Day Thirty-six Tombstone, Arizona! We went on a horse drawn carriage and Kate did a gem dig! We found a small plot of BLM free camping land. Ours is the only vehicle here (now that border patrol has left!). It feels so peaceful and safe.
Day Thirty-seven We both slept amazingly, fantastically well. Last night, we went to bed right before 5 pm and slept until almost 5 am!!
We went to Mexico for a half-day trip. We parked in a lot near the border and walked across. We waited in line for 30-ish minutes to get into Mexico. We weren’t planning on getting any dental work done, but as soon as I saw the first dentist office, I remembered how I’ve heard about cheap dentists in Mexico. We left California before Kate had her follow up appointment with her provider there, so she got sealants on four teeth for $93. It probably would have been four times that amount in the States.
Then we walked and browsed. Kate got a bracelet and dress. I got a pullover hoodie poncho. I think it’s a poncho, anyway. I remember them being light beige and having the Corona logo on them back in the 80s.
The US-side parking lot closed at 6 pm and we didn’t want to miss closing time! The line to get in to the US was longer – or slower- or both- almost three hours. And, of course you don't know that ahead of time. I’m glad we left early.
Day Thirty-eight We headed back to Benson, AZ on our way to New Mexico. We stopped back at the KFC for wifi access since our Verizon is still so incredibly slow that we can’t load a page. We got some work / school work done and updated this site. We also organized Eliza- a thing that we probably should do every day. It's amazing how messy and disorganized she can get.
Then, we drove to El Paso, Texas. Yep, straight through New Mexico. Sorry, New Mexico, we have had enough of desert and we stopped to visit you during our pre-vanlife trip to take our sticks and bricks stuff to storage. Maybe next time.
Day thirty-nine We stayed at Love's in El Paso last night. It was very busy and they have a security guard. It was quiet (aside from the humming of the rigs) and we felt safe. We noticed that, like in AZ, there are more people traveling, sleeping, living (?) in their cars than in their vans. Perhaps our statistics are skewed because we have stayed at travel stops more than BLM land. We did see more RVs at BLM land than cars or vans, however. Well, RV, van, car, whatever, there are a lot of us vehicle dwellers out here!
We went to Moon City Park, a small community park with a climbing structure, gazebos, basketball courts, pic-nic tables and... trash cans! We wanted to go to one of the local Ys, but it's Sunday and they are all closed.
The weather was a sunny 70 degrees- perfect. We packed a lunch at Sprouts and headed over to another community park, Blue Sky Park to have a pic-nic. Kate made a new friend and had lots of fun running, climbing and laughing for more than three hours.
We considered the Walmart parking lot for our overnight, but didn't see any other vans or RVs in the lot. A google search concluded that this particular Walmart no longer allows overnight parking. This rule is apparently strictly enforced. We went back to Love's instead.
Day Forty I lost one of my athletic shoes a few days ago and haven't been able to find it. My other pairs are packed in storage and my other pair of shoe I brought for van life are flip flops. I think it may have dropped out of the van door unnoticed at some point.
Since I can't work out wearing one athletic shoe and one flip flop, I had to buy a new pair of shoes. Normally, shoe shopping would be a happy event, but I'm kind of pissed. The pair was purchased right before covid and barely used since then. And out of the shoes I could have lost, a flip flop would have been a more affordable replacement.
We went to the El Paso YMCA and got a great work out and showers!
Day Forty-one I had a few phone and video calls, so we pulled over at a rest stop about 2 hours east of El Paso. We ended up at Fort Stockton by 8:30 pm. We quickly found a street near a row of hotels and parked for the night. We used all of our stealth props (fluorescent yellow work vest on the seat; box of screws and measuring tape on the dash, trash on the floor).
Day Forty-two Last night was great- no one bothered us and we accomplished stealth street parking (again!) I got up before the sunrise and enjoyed a peaceful drive through town. Kate joined me as we did laundry very early at a 24 hour laundromat.
We went to Big Bend National Park, did the scenic tour and saw the Fossil Exhibit. We thought it was basically Arizona 2.0, and got our fill of desert for a while.
Single mom and kiddo set out on a nomad, van life, roadschooling lifestyle. Watch the beginner diy van conversion, first time homeschooling, first time build, first time on the road experiences, newbie family van life adventures unfold.
We will share van life travels and tips to encourage other people to get out and explore the open road.