Boondocking!, Eats & Drinks, General info, Tiny Life, Travel

Why We Live This Life

Many times people question us as to why we choose to live “homeless”. We tell them we are not homeless but that we take our home everywhere with us!  A lot of our family in particular think we are crazy, or just going through “a phase”.  No amount of words can persuade them.  No matter, we love this life and this is why. Photos can say what words cannot express. Enjoy.

1.  Visiting amazing places! In just the past couple of years we have visited some beautiful locations and we haven’t even touched the tip of the ice berg yet! Here is a sample of some of the places we have seen:

Santa Fe, NM
American Girl Mine
Crater Lake
Ojo Caliente, NM
Mammoth Lakes, CA
South Lake Tahoe area

 

2.  Meeting great people and inspiring others along the way. So amazing!

Doug, Denise, Zoey and us at Treasure Falls, CO. We inspired them to live full time in an RV and they inspired us to buy our Avion! We’ve known them for over 13 years.
Laurie & Scott of Disrupting Ordinary in Quartzsite
Me with Kait & Leo of We’re The Russo’s in Woodland Hills, CA
Lucas, Nancy & friends in Mammoth Lakes
Shannon & Dave of 2 Wander Away in American Girl Mine

Amazing food!!

Homemade margaritas & fajitas!
Amazing nachos from Kips Cantina, Pagosa Springs, CO
Steak & Kale salad, Ojo Caliente Spa
Low Country Boil in the middle of nowhere!
Amazing views and great food, Klamath Falls

And last but not least, incredible sunsets:

Mittry Lake, Yuma, AZ
Sam’s Family Spa, Desert Hot Springs, CA
American Girl Mine, CA
Somewhere in AZ
Tierra Amarilla, NM
Mammoth Lakes, CA

As you can see, the above photos are just some of the reasons we live this life. And these are just brief moments of why we do this. Our main driving force?  FREEDOM!

Is it all peaches and cream? Hell no! There are many sucky days just like living in a sticks and brick! But we wouldn’t trade this life for all the houses in the world!

New adventure awaits just down the road! Live your life while you can and stop buying into the fallacy that keeping up with the Joneses is the right thing to do. The Joneses are broke!

Travel is the ONLY thing you buy that makes you richer!

Cheers!

Shelly & Mark ~ Boondock or Bust

NM, RV Park Reviews

Twin Rivers RV Park ~ Chama, NM

Our first week back full time RV living was spent just a short drive from where we had been staying the past 6 months. One hour south of Pagosa Springs, CO is the little town of Chama, NM.

This might sound familiar to our followers as our cabin was just 20 minutes from this town so needless to say we know the area well.

We decided that a shake down week would be a good way to start things off and get out any bugs we might have in the rig. So we stayed at Twin Rivers RV Park in Chama.

Twin Rivers RV Park entrance

Twin Rivers is family owned and operated right on the corner of Highways 84/64 behind the Chevron station.  It’s a small RV park compared to others in the area but it was safe, convenient and inexpensive. Plus we secured a last minute reservation for the Labor Day weekend. Score!

Site #22 at Twin Rivers
Non shaded sites – we are at the far right
Shaded sites
Tent camping sites – all have covered picnic areas

Pros of this RV park:

  • Super friendly staff
  • Pet friendly
  • Inexpensive (we paid $22/night with the 7th night free)
  • Excellent location. Close to downtown, grocery store and gas stations
  • Decent site. Level and as we were on an end fairly large.
  • Clean (but older) bath houses and laundromat
  • Decent Verizon LTE signal – 4 bars

Cons of this RV park:

  • Close to highway so there is a bit of traffic noise mostly during the day
  • It was pretty full so we didn’t get a shady spot but we didn’t make reservations until last minute
  • An older park and some of the connections are in random places but it didn’t affect our site

Honestly, I can’t think of too many cons for this park. The owners Sonia and Ernest are really the best! They are very friendly and will always try to accommodate you the best they can.

Office at Twin Rivers RV Park
Cute touches!
Laundry room and bathhouse. Older but clean and functional

Yes there are nicer RV parks in Chama but if you are looking for reasonable rates and convenient location then Twin Rivers can’t be beat!

And the good news about our shakedown trip was we had no issues with the Avion. And the bonus? We found out our AC unit works! We didn’t know if it would until we could get to a 30 amp plug.

Blowing cold after sitting for 12 years!! It even got down to 50!!

All in all it was a very nice week spent in Chama. The park is quiet and mostly filled with people living here full time for the summer. The park is closed during the winter months. If you need a quick stop over or want an extended stay in the area, be sure to tell Sonia and Ernest that we sent you!

Boondocking!, Solar, Tiny Life, Travel

And We Are On The Road Again!

This has been a crazy year to say the least. Mark experienced some really bad health issues this year which put a brake on our travels. His health issues were getting so bad we even sold our little off grid cabin. 😢

Sold!! We will miss this adventure

Fortunately we were able to figure out what was causing all his symptoms (Lupus) and now we have a game plan with his doctor and are able to get the most severe of his issues under control.  Along with his major back surgery nearly 4 years ago, things have been really insane health wise. I’m glad that we now have a handle on it and know how to deal with it!

As Mark was feeling better we started to get the itch to travel again. Our friends Doug and Denise have a cute 1978 Avion and we fell in love with it when we visited them.

Doug, Denise, Zoey and “Ava” the Avion

We made it our mission to find one and that we did. We even got to surprise them this summer with it! And of course we were fortunate to have their help for about a month with the rehab of our rig.

Now that Armani the Avion is restored to his former (and better, imo) glory we have decided to hit the road again.

All set up at our first location on our latest journey

We will be hanging in the northern New Mexico area while we finish up some doctors visits and shake the bugs out of the rig.  Oh, and we got a couple new travel partners too!! Meet Ranger (blk/wht) and Scout (tabby). So far they have taken to RV life just fine and we anticipate many fun adventures with them!

RV life is tough on kitties! 😂

See you down the road!

Adios!
General info, Remodel, Tiny Life, Uncategorized

Avion After Photos

Finally!! After nearly 3 months of working full time on Armani the Avion we are pleased to say he is ready to be a full time RV!

Not to say that everything is finished. As we all know with RV’s of any age the work never stops. We did complete the solar project as well (more on that later). And we still have to buff and polish his satiny aluminum! But now we are ready to get back on the road after our nearly 8 month hiatus! Wow! I can’t believe it’s been that long.

But without further ado I present the completed interior of our Avion. Click on each picture to see a full size version. Go HERE to see the before photos! Enjoy!

New awning installed!
New and improved lounge area!
Another view of the lounge
Love the “L” shape!
The dining area set up
New fridge (electric), new hardware on screen door and a compass rose decal!
Compass Rose decal up close!
Looking towards the lounge and kitchen area
Loving the NEW kitchen! It’s amazing what paint can do!
More kitchen
Another view
With the kitchen cart and “bar” added – the Berkey is a must!
Up close detail of my faux finished counters! They turned out great!
The new flip up desk! Replaced the old dresser that stuck out too far
Desk engaged
Another view of desk
Desk engaged – see the storage underneath?
Bedroom completed! Sweet dreams on our 10″ memory foam mattress
Looking the other way. We installed our 12 volt TV on the cabinet for easy viewing.
The rear bath. So large and luxurious now. We carried our 100% cork flooring throughout the whole rig.
Large porcelain sink. Kitty approved!
New flush toilet and the counters were faux finished in here as well.

And that’s it for now!  I hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual tour of all the updates we have done.  Now to hit the road!

1979 Avion 29J. What a fun restoration this was!

Cheers!

Shelly & Mark ~ Boondock or Bust!

 

General info, Remodel, Tiny Life, Uncategorized

Avion Renovations Have Begun – The Lounge

When we purchased Armani it was with the knowledge that it needed a lot of interior work. The outside skin and “bones” were in great shape even after having sat in a field for the last 12 years.

Armani at Ojo Caliente! Notice the lack of awning and AC shroud! 🙂 Great skin and bones tho!

But the inside was rough. Not only was it REALLY dirty, a lot of the cabinet doors were warped not to mention we had no way of knowing what systems worked or not.

We also knew it had an electrical issue. The previous owners (an RV “flipper” that dealt in Avion’s and Airstreams) had rigged up the breakers to make sure the outlets worked but that was really unsafe! Fortunately Mark is a wiz with electric and between he and Doug they got the issue sorted out and now we have nice safe GFCI breakers and nothing trips when it is plugged in! Safety first, folks!

Our next project was to get rid of the nasty dirty couch in the lounge area and to get the parquet floor pulled up that someone had put down over the original linoleum. Like I said, really REALLY dirty!

The lounge area – this nasty couch bed needed to GO!
Doug removing dirty couch bed!
All out and now at the dump!
What’s behind door number 1? GROSS!!!

After that was accomplished and all the adhesive scrubbed up (hours upon hours with multiple bottles of Goo Gone), everything cleaned and painted it was ready for the rebuild!

Ahhhh!!! MUCH better! Let the build begin!

As I mentioned in my previous post, Doug is a master carpenter and he has already remodeled their Avion so we drew from his experience and got going on our new “L” shaped lounge!

As all us RVers know, weight is a major concern. We didn’t want to add a ton of weight by using 2×4’s. Doug used 1/2″ plywood strips to create a box (glued and nailed together) to create the legs. He used the same plywood strips to create brackets in between and 2×2 posts against the wall for the base support. Then plywood sheets to form the base of the seat. It goes all the way to the back wall so now behind the back of the couch we will have storage not to mention all the room underneath!

Doug wanted everything nice and light! You see here the beginning of the legs he built.
Installing the base for the lounge!
Getting there!
It’s starting to look like a couch now!
Look at all that storage we will have underneath and behind the back cushions!
The arm rest being built
The back cushion supports
Painted and ready for cushions!

Now before you think this is not sturdy let me tell you, it is SOLID! We are extremely impressed with the quality of this build and if you need any restoration work on your rig we would highly recommend Doug! He is the best!!

And now for the finished project!

The “L” shaped lounge with cushions installed!
The “L” shaped lounge.  There will be a cushioned bumper on the wall to lean against.
The view of the lounge with the arm rest! There will be a cushioned bumper on it as well.

We are very pleased how this all turned out!  I made the cushions myself using 4″ high density foam, batting and material wrapped around and stapled to a board that fit in the appropriate space.  It will be easy to change the fabric in the future if we wish or need to.

Now that the lounge is done we moved onto the old dresser area and tore all that out to build in a new desk!  We’ve also installed an awning and I will be posting on that soon.  Stay tuned! 🙂