Frugal RVing In South States - Ebooks

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reminded OF Two Oldie Songs :-)

As I sit here listening to yet another unseasonal weather pattern - stormy, rainy winds with possible thunder and lightening, I am recalling a song I remember on the charts when I was much younger - I don't think I had even found a second digit in my numbering yet.

It was Albert Hammond's "It Never Rains In Southern California" To be more accurate, it came out in 1972, saying something along the lines of "it never rains, but it pours". (It is actually about the struggles of an artist trying to break into fame, but that one line rings as I sit here in Southern California ... serenaded by the melodious sound of wailing wind, and the patter of drops rhythmically striking the rubber roof of our cozy home. )

Which reminds me, I said I would show you my desert lawn. I remind you that the metaphor I gave to describe it was a young teen's beard.

Here is my lawn .....
(No, really, look close, there really is green there) :-)

The second song has found a new meaning that was never intended by the Doobie Brothers - "Black Water". Now, RVers of any persuasion - from weekend journeyer to full timer - can fully appreciate the humouristic feeling this classic song evokes as you stand by the driver side of your chosen mobile domicile, bending with a 3 inch hose and assorted attachments.

While connecting, perhaps to blue boy, perhaps to sewer connections at a full service site, or perhaps the middle ground, a public dump site, you find yourself quietly humming to yourself, or perhaps recalling the poignant lyrics, " Old Black Water, keep on rollin'....."

Like I said, it doesn't seem to be quite what the Doobie Brothers had in mind, but hey, it lightens the effect of the overbearing aroma that accompanies that particular activity.

In the words of the memorable governess/nanny, Mary Poppins, "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down."

And so, having planted two pleasantly hummable tunes in as many heads as I could reach (and perhaps one more childlike, but pleasant one), I bid you


Monday, February 22, 2010

The Best of The Worst

I sit here enjoying more of the best of the worst experiences which we seem to excel at over the last 4 years.

Clarifier: There hasn't yet been a place that we have come to that hasn't had the locals / regular visitors declare that "this is the worst weather we have had in years".

This particular version of worst has had about a week, or two tops of rainy days dispersed between 3 months, the coldest has never hit freezing, and I have never been inclined to wear more that a sweater and a light shell for weatherproofing.

If we are really lucky, the worst will continue in that the temperature won't exceed the high 80s before the end of March. (Much as we aren't fond of the cold, neither are we inclined to the fast approach of extended periods in the triple digits.)

So today's installment of worst weather included a wind storm that was moderate, with clouds. "We should be able to avoid precipitation, however......." , sayeth the weather prognosticator.

.... I took Midnight out for his morning business trip, and thought I had felt a drop. Not likely though, we aren't getting rain. I got the leash off and entered, closed the door, and then heard the torrent break loose. The dry wind predicted made the ground suspiciously wet is an amazingly short period of time.....

I do qualify this inclement arrival with the understanding that although I strongly would recommend a lined jacket once the dryness was being over-ridden, but while tending to canine inclinations, I was quite comfortable in a t-shirt.

Like I say, this is definitely the best worst weather we have yet encountered. Perhaps we shall return next year. - How bad can it get? ( As she quickly dashes around the rig desperately seeking real wood to touch. How much can one person tempt the elements, making a statement like that right out there for the whole world to view in cyberspace???!!!!!?) Never fear, my fate is in greater hands than even nature itself ;-)

So what on earth do you do on a day like that ... Just for something different, we went to town. No, wait a minute, it's just a rerun. I can't wait for the new season of this show to start!!

Nonetheless, progress was made. We got an air filter for the truck, picked up some bolts for various projects, picked up a magnetic CB arial (useful for communication on the ridge. You no longer require a license for them, so it provides longer range than walkie-talkies, and cheaper than cell phone minutes - especially if you are convoying on a cross country journey, but I digress.....), and some groceries.

All things considered, life is pretty good right now. :-)


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Model Air Show, Yuma Arizona

We went to see the Yuma Model Air Show today, and really enjoyed it. When we arrived, they were just launching the red jet and it put on quite of show.

The jet uses real jet fuel, and has a real scale size jet engine. It holds enough fuel for 8 minutes of flight time. It is capable of amazing speed, but is legally restricted to a speed of 200 mph. Watching it zoom by was amazing. It also did some maneuvering that clearly defined the caliber of the pilot guiding it.

Then they called the pilots to assemble their planes on the runway so that the crowd could view them up close.

Shortly after that break, they launched This plane:

It is a relatively simple craft, except that its under carriage is rigged for the fellow lying on its wings.

It can hold up to 3 paratroopers, and the fellow who owns the plane has a friend who runs the plane so that once he releases the paratroopers (I believe one at a time) he remotely controls them while the friend continues to fly the plane.

For the run that we viewed, he only set one paratrooper, but earlier, he released 2.

The following shot is of a B 25 bomber. We didn't see it fly, but it was an impressive replication.

The following video clip is of a Yak. The pilot is performing an extremely advanced maneuver called a prop stand.

Posted by Picasa

We quite enjoyed the event. Less formal activities are continuing tomorrow. We however, will be staying up on the ridge. Again the laundry and sewer beckon.

Ah, well tomorrow is another day, so for now,


Friday, February 19, 2010

Looking Ahead

I am not quite sure how we do it, but this week, we managed to have cause for a town trip every day. I do look forward to a day on the ridge..... but that will not be tomorrow....

Tomorrow, we are planning to go to the model air show just outside Yuma, in our direction. It promises to be quite an event, so I do hope we manage to go.

Our temperatures have been quite warm, climbing just across the 80s F, but the weekend is supposed to dip slightly and hold in the mid 70s. - great flying weather :-)

With any luck, we might actually hold ground for a couple days starting Sunday.

Having read up on some of blogs that I follow, I am catching a theme of "snowbirds prepping to return to their roosts."

Then I casually glance down at the calendar in the corner of my desktop, and shutter at the realization that in 6 to 7 weeks, we are starting the journey back. What happened, did I miss something? It has been a really good experience, and the additions to the ensemble to accommodate the more isolated outings has been a definite plus, but I am hopeful that we can return for a bit more exploration next winter as we were unable to this year.

We have to be back to Canada by April 12th, and we will be landing back in Sweetgrass Montana as we have an appointment in Okotoks that will take up 4 out of every 8 days for the following 5 1/2 months.

That should shock the system adequately - by then, Arizona/California should be hitting the mid to high 90s F, and occasionally tag into the 100s. Meanwhile, our arrival should in Alberta should find us shaking of the last few deposits of snow, and hoping that really soon it thaws enough to turn on the water supply.

The upside will be that shore power and individual sewer dump will be back in our world, and eventually the water will catch up when thawing permits, but it should jar the system somewhat, don't you think? :-)

Midnight has put a lot of though into this matter, and decided to get clipped now so that he will be cooler for the up coming warming trend, and yet have enough time to grow out his coat for the chilly return. He has also requested that the Easter Bunny bring him a winter coat. (We didn't tell him, but his wish was granted. It even has a nice collar that can be raised to protect the neck and back of the head while accommodating the leash through a slot - and it has 2 reflector bands, and is wind proof. - not bad for $15) I will get a shot of it later, but for now, use your mind's eye.

As for Glory, she has declared that as long as we ensure to keep the furnaces running at appropriate temperatures, she will allow the relocation of her house. She is only granted a window seat to the outside anyway.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


A common problem in Canada is weathering of the roads. This is particularly a problem during spring thaw.

The roads and the beds on which they are placed go through a bit of chaos as they freeze, thaw unevenly, freeze again, and slowly reach the status of thawed for the season. In the meantime, large and small vehicles rolling at high speeds over them cause buckling, cracking, and general wear, then moisture seeps into cracks, and deterioration is the result.

One would think, (and I was one of those ones not so long ago) that without the freezing, roads here would fair better, other than occasional flash floods.

Well, the floods are definitely a factor, but I did not realize that another contributor to the lack of longevity to the local roads is heat, not freezing. After all, when the temperature goes up to 120 F and the roads are black, the likelihood of melt and reset becomes much more prevalent.

As for the roads in our immediate vicinity, they have gone through a familiar low budget repair process here. The high (by local standards) rains have caused phenomenal pitting and potholing, and after several weeks of driving over them, we were relieved to come home on filled hollows.

By low budget, I mean this:

A truck full of loose asphalt drives to the scene of repair, then however many crew members are spared for the process start shoveling it into the craters. Then, the more creative crews use their truck tires to pack it down. The less creative folks stamp on it.

If the locals are fortunate enough, the heat and other traffic will solidify the efforts, although I have also seen it have the reverse affect, and within 2 weeks, the gaping crater returns.

I have my fingers crossed.

Anyway, having shared my new found knowledge, I am inclined to call it a full day.


Monday, February 15, 2010


Olympic fever seems to be everywhere, and all the blogs I follow have mentioned them. So here are my few words on them.

Go Canada, Go!! I am told we got our first gold, I watched the silver run for lady's moguls.

I hear the opening ceremonies were awesome, and I also heard of the terrible tragedy during training of the luge. My sincerest condolences to the family, friends, teammates, and the nation.

Overall, I really have never been much for sports though, so I will be delighted to hear the final score, and I hope all goes well for all those people from and going to the Vancouver area to take in the show.

As for me, I am quite pleased with my vantage point. - less traffic and crowding :-)

Hey, I notice today that there is a bit of grass growing around the rig. Who knew we would have a spring lawn??!! (It is merely stubble, but hey, it's green)

Well, it is getting late, so


Friday, February 12, 2010

Generators and Trucks

The temperature is slowly climbing, and we are expecting low 80s this week. It is amazing to see what the east coast, and even Texas is coming up with right now. I think even though our neighbours are saying this is the worst, and rainiest year they have seen in 16 years, I can honestly say this is the best "worst weather" we have experienced yet.

One of the issues we do contend with here is dust and sand. Vacuuming is always on the to do list, even when you just finished.

We are very pleased with the solar panels, but they still are best for day power, and as the days lengthen, it takes us into early evening. Nonetheless, because we are running a thirsty tv and dvd player most nights, we usually run the generator.

The diesel genset was doing an awesome job right up to the point where it quit. It is still under warranty, and the fellow we bought it from will be fixing it for us when we return in the spring to the Calgary/Okotoks area of Alberta, but in the meantime, we had to get a gas genset. It is a nice unit, and much cheaper than what it would have been in Canada.

I'm not sure what is up, but here on the ridge, about 4 fridges and another 4 gens have given their owners grief. Most have gotten past them, but it was a strange thing seeing such a run of misfortune in such a short period of time.

Another matter that we are working on resolving is the lack of comfort with the safety in towing as mentioned in an earlier post.

In the next few days or so we should be closer to the answer. We have decided to look into a short wheel based single axle daycab style semi. Stay tuned.

I have returned to the laundry pile, so I must see how the drying is going.

On that note, I bid you


Monday, February 8, 2010

Cool and Sunny - By Arizona Standards

Another sunny cooler day is upon us and I find myself in the laundry pile again. With the smaller drum, you can't help but cross these fairly frequently.

I was surprised to see that 2 days ago the reservoir was drained down for irrigation. With the impromptu lakes still visible, and the crop fields very clearly mud bound, I would have thought they would have been able to omit the flood the field stage of this round of crops. The water level is restored again though.

The other day (the one which found me cameraless for some reason) we saw a flock of about 15 or so pelicans fly over. It was a really neat sight.

I'm told, however that spring has not truly arrived here until you see the turkey vultures fly over in large flocks. Then the heat will seriously return to the region. I hope the camera is in hand for that one!

As for the unusually high rains, it is starting to have its affect on the flora of the region. It is very subtle right now, but if you look closely (no picture, use your mind's eye) the surrounding hills and roadside plains have just a thin skimming of green. The sproutings are still very small, but it brings promise of a potentially amazing display of desert flowers in the near future. Now that, I want my camera on!!

Anyway, the laundry needs hanging, so I bid you


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cool Shot!!

After I signed off, I decided to try the nearly impossible on a digital "instant" camera - to catch a flash.

It is no where near perfect - the background is doubled, and I don't know if I shook, or the flash altered the silhouette, but the flash is unmistakeable! (Caught just before midnight)

I can't deny, I am really quite impressed :-)

'Nuff said. I will now bid you,


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Lightening Storm Tonight

Well, hello. I apologize for my absence the last few days. We have been busy, but rather like a hamster on a wheel rather than actual notable things.

In all, we have gone to town nearly daily, and then when back on the ridge, kind of grabbed quiet time when we could.

The one thing I would like to note is some advice on traveling and exploring. It seems, through our travels that the best way to get prime weather and ideal conditions where you go......

is to stay the heck away from Ken and I. LOL

Having experienced Yuma area's entire annual rainfall in a 2 day period last week, we are now having another full day of light rainfall, intermittently and just now we saw our first (2) flashes of lightening with resounding rumbles of thunder.

I'm not sure if it is an actual record year, but at the very least, it is abnormal. (3rd flash just glinted, and the rumble was a full 5 seconds delayed) This has been the pattern for the last 3 years. No matter where we go, we hear, " We never get weather like this!!" (4th flash, rumble only about 2 seconds off)

Ah, well. We enjoyed today's contributions. It beat the dust down. Interesting to note though, some of the larger flooded low lands still haven't drained since the deluge. (5th flash and rumble 2 seconds off, and a 6th with rumble about the same)

I always like storms at night. They make it cozy. *yawn* (7th flash, distant rumble, and rain tempo on rubber room increasing)

I hear a snuggly blanket, an 8th flash and a 1 second delayed rumble calling me, so I will bid you

Adieu. :-) (9th)