Solar setups are great when the weather is ideal but when it’s not, you gotta rely on the old generator if you want to work from anywhere like we do.
We have a Honda EU2000 Super Quiet generator, which compared to the old school ones, is ultra quiet. The noise it emits doesn’t bug me because when I hear the dull din of my generator it sounds like money to me, since we use it to run our satellite dish and computers, which enable us to earn an income from anywhere.
Unfortunately some people still think all generators are noise, which to an extent they are, especially if they’re being used to run televisions.
I found this poem on the Slab City community bulletin board. If you’ve ever been to the Slabs and seen, heard and smelled some of the 20-year old rattletrap generators, you know why this person is so irate. I am too. More people need super quiet generators!
A Gentle Poem Regarding Generators
Smog in the cities, cirrosis in livers,
Oil on the ocean, sludge in the rivers.
Ugly pollution, but hardly greater
than the shattering sound of a loud generator.
It’s noise pollution, real and mean,
dumping racket in the campground scene
Chatter and rattle, sewage of the air,
uncivil, crude, unkind and unfair.
Hum and drone spoiling the night,
killing the peace with malice and spite.
Buzzing and popping for hours on end,
making enemies of would-be friends.
Damn those machines and all who abuse them,
ban’em from camp, break’em and lose’em.
They’re worse than snakes and skunks and witches.
I HATE THOSE NOISY SONS O’BITCHES!
- Author unknown
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A few weeks ago Jim and I crossed the Rio Grande for a one-day Mexican holiday in Boquillas del Carmen.
After twelve long, lonely years of being closed off from tourists in Big Bend National Park, this rustic Mexican community is celebrating the return of adventurous park tourists willing to walk or boat across and explore this old world village.
Boquillas is a former mining town that quickly became a popular destination for U.S. and international park visitors when Big Bend National Park opened in the 1940s. Made famous in the song Gringo Honeymoon by Texas singer songwriter Robert Earl Keen, for many decades thousands of park tourists made passport-less jaunts by boat, foot and mule in order to eat, drink and party in a village untouched by time.
“Tied our donkeys to an ironwood tree
By the street where children played
We walked in the first place we could see
Servin’ cold beer in the shade
We were drinkin’ like the end was not in sight
And we drank all afternoon
We asked the world to wait so we could celebrate
A gringo honeymoon.”
Sadly, post 9/11 border security regulations quickly put a stop to Boquillas’ informal river crossings. The move nearly decimated the town’s population, but over a decade later in April 2013, remaining villagers, Big Bend locals and park authorities were elated when U.S. border officials re-opened the crossing – albeit with a $3.7 million checkpoint station and official passport rules regulating visitor requirements.
Today’s visitors will find that while much has changed on the other side, Boquillas continues to hold a special charm. Newcomers are still greeted on the river by Victor, the town’s unofficial director of tourism who belts out popular Mexican songs for tips and welcomes everyone with a giant smile.
Packs of burros stand ready for visitors too wilted to make the 20 minute trek to town on foot but pickup trucks also offer transportation.
Walking through Boquillas is like a visit to an early 20th century Mexican village. Unpaved streets lead to little more than the two restaurants and bar, a few dozen hand-built adobe houses, two plain churches and a school.
This off-grid community is pleasantly different from all other border crossings in that visitors aren’t assaulted with the usual traffic, grime and crowds found elsewhere in Mexican borderlands.
Since there are no grocery stores, liquor outlets or pharmacies, you won’t have the opportunity to do much shopping or get dental work done, but your American dollars can go to better use by purchasing handmade crafts made by locals of every age.
When you’re ready for a break, head to the famous Park Bar that greets thirsty travelers with icy cold beer.
You can satiate your appetite right across the street at the decades old Falcon Restaurante and souvenir shop that serves up $3 plates of mini tacos and burritos, or you can walk across the street to a new competing eatery.
Touring Boquillas only takes a couple hours and you can make the most of it with guided trips led by residents anxious to practice their English and show off their community. Guides greet you when you arrive on shore and work strictly for tips. Although your participation is optional, doing so adds a personal touch to your adventure, provides for your safety and positively impacts Boquillas’ economy.
Boquillas is accessed by traveling to the east side of Big Bend National Park, near the Rio Grande Village campground. The crossing station is Wednesday through Sunday between 9 am and 6 pm and official passports are required. You can cross over on foot or by paying $5 for a round-trip row boat ride, and transportation into town for non-walkers costs anywhere from $5 to $8. For more information visit the Big Bend National Park website.
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Two years after publishing our book about how to make money from home or on the road, we’re happy to announce that “Income, Anywhere!” is now available in a new and improved second edition.
Since strangers often assume that we’re either rich or retired, Jim and I first published Income, Anywhere! to set the record straight. We wanted to show others that living the full-time RVing lifestyle while you’re still young and non-retired doesn’t require a lot of money: all you need is the ability to think differently about how you can make money and keep it.
By keeping all of your options open and embracing new ways of generating revenue from multiple income streams, you can break the chains of traditional employment and live your dreams now, instead of waiting for a retirement that may never come.
More Resources, More Ways to Earn Money Anywhere
This new edition contains all new and updated resources for living from anywhere, including:
- How to get out of debt, and stay on budget
- Details about affiliate blogging and Pay Per Click advertising
- Popular blogging platform options and how to choose
- More ways to open an online store
- The benefits of developing drop-ship relationships
- How to find remote employment online
- Etsy and other creative or craft marketplaces
- Making money with Amazon, ClickBank and E-junkie
- Warning signs of network marketing schemes and pyramid scams
- How to identify legitimate revenue sharing companies
- Even more Workamping and caretaking job resources!
Live Your Dream Life
This book is better than ever so if you haven’t already done so, we hope you’ll pick up a copy today. Income, Anywhere! is still available for just $9.95, or $4.95 if you utilize this $5 off coupon. For less than the price of a coffee and bagel, you can learn how to make money and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. If we can do it, so can you!
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This morning on my daily run, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the irony of willingly heading toward the Rio Grande. After all, just two generations ago, my Mexican-born grandparents were desperately getting away from it.
Ayi yai yai! Here I am today, with my gringo husband who speaks better Spanish than I do, parking our traveling home in one of the last vestiges of real isolation and ear-splitting silence in America, the Big Bend.
We’ve been bouncing along the Rio Grand between Lajitas and Black Gap since mid-February, but it feels like we just arrived. No matter where you look, the timelessness of every panorama just drives home the fact that we’re all just insignificant specs of cosmic dust. Time moves slowly here, if at all.
To the casual eye it appears that Jim and I do a whole lotta nothing, but we’re working hard on some big projects including Jim’s upcoming speaking engagement at Blog Paws. But for once, we’re not all about work (at least until summer when we return to Vicker’s Ranch).
We took a day trip to Mexico at the re-opened Boquillas Crossing in Big Bend National Park (more on that soon):
Then one of our dearest, oldest friends from Humboldt County drove a couple hundred miles out of his way to stop by. It’s always a blast when our current life intersects with our so very different old one.
After boondocking for nearly a month straight, we lived a life of luxury and paid for a week of full hookups at Maverick Ranch RV Park. Normally a “golf resort” park isn’t the kind of place where you’ll find trailerin’ folk like us, but our friends the Whitfords are playing a regular gig to the Prevost-driving gringos.
We haven’t seen Eldon and Ann since our last trip to Stillwell, and we’re so glad we caught up with these two! If you’re in the area, do not miss their hillbilly hour music show.
After Lajitas, we popped into Alpine to re-stock our provisions, but that was just an excuse to see a mind blowing show by the Texas Americana music legend, Ray Wiley Hubbard.
A cross between a derelict and a genius, a prophet and a pervert, Ray and his bluesy licks (with just one drummer accompanying him the entire time) kept the crowd dancing, grinding and singing for more than two hours. Not bad for a 68-year old stone cold sober outlaw resurrected from the ravages of addiction.
When it comes to the best winter snowbird destinations it don’t get no better than this.
Next week we’ll be heading over to New Braunfels for a month-long stay at our old love/hate destination along the Comal River, Landa RV Park. Until then, we’ll soak up as much quiet time and isolation as we can before jumping headfirst into the crazy Hill Country scene.
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If you’re a seasonal snowbird or full-time RVer and work from your rig, you’ve probably heard that you can enjoy a nice tax break by writing off your rig as a second home and business expense.
I’ve heard the same thing and always wondered what full-timing expenses were justifiable write-offs in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service. Thankfully there’s a new book that clears up this confusion, called Can I Write Off My RV?: What Every RVer Should Know About Taxes.
Learning about income taxes isn’t as boring as you might think. Written by former full-timer and income tax expert George Montgomery, “Can I Write Off My RV?” does an excellent job clearly answering all of the tax questions that arise when you begin to live and work on the road.
Because Montgomery was a working-age full-timer for 16 years, he has a comprehensive understanding of the nature of working while living this vagabondish lifestyle. As a certified Enrolled Agent for the IRS, he possesses a wealth of knowledge about both sides of the coin, which makes him a rarity among highly-skilled tax experts. This also explains why he’s earned the title of “RV Tax Master” for Workamper University.
With these qualifications, you know the advice in this book is solid. In addition to basic information about choosing a domicile, you’ll also learn about topics like:
- Tax implications for seasonal RVers with a sticks and bricks home versus full-timers who don’t have one
- The ins and outs of filing multi-state tax returns
- If and how volunteering can offset your tax liabilities
- Which records to keep and for how long
- And of course, how to know if your RV is a tax deduction
Includes Helpful Workamper Information
The book is written in easily understood language that demystifies all of the intricacies about claiming tax deductions while full-timing.
A helpful section covers a common scenario that many workampers wonder about, which is the tax liability of their campsite while workamping. He writes:
Deductability of An RV Site
If you are paid in full for all of the hours that you work and then have to pay for your campsite, the cost of the campsite may be deducted if it is a job requirement that you stay at the campground.
Some RVers, such as those defined as itinerant workers, are not always eligible to deduct these items. Because of this, the IRS prompts employers to issue a W-2 or 1099 for this benefit. I feel this is done to encourage uninformed employers to report this as income even though it is a non-taxable benefit if it is for the convenience of the employer . . .
When you are interviewing for a job, ask if you are required to live onsite and make sure the value of that site will not be included on your W-2 or 1099 since it is a job requirement for the benefit of the employer . . . If the value of the campsite is included in your income . . . . then you may deduct the items on your Schedule A (if on a W-2), or on a Schedule C (if on a 1099) as a requirement of the job whether you are away-from-home or an itinerant worker.”
Montgomery emphasizes the importance of keeping accurate records in the event that you have to prove the value of the campsite to the IRS, so that you may deduct that segment of workamping income that was added into your W-2 or 1099.
Don’t Leave Home Without It
Reading this book also provides an understanding of how oftentimes the IRS considers the viability of deductions on a case-by-case basis, so Montgomery includes several different scenarios that clearly illustrate how tax laws can be applied in different ways depending on the unique living and working situation of the taxpayer.
If you’re about to hit the road and see some type of work or volunteering in your future, this book is indispensable for your full-timer education and will provide you with the information you need to discuss your specific tax situation with your own tax preparer.
Disclaimer: George Montgomery has been our own tax preparer since 2010 and we can’t say enough great things about him!
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