Rachel BaldwinComment

Winter Catch Up!

Rachel BaldwinComment
Winter Catch Up!
 

I'm sitting in bed, with coffee and Jane in the desert in New Mexico.  Alex is outside with his portable turntable, practicing scratching. This is our standard morning. Alex gets up around 5-6am and makes coffee and takes Jane out. Then Jane gets back in bed with me and I wake up around 8-9am. I talk to Jane when I wake up, read some articles on my phone or read my book, Alex brings me some coffee and then the day moves on. But I really like my mornings in bed with Jane-she senses when I wake up and we both stretch and she licks my face and I tell her what a good girl she is.

We're in New Mexico now but I haven't written in a while and I want to catch up about some of the places we visited over the winter months. We left the winery in Wisconsin (after workamping for 6 weeks) in early November. We visited Indianapolis for most of November, seeing family and friends and celebrating Thanksgiving. Alex had a lot of DJ gigs so in addition to visiting family, we were able to replenish the bank account a bit. We left Indy and drove straight to South Carolina. We were eager to get back into the woods and away from people. We loved visiting our hometown and seeing our families but it was nonstop visiting for almost three weeks so were a little ready for a break and some quiet. We stayed in the Francis Marion National Forest about an hour away from Charleston, SC. It was a very quiet week and we explored the nearby wildlife refuge, the city of Charleston, and a nearby historic plantation.  

After our break in South Carolina, we continued south to Jacksonville, FL to visit my dad and stepmom for Christmas and New Years. We stayed at Hanna Park right on the ocean. It was a full hook-up city park and made visiting family super easy. We looked for boondocking spots near Jacksonville but hadn't had much luck finding anything within an hour of my dad's house so as a Christmas gift, my parents reserved the Hanna Park space for us over the holiday week. We celebrated the holidays with my family and then on January 2nd, we packed up and headed west.

Our first boondocking spot in the New Year was at Bonne Carre Spillway just 30 minutes from New Orleans.  We loved New Orleans and one of my best friends lives there so we visited him and his boyfriend while there as well.  However, our boondocking spot felt a little sketch and our refrigerator broke while we were there so as much as we LOVED New Orleans and I LOVED seeing my childhood bestie, we were ready to move on and find a better camping spot where we would have the time to figure out our fridge situation.

So we decided to drive through Texas towards New Mexico. We just make this shit up as we go. We don't plan far ahead and usually don't know where we're going next until a few days before we leave. I found a beach camping space on Bolivar Peninsula, near Galveston Island in Texas that I wanted to check out. We've camped near the ocean but never actually on the beach.  We arrived there at sunset, just in time to park and get level before it was dark. I loved the Bolivar camping. I loved waking up to the ocean waves every morning. I loved the shell collecting and the bird watching and the all the different weather we experienced while there. Best of all, Alex diagnosed and repaired our refrigerator, saving us from having to buy a new one.

After a full two weeks on the beach, we moved north to Huntsville State Park, just north of Houston, TX. Alex and I are usually loathe to pay for hook-ups or stay at a campground but Alex had to fly back to Indy for some DJ work and I didn't want to boondock by myself. So we made reservation at the state park for 6 nights so I could have full hook-ups while he was gone. He had a nice weekend back home getting some work done and I had a nice few days with Jane. 

When he returned, we decided to go to Austin, TX next. Again, we struggled to find any good free camping options near the city so we decided to splurge again and pay for camping at a state park.  At this point, we have paid for more camping in the first month of 2018 than we did for the entire year of 2017. We stayed at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin and had 5 days to visit some friends and see the city. We also met up with some fellow RVers that were staying in the same park that we knew from social media.  It was a lot of fun but also very busy and very social so I was ready to get off the grid and back into the middle of nowhere.  

We left Austin last week and began the drive to Carlsbad, New Mexico. The drive was bumpy and didn't feel quite right so when we parked at a Walmart in Fort Stockton, TX to spend the night, Alex checked the tires and found that we had a broken belt and would need a new tire. Amazingly, the only tire place open on a Sunday, also had a tire in our size so we were able to get a replacement and continue on to New Mexico, just $70 lighter.

And now here we are, in the desert with no neighbors in sight. The days are warm and the evenings are cold and we love it here. We'll stay another few days and then continue on. We're traveling the rest of February but beginning in March, we'll be stationary for a few months. I'll write about that eventually but first let me catch up on the winter months.