Saturday, September 27, 2014

Summer 2014 - Tahoe and Burning Man

It's been quite some time since I posted on our blog - since last May, to be precise. I tend not to blog much while in Tahoe as I'm home and busy doing the same stuff we do every summer in Tahoe. We did workamp again at Tahoe Valley Campground and our nomadic friends, Clarke and Elaine, of  the WhatsNewell blog, joined us for the summer. We reunited with our friends from year's past, at the campground and made some new ones, mainly Deb and John, who also full-time, but in a boat in Mexico, when they're not workamping during the summer.

Bill was training for a relay race around Lake Tahoe, with his Zummie (Air Force Academy) buddies, that he had run many times before, but not in the last 10 years. He was an ultra-runner, but after years of pounding his body into the ground the doctors said he could have a hip replacement sooner, or later, if he kept up the running. He chose to stop doing the distance and save his body. So he began his training very slowly and ended up finishing strong! It was a great race, very exciting - right up until the finish and they won their age bracket (under 70), woo hoo!

We spent a lot of time around the campfire with whomever dropped by - Billy, Daniel, our new hash friend, Brown, and Jen. We had a big welcome back happy hour that went until the wee hours of the morning and was graced by our home brewer friend, Ron & his pal Calee, and the brewery crowd - Bob, Jen, Marc, etc, etc, etc! We bought kayaks and a SUP for me and spent some time on the water, we had a hash, and our road besties Brian and Maria showed up in August, for a few weeks, before we all went to Burning Man.
Here's my man, Billy, at the Airport Bar, where we tracked him down!
RV Full-timing friends and co-workampers, Clarke & Elaine, join
my son and us at Steamers

Vegan Sushi at Sushi Pier with Daniel - Damian is THE MAN!

on the water with hash friend, Bloodweiser!

Suzanne, Joe, Jen and us celebrating at Lakeview's First Thurday night concert!

New hash friend, Brown aka Janalese moved to town and found us at the Beacon

Academy buddies got together in the Bay Area!
Daughter's In Arms - Marc, Jen & Robert at the Sky!

Kev came and joined us in Tahoe for a month!!

Steve and Julie - at the Daughter's in Arms concert at Divided Sky

Dinner at Brown's - ACTION SHOT!

Beach day with Cheek & Socs

new RVing friends John and Kristi found us at Tahoe Valley Campground

Maria and Brian hanging with us in Tahoe, again - always happy when we get to see these folks!!

Early entry at Burning Man - Bill taking care of our vents!
Burning Man this year was pretty epic for Bill and myself. We got the opportunity to come in early and help our friends, Sam and Tracy, build the perimeter art lighting around the "Man." What a wonderful experience that was - the community out there was really loving and chill, and totally set the stage for our visit "home." This year we camped with the "Hash Bike Repair Camp" - there were about 50 of us and we had great infrastructure - shower, 2 community chill spaces, gray water tank, fresh water and a kitchen. We were split up into different communal areas within our camp, each one with it's own shade and chill space, so there were lots of options to hunker down or go visiting within the camp.
Working on installing the lights around the man

Sammy! Hard at Work

Tracy and our co-workers

All dressed up for a day on the playa

Shenanigans with the crew

Our camp!

We were the first ones to arrive at our camp - but within a couple of days our early entry crew got in and began the set up. I truly felt as if I had come home - we did a lot of visiting friends and even bumped into people we knew on the playa. Except for a big rainstorm at the beginning, when they actually CLOSED Burning Man for a day to arrivals, the weather was awesome.

Big plans were in the works for us and we knew that our time on the playa would be some of the last days we spent in Bebe (our rv). After ten days on the playa, I began to get anxious about our future "plans," yes I said that dirty word! Our friends Brigid and Andy mentioned that they were leaving a day early to go visit Sierra Hot Springs (our most favorite chill space), and we decided we'd do the same. It was a fabulous idea and we spent two days there soaking in the hot springs and talking about our next adventure in detail.

Four years plus, on the road, has brought us many new experiences, close friends and a lifestyle that really seems to suit our personalities, yet we are exhausted. We first set out on this adventure to try and find that perfect place to eventually move to, and plant some roots. What we found out was that there really is no "one" place. Our favorite spot is, and remains, South Lake Tahoe - everywhere we go gets compared to SLT. After our time in Baja this winter, Baja bumped Cedar Key into third place and that's where we decided we'd like to spend six months this fall and winter. Originally we were set on buying a palapa in one of the little palapa/rv parks on the water, but after much advise and deliberation, we concurred that it was better for us to rent for a season down there BEFORE we buy. The search began in earnest for a spot to rent - we were very late in the game for renting and I was running into one road block after another. Flight reservations were booked to go down and check out a few of the places I'd found, and to take another look at the palapas we had fallen in love with online. We began watching the weather the week preceding the flight and things were not looking good at all. One of the houses we were looking to rent was in Los Zacatitos where there was a 4 mile dirt road to get to the house. With the rain that was expected we quickly changed our compact rental car to a 4wd vehicle. Then we saw the storm brewing south of Baja that was reported to become hurricane strength. On the Friday before we were to leave we had grave doubts we were going to go - even if it was just raining. Looking at houses that were boarded up would not give us a better picture than the online photos. So, Saturday, we cancelled our Sunday flight; Sunday Southwest cancelled that flight and  the hurricane hit the Los Cabos airport right about the time we were to land! The peninsula has been devastated, but luckily Los Barilles seems to have fared better than most other areas.

After our travels down the Baja in Bebe last year, Bill had absolutely no desire to drive her down again. The roads were just too narrow for our big girl and caused Bill too much stress. We've also been out of control with our spending, because of the pace we have set for ourselves. It's a very manageable lifestyle if one doesn't traipse constantly across the country and out of it, visit every pub and vegan restaurant in town and generally live the good life! We needed to SLOW DOWN in many ways and the only way to accomplish all of these objectives was for us to sell Bebe, get out of our big loan on her and figure out a different way to do things. Just HOW we were going to do that remained to be seen. We had lots of options and the last few weeks we've started to narrow them down. Unfortunately mother nature has seen to complicate all of this with hurricane Odile down there.

First things first, we wanted to sell the Subaru. We LOVE our Subie, but are totally over driving a stick - which we bought because it was easy to tow. We also needed something bigger to haul our stuff down to Baja, or wherever else we wanted to go and possibly tow a little trailer.  We finally made it down to Carson City and Reno to begin our search and ended up with a 2009 Chevy Silverado LT, whom Bill has christened Baja Bessie. She's got lots of torque and storage. We had a kayak rack installed and some running boards (aka Nerf bars) so I can get in and out of her a little easier.
Bye, Bye BeBe

Bebe has been getting spruced up and ready to sell. RV Connection in Auburn, who specializes in big rigs is going to sell her for us and will spend about 50 hours detailing her.

Last days in Tahoe with the King Fire burning almost 100,000 acres to date.

Our options are vast, our needs small...stay tuned!