“Water….the elixer of life.”
If you have ever visited Hoover Dam and watched the movie at the visitor’s center, you will have heard that phrase. Yesterday, we were driven out of our seclusion because of our need for water. Not because of electricity, food or shelter…..it all came down to water. We had several gallons left in jugs, but the ability to shower, do dishes, etc was problematic. The last time we filled our water tanks was on March 24. Could we survive with what we had? Yes, for a few more days. Did we have to be miserable? No. Especially when I found a place about 40 miles away that had free potable water!
We traveled to the town of Winnemucca, Nevada. The feeling of the town had an early Sunday morning kind of feel. There were people out and about, but a quiet, slowness permeated the atmosphere, even though it was about 11 a.m. when we arrived.
If you are traveling out west, especially with an RV, look for Maveriks gas stations. Maveriks is a newer chain, but we are seeing more and more of them pop up out here. They have lots of room to maneuver, RV lanes, free dump stations and free potable water. What makes them really stand out from the Love’s or Pilot/Flying J’s is that they aren’t typical truck stops so it’s not as crowded. Most also have a restaurant and a large grocery area too.
If you have followed us for some time, you may remember that we have difficulty filling up our fresh water tank. The way it is set up, the entry point is nearly level with the tank so it ‘burps’ a lot – usually with a lot of water loss as we try to fill. Because of this, we get a bit apprehensive about filling up at places like this because we don’t want to appear like we are wasting water. However, we were in a spot that was not quite level and we were leaning to the right. Apparently, this made a huge difference and for the first time I can recall, we were able to fill up our rig without a big mess! Russ said we might use our leveling blocks in the future to recreate that scenario to save time and water.
We had enough staples in our pantry to make do for about another 10 days. But since we were going into town we decided to consolidate trips and went to shop for a little bit more. To be honest, the evening before, we read and article about the U.S. food supply chain possibly being strained so when we saw that the parking lot at a grocery discount outlet was near empty, we pulled in. We ran out of disposable gloves over a week ago, but we were able to buy a few kitchen gloves on our last supply trip. I put on the gloves, put on a homemade facemask and went in.
There were only three other shoppers in the store so I was able to keep a good distance away people. The store staff all wore gloves and as I checked out, the cashier was kind enough to step back when I stepped forward to pay. A few interesting things I noticed in the store….apparently the hot items in Winnemucca are toilet paper (no surprise) and ramen. Out of everything in the store, only these two items had “limited to 2 per family” signs on them. Disinfectants and rubber gloves were nowhere to be found. Otherwise, everything else seemed pretty well stocked up.
As we left Winnemucca, we couldn’t help but notice the many ‘retro’ looking store signs and buildings. These weren’t new buildings made to look like they were from the 60’s & 70’s, rather they have just been maintained exceedingly well over the years. Driving through, you get a sense of pride the community has for the area and an almost time-capsule feel. If not for the pandemic, I would have loved to stop and wander the streets to take photos of this interesting city.
We had a choice to make – do we continue on towards Montana, where we have to be by May 1 or go back to our boondocking spot where we could stay for another week before having to vacate the area. After checking weather reports and internet availability for our other potential spots, we opted to head back. This time we drove in a bit further, closer to the base of the mountains. There’s an area further in, just past the second cattle guard, that we would love to go to but you would need a 4×4 or high clearance vehicle. Maybe we’ll hike through there soon….
Weather: High 60 / Low 39
Note – the Maverik’s on the south-side had a free dump station, the one of the north side does not. The grocery store we went to was right across the street.