24 April…boondocked at the arched bridge over the Colorado River last night…peaceful and nice with the fire ring…no cell service so I watched a bit of sat TV…early to bed around 8…up and at’em at 0500…found a nice spot down the road for a walk, some photos, and breakfast…then headed to Monticello…van sprayed off, laundry done, topped off the water tank…groceries restocked…and fueled up…headed to the nice paved overlook near the summit in the Manti La Sal mountains near Moab for a few days…the overlook is on the La Sal Mountain Loop and is one of my favorites.
Trouble’s Traveling Cup on Hwy 95 near lake Powell…one of the most beautiful drives in Utah
The colors of the rocks here is amazing
Tonight I’m parked at 8303.42 feet…temps are dropping and the wind is howling here on the mountain…looks like snow to the north of me…perfect…I love boondocking in cold weather…my cocoon is way above average 🙂
Off in the distance is Castle Valley,,,named after all the huge “castle like buttes”…it’s about 4,000 feet below me.
25 April…got snow coming in a day or two so I decided to head back down to Monticello…if the roads iced over here in the La Sals the decent would not be fun…I’m set up now at my favorite boondocking spot in Utah…the overlook up in the Abajo Mountains…should snow here too but if I need to get off the mountain the road back down to Monitcello is not near as steep as the La Sals…maybe Ill get lucky and get enough snow and have to stay here a week 🙂
26 April…it’s 0430 in the morning and the wind is howling…was nice when I went to bed but now can’t sleep as the van is rocking and rolling…checked the weather here on the mountain…the wind is blowing 40 to 45 mph with gust up to 70…blew my little aluminum step stool across the overlook…got it back ok…as the sun was setting last night I sat and watched folks pull into the overlook…most would not get out of their cars to breath the clean air or walk to the viewing area…stop for a few seconds then continued on…I guess life here in the States has gotten too easy.
I’m planning on seeing my friends Scott and Julie out at 3 Step Hideaway soon…the annual Desert Rendezvous there starts on the 6th of next month…I plan on being there on the 5th so I can get a nice spot to set up my camp…lots of fun with dual sport riders from all over attending…hope the turnout is good…after that maybe up into Wyoming for a bit…would love to see a few boondocking spots in South Dakota Ive been reading about for years…we will see…more after the break.
You know what they say…”Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning”…got snow on the way…perfect 🙂
27 April…well…looks like it’s gonna be a “read and nap” day…beautiful snow overnight…temps around 26F this morning…coffee is nice and hot…wind is almost calm…light snow flurries…the furnace is humming quietly…and all is well in my world.
I’d rather have cold weather than hot…I can always keep warm but it’s harder to stay cool…not forecast for a lot of snow today…should be gone by tomorrow…the lithium batteries and my water system are all inside the van where it’s nice and warm so no chance of the batteries not working or the water line freezing…when you build your tiny home yourself you can engineer those sort of things so you don’t have any problems…the van is a true four season dwelling.
I usually have a bowl of oatmeal and a piece of fruit for breakfast each morning…1 1/2 cups of water to 6 heaping tablespoons of oatmeal makes a perfect batch…good for keeping me feeling well…I also take a multivitamin, fish oil tablet, and calcium tablet after breakfast and before my morning walk…I don’t take any medications (yet)…if I feel well physically my mind feels good too…usually.
It’s still a whiteout outside…love my little 2 quart pot…it’s an oatmeal making machine.
I’ve decided after I attend the Desert Rendezvous at 3 Step I’ll be heading back across the country…wheels up on the 9th of next month…would like to swing a bit north into South Dakota…the Badlands NP is stunning and I want to return…maybe stop in Nappanee IN to visit a good friend…I miss my NC friends and riding the roads there…the little 125 is gonna be a blast puttering around my old haunts…I plan on bouncing back and forth from FL to NC all summer then back out west in the late fall…maybe I’ll have my new Honda CRF300L Rally by then…after all the bikes I’ve owned I think it will perfectly compliment the way I want to ride these days.
I have a Nature’s Head composting toilet in the van…it rides in it’s own little cabinet and slides out when I need to use it…natural composting doesn’t happen when the temps are below about 65f…the van is well insulated but with the door shut, the toilet does stay cooler than the inside of the van…I clip my re-chargeable battery powered fan on the cabinet handle opposite from the toilet…it blows the warm air inside the van to help the composting along…simple solution to a small problem.
Snow is still coming down…gently though…I have a front row seat…my couch is comfortable and exactly the right height to sit well…my mind is wandering along with the steam from the second brewing of the day.
I always experience the doldrums about a month into a trip…only last a few days…this time it’s a bit different…talking to mom and my sisters, watching small videos they send of my niece at her tumbling classes, riding her bicycle, and wanting to get back to the Blue Ridge mountains are weighing on my thoughts…I miss them all…as I sip my coffee I know I can go where I want, when I want…this summer I want to get back to fun times riding some of the best tarmac roads in the country…and to be honest, the dust out here in the high dessert is something I do not enjoy…I like being set up in a grassy spot, gravel, or paved…like right where I’m at now.
I think one of the worst things that’s happening to us these days is multi-tasking…where we’re caught up doing 40,000 things at once…and not a single one well or to completion…I try to slow down, to try to understand the one that is important at the moment…living on the road tends to help…I make myself take all the time I need to make a nice cuppa, a good breakfast, a walk, a nap…there’s no need to rush…sometimes when I have a day of traveling planned, I pack slowly…I still find it hard to believe I have no reason to rush, to worry…why not make each task needed pleasant?
The weather is starting to clear a bit…me too…I feel great knowing I’ve made the decision to head back “home” in a couple of weeks…I still struggle to do what makes me happy…I have a strong desire to travel and see new places…because I can…but that doesn’t make it something I HAVE to do.
I don’t understand why people these days need to be in touch with or have to share every minute of their lives with other people 24 hours a day…are we so in need of “acceptance” by others that our own lives are irrelevant?…we are so connected by technology we’ve become completely disconnected from one another.
I resisted texting for years…I like to hear a voice…to sense the inflections of communication…about four years ago I gave in…that was long enough…I get lots of text but if I feel the person is ok with a call I always will…I worry my niece will be so controlled by technology she’ll loose the ability to actually communicate feelings and emotions…now I wish I’d not have given her some of the new technology at this time…she’s still learning, growing, sensing, and feeling what it is to be a human…she has a chance to become a wonderful person…it’s up to us to try and guide her…and to be good examples because she’s always watching…listening.
My nap is going to be interrupted…that thing is headed right at me…
28 April…super foggy this morning when I came down off the mountain…stopped by the grocery store in Monticello to get me a steak for dinner tonight and a few other things to munch on…headed to another one of my favorite boondocking spots up on a ridge overlooking Lisbon Valley Road near 3 Step…good cell service here and never a soul around…I can sit outside on the edge off the ridge and see for about 30,000 miles over into Colorado.
I have to be careful if I get up in the middle of the night and walk outside to pee…one misstep and it’s about 800 feet straight down off the edge 🙂
I love taking pictures of my tiny home on wheels
I’ll probably stay here until Saturday then head down the road to 3 Step…don’t know how long I’ll he there…I may not stay for the rendezvous…we will see.
29 April…good morning…and a beautiful morning it is…clear skies, temp around 43, and as usual, low humidity…the place I’m camped is on BLM land according to all my apps…lots of cows around as it’s also open range…they kept their distance last night when they discovered I was cooking a hamburger for dinner…and speaking of that hamburger…I seasoned it with Montreal Steak seasoning…put a lot on it and totally ruined it…too much…ate it though and had major gas all night…a bit less next time.
The wind so far has not been enjoyable…but it is spring season out west and the wind does blow…haven’t felt like getting the bike out much and I think that has contributed to my general lack of enthusiasm…temps are coming up each day now and the wind should be subsiding a bit…I’ll do some exploring this afternoon on the bike…maybe that will lift me a bit…hope so.
I laid in bed last night thinking about how much fun it’s gonna be when I get the new 300 and head up to the Carolinas… will do a few mods to the bike to make it “mine”…stuff like a rear rack and heated handgrips…love heated handgrips…pictured myself cruising on the Blue Ridge Parkway, up 209 to Hot Springs, riding the Hwy 276/215 loop, and over to Deal’s Gap to watch the idiots run off the road at mile marker 7…vert entertaining…and sitting around with my two good friends Roger and Patrick telling lies :).
I get paid twice a month…my Law Enforcement pension on the last day of each month…Social Security the second Wednesday of the month…direct deposit…money just sits there as I spend very little…biggest expense is fuel and food….each day I travel I spend about $50 for fuel…about once a week I’ll restock the pantry and fridge…about $60 depending on how many steaks I plan on eating…the price of meat is soaring…other than that I don’t spend a penny…rarely do I ever pay for camping…I’ve traveled enough to know where I like to camp and those spots don’t cost me anything.
Many have asked me how much my monthly expenses are these days (not including fuel and food)…I have no debt…the insurance on the van, phone, and the small storage unit back in FL where I have my little shop all total around $330 a month…that’s it…the secret is to be totally out off debt when you retire…here’s my favorite quote…
“A person actually needs very little money to live, most people spend all their money just showing off”.
We’ve been told all our lives that we need to have a big house with a big mortgage, two cars, a TV in every room, a pool, 5 or 6 mixed out credit cards, fancy clothes so we can impress others with our fashion sense, and to keep working hard all our lives so we can get a bigger house, the newest car with lots of new gadgets, new clothes because the ones we have are not in fashion now, and on and on and on…most are on an endless quest to gather “stuff”….stuff that will end up in the dump or storage unit (I do have three boxes of stuff in my unit)…because that stuff will make us more popular and show others how successful we’ve become….that stuff is also killing folks from the stress of having to work 80 hours a week to pay for it…all for showing off.
You can agree or disagree with my outlook on life…but sit down and ask yourself, does all this stuff really make me happy? I used to think it did. Now….a nice day out for a walk, a good cup of coffee, a call from a loved one asking “are you having a good day” and really caring that you do, time to read a book, looking at your smart phone and turning it off, or just to relax and listen to your heart beat knowing you’re a decent person…they are the best “stuff” you can ever have…and they cost nothing.
Time for my second cuppa….
That was good…a few shots from this morning’s walk
Walked about half mile up to the Big Indian weather station…when you check the weather in this area this is where the data comes from.
Structure was not locked so I peeked inside…looks like the battery terminals need a bit of servicing.
The more I ride the little bike the more I love it…the thing just putters along without a care in the world…sand, rocks, hills, tarmac…nothing seems to faze it.
Nice way to end a nice day.