Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

2014 Winter RV Dreams Boondocking Rally

Sunday February 9 & Monday February 10, 2014
In Ed and Charlotte’s cow pasture
Fort Ogden, Florida





Yes it’s true, we drive a whopping 38 miles to park in a cow pasture for a week.



And a beautiful pasture it is.  Howard and Linda Payne arranged with Charlotte and Ed to use their pasture for a week to enable 30 rigs to get together to learn about and practice boon docking.  

Our hosts are very generous people who moved their cows, mowed the pasture and cleaned up nearly all the cow pies so we could hang out with them for a week.








We roll in about 11:30 in the morning to find that half a dozen rigs are already parked in a circle.  We have just started setting up when Howard directs our neighbors into the spot right next to us.  It’s Nancy and Bill Mills.  PERFECT!!







Howard comes around and to clear out the grass under Bill and Nancy’s generator exhaust to avoid the possibility of fire.  David hooks up our Gen-turi which sends our exhaust up in the air to dissipate and avoid fire.  I don’t like generators – too noisy – so we are hoping to find out even more about solar.






Once we get set up, chat a bit and then it is time to head over to a boondocking hot dog dinner.  We all gather round while Linda talks about the very loose plans for the next couple of days to include some joint meals, some seminars, a boat trip to Cayo Cost State Park, a barrier island, and some paddling on the nearby Peace River just to name a few.




While we are sitting in at the gathering I get a good look at some of our other neighbors.
That’s them right behind Linda.






The light is getting a little low when the sandhill cranes fly in.





The day ends with a beautiful campfire which I skip in order to try to get caught up with the blog.   Not sure it is a good choice but I hate writing about the past rather than NOW.


I do get these pictures of the night sky out here in the country side of Florida.








The only plan for today is seminars we are all looking forward to.




This is a laid back rally with most things decided the “day of”.  No real schedule or “plan” just tossing out ideas and deciding if you are in or out.

The weather is cooperating perfectly with highs in upper 70’s and lows in the 50’s.  No need for heat or AC which makes boondocking much easier.  

For those not familiar with the term.  It not only usually means being in the boonies and far away from any amenities but mostly it means no hook ups at all.  Fill your tank with fresh water, in our case 85 gallons, empty your black and gray tanks, make sure you have plenty of gas and propane for your generator, refrigerator and stove and park wherever you are allowed to pull over.   There are a lot of open spaces for it in the west but not so many in the east.  National forests are a common place in the east but also there are some campgrounds which are “primitive” which means the same thing except that they are “almost” free.




After a 4.5 mile run around the neighborhood this morning, at 10:00 we head over to the “classroom” to learn from the experience of Howard and Linda how important batteries are to your boondocking experience.   Yes they cover how to make sure your water will last,  and tricks to make sure you don’t fill up your tanks too quickly.  But the real key to boondocking is to have enough house battery capacity,  ways to keep a constant check on your charging rate and ways to recharge from what you use every day so your batteries don’t die.   Turns out it is more complicated than you can imagine and may require you to brush up on your old high school algebra.

The final seminar is on solar.  We actually have some boondocking experience so we have worked out the water and tank problems and even the battery deal to some extent so we are very interested in the solar question and we learned a great deal.   These two have a wealth of experience to share and are very good at getting it all down in laymen’s terms that anyone can understand.  They field all the many questions easily.

After 3 hours jam packed with information we are all on overload.  Lunch time!   


Next up is an impromptu bike tour of the area.






After our lunch, 6 of us go on a nine mile bike ride following Howard while he shows us even more of the area. We run into some other bikers and their lucky passenger.











We pass by a golf course with a group of Sand Hill Cranes at the edge of one of the greens.  Based on last night and today it’s clear they like this area too.  Or perhaps these are the same cranes at their daytime location.  I am surprised to see some pretty fancy subdivisions out here in the country.






Our half way point is a nice county  park with a kayak put in to the Peace River.  I’m looking forward to getting our boats in the water.






As we near the end of our ride we look over and and in the distance we see our camping circle.







Down the driveway we ride and stop at the pond for another picture of our gathering.  Looks pretty doesn’t it?  It’s definitely a great setting.  Thanks again Charlotte and Ed.






Not long after we return it’s time to eat again at an everybody brings one  hors d’oeurves gathering.   I always thought those were pre dinner appetizers but they are so many and so varied that we all actually eat enough to call it dinner.   I realize now that I should have taken some pictures of the many delicious individual dishes.   But as usual, I am too busy eating to think of it.

You can see here that David is in line as some of the women are still getting the food set up.  Is he first in line?   That’s not surprising.  Too funny!!  


Another day ends with a campfire and lots of laughter.
Tomorrow’s plan is the beach and I am really looking forward to that.




  1. Sounds like a fun way to learn about boondocking. With 3 solar panels and just two batteries we do fine. Our problem is tank size in a class C, but we've learned to be very conservative.

  2. I don't remember doing any boondocking when I had an RV. Now I boondock in a tent.

  3. It looks great, wish we could have joined you. We already had plans for family to visit anyway, which kept us from coming, but now with Al's sister in the hospital, it wouldn't have happened anyway. Keep posting where you are and maybe we'll meet up before we leave :-).

  4. Looks like a good time, someday we'll get to one of their rallies.

  5. What a life you have ... seriously! haaa and David is thin ... if a fat guy or a fat me was first in line... there'd been a riot.. fat people get noooo respect

  6. Have you met Jim and Peri from Texas? They're good friends of ours and are at the same rally.

  7. Sounds like a great start to an informative and fun gathering. I like that it doesn't seem over-planned and the setting is quite inviting--at least in good weather!

    Beach day and kayaking should put a big smile on your face.

  8. Looks like so much fun. We hope to be there next year!

  9. Looks like a fun time with great people. Hope tonight's storms weren't bad there,

  10. Fun while it lasted;o)) Hope the rest of the week is clear sailing!!

  11. Thought about you all last night when I heard severe storms were rolling through that area of Florida. My parents are fairly close by in Englewood so I'm always keeping a watch on what's happening weather wise. I see Nancy posted a comment this morning, so guess no one blew away!! This looks like so much fun!!

  12. The weather sounds perfect for boondocking. I hope the storms last night didn't cause you any problems. The squall line even made it all the way down to Key West, and we're expecting cooler weather tomorrow. I hope it doesn't get too cold for you.

    The seminars sound pretty informative. Did you make David sit in the front row during the one on battery management? :)

  13. It looks like a fun time -- we would have loved to be there, but we already had plans with friends who are visiting us for a week on St. George Island. But we're having fun, too! Although I'm not caught up on my blog like you are. I keep trying...

  14. So they gathered up "most" of the cow pies. I guess you still have to be careful where you walk at night. ;c)

    Generators are noisy, but right now in this ice storm and all power out, we're very thankful we have one.

  15. That sounds like a seminar Joe and I need to attend.

  16. We have boondocked from the beginning. In California, some call it dry docking. We consider dry docking to be at places like Wal Mart, Sam's club etc. Boondocking in the boonies.

    Our lessons came from our daughter, NancyJo. She was a wealth of information. Here we are with 6 batteries and no solar panels. Hope to get solar panels soon, though. Our genny is fairly quiet, so we rely on it.

    I read Howard and linda's blog from when they started fulltiming. Interesting. Have fun and learn tons! See ya in the boonies, we hope.

  17. That sounds fun and educational! Not a bad parking spot and a community of like minded individuals :) Solar is a good idea. Nice that you still have internet while you boondock!


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