Boondocking Trucker Style

Boondocking Trucker Style

Most of my adult life I have been self-employed as a General Engineering Contractor. Three and a half years ago after the housing market crash I began driving a truck Long Haul. I have worked my way up in seniority and for the last year have had a dedicated run to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
With the exception of missing my family, my husband and son, I love my job.
There are several reasons why I love my job. One is it’s similar to being self-employed. When I leave the yard in Woodland, CA, I am on my own. I don’t have a manager who micromanages my every move. But I think the main reasons why I love my job, is I get a taste of the nomadic life and the view out my windshield. I drive an average of 3500 miles a week, through all types of road and weather conditions but the view is always fabulous.

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I’m not the typical truck driver, I don’t like parking at truck stops. In my opinion, truck stops are for fuel and showers and for the most part, that is it.

I have been boondocking for the better part of three and a half years in a 75 foot truck and trailer.

Prior to my dedicated run I basically went wherever my company needed me to go in the 11 western States and two western providence of Canada. 

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Most truck drivers at the end of their shift will park at a truck stop stacked in like cord wood. Over the last three and a half years I have been very successful Boondocking my 75 foot truck and trailer.

 

 
With a dedicated run, you get to know the variations of the route you can take depending on the weather. In doing so I have found some favorite Boondocking locations. One is on the Missouri River near Craig, Montana. Then there is Craters of the Moon in Idaho and overlooking the Snake River in Twin Falls, Idaho.

 

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During this time I have also located several dump facilities along I-80 in the state of Nevada. All of them are free with great access for all types and sizes of rigs. My favorite dump facility (if you can have a favorite dump facility) is at the Cosgrave, Nevada rest area at Exit 158. 
When I’m not boondocking at a Scenic pull out, I often stay at rest areas. Most of the rest areas along I-15 in Montana have individual restrooms and some like the the rest area in Conrad, Montana have free Wi-fi.

All of the rest areas in Montana are beautifully manicured and are park-like settings very similar to state parks.

I view this job as a researcher/ adventurer stepping stone for when I am a full-time nomadic traveling the US by RV hauling our bikes with my husband when we retire.

Bell
Bells Rides

Big Sandy

Big Sandy
Boondocking /Dry Camping

Growing up from as early as I can remember my family has camped.

My parents were poor and with four kids camping was cheap entertainment. We camped in tents, cab over campers and later mama and daddy had a 19 foot tow behind trailer (20 foot length is maximum length  in Big Sandy).

All of us kids slept in tents or under a tarp in the back of the truck.

Our favorite place to camp was Big Sandy, CA.
It’s a small Campground with 18 sites just outside of Yosemite National Park and at the time it was free to camp.

Every summer we would pack enough food and supplies for a month of camping.

Back then we didn’t call it “Boondocking”, we just knew it as dry camping. Or as my Uncle Rodney would say “Living off the fat of the land”.

At some point the US Forest Service started charging a small fee and today it is still relatively inexpensive at $26 per night. It’s still dry camping with no water, no dump facilities, no electrical and you pack it in – you pack it out.
There is a camp host and a couple of out-houses which the camp host cleans daily.

This part of my childhood was truly a gift from my parents. To experience the great outdoors, to fish, hike, playing outside and getting dirty, then jumping in the creek to get cleaned off.

Daddy had a Toyota Land Cruiser that could go just about anywhere.

Mama would drop Daddy, my sister and I about five miles or so away from the camp with cheese, crackers and a canteen of water (this was a couple of decades before bottled water).

The object was to hike back to camp before dinner but without using any of the roads.
Often times this would entail crawling under, over and through Buck brush and Manzanita.
We would come dragging into camp bloody, scratched and bruised ready for a dip in the creek.

Mama would have a big pot of beans and biscuits waiting for us. The way we ate you would think we hadn’t eaten in a month, but then again mama was an excellent Okie Chef.

Our nights were filled with sitting around the campfire or we would all pile in Mama and Daddy’s trailer and play cards.

I can honestly say the times I spent camping with my family at Big Sandy we’re not only some of the best times of my life but also what helped mold me into who I am today.

Bell
Bells Rides

 

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Disclaimer:  I would have killed to have any of this camping/hiking/fishing gear growing up. No complaints I caught my limit on my hand me down, second hand rod and reel.

 

 

 

 

 

“No Brainer” Anti-Theft Precautions

“No Brainer”
Anti-Theft Precautions

We all know our pretty shiny bikes will catch the eye of other bike enthusiast. That is why we wash, wax and polish the chrome before a ride, right?
Unfortunately, as we are showing off our ride to other bike enthusiasts, we are also showing off our ride to the potential bad guys too.
Being married to a Law Enforcement Officer I have heard some of the stories of what the bad guys are willing to go through to steal your ride. Which have made me cautious  and maybe a little paranoid when it comes to protecting my ride from theft.
I don’t want the potential theft of my ride to hamper the enjoyment of riding or of my travels so we take “No Brainer” Anti-Theft Precautions.
The first “No Brainer” precaution is to lock the fork lock, taking this simple step and making it part of your routine can save you thousands in headache and heartache. 

When visiting a restaurant or bar we always try to park in front of the entrance, so even if we can’t see our bikes from where we are seated, it is highly visible from other patrons or employees of the restaurant/bar. If front row parking isn’t available as in most cases, and we have to park in a parking lot, we park under a light. When we are traveling extensively we book our hotels with bike friendly hotels with parking in front of our rooms. We also cluster park when we are in a group, so if one of the bikes doesn’t have an alarm system, we park the bikes with alarms behind it.

There are times when you just can’t park where you can keep an eye on your ride,  which brings me back to ALARM SYSTEMS. We have had alarm systems on all our bikes. All of our bikes have had stock alarm systems, the latest bike came with Harley Davidson alarm system and we upgraded it with pager to alert us if the alarm goes off.
There are several aftermarket alarm systems available that are either hardwired or Plug & Play.
Some alarm systems have Text, GPS locating capabilities, and there are even alarm systems with perimeter capabilities. With the perimeter alarm model, you can program it for a set distance and should someone get too close the alarm will sound.

There are less complicated anti-theft devices that simply work because most bad guys are lazy and will move on to an easier target. Such as a cable and lock, or a less intrusive anti-theft device is hub locks with tilt sensors built-in which sounds an ear-piercing alarm when the bike is stood up off its stand. This type of anti-theft device are fairly inexpensive, easy to use, with no hard wire and are small enough to carry in your saddlebag.

With any of these anti-theft devices it is only effective if it is put into use. That being said if your alarm goes off, check on your bike. We have all heard alarms going off and the owner never shows up to check on their ride. 
Last “No Brainer”, is INSURANCE….
One can put into action all the anti-theft precautions but all it takes is that one bad guy who is good at stealing bikes.
My brother had his and his wife’s bikes in an enclosed trailer hooked to his truck with a hitch lock. The bad guy in this case stole the trailer and the bikes.
As with most people my brother didn’t know the difference between ACV (Actual Cash Value) and RCV (Replacement Cash Value). They had ACV coverage, so they received pennies on the dollar for the theft of their bikes and trailer.

For me, I like to take several precautionary steps.
1.) Alarm system with pager notification and GPS locating (Lord help the bad guy if I find them before the cops do).
2.) Hub locks
3.) Safe parking location
4.) RCV (Replacement Cash Value) insurance policy.

Ride safe
Keep the ridea sa few

Bell

Bells Rides 

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I’M BACK….

I’M BACK….

 

We are back… 

It’s been a long time since I have published my thoughts or stories.

 Just a little recap of where I have been and what kind of trouble I have been into. As you can see, I still like to monkey around but sadly not much trouble these days.

I have been working just too much, traveling all over the western United States and Canada to have the TROUBLE kind of fun.

Last year (Dec 2015) my company “Truck Accessories Group”  got all of the drivers new trucks and so far my little road partner “Roo” and I have put on over 200,000 miles.  I now have a dedicated run to Edmonton, AB, CA. Delivering Leer Canopies and Truck Accessories.  With the occasional fun run,  like the one I am currently on to Elkhart, IN. 

With all this work and travels, I have still managed to get some rides in, which I will share in the not too distant future.

On the bike front, I’m still riding bitch on the beauty above.  Not to worry, I have my eye on a mini-me of “Big Blue” (yes, I name all of our bikes), just slightly newer. I will also install a quick disconnect for the trunk and change out the seat to a one up for a sleeker, sexier look.

Also, I have completely given myself a nutritional overhaul.

For the last three and a half years I have been following a Ketogenic lifestyle. Yeah I know, I don’t really like the term “lifestyle” when describing your nutritional habits, but here I am using it just the same. And really its the best term for it and how I go about it.

I’m an all in, jump head long into it, kind of person.

When I shared with you the details of wrecking “Scarlett” and published the photo’s of the black and blue bruises, the thing that kept coming back to me when I looked at the photo’s wasn’t the bruises, or how jacked internally my body was, it was how FAT I was (along with some other motivators, which will be in a story called “My Journey” I will publish very soon).  

So, I made some minor changes to my food and the weight came off and I was back to my fighting weight. Then I found out what I was doing actually had a name, Ketogenics. This is where I’m all in, jump head long into it, slightly obsessive…

I have researched Ketogenics from all kinds of resources from the simple DIY informational blogs, vlogs and YouTube’s, to Medical Doctors and PhD Professor/ researchers. It all boils down to this, the fuel you put into your body is as important as the air you breathe. 

During this time of research and transforming my body not just how it looks but how it functions, I have had to be creative to follow this (here comes again) “LIFESTYLE”          Traveling by Motorcycle, RV and Big Rig.   Keto On The Go

I have some great rides, runs and Keto tips I will be sharing very soon.

It’s good to be back……                             

 

 

 

O

 

 

 

 

 

Straight From The Horses Mouth

My story of my visit to the local Indian Shop “C &E Auburn”  (Indian’s) needs to be revised. After I shared the story with Emma (the E of C & E Auburn).  Emma corrected a piece of information I had got from a trusted source, who is a long time member of the motorcycle industry. I apologize to C & E Auburn and to you for printing incorrect information.

You probably are wondering “What’s The Big Deal?” You may be right, it might not be a big deal, but this is how rumors continue to circulate.

So, out of respect of some really cool people, I am correcting what I wrote. I had written “Harley Davidson had pulled the dealership”.  Basically, the correction is their Harley Davidson Shop simply burned to the ground. With the great attitude Emma has, she has said to me in an email  “In hind site it was a blessing” , The Indian Motorcycle, The styling, The performance, The entire bike is a Functional piece of art”.  

Again, you may think what’s the big deal?  To me, if it’s just me telling my story of a ride and my experience or impression of the ride, that is one thing, Its my opinion, nothing more. Information which stated as a fact which turned out to be incorrect is another story all together, and I apologize..    

Indians

In my family we believe, “A  family who Rides together, Stays together”. I have talked about my dad in the past, so some of you are familiar to how I got into riding at the age of 9 years old. The story go’s farther back then just myself, I am the youngest of four kids.

My dad gave my oldest brother (Ricky) his first ride at 6 months old on the tank of his Indian. Ricky will be turning 60 September 19th and he has been riding from the first moment my dad put a pillow on the gas tank and rode him around the yard.

I’m 14 years younger than my brother, so I’m repeating stories I have heard all my life. When my brother was a little older, a ripe old age of 2 years old, Mom, Dad and Ricky lived in Tehachapi, CA. My dad would put Ricky in front of him on the Indian and ride him up and down the sand dunes, giggling all the while saying “Do it again daddy, Do it again”. Now a days my parents would probably be turned into CPS.

We all have our favorite bikes!

My brother “Ricky” rides a Harley Davidson Road King, his wife “Yaya” ride a Yamaha V-Star but she really wants an Indian. My sister “Sissy” rides a Dyna Low, her husband Kenny Kenny rides a Heritage Classic, my husband’s sister Amy and her husband Kelly rides a Kawasaki Concours, my husband, Andy rides a Road Glide Ultra and I ride “Jewel” a Street Glide.   

We tend to make excuses to Ride.

Excuse number one, Yaya really wants to get an Indian.
Ricky and I were making plans for him to pick up a gun I gave him for his 60th birthday. He said he and Yaya were going for a little ride to check out the new Indians in Auburn, CA. That was their excuse for a ride and I just jumped on the band wagon and made it my excuse too. I told him to swing by the ranch to pick up the gun and Andy and I will tag along on the ride.

We headed north on HWY 49 through the canyon to Auburn, CA. The new local Indian dealer is the old Auburn HD shop. After a fire a few years back Harley Davidson pulled the dealership from C&E Auburn. C&E have been in the bike business for about a hundred years and really know how to treat their customers. So, as much as I love Harley Davidson I thought this really sucked.. Now C&E Auburn have a new chapter to add to their story, the Iconic Indians.

The whole purpose (excuse) to ride to C&E Auburn was for my sister-in-law “Yaya” to test drive the Indian. Yaya has wanted an Indian as long as I have known her, (way back when dirt was still young). When we got to C&E Auburn, we all were climbing all over the bikes. They are just gorgeous! Unfortunately, Yaya is vertically challenged at a 5 foot nothing, she couldn’t touch the ground with both feet. Not a big deal for a dirt bike, but a bike weighing in over 700 pounds, its best to touch on both sides. So, my husband and I took a couple different models out for a test drive. Andy started out on the Chieftain and I started out on the Chief, half way through the test drive we switched.

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Chief
Chief

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I personally like the Chief better, it handled very similar to my old Road King Custom. It was very agile and sporty. The Chieftain felt heavier in the front end and not as agile.

The Chief would make the founders incredibly proud, the designers of the new version nailed the classic beauty of the 1948 Chief. Both models we test drove are powered with the Thunder Stroke 111, it’s very responsive and very fast. Although my favorite of the two bikes we test drove was the Chief, both bikes were incredibly FUN to ride.

When Andy and I returned from the test drive, Yaya and the sales man were changing out the seat and discussing how they can lower the bike to fit Yaya. Of course this made Yaya very happy and she is now working on the financial end to make the purchase.  

C&E is one of the best Motorcycle dealers in the Northern California area, I highly recommend checking out  C&E Auburn for your next Indian purchase. C&E Auburn is located at 12015 Shale Ridge Lane, Auburn CA 95602. Ask for Emma she is the “E” of C&E Auburn and one of the nicest ladies in the industry.