Thursday, January 20, 2011


Saved from the shower drain-1Yesterday morning, while Odel helped with the trash run (a couple pickup loads of trash taken from Boomerville to the Quartzsite transfer station), I took a shower.  Camped here in the desert for seven days with a 100 gallon supply of fresh water, H2O is not to be wasted! 

See this?  About 1/4 gallon of water – clean, fresh water – that ran out of the shower head while I awaited the arrival of the warm stuff.  Captured in this gallon jug, it will be used to make tea, brush our teeth, or wash our faces.

When Odel and I first contemplated boondocking, Odel dreamed up an experiment.  While I took a “navy shower” – get wet, turn off the water, lather up, turn on the water, rinse off – he timed me (we do such romantic things together).  I ran the water for about a minute each time I turned it on. 

He then got out an empty kitty litter bucket and we marked a line at each gallon measurement.  Odel ran the shower water into the bucket for two minutes (don’t believe him when he tries to tell you that I am the obsessive planner), and doubled that amount, determining that the two of us can shower in about 5 gallons of water between us.  Not bad, eh?  So now, when I stand in the shower, I’m counting to myself one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand… :)

Gray water for the toiletShower over, Odel returned and we headed off to town to peruse the vendors.  We found two out of the three things we wanted (an LED light to replace a little hot-burning halogen bulb and a refrigerator bar, but no new bathroom door doorknob), getting most of our walking done in the process.

Back home, we walked over to the campfire circle for a seminar with “Mac the Fire Guy”, discussing RV fires and how to best handle them.  We first saw Mac’s presentation several years ago, and his advice made sense to me: instead of carrying a big extinguisher to try to put out the fire (unlikely to impossible) and save the rig, carry several small, convenient extinguishers and plan to GET OUT!   The four small extinguishers we carry in strategic locations (one by the front door, one in the bedroom by the escape window, and two in the kitchen) have one purpose, to let us get out of the rig no matter where the fire starts.  With Mac’s assurance that these small foam extinguishers are still viable, we feel prepared.

Next, we walked over for a quick visit with our friends Mary and Elaine, who rolled in while we listened to Mac, then it was time for the daily 4 pm happy hour, with introductions and recognition of new Boomers and new arrivals.  Odel was swamped selling Boomer decals; he came home with dollar bills hanging out all of his pockets.

Following a quick dinner at home, Odel cleaned up the day’s dishes, saving the once-used water  (photo above) for it’s next assignment: toilet flushing.  While boondocking, we turn off the water supply to the toilet, using “gray water” (water already used once) for flushing.  I wonder if (more likely, when) the day will come when this is considered a normal way of life for urban dwellers?  When clean water is more valuable than fossil fuel?

Beth, Sally, Odel, LaurieWe finished up just in time to head to Ken and Sue’s place for Movie Night.  Ken and Sue went to Burning Man in 2010, and put together a photo presentation on the experience.  While Sue projected the photos on the outside wall of their motorhome, Ken narrated for the 40-50 Boomers in attendance.  Great show!  We shoulda’ brought popcorn.

The full moon was high when the Burning Man presentation ended, so Odel and I followed our shadows down “main street” to visit Mike and Marilyn around their little campfire circle, and snagged an invitation inside their motorhome to see the renovations they have made over the years.  They’ve done a beautiful job with fabric and paint… painted walls might be in our future, too.

Finally, we were back home and sung in our bed, listening to the breeze ruffling the awnings. 

Up again at 7:30 am, dressed and ready to join the 9 am walking group (here we are with Beth and Sally).  Another day begins in Boomerville!


  1. You guys are doing a great job with the water... Sounds like your really enjoying your time with the Boomers!
    Have fun & Travel Safe

  2. Wouldn't taking your showers together perhaps save more water??... and be a little more romantic?? :)

  3. Laurie, you are more right than you know about water being more precious than fuel in the future. Clean drinkable water is a single necessity for life. Fuel comes in all forms, and mankind has always been ingenious about finding it. I've lived off-grid and know what it's like to put water to multiple uses. Your writing brings back memories.

  4. Your reports make me feel like I'm there. Keep them up please.

  5. Boomer time sounds like a lot of fun. Hope I get to do it someday. Singing in bed sounds like fun as well. :)

  6. Nope, can't do them Navy showers no how. I like lots of hot water. We travel with lots of water jugs & whenever in town we fill em & just keep replenishing the water in the rig's big tank. I have a water pump here to transfer water but mostly we just dump the bigger water jugs in by hand. Works for us:))

  7. He, he, Malone! Very funny! You know I meant "snug", but I decided sung was more fun. Certainly our hearts were singing. :)

  8. ha is awsome!! And I hough we were sric wih our shower ime :) I LOVE boondocking, and aking bird bahs is par of he fun!

    Sorr for he missing leers. I will be explained on m blog omorrow!!

  9. what a way to measure the water!..thanks for the great idea!!

  10. It's amazing how much water we waste when in a house, and how frugal we can be in our RV. I end up using a bit more in the shower due to long hair needing more to rinse, but we can manage carefully too with 100 gallons for a week.

    We carry four smaller extinguishers inside the rig also in strategic places, and then a larger one outside in an non-lockable compartment. It's handy to grab to help a roadside situation or if you bail out the bedroom window, how many times do you have your keys on your body to unlock a compartment or even the locked RV door to get back in?

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  11. Great info on boondocking and on being environmentally "friendly". Water is definitely a BIG deal and bound to get more so.

    Sounds like a great time there in boomerville. Wish I were there rather than here in Virginia where it is sunny (thankfully) but 38 degrees.


  12. Hmmm... very interesting post about water conservation. I guess my Dad was ahead of his time when he'd yell, "Don't waste the water!"

  13. I'm a first time reader and enjoyed your blog....especially the tips on fire extinguishers. We are not full-timers (yet) so I am still absorbing all the tips and info I can lay my eyes on.

  14. Tell Ken and Sue that they should have camped with Camp Nomadia! We'll be there in 2011, although it's unclear whether Camp Nomadia will be there as well.