Impromptu Vacation for Our Dog’s Birthday

Isabella is getting grey, but a lot of that is just dirt…lol

Isabella turned 7 years old last week and hubby’s work “schedule” just happened to work out in a way that we could make a last minute trip to our favorite boondocking spot just in time to celebrate! She LOVES it there!

We call it Camp Lizard, because she usually finds a lot of little lizards to chase. Nothing to worry about… with her terrible hips, she never gets close enough to even scare the little guys.

“Camp Lizard” is in the Forty Mile Desert along the California Emigrant Trail and north of Fallon, Nevada.

We have to take “weekend” getaways whenever we can get them, because hubby does not have a regular work schedule. He works for the railroad and it is a completely different way of life. That is just one more reason why homeschooling and being free of schedules as a general rule ourselves really helps when it comes to spending time as a family.

Dipole antenna setup for portable amateur radio while RV Boondocking in the 40 Mile Desert.

Here you see “The Money Pit” aka our 1978 Tioga RV next to hubby’s dipole antenna setup accessorized with his “Surrender the Booty” pirate flag. He checked into a few nets while we were there and had fun on a few repeaters. We are both hams, but I did not get on the radio while on this little vacation.

Hubby having fun working his CW aka morse code on his portable amateur radio station with his dipole antenna. His power is the battery you see under the table. We have solar panels that we use to recharge these (we carry a couple with us) for use when boondocking for the radios, our CPAP machines, and anything else we may need.


My guys and Isabella taking a hike on one of the sand dunes next to our campsite. I’m right behind them, but first things first… PICTURES!  😉

“Buddy” covered in at least one layer of dirt! We are up on another sand dune surrounding our campsite. You’ll notice that he has something with him (a DVD). This is common with people who have Asperger’s Syndrome. They usually like to have favorite items with them whenever possible. Buddy sometimes likes to pose with his little obsession of the time being (as he has obviously done in the picture to the left).


Home Sweet Home!  This was actually before we set up the antenna and flag, but after our first little hike up on the sand dunes.



Isabella wasn’t the only one that loved rolling around in the sand and dirt… Oh well, it all washes off. He wasn’t technically rolling around in it, but you couldn’t tell that by this picture nor by the look of him by the end of the day.

Hubby took this picture.

You can see that there is an almost full moon way up in the sky over the Money Pit and Buddy is off for another little hike. He was much more independent this time which was nice, yet scary. He is now 12 years old, so it is definitely a good thing. I felt confident; however, because our dog will not let him get more than a few feet from her. She is VERY protective. He was always within my sight, too. It’s just more intense for a parent of a child on the spectrum. I have another child (now grown) who is not on the spectrum, so I know that it is definitely different. It is kind of sad, scary, sweet, and a proud moment at the same time.


Hubby took this picture.

Here you can see the beautiful sunset shining on the Money Pit. The black rectangular thing on the ground in front of the RV is our solar panel setup I mentioned above. We got it a couple of years ago at Costco. It is wonderful! Here is a link to one I just found on Amazon that looks quite a bit like the one we have. Costco doesn’t seem to carry the one we have anymore. My hubby had to hook it up with an inverter and we have some extra 12 volt batteries. It’s a bit more than just buy the solar panel and go, but it’s a great setup if you have a handyman (or if you are one)!


My hubby took this picture, too.



Beautiful sunset over the Forty Mile Desert! Isn’t this amazing? I did not get a picture like this one, so I am sharing my hubby’s wonderful shot.


We had a great time telling stories around the campfire. We didn’t sit too close though, because it was too hot…lol




Our little oasis! We especially love it when we are hanging out together in the middle of nowhere.



So… The big question is:

Did the Birthday Girl enjoy her celebration vacation?

After two days and two nights of getting totally filthy from hiking, playing, and burrowing in sand dunes and having the undivided time and attention of “her people”… I think so!

As soon as we got home, we had to give her a major scrub down in the front yard with her melon scented doggie shampoo and the water hose, though. She loves biting at the water and chasing it. We make it into a game and it goes a lot easier for all of us.

She also got spoiled with a trip to the doggie toy store for some new toys and a trip to her favorite doggie park. If you are in the Reno/Sparks area and have a dog, be sure to check out our favorite dog park: Link Piazzo Dog Park. When we get into the neighborhood of this park, Isabella starts going crazy, because she knows where we are headed. It’s like a little kiddo when they see the golden arches along the highway on a long road trip. She always has a blast when we go there and makes friends instantly. Needless to say, I think we celebrated her birthday sufficiently.  😉


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