I am back to my old blogging platform. No one, including me, liked the new, data-sucking layout. However, in terms of content, I will still expand my focus to include others and their nomadic journeys in addition to my own adventures. I have enjoyed this long blogging break. I didn’t feel much like writing anyway. During my break, Mom died and that involved more travel to Ohio and then a walk through the grieving process.
A quick update: I am now at “winter camp” in the Chihuahuan Desert. I arrived in Southern New Mexico in late October and visited a number of the State Parks. I moved to the Low-Hi Ranch just before Christmas and will pull out Feb 20. I plan to roam around New Mexico another 6 weeks after that (including a Habitat for Humanity build in Las Cruces), before heading north in early April. That makes 6 months this year in New Mexico.In the State Parks I met snow birds who rotate every two weeks (camping limit) through their favorite parks. A large group of people spend at least part of the winter like this, and a community develops. I often saw the same people as I moved around and made great friends with fellow nomads, park staff, and camp hosts. I met people from all walks of life and in every kind of rig, from old vans to giant motorhomes. Some are friendly, others keep entirely to themselves. The parks are affordable, beautiful, and full of history. One of my favorites, Pancho Villa State Park, is on the border between New Mexico and Mexico and has a museum that documents the not-quite- famous invasion of Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution.
At the RV Ranch outside Deming, I connected with friends from last year and meet lots of new folks. Again, the sense of community is key, even for veteran nomads. All of us, no matter how independent and self-sufficient, will admit to needing a home base and a sense of family. The problem of course, is you don’t get to pick who comes here, and eventually the rude and/or drama-loving folks drive out some of the more interesting people.
Speaking of interesting people, here are a few of the special nomads I met so far this year:
- Woman in her mid-50s, driving a Class B+ (small but bigger than the usual Class B). She retired early and has fallen in love with New Mexico and the west. She spent most of last year moving around the NM State Parks (south in the winter, north in the summer) and has been in Quartzsite for several months. She was my neighbor last November at one of the state parks. I love her independent spirit! Below is an example of a B Plus!
- A guy from the south who is out for the first time. He was my neighbor at another State Park. We watched meteor showers several nights last December and rode out a tiny snow storm! Such excitement! He is also at the ranch now, recovering from a bicycle accident. He was hit by a unisured motorist while riding not far from the ranch and fractured a leg. He has a 24- foot RV, just a tad bit bigger than mine.
- Next, another new full-timer (someone who travels in and lives in an RV fulltime) who lived on Staten Island, NY. He is traveling in a truck camper and doing it all. He was at the ranch around a week or so then moved on to Quartzsite and Slab City, a wintering mecca for the bravest of the brave in SoCal. He takes in every sight and stays busy every minute.
- Another gentleman I met is a solar expert. He lives in a hand-crafted rig covered with solar panels; enough perhaps to power the whole ranch. He previously lived in an “intentional community” near the border. He has helped me realize some solar possibilities I had not considered.
- Another younger person: a man in his early 50s who just downsized from a huge Class A motorhome to a Class C. He and I are trying to get a few folks together who want a bit of beach time in Mexico next February. He is in Arizona at the moment and I hope he gets back to the ranch before I leave.
And the feisty, independent women! I have so many role models. A southern gal who travels in a Class C wants to go with me to Quartzsite next winter, for the month of January. A lovely lady who was a single mom like me lives in Oregon during the summer but has the RV bug so bad she will probably sell her house and go fulltime. She is a crafty gal as well! Two kind gals from Arkansas who travel in the same brand of RV that I do took me on a petroglyph-hunting trip in their 4-wheel drive truck.
People! After getting used to the RV lifestyle my first year, this second year has been all about treasuring the people I meet along the way. I hope to profile some of them in more detail in the near future.
Earlier, I mentioned heading north in early April. I am heading to Alaska! I will have another post about that trip soon, but in the meantime the basics: I now have my mom’s car, a small Honda Civic that is dreamy for simple, car-camping road trips. I will store the van/RV in New Mexico for the summer ($20/month) and drive the car up to Prince Rupert, in British Columbia. I will hop on and off the ferry (Alaska Marine Highway) all summer and tent camp. My first stop is Wrangell, AK, where I may stay up to a month. This may sound expensive and exotic, but the trip will be pay as I go. After RVing a while, you become expert at traveling while living on the regular monthly income. Of course, I have to plan ahead, getting all my doctoring done before I leave and stockpiling some basic supplies that would be ungodly expensive in Alaska. Tango will have all his shots and a good trim before we set out. More later.
I hope you enjoy my revitalized blogging, future adventures, and nomad profiles. If you are new to my blog, it contains 6 years of my life adventures, starting when I was still working as a minister and gardening on a large scale. It follows my development as a nomad, including the purchase of my little pop-up camper then the RV. Sometimes I try to make my blog something bigger and better, but always end up right back where I am now with my simple format!