Blog (47)

2-5-19 on the road again

  • February 5, 2019
  • Blog

WRITTEN 2-4-19

I’ve left Caravan 3, the women’s caravan. They have moved to another site per the 14 day stay limit on BLM land in the area. I’m headed towards the coast.

After hearing about a free campsite on the banks of  Lake Mead, I made the decision to head that direction on my way west. I’m at a lovely spot about 15’ from the water. Under a big tree. Ducks swimming about. And some wind and drizzle on occasion. There are about 15 rigs in the area. And a dumpster and pit toilets. Luxurious LOL.

As I was driving along today I listened to a ‘Women on the Road’ podcast. The young women who was being interviewed had spent a lot of time in Central and South America. She was fluent in Spanish and talked about traveling with her partner who did not speak Spanish. My thoughts went to how I wish I spoke some Spanish. And then I remembered briefly meeting a women at RTR who had a sign on her car door advertising some sort of Spanish language program for kids That had gotten me thinking that trying to learn ‘toddler’ Spanish might be a good way to get started. A few days ago I looked on line hoping that I might recognize her website but to no avail. So today I was wishing that I had taken a picture of her car that displayed the website so I could look it up. Well, I rolled into this camping area, and was driving towards the end looking for a place I wanted to park for the night, and what do I see but her van! So I have snapped a picture, but don’t have Internet tonight so will look it up once I leave this place. Hoping to talk to her tomorrow. Its getting dark, still a bit dizzily and I’m hunkered in for the night.

On another note, as I walked around this place with the dogs [one at a time today] my ‘un-scooped dog poop’ radar went off. There is a lot here and it makes me so irritable.  I think I have decided to channel my anger into a plastic bag and scooper and am hoping the rain will be gone tomorrow and I will walk around and fill a bag and toss it in the dumpster before I leave. So that’s it for now I guess.

This morning, Tuesday, I have decided to head to Death Valley. Need to check the road reports. I think it might be wise to stay east of the Sierra mountains till after Tuesday as I believe it might be snowing there. I don’t need to be in Paso Robles till Friday. I am volunteering 2 days at the trial there that Split and I are way down the wait list on. I got into Denver but decided today not to go. Both the kids are in Deckers CO the following weekend.  I’m pretty sure that snow is still a possibility in March besides which it gives me another week in the desert if I want to connect with Caravan 3 again. I didn’t get into Dana Point either. Disappointing that I can’t get into anything on the coast.

Guess that is all for now. Onward up this hill through some mountains and assuming it will drop down into Death Valley. Maybe I’ll have a signal tonight and can post about the rest of my day.

catching up 1-22-19

My time flies! My time flies.

one of the best so far

The RTR is officially over. We did a big cleanup the day after the last event and it was great to see that almost all camp areas were clean. Satisfying to not be satisfied with full trash bags if you get the drift. 

Nice BBQ after where I met a couple from the Vancouver WA area. They have been coming to RTR every year since it started and there were literally just a handful of folks. Far cry from the apx. 10K this year. Not just van and small rig dwellers anymore either. Many big A and C classes and a few busses. 

I have only really encountered one nasty crabby person during this entire event. People have been really respectful of space, in traffic, and when setting boundaries in the ‘free pile’ area.  My mantra after meeting that one nasty fellow was ‘don’t let one crabby person spoil your whole day.’

Saturday, was a pretty easy day. One shift of traffic monitoring and then I went to ‘the big tent’. Quartzsite is a mess of people.  Traffic was awful, like pdx lol! The big tent is maybe football field size and filled with all kinds of RV equipment and gadgets for sale. Stuff to make your life easier on the road if your one who has a giant rig and wants all the comforts of sticks and bricks. I did buy another one step high stool for helping myself and the dogs get up and down from the bed more easily. I wonder some times what Split will do when she is too old and arthritic to jump the 3+ feet to get on. We will cross that bridge when we get to it. Mozart will be easy to pick up.

I keep telling people ‘my next dogs are going to be poodles’. As I have shrunk my space over the years the amount of dog hair remains the same. I’ve been trying to brush Split daily, often when she is eating as it makes a positive association with the brushing which she does not relish. I miss having BSD’s to brush. I used to lay Echo and then Rider down on their sides between my legs and I could line brush them and it was very satisfying. Mo is not so fond of the brush and does not tolerate it even with food most of the time. And he is a shedding machine. Oh well.

A few nights ago the Coyotes were singing in the not so distant parts of the desert so I had noise on in the bus to help the dogs be calmer. It’s was the ‘wolf blood moon’ total eclipse night, however we had clouds so nothing to see.

We went for a longer then usual walk the following night and tired dogs are good dogs. Next day [yesterday as I write this] I joined the women’s Caravan in the Parker area which is NW of Quartzsite. The Caravans are going to be going year round this year. These are groups of people informally gathered and camping together on public lands. There is a Max of 75 people per group. They will move according to the time restrictions of the BLM and other public land use rules. Generally 14 days. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people, and coming and going is as easy as packing and driving off or driving in and setting up camp.  I’m hoping to intro some folks to nose work in boxes. There are many do owners here. I have trials in March so gota get back to practicing a bit LOL.

The wind is blowing very hard today. And last night, and the night before. So I’m at the library as I type and get ready to post this. I’m also hopefully finally going to deal with some personal and Biz Business I have been procrastinating. The Parker Library Internet is pretty good. And a friends X boyfriend lives in Parker and has offered me use of his Internet and shower etc. as he is headed back to Portland for a while.  I’m also looking forward to having time be a bit less structured. I really have been pretty busy since I left the Portland area. 

John Remembers When . . .

  • January 22, 2019
  • Blog

la de da de da

Sherry [Lucy the smooth BC] spent the weekend here

  • January 14, 2019
  • Blog

1-9-19–> 1-14-19

Another beautiful day in Paradise as a former student would often say. The sunset tonight was brilliant. Couldn’t get a great picture because of so many camping rigs here. Numbers guestimates haven’t come in yet. Because of the government shutdown they are not actually issuing individual permits. Guesses are about 8K! They are tracking vehicles so there should be a real headcount at some point. Today was orientation for all. So going over rules, common courtesies, etc. I staffed the ‘free stuff’ booth for part of the day. It’s a good assignment because when you’re on duty you get first debs at anything that comes in that you want to claim. I got a slightly bigger bin to trade out for one of mine so that I was able to eliminate the footprint of one smaller container. Simple things but every little bit of space counts!. I re-organized my dish drawer tonight. I probably don’t need all I have with me. And I wish I had few more table knives [which I got the day after I drafted this]. Funny, I have not seen silverware at any of the local thrift stores. I also know I have too many clothes. I downsized a lot of tee shirts before I left home. But I still have a lot.

I’ve been approached to be interviewed for someone’s podcast on mobile living so that should be fun and I’m hoping to get interviews for a YouTube channel or two. My bus is by far the nicest one I’ve seen so far, at least on the inside. It still needs more paint on the outside. That will come when the weather is warmer and the dust less. Another frustrating day with poor /no phone or Internet or texting. ATT has my phone hostage but it should be unlocked by tomorrow. I’m gong to Verizon. Have the chip to trade out once I get notice that it’s unlocked.

Dogs still doing well. They enjoyed Sherry’s visit Friday – Monday. The cot in the isle of the bus worked well enough – better with the topper of my mattress then the air mattress I have that is cot size. That mattress just might be going to the free pile! As I type this last bit I am in a coffee shop in Phoenix after dropping Sherry at the airport. This is such a HUGE city! The good news is that I can shop at Trader Joes, get a good wifi connection, gas at Costco and picking up a few things for some other folks. And a shower at LA Fitness. Clean is good!

Last night for dinner we enjoyed a stew of whatever a variety of folks had brought to put into a big pot that one of our neighbors had found at a thrift store. Cooked over the fire, it was yummy. And then a bus residing neighbor from FL made pineapple upside down cake in a dutch oven, cooked on the coals.

This morning the session was on kitchen and other ‘hacks’ that people use to save fuel, water, etc. We all lined up and one by one we showed off our ideas and items. Mine was Parchment paper. Lots of folks use it in baking, but I use it for almost anything I cook. just a layer jammed into the pot or pan and the pan stays clean. Today for breakfast it was some pork-chops I needed to use, and fried eggs. pan was clean as a whistle, paper went in the trash although it could have been kept for fire starter as well what with a bit of grease on it. People really loved this idea.

OK, thats all for now. I’m hoping to learn to add pictures today or soon.

Please be in touch, love hearing how you are all doing. OH! and I heard from my friend Pritamo in Seattle that the Brooks trial had NO ODOR in the container search. Only 4 people trusted their dogs and were willing to call it clear. Their always coming up with something to challenge us aren’t they! This was in the elite trial BTW. We got into Deckers CO end of March. So I better start training again LOL.


Happy New Year!

I’m in the [cold!] desert between Bouse and Quartzsite in AZ. Tonight will be my 3rd night here. I have marginal and intermittent Internet connection. I’ll be evaluating whether to jump ship to Verizon or not in the next month. Att is getting better but I’m not sure it’s good enough. Time will tell.

I’m here for the Women’s RTR. A gathering of women who are living part or full time on the road in various kinds of mobile housing. It’s an educational and free event where people who have ‘gone before’ hold sessions to educate us all about all things living on the road. I’ve already learned a few things and can’t wait to dig into the ‘leave no trace’ website I learned about today. I thought I knew it all but not true!

One of the things I just hate hate hate is all the garbage so many people leave along the interstate, in off road BLM camping sites, in parks, school grounds, etc.  Travelers, truckers, the poor and the rich all seem to have excuses and reasons why they are special and can leave garbage in their wake. It’s really discouraging at times to see so much. I’ve met many amazing women already.  

Everyone here at the Womens RTR is super friendly and helpful. The real ‘gig’ starts on Friday but there are probably a couple of hundred women like myself, here early. I’m camped across a little roadlet from Cindy and Martha. Martha has been living in her LazyDaze for about a year, often staying on the property of friends and family. [If I were to buy a standard motor home verses the bus I would have gotten a LazyDaze – well build one at a time, a real cut above the many other cheesy brands out there]. Cindy just retired a few weeks ago and has sold her house, given away her dog [very sad that she did that, but live and learn and Wilson has a great new forever home]. She bought a new truck, 5th wheel trailer, and all the stuff that goes with, and hasn’t a clue how any of it works LOL. But she is a game gal and figuring things out. This afternoon Martha and I helped her get her generator going so she now has power to her ‘house’ batteries and appliances. She really got ‘taken’ by the sales folks where she bought her rig and all its accessories. But that is another story. Buyer be ware.

Hoping to be able to post some pictures on my blog as well and hoping to post regularly.  I really haven’t felt too much like I’m ‘retired and free’ yet. I worked for about 4 wks on the avocado farm and it was hard but good work and I probably worked harder and more then I needed to but I have a strong blue collar work ethic inherited from my dad and from working in my upper adolescent and teen years in the 10 acre filbert orchard that my grandfather and then my father had. It’s not a bad thing to be a hard worker LOL. I didn’t have to go to the gym to build my muscles up!

I’ll be here till the 6th when I head down to Quartzsite to the all gender RTR [stands for Rubber Tramp Rendezvous. I hate that word cause I can never spell it well enough for google to tell me the real spelling!] to help with set up. That one starts on the 9th and is about 10 days long. My head should be exploding with info and ideas by then. My friend Sherri [Lucy the smooth coated Border Collie] is coming on the 10th to spend a few days with me and soaking up the knowledge. Don’t forget everyone, that I have a cot and blow up mattress so a guest bed!

OK, headed back to camp to drive into Quartzite with Martha and Cindy.

Happy New Year [almost]

  • December 30, 2018
  • Blog

This is my bloging test. Hoping to get the real thing up soon. An update!

What Joyce is up to

  • December 23, 2018
  • Blog

Hello friends, students, family. 

Since not all my friends, students and family are on Facebook etc. I’ve decided to use a blog format to let anyone who is interested know what I’m up to! Also gives me the ability to sort of have a journal/diary. Now all I have to do is keep it fairly up to date!

So if your not on FB which I am seriously contemplating getting off of entirely, you can still know what I’m up to. My brother [I’m in the San Diego area right now – Dec. 7th 2018] is more into podcast then even I am and he turned me onto this one that I am really liking. RECODE DECODE is by Kara Swisher and she is pretty interesting. She interviews many folks in the tech and political world. Very enlightening content and she has a good sense of humor as well. 

I’m currently living on a three acre avacado and other fruits farmetett that a friend of my brothers recently bought. He is getting a fab deal. I am working 20 hours a week digging weeds and invasive growth and doing a lot of cleanup garden work. Beats going to the gym LOL. Which btw is only about 7 minutes down the road in Escondito so I can go there [LA Fitness] to shower and even soak in the jetted tub and sooth my aching muscles. I’ll likely be in the area till end of Dec. when I travel about 5 hours to Western AZ where there is lots happening in the mobile [van life] world. Big educational event there including several days just for women.

Generally I’m thinking I don’t want to just be a traveler. I like the idea of doing some sort of work and have found out about several organizations that help connect workers with property owners and trade room and board for work. Through one of these organizations I met a women in Arroyo Grande who has a certified organic farm. 10 acres. We really hit it off and I was actually able to help her with some mobility issues with her 97yo father. I’ll likely be back there in Feb. to hang out, work, and also care take [paid position] her father while she goes on a vacation out of the country. Should be interesting. he is a raving consertive, christian scientest. Watches Fox news all days and loves Mr. T. Uggh. I’m so glad I’m not related to him lol!

My bro has been helping me with some tech stuff mostly related to establishing a one password system for my website memeberships etc. 

The company in Eugene who installed my breaking system for my Honda while towing totally screwed it up and my Fit is in the shop to get it re-installed. I had funky breaking while driving it and finally figured out that it was some of the newly installed cables interfering with each other. It’s a mechanical not electrical system and it is in the shop down here now having a complete new install done. I have a dispute going with the Discover card folks and they guy in Eugene totally lied about what they did and thinks I think it is an electrical problem etc etc etc. What a pain in the tush.