Kathy and I love the National Park Service. There is such an abundance of nature, history and wonder within the parks, monuments and forests that it administers. We’ve found something to love in every place that we’ve visited.
However, there are often things we find disturbing to our Black American and People of Color consciousness. This week we visited the Little Big Horn Battlefield Site. It was essentially a monument to the fallen soldiers of “Custer’s Last Stand” and to American imperialism. There was little mention of all the injustices perpetrated against First Nations Peoples that led up to the battle. The memorial to Native Americans there was much smaller and felt like an afterthought.
When I was in the gift shop I watched a little white boy playing with the toy guns and knives for sale there. All I could think of was Tamir Rice and how it is not safe for black children to play in this way.
We visited “Pompey’s Pillar”, an ancient geological site sacred to the Crow people. The park service felt it more important to highlight the fact that explorer William Clark (of Lewis and Clark) wrote his name there.
Now we are at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s breathtakingly beautiful here! It’s very fitting that “Teddy”a great conservationist is honored here. But he also embodied military might and colonialism. Kathy reminded me that the saying he is credited with “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.” is one he appropriated from West Africa.
So what do we do with these thoughts and feelings? We try to find beauty and enjoy it where we can and to tell the truth about our history and our present. We try to learn more about our own and other marginalized people’s history. We show up and make use of these parks and forests, knowing that our ancestors did much to make them possible. We write these blogs, share our pictures and adventures. We try our best to share our truth. We hope to affirm that America is beautiful, still and America is ours.
I’ve always wanted to travel in an R.V. What I imagined was long days of driving, visiting lots of beautiful sites for brief periods. The reality has been much more wonderful than I had imagined. R.V. traveling, BOLT style has come to mean slow travel with fairly long stays in beautiful places. I know this type of travel is not possible for everyone and I am extremely grateful for the privilege. If you are someone who is considering a full time R.V. lifestyle here are some of the top reasons why I have come to believe slow travel with extended stops is best.
Longer stays mean you really get to experience, explore and enjoy the place. You find favorite stores and restaurants. You get to see sunrises, starry skyes, sunny or rainy days. During almost every longer stay we’ve been able to participate in festivals or other community activities. You really get a feel for the place.
There are substantial savings to long stays. Obviously you are using far less gas and that’s not a small thing in our 30 foot R.V. A tank of gas currently costs us about $100 and takes us about 250 miles. Every day we stay parked is a good day for our budget. Also, most R.V. parks offer substantial discounts when you stay a week or longer. We find places that include water and electricity in the rate, which cuts down on our propane and water costs. When we find a spot within walking distance of shops and town activities we are truly in finance paradise.
While we’ve met interesting, friendly people on brief stays, one of the great things about longer stays is you can really get to know people. There is camaraderie among RVers and a lot of helpful information gets exchanged.
I think the best thing about longer stays is the chance to slow down and really enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I love our quiet, slow mornings; long, aimless walks; lots of time for reading, and sharing BOLT life with my beloved, Kathy.
If you have any questions about RV life or experiences of your own to share we’d love to hear from you. Your support and interest are always appreciated.
Today is our sixth day in Mexico. We have been without internet for the previous four days. No internet or cell service but wonderous vistas, magnificent coastline, frolicking dolphins, kind and helpful people and the blessing of safe travels. Here are our six days in pictures.
Day 1: We entered Mexico through the Calexico-Mexicali border station. 3 hours later we arrived at the town of San Felipe,right on the Sea of Cortez. We spent the day walking around this sleepy little tourist town and spent the night safely in Winnie. It’s so nice having our home on wheels, we can just park and go to sleep.
Day 2: The next morning we headed out for the tiny town of Puertecitos. Really it’s just a little fishing village. We found a lovely spot in a fishing camp,right on the beach. We woke up to the fishermen launching their boats and the sound of lively music.
Day 3: From Puertecitos we wanted to head south traveling along the Pacific. Little did we know that we would encounter the worst detour ever! 30 kilometers of rutted, rocky, dusty dirt road! Our Minnie Winnie is not made for this kind of driving but Kathy slowly and carefully guided her along. It took 3 hours to go 30 kilometers (20 miles) but we made it! Instead of heading to the Pacific, as planned, we decided to rest in the town of Bahia de los Angeles, still on the Sea of Cortez side. We made the right choice!
Day 4: Bahia de los Angeles was paradise! We found a campground right on the beach. We spent our days walking, reading and watching dolphins and pelicans.
Day 5: I ended up with a little cold and I can’t imagine a better place to be sick then parked in Winnie, looking out at the beautiful sea.
Day 6: (Today) We left idyllic Bahia de los Angeles for a beautiful drive down Mexico Highway 1. We are now on the Pacific Ocean side and will be spending a couple of weeks here in Guerrero Negro. Lots to see and do here and the town has pretty good internet and cell service. We had our first great Mexican meal at the Las Cazuelas Restorante. There will be a whale festival here soon. Tomorrow we are going to find a spot on the beach, not sure if we will have service there. BOLT will definitely keep you posted as often as we can…and you know we love hearing from you!
I am writing this post as we sit (comfortably in our Minnie Winnie RV) in a Walmart parking lot in the border town of Calexico, California. In the morning we will cross over into Mexico.
January 20th will be a sad day for our nation and we decided we did not want to be in the USA on the day when Trump becomes president. We know that it is a great privilege to be able to make this decision. Many of you must stay…to work, to care for children or elders and to fight. My son, Malcolm, and many other brave folks will be in Washington protesting. Our thoughts and prayers will be with him and with all of you. The struggle will continue but for now BOLT is continuing our world travels.
We are very excited about traveling through Baja California and seeing all the beautiful of the Mexican coast. We are going to attend a Whale festival, eat delicious food and enjoy the beaches and the sun. We may even go into mainland Mexico and all the way to Belize.
We are going to post lots of pictures, share positive stories of love and encouragement and keep reminding you that America is beautiful still! We’d love to see you on our travels, let us know if you’d like to meet up somewhere along the way.
Not far from the California – Arizona border lies the tiny town of Quartzsite, AZ. Tiny as in 3,600 permanent residents. During the winter months Quartzsite becomes home to the largest gathering of RVers in the world. Largest as in over 300,000 RV visitors!
RV enthusiasts come from all over the country, especially “snow birds” from the colder states. As new RV owners, Of course Kathy and I wanted to check it out.
There is a beauty and serenity to the desert that I have always loved. I felt it as soon as we found the perfect spot in the La Posa Campground to park Winnie. It’s on United States Bureau of Land Management land. For $40 we can stay for 2 weeks, which includes water and a spot to dump our holding tanks. For the $40 we can also move around to any of the other 6 BLM campgrounds.
There’s lots to see and do in Quartzsite if you like swap meet/flea market style shopping.And there are plenty of quirky characters like this group of street musicians.
We took long, lovely walks every day into town.
There are of course, lots of RVs and accessories on sale.
Some of them are really amazing and we had fun being looky loos.
We also arrived just in time for the annual Gem and Mineral Show. It was wonderful walking around soaking up the energy and beauty.
We really enjoyed our stay, so far, I Quartzsite. We got to try out the solar panel for the first time. It works great! We’ll be in the Arizona area for a while more. Looking forward to a visit to Lake Havasu (50 miles away) and to sharing more of our travels with you.
The Winnebago Company did an excellent job making our 1994 Minnie Winnie a compact, functional home on wheels. We are very happy with our tiny home. However, like any homeowners we wanted to put our own touches and make Winnie a true reflection of the BOLT spirit.
For reasons I can not fathom Winnie came with a very light blue carpet. Although the sellers did a great job of carpet cleaning the old spots and dirt quickly returned. We added dirt and spills of our own. No matter how I tried the carpet looked terrible. It makes no sense to me that a vehicle designed for outdoor adventures should have carpet!
Our dear friend Djembe Jan Nicholson came to the rescue. Who knew that in addition to being a master drummer and fabulous artist, Jan knows how to install floors! We picked out a beautiful, waterproof laminate and Jan got to work.
Kathy and I even got to help. Yep! That’s me using a skill saw. It was hard work as RVs have lots of nooks, crannies, bumps and grooves that regular houses don’t have. But Jan got the job done!
We are so happy with our beautiful and practical new floor. We’ve also added some other Halili Akoma/BOLT touches.
My awesome, creative wife is transforming our plain, white ceiling with this cloth from Malaysia.
Our dear friend, Katrice Jackson, gifted us with this wonderful sacred box taken from the tattoos Kathy and I both have.
Our tiny bedroom is decorated with the cloth we were wrapped in on our wedding day and the window is draped with the symbolic threshold we crossed on that day.
We’ve had lots of fun decorating, spending time with friends and family and getting Winnie road ready. Tomorrow we embark on our next adventure. We look forward to sharing it with you and please…share your adventures, comments and questions with us.
Kathy and I have a simple formula for realizing our dreams. It works really well as we pursue our vision of living a “home free” life of world travel. We used this formula for realizing our current dream of spending a year traveling the U.S.A. visiting national parks, African American historical sites and other spots of interest.
The first step is gratitude. We give thanks to the Universe and to all the ancestors, angels, bodhisattvas, Gods and Goddesses for the abundance in our lives. This practice centers and grounds us in a place of openers and trust.
Next comes intention setting. For us this involves lots of talking, prayer and meditation. We finally came to the clear intention of buying a used RV and traveling North America for a year or so.
The next step is crucial. ACTION! Having formed the intention we began to move towards it. We (Kathy especially) did lots of research while we were still in Asia. What kind of RV? How to buy a used RV? How to live full time in an RV? We budgeted, planned, watched videos and read lots of articles and blogs. We waffled between class A or C, we debated about length, year, models and mileage. By the time we boarded the plane to come home, we had decided to trust the Universe to lead us to the RV that would be right for us.
And It did! We landed in Atlanta, Georgia and began our search. We looked at many RVs. Some were too small, some too big. Many were out of our price range. A few were poorly cared for. We found “Winnie” in Mobile, Alabama. I knew it was ours when the beautiful and brown teenaged boy came out to show her to us. Our 1994 Minnie Winnie DL model Winnebago is clean, well cared for and has low mileage. It’s an oldie but a goodie, perfect for us. Right now it’s at the mechanic’s where they are getting it road ready.
We can’t wait to take Winnie out on the road and to share more adventures with you!
How about you? How do you realize your dreams? Also, we’d love to hear your suggestions of spots to visit this year and please follow us and let us know if we are in your area. We’d love to see you.