Sunday, December 31, 2017

Day 149, Sunday, December 31, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 42

Almost Full
Sunday, December 31, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 42, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

I did some playing with my new Nikon D850, combined with a 2X Teleconverter & my 80 - 400 Zoom lens. The end result is a wide open f stop of f:11, and the autofocus doesn't work, and Nikon doesn't recommend the combination, but manual focus is OK, and the image isn't too bad. The moon isn't quite full, but that shows the craters at the edges better.

I had an interesting morning. Awake at 6:00AM, just in time to catch Weekend Edition Sunday & the puzzle (Which, for one of the few times, I got, having been to Walla Walla, WA more than once).

I usually climb out of bed & open the shades on the sun side of the trailer to help with the morning heating. Looked at the thermometer - outside 43°F, inside 48°F? Since I have the furnace thermostat set for 58°F, that didn't seem right. Checked the thermostat, and it was off. I must have hit the buttons while working on the radio yesterday. Under all the blankets I have on the bed, along with a ski hat I sometimes wear on cold nights (the buzz cut hairstyle results in insulation loss), I didn't notice that it was cold in the trailer until I got up. It only took the furnace 10 minutes to bring the trailer back to 58°F.

I didn't get all that much solar heating (or electricity from the solar panels) this morning - gray skies & cool for the walk for coffee. Started the day down 21amp hours, and I'm still down 6 amp hours at 1:00; not a problem, but the first day since tilting the panels that I haven't been back to full by 1:00.

After breakfast I did some reading, then finished up my year end accounting, put the 2017 spreadsheets in the "old" folder, and updated the 2018 spreadsheets. I went to the Social Security website & discovered I got a raise this year, the first in 3 years. I even started on the 2017 income tax information, at least the year to date interest from my banks. Some make it easy to find (on the main page), others make you dig into your account information. In any case, that part is done. I usually file in early February as soon as I get my W2s since I have been taking the standard deduction for years, and don't expect that to change.

Since the late afternoon sun got the batteries up to full, I used the microwave to cook a Boston Market Chicken Parmesan for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Day 148, Saturday, December 30, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 41

The New Spice Rack
Saturday, December 30, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 41, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

I slept in this morning, climbing out of bed at 9:30. It was almost too warm for my photo vest on the walk back from filling my coffee mug. After breakfast I started on a couple of projects. I ordered a bamboo spice rack since I really hate digging through one of the lower cabinets for the different spices I carry. The problem is all the racks I found had fairly low front rails, which is fine for homes (well, maybe not in California where you have to always worry about the "Next Big One"), but not in a trailer where each time you move you would be picking the bottles off the floor. While the bamboo rack has low rails, I was able to add a couple of small stretch cords to hold the spices in.

Mounting it on the 1/16" thick wall was difficult, particularly because it is only 3/4" of an inch dead space behind the paneling. I ended up using wing toggles since all the normal anchors I found were designed for thicker walls. A bit of a pain to install, but the job is done.

The next project was to replace the Escape provided radio antenna with a standard one. This will allow more flexibility in choosing antennas & amplifiers. I'm still determined to equal the old JVC radio I had in the Escape 17. The antenna was another chore. It would be much easier with two people, one inside & the other outside, but there is only one of me. I did have a box wrench that fit the nuts on the inside of the bracket, so I could prop it inside the cabinet to hold the nut while I cranked the bolt from outside with a ratchet. It is in, although I didn't use one of my usual feedthroughs. I would need to drill a 3/4" hole in the fiberglass shell, and I usually use a reamer to enlarge a 1/2" hole (my largest drill). So, I ran the connector through a 1/2" hole in the shell, and ProFlexed the cable & opening, the same technique Escape is now using for antenna connections. I'll clean it up when I get back to Oswego. A photo of the new antenna is at today's LakeshoreImages page.

By the time I finished the antenna, it was dinner time. Since I'm still on a soft diet for the next couple of days, I decided to try my new jar of almond butter to make a couple of almond butter & jetty sandwiches. Not bad, particularly when washed down with a glass of Coppola Chardonnay!

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, December 29, 2017

Day 147, Friday, December 29, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 40

Friday, December 29, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 40, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

Another quick breakfast day, in fact, I even set an alarm on my phone for 8:00AM. I got a call as I was going out the door asking if I could arrive early - they had a cancellation. Unfortunately, they though I lived in Parker, not Quartzsite, 32 miles further south. I did arrive at 10:25 for a 10:45 appointment, but still had to wait until 11:15 to be seen. Must be official dentist & doctor policy!

So, $1800.00 later, I have a second implant with a temporary post, and, this time, a "Flipper", a temporary bridge that puts a tooth in the hole where the broken one was removed. The permanent "tooth" can't go in until April, giving the implant time to meld with the bone. The advantage of having the lab upstairs from the dental office is they only took an hour to make the flipper. Unfortunately, the flipper is only cosmetic - I have to remove it to eat. After dealing with it, I am glad I've gone the route of implants rather than bridges, even though the implants are quite a bit more expensive. The dentist in Havasu complemented my home town dentist in choosing a Zimmer implant. Evidently, there are a number of less expensive implants that use non compatible threads. Never though I'd be learning so much about teeth!

I stopped at a couple of grocery stores on the way home looking for Jif Cashew butter. I did find another brand, but none of the stores in either Parker of Lake Havasu City have the Jif brand, which I like. We will see what I think of Sam's Choice Cashew Butter the next time I need it - I used up the Jif making dinner.

On the way home I stopped at Quiet Times to pick up a couple of packages. I have Amazon Prime, so 2 day shipping is free, but since they are shipped to Quiet Times, there is at least a $2.00 charge per package. Still well worth it - waiting at the Post Office to hit the one hour window they have for general delivery each day is something I can do without.

Dinner, if fact, all meals for the next couple of days, needs to be soft. So, tonight I had a couple of grilled Monterey Jack & & peanut for one & cashew butter sandwiches for the other. I know, peanut butter & grilled cheese is a Vermilye exclusive, but you should try it!

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Day 146, Thursday, December 28, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 39

Silly Al's
Thursday, December 28, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 39, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

After a quick breakfast, I headed to Parker & the Parker Dental Center to have my broken tooth evaluated. There is not enough left for a crown, so they are going to do an implant tomorrow in Lake Havasu City. I won't be here in Arizona long enough to have the Abutment or tooth put in since there won't be enough time for the implant body to bind to the jaw, so the final work will have to wait until I get back to Oswego. Since I'll be needing 2 by then I wonder if there is a volume discount?

An uneventful trip back to Quartzsite. The weather is getting better each day - they had a couple feet of snow back home in Oswego, so just about anything is better, but it was up to almost 70°F this afternoon. I sat outside reading, then tried to remember if the temporary tooth they will give me tomorrow will be strong enough to bite with, so I decided it would be a good day for a Silly Al's Vegetarian Supreme Pizza. I know I mentioned it the last time I had one, but it is worth saying again. Pizza with cashews on it sounds crazy (well, they do call the place Silly Al's) but they really add to the taste. I also tried a local Golden Ale from a Havasu brewery. Not sure which one - Google lists 4 of them in the city. In any case, not bad.

I got a request from Oswego County for full sized copies of some photos I took at a 2004 reenactment at Fort Ontario, a fort at the mouth of the Oswego River. I've made it a practice to give the city, town & county my local images for free, and they were in luck - I brought along on the trip a 4TB hard drive with copies of all my images. The last image of the cannon going off is one that the city, Better Business Bureau and others have used. It was a lucky catch since this was before digital cameras could shoot 10 images per second. Pictures are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Back at the trailer, I put this page together, then plan to sit out until it gets too cold.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Day 145, Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 38

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 38, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

Still a little cool early in the day, but by 10:30 it was up to 56°F, and it hit the 70's by late in the afternoon. On the way to the laundromat I stopped at a vault toilet & met a fellow photographer whose favorite National Park is the same as mine - Glacier NP in Montana. We chatted for a bit, then it was off to town with a full laundry basket.

The laundromat was busy; although I had no problem getting washing machines, I had to wait for a pair of dryers.

My propane detector has bit the dust. It has been going off for no reason a couple of times over the last couple of weeks. Yesterday it went off, started flashing its red LED, then blew the 15 amp fuse on its circuit. I went to RV Lifestyles, and while they had a number of them, none that would fit in the hole made for the Atwood brand supplied by Escape. I'll take it with me the next time I visit to be sure they order the correct model.

After folding my clothes, getting back to the trailer & putting everything away, I sat outside and read. I cooked an early dinner in the microwave so I still had some of the afternoon sunlight to put back some of the amp hours. 5 minutes at 95 amps eats up around 8 amp hours, about half of which were back before sunset.

Dinner was my last Amy's Thai Pad Thai. I hope I can pick up some more at Parker tomorrow when I go to see if I can get a crown for my broken tooth.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Day 144, Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 37

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 37, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

Lots happening today. I called my home town dentist & she informed me that the broken tooth has had a root canal, so no danger of infection or pain. She suggested that I get it evaluated to see if there is enough left to do a crown, so I'm heading to the Parker Dental Center on Thursday. While reading my morning email, I found a notice that my Nikon D850 has arrived at Tempe Camera Repair. So, after breakfast, it was off to Tempe. Even though I went through Phoenix on I 10 at 2:30 in the afternoon, the traffic was a zoo. I'm definitely a country boy as far as driving on the interstates!

I picked up the camera, a data card, and a new reader fro the computer since my old one won't read XQD cards. I didn't get to use the camera, although the battery is charging. That was about it for the day.

Dinner was a chicken leg quarter & a small can of Bush beans.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, December 25, 2017

Day 143, Monday, December 25, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 36

Monday, December 25, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 36, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

Merry Christmas!

I got a late start, and made coffee here in the trailer rather than walk to the 76 station, which I'm not sure is open today. After breakfast I did my usual reading. A fairly heavy cloud cover, so it never warmed up to the predicted 65°F. It was still 48°F at 11:30, and the warmest it got during the day was 59°F. I talked with my brother on Nantucket Island, and the temperature there was about the same as it is here at Quartzsite. On the other hand, when I called my son in Oswego, he announced that it was in the 20's & a new foot of snow on the ground.

I opened the Christmas package from my daughter's family - lots of goodies, new photos of the granddaughters, and a couple of puzzles, one which I got right away and the other (the Dial) I'm still working on. I got it partially open, but can't get it completed.

The other event for the day is a broken tooth. Seems like I'm having one every year, and always when I'm away from home. This time it is a front tooth, so very noticeable. Since I have an implant partially finished on the one that broke last year, I hope I can hold off to have the same done with this one. I'm getting to have a pretty expensive mouth!

I went for an early Christmas dinner at Sweet Darleen's (a turkey dinner with all the fixings).

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Day 142, Sunday, December 24, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 35

The Moon, Mountains, and Campground
Sunday, December 24, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 35, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

The walk for coffee this morning was rewarding - free coffee! Not sure if it was just refills or even just repeat customers, but the 76 Quik Fil was giving it away. After breakfast I did my usual reading of blogs & forums. During the afternoon a trailer moved in next door to me. I was hoping the area would remain clear for my friends from California, but they won't arrive for another couple of weeks. I can't really complain - the rule is no closer than 15', and they are much further than that away, although partially in the space that one of the SunRaiders sets up. Unfortunately, the new arrival parked so I have to go around them to get out of the section. I'm not sure why, but every year someone decides to set up in what is obviously the road into the place. Since they aren't actually defined, other than tire tracks, I guess there is nothing to stop them.

I took a photo of the new arrival which you can find at today's LakeshoreImages page, and when I went to load it into the laptop I discovered a photo I took of the moon over the mountains a day or two ago, so I used that as today's photo.

I also put together an email Christmas card. Nothing special, just a couple of photos, and links to some of the pages of places I stayed so far on the trip. Already got a bunch on non deliverable returns, so I guess my email list is just as bad as my snail mail list!

Dinner will be a couple of Chicken Empanadas along with some cottage cheese. For some reason, I bought a huge container, so I have to have some with every meal to use it up before it expires!

Everyone have a great Christmas eve!

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Day 141, Saturday, December 23, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 34

Saturday, December 23, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 34, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

The slow but steady warming trend continues. I still burned lots of propane overnight, and, since the sun was behind clouds, the walk for coffee was chilly, but the wind wasn't too bad.

After breakfast I worked on the radio. I separated the constant on power connection (that retains all the settings) from the ignition wire & put that on its own switch. That way I can shut down the radio from the head of the bed, and draw a bit less amperage when I'm not using it. I also added an extension to the antenna cable so I don't have to detach the radio housing from the trailer to change antennas. I'm still experimenting, trying to get those elusive NPR stations.

After reassembling the radio, I had to start over again with the programing. The menu system Pioneer uses is terrible. Rather that everything starting from the same point, different menus only appear when the radio is in a particular state. I must have been forced to reset the thing 10 times, having to reset the clock every time. Someone should have a talk with the engineers, and the authors of the manual (which doesn't tell you how to get to the start of the various menus). I finally got the display the color & brightness I wanted; I still have to deal with the front to back audio balance.

The rest of the day (and after dealing with the radio there wasn't all that much left) was spent reading, and putting together new 2018 spreadsheets for my bank accounts, bills & retirement income records. While the two banks I use both provide checking & savings records, they tend to lag behind, particularly when I use state & national campgrounds - it sometimes takes more than a month for the check to show up, and I like to know the "realtime" balance in the accounts.

By 5:00 it had warmed up enough to be comfortable cooking outside, so I grilled a Bubba Burger. I was hoping for a nice sunset, or anything worth taking a picture of since I haven't had one linked to the blog in days, but while there was a little color, nothing special.

Dinner was the Bubba Burger, some Cape Cod Chips, and a dish of cottage cheese.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, December 22, 2017

Day 140, Friday, December 22, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 33

Friday, December 22, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 33, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

I just thought yesterday was cool. Last night it went down to 30°F by morning. I slept in a bit, then headed for coffee wearing a lined flannel shirt & vest. Not too bad; it was up to the mid 40's by the time I got back to the trailer.

I didn't do much during the morning, other than read blogs & forums. Around 1:30 I decided it would be a good day for a trip to Parker for a haircut & stops at Safeway & Walmart. An uneventful trip, although the wait at Mike's Barber Shop was around 45 minutes. I dropped off the groceries at the trailer, then headed to Sweet Darleen's for the Friday "All You Can Eat" Cod fish fry. Very busy although that let me share a table with a couple who are also staying here in Quartzsite (although a house, not a trailer). On the way back I stopped at the Laundromat for a shower. I hate the itchy neck from all the left over small hairs after getting it cut. Even the places that vacuum your head leave some behind. Mike's just brushes you off, so your shirt ends up full of them.

So, that's it for the day. Tonight is suppose to be another cold one, although not as bad as last night. It is going to get warmer every day until at least the middle of next week, so it won't be too long before we are back to 70 degree days.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Day 139, Thursday, December 21, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 32,

Thursday, December 21, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 32, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

It is/was a cool day at Quartzsite - only 55°F at 1:45PM, and enough wind to make it feel even cooler. While it didn't wake me up, it must have been extra windy last night. This morning, when I left for coffee the portable solar panel had moved 4', the small propane tank was on its side, and the hummingbird feeder was on the ground. I can probably put the portable panel back in the truck since the tilted rooftop panels are providing all the electricity I use.

I did take a break from sitting in the trailer reading & listening to the wind to check out some of the new booths that are being set up daily. Pretty much the same stuff in each of them. I did pick up some replacement 6" nails that I use to tack down the outdoor mat. The ones I've been using for the last couple of years have hit enough rocks that they are getting a bit bent.

It never warmed up over the day, and my weather app says it is going down to 31°F tonight, then slowly warm up into the 70's by Christmas.

Dinner, since I could use the extra heat, was a chicken pot pie cooked in the oven. I did have to turn on the range hood fan - the CO detector didn't think much of the oven going for an hour in the closed up trailer.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Day 138, Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 31

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 31, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

I stopped at Marie's for a breakfast burrito. Although a bit expensive at $6.00, it is huge. I chose ham, and it was a large burrito filled with eggs, chunks of ham, onions, cheese, and spices. Very good, but more than I usually eat for breakfast. Good coffee, but at $2.00, twice the price of a refill at the 76 station. Since her stand is right across from K&B Tool, it is a short walk from the trailer.

After breakfast I spent the day sitting around reading. Around midday, the propane detector went off. All I can think of is hydrogen from the batteries under the rear passenger seat (they are vented to the outside, but the box isn't completely airtight) and the solar controller was working hard - I was down 45 amp hours this morning, or a failing detector. It was windy, with the wind blowing against the battery vent, so that could be the cause. I vacuumed the detector just in case it was a dust problem, but that didn't solve the problem. Eventually, it shut off & has been fine the rest of the day.

The tilted panels are doing the job. As mentioned, I was down by 45 amp hours at dawn, and although the only real load on the system during the morning was the computer (drawing around 6 amps) and the radio @ 1 amp, by 2:15 the battery monitor indicated the batteries were back to full.

More afternoon reading, mostly outside in the sun (and wind).

Dinner will be a salad. I'm still full from breakfast!

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Day 137, Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 30

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 30, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

Rule # 135 (I'm not sure what the previous 134 rules were, but there has to be that many). If you wish to depend on the automatic changeover propane regulator, YOU MUST open the valve of the refilled tank when you put it back in place.

Even since my wife was sick, I became a light sleeper. I now had the ability to sense when something is wrong & "spring" awake. At 2:30 this morning I heard the furnace fan come on. Normally, I sleep through this, but this time it didn't light. When the propane ignites, the sound makes a slight rushing sound that is different from just the fan. Hard to believe, but not hearing that woke me up.

I listened for it to "try again" (it goes through three attempts) and the gas valve clicked, but no "whoosh". Climbed out of bed and did the positive test for propane, although I was pretty sure what the problem was, and tried to light the stove. No joy! So, I'm outside in my PJ's with a flashlight in my mouth popping the tank cover to turn on the full tank. I had to restart the refrigerator, cycle the furnace thermostat, but eventually, everything was going again, including me not ready to go back to sleep. I read for a bit, and finally nodded off around 3:30.

So, after the walk for coffee & breakfast, I drove back to the 76 & filled the empty propane tank. $10.40 with tax for 4.5 gallons. I also stopped by Quiet Times to pick up a Christmas package from my daughter. I did chat with them to sing happy birthday to Valerie yesterday evening (poor kid). She liked her new Kindle. It took me 71 years to get one for myself; I decided since she loves books that it would be a good birthday present.

After the trip to town it was back to the trailer and sitting outside reading. Still a little cool, but sitting in the sun is comfortable.

Dinner was left over chicken stew.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, December 18, 2017

Day 136, Monday, December 18, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 29

Papa Jon & Valerie, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 18, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 29, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

Happy birthday to my granddaughter Valerie. She is 10 today - a photo from 10 years ago:

I got a late start to the day. After the walk for coffee & breakfast, I checked to see how the progress on my order of a Nikon D850 was coming. I ordered one from Tempe Camera since I prefer real camera stores to the big box ones. I started out as #66 in line and am down to #22, so I'm still hoping one will become available before I head back to the East.

After that I checked with RV Lifestyles, and the parts for my awning came in. I drove over to pick them up, and stopped on the way back to buy the stuff to make a chicken stew for dinner.

The tilted solar panels are doing great. I started the day down 25 amp hours, and by early afternoon was back to full. I spent the afternoon sitting outside reading.

Dinner was chicken stew, with enough left over to make another meal plus one for the freezer. It wasn't bad for an experiment...

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Day 135, Sunday, December 17, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 28

Both Panels Tilted
Sunday, December 17, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 28, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

Another cloudy and cool day. I spent most of the morning reading blogs & forums, then played with different antenna combinations to see if I could improve the radio reception. I got it a bit better going back to the standard antenna installed by Escape, but I really want to try a normal auto antenna that allows a ground plane.

After that it was the tilting of the front panel project. Not as simple as the rear panel because the front one is mounted closer to the roof. If I used the rivet holes for the bolts to swivel the panel, it would hit the roof. So, I drilled new holes in the panel. Other than that, it went fine. Not as good a position as the rear panel because very low angle sun will be partially blocked by the MaxxFan cover. The same cover also blocked the panel when it was flat, but it will still get shaded. That is the reason I wanted to tilt them perpendicular to the trailer length, but that will have to wait until I get 2" aluminum hinges.

I disconnected the portable panel & will see how the panels do over the next couple of days.

After that I read the Syracuse Post Standard on my iPad, and called a bunch of people to catch up on the goings on. Over a foot of snow in Oswego; my son fired up the snow blower for the first time.

After that it was time for dinner, which was chicken Parmesan, mashed potatoes, and a glass of white wine.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Day 134, Saturday, December 16, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 27

New Feet!
Saturday, December 16, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 27, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

The first day without full sun in awhile. Still enough peaked through the clouds to fully charge the batteries. I went to the Bad Boy Cafe for breakfast, then came back & sat outside and read for much of the morning.

I did get to a couple of projects. First I added 4"X4" blocks to the sand pads on the trailer stabilizers. Not much of a project, but it will save time setting up & taking down the trailer. Next was switching the Kenwood receiver for a Pioneer. Lots of splices. The industry seems to have standardized on wire colors, but not the connectors, so 11 crimp connectors later I have a new radio. It will probably take a day or two to get used to the changes, although many of the settings are similar. As to sensitivity, it is better, but still not up to what I had with the JVC in the 17. I don't remember if I included a photo of the iPhone holder I added next to the bed, so I added one at today's LakeshoreImages page.

By the way, the photos are taken with my new iPhone 10. While not up to the quality of the Nikons, it does a great job on photos for the web, and has the advantage that it is almost always in my pocket.

Without the direct sunlight, it was not as warm today, but still pleasent to be outside, at least until dinner time.

While I planned to make chicken Parmesan for dinner, I don't feel like cooking, so I will skip that and do a couple of sandwiches & chips.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, December 15, 2017

Day 133, Friday, December 15, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 26

Friday, December 15, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 26, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

The wind died down overnight. After the walk for coffee & breakfast, I packed up the laundry & headed to the Laundromat. Fairly crowded, but no wait one either washing machines or dryers. As usual, I had a shower while my clothes were in the dryers.

After that it was back to the campsite to sit out & read, currently a Marcia Muller Sharon McCone Mystery - A Wild & Lonely Place. Around 3:30 I headed to Herb's hardware for a couple of bolts for the front solar panel tipping project, and 4 6" pieces of treated 4"X4" to attach to the sand pads on the trailer stabilizers. I did that on the 17, and it saves lots of cranking, and adds very little to the trailer clearance.

On the way back I headed to Sweet Darleen's for the All You Can Eat Cod dinner. More crowded than usual - I shared a table with a couple here for their 8th winter.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Day 132, Thursday, December 14, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 25

A Geminid Meteor (And an Airplane)
Thursday, December 14, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 25, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

I sat outside for a couple of hours watching the Geminid meteor shower. A bit chilly for my taste (49°F) but I bundled up. While I saw many more meteors than I photographed, the one here was the best. If you look at today's LakeshoreImage page there are more, plus the new tilted solar panel (same old panel, just a new tilt!) For the meteors, you may need to look at the large version of the image to see some of them. Most were very dim streaks.

After breakfast (A Jimmy Dean Egg, Cheese, Sausage Biscuit) I started in on tipping the rear solar panel. I drilled out the rivets that Escape used to hold the panel to the brackets & replaced one of them with a 1/4" bolt & nylon lock nut. I also made the 2 15" aluminum brackets. I started on the other side & the battery powered drill ran out of battery. It is now charging. The wind is picking up, so I don't know if I'll be able to finish the job before it gets strong enough to worry about standing on a ladder. The eastern mountains are just about vanished in the dust, while the western ones are fading.

Well, the wind kept up, but the drill battery recharged, so I decided to finish the job. I now have a panel tilted at 50° to the vertical aimed mostly south. Since the batteries are already near full, the solar controller is in the float mode so the any additional panel output isn't making through the controller. We will see how it does in the morning.

The plan is to be able to get away without the portable panel in the winter. With just the roof top panels this morning, I was getting 3 amps. Plugging in the portable aimed at the sun, and it went up to 12. If I could do that with the roof top panels alone, the portable panel could stay in the truck until I parked the trailer in the shade (won't be happening here in Quartzsite, or Imperial Dam for that matter).

Dinner was spaghetti & meatballs with chicken sausage.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Day 131, Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 24

An Ultralight Over the Campground
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 24, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

After coffee & breakfast, I did some more thinking on tilting the solar panels. While I would prefer tipping on the short edge (perpendicular to the trailer length) because that gets the panels higher in the air, the only way I can do that and use the Escape installed mounting brackets is to add loose pin hinges between the bracket & the panel.

So far, I have not been able to find 2" aluminum heavy duty loose pin hinges. I really don't want to mix steel hinges with the aluminum panel frame & brackets, so for not I'm going to use a bolt as the pivot and tilt the panels on the long edge. Plenty of clearance on the rear panel, and less, but workable on the front.

The first step was to purchase some bolts to use as the pivot. Next was to move the trailer so the rear end is aimed south. I hope I'm done moving the trailer for a bit!

I used an on line solar tilt calculator & trig to determine how long to make the support arms. It has been awhile, and while I enjoyed algebra, trig was never one of the high points of my math education. Still, I picked up some aluminum flat to make 4 15" arms.

After all that, rather than start on the actual drilling & bolting late in the day, I relaxed and read for the rest of the afternoon. I did take a photo of an ultralight doing a flyby over the campground. A close up at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a chicken sub & Cape Cod reduced fat chips, which I like better than their standard ones.

So far it looks clear enough to catch some of the Geminid Meteor Shower tonight.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Day 130, Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 23

The New Location at La Posa West
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 23, 0 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

I don't know why, but it was colder this morning at Quartzsite than yesterday at Sedona, 3000' higher. I started out wearing my heavy quilted vest, but after setting up the portable solar panel & a few other things around the trailer, it warmed up enough for the light one, which I wore for the walk for coffee.

After breakfast & a bit of reading, I called the Rite Aid in Blythe to check that they had my eye drops in stock. They did, so I drove to Blythe for drops & Albertson's for supplies. While I prefer Safeway, there are no Rite Aids in Parker (or anywhere else in Arizona) where the nearest Safeway is located.

Lots of repaving on I 10 between Quartzsite & Blythe so it took a bit longer than expected. Amazing how closing down one lane of a 2 lane interstate can back up traffic.

I picked up some baked chicken & mustard potato salad for an early dinner. The chicken was OK, but the salad too dry. I didn't do any more outside set up, but did replace the smoke/CO detector that insisted in reporting excess CO when nothing that burned was running (other than the refrigerator, which is sealed outside). I now have a separate smoke detector & CO detector that has a display that shows the CO level.

Dinner will be some crackers & cheese since I had a large, late lunch.

Here is the campsite photo. Not all that different from the other La Posa photos since I only moved a few feet, but a different orientation.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, December 11, 2017

Day 129, Monday, December 11, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 22

Monday, December 11, 2017 - La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 22, 250 Miles, 3,740.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

After breakfast I headed out of the campground, and the Arrowhead Mall in Glendale. I have to say if the Arrowhead Mall is much less "citified" than the Biltmore, it gives me good reason to stick to the "sticks". At least I found a parking space for the truck & trailer.

The Apple Store was great, as they usually are. I couldn't trade in my old iPhone 5 for the $40.00 they would give me if it was in good condition, and since it is a replacement with over 90 days of use, they wouldn't give me another replacement. I had them recycle the phone since the face was floating 1/8" off the body of the phone due to a swollen battery.

The transfer of my iPhone 5 stuff to the new iPhone 10 from my laptop went OK. I did it in the store in case I had problems. I still back up to the laptop rather than the cloud (us old folks just don't quite trust the cloud to be there when you need it). All in all, it took about 45 minutes.

At Quartzsite, I filled up the fresh water tank, then headed back to La Posa West. No one moved into the area I was in before going to Sedona, but I set up in a different position since my plan is to tilt the solar panels & I wanted the trailer in the correct orientation for the tilt. All I did was level the trailer. I'll do the rest of the set up tomorrow. No site photo, because I didn't think of it before I went to Silly Al's for pizza & it was dark when I got back.

I ordered a vegetarian pizza, and have to say it was excellent. I also have to say it was the first pizza I've had that included cashews as part of the toppings.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Day 128, Sunday, December 10, 2017 - Rancho Sedona RV Park, Sedona, AZ, Day 4

My New Owl
Sunday, December 10, 2017 - Rancho Sedona RV Park, Sedona, AZ, Day 4, 0 Miles, 3,490.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

A warmer night, and a very nice day. I walked around the campground saying good by to most of the Scamp Campers; there are 3 of us left for tonight. After talking with a couple of different Arizonians and hearing horror stories about driving through Jerome pulling a trailer, I decided to take the truck & leave the trailer in the campground. Since I want to go to Glendale to pick up a new iPhone, it made sense for that reason as well.

I have to say that while it would be possible to take the trailer through Jerome, you wouldn't be able to stop (no parking) and there were some hairy twists & turns as well as narrow streets. I did find a parking place for the truck and wandered around town. I bought a "T" shirt from Paul & Jerry's Saloon (the oldest family owned bar in Arizona), and made the mistake of wandering into the Firefly on Main St. Some beautiful rugs that were well beyond my budget, but I fell in love with a locally made owl.

After that it was back to Sedona and a drive up Schnebly Hill Road. About 3/4 of a mile past the campground turn off it becomes a 4 wheel drive, high clearance road with some nice views of more red rock. I waited until sunset, but it was quite cloudy, and color never developed. The photos of Jerome & red rocks are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Just before dark I arrived back at the campground. I hooked up the trailer so I wouldn't have to do it in the morning cold (those weight distribution bars are solid cold steel!) I also dumped the trailer tanks, then headed for the showers. OK shower except the water ran into the dressing area.

Dinner was a salad & a Chicken Empanada.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Day 127, Saturday, December 9, 2017 - Rancho Sedona RV Park, Sedona, AZ, Day 3

Luminaries at the Festival of Light
Saturday, December 9, 2017 - Rancho Sedona RV Park, Sedona, AZ, Day 3

Another cool morning that warmed up quickly. We did trailer tours at 10:00AM. I have photos of the outside & inside of most at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I sat outside in the sun & read for a bit (Stephen King's Sleeping Beauties), then headed to the Festival of Lights at the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. Lots of stages with performers, Christmas lights & six thousand luminaries (paper bags with candles inside). I managed to get a photo of one of our Scamp Campers & dog with Santa, and a new musical instrument I've never seen before, a Chapman Stick. It is a cross between a guitar & a piano. Impressive sound.  More photos of the festival at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After the festival we headed to Picazzo's for excellent pizza & salads. I had a white pizza with mushrooms (For those that haven't heard the term, a white pizza is oil & garlic in place of red sauce)

Until Tomorrow - 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Day 126, Friday, December 8, 2017 - Rancho Sedona RV Park, Sedona, AZ, Day 2

Sedona Red Rocks
Friday, December 8, 2017 - Rancho Sedona RV Park, Sedona, AZ, Day 2, 0 Miles, 3,490.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

I woke up at 5:00, looked at the outside thermometer. It read 30°F, so I went back to sleep. By 9:00 is was still in the 30's, but I climbed out of bed anyway. Actually, it wasn't too bad out in the sun, although the campground has lots of shade, so you have to look for it.

After breakfast I headed out to some of the red rock views of Sedona. While the red isn't as red as the rocks in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada, the views are impressive. I started at the airport, then drove around to many of the trailheads. I only did part of the trails; enough to get some interesting photos. The parking at the trailheads was close to full - I often got the last slot. Most are Forest Service areas, so hanging my Senior Card in the window took care of the fees. They have credit card machines at most of the trailheads where you pay $5.00 for a day pass if you don't have a card. Kind of handy - they also have them at some of the campgrounds at Death Valley & it is faster & easier than putting a check into an envelope & into the iron ranger. Of course they need an internet connection to process the card, so they won't work everywhere.

I didn't label the images by the names of the formations, but did have the GPS adding the locations to the EXIF data (only on the linked 1000 pixel versions) so if you are interested, you can find where I went. Lots more locations that I may try to visit on Sunday.

As promised, I included a campsite photo. That, and many more of Sedona including a panorama from the airport are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Dinner was a microwaved Thai Pad Thai dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Day 125, Thursday, December 7, 2017 - Rancho Sedona RV Park, Sedona, AZ,

Dinner at the Oak Creek Brewery & Grill
Thursday, December 7, 2017 - Rancho Sedona RV Park, Sedona, AZ, 236.4 Miles, 3,490.2 Towing Miles For the Trip

I finished packing up the trailer & headed out of Quartzsite around 9:00AM. I stopped at RV Lifestyles to make sure they ordered the awning end, and at the 76 gas station for a mug of coffee. I took the interstate route - I 10, the 303 bypass & I 17. I stopped at a Walmart along the way and actually found Chicken Empanadas! I bought two boxes since I haven't seen them anywhere else. They just managed to fit in the freezer.

I arrived at Rancho Sedona RV Parka little after 2:00. I'm in site 18, a full hookup site that is quoted at $45.00 per night, but, because I had a one night rain check, works out to $28.20 per night. The site is large enough that the truck can park in front of the trailer. I won't use the septic hook up until I leave, because they require a accordion type sewer hose support for permanent hookups & I don't carry one. I didn't take a site photo before we left for dinner & it was dark when I got back, so I'll have to add it to tomorrow's post.

There are two Escape 19's, my 21, two Olivers, one Casita, and one Scamp 16. The temperature dropped as I drove to Sedona (as did the truck's gas tank. I had a good headwind for most of the drive, as well as gained almost 4000'; around 7.5 MPG. While it was 56°F when I arrived at the campground, the wind made it feel much colder. I dug out my down vest & insulated gloves! As Scamp Campers arrived, we stood around & chatted.

Around 5:30 we went to the Oak Creek Brewery & Grill for dinner, fish & chips & a local amber beer. I have a couple of photos taken with my iPhone. A much better group photo was texted to me (the one above) - I definitely need to upgrade my phone if for no other reason than the poor camera quality. The other photos were taken walking around the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. There will be a Christmas celebration at the village on Saturday. The other photos are at today's LakeshoreImages page.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Day 124, Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 21

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 21, 0 Miles, 3,253.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

Not quite as cool last night - only down to 37°F. It also warmed up more during the day and hit the mid 60's by afternoon. After my walk for coffee & breakfast, I read for a bit, then started packing up some of the outside stuff in preparation to heading to Sedona tomorrow.

The hummingbird feeder proved interesting. It has collected a large number of bees. They don't seem to bother the hummingbirds, but they do me! I took it off the stand & drained the water, but they came back. I don't want to bring it into the trailer because they follow it no matter how fast I swing it around. I think I'll wait until dark.

I sat outside & read for the rest of the afternoon, and finished Anne Hillerman's Rock With Wings. I decided it would be a good evening to head to the Mountain Quail Cafe for dinner, where I had the Chicken Fried Chicken Breast. I did manage to get the hummingbird feeder rinsed without tangling with the bees.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Day 123, Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 20

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 20, 0 Miles, 3,253.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

A very cool night. Down to 31°F at 6:00AM, the first night below freezing since I've been at Quartzsite. The furnace had no problem keeping the trailer at the 58°F I set the thermostat for, but between the hour it took to bake the pot pie & running the furnace off & on overnight, I found an empty propane tank in the morning. The auto switchover regulator did its thing so I never ran out, but drove to the 76 station to refill the empty at $2.10 per gallon.

A cool day as well, it only got to the low 60's. I spent most of it in the trailer researching single DIN receivers. I may try another brand than the Kenwood just to see if there is any improvement even though it has a better sensitivity rating than any of those I looked at. I do like the Pioneer SuperTuner even though it isn't rated as sensitive as the Kenwood. I really miss the JVC receiver I had in the 17. Unfortunately, it is no longer made.

I did find a new (to me) Anne Hillerman novel (Rock With Wings). I prefer her father's books, but since he is no longer with us, if I want to read about the Leaphorn, Chee & Bernie Manuelito characters, she is the only choice. Don't get me wrong - her writing is OK, but Tony's was better.

Of course, just as I started the book the North Country Library System (my digital public library) informed me that my reservation for Stephen King's Sleeping Beauties was in. Good for only 14 days - good thing I read quickly since I don't read multiple books at the same time.

So, most of the day was spent sitting in the trailer reading & eating Kettle Corn.

Dinner was a grilled turkey Bubba Burger & chips.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, December 4, 2017

Day 122, Monday, December 4, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 19

Monday, December 4, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 19, 0 Miles, 3,253.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

Today makes it 1/3 of a year on the road. So far I'm still having fun! I got a notice (and a check) from Escape that I helped sell another trailer. Since they don't have dealers, owners that give tours of their trailers get a check from Escape when the new buyer mentions their name. So far I've "sold" 4 trailers!

I'm getting lazy; rather than walk all the way to the 76 station for coffee, I hit the Bad Boy Cafe (about 1/2 the distance) and had a pancake & bacon & weak coffee instead. Back at the trailer I finished a so-so book on the Kindle. Having Kindle Unlimited saves me money, gets me to read new authors, but I have to say some of them will only survive on a publishing organization like Amazon. I suspect putting their stuff on paper, binding & selling it wouldn't work all that well. Electronic publishing does have it's bad side!

After that I decided it was time to do laundry. I did my usual two loads & by the time I got back to the trailer, it was time to start dinner.

Dinner was a Chicken Pot Pie cooked in the oven. It is cool enough out that the extra heat is appreciated.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Day 121, Sunday, December 3, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 18

Tonight's Sunset

Sunday, December 3, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 18, 0 Miles, 3,253.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

A relaxing Sunday. I started off the day with my usual walk for coffee, then cleaned some of the bug spatter off the front of the trailer. I'm using a spray detailer, which works OK without water.

I took a break to head to town to buy a package of kettle corn, after which I drove to the Kofa Crystal Mountain, where they allow camping to see if the road was good enough to haul the trailer out there. 9 miles of rough dirt road; I'm not sure it is worth t, but it would be a place where the night sky is dark. There was one truck camper parked in the area, but that was it. I guess I'll decide when i get back from Sedona since there is far too much moon between now & then.

There was a pretty sunset...

Dinner was a Bubba Burger & the rest of the asparagus.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Day 120, Saturday, December 2, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 17

Moon Rive over La Posa West
Saturday, December 2, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 17, 0 Miles, 3,253.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

I had breakfast at the Bad Boy Cafe, scrambled eggs & sausage, hash browns & sourdough toast. Not at all bad, although their coffee is pretty tasteless.

After getting back to the trailer, I read forums & web pages while I finished the coffee, then tried to fix the reception of the FM radio. I bought a 15db amplifier, which actually made the weak stations disappear. I then tried a separate amplified antenna, which didn't improve things. I suspect I got a bad radio, but don't have a good way to prove it. All I know is the one with the same sensitivity specifications I had in the Escape 17 worked great, picking up the Parker NPR station, as did the RAV 4 radio. The Tacoma radio barely picks up the station, and this one with every combination of antenna attempts only gets dead air.

After putting the radio back together, I finished the cover for the ladder storage fence post. A photo of the cover is at today's LakeshoreImages page. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading, sitting in the shade. A little after 5:00, the moon rose over the campground. It is at 99% full. It would be a nice photo over the mountains if there weren't power lines & RVs in the way!

Dinner was the last of the Tri-Tip roast in a sandwich.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, December 1, 2017

Day 119, Friday, December 1, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 16

Ladder Storage 99% Finished
Friday, December 1, 2017 - La Posa West, LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 16, 0 Miles, 3,253.8 Towing Miles For the Trip

I dragged myself out of bed and walked for coffee, although I had some aches & pains from crawling under the trailer yesterday. As I finished breakfast, I called and made reservations for the Scamp Christmas in Sedona rally next week. I wasn't sure I was going to go since it snowed the last time I did it, but the reports show good weather so why not take a break from Quartzsite.

After that it back to the grind. I used my ice chest & already read paperback books to prop the 5" fence post in position so I could mark the locations for the carriage bolt holes. Would have been easy with two people, but eventually I got it mounted. I did manage to reset my watch during the process of tightening the bolts (many, many 20° cranks on a 6" socket wrench inside the tube). I hope it just reset it. While it is only a cheap Timex, it does do a pretty good job of keeping accurate. All I have left to do is add the removable cover. For those that haven't seen the folding ladder, here are a couple of photos showing in the various stages of folding on today's LakeshoreImages page.

I got a call from RV Lifestyles that my awning end cap was in, so I drove over to pick it up. Wrong part. Mostly my fault - I called it an awning end cap, but the part I need is the end cap for the moving arm of the awning. By the time the parts manager got back from picking up a trailer, it was too late to contact Dometic, so it will be Monday before I can get the price & availability of the correct part. Since I messed up the order, I'll have to buy the end cap anyway so I'll have a spare...

Dinner was a Tri-Tip roast sandwich & chips. I was too lazy to fire up the stove to cook the rest of the asparagus. Hope it will keep until tomorrow. I fired up the water heater, so after posting this I'm heading for a very necessary shower.

Until Tomorrow -