“Driveway Surfing” Is A Blast!

Not sure if there’s an official definition of Driveway Surfing, but my definition is; When an RV’er spends the night on someone’s (often a fellow RV’er) property rather than in a commercial campground or RV park.

Our spot near Ocala, FL in the coolness of the towering pines

This is not only a less expensive alternative to commercial facilities, but much safer than the often-used boon-docking (dry camping) at Wal-Marts, Cracker Barrels, Truck Stops, highway Rest Areas and the like.

The term “Boon-docking” by the way, also known as “dry camping” in the RV’er’s world is stopping/staying at a location that does not offer any utilities or other amenities.  Most RV’er’s are traveling in self-contained units meaning they carry their own water (and waste) tanks and have a means to provide limited electricity to the unit for lighting, water pumping, and sometimes more.

We’ve found that the big added benefit of these overnight stays are the wonderful welcomes we get from our gracious hosts.  We often spend the afternoon and into the evenings together sitting around the bonfire trading stories of our RV’ing and life experiences.  Sometimes we even have dinner together.

Although Kathy and I first became aware of this wonderful benefit of full-time RV life through our membership in Boondockers Welcome, we soon found out that there are other opportunities out there as well.  We’ve found that the Airstreamers (Wally Byam Caravan Club International) along with FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association), and Escapees RV Club members have programs similar to the Boondockers Welcome program.  Another program mentioned to us by many other RV’ers is Harvest Hosts.  Although some of these programs require a nominal annual membership fee in order to access the database and reservation software, others are free to club members.

Here are some pictures we’ve taken as we’ve traveled and met other RV’ers using our “Driveway Surfing” privileges utilizing BoondockersWelcome.com.

Roger and Jan – Randall, Kansas

We were warmly welcomed by our first BoondockersWelcome hosts Roger and Jan to their farm near Randall, Kansas in spring of 2016.  Roger and Jan have a beautiful “earth” home that they custom built on the family farm that Roger was born on.  While Jan prepared dinner for us (a very welcome surprise!), Roger took us on a tour of the 1000+ acre farm that their son now manages and farms (along with Dad’s occasional help).  Roger and Jan have traveled all fifty states, 6 of the 10 Canadian provinces, and down into Mexico.

Click on any of the pictures to see an enlarged view

Coyote & Angel – Ocala, Florida

Our next fantastic visit was to Coyote and Angel’s log cabin retreat near Ocala, Florida.  And what a treat it was!  They’re both retired now, but both have a colorful past and have enjoyed rebuilding over 30 classic and antique cars and trucks in their retirement.  They’re also very creative and have built a wonder-filled outdoor experience that  the pictures below can only begin to explain.  Utilizing BoondockersWelcome, they invite RV’er’s to come and spend the night and they offer their retreat to host car shows, weddings, and other private events.  Since our visit Coyote and Angel have sold their motorhome and bought a vintage Airstream travel trailer and are planning on taking a trip up to Michigan this summer and we’re looking forward to seeing them again up there while we are at our Workamping job at Baldwin, MI.

Click on any of the individual pictures to see an enlarged view

Perry, Ginny, and Georgia – New Boston, TX

Now Perry and Ginny (along with Memaw Georgia) eagerly welcomed us to their home near New Boston, Texas and they showed off their southern hospitality by treating us to a great BBQ rib dinner.

We also enjoyed meeting another Boondocker couple there (Brad & Elaine) who had just returned from a month long trip to New Zealand to visit their daughter.  We all had a great evening together talking and laughing.

Be sure to check out the video below of Ginny and Perry’s “Alpine Village” that they’ve put together over the years.  Ginny told us that after we leave they were going to take it all apart to dust and clean and then put it ALL BACK TOGETHER AGAIN!  Glad it’s not MY job!

Click on any of the individual pictures to see an enlarged view

 

Germantown, OH – Lynn & Jackie

On our way back to “the old home place” in Ohio this spring, we took advantage of the invite by Lynn and Jackie at Germantown, Ohio (near Dayton).  They had us in for a wonderful home-cooked spaghetti dinner and the next day (we stayed two nights) Kathy and I toured the U.S. Air Force Museum adjacent to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.  We also toured the Wright Brothers Museum and the original Bicycle Shop, then spent the late afternoon at Carillon Historical Park where they have nearly 35 buildings there originally built anywhere from the 1870’s to the 1930’s.  The second evening we went out to a local Mexican restaurant and then Jackie and Lynn treated us to a wonderful farewell waffle breakfast just before our departure!

Click on any of the individual pictures to see an enlarged view

Jason – Fairhope, Alabama

This stop was different in that we were not in the driveway of someone’s home, but rather their business.  Jason, a former school teacher turned restaurant owner is a RV’er wanna-be.  Having some restaurant experience in his past life, Jason opened this restaurant about 11 years ago and now is ready to sell and hit the road.

He’s joined all the RV clubs out there, is constantly reading RV’ers blogs and watching YouTube videos about the RV lifestyle and invites RV’ers to his restaurant so that he can have the opportunity to meet and learn from others.

RV’er friends of ours (that we had met in Arizona in 2016) were staying at an Escapees RV park just a few miles away, and so they came on over and we had a great night together enjoying shrimp PoBoys and fried clams.

In the morning, I went on over to the kitchen early while Jason was prepping for the lunch crowd.  I followed him around enjoying the fresh hot coffee and talking about our life histories and RV’ing.

Click on any of the individual pictures to see an enlarged view

 

As we’ve said before, “although seeing the sites as we travel around the country is great … the really wonderful experiences are the new friends we make along the way”, and we thank Boondockers Welcome for helping us to that end.

Driveway surfing is just one more way to experience the good life … maybe you’ll try it someday yourself!

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

How to get rid of the varmint

Struggling to get rid of that cute but pesky little varmint. Should I use a BB gun? Maybe a live trap? Maybe some rat poison? Should I worry about what is most humane? Watch the short video below.

Let me know your thought on this (below in comments) or if you have any other ideas on how I might get rid of this little fella.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

The Pony Express – Very Impressive

Kathy and I took another “day trip” this past week.  This is just one of the wonderful things about our location (Camp Verde) in Arizona.  There is so much to see and so many different landscapes within just a short drive in the car.

This time we decided to head east and then north a bit into “high country” to see some snow and check out the towns we see mentioned on the 6 o’clock news weather report.

Our elevation here at Camp Verde is 3146′ while Payson is at 4890′ and Show Low is at 6345′ above sea level.  It was a 65 degree afternoon here while in Show Low the high that afternoon barely got to 50 degrees.

We checked out the lake and the dam at Show Low Lake, we visited the Allen Severson Wetland area, and stopped to check out a really cool store with a lot of woodcarvings  and beautiful hand crafted furniture.  The store was called Wild Woods Furniture and Gifts.

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But the best part of the trip came totally by surprise.  As we were headed back west from Snowflake to Payson, we came across men on horseback escorted by police along state routes.  I remembered seeing a story on the morning news that this was the week when, every year The Hashknife Pony Express makes its ride every January/February traveling 200 miles from Holbrook to Scottsdale, Arizona, and delivering 20,000 first-class letters by horseback. The ride is led by the Navajo County Hashknife Sheriff’s Posse. More than two dozen riders in authentic cowboy clothing carry the mail, relaying the bags along the route. The ride ends in Scottsdale with the ending ceremony at the Museum Of The West on Marshall Way.

The video below shows the Hashknife Pony Express just taking off again after a short rest at a local shopping mall parking lot.  Cowboy hats, chaps, boots, and spurs …

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Bill Williams River Wildlife Refuge – Lake Havasu, AZ

We saw some beautiful sights on our way up to Parker Dam and Lake Havasu, and once we finished lunch at Lake Havasu City, Kathy suggested we work our way back down to visit the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge.

It’s really a great facility with lots of paved walkways, plenty of shaded places to sit and just take in and appreciate all the different vegetation and water fowl, and enjoy all that we have to enjoy in this beautiful country of ours.

There are 3 park host RV sites there and we talked with one of the hosts just as we were leaving.  He’s been there for a few years and does everything from taking care of the beds and the trails, watering the batteries in the solar banks, maintaining the golf carts and utility vehicles, to daily maintenance of the Visitor Center and the Education Center used by schools and other groups.

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We had an opportunity to use our new Vortex Optics 10×42 Binoculars to see the birds, and boy were they great at bringing everything up close and so clear too!

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Our trip to Dead Horse Ranch State Park @ Cottonwood, AZ

Our trip to Dead Horse Ranch State Park @ Cottonwood, AZ

Another sunny day in Arizona, (and there’s rain coming) so Kathy and I decided to head on up to Cottonwood to the Dead Horse Ranch State Park to see what it’s all about.

A really nice park that offers; hiking/biking/equestrian trails, 3 large lagoons for fishing or birding, 4 campgrounds (3 for RV’s & 1 tent only) and a horse rental station.  $7 per vehicle for day use entry or $75 for an all year pass.  Camping is $30 nightly.

Click anywhere on the map below and you can zoom in or out and change from satellite view to map view and back again.

This 5 minute video takes you on a quick tour throughout the park.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog.  Do you purchase any products from Amazon?  If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search.  By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more.  We’d really appreciate your help.

Thank you,

Herb & Kathy

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

HerBirding – (and Kathy too!)

Kathy and I, along with Barb (our neighbor) took a drive up toward Cornville this morning to go “birding”.  I’ve never been a bird watcher, but I got to thinking “Hey, I’m retired now – I’ve got every right to take some time to go birding” …. besides – this is something that Kathy wanted to do, so off we went.

There were about 15 folks that met at the Page Springs Bubbling Pond which is where the Arizona Game & Fish drop millions of eggs to start the production of trout.

We were led in the 2-3 mile walk through the lower wetlands area of Oak Creek where the spring water flows from Oak Creek Canyon, down through the bubbling ponds and hatchery (at a constant 68 degrees) and then back into Oak Creek, eventually making it’s way to the Verde River.

About 200 species of birds have been found in this area over the 15 years that Arizona Audubon has been conducting these bird-watching excursions.  Kevin helped us to find 36 different species on this day including; Heron, American Bald Eagle, Killdeer, Snipe, Cardinal, Robin, Says Phoebe, Egret, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Warbler, and too many others for me to remember or list.

This slide show below is a few pix of the birds we saw, but my 200 mm telephoto lens didn’t do nearly as good a job and seeing the birds as the Vortex binoculars that our leader let Kathy borrow for the walk.

There’s also 3 pix of the restaurant (G’s Burgers) where we had lunch on the edge of Cornville.

After you’ve seen the slide show, check out the video of the hatchery further down the page.  Feel free to leave any comments at the bottom of the page.

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We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Lions & Tigers & Bears (Oh My?)

Lions & Tigers & Bears (Oh My?)

A couple of weeks ago we met (online) Cheryl and Phil (via RVillage.com).  They are also workampers like us, working a couple days a week, but in an RV park up I-17 just one exit.  We arranged to meet for dinner about a week ago and then made plans to meet and go see the Out of Africa Wildlife Park just north of Camp Verde.

We had a great time spending about 6 hours together at the park.  Part of the time we were shown around the park in a bus (of sorts), part of the time we attended different shows, and part of the time we were able to walk on our own throughout the park.

We were able to get amazingly close to many of the animals, although they are in fence enclosures, there were often viewing platforms where we had unobstructed views.

See the girl in the tan t-shirt kissing the giraffe?  That’s our friend Cheryl …. actually she’s feeding him a stalk of celery (from her lips to his curly tongue).

Kathy and I (along with about 8 others) got to hold “Apollo” the 16 foot long, 130 pound Reticulating Python.  That was pretty amazing to feel how heavy (and strong) he is … all muscle.  Smooth like leather.

In addition to the pictures below, I’ve also included a few short videos of the “Tiger Splash” show they put on for us.

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apollopython

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy
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