For the first time ever we nearly maxed out the 14 day stay limit at our spot in Buena Vista. It was that good. As moving day crept closer we began to hatch a plan for where we would head next. With no public dump station to be found, we learned that we would need to pay $20 to use a dump station at one of the area’s RV Parks before we could head to our next spot. That’s a hefty fee given that the most we’ve paid to dump in the last two months is $3.00. With it being $20 to use the dump station or $40 for a spot with full hook-ups, we decided to splurge on full hook-ups and stay the night. We’ve only spent one night with full hook-ups since leaving Idaho in June so we thought it might be a nice opportunity to get some chores done with the luxury of unlimited water.
In this lifestyle, you quickly become accustomed to the fact that there are always trade-offs. I have no problem with having to live off of limited water if it means getting to stay off-grid, for free, in some of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the country. However, if going off-grid isn’t your thing, that’s totally cool too, that’s what RV parks are for. The trade-off is that you’re going to pay for it and don’t count on having any privacy or views.
After being parked for 13 days on the edge of the Arkansas River with our nearest neighbor at least 100 yards away, it was a little strange getting set up at an RV Park where the highway noise was loud and our neighbors were within (what felt like) arm’s reach. It didn’t matter though because we had work to do. Once Mark got us all hooked up we got to cleaning. A good deep clean is something that’s not possible when you’re living on limited water. Mark did a thorough rinsing of the tanks while I scrubbed the floor, shower, stove and more. And, the cherry on top was long, hot showers when we were done. I hardly feel deprived with the showers we’re able to take off-grid but nothing beats being able to stand under a stream of hot water without worrying about when you’ll run out.
Tomorrow we’ll return to the forest and to seeing how many days we can stretch our 80 gallons of water. While it was $40 well spent, I love that it’s not required. I love how little we need to be comfortable. I love that unlimited water feels like such a treat but we don’t need it. And I absolutely love the solitude and the freedom of our public lands that we’re lucky enough to have an abundance of here in the West.