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Denver

Posted on February 25, 2015 by 1 Comment

We were a bit out of practice on the camping. We literally forgot to bring water. Fortunately, the state park had amenities. Later, we made up for our lack of preparation with a $0.99 breakfast and free coffee at the nearby IKEA. IKEA camping hack? Maybe. They have $0.99 hot dogs for lunch too. Just steer clear of the lingonberry.

We drove towards downtown and hit the Natural History Museum where we wandered around the space and animal exhibits and watched an entertaining IMAX movie. Later, we met up with our friends  Becki, Sean and Knox for dinner near Union Station. They put us up for the night and provided great entertainment.

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Zero-budget-wise, the trip was a fail, but one that we were expecting. The $56 at Target for some necessities wasn’t budgeted, but it probably beat the cost of any previous trip to that store. We’ve been confined to a small mountain town for a few months now, and the only shopping option is a Safeway (grocery store) in the next town and a few souvenier shops.

It was really nice to have some urban time and hang with friends.

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Failing into Golden

Posted on February 23, 2015 by 1 Comment

The frugality experiment has been really eye-opening. We’ve been really good about not buying anything non-essential while we are sitting around Winter Park during a snowstorm. But as they do, the bills started coming in. We hardly drive the bus at all here, but both the bus insurance and registration were due this month, as well as dental bills, an online art class for Bode and the usual phone and electric.

Then, a Presidents Weekend trip to the big city. We’d planned this before Jason’s idea for this experiment, so the goal wasn’t to not spend money as much as it was to just be careful with it and note where it goes.

Our trip started with some karma credit (repayment?) We picked up some hitchhiking snowboarders midway up Berthoud Pass and gave them a slow ride to the top. There was an old ski resort up here that has gone to seed and is back in the National Forest Service hands. It makes for excellent backcountry riding as long as you don’t mind avalanches and sticking your thumb out. These guys were having a great day and were happy to be inside a vehicle instead of riding up in the back of the truck filled with dogs and construction material. If you’re driving over Berthoud Pass – pick up the hitchers for your own karma boost – all good folks enjoying the snow at 11,000 ft.

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We made our way down to Golden to hang and planned to camp near town. The first problem was the weather: it was perfect. People sitting outside enjoying a happy hour beer and pizza in the warm sunshine. Next thing you know, we were too. We haven’t been able to dine outside in months. It was a must. So, within 3 hours of our starting, we had already blown the budget.

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Gui – there’s your pigs.

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Later, we headed to the RV park in town and found out we were not allowed to camp. This was a first for us – only trailers allowed and no sleeping in vehicles. A big sign said the police would show up and give us pricey ticket even if we paid the $45 entrance fee. We hit a second place, where we could park for $55, which obviously wasn’t going to happen. We decided to save the gas and called a few other places in advance. A local county park that advertised RV and tent spaces told us that our camper van was ‘not allowed.’ So, we ended up driving another 15 miles to a state park south of Denver and found a great campsite. It was farther than we had planned to drive, and only available for 1 night (holiday weekend was booked) but it was only $20.  It was a just little cold in the bus that night – definitely below freezing.

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Filed Under: Colorado

Cabalgatas

Posted on December 1, 2014 by No Comments

Postponed by the hurricane, and a few hundred caballeros short – we still went out to watch the cowboys come into town. It really is a beautiful event, even more so in a community so deeply affected by Hurricane Odile. Keep calm, carry on.

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There are usually demonstrations of trick riding, dancing horses, roping, forging, etc and it concludes with a blessing of the horses at the church. This year, it was mostly beer drinking and a slow ride through town. Still fun to watch – this is a small town after all.

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Filed Under: Baja

Turtles and Dogs

Posted on November 18, 2014 by No Comments

Aside from the turtles, we’ve pretty much had this beach to ourselves for last couple months. Now that high-season is about to kick in, we’re getting ready to leave it to the crowds and hit the road.

Even with all the new neighbors arriving, there still seem to be more more dogs on the playa than humans.

Note to dog owners who think that their dog would never eat a baby turtle: Yes, it will.

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Hortaliza Hierbabuena

Posted on November 16, 2014 by 4 Comments

Down a dusty road in what seems like the middle of nowhere lies one of the best damn restaurants ever.

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Our interest in rammed-earth architecture is what originally what drew us to this spot, but we were just as curious about the food after hearing about a farm-to-table restaurant outside of El Pescadero.  The owners are friends of friends, who were able to rebuild after the hurricane – and more importantly – offer a diverse menu made from stuff grown on-site.

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Jason discovered a new oil leak in the parking lot, but we were able to get his mind off of it with the excellent food. We even got Bob to eat a vegetarian dish, carrot ravioli in pesto, which he loved.

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Bob’s Turtles

Posted on November 12, 2014 by 2 Comments

Due to the hurricane, we’re now in a two-week lull for tortugita hatching. That’s how long it took to get the tortuguero back up and running and send out the nightly egg patrol. We encouraged Bob to do some last-minute schedule-shuffling and he managed to get here on the last night before the long break.

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As promised, Señor Bode gave Bob the facilities tour and a few pointers on digging up the little guys.

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Only two nests to dig up this night, and a few tourists showed up for the liberación.

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Sunsets on the beach. Baby turtle releases. It’s all part of the tour package.

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Day of the Dead

Posted on November 2, 2014 by No Comments

What a great weekend! Our friend Bob is in town visiting, just in time for Halloween.

There is no trick-or-treating here in Todos, but a local cafe held a Halloween fiesta complete with live reggae. There were tons of costumed kids running around everywhere having fun. Bode disappeared most of the evening with a few friends he’s met in town. They were overheard in the bathroom plotting where the best place to hide all the candy they’d gotten at the party. Consensus was that ‘in the mouth’ was the best place.

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By the way… Bode is a zombie, but not from the grave. He will tell anyone who will listen the long and complicated story of a virus that infects people’s brains and makes them eat flesh. Things sure have changed since his Luke Skywalker days.

Saturday night the local cultural center held a Dia de los Muertos show which told the story of Mictlan with dancers, aerialists and musicians. Pretty spooky- with great performances.

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