Whenever I’m out in the boonies I’m inspired to photograph. Something about the wide, open desert and the way it glows golden in the early morning & late evening light makes it particularly gorgeous. Who can resist those long shadows? Or that warm hue? Or just the sheer magnitude of space and view? I never seem to capture it just right, but I keep trying and so my camera clicks away almost of its own accord. Plus there is just something exceptionally fine about seeing “the beast” in a spot like this. Her long lines and ample size make for the perfect photo model, giving perspective to the even grander size of nature’s surroundings.

We’ve been here only a few days, but we’ve already settled into our typical boondocking rhythm. Early AM calls for a long walk with pooch out in the desert followed by a cup of espresso with the cats in the sun. The middle of the day passes with computer stuff and lounging. By late afternoon the outdoors beckons again and we ease into a bike ride to explore the curves and swerves in the valley. The day ends with a glass overlooking the sunset and soaking in the deep desert colors. It’s just plain jane stuff, but it’s the spot where we do it that makes it so special.

We’ve also got some pretty awesome hiking right by the rig. Our front window view points directly at Coyote Mountain which just happens to be crisscrossed by hidden hiking trails. You can putter around the lower trails and just soak in the views or (for the very motivated) take the hard hike to the very top. Plus, if you’re lucky you’ll come across the massive stone snake, a random desert sculpture which was created many years ago by who knows who and still adorns one of the flat curves near Peg Leg. I learned about the latter from The Bayfield Bunch and yesterday morning we headed out to the mountain with the goal to find it. Since we only had a very vague idea of where to look, it took about 50 mins of scrambling around and scouting, but eventually we spied the gal in the distance and tracked her down. She’s a pretty amazing little sculpture with alot of cool detail. Worth the search!

P.S. For those who like to explore the coordinates of the snake are approx. 33.300717, -116.293133

And remember I told you about how social it gets here? RVers are generally a friendly lot, but even more so out in the boonies. It’s hard to walk past a rig here without getting a wave and engaging in a chat. Pretty soon you’ve got your own little social circle within the few miles around your spot. In the last set of comments Al (from Bayfield Bunch) mentioned he might know a couple of RVers close to us, and wouldn’t you know it those guys are actually the 2 rigs directly behind us! Turns out Sassy’s On Da Road is parked just across the way from Skip & Jean and they all waved us over to meet them yesterday on the way back from our afternoon bike. Plus we just met another couple (Tom & Dianne) who we’d bumped into at the Escapees park in Benson, AZ last year. So, now we know 3 RV couples all within a golf-drive of “the beast“. How’s that for a few days of socializing?! I don’t think Paul’s gonna rough it too much while I’m gone.

That’s gonna be all this gal wrote from the boonies…at least for the next few weeks. Tonight I fly off to Europe and leave “the beast“, the hubby and the furry family behind. I’ll be basking in the beauty of a whole other kind of landscape, the southwest of France, but my heart will stay right here in the desert. I just can’t resist it the draw, you know….

P.S. A few of you asked for more info on this whole boondocking thing in the last post. Well, boondocking is basically camping in the wilds of nature on public land. There are no specific campsites or hookups and it’s typically free. Lots of spots to do this in the US especially on BLM & National Forest land. So, how do you find these gems?? Well, I’ve got a ton of posts in my “boondocking” section explaining exactly that. Here are a few of the favorites:

P.P.S. Still no news on that e-mail fix. It could well take months (?) before I hear anything. So, for the time being click on over to the blog for pics. I’ve always got lots of them in the post.

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59 Responses to Told You I Couldn’t Resist…

  1. Sue says:

    Hi Nina, I’m not lovin’ this new format. Before your beautiful pictures were there for me as soon as I clicked on your blog. Now it takes perhaps 10 minutes after I’ve read the whole thing before the pictures finally finish loading. No problems with other sites, just this one.

    Merry Christmas and our love to you both,

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hmmm…that’s a bummer. It may be the gallery picture format that I’m using. I think that same format is preventing pics in the e-mail posts. Argh!! I’ll have to play with it a little.

  2. Sue says:

    Actually, the pictures come through as tiny little slits and stay that way for a long time, its been over 10 minutes so far. If I use a mag. glass, I can see the entire picture in the slit, not just part of it, like when they are just slow to load. The whole shot is there, tiny and elongated.
    Does that help?

  3. Marshall says:

    On my iPhone 5 direct into your sight I have all pic and ok. However
    1. WordPress enail did not have any pic
    2. Again this time WordPress reader has your last post but not this new one.

    • libertatemamo says:

      No pics in the e-mail for me or Paul either. The WordPress Reader is a new problem. I’m seeing my latest feed in my RSS feeder (Feedly), but haven’t tried WordPress Reader. I’ll see if I can duplicate the problem. Thanks for reporting back.

  4. Ralph says:

    As usual….I really enjoy your photos. Especially, the shot of the ocotillo. Never get tired of them or saguaro.
    Have a safe trip to Europe and I hope you have a lovely,family Christmas in France.

  5. Sue says:

    I get your pictures when I use the Ipad and now on the laptop a few of the pictures are full size, but they are random…not all together.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Very strange…..definitely some weird stuff going on since I moved the blog. They sure don’t make this easy.

    • libertatemamo says:

      I just had another thought -> I wonder if it’s your browser…what browser are you using (and what version)? Then, maybe I can try to replicate the issue.

  6. Steve says:

    Merry Christmas to you and Paul.

    Enjoy your South of France vacation… wait everything you do seems to be a vacation! Always enjoy your postings and pictures. We have followed in your trail to see some of the same spots.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Nice to hear you’ve seen some of the same spots. Always love it when I hear from blog readers who’ve done that. We have a cool little community here.

  7. John and Pam says:

    I am reading this on my phone from my email and once again I have photos.

    We are looking forward to getting back there and finding that snake. He is so cool.

    Gorgeous photos!

    • libertatemamo says:

      Really weird. Just tried looking on Paul’s phone gmail and same thing…no photos for us. Don’t know why a few people are getting photos while most of the e-mail subscribers are getting none. We’ll see if the Jetpack guys report back to me on my latest complaint.

  8. Love to see your photos, Nina! Nice to see all that warm sunshine, too. We’re enjoying temps in the 40′s today, so the only place it will be warm is inside! Have a great weekend.

  9. Awesome stone snake formation! How cool is that?! Safe travels to you on your journey Nina. Wishing you both a happy and healthy holiday season! Cheers :-)

    • libertatemamo says:

      Yeah, would never have known it was there if I didn’t read The Bayfield Bunch’s blog. I’ve gotten so many “gems” for Borrego Springs from their blog.

  10. Pam Leonard says:

    I didn’t have any problem with your format, of course I’m at home on with cable wi-fi. You make the desert look so homey, can’t wait to see your take on Europe through the camera’s lens!

  11. bobthebum says:

    Hi Nini,
    I have to do a refresh once or twice on the page to get all your pics. That would indicate to me that your new server is too slow to keep up. Sometimes it can and sometimes it can’t, like most of the time. My five cents worth. :O)

    Also wanted to thank you for the tip on your expresso maker. It’s a great little device.
    Thanks for that,

    • libertatemamo says:

      I’m not getting that affect, but I’ll have to look at the server side and see what it’s doing over there…just as soon as I figure out how :)

  12. TenaciousBago says:

    Wow those pics of “The Beast” in full boondocking mode are soooo making us jealous! I love them. Thanks for the info about the folks that also boondocking around you. I was wondering how often other boondockers visit with each other….I guess depends on the folks and if they want company or not. Have a great holiday!

    • libertatemamo says:

      I find boondockers are very friendly, but also very respectful of privacy. It’s a nice balance. When you’re out here you’ll always have someone to talk to, but you can also easily be on your own if that’s what you prefer.

  13. Paul says:

    Discovered something interesting that might assist in your trouble-shooting the new platform. When I initially open e-mail on I-pad, all I see is text, no photos. But, if I open comments, the photos appear instantly! Interesting, eh?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Hmmm..so I tried that and it didn’t work for me. I’ll try it on a few other platforms to see what happens. Thanks for the report though…very little bit of info helps.

  14. Kent says:

    Nina. Love the new blog. Whew thought my iPhone was playing tricks with pix. So how is the Verizon signal where you are?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Verizon signal is around 2 bars of 3G pretty much all around this area. It drops off fast the further you get from the main road (S22) though so you’ll find most of the boondockers stay closer to the road. Only the guys with satellite go further back.

  15. Sherry says:

    Love your new spot Nina, it looks so secluded. You look so all alone and then I saw the arial shot. Different picture. I don’t do you by email so I’m having no trouble at all. Your pictures load like a flash for me on Windows7. Safe travels….south of France sounds not too shabby.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh, do you mean the aerial shot in the blog? That’s just a pic I took from the trail to the stone snake and it’s not where we’re camped. That pic is of Peg Leg which Is a few miles further west of us. Where we’re camped we do have some neighbors, but not nearly as close as that area.

  16. Rowanoca says:

    I get to the site on my iPad using Safari with Google aa search engine. No problem with pics.

    Great pics as always. I love seeing the boonies pictured with fulltimers. Good luck with the family Christmas in Europe. Look forward to the blogs continuing upon your return.

  17. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Safe travels and have a marvelous time. Can’t wait to hear about this new adventure. So different from where you are now.

  18. Gaelyn says:

    From feedly and on Firefox I get the photos but load time is VERY slow. Worth the wait as they are gorgeous.
    Safe travels.

  19. klbexplores says:

    I view your blog via Feedly on Firefox…. every thing runs perfectly except it is loading on to my newsfeed twice!!! All the better to make sure I don’t miss a thing….Karen

    • libertatemamo says:

      Now that’s strange! I’ve only seen one feed on my Feedly. Did you disable my old feed (although I can’t imagine that’s the problem)?

  20. Jil says:

    Have a very Merry Christmas and good New Years…have a great time in the south of France…..as usual wonderful photos….

  21. Tommy Green says:

    Enjoy your pictures, what kind of camera and lens do you use?

    • libertatemamo says:

      Most of the time I actually just shoot with my little point-and-shoot Cannon S100. So, no special equipment or lens. All the shots in the last 3 blog posts were taken w/ that camera. Every now and then I’ll get out my big SLR which is a Nikon D7000.

  22. Barrie Bochoff says:

    Hi Nina,
    I’m using Safari on my Mac and I’m not having any problems loading your blog. I really appreciate your informative, upbeat style. Enjoy your holiday trip to France and I’m sure you’re leaving Paul in good hands with the friendly neighbours.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Paul’s already got his first visitors, so I know he’ll do just fine while I’m gone :) Thanks for the update on how the blog is working for you.

  23. Boondocking is not for everyone, but man, you are doing it right! the desert in the middle of the desert…. must be perfect, and at the look at all of those other Boondockers, popular as well! I do have one question though, how do you keep your cats from running away in the morning, do you just let them roam for a while? Hope you enjoy France!

    • libertatemamo says:

      This is definitely the way we like to boondock with plenty of space & good views.

      Regarding the cats they are getting older and pretty much just stay close to the RV. Both of them will actually “walk” with me and the dog, but we don’t go that far. We never leave them unattended outside, especially in areas like this (lots of coyotes out here).


      • That is awesome. it is great that you have cats that are so loyal. I personally have a Maine Coon short hair at home that goes out every night and patrols the park, keeping all of us safe from rabbits and squirrels. but whenever I come out at night, he walks with me as well. It is always a pleasure to talk to another animal lover, thanks again for sharing your story with us.

  24. Doug says:

    Nina, sorry if this is a repeat post—my original one vanished—but you might try using low-res jpg images in your next post, and see if that improves things with those who view your posts via email.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Actually I do use low res on everything. My pics are only ever 800 pixels (largest side) and I upload them onto the blog even smaller. I’ve got a request on with the jetpack guys and trying to see if some of the folks having issues can get me some tracer info.

      • Doug says:

        Rats, so much for that theory! It may just be, as another poster has suggested, timeout issues associated with your new web server. Perhaps experiment with teeny tiny thumbnails in emails, that email readers can click to see a larger image.

        • libertatemamo says:

          The thumbnails are what the Jetpack plugin is supposed to do, but there’s a bug in the software. Got it confirmed by the Jetpack guys and they “said” they were going to fix it, but there’s currently no schedule. I’m going to see if I can figure out how to code it myself, but it may not happen until after the new year.

  25. Roger says:

    I know that very spot (clarks dry lake bed) quite well, it is nice but be warned…
    The wind storms are legendary and come on quickly, one came through recently and was snapping off telephone poles like toothpicks just a few miles (Borrego springs) from there…they actually replaced the wood poles with steel poles. Having your rigs glass and finish sandblasted is a given during these events.
    For those with pets, you should know coyotes patrol the area looking for and even luring them away from their owners.
    I’ve seen them in action, they’re well coordinated.
    I dont want to be a kill joy as I love the desert … just be careful.

    • libertatemamo says:

      Oh we’re very familiar with the famous Borrego winds! It’s all part of the package out here. And yes, lots of coyotes. You can hear them howling in packs at night, and even spot them walking past camp during the day. We never leave our pets unattended.

  26. Ray Burr says:

    Thanks for the GPS snake coordinates. :) Really cool spot up there, made for a nice little morning hike.

    • libertatemamo says:

      You here in Borrego? If so feel free to drop on by. Our rig is about a mile east of Peg Leg.

      • Ray Burr says:

        We were there this week, wasn’t sure exactly where you were, we were setup down a ways in close to the Clarke Dry Lake. We have decided to head to Joshua Tree NP for a few days while this great weather holds. Got distracted on the way by the Salton Sea and are at Corvina Beach for a few days. haha :) How long are you guys hanging out a Borrego for? Cheers Ray

        • libertatemamo says:

          Sounds like a neat route! We’ll only be here for another 1-2 days, then we’re headed to Yuma. Maybe we’ll see ya later this winter.

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