October 2, 2007 16:51 - Heidi and Buck took a day off
Yep, even Heidi and Buck get to go play once in a while....
They have a trial coming up this weekend, down in Fountain Colorado, so they took a drive Sunday up to a friends place in Crystal Lakes, Northwest of here. A couple of other gals, who they all compete with in dog agility, went along, so they could practice a while for the upcoming trial.
Once they got that out of the way it was time for some straight up playin'.
Ol' Buck hasn't been around that much water... and has always seemed a mite cautious around it. I guess he's finally matured... 'cause he plumb forgot it made him nervous! Somebody threw a stick out into one of the lakes and off he went to fetch it back!
She has short video of him leaping off the bank into the water without a sign of hesitation... who knows what happened to his caution... just puppy nerves I guess.... can't for the life of me figure out how to mount that clip here though... maybe someday I'll get caught up to George! :-)
Heidi is starting to get the hang of a camera too... along their short hike she captured a couple fall pictures that capture the mood for me!
Turns out, last weeks long drive was not really necessary to find some fall color... ain't it the truth? You look all over the world for something and you find it darn near in your own back yard!
I kind of like this 'Artsy' shot as well:
The last shot she took was this romantic pic of Mr. Buck and his girlfriend Dora. Poor Ol' guy is head over heels... only he ain't 'complete' no more so there ain't much he can do about it. :-(
Fall is a pretty nice time of year. Fewer bugs... The woods have their own special fall scent... The temperature couldn't be more perfect... It just might be my favorite time of year.... now that we're gone from the ranch... it used to be spring, when the calves were hitting the ground.... now I prefer a quiet hike through the falling leaves.... a time for everything I guess.
October 3, 2007 09:39 - I've been studyin'
A couple people have commented that I should follow the leaders and start posting some videos.... sounds like fun, but I'm way behind the curve on this one, so it might take some little while...
In the meantime, I'm studyin' up on the how to's and the what with's and such, to figure out how to do it....
I thought I'd seen pretty near everything... in one form or another... until now... I don't believe I've ever heard of 'Camper Racing'.... have you?
Apparrently, in the upper Mid West... people with maybe just a mite too much time on their hands, and way to much Redneck imagination.... HAVE!
Camper Racing in Michigan
So I wonder... what poor dumb sucker gets to clean up that mess? Looks kind of like a Friday night on the L.A. Freeway system :-)
I can see my Redneck genes gettin' me in all sorts of jackpots with this thing.... Oh... the future is so bright!
Till next time.... I got to get back to my studyin'!
October 4, 2007 18:40 - Bunch of miscellaneous stuff
Heidi got to leave again today... Her and Buck are off to another Dog agility trial . With any luck they will earn the last points they need for their MAD (Master Agility Dog) certificate this weekend...
I got to clean the carpet in the Eagle yesterday... and some more today.. Oh what fun! That senile Ol' barn cat, from the ranch, that I feel responsible for... decided to have an issue with her litter box.... tell me I ain't a soft touch... I know a good number of people who would send that little mouse killer to the great hereafter... I'm just gettin' old I guess... But.... she should know... even old softies can get pushed to far.... :-(
We recently swapped out our camp grill.... I'll be building a regular page about it for the site, and our camp cooking hardware in general... in the next week or so (actually have most of that done... it's just a real job comin' up with jokes about BBQ grills!)
We swapped out a good Coleman Roadtrip grill.... that for most would work superbly...
for a new, more compact, lightweight and portable grill... (we had trouble storing it in Yellowstone recently... with our tight storage... you have to have ALL cooking gear locked away in Grizzly country... DOH! )
It'll fit our storage better... and be easier to deal with in Bear country...
Came that time of the month for the battery bank servicing of our RV solar power system the other day... I thought I'd try a gizmo that swore it would make watering the batteries easier... It swore.... and so did I!
The black bottle gizmo on the left is the thing supposed to be a 'battery and radiator filler', the Red Bulbed syringe doohickey on the right, is the 'Battery Filler' that actually works... The one on the left represents a wasted $12+ and the one on the right cost me, I think, $3 and does the job.... I couldn't get that bottle setup to flow water without doing all sorts of gymnastics and contortions.... maybe it's just a bad one... and the rest work fine... but.... buyer beware!
A recent e-mail I recieved asked for an article about medical care for retired RV Boondockers.... I've been stewing over our Medical/Health insurance/care for the last year or so.... the whole dang thing offends me... I've recently overhauled what were doing... to cut our costs by around 50%.... I'll be building a page on the site about that in the next week or so as well...
I tend to get real cranky on that subject... and it's taking me a bit of an effort to put words on the page I can publish for general consumption! :-) Luckily for us... outside of me just being stove up from thinking I was tougher than I actually was... or being a slow learner.... we're in good health, so our choices may be a little easier for us to make than others.
We're getting ready for a circle to Arizona at the end of the month... There is, of course! :-) another National Dog Agility Trial in Scottsdale the first week of November... so, we're making a 10 day circle... wishing it just stretched out into the future.... still trying to work a way around the real estate roadblock... several irons in the fire... hopefully I won't burn myself... and have to use that medical care setup we're overhauling! ;-)
Did you see that blurb by Debra Norville on the boob tube this morning? She's wrote a book about how people who consciously focus on what's right in their world are healthier and happier... imagine that.... putting the downer stuff behind you and countin' your blessings actually puts a smile on your face.... I think she titled it 'Thank You Power'...
Works for me! :-)
We'll see you out there RV Boondocking.... eventually!
October 6, 2007 06:11 - Had to make a Coffee Maker Change too!
I know Mr. Coffee probably ain't any sort of a gormet piece of brewing equipment... but I had to abandon my Redneck Starbucks Machine from Black and Decker...
The only place I'd ever seen that one, was Wally World... and of course... a few months after I bought it... they quit carrying it... That wouldn't have been a problem, since I already had it... but they quit carrying the special little filters from Presto as well... The bums...
I guess I could have ordered the filters on-line... but what a hassle that would be! Sitting in a backroad camp somewhere... desperate for a cup of coffee... and having to run to the post office... 10 days later.... to pick up my itty... bitty... filter disk shipment from Presto! Talk about the hard life of a cowboy. It just don't seem to get any easier ;-)
I got even though... we bought the new machine at... Kohls! :-)
Actually, it works out better for me. I still can make less coffee, as it's just a 4 cupper... and... this one came with a permanent filter so no need for the paper filters any more... cut's down on having to buy things... fits into my pursuit of simplicity right well. Not that buying itty bitty paper filters was some sort of a major hassle.... least ways, until I couldn't find 'em and was starting into caffiene withdrawal... best of all.... with no more paper filters.... I can save a TREE!
PETA should be real happy with me... that poor Ol' squirrel won't be homeless now, just so I can have a fesh cup of coffee!
A gal had told me about another gizmo that Coleman builds... it's a propane powered 'drip' style coffee maker.... I almost went that way.. then.... DOH! .... why burn propane to save electricity? My electric is free... leastways if you don't count the $4,000 or so I spent on the solar electric system! anyway....
Heidi'll be happy when she gets home... I finally hung some pictures that have been sitting on the couch since June... and a 'native american' bow and arrow we picked up in West Yellowstone 3 or 4 years ago....
Yup.... genuine Native American... I believe he said he was born in Toledo!
I guess they're having a good trial... we had a weak connection... we can talk to people standing on the moon... still have trouble if they're just outside of Colorado Springs!... Their first run qualified them for the 'team' competition for the NADAC national in 2008..... that's the same trial we're going to at the end of this month... so now they're already qualified for next years.... I guess I know where I'll be then.
If you hadn't looked at the 'update' blog... I put up those pages about our RV Boondocking Health Care and portable BBQ grill just after I posted about it the other day....
I'm hoping one will get a lot of use and the other won't get none!
Keep your Windows up... if it's rainin'
October 8, 2007 07:59 - Some days are diamonds... others are more like flea markets...
Sittin' here sippin' on a cup of coffee from the new 'maker'... tryin' to get witty....... Nuthin'!
The sun is shining and it's 36 degrees here... while they talk about a 'dangerous' heat wave back east....
Heidi and Buck returned from their latest agility trial last night... I guess some good some not so good. They got a few Q's... (qualifying runs) but failed to capture that elusive point they need to finish for their Master Agility Dog Certificate, so the hunt continues.
We continue to try and entice a couple of 'interested parties' on the house... but no 'Freedom Checks' in the mail yet. I expect that pretty much everyone has some big obstacle blocking their trail on the road to the Freedom of the Road... for sure and for certain, this is ours.
I keep looking for the way around.... just haven't found it yet. In the meantime, I just keep working on things, kind of like a sculptor....
I figure those guys don't carve out the statue they see inside the block of granite... they only carve and whittle away what's not part of their Vision.... That's what I'm tryin' to do.... anything I can find that ain't part of the life I/we want gets cut loose and cast away... when I'm done, I should have nothing left but what I want...
Only problem is... the enforced wait allows too much time for thinkin'... and generally speakin' .... too much thinkin' has a way of creating problems for me that didn't exist before I started thinkin' about it. :-)... Yes sirree... I am a past master at makin' trouble where I can't find any!
I am sorely in need of another circle... my hitch itch is fairly uncomfortable... end of the month I'll get another 10 day 'fix' while we make a trip to Scottsdale so Heidi and Buck can continue their quest... I'm hopin' to take Slick on a run or two up into the Mogollon Rim country and the Salt River lakes NE of Phoenix... I want to scout some of the RV Boondocking locations I used to know about....
I'd really like to spend much of the winter.... assuming we get chased out of here.... in that Tonto Basin country... Just keepin' the dream alive.... One foot in front of the other, and we'll get there... and our 'arrival' won't come any time too soon!
Check your cinches once in a while
October 10, 2007 09:31 - Nothing is happening ... in a big rushing hurry!
Seems like a long time ago that we decided to sell out, bug out an' go full-timin' and boondockin'.... and I'd guess that near on to two years is a long time. When I was a kid that'd seem like forever... now.... such an amount of time is startin' to race by in a whiz!
I never anticipated the difficulty we've run into, getting loose from our real estate 'anchor'... Though I should have. Murphy's law has never left me un-bitten.... My butt has the scars from all the chewin' to prove it too!
The King Pin of our whole 'escape' plan is the house. What we manage to squeeze out of it is what's needed to eliminate the last debt burdens we're saddled with... with the sale, we're free as a bird... without it we're anchored like a busted boat.
I had hoped that after those things were paid, there'd be a mite left over to provide some cushion... with the market as it is... that 'cushion' is shrinking along with the price of the house.
And... of course.... the house remains unsold... so it's all just fantasy at this point.... frustrating, patience bruising, tantalizing fantasy!
Each new circle we're able to make just feeds my hunger to wander.... I keep thinkin' there's something I'm missing, some way to get this thing done... but I've searched through my brain a couple million times looking for the answer... and let's face it... that's a short search!.... only way I could have done it so many times... and come up empty.
All I can see to do is to wait... to be patient... to believe, in the end, if I stay focused on the 'brass ring', I'll capture that sucker.
But, I'm a lot like that vulture sittin' up on his dead tree perch... "To hell with patience... I'm hungry... I'm gonna go out and kill something!" :-) ... If I could just conjure up something I could do to accelerate this ordeal and get it done with... By God I'd do it! .... short of giving the place away of course. :-)
Toward that end, a reader told me the other day that maybe I should post some pics/info about the house here on the site.. "You never know who's looking" he said... I told him I hadn't really thought of that, but couldn't see how it could hurt any... so... if anybody is lookin' for a fine horse place in the Northern Colorado / Fort Collins area you might check out this link...Northern Colorado Horse Property for sale and when you're lookin' at the pics... which were all taken way back in the spring, know that the place is now 100% perimeter fenced.
In the meantime.. while I wait... and work... to push my 'fantasies' into reality... I'll get back to my writin'... at the urging of a few folks... hopefully they weren't misguided :-) I'm working on a little project, compiling a bunch of short stories about the last 35 years or so of my misadventures. There's twenty or so right now that I hope to publish in a small little book....
Time will tell if anyone is interested in such high grade literary magnificence!..... some spell that... Bovine processed fertilization supplement...
Till Next Time
October 11, 2007 13:59 - Solar Tax Credits... for Sure and for Certain!
Yeah baby! We just got back from the accounts office a couple hours ago.... had to go build the page before I did this post!
There has been a lot of conversation on the various RV forums about tax credits on RV's for solar power installations. I was pretty sure I knew the truth... but I held my tongue until I had the straight skinny... yech!.... wait a minute....
OK... I'm back.... had to go wash my hands.... I couldn't type anyway... what with my hand wrapped around my tongue!
Anyway... it's real. started in late 2005 I guess. self contained RV's qualify. We saved 30% on the installation we did in October of 2006. Makes it an even more attractive installation. You can go to my new RV Solar Power Tax Credit page to get the straight stuff on the credit we just filed on our taxes this morning! ... Yeah I know it's October.... it's the only way I can make the Government wait on me once in a while. :-)
The response I got from posting that link to the house listing has been pretty amazing. You guys are all awsome! Don't know if it will do anything, but the ideas and support have been really rewarding.
I'd been feeling a little down after reading some threads over on the Escapees forums. Quite a few folks have let 'something' get to 'em over there and boy-o-boy were they cranky! Good thing I've got you people to keep me focused on all the blessings I have and the trail I'm followin'. The 'mail' I got last night perked me right up.
If the only thing I have to worry about is how to divest an asset like our house, then I ain't got one God blessed thing to whine about.... but don't hold your breath... the liklihood of me not whining for very long is about as high as goin' two weeks in Wyoming without the wind blowing.... it might could happen... someday! ;-)
I suppose that's the lesson for me here... if the Boss is indeed tryin' to teach me something... Compared to the tribulations people all over the world endure on a daily basis, my life is pretty darn shiny.
If anybody has the Boss's ear... let him know I get it.... so he can go ahead and let the house sell now! :-)
Till Then... you all Take Good Care
Some folks have suggested I keep the link to our Northern Colorado Horse Property listing on the site... I figure it can't hurt so here it is!
October 15, 2007 07:44 - Ridin' in the Rain
I've been wimpin' out the last couple days. It's been raining almost non-stop since Friday. I got home in between down pours Friday evening. It rained all night, so Saturday morning ...... "Heiiiiiidi? .... would you drive me to work?..... Pleeeeease? :-)
So, I've had a chauffer the last two days, carrying me to work in Big Red..... but.... today, it's grey, and it ain't raining.... yet.... and my schedule doesn't fit very well into Heidis'.... so I think Slick and I are going to have to brave the wet! I've got the rain gear... just getting lazy in my old age I guess.... Time to Cowboy Up!
How about those Colorado Rockies? I don't follow the pro sports much... way too many of those pro 'athletes' are more like licensed sleaze.... But those kids on the rockies look like throw backs to the '50's when you see 'em interviewed. They may just have me bamboozled but, so far, I've been impressed with the character they display. No arrogance, none of that 'boy am I special' kind of Bovine reprocessed vegtable material. They seem to understand that they get paid really well, as adults, to play a Kids game... for OUR enjoyment... I like it!
A bit over two weeks and we pull out for 10 days in Arizona... then it's back to Colorado for the winter... I guess. If you guys are right... and patience builds character... I should be quite a character come Spring :-)
I'm told I already have enough 'character' for one person... though that ain't the word they use.... :-O
I've told you about a couple writing projects I have coming along... a couple RVing/Boondocking books/booklets, a short story collection (about 20 of my 'Tales of a Cowboys life... The Tumbling Palomino, Tarantula and a Bike Wreck etc.) and I'm actually working on a genuine, shoot'em up western! ...
So.... I'm not just sitting on my hands while we wait for our real estate release... It's not just that either. When you step off full-timing or even part-timing you can't just sit in camp and watch your tires crack! You... have to do something!
If you don't, that thing between your ears that you quit using, is going to turn into pale grey mush. You've carved out a life where you, finally, have the time to do some... or all.... of those things you've been putting off for years....
Step out of your comfort zone. Take some risks.... maybe not bungee jumping or RV Racing... but you know what I mean.
Get out there and pursue that good life you've always been talked into postponing!
Life is good... if you LIVE IT!
One other thing... I don't know if you guys noticed... but Tioga George developed a little bit of a cough... asking the Boss to watch out for him would be a good thing... He's supposed to be having it checked out today... Think positive for him OK?
Till Next Time... Take Good Care
Some folks have suggested I keep the link to our Northern Colorado Horse Property listing on the site... I figure it can't hurt so here it is!
October 19, 2007 07:43 - Stuck... but still lookin'... and workin' to get RV Boondockin' Full-Time
I'm sitting right where I figure maybe the biggest part of RV Boondockers are. I'm right there with you.
There are plenty of folks, I know, that have no problem with the money side of this deal. Their only problem is making the decision to go. That's a tough one at times, too, I guess. They had the good fortune and good sense to put plenty of that folding stuff away over the years.... me... not so fortunate, and darn sure lacking the good sense!... that, and on the wages I've made... it's hard to fill the fuel tank let alone bury some pennies in a jar... good thing I married a woman who supports me in the style of which I'm worthy! :-)
There I go... another one of my 'tangents'... whats new? :-)... back to this story.
For the rest of us, the decision was made a long time ago, no problem Our only issue is how to get there. There, being free, on the road, just yondering. Maybe, if I can find a way through this mire, somebody else might be able to learn something from our ordeal that will help them get themselves cut free... That's my hope.
Heidi and I thought we had it figured. We were days away from steppin' off when the beast dropped this real estate fiasco on our heads. Truthfully, I had, in the back of my mind the worry that it was a comin'. I figured it would be a race... and I was right... and we lost that one for sure... Oh well... I've lost races before.
If the beast thinks that's got me whupped... he's a dumber, uglier thug than I thought :-)
Here's the deal. We can't do both... Either the house 'sells' and we go a yondering... or we stay to live in the house... We can't afford both... but... actually, there is maybe a third option... I think.
Stayin', as things are, sellin' nuts and bolts to feed the bankers and miserable tax man, just don't toot my whistle. Yechhh!
It's as bad as livin' in town... no proper way for a Mountain Cowboy to live... So, no matter what... I'm findin' a way to cut us out of this box we're in. Somewhere, there is a trail for us to follow... I just need to find it.
That trail may be... The Third way!... Hmmm.... sounds like a science fiction movie... or a 'who done it' book... don't it?
The 'Third Way' is somehthing that's been suggested by a couple of you guys. It's somehthing I didn't want to consider before... but... if your options are limited you can't be overly picky! We're seriously considering leasing the place for a while and letting this gol' dang real estate market stabilize a bit.
Selling is just not looking like a reasonable option just now.... see how quick I noticed that my house ain't selling? :-) It only took a year!
Between the financing mess and a couple 'local' area issues... the only way to sell, seems to be to drop the price low enough to attract the vultures waiting for someone hurting... too low...screw that! Let those suckers starve along with the bankers and tax man! I'll not feed parasites like that.
Talked to a management outfit yesterday... including their 'fee'... they thought they could lease the place so that the mortgage would be a 'wash'... and I think we can still make that work... a lot tighter than we'd planned... but maybe that ain't a bad thing either... It just might help to keep us focused on the 'real' things... the Boss, Family and our Friends.
So... we're thinking hard of trying to do that... get the house taken care of for a year... or two... maybe more... and let the market fight it's way through this mess. Without us twisting in the wind while it does. Then, we can sell it when things have recovered.... and I can laugh at the buzzards for letting this bargain slip away. :-) I love kickin' greedy buzzards in the butt! I guess I just have an ornery streak huh?
Of course, that management outfit did say... it's a slow time of year in that business... so it might take some time to market it... isn't it nice that everything I do fits me so well? ... as in SLOW! :-) anyway... we'll make our final decision on the thing over the next couple of weeks... most likely while we are on our circle to Arizona for the USDAA (United States Dog Agility Assoc.) National Trials in Scottsdale.
So, second Monday from today (the 29th) we load up and haul south for the desert... In the meantime, no rest for the wicked... back to my writing projects... which are coming along real fine... but then I'm predjudiced :-)
Till the next time
Take Good Care
Some folks have suggested I keep the link to our Northern Colorado Horse Property listing on the site... I figure it can't hurt so here it is!
October 20, 2007 05:44 - It Came to me at Lunch
I had a Cowboy Epiphany! Some folks thought it was some sort of a siezure :-)
We took a drive yesterday up to Estes Park... on days off, it's kind of a 'routine' of ours... to take a mountain drive. We were headed for a 'usual' place for lunch and had past one that was full to the doors. There are only one or two where we eat.
Anyway, there was a bit of a traffic jam so, kind of non-typical for us, we cut down a street that bypasses the center of town... and when Heidi spotted the Post Office she remembered an enevelope in her purse that needed to be mailed.
When she came out from that errand she spotted a little cafe, sitting beside the Post Office... and a guy wearing a 'post office shirt' to ask about it...
..."Yeah, it's good food... the locals eat there... so it won't kill you!" he replied.
The Redstone Restaurant, beside the Post Office in Estes Park, on Riverside Dr.... a nice quiet place... nothing fancy and good food!
So... what about the 'siezure'?... We were settin' there eating when Heidi says... "I can't believe in all the time we've been coming up here, we've hardly never gone down these side streets to find little places like this!"
Whack! That's when it clobbered me!... OW!
It's awful darn easy to get to be a creature of habit. You do the same old thing, day after day. Yechhh! It's kind of like mucking out a barn every morning... maybe it has to be done... but it don't make it fun.
Heck, in the army they taught you... routine will get you killed! Now, I don't expect that's a worry RV Boondocking :-) but Routines are dangerous if you're looking for 'New' things.... unless your 'Routine' is to not be 'Routine'!
Being a creature of habit means you are going to go rolling right past all sorts of opportunities without ever even knowin' they're there!
Get out of your comfort zone... take a chance... stop at that little greasy spoon... take off down the road without an itinerary... What's the worst that can happen?.... You buy a Corned Beef sandwich bad enough to choke a buzzard!
or maybe you maybe you find the most glorious little mountain valley that ain't made it into the guide books yet!
Take the time to check your cinches once in a while
Some folks have suggested I keep the link to our Northern Colorado Horse Property listing on the site... I figure it can't hurt so here it is!
October 22, 2007 07:30 - It's Baaaack!... Winter shows it's head in the Rockies
Yechhhh! I'm not a winter kid... Not no more!
It's about 28 degrees just now... not frigid in a lot of places.... but too durn chilly for me. Espcecially when I'd been planning on being down on the Tonto or even lower by now! Bummer... Boo Hoo.... poor...poor me!
I remember chasin' cows and even seperatin' calves in 10 below.... still makes my toes ache just to think about it. You want fun? Go Cowboyin' in November, in the Colorado Rockies at 10 below, cuttin' calves to ship..... I'm here to tell you, in spite of what Roy Rodgers sings about... The Romance wears thin when the Mercury dips below zero!
Heck, for me, my 'romantic' side has done froze solid when it gets much below 50!.. Yep! I am, for sure and for certain, a fair weather Cowboy! :-)
I think maybe I don't have the same understanding of the American language as other folks. The words in the manuals and all the marketing junk say "Automatic Valve".... OK... so explain it to me...
The propane runs out maybe two dark thirty in the morning (just like last night!) and the furnace just keeps on crankn'... only it's only blowin' cold air, and baby it's cold outside!
So... I crawl out of the rack... put on a jacket and rattle and shiver outside to the propane compartment with my trusty ol' maglite... shut off the empty bottle... open up the full bottle.... and then swap the "automatic" valve lever... with my RIGHT HAND over to the fresh gas bottle.
What the heck is "automatic" about it... other than it's pretty darn AUTOMATIC that I'm gonna climb out of bed and go
change that valve over?! :-)
The way these little storms have been rolling through... anybody want to start makin' book on the odds of us getting over Raton Pass on Monday without bustin' through drifts :-) ?
Or on how hard I'm gonna' be looking for a way to not come back? :-O House or no House :-) !... Any of you guys know how to cheat on Powerball? I'll split the take with you 70/30! and YOU can keep the 70! I ain't greedy... just gettin' more
lazy all the time!
As always, Till Next Time
October 25, 2007 06:48 - Sometimes... keeping your chin up is a mite difficult
Took a deep breath yesterday and spent some precious dollars for a new printer. The one I had was unable to do the printing I need for the 'books' I'm workin' on. Needed one that could do what they call "automatic duplex"... printing on both sides....
After investigating all the options I've decided to just do that printing/binding work myself... It may be a good decision or it may not... time will tell. Maybe folks will want these little books... maybe not... It would be awful embarrassing to get all set up with some publishing outfit and then have nobody knock on the door! :-)
So... I get back to the Eagle with the new machine... go to loading up it's software, getting it all plugged in... everything is looking good... right up to the point the Toshiba goes ..... CRUNCH!! ZAP! KERFLOOEY!
It shut down twice... and then wouldn't restart.... Geez! And we're haulin' out in 4 days! I figured, the way it was acting it had fried well done for sure. Even went and scoped out the cost of an emergency replacement... only to find out that nothing is available with a slot for the AIR CARD I just recently got a few weeks ago.... they've apparently moved on to a smaller style.... typical... MOMMY! MY HEAD HURTS!
So... then I drive by the store to whine to Heidi.... "Heiiiiiiiidi.... everyone is being mean to me!" .... Hmmm .... you'd think after 30 years she'd give me a little more sympathy :-)
Finally just went back home... hoping that maybe, given enough time to cool off the thing would crank up... and it did! Turns out it was some sort of a software burp. So I start to breathing again only to get an email from the 'tenants' who are moving out of our house in a few days... Don't know what their deal is at this point... only that 'issues' are popping up that I ain't got no idea where they're coming from!
There are days it just don't pay to get out of bed. If all this is the Boss's way of really makin' me appreciate our Boondockin' when we get to go... it's working! :-)
At this point I'm haulin' my chin around in a wheelbarrow to keep from rubbin' holes in it.
But... the rig is mostly loaded and ready to roll Monday morning... and at least for 10 days or so the kid will get to burn some diesel and cool out some... and maybe work the kinks out of this trail in the process.
Dang! The tire on the wheelbarrow went flat!
I'm goin' back to bed...
October 26, 2007 07:49 - Goin' RV Boondocking's First Books! They're Coming close!
Monte Walsh on the stereo... a hot cup of .... instant coffee... well, it's better than nuthin' and I ran out of the real stuff!
But The computer ain't crashing and that new printer is doing its job.
I have a couple early editions of the books I've been workin' on printed and bound. I'm using them to do final proofing... I seem to miss things here and there... so... a couple of people are looking at them and lettin' me know if they find any goofs.
I'm hoping to get the Paypal stuff set up next week while we're in camp in Arizona and as soon as that's done they'll be available for anyone who might want a copy.
The first is called: "Horses, Critters and Other Tales of a Cowboys Life". Basically, 72 pages of short stories of different days along the way. Some might make me look fairly good... some might make you wonder. The stories from the 'Tales of a Cowboys Life' page, on the site, are in there, and something like 16 more.
The second book I titled: "RV Boondocking - The Road to the Good Life". This'n is 95 pages of philosophizin', and assorted ideas, I hope might help a fella... or gal.... to get goin' RV Boondocking with maybe a few less uncomfortable bumps along the way.
I'm still finishing up two others: RV Boondocking Tips which will be somewhere around 40 pages, maybe more, of all the tips and shortcuts I've collected over the years. I've got 'em all divided up into different categories like driving, water, electrical, general camp and such... so even a guy as dumb as me might get some use from it!....
The last one (for now) is something like 18 checklists or so in 20 some pages. I'm putting those, printed on heavy card stock, in a two pocket folder. You'll be able to just take the one's you want to use down to the copy store, and run off some cheap copies to fill your log books/journals etc.
When I get 'em all buttoned up an' ready... they'll be there on the bookstore page... for anybody interested. I'm hoping that will be next week... if nuthin' else falls on me in the meantime :-) .... and... I gotta rebuild that page in the process... so I better get back to work!
Take Good Care
October 27, 2007 05:55 - The next few days should be interesting...
Here's the deal... We're makin' a 10 day circle to Arizona for a major Agility Trial for Heidi and Buck.
We were going to take off Monday morning... but it's a thousand mile run goin' down... and I have come to hate pushin' hard like that... so... we're going to push hard on Sunday night. When I get off from the ranch store in the early evening, we're going to hitch up and roll south, as far as we get before I go cross eyed. That should put us somewhere south of Pueblo.
So... I'll get up tomorrow morning bright and oh dark thirty early, and load 'Slick'.... before I head off to the ranch store.
This way I'll only have 4 or 5 hours of 'Pushin' Sunday night... then Monday morning when I roll out, we'll be two hundred and some miles south of where I sit now, with two days to make the rest of the run. I'll be able to enjoy that without the front range traffic in my way :-)
To keep things interesting my Ol' Toshiba... which has been a good rig for almost 4 years... only a burp now and then... I believe is failing. It will only run on battery. If I plug it in 110V it crashes. Unless it is turned off, and then it WILL charge the battery... so... I can work for an hour or so... then shut it off and let it charge... what a pain...
Problem is... with our real estate 'issues' the budget is fairly tight just now... especially since I just plunked down a goodly piece of change to set up that new printer! :-) ... so setting up a fresh computer right now is going to be tricky.... makes my head hurt :-(
Which triggers another of my 'sermons' !
I get up and turn on the TV news... and all I get is hit with a caterwauling din of atrocities in Iraq, Afganistan, Africa, south asia... the continuing Mexican 'people flood' across the border, the flood of Chinese built 'junk' debilitating our economy, the housing collapse across the country, the usual stock market schizo stories, bird flu, fires in California, hurricanes, tornadoes, car wrecks, shootings, missing kids, corporate sleaze balls cheating their employees and on, and on and on.
Then... 'tenants' give me grief, turmoil with my computer, the dog gets sick in the middle of the night, I get the hiccups, the bike runs out of gas... one thing after another until my head is spinning, my heart is pounding and I go reeling into the wall, dizzy with the un-ending assualt on my senses. It gets to where I can't see through the fog...
Boo Hoo! Everything is being mean to me! :-( Poor Poor me!
I get to feeling like my head is going to explode... because there ain't one dang thing I can do about the stupidities of the world I live in... or is there?
So what can I do? Hmmm... I'm choosing to turn it off. Simply, turn it off.
Turn off the TV. Turn off the radio. Turn the newspaper over and put it on the bottom of somebody's bird cage.
I'll focus on RV Boondocking! A quiet mountain... or desert camp. The water in the little creek, gurgling over the stones as it hunts for it's way to the Pacific. The air, fresh scented from the recent rain. A soft breeze rustling through the trees... or the creosote bush down on the desert. My time belonging to me. Once again, the sun rising on a promising new day. Cows calling for their calves in the distance. Sweet!
Anything that does not contribute to that, that does not support a life of art, music and creativity... and maybe a few horses and cows :-) has no use to me. I'll cut it off, chop it into small pieces and bury it in a hole... with the rest of my trash!
So... here I sit... a cup of lousy instant coffee... I got to get to the grocery store!... My Monte Walsh soundtrack soft on the stereo... typing to you on this busted computer. Focused on that one thing that captures my spirit these days. The freedom of RV Boondocking!
Tomorrow, we hit the road... the road that's in my gypsy blood so deeply. I'll be rolling along easy. Boondocking where I choose... wide spots in the road. Mountain meadows... even Wal Mart! Free on the earth. Casting off all the 'junk' of no use to me. Looking for good times, good pictures and RV Boondockers that maybe see things something like I do! :-) In which case... you might want to seek professional help! :-)
But I'm lucky... my 'help' is getting to write this here literary masterpiece of a website! :-) It keeps me focused. Keeps me hopeful, and keeps me moving.
Many Thanks to all of you guys!
I'll post on the road... now that I've got this air card... and as long as 'Mr. Toshiba' don't have a fatal stroke!
October 28, 2007 12:52 - We'll be rolling south soon!
Hey hey hey! I got off early from the ranch store... a slow Sunday so I got cut loose early... squeaky wheel sort of thing :-)
We have some chores to get buttoned up, get Slick loaded and then we're headin' south in a rushin' hurry! ;-)
This ol' laptop is 'bout as lame as me now... I'm hopin' it'll hang in there for a few more days... there's a 'Dell' factory store down there in Chandler, on the south side of Phx... I'm hoping to get a backup, setup there while we're in town... found out I can still get the XP version of windows from Dell... probably others... That way my heartburn dealing with software glitches should be held to a minimum.... and that is always a good thing.
So it's back to work gettin' loaded... if this air card is working south of Pueblo tonight I'll let you all know how far the pot bellied, crippled ol' mountain cowboy got before he started goin' crosseyed! ... Hopin' for a rest area Colorado built not too long ago, just a ways north of Trinidad... we shall see... that may be a mite ambitious... considering my current level of ambition! :-)... I'll be on the road one way or the other, for the next 10 or 12 days... and for me that's a good thing! a VERY good thing :-)
11:33 pm ...
We pulled out of our 'waiting' camp at 5:20. Had to run a couple last minute errands, then hitched up and hauled out.
Made good time... for the speed I roll!... down to Denver... right up to the point I didn't see the E-470 toll road cutoff coming up down toward the south end of town... and got caught on it.
Tried to get over... but a 'citizen' in a car, sitting on my bumper wouldn't let me, so I had no choice but to roll onto the toll road... Double dang! Went about a mile to the first exit... and of course you have to pay to get off... but did we have the .75 cents 'exact change required'? ... of course not... so there we sat at the booth... searching all over Big Red to come up with the proper coin so I could get off their gol darned road .... Geez! What a way to start out :-O
But, got turned around and back on to I-25 to run on down to Castle Rock where we stopped to grab some groceries at good Ol' Wal Mart. So... I get out and walk around the rig and find Slick sitting back there on the bumper... missing a tie down strap! ... He was sure glad I stopped when I did... claimed his tire was getting tired, hangin' onto the bumper for dear life! :-)
So then we thought... Hmmm... a subway sandwich would make a nice supper.... so we did that before we did our grocery shoppin'.... I bit into that sub sandwich and I swear the sucker exploded! Lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and bits of chicken everywhere! Good thing Heidi has lived with me long enough to know to carry wet wipes in her purse!
But we got it choked down and Heidi went and finished the shopping while I went back out and took care of Slick.
I pulled out a couple more straps... added them on, got our vittles and kept on keepin' on headed south! No wind, 14 + miles per gallon... loaded the heaviest we've been... now that we got everything we own with us! Made it here to the Colorado rest area just above Trinidad that I was hopin' for.... Pulled into the lot... and right past a sign that says "No Overnight parking" ???
Huh?... a rest area you can't rest in?.... right.... guess what I'm doin'? Uh Huh! I'm goin' to bed! They can write me a ticket for 'offensive sleeping' I guess! :-).... only it ain't ME that does all that snorin'!
264 miles and I'm goin' to bed. Enough excitement to keep me thinkin' .... OUCH! .... and a good start that will let us run pretty easy from here on.
AND, if you didn't already figure it out... this verizon air card is getting twice the signal I was getting sitting in the middle of Fort Collins.... and here I sit on the edge of pretty much the middle of red neck nowhere! I do believe this thing is threatening to save me the cost of a real expensive satellite system! Sweet!
Talk to you Down the road
October 29, 2007 19:37 - 100% RV Boondocking
Yes sirree! No Campground crowd, no noise, just open Arizona forest! Sweet!
Especially after a long day. We got up this morning, after a restful night near Trinidad, tightened up some loose straps on Slick (not sure what was going on there... but they stayed tight all day today) and headed south again.
Fueled up at the Shell just south of Trinidad... goofed and hadn't put anything in the aux. tank... DOH! I'd recommend not fueling there... about twenty cents more than it was in either direction a little ways... but somebody has to find the wrong places... right? :-)
Made that long run down through Northern New Mexico and turned west at Albuquerque. A mite west of the Duke City I saw an exit that looked promising for a lunch break... Hmmm.... I'd not recommend it.... unless you're a NASCAR fan and the constant roar of engines and tires on pavement makes you wiggle with joy!
The spot was the old Rio Puerco Bridge from route 66. You end up sitting right between the frontage road and I-40... if you really gotta stop it's OK I guess... or a bridge nut... but not an especially shiny spot!
... not the most picturesque lunch spot... but it is the 'old' Rt 66!... I don't get the romance of it I guess :-)
By the time we made Holbrook, I'd had a belly full of the interstate... I really would rather pull my toenails out with rusty pliers than use the dang things... but often, it's about the only way to get to some places. That and it seems the last few trips have had forced time constraints...
I cut south at Holbrook on Ariz 377, a good Ol' two lane. I could slow down some more and see a little bit again. We started looking for a camp as soon as we crossed into Nat Forest land, probably 15 miles or so north of Heber... no luck on the north side... but turning west on Arizona 260 toward Forest Lakes... Bingo!
There are a bunch of Nat Forest campgrounds, oh, twenty five miles west of the little town but I was hoping for some luck before then and we hit paydirt. Started finding some forest roads again, just out of Heber... but traffic was trying to keep me rolling too fast to pull into one. You'd spot the road pretty much as you got to it... but that freightliner on my tail stopped me from gettin' on the binders to pull in...
So... I waited for a passing lane... just a mile or so... and pulled into the right lane, really slowin' up... and let the traffic blow past... and then... just as some fresh traffic was catching up... here came another road off into the forest and we shut 'er down and pulled in.... some of my 'instincts' are still alive :-)
There's several spots like it along 260 west of Heber... keep a sharp eye and an easy speed and you'll find 'em too.
Nice spot. Ponderosa Pine forest... 500 feet and more back into the woods. quiet... Not another rig around... they're all back there in those $30 a night campgrounds we passed, shoved in awning to slide.... and I ain't payin' a nickle!
Yep, 100% Boondocking!.. What it's all about.
Heck this spot here, you could run a 45 foot bus in here and have enough room left for three of your friends with bigger rigs!
I'll have to post this tomorrow when we get better signal... judging by the cell phones we're right on the edge of some... I expect if I had the external antennae and amplifier the air card would work... so all in all... a pretty good camp.
But a long day... for not gonna push hard :-) 552 miles. I just couldn't stop earlier. I knew this country was just a few more miles and I didn't want to Wal Mart it somewhere tonight. We're close enough now, there's no pushin' the whole rest of the trip. We can lay in bed tomorrow, enjoy a late breakfast in the morning, and still be down in the valley of the sun not much after noon.
Lost in the Arizona High Country
October 31, 2007 08:04 - Safe at West World
We got here, got set up and Slick unloaded... and everyone is hale and hearty...
When we got up yesterday, this is the view that greated me out my 'office' window... not too bad huh?
Coming back from a short walk we had this view of our camp... this... is Boondocking!
When I wake up that first morning in an Arizona camp, up on top of the Mogollon Rim... Lordy! I know I'm home! It's true! Waking up, in our Eagle, looking out at the forest that covers the Rim above the Tonto basin... I couldn't be a happier fella.
Today, waking up at West World in Scottsdale, it's a mite different. The tractors started crankin' about 'Oh damn it's early' O'Clock and this here is today's office view...
They have several hundred RV hookups here... but so far they have us pretty well spread out so no worries... I'm hopeful, even though there's supposed to be something like a thousand dogs competing, that the parking area won't get too crowded ;-) ... grumpy ol' boondocker that I am... we have a 3/4 hookup here... water and elec but no sewer... and three of us takin' showers... (we have a friend that met us here and is stayin' with us for the competition) so the grey tank might get a little crowded...
Lot's goin' on... the Trial... I have to run down to Chandler to try and line up a fresh computer to back up the failing Mr. Toshiba... and then yesterday my sister told me there is a charity 'Poker Run' Saturday to honor my Nephew Tony, who was killed several months ago in the Line of Duty on the Glendale Police Department... So I get to ride with another Nephew, Chis, in that...
It's looking like a pretty good week coming up... so I better get after it... !
I'll be Pickin' 'em up an' Puttin' 'em down!