Here I am, in the spring of THE year that I recover my Freedom and Hit the Yondering Road - I Remain Confident :-) - and the site continues to improve to the best it's ever been... awsome!
The month finished off with 6614 visitors... there's different things they count, but that's the number of unique different people... No wonder my email is getting ahead of me! :-) ... someday I'm gonna have to set down and tally up how many folks have come through the door since I started... It's been fun... and continues to be... even if I do get a mite frustrated waiting on the next 'stage' of this journey.
A few folks have commented to me that they thought I should throw in some more ads to help pay the freight... and I sure appreciate their words... and I probably will here and there... I just don't want to find myself simply falling back into the same old trap I've been working so hard to crawl out of...
That one where I'm getting up each day to chase that cursed dollar! :-)
I want to get up, Like George, to chase some fresh adventure... THEN... if it's meant to be... maybe I can whittle out what I need to keep the roof from leaking and beans on the table... so far... it's working that way... If I can keep things growin', as they are... and do a little catchin' up... when it comes to the numbers of visitors George has.... I'll be a happy son-of-a-gun...
That catchin' up is likely to be a bit of work though... That Old Man is so far out in front I can barely see his tail lights! :-)
Along the way, I'm countin' on you guys to keep me honest though!... If you see me fallin' back and lookin' like I'm thinkin' of climbin' back on the treadmill... pick up an electronic 2x4... and whack me up side the head! :-)
Today looks to be the start of a real fine one... I get to climb on my good friend 'Slick' and rumble over to a fellas office where he intends to carve out another hole in my head... one more of those fine enamled jewels in my mouth has bit it's last steak... at this rate... I'll be eating Blenderized Tenderloin in no time :-)
Hmmm... I guess you can still 'Gum' meatloaf can't you? :-) about the only way I'll be chewin' on Buffalo if this keeps up! :-)
At least it ain't snowin' today!
Heidi won't let me have the truck today... she's goin' to a fancy, high grade, 'Agility Class' today... She got invited sometime ago to a short series of these things... she tells me only the "Elite, Best" got invited.... she's startin' to look like one of those cartoon characters... you know, the ones with the teeny little bodies and their heads all swole up huge! :-) Boy... is she full of herself!
It is kind of fun to see the way her and Buck work together... you almost start lookin' for the strings... they look like those flocks of birds... when they all turn at the same time? .... only thing is... if she weren't so 'Mature' ... and slow... they'd really be cookin' on the courses they run :-)
I better close... before I dig that hole any deeper!
Take Good Care Brian
April 2, 2008 18:45 - Top Ten - Nuthin' Betters
Was working on getting the last of all my old posts catagorized today and spotted a comment I'd made about a Top Ten 'Nuthin' Better' list some time ago... that put me to rememberin'... here's what I came up with on short notice!
1. Sitting under the awning, parked in a Mountain Meadow at sunrise... Sippin' a cup of fresh brewed hot coffee, Monte Walsh, or Brenn Hill, soft on the stereo... Sandhill Crane Cruisin' low just above the mists hangin' along the river... Sun just bathin' the peaks off to the west with that rosy glow of sunrise... Just a man... Free on the Earth.
2. Eating an M&M Blizzard from the Dairy Queen, walking around downtown, West Yellowstone, Montana, on a warm summer evening with Heidi.
3. Sitting on the benches at Old Faithful in Yellowstone, with Heidi, waiting for, and then watching, the Geyser erupt in the Moonlight nigh on to Midnight
4. Sittin' on the walkway of the viewin' area, up in Glacier National Park and lettin' a Mountain Goat get WAY TO CLOSE! :-O
5. The soul filling silence of the deep, dark, forest.
6. The laughter you can't stop... when your wife takes an unplanned, oh-damn-it's-cold, swim, in Yellowstone lake at sunrise... no picture... as that could have been fatal... for me! :-)
7. Playing with Jed and Lily along the Gros Ventre river in Wyoming.
8. Butchardt Gardens in July
9. Sunrise, in just about any weather, in just about any camp... as long as you're Boondocking!
10. Fall in the Rockies
These are the things that came to mind sitting here this afternoon... If I took more time... I could come up with an endless list I'm sure! Truth is one is no better than the other... they all just give life it's shining value.
Take Good Care Brian
April 4, 2008 16:28 - The Truth about Full-Timing... but whose Truth?
There's been a thread runnin', over on the Escapees forum, on the subject of: "The truth about full-timing".
I got my own opinions on that particular subject!... Surprised ain't ya? :-)
The jist of it all... at least the way it hit me was; that goin' full-time you're going to have to give up a lot, and that right there is where I stop, dig in my heels and say: "Now... wait just a darn minute!"
Have we gotten so soft in this country that having to push a little button, to turn on the pump, so we can flush the toilet is now an "in-convenience"?... That, having to 'think' about where you're going to dump your tanks is some sort of a big problem?...
The propane is even called a problem... while the gas in a house is referred to as "un-ending"... ??? Hmmm, where do you find that un-ending stuff? All the gas I ever had piped into a house quit right quick... Right about the time I quit payin' the bill... just like the propane in my fiver... only the bill for the fiver's gas is one heck of a lot less!
And it's called 'inconvenient' to have to re-fill the propane bottles before they run out... How is it any more inconvenient than letting it run out in a house?
Some folks go on to say how the mortgage is a 'tradeoff' with fuel, camping and parking fees etc...
I'd have to say... you're either driving to darn far, too darn fast... or you didn't live in much of a house! :-) I'd think, especially if you boondock very much... you're gonna drop one heck of a lot less on your 'RV Shelter' than on that nailed-down-in-one-spot house you used to have... (and that I still do! arrrggghhhh!)
I think folks who get tangled up in these 'debates' have bought their ticket, but ain't quite sure where the boat is taking them.
Here's the deal as I see it... If you are running away from something... you'll likely remain unhappy... 'cause runnin' away generally only gets you tired... and when you stop to catch your breath... what ever you're runnin' from will most generally catch up!
The RVin', Boondocking, and Full-Timin' that has captured my passions ain't about running away from anything. It's about LIVIN'!
Sure, I still have to have a way to get my groceries, wash my dirty laundry, and empty my tanks... I have to buy fuel for that Cummins, tires for it's wheels... and pay the fees to get into the Sea Lion cave over in Oregon! I still have to support my self. Well who ever said different?... TANSTAAFL! (There's Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!)
THE difference for me; at least the way I do things, is, RVin' is more about Minimalization. The less we have to maintain and the less we have to replace when it wears out, the less we have to work to support it all. The less time we have to spend workin'... the more time we have FREE to PLAY! You Betcha!
My argument is, that all the different pieces and parts of RVin', if a person puts that thing between his ears to work for just a little while, will combine to allow just about the best balance of comfort, efficiency and minimalization to allow a lazy fella like me to play to his hearts content... and then roll down the road a ways... to find a new playground!
... and maybe some new playmates!
Yeah, you still have to do all the 'necessities' of livin'... but with a properly chosen, outfitted and cared for rig... you can accomplish them darn necessities a whole lot quicker... and a whole lot cheaper... so you can get back to the important things in life... Like Fishin'!
Just tryin' to keep a proper balance.
Take Good Care Brian
April 6, 2008 05:58 - Some of this ... some of that
I've been havin' an email conversation with a fella... about a thing of two I want to tinker with on the site format... There's some things I just ain't comfortable tinkerin' with alone! It's kind of like goin' to Shanghai and talkin' Chinese to people...
You might be able to read the words out of a book... but you still ain't got no idea what the heck your sayin' :-)
Last night I got home and there was mail from the 'fella' ... which described the 'nuthin betters' post. He referred to pictures bein' side by side... except on -MY- Laptop... they are one under the other... Huh? and then I remembered... about a year or so ago, a guy wrote and told me a page or two was all jumbled up and wierd...
SO... I turned on 'Micro junk Explorer' and looked at a few things... and there was my answer... again. The MS browser has a bad habit of twisting things all up... been that way for a while... and MS don't seem to have much inclination to fix their junk... and is why I use 'options' to their stuff when available...
I don't see them twists on my laptop because I use the Firefox browser... and have for nigh on to two years... I like it one heck of a lot better... I don't get all the quirky junk and along with the 'Panda' security software I use... I've not had any internet 'diseases' in as long...
Using Explorer along with Symantec, McCaffee... and one or two others... I still kept getting the suckers...
If things look wierd to you on this site... or any others that you go to... and you use Explorer... you might want to give the Firefox browser a try... it's FREE... so you can't hardly go wrong... and Google owns it now... and those guys have done the work to earn a lot better reputation for responding to the wants of people... while MS just don't seem to care... "We're MS and you'll do it our way!"... so I take my marbles and go home!... when I can. :-)
There is a button at the bottom of my Home Page, for the FREE Firefox download, if you'd like to give it a try...
The grass is greening up... those flowers I started in the basement are getting near to maybe being ready to transplant and get this place all shiny for the coming season... I've got seed put down where those girls screwed things up last year... my fingers are crossed... and life goes on.
If the politicians, bureaucrats and assorted corporation bozos will quit jackin' things around long enough for me to sell this house and land, to somebody who don't want the life I do... I won't complain! :-) ... In fact... I'll shake their hands and buy 'em a fancy seegar!
One foot in front of the other... 'till I can buy cigars...
Take Good Care Brian
April 7, 2008 05:08 - ATTENTION! A Serious NEW Threat to the Health of RVers Has Been Discovered!
It has been observed that severe infections of the dreaded 'Hitch Itch' afflicition, are becoming epidemic; and, if left untreated are a major, contibuting, cause of long term Brain Damage!
It's true! I swear!
I was preparing to climb on Slick yesterday, for another joyful day of peddaling nuts, bolts, and fence posts at the Ranch Store.
My preparations were, of course, being performed in the bathroom of our master bedroom... in the 'house'.
I had already shaved, flossed and brushed... what teeth I have left... and done a few other tasks of my morning ritual... when I opened a drawer, beside me, in the vanity...
I reached in... pullin' out the deoderant stick... removed the cap... then...
... stretched the skin on my neck with my left hand, and ... FROZE!...
... just before the Right Guard hit the Whiskers!
... I was standing there lookin' at some old fool in the mirror... just about to deoderize his face! Frozen in place with the deoderant stick a fraction of an inch from his cheek...
Right about then... had you been here... you could've heard me askin' myself a question...
Yo! Ya senile old $%#@%$# ! ... "What... in the Hell... are you doin' ?"
:-) ... I have decided...
If I don't get clear of here... purty durn soon... I won't have enough solids left between my ears, for a skinny cannibal to make a small bowl of chunky soup! :-)
Talk about soft! That thing has gone 'bout as soft as an over ripe pear!... pitiful... just pitiful.
All day long the girls all wanted to know the name of that sexy new cologne I was wearin'.
Don't resist the urge to wander... it can cause severe damage! It's an incurable disease.The only known, effective, treatment is to observe miles of open road through a windshield! :-)
Oh Yeah... The Right Guard is now safely secured... in the Gun Safe!
Take Good Care Brian
April 9, 2008 08:00 - The Great "American" FREE Alternative Fuel :-)
Was snoopin' around lookin' at things that I might could add to shine up the site... and stumbled across this lil' video... an old 'forgotten' fuel! :-) ... and to cut costs... it's FREE!
Now... If we can only figure out how to liquify it... and we could supplement the veggie oil for our diesels! :-) ...
I wonder... would we have to start calculating the CPM? (Chips Per Mile) :-)
Now... I like this story... shows that there are a lot of 'alternatives' out there for us... BUT..... When I hear 'College age' guys sayin': "I won't do it unless all these guys do it" ... Oh Boy... I fear for our future :-)
I mean... "I'll eat Buffalo Chips if you will"? ... me thinks we need a mite higher IQ requirements for college entrance... don't you? :-)
and I thought cows ... and ... cowboys were the dumbest critters on earth... glad to know I got some competition!
Finally picked up a lil', battery powered Dremel the other day, and yesterday, on a piece of practice, scrapwood, started carvin' 'Tool Recesses' for my leather tools... Hmmm.... it works... but... I can see I have a bit of a learning curve to go through...
So, once again, my claim that I'd have the tools all rearranged in a week or so was juuuuust a mite optomistic! There's probably 75 or 80 tools to carve homes for... at around 15 minutes per each... that's somewhere in excess of 18 hours of Dremel whine and reeeeeealllly fine dust.... cough... cough... cough! :-)
so... It's likely that I'll at least temporarily take the advice of one of you guys who suggested a 'Tool Roll'... and do the 'carvin' over time...
Back to the lab... gotta work the kinks out of the Buffalo Chips... they keep pluggin' up my fuel filter! :-)
Take Good Care Brian
April 11, 2008 07:21 - A Typical Spring in the Rockies... and Wishing for a Nikon!
Started out raining pretty strong the other night... we woke up to somewhere between a 1/2 inch to an 1 1/2 of snow... depended on where you look... but good snow for this time of year... wet, heavy stuff that will make the grass really green up.
It's the kind of thing that was a double edged sword... back on the ranch. You looked out the window... and saw the weather and could feel good about the grass you'd have for the coming summer... but worried about the calves hitting the ground in this crap...
Cowboys are pretty much like soldiers on that score... if they ain't complainin'... they're passed out drunk... or dead!
Well... I don't get drunk any more... and I ain't feedin' flowers... so.... whine... whine... whine!
Headin' on another run to Denver this mornin'... gotta take the rototiller I 'borrowed' back from my daughter back down... and pick up the remaining contents of my shooters safe bolted down in her garage... moved it down there two summers ago... when I THOUGHT we were pullin' out soon! Sheesh... it's takin' a while...
Anyway... I've decided to reduce those 'possessions' a mite more...actually, I want to trade 'em out for a fancy, whiz bang new Nikon if I can. I've got some plans for some picture gallerys... illustrations of other work and such that really need a better outfit than that lil' Kodak that's served me so well the last few years...
That Lil' Kodak has done, considering what it is... some pretty fine work I think... It and Heidi's old Fugi are the two that really sold me on digital cameras... I've been holding out for a 'fine' Nikon for a long time... every time I get close... chicken little comes along... and a piece of the sky whacks me in the head...
Whine.... Whine.... Whine! :-)
I have a Nikon, have had for a long time... but it's film... and I haven't run a roll of film in a bunch of years. I surrendered to digital... 100% a long time ago... best thing that ever happened to photography... except of course... for them folks lucky enough to take my picture ;-)
Sad thing... a Nikon that cost near on to a thousand dollars... now worth maybe 20 bucks... at least the lenses will operate on a new, digital body... too bad I got big eyes... don't want no lil' deal... my eyes go straight to the big, all the bells and whistles, stuff I don't understand and would never use, semi-pro rigs! :-)
So how's that for Simpify - Simplify - Simplify? ... fella needs to listen to his own gas once in a while, huh? :-) What can I say... I just really... really... admire, fine tools.
I guess... however much I can scrape together will be the determining factor on which rig I end up with... the only thing I know for sure is that it will be a Nikon... some things just don't change... I'll drive a Cummins... and my GOOD camera will be a Nikon!
Take Good Care Brian
Advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
April 12, 2008 06:47 - Is the Value of a Dream measured bv how hard it is to get?
If it is... my Dream must be pretty dang pricey :-)
Made the Denver run without incident... got the 'pieces' back here... and I'll call a fella interested in 'em today... let him know they're here... then... hide the dinero and not let nobody know I got it!
Weather looks to be movin' more to sun this week... maybe it'll get some 'activity' goin'...
I get up in the mornin' and fire up this machine, to get my own vicarious 'road fix'; to see what folks are seein' an' doin'... and dreamin' of when I'll be the one capturin' the pics of the wild places.
My wants are pretty simple. The Freedom to go where I want... when I want... with no-one to tell me... do this... do that... you owe me... get back to work... yadda yadda yadda. To just wander down a trail... with no pressure to get back and get 'something' done... to have the purpose of the day to be... ONLY... to go out... SEE... and capture... ONE... great... photograph.
To feel like a fella has the time to stop and watch a Beaver build on his dam for an hour or so... without that crawly feelin' under your skin that you're gettin' behind on your chores.
I do believe that life is meant to be a lot more than just bein' useful to some boss... or some group that drones on and on about bein' a productive citizen... It's my intention to put that bush wah back where it belongs... fertilizin' the garden!... and hopefully, be able to show a few people that it - IS - possible.
Be a good person? You bet! Be generous, and compassionate? Uh Huh! ... Be somebody's 'profit center'?... Not if I have anything to say about it...
But that is the trick ain't it? I mean... that's what we're all conditioned to do... from the time we start understanding words... grow up... get a good job... buy this... buy that... take on debt... pay the interest... and always strive to do it better today then you did yesterday! :-) (ie. pay more to more people)
Pretty slick con job ain't it? Now I ain't sayin' don't work... Outside of stealin' it... I don't know of any other way to get what we truly need... I sure couldn't build that Big Red truck my ownself... What I am sayin' is work smart... Keep a close watch on what kind of 'debts' you're takin' on...
If you're not careful... you'll find yourself with an anchor tied to your foot... unable to follow those dreams ticklin' your brain... Like ME! :-) ... I ain't bitter... just educated! ... And... I'll keep on working until I get this anchor off my foot... and then, that's one hard won lesson this Ol' buster will never forget..
If you're happy, where and how you are... That's great, you lucky bugger! If you're not... don't quit... but don't just go tiltin' at windmills neither. Think it out... Plan out your escape... no matter what it is... work out a couple different routes... just in case your first choice gets obstructed... but never... ever... quit!
AND... take notes! Once you succeed and find a way to that 'greener pasture'... whatever, and wherever it is... don't keep how you got there to yourself... share your story... help out the next fella tryin' to make his break.
Like those many years ago in the 'low crawl pit'... helpin' a friend along the way... gave us what we needed to keep on with our own 'travels'.
I know I keep harpin' on the same ol' sort of things... It keeps me keepin' on... helps me stay focuse on the 'brass ring'... gets me up the mountain... Thanks for listening.
Take Good Care Brian
"The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly." -Thoreau
April 13, 2008 06:43 - Didn't know that cleanin' Big Red would turn out to be a Treasure Hunt!
:-) We decided the truck needed a good flushing the other day... The accumulation of dog hair around the 'Dog Deck' was gettin' a mite obnoxious...
So... I pulled the boxes out... takes about two minutes... and emptied out all the other assorted junk that collects, in the process...
!!! Hey! So THAT'S where those good Nikon binocs have been for the past year! :-) ... I've torn the rig, the house, and our storage apart for a year or more... every time I got to wondering about... whatever happened to those binocs! They were sitting, safe and sound, in the pocket on the back of the drivers seat... which is down in front of and covered by my 'Dog Deck'...
Also 'found' the small, road size, first aid kit... in the compartment UNDER the deck ... good place for it don't you think?...
Guess I need to pull that Dog Deck out a little more often... so I can 'refresh' my memory regardin' where I stashed things I just might could need huh?... and just maybe... put SOME things in a mite more accessible places? DOH!
Yesterday, was clear up to almost 35 when I rode out and only got to maybe 45... today... it don't look like it will be much over 28 by the time me an' Slick rumble off... and it's supposed to be pushin' 70 'afore the day is done... I wonder if a short attention span is why folks go into bein' weathermen? girl? .... uhhhh.... persons?
I mean... if you need somethin' new all the time to hold your attention... the weather 'round here oughta do it... Sure keeps a fella from gettin' completely bored...
Another thing I do to combat the boredom I get from imposed stationaryitis... :-) is read a goodly bundle of blogs and forums, with ever'body chatterin' about where they're headed for in the next few weeks...
Dirty Dogs!... It's not polite to go on a braggin' about such doin's when other folks got their feet nailed to the ground and the only crow bar around is juuuuuust out of reach! :-)
With the weather finally lookin' like it's breakin' for the season, the grass starting to green up, and the trees startin' to pop spring leaves... I'm confident... and hopefull... that I'll be gettin' my hands on that crow bar right soon!
... and remember... Hard work pays off in the long run... laziness pays dividends... TODAY!
Take Good Care Brian
April 14, 2008 06:01 - You might want to get your feet wet!
In snoopin' around on the net... wanderin' through all the forums and blogs I seem to have noticed that a LOT of folks: Retire... buy their FIRST rig the next Monday, and leave on the great adventure Wednesday... having NEVER travelled or lived in an RV before...
Just seems to me that's an awful risky sort of a deal... I mean... it's fairly hard to get what a lot of folks might consider a full-time sized RV for less than a $100,000... If you're a cheapskate like me... counting truck and trailer you might get in for $75,000 on new equipment... but that's still about a dozen times what I ever made in a year ! :-)
The 'Middle ground' Motorhomes are I'd guess more in the $150,000+ range and go up rapidly from there.
So... then... what happens if you suddenly find out... three or six or twelve months in... "This really, ain't for me?" If you decide to dump it all and go back to the "Old" life... the hit you take on the almost unused rig is HUGE... often at a time in life when you really don't need to be takin' such whacks.
The point is... if you're thinkin' of RVin' or goin' full-time when you jump off that Ol' treadmill... I'd strongly urge you to get out there NOW. Rent a rig or two... maybe buy a smaller, more economical "weekender" sort of a rig and 'Get you feet wet'.
Test the waters and see if this life is really what you want to be doin'.
Truth is, I think a lot of people who dive off head first, with no experience, and end up crashing and burning, only crash because the change was too great, too fast. They didn't give themselves the time or space to adjust. If they'd done it a mite more gradual... they could have got in sync with things, had time to adjust, and been able to find out just how glorious it can be.
If you allow yourself the time to try different things... when there is really little pressure... you allow yourself the time to find the 'way' that works for you... If you've put yourself in the situation where you feel like ever'body who said: "You're Crazy" is watchin' you... the pressure is huge... and just that can ruin the whole deal... Instead of enjoyin' the trip... and the fun of learnin' new ways... you're thinkin': "Oh, geeze!... were they right?"
Not havin' your head where it needs to be, just feeds into the whole downward spiral and .....Crunch! you crash and burn... with no need.
So... rent a rig... borrow one... buy a nice used one... get out on long weekends and vacations... impose a slower way of traveling right from the get go... Take a breath and ... ENJOY! Give yourself the time to really see what is possible in what I think is the greatest way of living... RV Boondocking :-)
Take Good Care Brian
April 15, 2008 07:49 - Bob has done turned the RV Boondocking winds loose!
Was settin' here... tryin' to come up with an idea to trip my trigger to write a post... and.... nuthin'.... so I went snoopin' around lookin' for some inspiration... and Bob came to my rescue in the 'comments' box! Many Thanks!
So... now all I gotta do is go down his shoppin' list... :-)
The First one is fuel costs... seems to be tops on ever'body's list these days... and I know it's something we need to keep a watch on... but I don't see it as a deal breaker... it may just actually be one of those disguised 'blessings' you hear about...
Fact is... if you slow down... both in the total miles you road your outfit... and the speed you travel when you are on the road... that expense can be kept real manageable...
And making a 'light footprint' when you do travel... well... to toot my own horn here a little... I have written some articles that are posted on the Ezine articles website. If you go to my About us page... and scroll down to the bottom you'll see an Ezine articles link. I recently posted an article about the environmental efficiency of RV's that I think a lot of folks tend to not think about.
There is also another one I wrote about the 'Other' benefits of slowin' up... besides saving as much as 20% on fuel!
Diesel or gas? A diesel rig costs more up front to buy... but will outlive a gas rig (if you maintain it) by a minimum factor of around 2... at the same time... My diesel truck gets 11-12 mpg, and more, pulling the fiver... and 25mpg + just driving around... if I pay attention :-) as opposed to gas rigs V10's and such that are down around 5 or 6 mpg! though I occasionally talk to folks that claim higher...
Do the math and I contend that the diesel rigs run more economically... while pullin' a heck of a lot stronger... BUT... the final decision belongs to the fella ... or fellerette! that has to foot the bill... so do the research to satisfy your own noggin'.
I like smaller... and think the smallest you can be 'comfortable' in tends to put a wider smile on your face. If it was just me... I believe I'd probably have a Truck camper or a smaller Class C pullin' a motorcycle trailer... or even some sort of a wierd, converted truck with a bike garage! ... but with two of us... and two big dogs... and Bonnie, the demon feline... we'll most likely keep on with our 30' fiver for a while... Heidi ain't quite as 'austere' minded as I am :-)
Weekend excursions... you can get by sweetly with the smallest rigs... even a combination of 'camping' and RVing... actually a pretty fine way.... for longer... and full-time... MOST... but not.... ALL... people are going to want a liiiittle more space.... It's easy to overlook a ... little... inconcenience for two or three days or a mite longer... but for most folks... I think... any significant inconvenience is going to start wearing after a while and take a little too much shine off the adventure... so... in the end it's a judgement call... just be honest with yourself and you'll do just fine.
Solar power? I have it... at this point, I don't think I'd be without it... Sure it costs up front... but... when you're sittin' out in the bush... in some quiet, serene spot... takin' a nap under the awning... 'cuz you were up last night suckin' power out of the batteries... writin' until maybe one in the morning... it puts an indescribable smile on your face when the thought crosses your mind that... the juice is silently flowin' back into your battery bank... while you lay there snoozin'... listenin' to the breeze in the treetops... and not costin' you another dime! :-) ... and knowin' you don't have to go to town... ever... to get generator fuel... at $4.00 a gallon :-)
Bathroom? Yep... I'd have a rig with one... again... when we work at bein' conservative... we can stay out in the bush for two weeks... with out dealin' with our 'waste' tanks... if those are too small (porta pottie... etc.) it's gonna limit the length of time you can 'hide out' before you have to go find a place to dump.
New or used?... The current rig we have was bought NEW... just 'cause I prefer to violate my own counsel! :-) ... If a person takes care in evaluating the rig they're looking at... you can save an absolute fortune buying a lightly used RV.... why didin't I follow my own advice? DOH! .... guess I just wanted to demonstrate how many MORE THOUSANDS buying new would cost! :-)
Most times... a fella like me can't 'answer' the questions... mostly just, hopefully, point you in the right direction... the 'answers' really need to be decided on by that fella standing in YOUR shoes... I'm not absolutely sure mine will fit you! Just ask yourself all the questions... even going as far as the pro/con list on paper... be honest with yourself and you'll come up with the 'best fit' for your world...
and then... we'll see you down the road somewhere... RV Boondocking!.... Sweet!
Take Good Care Brian
April 16, 2008 08:11 - Finally Got St. Joe on the job!
No whining about the weather yesterday! It made it clean up into the 80's... Sweet! No more excuse than that needed to put me on Slick... runnin' around doin' chores.
Finally tracked down a St. Joseph... guess where?.... at St. Josephs! Imagine that! :-)
Walked in and a lady settin' at a little window just inside the door of the church office asked if she could help... I said I had kind of an odd little request... that I was lookin' for a small St. Joe statue... without battin' an eye she replied: "You're sellin' a house!" :-)
Then another gal, standin' behind her reached under a counter, pulled up a foot square box, sayin': "We buy these by the gross!" got a good laugh.
So... got home... placed St. Joseph in his spot... did the prayer part and now... it's back to waitin'... (and maybe an occasional few extra conversations with the boss! ) and hopin' my past 'few' wanderings off the 'straight and narrow' won't keep the boss from givin' us a leg up on this deal.
Grass is greenin' up in a rush now, what with the warm weather... wind has come up big... something about the wind always stirs my wanderlust...
'course... I don't know of anything, that don't stir my hunger for yondering... show me a picture of a bottle of bleach and I'll bet some picture of a place I've been... or a place I want to go will pop into my head... Like that little laundromat up in Seeley Lake, Montana... where we did our laundry!... or the Laundromat up in Dawson Creek.... where we WILL do our laundry some day! :-)
... you name it, and I've got a memory of a place thats stirred by just the mention of that lil' piece of 'whatever'... say 'haircut' and I think of one I got in Port Townsend... say steak... I think of the best one I ever had... an Elk steak at the 'Gun Barrel' in Jackson, Wyoming... say oil change... I think of one we had on my old '91 Ford High Boy up in Big Fork, Montana... say laser and I think of the Laser Light show we watched on the Grand Coulee Dam.
Say marshmallow... and it's smores in a hundred mountain camps... the word 'walk' and I see our morning walks on the beach at Cape Lookout on the Oregon coast... Pajama bottoms!... takes me back to Kalispell, Montana :-)... long boring story there... Old ones fell apart... had to run to Wally World from Glacier National Park for a new set!
Psychobabble fellas probably have a treatment for what ails me... but I figure... just buyin' diesel is a whole lot cheaper! :-)
So... guess I'll go buy some more of it... and hope for a heavy 'treatment' soon!
Take Good Care Brian
April 17, 2008 09:34 - Gas or Diesel?... Thought I'd start a Storm! :-)
Couple of folks have asked me the last couple of days about this little subject... And it bein' the ONLY one that's maybe more emotional and... Storm Startin'... then Religion and Politics... I'm riskin' my whiskers gettin' into it here :-)
Hmmm.... Now, remember, this is coming from a dyed in the wool, un-adulterated, double rectified, Genuine... Cummins Turbo Diesel FANATIC!
Putting it all into some sort of an honest :-) .... Me? .... :-) perspective....
If you figure the V10 is going to run at somewhere around 7 mpg loaded and 14 mpg empty (bobtail)... and... the Cummins is going to run 11.5 Loaded and 20+ bobtail (I routinely get 22+!)... the 'Other' diesels burn more diesel... sorry... but it's just the way it is :-)... and remember... I SLOW DOWN! 62+- on the Super Slab... and as much on the two lane as I can!
***The gasser numbers I collected/averaged from what posters on several forums were sayin' about their trucks. The diesel numbers are what I've been doin' with my own trucks for the past 200,000 miles give or take***
...and if we use $3.50 for gas and $4.25 for diesel cost... (as the prices rise... the ratio should stay about the same) and a monthly total of 500 miles loaded and 1000 miles bobtail... my cipherin' comes up with these figures...
The gas rig:
7 mpg loaded = 71+ gallons for 500 miles @ $3.50 = $250 14 mpg 'bobtail' = 71+ gallons for 1000 miles @ $3.50 = $250 for a total of $500
The Diesel rig:
11.5 mpg loaded = 43+ gallons for 500 miles @ $4.25 = $184 20 mpg 'Bobtail' = 50+ gallonsfor 1000 miles @ $4.25 = $212.50 for a total of $396.50
Bangin' the buttons on my whiz bang, 3 dollar, solar powered, Wal Mart, number cruncher... that comes to a monthly savings of $103.50
Now... calculatin' the diesel truck cost maybe $4000 or so more for the motor... but the gasser is gonna die somewhere around 200,000 miles ... if you work it like the diesel... and the diesel is gonna have the truck fall off around the motor, as the motor runs to and through 400,000 miles... (with a head job at around 450,000 before it runs another 300,000+!)...
So... if we calculate $30,000 for the gasser... and $34,000 for the Diesel... ( Big Red was bought for about $33,000 before I added the exhause brake... it 'listed' at $44,000+)
That gives a cost per mile... just for the truck purchase... of .15 cents for the gasser at 200,000 miles and .085 cents for the diesel at 400,000 miles... (this don't include tires, maintenance etc.)... and I suppose there would be some sort of 'residual' value... but not much! :-)
When you factor in the much higher resale value of the diesel... if you decide to 'trade up' at say 110,000 miles... can you see where I'm headed with this? :-)
And... none of this brings into consideration... the superior performance... PULLING... of the diesel...
SHHHHH.... I can hear you V10 fellers a squallin'! :-)
Here's the straight skinny... a 2007 Ford 6.8L V10 is rated at 300HP and 365 ft lb of Torque... My '06 Cummins is rated at 325HP and 600 ft lb of Torque....
HP don't pull Nuthin'... It's TORQUE that does the work... Torque that is gonna get you the fuel economy... If the opposite was true, them 18 wheelers would be runnin' V10 rigs... wouldn't they? :-)
Now... is the Gasser gonna beat me out of the hole... runnin' bobtail? You bet he is... THAT, is the HP talkin' ... and the fact that I weigh a couple thousand pounds more! Is he gonna 'Top End' me? Every, dang time... I run out of rpm at 3200... them gassers just keep on windin'.... but... at around 110 mph... is that something ya really wanna be doin' on the roads these days? :-)... 'course... bolt on a few thousand dollars of parts and bye bye!... go to the drag strip and see what those 1000hp Drag Strip Diesels are doin'! :-) ...
Heck... I saw one guy with a truck like that... Left L.A. with a 24 foot fifth wheel... That truck pulled so hard... the trailer was 36 feet long when he got to Maine! :-)
But here's the deal for me... If I'd wanted to drag race... I'd a bought one of them sexy, asphalt eatin' Corvettes! Unless you wanna talk DRAG racin'! ... Like Draggin' a 12,000 lb trailer around... then I'll take my 600 ft lbs of TORQUE ever' dang time, and I promise!... I'll have the coffee hot and waitin' for you guys burning gas... up at the top of the pass! :-)
In the end... as always... it's up to the feller... or fellerette who has to write the check...
This concludes todays sermon on the benefits of Diesel for RVin'... from one... HIGHLY PREDJUDICED (I Freely admit it!)
Take Good Care Brian
April 18, 2008 17:22 - A late post... of usual ramblin's
We got up early today... Heidi wanted to go to a Health Fair a Denver Television Station is sponsoring... sounded OK to me... a far cheaper way to get some early warning tests done than goin' to a reg'lar Doc...
I'd guess it's a good deal for RVing, Boondocking, Wanderers... if you pay attention to where they're goin' on...
Only problem for me is... you got to be willing to stand in a line... a long Ol' line! When I started grousin' as we pulled in the lot the boss lady just up an' said she'd go tomorrow!... and then muttered somethin' else about "knowin' it was a mistake to invite me to such a deal"... :-)
What did she expect? She's been 'round me for thirty years and more... and that dang line must have been a few hundred feet long... Too dang long for this puncher to wait on... 10 minutes or so... I can deal... but the time I figured it would take... just so somebody can drain some of the blood out that you been workin' reeeeel hard to keep inside just don't shine for me. :-)
What can I say... 'bout the last time I waited in a line like that... I ended up wearin' green clothes for a good long time and goin' places where they didn't much like me! I don't fly, I don't get on boats that go farther from shore than I can swim... and I swim 'bout like a bowling ball... and... I.... don't.... do... lines!
So... I just rolled right on through the parking lot and on to breakfast!... 12 hours of fasting... for Nuthin'! I suppose, if I was more concerned about 'early warnings' I'd try harder... I just can't get into this deal of worryin' about all the things that might kill me... I'm gonna end up fermentin' no matter what I do... so I'd just as soon worry about LIVIN' while I still can. :-)
She claimed I get 'cranky' 'bout things I got no control over... Hmmm... lines make me 'cranky'... I rolled right on out... leavin' the line behind... seemed like I had 'control' of that now don't it? :-)
Sold one of those 'pieces' today that I hauled back from Denver a few days ago... got the dinero squirrelled away where ain't nobody gonna ever know I got it... I suppose... sayin' such as that on here kinda lets the secret out... don't it?
Oh well... anyway... the piggy bank for my NEW RV Boondocking Illustratin' Camera is well started! :-)
Only other news is... I'm writin' this back in the Eagle... moved my 'office' back out of the house and into the fiver this morning. With the weather improving, it's a better place for me... and it keeps my messy self out of the house, so we can keep it shined up for 'showin'... It'll help me keep my head in the right place as well... what with my Butt bein' in what I consider the right/best place! :-)
Enough rattlin' for now...
Take Good Care Brian
April 21, 2008 18:35 - "I can't afford the fuel to go RV Boondocking anymore"
??? Am I missing something here?
This Ol' horse has been about beat to death... but I'm gonna give it a couple more whacks...
I've been hearing from and talking to quite a few folks lately. I keep hearing some say they have to stop traveling and go back to Sticks 'N Bricks full-time, because they can't afford the cost of fuel any more. Others keep on asking me: "How are you going to travel with the cost of fuel being what it is?"
I have to just look at 'em an' ask... "Huh?"
I mean... the current budget I have calculated for us has $467 for fuel... based on 1500 total miles per month... that's loaded and runnin' bobtail all together... and calculated on fuel costing $5 a gallon... I make sure there's some room for error and flexibility built in.
So... the part where I figure I must be missing something is this... You can't afford $467 a month for fuel... so you're gonna go back and pay $1000 or maybe $1500 for a mortgage... or even rent? How does that work? Your STILL gonna have to buy some of that pricey fuel... and now, that mortgage, again, on top of it.
If you stay every night in a National Forest Camp at $10... that's still just $767 a month... including fuel... and, again, you still have fuel to buy on top of that danged Ol' mortgage! So... how does givin' up your dream and goin' back to that Ol' slog work out better?
Now... if you've been wanderin' a while, and have decided that it just don't toot your whistle... why, that's something altogether different... and it would make perfect sense to shift gears and change things up... only makes sense to keep on huntin' what makes you grin.
But, People! Don't let the doom an' gloom clap trap on the boob tube ruin your dreams! Ignore that trash... Don't let THEM run your life. Take what you have an' make it work.... If you can only afford $350 a month for fuel... Travel $350 worth... and then stop until next month! Ration your miles out to take you on through the month...
Go... however far you can go.
Sure you can't just run 790 miles a day... but that's a wearysome way of goin' anyway... at least as I see it. Is it your goal to just pile up a lot of miles and wear out as many tires as you can? ... or is it to SEE a bit of this Ol' world?
I've said it before, and I'll keep on sayin' it... Slow Down! Take a breath! Where you goin' in such an all fired hurry? Instead of firin' the rig up today... leave it parked... take a LONG walk around the lake! Come back to your sweet little home on wheels in the late afternoon and get the boss lady to make noises with you that make the neighbors blush! :-)
Didn't cost you a nickles worth of diesel... or gas... and it's a devil of a lot more fun... ain't it?
Do... Not... Allow... the cost of some go juice to take away the things that help put the joy in your world!
When you bought your last house... what did you buy? That 14 bedroom mansion across town you couldn't afford? or the little 3 bedroom bungalow you could? It is the same thing here... leastways that's how it looks to me.... You can't afford to run 2000 miles a month on your budget? I figure for the most part, neither can I. I'm gonna run the 1500 miles I can afford... or less if it turns out that way.
And maybe... even less... if it turns out the boss lady really gets to enjoyin' embarrassing the neighbors! :-)
Stop and think on it some... there just ain't no reason that I can see for you to cash in your chips and let your dreams wither.
And remember... however 'bad' you might think the weather is... Without the rainy days... all the sunny ones are just average.
Take Good Care Brian
April 23, 2008 19:05 - One foot in front of the other... just do it....
Yeah right... you ever try puttin' one foot in front of the other when the inside of your head sounds like it's inside a steel barrel and some lousy dirt bag has been whangin' on it with a hammer for two days?
Them Docs is right... it IS all in my Head! :-)
So boo hoo for me... Did manage to finally crawl out and saddle up Slick this afternoon... felt kind of like you do right after you step out of your Elk Camp tent in the middle of the night 'cause you drank too much beer while everyone was settin' around tellin' lies and you desperately need to get rid of some of it...
... and just as you're startin' to feel some relief... there... not far enough away... walks by, a cousin of Yogi!... You survive the little 'incident'... but your knees feel like a pair of slinkys run wild!... that was me as I climbed on Slick to make a REQUIRED run to town...
Required, due to the fact that tomorrow, my bride crosses the fif-oh-my-god-I'm gettin'-old-ty line!... and I better by God, have something decent to celebrate the day or I might as well give up any visions of 'Peace in the Valley'... or any dang where else for that matter.
Been troubled with that choice for some time... finally, layin' there last night... 'enjoying' the melody Bangin' in my head... it finally occured to me...
She don't know it yet... but I got back here this afternoon with the gizmo and got it all properly prepared. The difficulty, as I saw it, is that we've been divesting goods and we really want to avoid gatherin' up more junk that just don't do anything for us and is gonna be a pain in the keister to haul along... when we FINALLY get ourselves cut loose...
But I do believe I did good this time... only took me near thirty years... but I got 'er done!
I got a fine example of one of them electronical, photo album, digital picture frame gizmos... this thing can even play music while the slide show cycles through... I figure, she'll be able to enjoy it whenever we set up in a FHU situation and any time we have the inverter crankin' to power my laptop... which will be pretty golly darn often! :-)
So.... whew!... down to the wire... but I do believe I dodged this 'difficulty' in fine style... I wonder though... is it appropriate that several hundred people know about it 'afore she does? :-)
These Digital Picture Frames are pretty cool... a great way to display your pictures from all your travels. Especially for folks that might use FHU sites more often and have beau coup power to turn 'em on. I've got Heidi's loaded with some pictures from our past travels, Keriann's Wedding, and a bunch of Lily, Jed, and Buck...
Pretty easy deal... you just take a computer card... they seem to accept most of 'em... I'm usin' an SD type card... plug it into your computer... send the pics you want to the card... plug the card into the digital picture frame and turn it on... and Wa La! Easy runnin' slide show!... now... all I got to do is figger out how to put the music on it...
I'm plannin' on really bein' well rewarded for bein' such a thoughtful and dotin' husband! :-)
I better get back inside... so supper don't burn up before she gets home.
Take Good Care Brian
April 25, 2008 08:53 - Wind, Bikes, Roads and Rented Cars...
The wind is crankin', the temp can't seem to get much above 40... and Heidi is expectin' me at her Agility Trial in Greeley in an hour or so... good thing I have a high pain threshold! :-) ... and like ridin' that scooter... good weather or not!
It might look a little tough to 'normal' folks... but I actually feel pretty good all armored up in insulated coveralls, insulated vest, leather jacket, heavy gloves... all over a sweater and long underwear, then topped off with a hood and wild rag around my neck... under my helmet...
Keeps me in pretty good shape... for twenty miles or so at 60 mph... then it's time to climb off and catch a cup of coffee while my hands and feet thaw out for the next 'leg' :-) ... summer can't come to soon!
We're both weary of the 'drag' around here ... so we're takin' a little road trip next week... gonna run on down to the Duke City... (Albuquerque) for three or four days... the Boss Lady needs to select some semi-precious stone for her store... and we both need some road time... she has a favorite 'source' she buys from down there... so it's a good excuse to let the store give us a few days 'off'...
Too long a run... in too short a time to run the rig down... so we'll just make it a road trip... she even wants to rent a car for the deal! and leave Big Red Parked... no matter to me... the store is footin' the bill... and anything that scratches the wanderin' itch suits me just fine! Windshield time... is windshield time!
Zippin' along in a car should let us make some twists and turns along the way without makin' the fuel bill look like the national debt... she wants to investigate something she calls the 'Turquoise Trail' or some such... supposed to be on the East side of the mountains that stand over Albuquerque...
We drifted through there, I believe, nigh on to twenty years ago... been PAST, down I-25, a dozen times or more since then... so a refreshing of old memories shouldn't be too awful harmful... and like I said... any road time, at this point... is GOOD TIME!
Keepin' the Hitch Itchin under control is a good thing, for now, as long as we're under this 'enforced' situation... that way, it don't drive me into doin' something really dumb... that I'd be regrettin' on down the road... Don't know that it makes this waitin' any more pleasant... but it does help keep it within the kingdom of tolerability.
Guess if I'm to make that ride I better get to armorin' up... takes me near on to 15 minutes to get dressed...
Take Good Care Brian
April 26, 2008 22:23 - Chilly yesterday... Snowin' today!
Rolled out this morning... thinkin' it would be a cool ride but nothing real athletic... kept on thinkin' that... right up to the point it started snowin'... Hmmm... I remember thinkin'... "This could work out reeeeal poorly... if this snow don't quit."
Snow, drivin' a truck or a car is no big deal... straddlin' a bike can be somethin' else altogether! :-) ... I must be something of a showoff... just makes me giggle when I see the looks I get from drivers as they pass... it's either a "Geez... he must be cold" sort of a look or maybe more likely: " Hey Martha! Look at this dumb son of a buck on a motorcycle in the snow!" :-)
Anyway... I can see their heads srcrewin' around in their mirrors, lookin' as I roll on by... gigglin'... folks where I'm still workin', often say they think my problem is really just some screws that need tightening... I tell 'em: "Problem? What problem?" ... Heck... one feller asked me this morning if I had snow tires on the bike!... I said heck no.... I use chains!
But the snow just didn't amount to much... and just made for a day I can brag 'I' rode... when them other, 'sissy' riders kept their bikes covered, me an' Slick were out Splittin' the wind! :-) ... and I didn't fall down or nuthin'!
Heidi and buck had a fine time celebratin' her half century status... bringin' home several ribbons, another title and I think their first 100% 'Q' day... (every run a 'qualifying' run) ... they're lookin' forward to competin' across the country once we get to rollin'...
Their warning tonight is supposed to be a chilly one... back down into the mid twenties... so tomorrows ride looks to be a bit brisker than this morning... though I expect no snow this time!
Sure hope this weather will break once and for all so I can get those flowers we started in the ground... They might not be as good as they could be if they'd been in a real greenhouse... but they'll help to shine the place up... and every little bit is a help...
Lookin' to be a good month around here... with a bit of luck my visitors are gonna bust through 7,000 in one month! It was only last month that my 'guest list' climbed over 6000 for the first time. Wow! I can't wait to see what'll happen once I get cut loose and can tell the stories about new places... and new people... not just all this waitin' ordeal. I can't understand how it can become a greater pleasure... but day after day it does just keep on gettin' better.
Many, Many, Thanks!
Take Good Care Brian
April 28, 2008 17:10 - Looks like we timed the weather right for a short road trip...
We're pullin' out in the morning for parts south... Headin' down Sante Fe / Albuquerque way... I let Heidi check out the rental car deal herself, without me sayin' much either way... didn't take her too awful long to figure out that it just made no sense... :-) ... the amazing thing is I may have finally learned to just keep my yap shut... and let the 'math' do my arguin' for me! :-)
So... Big Red is gonna do the haulin'... the weather has broke off sunny an' gorgeous... perfect for a run across the high plains. Still a mite windy... but that Cummins... runnin' bobtail don't give a hoot if it's windy or calm... it just humms right along.
I'm lookin' forward to a few days of easy rollin'... with only maybe one day of 'business' to muddy it up... ain't it just plumb awful that a purty pair like us has still got to work for a livin'? :-) ...
Considerin' how there are so many grubbers back there 'inside the beltway'... that get a whole lot for not much... you'd think that somebody as Decorative as me woulda been born with a trust fund or somethin'. :-) Oh well... least I was smart enough to marry a woman that supports me in the style of which I'm worthy! :-)
Though... sometimes... I get to thinkin' she just married me so she'd have a driver... so she can read or knit or whatever... hard thing for a fella to complain much though... considerin' how much he likes goin' down the road!
So... anyhow... sometime tomorrow... I'll be postin' from the road... and spendin' a a fairly rare, for me, couple of motel nights... and cafe days!... nuthin' like a cup of greasy spoon cafe coffee to put a smile on a gypsy cowboys face :-)
What can I say... I'm a cheap date... or did she say cheap'skate'? ...
Till the next time... Happy Trails!
Take Good Care Brian
April 29, 2008 21:23 - RVing in New Mexico... with Half the Rig!
:-) ... Big Red has brought us to Santa Fe... Long day today... as always on a short trip when there just ain't enough time... but tomorrow... should be a fun day... we'll be dawdlin' along the Turquoise Trail... basically going down the east side of the Sandia Mountains...
Although the weather was fine today... it was pretty hazy... just not up to my photographic standards! :-) ... hoping for picture makin' weather tomorrow. :-)
One thing I was curious to see was how many RV rigs we'd see on the road... I was kind of thinkin' that the number of RVing Travelers would be some reduced... what with everybody seeming to be stayin' in a storm over the price of fuel...
I was awful happy to see that... when it's all settled and done... it just don't look like too many... if ANY... are lettin' their lives get derailed by the turmoil... all I saw was motorhome, after fifth-wheel, after class c... after double hauling fiver... after travel trailer!... followed by another dozen motorhomes rollin' down the other side of the big road... it was like watchin' a pretty good imitation of a parade!
I swear, there must have been two rigs every mile... maybe more!... and they were all headed north... Sweet!
We on the other hand... were rollin' south at better than 21 mpg... so I was happy on both counts...
Like George... we're 'boondocking at the La Quinta! :-) ... I gotta tell you... it's OK... but you know what? I think I'll keep the Eagle!
We did find a nice little eatery this evening... If you're goin' through or by Santa Fe and like Mexican food... there's a place on Airport Road called Puerto Penasco Restaurant... The twist I guess with this one is it leans pretty heavy toward seafood.
Mexican Seafood? Don't know that I'd ever heard that one before... but I guess it makes sense... since that Puerto Penasco place is on the ocean :-) anyhow... I had a red snapper filet that set me up right... like always... eat at your own risk... some folks say my 'taste' just ain't up to other folks standards :-) ... but I thought it was good! Heidi, not being a seafood lover... had some sort of a Chicken Taco... she's a lot pickier than I am and had no trouble consumin' ever' lil' bit... so that makes it some safer for you :-)
I'm for bed...! Lots of Yonderin' on the board for towmorrow.