Friday, November 26, 2021

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 37

 Friday, November 26, 2021 - Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, NM, Day 6

A cold night - 36°F at 6:00AM. I went for a walk around the campground, adding to my site recommendations on my Campground Sites list. Again, all the sites would fit my trailer, but many have poorly positioned utilities, at least for a trailer.

After breakfast I read forums & blogs on the computer, then headed to Deming for my gasket material at NAPA, and hit both a grocery store & Walmart. I found Alaskan Amber at Pepper's grocery store, and the usual "stuff" at Walmart. Very busy, but, it is Black Friday. I tried to get replacement pads for the toilet "wand" I use, and, of course, Walmart no longer carries that model. They have a new & improved model that, I admit is better in that it has a holder for the wand & pads (my old one rattled around in the bathroom, getting under foot in the middle of the night). So, I tossed the old handle and have 9 pads to go through before I discover that the replacements are no longer available.

I now have a full freezer & am ready to head out Sunday without a long side trip to Deming. I haven't decided if I'm going to go straight to Whitewater Draw, or stop for one night at Sunny Flats. Sunny Flats is somewhat on the way, so I might check to see if one of the 11 sites is open. It is a beautiful forest service campground near Portal, AZ. 

I spent the rest of the day reading. Not much outside - it never got above 50°F. I did take another short walk around the lower end of the campground.

Lunch was a turkey sandwich. Usually I enjoy turkey, mayo & cranberry sauce sandwiches for days after the turkey dinner for both lunch & dinner, but I'm not impressed with the Jennie O turkey breast. Tough and not much flavor. I'll try it tonight, but I'm not sure it is a keeper. Anyhow, dinner was a turkey sandwich & a salad.

Until Tomorrow - 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 36

 Thursday, November 25, 2021 - Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, NM, Day 5 

Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving!

A cool, rainy night. Still overcast this morning with light to medium steady rain. Not enough to puddle on the ground, but enough to discourage a walk around the park.

I should mention the showers - I visited them yesterday afternoon. The bathrooms are heated, although barely, and there are two shower stalls in the men's central bathroom. Both have fine spray water saver showerheads, although the kind that shoot out many fine streams rather than one central stream (the spray doesn't cool as fast). It took 5 minutes for the water to get hot, but once it was hot it was fine. Very soft water - you spend more time rinsing than washing. As to the physical space, I ended up in the handicap shower & it was quite large, had a shelf for your stuff, a large drying room with a bench and one dual hook. A shower curtain that was long enough so little water leaked under it. Rubber mat on the drying room floor. The other shower has the same size stall & a smaller drying area. Both have upper & lower shower heads. I'd give them a solid B, A B+ if the water wasn't quite so soft & they had standard shower heads.

After breakfast I sat in the trailer reading. Still cold & rainy out at 43°F at 10:30AM. 

While I can't roast my usual 20+ pound Plainville Turkey & all the fixings here in the trailer, I did buy a turkey breast that will fit in the tiny oven, some stove top stuffing, gravy mix in case there isn't enough grease from the breast to make some, cranberry sauce, etc. I do wounder why you can buy a turkey breast, and often turkey legs, but not a turkey thigh. Seems like they would have twice as many of legs & thighs unless they are raising very strange turkeys. Actually, I did see turkey thighs in a store a couple of years ago, but none since. I prefer dark meat so would prefer the thigh. In any case, the turkey breast is in the oven. Dinner is planned for around 3:00 since that is the traditional time at home.

I've noticed a marked increase on internet ads during this pre "Black Friday, Internet Monday" period. I am hearing from companies that I haven't received email from in over a year. Many have changed their source address so they bypass my junk/spam mailboxes.

I don't usually do food photos, but since I don't have one for today's post, and I went to the trouble of making a Thanksgiving dinner, I'm sticking one here.

Everything cooked as expected, however the Jennie O turkey breast is one of the toughest I've had. Guess I'm used to Plainville turkeys. The other "problem" is there is no one here to do the dishes. When I do either an actual Thanksgiving turkey or my "Thanksgiving in July" dinner, there is a crowd, some of which insist that since I made the dinner, they would do the dishes (Thanks Anne, Anne & Kitty and others). Of course there is a negative - it takes me a month to find where they decided things should go. No one here but me and my 13" X 10" sink. Only took half an hour so now I can relax. I'll have a turkey sandwich for a late dinner. (or should I call it supper?) In any case, I have enough turkey for days.

Until Tomorrow - 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 35

 Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, NM, Day 4 - 0 Miles, 3,128.3 Miles for the Trip

The Pancho Villa Museum

Another small project this morning. I have a fan in the refrigerator powered by the 12V connection for the refrigerator itself. The fan was not running this morning; the refrigerator was on. There is a separate 1 amp fuse for the refrigerator fan. Checked it & it looked good, but when I put an ohm meter on it, it showed open. Naturally, I didn't have a replacement 1 amp buss fuse (the only glass fuse in the trailer) so I changed the fuse holder to a ATC holder, more compatible with the rest of the fuses in the trailer, and I had a 1 amp ATC fuse. All back together & the fan is back in action.

After that I did a walk around the campground, came back to the trailer and finished At First Light by Barbara Nickless. While far from a favorite, not completely terrible. Started the second in the Pine Deep trilogy by Jonathan Maberry - Dead Man's Song. Around 11:00 I headed for the museum. An interesting history for the town of Columbus and Camp Furlong. As the sign in the last photo notes, Camp Furlong was home of the first army air base in the US. Many more photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

They have a movie, but there wasn't enough time before the lunch break to see it. 

Back at the trailer I was going to head to Deming for a bit of shopping, but decided to see if I could order some high temperature gasket material from NAPA to repair my Pelonis heater. Sure enough, it was possible, and will be in Deming on Friday. So, I'll put off my trip until then.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the trailer reading. I started outside when the sun was shining, but it went away, and cooled off quickly. I took another walk taking notes on the campsites - very strange utility layout - many are on the wrong end if you want your door towards the picnic table, and some of the pull through loops are difficult to tell from the road, but if you use them, your water & electric line go across what others might think is the "road". A very light rain started as I started the walk. 

In the past I had some delicious "Decadent" cookies from Walmart. I know they were not the oatmeal, although those are pretty good, and now I know they are not the Cowboy cookies - too sweet. I guess I'll have to keep trying...

Dinner was Birdseye Sweet & Sour Chicken & rice.

Until Tomorrow - 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 34

 Tuesday, November 23, 2021 - Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, NM, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 3,128.3 Miles for the Trip

Headquarters Building

I did my usual morning walk - did a mile going up & down the campground roads. I found a Casita 17 in a site on the west side of the campground. Pancho Villa is built on an old army base, Camp Furlong. There are many old buildings fenced in around the campground. I'll take more photos of some of the buildings and signs on further walks. They have a museum here at the campground that I was going to visit today, but didn't get to it. Hopefully, tomorrow.

It has been in the low 40's most mornings, with very low humidity - this morning it was 40% out & 20% in the trailer. With my perpetual stuffy nose, and some of the meds I take, that makes for a very dry mouth! I use a dry mouth lozenges most nights, but here I wake up in the middle of the night needing another one.

After breakfast I decided to clean the screens on the trailer windows. Now that doesn't sound like that much work, but anyone who has removed a screen from an Escape Hehr brand frameless window knows how "interesting" it is to get it back in. They use a spring like clip that snaps into the metal window frame. The problem is the plastic surround the screen is framed with is so lightweight that as you pop in one snap, another pops out. The valances and the knob used to open the window also get in the way.

Since the insides of the windows have not been washed since 2017, I guess it was time. Lots of spider webs on between the window & the screen on the windows that I usually open. I used a vacuum, brush & paper towel to clean the screens, and Windex on the windows. Looks much better from the inside, although a bit of Windex on the outsides, particularly the back windows would make things much clearer.

After lunch I did laundry. No laundry at the campground, or as a business in Columbus, but the Columbus RV Park has one open to the public. Sort of a last resort laundromat - no folding tables, and at least one of the dryers doesn't heat & makes a noise like it is dying, not drying. Of course I put a dollar in it before discovering the problem. The other dryers worked, although took more than 45 minutes to completely dry my clothes, So, the laundry is done. Back at the trailer I changed the sheets; always a project with three sides of the bed against walls. 

I spent the rest of the afternoon reading. Current book is At First Light by Barbara Nickless, which I can't wait to finish and get on to something else. I've spent too much time listening to recorded books, putting off reading this one. I haven't been listing the "books on tape" actually downloaded from either the North Country Library System or the New York City Library for most of them, but I listen to 3-4 of them per week, mostly while driving, doing eye drops, walks & exercises. As long as the subject matter is different enough, I don't get confused between the two formats.

There is more fiberglass in the campground - a Scamp 13 just drove by.

Dinner was a chicken thigh, pinto beans & new potatoes pressure cooked in the Instant Pot.

Until Tomorrow - 

Monday, November 22, 2021

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 33

 Monday, November 22, 2021 - Pancho Villa State Park, Columbus, NM, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 3,128.3 Miles for the Trip

The New Tongue Jack

The new tongue jack is installed, not without a few problems. Two of the three bolts holding the old tongue jack to the trailer yoke came out with no problem. The front one took lots of torque, enough that I was worried about snapping it. Finally got it out. Now I have been accused of carrying far to much stuff - the trailer is usually within 200 pounds of its gross weight, although I still have over 600 pounds on the truck (but only 380 pounds before exceeding the rear axle rating). In short, I have lots of stuff, including tools that I rarely use. One of those rare tools was a tap & die set. I was able to re-thread the front hole in the trailer yoke. It looked like it was mis-threaded by someone with an impact driver when the original tongue jack was installed. 

While the lift/drop speed of the new tongue jack is slower than the old Atwood, it has three or four more inches of travel. That lets me put the foot directly on the ground, leaving more "leggo" blocks for the stabilizers. I never did like the tongue on a stack of Leggo blocks - they are more slippery than the ground, and by the time the trailer was leveled, the foot of the jack sometimes moved off center. Too close to the edge & I'd have to reconnect to the truck to lift the foot enough to recenter them.

The new tongue jack head is larger than the old Atwood one. Much tighter on the propane tank cover, although it can still be removed, and much closer to the front of the hitch. I have been using an extended stinger ball mount to get the tailgate to clear the tongue jack. That is what got me in trouble in the first place. It only cleared the tailgate when the truck was level or lower than the trailer. At Big Bend, the trailer was uphill a few degrees, just enough that when the tailgate slammed down it stripped the switches & light from the head of the tongue jack. Since even the extended stinger doesn't give enough clearance for the tailgate, I went back to the shorter one. Actually, I feel better about the change; the extension puts more torque on the stinger mount on the truck & I'm close to the limit when using a non weight distribution hitch. So, no more grabbing stuff from the truck bed without lifting the tonneau cover. I can live with that.

Made a trip to the San Jose grocery store. A reasonably amount of stuff for a small town. Heavily weighted towards Mexican food. Most of the residents of Columbus appear to be Spanish speaking.

Around 3:30 I took another walk around the campground. You can do over a mile without repeating yourself by walking up & down the access roads. The layout is a bit confusing - the exit is on the western side of the campground, but the paved road is on the east side. Some of the cross streets go to the other side, while others just go to campsites. I need to add a note to my Campground Site notes to choose a site on the west side - here on the east side of the park the traffic noise from NM 11 is a bit loud. Lots of trucks heading north with sod & hay.

I snacked while sitting around reading during the afternoon, so dinner was just a salad.

Until Tomorrow -