Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tonopah Nevada Boondock

Hello from Tonopah!  We made it to the BLM boondock described to me here:!10273&query=sitedetails

This looks like a good boondock.  You don't pull off by the BLM office as described on that site, but go further until you see a dirt road with a cow rail across it on you left as you go south on 95.  This will take you to a circle of dirt with lots of unlevel spots.  Scout around past the old fire pits and you can get a level-ish area.  It is easy on, easy off, just as reported, with a big circle to drive around to get back to the dirt road.

The pictures are from the Tonopah station, where we stopped before getting here.  It's a tiny casino with an unspectacular cafe.  I wish we'd gone to the BBQ place we passed before getting to it instead.
It's cloudy, but our batteries are still charged up from the RV park.  We should be fine for one night.  It's a good temperature here with a nice breeze.

Tonopah is a beat-up old west town with a lot of relics from the past that would look like deliberately built tourist buildings elsewhere, but are just really old buildings here.  There's a lot of old buildings in town that still have the old west facades from the 1800s, but you can tell they are just old, and not trying to fake that look. 
There's a lot of old mining relics, dilapidated and dangerous looking.  Also a gigantic old hotel that was just completely abandoned.  It's a real eye-sore as you drive into town. 
Anyway, when I'm driving and towing the rig I'm too stressed to be snapping pictures.  You'll have to make do with what I snapped at Tonopah station.  If you prefer to stay at an RV park, rather than a perfectly good boondock, we were quoted $27 to stay in the RV park there for the night.
I'm glad we didn't plan to stay here long.  It's kind of a depressing 'One McDonald Town' like Pahrump.  At least in Pahrump we have my mom's church and that kick-ass RV park we like.  So...tomorrow we continue onward!
This isn't the majestic kind of boondocks you get from RV Sue.  It's desert scrub brush, broken bottles, and scorched earth firepits.  Meh.  It will do for tonight.  It was halfway between Reno and Pahrump so it was the perfect stopping place.
Some kids pulled over to rock hunt but quickly either got bored of it or creeped out by our presence and left.  I think we'll be safe for one night.  Wish us luck!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Getting About Time to Hit the Dusty Trail...

So we leave Reno day after tomorrow.  The park was kind of a bad scene.  I hate to say that I had to call the police over some really upsetting domestic violence making the trailer beside us jump around.  Honestly though, things are usually quiet and we made it through our month here just fine.

Yes, this was kind of a dumpy place, but the power worked without fail.  The tap water was drinkable with no stink to it.  No ants.  The showers were serviceable.  The staff here was super nice too, very easy going, and people were generally friendly when you were friendly to them, no matter how mean they looked in passing.

I would still recommend this place for people to stay at, but with caveats.  C'est la vie.

Well, we've been on the Personal Trainer Diet for a little over three weeks now.  I've lost 14 pounds and my mother lost 11.  We're committed to sticking with the program and have ordered twice so far.

If the food didn't taste so good, if the prep wasn't so easy, and if the price wasn't so great--then it might have been a problem.  But this makes dieting so easy we'd be dumb not to stick with it.  I'm telling you, this is a great program to check out:  THE FOOD IS DELICIOUS.  And it's cheaper than buying groceries for a lot of people. 

Please use my link if you sign up.  I get a referral bonus.  I've already gotten one!  Who ever ordered with them through me THANK YOU SO MUCH!  Once again, yes, a month of food WILL fit in your RV freezer and fridge.  Check out my other post about that with a picture (two posts ago).

I've tried to sell some of my friends on the diet.  Some are saying they can't live without carbs and sweets.  Look, if my Puerto Rican mom and me can live with out rice (BELOVED RICE!)  And if I can give up my beloved taffy, then YOU CAN DO THIS.  And when you start seeing the weight come off you will get very motivated.

My mom and I still eat out.  We've been going to the Grand Sierra Resort here in Reno and ordering their delicious salads.  I have a steak salad and my mom has a variation of a Chef salad.  And we both fawn over how delicious these salads are as we eat them.  And it occurred to us, we *claimed* we were committed to losing weight before we were on this diet, but we never ordered salads before.  We always ate huge fattening portions of food thinking it would somehow come out in the wash.  Actually being on a diet with strict guidelines has gotten us to eat the way we *should* have been eating.  And as we eat the big salads, which do not hurt our diets in any way, we realize how delicious they are!  Why were we so bullheaded before?

We're heading down to Pahrump soon.  We'll be staying at the Treasure Resort, where we stayed for a month when we first started full-timing.  This RV park has a full gym that they sell memberships to.  What a great chance to kick our diets into high gear!  I am seriously looking forward to working out every day.  I want to get some serious muscles going!

Before Pahrump, however, is a boondock in Tonapah.  We boondocked for three nights in a row before we settled into this park.  It was chaotic, but kind of fun.  I liked waking up somewhere different each morning.  I love being able to move my whole house whenever I want.  It's great to just park somewhere and have everything we need, even if we don't have hookups.

Hopefully there will be no boondock boondoggles as has happened in the past.  I'm doing BLM land.  Wish me luck!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Reno: Land of Meth and Depression

Reno might have a nice area where people are happy, but where I am life is all meth and sadness.  I'm sorry to put it that way.  Looking out the window of my RV today I see people stumbling around with no teeth and covered in scabs.  I saw the guy next to me crying over his RV because he's been kicked out for not paying and can't get his battery to hold a charge.  And then I'm reminded that we only got a spot here when they kicked out another destitute deadbeat who had only been allowed to stay because no one else wanted his spot.  Until we came.

It's not about me, obviously.  I will leave at the end of the month with a strong notation in the travel log to NOT STAY IN RENO.  Sparks, yes.  In fact there was a much nicer park on the Truckee river that I wish we had gotten a space in.  It was only $50 more a month than here.  Carson City, hell yes.  My mom found an awesome doctor there that we are going to make an effort to keep as her PCP.  But  Reno is a bad scene.

I really thought Reno was nice.  I was a guest at a convention here some years ago and got a great impression.  My mother was a delegate for Hillary Clinton and came to Reno some years ago and also said she loved it.  I don't know if we both had blinders on, or were just in the right area, but it's a much different city to us now.

I was so high on my freedom from Thousand Trails that I tried to delude myself into thinking that this switch to urban camping was a glorious new chapter.  It may well be, but I started out in the wrong city.  We've gambled.  We've gone to a museum.  We've tried to be happy here, but the depression around us hangs like molten lead clouds.  You see people walking around in their underwear because they no longer care.  People living in tiny TINY trailers that you can't stand up in.  And little kids trying to play in spots that are so crowded we can't open the car door without hitting the RV steps.  I finally admitted it today.  This place is depressing.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A Month Worth of Weightloss Meal Plan Food in an RV Fridge

I need to lose weight.  I've gained 70 pounds over the course of two years due to a bone tumor that was in my leg.  It was removed a year ago, but the leg still causes me too much pain to jog like I used to.

A little background:  I'd been fat for most of my life.  I remember being weighed at age 12 for the track team and I tipped the scale at 207 pounds.  At age 16 I was 250 pounds, and I stayed around that weight into my adulthood.  Then, at age 35 I had several months of a catastrophic life episode too personal to discuss here and I went down to 180 pounds.  This was the lowest I ever weighed since I'd hit puberty.  I was eating healthily and running 2-5 miles almost every day.

Skinny me when I was a guest at an Anime convention.  I don't look like this anymore.
 Skinny Yamila lasted three years, and then the bone tumor started causing me shocks of pain.  It would feel like my knee cap was shifting.  I figured it was just arthritis and didn't bother to get it checked out for over a year.  Then I got Obamacare and figured, what the heck, I might as well use it.  That's when a 6 centimeter bone tumor was discovered on the ball joint part of my femur.  -_-  It was a bad time.

Anyway, today I am a sad 259 pounds.  Being fat didn't used to bother me.  I thought I was a very pretty fat girl (I still am) but the fact is, I was skinny-ish once.  I'd like to go back to that.  My mother needs to lose weight also.  It's time to get this done!

Well, the goal of weightloss was on our every day to-do list.  We spent a month at a park with a full gym with the thought that we'd lose 20 pounds before we took off on our full-time RVing adventure.

But we didn't lose squat.  We still haven't.  I've gained 10 pounds since we've been on the road.  -_-

Something's got to give.  I've tried doing our own meal-plans to lose weight and I just screw up.  I will be good one day and binge the next.  My mother has perfect will-power, unless she sees me eating ice cream.  If she sees it she wants it too.  It's my fault for putting it in front of her!! 

I need to do something drastic if I'm actually serious about losing weight.  So here it is.  I've signed up for the Personal Trainer Food program.  They sent me a month worth of food for one person.  My mother and I (two people) are eating this for 15 days then we'll order another month's worth.  It was MUCH cheaper to order this than our normal food budget.  There was a great Groupon going on.  It's EXTREMELY affordable.

My only qualm was if I could fit a month's worth of meals in my tiny RV fridge and freezer.  The answer:  Yes.  Here's what it looks like, people:

Yeah, we're full to bursting.  The crispers were already full before we got the stuff, so technically it's not all Personal Trainer food in there.  But, yes, if you clean out your fridge and freezer you will have enough room in your tiny RV fridge/freezer for one month of this diet.  They said it's fine to have up to 17 days worth of food in the fridge.  Since we're two people eating one month of food the stuff in the fridge should be gone long before it can go bad.

The food tastes great.  I've only done one day, but so far so good.  I hope this will be the kick in the ass I need to finally lose some weight.  If I don't, however, this is still good because it's cheaper to do this program than to buy groceries.  Win-win.

Okay, would you like to try this out?  Well, I'll give you the info...but I want the referral points!!  Pretty please?  If you use my referral link I might get enough points to pay for our next shipment. 

So here's the spiel they told me to give you:

Personal Trainer Food is a weight loss meal delivery program that delivers 28-days of restaurant-quality food to your doorstep. It is easy, fast and convenient! Best of all, it really works.

Here's how you can save $50 off your first order by using the promo code "Healthyfood"

1. Be sure to start your purchase by clicking on my referral link here:

2. Choose your meal plan and customize your menu selections.

3. Proceed to checkout and enter 'Healthyfood' in the promo code box and press apply.

If you have any questions about Personal Trainer Food or need help placing your order, you can call 1-800-273-1686 x205 and talk with their support team-- they are really great!

Here's to your health!

If you give it a try please use that link up there so I can get the points toward my next food order.  I'd seriously appreciate it!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Learning As We Go

We are in Reno at a cramped RV park in the middle of the city.  It's not a very nice area.  However, we have no more water, electric, or ant problems, and we're in a metropolitan location loaded with amenities.  We can also get mail here, which makes life a lot easier.

It is TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT and made tighter by people spilling into the already narrow road.  We hit that awning on the left with the cone in front of it on the way in.  I'm not going to get into that whole situation because it was very upsetting for me and my mom.  At the time of this writing the situation has been resolved, a gift bag was delivered to the poor people who's house we almost destroyed, and we feel we are back on reasonably good terms with this neighbor.

The same can't be said for some other unidentified neighbor who vandalized our satellite.

But, first things first.  Let's talk about our TV situation.  We've been full-timing since April.  When we set sail it was without satellite TV.  I felt TV was making us fat, so I wanted to go without it.  I planned to just buy a few shows now and then online.

Our tight/expensive data plan will not allow for video downloads.  I still held out and didn't get a set-up.  I figured it was going to be expensive.  As we were leaving the San Benito park to go on an outing we saw a Dish Network contractor setting someone up.  We got his info and had him set us up with a Tailgator Automatic Signal Finder Dish the next day.  This was only $325 and $50/mo in total.  Much less than the cost of a similar set up I saw online.  Yay, we had TV again, right in time for the new season of The Walking Dead!

Anyway, here we are in this inexpensive big-city RV park.  EVERYONE here is a permanent resident.  When I called I was explained that he would be kicking out someone behind on their rent to get me a spot for one month.  In hindsight this was a big red flag.

Well, here we are, safely parked.  Level.  Slide out.  All set up, and quite comfortable.  Yes, there are people hollering at each other and shifty looking people wandering around doing shifty looking things.  We really don't care much about it.  We lived in a similar place in Las Vegas for eight years. 

What we *do* care about is how they were all circling our Tailgator.  Everyone in this place has the grey $75 satellites that you have to manually find a signal with.  I was warned not to get one of those if I move a lot, because set up can be a hassle.  So I always knew I was going to spring for something like a Tailgator.

But here, it's like a leaving a Mercedes Benz unlocked with the keys in the ignition.  Every creepy looking guy shuffling around at 2am was eyeballing it.  We were also getting a lot of comments from people whenever we were outside.  "Those things cost $500, huh?"

After sweating the situation our first night here I went out and got a chain and padlocks to secure it to our rig.  That wasn't going to stop a more determined thief, but at least they had to cut a chain now.  Before this anyone could have just unscrewed the cable and walked away with it.

Apparently my security measures offended someone here.  When we went out today someone had cracked an egg on it.

Seriously.  What a nasty, pointless, stupid thing to do.  But it was a wake up call.  Yes, I'd lived in scuzzy areas before without a problem, but I fit into those areas.  With a 2015 RV and this expensive satellite I no longer fit in.  We seem like rich people to this crowd of 80's and 90's RVs (and at least one from the 70s).  These are poor people living in the cheapest was possible.  Which...isn't that cheap, but is certainly cheaper than renting an apartment.  One of these people has decided that they don't like us and our having nice things they can't afford.

So, I just got down from the roof of the RV.  I cleaned off the dish and put it up there.  It's chained to the top of the ladder.  I'm too fat to be climbing up and down that ladder, but it had to be done.  Ugh.  Whatever.  I won't let this spoil our time here, but I doubt we'll ever return to Reno in the future.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Three Successful Nights Boondocking At Three Different Locations

So, as I mentioned before, once we left San Benito we had three nights to kill before our RV Park reservation on September 1st.  This meant three nights of boondocking.

The first boondock was halfway between Paicines California and Reno Nevada.  We spent the night at the Gold Run California rest area on I80.  This was a last minute thing since we had planned to stay at the Camping World in Rocklin, CA, only to be rudely sent on our way.  I WAS GOING TO BUY A $@%&ING BIKE, TOO!  Yeah, I know, Lemonis ain't shedding no tears, but still.

Anyway, I read some where that you could sleep at California rest areas from 6pm to 10pm, so we pulled on in.

The Gold Run Rest Area Report:
  • It's easy on, easy off, even for tow vehicles pulling 32' travel trailers like I was.  This is typical of rest areas.
  • The signage says you can stay up to 8 hours at the rest area.  We stayed 10 or 11 and had no trouble.
  • I parked in truck parking in one of the extra long lanes.  It was Saturday night and every space filled up with trucks as the night wore on.  Some guys complained about our RV being in a space close to our window.  Other campers were parked along the perimeter rather than in a truck space.  I would probably find a perimeter spot if I had to stay overnight at a rest area again.  The other reason to park away from the trucks is...
  • The big-rig truck farts go on all night and are seriously loud.  I had ear plugs, but my poor mom looked haggard the next morning.  
  • The rest area has vending machines, bathrooms, and the usual tourist flyers.  No restaurants or gas.  The vending machines only take dollars or coins and there is no change machine.  (We used our laundry quarters to get two Lunchables from the vending machines for dinner).  There is also a beautiful pond in the back which gets less beautiful when you read the sign that says 'Keep Out - Raw Sewage.'  There are shaded nature trails around this cesspool which people who spoke French or Polish were happily hiking, oblivious to the poopy danger mere steps away...
While at this rest area a tattooed young hippy (early 20s) was going truck to truck asking to borrow jumper cables.  Since I had the totallity of my possessions with us (the advantage of a truly mobile home) I came out and started shrieking, "WHO NEEDS JUMPER CABLES?  I GOT YOUR JUMPER CABLES RIGHT HERE!"  The hippy happily accepted it, then asked for a few other tools he needed, which I had immediately available in my emergency kit with the jumper cables.  I gave him the whole thing.

An hour later he knocked on the RV door to return the kit.  I asked if he had gotten things taken care of.  He explained that their alternator is blown so they will limp to the next town with a 24 hour Walmart to buy some jumper cables so they can keep jumping ever time they need to start, until the get to Reno where they can try to get work, and hence pay for a repair.  Since I have two emergency kits in my SUV (one a free gift for rabid gamblers from a casino in Vegas, the other a free gift for signing up for a Discover card) I gave him one.  Someone like me really doesn't have room for duplicates in her life.  He was very grateful and offered to pay.  I told him to 'Pay it forward.' And he got excited because this is his life's philosophy.  He's a 'chiver.'  I asked what that was and he mentioned Bill Murray?  @-@  ::vacant stare::  Well, cool!

I like being one of those kind strangers people meet along their journeys.  :)  But I digress...

The next night we went to the TA Truck Stop in Sparks Nevada, just a hair's breadth from our final destination of Reno.  I heard that such places were good spots for blacktop boondocking.  I researched this one specifically and got confirmation that RVs were welcome to stay overnight.

The TA Truck Stop in Sparks, NV Report:
  • This is a massive compound with huge bays where big rigs can get diesel fuel, and somewhat less maneuverable regular unleaded gas pumps.  The only pump you'll safely get through when towing your RV is the outside one, so basically park behind whomever is at this pump and stare at them until they get the $#%& out of your way.
  • Yes, RVs park in the regular sized car lot overnight and are welcome to do so.  HOWEVER, if you're like me your 32' travel trailer with 8' SUV (I think?) will not fit in two spots the way a class A without a toad would.  The options are to take up a dozen or so spots by parking lengthwise across them, or to park in the truck area.  (Don't do either.  See my next boondock report).  
  • The truck area is a horrible option, because it freaking fills up to the point that truckers are paying to reserve spaces in advance.  Further, these ain't pull-thrus.  The big rigs were backing into spots.  I got lucky because I have a handicapped plate due to my mom's mobility issues.  There were three handicapped big-rig spots in front of the truck parking area, next to the diesel pumps.  I presume RVs aren't supposed to park in the truck area (though no one seemed to be policing) but my handicapped placard got me a pass, I felt.  No one complained next to our window like at the rest area.  If somebody did complain I could complain back at them for not actually having a handicapped plate.  The FedEx driver tandem towing two rigs and the spry guy with a refrigerated truck had no handicapped plates or placards.  I'll forgive the FedEx guy, cuz he was just going in for dinner and there was nowhere to park his two trailers.  The spry guy who had a prostitute in his truck bed gets less of a pass.  I don't mind the prostitute so much as her pimp who stood around inspecting our RV while she worked. -_-;;  Let's not tell my mom about this.  
    • The three handicapped spots, and a lined out area between these spots and the truck scale FILLED UP so the only way for rigs to get to the parking area was to drive through the scale or through a diesel pump.  The pumps always seemed full.  Trucks parked at the pumps once the lot filled up, two deep in most lanes.
    • The handicapped spot we were in was not wide enough for us to put out our slide more than 12 inches and we had to fold up our steps when we went inside.  One of our windows was nearly taken off by a passing truck.
  • If I haven't already convinced you to avoid the TA for your boondocking needs, you remember how I complained about the truck farts from the rest area?  Holy crap...this was stereo truck farts all fricking night!  Sometimes they were so loud my cat would run from the window screaming Bloody Mary! The stupid exhaust fumes set off my carbon monoxide sensor twice!  I woke up with a sore throat, red eyes, and nostrils full of partially hardened liquid cement.  I'm still recovering from that toxic environment as I type this.  Trucking is damned unhealthy!!
  • Now let's go into the TA.  They have a nice convenience store, heavy on trucker items, but able to fufill all your junk food needs as well.  There is also a restaurant that puts out a salad bar around lunch time.  The food was eatable.  The salad bar I'll probably avoid unless you catch it right as the worker sets it up.  Right outside the salad bar is the entrance to the casino and yeah...
  • OMG THE SMOKE IN THIS PLACE!  It's funny, I've been away from Nevada for several months and I missed my casinos.  They became romanticized places of sheer novelty and entertainment in my gambling-withdrawling mind.  I totally forgot that most casinos are giant fricking ashtrays.  I swear I did not smell one cigarette the whole time I was in California.  Back to Nevada and BOOM.  Holy crap is it thick!  And old!  Even if no one is smoking there is a stench soaked into walls.  I didn't want to stay in there because I knew I was going to stink.  Why, oh why, has Nevada not picked up on vaping yet?  I know it's still not healthy, but at least it's less stinky!  Anyway, my point was to avoid the salad bar unless you like tobacco leaves in your salad.
  • There's a 'gun museum' in this TA.  Two glass cases.  If you like guns you'll probably find it interesting I guess?
  • The only other reason I can think of boondocking here instead of my next suggestion is if you want to partake of one of the prostitutes visiting the truck beds.'s a real short drive to a legal brothel, y'know?
My last boondock, and where I'm typing this post right now, is Baldini's Casino in Sparks.  Keep in mind:  RENO DOES NOT ALLOW BOONDOCKING!  This is why casino boondocking can only be found outside of Reno in neighboring cities like Sparks.  There are many tempting casinos in Reno that you would *think* allow boondocking.  Some even have extra lots that are just screaming for RVs to park in them.  This is because Reno used to allow it, but doesn't anymore.  Check the dates on any boondocking reports you read from the Atlantis or Grand Sierra Resort.  They're old.  These casinos no longer allow boondocks.  (I think the GSR converted their old boondock lot into a legal RV park?)

Baldini's Casino in Sparks NV Report:

  • This is where you should go to boondock instead of the TA.  It's only 1.5 miles away from the TA.  The reason I didn't just go here is because I thought you could only stay one night.  
  • YOU CAN BOONDOCK MULTIPLE NIGHTS AT BALDINIS.  In fact, there are permanent residents here, but the RV lot still has loads of space.  There are also two lots available just for RVs.  
    • First off, go park your rig in the RV lot closer to the casino, if there's room.  If not, go across the street from it and park there.  
    • Next, go into the casino and go to the Player Rewards desk (or whatever it's called).  You know where you sign up for a player's card?  Tell them you'd like to park your RV overnight in their lot.  They will call security for you to make this happen.  While you're waiting for security sign up for a player's card.  You can't boondock unless you're signed up with them.
    • The security guard will need your plate number and player's card.  He will take your information for their log book and will give you a two day pass to park overnight there.  
    • After two days you can get another pass if you want, but they will check your player's card to make sure you've been gambling.  He said they need to see modest activity in order to renew the pass.   
    • You can continue getting passes as long as you frequent the casino.  Like I said, there looks to be some permanent residents in the lot, including one in an unhitched travel trailer.
  • The lot was spacious when we came here and easy to find a space.  Easy in and easy out.  Maybe it gets crowded sometimes, but not when we were there.
  • The lot is INCREDIBLY WELL LIT at night!!  I feel kind of safe, but I won't get cocky. 
  • There are no trucks here.  No truck farts!  No exhaust!
  • You need to go play in Baldinis even if you're not a gambler to 'pay' for your spot.  I mean, do this even if you're not renewing your spot in two days.  It's just showing consideration for the sweet boondock.  My mother won $100 today!  Seriously!  She bought in with $5 and the machines kept hitting.  It was 'new player card' syndrome (we see this all the time) but still was pretty sweet.  The security guard said there was blackjack somewhere but I never found the tables.  There's plenty of machines, including the newer fancy ones.  If you are opposed to gambling you should think of it as just paying for your RV spot through a machine...that might want to pay you back.
  • The casino has a gift shop and two eateries.  One is a fast food 'hospital cafeteria' type affair where you can get a burger basket (burger and fries) for $1.99 at the time of this posting.  It's not 5 star cuisine but it's cheap!  You know how I like cheap.  We had this for dinner and were very happy with the decision.  The other eatery is a sit down restaurant with moderately priced fare.  The current special is steak and shrimp for $7.99.  We ate there for lunch and were happy with it.  The bread pudding was the bomb diggity.
  • The best thing about this boondock is that it's QUIET.  ;o;  My mom is catching up on her sleep and my cats aren't freaking out from large truck farts.  Yes, it's under a flight path, and the planes went low enough to rattle the RV, but they stopped flying at sundown.  There were only two while we were here.  One tried to tear the roof of our RV I think...
  • Oh, I should also mention THEY WERE NICE!  They were happy to give us a pass.  They were happy to have us boondock.  I didn't get that, "Okay, fine, but be gone by morning," attitude you see at many a Walmart.  They actually want RVers here.  ;o;  Such a wonderful feeling.  
The battery alarm is time to wrap this up.  It happened yesterday too around this time.  Apparently I have to learn to be more power frugal on long boondocks.  We will be boondocking all month in Laughlin in November...hopefully I can learn to be more energy efficient.  I really should have turned that last light off earlier...