Our Adventures

Welcome to the adventures of Larry and Connie Farquhar.

January 2019 Expenses

ExpensesWhen we started researching the possiblity of traveling full time in an RV, I was concerned whether we could afford it. I apprecated reading other people's blogs that included any expense related items. It helped us plan accordingly and gave us a better idea of what to expect finanically while traveling. We learned that we had a good chance of surviving, provided we worked seasonal jobs.

To help educate others contemplating this lifestyle and concerned about finances, I kept and shared most of our expenses. At least I did for the first few years we were full-timing. To that extent, I'll try to start sharing some of our expenses again. These are most of the day-to day living expenses, which can be controlled. It doesn't include regularly scheduled expenses.

January 2019 Expenses

 Auto: Fuel

Dining Out

Entertainment

Groceries

Motorhome: Camping

RV: Fuel

RV: Repairs

Misc

 $82.50  $189.50 $112.50 $414.50 $869.00  $95.00 $0 $638.00

 

Notes:

  1. Camping fees included 2 weeks at RV Park in Apache Junction, AZ - $392.00
  2. Camping fees included 1 week reservations at Theodore Roosevelt NP in North Dakato for this summer - $49.00
  3. Camping fees included 1 week reservations at Aune Osborn CG in Michigan for this summer for 2 sites - $428.00
  4. Misc includes purchase of replacement 10-wheel Tire Monitoring System - $490.00
  5. Misc includes purchasing 2 new outdoor chairs and an outdoor recliner - $148.00
  6. Average Price for Diesel:  $2.68/gallon

 

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Biosphere 2, Arizona

Biosphere 2, Arizona Biosphere 2 near Oracle, AZ

We stayed in Quartzsite for only 20 days this year. When we left on February 5th, we decided to spend the next couple of months in southern New Mexico. We stopped for 3 days at the Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ family campground. This RV Park gets very busy during the winter months, as "snow birds" migrate south away from the cold snow. We were fine with staying in their dry-camp area.

During our brief visit, we spent one day having lunch and visiting with old friends Nancy and John Grindley. Connie worked with Nancy at a dentist office in Louisiana back in 1992-1997. They've stayed in touch and we get to visit every few years. Our other day we finally did something we've been saying we were going to do for the past 20+ years. We FINALLY visited the Biosphere 2 near Oracle, AZ.

Biosphere 2 (Biosphere 1 is the planet Earth) was built in 1986 to research and develop self-sustaining space-colonization technology. Within this 3.14 acres of glass-enclosed facility, there were two human missions between 1991 and 1994. 8 scientist were sealed inside the Biosphere without any outside support (other than communications). They had to grow and sustain their own food, water, and oxygen for their 2-year mission living in this sealed environment. In 1996, the Biosphere changed hads and it's purpose. Since then, the facility has been used for research on a variety of topics dealing with Earth. There are now separate areas for a rain forest, ocean, tundra, and desert. For each area, scientist can control various factors (humidity, temperature, moisture, etc.) to see the results. While I'm glad we visited the Biosphere 2, I was a tad disappointed. I was hoping to learn more about the space-colonization aspect of what it was originally developed for. The current experiments on our climate, plant growth, etc. while important, just doesn't excite me.

We had heard about the New Mexico Annual Camping Pass for it's state parks. A non-resident annual pass was $225 ($100 - $180 for NM residents). This allows us free camping in any New Mexico state park for almost 13 months. They key is to buy the pass after the beginning of a month. It's then good until the end of the same month a year later, giving you almost 13 months on the annual pass. Since we have other plans for this summer and next winter, we''ll only be able to use it for 2 months this year.  We can stay at a state park free dry-camping for 14 days. Then we can move to another NM state park and do 14 days there. We plan to get about 60 days worth of camping for the $225. In our case, this works out to $3.75 per night. However, for $4 more per night, we can have an electric RV site (if available). There's 34 New Mexico state parks (not all have camping). Imagine having the annual camping pass and staying at a different state park for 2 weeks all year long. All for the $225 cost of the pass.

Yesterday, we left Tucson and made our way to Pancho-Villa State Park in New Mexico (31.823488,-107.6412882,642). This is near Columbus, NM on the Mexican border, south of Deming. We purchased our Annual Camping Permit and will be here for at least 12 days. We got the last electric site, so it's costing us $4 per night (with the pass). The Pancho-Villa State Park is near the location of the old Army Camp Furlong. This is the site of when General Fransisco (Pancho) Villa raided Camp Furlong and the nearby town of Columbus in 1916. This resulted in General John Pershing entering Mexico 6 days later and pursuing Pancho Villa. General Pershing took 10,000 troops on a 500-mile expedition in pursuit of Pancho Villa - without success. There were a few "firsts" for the U.S. Army during this campaign. 1) This was the fist time motorized transport had been used in action, and 2) Camp Furlong became the location of the first U.S. Army Airfield, using cloth covered by-planes.

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2019 Travels Begin

2019 Travels Begin Our temporary home in Quartzsite, AZ
We don't like to make many reservations, as it forces us to stick to a schedule. We prefer the freedom to go and stay as long as want, changing plans as needed. A reservation prevents this. However, we know there are certain places and times of the year when a reservation is required. We just weigh our options and "might" make a reservation if it's a busy holiday and there's not many alternatives. Although reservations for staying in Apache Junction are desireable, we don't usually make them. There's hundreds of RV Parks in Mesa and Apache Junction, there's county and state parks nearby, and even dry camping in the desert a little out of town.
 
Earlier in the year, we did try to make a reservation at Brookhaven RV Park for the month of December. There was some confusion, as they were between managers. But I was told we could have site #22 from November 28th to January 1st. I felt something wasn't right, as they never asked for a credit card. Regardless, we arrives on the 28th as planned. And I was correct, they didn't have a reservation for us. Site #22 was now taken by the new manager. But they ofice ladies felt real bad (the same thing happened to them last week). They managed to find us a place for the month.
 
When January 1st came up, we had planned to move on. But we had to stick around for a couple more weeks for our annual doctors check-up. We talked about just going out to the desert near Paralta Trail and boondocking. But the weather was getting cold and having electric would be nice. We got lucky and found a site at the Budget RV Park for two weeks.
 
On January 15th, we made our annual pilgrimige to join our Escapee RV Club "Boomer" friends in the desert near Quartzsite, AZ. This year, they club moved to a new location. I had mixed feelings about this move. The Boomers had been going to the same spot for over 20 years. We'd been joining them almost every winter for the past 18 years. However, it turned out to be a better location (we were at 33.769978, -114.169179).
 
This year, there were MANY new members and this was their first time attending this annual event. But we still met up with many old friends. It was a couple weeks of fun in the desert, with potlucks, a chili cook-off (Connie won 3rd place), wine tasting, classes and discussions, 4WD trips, morning walks, dog parade, dancing under the stars, movies on the side of a RV, and much more!
 
Currently, our Boomer event is over and almost everyone has left. We're still here for another week. We usually stay until we're out of water and the holding tanks are full. Our record is 23 days without dumping. We've been here for 15 days. We're not sure where we're ging from here. But I think we're leaning towards exploring the southern part of New Mexico. We'll have about 2 months before we need to be in Reno, NV.
 
While sitting here in the desert, we made a little more plans on our summer travels. We've identified many places we want to go to, which dictated the route. We have a good idea of our timeline, as we wanted firm reservations for the July 4th holiday weekend. We know we'll be at the Theordore Roosevelt National Park (South) on July 2nd. Between April 26th and July 2nd is all flexible. We did decide to add Lake Louise/Banff in Canada on the planned route.

 

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