Getting Connected by Disconnecting

by kimmie on 14 May 2015 · 11 comments

Note: This update comes from Kimberly, the fairer of half of the Rothwards.

I’m having a moment. Sitting outside enjoying my wine while dinner is cooking, I realize that I’ve entered my “country self”.

When you’re camping every day, you have to reach a place of acceptance. With the weather and your surroundings — and definitely with the dirt — you learn to appreciate what’s around you and settle in.

Things get dirty when you camp. In fact, everything gets dirty, the least of which is the RV: feet, chairs, bikes, orifices. Especially orifices. I had forgotten what it’s like to blow brown snot out of your nose every day. But I don’t care. I’m free, and I’m soaking in everything our surroundings have to offer — wherever those surroundings happen to be for the night.

Recently, that’s meant soaking up the sun and finding water to drink and to play in. If we have a swimming pool or river, life is good.

We've been fortunate to find plenty of time to play in the water on this trip
I’m a water baby. If there’s a river or pool, I’m in it.

Dry Camping

After six weeks in RV parks and family driveways, we’ve arrived at our first “boondocking” or “dry camping” experience of this trip. We’re staying on Forest Service land just outside of Grand Canyon. It’s free to camp here, but there’s no water, sewer, or electricity. We’re completely self-contained: just us, the Mini, and the RV. Think of it this way: Staying in an RV park is like living in an impromptu village; boondocking is like living in the middle of the country. It’s rustic and it’s quiet. Yes!

This is the type of camping I remember fondly from my youth: collecting firewood, cooking outside, and looking at the evening stars. It’s also using water sparingly, which means taking “spit baths” until I can’t stand my dirty hair any longer. It’s fantastic.

I love getting back to nature.

Kim had fun collecting firewood
On our first night dry camping, I gathered wood and built a fire.

Manly J.D. built a deluxe campfire circle
The next night, J.D. gathered all of this wood and stone by hand
to create a super-deluxe campfire circle.

Note: We’re still trying to figure out the electrical nuances of the RV, especially how to keep the fridge cold without draining the battery during long travel days (or when we’re dry camping with no access to electricity). Can we just turn on the propane and turn off the battery? We don’t know, and no amount of reading has helped us figure this out. (If any of you know the answer, I’d love to hear from you.)


One of my favorite parts of this trip has been disconnecting from all of the technology that permeates our lives. Our cell service is sporadic and internet access almost impossible to find. I’m okay with that.

It’s tougher for J.D. because he’s accustomed to connecting with people through his blogs and Facebook. I couldn’t care less. To me, Facebook and other forms of social media are just tools for family and friends to know we haven’t driven off a cliff or something. Even when we’re able to locate a cafe advertising FREE WI-FI just to handle bills, e-mail etc, it’s a laborsome experience that tests our patience. So slow!

I’m totally fine without all of it. Mostly.

You see, being disconnected from virtual reality makes me feel more connected with actual reality. Stepping away from the craziness in life, spending hours, days, or months in nature is a sure-fire way for me to get re-connected.

So, this post is just a reminder: Breathe. Remember what’s important in life — and to you.

Greetings from Forest Road 688F
Sending you good thoughts from Forest Road 688F, just south of Grand Canyon!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathleen 14 May 2015 at 17:21

Yay! I love that you are writing! I miss you.


2 kimmie 15 May 2015 at 16:36

Miss you too :( Wanna fly out and join us somewhere???


3 Freddie 14 May 2015 at 18:50

I just gave you my new email address if you want to use it Kim. you have the old one . Hey I can dig what your saying being alone in nature its the best experience a test of will and, survival knowledge, on your food storage RV, I would use the propane if it is a propane fridge. If that does not work get a big block of Ice. then you will have drainage problems in the fridge. a large cooler may be the answer, then your really camping. that’s what Moma Ruth use to do back in the day. yes u are always dirty I know but, sounds like you have that figured out. I am buying a Boat in a few days your dad is coming to visit me to we are going to Fish during the day and, work on my Book at night . My Boat is Aluminum 16 foot Tracker w/ a 40 horse Johnson motor , Trolling motor, fish finder three seats, Bimini Canopy for sun protection. I will give you the Fishing report when we catch a few McClure lake is full of Base and, I hear they are catching allot. Love uncle Freddie.


4 kimmie 15 May 2015 at 16:27

K, I expect a full report and some fish for my freezer when I see you again. Love you!!


5 Kelly in Oregon 15 May 2015 at 09:59

LOL @ JD’s campfire circle. I love it!

You SHOULD be able to just run your fridge on propane alone. I’ve never heard of an RV fridge where you can’t do that. One caveat is that you need electricity (battery or otherwise) to turn it on. But once it is on, it should be able to run just fine on propane.


6 kimmie 15 May 2015 at 16:25

Ahhhh, thank you Kelly!!! This is what I was wanting to hear.


7 Your Cousin April 15 May 2015 at 10:20

Hi ya cuz! Thank you for sharing and sending this email link. When the boys and I went RVing it, there were times with no electrical hook ups so we ran off the internal generator and then when got to town, recharged. Propane as mentioned above is also the other option :) Loves ya, April (P.S. we are traveling the week of June 15-June 23rd. to Portland to see Donna, June, and one of Al’s cousins.)


8 kimmie 15 May 2015 at 16:24

So, my big question is, I’ve been turning on the propane when we don’t have hook up but they don’t recommend you drive with it open, also does the house batterie need to be switched on when running the propane? This literally is the only “RV thing” we haven’t figured out. I feel like such a nerd.


9 Rita 15 May 2015 at 11:27

My fridge has a dial at the bottom that I turn off to defrost, or turn to elect or gas. I did not see it at first. When I need to learn something I type the question into my search engine and have found super web sites and forums that way. I have a n ipad with Verizon that I can usually connect with cellularly. A lot of boondockers use Verizon hot spot. Connecting seems to be a major expense for the mobile.


10 kimmie 15 May 2015 at 16:22

Thank you!!


11 Rita 15 May 2015 at 18:48

Absolutely do turn off the gas before driving. Gas is a fire hazard so be extra paranoid about it. I always open a vent when using it, too, and to let out moisture when cooking or bathing.


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