Born to Wanda travel blog

A Coddiwompler’s Van

Christmas Lights on London Bridge

Sunset in Earp CA

Wanda Near Earp CA

North of Mecca CA

Fountain of Youth

Trail Marker Outside Fountain of Youth

Two Hours of Picking Up Nails


If someone calls you a “coddiwompler”, should you thank them or be insulted? If you are my friend Radar, you say “Thanks, Aunt Dee!” Then you shout it out proudly to the world with a pretty lavender graphic on the side of your van, complete with butterflies. Then you spend a lot of time explaining it to people, who are mostly coddiwomplers themselves but don’t know it.

Coddiwomple: to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination. It is English slang and a perfect word for those of us who live and love a nomadic lifestyle, flying by the seat of our pants, changing our minds and our destinations based on the weather, or the promise of a music jam or dance, or the company of more interesting coddiwomplers, or no reason at all.

This is how coddiwomplers roll. I left Coyote Howls East in Why, AZ the day after Christmas even though I was paid up through January 12. The weather had been cold and cloudy and my one solar panel was not keeping my battery going, so when my friends Dawn and Jan invited me to their home in Lake Havasu City, I happily accepted. Upon arrival I immediately ordered a second 100watt solar panel from Amazon. Life is so much better now. Anyhoo, a few days later Radar, who had coddiwompled from Why to a caravan near Yuma, joined us in LHC. Ukulele jams! Cards and Farkle! Movies in a real theatre! Painting living room walls! It was all so much fun, but Dawn and Jan were preparing to head back to S CA, plus coddiwompitis hit again. Radar and I decided to check out one of the several caravans in the area. We drove down to Earp, CA and joined the Womens Caravan. It is a pretty nice area and we hiked, picked up lots of rusty nails from a burned down building, and met some nice ladies around the campfire.

Soon Radar was off with a vague idea she might want to volunteer at a horse rescue (before she remembered, horses are a shitload of work), and to visit her son in S CA. I intended to stay put until closer to the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite, but last Thursday I woke up restless (and admittedly kinda stinky since a real shower was five days in the past and baby wipes can only do so much). Then I remembered that I always wanted to check out a place called Fountain of Youth Spa in Niland, CA. So I called to see if they had space for a week in their dry camp area, packed up Wanda and headed southwest.

Tennis and Pickleball! Hot tubs! Friendly people! I really like it here and will stay until Thursday when I will head east to Quartzsite to meet a new caravan group called Plant-based Travelers. I am trying to move even more towards eating vegan and whole (unprocessed) foods and cutting back on sugar. Meat and cow dairy are already long gone but I recently stopped eating eggs and goat cheese, then eventually will eliminate fish and seafood which I eat a couple of times a month. It’s all proving to be a challenge, but I am convinced my most recent (and long lasting) dermatitis outbreak is still diet related. But I am convinced it is totally unrelated to coffee, chocolate or red wine, lol.

I plan to stay with the vegan group for at least a week, cuz, you know, there are going to be potlucks. Then again, I never know when the urge to move will hit. I know they will understand if they awake to see a cloud of dust as Wanda coddiwomples towards another vague destination, cuz vegans can be coddiwomplers too.

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