Monday, May 23, 2016


Okay, so let me start at the beginning.  Saturday night a black truck pulled into our boondock at 11pm.  I heard a door open and close.  Then it peeled away at 90 miles per hour.

I know people.  I'm thinking the same thing you're thinking.  They dropped off a gang member to do his initiation murder to the inhabitants of that lone RV there.

I turned on the RV headlights and watched vigilantly for an hour or so.  No one was out there.  But I was still on guard.

In the morning we saw the bag of trash they dropped off.  :eyes roll:

Anyway my mom left for church presuming there was still a murderer stalking our RV waiting for a good time to proceed with his gang initiation murder.  She asked her pastor if we could move the RV to his yard.  And by yard I mean gravel because this is the desert.  She came back informing me of the good news that she found a 'safe' spot for us.

Which was not well received because we were not murdered and we were three days out from our next dump.  I hate moving the RV when we're not going to dump.  We have to tear down, set up, and then tear down two days later AGAIN to go dump.

But she didn't feel safe, so I acquiesced.   

Yesterday we moved the RV to the pastor's house and will stay here for the rest of our time in Pahrump.  The pastor (who I don't get along with, long story) is in Phoenix for the next week, so the house is vacant.  We were given the key by his sweet wife (who I do get along with) for microwave and shower access.  It was very kind of them.

So here we are:

To the right is their house which I didn't photograph out of respect for their privacy.
Okay, so we got here yesterday, set up, then spent the night.  This morning I trolled around their house for a trash bin.  I know that trash is picked up once a week, and if they have the bin from the local service then they have the service.  I'll put my trash in it and then bring it to the curb before they get back.

As I go around the back of the house I realize that our hosts failed to mention...well, this:

Okay, my pictures suck, but they have two mama cats and a HEAP of kittens on their back porch!  Like ten.

@_@  Why wouldn't you tell us that!?

We saw one of the mama cats out hunting and thought she belong to someone else. 

There was a very small amount of kibble and the water dish had dropped too low for the kittens to access.  What the heck!

The mama cats ran when I came up, but when I returned with food they jumped back on the porch and feasted.  The babies ate huge mouthfuls of food.  They were all really hungry.

It's dangerous for these darlings to be outside all the time with all the coyotes we have.  I'm going to go back and make sure all the wet food is gone so I don't attract any.

And...I really think I'll be leaving here with a kitten.  We just can't help ourselves.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Back to the Boondock

We stayed two days at the Lakeside RV Park, and are now back at our boondock.  Lakeside is a fine park, but we hated it. 

We hated being sardine-canned in between two RVs.

We hated people walking between our car and RV.

We hated smelling the lighter fluid the neighbor poured on his charcoal grill.  Stunk up our whole RV.

We hated having to listen to the picnic party right behind our RV.

It was nice talking to random people while I tried to fish, but all in all, boondocking has spoiled us.  Why *pay* for a crowded place when you can get miles of open spaces all around you for free?

It's so quiet here.  The air is so clean.  It's peaceful and soul-renewing.

We'll keep to our plan of occasional one night stays at park to dump, shower, do laundry, take on water, and dispose of trash.  But one day was PLENTY.  Two days in a God-awful RV park is just too much for us.

What did my cat Scrappy hate?

These gigantic birds outside!!  OMG!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lakeside Casino and RV Resort in Pahrump

I don't know if I told you this already, but we decided that we're going to check into RV parks every time we have to dump.  Because when we dump it's also time to take showers and do laundry.  Dump stations are cheap, even free some times, but outside of swanky state parks we don't get the amenities we need. 

"But Milly," you say, "aren't you too cheap to pay for a night at an RV park every time you need to dump?" 

Yes I'm cheap.  Proud of it too.  And you should have enough faith in me to know that I found a way to stay at RV parks four or five times a month while STILL being cheap.

I got Passport America!  It's a club that gives you 50% off on a multitude of RV parks.  There's three in Pahrump.  I found I could stay at the swanky Lakeside Casino for only $15.  That's the same that I would pay at a dump station with water in many places.  But this also gives me laundry (not free, but access) and showers.

Well, I sure figured it out, didn't I?  It's smooth sailing from here on.  Yes, sir, one cheap night at Lakeside Casino will put us right for the next 4 to 5 days and then it's back to our sweet little boondock.  :pats self on the back:

My mom:  We're only staying one day at the RV park?

Me:  Well, yes.  We're just dumping, taking water, showering, and doing laundry.

My mom:  That's a lot of laundry!

Me:  @_@  Yes, but, it's not going to take more than a day to--

My mom:  So I have to spend the whole time we're there doing laundry? 

Me:  But...well, I can do the laundry if you want, there's just no need for us to--

My mom:  Why can't we spend two nights there?

Me:  Why would we--

My mom:  I have to spend my whole time doing laundry while you goof around fishing at the lake?!  I'm tired, Yamila.  I'm still sick from the mothballs.

Me:  But...we're only staying there to--


Em...yeah.  So there's a very nice casino attached to this RV park.  My mom was not okay with only seeing to the necessities when a nice casino would be beckoning her.

:SIGH:  So I paid for two nights here.  And because tomorrow is Friday I had to pay the weekend rate.  My cheap dump station plan went from $15 to $38.  -_-  DANG IT!  And after I was nice enough not to mention that she broke the handle on the screen door.

Anyway, Lakeside is a gorgeous RV park with an artificial lake that's stocked with fish.  And yes.  I will be fishing here.    The casino is the best one in Pahrump, too.  Last time we were here I won $760 on Keno.  It has a restaurant that used to be nice, with $5 buffets, but the $5 buffet was gone and the service went down hill.  Meh.  It's still a nice RV park. Evo.  I wonder if it's our old one...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

OH EM GEE! The Cops!

Omg!  Omg!  A cop car is pulling into our boondock.  But this was a legal boondock, wasn't it?  What the heck is going on?

I brace myself for a Sheriff beat down!  :hyperventilating:  But we thought this was public lands!  Ahhhh!




Em...they're not coming to the door.

-_-  And people coming from the north can't see them because we're blocking them with our RV. not a sheriff beat-down...just a cop using us in his speed trap.  Clever buggers.  I guess this is one of the hazards of a boondock close to the highway.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Poisoned Both Me and My Mother

You have a favorite shirt.

You put it on.

There's a big moth hole dead center.  Your favorite shirt is ruined, and it's not the first time it's happened either.

You buy a box of mothballs.

You dump them in all your closets and drawers.

You wake up with a splitting headache and are coughing up horrible tasting stuff.

Your elderly mother looks pale and half-dead.

Your cats are sucking air through the windows.

The whole RV smells like poison.

Yeah.  Over the last two days I've learned that 24 mothballs in a 31' RV is a HORRIBLE IDEA.  I've been horribly sick and so has my mother.  I dumped in so many that I'm still finding them to get them out of here.  It seems like as soon as I think I've gotten them all I find four more.  x_x  My God, these things are toxic.  Even one is too many in a tiny RV.  I hope we don't have brain damage.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Camp Milly

The primary reason we camped two weeks at Borax Bills was so we could visit my brother and his wife and kids in the Los Angeles area.  We were finally given the okay to visit him last weekend.  With our semi-annual visit out of the way it's time to travel northeast.

We want to head towards Utah via Pahrump Nevada.  Pahrump is where we had our home before we went full time.  It's where our mail is delivered, and my mom's church is here.  It's also at a high enough elevation not to be too hot right now.  It's a good place to finish out the month of May for us.  I didn't exactly know where we were going to boondock, but I knew the area well enough to know we could figure that out once we got here.

However, Pahrump was an over 3 hour drive away.  I don't like driving so long to get to one camp.  It's rough on my mother who drives our SUV behind me.  It's also rough on the budget.  Gassing up two vehicles (especially in California) is a huge chunk of change.  Since we always have to be somewhere anyway, I say let's spend one dump cycle at a midway point.  It stretches out the journey and lowers the amount of gas we use to fuel our lifestyle by adding days between refueling. 

That was the plan anyway, but how?   God, I tell you, it is a pretty pathetic state of affairs when you get into inland California.  I'm talking the Mojave desert east of LA.  We wanted to stay somewhere where we could buy groceries from an actual supermarket, not a little mom and pop affair where bread would be $6.  We were bone dry on provisions when we got home from visiting my bro.  We also wanted a boondock.  If we camped at an RV park that negates the savings we'd make on fuel.

There were two ways to go from California City to Pahrump.  The high road has ZERO metropolitan areas.  It's all tiny little settlements of a few hundred people, and a gas station if you're lucky.  If we were cool with going this direction I would have stocked up with groceries at the Stater Brothers outside California city and boondocked in Searles Valley.

I'm not fine with taking the high road, however.  Death Valley is already in 3 digit temperatures.  It's the hottest place in the United States.  I do not want to drive through there in May, with my cats baking in the RV behind me.  Searles Valley had to be baking too.  It's a VALLEY.  The lower the topography the hotter it is.  I wouldn't want to spend four days there.

That left the low road, which is better anyway because it's more direct.  The only Metropolitan area between Cal City and Pahrump through this route is Barstow.  And let's face it one wants to spend any time in Barstow.  I'm happy to go to the Popeyes chicken place every time I drive through (fricking love Popeyes) but I don't want to stay there.  There are no good, safe boondocks there anyway.

The next modestly populated town is Baker, but it's tiny and has little to offer.  On top of that my theory is that the town is called Baker because it's always baking.  The world's largest thermometer is it's main attraction.  It was reading over 100 degrees when we passed through.

So, SCREW IT!  We drove all the way to Pahrump.

My cat Sultan is not doing well.  The vet says he has arthritis in his back hips and it's just been getting worse.  He has a lot of trouble walking.  When we drive he usually hides under the dinette.  For some reason, this time he decided to go behind the couch.  And he jumped from the top of the couch, not the armrest.  I cringed as I started our journey to hear him plop with flailing legs.

What's that mess of rags in the corner behind him?  That's where we stuff the slide hole to keep bugs out.  The edging ripped off leaving a gaping hole.  It's going to be a pain in the ass to fix.
When we arrived in Pahrump he didn't come out for dinner.  But neither did our Tortie, Precious.  Some times they take a while to decompress after a long journey.  We opened all the windows and left them to buy groceries (and mothballs, favorite shirt!).

So now it's evening and he's still not coming out.  We hear him clawing desperately, trying to climb just with his front paws.  I squeeze my arms behind the couch and dig him out.  Poor baby.  He drank a cat bowl's worth of water and ate all the food in his dish.  I hope he realizes he's too old to be going places where he has to climb out.  How old?  Well...we got him in 1999 and he was not a kitten.

Okay, so after taking a left in Baker we headed up to Pahrump via Shoshone.  Shoshone is where my mom would drive to buy California lotto tickets when we used to live in Pahrump.  We stopped there for her last batch of tickets for a while (she's a woman over 60, she buys lotto tickets, it's the law).

I mentioned to her that as we drive up highway 372 on our last leg to Pahrump we should keep our eyes open for possible boondocks.  I know that this is BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land because there's a huge sign on the south side that says 'Your Public Lands.'  That means BLM and that means we can camp free for 14 days.  (Right?)

As we're driving I see a little level area off to the side of the road RIGHT BEHIND the 'Your Public Lands' sign.  SWEET!  I plan on making this our boondock after swinging into town to buy propane.

Here's the long ass lonely highway from Shoshone to Pahrump

And here we are boondocking at this sweet little spot on the side of it.
This is too close to the highway to be a proper campsite.  It's just a small open area of dirt with some public works ditch to the side.

The closed off ditch.  Definite signs of flooding below.
I have driven this highway many times when I lived in Pahrump to ferry my mom for her lotto tickets.  I've never seen anyone camping here.  I'm still confident that I'm allowed to camp here because of the 'Your Public Lands' sign right beside us.  Still, it's not an ideal camping spot if you didn't want to be here for some reason.  Too close to the road meaning noise and less safety.  No hiking.  No amenities.  (But close to Death Valley).

AND YET...this fricking morning two matching class C Leprechaun motorhomes pulled in here looking to mosy up beside us!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  They saw me camped here and apparently thought I had a good idea.  They drove around the little area several minutes looking for a level spot for both of them.  This little cropping of dirt could probably support one more camper, but not three.  They ended up moving on.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Borax Bills - An Update

So, yeah, we're still at Borax Bills.  We've used their dump station, water fill-up, and showers twice.  We never had to move to the prison BLM.  The workers here are nice.  They really don't care that we're living on their property.  The homeowner lights were not actually directed at us.  My mom has a hole in her macula that makes her see lights weird at night.  They were normal lights when I checked the next night.

We have a level spot.  The weather has been great except for some really windy days, but it's never gotten hot enough to give my cat the vapors.  A little fan now and then is all we need to keep cool.

We're here because it's a driveable boondock to visit my brother and his kids.  We're doing that this weekend.  After that I want to move on.  This is a great place for free camping with showers, water, and dumping, but it's a shitty little town and there's nothing to do around here.  I'm working on my next book, so that's okay and stuff, but it's just existing.  Not really living.  (Though that's what we seem to do most of the time...).

It's only the 12th and I've already widdled our gas and grocery budget down to $50 for each.  x_x  I seriously don't get me.  Though gas and groceries are more expensive out here in the Mojave desert.  Fricking $2.86/gallon.  On the way here I blew $100 filling up the RV because I was too close to empty.  :sigh: 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dust and Desolation

I'm updating a lot lately.  Sometimes it's to procrastinate from my writing, other times, like now, I've just put out something new and am taking a break before writing something else.

So my mother is convinced that the house 300 yards from us was blasting floodlights into our back window last night.  I did not witness this, so I can neither confirm or disavow. I'll take a look tonight to see if it happens again.  I'm hoping she was mistaken, and these were some motor cross lights for night riding or something. 

But if it is a passive aggressive home-owner it's probably a good idea just to move on.  This is their  home turf, and we're transients passing through.  It's not worth the battle.

When we were getting rid of our trash at the Borax Bill Building I wrestled down a worker in a white truck and asked him if it was okay for us to camp where we are.  He said as long as we're not blocking trails or roads we're fine.  I asked about how to buy a pass for the dump station.  He said to just go ahead and dump and then pay for it when the office opens.  Nice!  I felt a lot more welcome here after that discussion.

So, we still decided to investigate other boondocks in case this home owner started messing with us in less subtle ways.  In front of the dump station (which is several miles down the road from Borax Bills) was a map that indicated what was private property, off-limits nature preserves, or BLM.  We want BLM.  That's Bureau of Land Management and we can camp free on such lands for 14 days at a time.

The only BLM with level clear boondockable land within 20 miles of the dump station was the area off the prison that my mother protested about previously.  It's actually a good base for us, halfway between the dump station and Borax Bills (where we will still need to go to take water and take showers).

We drove to the prison boondock area again and looked at it more in depth.  The trailers parked there seem to be uninhabited.  It's trailers with no tow vehicles attached.  Fifth wheels with no trucks attached.  A Class A on blocks.  We get the feeling that this is a camp for employees of the prison.  Well, that's fine.  There was plenty of level spots left if we want to go there after our next dump.  I think I finally sold my mother on the idea.

I'm still going to double check to see if the flood lights really was the nearby homeowner or just lights from the main motorcross area.  We really like the spot we have now.

So I just finished a story and wanted to get out and away from the RV for a day.  We set out for no where in particular.  Further down Twenty Mule Parkway (where Borax Bills is) is the skeleton of an unbuilt ghost town.   It's just subdivision blocks with posts with street names.  This was supposed to be a suburb of Los Angeles but it never panned out and the subdivision lines just sit there, unused.   I didn't take any pictures.  You can learn all about it here:

After that we went to a few stores to get new wiper blades and random stuff.  There's not much to do here.  My GPS said there was a casino 35 miles away though...

Ahh...California casinos, how I loathe you.  It was a card house.  Card houses are mostly a poker room with a table or two of blackjack and 5 card stud.  I don't know why these are legal but slot machines aren't.  This card house charged you $.50 a bet.  So if you wanted to bet $5 you had to put down $5.50.  -_-  I never saw such crap before.  We promptly left.  My mom can't play cards anyway, so I wasn't planning on staying long.

In California we find the most screwy casinos.  The only slot machines appear to be on Indian reservations, except for the barely legal 'sweepstakes' machines we found once in Hollister.  Even the Indian casinos are dodgy, with cameras in the stalls of the bathrooms (too high to film ass, but still) and some weird card method of Craps that keep you from manipulating your rolls.  Something literally so hard to do that no casino needs such a fail safe.  Lame.  But also good.  My mom and I need to stop gambling anyway.

The area we're in, Mojave, Lancaster, Palmdale, California City, and Barstow, as well as even more area radiating around this area, is extremely economically depressed.  I went into a supermarket today with items spilled on the floor, filth, and dubious puddles near the meat coolers.  It was mobbed since EBT payments had just come.  It's depressing to see so many people struggling to get by.  It's a 'only one shoe' kind of town, which is something I learned from a brief childhood period living in Texas.  If you have only one pair of shoes, and you lose a shoe, then you're going out in public with only one shoe.  There is no place in this town where you can buy a pair of shoes.  There's no Goodwill, no thrift shops, no Walmart or K-Mart.  If you want shoes you have to drive 20 miles.  If you don't have a car because you're on public assistance and can't get a job (because you don't have a car) then you're going to be going around with one shoe.  And there was a one-shoed person in the store today.  It was a flip-flop.

The California towns we're in and around now are not just blighted with poverty, but also decay.  We see so many abandoned houses in the middle of fields of scrub brush that are concrete shells with their roof caved in and graffiti all over them.  If you've ever driven through Barstow to get to LA you know what I'm talking about.  Barstow is the capital of the abandoned building shells.  This is recent decay, however.  People were living in those homes in the 70s, 80s, and perhaps some in the 90s too.  This area of California has decay from much older and cooler looking eras.

We were exploring after the casino debacle and saw what looked like a massive complex attached to the side of a mountain.  It turned out to be a derelict mine, probably from the 50s or 60s, with a derelict mining town beneath it.  And I tried to take pictures.  One day I'm going to learn how to zoom my camera.  These pictures are awful, sorry.

A boat lying on its side in a field next to an ancient shed.

These pictures suck so bad you probably want to kill me right now.
 We weren't looking for this site, we just ran into it.  And that's just the area that we were in.  Old decayed sites abounded.

Please take note of the mountain in the last picture.  Do you notice anything about it besides the old mine stuff?  It's a typical mountain in this area of California.  An ugly one.  Grey and gritty with ugly scrub brush all over it.  Not majestic in the least.  These mountains suck and they are blocking the foreground of my view on all sides.

I was going to go north after this boondock for a summer LTVA (Long Term Visitor Area) south of Fresno.  Today I decided...screw that.  We did California last summer.  We liked Palm Springs and Acton.  We liked being near LA for a while.  We didn't care for much else.  Why would we do California again?  The heck with that.

We're going to stretch this current boondock out for a while, but when we leave we're going East.  I'm not sure where yet...but I'll figure it out.

Monday, May 2, 2016

At Borax Bill's in California City

We have trouble with our RV shower.  I don't mean that it doesn't work, or anything like that.  I mean it's tiny and we're big.  Hence, when we try to shower in it we hit the knobs to turn on the water and end up getting very cold or very hot all of a sudden.

On top of this, boondocking with our tiny tanks makes showers in the RV a nuisance.  We get four days to a dump...BARELY.  And I really mean that because we ran out of water on day four at Hole in the Wall and had to fill up a jug of water to use it to flush the toilet.  Said toilet was also filled up to the top of the tube that leads down to the black tank.  This situation gave me nightmares...literally.  I was having fitful sleep all night knowing we were out of water and full of poo.  Ugh.

This is us at our new boondock. More about it, later.
So if we add showering in the RV to our routine, we will have to dump and take on water even more often, and we'll run through our propane really fast (which we can't ever run out of because it powers our fridge) AND on top of all this showering in the RV unpleasant, because, as I said, we're fat and the shower is small.

In my last post about the Avi Casino I mentioned that the nasty workers at the KOA there would not sell us a shower.  And yeah, we've been using wash clothes since then.  It sucks.  My mother has very thick hair that needs to get washed regularly.  We were both ready for a shower yesterday.

I'm going to mention that neither my mother nor I have B.O. and you would not be able to tell that we hadn't bathed aside from our weighed down hair.  We're lucky that we can get by with one or two showers a week without killing any houseplants.

The showers is part of the reason I picked Borax Bills.  I'll go into what this place is in a minute.  For now let me say, we chose this destination because it has token showers, our most favorite showers of all.  You have to buy the tokens at the building in the campground.  It closes at four.  So yesterday we still couldn't shower because we got here so late.

This morning I got up early (for me) at 9:38am because I was so ready to take a shower.   But when I got to the building where you buy the tokens it was closed.  And...then I read the sign that says it's only open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

-_-  OMG.

I'm sorry, but I couldn't wait even one more day.  I searched for the nearest TA Center (truck stop, gas station, shower place) and headed for it.  We'd pay $25 for a shower at this point if we had to.

I drive 21 miles and the TA Garmin sent me to is a withered shell of a building with the gas station canopy caved in.  I really hate her sometimes.

I noticed there were a lot of Patel Motels in the area, so I decided to hassle the various owners until one sold me a room for $20 for an hour.  The first guy said no.  The second woman said yes!  BOO-YAH!  We got a hotel room for one hour for $20.

It was DISGUSTING.  It smelled horrible.  It was filthy.  There was white unmentionable stuff on the bed cover and curtains (the CURTAINS).  But honestly, we made it work.  I thought I'd pulled this off.

But then my mom got scalded because of the stupid old fashioned spigots.  She cursed in Spanish (something she only does in primal terror or pain mode) and had to jump out of the shower.  It was horrible to have to hear from the other side of the door.  She eventually got it to non-scalding temperature and left it on so I wouldn't suffer the same fate.  We both showered and got the heck out of there.  From now on I'm going to get the water ready for her whenever it's not easy for her to get out of the way of the stream.

So, yeah.  I need to come up with a better solution for our shower situation.  Boondocks with showers are few and far between, and even if you find one you run into the problem we have.

That said, I'm really liking this boondock.  Borax Bill is a motor cross park.  It has hundreds of acres of trails where kids on dirt bikes can fly their bikes in the air and stuff.  They make their money selling permits to said kids to use their trails.  Except on the weekdays apparently...but anyway, there is an RV park with spaces at the main building which are free to camp in and give you free water.  If you want electricity you have to pay.  It's paved, level camping with free water.  DOOD. 

In the distance is the building with the RV sites, but a dog was hassling me from a house so I couldn't get close

Here's one of the bike trails
I didn't pull us into one of the many free spots.  When I got here I really didn't believe the spots were free so I drove into the motor area and found a boondock in a wide area of dirt away from any marked trails.  I'm on private property, but the owner is tolerant of boondockers (so I've heard).  I will check in with them on Thursday to make sure it's okay to be where I am.  In the meantime I did confirm that those sweet swanky spots are indeed free unless you need electricity, which we don't.

I think it's okay to be out in the dirt because I see other campers here and there in the distant trails.  These aren't people with bike trailers or toy-haulers with bikes in them.  I see the signs of other full-timers:  solar panels and blue boys strapped to the rv ladders (blue boys are the portable dump tank things).  I'm sure they found Borax Bill the same way I did, at  It's the perfect temperature here, not freezing like it was in Hole in the Wall, and not sweltering like it was in Lake Havasu City.

You'd think that the issue would be all the noise from the motor bikes.  Well, if I got one of the swanky RV sites near the building I would probably be bothered by it.  Behind the building are these hilly trails with all sorts of bumps for crazy people to jump their bikes into the air from.  That seems to be the popular area.  Out here the trails are flat and easy.  Boooring.  Only one or two bikes have been by.

When we went out shower hunting I noticed a BLM boondock by the nearby prison.  I drove down there and took a look.  Then I said to my mom, "We'll move here after we dump next time."


@_@  Well...because...I...

"Why can't we stay were we are all by ourselves?"

I guess she has a point, but avoiding people wasn't really my primary objective in life.  Finding a safe level boondock that I know for sure is legal is.  I guess she's right though, if they tolerate us on the private property then there's no need to move.  We'll find out Thusday when they open (and we get to shower again).

By the way...I have another book out.  If you like smutty sci-fi romance with a sweet loving vibe and a happy ending I hope you'll check it out.  It's only $.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited: