We just made it to Labor Day 2017.
The last time we had a solid internet signal was June 1st 2017.
That day was the last day in our beautiful 5 bedroom house in Simi Valley California.
Our plan was segmented and we slowly got rid of our stuff. Now we own NOTHING of value to anyone (really) and saved our treasures in a small 10 x 10 square foot storage locker.
We have a few changes of clothing (which would explain seeing the same shirt in a lot of photos), a good kitchen set up and our pets. That’s about it!
The plan to leave the comfortable (as we define it) life over a year ago and it was all theory.
Now the rubber meets the road and we are “wanderlust” status since then.
June 1st to day is…hang on let me get my calendar out…92 days.
BOY have I made some adjustments to my life.
I’m no minimalist (those folks are way way way better at this). I’m getting closer though.
We have accumulated a few new needs: Andilou Moisturizer (thank you JoAnn), a two-seater kayak, Trader Joe’s Coconut Creamer (thanks Meg), a Burley (to take Zoey further) AND THREE BOTTLES OF PATRON (I’ll talk about that another time).
Our schedule used to be wake up at 4:00am and go to bed at 8:00pm on work days. Now we are going to bed at 8:00pm (when it gets dark…unless Randy lights the fire pit up) and wake up at 6:00am. The extra sleep has felt so good. I didn’t think I could sleep that long and I know that the absolute SILENCE we have is part of it.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE FOR INCOME?
Camp Hosting at Lake George in Mammoth Lakes. 3 hours every day, 5 days per week and a forced 2 days “off duty”. In exchange we make enough money to get groceries, dine out a couple of days a week, put fuel in the truck, wash the pets and a few “this and that” needs. We do not pay rent and our water, power and waste services are included in our compensation.
Lake George is an incredible place. The Forest Service seems to be working hard to make it the “last place you can actually tent camp without an RV within a mile”. Here is their official description of our place.
In our last two weeks “open” at Lake George we’ve had a flutter of folks arriving in smaller RVs (Lazy Daze seems to be a popular one). A lot of them have been coming here for decades (which I am super jealous of). This visit one man noticed they removed all of the faucet solutions to put water into your RV/Trailer. I’ll try to get a pic of what people have to use as “potable” water. The roads have not been kept up at all, the camp parking spaces (and you get ONE per camp site) are uneven. They are not putting any further effort into accommodating RV life up here. I called the US Forest Service to clarify and they referred me to their web page. It was updated to correct the price (which in 2016 was $23 a night… today it is $24 a night and $26 on holiday weekend periods). Firewood is $7.00 per bundle today.
In recollection of our guests we have had 3 “sketchy” groups/families stay with us compared to 525 (not official number) that were there to love, respect and be good stewards and good neighbors.
I reflect on my city-brain and the danger of criminals, drunk idiots and riff-raff I expected to deal with. To make myself feel better I attended Women’s Self Defense classes at Martial Motion Academy (highly recommend) and got some private training there “just in case”. We talked about the many scenarios I may encounter…including the fact that I would need to run 5 miles to civilization (that’s all I knew). Boy was I prepared!! Right now I could kick someone’s ass to protect myself or someone else. Guru Rene gave me instinctual practices that I’m confident will be part of me for the rest of my life. Just talk to Deresa… SHE is a beast in this area. Love that lady (miss her a lot!).
WORKAMPING…OUR NEXT ADVENTURE
There is a whole world of people that work and camp. A smart husband and wife began organizing those people and the camp sites that NEED HELP. Pretty smart, eh?
Ya, I thought so too. I signed us up for a membership at www.Workamper.com and every day we are emailed 4-10 new opportunities for work across the United States. Each have different needs and methods of exchange (from a Full Hook Up in exchange for 16 hours of work every week to Full Hook Up plus access to all of the amenities they offer at their resort at no charge to partial hook up and a paycheck). Some give you housing, some expect that you B.Y.O.H.
For us it is a list of adventures! Imagine Maine! Imagine North Carolina! Imagine Florida, Maryland, New Mexico,Texas, North Dakota (I am still waiting for Ohio). You just need to be willing to actually WORK a little bit of the day.
We are very thankful for the responsibilities we have as “work” here at Lake George. I guess I needed this or I would flounder around without purpose or direction. Being a Camp Host has been one of my favorite jobs ever, mostly because I have met some really cool people along the way.
Shout Out to any of you that we gave our business card to by the way! 🙂 Keep in touch!
Since there are so many opportunities out there we are taking our time researching what we think we can do to earn some income but still take care of our own health and our pets. Nothing is concrete.
NEXT YEAR – 2018 AT MAMMOTH LAKES
We are going to apply for the Lake George job again for 2018. No guarantee that we will land the job but we are hopeful. The season is supposed to begin on June 1st and finish on September 10th (or 11th).
TIME TO MOVE = TIME TO PURGE, AGAIN
Since we planted here we have, as expected, accumulated too much STUFF. I purposely replaced the plastic and paper kitchenware with real glass or ceramic ware. The idea of eating off of a paper plate is very temporary, we are on this journey permanently. That means we will be donating a lot of this before we hit the road again. I love second hand stores even more now!
We are eating everything out of our pantry to reduce the load, we will be going through our apparel and rearranging for colder days and nights, the pets haven’t touched most of the “toys” we carted up so we are donating them and lastly our book stash has got to go!
August 2017 marks my One Year Anniversary of NEW KNEES from my stem cell surgery.
Every single day I marvel at the LACK of pain I am in as well as the adventures I’ve been able to participate in. I still hesitate on certain positions because my brain remembers the pain when my knees would “go out”.
The friend that recommended (FOR YEARS) I try stem cell treatment (Ann Archinal) forwarded me a news article found in the Washington Post August 2017 reporting that the FDA was beginning to crack down on stem-cell clinics. BUMMER. That could be the start of the end of this technology to help people. I know it helped me and if I had $400 to spare I would get another MRI done on the knee to see what the cells did. All I know is that I had a torn meniscus and ruptured bone spur in my left knee and I was reduced to HOBBLING in pain 24/7, climbing stairs was bad but descending even worse and I would regularly have my knee pop out of its joint forcing an unexpected scream out of me followed by Randy rushing over to help me push it back in. TORTURE. Those problems are gone and now I’m climbing, running, hiking, doing yoga, bending, jumping…dang I’m even crashing on my bike and both of my knees were jacked up on the surface but healing nicely now.
If you are struggling with a tissue problem, you should check into stem cell as a solution. It is NOT guaranteed and also, just to be clear you will need to get yourself seen by a professional doctor on this procedure before you are even accepted. My procedure is covered in this story I wrote last year.
Cheers everyone and thanks for tuning in.
SO FAR, SO GOOD
A recap on where we have been calling “home” with the pets and our travel trailer, The Lorax 2.
NO PHOTO AVAILABLE (which is technically unbelievable) at Tapo Canyon RV Park.
South 40 at Stayton Acres in So Cal
North 40 at Stayton Acres in So Cal
J-Diamond RV Resort in Bishop Ca
Lake George Campground, Mammoth Lakes CA