the norm, a note for my wife,
two years with the Nash 17K, and the window

I didn’t like the bluff spot as much as I have when I stayed here in the fall. For some reason, it just felt like another place to set up camp. In the fall, it feels special. Maybe part of its allure then, is knowing those are my last few weeks with a sense of being free before moving into the state parks for the winter with designated RV sites and rules. Now, in the spring, I still have months to feel as such. It’s not as if I’m a non-comformist, it’s just that, at times, the ‘norm’ can be kinda dull.

One day I drove up to the Manti La Sal National Forest looking for possible places to camp in warmer weather. There are plenty of places for RVing up there along the main forest roads off rt46. There’s plenty of places to turn off the forest roads that will generally go off 50-100 yards, opening to an area plenty wide enough for manuevering an RV. It’s pretty much scrub oak, so no shade, unless you keep driving higher into the La Sal Mtns. If you do the generator/AC thing, it should be fine; spots don’t tend to be close. I went down a few spur roads but didn’t find any that would work for me. Some roads to look into:
There’s a dirt road off the south side of rt46, probably between mm 11&12 that goes along Pine Ridge.
Upper Two Mile Rd. between mm 12 & 13
La Sal Pass Rd. (off Upper Two Mile)
Ray Mesa Rd. (there is a pond on the south side of rt46 @ the turn)

I ordered a Prestige Mini Handi 3.3 liter SS pressure cooker two winters ago but didn’t get around to using it until recently. It works well and the size is good for a solo camper. Pre-soak legumes/beans overnight and be sure to rinse them with fresh water in the morning. This will help alleviate the butt-puffin’ usually associated with eating beans.

Here are two comments purportedly made by patients to physicians during their colonoscopy procedure:

“Now I know how a Muppet feels.”

“Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head in not up there?”

I enjoy hearing about people who can still come up with something funny when in an embarrassing situation.

Some sunny days in the spring or fall are not quite warm enough to heat the water to a comfortable temperature. Laying the solar bag on black plastic sheeting can often do the trick. If there is a cold wind, build a barrier to windward of the bag. Four days I had to go the solar-bag-on-inside-table-with-sun-heating-it-through-the-back-window thing. I generally don’t have to resort to this method until the last half of October and November.

Well, I’ve had the Nash 17K for two years, living in it full-time. A trailer 20-22’ is a good length for solo full-timers. The six cf fridge/freezer is big enough for 3-week stints between town-runs. There is room to move around, exercise, and plenty of storage to have everything out of the way. I only like one floorplan and the Nash 17K is one of the trailers that has it. The large back window and two side ones in the back are priceless for hard-wall campers off-the-grid. They also give the illusion of spaciousness in a small trailer. There has been no problems with any of the systems, not that I use them all. I would order the same options and don’t regret the ones I passed on. The rear stabilizers would surely have been trashed by now if I had gotten them but that is only because I rack up many miles on unmaintained rocky roads. I’m somewhat surprised the extremely low ground clearance of the black/gray drain has not caused problems, yet.

There are only two things I can grouse about (other than the too high & thin front gravel guard). One is the design of the windows. When camping in dirt areas such as the desert, and it’s a windy day, closed windows do a poor job of keeping out dirt. Dirt will cover EVERYTHING in the trailer. Dirt comes blowing in along the window tracks and some, I think, through the condensation slots. The next dirt/wind day, I’ll make an effort to pinpoint the entry points and, hopefully, come up with some fix. There does not seem to be leaks around the bottom-opening window nor with the vertical-sliding window.

At some point I might look into replacing three windows with the better European designed bottom-opening windows if a matching size is offered.

The other thing is the insulation. For me, it’s fine for winter RVing, and there have been nighttime temps down in the teens. For summer sun, however, the insulation doesn’t cut it. I always manage to have the Nash in at least partial shade during hot weather while out off-the-grid. The portion of the day when the sun is shining down on a particular wall, that wall gets quite warm to the touch on the inside, thus warming up the interior. Not good. I would image a Northwood Arctic Fox trailer would do a much better. I would have gotten an Arctic Fox if they made a trailer with the length and floorplan of their Nash 17K.

There are a number of ‘lite’ trailers on the market for under $20,000 (never pay MSRP). I have not been keeping up on what’s out there so there might be other trailers I would like. As you know, I prefer aluminum framing and siding. If I wanted a trailer a couple feet longer, I might go with Outdoors RV Manufacturing Black Rock series 19B. Remember, I was deciding between the Outdoors RV Manufacturing Back Country 18F and the Nash 17K when looking for my fourth RV.

I know, not much a two-year review; to sum it up simply, I would buy it again. I’m glad I chose the Nash 17K and it has been holding up well to all the bouncing around.

At some point I’ll replace the blinds with more colorful ones, as I did in the Casita. I’ll also paint some of what’s inside the Nash with bright Caribbean pastel colors to jazz it up.

Since the Nash 17K is considered an entry level RV, the woodwork is not much to look at. There’s no hardwood, just stained softwood. And the paneling is just wood-grain image film on particleboard (I forget what the process is called), no hardwood veneer (like I had in my Jayco 5th wheel). But for hard-wall campers, it’s good, lighter weight.

What I’d like really like to do is hire an artist, a painter. Across the front of the Nash, over the bed, are three panels roughly 12” square (separating and bordering two overhead cabinet doors). The pantry door has two 9” x 27” vertical panels. There are also three short horizontal panels, one over the fridge, one over the microwave, and one under the galley sink. It would be SO cool to have scenes painted on each panel, maybe desert scenes, a roadrunner and a raven in one of the vertical panels, whatever. It would work best if I could find an artist around Silver City or Alamogordo since I’ll probably be near each town for a month next winter. We’ll see; sure would like this to pan out. Since the panels are not much to look at, might as well cover them with something worth looking at. Maybe the artist can also paint the antlers I found last year.

I thought it might get too hot here before I was ready to move on. Wrong once again. This day the clouds stayed down on the ground throughout the day. Couldn’t see more than a mile until around noon, then you could see out maybe four miles for a couple hours. Stayed pretty much socked in all day. The cover was thin, however, so I pulled out the ladder and corn broom, swept snow off the solar panels, and was able to maintain a charge.

Back to a more typical room-with-a-view photo.

Here’s another story from that folder; it’s called The Window

“Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.
Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.
The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.
The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.
As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.
One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by. Although the other man couldn't hear the band - he could see it. In his mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.
Days and weeks passed. One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall.
The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window. The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall. She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."

Epilogue: There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations. Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
Today is a gift, that's why it is called the present.”

Susan’s Photos with Captions

I know a while back I said it was nice to hike while there’s still snow in the shady spots, because one doesn’t need to worry as much about bringing water. That day and many since, I have anticipated the coming of summer too soon. We did indeed have warm days. Small trees in town became bouquets of blossoms, meadows filled with happy dandy-lions, cottonwoods became pale green clouds, and deer foraged with new, leisurely attitudes. This is just outside my bedroom window:

But since the warm days began, there have also been two significant snowfalls, many days of brooding, tempestuous overcast, cold rain, snow, and graupel. (Graupel is like hail, only soft. As it covers the world, it just mushes onto itself. Unlike hail, it makes no sound.) Last night’s weather started with rain, rain became graupel, and then snow. Here is where I started out my day:

The photo below was taken later in the day at our destination. By this time, there had been half-day of melt. The earth is soaked from so many days of precipitation, and into this chasm now fall graceful cascades. Even as I write this tonight, the slender waterfalls echo into its depths.

My wish these days is to lead outings, my motivation is to bring people into nature, because as John Muir said,

“The snow is melting into music.”

Look closely and you will see a slender waterfall:

I have not hiked with an organized group, until today. One must be a participant in an organized group outing first in order to lead one, or at least that is my reasoning. I don’t love hiking with an organized group, but I am setting that prejudice aside. (Another fun thing everyone should try!)

Of course there is much to learn about leading people on hikes. As I walked, I thought about all I know, but don’t know that I know. A teacher’s job is to deconstruct knowledge and present it to individuals however they might most effectively absorb it. A teacher must also have one’s own style, and it is also desirable to have themes. Maybe another time I will talk more about style, the holy grail of a life well-lived. In teaching, painting, leading outings, etc., seek your style. Style is about making choices when the choice is not between two, one better than the other, but between two, and you simply decide which one will be your style. It is mysterious why it’s your style, but hey, that’s part of the fun of life. Something is given to you, and you hold out your hands and accept it humbly and gratefully.

Themes are related to style, since they are choices one makes, and themes are much easier to come up with. As I walked along I decided two of mine as an outings leader will be: 1) Enjoying Maps, and 2) Enjoying One’s Surroundings Through One’s Senses. Our senses can be trained, you see, and through their enhancement, much pleasure awaits.

More on all this, next time.

April sixty minutes sixty years—1925 minutes
April Triple 18—pecs/delts: 2380; core: 2035; legs: 2180

I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells.
Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’

RVwest article ‘The Spaces Between the Places’



Unknown said…
Road weary back in March, I wandered up to St. George, UT and found an apartment, put my truck camper on consignment, and settled into city life. So far I am happy but every now and then I get an attack of wanderlust. Especially when reading your blog, which was my introduction to the full-time roaming life back in 2007. I will continue to read it and may be back on the road eventually.
John, I get road weary sometimes and do the same. I like to spend part of the winter in St. George. I admire Sebastian's ability to live this life with such finesse.

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