Friday, December 10, 2021

2021 - 2022 Trip To The Southwest, Day 51

 Friday, December 10, 2021, La Posa West LTVA, Quartzsite, AZ, Day 2 

Home of the Big Tent

I did my first coffee walk this morning. Cool at 46°F, but with the sun, fine with a sweatshirt. In fact, I walked back with it unzipped. Coffee was $1.53 at the 76 gas station. up from $1.23 in 2019. They have a new coffee dispenser - the spigots are low enough that my 24 oz coffee cup won't fit under them. I have to tip it enough that I only get 18 oz or so in the cup. 

Back at the trailer I had breakfast, then called XM Radio to renew the truck license. A bit more than the last 6 months at $36.00 for 6 months so I'm breaking my rule that I wouldn't pay more than $5.00 per month, but I do enjoy the stations when nothing else is available over the air. They offered $8.99 per month for 12 months, but I stuck with the lower 6 month pricing even if you have to call them more often. I have to admit that I don't use them as much as it did before I started listening to recorded books while traveling.

The tilted solar panels are doing their thing. I hit 307 watts around noon, not bad for a pair of 130 watt panels in partial clouds. Still, I'm only at 70% and down 97 amp hours. I'll see how long I can go without digging out the portable panels.

For those interested (and there isn't all that much interesting going on here) I took a photo of the Big Tent area before the tent appears on my walk back from getting coffee.

On the way to the dumpster, I met my neighbor & his very friendly dog. We chatted for a bit - he is also a solo traveler, although in a much larger RV - a Class A Patriot diesel pusher. He is from Montana.

After the visit I walked to the entrance station & discovered that the new vault toilet is for employees only, so there is still no vault toilet at La Posa West. That means no tents or RVs with smaller than 10 gallon black tanks. No idea why they have not added one here - there are multiple vault toilets at all three of the other La Posa areas.

I don't understand the cell connectivity here in Quartzsite. I suspect that the cell companies have not tried to keep up with the increasing usage, although AT&T's indicator on my new iPhone 13 Pro shows 5G E. The only phone call I've made so far here at Quartzsite was filled with noise. 

When I first spent a winter here in 2014, the cell speeds were excellent on both AT&T and Verizon. Each year they have become worse. I did speed tests when I got here - AT&T 23.7Mbps down & 0Mbps up (although it will very slowly upload an image) and Verizon at 5.4Mbps down & 7.9Mbps up. The speed tests don't tell the entire story. The AT&T ping at 50ms slows things down, and while I have been able to listen to a nearby internet radio station (KJZZ in Phoenix) on AT&T, when attempting to do the same with Verizon, the station drops out every couple of minutes. For some reason, I have always found AT&T better at streaming audio than Verizon, regardless of network speed and signal strength. Neither service will connect with my hometown NPR station WRVO. Verizon is so slow loading web pages that it is impossible to use. I am able to post journal updates, at least so far. There are far more users of the networks than in the past - I can see 10 different WiFi networks from my laptop. Still, I wonder what the networks are going to be like in January when an additional 100,000 RVs show up.

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the DC to DC converter used to isolate the truck battery from the trailer batteries. As far as I can tell, it is dead. I ordered a replacement that should arrive at Quiet Times on the 16th.

Other than a bit of reading (I'm up to 74% on An Echo in the Bone, and enjoying a bit of a history lesson about the American Revolutionary War), that was about it for the day.

I didn't feel like cooking, so dinner was a peanut butter & jelly sandwich & applesauce.

Until Tomorrow -

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