Monday, December 31, 2018

Day 149, Monday, December 31, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 24

Monday, December 31, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 24 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Warmer last night, only down to 42°F. Unfortunately, it didn't warm up much during the day, hitting 50°F for a high. I didn't do much besides sitting in the trailer reading & trying to keep warm. I try to avoid running the furnace during the day to save both propane and amp hours on the batteries, particularly on days like today when we have heavy cloud cover all day. I finished Up Country by Nelson DeMille. Brought back many memories of Viet Nam, particularly since much of the novel took place in the area I was in. A different division, but many of the same towns, cities, and the A Shau Valley.

Dinner was early - a chicken pot pie.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Day 148, Sunday, December 30, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 23

Sunday, December 30, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 23 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Another night that was at 30°F by morning. It did warm up more quickly than yesterday, and hit 63°F for a high. My before breakfast walk was up one of the near by washes. Not the easiest walking - soft gravel, although there were plenty of vehicle tracks. I didn't go all the way to the end, but did 45 minutes worth of walking.

After breakfast I did some reading, then moved outside once it reached 60°F. I drove to the La Posa South dump station to see if it was still open (it, and the water fill stations are).

That was about it for the day. It is getting less & less crowded in this section. Two of my neighbors decided to move to La Posa South. They have a group of friends arriving after New Year, and want to have room for all of them.

Dinner was a Beyond Bugger, chips, peaches, and the rest of the tapioca pudding for dessert.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Day 147, Saturday, December 29, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 22

Saturday, December 29, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 22 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

The coolest night so far at Quartzsite; 30°F at sunrise. It was cool enough last night that the furnace started cycling at 7:45PM. I guess I'd better check the propane tanks a bit more often with the colder weather since I may be needing a refill sooner than 12 days last tank lasted.

After my walk I fired up the water heater & did dishes. Since I'm heating the water with propane, I only fire it up when needed, doing dishes every 2-3 days rather than my usual right after eating.

Around 11:00 I headed to Parker. Nothing I really needed, mostly for something to do. Gas is quite a bit cheaper in Parker. Over the last couple of years it has always bee at least $.10 per gallon more, today, at $2.49, it is almost $.20 cheaper. There are two Colorado Indian gas stations in town that were not open last year; they may be the ones driving the prices down, but even the chain stations are cheaper than in Quartzsite.

I stopped in at the Parker Walmart & Safeway, filled up the ice chest with some stuff that is hard to find in Quartzsite, then headed back to the campground. Still a cool day at only 55°F for a high.

I managed to find my Oswego Town tax bill (includes county, fire, library, community college, & highway) on line, so I'll be able to pay it without needing to call the town clerk to get the amount. I can't complain - I get a 25% reduction for being a Viet Nam combat veteran. We have separate school & town taxes, but for New York, they are pretty reasonable.

Since I bought a sub & ate it on the way back from Parker, dinner was a salad & some cottage cheese and some tapioca pudding for dessert.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, December 28, 2018

Day 146, Friday, December 28, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 21

Friday, December 28, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 21 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

So, it has been three weeks at Quartzsite. As far as I can tell, it is a bit cooler this year than last, but last year was one of the nicest since I've been in the area, so maybe this is normal. In any case, the high for today was 56°F, although last night wasn't quite as cold as the night before at 41°F.

I spent part of the day on the phone with Spectrum. My son back in Oswego is having internet problems, and since I'm the "owner" of the service, they won't talk to him. Hard to try to solve the problem a couple thousand miles from the modem & router! I did finally talk them into adding him as an authorized person, so at least he will be able to talk to them in the future.

I also talked with a friend & mentor currently retired in Florida. He fell, fractured his skull and broke his hand. As he said, getting old sucks, but so does the alternative.

I drove to La Posa South to check the dumpsters there. They also dumped them, but the roll off is still sitting there filled to overflowing. There is now a sign at the entrance to all the sections that states "Due to the shutdown, some services may not be available." So far, that only seems to be no toilet paper in the vault toilets.

I spent the rest of the day reading. Current book is Stephen King's The Tommyknockers.

Dinner was a Boston Market Orange Chicken dinner cooked in the oven. I appreciate the additional warmth of 45 minutes of baking at 350°F!

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Day 145, Thursday, December 27, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 20

Thursday, December 27, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 20 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

I did another walk around the campground & under I 10 for my morning exercise, then made breakfast. I tried decaf coffee, and it wasn't too bad. Back home I kept a bag of Gourmet Hotel Decaf beans from Hyman Smith's Restaurant Supply. The best decaf I've ever had. Even my daughter loved it - I'd send her a bag every once in a while, even to Botswana.

The big event for the day was going to town for to refill one of my propane tanks. It is getting pretty boring when that is a big event, but whatever. I made it 12 days on the last tank. A bit less than last year, but I have the thermostat set at 60°F rather than the 57°F I set it for last year, so the amount used seems OK.

It has cooled off. Warm & sunny this morning, at least after the sun was up for awhile (it was 39°F at 6:30AM), but clouds have moved in and it is down to 60°F at 2:45. The batteries are almost full, so I can live with the clouds, but I'd like it 10°F warmer.

I just took the trash to the dumpsters. Someone emptied them since last night. I don't know if they also did those at the main campground (La Posa South). We only have 4, and they were full, but not overflowing. The South campground has 8 & a large roll off bin, all of which were overflowing last evening. In any case, I'm glad someone is dealing with the trash.

Dinner was the same as last night; a couple of burritos made with leftover grilled chicken & applesauce. The chicken breasts I bought were the largest I've seen. Must have come from a 15 pound chicken! I only cooked one, I've had 3 meals already, and there are probably 2 more to go.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Day 144, Wednesday, December 26, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 19

Wednesday, December 26, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 19 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Instead of going for coffee this morning, I did my 2 miles in the campground. When I got back to the trailer I had oatmeal & coco for breakfast. I have to say the coco was OK, but doesn't have the "zing" of coffee. It is also much harder to wash out the cup!

I did my usual reading, both on the computer, and Robert R. McCammon's Baal. I've read a couple of his books, but this was one I missed. Not his best, but then.

I drove to the South La Posa area to check the status of the dump & water fill stations for a couple of people on their way to Quartzsite. Everything (but the offices) is open, the trash dumpsters are overflowing, and there is no toilet paper in the vault toilets. After that I drove to Family Dollar for some decaf coffee & another batch of bottled water.

Dinner was a couple of burritos made with grilled chicken & applesauce. It was windy enough that it took forever to grill the chicken!

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Day 143, Tuesday, December 25, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 18

Tuesday, December 25, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 18 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the

Merry Christmas!

I did my usual walk for coffee this morning. Last year they gave it away on Christmas, but this morning it was $1.09. I only filled my travel mug half way (12 ounces) since one of the suggestions from the doctor yesterday was to cut down on caffeine. I'll probably try to pick up a smaller mug. I have over a dozen buried in a closet at home, mostly give aways from organizations, but only the 24 ounce one here in Quartzsite. I guess I should actually stop drinking any coffee, but right now that feels impossible. Before retiring, there was a continuous coffee pot in the shop, and I probably went through 5-6 cups per day, I cut back after retiring to just a mug of coffee with breakfast (and, when on the road, a second 12 ounce mug during the first fuel or bathroom break). While I have no problem giving up the second mug of coffee, the breakfast one is going to be tough!

Around 11:00 I headed to Sweet Darlene's for their Christmas Turkey Dinner. Just barely OK; the various sides & salad were good, but the turkey & stuffing left a lot to be desired. I sure do miss cooking a Plainville Turkey!

Back at the trailer I called my brother Dave on Nantucket Island, my son in Oswego, and Skyped with my daughter in Oceanside, NY (they are visiting Brian's mother & family). I tried to reach Don & Anne, but no luck.

While all that was going on, I was making some corrections in this year's trip journal that I discovered paging through it putting together the Christmas newsletter.

While it is partly cloudy, the batteries are very close to fully recharged, so I may use the rest of the afternoon to update some of my RV links. Well, that's what I did. To see the updates, check the first section on the RV Links Page.

Dinner was a salad, all I wanted after being stuffed with turkey.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, December 24, 2018

Day 142, Monday, December 24, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 17

Monday, December 24, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 17 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

After my walk for coffee, I spent the morning doing laundry & my usual shower during the dryer run. No problems with hot water this time. I suspect there wasn't a problem last time either, just user adjustment of the controls. In any case, new sheets on the bed & the closets are full. I caught my neighbor driving by & gave her a couple of already read horror books (she mentioned that it was her favorite genre for reading). Anything to reduce the pile of books in the back of the truck. There are still about 20 left. Time to get back on the Kindle!

I got a thank you for the Christmas newsletter from a couple I met in Florida. They sent a link to their travel blog. Very well written, and a joy to read. It was interesting to meet them - they taught at another SUNY not too far from Oswego.

After lunch I did some reading, then went to the La Paz Medical Center for my doctor's appointment. I'm still having problems with my stomach, and decided to get things checked out. He didn't find anything serious, suggested some changes in medication & timing, and to stop back in a couple of weeks if things don't improve.

Dinner was cream of chicken & wild rice soup.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Day 141, Sunday, December 23, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 16

Sunday, December 23, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 16 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

No new news of the effect of the shutdown on the campground. After breakfast at the Bad Boy Cafe, I came back to the trailer, did some reading, both on line & a book, then put together my Christmas Newsletter. I've been sending an emailed newsletter rather than Christmas cards for the last couple of years. I'm sorry I miss those without email addresses, but my mailing list is probably outdated, so half the cards wouldn't get there.

That was about it for the day.

Dinner was a Marie Callender's Sweet & Savory Sesame Chicken Microwaved dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Day 140, Saturday, December 22, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 15

Another Quartzsite Sunset
Saturday, December 22, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 15 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Another nice sunset last night, so I'll add a photo. Not too much else to take pictures of. I did have a nice chat around the campfire with a couple of my neighbors. As the cloud cover cleared, it cooled off, but it was still in the mid 50's around 8:00PM, although 40°F at 6:00AM. My new blanket isn't any warmer than the poncho liner, in fact, not as warm. Around 6:00AM I unfolded the poncho liner and added it to the pile. I'd prefer not to use it since it is pretty impervious to water vapor, ie you can feel damp wrapped up in it. That is probably why it keeps you warm even though it is light & thin. In any case, I wanted it this morning!

So far, the only thing shut down by the government shutdown is the entrance stations. I went to renew my 14 day permit, and both the West & South La Posa entrance stations were closed, with signs stating closed because of the shutdown. No chains across the gates; I suspect that would be a problem since there are 100's of RVs in each of the 4 sections. I checked, and as of this morning, the water fill & dump stations were open. Since they closed during last year's shutdown, who knows for how long? The vault toilets were open.

I checked again at 5:00 & everything but the offices were still open.

Dinner was Tai Pei Orange Chicken.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, December 21, 2018

Day 139, Friday, December 21, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 14

Quartzsite Sunset
Friday, December 21, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 14 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Unfortunately, I can't say "another nice day in Quartzsite". Heavy clouds without even a peak at the sun. I only gained about 6 amp hours, so I'm down 20 for the day. Tomorrow is predicted to be mostly cloudy - we will see. We did have a nice sunset last night.  A large 1.2MB version.

I got the tracking number for a package from my daughter, checked & it has arrived at Quiet Times (the best place to ship packages to in Quartzsite since General Delivery usually has huge lines, and FedEx & UPS don't deliver to the campground). I stopped by & picked it up. $2.00 charge by Quiet Times. 

After that it was off to the Dollar General for a blanket. It has been cold enough that I've been getting out my poncho liner and throwing it over me in the middle of the night. For those not familiar with poncho liners, they are a lightweight filled nylon camouflage blanket that we used in Viet Nam as bedding. I got so used to them that I bought a couple when I got back to the states. Expensive, but very warm, they dry quickly, and as I mentioned, very lightweight. So lightweight that they tend to slide off the bed as you move around. So, a second blanket may do the trick. At least I'm back to my Southwestern theme bedspread instead of jungle themed camouflage covering the bed.

After that stopped in the entrance office to check if I could renew my 14 day permit today. I can't without loosing a day so I'll do it tomorrow if they are open. Back at the trailer, I Skyped Karin to let her know I got the package. Found out why Skype wouldn't let me talk the other day. For some reason, permission for Skype to use the computer's microphone was turned off. I turned it on & it is working fine.

The rest of the day was spent reading and hanging around the trailer, mostly inside since it is in the low 60's without the sun.

Dinner will be an egg burrito & salad; I'm posting early while I still have some incoming solar energy.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Day 138, Thursday, December 20, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 13

Thursday, December 20, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 13 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Hate to say it, but another quiet day at Quartzsite. About all I did other than sit around reading was to make a stop at the La Posa South entrance station to pick out some books from their "trade 1 for 1" shelf. I picked up 5, and they had so many that they were not taking any in exchange. The back of my truck is getting full.

One of the Class A RV's next door left yesterday. It is tempting to move a bit uphill, but I don't think I'm going to do it until I have to go dump. If I was smart, I'd do it tomorrow, since it still sounds like there will be a government shutdown over the weekend. I was here for one of the previous ones, and while they didn't close the gates to the camping areas, they did shut down the dump station & water fill stations. Still, I'm still showing empty on the gray tank, 1/3 full on the black, and 2/3 full on the fresh water, so I still have a couple of weeks to go before needing to dump & fill. I need to renew my permit on Saturday, assuming they are open.

Dinner was a chicken patty & salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Day 137, Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 12

A Visiting Hummingbird
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 12 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Another clear, warm (73°F) day at Quartzsite. I spent most of the morning (after the walk for coffee) sitting out in the sun reading. The batteries were up enough that I didn't have any problem microwaving a Healthy Choice dinner for lunch. More sitting outside, this time with the Nikon D850 & my first generation 70mm-200mm f:2.8 lens taking hummingbird photos. I need to move the feeder - all the photos have the nearby bush busying up the image. In any case, there are the first of this year's hummingbird photos at today's LakeshoreImages page. I'm sure there will be more.

After that I made a run to Family Dollar for some bottled water, then to the Roadrunner Market for a bagged salad.

Since I had a good sized lunch, I only had cheese & crackers with a salad for dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Day 136, Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 11

A Weak Rainbow Over the Campground
Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 11 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Happy 12th birthday to my granddaughter Valerie!

I took a photo of a very weak rainbow after dinner yesterday. It never rained here at the campground, but we had lots of clouds. A strip cleared as the sun was setting, and I guess there was some rain towards the east.

Today was another nice day at Quartzsite. Lots of sun; the batteries are back to full. I didn't do much other than read.

Dinner was the rest of yesterday's grilled chicken thigh.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, December 17, 2018

Day 135, Monday, December 17, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 10

Monday, December 17, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 10 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Another quiet day at Quartzsite (Didn't I say that yesterday?) In any case, quite a bit warmer during the morning, but it never really warmed up like yesterday. Only in the low 60's for a high. A little after noon I headed into town for a haircut. I found a beauty salon across from the Main Street Laundromat, got my usual #3 buzz, then headed across the street for a shower. They gave me a key for stall #8. First, no washcloth. No big deal, but the next problem was room temperature hot water, ie it wasn't hot! Of course, by the time I discovered that I was already undressed and half wet, so I went ahead and had a quick shower. I complained on the way out & they said they would check it out...

Back at the trailer I had lunch, then tried sitting outside. It was OK until a bit more wind arrived, which drove me beck into the trailer. So, I'm inside reading. Current book is Herman Koch's Summer House With Swimming Pool. Originally written in Dutch & translated to English. So far a very interesting read.

Dinner was a grilled chicken thigh & pickled beets.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Day 134, Sunday, December 16, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 9

Sunday, December 16, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 9 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Another quiet day at Quartzsite. I walked for coffee in the morning wearing a hat, gloves, & a quilted coat at 39°F. A woman walked past me wearing shorts and a thin, sleeveless top. My excuse for being slow was that she passed me needing to move fast to keep warm! On the way back to the trailer, the sun came out & I had the gloves off & the zipper down on the coat. I know it is the same sun here as in Oswego, and only 500' or so higher altitude, but the sun in Quartzsite (and most of the West) is much hotter than back East.

After coffee & reading a few blogs & forums, I sat outside and read for most of the rest of the day. Mid afternoon was 72°F and plenty of sun. During the afternoon I phoned my son in Oswego. No snow, but it is raining. He said that so far it has been a pretty snowless winter. Of course there is still January & February! I made a Facetime call to Don & Anne, the friends I traveled with for the first couple of months of this year's adventure (my son won't do FaceTime, Skype, or anything but a basic phone...) Don & Anne are doing fine, have their Christmas decorations up, and will be heading to North Carolina for Christmas. I hung my felt Casita decoration I received from another fiberglass trailer owner a few years back, so Christmas decorating is done. I may put together a Christmas email next week, but won't be doing cards from here in the desert.

Dinner was a Turkey Bubba Burger & the last of the salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Day 133, Saturday, December 15, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 8

Saturday, December 15, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 8 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

I stuck my head outside the trailer door at 10:30PM, and again at midnight, and there were no stars in the sky (well, they were there, but covered by clouds). So, no more meteor photos. I guess I'm lucky I got one, although I did better a few years back at Devil's Tower.

/the big adventure for the day was to refill one of my 20 pound propane tanks, as well as my 5 pound grill tank. I went to Herb's Hardware where I filled my tanks last year, but their propane set up was gone. I did pick up a large "U" bolt to attach my second painter pole so I can stick up my glow ball. I picked up the propane at the 76 gas station. $2.30 per gallon, again a bit more than last year. In any case, all the tanks are full.

A very nice day with the temperature hitting the low 70's, and while cloudy during the morning walk to coffee, clear skies for the rest of the day. I sat outside & did some reading, then dug out the grill & made a Quorn "chicken" burger. The Quorn is a vegetarian chicken patty that I can't tell from real chicken. A suggestion from my vegetarian daughter. That, with a cup of peaches was dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, December 14, 2018

Day 132, Friday, December 14, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 7

Geminid Meteor Streak on Right
Friday, December 14, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 7 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

I climbed out into the frozen (well, 42°F) night to watch the Geminid Meteor Showers last night around 10:30. Saw lots of meteors, but didn't have much luck photographing them. They always seemed to streak by when the shutter was closed. I did a bunch of 20 second exposures, most with no meteor in them. In any case, here is one with both an airplane on the left and a meteor on the right.

Today was restaurant day. I went to the Bad Boy Cafe for breakfast - pancakes, bacon & one egg for $7.00. Not bad, but I really only needed one rather than 2 pancakes - they were huge. Back at the trailer I did some reading - finished T. Jefferson Parker's The Jaguar, an excellent read. I also did my usual on line reading, and Skyped with my daughter in Washington. We had to switch to Facetime; for some reason, the current version of Skype won't turn on my laptop microphone. I checked it within the Apple preferences & it works fine, as well as with Facetime, but it is dead on Skype. In any case, we had a nice chat.

Around 4:30 I headed to Sweet Darlene's for the Friday all you can eat fish dinner. Nicely fried pieces of Cod, a baked potato, & coleslaw for $10.00 (it went up $1.00 from last year). Still a good dinner worth the $.

Not sure if I'm going to venture out to try for more Geminid photos. While the sky was clear last night, it was (and still is) cloudy all day. There is also lots of spill light on the fringes of La Posa West from the buildings in town and the traffic on I 10 & AZ 95. The moon will also be out until close to 11:00.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Day 131, Thursday, December 13, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 6

Thursday, December 13, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 6 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

It took longer to cool off overnight, but because of the clear skies, was down to 39°F by early morning. It warmed up into the 70's during the day with clear skies - not a cloud to shade the solar panels.

Today was laundry day. No big changes at the laundromat; same prices for both laundry & the showers. I forgot my shaving kit, so I'll go back for a shower either tomorrow or during the weekend. After putting the laundry away & making the bed, I sat outside and read. As soon as the sun ducked behind the mountains to the southwest, it cooled down enough to chase me inside the trailer. By then it was dinner time anyway.

Dinner was the last of the chicken & potato salad. Even the small chickens they use for the ready to eat bags are way too much for one person, at least me. I do remember back when I was a teenager, my father putting a rotisserie in the living room fireplace at home. Probably not good for the chimney, but he'd put one chicken per person on it, and somehow I always ate all of mine. Teenagers have a bigger stomach!

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Day 130, Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 5

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 5 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

A cloudy morning, but around 10:00 the sun came out & stayed for the day. I called the Blythe Rite-Aid to see if my prescriptions had arrived, and all were waiting.

I've finally accepted that it is better to have your doctors call in new prescriptions, even if you have refills from the same chain, let along a different one.  The druggist at the pharmacy that has the refills has to be called to release the refill to the current pharmacy.  My own doctors do that more reliably than other pharmacies. The only hassle is there are only 3 records for pharmacies at my GP, and since I am on the road, they have to keep getting rid of old ones to add a new one. There is either a book or country wide database of pharmacies - the office finds them by zip code, then confirm the address, but they can't fill a prescription unless it is in MY records, a minor hassle of on line medical records.

A 23 mile drive on I 10 into California. Even got waved through the border check station without having to tell them I was a US citizen. Picked up my prescriptions, then drove across the street to Albertson's for a few things. They had Turkey Bubba Burgers, the first grocery store of the trip that had them.

Back at the campground, a large class A RV moved in next door. While they are fairly close to the front end of my trailer, it is a better position than when they started - their original position would have blocked my solar panels during the late afternoon. This section of La Posa West is more crowded than it has been in previous years, at least for this time in the season.

It was nice and warm out - a peak of around 72°F. I enjoyed sitting out in the sun reading for much of the afternoon.

Dinner was leftover broasted chicken & potato salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Day 129, Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 4

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 4 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Very little happening today. On my walk back from picking up coffee, I met Rudy, a Canadian that I've seen here in La Posa West for the last 3 years. Other than catching up on things, some on line & Kindle reading, that was about all I did. We had good sun for part of the day, but by early afternoon the clouds moved in. I still got close to 30 amp hours worth of charging & use, and at 3:00, was down 8 amp hours from full.

Dinner was broasted chicken & potato salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, December 10, 2018

Day 128, Monday, December 10, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 3

Tilted Solar Panels
Monday, December 10, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

Another cool night & cloudy day at Quartzsite. I did swivel the trailer a few degrees & tilted the solar panels. That dull spot between them is the sun. Tilting did almost double the panel output with the heavy clouds to 4 amps, but at the end of the day I'm still down 10 amp hours. Let's hope for sun tomorrow!

That was about it for the day. I did drive to town for a loaf of bread & some cottage cheese. As I mentioned, there are two grocery stores, The Roadrunner & The General Store. The General Store seems to have better meat, while the Roadrunner has a better overall selection of groceries, particularly fruit & vegetables. In any case, I usually stop at both. There is also a Family Dollar & Dollar General in town, both of which seem to have more groceries than most of the usual dollar stores. I generally don't bother with them, but they are there. There is also a booth that sells outdated food & over the counter drugs in the vendor area. I don't know if they actually went out of business as they were advertising last year, but the stuff they sold looked pretty bad.

I tried sitting outside, but without the sun and at 62°F, and a light breeze, it is just too cold. The inside of the trailer, ever my larger 21 does get a bit confining so I like to sit outside, but today wasn't a good day for it.

I had a good sized hot lunch, so dinner will be just a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Day 124, Thursday, December 6, 2018 - Triple T Mobile Home Park, Glendale, AZ

Site 94
Thursday, December 6, 2018 - Triple T Mobile Home Park, Glendale, AZ - 128.9 Miles, 7,957 Miles for the Trip

I thought I posted this, but found it in the draft folder.  Sorry about that & sorry it will be out of order.

I passed Picacho Peak on I 10 between Tucson & Phoenix. Very distinctive mountain. I can't believe I climbed to the top a few years ago. Not sure I could do it today - you have to pull yourself up some rock faces on a piece of wire rope! A very light rain for the last 1/3 of the drive.  Heavy clouds here at the park, but the rain stopped.  It is predicted to rain overnight & tomorrow.

Anyhow, I'm in site 94 at the Triple T Mobile Home Park. Not my favorite type of park, but it was in the middle of the various stops I had to make. A full hookup site on a combination of concrete & gravel for $39.00 per night (no discounts). I'm glad I carry an adapter - only a 50 amp receptacle at the pedestal. It was the only site left in the park. Close to the bathrooms, that require a code to enter - they use the last 4 digits of your phone number & as of this afternoon, it isn't working.

After setting up I spent the afternoon driving around the suburbs of Phoenix. I picked up my new MacBookPro at Apple Arrowhead, then headed to an Amazon locker to pick up a new meat thermometer. I suspect the last one is sitting on a picnic table somewhere.

I'm posting this a bit early, because I'm going to attempt to transfer everything from this Mac to the new one. Hopefully, it will work, but I suspect it is going to take most of the night.

Dinner will be a chicken patty & peaches.

Until Tomorrow -

Day 127, Sunday, December 9, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 2

Sunday, December 9, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

As I've mentioned in previous year's journals, this is the point where things become a bit boring. I don't plan to move for at least 2 weeks, and more likely, 6 or so. I'll still post daily. but there may not be much happening.

As to today, a Cell report: AT&T seems to be all over the place. When I arrived, it was a -81dBm signal with 1.9Mbps down & 2.5Mbps up. 10 minutes later, 18.5Mbps down & 24.2Mbps up at the same signal strength. I tried using it to read my usual web pages, and it crapped out on me more than once. Verizon, on the other hand doesn't seem to be any more reliable. This morning it was running around -72 dBm, and 37Mbps down & 19.2Mbps up, and I while I didn't have it hang up on either web pages or listening to internet radio, tonight, while posting this page it was showing 2Mbps down & 1.4Mbps up. In any case, there is good, if erratic coverage here at La Posa West.

I walked to the 76 Station for coffee this morning. Good for some exercise, and saves about 6-8 amp hours necessary to make a 4 cup pot in the trailer. They raised the price of coffee again this year. In 2016 I filled my own 24 oz mug for $.50. In 2017 is was $.75. This morning it was $1.31. Same coffee from the same container, although I do have to say it is about the best coffee in town (at least at the places I've been).

After coffee, I hung around the trailer doing some reading, Once it was warm enough (it was 44°F this morning) I sat outside. After watching the sun go from horizon to horizon, I think I'll reposition the trailer a bit. It only has to move about 20°, but right now the solar panels are aimed perpendicular to the sun in late afternoon. I'd rather have them perpendicular at noon so I catch more of the morning sun, he time that the batteries are at their lowest. I think I can just swivel the trailer, although I'll need to hook up the truck to do it. The 500 pound tongue weight is a bit much to lift & spin, unlike those with a Boler or 13' Scamp and their 100 pound tongue weight.

Dinner was a grilled boneless chicken thigh & steamed broccoli.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Day 126, Saturday, December 8, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ

La Posa West - Quartzsite
Saturday, December 8, 2018 - La Posa West, Quartzsite, AZ, 126.2 Miles, 8,082.2 Miles for the Trip

An uneventful drive once I got out of the Phoenix traffic. I arrived at the Quartzsite Long Term Visitor Area, La Posa West around 1:00, bought a 14 day pass, and after trying to level the trailer in a couple of spots, settled for 2nd best. I did want the driver's side of the trailer aimed South so I can tilt the solar panels that way. I didn't do that today but will tilt them when necessary. I'm in the same general area I was in last year but someone is in the spot I had then.

After setting up I sat out enjoying the 65°F weather. The nights are going down to the low 40's, but the days are sunny and warm for the near future. I'm not sure if it is too early, but I made a batch of hummingbird food & hung out the feeder. Well, in less than an hour, 3 different hummingbirds stopped by.

I am going to have to get used to living on batteries & solar. I've had too long a run with hookups! Remembering to turn off lights, limited use of the inverter, and planning to use electrical devices during peak sunshine times, and conserving water will take some adjusting.

Dinner was a sandwich & salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, December 7, 2018

Day 125, Friday, December 7, 2018 - Triple T Mobile Home Park, Glendale, AZ, Day 2

, 0 Miles, 7,957 Miles for the Trip

When I started the transfer from the old Mac to the new one I used the Time Machine backup to do it. That was the recommendation of Apple. It was a bit slow because the backup is on a portable 4TB drive. When it started, it said it would be 5 hours to do the Documents folder. The good thing about a Time Machine Backup is it backs up everything, including the applications, settings, etc. I went to bed with the disk activity light flashing away.

This morning, the portable drive had stopped. I fired up the Mac, and believe it or not, everything works, apps, settings, and, of course the various documents. Even Dreamweaver kept its settings for my ISP, something that didn't happen when I made the move to my previous MacBookPro. I do find it pretty amazing!

While others have complained about the new keyboard, I like it. The only thing I had to change is to adjust the screen image size. The stock size is just a bit small for my old eyes.

By the way, the park is well suited for running around Glendale, Peoria, and other parts of Phoenix, but they have some serious train horn noise. I don't hear the wheels, engine, etc, but very loud horns. Good thing they don't go by too often, bad thing, one went by at 6:00AM. To the good, they have just about the best shower (and there is only one) of the trip. Individual large room with sink, toilet & shower, bench, large shower with sliding glass door, and a 1' diameter shower head. The first time I've used one; I'm impressed!

After messing around with the Mac, I headed to the nearest Safeway for some supplies before heading to Quartzsite. Unfortunately, the nearest Safeway Matilda, my GPS found was gone. I found another one about 8 miles from the park. My freezer is now as stuffed as possible. I can get usable fresh vegetables at the two small grocery stores in Quartzsite, but frozen food requires trips to Parker, 30 miles away or Blythe, 20 miles west on I 10 in California.

Other than that, I did some reading, both on the computer & my latest book, Clive Egleton's One Man Running. A new author for me, and he is British, writing for the English, which takes a bit of getting used to. I think I like it...

Dinner was a Healthy Choice Grilled Basil Chicken Steamer.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Day 123, Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, AZ

Golden Hour Lighting
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - Gilbert Ray Campground, Tucson, AZ - 283.5 Miles, 7,828.1 Miles for the Trip

I got another early (for me) start, hitting the road at 9:00AM. Pretty boring; 280 miles on I 10, and a little on secondary roads (and an entrance/off ramp on I 19. It is a long drive through Tucson Mountain Park to the campground, on a rough but paved road with many "dips" for water runoff. No one in the office (a sign says they are on "Summer Hours"?

In any case, I drove around the A, B, & C loops looking for sites. There were plenty that would fit the 21 & truck, however many are fairly unlevel. Eventually, I picked A15, a site near the bathrooms (no showers). I needed to use the side to side levelers, but didn't need to unhook the trailer. An electric only site on desert sand with a picnic table. A very pretty site, with cactus all around it and mountains in the background. Definitely a campground I'd like to spend more time visiting when I'm not in a rush!

I took some additional photos during the "Golden Hour" as the sun went down. Great color, but not much of a sunset.  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After running around taking photos, I fired up the laptop to check the availability of cell service. A couple of reviews of the park said it was lovely, but no or poor cell service. Things must have changed since those review - AT&T had a -91dBm 4G LTE signal, with 18Mbps down & 10.1Mbps up. Verizon showed a -86dBm signal, with 44.6Mbps down & 16Mbps up, both very usable. While I didn't talk on the AT&T phone, the Verizon iPhone had no problems.

The day started out very cold at 35°F. As I headed west it warmed up, particularly as I crossed into Arizona. Here at the campground, it was 73°F around 3:00. I took a long walk dropping off the site payment at the entrance station, then sat around outside reading (with breaks to take some photos) until dinner.

My stomach is acting up (again) so dinner was simple - a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Day 122, Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - Siesta RV Park, Las Cruces, NM

Site 39
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - Siesta RV Park, Las Cruces, NM - 288.2 Miles, 7,544.6 Miles for the Trip

I lied about the road noise from I 10 at the Fort Stockton RV Park. It is noticeable; I must have had the radio turned up enough to mask it. After shutting it off, you could hear most of the trucks, and even some cars. It did slow down after 11:00...

I spent the entire drive on I 10 to Las Cruces, New Mexico (with a short stop at the Fort Stockton Walmart. Gas at Walmart was $2.60, the cheapest in town). Prices go up most of the way to El Paso, then make a big drop ($2.08) just outside the city. Terrible traffic through El Paso, TX, with lots of construction & lane changes. I can't imagine what it is like during rush hour since I went through at 1:30 in the afternoon.

I'm in site 39, a water & electric site on gravel towards the back of the park for $32.00 with a Good Sam discount. They have cable TV & free WiFi that I didn't attempt to use - good AT&T & Verizon coverage.

I've been doing more miles than usual because Apple moved up the date I'm picking up a new computer in Phoenix, AZ. The original date was the 11th, now it is the 5th. They will hold it for 21 days, so I don't need to get there tomorrow. I know that if I arrived on the previously scheduled December 11th, that is still within the 21 days, but hey, it is a new toy!

I'll also be stopping at an Amazon locker for a package. If everything goes as scheduled, I should be able to pick up both on the 6th.

Dinner was a microwaved Eating Well Creamy Pesto Chicken. Very good!

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, December 3, 2018

Day 121, Monday, December 3, 2018 - Fort Stockton RV Park, Fort Stockton, TX

Site 25
Monday, December 3, 2018 - Fort Stockton RV Park, Fort Stockton, TX - 267.7 Miles, 7,256.4 Miles for the Trip

Well, I opened the door to the truck this morning, and it was squealing again. After packing up, I started to head to the local Ford dealer, but about 1/2 mile toward the dealer, it stopped. I hopped on I 10 and (looking hard for some wood to knock on) the squeal never came back. Maybe the truck doesn't like San Antonio? In any case, I headed northwest on I 10, stopping in Fort Stockton, TX. You know, I 10 goes forever in Texas! I still have another couple of hundred to go tomorrow.

I stopped at the Fort Stockton RV Park, just off I 10, east of the town. No road noise - this section of I 10 isn't the busiest interstate in the country. I'm in site 25, an almost level pull through on gravel with full hookups plus cable for $36.00 with at Good Sam discount. Not bad for a commercial park - they even include a picnic table. The bathrooms, laundry & Roadrunner Cafe are one row away from my site. After setting up I headed for the showers. The report? 2 large showers with large showerheads individual doors & shower curtains, a fair sized drying area with 2 hooks, no bench or shelf, but many nooks in the shower stall to hold your soap & shampoo. Not much heat, but plenty of hot water.

Speaking of heat, I gained around 2500' of altitude, and the predicted nighttime temperature is 37°F (it hit 60°F during the afternoon). I guess those warm, coastal nights are a thing of the past. I'm already running the electric heater.

Since there is a Cafe, I decided to let them cook dinner (and maybe tomorrow's breakfast). I had a catfish basket. OK, but not as good as the catfish at the Waterfront Restaurant in Matagorda.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Day 120, Sunday, December 2, 2018 - Top of the Hill RV Resort, Boerne, TX

Site 56
Sunday, December 2, 2018 - Top of the Hill RV Resort, Boerne, TX - 307.2 Miles, 6,988.7 Miles for the Trip

It started out as an uneventful trip, but as I drove through San Antonio on I 10, a high pitched squeal came from the radio, at least that is what I thought. Drove me crazy, and I sure was wishing is was some other day than Sunday as I drove by a Ford dealer. I stopped at a campground about 20 miles past the dealer, and tried everything I could to stop the noise. Loud enough that it hurts the ears, and does not shut off with the ignition. I pulled the fuses for the radio, entertainment center and audio amplifier, and it didn't stop. It sounds like it is coming from behind the display rather than the speakers. It also shuts off during the time I'm driving under a bridge. No idea what it is, but I'm going to need some ear plugs!

I'm in the Top of the Hill RV Resort a short way West of San Antonio, TX, site 56. A full hook up site on dirt, with a picnic table for $40.50 with a Good Sam discount. It is across from the bathrooms & laundry, so while I didn't have my usual basket full, I did a load of laundry. $1.00 wash & $1.50 dry, although I had to run the dryer twice to get everything dry.

Dinner was a first - Innovasian's Orange Chicken. One of the best frozen microwaved versions I've had. Little in the way of Chinese vegetables - lots of broccoli, but good sized pieces of chicken, and a nice sauce.

When I put the laundry basket back in the truck,  the squeal was gone! I sure hope it doesn't come back tomorrow...

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Day 119, Saturday, December 1, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 7

The Group Photo
Saturday, December 1, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 7 - 0 Miles, 6,681.5 Miles for the Trip

Probably the nicest day of the rally. 78°F with a light wind & plenty of sun. I made a couple rounds of the campground, inclding a photo of the campgrounds "New Lodgings", a couple of Airstreams. After that it was the group photo, a short drive along the Colorado River to photograph some birds, and that evening, the pot luck dinner.  Lots of photos, including links to full size jpgs of the group photos  at today's LakeshoreImages page or the Matagorda Madness page.

Dinner was the pot luck!

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, November 30, 2018

Day 118, Friday, November 30, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 6

Kite Weather!
Friday, November 30, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 6 - 0 Miles, 6,681.5 Miles for the Trip

A very nice day with plenty of sunshine, at least until the late afternoon when we had light rain. The river & weather were good enough that the kayak paddle on the river took place this morning.

I drove to Bay City for pie ingredients, and while they had fresh blueberries, which I prefer, they were $.50 per ounce, and I needed 4.5 pounds. So, it was a 5 pound bag of frozen HEB blueberries. While I prefer Wyman's Frozen Wild Blueberries for pies, the store didn't have any. The HEB blueberries are huge, but unlike the large berries I grow at home, don't seem to have much taste, at least compared to the smaller wild ones. In any case, they will do.

Back at the campground, I decided rather than baking both pies in the trailer oven, I'd dig out the toaster oven. It was 77°F out, and warmer in the trailer, so the toaster oven saved heating up the trailer. It also seemed to work better. I'm not sure what is going on with the trailer oven, but first it wouldn't get up to 450°F, which I use for about 10 minutes, then when set for 350°F, my normal baking temperature, ended up at 250°F. I finished off the trailer baked pie in the toaster oven after the first pie was done. So, we now have two blueberry pies for tomorrow's pot luck.

After cleaning up (and turning my gray tank blue) I read for a bit, finished the Harbinger series by Jeff Wheeler, and started a new book.

Dinner was at the Waterfront Restaurant. Very slow service, but it was crowded, and the catfish dinner was both huge & good.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Day 117, Thursday, November 29, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 5

The Beer Exchange
Thursday, November 29, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 5 - 0 Miles, 6,681.5 Miles for the Trip

I got my usual couple of phone calls offering "a Final Expense Plan" and "Pain Management Plans" early this morning. The pain management calls from a number of different callers didn't start until after I got a prescription for Celebrex. I wonder who told?

My current Verizon cell phone was my landline phone number up until last July, so I get lots of spam calls even though it is a cell phone. It never bothered me at home because the ringer on the bedroom phone was turned off, but my Verizon cell phone is often plugged into the trailer radio and sits in a cradle next to the bed about 1' from my head. Both the phone & the radio ring. Since I'm a time zone west of normal, the calls start early. Of course, all the calls have a spoofed originating number coming from the 315 area code (my hometown code) and usually in a nearby town. It will be worse when I hit Arizona with two time zone changes. Unfortunately, while I don't get as many on the AT&T phone, which has been a cell number all its life, I do get some. I read the other day that is will soon be possible using software to determine if a calling number is spoofed, and prevent the phone from ringing. Couldn't happen too soon!

Last night, after I posted the journal I went to the beer exchange. Since I left upstate NY in August, most good beer left in the trailer that long would be getting pretty bad by now. Last year my Adirondack Bear Naked Beer was pretty bad by the time I reached the Quartzsite rally, so this year I didn't bring any. I enjoyed talking with some of the participants, an offered Alamo beer, and some snacks.

This morning was the first official day of the rally. The "Protesters" moved from the parking lot to their sites, another Scamp 19 arrived, and the park is looking like a fiberglass rally. There are still a few stick built trailers & Class A's, but most of the sites in the south campground are fiberglass. There are three Casitas in the north campground. Light rain off & on, with heavy clouds.

There was suppose to be an organized Sunset Kayak program this evening, but the rain and cloudy sky seemed to have canceled it. Since the rain has been cycling off & on, during a somewhat dry spell I wiped down the front of the trailer, trying to remove the 4 months of road dust & bugs. About all is did is smear it all, making a bigger mess, and, not enough rain so far to rinse it off.

Around 6:00 I headed to the Sip & Dip, a get together with snacks & drinks. Photos of everything, including the beer exchange are at today's LakeshoreImages page or the Matagorda Madness page.

After that it was back to the trailer. I had enough snacking that the chicken patty sandwich I had for a late lunch was plenty.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Day 116, Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 4

New Arrivals
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 4 - 0 Miles, 6,681.5 Miles for the Trip

Last night was interesting. Instead of cooling off as usual, it got warmer throughout the night, reaching 62°F by morning. Unfortunately, it didn't get much warmer throughout the day. Fairly heavy clouds, but no rain. A good day to sit outside wearing a light jacket.

I made a couple of rounds of the campground with the camera. Lots of Casitas arrived; makes sense since they are made in Rice, Texas. A couple more Escapes, and an Oliver. It is starting to look like a rally!  More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After the last round of the campground, I headed inside to download the photos, and decided it was too gloomy to sit around outside. Too early for dinner, so I did some reading. I also started a web page for this year's Matagorda Madness Rally, basically a collection of photos from my journal.

Dinner was a chicken patty & some left over rice from yesterday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Day 115, Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 3

A Shrimp Boat Heading Home
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 6,681.5 Miles for the Trip

the good - the wind finally died down to only 5 - 10 MPH. The bad, it cooled off quickly, going down to 41°F overnight. I've been to many places where they say "if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes", and Matagorda Bay is definitely one of them. 76°F for a high yesterday, 62°F today, and 79°F predicted for tomorrow. Other than a bit cool, it was a beautiful, sunny day. I spent most of it sitting outside in the sun. I've been finishing the Kingsfountain series by Jeff Wheeler, the author I've been reading most of last week. The Harbinger series still has 2 books to go, but the next one won't be released until March. I started the Kingsfountain series awhile back, but never finished it. 2 more to go. I have to admit they (both series) are addictive. Not a lot of killing and almost no sex, so neither compares to the Game of Thrones series, but they are good, quick reads.

I wandered around the park, taking photos of some of the early arrivals, and drove to the parking lot for the "Protesters". Also caught a couple of shrimp boats cruising up the Colorado River. There are a couple of shrimp stores along the road into the park; I suspect you can get pretty fresh shrimp after the boat gets home! More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

I checked my spare since I'm lending it as a spare to the guy who had 2 blowouts for his drive to the tire store where he is getting all the tires replaced. Good thing I checked - it was down to 40 pounds from the 50 I put in it before I left for this trip. I dug out my Viair 12V compressor & topped it off. While I've only had to use the compressor a couple of times in the 8 years I've had it, it is one of the better 12V compressors, and worth the extra cost over the $25.00 junk. I did modify the output hose with quick connect fittings so I can use it with an adapter to blow out the trailer water lines if I run into freezing weather on a trip.

Dinner was a grilled chicken thigh, Vigo Yellow Rice, and asparagus with a glass of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. Not a bad way to end the day!

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, November 26, 2018

Day 114, Monday, November 26, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 2

Monday, November 26, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,681.5 Miles for the Trip

A couple more arrivals during the day - a Scamp 19 and an Escape 19 here in the park, and an Escape and two Casitas in the parking lot at the end of the road. I suspect they are the same group that labeled themselves as "protesters" two years ago and avoided paying the $5.00 per day per person entry fee by camping in the parking lot until the last couple of days of the rally.

I did check the cell service here at the park. AT&T provides a 3G, 1.6Mb download & .7 Mb upload with a -107dBm signal. Yesterday Verizon was providing 1X service (no data), but today there is a -98dBm 4G LTE signal that is providing 10.2 Mb download and 6.2 Mb upload. While there is a park WiFi, and it works for reading mail & web pages, it wouldn't let me upload my page to my ISP or Google, all I get is test errors when trying to check the speed. In any case, no problems with cell data here at the park.

A very windy night. I started to hear a intermittent "clunk" when the wind got strong (gusts up to 30 MPH) during yesterday afternoon, but couldn't tell where it was coming from. Before dark I got out my ladder & check to make sure the solar panel bolts were still tight - they were. I couldn't find the problem, so ignored it, mostly because the wind died down. It started back up around 11:00, and the clunking was driving me crazy. It was very intermittent, so when I moved around the trailer trying to locate it, it would stop, then start again when I got back in the bed. I finally decided it had to be the cap for the sewer connection - the only think I could think of that was loose, but couldn't blow away. It has a hanging strap to keep it from getting lost. So, at 11:30 I'm outside with a flashlight using a bungee cord to tie it down. Evidently it was the problem; the noise went away.

Back to today. I decided to wait until after my 3:00 eye drops to do a load of laundry. They have home type front loading Kenmore washers & dryers - you pay $4.00 at the visitor center per load. They worked fine, but I made the mistake of choosing the "Heavy" cycle, which runs an hour and 45 minutes. By the time I got the clothes out of the dryer, it was 6:45.

I did my usual shower during the drying cycle - quite cool in the bathroom, but they had an overhead quartz infrared heating strip on a timer. Only problem is the knob was loose on the shaft so you couldn't turn on the timer. No problem as long as you have a handy Leatherman! There is a large drying room with bench (where the heating strip is focused) for the three shower stalls, each shower with a very small drying area, three clothes hooks, and a 6" shelf. High pressure, low volume permanent showerhead. The water temperature kept going from hot enough to lukewarm, feeling like you were running out of hot water, but then getting hot again. Maybe an on demand water heater? In any case, it worked out OK. Fairly soft water, but no where near as bad as that at City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico where you spend twice the time rinsing that you do washing.

I also ate dinner during the dryer run. I microwaved the last of my frozen containers of left over chicken stew.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Day 113, Sunday, November 25, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX,

Site 42
Sunday, November 25, 2018 - Matagorda Bay Nature Park, TX, 29 Miles, 6,681.5 Miles for the Trip

A short 29 mile drive from Bay City to Matagorda.  I stayed at 60 North RV Park long enough to take a shower, then headed out.  TX 60 goes between Bay City & Matagorda, so there wasn't too much for the GPS to do getting me here.

While all sites are full hookup, there are 3 price levels - RV full hookup - $27, RV preferred - $32, RV waterfront - $37 and RV pull through - $37. The standard full hookup sites are along the road. Since the road ends 500' past the campground entrance, traffic noise isn't a problem, but they were all booked when I went to Reserve America 6 months ago. I'm in site 42, a preferred site 2 rows back from the waterfront sites. There is a $6.00 reservation fee, and a $2.00 per day park entrance fee (discounted from $5.00 because I'm over 65). So, with all that together, the daily cost for the week is $34.86. Level (all directions) site with a concrete picnic table & fish hanger. No grills or fire pits.

After setting up I walked to the office to register, and found a sign stating registration was at the visitor center at the opposite end of the campground. The bathrooms & laundry still have the same door codes they had 2 years ago. I walked down to the visitor center & paid my $14.00 entrance fee (not collected by Reserve America). The cattle drive went through last week, so I missed it. Here is a link to the one 2 years ago. Fun to watch!

After finishing setting up I got out the grill, planning to do a Beyond Burger cheeseburger for dinner. Not sure that is going to work - it is very windy. The sun popped out for a bit, but most of the day was foggy & cloudy. Temperatures are not too bad - a high of 75°F & 72°F right now at 4:00.

I'm the first fiberglass trailer to arrive. The park was full over the weekend, but many left today. Still a number of "sun blockers" spread out across both sections of the campground (there is a South & North section with the bathrooms & laundry in between them; I'm in the South.

I found an NPR station based out of Houston. So far, appears to be a news & talk station, but the weekends are hard to tell formats. Not sure why I couldn't pick it up in Bay City since that was closer to Houston, but I'm not complaining.

The wind died down enough to cook a Beyond Burger, so that, with applesauce was dinner. As I finished eating, another Escape 21 pulled in. They did not have a good trip getting here - 2 blowouts on the trailer!

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Day 112, Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 60 North RV Park, Bay City, TX, Day 5

Saturday, November 24, 2018 - 60 North RV Park, Bay City, TX, Day 5 - 0 Miles, 6,652.5 Miles for the Trip

Not only did my on the road deliveries take a turn for the better yesterday with the Walmart delivery, but when I stopped at the post office this morning, my general delivery letter had arrived. My trailer now has the 2019 sticker on the plate & current registration. By the way, the Escape 21 registration fee for NY is $62.50 per year - I believe it still goes by weight.

Another warm day, although the weather report predicted a sunny day, however there were fairly heavy clouds throughout. I finished the last of the baked ham in a sandwich for lunch, then goofed off for the rest of the day. I did set up the new Ubiquiti NanoStation & it is working as expected. I was never able to reset the old one to see if I could reconfigure it - I suspect that it is dead.

I'm in the middle of the second book of Jeff Wheeler's Harbinger series, Mirror Gate. As mentioned, a bit different than the usual science fiction I read, but I'm still reading. After my afternoon eye drops I hooked up the trailer, shut down the tank drains & packed up the sewer hose. If it is raining tomorrow, I only have to crank up the jacks, unhook the water & electric, and I'm off to Matagorda. According to Reserve America, someone will be in my site tonight, so I don't want to arrive too early while they are still packing up.

Dinner was an Amy's Chile Relleno Bowl. Not made like real Chile Relleno where a Chile is stuffed, but a bowl with cut up pieces of Chile, along with what would have been stuffed inside. Not bad for a quick microwave meal, although I far prefer the real thing at Chope's in La Mesa, NM.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, November 23, 2018

Day 111, Friday, November 23, 2018 - 60 North RV Park, Bay City, TX, Day 4

Friday, November 23, 2018 - 60 North RV Park, Bay City, TX, Day 4 - 0 Miles, 6,652.5 Miles for the Trip

I'm definitely not having much luck with deliveries. First, the replacement for my Ubiquiti Nanostation that was expected today was postponed to at least Monday, and my general delivery letter that was scheduled to arrive today wasn't at the post office. They said today's mail was in, so unless it makes it tomorrow by noon, it will also have to wait until Monday.

The trip to the post office was about it for the day. I did a fair amount of reading - current Kindle book is Storm Glass by Jeff Wheeler, the first of at least a 4 book series. Not my usual type of book, but society & politics are interesting so far. A laid back, peaceful (I'm 3/4 of the way through the first book & no one has killed anyone yet) Game of Thrones.

Well, I have to go - seems my delivery from Walmart, promised on Monday, came in a few minutes ago! I got both an email & text message.

Back from Walmart. The pickup was easy. I used their app to tell them I was on my way, and the package was at the front of the counter. It would be really nice if the general delivery letter came in tomorrow. I still have to make one trip from Matagorda to pick up blueberries for making a pie for the pot luck, but that should be later in the week.

It has been a warm day. Not quite enough to want the air conditioner, but it hit 79°F outside this afternoon. A mix of sun & clouds.

I had a turkey sandwich for a late lunch (unfortunately, it wasn't leftovers with cranberry sauce & stuffing, but Oscar Mayer Carving Board cold cuts). In any case, I'm just going to snack cheese & Ritz crackers for dinner. One note - why do they put an uneven number of crackers in their short packages? I guess some only use one cracker per snack, but I like to make a sandwich. Oh well, the mysteries of packaging!

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Day 110, Thursday, November 22, 2018 - 60 North RV Park, Bay City, TX, Day 3

Thursday, November 22, 2018 - 60 North RV Park, Bay City, TX, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 6,652.5 Miles for the Trip

Happy Thanksgiving! Unfortunately, no turkey dinner here. The last time I cooked a 24 pound turkey with all the side dishes for Thanksgiving was 3 years ago, although I've been doing a "Thanksgiving in July" the last two years. My favorite July "Thanksgiving" was the year Don & Anne brought their visiting Chinese student, who experienced a turkey dinner for the first time. The problem with Thanksgiving in July, other than heating up an already hot house is it is impossible to buy a Plainville fresh 20 - 24 pound turkey except at Thanksgiving. Plainville turkeys are raised without antibiotics, and non injected with water/sugar/salt/anything. Tastes much better than the typical Butterball. I did once find a 12 pound Plainville turkey in a grocery store during the summer, but somehow that doesn't really say Thanksgiving. While a 24 pound turkey is pretty big for just two or three, I usually had a couple of students that were not able to go home for Thanksgiving, and often had friends over for the meal.

So, today it was honey cinnamon glazed ham, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. A fine meal, but not the traditional.

Other than an early dinner, not much happening. We did get two new arrivals here at the RV Park, and one leaving, but that was all the excitement for the day.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Day 109, Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 60 North RV Park, Bay City, TX, Day 2

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 - 60 North RV Park, Bay City, TX, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,652.5 Miles for the Trip

Very light rain off & on overnight, clear skies in the morning, then rain off & on during the afternoon. I ran some speed tests on the various internet connections: AT&T -80dBm, 4.5MB down, 10.9MB up, Verizon -56dBm, 48MB down, 8.3MB up (the winner) and the campground WiFi .2Mb down, 5.6MB up. The campground WiFi varied quite a bit with the time of day.

Speaking of the time of day, a bad time to head to Walmart was 3:15. Long waits at almost every traffic light in town. When I got back to the trailer, the NPR station (in Phoenix, but probably the same here) stated that according to AAA, the heaviest traffic of the week would be at 3:00 today. I believe it!

I picked up a Stanley socket set. I didn't really need it since I already have one and a couple of 3/8" drivers, but the storage of the sockets is all tossed in a metal box. Makes it hard to find the one you want, particularly since I have both SAE & metric sockets. So, just for the fitted case, I bought another one. That was about it for Walmart.

I hit the showers in the campground bathroom. Quite nice - very clean, large showers with a standard showerhead, shower curtain, and a lip to keep the water out of the drying area. 3 individual rooms, each with a shower, toilet & sink. No bench or hooks, but there is a chair to set stuff on.

Not much more happening for the day.

Dinner was a frozen HEB Pad Kee Mao Gai dinner. A bit hotter (spicy) than I prefer, but OK.

Until Tomorrow -

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Day 108, Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 60 North RV Park, Bay City, TX

Site 62
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 60 North RV Park, Bay City, TX - 108.9 Miles, 6,652.5 Miles for the Trip

It warmed up overnight, hitting 52°F by morning. I packed up the trailer, stopped at the bathroom & met a couple of the park maintenance crew photographing the vice grip hot water handle in the shower. The original handle disappeared last week. When they asked for the money to buy a replacement handle, someone said why? So, their plan was to email the photo to the money people.

A quiet drive to Bay City on US 59, TX 111 & TX 35 plus a short stint on TX 60 to the 60 North RV Park. A fairly typical city RV park, although more room between sites. No grill or picnic table, but level concrete pads, a full hookup back in site (#62) for $36.00 per day with a Good Sam discount. I'm here for 5 days, after which my site becomes available at the Matagorda Bay Nature Park & the Matagorda Madness rally.

Anne sent my trailer registration & Medicare card care of General Delivery here at the Bay City Post Office. I hope it arrives before I leave, but if not, is is only 30 miles or so between Bay City and the Matagorda Bay Nature Park. I already have to come back after Monday; an order I had shipped to the Bay City Walmart was suppose to arrive on Friday, but I just received a notice that it is delayed until at least Monday.

After setting up, I headed to HEB for some supplies & the lowest gas prices in town ($2.21.9). I'm still getting used to putting over $50.00 at a time in the tank - 23.7 gallons today). Still, I go a long time between fill ups, so overall, while the average price of gas is up compared to last year, I'm getting better mileage, so it isn't all that much more, just more at a time...

I made a ham sub for lunch, so dinner will be just a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Monday, November 19, 2018

Day 107, Monday, November 19, 2018 - Goliad State Park, Goliad, TX, Day 2

Presidio La Bahia
Monday, November 19, 2018 - Goliad State Park, Goliad, TX, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,543.6 Miles for the Trip

Heavier rain off & on overnight, and still quite cool. Today's high was 49°F. No rain, but very damp & heavy.

I decided to tour some of Goliad's forts & missions. Not great for photography with the heavy, gray skies, but I needed something to do. I started with the Presidio La Bahia & the Our Lady of Loreto Chapel which is part of the fort, then stopped at the campground office & the Mission Espiritu Santo, which is part of the park. More photos at today's LakeshoreImages page.

After that it was back to the trailer. I have a new neighbor that has 4 large dogs. No leashes, but they seem well behaved - they stay behind their trailer & don't roam the campground, unlike a stray that was running around yesterday. They are in a relatively small (24' or so) trailer - must be crowded; probably even more so in the truck they use to tow the trailer!

I decided it wasn't going to get any warmer, and while there was heat in the bathroom, not much, still, I needed a shower. As to the shower (only one), a couple of benches, 2 hooks, a window sill that served as a good place for my soap dish & shampoo, a high pressure, low volume showerhead (although the design that actually produces a usable spray), a shower curtain & low wall that kept the drying area floor dry, and no light so you didn't see what the condition of the shower walls & floor were in. Lots of hot water once you learned how to turn it on with the campground provided vice grips (missing faucet handle). All in all, not too bad, although a bit cool getting dry.

I had a late lunch or early dinner (at 2:30) of left over chicken sandwiches & creamed corn. I'm still looking for succotash with no luck. About the only canned vegetable I like, and one that I miss. I check every supermarket I visit for it, and creamed corn is as close as I get. I did once find frozen succotash, but somehow the canning process blends the beans & corn much better than the fresh frozen variety.

Real dinner will probably be cheese & crackers a bit later.

Until Tomorrow -

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Day 106, Sunday, November 18, 2018 - Goliad State Park, Goliad, TX

Site 21
Sunday, November 18, 2018 - Goliad State Park, Goliad, TX - 108.4 Miles, 6,543.6 Miles for the Trip

Very light rain off & on all day & all the way to Goliad. I'm in an electric & water back in site next to the bathrooms, site 21, for $20.00 per night plus a $3.00 daily entry charge. A parking lot with the utilities on the back edge, along with a shaded picnic table & grill. Only three other trailers in this section of the park. The full hook up section is about a mile away, and is a bit more crowded.

It is cool at 50°F and a light rain or heavy mist, and the predictions are for it to remain about the same for tomorrow. After setting up, I drove to the local grocery store, and picked up a few items.

Dinner was half a roasted chicken & applesauce.

Until Tomorrow -

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Day 105, Saturday, November 17, 2018 - Tejas Valley RV Park, San Antonio, TX, Day 3

Saturday, November 17, 2018 - Tejas Valley RV Park, San Antonio, TX, Day 3 - 0 Miles, 6,435.2 Miles for the Trip

A cloudy day, but warm enough - into the 70's. I headed out to Best Buy for a 4TB portable disk drive to replace my full Time Machine back up drive. I'm still amazed that I can buy a 4 TB drive for $129.00. I know I'm old, but I do remember paying close to $2000.00 for a 20MB drive for my first Mac. Of course everything I had fit on it, while one photo from my D850 would be more than twice the drive's capacity.

I stopped & got the truck washed on the way back to the RV Park, even though rain is predicted. I wanted to get rid of at least one layer of road grime.

That was it for the day. I probably should hook up the trailer tonight since rain is predicted for the morning, but I guess I'll just get wet.

Dinner was a ham & cheese sandwich & a salad.

Until Tomorrow -

Friday, November 16, 2018

Day 104, Friday, November 16, 2018 - Tejas Valley RV Park, San Antonio, TX, Day 2

Site 50
Friday, November 16, 2018 - Tejas Valley RV Park, San Antonio, TX, Day 2 - 0 Miles, 6,435.2 Miles for the Trip

Reasonably quiet for a RV park in the city. The road construction stopped around 5:00, and the traffic calmed down around 8:00. Lots of lighting - my back window glows, even with the shades down!

I drove to the Apple store, waited 2 hours to get an appointment with the Genius Bar, and discovered that there is nothing wrong with me Ethernet adapter or the Mac's ports. The reason it didn't work has to be a problem with the Ubiquiti NanoStation. I stopped for gas on the way back to the campground - about the cheapest of the trip at $2.18 per gallon, and some grilled chicken for dinner.

As I noted, a bit tight, but typical of city RV parks. Most of the sites seem to be fairly permanent with porches, decks, etc.

I did laundry here at the park - $2.00 each for wash & dry, and took a shower next door while the dryer was running. Plenty of hot water, good shower head, difficult to adjust control, 1 hook, a shower curtain, but water ran into the drying area anyway. There was a bench. I guess I'd have to call it average...

As mentioned, dinner was grilled chicken.

Until Tomorrow -

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Day 103, Thursday, November 15, 2018 - Tejas Valley RV Park, San Antonio, TX

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - Tejas Valley RV Park, San Antonio, TX - 181.2 Miles, 6,435.2 Miles for the Trip

A much warmer evening, plus I had hookups, so the electric heater was on. In fact, I woke up around 3:00AM, found it was 69°F in the trailer & turned it down. I prefer to sleep with temperatures in the low 60's.

I stopped on the way out of the campground to dump the tanks. A strange hose system - a long hose, but on the door side (passenger side) of the trailer, so you have to spray water all over the place after you open the valve & run around to the dump (driver's) side of the trailer. In any case, the tanks were at 2/3rds full and are now empty.

An uneventful drive down US 90 to San Antonio, and the Tejas Valley RV Park. Lots of construction on Potranco Road, the entrance road to the park, with traffic backed up in both directions. I'm in site 50, a full hookup site for $40.50 per night with the Good Sam discount. Very tight sites, although I do have a picnic table near the back of the site. Level enough that I wouldn't have needed to unhook, although since I am heading to Ford for an oil change & Apple to check the laptop, I unhooked anyway. A large park, and the bathrooms & laundry are at the other end from my site.

While there is AT&T as well as Verizon coverage, the AT&T speed is slow enough to be unusable (at least at dinner time). Verizon is showing 1.3MB download & 2.8MB upload. The campground WiFi has lots of nodes, but is very slow. I stuck with the Verizon Jetpack.

After setting up, I drove to McCombs West Ford for their quick oil change & tire rotation. While not standard, as it was with the Tacoma, I asked for & got synthetic oil. I prefer that when towing since it seems to hold up better under high loads & temperatures.

No site photo until tomorrow since it was dark by the time I got back from the oil change. I do hate city traffic (as well as city RV parks) but that is where I needed to be to get my current projects done.

I called the Matagorda post office to see if they do general delivery (Anne is going to mail me my new Medicare card & the trailer registration) and the answer is sorta. All the other places I've done general delivery just had you address the mail to me C/O General Delivery, but the post master (well, mistress) wants me to mail her a letter with my ID before she can accept a general delivery letter. I may try Bay City, although it is a bit further away from the Matagorda campground.

Dinner was a microwaved El Monterey Chicken Enchilada dinner.

Until Tomorrow -

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Day 102, Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - Seminole Canyon State Park, Comstock, TX,

Site 31
Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - Seminole Canyon State Park, Comstock, TX, 219.4 Miles, 6,254 Miles for the Trip

Last night was the coldest of the trip, maybe even the coldest I've had in the Escape 21. It was down to 32°F by 11:00PM, and during the early morning hours, 23°F. Around midnight I turned up the furnace thermostat to 60°F to keep the pipes from freezing. I guess it worked - the water ran OK in the toilet & sinks. It was still below freezing as I packed up the trailer at 9:30AM, and didn't hit 50F until well down US 90, heading to Del Rio. Once I had phone service, I called the Ford dealer in Del Rio (Cecil Atkission Ford Lincoln), and left a message with the service manager asking for a first service on my F 150. Unlike my previous vehicles, the Ford gives you a percentage until needing an oil change, and mine is at 10%, the point where Ford suggests you start looking for a dealer. Unfortunately, they didn't call back. If I don't hear from them, I'll see if I can stay an extra day at San Antonio and find a dealer there. The plan is to get my laptop checked at the Apple Store in San Antonio. When I tried to use the Ethernet connection, it didn't work. Either the adapter or both thunderbolt ports are bad & I'd like to find out which while it is still under Applecare.

I stopped for the day about 30 miles from Del Rio at the Seminole Canyon State Park in Comstock, TX. $20.00 for an electric & water site plus a $5.00 per person entry fee for a total of $25.00. I'm in site 31, an almost level pull through (I didn't have to unhook). It is on top of a hill, with great views in every direction If the skies stay clear, it should be good for star gazing, although it is expected to get down to 34°F overnight, so I might not spent too much time outside.

Fast, but weak AT&T coverage, both phone (2-3 bars) & data (-111dBm with amp). No Verizon connection, either phone or Jetpack. I did discover a strange message on my Verizon phone when I checked it here in the campground. "Your LTE voice has been disconnected". It might have appeared there on the drive to the campground, along which there were a couple of towns with Verizon coverage.

Dinner was a chicken pot pie.

Until Tomorrow -