Been a While

We are enjoying our lives… just didn’t feel like posting for a while. Honesty, I was tired of the politics, and the fired up people we met that felt the need to share their views. Some uncomfortable learning experiences for us along the way. Nonetheless, we love the places we traveled and enjoyed most of the people we meet!

We ended 2016 and spent the first five months of 2017 traveling around.

After leaving my parent’s house in VA we went to the Florida Keys… warm and beautiful in the early winter.

We got to live here, on the shore of Grassy Key, for a week!

Then through the panhandle and on to New Orleans.

A small state park in Florida. We love free campsites!
NOLA

A short stop on the Gulf of Mexico, Texas before a long “office work stay” in the Dallas area.

Another free campsite.

From there we enjoyed Big Bend and western Texas which I’ll write more about in another post.

Through Quartzsite, Arizona and into southern Cali to spend time at BLM outside Joshua Tree. While in San Diego I visited a friend, and we stopped at a few Harvest Host locations and enjoy wines…

California
Joshua Tree National Park, outside the south entrance: I know this is a little stylized, but the sky really does look like this at sunset! We lived here for a month.

…to LA for another long “office-work stay” and then to San Francisco for a Google conference and onto many stunning places all over central and northern California.

This whole spring and summer we got to enjoy wild flowers like this from CA to AK!
San Francisco
One example of Harvest Host, CA: This vineyard was our back yard for a day and night. Delicious, fun, free opportunities when you become a member… https://harvesthosts.com/

Another free campsite at Rhyolite, NV. This is an old abandoned town that even had electricity. Funny story; Andrew thought we could find a spot easily so he didn’t unhook the Jeep to check out the road. So, we were stuck on a ridge, on a dirt one way road with our RV. We unhooked, completed about a ten point turn, and survived! Later we drove that road and many others with the Jeep… there was no way we would have been able to go much further in the RV.

The brown lumps in the center of the photo are wild burros.

Onto Reno which is an “office working stay” I really enjoy.

Washoe Lake State Park, NV
Truckee River, Reno, NV
Pyramid Lake, NV

Then we were in Utah where Andrew stayed a week without me when I went back to the east coast to visit my parents and attend a conference in Garrison, NY.

This is the area where salt comes from (Morton and other companies had signs marking what was their property along this road). Pretty neat to see this on our way to a BML near Salt Lake, UT.
Middle Fork, UT: Our backyard trails while we were staying on Wildlife Managed land.

When I returned, we immediately drove to Glacier National Park, MT before our month long journey through Canada to Alaska! More on that in another post.

Thanks for reading!

Reno

Well, we’ve been in Reno for a little over two weeks now. I have done a lot of sight seeing, museums, street party festivals, dinners out, craft beer tasting and doggie hikes. Andrew does join me in the evenings and weekends, but he’s mostly busy with work. I think he enjoys working from the different offices and I defiantly enjoy living in the RV.

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I’ve gotten better at food prep and cooking in the RV. I’ve made a lot of dinners, and even a dessert in the toaster oven! I have a microwave-oven combo appliance but I only use it as a microwave. It dries out everything I try and bake!

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Recipe for Lara’s garbage:
Basically this is thrown together with what I have left over from other recipes, and it was delicious!!
Bunch of scallions (chop and cook white part with corn, set greens aside).
1/2 can corn
Saute in a pan with peanut oil on medium to low heat…

While that’s cooking up, gather the rest:
Halve small tomatoes and cut pineapple chunks into smaller pieces (I often have fresh fruit cutup in the fridge)
Handful of chopped walnuts
Chop cilantro (half a bunch) and set aside with scallions greens
Ginger (dried seasoning sprinkled in)
Po Lo Ku Trading Mushroom Seasoning (a tablespoon-ish)
Soy sauce (a few splashes)
Fish sauce (a couple splashes)
Orange juice (a little pour)

I have a turbo handheld blender, so I used it on the corn and scallions… But not over doing it…
Then add the ginger, mushroom seasoning, soy and fish sauce, orange juice, walnuts, pineapple and tomatoes to the pan, a couple minutes to cook up.
Finally, add the scallions greens and cilantro… A couple more minutes and it’s done!

The Mushroom Seasoning is something I found as a result of dinners with my Qigong sisters! This stuff tastes so awesome, I add it to almost all stove top recipes.

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We’ve done some great walks and hikes in Lake Tahoe and the National Parks in California (Reno is soooo close to so many awesome places!)

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We booked two different RV Parks for our stay here. I didn’t want to be stuck in a crappy place for a whole month! So the first park (Rivers Edge) was not great… They said they were dog friendly… No dog space anywhere on the property… So, not so dog friendly. The one perk was it was on the Truckee River. That was a beautiful site to see everyday. This new spot is at Sparks Marina RV Park and it is across the street from the Marina. The RV park is great with an awesome dog play area and turf in place of grass so sitting outside is pretty pleasant!

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Other exciting news is the beginning of Andrew’s tattoo cover-up at Marked! This original tattoo is a long story from high school… The cover up is a tree, one branch living, and astronomy background. It’ll be finished (hopefully) in October.

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Reno… I’m in love

We arrived here Sunday and checked in early to our RV spot. The park is OK… They say they allow dogs but the dogs cannot use any part of the property on a walk and so each time I take them out I literally run past four rows of RVs and through a stone parking lot to ensure the girls don’t accidentally pee on the property. Not so great. The great part is everything else!

Our RV park is literally on the Truckee River… So at the end of that run I’m on an awesome bike path next to the beautiful river. There are many homeless living here and all seem to be rather friendly or keep to themselves. The river is shallow at this spot so I’ve taken the girls for a couple “swims” where I get wetter than they do! They both generally dislike being wet!

I’m also pretty lucky because the weather is unseasonably cool! You know, 90 as a high and not whatever it normally is here! Yay!

Right now they have Artown going on which is a daily selection of art everywhere… And I do mean everywhere! I’m at Dreamer’s Coffee House enjoying a painting contest and eating a delicious bagel sandwich with my American and next I’m off to River Edge Art and Garden tour. Available for free is performance art, sculpture, paint… I’m so in heaven!

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Time to get off to my day!!!