Bristol, Borrego, Badlands & Just Bad ASS!

So I’ve finally made it back home….back to the boonies…and back to my furry family (yes, hubby qualifies)! It was a fabulous trip to Europe, but I can’t deny that my heart lies here in the grand desert with our 40-foot home on wheels. I think you either hate or love this lifestyle and if you love it, it’s reaaaal hard to quit. So, as we enter into our 5th year on the road I’m excited for the future and the road ahead.

But before I get rolling I should update you on the past week. As an end to my time in Europe I spent a quick few days with my sister in the UK and in-between the grey winter weather we actually got one {{gasp}} sunny day. So we grabbed the car and sped on down to Bristol for a day of tourist-filled sight-seeing. This southwest city has strong links to the sea and, like so many UK cities, has lots of fabulously rich history. We started the activities by the spectacular Clifton Suspension Bridge and decided on a walk in nearby Leigh Woods.

This latter outing actually became really creepy. Aside from the fact that my sister and I share both blondness and a complete lack of direction, we are actually reasonably practiced hikers (or ramblers as they call them in the UK), yet we managed to end up at the same straight wall 5 times in a row without walking in a circle (I’m not kidding). The forest creatures of the “Bermuda Forest” eventually released us, but we had a very eerie few hours in the trees. We finished the day with a tour of the SS Great Britain, a splendid ship that sailed from 1843 to 1937, re-purposing itself several times over that period. If you love old ships you go totally ga-ga for this one, I tell ya. A fine, sunny day and the kind of stuff the UK is all about.

And one looong, loooooong, looooooooong trip later I was back in the desert.

Ahhhh, the wide open space, the sunny skies & perfect temps, the lovely views….and we were not alone. Turns out this boondocking area got pretty busy over New Year’s. Ivan and his cat Hailey rolled in sometime in the past week & we reconnected with him on a sunset trip to Font’s Point yesterday. It’s a spot I’ve been wanting to see for ages, but we’ve been reluctant to drive the sandy road in our low-to-the-ground CRV. No problem for Ivan’s high-clearance 4WD truck and the light when we arrived was PERFECT! The point is an overlook to the “badlands” of Anza Borrego, some of the most ancient rock around. The intricate dips & swirls are sediments that have been uplifted and eroded exposing history up to 4 million years old. In the evening light the folds create colored landscapes sweeping as far as the eye can see…pretty darn amazing!

But this is not the only interesting scene here in the desert. Over New Year’s Eve the NüRV crowd set-up a circle ~5 mins away and welcomed a bunch of young & alternative RVers -> Watson’s Wander, The Roaming Pint, Cheddar Yeti, Bill & Debby’s Wild Ride, Live Work Dream, Aluminarium. The crowd had been rounding up regularly for happy hour, which is quite fun in and of itself, but the real gem of the week was a special performance of fire-wrangling & sword-swallowing  by the amazing duo of Charon & Alex of OddAngel. These two artists do stuff with sharp things that defy the physics of biology….it’s crazy, it’s fun (to watch that is) and it is just bad ASS!

That about brings us to the end of our time here in Borrego. We’ve been parked in this spot since Dec 10th which means we’ve made it just about 4 weeks on our tanks, a new record for us. The toilet finally “burped” this morning indicating the time to depart is nigh (for those not in the know, “burping” is a very scientific indication of near-fullness of the black tank). So, tomorrow AM we finally raise our jacks and head south to Yuma. Even after 4 weeks here, leaving is almost painful. It’s one of the few spots we go (Cape Blanco, OR is another one) where we feel completely at home and if our tanks were any larger you bet we’d be staying on. Adieu, Borrego…it definitely won’t be the last time you’re seeing us!!

P.S. Lots and lots of photos in this post, but they’re in “gallery” format and won’t come through for e-mail subscribers so click on through to see the lot.

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  1. says

    Grrrr. The pictures are coming through as those tiny slits again. If I click on them, they open full size. What I’ve seen look really cool, glad you’re back, sorry you have to move. Burp.

    • libertatemamo says

      Yeah, it’s just you (sadly) having this slit issue on the gallery pics. Don’t know why & WordPress couldn’t do anything extra without some technical feedback :(

  2. Sergio says

    I wish you a Happy New Year… and may your most foolish dreams, magically materialize.

    Just to say… I read a lot of full-timers blog and you have the best design, the best photography and your text (for a Frenchman) are well written and inspired.

    Congratulation, you are my winner. I hope your having a great time doing it.


  3. Dianne & Tom Wartman says

    Hi… welcome back! Though sorry to have left Borrego Springs and not enjoy more time with Paul while you were away, we are most pleased with the solar progress we made to our rig! And, we enjoyed a great week up American Girl Mine Road while we pulled it all together and mounted the panels over the New Year holiday! Loved that area! Now we are at Pilot Knob in the free area… not loving it here, but enjoying a few folks we know so that’s why we moved here. Dentist appointments tomorrow. Then thinking to move to Mittrey Lake and Imperial Dam as we head to Quartzsite. Would like to see you both, but know you are moving and busy… tomorrow evening would be the only time??? Are you going to Quartzsite? Hope we can connect at some point. Be well!

    • libertatemamo says

      Hi Dianne,
      Glad to hear you got your solar done! Exciting stuff!! We’ll be travelling tomorrow (and our dentist appt is Thurs AM) so not really looking to socialize tomorrow night. We’ll probably just plop out early and get some sleep. We ARE going to Quartzsite though so maybe we’ll see you there.

      • Dianne & Tom Wartman says

        We certainly understand about not trying to squeeze a visit in on a travel day! Please keep us in mind and contact us if you find a bit of time while in Q. Our best to you both! D & T

  4. Rowanoca says

    Welcome home! Glad you’re back and enjoying the boonies again. As much fun as the European trip would be, I know I’d be glad to return into the boonies too.

    Looking forward to riding your coat tails along on the journey this year. :-)

    • libertatemamo says

      Happy to have ya along. We plan on boondocking most of this winter, so should be plenty of good stuff coming on the blog.

    • libertatemamo says

      Well, very few showers…re-purposing grey water in the black tank…using paper plates….using hand sanitizer instead of water. Just a few of our “work-arounds”. It takes practice & lots of care, but it can be done. I actually wrote a post about this here:
      Going “Water-Green” = Conserving Water on the Road
      P.S. we still have a bunch of water in our fresh water tank. Haven’t gotten close to using it all while we were here.

  5. says

    Gee, sounds like time to rethink getting a Jeep!! There is lots out there that you miss without the high clearance:)

    Glad you had a fun time exploring with your sister. Good you finally made it out of the trees:)

    Safe travels to Yuma. I totally understand how hard it is to leave the Borrego desert.

    • libertatemamo says

      Yeah, there’s quite alot in Borrego we haven’t seen because of our vehicle. I’m not much of a Jeep person though, primarily because I get really car-sick. The 4-mile drive to Font’s Point even got me a bit queasy…so sadly, I think a Jeep would be wasted on me.

      • says

        Next time we meet up, you will have to go for a ride in our Jeep. I think you will be surprised at how nice the ride is. AND, if I remember correctly, Paul was certainly smiling at the Jeep idea:)

        • libertatemamo says

          I’ll certainly take you up on that offer, but we might have to keep it short. It’s not so much the ride that makes me sick, but rather the uneven motion on the road (turns, bumps, side-to-side etc) which sadly includes just about anywhere you really want to go with a jeep. We took a guided trip into Monument Valley last year and I got terribly ill. Had to stop the car to breathe and try to control my nausea 4-5 times on the way back. Loved the trip, hated the drive.

  6. Suzanne Schleck says

    We have been in Yuma 2 weeks and I am glad to report it has been the warmest place in the US for a few days. It has been 70 degrees in the day time. Warmer than Miami!

    Love your reports and photos as usual!

  7. Bob Nuttmann says

    Nina – Try a Wrangler 4 door. I said I could never own a Jeep till I drove a 4 door a year ago. Bought one the next day. My first alternative was what you have. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Honda, but the Jeep is way more capable and a whole lot!!! more fun. The Jeep is a real hoot to drive. It is slightly more stiff sprung than the CRV, but not that much. These days Wranglers are all coil springs and bulletproof. I have 10,000 miles on mine now + about 6,000 towed miles. Zero warranty work or repairs. And the roof can come off in stages.

    • libertatemamo says

      Maybe one day I’ll get around to jeeping more. I love the idea of getting out in the back roads, but always worry about getting sick. Dramamine just puts me to sleep and I haven’t found other good alternatives. Maybe medicine will find another way some day.

    • libertatemamo says

      It WAS actually a huge party. NYE got way more crowded than we expected, but it also meant a huge social event. I think Paul (who’s a bit more of a hermit than me) actually got a tad overwhelmed. But it was super-fun too!

  8. Ralph says

    Welcome back! Looking forward to following your blog ..for yet another year. Enjoyed the photos..looks like everyone is having fun! Looks like Taggart is really enjoying the sunshine. Spoiled cat!!

  9. says

    The forest story made me giggle. Glad you found your way out! Awesome pictures from the show the other night. Sad that you’re leaving tomorrow, but it sounds like we might run into you again this winter. Happy boondocking!

    • libertatemamo says

      We really couldn’t figure out what was happening in that forest. Crazy stuff! Enjoyed seeing you both as usual and hope to see you later thus winter.

  10. Deborah Farris says

    Happy New Year & Welcome back to your comfort zone! I have to agree with Sergio, you do have a spectacular blog – well written and organized! And the mount of information you are willing to share is amazing – not found any others like yours. Thank You!! We can’t wait to get out of the cold (as low as 9F) and back to our travels. Our son was involved in a serious motorcycle accident in August, so we have be sideline in Lubbock, TX helping out during his recovery.
    Happy Travels!!

    • libertatemamo says

      So very sorry to hear about your son’s accident! I certainly understand staying close for the healing process. Here’s hoping he gets back to 100% and you get back on your travels.

    • libertatemamo says

      Thanks guys. We’ll be knocking around AZ most of this winter. We’ll hit some “old” spots, but also hope to hit some brand new spots. Should be fun.

  11. says

    Great trip – loved seeing what you were doing and glad you had a safe trip home. Your pictures back in the dessert and of NYE are terrific. Love the effects. 4 weeks on tanks is truly amazing..I’m in awe.

    • libertatemamo says

      Thanks Sherry! I have to admit the 4 weeks is a bit of a “cheat” considering I was gone for 2 of them, but it’s still fun to share.

  12. David & Kathy C. says

    If you haven’t already you will have to share the details of getting the most out of your water and tanks.
    Happy New Years !

  13. Jil says

    welcome home…loved th pics…I think the longest we have gone is 3 weeks for both of us but our tanks may be smaller than your can’t remember…if we concentrated on a few more things we may make 4…

    • libertatemamo says

      I was gone for 2 out of those 4 weeks too…that dropped consumption a lot. Our usual max is three weeks.

  14. beartracksblog says

    Ohhhhhhh! Your pictures and stories make every single place you go just irresistible! We plan to get back on the road at the end of next week to begin our 2nd full year of RVing. Heading to Q and hope to get the opportunity to meet you in person. -Linda, Mike (and Lucy)

  15. says

    Although I am sure you had a lovely visit with sister, home has probably been pulling at you for awhile. Given your photos of Anza Borrego, I totally understand why it is difficult to leave. We are very anxious to explore that area in greater depth. Look forward to your next adventure in Yuma. :)


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