Ketchup

So after leaving San Antonio, I headed to West Texas. I stayed for three days at the Balmorhea State Park in Toyahvale TX (http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/balmorhea). West Texas is very scenic- it looks like many Western movies could, and have been, filmed here. Here’s a couple of photos of the park: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA From there I headed to New Mexico. I wanted to boondock for awhile, since it would save money and I don’t have to be in Washington State for my summer workamping job until April. Searching online, I found the Gila National Forest (http://freecampsites.net/#!8127&query=sitedetails) near Silver City NM. One is allowed to stay for up to 14 days at no charge. Of course, there are no services, such as electric, water or sewage. Boondocking means you have to supply your own electricity, water and sewage. For water, I brought 4 gallons of spring water. I kept my food in my large Coleman Extreme cooler. I have a battery operated LED lantern and 2 solar powered lanterns for lighting. My Kindle Paperwhite and my Kindle Fire HD would provide Internet access and reading material. My laptop doesn’t have a battery right now but I cam use it via a 12 volt plug in the minivan. The two devices plus the AT&T Mifi all can be recharged in the minivan and last for days between charges. When I arrived, my Verizon phone received a good signal but the AT&T mifi received zilch, which was not what the coverage map on their site indicated. So, while I didn’t have any problems being off the grid for awhile, not having an Internet connection was a problem. I update a website for a business back in Buffalo and send out e-mails for the business. It required that I drive 20 miles into Silver City, wait for the update message, then update the site with the laptop while sitting in the car. Not fun and very time consuming. Plus, the forest is on the Continental Divide and is 6400 feet above sea level. So what? So that means cold weather! The highs were in the 40s and 50s, with lows around or below freezing. Here’s a picture of my patio view: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA While I was in West Texas, I saw an ad online for a cook at an RV park in Yuma AZ. The job was for 2 months, ending 3/31. It was a part time gig in trade for a site and utilities. My limited exposure to going off the grid taught me two things: I need Internet access and I need electricity. (My trailer has no battery set-up at this time, although I am planning on adding batteries, solar and a generator at the end of this year.) I called about the position and, after a couple of conversations with the manager, was offered the job. So I only spent five days off the grid and headed to Arizona on 2/2.

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