January 1, 2007 07:54 - Starting a New Year
How about we start off the New Year with some humor..... sort of set the tone for the next few months? see it! enjoy it! live it!
An absoulutely gorgeous, blond, bombshell calls her husband at his office .... Now you have to understand that this woman is a jigsaw puzzzle fanatic.
Honey, I'm so upset! I've been working on this puzzle for hours. I've never seen a puzzle like it! There are no corners, no edges, I can't even get it started! I am so frustrated!
What's the puzzle picture? he asks. A big beautiful orange, tiger! she replies.
OK, don't worry darling, I'll help you when I get home. A few hours later he arrives home to his beautiful bride sitting at the dining table with tears of frustration running down her cheeks, all the puzzle pieces scattered across the table.....
All right honey, I think I see the problem. First, let's put all these cornflakes back in the box!
OK, don't give me grief about the blond thing ...... at least you girls Have hair! and I don't go gettin all cranky about the chrome dome cracks!
We're hoping, a little early at this point, for good weather at the end of January so we can roll down to Tucson without having to bust through drifts!
Family, and Nick over on the Gypsy Journal have been commenting on the cold December Arizona has had. The storms that have been tagging Colorado lately roll through there first.
I'd rather not have to pull the Eagle through a lot of snow to make our escape, if only for a couple weeks. The tricky part may be, when do I de-winterize for the trip? That will likely be a last minute deal. Flush out the antifreeze, put in a little water and then haul hard and fast to get far enough south to get out of the threat of snow!
With some luck, I'll get my bike rack built on the Jayco this week or next ...... I want to ride the Arizona desert for a few days while Heidi is buying beads!
Hopefully, the weather here will allow me to get the rig over there .... so far the forecast is promising!
Time for me to get to work! Many projects waiting in the shop to finish. A few stories are waiting for those competions so off I go!
Start your year with a joke and a laugh!
January 4, 2007 15:09 - Ramblings of Cabin Fever
The wind, the snow, the cold and my feet, itchy to get to wandering, are getting to me. I got to make some progress! So I'm pushing things a little.
The Jayco Eagle is going in for some remodeling Tuesday morning. Met with the welder today to talk about my Motorcycle carrier design and he thought it looked pretty fair to him. So I guess we'll soon discover just how stout that fifth wheel is! If the front end and the back end bow down to the ground we'll know I was wrong! But Jayco has built a pretty strong double tube frame under it so I am awful confident in its capability ..... though I am sure the engineers would disclaim any responsibility! ( I am pushing the envelope a little. Though what I am doing is less than I've seen on other rigs)
I do expect, in the long run, some of the additions I am doing and have done will accellerate wear and tear on the suspension. I have, for some time, wanted to do a Heavy duty, Mor-ryde suspension, with the disc brakes and all, but the cost has held me back. In the future I may not have a choice!
Thurday morning, Big Red, my Cummins powered Dodge, is goin' in himself, for a little cosmetic upgrade. I'm getting the often postponed spray in bed lining done.
Installation of the auxilliary fuel tank and some tool/storage boxes has been held up waiting on the bed lining to get done. So, I took the usual deep breath and just made the appointment. What's the worst that can happen? .............. forget it ................. I don't want to know!
More on our continuing Colorado weather:
Unlike the weather right along the Front Range, the ranchers and farmers down in the south east portion of the state have truly been clobbered with a disaster. Wasn't too many years ago a storm there killed over 30,000 head of cattle. This last one seems like it's in that category at least. Sad. One woman I saw was near to tears. They'd only been able to locate 90 out of I think 800 cows. It's a heart breaking time for those folks.
It's not just the money involved. For many it's not the money at all. They look at it like this. Their animals are what provide the living for their families. They feel, and I feel, that those animals, be they horses, cattle, sheep, or hogs, whatever, deserve all the respect and care that can be given. We owe our lives to them and they've earned it. So when they suffer, we as their caretakers suffer. It's a hard thing for a rancher to know his cows are dying and there is nothing he can do, trapped in his homestead by 10 or 12 foot drifts. His animals just as trapped and isolated from food or water.
This will finish off a few more farmers and ranchers. Fewer left every year. I guess the only thing that stays the same is that things always change!
Just a mite different than those who are upset because they can't drive down to the mall as easily as they usually do!
So, look out the window of your rig. See the beautiful country you get to wander through and consider how fortunate you and yours really are.
If only you could have a Big Red Dodge like me your life would be perfect!
See you RV Boondocking in the sunshine!........ someday!
January 5, 2007 15:27 - The continued ramblings of the cabin bound
More snow last night. Winter wonderland? I only wonder where the fella who coined that phrase lived. Tampa bay probably.
Three weeks and I haven't fired up the Yamaha. Winter may sound good to folks who like to slide down mountains on a couple of sticks, but it's worn out its welcome with me! They don't make snow tires for a motorcycle and they handle poorly on the ice!
Last day before all these latest storms came rolling through, I was heading home just after dark. Making a right turn at a four way intersection I cut the corner pretty tight as I kept an eye on all the cars coming from the left. There, on the inside of that corner, was a light coating of sand left over from a previous little storm. As I leaned around that corner at maybe 15mph, Whoooooooooooeeeeeeee! Both tires of that V-Star slid out maybe a foot on that patch of sand.
Very nearly dropped the whole shebang! That would have been bruising to my fragile ego! I was proud of myself though. Never took my feet off the pegs.
Rode it out and tooled on home. Didn't have to worry about just falling off either. "Something" was sucking me down to the saddle of that bike for quite a little while!
Winter riding is an adventure for sure. Can't wait till next month and I get a few weeks to cruise around down in my home desert country, in Tucson, while Heidi is off buyin' beads!
Now back to that skiing thing. I don't get it. You pay an outfit $85 a day or so, to drag you up to the top of a mountain. As soon as you get there, you jump on those little sticks and slide down to the bottom as fast as you can get there.
If you want to be at the bottom of the mountain so bad, why not just stay there? You can take the $85 you save and sit in a nice warm pub somewhere telling lies to the pretty girls .... or hearing them from the guys!
It's kind of like tatoos and body piercing. I've spent the better part of my life working hard to keep people from marking me up and perforating my hide. Now a days I look around and see these kids goin' out and payin' people to perforate 'em. I just don't get it!
Have you ever heard all the guys braggin' as to how their truck (3/4or 1 ton) tows on a regular basis, something like 30,000 lbs, and blows the doors off all the other rigs, and getting 12mpg while doin' it? And nary a problem? You do know what you do with that story don't you?
Collect it all up in one place. Stuff it in one of those heavy duty 4 mil. contractor trash bags. Tie it closed real tight, and save it for spring. You can put it on your garden, or give it to someone who has one.... that kind of fertilizer should make it grow real fine for months!
I do know a guy. He hauled a race car trailer with a 3500 Cummins for something like 450,000 miles. If that trailer was moving, the whole rig (truck and trailer) was in excess of 22,000 lbs. Sometimes upwards of 24,000. He was usually at or above the GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating) Now the rig did go down the road, and that guy only has two speeds. Pedal on the floor, or parked. That Cummins will pull anything you put behind it.
Of course he left something like 4 transmissions, a half dozen differentials and a broken hitch or two laying in the road along the way! Not to mention blowing the axles out from under the trailer.
You can hitch on to darn near anything and move it with one of these diesel pickups. Question is, how far will you get before you break something? Now if you enjoy makin' repairs and fixing stuff, have a ball. There's plenty of stuff to break on one of our rigs. But, if you'd rather be fishing, cruising or chasing your significant other around the dining table, hook up to something a little more "reasonable", O.K.?
I ain't there yet, but I'm a comin' !
January 8, 2007 06:25 - What are we doin'?
In the last couple days I've read several articles, from widely seperated sources, across the country, of the decline in "outdoor" activities in younger families.
Seems folks less than about forty are staying away from the woods and rivers in growing numbers. They aren't getting into fishing, hunting, or even camping. Actual numbers of people are fairly steady, due to growing population, but the % of young folks is falling. Feeling is the parents are working a lot harder to just keep what they have and just don't have the time ................ so the kids go where mom and dad go.
I guess the kids have to find something to do if Mom and Dad aren't taking them out into the woods .............. Kinda sad I'm thiniking.
Think about it, how many families do you know that have atvs, or boats, or campers, or what ever that just sit parked, no time or money left to go enjoy them and each other?
That puts it right up our alley don't it? RV Boondockers I'm talkin' about. We need to nudge our kids to stop and smell the roses a mite. I know there is a lot they don't have control of, but a lot is self inflicted I'm thinking. Seems like if you turn off the boob tube and go DO SOMETHING, the pressure to buy buy buy declines quite some little bit! If you aren't after goods quite as hard, or a bigger house or the latest fancy car you shouldn't have to work quite as hard should you?
I know I've counseled my kid for as long as I can remember that "things" don't often provide much satisfaction. Now don't get the wrong Idea. I'm not immune to the urge that bigger, and shinier and newer is better ................ I don't suppose I bought that new truck because it can do something the old one wasn't doing just fine..... I'm just trying to put some proper perspective on things.
What I do know, is that when I think of the times that I've been the happiest, I was out in far country, with my family, just livin'. It didn't take a lot of fancy goods or fancy cars. Heck, most of the time we had none of that. We had a roof. Enough groceries. And, Our health, at least when I wasn't healing up from the latest broke part!
Have you ever seen the bumper sticker " He who dies with the most toys wins!" ?
The reality, I think, is " He who dies with the most toys, probably, rarely got to play with any of 'em, and usually dies too young, of a heart attack from workin' so hard to pay for 'em !".
I'll continue to improve my rig when I can ....... but I'll keep it in perspective. If the improvement pays for itself by easing the work load, saving money somehow, or providing some worthwhile acivity, I'll probably add it .... if it's just another toy to maintain and worry about .... I'll probably happily do without!
(that and the philosophy that if you add one thing you need to dump one thing ...... the only treatment I know of for the ailment of "pack-rat-itis" with which I am afflicted!)
And remember, free advice from a self proclaimed genious is worth every nickle! ......
I'm still comin' ..... just real, real slowly!
January 9, 2007 07:07 - Todays the day!
Getting ready to move the Eagle over to the welder. We'll soon know if my design for a motorcycle carrier on our fifth wheel is as clever as I think it is! The welder figures it will take the better part of two days to get the project finshed up. He's fitting it in around some other work. Since we don't need the rig until the last of the month I'm not under pressure at this point.
I want it done then though, so we can test it out on the Tucson trip. It will hurt my feelings pretty badly if my V Star falls off!
Our fourth storm in as many weeks is due the day after tomorrow. I'm hoping it don't screw up the works too badly!
Boss lady is saying "Let's get moving" so todays post will be a bit short. I'll let you know, and see, the motorcycle carrier work as soon as it gets completed.
Everybody who is currently south of Colorado run outside at noontime, face north and blow real hard .... three or four times! Maybe you can push this next durn storm back north a bit so we get a break!
Gotta go hitch up!
4:11 PM 9 January
We made it to the welder. The ol' Eagle looked kind of lonely sitting there in the snow in the welders lot as I pulled out.
You don't think She believes I abandoned her do you? She should come home Thursday or Friday .... depending on how
smoothly it all goes .... and how many other distractions occur.
Twenty miles going over there, Big Red, our 2006, Dodge 3500, Cummins powered dually ran 2000 rpm, in 5th gear at
50 mph and got 15.2 mpg pulling the Eagle. Coming home, same road, only in reverse (because going home I was going
the opposite direction!
.... Ain't it impressive how I caught on to that so quick?) .... running 1750 rpm, in 6th gear, Big Red ran 21.2 mpg. This 40 miles
was at 5200 feet altitude .... give or take a few and around 30 degrees.
I keep posting these numbers, since a few people, here and there, have expressed curiosity. One thing I can say, when I
pump up the speed .... fuel consumption goes up pretty quick. Jump the road speed up to 70 or 75, with the trailer on, add
a little wind and the mileage drops to 10 or so. Sometimes a little less.
Same thing with the truck bobtail. Kick it up to 75 on the Interstate and mileage drops to 16mpg give or take, depending
on wind, grade etc. Since I'm a pokey joe, I like to putt along the two lane at 50mph + or- and be able to actually see what
I went there to see .... and have some chance of stopping in time when we see something we want to take a closer look
at. A lot more enjoyable for me.
There was a time when I really enjoyed goin' nine oh, with my hair on fire, seeing how fast I could rack up a bunch of miles
.... now, I'm more impressed with seeing how long it can take me to cover 200 miles! (besides, I ain't got the hair left to burn!)
The couple of times I've checked the fuel mileage accuracy of the factory trip computer, it's checked out pretty good.
(Mileage divided by the fuel you put in....) I have heard, from several sources, that if you "chip" a rig it tends to throw the
factory trip computer accuracy out the window ..... something to keep in mind when you jump into the power game.
The truck has just under 20,000 miles on it now. Outside of the "key fandango" last week the only thing the rig has been in
the shop for is maintenance and upgrades. And since last weeks deal was the key, and not the truck, I guess that don't count!
I sure can manage to come back and stretch a post that's a "bit short" can't I?!
January 10, 2007 12:07 - A new Comments Feature
Several people have suggested .... repeatedly .... that I add a "comments" feature to the blog.
I have resisted, believing that some of these people only want an international soap box to beat up on poor little Ol' me.
I finally decided that I was a big enough man to let them have their fun.... so .... here you are! Take your shots! I can handle it!
That said, I seem to be having a little difficulty gettin' this contraption to cooperate .... so if you don't see the "comments" button at the bottom of the post, be patient. I'll get the bugs chased out of this thing pretty quick.
And if you do see it.... be gentle .... I may be tough, but I ain't bullet proof!
January 11, 2007 07:49 - Setting the record straight!
First though, it's kind of lonely around here today. the Eagle is over at the welders getting her motorcycle carrier built for my Yamaha V Star. Big Red went to the sprayed in bed liner place to get his lining sprayed in today! and the bike is sitting up in the protection of the shop.
Even though I ride through the winter, the past 4 weeks now it has been too cold even for me. When it ain't been frigid, the roads have remained either icy or sandy. Sand on the road is even worse, I think, than ice. As pretty as I am I don't want to scuff it all up sliding across the asphalt!
The Eagle is supposed to come home today or tomorrow, and Big Red, tonight. We'll see! It looks pretty pathetic in the driveway with nothing but that little rental car.
Changing how we are marketing the house. We've been doing it strictly with a for sale by owner outfit in their magazine. Trying to avoid some of the realtor commission. Today we're going ahead and adding it to MLS. Take our lumps I guess. Like several people have written me, My schedule, and that of the big fellas upstairs may be just a mite differant. Since he is the Boss, I guess I don't have a whole lot of option but to remain patient! That's OK, when it's time I will be one happy son of a biscuit and you're likely to hear the uproar!
Now for Setting the record straight ..... regarding the "comments"
.... CJ! A Yamaha, V Star 650 Crusier Motorcycle IS NOT A GIRLY BIKE! sniff sniff. Just because a pretty little wall flower like you rides a big Ol' 1300 is no reason to pick on a poor little Ol' disabled Vet! .... poor poor me.
.... For those of you who read the comments. Mike is a guy I've known for quite a while ..... my "Zoomie " electrical/battery expert ..... ridicules my laid back way of traveling. Now the truth .... Mike has to ask me what we saw when we go anywhere .... because he still goes nine oh with his hair on fire. Goin' so fast he can't look left or right .... just straight ahead with glazed eyes and a wide grin frozen on his gritted teeth! So when we get there he says "Uh ..... whud we pass?"
Bracing for the latest storm. Supposed to start arriving tonight. This one ..... 10 below or so. If anyone is looking for a real nice house on twenty acres in northern colorado.... I'm in a dealing mood!
Waitin' patiently, goin r-e-a-l s-l-o-w-l-y on my GIRLY BIKE!
January 12, 2007 12:38 - Some according to plan .... some not.
Big Red got home last night. The lining looks good. A couple small things I have to detail, but for the most part, looks good! That article will be on the site this afternoon, as soon as I finish my poetic magic as a wordsmith! lol
Cold this morning. This is what Big Red looks like at 0 degrees, plugged in an' shiverin' .... or was that me doin' the shakin?
So that's the part goin' according to plan. The welder on the other hand has not gotten his ownself to work. I'm guessing I made a mistake telling him I wasn't in a time crunch. Seems like if you give people time .... they take it! Seeing as how it's too cold for them to do any outside work, they should be able to pull the
rig inside their shop and get to work soon ....
Patience Brian, patience!
Then the stone place called .... the piece of granite they're cutting for me, for my new tooling surface for my leather carving / tooling, is ready. I'll pick that up this afternoon. Once I get the "bottom" for it done that pic will be on the leather craft for boondockers page. I'm still stewing over what exactly I'm going to do for a "base" for that. Leather or wood .... sometimes, when it comes to making a decision on such things I can get fairly "retentive". Oh well, gives me something to whine about!
The house should be listed on the MLS late today or tomorrow. That should bring buyers with money in hand flocking to the door, right! .... I'll be happy with one old guy who claims his check is good!
Another thing I'm tinkering with is how and where to get my CB mounted in the cab. I have a good radion, that is actually a modified Ham rig. I think I have a spot figured out right behind the gear shift. It's tight, but with a small saw, a little vaseline, a large crow bar some decent weather and a pot of good coffee, I think I can maybe get her wedged in there!
Gettin' cold, gotta go throw another chair leg on the fire
January 16, 2007 09:55 - Waiting for the thaw!
Started off the day with a lot of fun .... 7 A.M. at the periodontist. My idea of a good time for sure .... he can't afford that Lamborgini now but the Lexus is a sure thing!
Fired up the heater in the shop when I got back so I can finish up putting my my new portable, leather tooling surface together today. I figure I need to warm it up a mite as it was still about -2 when I got home. Hard to tool leather when your fingers are freezing to the stone tooling surface!
Still waiting on hearing something from the welder. Most likely I'll have to give him a call this afternoon if'n I don't hear something 'afore then. He's running out of time. We're leaving for Tucson in a little over week and I need to do a few things on the rig before then .... I'll be a fairly unhappy RV Boondocker if he doesn't get the motorcycle carrier finished on the fifth wheel, as promised, 'afore then. I really wanted to be able to do a "road test" on this trip.
I suppose, considering the weather he's had to contend with on other projects, I should be a little considerate. Just a hard thing to do for a grumpy Ol' geezer!
Found out the other day that Monument, Colorado is another town considering banning RV parking. I sent them a letter (email) informing them of the consequences a number of other towns have experienced when they made that mistake. We shall see if they can learn from others mistakes.
I've tried to keep it "diplomatic" but that's a hard thing for me to do as well. I have great difficulty not making my opinion of "politicians" obvious in my communicatin' with 'em. I've found it really isn't very productive to let 'em know how little repect you have for 'em. They can get kinda arbitrary when you pop 'em up side the head! But I do try to keep my hands to myself!
Hope you're warmer than I am!
January 16, 2007 4:45 PM
Good News for me! Got a report from the welder. the Motorcycle carrier is tacked in place ready for an inspection. They want me to come take a look before they burn it permanently in place. Easier to modify the thing now if I see something I don't like. I'll go by first thing in the morning and see how my design looks "in the steel" .
Sometimes things that look good on paper just don't translate into reality very well. I am fairly confident this time it will! So pretty darn soon the Yamaha and the Jayco are gonna get real cozy!
Some folks called from Arizona as well .... want to come see the house. Theirs is sold and they're moving up here and looking for a place pretty ASAP.
The fact that folks from Arizona want to see it on the day we're trying to leave for Tucson sounds like some sort of omen to me! Of course, I'm trying to read good things into anything that happens these days!
And the sun was shining all day! Nearly broke freezing around here! Just keeps getting better and better!
Take care till next time
January 17, 2007 10:13 - A Cowboy Designed Motorcycle Carrier?
Yeah Baby! You bet! I went by the welder this morning to see how it looks. At this point, to me, it looks awsome! The welder made a couple of small changes to the latching pin setup that really look good and should work well. The whole thing should be finished up this afternoon. They got pulled off on some other urgent job.
Squeeky wheel gets the grease right? ...... squeek - squeek - squeek! .... Hope that helped!
We did see one thing that may have to be "adjusted". On the curbside, when the track is lowered to load or unload the bike, there is going to be the possibility of some interference between the frame extension and the bike.
Won't know for sure until I get the rig home and go to load my scooter for the first time. I'll give it a try and see what happens. We already have the easy rearrangement "fix" figured out if it does turn out to be a problem.
Stopped by the local Yamaha dealer on the way home from checking the motorcycle carrier and picked up a selection of tie downs. The guy there said I really didn't need all the straps I was getting.
I told him "looky here, I don't want to look back in my mirrors and see a bunch of sparks and flipping pieces! I'll spend the dinero now so I know for sure and for certain that my V Star is tied down solid and secure!"
One thing I won't be putting on it is a cover. I had thought I would but after talking to several fellas made the decision not to. They told me that once you get a little road dust and grit up under the cover, the wind whipping the cover, as you roll down the road, can literally sand the finish off your motorcycle as you rattle along.
So I'll leave my cover for while the bike is in camp.
I'll have a full article, with pics, up in the next very few days. Then, starting on about the 28th of January, I'll be doing something around a 2500 mile road test. That should reveal whether or not my design is as good as I think it is!
One foot in front of the other and we'll all get there! .... Though I'd much rather be rolling that bike along then putting one foot in front of the other! lol
Keep your nose in the wind!
January 19, 2007 19:14 - OOPS, Here we go again! .... another continuing saga .... this time the Motorcycle Carrier.
Well, I was right .... I was wrong! Dang! I hate the taste of crow!
Picked up the Jayco from the welder today. Rolled Slick out of the shop .... Slick being my Yamaha V Star, and tried to do my first loading of it on the new motorcycle carrier.
I say tried, because I was right when I thought I may have designed the latching mechanism at the wrong end of the curbside frame extension. The brake pedal, footpeg and the exhaust pipes all interfere with the frame extension when the track is dropped into the loading position. The result of "excessive headspace".
Since you've never seen the motorcycle carrier I designed you haven't the slightest idea what I'm rambling about do you?!
Bottom line is, I took the fifth wheel right back to the welding shop to have the new carrier modified.... Did you know that "custom" work is often an evolution? At least it is around me! Sometimes an idea looks really good on paper, but it takes a couple swings to finally hit the ball.
So, they think they'll get right back to it Monday morning .... so, I'll plan on maybe mid week? That way we'll be past the NEXT STORM! that's supposed to roll in tonight.
I'll be happy if it will just warm up enough to let me climb back on Slick and do a little ridin' while I wait for our real estate "issues" to get handled!
Hope you are all enjoying yourselves down in Quartzite. Have Fun!
January 20, 2007 08:38 - Ugly Weather?
I've read several blogs lately (including this one!) complaining 'bout the cold wet weather.
Got me to thinkin'. A painful exercise whenever it happens!
In almost the same sentence we complain 'bout the weather and then talk about sittin' in a friends beautiful rig, with a cup of hot coffee, having a fine conversation while looking out the big windows at the dark clouds hangin' low over the rain shrouded mountains. Us sittin' there all warm and snug, surrounded by good friends.
??? Why should we complain? Spring will come, and the sun with it! Until then sounds like you (we) are havin' shinin' times to me!
Lucky buggers you guys are! Until this gol durn house sells I gotta go into town and keep sellin' nuts and bolts!
Don't be the half empty glass sort .... something I've been accused of a time or two! .... If you get to thinkin' that a way, just look around at all you're fortunate enough to get to see and do!
Focus on the half of the glass that's full. Ignore that empty part! Or, better yet, look at the empty part as the space you have available to fill up with seein' and doin'!
Well, those nuts and bolts aren't gonna get sold with me a settin' here!
Bye for now!
P.S. Karen and Charlie - I tried to answer your questions .... your email address kicked back .... try again?
January 21, 2007 06:00 - Ruminations on Yondering, RV Boondocking, and finding everything they have to offer
How do you travel when you go RV Boondocking? Do you get up
in the morning and say, "We have to be 500 miles down the road
before dark!" Then it's fire up the Ol' smoke wagon and hammer
down all day?
Knowing exactly where you started and exactly where you'll end
up? Seeing little in between because going that slow or stoppin'
will throw you off schedule?
Kind of like the old ball and chain job ain't it? RV Boondocking
shouldn't be like that.
Or do you do like Heidi and I. Get up early, and go for a walk!
Have a nice easy breakfast. Run the dogs a mite and then
get what we didn't load the night before packed, and roll out,
slow and easy? Sometimes, making the first stop 5 miles down
We usually don't get on the road much before 9 .... and traveling
all day, all day being till maybe 3:30 in the afternoon, we may
make, maybe, 250 miles .... That's not even a 40mph average!
We putsy .... a lot! A lot of the time we barely get 175 miles on
There are days, here and there we do more. Those are generally
fairly unpleasant and avoided if possible.
And where do we end up? Heck, I don't know. Your guess is as
good as mine! We just follow our noses. There may be a general
idea of the direction we want to go, but the details are left up to
Sometimes we start out headed south and end up way west! Pull
up to an intersection in our rig and you'll often hear "Whataya
think? Left or right?"
I used to do the other. Hammer down. Pushin' hard. "Success"
was measured in the numbers on the odometer. Racking them
up as fast as I could. How far could I get in 24 hours? Looking
back, I sure wish I'd have gone at it a mite easier. There is so
darn much I missed at 85 mph.
I still measure our RV Boondocking "success", a mite, by the
odometer. Only, this time it's how few can I put on that little
ticker in a day! How many sights can I NOT miss along the way.
Same thing with the boondock camps. I much prefer to set up in
one place for a week or more. Time to see it in different light.
Sunny, stormy, let the wind howl. Whatever it's doin', it's far
country. It's the High Lonesome or maybe the High Chaparral,
Wherever your camp is at, it's Livin'!
It's a good thing, if you let it, that you can pick up a little wisdom
as you age. Now, if I weren't so darn stubborn I'd most likely
have gained a lot more of that, wisdom stuff, then I have!
But among the many things I have learned, is to slow down and
really enjoy the ride. The shinin' times for me is in the trip, not
the gettin' there. I make that sucker take as long as I can, rather
than get it over with as fast as I can!
Only stubbornness made it take me so dang long to learn that
little lesson. But I intend to make up for it. Very, Very Slowly!
I'll do what I can to stay out of your way!
Stop in at my fire some time. I'll buy you a cup of coffee!
Putt, Putt, Putt!
January 23, 2007 10:57 - One more time again!
I was right .... again. The welder said Monday, I figured later in the week. He told me this morning it will be this afternoon, maybe towmorrow.
Working on finding a place to set up while we're down in Tucson for the Gem and Mineral show. It's awful crowded then, so I'm sure I'll have to bend on my Boondocking preferances! I have located a couple possibilities, including a county park. $20 a night sounds like a lot for a cheapskate like me but since this is pretty much a "business trip" I guess I can deal with it! Boo Hoo, poor me.
You guys over to Quartzite know better than me, I would guess, about crowds!
I'm mostly hoping at this point that the unending series of storms we've had will give me a big enough break to get over Raton Pass before the next one comes a whippin' in here! That and that the welder gets his little project done for me ASAP! so I can get the rig ready to roll!
Between the weather around here and the entertainment I've been getting from dentists I'm one happy camper right now! Had a 4 root, root canal yesterday during my "lunch hour" .... 3 hour lunch hour! Then I had to get back and sell some more nuts and bolts! That oral saw bones is gettin' better though! He only drilled out the back of my head twice!
He said something about there not being much in there to stop the drill!
Got a new page built this morning in response to a lot of email I've recieved from folks wondering how to supplement their income while on the road. If you're interested you might take a look at my Work Kamping page!
We'll be busy for the next several days/two weeks. We have to show the house the day before, or the day we leave for Tucson (keeping my fingers crossed again!), get the rig ready to go in the meantime, and then shop for beads for the store .... In addition to a wedding shower family is throwing for my daughter while we are all in town.
Should be a good time - I am planning to do a couple of posts along the way. How the motorcycle carrier actually works out (with the co-operation of the welder of course!), camps we find, a bike ride or two etc.
The usual RV banter.
So stay tuned to see how much trouble I can get into!
January 24, 2007 20:07 - The Motorcycle Carrier is done and the Jayco is Home!
Finally got most of the kinks worked out. Picked the rig up this afternoon and pulled it home. The rebuild of the curbside frame extension is real clean and I'm pretty happy with it.
Couldn't wait to see if it all was going to work so I went to loading it right off..... Took a couple of tries to figure out
the right technique to make it work.
Found out right quick that it was gonna take a little help from my better half to push it up on the track. I may be able to do it myself on occasion, if I can find a high spot to start from, but otherwise I'll need to enlist the ladies help!
With the extension changed around there is no interference with the frame so that little goof is gone!
Initially, I was planning on using the type of tie down strap that hooks over the grips on the handle bars. No go.
Without really extending the tie down outriggers there just isn't enough angle there to provide enough side to side
So then it was on to plan B. Using some short looped straps I was able to get the necessary angle going from the forks below the headlight. Cinched it down with some winch type tie downs. Then locked down the rear end as well with the same sort of straps. Took just a few minutes to figure out the best point to hook to.
Then it was just jack it up with the high lift .... a little awkward but went easy enough. Once it's jacked up I only need to lock down the tie down bolts (grade 8) and she's ready to roll!
I figure the next time I load, it will go a lot quicker, having a bit of experience with it.
But .... do you see the other "goof"? One other thing I didn't pay enough attention to was the tail lights. Kinda hard to see hidden behind the bike! Guess I didn't think it was that big. You can see the left tail light straight on, but the right side, with the license plate is totally blocked by the rear wheel .... another OOPS!
So, tomorrow it's off the the autoparts store .... a couple lights, wire, some screws, some more scheming and I'll
add some new tail lights .... better than twisting the shorts of the deputy dawgs along the way!
I fired up Big Red and took it for a quick test run .... went about 14 miles round trip to Nunn and back. Kind of a rough, paved road so the rig wiggles here and there when the tires catch a groove and goes over a hump. Figured that would be a good test to see how it affects handling. I popped the wheel here and there as well. Ran 60 mph. or so.
Everything was good! No problems. Worked like it was supposed to. Truth is I don't know that I noticed anything different with the bike on the back. Sweet!
When I got back home .... Slick was still sitting on the tail end! That's a good thing! Would be a painfull deal to walk back there and find an empty carrier!
I'll have a whole article with pics up on the site in a couple days.
Looks like it's gonna be a squeeze! Darn weatherman is talking about more snow! Yuck! All I need is enough sunshine to get me over Raton pass Tuesday afternoon!
Keeping my fingers crossed!
January 25, 2007 16:28 - Starting to catch up ....
I probably shouldn't say that. Most likely jinx things and make somethin' bad happen!
Got the tail lights on! One more bit of wiring with no sparks, no smoke, nuthin' but stoplights, turn signals and marker lights! Keep this up an' I'll start thinkin' I know what I'm doin"!
You can see a little better with this picture what I was talkin' about. When you are straight behind the rig, like the Deputy Dawg will be .... you can't see the factory tail lights, or the old license plate mount.
I just tied the new, addtional RV Motorcycle carrier, tail lights into the factory units. I figure this will be a temporary wiring. When I have more time I'll see if I can't find a way to fish some wire down through the body and out the bottom so it's a mite cleaner looking. I'll also use black extesion cord type wire. It'll look a lot better and the wire will be a lot better protected.
But for now, this will get me down the road, safe and ticket free!
Had one little piece of unwanted stress in amongst all this other scrambling. Plugged the rig in this morning so we could use shore power to vacuum .... why I didn't just turn the inverter on I don't know .... but anyway, plugged in the umbilical and zap! 15 seconds and it tripped the breaker on the house. Tried again .... zap!
Geez! bad words and dirty names! Blue smoke around here looked like smog!
Took some little while. Called RV Electric where I got my equipment, called my battery wizard up in Wyoming .... what I was describing didn't fit what they thought should be happening.... zap!
Turned down the charge rate on the charger all the way down to 10% ..... zap!
Double Geez! Thicker blue smoke ..... finally .... Hmmmm ...... I pulled the cord out of the recep on the house and moved it to another recep .... on the same circuit ............. Hmmmm ....... did just what it was supposed to do.
So I spent an hour or more worrying that something catastrophic was wrong with the Solar Power inverter/charger
and all along it was the dang Brick and mortar house!
Think maybe it's mad at me 'cause I want to sell it so bad? .... maybe I better sleep with one eye open in case it thinks of doin' something at night .... and make sure there are no electrical appliances around when I take a shower!
Off to supper. Take care!
January 26, 2007 12:59 - The sun is shining and the road is waiting!
Odd how Heidi and I get along so much better when we're in the rig on the road. You'd think that going from a big house to a 240 sq ft. fifth wheel would be a problem. I guess when we're on the road all the hassles of day to day life in "that other world" just fade away!
All I know is, for what ever reason, we much prefer it.
We'll be pulling out for Tucson sometime Tuesday. The earlier the better for me. Looks like we'll have a pretty small weather window. Whatever I get, I'll find a way to manuver that truck and trailer through it.
Contrary to the way I like to travel, we'll have to run faster than I prefer. This is part business trip and part recreation as Heidi and Buck are entered in an Agility competition right after the Gem and Mineral show in Tucson. Since we still have a few other commitments we just can't take the time to really pokey joe going down. So it'll be a two day run down, and the same coming back, in two weeks. I'll have to wait till next time for my take it easy philosophy.
The full story on the motorcycle carrier is live on the site now. I think I found all the typos! Sometimes it takes me a few weeks to see 'em all! Take a look see at Motorcycle carrier
A short post today. Need to save my wind for getting ready for the road!
Bye for Now
January 27, 2007 07:58 - So far so good, at least around here!
The latest storm has come roaring in .... and so far all it's said was PFFFFT! Not more than a little snow dust. Got colder again though. That up in the 40's stuff yesterday was kind of nice!
Of course, when you have a bunch of drifts layin' around, and then it gets warm .... you got mud! The boss lady is pretty cranky with me. "Take your @#$%# Boots off!" hee hee hee.
Slick keeps wonderin' .... "when are we leaving? I want to get down on the desert so I can do some road runnin'!"
I'm with him, haven't had him on the road since before Christmas. But soon! So all you people down there in Arizona,
crank up your heaters and open the doors on your rigs ..... I want you to make sure to keep it warmed up for us! lol
Hoping to maybe have time in amongst all the family and business stuff to roll the bike up to Casa Grande ..... maybe get to meet Nick and Terry from the Gypsy Journal ..... and Sean and Louise of Odyssey are in Tucson getting their transmission fixed .... maybe I'll get to cross paths with them if they're still around.
Finally, some road time! Gettin' REAL antsy!
January 28, 2007 06:49 - It's a clear morning
Kind of pretty this morning. Clear sky, calm but cold! Trying to figure when to "dewinterize" the rig for our Southern Run.... I may just choose to put enough water in to run the "emergency" facilities until we get south enough to make it safe!
This Jayco was supposed to be a four season rig .... but most of you already know what that means ..... In your dreams Sparky! It's getting close to or into single digits every night and I'd just as soon not deal with froze up pumps and lines!
Supposed to be snowing Tuesday when we're heading south .... if it just stays like this little Pffft! that went through yesterday, no problems!
I printed off the locations of all the known free Wi-Fi sites in New Mexico and Tucson, so I'm hoping to do some posts on the run as I get a good solid "yondering" fix.
We're supposed to show the house Monday or Tuesday morning before we leave ..... would be absolutely aswome if ...... better keep your mouth closed this time Brian!......
On the Road Again!..... SOON! YESSSS!
January 29, 2007 07:19 - Lookie Lous' sound like they're getting serious!
A couple called Heidi at the house yesterday afternoon.... wanted to come see the house before we left for Tucson.
Heidi came and picked me up at work so we could hurry home and scramble around to make the place look as good as possible on short notice ....
The folks showed up a mite early .... and really liked the house. Started talking price and remodeling right there! The other couple from Arizona is supposed to come look see today ..... I'm trying real hard, and mostly failing, to not get excited.
Just keep calm Brian! But things are sounding pretty upbeat right now!
Scrambling to get ready to leave in the morning tomorrow. I suspect we won't get off as early as I'd like. But whenever will work just fine!
Having difficulties with my email .... what's new right? So if anyone is expecting a reply of any kind it may take me a day or two or three to get the latest glitch ironed out. I have to spend the day at the store, in town, so I can't get her fixed until tonight at the earliest ....
And then it's loaded up an' truckin! Oh Yes!!!
Now that things are starting to move along, it seems, it gets a little spooky! Easy enough to plan a humongous change in the way you live, but actually stepping off on that new trail is a little scary. Been too long since I've done it! Way too long! The excitement is actually kinda nice. Reminds a feller he's still alive!
I'm gettin' kinda giddy..... risky for an old fart.... I better go take out the trash and get back to a little reality!
Take care .... I'll let you know where we end up!