Archive for the 'lifestyle' Category

Still Going After Nine Years

December 15th, 2016

The beginning of this month marks the day that we first moved out of our old life and into our camper in 2007. I cannot believe it has been over nine years now. We’ve switched homes twice since then. We lost our two kitties and gained two dogs. We made it to Alaska and Baja, our only two plans. We have visited exactly half of the states in this country. We created a website where the community can contribute their camping locations. When we started, we had no idea that we would be on the road for more than a year. We’ve made a life out here, and I plan on keeping it. I couldn’t imagine going back to a conventional one. I hope that those who come after us find the same satisfaction we have.

Our Box Canyon Campsite

Doc Baxter

June 21st, 2016

So there was the time, back in 2013, that we met Doc Baxter. We were camped at Gilchrist Beach, a free spot ¼ of a mile up the beach from Rollover Pass. Well, we thought it was free. The paperwork said it was free. However, on the weekend, a lady rolls up and tells us we have to move or buy a pass. She said that we weren’t in the free area and handed us the paper that shows the designation. Funny thing, the paper was the same one I read online before we got there. It said we were OK where we were. I pointed it out to her, to which she said that she had never actually read it before. She went on and later came back with a revised version that said we were in the wrong spot LOL. She said that we could finish our stay but next time, we had to get a pass or stay in the other area.

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Anyway, this is the story of Doc Baxter, not how we camped in a pay area on the Texas Coast for free due to outdated paperwork.

One afternoon, while walking Rain, I ran into a man fishing with a kitten at his side. Rain took an interest in the kitten and the guy seemed cool with it. We started to chat while Rain and the kitten play. Nothing too memorable. Just small talk.

Later that afternoon, he stops by and offers us some fish. We’d already eaten, so we declined. He takes a seat, and we chat for a while. At one point we talk about camping down on Padre Island. That’s when he tells us his story.

A couple years back, he had let a couple of Navy SEALs camp in his rig on South Padre Island. They had to go somewhere in a hurry and didn’t want anyone to break in. They wrote a note and left it on the door. It said that the camper was booby-trapped and anyone trying to gain entry would be maimed. They taped a fake grenade to it.

Someone got curious and wanted to see what the sign said. They called the police and reported it. It became a huge deal. The area got shut down. The bomb squad was called in. It was all over the news.

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He said that while all this was going on, he was sitting in the hospital unaware of any of it.

We sat around joking and talking about other things that don’t really stand out anymore. Eventually, we called it a night and he headed home.

The next morning he shows up and asks if we can help him. His RV was stuck in the sand. Of course we said we would.

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We ended up hooking our van to his truck that was connect to the RV. One of us manned each vehicle. After a few tugs and some broken straps, we got the RV out. We helped him get it to his new spot and then parted ways. We’ll probably never see him again, but I’ll never forget the days spent with Doc Baxter. He’s had quite a journey.

 




Snowden

August 1st, 2015

I just realized that I have never introduced ya’ll to Snowden. Here he is!

 

Rain and Snowden

 

Ever since Rain was about 6 months old, I knew I was going to get another dog. I wanted to wait until she was about 3 years old. I subscribed to the Save a Heeler page on Facebook and would glance at the pound puppies who were up for adoption in many of the towns we visited. Rain’s third birthday came and went. No second pup.

Rain is half BC and half Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler), but she is a BC in personality. I was pretty sure that I was looking for another Border Collie. Then, in September of 2013, I ran across these photos.

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I told Johnny that I was going into town to see this dog, and he should probably come with me or else I might bring him home. We went to the pound. While there, we interacted with and treated all of the dogs. While all of the dogs were barking, jumping, and pawing at their cages, Rowen, as he was known at the time, just quietly watched us. Not a peep out of him.

 

Snowden

 

He was allowed out of the cage at our request. He was sweet and calm. Loving. We took him outside and played. Upon introduction, he and Rain got along. They played well. They lady working there said he’s never been that open with anyone else. That, he acted like he was abused. She said he obviously picked us. I figured she was giving us her usual spiel. Either way, Rowen knew how to do all the right things to be adopted. We signed the papers. Johnny didn’t even try to talk me out of it. I am soooo glad he didn’t.

 

Snowden on top

 

Rowen had to go get snipped. While he was at the vet, they told me that he was a bit older than I was led to believe. He was going to be a small dog. I was hoping for a dog Rain’s size (55#s). I also wasn’t sure if he was going to adapt to our lifestyle. I considered myself a foster for a while and put the word out about him. That’s when Johnny came up with the name Snowden. A character from Catch 22 that wasn’t around long.

 

Snowden's Behind

 

I couldn’t understand why anyone would drop such a loving, smart, and fun dog like him off at the pound. After we got Snowden home, we got our first clue.

 

Baby Snowden

 

He had zero control of his little, tiny bladder. He wasn’t house trained. He would pee if you tried to pet him from above. He would pee as he came to you. Sometimes, he would roll over on his back and pee. That’s was the best.

For the first two weeks, I stopped his bedtime water intake and took him outside to pee every two hours. I knew there was no way he was ready to live with anyone else as long as he had this issue. He would end up right back in the pound. So, he was with us until we worked it through.

 

Hiking Snowden

 

Snowden had a big mouth. He would bark at everyone. He would bark when he was excited. He would bark when he was scared. He would bark during play. He would run up to people, barking at them. They would lean over to pet him, and he would pee on their feet.

 

Snowden has a big mouth

 

He was a bit of a squealer. Sometimes, he would squeal with the lightest touch. He and Rain played a lot and there were always plenty of squeals.

 

Fight

 

After a couple of months, he almost had complete control of his bladder and was ready for a new home. By that time, I had already fallen in love with him. He had no problem adjusting to our lifestyle. I didn’t care if he was going to be a tiny dog. He was staying with us. Because he was still a bit of a leaker, had a big mouth, and squealed a lot, the name stuck. A hero’s name for a fantastic dog.

 

Snowden's Stance

 

 

Stoned-In

July 31st, 2015

So the last 48 hours have been pretty interesting. We got to hangout with some great friends whom we haven’t seen since we were in Colorado in 2011. They took time out of their vacation to chill with us in Montrose. Very cool of them. Love you guys, hope to see you in a few weeks/months.

Afterwards, we went back to an area we had found and camped at the day before, though in a different campsite. It’s a neat area. There are campsites on the cliff of a mesa, 400ft above the valley below. The views area vast. At night, the distant lights of Montrose shine bright and beautiful. We had planned to stay there for a few days and take care of some business. That is until it was time to go to bed.

Our free campsite outside of Montrose, Colorado

Snowden couldn’t get into the van on his own. He had a big day of hiking and playing with our friends at the park. I figured he was just stiff, so I picked him up and put him inside. Then, he acted as though his legs didn’t work and was collapsing. I put him in bed.

Being me, I thought the worst. I checked him for a snake bite. When I put him into a sit position to check the rest of him, his body swayed so much that he almost fell over. I laid him back down and tried to give him liquids. He acted like it was fire, flinching erratically. That’s when I freaked and called the after hours, emergency vet.

It was near midnight and the vet talked me out of bringing him in. We went over the symptoms. He said that it didn’t seem life threatening. I thought otherwise but the vet’s calm, gentle voice won me over.

Alarm set, so I could check on him every two hours, everyone went to bed. Not much sleep happened. Snowden sat up and looked so sad and pathetic. Eventually, I went and held him. Later, my love took the helm.

In the morning, he was better but still in a very bad way. We decided to leave the campsite. If there was something there that made him sick, we didn’t want Rain to get into it too.

Since we were going past the vet I had called anyway, we stopped in. They checked him out and did a test for toxins. They found something. THC!

The little dog must have found a discarded edible and was stoned out of his mind! It took 12hrs for him to return from his dream world enough to drink water, but he still wasn’t walking. It was 20hrs before he would eat.

Little stoner totally freaked me out. Snowden was Stoned’n. He was on a vision quest.

He’s completely back to normal now. No damage. Thankfully, the ordeal only cost $100 and one night’s sleep. We had to move before we had planned, but our new campsite has even better views and stellar cellular connectivity. It’s all good.

Our free campsite gunnison national forest

Overland Expo West 2015

May 21st, 2015

We went to the Overland Expo with our friends from Two Complete Spirits, Kyndal and James.

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It wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for, a bunch of overlanders sitting around bonding, telling stories, and planning future endeavors. But, it was exactly what I was expecting, a ton of cool rigs and accessories. I posted a whole lot of photos over on Free Campsites: http://freecampsites.net/overland-expo-2015/
Our friends posted videos of the event over here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs2zD7lfHPo

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