Thursday, October 13, 2011

art deco, on the rim, flaming cow sh*t,
check the water, nasty body fluids, it’s a hard life,
extended time off the grid, and
games for when you are older






Ah, simple pleasures—a cold glass of water, a book, and a lowrider in the shade of a juniper. OR
a glass of wine, a book, a feline, and a lowrider with a view OR
a mug of yerba mate, a book, and a lowrider with a view
This lifestyle has WAY too many choices. This can lead to stress. I’ll endure it somehow.

Speaking of stress, I bet you are sitting there stressing over where the term ‘Art Deco’ originated. The name was coined at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts DĂ©coratifs et Industriels in Paris. It was the predominant decorative art style of the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colors, and used most notably in household objects and in architecture.
Now you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep. If not, try an offering to Morpheus.




I finally found a quiet, secluded spot to camp that felt good (how many months did that take?!). It was at the end of a spur road off FR 211 in the Ashley National Forest Uintah Mountains south of the Flaming Gorge area in Utah. Stayed there a couple weeks to recharge. It rained half the days so I gathered quite a bit of firewood and kept it under a tarp. I like bundling up and reading by a small fire when it is not too blustery. M&M and I had some stellar walks just about every day. We could go off in any direction to make a loop. Some afternoons if Meadow was kind of mopey, she would look at me and meow. I would ask her if she wanted to go for a walk and she would perk right up and shoot her tail straight up in the air. Spoiled little twit. Even Mesa has started doing this.
While out walking and mountain biking I came across a number of other secluded spots to camp farther down some other spurs that appeared to not get much use. Not bad. I’ll have quite a choice if I come back to this area. Puddles were iced over a couple mornings and I had to break out my winter sleeping bag. It’s WAY too early for this.
When I was pulling out, 3 forest service trucks were coming up the road. There was a large notice board at a junction down the road and I stopped to read the papers. The forest service was starting their fall burning with 1,500 targeted acres. Some being where I was camping. Good timing.


I planned to scoot into one of the campgrounds along rt191 to fill up my water jugs but the three I passed were already locked up for the winter. I continued on to Vernal and stopped at the forest service office to ask where some places were in town and to fill the Reliance jugs. Called some friends while I had phone coverage but I only managed to talk with one of them. This lifestyle has a few drawbacks. There was a BLM road and a forest road south of town off rt191 that I wanted to check out for a spot to camp but neither worked out. I kept on to a spot south of Wellington that I was familiar with. I REALLY don’t like driving this much in one day.


I stopped in Moab and had lunch with my friend Lisa at the Love Muffin Café. GREAT little place. We sat outside and ate some tasty wholesome food. Lisa and Glen were out of town when I passed through last fall so it was a treat to touch base and catch up. Glen gave me a stellar suggestion for another area in the rim country south of Moab to check out. THANKS Glen.



I came across a nice isolated spot to camp on the rim. The weather was warm and sunny so I pretty much went about each day in boxers and Tevas and from time to time a sun hat. Sure wish life were more complicated. I hate this concept of simple living. (^_^)
While down in the rim country, I had to go back to my summer bag and leave all the windows and two roof vents open at night. Most change their bedding, between light and heavy, by the season. I seem to be changing it by latitude. Oh well, each day I just try to deal with it all.


I had an urge to head south to New Mexico WAY too early this year. Don’t exactly know why, maybe the poor camping spots this summer. I guess I’m just spoiled. If I remember right, I don’t generally get to southern Utah until the end of October or early November, NOT September. When I got to the rim country however, I just wanted to stay there. It just feels so good this time of year. Stellar views with plenty of places to hike down on the rock and enough red dirt roads for mountain biking.
This is one of those areas where the stars seem to come down to the horizon, 360. Two nights around the new moon, I rolled out my exercise mat, poured a glass of wine, laid down on the ground and watched the night sky. M&M would come over from time to time to check on me. As I’ve stated in past entries, I believe once someone reaches 50, they should stop acting their age. And a little regression would be nice.


While trail running this past summer, I kept an eye out for moose and bears. Now I’m looking out for these guys. They’re much smaller than moose and bears but noticeably faster with two sharp pointy parts that are best not to come in contact with—and some real nasty body fluid.


The smell of wood campfires can get old pretty quick. Since I’m back in open range, it’s back to flaming cow sh…, I mean, cowpie fires. I’m thinking about buyin’ a cow.

When I started using the water I got from an outside faucet at the forest service office in Vernal, I found leaf matter in every Reliance jug. Quite a bit of it, not just a few specks. Guano. I put a few drops of bleach in each jug and covered the mouth with a piece of screen when transferring water into my galley jug. I was hoping nothing harmful would start growing in my water supply. Never had this happen before. Now I will be checking EVERY time I fill up the Reliance jugs. So far, I feel fine. All the RVers who use their built-in water holding tank and have not installed a deck plate would not even know if anything, other than water, was in their tank. And it sure would not all come out whenever they drain their tank. I have trouble understanding why so few choose to install a deck plate. It’s a simple procedure and only costs $12. I definitely would not want to be drinking out of a holding tank year after year without looking in there from time to time to see if anything was growing and to give the inside a good scrubbing. Different strokes.


When I come across a secluded place to camp, I frequently stay for a couple weeks and sometimes 3 or 4. But the additional weeks entail making a town run for supplies. I’m working towards nixing the town run so I can stay in one place for a month. Often a town is 30 miles away and at times it can be 60 miles to a town with a decent size grocery store. I’ve been up roads where it has taken me 40 minutes just to get back to the asphalt. I’m talkin’ off the grid here—not in a campground or where there are others camped a few hundred yards away. Well, I guess that’s obvious since I mentioned ‘secluded’. Two 5-gal propane tanks generally last me over a month and for most of the year, a month and a half. I could open the deck plate in my city water tank, take out the bags of grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and yerba mate and fill it with water—but that is A LOT of weight back there bouncing up and down. It’s not like the weight is over the axle. The holding tank’s location works fine for those who travel the asphalt and stick to graded roads but for rough roads and double tracks damaged by erosion, washboards, and whatnot, all that weight can’t be good for the suspension, frame, and rivets. 15 gallons of water weighs 120 pounds. I’d much rather carry water in the tow vehicle. The frame and suspension can better handle the weight on rough roads. And it’s not like I fly down these roads. Often I’m only going 5-10 mph but even at those slow speeds, everything can really get to bouncin’. Remember I’m going miles on these roads not just a couple hundred yards. This winter I want to look into a 40-gallon water tank that I could carry in the bed of the Dodge. 40 gallons would last me 20 days and I would supplement this with the Reliance jugs that I already have. Sixty gallons of water to cover a month off-the-grid with no town run would weigh nearly 500 pounds (480).
I love living out in Nature and I have so many interests and activities that my times off the grid generally go by faster than I realize, especially if there is a network of trails in the area. That certainly would not apply to most people I meet or hear about; they need to be constantly entertained. Hopefully I’ll come across a place next summer where I can try this. If not, maybe next October in the rim country. But then, this would only be possible if a ranger does not come by and start keeping track of my days. I had that happen once.


I’ve been going out for more walks this month. It’s not something I ordinarily do. I’d rather get my cardio in other ways but I might be getting hooked. I was reading an article about the health benefits of BRISK walking at 15-minute miles or faster. I never walk that fast. Sure was getting a burn in my butt and in my calves, though, if I used proper form. I guess walking for exercise is not as lame as I had thought. But it needs to be at a brisk enough pace to get your heart and lungs working at an elevated level. I need to stop at a high school track at some point, so I can learn exactly what a 4 mph pace feels like. Casey Meyers, author of ‘Walking: A Complete Guide to the Complete Exercise’ is in his seventies and still walks 3 miles most mornings at a brisk13-minute mile pace. Except for City of Rocks, none of the places I’ll be staying this winter offer any decent trails for running but each place does have areas where one can get in an hour of brisk walking without doing circles. Huh. I’m also trying to do a 10-15 minute walk within 15-20 minutes after a meal. It’s supposed to raise one’s metabolism and thus burn more fat. If I don’t feel like a walk—I know for sure that I’m just being lazy or I ate too much. Just call my Porky.

September’s sixty minutes sixty years: must be on a roll, did 1870 minutes—that’s 3 for 3.

As for my September ‘Quad 200’ challenge, not so good. What a dumb idea. I’ve always known to not work the same muscle group (except for maybe abs) on back-to-back days, let alone six days a week and yet I set out to do it anyway. Guess my success with Diana’s ‘sixty minutes sixty years’ and tabata circuits was getting to my head. Too over-confident. I was easily getting in the 200 reps each day, hitting them from various angles using different exercises. My reps, however, weren’t going up; my quads were not getting stronger. Well, duh. Muscles don’t grow on the days they are being worked but rather, on the days when they are resting. When you work a muscle group hard, the muscle fibers tear. You grow muscle and grow stronger as the muscles repair themselves. You have to give them time to do that. One also needs to feed them by taking in enough protein. People say they get enough protein without knowing how much is required let alone know how many grams they are getting each day. Unreal. The RDA for protein is geared to sedentary individuals, not to those who exercise and put some umph into their workouts. So anyway, I bagged the challenge, gave my quads a few days of rest, and shot for 200 reps every other day or two. My reps started to go up. Let’s have another—well, duh!

October humor—Games For When We Are Older
Musical Recliners
Red Rover, Red Rover, The Nurse Says Bend Over
Spin the Bottle of Mylanta
Hide and Pee
Kick the Bucket

bonus humor, (if you like cats).

Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them.
Alan Watts.


RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’
FOR INDEX OF POSTINGS GO TO JULY 2006