We've been on the road officially 1 month now. WooHoo, we're still alive!
Here are a few little blurbs from some of our 'firsts' on the road.
Although we have only stayed at one RV park we are pretty turned off by the idea of using them as a consistent home base. The plugins are nice and it affords us an opportunity to charge all of our devices but so will our solar Panels once they are installed.
The RV park we stayed at this week is called the Walnut RV park in Northridge California. The idea behind it was to be close to friends in Hollywood and practice plugging into the water and electric hookups. This also gave us an opportunity to dump our tanks which turned out to be extremely fast and easy. We payed 65 bucks after tax and almost immediately regretted it. The park was nice, just not for us. The spots were right on top of each other and it felt more like an urban parking lot with trees than a park. It had a nice pool but we opted to trek around the neighborhood instead. There was a wide variety of coaches and what seemed to be a good mix of tenants vs campers. We were originally scheduled to check in by 5 but ran into about 2 hours of traffic (thanks LA). We had reserved and payed online, so our spot was posted on a board in front and check in, and out, could not have been easier.
Moving forward these stops will be inevitable but the cost for what you get currently seems a bit out of proportion. I am sure that there will be a wide variety of RV parks on the road and ones that we like more than others. These parks do afford us the ability to run the A/C without having to use the generator which will come in handy next week in Palm Springs. We booked a couple $20 nights at an RV park out there while Alyssa works a bachelorette party for @bridetobesd. The price is more affordable but who the hell wants to be in the desert in August anyway?
Fresh out the gate we stayed at a pretty awesome campground / state park in San Onofre. Just a short drive up the 5 from San Diego, San Onofre campground sits on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The spots are pretty close to one another but we lucked out and had open spots on both sides for our stay. I'm sure it fills up on the weekends so be prepared for that.
Each spot is equipped with a fire pit and picnic table. Since it is so close to major city's many people use it for a couple days at a time and leave leftover wood for the next campers. The Park offers several hiking trails down the cliffs to the ocean, they can be steep but rewarding.
If your looking for a quick getaway from the city look no further than San Onofre. At 35 bucks a night, it's a no brainer.
The night before getting our solar installed, we were cruising around Ventura, CA. We assumed this might be one of the last opportunities to see the ocean on this journey, so we wanted to soak it up. Little did we know we rolled up during the Ventura County Fair so everything was packed. It was also a cloudy day, so us, spoiled San Diegans, thought it to be too crowded and the weather too whatever to stay, so we googled a brewery between Ventura and Simi Valley (where we had our solar installed). We set out to find some craft beers at Institution Ale Co. but made a wrong turn to get on the freeway and were driving around a strip mall when we turned down a road and saw 3 beat up RVs parked. We looked at each other and Brandon said, "Did we just find our home for the night?!" We parked, did a little research about Ventura RV street parking laws and decided, Here's Good. There ended up being 2 breweries within walking distance of our temporary home, so we knew we stumbled upon the perfect spot! We went to Surf Brewery and MadeWest Brewing Co. (check out the pictures here). We slept soundly through the night on the streets of Ventura, behind a Burlington Coat Factory.
After getting our solar panels installed we headed to Palm Springs to put together a bachelorette party for @bridetobesd. We had a few days to get there and we're looking for a cool place to stay a few nights before we headed to the desert. We knew we didn't want to an RV park, we had already done a campground so we googled a bit and found Yellow Post Camping in the San Bernadino National Forrest. Its FREE! Our favorite word! I read a blog or two and it basically said take any forest road and where ever you see a "yellow post" you can camp, the rules are simple; you must be 1/4 miles from a paved road, 1 mile from a water source, be quiet, considerate and pack out everything. The roads are a little rough and some aren't good for RV's but we ended up finding a pretty sick spot just past a campground called Heart Bar. The blog posts we read said there were bears (since it is the way to big bear) but Brandon said we'd just stick Sushi on them and we'd be fine. We rolled up to Yellow Post 6, which was pretty level, with a fire pit and a picnic table. There was one other car camping at Yellow Post 1 but we were far enough we couldn't hear anything. Unfortunately, half of CA was on fire this week, so there were no fires allowed at all. We had a great night playing football, frisbee, and looking at the amazing stars. I wanted to see a bear so bad but as the night got darker and the idea of the 3 of us against a bear started to sink it, I was so glad we didn't!
Since boondocking off the Yellow Post was so amazing, we have preferred to do this most of the nights we've been on the road. We found some awesome spots just outside the Grand Canyon and an amazing little Hot Spring with wild mustang, wild burros, coyotes and elk in Alkali NV. Check out the Alkali post here!<<
After driving from Las Vegas to Alkali to Reno, it was time to get ready for our 2 weeks in Gerlach NV where we will have our second job on the road: a Thai-Indian-Chinese pop up just out side the entrance to Burning Man. (That experience is for another post soon to come!)
We drove down Highway 80 to a modest town just outside Reno called Fernley. We initially had planned to stay at the Fernley RV Park to fill up our water tanks and take in 1 night of a/c before our weeks in the desert, but apparently everyone had the same idea and they were overbooked. We headed to WalMart to stock up on water, food, and beer with the intention of going to a local casino and crashing in their parking lot. After our 2 and a half hour WalMart adventure we realized, we're not in CA anymore, we can probably spend the night right where we parked, here at WalMart. We asked the check out lady, she said "I don't see why not", so it was settled, we'd make WalMart our home for the night. We parked under a light and in the back so we weren't taking up prime parking and we heard semis and other RVs coming in and out all through the night. We saw a ton of cool vehicles loading up on food and water for their trip to Burning Man just like us. It wasn't the best nights sleep, but it was safe, easy and FREE, pretty much our only requirements for a 1 night home.