Solo RVing | Nevada Is So Much More Beautiful Than I Knew

Those of you who’ve followed my blog for some time might wonder what on Earth I’m doing in Nevada. How did I end up here instead of pursuing my Cali-girl dreams? At the start of 2020, just as I was ready to put my #California2020 plan into effect, my biggest client announced that they would no longer be working with clients based in California. They made the decision based on California’s new gig law and applied it across the board, even though it didn’t actually apply to me.

Since then, I have thought of and treated Nevada as my back-up plan: the state I planned to hunker down in until I can escape to California. However, the first month in Nevada completely opened my eyes to how absolutely unique and beautiful the state is.

My First Introduction

Though I was seeing Nevada with new eyes, this wasn’t my first time visiting the Battle Born State. In fact, Nevada was the first desert state I ever set foot in. It paved the way for years of desert adventures through New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah, and Colorado. The only states with deserts that I have yet to visit are Idaho and Oregon and they are not exactly far away.

However, the first time I visited Nevada, I stayed on the strip. Sure, my friends and I took hiking trips. But, it’s one thing to visit nature from the city and quite another to live in nature. When I invited my friend to my campground, even he had to admit that after a decade of living in Nevada, this was all new to him.

The Second Introduction

Even before the pandemic, I had decided that when I moved to Nevada, I wanted to stay in rural areas. I wanted nothing to do with city life, come what may. The first night alone at the campground, I started to question if that was wise.

You really feel that isolation when the campground goes pitch black at nine o’clock and the only sound is the wind howling outside your window. In fact, one week into RVing, I weathered 65 MPH winds in my RV for three nights. For comparison, hurricane speeds start at 74 MPH.

Needless to say, my RVing trip was off to an adventurous start — perhaps more than I had intended. I will never forget the RV rocking so much from the wind that I had to head outside in 30-degree weather, with strong gusts of wind, and re-hitch the RV up to the truck. What usually takes me 15 minutes alone took me one hour with help.

And yet, here I am telling you that I absolutely love Nevada and I am proud to call it my new home state. So, what exactly do I love about the state currently playing diva in the 2020 elections?

The Scenic Drives

On my first trip to Nevada, I saw three main highlights: Red Rock Canyon, Lone Mountain, and the city lights. This time, as I drove into the Nevada mountains, explored rural towns and visited national and state parks, the Silver State never ceased to amaze me. Sometimes, on my drives back from campgrounds to the city, I would become so enamored with the scenery that I would stop too often and end up getting to the city much too late.

If you have never been to the desert, then you may not understand my infatuation. The pictures won’t do the Nevada desert justice, but it is the most beautiful of America’s Desert Southwest. Sorry California, but the diversity of Lake Mead alone beats even the beauty of Joshua Tree National Park, which has held the top place in my heart until now.

The Mountains

I spent my entire month in Nevada either in the mountains, surrounded by them or both. It’s an amazing experience.

The Rock Formations

My parents spent my first two days in Nevada with me, after we drove 2,000-plus miles across the country together in just three days. Mom described the rock formations in Nevada in this way:

They’re so beautiful. It’s like someone picked them up and put them exactly where they are for us to see.

The Offroading

I am new to offroading and stick to areas that are within my skill level, but Nevada is full of surprises. I once got down to a road that had my front wheels up in the air. All I could see was the lake and a drop off to the side. I just had to cross my fingers and guess where the road was — but that’s a story for another day. Needless to say, however, I am not one of those people who splurge on an offroad beast and beat the pavement with it. My big boy Samson is living a full life and he is the absolute best adventure ally I could have ever asked for.

The Sunsets

The sunsets in Nevada are incredibly beautiful, but I could argue that point almost anywhere in the desert.

The Lakes

I was in Nevada for about two weeks before I finally spent time at the good spots on the lake and I regret that. It is absolutely beautiful out there on Lake Mead, if you’re willing to take a few long drives or risk offroading through washes.

The People

Californians will always be my favourite Americans. I rarely meet one I dislike. They are the most open and welcoming people I encounter when traveling. I came across the Cali couple who owned this rig on my birthday and came running off the trail waving madly because I had never seen anyone else towing with an FJ Cruiser. They made my day! I have also met wonderful people from Colorado, Idaho, and Nevada itself.

The Activities

I can never run out of things to do in rural Nevada. Whether it’s camping on top of a mountain, kayaking in Lake Mead, or biking on trails….it’s got my thirst for adventure covered.

Free Camping

On my first visit to Valley of Fire, I met the only other Black woman I have met on the road so far. She worked for the park and told me about an annual camping state pass that allows me to stay at any state park for free up to 14 days. When I hit my two-week limit, I simply move to another one. I bought it that very same day and have put it to use. There are also tonnes of free camping spots on state and federal lands. In fact, I spent almost my entire time in Nevada on federal lands.

A Temporary Goodbye

As much as I love Nevada, Samson, Shadow, and I left for Arizona the day before the Presidential Election began. I’m currently in one of Arizona’s most conservative blocks. Yes; I get mean-mugged all day by most of the people here and I have not seen a single, other Black person. My neighbours are Californians and their plates seemed to have earned them the ire of the locals, as well.

So, why am I in Arizona in the middle of a nail-biting election and at the height of racial tensions? Well, rural Nevada is lovely but not having a proper phone signal is not. I also have zero intentions of spending winter camping in the mountains. So, for now, I am heading south. I will likely be in Arizona and California for the rest of the year.

The good news is that I’ll have reliable access to WiFi for the next few weeks, so I plan to spend some time catching up on posts. I can’t wait to share more about my time in Nevada, as well as some of my adventures in Arizona. If you have specific questions about my travels or my rig, feel free to drop them in the comments below. For more timely updates, consider following me on social media.

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38 thoughts on “Solo RVing | Nevada Is So Much More Beautiful Than I Knew

  1. Thank you for telling about your wonderful journey, Alexis! Sorry, had a delay in re-visiting, because here we are in a second lockdown, and its boring. Now i am really becoming wanderlust. I think after this virus thing its time to visit the USA. Be well and stay save!!! Michael

    1. Sorry to hear you have a other lockdown. I think America is due for one soon. Every state is currently going through another spike. They say the elections may have had something to do with it.

      1. Hello, nice to hear from you, Alexis! Oh yes, this could be another result of the past elections. Dont worry, here its always like living in a desert. 😉 I hope you are well, and enjoy travelling, with Samson – the best guy ever aboard. 🙂 Best wishes, Michael

  2. I am glad you’re settling in so well in your new home and enjoying the liberating feeling of living in an RV. Your adventure in the gale reminded me of our experiences in Brittany and in Portugal, when our motorhome rocked like a cradle. I hope everything works out for you just as you planned it. All the best. 👍

    1. Thank you! I plan to finish out the winter season as a snowbird. If I’m still in love with the lifestyle by the end of winter, then I’ll be a full-time birdie! So far, so good though. Thanks for dropping by!

      By the way, Arizona seems to have bad storms too. We had hail here last week.

  3. Glad you had a good trip to Nevada! Weather permitting, be sure to check out Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada some day. Ancient pine trees, great mountaintop views, and caves.

    1. I’ve never heard of that park before. I just looked it up. I plan to be in that general area for the summer, so I’ll add it to my list. Thanks for the suggestion! ☺️

    1. It sure is! I’m looking forward to getting the hell out of Arizona though. 😂

      Unless Cali has a big shutdown, I’ll be in your general area in January. If you’re around and I can finally let the llamas, let me know. ☺️

  4. Love your take on Nevada. Aside from Las Vegas, a lot of people don’t know that there’s so much more to the state than just Sin City. Many people don’t realize that it’s hundreds of miles of open space, a true “Wild West.” Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than living in California, and I’ve seen fellow Los Angelenos pack up and move over to Nevada to get away from ridiculous rent prices to settle in the desert state. Hope you return to Nevada some day, even if just for a visit!

    1. Hi Rebecca! Nevada is my new home state, so I’ll definitely be back. I plan on heading back up after the winter. I’m looking forward to using up that pass until summer comes around.

      I knew Nevada was the wild west, but it’s definitely different to hear that than to experience it. No amount of reading or YouTube videos prepared me for what I actually experienced. 🙀

      Are you still in Nevada?

      1. I don’t live in Nevada; I live in California. I’ve only gone to Nevada for Las Vegas in the past. However, it being the neighboring state to mine, I know a bit about how it is over there!

      2. I remember that you’re in Cali. Thought maybe you were there for the holidays when you wished me a swift return. 😂 If you head over there, let me know.

    2. Oh by the way, I may head to Southern Cali next month. Arizona is getting too creepy for me. 😂

      1. That’s my euphemism for racist. I’m the only Black girl I’ve seen in town and they don’t let me forget it. 👀

    1. Thanks Peter! I’m glad you took the time to watch the video. That was from my trip in 2017. ☺️

  5. Hi Alexis. You did it. I am so excited and happy for you and the guys (Samson, Shadow and your RV whose name I can’t remember right now). Nevada is an interesting place to see. Lake Meade is my favorite. I await seeing your adventures in Arizona. Safe travels to you guys.

    1. Thank you!! I can’t believe I made it. I wake up every morning in a bit of a daze and completely thankfulness for my life. ☺️

      Samson’s big sister is Jasmine. Mom likes to joke that her name is Delilah, but I couldn’t traumatise him by naming her that. I’m sure you know the Bible story. 😂🤣

      Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Nevada! I haven’t gone adventuring in Arizona yet. Believe it or not, it’s going to rain all weekend. It was storming today too. I’ve never experienced rain in the desert before now.

  6. I lived and worked in Las Vegas for 3 years. People think of Las Vegas when they think of Nevada. There’s more to Nevada than that. Red Rock Canyon is beautiful and so is Lake Mead. You can even see Mount Charleston . Those of us who have lived on the east coast most of our lives don’t get to experience just what the southwest has to offer. Arizona can be traumatic , especially given the political climate we’re in now, but if you go to Arizona , Sedona is the place to be. Like Nevada, the rock formations are breathtaking and I’m not an outdoorsy type of gal. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. Be safe.

    1. Thank you so much for chiming in! ☺️ I haven’t been to Mt. Charleston yet but it’s on the list with Caliente (for mountain biking) and Lake Tahoe. Nevada is STUNNING.

      I’m currently in Arizona and I hate the political climate. The people are extremely rude and mean. I don’t like them. I’ve been hearing great things about Sedona from everyone though. I’ll definitely check it out!

    1. Thank you! He loves RVing most at the strangest times! He gets most excited when it’s storming, like it was today. Haha

      1. Much better than having him get scared!
        Take care, both of you. And watch your back, lass – doesn’t sound like the best of places to be just now. ((hugs)) xx

      2. Very true! Yet, he somehow still gets scared when someone starts up their truck or walks by the RV. I’m sure he’ll get better. I’ll send him your love!

        I leave Arizona in about two weeks. I still don’t like it here. I’m heading back to Cali. 😂

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