Monday, December 31, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Reservations cannot be made for campsites and the recently created but few RV sites, so we will hopefully beat the mad Veteran's Day weekend rush and snag a site. For the past week, we have been gathering necessities for the trip. Just a few last minute preparations tomorrow morning and we'll be off.
Just a few factoids on the Valley of Fire:
1. It is the oldest state park in Nevada.
2. The park's name is derived from it's unique red sandstone formations which appear to be ablaze in the reflective sunlight.
3. It is located about 50 miles northeast of the Las Vegas valley.
4. Other special features of the park include the presence of petrified wood and petroglyphs created by the native Anasazi.
5. There have been a few movies shot in various areas of the park....one of interest to us is Star Trek Generations. (Yes, we are also Trekkies.) The park, in the movie, sets the stage as the planet Viridian 3. Bad guy Soran is attempting to get to relocate back to Nexxus by any dangerous means necessary. Captain Piccard and Captain Kirk save the day but at the expense of Captain Kirk's fall to death. These scenes apparently take place in and around the Silicia Dome. Maybe we'll be able to see this.
Hikes, exploring, good food, and good company, chilly weather.....we have a lot to look forward to! Can't wait!
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Day Two: 8/11/2012
Levi and a scuba buddy met in the AM to dive around Boulder Beach. They needed to complete a mapping assignment for their DiveMaster course and this weekend was open for both of them.
I stayed in the RV and completed some errands online with our awesome WiFi signal. Brewy and I walked through the park and into the campground. We were about to continue our hike down to the beach but it was already 105 outside.
Levi and John (dive partner) returned back to the RV site just a few hours after they left, assignment complete.
We all drove to Las Vegas Boat Harbor for lunch, just a 5 minute drive from the park). No dogs are allowed in the restaurant, so we ordered rounds of ice cold drinks and sat outside on the deck.
Back at the park, we waved farwell to John and attempted to cool down from the blistering heat. We spent the better half of the day napping and watching shows online.
The evening brought a much appreciated rain shower and lightening show while we bbqed chicken for tacos! Yummy! Levi tried getting shots of the lightening but wasn't too lucky with the timing.
Day 3: 8/12/2012
Today is check-out day, blah! I never like this part, neither does Levi. The end of trips in the Little Nomad just makes us want to start up our full time RV lifestyle even sooner!
We decided to have breakfast at Lake Mead Marina (right next to Las Vegas Boat Harbor) before completely packing up and checking out.
Doesn't look like we will have much time in the next coming months to take the Little Nomad out, but you never know...till next time...
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Just a bit of history: Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake in the U.S., connecting to the Colorado River and home to the Hoover Dam. It is ranked 16th largest in the world. Africa capitalizes on the largest man made reservoirs.
Day One: 8/10/2012
As usual, Levi and I started preparing for our trip in the Little Nomad a few days before taking off. It was easier to prepare this time around since we simply packet the trailer at its storage spot, our friend's residence, and took off from there. It was already above 100 when we took off around noon.
We arrived at Lake Mead's only RV park, RV Village (situated right next to Lake Mead Campground), and registered. We recently became Good Sam Club members so we got a nice little discount for our stay. Valerie was working the front desk and she was very helpful with all of our questions.
We have stayed at this RV park in the past. Once was last December for the Parade of Lights and another was just a few months ago when we made the mistake of boon docking in the summer with little gas for the generator to run the A/C. We retreated to the RV park with their electric hook-ups for one night then.
Our site this weekend was #828, a back-up site furthest from the lake scene but closest distance to the office and Wi-Fi signal! There was only one other RV parked in the immediate area...guess we aren't the only insane people out in this heat!
It took a grueling, sweltering 30 minutes to level and position the trailer. The A/C was working it's magic and quickly cooled the inside down! Brewy, I'm sure was grateful for this!
First on our agenda: drive down to Boulder Beach (only a 3 minute drive from the park) and into the water to cool down! Always prepared and ready-me forgot my bathing suit. Levi let me wear a pair of his trunks and I pulled a tank top out. This was my Fashionista creation...
Saturday, July 14, 2012
I was a little camera crazy today and ended up documenting the steps we took to complete a ramp. The supplies were pretty simple to figure out. We fortunately had the tools to use, so no equipment purchases were made in this project. The following were supplies we picked up from Lowe's:
|1X2X8 Pine strips|
|3/8" Vinyl tubing|
|3/16" Nylon Rope|
Step 1: Measure and mark 16-inch long strips of wood. Cut along this line with your hand saw. Continue until you have 28 strips (each measuring 16 inches...or close to that...LOL.)
Step 2: Turn the strips so that 1" side is facing up. From each end, measure 4 inches inward (the measuring tape should be extending toward the center) and mark with a dot, making sure to keep the dot centered in between the edges of the 1" side. There will be two dots for each strip of wood, one for each end. Use your electric drill with 1/4 " drill bit to drill the two holes in each strip. You will be stringing the wood strips and vinyl tubing together here.
Step 3: Sand down all sides, ends, and edges of each strip. The sanding process should be quick.The purpose is to LIGHTLY smooth down any jagged areas.
Step 4: Measure and mark 2 inch segments on your vinyl tubing. We used a permanent marker. Use heavy duty scissors to cut through the tubing.
Step 5: Levi tried a number of different ways to begin stringing the rope through the strips of wood and vinyl tubing segments. The best method was to burn the end of the rope before threading and cinching a twisty through the rope just below the burnt area. The rope used was approximately 17 feet. Start out by lacing the rope through a hole of a strip of wood; then lace a vinyl tube. (Make sure you keep about 5-6 inches of slack at the ends of the rope so they can be tied at the end.) Continue this pattern of wood, tube, wood, tube, etc. until you come across your 28th or last strip. In a U-turn fashion, after lacing through the final hole of your 28th strip, loop over to the strip's second hole, lace the rope through the hole, and continue the pattern back up the strips (tubing, wood, tubing, wood, etc.).
Step 6: You should end up back at your first wood strip with ample rope hanging out of each hole. First pull and tighten both rope ends to get rid of any excess slack. Tie knots at each rope end, making sure that they are larger than each hole. Use a lighter to burn each knot and secure its position.
Step 7: Admire your handy work!
This project took about two hours to complete and it costs a little over $10 to make. The process was time consuming but we really enjoyed working together...it was relaxing! Levi and I now understand why woodworking was such a big past time for both of our fathers! We have extra supplies and think we might make more ramps....a possible items to sell (discretely, of course) at future campsites...
Levi and I have been going back and forth deciding upon a suitable RV for not only us but our traveling companions: our pooch and cats... 4 cats. ( I know! We are insane, but there are many people that travel with their pets, however few or many. So, essentially, that makes them insane too. It is possible to function in a sanitary manner provided you are consistent and frequent with cleaning routines.) Our intention was not to purchase a new RV ( which we didn't, surprisingly), just find traits about models that would be beneficial for us.
The admission was free! There were rows upon rows of travel trailers, fifth wheels, Class As, Bs, and Cs. We stayed away from the Class As as they were way out if our price range and didn't pay too much attention to the Class Bs ( or oversized vans) since they were too tiny for our feline family.
The fifth wheels on display were a bit overdone. I know they appealed to several spectators there, but we felt like they were too over the top. The fifth wheels were exceptionally nice with giant living rooms, gourmet kitchens, and walk in closets. They felt like your typical suburban house...a feeling we want to get away from when we start this full timing lifestyle. We were pretty surprised with our reaction. Fifth wheels have typically been our top choice in discussions. Maybe this expo just had models we weren't happy with.
|Inside the Heartland Pioneer|
|Inside the Keystone Vintage|
|Inside the Freedom Elite|
We decided to talk about our thoughts over dinner and reviewed the models we liked: travel trailer and Class C. We came to the conclusion that the Pioneer was closer to our preferences. It wasn't too long (27 feet) and was lite weight. The layout was to our liking, especially with the slide out.
Levi and I felt this trip was very beneficial. We learned that we are particle to travel trailers and have chosen specific aspects we want from it! I encourage other RVers and wanna-bes to attend an expo close to their home town AND to visit their local RV dealerships. You don't know what you want until you see and try it out!
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Yesterday was a lounging and beach day. But it wasn't all fun and games. I had some honeydew melon for breakfast that had apparently gone bad. This resulted in me turning green and without giving too many details, I ended up having an empty stomach for breakfast. After the offending melon was rudely escorted from my digestive system I actually felt better, so this unfortunate event did not ruin our day.
Levi had been dreaming about going into the cold water since we arrived; that morning was his chance. We drove around to the south side of Morro Rock where there is a little beach that is calm and protected by the breakwater. Levi got his wet suit on and snorkle equipment and practically skipped out to the water.
I took a much more relaxed approach and read a book in the truck with Brewy. I would have gone on the beach but it was a bit cold for my taste. If you go to Morro Bay, dress warm; unless your like Levi, then bring a light sweater and a pair of swimming trunks. He is not entirely human when it comes to temperature . (Remember, he was enjoying the Pacific Ocean while I was freezing above the water.)
After Levi finished his arctic snorkeling adventure, we headed over to some public showers that were free and the water was warm. Levi changed into his dry clothes and we went for lunch. We decided to go to Rocca's, the resturant we ate at our fist night in Morro Bay. We have dubbed Rocca's our favorate place to eat in Morro Bay. (If the owner of Rocca's is reading this, we are more than happy to accept donations as a thank you for free advertising. ;-) )
After lunch we decided to go back to the trailer and ended up resting for a while. I fell asleep and Levi took a little walk to the beach in front of the rv park. I woke up after an hour or so because I was cold. Did I mention it is always cold in Morro Bay. I wished I had brought a knitted cap or something.
After explaining my temperature issues to Levi, he agreed to go to the rv park store and get me a cap. It was one of the best decisions we made this trip. I love the cap, it's one of those kind that cover your ears and has the long tassels hanging off the sides.
After taking care of my climate issues, we were ready hit the beach. So Brewy, Levi, my new cap and I piled into the truck and headed out to find the "off-leash" dog beach. It is right before the Morro Bay city limit sign if you are headed south on the I-1.
Brewy loved the beach, she spent the whole time chasing seagulls and running around. Levi and I ran around with her; she look so excited. Levi attempted to coax her into the water by calling her from, you guessed it, knee deep in the cold water.
After the beach, it was dinner time at a local pizza place called The Port. The pizza was OK and then it was off to bed.
We woke up this morning, packed up the trailer and sadly said goodbye to Morro Bay. It was a fun trip but we now have the journey home.
The trip home took us about 8 hours. We had less supplies and less water weight on the trip back so our gas mileage was a bit better going home. California drivers seem to drive in packs, we noticed. We were the only ones on the freeway for a while and then a herd of 4 to 6 cars would pass with California plates. Strength in numbers, I guess.
That is where this Little Nomad adventure ends, but we are already planning the next one...
Thursday, June 21, 2012
|Levi getting some good shots!|
Brewy and I finished putting away the clean dishes...well I did...Brewy watched me before we raced out onto the beach after Levi. We all came in about 15 minutes later to take showers before settling in for the night.
We had a pretty eventful day! We slept in since we were so tired from all the hiking yesterday. Breakfast consisted of toasted bagels with cream cheese and fresh fruit. Our first stop was to the Kayak Shack located in Morro Bay Park. Brewy was all set with her new life jacket we purchased weeks before at Petsmart back home. She was very unhappy in it but it was just a safety precaution. She did get alot of "Aww"s from passer-byers. We rented a canoe ($14 for the first hour and each additional hour is $7). Turns out we used it for about 2 1/2 hours but they just charged us for 2 hours...nice! The gals there were very nice and informed about areas of the bay. Levi took the rear, I took the front, and Brewy hid under my seat.
|Napping at the Sandspit|
She did not like the experience of the first hour. We paddled down the northern portion of the bay crossing various birds and a whole slew of sea lions. They surrounded our canoe at one point, their heads
|Canoeing with Levi and Brewy|
bobbing in and out of the water, sometimes just a few feet away, as we made our way down what we think was Los Osos Creek. The whole time we were excited but praying they wouldn't get agitated and flip the canoe. Next, we paddled against the current to the Sandspit located east of the bay. The Sandspit is a long beach with sand dunes. We got out of the canoe here, ate some snacks we packed earlier, and laid down for a bit. Brewy even ate a whole bowl of doggy food. She was much more comfortable and calm when we got back on the canoe. One last stop to see the bird estuary on the west bank before we circled back to the rental station.
There was a little restaurant located just steps away from the rental station called Bayside Cafe. It was time to eat! Levi had a Wet Fish Burrito ( cod, coleslaw, Mexican rice, topped with red enchilada sauce)
|Lunch at the Bayside Cafe|
and a coconut pie while I had chicken enchiladas with a key lime pie. Everything was yummy!! It was chilly outside but the patio areas had lots of heaters spread about.
After lunch, we headed off to Los Osos, a neighboring town about 5 minutes away. There's a wildlife preservation area called the Elfin Forest that we saw online and wanted to check out. (We try to make all of our RV trips pet friendly. Leaving Brewy in the trailer is not an option. She gets really paranoid when she's alone and can be destructive...she takes after me, alot.)
|On the boardwalk at the Elfin Forest|
|Pygmy Oak Trees|
Instead, these oak trees are stunted reaching heights of about 12 feet due to the coastal winds and poor soil environment. There are amazing sights of the bay in areas of the trail. Information signs are located throughout, as well.
A friend of ours told us about a Farmer's Market held in Morro Bay every Thursday from 2 to 5:30. It is located just off of I 1, north of the 41 Junction. This was very general, but we found the gathering located in the parking lot of the grocery store,
Spencer's Fresh Markets. No dogs were allowed so Brewy stayed in the truck with the windows rolled down. We ended up purchasing strawberries, a variety of zucchinis and squashes, gourmet coffee, beef fillets, and sourdough bread. We had enough to make dinner for the night!
We came back to the RV park and did some laundry before firing up the grill! The zucchini and squash were sauteed in a butter and garlic sauce, the meat was cooked over the fire-medium rare, strawberries were cut and served with some wine, and butter was spread on the sourdough bread. We should open up a little pet-friendly restaurant out of the trailer!
Tomorrow is our last full day here...boohoo! I think we're going to spend it on the beach!