Archive for the 'Places' Category

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Anyway, this is the story of Doc Baxter, not how we camped in a pay area on the Texas Coast for free due to outdated paperwork.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

 




Goodbye, Yesterday

October 8th, 2012

I am so glad yesterday is over. After waking up to 40F degree temps in the van, I started packing so that we could make our journey south. We were minutes away from leaving when we were approached by a ranger. He immediately made me feel like a criminal. He asked who owned our vehicles(van and the camper). Then, he told us that we were in an inappropriate location a mostly enclosed area on the edge of a meadow. We told him that we had just packed up and were heading out.

He asked if we had warrants and wanted to run our IDs. What?!? We are just camping, dude. Our campsite was spotlessly clean. The area wasn’t posted as prohibited or blocked off. In fact there was an obvious path leading to the area. We were just camping. We were within sight of the main forest road. We might have been in a location that he felt was off-limits, but we saw no indication, and we are NOT criminals and do not deserve to be treated as such. He was so short and cold to us. It was very demeaning. It made me feel ill.

We gave him our IDs as requested. After he called them in, he kept saying the phrase “ax murders”. I think he was trying to be funny, but he had already set the tone and there was no way I could laugh and be personable now, just defensive. We came back clear… duh! We are not criminals! So after delaying us for what seemed to be an hour, he said we could continue packing. Since we had already packed up and just needed to raise the jacks on the camper, we were gone in 10 minutes.

Note to self: Do not plan on brushing your hair in the truck. Do it first thing no matter how much of a hurry you are in. I am sure that my messy hair is why he thought so little of us.

Most of the day was OK. It really wasn’t that bad. There were little things throughout it, but nothing too noteworthy.

We drove and drove and drove. We try not to move more than 10s of miles. Yesterday, we went nearly 200.

The day wasn’t over yet. I will bitch post about my interaction in Smart and Final in another installment.

We Live Here, There and There

October 6th, 2012

Our housing situation is getting a bit excessive. We started with the camper. Then, we got the tent. Now, we have the van too! We haven’t been slept in either of the first two in a quite a bit. It’s time to clean house…. err cleanse ourselves of excess housing.

Our Three Homes

Mammoth… Lakes not Cave

July 22nd, 2012

We haven’t really moved in over a month. Well, we have moved campsites about 5 times but all of them have been within 15 miles of the town of Mammoth Lakes. We are really enjoying this area. The weather is just right. While the rest of the country has been dealing with 100F+ temps, ours have been between 70 and 80. However the nights are a bit chilly at 40ish. We are in an alpine, pine, aspen, volcanic wonderland. In the winter, the town is a major ski resort hot spot. In the summer, it is a cool reprieve from southern California.

The camping is free. There are four established free campgrounds nearby. They are Glass Creek, Hartley Springs, Deadman Campground, and Big Springs. There are seven (that I know of) defunct campgrounds that are still available for free camping. Not to mention the unlimited dispersed camping in the the area. When it comes to dispersed camping, the rules are pretty much this: No camping on the west or south side of Mammoth Lakes. No camping to the east between Mammoth lakes and HWY 395 with only a couple of exceptions. Dispersed camping is allowed 1.5 miles or more miles north or Hwy 203.

Hot springs are everywhere. Hot creek is off limits right now, but there are plenty of other places to soak.

Under the San Francisco Peaks

June 18th, 2011

Rain enjoying her new big dog disc

Loving the B-day Disc

I really liked Flagstaff. It is a quaint little town, as little as a town of 60,000 can be, nestled in the Coconino National Forest. Amazingly enough, this desert forest actually has trees! Route 66 and the old Santa Fe Railway run through the middle of the city. Everyone there seemed super laid back and friendly. Granted, most of the people we talked to were seasonal.
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