So just as every day since we started this adventure the days of 2017 keep flying off the calendar.. After leaving Oregon we stopped in our old hometown of Boise for the month of October. It was our first success at booking a whole month and we did find it nice not to move all the time. I of course had lunch with my girlfriends although only got that in once. We had Mike and Melissa Timmerman over for dinner the week we got three and saw them as much as we could. We got in a few games of golf (Mike a few more than I). And we watched the trees change color. It didn’t help that I went to Europe for two weeks in the middle of the month. (Read about that trip at PhylsJourney.com), but while the stay in Boise was nice, that’s about all I have to say on that subject!
We did buy a “starter” drone while in Boise, and have had a lot of fun learning to fly it. Just this week we have ventured into the camera use mode, and now I’m feeling ready to graduate to the big drone. I’ll post some of our first attempts but don’t be too critical!
When I got home from Europe 2 days earlier than expected, we decided to check out of Boise two days earlier and spend a couple of days in Ogden, UT, with Mike’s parents on our way to Nevada. We hoped with the extra time that we could visit Mike’s daughter, Sara, and the grandkids, but they are already booked up. We did get a nice visit in with Mike’s son, Jed, and got to attend the annual Pumpkin carving party that Mike’s sister threw.
We didn’t have reservations anywhere so we decided to practice our boondocking skills, finding free places to stay. We stayed one night in a Truck stop, but the diesel wunderkind of got to us, so the second night we moved over to Wal-Mart. Closer to his parents, and much more pleasant. I predict that Wal-Mart will see us back. The next night we moved to Cabelas where we had stayed once pre-RV. That got us out of town and allowed for an early start. The sunrise was gorgeous as I started my workday from the passenger seat. More and more companies are supporting RV overnight parking, and we want to do more of it and support those companies back.
We spent the month of November in Pahrump, Nevada, at Preferred RV Resort.
This will likely be a choice for us every year. Pahrump is the home of Front Sight Firearms Training Institute where we have a membership that allows us to take unlimited classes for life. Last year we were here in October an found it too hot, this year the weather was PERFECT. Last year we took a 4-day defensive handgun class, and Mike took a few others, including 4-day rifle last year. This year I took a 4-day rifle class and a 2-day handgun skill builder. Mike also got in a few other classes (including a precision rifle class) but in general once you take the basic classes you return and take skill builder classes until you pass as a distinguished graduate, which qualifies you to take advanced classes, that will be our goal. The training is very professional, and likely the best training on the planet for the price… or perhaps at least that we know of, not that we have looked that hard… but it’s hard to imagine a more thorough training. So exciting, fun, and EXHAUSTING to be there…. Love it! ** ALERT: Brief Political statement **
During the entire two month topic of this post, the team in Brazil kept changing my trip schedule… They need help, but the communication, or funding, or stars were not aligning and my plans kept getting booked, cancelled, moved, and re-booked. I had planned to take the two classes at Front Sight mentioned above. In the end I took two classes, but I registered and cancelled and rescheduled so many times due to travel plans that it was ridiculous.
Pahrump is an hour Northwest of Vegas. The first week in town coincided with Valeria’s trip plans to be in Vegas. Valeria was my exchange student, Brazilian sister) from High School. I had the occasion to visit her in August in Brazil, after 37 years.. (Read THAT post also at PhylsJourney.com) Then two months later we meet again in the US… Isn’t life strange.
We rushed to town a day early to spend time with her. First day we had Valeria and her husband out to the RV for breakfast, then headed out to Death Valley for the day. Mike and I discovered Death Valley last year during our trip to Pahrump. It’s such a fascinating place, so we didn’t mind taking them back. We also took Paulo out to shoot a couple guns, he doesn’t have the opportunity to do that in Brazil, and I think it was a highlight for him.
The second day we visited some favorite Vegas sights with them. Dan London (a friend Valeria and I knew in high school) took us up the Stratosphere for a special evening treat (the locals know all the tricks to save money in Vegas).
We had scheduled our trip to take advantage of a stock trading conference in Vegas that weekend. Mike and I are both looking for personal mentors to help us make those final steps to successful trading. The conference was a very informative and inspiring weekend. We will go back. It’s not clear yet that we found the resource we were looking for but we know we need to stay engaged, and the conference gave us plenty of food for thought.
The following morning I flew to Albuquerque where Valeria had gone to visit my parents, and I followed along to visit with all of them. It was nice to have that time. My kids got to meet and know Valeria. Sara even colored her hair for her (those two seemed to connect). That was my birthday week, so my sister, Nancy, had us out for a family dinner. We took a trip up to Santa Fe to visit the new Art museum everyone is talking about, Meow Wolf. We went up to Los Alamos and visited our high school (which we we not allowed in) and peeked in the Windows of our house (which looks entirely different now). We got to visit with a few friends and had a “birthday event” with the kids “escaping” with seconds to spare from the escape room. Fun visit. When I went to Albuquerque I thought I would be traveling directly from there to Brazil, but after participating in meetings with them every day of my vacation, the trip was again moved and I headed back to Pahrump.
Thanksgiving also ended up a casualty of the Brazilian scheduling problem. Originally (or at sometime during the month) I was going to be gone over Thanksgiving weekend, so we didn’t make plans. Mike thought he’d just eat at the RV park and probably volunteer to help in the kitchen. When the Brazilian trip was cancelled, I decided to join him. It was a nice meal, but the shortest Thanksgiving celebration I have ever had. 90 minutes after arriving we were done eating, cleaning up, and tearing down. Although we did get to enjoy 120 people for dinner and met some new friends at our table. All told, I probably would have enjoyed visiting family or friends more. Luckily for us, Mike’s Son, Josh, his wife Carla, and the two grandkids went up to Utah for Thanksgiving and decided to break the trip home into two legs.. Pahrump was pretty close to half way, so they stopped in for dinner and the night, bringing their own RV to sleep in.
We also took advantage of the long weekend without other commitments to break in the Jeep off-road. Pahrump is famous for 4-wheel trails, not that we particularly knew where to go but at the card game on Wednesday some of the girls told me roughly. We started out in the direction, but hit a dead end before it got very interesting. So we turned around, and tried another side road, and then a third. This third one was reasonably interesting. Mike thought we ought to turn around. I was looking at Google Maps and I said “No, once you drop off this ridge there is a road that connects back to where we came in..” So we kept going.. It got hairier and hairier. Ended up going down a little run off trail that we probably wouldn’t have chosen to go down, but I was SURE it connected. We you can got to the bottom, it was a dry river bed. After driving a few hundred yards in either direction we ended up at a water fall on one end or a slot canyon too narrow to fit through on the other… Aargh. We had to go back up the way we can down. The pleasing thing was that we were delighted with the cars performance. Mike was really surprised at how well it did, even though we had seen the videos.We plan to come back to Pahrump for one month a year. And since the weather is foreboding many months of the year, it is likely to be November/December timeframe. When my colleague pointed out that during the holidays it’s ok to call it “Pahrump pa pum pum”, that tickled my funny bone, so I am!
We have moved on from Pahrump pa pum pum on December 1st but that will be a topic for the next post. Until then, enjoy your holiday season in whatever seasonal song you happen to be enjoying.
PRODUCTS MENTIONED IN THIS POST