RV Boondocking the Good Life

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February 1, 2008 07:00 - Whew! A day of no snow... no runnin' and Sagauros out my window!

I've always considered Arizona home... since I grew up, and started Cowboyin' here... always feels good to be back down here... Though Tucson is some different then it was 40 years ago!

I've set us up for the Gem show in Justin's Diamond J out on San Jaquin, SW of town 8 or 10 miles... not boonodocking... but with three of us in the rig (the girls catch up this evening) it's a better situation...

As far as Parks go... you all know I'd much prefer to be out in the bush somewhere... but... that said, this one is done fairly well. The rigs are spaced out pretty fine and for the most part set up with pull throughs... 'almost' level too...

Right now they're only chargin' $20... decent for full hookups, considering the number of places that gouge for nigh on to twice that...

I almost stayed in Oak Flat up by superior... nice little spot... except for the creek flowing through that you have to ford on the way in/out... Hmmm.... considering what the weather has been ... I could just see me setting up for the night there and then getting flooded out! :-)

.... something told me: "Brian... just roll on down Tucson way and get set up for the week... 'afore something else turns toes up!"

Nice run down through Winkleman and Dudleyville on Arizona 77... I always have mixed feelings goin' through there... I worked a mine south of Tucson for a couple years... hated it... one of the biggest pit mines there by Winkleman... The Ray pit... looks like they intend to dig away the whole dang mountain...

That says something about a society I think... willing to dig up a whole, beautiful mountain.. for what? Make more pennies?
Not sure what it says... but I'm thinkin' it might not be complimentary! :-)

I'd forgotten about those 10% grades in there :-O .... another time I was glad I sprang for that exhaust brake... lets a man enjoy the ride... once he gets past worryin' about the driveshaft snappin' ! :-)

Supposed to warm up this weekend... poor folks down here complainin' about it bein' so cold... yep... 50 is plumb awful :-)

I'll suffer along with it :-)

Lot's of chores to do today... gotta put a meter on the controller and find out which part is not a working part any more... and a couple of 'ideas' I got on the roll down... to 'organize' things here and there... so one more cup of coffee and then I'm on it!

You All Take Good Care

February 2, 2008 08:56 - The turmoil begins...

Tucson, during the Bead Show, could best be described as confusion... this year... they've decided to close all the ramps on I-10 through the middle of Tucson... for several miles... someone thought it might be a good idea to turn confusion into ... NIGHTMARE!

It should get interesting trying to get around... taking a deep breath and trying to have some patience if you go into the city is probably a good thing...

Heidi and Keriann got here about 10 last night... and are busily getting ready to go fight the crowds...

Hey Hey Hey! Keriann Helped me unload Slick while Heidi continued primping! Maybe I should keep the kid around for a while! Don't know if I'll get a ride in today or not... He desperately needs a bath!

I already took Red up and gave him a bath yesterday... and about 1/4 of the rig.... I use a modification of George's system... He uses a little pail and a small scrubber... I use about a gallon and a half of water in a regular pail and a window washing squeege/sponge combination... works pretty slick.... scrub it... squeege... and you're done... and reasonably clean!

I need to quit procrastinating and pull enough stuff out of the front storage area to access the charge controller and do some tests to identify where the 'problem' is... I'm pretty sure the controller itself is kaput...

I promised some pics of the 'Adventure' in the snow, etc... as soon as Heidi brought my computer transformer.... more CRS!

Some of the pics are less than fine.... I just popped them rolling down the road... for some reason I felt some pressure to keep on moving... trying to outrun the weather! :-)

This first one is running across highway 60 in New Mexico... just coming to the Nat'l Radio Astonomy Observatory... otherwise known as the VLA (Very Long Array Telescope)

approach to the VLA

a couple shots of the antennaes they use... there must be dozen or more all scattered across the desert... remember the first scenes in the movie "Independance Day" ? This is the place that first saw the "aliens"....

And... where I first started to question the smarts of taking this road!

string of VLA antennae installations

and a closer shot...

VLA Antennae

Somewhere between Datil and Quemado as I recollect, it started getting a bit more exciting....

just starting to storm in Catron County

The road started to get covered... but I could still see the lane lines OK... so keep on truckin'... right!? After the rig started really acting 'soggy' I pulled over for a quick check....

fifth wheel iced up

By the time I made Showlow, I figure I was hauling an extra ton, maybe a ton and a half of ice on the front and coating the belly of the rig... Oh... but how much fun the Adventure was! :-)

Yeah... only made what I'd planned on being a four hour day... something like 12! yech... sometimes I have to look in the mirror and ask: "What part of 'Take the southern route do you not understand?" :-)

But all's well that ends without a wreck! Had a quiet night at that ol' reliable wally world in Globe and headed down through Winkelman...

10 percent grade near Winkleman

One of the days I was sure glad I'd sprung that extra $1500 or so for the Jacobs exhaust brake! There's three or four of these grades along that road... pretty country... but you sure want to be equipped right.

Found the park we're set up in... Justin's Diamond J... without difficulty... for parks it's a nice spacious place... tolerable even for a cranky Ol' boondocker... and plenty of water for the girls to get their daily showers... which might be a bit of a logistics hassle... if we were boondocked for this week at the gem show...

After the drive down... racing the weather... this sunrise... out my 'office' window... the first morning here, was sorely appreciated!

sunrise out the 'office' window

If I'm going to get my chores done today... I better get to 'em... Taken me till near noon to get this post done... I keep gettin' sidetracked by visitors and family.... It's a hard life! :-) and now... a WARM life :-)

Time to go find some trouble!

Till next time... Take good care

February 3, 2008 08:16 - Two Wheels in the Desert

Slick did get unloaded yesterday... then it took an hour or so to scrub the accumulated road grime off his shiny black hide... got him all spiffed up an' presentable...

After a few more chores... I got weary of workin'... that's not supposed to be the drill on this deal right? I just climbed on the scooter for a short ride... that turned into about fifty miles :-)

Heeyah! We ran up through the Tucson Mountain Park... nice place to make a run on a bike... in the desert sunshine! :-) ... how sweeter it would be if the cars weren't there!... So a fella could really 'carve' the desert! ... of course... those two deputy dogs sittin' in a pull out might have other ideas about such doin's :-)

Tucson Mountain Entrance

Every part of the West has it's own personality... This Tucson Country is no different... Having grown up in this area I've seen it change... not sure for the better... but... there are still a couple million acres of unadulterated gorgeous!

Tucson Mountain Park

There is something about the dry, desert mountains. This country somehow burrows into your soul... you live here for a while, and no matter how long you stay away... when you come back... you always feel like you're coming home... I always think of this Arizona desert as my home.

A Tucson Mountain Peak

And then... unexpectedly... you luck into a quick, flashing view of some Arizona Wildlife! ;-) ... a couple of the rare Arizona Red backed Road Runners! :-) ... in this case one each of the Viper and Ferrari (I think) sub-varieties.

Arizona Road Runners

This is actually a pretty convenient spot for tourin' the desert... to the west is the Kitt peak observatory, Just NE is The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and the International WIldlife Museum. Hit I-19 just east and you can run down to Nogales and Old Mexico.... or bump north a mile or so to catch I-10 to run over SE to run over to the Chiricahuas... and SE Arizona..... and that's just a sliver of what there is here...

I was hopin' for a run up Mount Lemmon today... it may have to wait... It's still sunny and nice... but the weather girl was claiming rain for later... and 18" of snow up on top of the mountain!... I suppose if I cranked on it... I might could get up there and get out before the storm... but we all know how my luck has run on that score the past few days :-)

A reader, "Karon" sent an e-mail to her friends Jim and Ellie... who are set up in their Bounder, here at the Diamond J as well... I think she wanted them to see what they could become if they ain't careful! They were waitin' to say hello long about the end of my ride... got to have a nice visit... They're from our present 'home' country of Colorado... though they 'escaped' some while ago! ... Lucky buggers!

Also got to visit with Dave... another RV'n Biker... there seems to be several of us here... of course... I am the prettiest :-)

So... now I'm gonna go take my pretty self and rumble through some more of this sunny Ol' desert!

Till next time always remember... tomorrow ain't here yet... and may never be... get out there and shine up today!

Take Good Care

February 4, 2008 08:17 - A Short Trip to Sabino Canyon

I took off yesterday morning, expecting to get wet... It looked dark and threatning over the Catalina Mountains... which was where I thought I'd head... weatherman or not...

Ran up through Gates Pass again... that is a fun ride... twists and humps and open desert... nice...

Wasn't as nice as the day before though... a bit chilly... a lot less so than several hundred miles north... but cool just the same. I cut up to the North side of town to run across on River Road... another thing that's changed in this town in the past 20 some years...

It used to be a narrow, two lane 'twisty' road we used to run for fun as kids... now it's pretty much four lane divided most of the way... but it got me to the Sabino Canyon area... and by the time I got there I was cold! It must have been 50! I really am gettin' old! a bit north of here and I'd be braggin' how nice it was :-)

The Sabino Canyon Visitor Center made a good place to warm up some and look at books and such.

Sabino Canyon Visitor Center

After a bit I thought I'd take a short walk... you can take the 'trolley' up into the canyon... to start a walk/hike or just step off right from the visitor center...

If you're ambitious enough... you can climb through the canyon... clean up to the top of Mt. Lemmon... my ambition amounted to more of a slow stroll through the lower desert out in front of the canyon...

The recent rains have several of the trails flooded and road damage up in the canyon so the trolley is only running about 1/2 way up. Anyway... there are plenty of trails to walk...

Sabino Canyon Trail

It's pretty nice to walk slow and easy through the high desert... when you get off from the crowds, it's quiet, the desert has a scent all it's own... and the peace is good for you... you can actually begin to hear your own thoughts... of course... in my head... it still sounds like an argument in a crowded arena!

They called this a 'Cristate Sagauro' if I remembered the spellin' right... Looks like a bad hairday to me!

Twisted Sagauro

They say that, in the desert, if it don't stick you it bites... So, I can have nothing but respect for the critter that looks at Prickly Pear Cactus and sees a snack!

Prickly Pear Snack

Javelina are the culprits here... tough, nasty little buggers if you provoke 'em... but generally shy... most folk that live down here have never seen one outside of a zoo!... but they do leave a lot of evidence around... like chewed cactus!

Like I said... if it don't stick it bites....

Mountain Lion Warning Sign

Here kitty, kitty! ...

One of the best ways to enjoy the Canyon and the area is to sit for a while and have a pic nic.. There are tables and other good spots, all up through the canyon... I especially like this spot that overlooks a small dam and falls in Lower Bear Canyon.

Bear Canyon Pic Nik area

Every once in a while... some hiker way up deep in the canyon... or on up above on the mountain... takes a step he shouldn't and they have to pack him down... to be re-assembled at a hospital in town... if you're sitting at one of the pic nik tables at the overlook you can watch the helicopter land to haul him out! The Helipad is in the middle of the tram road just behind your table :-)

Sabino Canyon Helipad

The pic may be a little dark... but can you see the paint mark on the pavement? And the wind sock over on the 'outhouse'?

So... if you do get stuck or bit... no problem! you can have a chopper ride too :-)

I'd suggest though, that you just enjoy your hike and be a mite more careful... and remember the views of the Sagauro Forest around you ... instead of having the excitement of a Helicopter Ride!

Sagauro Forest

It ... almost... started looking like it would clear enough to start a run up the mountain in mid afternoon... but just as I climbed back on Slick, after lunch the wind came up and blew that idea right out of my head... so I turned back west and headed for the Eagle.

Pulled back in with 90 miles on the odometer... a little cold... and demonstrating for anyone who wanted to see... why I carry a USFS 'Golden Access' Card! :-) .... " OH... You are kind of twisted up... aren't you?!" :-)

The rain that they were predicting for yesterday... just got here as I'm writing this... looks like a good day to just sit here at the desk bangin' on the keyboard, while the weather works it's kinks out... I need to just take it slow for a day anyhow...

Takes me a week ... or better sometimes to get my head slowed down... once we get on the road... that way now... I'm still in 6th gear... time to take a deep breath and Chill! :-)

Hmmm... raining hard now! Willing or not I get to take it easy! Poor Heidi and Keriann... they HAVE to go to the gem show.... THEY'RE working! :-)

Watch out for the Big Kitties... or carry a Tire Iron!
Take Care

February 5, 2008 15:30 - Repair day

Here's a look at the Gathering Storm yeserday morning...

Gathering Arizona Storm

I can't help but laugh... last night on the news... they were announcing school delays and closings because of the frost... excuse me? because of ... frost? :-) .... these folks better stay here... if frosty bridges shuts the town down... they'd be in deep kim chee just a little ways north!

They did get a good lot of snow up in Showlow and that area... so... if I hadn't already planned on rolling north next week by way of the I-10 to I-25 route that has been done for me :-) .... lesson learned! ... for a while....

Today I decided I needed to get that busted umbilical receptacle repaired. Made a run over to the Camping World to get the parts... and of course... the new models are different...

Broken 30A receptacle

The original I installed is round... the replacement... square... of course! life in the west...

The good news was that the inside of the thing remains the same... so I didn't have to completely disconnect the wiring... just remove the cover section...

30A receptacle with cover removed

Then, after a second run to Home Depot, to get some self drilling screws, I drilled pilot holes, reinstalled everything and wa la! All repaired!

Repaired 30A receptacle

That's a lesson I'll hopefully not have to relearn, to the tune of $50, any time soon!... yep... getting in a hurry gets costly!

I decided I'm too lazy to deal with the solar controller just now... since we're plugged in... we have no shortage of power... and once we're home I can unload the front compartment into the shop for access to the batteries... I have to disconnect everything to do the testing... and then wait for parts to install... so I'll wait till I get home... that's the excuse I'm using anyway :-)

The weather is improving today... snow on the higher peaks last night... I'm planning on bein' back on the scooter in the morning... Don't know if I'll ever make it up onto Mount Lemmon... the road was closed today due to the snow they got...

Maybe I'll be able to run over toward Kitt Peak... or down to San Xavier.... no shortage of places to go... just a shortage of time on this winter trip to the desert... but soon... that is gonna change by God! and then... I can sit around doin' nothing as much as I want! :-)

Take Good Care

February 6, 2008 08:24 - Dang! It's threatening to be... Another... Beautiful... Day

Two days 'off'... so it's time to go put some miles on the scooter... They're talkin' 60 degrees today... and I can't see a cloud anywhere...

The girls are busily buyin' beads and such trinkets for the store at the Gem show... I had to drop them yesterday at the show they were goin' to... they'd got a late start and figured as how they'd not be able to capture a parking place... I figure they was figurin' correct!

What a zoo... best for fellas like me to keep clear of such doin's... I don't do well in heavy traffic... fact is I start snappin' and poppin'... not a pretty sight... or sound.... lots of $#%& and *&@#$$ !!!

Robles junction is just 20 miles west... and Kitt Peak out that a way... and... it's movin' AWAY from the trafffic in Tucson! SO... the likely thing is that I'll be rollin' west...

You know... as much as I prefer straight up bondocking, setting here in Justin's Diamond J has not been the ordeal I usually associate with getting shoehorned into RV parks... if all the other parks took a hint from this place... I'm thinkin' the complaints about 'awning to slide' RV parks would subside quite a bit... I'm not holding my breath... but those in the business might want to take a hint from Doc Justin!

He's only been open two months... and from what I've seen and heard... RV Traffic is down a bit this year. That said, his new place must be running at 75% capacity or so... and I really don't get the feeling of being crowded in this park... and that's a lot coming from me! :-)

... but I still prefer a mountain meadow... :-)

First time in a long time that Big Red hasn't been started daily... fact is... he's been sittin' quiet since Saturday! I don't believe he's gone that long without bein' started up since he came to live with us... that's one way to cut fuel costs! ...

So... all you have to do is get your kid to follow you around so you can drive her little car! :-)

Time to go wander some 'Sunny Slopes'...

Take good care

February 7, 2008 08:30 - Just wanderin' through the desert... with no particular place to go...

I never know where I'm gonna go... till I can look back to see where I've been!

Left yesterday... thinkin' I was goin' west... and out toward Kitt Peak... Wrong! Got to the intersection where I had to make the turn... and found I'd turned north! :-)

Rolled past the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum and on to Saguaro National Park... Potecting the Saguaro since 1933!

Saguaro National Park

They've got a pretty nice visitor center... Called the Red Hills, Visitor Center... after the 'Red Hills' in the area...

Red Hills Visitor Center, Saguaro Nat. Park

... and the best way to see 'some' of the critters that live around here! Much better these are on the other side of nice thick glass... don't you think? ... how'd you like to meet up with 'em on a midnight stroll to the outhouse? :-)

a good snake

This Monster has maybe the baddest reputation... though... I don't think I've ever seen one actually move in the wild... they mostly just lay around in the shade!... Hmmm... an RVer in the Reptile world? :-)

Gila Monster

When I was a kid... you'd see these guys all over the desert... don't know if they're as plentiful as they used to be... I haven't seen one in years!... BEEP! BEEP! ...

Road Runner

Where's Wily?

After leaving the visitor center I rolled around the Bajada Loop drive... a nice slow roll... especially when it's a dirt loop... with lot's of sand and gravel... and you're on a street bike... that don't really much care for gravel! :-) ...

I did end up over west a bit... circled out through the desert to roll back to the Eagle... Wide open country... and the only snow is visible way off NE on top of the Catalinas! :-) ... I'll be back in the snow, up north, soon enough.

A last view just before leaving Saguaro National Park (west) ... A long view looking toward Ajo.

Saguaro National Park view

We move tomorrow afternoon to a school yard up on the north side of Tucson for an agility competition... the time here has passed too quickly... ain't it always the way... when you only have a couple weeks?

Till Next Time... Take Good Care

February 8, 2008 07:52 - Gotta Move camp Today...

Heidi and Buck are entered in an Agility Competition this weekend... and we can park the rig right on the school grounds... so it's boondocking... sort of :-) ...

We can't set up there till late afternoon or early evening... gotta let the school kids get gone! But... we'll need to get out of here before then... so we'll have to find a place for one of George's 'Day Camps' I guess! ... we're thinking of touring the Desert Museum... that would kill a couple of birds with one stone... OOPS... don't tell them museum folks I'm runnin' around the desert chuckin' rocks at birds!

Been a little chilly for the winter desert this week... of course... now that I have to load slick back up... it's supposed to bust 70 degrees for the next few days! ... sometimes my timing is just plumb awful! ... probably find a blizzard on our way north! :-)

shhhh.... I didn't really say that!

A bunch of folks pulled out of here yesterday... I wonder how many were heading up to the RV rally Nick Russel is putting on up to Casa Grande?

The girls are heading back to the Gem show this morning... to tie up a few loose ends... while I get the rig ready to roll... not much to do there... I did most of that yesterday while I was layin' about... one of those days where I justify my 'Golden Access' "Cripple Card" :-)

Most days... by 9 or 10 ... a pot of coffee and a handful of Tylenol I'm good! .... some days... I can't ever seem to straighten out the 'pretzel'... another example of what the song was about... 'Momma don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys!' ... 'cause eventually... all their broke parts come back to remind 'em... " We didn't heal up, quite as good as you thought we did... Cowboy!" :-)

With the weather warmed up a mite... maybe I'll be able to stand up straight... and that kid of mine will quit imitatin' old men!... when she heard that Justin's was supposed to be a 45+ age park... she suddenly started walkin' all hunched over and bowlegged .... so she wouldn't 'attract attention'! .... smart alec!

The hitchin' is waitin'... till next time
Take Good Care

February 9, 2008 07:15 - From Old Tucson in 1880... back to Dry Camped in a school yard... in the 21st Century

all in one day!

Got hitched up yesterday... with no place to go... couldn't pull in where we are now until after 4:30... Justin's let us leave the rig sitting out of the way until late afternoon... Thanks!

We started off for the Desert Museum... were almost passing Old Tucson Studio... and the ladies decided to shift gears... since I was occupyin' the navigator seat... but no-one was listening :-) ... I went where they went!

Old Tucson

Old Tucson Studios is kind of pricey for a 'Tourist Trap'... and kind of sad... The first time I went there... and pretty near the last was in something like 1969! ... I thought it was pretty kool back then... old west stuff... a kid could almost imagine himself back in the time he was - supposed - to have been!

Today, most of the 'Old' place is gone... there was a big fire... in something like 1995 that burnt the 1939 buildings to a cinder. Place was built for some movie and then a whole bunch of others were filmed there... Rio Lobo... Lots of John Wayne!

They rebuilt quite a bit after the fire... but not replacement... what they built is 'new'... I didn't think the 'atmosphere' was the same... kind of sad losing the 'history' of the movies that were made there...

Old Tucson 'New' Construction

With a little imagination, a guy could imagine himself walkin' down the street in one of those old towns... makes me a little 'homesick' in a way... knowin' I was born a 150 years out of season :-)

We had some fun though, just walkin' around 'town' and clownin'... let my hair down a little... maybe a little too much! It all fell off! and I guess they must have found out about those Mustangs we 'borrowed' in Nevada!

Dead Horse Thief

If a person wanted a 'Western Themed' wedding... they've got a little church built there now at the Old Tucson Studios... only thing missing is the gallows! :-)

Crooked Creek Church at Old Tucson

All in all a nice day... IF an awful overpriced one! Heidi and Keriann went to work for a while... part time miners... they did manage to recoup some of the gate fees :-) ... of course... we spent them gettin' a BBQ sandwich lunch... which I thought was fairly good... of course... I'm told that I don't seem to notice 'BAD' food... unless there's critters crawlin' around in it! :-)

Old Tucson Gold Panning

I never have been a real good 'tourist'... much prefer a hike or ride in the mountains to pokin' through some stack of genuine 'western souveniers' ... with 'made in China' stamped on the bottom....

But... a fella has to go back once in a while to see a little bit of the 'junk' to remind him how good the Lonesome Country is :-) ... it's all about 'Balance'... and ever' body knows.... if I'm anything... it's Balanced! :-)

I better get out there... Heidi will be makin' her first run on the Agility field pretty quick... don't want to start the day off in trouble! .... that would throw off my balance! :-)

Till Later

February 10, 2008 06:47 - Buck is Qualified for the Nationals Again!

Heidi and Buck had a pretty good day Saturday... they got the last 'Q' (qualifying run) they needed to make sure they can go to the Nationals in Scottsdale again in the fall.... got it quite a bit earlier then they did last year... and they qualified in more classes this year...

Buck looked pretty good all day...

Buck on the Dog Agility A Frame

and I wasn't doin' to bad with my rinky dink little Kodak neither! Heidi and Buck have to have their timing just right... and so do I... The thing is so slow... you have to punch the shutter button a second before the picture is taken... and with a running dog... that's quite a few feet!

So... to catch him in the right spot on an obstacle is kind of tricky! But I was havin' a pretty fair day too and managed to capture several at just about the right moment...

Dog Agility Tire with Buck

1/4 of a second either way and this picture, takin' the tire, ain't there...

Same with this one in the weaves...

Dog agility weave poles with Buck

All in all for a day of Dog Agility Competition, Heidi and Buck got 2 Q's out of 5 runs... she didn't think that was a very good average... Hmmmm... in the Major leagues... 2 hits at five at bats is a .400 average ain't it? Seemed a pretty fair average to me... and the competition is a little stiffer this year... seems some of the 'Big Guns' are finding out about this 'little' desert competition... at a time when it's kind of nasty in other parts of the country...

Heidi and Buck at speed on the Dog Agility Field

Either way... They're doin' pretty good... especially compared to a year or so ago... another year and they'll be at the top of their game I think... as long as Heidi don't fall down and break somethin' :-)

We'll pull out sometime this afternoon... and roll down somewhere east of Tucson for the night. Have to clear the school yard today... or awful early in the morning... and I'd just as soon NOT deal with the traffic on Monday morning with the interstate the way it is here (under construction).

I'm surrendering to the collected wisdom... and taking the 'southern' / eastern route back to Colorado... I-10 to I-25... and hope I don't catch too much 'weather' after I cross Raton Pass...

As always... too short a Winter Desert Circle... but... my patience is enduring and my time will come... hopefully, it won't be 'Doin' time' ... for losing my patience! :-)

Keepin' my nose to the wind

February 11, 2008 06:36 - Sunrise over the Burro Mountains

We didn't stop at Benson... Rolled on another bit of a ways to Lordsbug, New Mexico... Drycamped in a rest area there... was quiet most of the night... if you don't count the train coming by ever hour or two!

They do have some built in equipment here, useful to travelers that want a start, bright and early... a very disciplined Rooster... This one has a pretty strong work ethic... He don't even wait on sunrise... His wake up Crowin' started in about 4:30 or so ... almost had chicken for breakfast, instead of that blueberry muffin.

Heidi and Keriann will pull out shortly... then I'll roll along at my more procrastinating pace... They'll be back to Denver tonight... I'm figurin' on droppin' anchor somewhere around Trinidad...

No use gettin' 'Home' too soon... all I got to do there is paintin' an sprucin' an' such... though the sooner that gets done... and the house goes back on the market... the sooner I can be shed of it's burden.

Just the same... I detest gettin' 'pushed' on the road... bein' in a hurry is just an unpleasant sensation I think is best avoided... and as much as I can, I intend to do just that...

But now I got to HURRY and go shave! :-)

Rattlin' an' Rollin' on the Boondocking Trail

February 13, 2008 07:07 - One more time at the Ol' Homestead

Got back yesterday afternoon.

Here's the Lordsburg Rooster I told you about Monday morning... he actually is resident at the rest area... at least for the time being :-) until somebody feels like some 'Chicken Tenders' when his early mornin' croonin' don't sit well with 'em :-)

Lordsburg Rest Area Rooster

Monday I took off from the rest area, and as Heidi and Keriann took their usual 'Hatch Cutoff'... I went north through Silver City... In all the time I lived in the southwest I have no clear memory of ever bein' there before... one of the fiew roads in those two states (Ariz. and New Mexico) I'd not been on...

or... I was real close to the bottom of a Tequila bottle... and just don't have it remembered!

Either way... it's pretty country... lots of pines and oaks and junipers... I really like that canyon as you run east toward 8228' Emory pass... and a couple nice looking forest service campgrounds in there... sweet, shady spot for the summer... or right now if you have plenty of propane... and generator fuel... there ain't much sun down in there for solar power :-)

Emory Pass Sign

I'd think twice of goin' this way... if you're pushin' a big outfit... or draggin' one. Some 10-15 mph corners and lots of climbs and downhills... and a couple of 12' 6" bridges... The Eagle is some shorter than that so no worries... but it would have been some considerable ordeal, without the exhaust brake.

Only warts are a couple of sizeable mines... I guess in a place called Silver City a fella should ought to expect such things.

Havin' been a hard rock miner for a few years, in amongst all the other chores I've done, I can say I'm pretty ambivalent toward such doin's... it's just that in my advancing years I've decided that there are some things better left undone. Some times the cost of our conveniences are too high...

I believe this one is called the 'Spencer Mine'.

Spencer Mine by Silver City

If it takes chewin' up the land with such scars, I'd prefer to do without... easy to say... now that I have my truck, my fiver, and all my toys... probably a mite tougher if I had to start givin' 'em up :-)

Just something to consider... are the toys and such worth it... if we end up livin' in a sewer? Seems like we dig it up out of one hole... then dig another big hole to bury it back up when we're done with 'it'... There should be a better way I'm thinkin'.
... some way that don't take so many holes! :-)

Anyway... I got back to I-25 a few miles north of where the Hatch cutoff connects... turned north and headed for 'Home'... at the blinding rate of 62 mph. That climb past Silver City and over Emory pass ate some diesel... but at 62 mph my average got back into double digits and working toward 13 mpg pretty quickly.

Heidi called late in the day to say they drove into a hard storm south of Castle Rock... Oh Joy! I kept on to climb over Raton Pass figurin' to pull off around Trinidad ... but... with the weather threatening... and the road still clear in front of me, I thought I'd roll on to the rest area at Colorado City to spend the night...

Made an early start... and managed to time things to mostly miss the rush hours in Colorado Springs and Denver...

Heidi had told me about a place on the south side of Castle Rock... a western station selling diesel for $2.79.... We both figured it was some sort of a goof... but when I got there.... that's what they were sellin' it for... so I filled both tanks... and then worried that it was full of water or some such.... rolled on home without a problem... least I've paid in a long time :-)

They already had that 'sink hole' on the interstate filled in and concreted when I rolled past in Denver... but the traffic was still backed up... mostly 'Looky Lous'... and the bozos who have to race up and try and squeeze in at the last possible point when the lanes choke down for construction... rather than merge in smooth and easy in the half mile of 'warning' area... some peoples kids...

We're here... again.... the sun is shinin', the rig is back in winter 'parked' mode, and now I'll get to work puttin' the house back into shape to put back on the market in two or three weeks...

Some things never seem to change!

Till next time... stay safe

February 14, 2008 07:28 - Finally getting around to the Solar Charge Controller Diagnosis

Talk about procrastinating...

It's been 10+ days since I discovered that the gremlins were dancin' in our solar system... but... with our battery bank I knew I had at least a week of power at the rate we use it... and I'd be in Tucson and plugged in long before that... so I'd check it out then...

Got to Tucson... but... for the most part, the sun was shining... Slick was callin'...."Ohhhhh Briiiiiiiian....." .... so who wants to go diggin' around in something he don't know that much about!... and I put it off again...

Finally, after getting back here the other day I figured I'd better get after it... The solar equipment is packed into the front compartment on the Eagle... so, to make fiddling around in there easier, I had to unload that compartment to access the battery box and make access to the controller reasonable.

Another reason I procrastinated! :-) ... here, I have the shop to put all that precious cargo in... for however long it takes to get the system back online.

With everything unloaded, the battery box opened up and the batteries disconnected from the system I took all the voltage readings I could think of.... input to the controller from the Solar array... 21.3 Batteries... 13.2 (they'd been charging all night off the inverter charger... so there was 'residual' voltage still there) .... but on the output side of the controller.... 0 Volts.... Hmmm... not looking good....

So... I called RV Solar Electric... Talked to Doug and Wally... they suggested I call technical service at Xantrex which I did... a fella named Prashant.... get the idea he ain't from around here :-) .... emailed me a resetting procedure for the C60 contoller on my system...

So... up on the roof go I to cover the solar array ( DOH! an oversight.... when I install the remaining panels I have planned I .... WILL.... put in a solar array disconnect!) , you don't want juice running through things when you are disconnecting wires!

Back down and disconnect the positive from the array into the controller... use my meter to verify that no power is going into the controller from either direction... so far so good... no sparks... no smoke.... no $%#&@ !!! :-)

Now you sit and wait for "no less than 10 minutes" .... I got to fiddling with other things and it ran into an hour.

Now... hook the batteries back in first.... the solar feed last.... pull the array cover... Wa La! 14.3 volts... Hurray! .... except...

Huh? ... Dang.... the remote monitor ain't.... outside of it's little green LED light winkin' an blinkin' just like it should... the digital readout is blank... hit the reset... nope.... unplug it's feed wire.... twiddle my thumbs for a bit.... doh dee doh doh doh... plug back in.... nope.... so back on the phone... and I get the advice to plug in another telephone wire to see if the remote feed wire has gone bad... only... the only wire I have is four conductor... and of course.... the remote uses a six wire...

Well, I had to make a run to town for other reasons anyway... so stop in at office max.... buy their LAST 6 wire cord... and this morning... as soon as the wind lets up... or my ambition swells.... I'll step outside to test the monitor with a new wire... which I'm not real confident will solve this last little glitch... but then... I can send off the bad monitor for warranty replacement....

So... in the end the 'fix' ... if I'd been a mite more educated ,which I now am! :-) , was pretty simple....

The problem... I'm guessing... started when I started a thousand mile trip with a 50' extension cord! .... you remember me pulling the umbilical out of the side of the rig right? :-)

Though the 110 and 12v systems are 'seperate'... it would be my guess there must have been some sort of a surge or some such that ran through the whole deal as it was coming apart.... the 'events' were too close together to be a coincidence in my book.... another re-enforcement of the 'take your time and do it right' lesson :-)

With all my tools set up in those boxes on the truck... all nice and 'situated', it made for a pretty simple task... I even got the feelin' like I knew what I was doin'.... if the rig would just Mooo, whinny, or kick.... I'd be right at home! :-)

Time to go paint some now! ... if that old paint is any good.

Take Good Care

February 15, 2008 07:57 - Lots of Chores... and ruminations...

Well.... now I wait for a response from Xantrex... I can't stand sitting on a telephone listening to 'elevator' music... so I sent 'em an e-mail.

The Remote Display for the controller is kaput... The controller is working fine... after running through their resetting procedure... but the display ain't displayin'.

Planning out the 'Spring Greening' of the place in preparation for another assault on the real estate market. A little bit of painting inside/out... and a good bit of landscaping once the weather breaks... 10 or 15 degrees is a little to cold yet to do any planting!

On other fronts... on our recent run to Tucson and back... the only place... I didn't have cell/air card service on the whole trip, especially with the Wilson Electronics antennae and amplifier, was in far northern New Mexico.

Everywhere else... oh yeah... also... running through the canyon East of Silver City, on the way to Emory Pass, I lost signal!... but most everywhere else, I had a working signal.

So far, I'd guess, at least for my purposes, the Verizon Air card is getting the job done in fine style. At times I've had as much as 1mbps! transfer rate! Compared to the dial up I'm used to... that's blazing!

Hey? Does anybody know where a fella can get one of those St Joseph figures folks use to help sell their houses? In Colorado?

It's been suggested to me in the past... and let's face it... I tend toward scepticism with such doin's... but I'm also not one to totally discount anything I don't know about either... and at this point... if somebody told me that if I stood on my head in the corner for five minutes, the house would sell... I'd be makin' sure I wasn't wearin' a dress! :-)

Stayin' away from the news too... if it ain't something truly bad... or something threatening to get bad... it's some politician tryin' to tell me he's the only thing that'll save me from the boogey man... either way... it's all just a downer... so if 'Lost' ain't on... I'm writin', readin' or.... paintin'! :-)

... and schemin' how... one way or another... we can get to Alaska THIS YEAR! ... That is a Sweet Vision that keeps me truckin'.

Hope you're keepin' your dreams sizzlin' too!
Take Good Care

February 17, 2008 06:54 - Getting Things Lined out

I've built a whole list of jobs to do... to make the place shine come "Re-Listing" day...

Paint this, rake that... re-sod here, seed there... and I'm starting better than a hundred flowers downstairs... in the unfinished walkout... right in front of a big south facing window...

I figure... if we make it 'POP' when they drive up... it won't hurt! ... and maybe: " Gee, the roof leaks, the carpets dirty, the floors are uneven.... and what's that sound from the furnace? but my, ain't all those flowers purty? We'll take it!" :-)

I'm optomistic to tell the truth... the only reason it didn't sell last season, I believe, was that we took the first, 'Wrong' offer that came along. That held us off the market through the best 'Selling' time ... just poor timing... This year... with a good education behind us :-) .... and a whole lot more flowers! :-) Not to mention the moisture we've gotten this winter... We should have a good bit of grass coming up this spring... all that green makes the place look pretty good. I think we'll do fine...

All That and a St. Joe buried in the yard! :-) ... I'm going to wait to place that Ol' fella till the day we list! Kind of a Flood of promotion... Woosh! and off to Alaska we go!

Oh Lordy... let it happen this year! I'm a beggin'! :-)

I've recieved several e-mails from 'Kindred Spirit' readers the past week or so... seems like there are plenty of us in about the same spot, one way or another. Various obstacles keeping us from our dreams... but the Dream still there... just a teasin' us! :-)

For me this blog/site has been a great help... It keeps me focused on the Brass Ring... and keeps my spirits 'UP'. Hopefully, in some small way, it will help some of you others in the same way.

Getting all depressed and down just feeds on itself... The only thing I can think to do is; "Well.. Ok... that didn't work... so where is there another way around?" I keep on keepin' on and eventually I get there... a fella just has to be stubborn!

This Real Estate Market has sure changed our 'plan'... I'd expect due to the expected lower price we'll likely have to take for the house... (if we want to get sold now) we'll end up doing a lot more 'Seasonl' jobs... once we get out there full-time...

That's Ok too... the only option is to wait 2 maybe even 5 years... and I've seen way too many people do that 'Waitin'... only to have something ugly happen that ends their whole dream cold. Illness, injury, whatever... if a fella waits too long all sorts of 'things' have time to catch up... me?... I'm runnin' like a rabbit! :-)

I'm thinkin' at this point... we'll take off for a season... and maybe find some work through the winter... That will all play out somewhere down the road... likely be a lot different looking when we get 'there' than it does just now... too much planning at this point will just pile up some more frustration when it don't work out according to the plan...

Best 'plan' I can think of is to have a lot of 'Ideas' stacked up... then plug in the one that fits best at the time :-)

Well... the farm and ranch store is a waitin'... and spring ain't here yet for plantin'... so I'm off to sell some nuts, bolts and corral panels!

Take Good Care

February 19, 2008 07:11 - Still trying...

I'll make another try today to get the manufacturer on my solar controller system to honor their warranty... I've made I think five phone calls trying to simply get an RMA # so I can ship the bad remote monitor back for warranty replacement... The warranty doesn't exire until October...

Problem is the unit has been in service for 18 months so it is beyond the Retailers responsibility and sits squarely on the shoulders of the manufacturer... Having worked in retail for a couple years now, I understand how it all works...

They keep telling me I need the serial numbers off the controller... I tell them the controller is fine... the monitor display is dead... (seperate piece) they say they still need the number on the 'Bar Code' on the controller... There's only two numbers on the controller and neither one is a bar code. I've lost count of the times I've told them "YO! There AIN'T NO BAR CODE ON THE CONTROLLER!"

They insist there is... "Everything we ship has a bar code on it!" So I have a really rare piece of equipment... they only one in existence, shipped without a barcode! Why that matters? I still haven't a clue... the piece they insist on getting a number for is NOT the piece that is bad! ???

So, I'll give 'em one more chance, and then I start publicizin' who they are and how they refuse to honor their warranty...! Don't know that will have any affect... but I'll feel better! :-)

I just love dealin' with corporations... I think they all handle their warranties like insurance companies do claims.... procrastinate, obfuscate, deny and avoid.... Only problem is... I'm a cranky Ol' bugger and my shorts are starting to get a little tight! :-) ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!

On a more optomistic subject... Across the road there sits a house, 'bout the size of ours... on a little less ground I think that finally just sold... It was a 'spec' built a couple years after ours that's been for sale for a long time... It's problem was that it's one of them fancy 'Geo Thermal' setups... and they started out wanting $600,000 for it!!! Juuuuuussst a mite out of step with the rest of the area! Not sure what they finally took... though I know it was down a lot from that 'Pie in the Sky' price.

But it and a couple others around have sold... so things are looking a mite more 'relaxed' in the area now... people are starting to breathe a mite... and that can't be anything but good... so, here in another few weeks.... we'll pull the trigger... and go back to holding our breath! :-)

In the mean time... I got to get downstairs and get started on my 'Indoor Farming' ... Hmmmm.... I suppose I shouldn't talk to loud about taking care of my 'Plants' in the basement Huh? Especially if I have a grin on my face? :-) .... It could cause an unexpected visit by the Kings men! :-) .... Somebody might mistake those Columbines and Daisys for something else! :-)

Time to make the doughnuts...
Take Good Care!

February 20, 2008 06:34 - Persistence usually pays off...

Finally!... only took, I think five phone calls, but I finally got the RMA # and address I needed to ship the faulty remote display back for warranty replacement... and didn't have to get testy, cranky, threatening or nuthin'. :-)

I much prefer it that way. Gettin' my shorts in a knot gives me a rash... Purty as I am I don't want to be screwin' up my good looks with rashes! :-)

It's my guess, that the 'problem' was really one of 'understanding'... from the accents of the fellas I was speakin' to... I'd guess they were all from Pakistan or India or some such... combine that with my artillery ears... and an iffy cell phone connection, and I can see where you might have some difficulty :-) .... took him three tries to get the word 'Bay' across to me when he was relaying the shipping address! ... I just couldn't recognize his pronunciation of the letter 'a'...

I'll get that display shipped today and that system should soon be back to 100%... actually it's there now... I just can't see, at a glance, what it's doin'... or which charging stage it's in....

This aging thing is beginning to get my shorts in a knot... Uh Oh.... wait a minute...... It's OK... no rash yet! :-)

So... with that success I went on to other things... and the day went down hill in a hurry.... Have you ever done anything... that was really stupid... and managed to keep it from your wife? ... shhh .... she doesn't read this and don't know anything about it!... shhhhh

When we had the renters (aborted buyers) in here last year... for some reason they thought it would be a good idea to turn the well pressure down about 10 lbs... ??? Who wants to take a shower with the water just dribblin'? Anyway, I finally worked up the ambition to go turn it back up....

Took the cap off the pressure switch and gave the nut on the 'Cut Out' pressure side a turn... and then used the plastic cover to kick the contacts together to turn the pump on... to see how far I'd turned the pressure up... No problem yet... right?

Nope there wasn't... until I started to stand up from my position, kneeling there on the concrete... wait for it... here comes the stupid part!

In my right hand is the little wrench for turning that nut.... about half way to my feet that dang right hand saw no need to keep hangin' on to the wrench...

Yup... you got it... sparks.... smoke and "%$@#$^@" dirty words. The wrench fell down hitting the contact and one of the spring studs on the pressure switch... Killed all the power.... So, I went out to the breaker panel and sure enough the well breaker was popped...

But when I went back inside to the pressure tanks/switch area after putting the breaker back 'in'... still no power to the pressure switch.... more %$#@%#$ !!!

Now I'm worryin' that I really fried something that should not ought to be fried... Got on the phone... my well guy ain't available... talked to a plumber fella at a local supply... and he sent me to pull some more covers where Thanks be to the Boss... there were a couple of hidden fuses...

Jumping in the truck I race into town... mumbling to myself the whole way... they continuity test those big fuses and Praise be! one is bad.... so I buy it.. tell 'em if it don't work I'll be back in an hour with tears runnin' down my cheeks...

'Cause if it don't work that means I cooked the whole control box or worse... and the boss lady will have great chunks of my carcass for supper if I done that!...

Luckily... I put the fuse in.. replaced the disconnect... turned the breaker back on... and wa la.... water! just like I knew what I was doin'! ... 'course... if I knew that... I wouldn't have shorted that switch in the first place :-)

Moral of the story? ... put the dang wrench down somewhere safe before you stand up!

Curious, how doin' something really dumb can teach a fella juuuust a little humility :-)

With that done I went to settin' flower starts to use shinin' the place up for our coming 'Sale'.... I picked up some 'greenhouse' tray gizmos at Wally World... 72 starts per tray in little compressed soil plugs... should work pretty good for our needs... started 216 so far... 72 each of Columbines, Calif. Poppys and something called Rudbeckia... a daisy lookin' flower....

Now, you fellas give it a rest... we already know I'm a vewy thweet manperthun! ... you might want to try it your ownselves anyway! Sometimes the girls really like a 'sensitive' fella! :-)

Figure I'll need another tray or two for enough Poppys to make it all the way around where we have planned.... but a lot dang cheaper than buyin' the greenhouse plants at the nursery...

I'm not careful and we'll get this place shined up so good we won't want to leave! :-)

Off now to see what else I can burn, short, crack, bend or otherwise 'Maintain' . :-)

and remember.... if it ain't broke... and you're gonna do some maintenance on it.... make sure you got somebody who DOES know what they're about... near the phone! :-)

Take Good Care

February 21, 2008 14:36 - I needed a pick-me-up... SO

I think being raised by girls for a long time... just my Mother and Sisters when I was real little... had an impact on me...

I've been feeling kind of low the past few days... kind of funky... and thinking I wasn't makin' much progress... SO.... Like them girls do to make themselves feel better... I went shoppin' :-)

Got Red another shiny box! This time a Delta Utility Chest.

Delta Utility Chest

All the 'stuff' I'm figurin' is going to get packed in this box is coming out of the front and side compartments on the fiver... opening them up for more suitable storage.

I'll be moving our coleman grill, a couple lanterns... hoses... collapsible/bag chairs... and some odds and ends... With a little patience and some petroleum jelly, I'll get it all stuffed in there! :-)

When I was picking this box up I picked up some fresh car wash too... the cost of going to the Do-it-your-self has gotten up over 10 bucks for me... Seems like they keep raisin' the price and cuttin' the time.... Heck... a gallon jug of good car wash is a whole lot less than that... and yields enough for 32 washes according to their recommendation...

Armor All Car Wash

I think it worked pretty good considerin'. ... If you'd seen how dirty it was before I started... But you can see the trees reflectin' in it now... after 2 oz of detergent in a pail of water, a quick rinse with the hose... which started out froze and ended up gettin' me wetter than the truck... then maybe 10 minutes of washing with my brush on a pole... some more rinsin'...

Now, I just did some quick cipherin'... at $9 for the jug... I think I paid something like that... and 64 oz. ... I used 2 oz. and two gallons of water.... that comes to 32 washes a jug... at about .28 cents a wash... plus the two gallons water.... Hmmmm... get the idea them 'Do-it-yur-self' car wash fellas are squeezin' that turnip just a mite hard?

Now... If a fella washes his rig just three times a month... at the pay-to-play place... that's nigh on to $30 or better.... My way... that's.... let me pull off my boots.... let's see... take off two toes... squint real hard... carry the 3..... Hmmmm ... that comes to a savings of somewhere around, just about $29 dollars and 16 cents!

Seems like a feller... or fellerette... wantin' to save a bit could keep their rig all shiny brite for quite a bit less than them guys in town want to charge... Why... that's enough to go to the movies and see some big lizard eat Manhattan!

Nice new shiny whizbang box on Big Red.... Himself all shiny brite now... almost makes up for the smoke and sparks the other day.. OOPS.... shhhhh.... Heidi don't know about it yet....

Take Good Care!

February 23, 2008 05:54 - Hmmm.... same as last year... winter doldrums...

Got to ride Slick yesterday... today is supposed to stay down in the twenties... think I'll pass... tomorrow they're sayin' is to be real nice so I should get to ride again...

That's a good thing... 'cause this is the time of year around here I dislike.... too cold to do any growin' of things outside... usually too cold to get on the bike... at least get on and enjoy it!

I suppose that's what I like about yondering in the rig... you can travel with the weather and stay where you don't feel cabin bound 'cause of the weather... unless winter is 'your' season... and for me it never was.... now it's nigh on to intolerable ... boo hoo... poor poor lil' brian :-(

But still... even if the weather were fine ... it's the same old, same old... little new... except for what happens to blow through on the wind.

Just bein' in new country I can get out and hike in... hunt for pictures to make... just SEE what I haven't seen before... or not in a tolerably long time, is the breath of life to me....

Bein' stuck in one place for a long time... I think it must be akin to what fellas in prison feel... held against their will in a place they're long weary of... well without the bad 'deeds' or the 'roomate' named Roosevelt of course... just makes me itchy all over...

So, it's either something genetic... or I've got a new alergy!

I'm goin' with something genetic... I figure... I've got to be part gypsy by birth... I even have the urge to get fancy murals painted on my 'wagon' like them Gypsies! :-) ... even sketched out the rough idea one afternoon over my coffee...

Still makin' preparations to get back on the market... 360 flower sets started... touch up painting goin' on... deciding on a realtor... Looking for early March.... a few places have sold around about so it's not the 'dead' market it seemed to be....

We'll just keep our fingers crossed and at the appropriate time... Ol' St Joe, buried. :-)

Till the next time... all you gear jammers that have broke free and have your rigs out yondering right now...
Count Your blessings... You're a lucky bunch!

February 26, 2008 09:59 - It's one of those times... a fella has to just start pushing....

Making the choice to step off on a total change of lifestyle is maybe the toughest thing for a person to do other than standing up in front of a whole church full of folks and sayin' "I do"....

Actually making it happen gets even tougher... It would seem at times that the whole system is stacked up against you... and I think maybe it is...

You get tired and start to feelin' like you'll never get where you're aimed... I know... I'm struggling through that murky mess right now.

The 'System' wants you doing just as everyone else... mostly slavin' away for it... even the other folks on the treadmill seem to work against you... without knowing why... They almost act like you're trying to take something away from them, as you make your attempts to get cut loose... when what all you're really doing is reaching out to get a hold on your own dang life!

This is the point when you have to just bow your head... bull up and start pushin'! Almost a ..."Step aside or get run over" sort of an attitude.

I'm sort of in that place now... sometimes it seems that every step forward takes more effort than the last!

I keep running into negative people and all sorts of emotional roadblocks... "Oh, you can't do that... fuel is too high... you have to have an address... you can't live like that... who'd want to live like that... they won't let you do that.... the market is in the toilet, the banks are tightening up... " Yadda Yadda Yadda...

I've gotten pretty deaf to it all... As soon as they start in, I just tell 'em... "You do what you want to do with your own life... but don't be tellin' me what to do with mine! and, I'd suggest not stepping off the curb in front of any Big Red Dodges with the intent of stoppin' them either... unless you're in search of employment as a hood ornament!"

Funny, how some folks think they own some divine right, or special authority to make the decisions of your life for you... or, are shocked that you aren't jumpin' with joy at having them dictate your life to you!

Now... I'll make suggestions... and offer advice... based on what I've seen on the trails I've wandered... but when it comes right down to it... the only person that I know what's right for... for sure and for certain... is ME!

That don't mean I don't express my opinions about how folks live... it just means that, that is all I'll do.... I never, ever, try to manipulate or IMPOSE my values onto other folks... outside of when they make such attempts to IMPOSE their values on me... at which point ... I WILL impose my LIBERTY on those poor misguided travelers! :-)

Bottom line is... when you go to making huge, non-typical changes, remodeling the way you live... lots of folks around you are going to do everything they can, emotionally, verbally and physically to turn you back into the struggling herd... just like Thoreau cautioned us about a hundred and more years ago...

Be aware it's going to happen. Be ready for it. And steel yourself to ignore it. I know what I want. I know what's GOOD for me... and you know what's right and proper in your own world too! All you've got to do is have the confidence in your own judgement... and the sand to pursue it...

I'll keep the coffee hot till you get here... see you in camp

February 27, 2008 13:55 - The More Things Change... the More They Stay the Same

The comments on yesterdays post seem to make a point... at least for me they do.

Maybe there aren't that many of us that think there's a better way... but we're here just the same....

I remember an 'Old' guy, 38 years ago, in the Army. Was in basic training... We were all a bunch of young runts. Mostly 19 to maybe 21 or so... This 'Old Guy' was ancient... Must have been 35! :-)

But we liked him. He might have had trouble keepin' up... but he never quit. Not one time.

I remember one time. We'd gotten into trouble with the DI's for some thing and they were 'punishing' us... makin' us crawl through this huge low crawl pit. That cursed thing was something like 150 yards long.

For those who have no idea what a low crawl pit is; It's basically a 'field'... only it's buried under maybe a foot or more of sawdust... There was plenty of that in Washington State in 1970.

Trying to crawl through it is a two steps forward... one step back sort of struggle... You just can't get any traction... and you have to be nose down in it... or there's a DI jumpin' on you...

Anyway... we'd run a good long way to get there... it was late in the day... and we were bone weary... The DI's put us in the pit and we only had a short time to make it up and back... a distance of something around 300 yards... I think we'd been given 5 or 10 minutes to make the crawl.

We had all made the crawl and returned to our 'grounded' gear and were putting it back on when the DI's started squallin' again... There was ONE MAN who didn't look like he was going to make the time... and then we'd be in it deep...

You got it.. it was Kasperzak... the 'Old Man'.... We looked back and he was out in the middle of the pit... doggedly puttin' one arm out in front of the other and pushin' against that sawdust with his feet... and gettin' not much of anywhere anymore...

There was a spontaneous yell as somewhere around a dozen of us dropped our gear and sprinted for the 'pit'... diving in as we crossed the edge... you weren't alowed to be on your feet in 'The Pit'.... We sent up a rooster tail of sawdust getting to him.... :-)

Now some might think we'd gotten mad at him for draggin' us down... Not even close... He inspired us to keep on pushin'. He was worn right down to the ground... but he NEVER EVER QUIT.

We loved that guy.

A few of us got on his left side... a few on his right... and we dragged him at high speed down the pit and out. When the whistle blew we were in formation... geared up and ready to go.

The Di's really wanted a piece of us that day... and we whupped 'em! It was sweet. Ol' Kas' was apologetic for bringin' us so close to 'difficulty', but we'd have none of it. Fact is he was a big part of how we came to take care of each other.

The point here is this... all we have to do to get where we're goin' is make sure we don't leave nobody behind! If we make sure we're 'There', to give each other Moral Support and Drag each other along, like we done Ol' Kasperzak, we can't help but succeed!

I keep watchin' you guys that have already broke loose for good, and it keeps me movin'. Keep on watchin'.... I'm a comin'! Those behind me... tie onto my bumper and I'll give you a pull!

I'll see you in camp.

February 29, 2008 06:35 - Life is a Gamble

Late last night... as I was surfing around... I read the news of a loss to the RVing World. A good friend of Nick Russel, editor of the Gypsy Journal passed on yesterday evening.

I never had the opportunity to meet Dave Baleria, but from all accounts, he was a good man to know.

It's a sad thing that for a lot of us it takes great loss to get us moving. I'd advise everyone to stop for a few minutes today and contemplate their own worlds. Dave went out for a walk with his lady... and crossed over in the middle of that walk...

Are you procrastinating?... DON'T!

Are you thinking about all the things that might could go wrong? ... DON'T!

Are you listening to people that are telling you no?... DON'T!

Are you thinking how tough it would be to make 'IT' happen?... DON'T!

What can you do today, right now, this minute, to put a shine on THIS day?

Do you really think you'll be glad, or even remember, 15 years from now, that you painted the bathroom today? That bathroom is gonna still be there, when you get back.. The opportunity to spend THIS day LIVIN', will NEVER COME AGAIN. If you let it slip away... UNLIVED... By God... THAT you will remember.

Would you rather be building memories of Shining Days... or regrets?

If Today was all you had left... What would you like your last day on Earth to be? Measure each day with that ruler... If they don't measure up very well... Make the changes to get 'em into proper shape. Cut out the 'Crap' that's draggin' 'em down.

Don't be one of the poor bastards, layin on their death beds thinkin': "I wish I woulda' "

Go new places. Try new things. Laugh. Love. LIVE!

I expect that, if you're doin' it right, you'll find a good bit you don't much care for... GREAT!... That'll make you one of the lucky few who actually know! One way or the other!

Life is precious people... Don't let it get rusty from lack of use. Be one of the ..."WOOHOO! What a RIDE!" Bunch!

I'm outa here for today... got some polishin' to go get done!

January 2008 «  » March 2008


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