Trailer Life

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21 articles in category Trailer Life / Subscribe
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I spent the holidays in Pismo Beach, a medium sized resort town north of Santa Barbara. The main attraction is, of course, the beach, which is long and pristine and allows dogs. Sign me up. The nice thing about Pismo in particular is that the majority of the beach is public, state park land with beautiful dunes and sweet-smelling eucalyptus. At Oceano State Park you can pay $10 to drive out and camp on the sand. (We did not, because Sacagewea’s 4wd went out back in Amarillo.) Between Pismo and Oceano is a grove of eucalyptus where a huge colony of Monarch butterflies spends the winter. Though my lens was a bit too short to capture them, …

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After many hours on Highway 5 amid very dry, dusty conditions and a sense of brownness everywhere, I finally made the turn toward the sea. It is one of the final legs of my journey: California Highway 1. At first, I was a little nervous. There were a LOT of people on the 1 around Santa Cruz, and the drive wasn’t all that pretty. Lola and I can’t drive very quickly around the bends, and traffic was piling up behind us, with no place to turn off. We headed south. Monterrey was much the same. You may ask why I didn’t stay in any of these places. At $50 a night, just for an RV spot, it …

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Barstow California is a FUNNY little town. It is at the crossroads between two highways in the middle of the Mojave. I stayed one night at the Rainbow Basin Campground, which has a long washboard dirt road, no electricity and a lovely view of very DESOLATE desert. It was also 25 degrees at night. Only I can nearly freeze to death in the Mojave, I swear. It was chilly, but I had the dogs to keep me warm. I was a little glad of the cold, just cause, ya know, snakes come out when it’s hot. Eesh. In the morning I heard a huge boom, which I’m assuming was some kind of weapons testing at the nearby …

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Monty and Niko and I spent every morning over the last two weeks hiking. There are five less-than-4-mile trails at Ojo, and we hiked every single one. Each has it’s own different geography: one along the river, one down an arroyo, one to an old mica mine, one to an overlook, and one to the ruins of an old indian pueblo. At almost 6,000 feet above sea level, hiking in northern New Mexico is a little more strenuous than at home. There’s a bit less oxygen for the ol’ lungs. It is dry, even in winter, and we had to drink lots of water. But after a few days, it got easier, and felt great. The smell …

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Happy Thanksgiving to me, we had snow. More snow than I thought we’d have certainly, almost two or three inches. It’s a good thing I bought those boots in Santa Fe, or I’d had pretty cold toes. After the initial shock, however, I found I liked the desert just as much in the snow as in the summer. The air is crisp, but not wet, and the mountains look glorious with their white caps on.

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Amarillo, Texas is a city in the middle of nowhere. It is a necessary city, one that cuts the grueling interstate drive across the nothingness into halves. I’ve been through before, but I’ve never stayed for more than an hour, because, why would I? There are far more interesting places west and even east of here. Plus, it’s Texas. In my mind it’s the home of cowboy-republicans who drink too much, talk too much and carry a gun, right? Believe it or not, Amarillo has been kinda fun. Okay, I was FORCED to stay because I was having work done on Sacajewea, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve had a nice time and found Texas …

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The Ozarks (from the French ‘aux Arcs’ short for ‘out of Arkansas’) is a hilly plateau that stretches through southern Missouri and into Arkansas. It is known for its rolling forested hills, rocky plateaus, caves and ‘hillbilly’ culture (as depicted in the show The Beverly-Hillbillies, who were supposed to have come from the Ozarks). I am staying in a campground on the Lake of the Ozarks, which is a fingery lake surrounded by hills. Fall is nearly at a close, and the leaves are shades of golden brown. Most of them are oaks. It rained for several days, cold, with large drops hitting the trailer roof over and over, making me nearly insane. After the rain, however, …

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Right now, Reader, it is 8 o’clock at night and I am sitting in a parking lot. And I am pleasantly surprised. Okay, so it’s not the Hilton, and it’s a little noisy, but it’s reasonably safe, and I’ve got power for this lovely computer. Lola and I are in a casino parking lot, just off the main road outside Munising, MI. There are about 6 spots labeled “RV parking” and they have access boxes with 50 and 30 watt power hook-ups. It’s Friday, so the casino is pretty busy, and people are coming and going. An engine starts every once in a while, and I’m glad that I have curtains. But having been on many road …

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Today I departed from my family’s place in Beaver Island, and headed North. Well, really I had to head South for a bit. Then I headed North, and then West for a bit…I’m getting ahead of myself. Bright and early this morning I boarded the Beaver Island Ferry, named the Emerald Isle, which you may remember I missed by a few minutes earlier last week. I didn’t hold a grudge, however, and my mother was very keen on waking me up in time for breakfast, so there was no worry about it leaving without me again. The sunrise was beautiful over the water. The winds were finally calm. Monty and Niko were eager to leave, but I …

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So when your house has been around since 1964, and it has wheels and sits outside all the time, the roof takes a pretty good beating. But it’s not like you can re-shingle a trailer. All vintage trailers need to have their roofs repaired at some point or another. There are different types, some are aluminum with a coating and some have a rubber membrane. Lola has an aluminum roof with many many layers of mucky coating on it. Her previous owner (whom I had to consult about the title) had said to make sure to “put another coat on the roof.” I wasn’t sure what she meant. So I got up there and looked. Eesh. Okay, …

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