Sunday, October 23, 2011

Man Plans and God Laughs...

,,,one of my favorite sayings of my mother. She said it often to me growing up, constantly warning about the dangers of that dreadful word...I think I may have to rename this entire blog to Learning the art of NON-planning!!  I have been getting better, but it's slow going...

Post burning man we had reservations at the Grand Sierra to stay in an upgraded suite for a night while we "decompressed" - ha ha ha! Little did we know that the entire place had been taken over by teenagers (or they looked & acted like them, anyway) to see some fabulous light show that night. The mass of altered people was really more than we could deal with and we couldn't even go hang out at the pool or jacuzzi which was a pretty cool spot. 

So we spent the night, cleaned ourselves up and took Bebe down to Carson to stay at an RV park to get her cleaned up and replace our carpets with wood flooring. I had found this guy that does flooring while we were in Tahoe - a co-worker had used him and he did good work, I met him and we set up a date post BM.  Unfortunately the product he was using was inferior and after spending 5 days getting it almost 80% in we were very unhappy and he felt the same. At this point we were supposed to be on our way to Utah and Colorado. But he generously offered to rip out all the flooring, get a better product, take the rig to his shop and just work round the clock and try to get it done in 3-4 days.  In the meantime my friend Jen was in the area and we went out for a scrumptious lunch together in Minden - on her way home there was a most interesting experience between her and a porta-potty, and sadly, the porta-potty won! She texted from the hospital that her ankle was broken and she was in a boot up to her knee....not good. AND Daniel, her lover/roomie was out of town for 10 days - she had just taken him to the airport that day! So here we were with no place to live for a few days and here she was almost totally incapacitated and needing some help, how mysteriously God works! So back we went to Tahoe....just can't get away from that place, hmmmm. It all worked out well, we helped Jen out a bit and got to say our last goodbyes one more time! Our flooring guy was working like a mad-man to get it all done and when we finally went to pick up our rig the floors were fabulous! Worth the wait and all the hassle, especially because we could be there for our friend.

So off we went on our mad dash across Utah, once again, totally bummed that this seemed to be the only way we could get to Colorado to see Bill's cousins before they left town & were swamped with other obligations. I WANT TO SEE UTAH!!!

an old army boot camp site in Green River, UT
Now that we had a year of traveling under our belt & a bit more experienced we were committed to try to boondock whenever possible. Boondocking is camping without any hookups, one can do this on the side of the road, in an approved rest stop or far away amongst nature and beauty. Most of the time you will not only save money but have a more interesting experience as well. At some point we hope to really outfit Bebe with a major solar array to do this for very long periods of time...but I digress...  I found the great website OvernightRVParking and for a small annual fee you can pop in your location or zip code and get information on all of the possible spots to park for free or for a very small fee. We used this our entire trip from CA to CO and loved it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Burning Man 2011

Bill's 5th and my 4th Burning Man brought us to a new camp, living in our home amongst other like-minded nomadic souls...this was quite a switch from our previous visits where we have camped with our hash friends. But since we were bringing Bebe this year we thought this was a better fit & it was! We spent weeks preparing Bebe for her maiden voyage to the playa, hoping against all hope that we could keep her relatively dust-free (hahahaha!) and let me tell you, she looked sweet on the inside - all decked out in orange fur, tie dye pillows, batik prints & crazy throw rugs. Bill bought rolls of filter material and covered the window screens and air conditioner vents & we just hoped for the best. We found a home for our plants with Reno hasher Sir Rubs a Lot & his green-thumbed wife, dropped off our sheepskin seat covers for cleaning, grabbed our Leopard Martini Lounge friend Matt & off we went, playa bound. 
Waiting in line is always an experience!
In the past we have always come in at midnight; driving out to the playa was quite a different experience in the daylight, the vast desert was beautiful. NuRVing friends and fellow Quartzsite camp-mates, Sam & Tracy, were able to get "early-entry" & secure a good location for a bunch of big rigs & we were the 2nd ones in on Sunday evening. 

Sam & Tracy
We had a 2-hour wait to get in, which wasn't bad at all &  it was fun checking out all of the other rigs & people in line.  We set up camp & hopped on our bikes to go see "the Man." By the time we returned several other campers had arrived & we got to meet a bunch of the people we've been corresponding with over the last several weeks.  

Cherie & Chris
Technomads Chris & Cherie originally started this camp a few years ago & I was excited to meet them as they really helped us out when I was trying to decide on internet options when we started full-timing; plus I had been using a couple of the iPhone Aps they had developed. Fellow full-timers Ayo & Yair were "organizing" our camp this year & pre-burn I found out that they were Jewish and Ayo was doing some work with Camp Ramah where my kids camped every summer, and Quartzsite friends Tom and Schelby with KSvert that came to visit us in Tahoe were camping with us too!! So we had some good vibes about this group going in...

We didn't spend a lot of time in camp but we knew a lot of people at BM this year so we did a lot of visiting, which was super fun! Bill's co-workers Steve & Julie, our last camp - Leopard Martini Lounge, the new Hash camp and good friends Daniel & Jen were included in our romps about "town". Monday night was the long-standing Leopard Martini Lounge Party - it was great seeing everyone, especially decked out in their finest "leopard". 

We had a couple of fun "date nights" with hash friends Cheek and Doggie, and Pix & PT aka Sparkle Pony. Both date nights were planned with a specific location & a loose meeting time - and can you imagine, each event we showed up and no one was there! Amaaazing, I know! Of course, it was totally expected that that would happen, but in both cases, a bit later and in different locations we met up with our friends and had a splendid time. Cheek was determined to get us out for an all-nighter, which we had yet to do, even after all the times we had been there. We are more the get up early and explore all day, than the, sleep all day and stay up all night, kind of burners. But we took naps and had a blast....of course, Bill came home bloody and still has scars, but it was a night to remember. The most amazing thing of all was that we found each other, or rather Doggie found us, in the pitch black while riding our bikes!  

Luckily she had seen our bikes in Tahoe and knew what they looked like. We were supposed to meet Pix and Sparkle at the Little Black Dress Party and then have them over for dinner - they were a no show at the party but were waiting for us when we returned and we had a fabulous evening. 

Camp Nomadia held an informal get together for people curious about our lifestyle with a question and answer session, which was fun to be a part of. But it was the same day the hash held their annual Red Dress Run, so off we went! I think there were way over 100 people with a lot of newbies at the hash.  And of course, more blood for Mr. Bill!

We stayed an extra day to avoid the long exodus out and instead baked chocolate chip cookies and delivered them to the people waiting in the 6-8 hour line to get out...we were soooo happy to not be them! 
Camp Nomadia
The weather was the best ever and the playa floor was a joy to ride on, unlike previous years where the dust/sand was so thick it was impossible to bike through. It was a very "chill" burn for us and it was just what I needed this year...clean up is still in progress, months later, and I think this may be the last year for least for Bebe!