6/1/17 4:31 PM

Wandering Log | May 2017

wandering-map-may-2017.pngMay is mainly defined by California. This was Ariele's first time in the state and we tried to see as much of the coast as we could. We opted for the coastal route because we know we will hit the National Parks inland next time around! We were able to camp for free in California using our 30-day trial of a Thousand Trails membership we got when we purchased our Airstream, so this helped immensely to cut down costs.

We started May in Tucson and are wrapping it up in Salt Lake City. 

TOTAL MILES WANDERED: 2,736

Tucson/Sierra Vista, AZ

Overview: We stayed with Ariele's Aunt Lisa and Uncle Brad, parked in their front yard. Despite invitations to sleep in their large lovely home, we just are so cozy in our Dot that we slept in her the whole time. Most of the time was spent catching up with local family and enjoying the "dry heat!"

Recommendations:

  • Visit Tombstone and get your ole' timey photos done at Madam Mustache Photographers. The photos were less expensive and more "real" looking than the other shops.

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  • Visit Bisbee to browse vintage and antique shops and drool over Bisbee turquoise jewelry. If you have spare cash, get a piece of Bisbee turquoise--it isn't mined anymore! Eat lunch at Cafe Curnucopia for killer sandwiches.
  • In need of relaxation? In Sierra Vista, visit Timeless Therapeutic Day Spa for a massage, facial, or mani/pedis. The second you walk in, you will exhale in relief. We also did a little photo shoot in the airstream with our super talented Aunt Lisa and cousin Kelsey. They run KL Artistic Lens in Sierra Vista and are some of the most artistic photographers we've seen!
  • Drive scenic drive at Saguaro National Park
 

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Where we camped: Family's yard

Remote worker ready? Yes, there was Verizon service for our mifi.

Chula Vista, CA

Overview: We needed a place to stay in route to San Diego. We chose this spot, as we had a free place to stay at a Thousand Trails resort; you get 30-nights for free at these resorts when you purchase a new Airstream. 

Recommendations: 

  • Not really much to do in the area except drive in to Chula Vista (about 15 min.). However, the game room is a nice chill spot across the street ('Dirty Dancing' movie kinda vibes).
  • On your way, visit the Imperial Sands Recreational Area off of Interstate 8.
 

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Where we camped: We stayed at the Pio Pico Thousand Trails resport

Remote worker ready? Not really. There's wifi at the breakfast hall, but it's weak. We were able to get wifi on a few chairs set up on the hill or drive in to Chula Vista.

 

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San Diego, CA

Overview: We were looking forward to seeing the ocean again. This stop was planned, as Justin had a workshop on 5/21 at Stone Brewing Company.

Recommendations:

Where we camped: We stayed ar Campland by the Bay. We liked this spot, as we could walk to the Mission Beach Boardwalk. Also, the on-premise cafe was on point. 

Remote worker ready? Yes, there was Verizon service for our mifi.

Orange County, CA

Overview: We stopped off in Orange County on the way up the coast so Justin could interview CEO Ryan Malone of SmartBug Media.

Recommendations:

  • We were here for such a short amount of time, so no true recommendations.

Where we camped:  We stayed incognito at the Hollywood Park Casino (free!). This wasn't on any app llist, but we were willing to take our chances in a 24-hour parking lot. 

Remote worker ready? Yes, there was Verizon service for our mifi.

Malibu, CA

Overview: We headed up the Pacific Coast Highway for some beach camping.

Recommendations:

  • Have a fire on the beach
  • Park your rig and take a hike along the wighway (it's gorgeous)
 

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Where we stayed: We stayed at the Point Mugu State Park Thornhill Broome beach campground. If you don't a have a reservation, then show up at 1pm and ask the ranger if there's any available spots; our neighbors said they booked six months in advance.

Remote worker ready? Not at the campsite, but Justin was able to find some reception parking alongside the highway about .5 mile in either direction.

Ojai, CA

Overview: We stopped off quickly to visit an old friend.

Recommendations:

  • Make a pitstop in town and visit some local shops

Where we stayed: We stayed at the Lake Casitas Campground. We enjoyed our spot, but weren't around long enough to settle in. We'd definintely return, though, due to the large spots with choice of hookups or no hookups (more in the woods).

Remote worker ready? Yes, there was Verizon service for our mifi.

Paicines, CA

Overview: We needed another place to stay while in route to Big Sur, so we stopped of at another Thousand Islands resort in the middle of nowhere. We had to drive inland due to the mudslides. We planned on staying one night, but it turned into three because it was so easy to relax at our campsite and we weren't in a hurry for once!

Recommendations:

  • Chillax at the pool and play a game of putt putt
  • Visit Pinnacles National Park

Where we stayed:  We stayed at the San Benito Thousand Islands resort

Remote worker ready? Yes, there was Verizon service for our mifi. We heard from others that Verizon was the only provider that worked in the area. The resort also has wifi.

 

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Big Sur, CA

Overview: We kept hearing from other travelers that we HAD to make time to go to Big Sur. Plus, Justin had been wanting to see the redwoods since he was a kid. The majority of Big Sur was closed due to mudslides, but we were still able to enjoy the state park.

Recommendations:

  • Have a fire at your campsite
  • Take a hike and view the massive redwoods
  • Take a refreshing dip in the Big Sur River. The water is crystal clear and so cold, you don't even feel it. ;)
 

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Where we stayed: We stayed at Pfeifer Big Sur State Park. The park opened a few days prior so we were lucky enough, again, to get a spot. If you can, find a spot amongst the redwoods.

Remote worker ready? No cell reception.

San Francisco, CA

Overview: San Francisco was the last stop on our tour up the Pacific Cost Highway. We stopped off for a couple of days to visit family, friends, and fit in a quick tour of Google's headquarters.

Recommendations:

  • Buy a CD or sticker at Amoeba Records in Haight Ashbury
  • Drive over the Golden Gate Bridge 
  • About one million other things to do

Where we stayed: We stayed at the San Francisco RV Resort, the closest campground near the city, which also happened to be a parter company of Thousand Trails resort so we got 20% off. It was still pretty expensive. But, we saw a few campers parked at the local grocery store (and around the whole city), so we think that would have been a possibility to easily boondock.

Remote worker ready? Yes, there was Verizon service for our mifi.

Reno, NV

Overview: On route to Salt Lake City, we made a pitstop in Reno. We were greeted with snowcapped mountains and green trees (a nice change of pace since we had been driving through the desert of the southwest for hundreds of miles).

Recommendations:

  • Check out the Nugget Casino's pool – you can get in by going through the dining hall area just before it.

Where we stayed: We stayed in the Nugget Casino parking lot (free!). It was probably one of the nicest parking lots we've stayed in yet! They officially allow overnight RV and truck parking.

Remote worker ready? Yes, there was Verizon service for our mifi.

Austin, NV

Overview: We planned on visiting Great Basin National Park, but ran into truck trouble along desolate Highway 50 that made us take a detour to upgrade George's tires. 

 

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Recommendations:

  • Look at the stars once it's dark

Where we stayed: We stayed at Big Creek Campground in Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (free!). We really enjoyed this spot, just make sure to bring enough water for your length of stay and drive slowly down the 11-mile gravel road (or your home will be covered in a thin layer of dust and you'll surely bust something under your trailer).

Remote worker ready? No cell reception, but you can access it by driving down the road a bit.

Salt Lake City, UT

Overview: This was a more extended stay in SLC because Justin has a workshop on June 1st. We have to be honest, it feels really nice to back amongst green trees and flowers and grass! The snowy mountains in the background are a surreal reminder of where we are.

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Recommendations:

  • Visit Temple Square to see the Mormon Tabernacle, the fountains, and walk around the outdoor mall.
  • Thursday evenings the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practices and you can attend for free (beautiful!) and see the inside of the historic church.
  • Walk around downtown Salt Lake City and stop at any local cafe, bar, restaurant, or boutique. There seem to be a lot of local hip spots.
  • Stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats on your way to SLC. Talk about salt healing! Imagine the White Sand Dunes, but as flat as possible. Unfortunately, you have to be going west on i80 in order to walk out and take an awesome photo. The closest turn around exit is probably 40 miles down the road. But, it still looks sweet from the road.
  • And of course Visit the Great Salt Lake! The state park isn't worth the 3 dollars to park, so park at the concert venue a mile down the road right off the interstate and walk out to the water. Great place to SUP or kayak.

Where we stayed: We stayed at the Salt Lake City KOA. We needed a place close to the city and this is as close as you can get, 2.5 miles from Temple Square. Lots of trees, but of course, you have to love the community, as this is far from boondocking.

Remote worker ready? Yes, there was Verizon service for our mifi. The KOA also has free wifi.

What's Next

We still have many miles to go back east and are so excited about June! Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Badlands, oh my! Stay tuned and follow our journey on instagram

If you're someone who dreams of living an unbound life of travel and adventure, you can make it happen on a sustainable basis. Justin's educating and inspiring people to develop skill sets that can be performed in-office or remote. Start today pursuing your dream today by signing up for his free digital training this Summer; think big, start small.

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Topics: Wandering Log, Digital Nomading, Full-time RVing

Written by

Justin and Ariele

Justin and Ariele

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