Photos for Madelyn Beck

Madelyn, I created this page just for you. It’s not meant to be linked to from another website.

This page is hosted our website, “Boondocker’s Bible” which we use to answer all the questions people have about boondocking. Click on the “Home” to read more about boondocking.

Thanks, Steve

My wife (name is Sash) and I leaving Escondido Cycle Center in Escondido, CA, in April 2013, the first day of living on our motorcycles. We had already gotten rid of much of our stuff, and put the rest of it into storage. Sash tried to get Escondido Cycle Center to sponsor our lives on motorcycles, but all they would give us is a couple of free t-shirts. My wife is quite entrepreneurial.
Sash I and cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which crosses Virginia with Maryland. She took this of photo of me, and I’m taking a photo of her. This was taken a few months after leaving Escondido Cycle Center. We would continue living this way for almost three years. We mostly stayed in Airbnbs, hotels, and campgrounds.
At a rest area in Tennessee. Sash took one of her daughter’s old Barbie dolls and stripped it naked (except for tutu), and it became our mascot, “Asphalt Annie”. Sash created this story that Annie gave up the domestic life in exchange for becoming a “road whore”. Sash created a following on social media, and we would visit these people around the country. They all wanted to get their photo taken with Annie.
I shot this photo of Sash taking a photo of Asphalt Annie in Washington DC.
And this is the photo that Sash took. Annie “fell in love” with the Washington Memorial and wanted to worship it.
My motorcycle at the US/Canada border, coming south from Whitehorse, Yukon, and heading into Skagway, Alaska.
Our truck, trailer and suburban camped just outside of Zion National Park, UT. This is land managed by the BLM. The BLM set up this area for boondocking to accommodate people who could not secure a campsite inside the park. This area is quite pretty, is free, and far fewer people.
Our trailer in Wyoming. We have friends who own a lot of land, over 15,000 acres of grassland. They let us tow our trailer out in the middle of it all and set up camp for as long as wanted. They have cattle that graze out there, and periodically they came up to our trailer.
Our campsite in Wallow-Whitman National Forest, Oregon, about 30 minutes west of La Grande. We ended up camping here for about 3 weeks. We encountered a lot of mice here. I ended up trapping 7 of inside our trailer.
Me inside a van owned by another nomad couple. I’m talking to the husband who is showing me how he built the inside. We met them while camped on BLM land in the California desert. We followed them on social media and later learned they sold the van and bought a trailer and pickup truck. It turns out a van becomes too small for a couple to live in on a long term basis.
Our trailer camped at Sweet Briar Lake, North Dakota. Very tranquil place to camp. This area is managed by the County. They give you 10 days to camp, which is perhaps the most you’d ever want to stay here due to an infestation of mosquitoes and ticks.
This is Sash’s Suburban. We removed all the back seats and put in a bed, storage, cabinets, sink, toilet, among other amenities. Sash would often drive off by herself to go solo camping while I stayed with the truck and trailer. She’d travel for thousands of miles, and we would often be several states apart. This was her view in the mountains of Los Padres National Forest, California.
This was Sash’s same campsite as above, but with a view of city lights.
Me sitting inside our trailer while camped in the Arizona desert. I mostly work on websites. Sash does all the sales work to get us clients.
Sash and I hiking through a slot canyon in Utah, near Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. After the motorcycle adventure, Sash ditched the “biker chick” persona and became more of an “outdoors woman”.
Us camped at Sawtooth National Forest, about 30 minutes north of Ketchum, ID. We really like it here. We spent 16 days camped here, which happens to be Sawtooth’s maximum limit. We could only get 1 bar of cellular service at this spot, and it was just barely enough to keep my website development work going. We could have driven further towards the snowy mountains you see in the photo, but there is zero cell signal out there.
Sash posing with her Chevy Suburban camper. Even though she’s no longer a biker chick, she still loves the camera.
Sash took a solo adventure to Alaska in her Chevy Suburban. This was during a different time from when I rode my motorcycle up there. She camped by a river with other campers. One morning, she woke up to find the river had risen substantially, and was about to flood her vehicle. She said the water was so cold that it numbed her feet while trying to get everything packed up.
Sash in Alaska with our dog, striking another pose with her camper.
The three of us camped in the snow in San Bernardino National Forest, California. We can stay pretty warm inside the trailer. It has its own propane furnace, but we also have portable propane heaters too. We also have an electric heater we can use while running the generator.
Us at Riverside Casino, about 30 minutes south of Iowa City, IA. We had our motorcycles with us at the time. We could load them into the trailer and take them anywhere. Iowa has no BLM land, and no national forest land. There are very few places to boondock or camp for free. We discovered this casino there and found they had parking spaces for RVs and trucks. It turns out they don’t seem to care how you stay there. We ended up staying there for three weeks. We did, however, eat at their restaurants as a way to give back. The casino has a hotel attached to it, and the hotel as a pool and spa. The pool and spa is only for people who stay inside the hotel. However, we discovered the pool and spa has a rear entrance, and that we could enter from the rear and enjoy the spa, and no one seemed to notice.
Us camped at the Pole Mountain area of Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming. This is a very popular area for boondocking. The national forest here gives you 15 days of camping.
Camped at Nellis Dunes, about 15 minutes north of Las Vegas, NV. You can actually see the city skyline of Las Vegas in the middle of the horizon. Nellis Dunes is managed by the BLM. A lot of people camped here, and many of them would camp for months at a time, in violation of the BLM’s 14 day limit. There was a lot of trash strewn about here. Since then, the BLM closed this area off from camping. It’s now only open for day use.
Camped at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, at a place called “Stewart’s Point”. This place is managed by the National Park Service. The NPS does not offer many places for boondocking. Most of their camping is restricted to developed campgrounds. This is one of the few areas in the country where they allow boondocking. This area is very large, and could probably accommodate a few hundred RVs with plenty of elbow room.
Sash sitting by the fire on BLM land, just outside of Joshua Tree National Park, CA. We used this old washing machine tub because it has many holes in it to allow oxygen into the fire, and it does pretty well in containing ashes and embers from flying.
This is the same place as above, but in the day. Joshua Tree National Park has a few campgrounds, but they are always sold out, and the spaces are often too small for medium to large trailers. Most national parks are completely surrounded by other federal lands, simply as a buffer against people buying private property around its boundaries. In this case, Joshua Tree NP is surrounded by BLM land, and their lands surrounding the park is very popular with boondockers. You can’t see it in this photo, but there were about 100 other RVs, vans, cars, and other sorts of tent campers here for about 5 miles ahead of us, and 5 miles behind us. I was able to find the right angle to make it look like we were alone here.
Us getting ready to set up camp inside Inyo National Forest, California during the summer. This is about 8,800 feet in elevation. Down in the valleys of California, temperatures can range from 100 to 120 degrees F. But up in this area of Inyo NF, it can stay 70 degrees. This area gets heavy with nomads and full time RVers during the summer. Inyo NF used to have a generous 28 day camping limit. They have since trimmed it down to 14 days due to recent surges of nomads.
Camped at Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. This is managed by the BLM. You are allowed to boondock just about anywhere at Grand Staircase, but you are required to get a camping permit at the visitor center. The camping permit is free. I believe the reason why they ask for a permit is so that they can have your phone number and address in case they decided you trashed your campsite.
Our truck and trailer camped at Fort Peck Lake, Montana. The lake is massive, and sits along the Missouri River. This was one of my favorite camping locations. Unfortunately, cellular signal was very weak here. There were times I could not get on the Internet. I only stayed for a few days at this site, but later found another site about a mile away on the same lake, where I had better signal. The lake was created by the Army Corps of Engineers when they built Fort Peck Dam. The Corps still controls the dam and the water level. However, the lake’s ecosystem is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife as a wildlife refuge. All the of the lake’s shoreline is carved up by various government agencies. The western portion is managed by the BLM. The State of Montana manages some areas in the middle, while the eastern shoreline is managed by the Corps. Depending on where you are camped, there are different sets of rules to be aware of.
Us camped along Columbia River, on the Oregon side, about a mile from the town of Rufus. This area is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. This particular location is free, though the Corps manages some other fee-based areas. During the salmon spawning season, this campsite is wall-to-wall crowed with campers casting fishing lines.
Us camped in the north-west corner of Arizona, an area known as Virgin River Gorge. It’s managed by the BLM. This place is only a 30 minute drive from the city of Mesquite, NV where all the shopping and dining is.
Me seated right along the edge of a cliff inside Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, in the south-west corner of Colorado. This is place is managed by the BLM.
This photo was taken from the same location as the photo above, showing how close our trailer was to the edge of the cliff. I chocked the wheels of the trailer to make sure it wouldn’t roll backwards and fall off the cliff. This particular location was about 40 minutes from the town of Cortez, CO.
Us camped at Canyon Ferry Lake, Montana. This lake and shoreline is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. This is the only area on the lake where boondocking is allowed. Everywhere else is limited to designated campgrounds and marked campsites. Some of these other areas are free, but most of them cost money.
Camped along a trail leading up Mt. Blanca in Southern Colorado. This area is managed by the BLM. This is a very popular area for camping because 30 minutes away is Great Sand Dunes National Park, and the park’s campgrounds are almost always booked up. I have the trailer resting on a slope because the trail ascends elevation towards the mountain. The other side of the trailer is resting on blocks to level it all out. The trailer does not look level, but that’s an optical illusion created by the camera. It’s also very windy here. But you could see for miles and miles.
We camped at this location in the Arizona desert for 3 months from January to the beginning of April in 2020, just as COVID was making news. This is located about 30 miles west of Gila, AZ, in the middle of nowhere. This is on BLM land. BLM officers never approached us, though their surveillance plane flew by every week. I did have to tow the trailer out a couple of times to dump sewage tanks and refill with water and propane. Otherwise, there is a 14-day limit on BLM land, but as I was saying earlier, BLM officers don’t normally bother campers unless they get a complaint from someone. I’m also guessing that because of the pandemic, they may have let things slide.
boondocking on blm land to save money
Sash working in a hammock. This is located in the same place as the photo above. She communicates with dozens of people all day long, either texting, messaging, e-mailing, or phone calling, most of it to keep our website design services fresh in the minds of people. This scooter was given to us by my brother’s wife. We ended up putting our motorcycles in storage in exchange for keeping this small scooter instead. It’s not street legal, but serves to provide some entertainment riding across deserts and forests.
run an air conditioner from battery
A shot of the solar panels on the roof of our trailer. They could generate up to 720 watts in ideal conditions. We have two golf cart batteries inside the trailer. The batteries and solar panels together can power everything in the trailer except for the air conditioning units and the microwave oven. For those last two items, we have a 5,500 watt generator on the tongue of the trailer. We have two propane tanks on the tongue as well, and two more tanks in the pickup truck. We also keep gas cans for the generator. The trailer actually has a 36 gallon gas tank for the generator too. The trailer has a 100 gallon water tank which we can make last for about 5 weeks. It has a 45 gallon sewage tank that we can make last for 4-5 weeks, as well as a 45 gallon gray tank for (sink and shower waste water).