Chilling in the Desert, Summer Plans

Currently located at Pilot Knob BLM Long Term Visitor Area in Winterhaven, California, about 9 miles west of Yuma, Arizona:

Life continues to move at a slow pace here in the desert as we wait out the winter.

Last week we took a day trip across the border to Los Algodones, Mexico for lunch and a little shopping. It’s only about a five mile drive from where we’re camped to get to the border crossing, so it’s very convenient, even downright tempting, to go fairly often. We had lunch at our usual spot, El Parisio, because it’s the best spot for people watching and their margaritas are very good. They always have decent live music at lunchtime, and there are a lot of vendors that bring their wares around to your table for inspection and a possible sale.

After lunch we walked through town to reach the local bakery so we could get a few pastries to take back with us. On the way back from the bakery we found a street vendor that was making fresh churros, so of course we had to indulge a little bit. We did a little more shopping so Andy could find a leather holster for his iPhone, and we also stopped at the candy store to pick up a couple bags of the Mexican candy that we really like. And then we took our place in line to walk back across the border.

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Street churros are the best!

A post shared by Suzanne Hight (@justcallusnomads) on

The return trip is always the least enjoyable part of the experience in Algodones, but as usual, we met some interesting people in line, and the one-hour wait passed fairly quickly. The street vendors came by often with goods for sale, and I wound up buying a nice red tote bag to hold the pastries and other things that we were carrying back to the States.

I was able to do a little geocaching last week as well. There are plenty of caches hidden in this area, although I’ve already found just about all the ones that are within hiking distance except for the ones that are at the top of the nearby mountain–I’m too old to go rock scrambling in dangerous places. But I did pick up a couple of caches out in the desert, so I’m up to 59 now. The two that I found weren’t especially exciting, but it’s great exercise and the anticipation of what might be in the cache container is what makes this hobby so addictive, at least for me.

Andy is still getting all his annual doctor appointments taken care of. He has a couple more appointments next week, and then hopefully we’ll be done with all that until next year. Fortunately (knock on wood) I’m still healthy and prescription-free, and I’m trying to make sure I stay that way by eating a reasonably healthy diet most of the time, and by getting my exercise. There’s plenty of space out here to go walking, and always something interesting to see along the way.

We got a couple of major housekeeping-type chores taken care of this past week. First, I got our 2019 tax returns prepared and filed. They were pretty simple this year, but I did have to file another state return for Mississippi, as my last employer sent me a check in 2019 for my year-end bonus attributable to the months that I worked in 2018 before I retired. I was happy to get the check, but it was a pain to have to file a Mississippi return again. Fortunately, since we’re domiciled in Texas, we did not have to file a second state return since Texas does not have a state income tax. Anyway, we wound up getting a nice refund, so it was worth the effort of spending a couple of hours in Starbucks connected to their wi-fi. 🙂

We had also received a recall notice from Ford on the pickup truck, so we got that work taken care of on Monday. It had something to do with the pretensioners on the seatbelt possibly catching on fire in an accident. Anyway, we took the truck to Bill Alexander Ford in Yuma at 7:15 on Monday morning. They gave us a shuttle ride to Starbucks where we prepared to wait 3-4 hours for the work to be done. But after only about 2 hours, the shuttle driver found us in Starbucks and said they were done already. When we got back to the dealership we found that not only had they completed the work, but that they had also washed the truck (and believe me, she needed it after the rain and mud of the previous week). So kudos to Bill Alexander Ford!!

So that’s pretty much what we’ve been up to recently–mostly just life. But we’re hoping to add a little something different to our summer.

It’s already starting to heat up here in the Yuma desert, with daytime temperatures reaching the low 80’s (yeah, yeah, I know it’s a dry heat, but still….). As soon as Andy’s appointments are done, unless there’s a quick cold snap around here, we’ll be packing up and heading to higher elevations. But we’ve decided to see if we can pick up a work camping gig for the summer, in exchange for a full hookup site.

We’ve registered with Workamper.com and we’ve posted our resume. Since we’re applying as a couple for work that is totally outside the realm of what we did in our past careers, the resume is a combined one that is more functional in nature, listing the types of skills that we have that would be applicable to a camp host position in a campground or RV park. Yesterday we made the resume publicly viewable online by employers registered with Workamper.com, and we sent the resume to three employers that had listed jobs in Arizona and Colorado. We’ve already gotten a response by email from one of them saying he will contact us this afternoon, so we’ll see how that goes.

We’re hoping to find a part-time position (20-25 hours per week each) in a location where we would be happy to be camped for the summer. I’m shooting for a camp office position and Andy’s going for something in light maintenance, and both of us doing host duties. In exchange, we would get a site with full hookups for the entire summer, along with the possibility of payment for extra hours worked and/or other benefits depending on the location.

We’re getting started in our search a little late since we got held up in Texas over the winter while trading rigs. But hopefully there’s a campground or RV park out there somewhere that needs two awesome people like us to help them out for the summer.

But if it doesn’t work out, then most likely we will head back over to New Mexico and take advantage of our annual pass for the state parks.

Who knows? That’s the exciting part of this life–things can change from one day to the next!

Lizzy Too reflecting the sunset. Home Sweet Home!

Thanks for taking time to read our blog! Feel free to share it with family and friends who might be interested in full-time RV living. If you want to keep up with our adventures, please subscribe. You can also find us on Instagram at Instagram.com/JustCallUsNomads if you want to keep up with us between blog posts. And we do occasionally post videos to YouTube–if you would like to subscribe to our channel, check it out here.

Safe travels!!

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