we left town, we stocked up at the grocery store so that we’d have healthy stuff and save money by not shopping at the truck stops. ¬†We also popped into Hobby Town, so Mike could pick up something airsoft-related. I can’t keep track of all those gizmos! ¬†At the checkout counter, I spotted these freaky snacks. If these are what the early bird gets, I think I’ll sleep in from now on!

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

It’s amazing how impressive a city’s skyline can be as you motor by in the RV. ¬†The Chicago skyline was enchanting.

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

It’s not every day that you see a dinosaur as you roll down the interstate!

 boondocking, Cedar Key, Chiefland, Florida, fresh-squeezed, Georgia, grapefruit juice, Instagram, iPhoneography, Milwaukee, orange juice, pecans, photography, Roadside America, roadside attraction, Sunset Isle, travel, Walmart, Wisconsin

The Corvette is Mike’s favorite car, so we had to stop at The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. We didn’t buy the $10 per-person tix because we were meeting Stevi for lunch in Smyrna and didn’t have time to do the full tour. That meant that we didn’t get to see the sink hole either. The docent told us there was plexiglass around the hole so museum goers could see it, and apparently there’s a live webcam of the repairs.

 boondocking, Cedar Key, Chiefland, Florida, fresh-squeezed, Georgia, grapefruit juice, Instagram, iPhoneography, Milwaukee, orange juice, pecans, photography, Roadside America, roadside attraction, Sunset Isle, travel, Walmart, Wisconsin

One of the very best things about our RVing adventure is reconnecting with friends we haven’t seen in forever. ¬†Mike worked with Brian at MMI; they were both instructors. But Mike hadn’t seen Brian and his wife Donna since 1997! So, after we had lunch with Stevi, we caught up with Brian, Donna and their grandson Bowe for a late dinner at the Montana Saloon & Grill in Talladega. I was delighted to meet them – such nice people! – and was sad when Donna had to take Bowe home since she had to be up early the next day. Thankfully, Brian was able to hang out for a while, and he and Mike visited over a couple of beers in the rig.

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

No drive down I-75 in Georgia is complete without a stop at the World’s Largest Peanut. There’s a picnic table and plenty of grass to walk the bark babies. As a bonus, it’s right next to Carroll’s Sausage & Meats, which has an adjacent RV park.

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

We knew we were outta the cold when we saw this orange-and-pecan stand in the parking lot of the Flying J at the Georgia/Florida border. We bought a bag of fresh oranges, a bag of homegrown raw pecans and a bag of pralines from Moses himself. $30 well spent!

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Complimentary fresh-squeezed orange juice and grapefruit juice at the Florida Welcome Center. We picked up a Sun Pass while we there to cover those pesky tolls that are so easy to miss when you’re driving.

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

We arrived in Florida two days before our campground reservation. Sunset Isle in Cedar Key couldn’t squeeze us in, so we boondocked in the Walmart parking lot in Chiefland. We snagged a lovely spot next to the water. Practicing good boondocking etiquette, we asked management’s permission, didn’t put down our jacks or push out our slide. Feel free to send us a gold star!

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

Our boondocking parking lot not only had a Walmart but also a hair salon, a Radio Shack, a clothing boutique and a Mexican AND a Chinese restaurant. Viejo Amigo was a surprisingly charming eatery. It was the first time we’d been served a salsa carafe.

We’re super excited to move into our camp spot – with full hook-ups! – for a week. Bring on the famous Cedar Key sunsets! ¬†But it sure has been a fun trip getting here.

Getting an early start

Getting an early start

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Although we try to take things at a fairly leisurely pace, some trips require long days of driving. ¬†They can be exhausting. ¬†We break things up by sharing the driving, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, and stopping frequently to walk the bark babies and ourselves. ¬†I also work on the laptop while we’re motoring along.

When the alarm goes off well before dawn, we often groan and grumble, especially if we haven’t had our caffeine yet. ¬†ūüôā ¬†But then, once we get rolling, we’re rewarded with glorious views as the sun rises in front of us. ¬†It makes getting an early start worth it.

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Post Traumatic Rest Area Syndrome

Post Traumatic Rest Area Syndrome

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When we travel between gigs, we boondock.  It maximizes driving time and saves money on campground fees.  We usually stay in rest areas, squeezed in-between the 18-wheelers.   I always have trouble falling asleep on those nights.  Part of it is the rumble of the trucks mixed with smell of exhaust.  Part of it is a niggling worry about someone breaking into the motorhome in the dark hours.

But there’s something else. Something I’ve noticed happening after we’ve settled into our next RV park.

Post Traumatic Rest Area Syndrome

I wake up in the night, not sure where I am and feeling the coach swaying, even though there’s no wind… even though the jacks are down… even though we’re in a level, spacious spot with no trucks lined up beside us. ¬†In the morning, I’m disoriented and slightly nauseous with an odd urgency thumping in my chest. ¬†The feeling that we need to get moving overwhelms me for a moment before I realize where we are and that we don’t have any miles to put behind us.

It’s not as serious, of course, as the P.T.S.D. that plagues soldiers returning from combat. ¬†But it’s unpleasant and disconcerting. ¬†I suppose I’ll get past my P.T.R.A.S. eventually as I adapt to our new lifestyle. ¬†For now, at least I have a name for what I’m feeling.

Our first breakdown

Our first breakdown

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After a fun week in Lake City, Colorado,¬†spending time with¬†Mike’s middle daughter and his former brother-in-law, we were on our way to Denver to visit friends. About five miles out of town, the engine started over heating.¬† After a couple more miles, we found a large enough spot to pull over so Mike could diagnose the problem.¬† The news wasn’t good.¬† The air conditioner’s compressor had seized and snapped the fan belt.

With our Coach-Net membership (Triple A for motorhomes), we arranged for a tow to Gunnison, about an hour away from LC.¬† Coach-Net told us that the wrecker’s shop could fix the problem for us.¬† With six hours before the wrecker arrived, we headed back to LC in the Jeep, did some work at Mean Jean’s and grabbed a late lunch at the Cannibal Grill.¬† When the tow truck arrived, we learned from the driver that his shop could not repair our problem. In fact, he didn’t think there was any shop in Gunnison that could repair it.

Change in plans again.

Because it was mostly downhill and not far away, Mike decided to drive¬†the coach back to LC with me following in the Jeep and the wrecker following me, just in case.¬† We boondocked at Mike’s ex-brother-in-law’s place.¬† Mike researched belts and then drove to Gunnison to pick up three different lengths.¬† In a diesel pusher, the engine is under the bed, so we had to pull everything off and lock Charlie in a carrier to make sure he didn’t jump down to the ground through the engine compartment. After lots of elbow grease and cursing, Mike¬†realized that none of¬†the belts¬†were the right size.

Not our best day.

Mike called around and found out that the belt he needed could be shipped to Gunnison, and we could pick it up in the morning. We thought the day’s craziness was over.

We were wrong.

While I was tidying up in the kitchen, I noticed Meeko, our 3 1/2-year-old rat terrier/Australian cattle dog mix, had his head stuck in the handle of a grocery bag we’d been using for trash.¬† (Meeko has a trash fetish.¬† He loves to get into the trash. He is not happy when you tell him he can’t; our normally sweet, easy going bark baby snarls and bares his teeth.) I touched him on the nose and told him no and then moved to remove the grocery bag handle from his head.¬† He bit me.¬† Hard. Hard enough to draw blood.¬† He made a deep gouge in the pad of my thumb and¬†broke the skin¬†on my index finger.¬† More than the pain,¬†the sadness and disappointment were overhwhelming.¬† It’s hard to remember that our domesticated “babies” are, deep in their DNA, wild animals that react instinctively. Mike made it better by bandaging me up and¬†putting on¬†“Mary Poppins”.¬† “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!”

Lesson learned.  No more trash where Meeko can reach it.

We’ve been to Gunnison and back today, returning the other belts and picking up what we hope is the right belt. Mike is working on it as I write. Fingers and toes crossed that this does the trick.

Bobble Head Kitty

Bobble Head Kitty

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We waited until nearly the last minute to introduce our cat, Charlie, to the RV. ¬†He’s a scrawny, 22-year-old with a recent lion cut, whose feistiness belies his advanced age. ¬†He’s a little hard of hearing and can’t jump as high as he used to, but other than that, you’d never know he’s an old man.

After Mike cut a hole in the cabinet door, we tucked a small litter box under the sink.  Then, we brought Charlie to the rig two days ago, while we were parked at Main Street Station.  He figured the bathroom facilities out right away. Smart boy!

Last night, our adventure officially began as we rolled out of Vegas around 8:15 p.m.  Charlie immediately staked out a spot on the dash, a live bobble head illuminated by the glow of oncoming headlights.  We made it to a rest area, just south of Cedar City, Utah, around 12:30 a.m., boondocking for the first time.  We parked amongst the 18-wheelers, walked the bark babies and then fell into bed, with Charlie purring by our heads.  When we woke around 8:30 this morning, Charlie was once again on the dash, behind the privacy curtains, looking out at the world.  He remains there as we motor down the highway.