We thought it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves!
We are Travis and Missy. We were born and raised in a small town in Wisconsin, but moved to San Diego about seven years ago. Travis is a Marine Corps veteran and we own an ERP consulting business, Bird Rock Solutions. Our 13-year-old dog Max is along for the ride.
We are (fairly new) full-time Airstreamers traveling in a 2017 International Signature 27FB and towing with a 2017 Ford F-150.
We started full timing on 1/15/18 and we will be traveling for an undetermined amount of time. I guess we’ll travel until we feel the need to put down roots somewhere again.
We plan to travel to all parts of the country as well as Canada. We are very much looking forward to checking out places that we’ve been wanting to visit but never made it to, as well as checking out places we had no idea existed.
Well, we tend to get restless. In the 14+ years we’ve been together, we’ve moved 9 times, once 2000+ miles. We love experiencing new places and people — what better way to do that than travel the country?!
We’ve talked about full-time travel for years, and recently things aligned to allow us to do it.
First, we own our own business and we work remotely the majority of the time. As far as income, nothing changed for us when we hit the road — we just need to make sure we have a decent cell connection most of the time.
Second, we owned a home in North County San Diego for 3.5 years. We bought at a good time and then the market got hot in San Diego, and we decided to sell. With the profits from the sale, we were able to purchase our truck and Airstream outright; therefore, our living expenses are basically just campsite fees, gas and food.
We spent five weeks at Wine Ridge Resort in Pahrump, Nevada. If you’ve never heard of Pahrump, don’t worry — most people haven’t. It’s located between Death Valley National Park (to the west) and Las Vegas (to the east), and it takes about an hour to get to either one.
The resort is very nice and the monthly rate is more than reasonable. We were there for 36 nights at $9.63 per night plus electricity, which, for the five weeks, was $53.82. Our grand total was $400.52.
Address: 3800 Winery Road, Pahrump, NV 89048
Phone Number: (775) 751-7805
Two Pools and a Hot Tub
Individual Bathrooms with Showers (So great!)
Pickle Ball, Bocce Ball and Horseshoes
Fitness Center (Pretty decent, actually)
Clubhouse with Pool Table, Shuffle Board, and a Lending Library with DVDs, Board Games, Books and Puzzles
Complimentary Breakfasts Most Mornings
Weekly Activities including Poker, Bingo and Karaoke
Located next door to the resort is the Pahrump Valley Winery (voted #1 in Nevada) that offers free tastings and the Symphony’s Restaurant, which, according to locals, is the best restaurant in Pahrump. The wine is excellent and the food was pretty good.
Pahrump itself doesn’t have a lot going on, unless you’re really into smoky casinos and fireworks stores, but we tried to take advantage of everything it did have to offer:
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: About a 40-minute drive from Pahrump, Red Rock is home to a 13-mile, extremely scenic drive with multiple overlooks, parking areas and picnic areas. There are also 26 different hiking trails of varying length and difficulty — our favorite was the Calico Tanks Trail. Rock climbing is allowed but you need a permit. Definitely a must see if in the Pahrump area and it’s only about a 20-minute drive from the Las Vegas Strip.
Death Valley National Park: While there are places to stay in Death Valley, the campgrounds fill up fast and the hotels are crazy expensive. Pahrump is a decent location for making day trips to the park. As we had friends visit to run the Death Valley Marathon, we did hook up the Airstream and tow to Death Valley to spend three nights at the Furnace Creek Campground.
Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge: Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the refuge protects threatened and endangered species, many of which occur nowhere else in the world, such as the Devils Hole pupfish.
China Ranch Date Farm: A family-owned date farm and bakery that serves the regional delight, date shakes. There are also a handful of trails and a cute little gift shop.
There are a few other attractions in the area that either didn’t interest us or we didn’t have time for: Dumont Dunes, Tacopa Hot Springs and the Amargosa Opera House.
For the most part, we enjoyed our time in Pahrump, although five weeks was too long; however, five weeks is probably too long to spend anywhere. It was nice to be able to have visitors, which we did on two different occasions. And it was very convenient to be stationary for a little while so we could get our mail sent to us regularly and be able to do some shopping on Amazon. Also, Travis had to make a business trip at one point, so being close to a large airport was important. We’d stay at Wine Ridge Resort again, but probably just for a few nights.
After Champagne Lakes, we were supposed to spend three nights at Joshua Tree National Park. The day we were supposed to check in, the government shut down. There was very little information available as to if the campgrounds within the park would still be open and what services would be available, so instead of risking it and driving all the way into the park, we found an alternate place to stay for those three nights. We ended up at Sam’s Family Spa after I had seen a post from another full-time Airstreamer in which she raved about the facilities. It was a pretty place to stay and the pools were very nice, but one major drawback was the size of the sites. They were VERY difficult to back into, and not just because we were newbies. We ended up next to a couple in which the gentleman drives a truck for a living, and he said he attempted three different spots before settling on theirs. Sam’s allows you to choose an open spot (there are no reservations), get hooked up, and then let them know what spot you chose and pay, which worked out well with the difficulty of their spots. Desert Hot Springs is right outside Palm Springs, so we were able to grab lunch there one day.
Address: 70-875 Dillon Road, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92241
We decided to stay somewhere ‘close to home’ for our first week of being full-time Airstreamers. Champagne Lakes is in Escondido, California in North County San Diego, which is just one city over from where we owned a house for three and a half years. Home Depot, Target, Walmart, Camping World, PetSmart and many other stores are all within a 25-minute drive, making it a great home base while we figured out what we were doing and what we needed. Even though most of the people that were staying here seemed to be permanent residents, it was very nice, very clean and just what we were looking for for our first week.