SE2:EP4 West Yellowstone, workamping and a leak!

Russ and Kerry are full-time RVers and take you along with them each week as they give you a glimpse into RV life and their travels!

SE2:EP4 The Roads We Roam

THE ROADS WE TRAVELED

Because we arrived in town a few days before Kerry’s work-camp job, we didn’t have far to travel. We left our site at Grizzly RV Park and only drove a half a mile up the street to our location. 

WHERE WE STAYED

There are a few campgrounds in West Yellowstone, but there are also a lot of RV spots tucked in wherever people could fit them. The one provided by our work-camp opportunity is like this – our spot is tucked in to the parking lot of an apartment complex. There are trees that afford us a good amount of privacy and we are within walking/biking distance of just about everything in town. We have been told that in just a few weeks, there will be bumper to bumper traffic in this area, so our location is exceptionally convenient. 

The best part about our spot is the lot and utilities are all included – in addition to Kerry’s pay for hours worked. Quite a few work-camping opportunities offer a similar set up – not bad!

FIELD TRIP OF THE WEEK

We continue to explore the local area. One of the great benefits of RVing is that you get to take your time and really enjoy and learn about an area. This week, we started to explore more of the town of West Yellowstone. 

An increase in travelers had been coming through to visit Yellowstone National Park since it was established in 1872. In the early 1900’s the Union Pacific Railroad laid tracks right up to the western edge of the park, leading to the development of the town. We stopped at Eagle’s Store, located on 3 N Canyon St which is the first business in the area serving as a general store for early visitors and locals. It started off as a 12 x 12 ft building, which was razed and was rebuilt and added onto over the years. From what we can tell, it is still owned and operated by the Eagles family!

PETS NOT WELCOME

One thing we noted were the abundance of signs outside of businesses in the area with “No Pets Allowed” on their doors. There are also not many places to sit and eat outside if you happen to have your dog with you either. 

HELP WANTED

Come each May, these signs are everywhere in West Yellowstone. The town has a population of about 1200, but in the summer hundreds of seasonal workers come in from all over to help with the millions of visitors that come through the area. During our walk around town, we saw no less than ten “Help Wanted” signs!

NO MAIL ON SATURDAYS

We had an item shipped to the local post office and were notified it had arrived. We rode our bikes down on Saturday morning and were surprised to find the post office in West Yellowstone is only open Monday through Friday!  We did find a shipping center (located at 30 Madison Ave) that can receive FedEx and UPS shipments for us for a $2 per package fee. Since Amazon ships a lot of items via Fedex and the post office won’t accept those under General Delivery, this is a good option to know about. 

NO WALMART 

The closest Walmart is 90 miles away in Bozeman, MT. There are, however, two small grocery stores in town. We have found that Market Place, located at 22 Madison Ave has a larger variety of items and the prices, while more expensive than what you would find at a Walmart, are still reasonable. 

WORKAMPING

Kerry started her first ever workamper job at Outpost Sweet Treats, located at 115 Yellowstone Ave – if you are coming through the area this summer, stop by and say hello! People have asked how she found this position – she found it through https://workamper.com

CLASS A MAINTENANCE

We have had a lot of rain over the last few days and last night, Russ noticed a leak in the ceiling of the motorhome. The good news? It is in the bathroom and the dripping water falls right into the bathtub. The bad news? Russ has to climb up on the roof in 30 degree weather to repair the caulking!

RECIPE OF THE WEEK – NO OVEN NEEDED

The name of this recipe has been under discussion for 20+ years in the Balbirona household. Russ calls it “Balbirona Slop” and Kerry just refers to it as “Goulash”. Whatever you want to call it, it is good. It’s perfect for potlucks and large crowds  and it is one of those foods that tastes even better the next day as leftovers! Click here for the recipe: https://theroadsweroam.com/?p=1744

Thanks for joining us this week! 

Safe travels, 

Russ & Kerry

Recipe of the week: Goulash

Looking for something that is simple and easy to make, good for potlucks and is fantastic as leftovers?

This recipe makes about 8 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 sm yellow onion – chopped
  • 1 box of elbow macaroni or shells
  • 1 14oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot, add water and bring to a boil (don’t forget to add some salt to your water before adding pasta).
  2. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on skillet and add chopped onion. Cook until translucent.
  4. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain fat.
  5. Return skillet to stovetop and add Italian seasoning, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, bring to simmer. Salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Drain water from pasta.
  7. Return pasta to large pot and add in sauce mixture. Mix well.

NOTE: Let sit for at least an hour to let the flavors develop.

SERVING SUGGESTION: Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese!

Instantpot variation

Yes, you can make this in your Instant Pot!

  1. Turn the Instant Pot onto saute. When hot, add ground beef, salt, pepper, and onion. Cook until meat is browned.
  2. When meat is browned drain fat then add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, water, and uncooked noodles.
  3. Set your Instant Pot to manual high pressure for 4 minutes.
  4. When timer is up preform a quick release of pressure.
  5. Top with Parmesan Cheese and enjoy!

Did you make this? Submit your photos to be featured here!

Email pictures of your creation at russandkerry@theroadsweroam.com and we will feature your photos below!

Submitted by: Southeastern RV Living

SE2:EP3 Our first roadtrip in our Class A motorhome

SE2:EP3

Come roam the roads with Russ and Kerry! 

THE ROADS WE TRAVELED

This week, we left Las Vegas, NV and travel up to West Yellowstone, MT on our first real trip since buying our yet to be named RV. We initially wanted to take a more leisurely drive, but I was not feeling well, so we opted for the most direct route which is the I-15N to Rte 20 (747 miles).  Being our first trip, it also meant our first fill-up. Let’s just say, Russ had a bit of a shock at the cost! Overall, we averaged about 8mpg. 

WHERE WE STAYED

We did the trip over two days. On the night in between, we boondocked at a Flying J just off the freeway in Nephi, UT. The plan had been to make it to a Walmart parking lot just outside of Provo, but a combination of my not feeling well and a severe storm in the area caused us to alter the plans a bit. One of the great things about traveling in an RV – making on the fly changes are much easier!

Upon arriving in West Yellowstone, we checked into the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park, where we will be for a few days. According to the locals, the tourist season is just about to go full swing. Until then, we are enjoying the uncrowded streets and shops as we explore the area.

FULL TIMER RV BENEFIT: ALWAYS PREPARED FOR WHATEVER THE WEATHER

Well, the advantage of being a full-time RVer and having everything with you is…you have everything with you! We left 90+ degree weather in Nevada and arrived to 46 degree weather in Montana (with evenings hitting 23). Looking out our windows to a light snowfall was quite the surprise! Thankfully, we were able to put our shorts and sandals away and grab our jeans and jackets in short order. 

FIELD TRIP OF THE WEEK: GRIZZLY & WOLF DISCOVERY CENTER

Even though we saw plenty of signs on the drive in warning us of the multitude of wildlife present in the area, we did not see any. We did find a wonderful place right next to our campground – the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. We saw bears, wolves, and several birds of prey. If you go and didn’t get all the photos you wanted, no fear! Your entrance fee allows you two days access to the facility (which we took advantage of). 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK

By request, we are going to feature a recipe of the week! This week’s recipe for Tomato, Mac & Cheese (aka TMC).

Until next week, safe travels!


Russ & Kerry

Tomatoes Mac & Cheese

This week’s recipe as featured in SE2:EP3

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups medium pasta shells or elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 14- ounce can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • OPTIONAL:  plain bread crumbs
  • OPTIONAL: cubed cooked chicken

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Add pasta to a pot of boiling water and cook until pasta is al dente (slighty firm/hard to the bite) . Drain and set aside.
  • In a skillet, melt the butter and add the flour. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Over medium heat, add the milk, salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the entire can of stewed tomatoes (juice included).
  • Simmer for 5-6 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Add the cheese.
  • Once the cheese is melted and incorporated into the other ingredients, add the pasta and stir.
  • If you are adding in any additional ingredients (chicken, ham, etc) do so now.
  • Transfer to a baking dish. Optional: top with breadcrumbs
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes. Serve warm.

Did you make this? Submit your photos to be featured here!

Email your pics to russandkerry@theroadsweroam.com with the recipe name in the subject line and we’ll post your work below!

Our Little Guy Max Adventures: Sedona, Cliff Dwellings & Moab

Our Little Guy Max Adventures

Boondocking in Sedona

Sunny skies, upper 70’s during the days and 50’s overnight with Sedona views are hard to beat. What could make it better? No reservations needed and we camped for free (a.k.a. ‘boondocking’)! Curious about the location? The area can be found HERE.

About the site

Just a short walk from our campsite

We arrived in the early afternoon and the area was busy. This is a well-known spot for ATV’s and they were there in abundance. The road is dirt and can be quite bumpy in spots, however we saw all types of RVs parked among the many campsites in the area. Most spots for camping have room for several rigs – we only passed by one area that was a solo spot. Be prepared for the red dust and dirt to cover everything! If you are looking for a site that has picturesque views head up at least 3 miles from the main road.

Navajo National Monument

Free campsite-Sunset View Campground at the Navajo National Monument

Another free campsite, this one was located at the Navajo National Monument in Shonto, AZ. We stayed at the Sunset View Campground, which is one of two campsites on location. This area is restricted to rigs smaller than 28′ long. There is a restroom and a dumpster on site. First come, first served – no reservations.

Cliff dwellings at Navajo National Monument

We arrived at the beginning of the season, so we were not able to sign up for one of the guided ranger tours down into the cliff dwellings, but we were able to take a brief walk down to an overlook. No dogs are allowed on the paths, but it is completely handicapped accessible.

Moab here we come!

The Xscapers RV group had a convergence in Moab, Utah with a few spots left open, so we signed up and made our way to an abandoned airstrip just south of the city where the event was being held.

View from our window at the Xscapers Convergence in Moab, Utah

More than 130 rigs are parked along this runway and it is a sight to see! We are all boondocking for the week in this location and the opening night potluck was amazing!

Fellow Xscaper, Scott, with his contribution to the potluck! Baked Brie – yum!

We are looking forward to a great week in Moab and a trip to Arches National Park is #definitely on the list!

Safe travels,

Russ & Kerry

Our Little Guy Max Adventures: Boondocking & Ostriches!

Boondocking location

This week we boondocked with some friends in Marana, Arizona at the Ironwood National Monument area.

The roads getting into the site

We are slowly easing into extending our time out dry camping. We went all week at the Escapade at the Pima County Fairgrounds dry camping with relative ease. After emptying the tanks, we decided to try our hand at a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) site just north of Tucson.

We arrived to our location just after noon on Saturday. We had read online about the area and were thankful to get the heads up about taking an alternate way into the area. Our gps wanted us to take a road called Silverbell Rd, but there is a small, narrow bridge with a weight limit of only 6,000lbs that way. If heading to the area, enter from El Tiro Rd onto N Pump Station Rd. The roads are dirt and bumpy, but if you go slow it is easily navigable.

Weather during this time

Sunset in Marana, AZ

Rainy season might make these areas difficult to traverse but it was completely dry for us and we ran into no issues. Daily temperatures ranged from the high 70’s to high 80’s in the day and low 50’s in the evenings.

Traffic in the area

There were other campers, but enough room to spread out and only see a glimpse of them off in the distance. Noise was not an issue as we never heard anything from any of our neighbors.

Things to note about the area

We felt very safe in the area and it gave us peace of mind to see the BLM rangers in and around the area. There are lots of prickly barbs on the ground and our dog, Abbey wound up with them sticking into her paws. We bought dog booties and that seemed to help significantly. Otherwise, here weren’t too many other creepy crawlies bothering us!

On our way to Phoenix

Rooster Cogburn’s Ostrich Ranch

On our way to Phoenix, we stopped off at the Rooster Cogburn’s Ostrich Ranch. It is perfectly situated between Tucson and Phoenix and a great chance to stretch your legs. Kids and adults alike can have a great time petting and feeding deer, rabbits, ducks, goats, donkeys, lorikeets and even stingrays! Cost is $12 per person ($15 if you want to feed the stingray).

While in Phoenix…

While we are in Phoenix for a few days, we stopped off at Tom’s Camperland – Mesa . If you are in the market to get a Little Guy Max or even a different RV, check them out!

Until next week….

Safe travels!

Russ & Kerry

RV News: Little Guy, RV Lifestyle, RV Parking Bans and RV Safety Warnings

See what caught our attention this week!

We start off with a bit of a wrap up of our current boondocking experience and then share what RV related news caught our eye.

TIMESTAMP 7:10

Interstate RV Sales becomes the latest dealer for Little Guy Trailers! (click link for news source and full article )
**New authorized dealers for Little Guy Max Trailers!!
**Interstate RV Sales makes a donation to KOA Care Camps for every unit they sell!
**KOA Care Camps help children with cancer go to oncology camps For more information check out:
Interstate RV Sales
KOA Care Camps
Little Guy Trailers

TIMESTAMP: 9:38

Berkeley City Leaders Ban Overnight Parking: (click link for news source and full article )

Last night, city council leaders in Berkeley, CA got the final approval to move ahead with their Feb 28th vote to ban RV parking on city streets. Effective immediately, RVs will not be allowed to park on city streets between 2am-5am.

This ban is a result of more than 1500 complaints of illegal dumping of trash and human waste as well as lack of parking for local residents.

The council will be working on a permit system that will allow 2 week exemptions for permit holders.

TIMESTAMP: 13:10

How Camping has Changed (click link for news source and full article )

Mike Wendland from RV Lifestyle recently interviewed the CEO of KOA, Toby O’Rourke about the current trends in camping. Some of the highlights include:
**35% of campers are millenials
**Millenials camp in groups (8-10).
**72% increase over the last 5 years in individuals camping more than 3 times a year
**More people making reservations online. 48% of KOA’s advance reservations are completed online
**16 new KOA’s opened nationwide last year
**13 new KOA’s are currently being built
**Within 1 year, all KOA’s will be branded either as a Journey, Holiday or Resort designation.

For more information check out:

www.KOA.com
www.rvlifestyle.com

TIMESTAMP: 19:24

RV SAFETY WARNING (click link for news source and full article )

Suiet Hacks, a company dedicated to improving RV Safety has been hard at work trying to inform and correct significant RV safety issues on select Roadtrek and Hymer Aktiv motorhomes for electrical and plumping safety issues.

** ELECTRICAL: They report the inverter/charger has a grounding wire that is 5x too small to effectively ground the RV and prevent “hot skin” condition. (Hot Skin: when the sides of an RV become electrified…potential for person touching the RV to become the ground)

The solution: replace wire with a 6″ heavy gauge wire.
Total cost of parts: $1
Total labor time: 30 minutes

**PLUMBING: Suiet Hacks reports there is an illegal bypass with the water heater in Hymer Activs. Hymer installed a valve on a pipe that was designed to release steam or hot water in the event of excess pressure. If this additional valve is closed, the hot water won’t be able to release the pressure and could rupture.

Cost of parts to update: $125
Estimated labor: 1.5 hours

Other notes…

We mentioned in our video that we have been boondocking at a great site just north of Tucson, Arizona. For more information on the site, check out https://freecampsites.net/#!185426&query=sitedetails

Safe travels,

Russ & Kerry

— 
Russ & Kerry 

Our first RV rally! 59th Escapees Escapade

NOTE: FOR FOOTAGE FROM THE EVENT SEE VIDEO ABOVE

We had such a great time week at our first RV rally! The weather couldn’t have been better in Tucson and Escapees truly exceeded our expectations. Check out our video above for scenes from some of the highlights of our time there!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR THOUGHTS AS FIRST TIME ATTENDEES

We also documented our thoughts and feelings for each of our days there through our daily vlogs.

Summary: Day 1

VLOG 88 – Day 1 @ Escapade

Summary: Day 2

Vlog 89 – Day 2

Summary: Day 3

Vlog 90 – Day 3 @ Escapade

Summary: Day 4

Vlog 91 – Day 4 @ Escapade

Links to some of the events/info from the Escapade!