7 Legs and the Valley of Fire

Lake Mead

We finally made it to our long-term camping spot while we are in the Las Vegas area. We decided to stay at Lake Mead National Recreation Area because it has a couple of boondocking sites and it gets us out of the city.  We can camp for 15 days at one site and then go to the other one for another 15 days if we want.  You can’t beat 30 days of free camping.  It’s a huge area and it took us about an hour and a half to get to our first boondocking site from Las Vegas. The road got a little rough at the end and we unhitched the car so Sweet B could maneuver easier. I drove the car ahead and as I was driving I saw something on the road.

Tara thinking: Hmm that is somewhat spider shaped. Man if that was a spider it would be huge.

Oh look it just moved. Oh it is walking. That huge spider shaped thing is walking across the road. Come on and meet 7 legs


Viva Las Vegan?

We headed straight through to Las Vegas because of some RV issues we were having. After watching the Packer game again, we stayed the night in a casino parking lot. We took Sweet B in to get looked at next thing in the morning. We got a faulty leveling jack fixed and found out we need to get a new motor installed for the main slide out. I think I’m going to wait and do that in Texas and watch some videos to see if its something I can do myself.

The fridge has been giving us issues since we’ve had the rig. I have now had it checked out twice, only to be told that everything appears to be in working order. I know it’s not though, because the burner runs 24/7 and it keeps the food at a nice and balmy 50F. Since that’s about a dozen degrees too hot, I have decided to replace it with an energy star residential fridge. In order to support the greater power draw, I will have to add several solar panels too. I am putting all this off until we are at her brother’s house in Texas. That way I will have somewhere I can work on it, and we can have a freezer to use while I’m getting our new unit installed. There is some delicious food to read about

Welcome to the Valley….. Of Death!!!

Gizmo enjoying the last of Bishop.
Gizmo enjoying the last of The Pit.

I really feel like learning to drive a Class A motorhome has been trial by fire. The drive from Bishop, CA into Death Valley was much more intense than any other time I’ve driven Sweet B. On the road in, the grade ranged from 6-7% and the shoulders were non-existent. I’m talking guard rails 4” off the white lines. With our rig measuring 8’6” wide, I would have sworn the lanes were more narrow than that. The hairpin turns were quite terrifying. Luckily we could see a long ways ahead, so Tara could alert me to oncoming traffic while I looked back and forth between my mirrors making sure I wasn’t going to hit the guard rail with any part of Sweet B or the CRV. Because of the sight lines, I was able to be in the oncoming lane a substantial amount. Had I not, I’m sure I would have left some paint on the guard rails. The Valley of Death awaits you

Boulder Tales


We’ve been at Bishop for about five days now and have been climbing three of those days. The first day was somewhat of a rude awakening. I’ve gone along on outdoor climbing trips before, short day trips in Oregon. I mainly watched on these occasions because we had a membership to a gym, where if I fell, I could land on soft padded floors. You’ve got your crash pads when you’re outside but who knows if you’ll land on them. You might land on a rock or a jagged rock or three jagged rocks. A gust of wind might come out of nowhere and blow you onto a whole field of jagged rocks. Continue reading Boulder Tales

Welcome to the Valley

We made it to Bishop. The drive into Owens Valley (one of the deepest in the US) was very slow. For 8 miles there was a 6% downgrade, so big rigs were limited to 35mph. I was able to toggle between 2nd and 3rd gear which kept us from careening out of control and plummeting to our certain death off the side of the mountain.

We stayed at the Pit, which is mainly a climbers campground. Our site was a little tight, so we had to move the picnic table and I still managed to roll up on a plant a little bit before readjusting.


IMG_8654 IMG_8653 There is more!!

I can’t top out.

On a lot of boulder problems the hardest and scariest moves are at the end. This was true at the gym we climbed at in Portland and has been true with the boulder problems I’ve been working on at Bishop. I get to that scary point on the boulder where you just have to reach one or two more holds and pull yourself to the top and then I freeze. And I decide to jump down onto the crash pads because I would rather fall on purpose and land on the pads instead of falling accidentally and not land on the pads. So I do this over and over. Michael is always there and he is always spotting me and full of encouragement. I feel bad that I’m always jumping down but I’m a wimp and that sh$t is scary. So instead of using my normal excuses of that sh$t is scary or I’m too short I came up with a few better ones as to why I can’t get to the top of the boulder. They say excuses lead to greatness don’t they?

climbing together





Rest Stops and Parking Lots

The whole time I envisioned our new way of life, I always pictured staying off in some remote area each night where we wouldn’t see anyone else.

In reality, we haven’t strayed very far from the main highway.  Driving Sweet Behemoth has been a lot more mentally draining than anticipated.  Maybe I didn’t practice driving her enough before setting out on our endeavor, or maybe driving 29,000 lbs at 60 MPH is a just a lot more stressful that driving a 3,500 lb car.   Continue reading Rest Stops and Parking Lots