back in Utah, freedom for M&M, tires, night sky,
4th camera, conversation, and artwork

I reread last month’s page and added a paragraph after the one about solo hiking. It sounded a bit off to me and needed to be clarified.
I also added something about nada guides. It’s the reference I always use when looking for the value of used RVs.
I had someone visit me here for a few days, so I also went back to last month’s page and added a paragraph on solo RVers/campers and depression. I added it after the paragraph on, ‘Not everyone is suited for full-timing.’
Maybe I should change the name of this site to, ‘Simple Mishmash.’

Podcasts got me through the two days of driving from Salida to Utah—5 Car Talks, 3 Wait, Wait…, and 4 stories from The Moth. Four slow climbs provided plenty of time for listening; two at 25-30 mph. And I have an 8 cylinder!

I stopped in Montrose on the way to Utah and RVed for three days, electric hookup but didn’t bother with water or sewer. It was like a mini vacation with having wi-fi, Pandora internet radio, and cell phone coverage. And hot showers with control of the water temperature! Hot damn. I know, the norm for most, but not for me. Spent hours on the web catching up on things and making calls to friends.

I was wondering about one road going into where I wanted to camp. The one in the photo from last fall where the Dodge and Nash were at an angle above a washed out section of road. Glen checked it out for me and told me it had been worked on. They did a stellar job. This is the first fall that I went back to a spot I had been to before. I like it because of the hiking and it’s the closest of my camping spots to Moab; under a half hour to rt 191 and into Moab just under an hour. The others are farther in off the asphalt. I might go back to one at some point, however. It’s more crowded here than I’ve ever seen it. There was a car camper ¾ mi off to the east for two days and a van camper ¾ mi off to the northwest for a night. Might as well be in a campground. But after they pulled out, there’s been no one (well, except for the above acquaintance I invited to visit for a few days). My kind of camping spot.

It’s also a treat to have cell phone coverage here and I can pick up Utah public radio, PRI (carries the American Routes program, yes!), Moab’s community station, and NOAA weather on my radios. Not the norm for my realm, hence my use of SiriusXM’s ‘Mostly Music’ package for $10/month. One of my best investments.

I was hoping Janet and Mauricio would get a chance to come down here camping but they are SO busy, maybe next year. We did get to talk on the phone, though. It’s not generally easy for me to call friends since I frequently do not have cell phone coverage. And for some, when I’m doin’ a town-run and can call, they are at work. Guano. Anyway, I lost track of the number of times I said, “I didn’t know that,” during our conversation. Thoroughly enjoyed catching up with her.
And being outside of Moab is a treat, since whenever I go into town, I can have breakfast or lunch with a friend. Simple pleasures.

M&M had been inside the Nash for two weeks between the time in Salida and Montrose. They had their window cage but that doesn’t quite cut it in their minds. When we got to the spot where we were going to camp, I opened the door and asked if they wanted to go out. They were out before I finished asking. We had been driving along dirt roads for a few miles. That motion pretty much tells them that they’re getting close to a new place to camp and will be let out soon.

Probably my favorite spot to sit in the Nash (as it was in the Casita). I use the back of my Remington Low Rider (SLC, UT); I can lean back, stretch my legs out, and look out three windows. Not bad for living in a 19’ box.
I remember a night during the summer. I generally keep the blinds up in the evening until it’s fully dark outside (then I lower and close them; with lights on, it greatly brightens up the inside). So I was sitting inside, facing the back window, out of which I had a beautiful view. I was reading on the Kindle so there were no lights on. The clouds reminded me of an old rag rug. They were in thin rows with intermittent spaces between the rows and in the rows themselves. The full moon started coming up and reflected light off the rag-rug-type clouds—absolutely beautiful. Made for a very bright sky. You can probably guess I put the Kindle down to just watch. Vivaldi was playing on the iPod nano (w/iHome speaker). Again, something simple that makes this lifestyle so special. la vida buena

I placed my yearly winter order of online items to get me through the year. Lisa let me have all the stuff shipped to her in Moab. Thank the gods for friends. I’m doing well with most things in this lifestyle but not with cameras. I started off with a Sony Cybershot. It didn’t last all that long before it died. I then went to a Nikon Coolpix which I liked. It too soon died. A photo shop owner told me most such cameras die due to dust. I kept my second Nikon Coolpix in two plastic folding sandwich bags, even while in my pocket, and it lasted longer. It’s slowly dying however, so I ordered a Canon PowerShot, which has a good rating. Hope it lasts longer than my first three. It doesn’t take a 12V charge through an USB port, however, as the Nikon does. For this lifestyle, it’s best to have all electronic items able to charge by 12V.

I had anticipated something more spectacular for the first photo with the Canon. Oh well. I decided to get new boots for the Dodge. I pull the Nash through sand, mud, and over other loose surfaces and rocks. I wanted a more aggressive tread than my Michelins had, not a whole lot but definitely more. The Michelin were real good tires but the LT tread was geared for the asphalt. Doesn’t quite fit in my realm. I’m REAL happy with the BF Goodrich Rugged Trail LT tires. Yet another $1,000 plus town run day. Bummer.

If you’re one of my friends or have been reading these pages for a while, you know that I am not the kind of person who would display antlers on a wall. Might as well sell the Nash, get a toy hauler, an ATV, start to buy canned squirrel piss by the case, and get sloshed in the evenings. Not bloody likely.
I can display a work of art, however. I came across these on a hike down in a draw two weeks ago. I’m going to try to find an artist who will paint them. If one then looked at the finished piece, and there was no way that you could not but focus initially on the painting, the antlers will be worth keeping. Otherwise I’ll just take them out and give them back to the land. So I’m going to seal them (Minwax wipe-on poly), keep them for a while, and look for a painter. Susan could have done a stellar job with them but that’s not an option. I’m somewhat apprehensive to ask Siscily if she would paint them. I fear that when I went to pick them up—they’d be covered with flowers. We’ll see what comes about.

I remember seeing some episodes of the old Roseanne show and getting some laughs. Roseanne Barr has slimmed down and has a macadamia nut farm in Hawaii. She was quoted as saying, “I’m just doing the stuff you hate hearing—eating less and moving more.” My kind of lady.

Before all the rain started this summer, I dug out the ladder and checked out every inch of calking on the Nash. I dug out and recalked a few feet of it. One place had an 8” gap. Not good. No leaks. This is good. I HATE water leaks in RVs.

There’s a negative aspect in the first few months of hard-wall camping. Might not apply as much for those getting into RVing since there are generally people around. Wish I could say it didn’t happen to me. Some of us lose the ability to carry on a conversation. And we don’t get it back until we realize we lost it. (are you confused yet?) Being off by oneself, with no one around to talk with, seems to backlog all the talking we normally would be doing. Then when we finally meet up with someone to talk with, we blow it; all our words come out and we just stand there talking at the person. When I first started doing the winter parks, I met a few people who also spend a good deal of the year off without many people around and I noticed this trait in them. They were just talking at me and I finally realized (I never professed to be quick on the uptake) that I was doing the same thing. Since then I really try to be aware of this and be sure I comment on what the other person says, ask questions, and have a back and forth. I must have been awful to be around when I was just talking at people. Besides, I’m still into learning so questions need to be part of my conversations.
I was out hiking shortly after I got here and came across a guy living in an old Cherokee. His car was along a spur I was walking on towards the end of my hike. The doors were open but I didn’t see anyone so I called out while still 25 yards away (I hate someone walking into my camp without giving me a heads-up). He came out, I said hello, and then he just talked at me for the next 20 minutes. I finally started to slowly walk away and he just kept talking at me. Pros and cons with living by oneself.

He also came across as a bit strange, and he didn’t have a pet. Not always, but way more than not, the strangest solo people I come across do not live with a pet. There’s something to be gained by living with another animal, be it human or otherwise.
Wow, another ramble. Gee, maybe that’s one of the cons of living alone. But at least I have two pets so I can’t be all that strange.
Although, I’m probably still a bit too much to be around after I’ve downed a quart of Mtn Dew.

I’ve come across a number of full-timers with some screws lose. They tend to be solo travelers, not have a pet, and exist in a small rig, either in the back of a pickup, in a van, a small, old truck camper or Class C, or some type of home built rig—and tend to be slugs. Granted, not always but way more often than not. And maybe it’s just the loonies I’ve come across so far. I’m now at the point where if I’m walking past such a rig, I keep going. I don’t stop and try for a conversation.

Reminds me of a joke.
Two ranchers were talking.
One asked, “Can a man do something foolish and not know about it?”
“Not if he has a wife,” his buddy replied.

My running total to Heifer International is now 4 goats, 2 flocks of chicks, and 1 flock of geese. They apparently dropped chicks for some reason. Next goat coming on the solstice.

As I mentioned last year, one drawback of hiking in this area is you start off hiking down into the canyons and draws. After one starts to get tired and wants to loop back, it’s all uphill. Guano. At some point, you look for a side canyon that you can hike/scramble up. You definitely will be using your hands to help climb from time to time. And you will be viewing three or more false tops. This shot is a little ways up from where I started to climb out of a draw. What you see at the top of the photo is nowhere near as high or far as I still had to climb.

You hike up a ways and you see this—then you have to climb above it.

You get up there, hike along a bit farther, and you see this. And you’re right; you have to hike up.

You hike along a bit more after you got up the last climb, and you are presented with this view. Getting close. Once you hike up this rock, you only have about another 100’ of elevation to gain and a half mile or so hike back to camp.
It’s beautiful and definitely worth it—it just seems half-ass backwards.

October Olio—water source

This is something different to try if you will be off-the-grid in one spot for awhile and want to add to your outdoor skills. It’s a way to make a source of clear running water from a trickle.

If there is even a mere trickle of water near where you are camping, you might be able to turn it into a water source. Trace it up the slope until you find where it comes out of the ground. Dig a hole a couple feet above where it starts and see if there is saturated soil down a foot or so. If so, this will probably work. Widen the hole forming a ditch across the slope, piling the dirt on the downhill side to form a dam. Continue to dig the ditch left and right as far as there is seepage. If the soil is not clay, try to find some and line the ditch with it. Perforate a half-gallon bleach or milk jug and jury-rig it to the end of a short hose. Cover the jug with synthetic loose-weave cloth, to admit water but keep out anything that might clog the hose. Place the jug in the deepest part of the pool, cut a notch in the dam, route the hose downhill, and repair the dam. Find as many pebbles and small rocks as possible and try to fill the pool. I know, I know, a bit of work but remember, this is only if you will be there for a few weeks and you want to try something new. Cover the pebbles/pool with plastic (a couple lawn/leaf bags work) to keep out dirt and rainwater. Cover the plastic with soil and debris so it blends in. In a few days, clear water should be flowing out of the hose. If not, you have bad karma and you need to work on it. (^_^) If there is a creek near by, forget all this and just dig a hole in the creek bed and build a rock dam below it so you have a spot deep enough to fill up a bucket.
This is an example of something hard-wall campers would be up for trying. Another way to have Nature provide something for us. Different strokes.
Then, as always, naturalize this project along with your site before heading out.

This is late, but for future hunting seasons stop and think about where to set up camp. If possible, scout out a spur road that you can get your rig up and goes into a dense conifer forest. Such places offer little in the way of browsing food for deer and elk so there shouldn’t be shooters around. But then you lose sunlight for your solar panels, so forget it.

September sixty minutes sixty years—2120 minutes
September Triple 18—pecs/delts: 1855; core: 2125; legs: 3280

If you don’t find your center,
you end up sorta drifting through life sideways.
Jimmy Buffett

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’


klbexplores said…
For some reason I haven't been getting your blog in my feed. Either that or brain cells are further gone....more than I realize and my memory is gone. Glad to see it again and get caught up.

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