Monday, May 4, 2015
Hello From Palm Springs
Well, the adventure has officially begun and I'm keeping to my plan of living in Thousand Trails campgrounds as we travel around. We're at our first stop right now.
I love how easy it is to park the trailer in the Thousand Trails campgrounds. There always seems to be pull-through spots, which makes my life so much easier. I parked right by the bathrooms/laundry for easy access for showers and laundry.
Although the huge campground is easy to maneuver my huge-ass RV in, it's not actually in Palm Springs, but in the Palm Desert in an area of vacant sand beside a busy highway and railroad and under a busy flight path. Thousand Trails buys land cheap. Any and all attractions require a drive, but it's not as long a drive as in its Menifee campground. This area is a lot nicer than Temecula.
My main gripe with this campground is not Thousand Trails fault. DON'T COME TO PALM SPRINGS IN MAY. It's already way too hot to be here. Everyone except for me seemed to know this because the campground is practically empty. We get over 100 degrees every day and the AC in the RV is going almost constantly during the day.
We're pretty much stuck in the tin-can unless we want a pricey excursion into the city--and every excursion is pricey here. It's a very upscale 'old rich' area. All the restaurants are trendy with gimmicks and hella expensive. Grocery shopping was a mixed bag. I was shocked at how cheap the meat was ($.99/lb for picnic ham) but equally dismayed at how expensive the vegetables were ($2.00 for a head of iceberg lettuce). Thankfully my old standby is all over the place here: 99 Cent Only Store! Yes, the blueberries were more than $.99 at $1.69, but that's still cheap for a pint of blueberries! We stocked up on fruits, vegetables, and dehydrated seaweed (something really good for me since I'm vitamin deficient due to the lack of a large intestine and eating seaweed seems to help with a lot of skin problems I have).
Gas is a dollar more a gallon here than in Nevada. $3.69 was the cheapest I found. That's still okay for the California desert, sadly. I've seen it go over $5.00/gallon.
My goal of losing weight at the Treasure Resort in Pahrump was a total bust. I failed. I'm still as fat as I was when I checked in. I was too stressed with the house sale drama to lose weight. I'm so dejected about that. My mom and I agreed we'd continue our efforts. So we went to the fitness center here to keep up our daily exercise routine.
It was a tiny equipment room with cheapo Walmart machines that were falling apart. The main weight machine had an 'Out of Order' sign on it. Besides that was just two stationary bikes and a treadmill that kept stopping and starting. -_- Lame. My backup is this stepper thing that I brought with me:
That's not exactly what I have but it's the same principle. (If you can't see the picture above disable your ad blocker, it's an Amazon link). I did it for 20 minutes with 3 pound weights and managed to get a good sweat, but it was tedious and difficult. :/ I prefer to put on my skates and skate around at dusk when it cools down a little. I skate while holding on to a three wheeled walker because I'm clumsy.
Even though I'm in a ritzy area, the fact is that I can still live cheap if I want to. I got two weeks of RV parking for $18. Yes. $18. With my Thousand Trails membership of $600/year the campgrounds only cost me $3/night. The first 30 days are free, so I still had some free days to apply to this stay. I don't have to pay for anything else. No cost for trash, electricity, or water.
My budget is getting blown on food and outings, however. After the long drive here I wanted a good dinner so we went to a seafood place and were gouged out the rear-end. $75!!! Aaaeeeiiii! What was I thinking? After that we knew to stick with Mexican food or cheap-ish cafes. We've eaten out two more times since we got here and managed to keep each meal to under $40. Yeah. That's got to end. We can't live the high life if we want to thrive for long.
So the fridge is stocked with food for the next two weeks. We're going to be good and stop eating out. Well--we probably will need to eat out a few more times, but we'll keep it cheap.
This is the first time we've camped since the house was sold. My mother and I both had a panic attack the first night. We have no safety net! We need a place for this RV to live at all times! It's our only home! ::breathes into paper bag:: Before I always thought of my house in Pahrump, with all my furniture still there and the water and the electric still on. It was always the place I could go back to if things didn't work out. Now it's no longer my home and new people are living there. Eeee!
Well, I think we'll be okay. Even with all the eating out we're obsessive savers and both have healthy emergency funds.
Like I described in a prior post, Thousand Trails is 14 days in 7 days out. The morning of May 15th I have to leave, and I can't go to another Thousand Trails campground for 7 days. Right now I *think* we're going to boondock for 7 days.
Boondocking is looking to be a lot harder than I thought it would. All the free camp sites seem to be for tents and cars only. There's very few spots that seem appropriate for my giant beast of an RV. I can't be driving down narrow roads or dirt roads. I can't go too far off pavement. I need big open level spaces.
My plan right now is this place: http://freecampsites.net/#!7444&query=sitedetails It's between here and my next Thousand Trails campground. I hope it's not too hard to get into and that there's a place for me to put this big rig. Also I hope it won't be too hot since we'll be living off solar and won't have AC. Eee...I'm very nervous!!
I really want to boondock when I can because it will save me money, and that will give me more money to pay off the RV. We lost all the proceeds from the house due to a nightmare I would rather not discuss. It's my fault. We were supposed to be debt free for this adventure, but still owe $30,000+ on the RV.
So I've made a plan to pay it off in 2 years. I'm determined. I've already sent the first fat payment this month. If I can just accomplish this then we will be no worse off in two years and free to live as cheap as we can.
In July I have a lean month with low royalties from my writing. I'm trying to recover this month by writing my new Aliens' Bride story. I'm really working hard to make this an exceptional novel that will bring me a good income for May. I hope its a big hit. Here's a cover teaser: