May 1, 2008 06:29 - DOH! On the Turquoise Trail!
You know how there's always... one darn thing that gets forgot... when you take off on a road trip? It only took me two days to figure out what that 'thing' was... only it was two...
When I got Heidi that digital picture frame last week... I used the card out of my lil' Kodak camera to get some pictures loaded on it ASAP... I still had a big 2gb card she'd given me for christmas that I'd never put to work... and still haven't... left it sittin' on my desk... back in the Eagle! DOH!
Number two? ... Even though the Kodak can only take maybe 12 pics with internal memory... we still have Heidi's Fugi... only... The reader gizmo I need to get the pictures off it's card... is sittin' right beside that dang card for the Kodak! Double DOH!
So... I'm awful limited in the number of pics I can post just now... didn't figure it out yesterday until I'd filled the internal memory up... oops...
I did that at our first stop... which was to eat... Found another great spot! Seems like all I do is go from one feed lot to the next... you'd think I'd weigh 400 lbs... instead of 155 with a bucket of rocks in my hand!
If you run east from Santa Fe headin' for New Mexico hwy 14 and the Turquoise trail you'll pass the State Pennitentiary... not long after you cross I-25. If you stay reeeeaaal quiet... they'll leave you alone. :-)
Keep watchin' and you'll see a Lil' 'cafe open' sign on the right side if you're rollin' south. Now... this pic was from the other direction... but it was the only one where there was a spot to pull over to catch it... so quit chuckin' rocks!
Now... when you see that Lil' sign... and you're hungry for Breakfast or Lunch (They quit servin' at 2p.m.) pull in. I know it don't look like much... but trust me... the cinamon rolls alone is gonna make it worth the stop for you.
The San Marcos Cafe and Feed Store!
We almost rolled by... actually, we did. It really is the kind of place most of us wouldn't stop... and that would be a big mistake. We all get in the bad habit of doin' the same thing over an' over... and then the 'Same Thing' is what we get!
But... something said... "not this time ya crooked lil' runt... turn around!" ... so that's what I did... swung that Big Red truck on a buck and a half.... I'm too dang old to spin 'er on a dime any more...
Inside, it's clean, quiet, and has a personality that's hard to pin down... bottom line... it's the kind of place where you tend to eat your food slower... 'cause you feel so relaxed... you really don't want to get up an' go. It's not because it's fancy... not by any stretch... but it's comfortable... between your ears comfortable... not just under your beehind.
and like I said... the Cinnamon rolls kept Heidi talkin' about 'em all day... and the French Toast, made from Home made bread that I had... smothered in Raspberry preserves, was awful fine too.
The San Marcos Cafe also has a ranch land weather station out front...
... all you got to do is look at the big rock hangin' in that metal frame on the right... if that stone is warm and bright... the sun is shinin'... if it's rockin' back and forth on it's hangin' wire... it's windy... and if it's wet... it's rainin'!
right about... now... is where I discovered the missing card in the camera... when it wouldn't take any more pics... was to be hours before I realized I didn't have the reader gizmo for the other camera...
This one of one of the Pea Cocks that was singin' while we was feedin'... I think... was the last picture the camera would take...
Not the best picture... but if you look behind the Steel Coyotes... you can see one of the Pea Cocks that serenaded our Breakfast... all sorts of critters in New Mexico!
And so... with my Kodak filled up the story about Cerillos, Madrid.. (The Home of the Wild Hogs!) and Tinker Town are gonna have to wait a couple days... so I can put the proper pics with 'em...
Found out what all that 'haze' was about... you probably already know there's a big fire burning near Albuquerque... I didn't... and I guess there's been another over to the Grand Canyon area... guess I better pay more attention this summer huh? 'less of course I want to be the guest of honor at a BBQ...
Now that there would be a stringy meal...
Well... we're off to make our fortune... all $7 of it! :-)
Take Good Care
May 3, 2008 05:54 - Different day... More of the Same Ol' Stuff...
Arrived home yesterday afternoon... fighting the wind along with ever'body else... whenever some genius figures out how to harness the wind through some sort of a turbine... to run a car... he's gonna be the richest man in history... and the most disliked by the oil pumpers!
Had his gizmo been on the road yesterday... he could have powered a bus... even if it didn't work very well!
Got home and as always... you start thinking about whether the place is holding up in the blast... and it was... mostly... all the roofs were still there... the lil' trees were still livin'... but we did lose a couple siding boards! arrrrgggh!
So Tuesday... as soon as I finish this weeks tour of duty at the Farm Store... I get to do siding repair...
Another poke to motivate me some more, to get this place belongin' to someone else I guess :-) ... wish I knew how to make that happnen... and then you'd hear me writin' about something else altogether :-) ... like the super camp we found... the fuel we ... haven't burned... 'cause we ain't left camp in three days... 'cause there are too many trails to hike... right out of camp! and all the other things I can Imagine...
yadda, yadda, yadda... but... that's still just a dream... bein' fought into reality but a dream...
A reality that is here, now, is that Big Red is a lil' lame. He's developed a fairly heavy, low frequency vibration, that's throbbin' through the shift lever, pretty much only at road speed. Thursday morning, while we were in Albuquerque, and Heidi was doin' her stone buyin'... I ran the truck by Discount tire and they rotated and rebalanced the tires...
I was hopin' that would cure the problem... as that is what it feels like... that throbbin' you get from an out of balance wheel...
But... didn't change a thing... I had to keep my hand on the shift knob to keep the wobblin' gear shift from makin' noise as we rolled along... so... Wednessday... He's got to go to the truck doctor to get diagnosed... first time in his relatively short life... if you discount when we had him towed... because... we found out... a key went bad! :-)
Hopin' it's not toooo ugly... but I'm expectin' something faulty in either the transmission... or the driveshaft... that Cummins will... on occasion... bend stuff if you Honk on it a mite to hard... with a mite too much traction... I don't remember doin' that any time in recent history... but then... there's a lot I don't remember these days :-)
25 degrees here right now... for all you lucky, southern, vagabonds and others just lucky enough to be... where it ain't 25 degrees :-) ... it's gonna be a cool ride this morning... so I better go get fortified for the run...
I'll get a few of those pics from the Turquoise trail pulled off Heidi's camera in the next day or so... in between sellin' nuts an' bolts... and... siding chores :-) ... yuck... never had the siding blow off a rig ... did almost lose an awning one time... and a wheel... and did have a small fire... but that was different... I was RVin' ... RIGHT? :-)
It's ALWAYS better when you're RVin' right? ... yeah right... OK... just let me look at it all through my rose colored glasses OK? ... It gets me up the mountain! :-)
Take Good Care
May 4, 2008 21:33 - I'm Takin' my own RV Boondocking Dream, 'Refresher Course'
I'm at another of those low points that requires me to fire up my 'philosophizer' to keep myself from wanderin' off the trail... and gettin' lost, wallowing in that: " Poor, poor, me!" baloney. Every once in a while, I have to stop... refresh... and re-focus...
It's hard to believe it, but we've now been stuggling along, tryin' to get cut free from the 'Old Ways' ... and go RV Boondocking, full-time, for two years now! ARRRGHH! I never, ever, thought it would take so long... or be so difficult...
But... what's the option? Only other thing we could do would be to give up the RV Boondocking, Full-Time Dream... and just go on 'living' that old 'life'... but... that ain't my idea of LIVING!
and YUCK!... Quitin' is NOT gonna happen. I'll keep on keepin' on until I either get loose... and finally... own my own life... of they might as well whack me in the head with a shovel, put me in a box, and throw dirt in my face! :-)
I'm thinking... that this right here... what Heidi and I are struggling through, is the most difficult part for everyone following a similar trail. It's hard enough to sell off all your possessions, and feel at times like you're turning your back on everything that was, without it being this brain bruising ordeal to get divested of your real estate!
... not to mention the flack you get from folks around you... who disagree with your ambitions...
I sure envy the folks that manage to just get it done with minimal difficulty, and get out a wandering quick. Lucky buggers they are for sure... The only thing that keeps me goin' is how much MORE I'm gonna appreciate my luck when WE finally get cut loose! :-)
And that is the trick here... to find... SOMETHING... that keeps you focused on the BRASS RING! The Brass ring being the FREEDOM of RVing, RV Boondocking, RV Full-timing, wandering, yondering... or whatever you call it in your own RV.
Find a way to keep up a steady pressure toward the goal... some way to sustain the effort.
I'm always looking for inspiration as we make our short circles... while we wait for our inevitable FREEDOM... The pics in this post are signs I saw at Tinker Town, on the Turquoise Trail in New Mexico this past week... I'm printing them off... and posting them in conspicuous places around the house and rig... to be little reminders, of what I'm working for...
We'll only fail, should we quit and give up... It's my belief, that the value of our goals is verified, by the energy the 'system' invests trying to turn me back into the 'fold' of obedient servants. Maybe... it's investing so much in tryin' to stop me... because I'm not just steppin' off it's treadmill... but... I'm tellin' as many folks as I can about it! :-)
Maybe... if I just kept my mouth shut and walked away... it would let me go!...
Well... that ain't gonna happen... It's my intention to show as many people as I can, that there is a better way to spend your time, as you wander through this Ol' world. I don't believe, as some do, that it's a 'Vale of tears'... or at least, it don't need to be.
And remember... this is comin' from a fella who's spent way too much time figurin' his glass was half full... half full of crap! :-) so I do claim to know what I'm talkin' about when I say that: "Boo Hoo... Poor Poor Me!" is just that... a bunch of whiny, self pityin' crap!
I'm not sayin' it's an easy road... I'm a walkin' talkin' testimony that it can be a tough trip... but I DO BELIEVE... that IF you JUST DON"T GIVE UP... and keep on workin' at building those 'Foundations under your Castles in the Sky'... you can keep 'em floatin' up there and you'll have your Shinin' Times.
If it seems to get too hard at times... stop pushin' for a few minutes... close your eyes... and literally, visualize, inside your head... those times when you were doing... exactly what you're trying so hard to get back to... wrap your head and your heart around that... get a fresh, tight grip on that dream... and step off again... at the same old slow, sustainable, pace...
and then... someday... once we BOTH break out... we'll see you down the trail... RV BOONDOCKING!
Take Good Care
May 6, 2008 06:36 - Sticks and Bricks Repair Day
Last Friday... as we were rollin' back north from our short lil' circle to New Mexico... the wind was up here at the house... rippin' siding boards off the wall. So, today... I'll be gruntin' an' cussin'... tryin' to get them stuck back in where they're supposed to be...
Then I have to execute some weeds... and finally plant those flowers I started, seems like ages ago... I... THINK... we're past freezin'... but I'm sure I'll get the blame should it freeze hard... after I stick those frilly fancies in the ground. :-)
Gotta keep to the grindstone... and keep this place lookin' good, so's that somebody just falls in love with it when they pull in!... I'm sure... someday... they'll start pullin' in!
Tomorrow... I'm hopin' to get the truck to the shop to start the work to find out where that vibration is coming from... I'm hopin' there, for something as simple as a faulty universal joint... easy and cheap... far better than a faulty tranny or drive shaft... :-)
and sometime today... I have to get to the post office and ship a few books that got ordered over the weekend! :-) I always feel like a genuine, big shot when I ship a book. :-) ... Yep... right up there with that J.K. Rowling woman...
Though, I'll bet she ain't up on a ladder fixin' siding ... and I'll bet I don't ever have tea with the Queen! :-) ... or need a team of accountants to balance my savings account passbook like she does :-)
I've been researching a heavy modification to my motorcycle carrier on the fifth wheel... What I have has worked... it's just a hassle, I've decided, to require two people to load or unload. I've located a good looking winch/hoist that they have rated for 900 lbs... Slick is a lot skinnier than that... though the motorcycle I want to 'move up' to is about another 100 lbs. ... but still a long way from 900!
But still that... requires replacing the axles/wheels on the Eagle... (which I want to do anyway) along with a frame bracing modification that is part of the 'overall' plan... 'cause right now... we're pretty much pushin' the envelope for cargo capacity... It's either beef up what we have... or trade out for another rig...
I can beef up a lot cheaper than I can 'trade out'... and since I'm so cheap/tight you can hear me squeak when I walk... I'm a lot more likely to do the beefin' than the tradin'... and it tickles my Tinkerin' genes
Besides, I gotta save my shekels for that fine Nikon I want, to document all the wanderings we're gonna be RVing through!
So whudaya think? Do I need to watch out for myself? Am I dancin' on the 'slippery slope'? Is always tinkerin' with, and modifyin' what ya have, 'materialistic'? Or, is workin' to improve what you have, tryin' to make it work better and serve you better... a 'frugal' way of goin'?...
I'm sort of curious... cuz to be honest... I don't ever seem to be satisfied with the way things are... inspite of believin' that simplicity is THE way to go! I just can't leave things as they are :-)
Seems like I can... always... see, how... if I just tweak this a mite... and twist on that... and then cut that in half to put this new part right in here... I can make the Ol' double cylinder, self regulated, recircualting, whizbanger work so much smoother! :-)
Rube Goldberg... is a fella I truly understand! as well as Mr. Ward... (the guy who built Tinker Town down in New Mexico)... must be a gene or something, don't you think?... that makes me always want to be 'tinkering' with things?...
I just wish I didn't always have 'extra' parts left in the box when I put something back together!... :-)
Well... I better get after that siding... before the wind starts pushin' things around again... Hmmm... If only it would push me and mine... right on up to Alaska! :-) ... make me happy... and save on diesle too!
Take Good Care
May 7, 2008 21:37 - Got some good news about that fifth wheel toter truck... and some bad news...
"Well what is it?"
"Well, the good news is... we can't find anything wrong with that good Dodge truck!"
"So... What's the Bad news?"
"Well... we can't find anything wrong with that good Dodge truck!" :-)
Leave it to me to have THAT be bad news! :-)
Here's the deal... runnin' down the road the gear shift stick is bangin' around like the clapper in a church bell! Now, I may be a bit of a hypochondriac ( I got no idea atall if that's spelled anything like it was invented!)... when it comes to machinery any more... but one thing I do know... pessimistic as I may get or not... that ain't right!
I've run something pushin' toward a million miles on pickups... and I know for sure and for certain... a transmission stick should not be imitatin' church bells!
But... they can't find a part to replace... they pulled driveshafts... and looked at universals... and differentials... they crawled all over and under that truck and can't point at anything and say... "Lookie there! THAT'S whats busted!"
So... Tomorrow morning just after sunrise... I've got another appointed visit with the tire shop where the new tires were mounted in January... They were bought at Discount tire in Fort Collins... and rotated and rebalanced at Discount tire in Albuquerque, a week ago... it seemed sorta like it may have gotten even a mite worse after the rebalancing of the rubber.
At this point... we're (spell that ME) hopin' that they can find an out of round tire that the kids in the Duke city missed when they were doin' the balancing... that would explain the heavy vibration at road speed... and no bad mechanical parts to be found...
If they fail to find the problem... with me lookin' over their shoulders :-) ... I guess I'll just have to push that Cummins down the road until 'something' rattles so hard it falls off so we can tell what was bad! :-)
In the meantime... we've finally got into some nice spring weather... a good rainstorm yesterday... and a genuine thunder buster today... even knocked the power off for a minute.
I think my daughter may have my sappy ways... she called this evening, cause she said she was brought to tears by how beautiful the storm was when she topped the ridge, driving up out of the little town of Bellvue... just west of Fort Collins. The sun broke out just as she hit the top of the hill... and the light, sparklin' through the rain... and shinin' on the grass had everything all crisp and green... with a double rainbow to boot. One of 'em so brite she said you couldn't hardly look at it. She just had to share it with someone... guess she figured her sappy ol' Dad would appreciate it. :-)
That's one thing I truly do love... a summer thunder storm... something about the lightning flashin'... with the thunder rollin' across the mountains... the air, fresh scented and crisp... makes me feel whole. Ever'body else is runnin' for cover... and I'm standin' out lookin', grinnin'... and thinkin'... By God! It's days like this that make it all worth the effort! :-)
The kid sounded like me too... she pulled over on the top of Bingham Hill... lightning flashin' all around... so she could jump out and get some pictures! :-) ... Me? I squat out on a big boulder... on the edge of the cliffs of the Mogollon Rim... under my hat an' slicker... with a cup of coffee... raindrops the size of housecats thumpin' the ground... watchin' an Arizona Thunderstorm, come a crashin' across the Tonto Basin... gigglin' an' grinnin'. :-)
Like Father... Like Daughter! :-)
You know... it's a fine ride if you let it be.
Take Good Care
May 9, 2008 08:32 - Tires in the Morning... to Search and Rescue in the Evening!
Started the day, first thing, at the Tire Shop... and the day started off pretty good... They found that the Tire Shop in Albuquerque had screwed up the tire balance there last week... the tires were bad out of balance... one to the tune of 5 oz. ... which in tire talk is quite a lot of lead!
Ran pretty smooth on the way home so I figured... problem solved.
So... I spent most of the rest of the day 'Farming'... :-) ... gettin' them flowers I started so long ago in the ground... another couple weeks... once they get to goin' strong and the place should look pretty fine again.
Had to duck and run a couple times from thunder storms... and covered the 'sets' once when it started to hail... !!! ... but that turned out to be just Momma Nature pokin' fun ... thankfully :-)
But... then... late in the day... Heidi called... our Daughter had just called... pretty much in tears... Gus... the son of our Australian Shepherds, Lily and Buck had busted through their board fence and had gone MIA... apparently... they think... he got spooked by a neighbors backfiring lawnmower... he's a touchy 'tough guy'.
You got to understand... in our family... Heidi, Keriann, Me and now Josh... the dogs and some horses around us are pretty much equal to some people and higher rank than most :-) ... so when one of 'em is lost... or goes missin' it puts a twist in our get-a-long.
Well, I jumped in Big Red and put him in gear, headed south for the big city of North Glen... Got there about an hour 'afore dark... figurin' it was a futile thing... what with bein' right smack in the middle of 10,000 cars and roads and people... I was not real hopeful...
Josh and Keriann had already been to the Humane Society... but the other animal control outfits were already gone for the day... so we wouldn't be able to check on them until the morning... all we could do was circle and circle and circle... hopin' we'd turn down the right street... at just the right moment... and NOT find him layin' on the road somewhere...
My hope was sinkin' fast... when Josh and I made one more circle... about a mile and a half or two... south of their neighborhood... nothing... it was getting dark so we headed back to the house... pretty much giving up for the night... as we couldn't see, anything in the dark... I even commented to Josh that: "He's gonna have to run right in front of the truck, to spot him now."
Then... seconds later... we were crossing back over 112th... just a few hundred yards south of the house... just after dark... and I glanced up a big, deep drainage ditch that runs along the north side of that busy road... as we rolled through....
I caught a bit of 'color' on the side of the ditch... 150 yards or so away... as we passed... so I stop and back up... and there... sitting... lookin' our direction... ??? ... yep! I can just barely make it out... it's him!... so Josh jumps out and calls to him, but he's nervous as a parakeet in a cat house... and to be honest... Josh probably called a mite to 'hard' and he takes off west, away from us... ARRRGGGH!
I figured... he's real spooked... and also probably figured he was in trouble to boot... and he just POOF! ... vanished! and it's now as dark as the inside of a trash can with your eyes closed...
But... now we have a solid 'location' on the migrant... and he was actually goin' in the direction of the house when last seen... so I continue circling... while Josh and Keriann go to hoofin' it with their other dog... figurin' maybe she'd be easier for him to recognize with him 'spooked' in the dark...
Took about another hour... with me circlin' in the truck and them on foot... but he finally come a runnin' out from a patch of bushes, maybe a 150 yards from where we had last seen him...
Whew! That was a close one! and we almost quit... If I hadn't run down to Denver... and glanced the right direction... at just the right moment... and most of all... trusted my instinct that that little flash of 'color' was something... we'd have quit lookin' ... and then who knows what would have been the story....
Every once in a while... my 'Cowboy' training still pays off! :-) ... you hardly never see the whole critter you're lookin' for... usually just a swish of a tail from behind a tree... or a twitch of an ear through the brush... or maybe... just a patch of hide... or 'color'...
It's kind of like a living jigsaw puzzle... you can't look for the whole thing... just little bits an' pieces... and teach your brain to 'see' what your eyes are showin' ya! :-)
Yes Sir! A good day in the end.
What's the moral?... and this fits into Traveling With Pets pretty well
1. Make SURE your pups tags are current!
2. Discipline training ... and a calmness on YOUR part!... sometimes prevents the 'incident' in the first place...
3. RFID chip your pups!... that way... even if they get seperated from their collars... if they get 'picked up' the animal control folks can ID them... even if you're 1000's of miles from home.
4. and... don't 'give up' too quick :-) ... another couple minutes... lookin' where you already looked five times... just might do the trick!
Oh yeah... and just because your tires were balanced... don't mean your tires were balanced :-)
All's well that ends well... but... whew.... I was sure happy it didn't go the 'other' way for the kid... her critters are as close to her as mine are... :-)
Take Good Care
May 10, 2008 06:21 - Did you see 20/20 last night? The latest in the Tire Scams...
I wonder if those big corporations are ever gonna quit tryin' to cheat on things? Now they're playin' games with our tires... again.
You and I both know that you need to change the tires out, on your rig, every five years or so... even if they are in good shape, with good tread. They get 'old'... lose their elasticity an' come apart without warning... so we do that...
I just did that on our fifth wheel last year... had real good tread left... but the tires were six years old... so they were replaced... I really hate changin' tires on the side of the road with Ricky Racer seein' if he can blow me into the ditch with his backwash! :-) ... so I avoid it at every chance...
On my truck... they don't have the chance to get old... :-) ... I tend to put too many miles on it for that to happen... but I didn't know that the buggers might could be sellin' me tires that were Old before they were even on the rig!
Now, it turns out... the tire companies have been fudgin' some... That Brian Ross fella was finding tires, sitting on the dealers shelves that were as old as 14 years old! It don't matter, not one little bit, that they were never on the ground... tires actually wear out... sitting on a shelf!
Something in the rubber 'dries out' and the buggers become a ticking time bomb... ready to come apart at any time... only... you can't hear the ticking!
There is a 'code' number on your tires... it's the last bit of numbers at the end of a long string of numbers and letters... 'conveniently'... on most tires I believe... placed on the inside of the tire... so you need to crawl under the rig to see it...
The number might be 439... that means built in the 43rd week of 1999! or it could be 2802 which would be the 28th week of 2002....
I'd suggest, if you can't find that number yourself... find someone who knows what it looks like, to show you... and then... knowin' what it looks like... and where to find it... when you're buying 'new' tires... make them show you the tires... before they mount 'em... so you can verify that they are for sure and for certain... New!
I'd pass this lil' tip on to as many of your friends as you can... If we watch out for each other... and keep each other well informed... we can keep each other hale an' hearty... in spite of those corporate parasites!... and they can keep those 'lousy' tires on the shelf... gettin' even older!
I'm off to the ranch store to sell nuts and bolts... and Heidi is off to another Agility trial with the pups... it ain't fair! I ain't complainin'... and I wouldn't complain... if Ol' Saint Joseph... restin' out there in my garden... kicked it in gear a mite... fact is I'd haul his trash in gratitude!
Take Good Care
May 13, 2008 09:26 - Once again... the hurrieder I go... the behinder I get!... and all I want is the Simple Dream of RV Boondocking!
I'm not quite sure, where I'm at... or... what I'm doin' sometimes!
This interminable ... (that is a word... right?) waiting lets my brain wander too much... (as small as it is... it's easy for it to get lost) and gets me tied into knots that would challenge a whole conversion bus load of cub scouts to un-ravel.
The past couple weeks I've felt like I'm on a steep slope an' that sucker is iced up solid.... the RV wheels are spinnin' like turbins... but there don't seem to be much progress.
I've got a flood of email to sort through... that just keeps gettin' deeper all the time... I try to respond to all... but that job is gettin' more difficult all the time! Gonna have to give that some thought... or just get a little less 'windy' in my replies... so it don't take so long! :-)
Been tryin' to keep the flowers I planted alive... in spite of the weather around here... snow storms threatening in May? ... sure makes me believe Ol' Al Gore a bit more... you bet... Global Warming? I could use a bit of it around here!
and the wind!... The 'breeze' keeps tryin' to pull the siding off the house and shop!... while I'm worryin' about the roofs... the consarned wind sets siding boards to rattlin'....! :-) .... I keep tellin' the 'Boss' ... that I don't require any more motivation to go RV Boondocking... for sure and for certain! So... If that siding, and the flowers... and the grass... and the weeds... and the painting... and the yadda, yadda, yadda... can see their way to give me a mite of a break.... I won't complain! :-)
My RV Boondocking Dream is kind of like that story... I think maybe Mark Twain told (I'm not sure) about the seaman who got weary of the sea... and took off walkin'... with an oar on his shoulder... figured he'd wander until he found the place where they asked him; "What's that you got on your shoulder?"
Me?... I think I'll push a lawnmower... and carry a paint brush and a weed whacker... when I find the place that they don't recognize any of 'em... There, I'll stop! :-)
I've been workin' with... or at least... I've been askin' and he's been workin'; a fella who's a computer pro, for a few days.... There has been, for some little while, a few little things I wanted to 'fix' on the blog...
But... bein' a Cowboy... and not a computer wizard... the solutions to my problems have been hidin' from me pretty well... They involve whittlin' on some HTML in the software that I use to build the blog...
Yeah, me too. HTML? I've been workin' around it for two years now... and it's still like sortin' spaghetti! I finally decided that, just maybe, it was time to hire a lil' bit of help for a task or two. I found this guy who's fixin' those 'things' for me... and I'm hopin' to get all those changes workin' in the next couple of days... They aren't major things... but just some polishing that I'm hopin' will keep things gettin' better...
So... you're likely to see a couple of 'tune ups' this week... like the background color... and gettin' something called 'Social Bookmarking' hooked up... and a lil' change to the 'Navigation Bar'... for the blog... to make it easier for you to look around on the blog...
As long as I keep on doin' that... workin' to get better... I'm thinkin' I can't fail... right? I may get into some interesting jackpots... but as long as I keep my eyes on the 'Dream' and my butt... following my nose.... chasin' that Dream... I should... some day... end up where I'm tryin' to get!
Either way... it keeps me out of the bars....
Take Good Care
May 14, 2008 16:36 - Keeping the RV Boondocking Fires Burning
I've been settin' here stewin' for so long now I've flat wore out the RV Boondocking plans I had in my head. It's been so long since we decided to go RV Boondocking full-time, that the original plans we'd shaped have gotten faded, confused and tattered.
Our costs to get loose have gone up a good bit... as well as the 'costs' once we get on the road. Things just haven't worked out, in the long run as we'd wanted... and our situation will sure enough be tighter... Whenever we do finally get 'sold', we'll be selling for quite some little bit less than our original estimate... but we ain't alone in that predicament are we!
In fact, I could argue that this whole real estate fiasco is my fault! Yup! Blame it right on to me!
Murphys law jumped into the mix just around two years ago! Thwacked us on our noggins... with the lousy real estate market! The market had been pretty fair around here... right up until that point that we went on the market... and then WHACK! :-)
But all that's spilt milk at this point... the situtation is changed and it's what it is...
Fuel is way up... time and money's been burned up some... the people we'd had lined up to manage our store have mostly moved on to other things... so... we got quite a little bit of reorganizin' to do... if we're gonna continue in pursuit of the same deal...
But what else is a fella to do? Just fold up his RV Awning... pack up an' go home? Quit?
I'm certain sure that a goodly number of folks are doin' just that sorrowful thing, and it pains me to think of their dreams dryin' up and fading away.
Well... Not Me!
It is my intention to keep on keepin' on until I find The Trail that leads over, or around the mountain of speed bumps the 'beast' keeps throwin' up in front of us all.
It's my plan, once I find that trail, to run the wheels of Big Red right up that Devil's spine... Leavin' a neat row of tire tracks right between that Ol' Red Heads ears! :-)
I will, by God, live the life that I see... clearly... possible, for all of us.
My ambition is to show as many people as I can get to listen, that their dreams are good and proper... whatever they might be; RVing, RV Boondocking, Motorcycle Touring, maybe even RV Mobile Homesteading... Heck... maybe they've got nothing at all to do with RVing... they are still good and proper... no matter what anyone else says.
Maybe you can't get to 'em as quick and easy as you first thought... and maybe you'll have to adjust your 'vision' a mite... but those Dreams are ALIVE and only need some deliberate polishing to stay that way.
They'll only die... if you let 'em!
I've said it before, I say it now, and I'll be sayin' it again... the Man, the system, the beast... whatever name you want to put to it, don't want you to succeed in the pursuit of YOUR Dreams. For it to allow that means you're NOT workin' away your life serving It's ambitions.
Fact is... it desperately wants you and I to fail in our hunt for a better way of Livin'. It's only desire is to maintain it's power over us... and will tell any lie to maintain that 'power'.
But here's the trick... The only way it can keep you and me on it's treadmill is by keepin' us 'buyin' the con'. Because that is exactly what it's doin'. Part of the 'con' is to beat us down with negativity... 'course, then it comes up with all sorts of 'goodies' to sell us to make us 'feel better'.
We buy the junk... which requires us to keep our noses to that grindstone to pay for it... and the Ol' treadmill just keeps on spinnin'... and squeezin' the good out of our lives.
...and you stay so tired and wore out, ya'll ain't got enough left to even think about changin' things, let alone the energy to actually do it.
So... buy what serves you... keep only what serves you... cast off anything that takes more from you than it gives... and consciously, deliberately, polish up that Dream... Every Day!
That's how I'm doin' it. One step at a time... one day at a time... Thinkin' too far ahead... too much... only builds frustration, and that stuff is too dang heavy to add to the load you're already carryin'.
I try and focus my preparations on what I can do today... or this week... to move me closer to that Brass Ring... One foot in front of the other... 'Stayin' alive'... until that glorious day that I wake up, and realize... I did it! I'm there!
I am Living the Dream!
Others have gone before... I'm followin' their tracks... I'll leave a light of for you.
Take Good Care
May 15, 2008 13:44 - My Long Camp Style of RV Boondocking
Before I get to the RV Boondocking... like I said... I've been trying to get some smaller changes made here on the blog... Hmmm... technology... bein' what it is.. ain't co-operatin'... the fix ain't fixed yet... so I undid what I did so I can do, what I do!
So... back to RV Boondocking! :-)
Long Camp RV Boondocking has been my preferred way of going for 'bout as long as I can remember. These days, when you roll in the price of fuel, it makes for a perfect fit.
Rather than moving every day of two... stretch your camps out to at least a week or ten days... or fourteen!
As much as I admire just "Goin' down the road"... I hunger for the quiet of a boondocking camp, deep in far country, more. Especially, when these camps are in a spot I can hike or canoe out from... with no need to even fire up a fuel guzzling motor! :-)
A camp, with my Fifth-Wheel parked deep in the woods... where the truck ain't even had to be started in a week, is my idea of Heaven on Earth!
Now, I realize that my life, living on a 12,500 acre ranch... with the nearest permanent neighbor a couple of miles away, may have built a different outlook in me, than in other folks... and I know a lot of RVers, who have lived their lives in town, are just a mite intimidated by the shear power of ten million acres of seemingly empty wilderness.
It may just be too uncomfortable a deal for you to turn off the pavement... to roll up a dirt road... to turn up a dirt track... to back the rig off into the dark forest... miles from anyone!
That blackness and silence... when you step out of your rig at midnight, to look up at the stars, that I find intoxicating and soul healing, just might be terrifying for folks who have lived their lives in a group... with lights and services just around the corner... or a phone call away.
I really do understand that sensation... I expect it's akin to what I feel... standing on a beach, or a rock outcrop... looking out at the Pacific Ocean... crashing on to the shore. The thought of being out on that, in some little boat... out of sight of the shoreline... gives me those Ol' Jiggly Quivers for sure and for certain. I'd guess it's what a person might feel... in their lil' rig... 'Lost' in the vast empty sea of what they take to be wilderness.
But, there's no need to do, totally, without the experience. Gain your dose of 'Wild' in measures you can tolerate.
You can still leave the RV Parks behind and do your RV Boondocking in less intense ways... Simply set your Boondocking Camps in National Forest and BLM campgrounds.
You're still out in the woods... The country is still gorgeous. It still heals your soul... and it still shaves the size of your parking budget by a goodly amount. - lots of FS and BLM camps are still less than $10... and those that aren't don't usually get but a couple dollars higher. That beats a $35 RV Park site for sure!
Best of all... It's still RV Boondocking! Yes Sir!
If you're a mite more sociable than I am :-) you'll be a touch more comfortable and at ease with a few folks around... but... contrary to the RV Park method of 'grease 'em up and wedge 'em in... the Forest Service, and the BLM arrange their campgrounds with a lot more space!
"Makes for a More Harmonious Outcome."
Usually, you'll even have the benefit of an outhouse and a potable water source to stretch and supplement the capacities of your RV.
Use these campsites as "Halfway Houses"! They get you away from the congestion of the RV Parks... and let you get your RV Boondocking feet wet, without hangin' yourself out there... all the way... without a net. :-)
With time, you're likely to gain enough experience and confidence to start enjoying, straight up, RV Boondocking... hunting up the hidden little places out in the wild... to slide your rig into and soak up some pure sweet solitude.
Now... if you decide, in the on the other hand, to hold your Boondocking to the established Forest Service campgrounds... that is absolutely fine too!
You'll find me there... a lot!
Take Good Care
May 20, 2008 06:27 - It's Been a Long Time!
29 Years of RV Boondocking Wedded Bliss... Today... Hmmm... It seems like so much longer! :-)
Not sure what we're gonna do... Trail Ridge Road, up in Rocky Mtn. Park won't be open until Friday... Heidi has some chores at the store for this morning... we'll think of somewhere to go and burn a little diesel!
I expect there's quite a few of you headin' for or gettin' ready to start rollin' for the ALCAN... Boo Hoo... I'm a jealous puppy.
Activity is starting up around here it seems... people looking some... but... as you can tell... no biters yet! If we're to roll as far North as Denali ... I figure I want to be gone from here no later than the 1st of July... That would cut the circle as short as I'd be willing to make it... about 2 1/2 months... as fast as I'd want to make that trip.
Hey! I forgot to tell you all... Big Red hit a new 'personal best' Friday afternoon... I had to clear out of the house for some 'lookers' so I took the pups and ran up Poudre Canyon... That's always a nice place to be... short time or long.
So... we only went about as far as Glen Echo... which is up into the canyon 15 miles or so... Wanna guess what Big Red hit after we made the turn and started back down?
No... not a cow! :-)... Mileage! Yep... an 8,000 plus Lb, one ton dually... hit 63.2 mpg! and held it all the way down... something in the vicinity of 15 miles! Them kids can go for drag racin'... or chasin' girls... my lil' kick these days is to see how high I can get the fuel economy on that truck! :-)
Not a real good 'proof' picture... I was poppin' 'em as the mileage climbed above 58... kept figurin' it was as high as it could go... but in the space of a couple miles... it just kept risin'...
Now... I got to tell you... runnin' a big ol' pickup... down a twisty canyon... with one hand... while you watch the computer and take pictures with your other hand... is the kind of thing that can have a tow truck pullin' you out of the river... not real smart... but then... quite a few people have never accused me of bein' bright! :-) ... and the picture is a little quivery... 'cause the river is where we almost went! :-) ...
My goal had been 50 mpg for a ways... well that big red rig shattered that one... seein' how his last record was I think 45... so now... I guess the next one is to get to 70 mpg! :-) for at least ten miles! :-)
Hey! ... I know it's down hill... but like I said before... when a one ton dually, gets that kind of mileage... under ANY conditions... I'm impressed! :-)
The part that really helped was ropin' that other rigs bumper hitch as they passed.... they really got kind of cranky when they spotted the rope... some folks just have no sense of humor! :-O
So... I figure I've got the cost of fuel 'problem' solved!
You bet! Looky here... It'll take some time... and some investment... but all we have to do is re-build all the roads in the country... just build 'em to all go down hill! :-) Easy!
In the real world... I'm tryin' hard to get focused on doin' some work on the fifth wheel... Don't know if it's hitch itch, spring fever, or just the fact that I'm long since 'over it' when it comes to this house sellin' deal... but I just can't seem to get very productive... I keep thinkin' about all you lucky buggers headin' down the road with poor poor me still anchored to this Ol' house... boo hoo hoo!
But I'll survive... and catch up as soon as I can... you guys don't wait on me... get out there and get your rigs dirty... RV Boondocking!
Take Good Care
May 21, 2008 09:12 - Not RV Boondocking... But a day in the Mountains with Heidi and our Tow Vehicle!
I guess I should count my blessings... even if we're stuck here until the house sells... it's pretty fine to be able to make a short drive and be up in the High Country of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Making that short drive up the Canyon of the Big Thompson will build a powerful hunger... so we grabbed a quick lunch at the 'Other side' Restraunt in Estes Park... mmm.... mmm... mmm.... I sure do like Smoked Salmon!... But once again... I've been accused of not complainin' if there was a dead skunk on the table... so eat where I do... at your own risk! :-)
Along with the good food... we had this visitor...
They're a lil' ratty this time of year... just startin' to shed out... but this fella is still well started on this years rack!
With the growlin' in our gizzards satisfied we headed on into 'Rocky'... Trail Ridge Road is not supposed to be open until Friday... but it is still open almost all the way to the top...
Along the way... you start to get some idea of just how deep the snow gets up here at somewhere around 11,000 feet altitude, in the Rockies...
... and we complain about havin' to shovel a lil' snow!
We found where they've opened the road to... They close it for the winter... on the East side at Many Parks Curve... but yesterday it was open to... or should I say, closed at the Forest Canyon overlook...
When you turn around and look the other way... it don't seem much like the 'End of the Road'... does it?
... It seemed like a good place to get out for a while, and stretch our legs... but... the mountains can have other ideas of what to do with a fella's legs...
They warn you about the dangers of walkin' 'round on snow banks in the springtime... in the Rockies... :-)
Trying to get back... can be just about as interesting...
... This could get to be a long day...
I finally made it back to the safety of the main trail... :-) ... of course... if I hadn't... I don't guess you'd be readin' this just now...
There's another spot along Trail Ridge Road I like... It's the pull out at Rainbow Curve. It looks over into the Valley that holds Horseshoe Park, which is maybe the most popular area to come in the fall to listen to the Elk Bugle.
During the summer, the overlook at Rainbow Curve is populated with Camp Robbers and some variety of Rock Squirrels... commonly referred to as Chipmunks I guess... They seem pretty bold... made that way by all the bad, bad people who give 'em vittles... contrary to the rules!
Camp Robber doin' his begging...
along with Alvin... even bolder in his quest for handouts!
These guys will crawl all over you, lookin' for groceries... if you sit there quiet... and the view out across the valley below can't be beat.. so it's a nice spot to just sit a while and soak it up... but DON'T FEED THE CRITTERS! :-)
From the bald High Peaks, way up above Timberline... to the forested slopes down below...
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the grandest places on earth... it's right there with all the other 'Crown Jewels' of this country... Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Capital Reef, Olympic... and on and on...
... and that's just in the west! add in all the Jewels in the east... Great Smoky, Everglades, the Apalachian Trail... and you can't help but think that maybe this is one lucky bunch of people to live here... if not truly blessed.
Time to go do some 'outside' work... the dang grass keeps growin'... and I have to get the Eagle ready to roll... hopin' to break loose for a mountain run next week or the following... one lil' piece of 'business' keeps moving around... so we're not sure which... but one of 'em will be in the mountains for sure.
Take Good Care
May 22, 2008 10:27 - It'll Huff... an' It'll Puff... and for us, It'll just.... pffffttt!
(Started a post this morning... but this one is written at 5:40pm... the software sets a time I can't change! Arrrgggh!)
I just got back online and saw the comment in yesterdays post wonderin', did we weather todays storms Ok...
Yup! It missed us... all 7 of 'em! Close... but no cigar.
Windsor, the town that got blasted the worst is long about 17 miles, almost exactly straight south of us. The storm that spawned that blow slid up past us to the west, about 5 miles off... the twister that flattened a lot of Windsor... set down I've heard, somewhere around Gilcrest or Platteville, and ripped away for something like 35 miles....
That same storm put another tornado on the ground clean up in Laramie...
A couple hours later... the second shot stormed by maybe 5-7 miles to our east... It looked like it had it's crosshairs on us for a bit...
This is looking Southeast... and if it tracked like the first one... which started out further west.... Thwack!
but 'stead of tracking Northwest like the last one... this 'un stayed more North and mostly missed.
This one is looking almost due East... when I took this I knew it had missed too.
All it did was bend up some tin on the shop roof... easy to fix... not like the poor buggers in Windsor where several dozen homes were flattened from what I've heard so far. Flattened or at least rendered uninhabitable.
I did get in trouble with Heidi though... 'cause she was callin' for an hour or two... but I didn't answer... what can I say... I needed a nap... between storms... :-)
There were five other twisters hittin' the ground from what I've heard... all south... and no threat to us...
'sides... ifn one did come a blowin' in here... alls I got to do is open my mouth, step outside, and go to yarnin'... my wind'll send them lil' twisters scurryin', lookin' for a place to hide... from the Big wind! :-)
Still tryin'... and failing... to get my 'changes' completed, on the blog... there's some sort of a glitch in saving the updated template I got back from my computer wizard... him bein' there... and me bein' here don't help none!
We did get our little 'business' that kept movin' it's date around... locked down... so we're planning on pulling out Monday evening to head over onto the West Slope for four days of RV Boondocking... It'll be good for my degenerating attitude... Not sure where we're gonna go... but anywhere that ain't here, suits me just fine...
I'll know we're there when I set the parking brake and say... "This is it... we'll set camp, right here!"
You'll know where that's at... shortly after I do!
Take Good Care
May 23, 2008 08:34 - Severe Weather When RVing
Yesterdays storms here in Colorado carried a lesson for RVers.
There was but one fatality in the Tornadoes that ripped across the state... and that one sad loss... was an RVer.
While the rest of the RVers in the RV Park took shelter in a cinder block / concrete Bath / outhouse... Mike Mansfield made the fateful decision to try and outrun, what they are now calling, an F3/F4 Tornado...
His RV was no match for the power of that storm....
If you are caught out on the road... or in a park... take shelter from the storm... just about anywhere... except... your RV.
If you are on the road... Pull over... get out and lay down in a depressed ditch location... or crawl into a culvert... anywhere that offers shelter from the wind and flying debris. Your High Profile RV is NOT the place to be. If you are in a park... there is generally a concrete building of some sort... a bath house, an outhouse... A service shed... pack in there... it's the safest place around...
If you see a big, bad, thunderhead... up ahead... why not pull over and fix a snack... take a nap... do pretty much anything... BUT... drive on through that storm... Why take the risk?
If you're caught in a blizzard... turn your furnace down a bit, and conserve propane... make sure the exhausts of the furnace and the refrigerator and any generators remain clear (you don't want to trap carbon monoxide in or around the rig)... assuming, someone knows where you are... they'll coming looking soon enough... If you have cell service... or satellite... even better! :-)
Flooding is a pretty much common sense thing too... get to higher ground if you can... abandone the RV if necessary... Don't drive your rig off into raging creeks! What may look, not very deep, often conceals a great big hole that you'll find as soon as you pull into the water!... Find another way.
No reason to get paranoid and fearful... but think about what you would do now... while things are calm... then... if the &%$# should ever hit the fan... you already have your options thought out... and all you've got to do is pick the one that fits the best.
Take Good Care
May 25, 2008 20:14 - To the Wild Country!
"To the Mountains... I can rest there... To The Rivers... I will be strong... To the Forest... I'll find peace there... To the Wild Country, where I belong".... RV Boondocking!
Comes from a favorite John Denver song...
We're pullin' out tomorrow afternoon... late... headin' Northwest... 4 Days of RV Boondocking... Maybe at Big Creek Lake over on Routt National Forest... Maybe up to Rob Roy up on the Medicine Bow Forest... or... You might just find us camped up in Hog Park... further west in the Medicine Bow...
Won't know till we make the turns... and see where we end up! :-) ... the only thing we agree on just now is to find a quiet spot to not do much... just breathe and get untwisted for a bit.
Makin' a late start... after I can get broke loose from the day job at 4pm... we'll not make, or try to get where we're goin'. There's a spot... just a few miles west of Woods Landing... up on the south end of the Snowies, and west of Laramie that we'll pull in for the night...
It's only a mite over two hours from here... a parking area they use for snow mobilers in the winter... makes for a quiet night camp when we pull out late on a short circle. Gives us a head start on our first full day of Freedom!
Weather is threatening again... well of course it is! :-) ...
No matter... filled the propane today... and Heidi picked me up a fresh C.J. Box Novel... so if it's stormy ... and I can't find a signal to surf around on here... I'll read 'Joe Picket' into ... and out of... more trouble! ... makes for some fine 'untwisting'...
The only problem... is hitching up after a few Mountain days... to roll back to where I have no desire to be...
One day soon... I keep on prayin'... we'll only be hitchin' up to go find the next fine, RV Boondocking, Camp.
So, for now it's 'To the Wild Country... Where I belong'.
Take Good Care
May 26, 2008 17:38 - Sittin' in the Rain...
What's the anitdote for snakebite? :-)
It's been raining all afternoon... and is increasing a bit right now... real good for the grass and the other landscaping I'm tryin' to get recovered, but kinda torments my other 'planning'.
We'll not be pullin' out this afternoon/evening... bad as I want to go... hitchin' and haulin' in the rain... to probably get up to where it's snowin'... just don't make a lot of sense... even for me.
If we were already up there... the bad weather... is good weather to me! I'd just sit inside... and read... or write... listenin' to good music... with a fine view of the mountains out all the windows... and the rain... or even snow, fallin' soft on the roof... actually sounds pretty fine!
... But... gettin' there, through it... maybe in the dark... and crawlin' around in the rain and mud... is just too much athletic gymnastics for my failin' ambition :-)
We'll wait until morning now... and hope this bit of weather breaks sufficient to get gone without a muddy mess to start with.
... Now don't go gettin' the idea I've gone totally all soft and wimpy. Me an Slick rode today... Was only cool and damp this mornin' goin' in... but this afternoon... it was genuine rain...
Cold and wet enough for me to put on my fancy, genuine, synthetic, REI rain pants! :-) Kept my lil' chicken legs nice an' dry... though my feet stickin' out the bottom still got a rinse!
That back tire is gettin about as slick as the top of my noggin' too... not especially functional with a 1/4 inch or so of water settin' on the pavement... Had to keep the speed down to stop any sort of hydroplanin'... I could still feel that tail end wantin' to wander some... I think I just might have to break down and put fresh rubber on the big wheel. :-)
What makes a fella grin... ridin' a motorcycle in the rain? Must just be some sort of bad wiring, huh? I can't help it... seein' folks roll by, all dry and warm in their cars... lookin' at "That Idiot on the motorcycle" with the rain rattlin' on my helmet... I just start grinnin'. :-)
I do have to say... if feels kinda good though... sittin' here at the desk in the Eagle... with the furnace crankin'... all warm now... and hot coffee... always, hot coffee :-) after climbing off the bike... It takes bein' cold sometimes, to properly appreciate it when you're warm!
Just ridin' in the rain...
Take Good Care
May 27, 2008 12:00 - Waitin' on a Wyoming Speed Bump
Waitin' on the weather didn't help any... down in Colorado... we pulled out in a misty drizzle... Crossed over Owl Canyon Rd (Dirt) to catch Hwy 287 for Laramie... and hit the pavement... lookin' like we've been four wheelin' for a week!
It stayed all dark, and cloudy all the way to the summit at 'state line'... but Yoo Hoo! as we started down off the top, into Wyoming, the sun came out and it was Blue SKy... well ... there was ... some... Blue!
While we were heading toward the point where we were gonna have to make the final choice... south west and back into Colorado and Big Creek Lake... or North West up into the Snowies of the Medicine Bow Forest I had Heidi call the Forest Headquarters and find out what if any camps were open... this time of year, I'd just as soon use one of the Forest Service campsites...
Well... they TOLD us that there were four, in the Libby Creek Recreation area open... so, that way we headed!... Those camps are in the Mountains, in that picture above...
We got there... Only to find they were off a mite... by four! ARRRGGGHHH!
So... I had Herself call those Federal Servants right back to find out... Whats the deal?
They were pretty apologetic... "We screwed up... but ... let me call you back"....
We wait at the end of the rec area road... and 'bout 15 minutes later, dang if she don't do just that! and SURPRISE! She claims a guy is over to Vedauwoo and will come over this way in an hour or so... and unlock the gates!
Well, by God that works for me! ... We just pulled back down the road about a mile toward Centennial where there's a Forest Visitor center, with a good sized lot... and pulled in to build a lunch... and build a post too! With my amp on I've got three bars on that Verizon air card! ... National Access... and slow... but I'm on.
A bump or two... but it looks like it's gonna work out sweet!
I'll let you know... if 'He' actually shows up and lets us in! :-)
Take Good Care
and work out sweet it did! They said he'd be around in about an hour or so... he rolled past in only a half hour or so... either he wasn't where he told 'em he was... or his chevy is quick!
Anyway... he unlocked the gate and we got a sweet spot. We're sittin' about 8600' in the Medicine Bow National Forest... in the Libby Creek Recreation area... the Willow Campground unit... and have it all to ourselves... at least for tonight...
RV Boondocking nigh on to prime...
Libby creek is rollin' by maybe 50' behind the rig... nothin' like the sound of a runnin' creek, smell of Pines... grilled chicken an' beans for supper... even broke down and opened one of them Killians Irish Red Bottles... :-)
Could be Heidi made a lil' mistake bringin' me here! Nothin' like goin' down the road a few miles, good BBQ, cold beer... and the High Up and Lonesome to stir a little frisky in this Ol' guy! :-)
I'm headed for the bunk... we're thinkin' of trying to get up at "Oh damn it's early"... to try to get a sunrise photo or two... up on top somewhere... If that's gonna happen... and... some of that, other, I better git! :-)
I'll post some pics of this camp after coffee tomorrow!
Take Good Care
May 28, 2008 08:34 - On the Medicine Bow
Yup... Medicine Bow National Forest opened the gates, just for us!
Good thing too... we met a couple of folks last night that are in a site in the next unit... told us they were passing through Laramie yesterday afternoon, stopped at the Headuarters office to ask about sites and were told..."We just had a report the gates were locked so we sent somebody up to get 'em unlocked... so they're open!"
Heidi and I... were the 'reporters'! :-) But thanks anyway to the Medicince Bow National Forest for fixin' their 'OOPS!'
It's a pretty tough place to be though... Tall Pines, Libby Creek for the Dogs to play in, Elk, ground squirrels... I think I can endure it though.
... even if you have to pull through scenes of desolation like this...
... to park in a spot like this here...
... with views like these...
... sure beats 'Awning to Slide' setups don't it!
Didn't take too long to set up... get the rig sorta level, put out a couple chairs, and our lil' tables... then it's time for playin' in the creek...
... of course it ain't all playin'... somebody has to split the wood...
Look close an' you can see that wood a flyin' :-) ... yes sirree... pure power!... now... where did I put that exedrin...
But... if you're all stiff and sore, from choppin' wood... or just too many miles... an easy walk through the Medicine Bow National Forest, with your pups, 'll get you goin' again!
Speakin' of which... it's time to go take a walk right now!
Take Good Care
May 29, 2008 08:10 - Another Day in the Snowy Range of Wyoming
Finished up our first night in our Willow Camp with some good BBQ on that Coleman Grill we picked up last summer... Bein' that careless folks have got the Bears trained to mis-behave... and you have to put your camp kitchen away in a locked up place each night...
That lil' Coleman grill packs away a lot easier than the bigger one we had (and actually still do!)... cooks just as good too.
Got up late... 6 or so... fiddled around for a while and then took a good long walk, east, down Libby Creek and turned back up the ridge to the north... lots of good pictures to make up there... only some bozo forgot his picture taker in camp... DOH!
Figure I'll fix that error ... this... morning!
But then... after working so hard in the morning... ya gotta just kick back and force yourself to slow down... right?
It's a tough deal in this world... but... somebody... has to do NUTHIN'! ... and I volunteer! :-)
This... is how you save diesel!... try sittin' in camp for a while... after a long hike... or a short one... and read, write... or crochet beads like Miss Heidi is doin'... saves diesel... and the easier pace is pretty darn good for your heart and attitude.
We did decide we needed a couple of things... and wanted to go up on top, in the sunshine so we made a short daytrip, after lunch, over to Saratoga, Wyoming. It's a nice little town... Nuthin' fancy... but it's got a grocery... some galleries... and Lollipops ice cream shop... for a dish and a cone of some Mint Choclate Chip ice cream!... the dish is for me...
You have to make some sacrifices... when you carry a broom around on your lip... and eating ice cream from a cone is a messy deal for us 'whiskered' fellas!
Up on top, on the drive over, it's still pretty much winter in May...
All this snow has the North Platte, down in Saratoga runnin' bank full... a little too warm... or a little too much rain up high... and they're gonna get wet down there.
The only 'downer' part of the day was to see that the pine bark beetle epidemic (thank you anti-logging tree huggers) has spread up into the Snowy Range. The west side is pretty infested... Too bad both extremes... the rabid tree huggers that won't let ANYTHING be done... and the 'clear cut' rape and pillage corporate guys can't just be excluded from the woods... and let reasonable, moderate folks take care of things...
But... enough of that... got back to camp mid afternoon... just enough time to sit around, doing NUTHIN' some more!
A little 'chuckin it' for Buck... start a fire... to get ready for desert... BBQ some burgers on that lil' Coleman Grill... and then... on that well prepared fire... SMORES!
Gorgeous day! Sun... Mountains... good dogs... fresh calves down on the lower meadows of the ranches below... Shinin' Times for sure and for certain! and then... just before bed... I was lookin' around on the net... sittin' right here in camp... at 8600 feet! and yoo hoo! (my verizon card is real slow here... real slow... but then... so am I!)
... some good soul had ordered the first book through those new book links I just put up in my bookstore. Not gonna get rich with it... but every lil' bit counts... right? ... and whoever the lil' darlin' was... Thank You! :-)
Time to get out... and go back to make those pictures I missed yesterday... It's another Gorgeous Wyomin' day!
Take Awful Good Care!
May 30, 2008 07:03 - Still another Day... touching the land... on the Medicine Bow
I'm in danger of gettin' all soppy.
It is so, by God beautiful here, it almost hurts. Reminds me of that passage in the good book, where they can't look at what's in the box, 'cause it's too beautiful for the eyes of man to see. This here is nigh on to that.
I get up in the morning to do my 'work'... which I feel guilty about... 'cause I never had 'work' that I enjoyed so much! ... and that's countin' cowboyin... which I truly did love...
... but anyway... I get up here, sit at the desk, just at sunrise, and look out the window...
A fine start to the day.
Yesterday, we started out late... lazed around camp till near 10:30... then took a nice long (for old folks) hike up on the ridge that lays between us and Corner Mountain. Up there... a little closer to the Boss... he gives you views like this of Libby Creek...
... and everywhere you look... it just hits you over an' over with how gorgeous the country is. Everywhere you look, it just puts a grin on your face... unless you're blind... and then I do believe the sound of the creek, the wind in the trees... the smell of the sage and the pines would ... STILL... put a smile on your face.
There's no lack of things to do... unless you work at NOT finding something to occupy your time. If you like to hunt for flowers... even this early in the season they're out there. I believe the 'flower folks' call these pin cushion cactus, though I'm not absolutely sure...
These lil' guys were all over the ridge... single flower to as many as three on a cactus... purty lil' things ain't they?
We kept on, mostly working west, along the ridge... I like it up there... a lot easier goin' then through the thick willows along the bottoms... and you can see for miles... with nothin' but the Shining Mountains between you and the horizon.
Lordy it's a gorgeous day!
Buck and Lily are always strikin' poses... beggin' for a picture... and mostly, I oblige 'em!
How can you help it... when you have such easy to picture models!
But... like I said... every where you turn is another splendrous view... It's almost like the Mountains are flirting with a fella.
If this all keeps up... I'm gonna have to buy more computer space to hold all my blog pictures! :-)
Farther along the ridge, we turned back south to start working our way through the timber and back to camp. Most times... I don't follow the trails... I prefer bushwhacking... but, along in there we cut a branch of the Corner Mountain trail that was leading back toward our camp, so we followed along it for a bit...
... I'd stopped to try and get another picture of something... and eagle eyed Heidi exclaimed; "LOOK!"
... so now she has some new jewelry... since there's no way to indentify the owner of this lil' 'Brighton' watch... that keeps on tickin'! :-)
Then... it was back to camp for some relaxation for a while... some more time... slavin' at the computer, gazing out at that view I get every sunrise here. It's a tough life.
Late in the afternoon, we decided to take a short drive into Centennial... just three or four miles, maybe, down the mountain... so we hops in Big Red and down we go!
Picked up another C.J. Box book... I like his stories... did a little pokin' around and then quickly headed back up the mountain... lookin' for critters.
Like I said... there ain't any shortage of things for folks to do 'round here. If you like four-wheeling or back roading... maybe on ATV's? There's a heck of a lot of backroads to wander up and down... lookin' for critters...
... Though I gotta say... Big Red is limited to fairly... WIDE... roads :-) ... What can I say? He's got some wide Hips!
... and I also gotta say... It's not that difficult to find success! Huntin' for critters 'round here. We found this guy on the back side of a Willow bog... It was 'bout 6pm, and this bog looked like a likely spot so I pulled over along the side of the road, shut down, and we set quiet... for maybe 10 minutes... and sure enough this guy come strollin' out of the timber...
Do you see what he's missin'? ... Yup... this early in the season... they've just lost their horns... which Ol' Eagle Eye (Heidi) spotted one of, layin' in the brush along the road! :-) .... but.... shhhh..... she says I ain't to tell no one!
The only part of this whole circle... that's a downer... is that it's a circle... and we got to go back where we started. Sadly, that's gotta happen today... Back to the homeplace... to continue our wait... and then it's one, huge... Circle! :-)
Take Good Care
May 31, 2008 05:46 - Last Day at Willow Camp on the Medicine Bow National Forest
The last day in a good camp, is always kind of melancholy for me, even if I'm pretty sure we'll be goin' on to even better times and places.
Though Yesterday was a melancholy 'leaving' day... it sure was a fine one at the same time...
Started it out with another good hike... two hours or so, up on the ridges above camp... Heidi even got in a little business on the trail!
She gets to run her store... 'on the run' ... and I get to do my work, sitting in a fine Medicine Bow Camp... How Sweet is that?!
... and in between 'chores'... we can grin, giggle and laugh our way through some of the most splendid country on earth!
This way, that way... ever' way you look... it just makes my grumpy ol' self smile... then I catch my self smilin' and think... "ya goofy Old grump... what are ya grinnin' about?" ... and I grin even more!
By God I love it up in those mountains!
Even the simpleness of an Aspen Grove sends a feeling of rightness through me... I'm where I belong... and all is well... if just for that moment.
... but like I said... it was a day of leaving... so we did finally, grudgingly, break camp and head down out of the mountains...
As we came into Laramie again... we decided to go east... and make our obligatory stop at the Wal Mart!... rather than go back down Hwy 287... the way we'd come.
Pulling into the parking lot at Wally World... who should I see settin' across on the other side?... Why, nobody but Sean and Louise in the Odyssey! ... so now the day gets even fuller with the good fortune to finally meet them in person! ... and get scolded, soundly, by lil' Opal! :-)
They must be good folks... we introduced them to Lily and Buck... and Lily promptly gave Sean a Kiss... which just don't happen! It's a rare occasion when she's that friendly with someone she just met!
After a fine conversation... for 45 minutes or so... Heidi, Me and the pups, continued our journey 'home'.
...I call it 'home'... 'cause for me... the Eagle... in a good camp... is HOME!
I was tryin' out an experiment of sorts... slowin' down even more... I came all the way 'home' rollin' the Old 'Double Nickle' of the 70's and early 80's... 55mph!
Sounds slow... and I suppose it is... but where am I goin' in a big hurry? Seemed to rattle a few folks on the interstate... I-80 to Cheyenne... and I-25 to Wellington... but... they got a whole other lane to pass... so let 'em rattle!
As for me... it got me home... a Dually one-ton... pullin' a 30' fiver, 362 miles, up hill and down... on a total average of 18.2 mpg. and that, girls and boys... will keep me RV Boondocking! :-) ... and the comfort level? ... it is so much more relaxing... to roll along at that speed... than white knuckled, eyes wide... lips curled like some crazed banshee... tryin' to hang onto a rig at 75 mph!... and travelin' where I only need to get a hundred miles or so in a day... why... I've got all day!
Works for me!
Once we got 'home'... parked the Eagle... and unloaded what we needed to... we were greeted with this sunset...
It doesn't get a whole lot better... a fine, fine day...
Take Good Care