All posts by Kathy

September 19, 2019 Update

Hello Members and Wanna-be Members!

My last post stated that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since that date I have gone through Chemotherapy and surgery and am now waiting on Radiation therapy. I met with my surgeon and oncologist yesterday and they confirmed what all of the test show: I am now 100% cancer free!!! YAY!!!

I did try to get out of Radiation but they told me that for safety sake I must go through with it. So in about 3 weeks I will begin Radiation for 4 weeks and then I’m done. I also have to have an infusion of a drug called Heparin for a year every 3 weeks.

My spirits are up, my body is down (very weak right now) but the future looks GREAT!!!

Medical Issues and Insurance on the Road

Hello everyone! I have put off posting this for various reasons but thought I should address now.

Last month (March 2019) I had my annual exam and mammogram and it came back suspicious. After an ultrasound and subsequent biopsy I learned that I have an aggressive form of Breast Cancer. I am currently waiting for the first Chemotherapy treatment and then surgery. But that is not what this post is about, it’s about getting/having health insurance.

I haven’t much worried about health insurance since I started on the road 3 years ago but after adopting my granddaughter last year I decided that if I had to have it for her, I should get it as well. In Colorado I went to the state health agency and applied for and received health insurance for the both of us due to the fact that my income falls within the guidelines for free medical. We used my Mother’s address and were living with her at the time.

Then we went to Arizona and I put her in school in Quartzsite. The state (and any agency) wants proof of a street address for you with the date on the proof being within 10 days of the date you are applying for whatever. The way I handled that was by #1 – getting a PO box using the address on my drivers license. To get a PO Box I used my Passport as the photo ID and my drivers license as the photo/proof of address (even though it was Colorado) and a copy of my current Vehicle Insurance as the 2nd proof of address (they want 2 forms with the same address on them). Then I went straight to my bank, Wells Fargo and changed my address on my account to the new PO Box and went to the counter to get 3 temporary checks that had my name and current address on them.

The next step was to get a street address. I went to an RV park and paid for 1 night ($42) which gave me a receipt with a street address and space number. I took all of that to the state registry for insurance (In Arizona that is DES) as well as my 1099 from 2018 and my 2018 taxes. With all of that information I was able to apply for and get accepted into the agency for both of us.

I hope this helps you. I’m sure glad I have insurance!! You just never know what’s going to happen.

Quartzsite LTVA and it’s TRASH Bins

Yesterday, January 17th, 2019 we put out a call for help online through our website and with some Facebook groups including Quartzsite Chatter and RTR Chatter. This was a call for volunteers to come help haul off the trash that was collecting at the LTVA known as La Posa South just south of Quartzsite, AZ

This is not a political story. This is not a bashing story. This is a story about community and what can happen when good, caring people come together to make a difference. This story is based on what I personally witnessed and what was told to me by others. THANK YOU to EVERYONE who participated in this!

Here is a  photo of what the bins looked like before we started:

 

At 8:45 in the morning I arrived and backed up to the bins, ready to start loading trash and waiting for volunteers to arrive. While I waited several people arrived and threw their trash on top of the trash on the ground. I just shook my head. A lady walked across the street from the RV dump station with a small bag of trash in her hand. I said to her, “There’s no room for that here, please take it with you”. She said, “The hell there isn’t” as she tossed her small bag onto the heap and then resolutely walked back and got into her large Class A RV.

Another person told me that he had paid for his permit and that included trash and so he was putting his trash there. Another chuckled as he threw his large bag in and said, “I hope the strike is over soon.” (Strike!?!) A man walked up taking pictures and said he was sending it to the White House. I suggested that he return in an hour and take some pictures of what we Boondockers do! As far as I know he did not. Then another person walked towards the dump with his phone and I snapped. I said something to the effect of: “Are you here to help or be part of the problem?” He laughed and said he was there to help. That was RVerTV!! Oh my. I’ll tell more about this amazing person in a few more paragraphs.

Let me pause here and explain what an LTVA is to those who don’t know so they can understand. LTVA stands for Long Term Visitors Area and it is public land that is managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management – a division of the US Department of the Interior).

Quartzsite, AZ is a small town that becomes a mecca for RVers mostly referred to as “Snow birds” (those who escape colder climes for the desert warmth during the winter months). They come in droves and can (some say) swell this area to up to a million people. There are more RV parks in this town than any other in the US and there are over 11,000 acres of public lands that are being utilized as well. The LTVA here is broken into 4 areas, 2 on each side of Hwy 95 going south out of town. This is a permit area which means that you purchase the right to use it because it has water, pit toilets, trash bins and RV and BlueBoy dump stations (only La Posa South has the water and dump stations). The rest of the BLM land around Quartzsite is just open land with no services at all. (there are dump stations in town as well as all other services that a camper needs).

The fee as of this year is $180.00 and it allows you to stay from September 15th until April 15th, after April 15th there are other fees (read more about that in our menu item about this topic). So right there, once you pay that you are “entitled” (I sorta dislike that word) to the services and land use for any time during the 7 months permit period.

The company who has the contract for emptying the trash bins at the 4 LTVA locations is C&D Disposal. It is my understanding that they have been prepaid for their services and the government shutdown has nothing to do with them and their contract. (If they would like to comment on this, please send me an email-kathy@boondockersunited.com). I was told that they are contracted to empty the bins 3 times a week.

Let me ask you a question: Would you put your trash on the ground outside your home if the trash company couldn’t get there on time for some reason? If you DO, do you think they would pick it up and take it? I mean you paid your bill, you are entitled to the pick up so the only answer is to just pile up your trash outside to teach them a lesson, right? Come on people!!!! That is the attitude that we saw yesterday at the cleanup. How can you expect the trash company to get in there and empty the trash if they can’t even get to the bin?

I think many people do not realize that there is a FREE waste transfer station just north of Quartzsite and instead of adding to a massive problem, they can take their trash there.

So, let’s get back to what we did and why we did it. I, known as Kathy Boondocker on Facebook, put requests for help on two groups, Quartzsite Chatter and RTR Chatter and it was shared to others. The request asked for volunteers to come help haul away the trash to begin at 9am on the 17th.

So, it’s 9am on the 17th and I am backed up to the bins in my silver truck waiting for others to arrive. The first truck got there just at 9am and others quickly followed. Some of the people arriving to help were fellow Boondockers and I knew I could count on them because that’s what we Boondockers do – we clean up the messes others leave behind because we care about our public lands and appreciate the use of them. One of those Boondockers was Seth Knight – he’s the owner of the BIG white flatbed truck in the pictures. He is a mover and shaker who put together the big Ehrenberg cleanup. We really appreciate him joining us and helping out.Their were people who stopped to help us load the trucks – they were passing by, saw what we were doing and jumped right in. I believe a few volunteers were from town responding to the call for help. Just as others were passing by, tossing their trash onto spots just emptied by us and with an attitude, kept on going.

I saw Russ with RVerTV arrive but I didn’t know him. I found out soon enough who he was and I’m telling you – he’s a force to recon with. Here’s a link to the video he put out: RVerTV. He calmly made phone calls and sent text messages and got the City of Quartzsite involved as well as the Desert Messenger (Quartzsite’s FREE Community Paper – Quartzsite news, events and entertainment published 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, Sept. thru May).  I had already texted my BLM contact in Yuma and tried to contact C&D Disposal. I was able to contact the La Paz county landfill to let them know we were coming their way and I tried to get the Quartzsite transfer station opened up for us. The manager, Dean Pankowski, explained that the company who owns the two locations, Republic Services, did not have the contract to empty the bins and every year they are overwhelmed by people from the LTVA’s bringing their trash to them at the free transfer station. He went on to tell me that they have been trying to get that contract for years but haven’t been able to get it. He stated that the charge for us to dump was going to be $26.50 per ton. I asked if I could just give him my card number and have it all put on the card but he said I would need to come in person with the first load. So I did and I instructed them that only vehicles who had one of our “11 Courtesies of Camping” cards could be put on my bill. I used those because it was the only thing I had available.

We arrived with the first 5 vehicles and I got the bill arranged for and met with Dean in person. He asked me to tell the public that if their company had had the contract, they would NEVER have allowed this to happen. It is something that many LTVA frequent visitors complain about year after year and everyone tries to blame the government when there is a shutdown.

When I returned to the LTVA, which is where I am camped, I was shocked to see the place cleaned up, a tractor and a dump truck, several city workers and yellow tape being put up to cardon off the area until the trash company could empty the bins. I was told of the heroic efforts of everyone who arrived after we left and the amazing people with the horse trailer who hauled out 1,800 pounds alone! THANK YOU! I was told that the Chief of Police had arrived and that the Chamber of Commerce had donated $100 and the Mayor was also aware of it all. They said calls were made over and over and over again to C&D Disposal but nobody was answering the phones.

I left for about an hour and then ran back down there to make sure nobody was using the bins and OMG!!!! The orange cones were down, the tape was streaming out, the signs we had made asking people to take their trash elsewhere or hold it were on the ground and their were vehicles inside the area and people throwing trash in the bins we had just topped off. As my friend, Jacqueline and I were running around trying to put everything back in place people were still trying to throw their trash away! We tried to tell them it was closed and we got a lot of nasty remarks about they paid their permit fee and they were entitled to use the bins, etc. Finally a BLM Volunteer known as Wile-e showed up on his ATV and stayed there until sundown. He fixed all of the tape and put up the signs and kept people from abusing the site again. He was amazing! I tried to buy him supper but he refused.  He alone kept that place from being overrun again. (and I don’t have a picture of him!) THANK YOU!!

At 5am this morning, January 18, 2019 C&D Disposal emptied the bins. Wile-e told me that when I dropped by at 7:30am. Yep, he was right there, taking down the tape, moving the cones and everything else. He is a BLM Volunteer and even though the Government is shut down he still did his part. I wish their more people like him!

The rest of the story is that with the Government shutdown, the entry station where you pay for your permits is closed and nobody can pay to be here. That means absolutely every person staying at one of the LTVA’s without a sticker is there using all of the facilities absolutely free. It also means that anyone and everyone is coming in and using the facilities. There was a sign at the entrance that said the area was closed and told people to use the 14 day free land but that sign disappeared within 2 days.

I must say that I am VERY PROUD to be a Boondocker! WE CARE and WE CLEAN up after others. To clarify, a boondocker is someone who camps in out of the way dispersed areas mostly on public lands and you will hardly if ever find one snuggled into an RV Park (it’s a PARK you know-not camping). We very often come into locations where trash has been left behind and we pack it out with us.

 

 

 

Boondockers UNITE!

I know this is short notice, but we are teaming up with many other people to voluntarily haul the trash that is accumulating at the LTVA South location in Quartzsite today. Because of the government shutdown, the trash service has been suspended (because they won’t be paid if they go). I will post pictures of before and after.

If you can come, be here at 9:00am. La Posa South, approximately 3 miles south on Hwy 95 turn left and go straight in about 1.5 miles to the trash dumpsters. Come help!!

NEW FORUM

We added an entirely new forum to our website and we are very excited about it. Please take a look and start posting.

We included a section for sales and services and also general chat.

With our “Traveling BUDS” area, we were looking for an acronym for BUDDY but couldn’t come up with one so we shortened it to BUDS. Thank you Jacqueline for your help on this!

We would love to hear from you about the new format.

Let others know and let’s get the forum going full speed ahead.

If you have an idea for a new forum, let us know and we’ll consider including it.

Quartzsite cleanup Postponed

Due to the US Government closure we have had to postpone our cleanup. This area will get cleaned up by us, just not on the 29th. The BLM notified me on Friday the 21st that they will contact me as soon as they are back in the office again.

Keep an eye out here for more updates.

 

If you’re in the Quartzsite area on (To be announced), please join us at 10:00 am at these coordinates to help clean up a BLM site:

33.654041, -114.239984 (enter them like that in your Google Maps and the location will show up).

It is just behind the Love’s truck stop at the end of Joshua Tree Row. We will meet there at 10:00 am with a BLM officer who will talk to us about safety and what type of things we will be cleaning up (no tires, batteries, hazardous chemicals or motor oils). He will have bags and a trailer for us to load the trash into. Please be sure to wear gloves and bring water or whatever  your preference is for hydrating yourself.

The more people we have the better. Pass this on to others and let’s make a difference!

Remember: Any member who shows up for a cleanup gets their first membership renewal free!

11 Courtesies of Camping

  1. Give me space – 50 feet between campsites works best
  2. Give me peace – Quiet time between 10pm-7am
  3. Give me a break – Don’t bother me while I’m setting up or taking down
  4. Give me respect – Walking through my camp is like walking through my yard
  5. Give me  consideration  – Don’t knock on my door – a shout out works
  6. Give me a clean camp area- Pack out your trash, nails or broken glass
  7. Give me honor – If I invite you to my camp, I am not inviting all of your friends
  8. Give me peace of mind – No political or religious discussions
  9. Give me security – Keep your animals on a leash and clean up after them
  10. Give me safety – Be sure your fire is completely out before you leave
  11. Give me my lifestyle – Obey the rules of the land you are on, or we won’t have use of it in the future

written by: Boondockers United

NFS Closes Cottonwood, AZ camping for 2 years

Here is the information and map:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/prescott/notices/?cid=FSEPRD605536

Here’s the story:

PRESCOTT, AZ (December 13, 2018) – As cooler weather approaches Arizona, visitors begin to flock to the Verde Valley to enjoy their favorite outdoor activities. Many of these visitors enjoy dispersed camping in the Verde Valley on forest lands. Over the past few years, dispersed camping in these areas has become a major safety concern due to high use, overstay violations, abandoned property, trash, and illegal activities.

In the last 10 years multiple strategies have been used from providing volunteer hosts, improving signing to ensure understanding of Forest Camping Policies and Regulations, to intensive monitoring and compliance in an attempt to keep the areas open. These strategies have been ineffective as overstay violation, trash dumping, abandoned property, resource degradation and human waste issues continue to occur creating an unsafe environment for other forest users and continued resource degradation.

In order to address the issue of overcrowding and overuse in these areas on the Verde Ranger District, Forest Officials are issuing a 2-year temporary closure which will start January 7, 2019. During this closure period camping will be prohibited within the restricted areas adjacent to Highway 260 from Cottonwood to Camp Verde and Salt Mine Road in Camp Verde from the intersection with Highway 260 to Beasley Flats Day Use Area.

Over the next two years the district will be analyzing current dispersed camping corridors, areas of overuse and look at the long term management of these areas. This process will provide opportunity for public involvement and input.

For more information please contact Todd Willard, Verde District Ranger at (928) 567-4121.

 

 

How to find us

It seems like this time of year practically everyone arrives in Quartzsite for the winter. We’re no exception.

We have a base camp set up just outside of Quartzsite, AZ in the LTVA South area. You can read more about LTVA’s on our website.

To find us, head south out of Quartzsite on Hwy 95 towards Yuma and go about 3 miles. You will be turning left off of 95 and once you pass the main entrance keep going on the main dirt road until you see the first pit toilet on the right and we are right across the street from it. Our banner is up and it’s hard to miss right now but that may change as more people arrive.

You do not need a permit to enter or visit with other campers but if you plan to stay the night you must have a permit on your vehicle. You can purchase a permit at any of the entrance buildings during normal hours or online. If you arrive after hours you can purchase your permit the following morning.

We look forward to meeting you and talking about our future and what we can and are doing together as a united voice.

Member Location and RVillage

We now have access to online mapping of where members are currently located through RVillage.com:

https://www.rvillage.com/group/3102

Creating a free account within RVillage is easy and your location is simply your zip code so no actual pinpoint location is shared anywhere. When someone arrives in your area, the system will notify you or you can search to see who is there and then you can reach out to them if you choose.

Once you request to join our group we will verify your membership and grant you access.

You must be a member of Boondockers United to join our RVillage group. When is a better time than NOW to do that?

The beauty of Boondocking

Here we sit, myself and my granddaughter, in a gorgeous forest just south of Flagstaff, AZ. There is a meadow in front of us and a small water hole that will soon be gone. The water hole is about 150 feet from us. The meadow is full of small yellow and white flowers and short green grass.  The pine trees tower all around us as we wait for our turn in the sun to power our solar panels.

2 nights ago, after we closed up the trailer for the night, our puppy began barking. I looked outside to see a herd of about 30 Elk literally playing in the water hole. Some were drinking from it, others were running through it and at least one was rolling in it. Young and old were running and twisting their bodies in weird directions and kicking up into the air with their hind feet in pure delight. The young Bulls were play fighting with their antlers and some of the calves were standing on their hind feet with another playing around.

We were awestruck!! I have NEVER in my life seen Elk play! We tried to get pictures or a video but it was too dark. So we just sat and watched in such a state of peace and contentment that it surprised me.

THIS is what Boondocking is ALL about!

Getting and Giving Directions

When I first started out on the road I had no idea what “drop me a pin” meant. You may not either but it is a common way to share your location with others. I have an Adroid phone so those are the directions I can give you.

Pull up Google Maps on your phone. You will see a circle with a dot and 4 lines (marking N, E, S, W) on the right hand side of your screen. Mine is blue. Touch that circle and it will zero in on your location and show you a solid blue dot on the map. That is your location!

Touch (long touch or maybe I should say, “Press down and hold”) the Dot and you may get one of two options:

  1. at the top of the screen you will see your gps location points. Let go of the dot and use your finger to scroll from the bottom of your screen up and then you will see more options. Choose “Share”. At the next screen you will see a bunch of icons of your apps. This is where you choose how to share it. If you want to use Facebook, click on that icon. I normally use Messenger (not Facebook messenger) and send it directly to someones cell phone. The app will automatically insert the gps location and send to whomever you chose to receive it.
  2. You may have an option right on your screen that says “Share your location”. Click on that and it may ask you how long you wish to share it for.  Choose the app you want to use for sharing and enter the name(s) of the recipients.

I hope this helps. The receiver of the coordinates will only have to touch a link on the message they receive and it will automatically pull up Google Maps and give them driving directions.

I hope this helps.

 

Forum Added

We added a Forum to our website for our members to join in on important discussions and to help communicate with you for upcoming events, educational gatherings and cleanups.

If you are looking for  a Forum to use as a meetup or for other topics please go to cheaprvliving.com as Bob Wells has an extensive forum set up to answer most questions you have.

Feel free to suggest other important topics.

 

Life Changes

We all know about life changes and how it can happen in an instant. Poof – snap your fingers – blink your eyes and there ya go – a whole new life or perspective. My how quickly that can happen.

It doesn’t have to be negative, it can just be another phase of your life on this earth. It could even be exciting. Sometimes “exciting” comes AFTER you go through the “I’m scared” stage. It IS stages you know.

My own “snap your fingers, etc” moment that happened in the past year began on December 5, 2017 when, while in camp, I got a phone call that instrumented the next moment. My only daughter passed away suddenly. Thank goodness I had close friends in camp with me and they helped me so much! Then came the long drive to Tennessee from California and all that came next.

In April, 2018 I got the second call. The placement of my granddaughter had not worked well for both parties. In the blink of an eye and without hesitation I agreed to take my granddaughter and to fully adopt her. I packed up again and drove off to retrieve her. What a delight it is to have a 12 year old around again! Oh my. The final adoption took place on June 27, 2018. I am now Grandma/ma. LOL. I absolutely LOVE having her in my life! I look so forward to sharing her youthful energy with all of you.

Unfortunately what all of this has meant is that Boondockers United had been put on the back burner. I am almost to the point of getting it revved up in full force again. I sold my small camper and am now looking for one with bunk beds to accommodate her and her needs. As soon as I get that (of course I have to consider towing capacity of my 1/2 ton truck and available cash so it takes a little bit of time to get the right one) I will be on the road again. I look forward to “Roadschooling” her and she’s pretty excited about it as well.

Stay tuned because there is excitement in the air and life is good and things are looking up! You will see a Forum come onto the site very soon and notices of educational gatherings as well as social ones.

National Forest Notices

The Members Only page associated with National Forest Notices is almost done. This is a VERY important part of what we do.

We urge ALL members to check out the page because there are some Notices related to Arizona – fee proposals.

 

Member Registration

To Register you must first become a member by clicking on the “Join Us” menu option.  Thank you for your interest in our organization and we look forward to having you join us here and on the road.

If you are a paid Member and have not received your login user name, please contact us: login@boondockersunited.com

 

Comments error fixed but we lost some

Part of growing pains are errors and for some reason we have not been receiving any of the messages sent through the “Contact Us” link. That has been fixed but in the process we lost all of them that were there. UGG!!

If you have recently sent us a message via Contact Us – please do so again. Your opinion and comments are VERY important to us.

Thank you so much

CheapRvLiving does a video on us!

Bob Wells has uploaded an interview he did with me about Boondockers United and the outpouring of support is overwhelmingly positive.  We ordered more bumper stickers and they should arrive by the 8th. We do  have some email addresses that are being returned to us so if you have not received your “Welcome” email please email us directly.  We are in the process of obtaining our 501c(3) non-profit status and plan to have that in place within the year.

Watch the vido here: CheapRVliving Video

Quartzsite cleanup with the BLM

On January 18, 2018 Boondockers United members and others came together and helped the BLM clean up a site in Quartzsite, AZ. There were around 19 volunteers and 3 Rangers who spread out and picked up an entire trailer load of trash! There were mattresses, abandoned clothes and tents as well as a lot of trash strewn over about 5 acres of public land. Thank you to everyone who joined us!
Continue reading Quartzsite cleanup with the BLM

Update on Quartzsite cleanup

Hello Everyone! We hope you all had a great holiday season! We’re gearing up for 2018 and looking forward to doing some awsome things! As you know, our members are ready, willing and able to lend a hand and help out the BLM and the National Forest Service with cleanups and site service. We do this voluntarily because we cannot stand seeing our public lands being treated unkindly.
Continue reading Update on Quartzsite cleanup