Time flies! We are just about halfway in our trip already. One thing you can rest assured of, it’s not getting old by any means.
The last month and a half or so we have spent in Bishop was awesome. We really fell in love with this place and we will be looking forward to coming back. The amount of climbing there is to be done here is phenomenal. We spent many days rope climbing in Owen’s river gorge and it was quite easy to only climb routes above 3 stars (it goes up to 5 stars). In fact, we spent many days climbing only 4 and 5 stars routes. It also goes without saying that having steady friends around is a big turn on. Many times during our trip we met people but we would never spend more than a few days with them. Being in the same spot for a while with other people doing the same is really enjoyable and adds a layer of “normality” to the van living abroad experience.
The town and the area is extremely van living friendly. Whether you want to park in town (the Vons parking lot allows overnight parking) or close to the spot you’re climbing at, finding somewhere to spend the night is always easy. If all else fails, there is the PV Pit Campground that charges only $2/night to camp. There are numerous water points throughout the town so refilling the water jugs is no problem. Propane is also readily available at many gas stations. Feeding yourself on the cheap is fairly doable too. There’s a bakery called Schat’s that sells day old bread and pastries for $0.35. The only way to beat that is to go dumpster diving for free bread.
Talking about dumpster diving, me and Conrad tried to get into a dumpster that was kept behind a locked gate. It’s easy enough to jump over the fence and go into it. Given that this was in a major grocery store, our hopes were pretty high and we were really hoping to score some good stuff. Unfortunately, we weren’t even behind that fence for 2 minutes before someone working there busted us. It was a little ackward as clearly they don’t want people to go in there but they just asked us to leave after we told them we were just trying to score some free food. Besides this one so-so experience, our regular dumpster has been yielding a lot of goodies.
- Two more boxes of individually packaged yoghourt
- 3 lbs of ground beef patties, raw 🙂
- A Basil plant. We are now growing fresh herbs!
- Many many tomatoes
- 4 cantalope & 3 honeydews (we gave some away)
- Two bags of small oranges
- A bag of miniature bell peppers
- Too much bread to eat between the two of us (will try to give some away)
- 350 grams of ground coffee! Container was still air tight, the only problem was that the can was crushed a little.
A perfect bag of mixed greens/lettuce. 2 lbs maybe? Definitely was super size
- Big can of pinto bins with a small dent
- Tiny can of tomato sauce
- Not from the garbage bin but we scored 2 Pumpkin loaf and 2 Date loafs at $0.35 from Schats
We still have to buy some stuff and sometimes we will buy something, only to find something very similar in the bin a few hours later. So we now try to go dumpster diving before we go grocery shopping. Hopefully we are done with finding cabbage as we must have eaten about 8 lbs of it over the last two weeks. Beggars can’t be choosers but a little change would be nice 🙂
Now if you read carefully, you saw that we scored some meat again. This time around I was brave enough to eat it. I have eaten 80% of it in the last few days and I’m still around to tell about it. As we eat vegetarian most of the time, it’s always nice to have some animal protein in you (Elaine would argue differently!) I knew the meat had only been in the bin for an hour or two so it was still “fresh”. I cooked it all right away and refrigerated it after it was cooked, hopefully giving it a few extra days of life.
The climbing is going well. Fingertip skin is always raw and we are often forced to take days off when it hurts too much to climb with them. And on the personal level, Elaine sent her first V5!! It’s a traverse called Son of Claudius Rufus. It was her second day trying it and it finally went. Conrad was filming Kristine on it and he also filmed Elaine so we have footage of the climb. It’s pretty awesome!
We treated ourselves this week to restaurant hamburger and fries at a local joint. The value is quite good given everything is homemade, including the buns. Burgers are $4.50 each and you add $3 for yam fries. It’s also a BYOB place so we had a little cup of wine with our meals. If you are in bishop and fancy good food, I think we would recommend it. They’re called the Burger barn.
Another luxury this week… we had a Texas Hold’em poker night in the buttermilks(a climbing area where we also camp for the night). Buy-in was $5 and we were 6 players. I didn’t win but it made for a really fun night. It was almost as much fun to watch the interaction between boyfriend-girlfriend when the boyfriend would want to do a re-buy (it’s when you loose all your chips early and you invest(spend would the girlfriend say) another $5 to get another pile of chips) and somehow the arguments didn’t have the same weight for guys than for girls. We are all on a tight budget and $10 goes a long way!
I don’t know if you remember the possessed switch/water pump from the summer but the new switch we put in back then died as well. We think water leaked into it as it’s fairly close to the tap and the seal isn’t 100% water tight and therefore water slowly leaks into the switch and it kills it. Anyways, we were going to replace the switch with an identical set-up but then at the hardware store here, they wanted $5 for the small switch and only $1 for a regular household light switch. We mounted that one on the front of the cupboards and it’s working even better than what we had before. These switches are designed for 120 volts and we are using it on a 12 volts set-up but I can’t see it being a problem.
On Saturday the Friends of the Inyo organized an event to plant some native plants & grass in the bouldering area. We figured it would be a nice way to give back to the community while being a cool activity to attend. About a dozen people showed up and we were provided with all the tools and a crash course on how to help protect erosion by planting some vegetation. They provided us with awesome coffee from Black Sheep Coffee Roasters and sugar cookies. It was fairly easy and by around noon we were already done. We were able to finish the day with some fun bouldering. Thanks to Jasna who organized the event and who also provided us with pictures to use on the blog.
As you might have guessed it, we are going to be leaving the area for our next stop sometime next week. The plan as it stands is to go to Red Rock, just outside of Las Vegas for a week or two. But then we love it so much here.. for all we know we might write next week’s blog from Bishop 😉
More pictures below the budget. Cheers!
Our budget for this week is now $202.07 CAD for food & fun.
Dec 4 – Dec 10 : Weekly & Totals since we left 24 weeks ago.
Fuel: $58.81 / $3593.16
Food: $46.84 / $1758.95
Fun: $38.06 / $3339.26
Total for the week without fuel: $84.90
Total with fuel: $143.71
Total spent since the beginning: $8691.37
Total budget: $15756.21
Budget left: $7064.84
E & M