All posts by schizoidboy

RVing

Tips

  • Boondocking:
    1. A lot of places have ordinances against sleeping in a car/RV overnight. This is due to the RV-park lobby who don’t want to lose your business but pay large property taxes/etc (thus giving them clout in their localities to push for ordinances). Some places might wake you up in the middle of the night, tell you to leave, and/or fine you.
      • Rule: If you’re not paying to sleep, then you might be kicked out of any of the places below.
    2. Forested Wilderness
    3. Rest Areas/Truck Stops
    4. Malls
    5. Residential Areas
    6. Industrial Areas
    7. Churches (ask ahead of time)
    8. WalMart
    9. Big box stores (e.g. K-Mart) (idea: put “For Sale” sign in window)
    10. Late-night/all-night stores (e.g. grocery stores)
    11. Casinos
    12. Hospitals (good cafeterias, pretend you’re waiting for “Aunt Sue”)
    13. Motels/Hotels (pretend to be a guest)
    14. Car Repair Garages (pretend you need it serviced in the morning)
    15. Apartment Complexes
    16. Night Clubs (because a lot of people park there and take cabs home because they’re drunk)
    17. Police Stations (ask if you can stay in their lot, or ask where you could stay)
    18. Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVAs)
  • Links:
    1. What is Boondocking?

Villain Lair on Joralemon St

Day 3 for the R.V. I had big plans today, and they all fell apart… for the better. I planned to drive all the way to a state park near Montauk at the tip of Long Island- that way I could avoid NYC traffic when taking the R.V. back tomorrow morning. Oy vey, I have a new respect for truck drivers in NYC… Google maps also needs a “for trucks” feature.

The plan was to drive from NJ to Staten Island, then onto Brooklyn over the Verrazano Bridge, and then onto the Belt Parkway to eastern Long Island. That fell apart quickly. I was supposed to make a left onto the Belt Parkway at the end of the Verrazano, but it said no trucks! Lucky for me, there was an “Belt Parkway Alternate Route sign” to take 92nd street… or so I thought.

After weaving around Brooklyn side streets for 10 minutes, nearly clipping who knows what with this massive thing, I finally see the sign for the alternate route! Whoops, also no trucks over 10’5″. Uhhhh. I parked and fire up the laptop. It turns out parkways are not for trucks — only express-ways. How could I be so dumb.

So, it was now 4 PM, and the alternate route taking major highways would take another 3 hours. Oof. So I started and I hit the next hurdle. Traffic was killer, and it was Stop & Go. As I was about to get onto I-278, the R.V. stalled! New York is the worst place to have car problems. People need any excuse to honk and scream to reach their daily quotas. I calmed down, gave it a minute and it started again! Yay. The engine probably just overheated from the Stop & Go movements. Then, not more than 3 minutes after that, I’m approaching I-278 and what do you know — no trucks over 12′! AHHH, it’s a friggin interstate highway! I pulled off onto Atlantic Ave and started searching for a parking spot to fire up the laptop once again. I drove around for a few minutes, and finally saw an opening… Pier 3 @ Fulton & Joralemon. This has to be one of the most awesome views of downtown NYC. I guess this is also where art goes to die, because the massive waterfalls they had underneath the Brooklyn Bridge were parked in a construction zone here. They were still flowing… to keep up the morale of the construction workers, I guess?

A nice little Indian security guard assured me I could park here, so I went off urban adventuring (pictures will soon follow).

The funniest thing was as I was walking down on the South side of the street, I saw a small light and pedestrian crossing. What was odd though, was that there was no sidewalk on the North side, just concrete. It turns out the massive concrete wall was a front to the subway, and this was an emergency exit. But why was the pedestrian crossing system necessary for crossing into a big wall? I guess it must trip if the emergency door opens? The funny part was that, as with all pedestrian crossings, there was a button on my side to push to turn the light green. BAHAHAHAHA! I pushed the button, and lo’ and behold, the light turned green. Unsurprisingly, the cars stopped, like sheep, even though it was absolutely impossible for humans to be crossing there!

I miss being mischievous.

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Spiders!!

Jumping spiders are nightmarish.

I was driving down Pennsylvania avenue toward my campsite after romping around the Library of Congress. I got my permanent, “researcher” ID card to get into the reading room. The guy at the counter used to work at IBM, so I was a shoe in.

The reading room in the Jefferson library was awesome and exactly how I had imagined it would be. The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world apparently. I’ve never seen so many Charles Caleb Colton books immediately available.

As I was driving back around 7pm, I stopped at a light. I look down and see a spider crawling up my arm. Uhhhhh… I tried to stay calm, and then it jumps on my shorts, right near Mr Happy! The light turns green, so I have to think fast. I see a pseudo-parking spot ahead of me, so i flick the spider toward the pedal and get to the parking spot right quick. After I parked, I flew back into the cabin. I regained my composure and slowly approached the spider. It was crawlin’ all up on my shiz, on the chair and jumping to my water bottle.

I had my shoe in hand, but… what if I missed? Mom gave me a large “survival guide” book.. that should work. I approached like a hungry cat and SMASH. My only concern… a vengeful spider wife tonight…

Today was a long, but amazing day. I’m tired. Sleeping in an RV is so quiet.

Dead spider:

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Library of Congress:

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Don’t ask where I took this. It’s secret.

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D.C.:

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R.V. park:

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R.V. — Regeneration Vehicle

Blogging; bosh, I say! Although, today, I guess things are sufficiently interesting. Maybe this will start a trend with all my IBM SWAT work and shaving-cream-bearded pictures in hotels… oy, what’s up with all this b-logging of one’s life thing? Eh, anyway, here goes for the few out there that might care (HI VICKY! HI MOM! HI DAD! … and that’s probably all)..

(Oh, but first, I have to make up for a post that needed to be written about a month ago: I was looking for something in my closet, and I found my old IBM bag I used to take on SWAT engagements. Inside, I found some weird French book, a torn up map of Vienna, and a fork! A FORK! Not just any fork. A quality, metallic for. Whhhhhhy? I don’t know.)

Today I rented an R.V.. (By the way, if something is abbreviated with periods and it ends the sentence, do you need another period?.) I absolutely love it. I owe it to Vicky for realizing I had a dream and getting the gift certificate for my birthday.

This adventure has to be one of my most hilarious to-date. Imagine a young guy cruisin’ around in an RV, listenin’ to The Residents and TISM (By the way, just for the record, The Residents are like Architecture in Helsinki. Except 20 years ago. And better. With masks.). These things are pretty massive and unwieldy! There were a few Germans that came in right after me who were taken to JFK airport by mistake (Roslyn is about 30 minutes away from JFK), and I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to be unable to vent your frustration. His broken English screaming was almost comical, except for the redness in the face. I felt bad since the lady at the front desk was being annoying. Alas…

After snaking the RV out of the parking lot, I was having so much fun that I basically just… drove. I had no clue where I was going and I was laughing the whole time… until I realized that they forgot to give me my blanket and pillow! My first U-turn involved annoying a bunch of passive aggressive drivers… you know, the kind that dwell in the suburbs, overly annoyed by the daily trivia engulfing their lives. But then there was a nice old man and woman that gave me my space. There is still hope for this world…

Next, driving through New York with a huge truck with mirrors jutting out seemingly way too far. And why are there two mirrors that have different views of reality?! One of them, the objects are really closer than they appear! Where is Meatloaf when you need him? The worst is not so much keeping to the razor thin lanes with angry people from 200 different countries yelling at you. The worst are those crazy (the good kind of crazy) New York drivers who can squeeze their car by with millimeters of space between themselves and others. I mean, some of these people flew by me with just a hair’s width between us, not to mention on a bridge! Nothing happened, since New York drivers are crazy, but good. Unlike New Jersey drivers, who are just crazy.

And that’s where I’m spending the night: New Jersey, at a truck stop. I love truck stops. The average person is much more jovial, and you know that every one of them has a 12 gauge in their passenger seat, ready to protect their brethren truckers at a moment’s notice.

I was trying to explain this feeling to Vicky earlier today… it’s like each truck stop is a home. Because even though you’ve got your home on wheels, you still need to be at the stop to be home. I don’t know, it doesn’t make sense to me either.

Overall, I’m in love with RVs. I love the cozy nature of them, and one is also much more conservative with water, heat, A/C, and electricity. Every day is an adventure.

Tomorrow, The Library of Congress!