Challenges of Boondocking

These are real concerns that will put a crimp in your adventures…

When you read about boondocking you’ll frequently hear how wonderful life is living free on the road.  Well, I am here to tell you not every day is peaches-n-cream.  There are plenty of obstacles you’ll face and many changes you will make.  This post is about a few of those challenges we have faced along our 2600 mile journey.

Over the course of two months on the road I’ve watched many You Tube videos, read many posts and blogs concerning the RV lifestyle.  The majority of information that I have found lead me to believe that the RV life is an all carefree style with limited stress.  I’m here to tell you life in general is stressful.  It doesn’t matter if you live in a house or on the road, problems will arise and have to be dealt with.

The first big issue we faced while being on the road was high-speed internet access.

4G-internet-phone-serviceNow if you are working from your laptop as your main source of income you will be hard pressed to find a steady fast connection.  Yes, you can give it your best shot at the local McDonald’s or Starbucks, but driving your rig to find these locations will get tire-some.  Depending how big your rig is you may not be able to find parking close enough to connect for long.  There also will be days when you wont be able to connect at all. We use Verizon with a Jetpack and still have trouble with a steady signal.  Verizon has dead spots too.  This is just food for thought for those planning on an on-line income.  You may want to rethink your plan.

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Power usage is another biggie to think about.  Are you the kind of person who can’t live without your t.v. shows or video games?  I can tell you even if you have batteries and solar panels the power generated will be limited.  The power that has been stored would be better used to power a refrigerator, an air conditioner, fans or keeping your cell phone charged.  There will be a lot of quite time.  Can you handle the quite? “Silence is golden” as the saying goes only to those who enjoy it.

Storm+warning

Weather conditions are a must to keep track of, rain storms, high winds and hot temperatures.  These conditions can all be a day breaker for the boondocker.  Keep a daily check on your local weather channel to make sure you are not in arms way.  Hot temperatures are the most of my worries living in a RV.  See this post on how we deal with the heat. Spending for a full hookup campsite for power can take a toll on your finances if you are on a limited income.

bathing with a bucket (500x629)

Lastly, get use to limiting your bathing time.  There will be days when you will not bathe.  I know you have probably heard of full-timers that purchase time at a gym to use their showers facilities.  Once again, driving around in a big RV in a heavily populated area to find your shower access will get old.  It’s also expensive, remember you have to pay per person.  You would be better off locating a truck stop and share the shower stall if you’re traveling as a couple.  We’ve used a bucket with water or baby wipes to wash down if a shower wasn’t available.  Change your clothes regularly and don’t forget the deodorant. This will stretch the bathing considerably.

These four issues are not often discussed or are sugar-coated in the camping, boondocking world.  They are real concerns that will put a crimp in your adventures if you’re not prepared to deal with them.  Think it through, be realistic, prepare and enjoy the ride.

Savannah Eats

Savannah is a fun place to visit – there is something there for everyone’s taste – come hungry and leave satisfied knowing Savannah Eats.

On our visit to Savannah, Ga. to see a close family friend we decided to partake in the local cuisine.  It’s always a good time trying out local food and engaging in new cultural experiences.  Here’s a list of where we went and what we ate along the way.

First stop was “The Chromatic Dragon located at 514 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.  A unique pub and eatery that has captured the interests of its clientele, the 21st Century video gamers.  The establishment is a gamers paradise with food, drinks, big screen tv’s, games galore and a bar.  Pick your seat, select your controller and order from a hearty menu.  Everything from drinks, appetizers, lunches and entrees.  The list of video games is long, long enough to keep you and your friends entertained and satisfied for the evening.

The gamers theme extends through out the eatery including wall decor, friendly staff members and right down to the menu.  You will get a kick out of reading the many food options “The Chromatic Dragon” offers.  All item descriptions are geared toward favorite video games, past and present.  Oh, did it bring back the memories.

Our choices from the menu included:

Nachos of Doom – Fresh traditional nachos with a spicy twists.  Simply delicious.

Starfox Barrell Rolls – Corned beef, swiss cheese and sauerkraut rolled into a spring roll and deep-fried. Who ever thought of such a combination.  What a game changer.

Our entrees were “The Castlevania” a classic corned beef sandwich with sauerkraut. The “1 Up Burger” a large mushroom and swiss and “The Tractor Bean” sliders made with black beans.  All sandwiches were equally good and served with piping hot steak fries on the side.

All this delicious food makes this a must see and unique experience for the visitors of Historic Savannah.

Next we ventured out to an up scale English pub and restaurant called “Churchill’s Gastropub & Taphouse“.  Located on 13 West Bay St., Savannah, Ga.  Nestled in the historic area of downtown, just two blocks from River Street, this little pub was a wonderful food experience.  A refurbished two storey authentic English pub right down to the mahogany bar that was shipped to Savannah straight from the United Kingdom.

Churchill’s offers a large selection of imported beers to choose from.  Choose your seat from the first level of traditional English pub scenery or venture up stairs to partake in the open terrace overlooking historic Savannah.

The menu has a large selection of English and American favorites.  We ordered the Giant Bavarian Pretzel.  I have never seen such a deliciously, huge, soft, yummy pretzel in my life.  It was served with two different spicy mustard dipping sauces. You could make a meal out of just one of these pretzels.

Our entrees were as follows:

Paella – A rice and seafood dish with added Chorizo in a red sauce. Not too heavy and very flavorful.

Banger’s & Mash –   Pork sausage marinated in beer severed with mashed potatoes   and onion gravy.  Hubby seemed to enjoy his meal as there was nothing left with no complaining.  🙂

Rosemary Biscuits – House made fresh biscuits with home-made jam and honey butter. These were tasty little treat which went well with Churchill’s full  flavored fresh brewed coffee.

Enjoying the whole experience, I would give Churchill’s a two thumbs up for a relaxing adult dinning experience you wouldn’t want to miss.  *Side Note* Churchill’s opens at 5:00 pm till 1:00 a.m. for dinner meals only.

tangerine-pic

Probably my favorite evening meal was prepared from the Tangerine Fusion & Sushi Bar located at 11215 Abercorn St., Savannah, Ga.  Tangerine is on the south side of Savannah and was rated one of the best sushi bars in the area.  I was able to experience why.  The food and atmosphere perked up the senses and taste buds as soon as you walked in the door.  The owners have created an atmosphere of Pan-Asian and Thai style with grace.  Warm, bright colors splashed the walls mixed with traditional Asian flowers and decor make for a relaxing adult dinning expirence.

Food choices are numerous as the menu leans toward seafood and chicken, however they do offer pork and beef dishes.  I was not disappointed with the quality or quantity of the portions.

We were not able to dine in as we arrived very late in the evening, but the staff were more than willing to prepare us a take out selection.  I would highly recommend giving  Tangerine Fusion & Sushi Bar a try if you’re a lover of Asian Cuisine.  We hope to be able to dine in next time.  *Side note*  I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day, they were just as delicious.

Savannah is a fun place to visit not only for it’s historical value but also for it’s food selections.  There is something there for everyone’s taste buds and pocket book.  Come hungry and leave satisfied knowing that Savannah Eats.

The Heat is On – Tips for staying cool.

Not all of us have access to the comforts of an air conditioner.

There is nothing that can ruin your summer fun quicker then becoming sick from high temperatures.  Not all of us have access to the comforts of an air conditioner. There are steps you can take to ease the heat of the summer months. Here are my tips for staying cool this summer.

My first and favorite tip is to drink plenty of water.  To remain hydrated is the most important advise I can give anyone this summer.  I don’t mean drinks with water in them, I mean pure H2O.  Soft drinks and alcohol do nothing to hydrate you.  I have found that these products make me thirstier. To much corn sweetener can also make you sick to your stomach in the heat and alcohol will dehydrate you fast.  So, stick with good old water for your drink of choice.

Ice

What you eat this summer is almost as important as what you drink.  Eat light, heavy meals have a tendency to bloat your stomach, make you sluggish and slow you down.  Cold foods like, sandwiches, salads, pasta salads, ice cream (in moderation), fruits and veggies.  I would go easy on the fruits, they have a tendency to give you the diarrhea in the heat. Another good choice is cheese and crackers.  These light food options will give you the energy you’ll need though out the day.

Wear minimal clothing, starting with the feet.  Your feet sweat, wear flip flops or sandals.  Closed toe shoes don’t breath and they are even worse when worn with socks.  Let your feet breath.  Choose *cotton fabric* for your clothing. This article explaind why. This also stands true in the South.  It is one of the best, natural, breathable fabrics besides linen you can wear.  I know there are other man-made fibers that claim superior breath-ability, but I have found cotton works the best for comfort in high humidity situations.

My baby

If you are trying to protect your head, stick with cotton coverage as well.  Your scalp also needs to breath.  A cotton bandanna or ‘do rag’ works well.  If you want to forgo the head coverage, use a sun screen or sun block to protect your scalp from sun burns.  This also goes without saying, use sun screen or sun block on your face, shoulders, neck and the tops of your feet.  A sunburn will make you feel miserable and potentially damage your skin.  Please see information on sun poisoning.

Another good tip is don’t stay in a hot house or vehicle.  Get outside and find some shade. Click here to find out why?  The temperature is considerably cooler under a big shade tree.

Barrington Cnty Park

If you have access to power, AC or batteries, use portable fans.  They draw very little power and keep the air circulating.  You can purchase 12 volt traveling fans that will do the job. Get a couple if need be.

12 volt fan

One last tip, soak a couple of pieces of paper towel or a hand towel in cool water and place it around your neck.  This will instantly cool your body temperature down. Re-soak as needed.

These are things that I do on a daily basis when the temperature starts climbing.  By no means am I a doctor or have had any medical training.  However, I have lived in the deep south (Georgia) for 30 years and have experience and seen what heat exhaustion/heat stroke can do to the human body.  It is not pretty and take a long time to recover.  Don’t take the heat lightly and you’ll be able to manage through the next heat wave that comes your way.

*If you feel you are in danger of heat related sickness please see the nearest emergency room.*

For heat related symptoms *Click Here* at the Mayo Clinic for medical advise.

Down the Wagon Trail

My first attempt at writing poetry.

Some days I feel,

we are a top the wheels

of a wagon trail,

searching for our Holy Grail.

Our West is South,

from town to town.

Leaving useless goods,

never to be found.

Break downs happen,

back-tracking the trail,

our journey has slowed, 

but we will not fail.

Wagon wheel is broken,

Oxen must rest,

Recalculation is spoken,

must continue the quest. 

Our fortitude is strong,

we will continue on, 

Down the Wagon Trail.

Faith, the Final Frontier

Our journey started out on very rocky grounds, only with an idea.

I don’t consider myself a traditional religious person.  I consider myself, if anything, spiritual.  I call myself a tree hugger, feet planted firmly on the ground.  I lean toward the naturalistic way of living.  Our adventure back to the Deep South from Michigan has strengthen my natural faith in ways I could have not planned.

Our journey started out on very rocky ground, only with an idea.  We had no idea how we were going to accomplish such a crazy notion of selling all our belonging and finding a suitable, affordable camper to get us south.  It had been far to long since we had seen family and friends.  This was priority number one.

Besides the usual internet searching and researching, which took weeks on end, I meditated and visualized what our journey would look like as we made our way.   This was a daily activity, images and feelings of positive emotions surrounded me.  Within a months time our dreams and ideas started to become reality.  The house and pick up truck sold, we bought ‘Dotty‘.  The Sterling took a few more weeks, but it sold too.

I don’t know if you want to call it fate or faith, but it all fell into place.  Our trip of 1100 miles finished without incident.  Were we plain lucky? I think not.  The luck didn’t stop when we got to Georgia.  We were offered a place to park the camper while visiting family and friends.  Another family friend called with a potential job offer for this Fall.  We met a very kind woman who offer us to park the camper on her land while making a few dollars by helping her with home repairs.

I’ve heard it said, “events happen for a reason”.  Well something was looking out for us.  Our faith in the positive has gotten us this far.  Someone once asked, “Do we have plans for the future”? I quickly replied, “No, events just unfold, if we were to make plans, we may miss all the positive experiences that may come our way”.

 

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”

— Willie Nelson

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us all be thankful.”

— Buddha

 

Southern Hospitality

It all started last week with a simple post from Facebook.

It all started last week with a simple post from Facebook.  In the most unlikely way a post came over offering us a place to park for a few days.  It caught us both by surprise, we didn’t know what to think or say, “Was this for real?”  Being sceptical, we decided to think on it for a day or two.

The weather was getting hotter and we really needed to find shade.  Maybe it was time to learn a little trust and accept the offer.  We didn’t have to travel far when we were greeted by  (we will call her Gail) a small, cheery-eyed woman with a warm smile and cherry cheeks. She directed us to her back yard to park ‘Dotty’, and there it was… shade, wonderful large oak trees with the charming hanging Spanish Moss.  The perfect place to keep us cool on those hot days.

We spent the first few days getting acquainted.  A lot of question were asked and answered, one being how were we going to finance ourselves? Our plan was to take on odd jobs, (according to our skill sets) and possibly workcamping.  “What are those skillsets, you might ask?”  We have a few at our age, my husband, Bill, is a carpenter by trade and an all around handyman.  Myself, I have a nack for cleaning, organizing and yard work.  Those are my specialities.  Gail was carefully listening to our story and quickly asked if we would like to extend our stay and help her with home repairs and clean up duty.  This was shock number two, we weren’t expecting that question.  She showed us around the house pointing out various needed repairs, back door casing, hanging new drywall, lawn work, etc.  We decided quickly we would like to help her out knowing she wasn’t able to do the work herself.  Labor fee was briefly discussed, however we hadn’t thought about a price, we decided to ask for donations for work completed.  We felt that was fair.  We now were well on our way to our first job with a reference…priceless.

As the days progressed and the work was getting finished a funny thing happened.  We were building a new friendship.  In the evenings we would all relaxed on her wonderful screened in back porch having drinks, meeting neighbors and just having a good ol’time talking about camping and life.  Gail went out of her way to be a gracious host.  She even cooked dinners for us and of course we joined her, she a great cook!  Our few days turned into a week.  We knew we would have to leave soon, we had another committment coming up.

This week was a complete success.  I had heard stories of the kindness of strangers, but have never experienced it.  This boondocking adventure has made us realize there are good people out there.  Gail has shown us there is kind and thoughtful people in this world, people who do care.  She is one of those people we will never forget and hope to see again in the future.  We are forever grateful to have met her and can call her our friend.

Our 2007 Road Trip, Part 2: Signs of Georgia

This is such a great post on driving through Georgia and what you will see coming down I-75. Brings back a lot of memories.

Midlife Crisis Crossover!

Giant Peanut! Behold the World’s Largest Peanut, according to the good people of Ashburn, Georgia. Also possibly the World’s Most Hypoallergenic Peanut.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, marvels, history, and institutions we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. For 2007 we changed up our strategy a bit and designed an itinerary for what would prove our most kid-friendly outing ever. Granted, my son was now twelve years old and less kid-like than he used to be, but the idea was sound in principle.

Thus in this year of our Lord did we declare: the Goldens are going to Florida!

When most people think “road trip” in the fanciful sense…

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