Wednesday, November 18, 2015

stocking up, vertigo, butt huntin’,
and too early for 34 degrees



Fall again, time to place my annual orders for a few basic staples, entertainment items, and miscellaneous stuff that needs to be acquired or replaced. A couple friends in Moab let me have the packages delivered to their house. I placed my annual order for 6 kilos of yerba mate from myyerbamatestore.com. Three of the kilos were a variety pack; they threw in an extra kilo (I love free useful items). With all the found metal I’ve been acquiring over the last three or four years, it’s way past time for me to get back to my bench, so I ordered new templates for medallions I plan to make.


I also ordered an awning cover from awningpro-tech.com. Sure hope that proves to be a good investment. I put it over the rolled up awning for the winter. Also purchased another iPod nano for a backup. All this should carry me till next October.

I stayed at four other spots in the area south of Moab since I’ve been coming here in the fall. This is the third year I’ve stayed on the bluff. The first year I probably only saw a handful of vehicles down on the roads below the bluff, and maybe another few during hunting season. Last fall there were more vehicles. This year there were dozens of vehicles on the roads during hunting season. Thankfully only one drove up onto the bluff and came over to my camping spot. These two pseudo hunters asked if I had seen any deer. Good grief, no concept of the challenge of a hunt. Hey, can you give me the GPS coordinates for a nice buck?

I have not hunted since the late sixties. I got my first deer in my sights and then thought how good the animal looked in his environment. Back then, this was totally out of character. I didn’t take the shot and bagged hunting.
Back then it was ‘boot hunting.’ One went out in the area one planned to hunt, looking for game trails, water, figuring out were game were likely to be at different times of the day, etc.. One would also practice stalking skills to get in close for a sure, safe shot. Then when hunting season came around, one would lace up his hunting boots and go off hunting. For the past 20 years of so, hunting is pretty much restricted to ‘butt hunting.’ Riding around in ATVs, pickups, and SUVs, stopping from time to time to look around through binoculars, ‘hunting.’ Lame. If one isn’t into the challenge and doesn’t possess the skills, shooters try to compensate using high-power scoped rifles. I realize that there needs to be hunting seasons so wildlife numbers are kept in check. Otherwise there will be shortage of food and other problems. However, I would prefer it still be done by sportsmen.
Some shooters sit in a deer stand up in a tree. This isn’t hunting—it’s waiting.
Back on the Kaibab, when I came across deer, it was often a doe with a little one. After hunting season, I saw does with two and once, three little ones tagging along with her. Sad to see.
Bounty for coyotes in southern Utah is up to $50! It has been quite a few years (decades) since I knew what the bounty was, back then it was $5.


Another room with a view.

I had a new experience this fall. I woke up one morning and had an episode of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). I started the beautiful day with nausea, dry heaves, funky vision, an intense spinning sensation, and topped it off with passing out. After waking up feeling nauseous and experiencing an intense spinning sensation, it was a scramble to get out of the mummy bag as my body went into pre-retch mode. Luckily it was only dry heaves (just as harsh but without the clean up). I then had to go outside for a few minutes. The trees were very blurry and seemed to be moving side to side, psychedelic. Not good. WAY strange. After coming back inside, I felt a strong spin take hold of my body and then it was lights out. I came too (might have only been a second) having spun 180 degrees and lying on my back while still in a world of spin. At that point I was quite disconcerted.
It occurred again the next morning and lasted longer, maybe 10-15 minutes for the whole episode. At one point I had to go outside and walk for 4-5 minutes. My steps were small, shuffling, with a slight meandering from side to side (not my normal gait); all the time taking in the funky visuals. Then that was it, two mornings and I’ve been fine since. I mentioned it to friends in Moab and was told to see a doctor, and I actually followed up and saw one.

When I was lying on my back, I was wondering how I was going to get out of here. I was miles in off the asphalt with no one around. I sure couldn’t drive, let alone hook up the WDH and tow the Nash out. It was scary in that I had no idea of what was going on or how long it would last. Later, when I found out what it was all about, it’s really no big thing and not all that uncommon. Although passing out and blurry distance vision (short vision, like in the Nash, stayed sharp) is not supposed to be a part of BPPV. And now I know how to do the Epley maneuver to redistribute the crystals if it ever occurs again, either to me or someone with me. I enjoy leaning new things, but good grief, is stuff like this what I’m going to be learning about life as a senior?

I had lunch at Moab’s Bangkok House three more times with friends. I get their tofu/vegetables with green curry, extra hot and spicy. It is SO tasty. Be sure to check the place out if in Moab.


During my last two Octobers camping on the bluff, I did not see a single snake. This year, I saw four, all within 20’ of the Nash. Another small rattler and two friendlies, like this one. Meadow knows to stay away from rattlers, not sure about Mesa. Just as with humans, there can be a price to pay for the freedom of a particular lifestyle. There are dangers for M&M in this life but they seem to absolutely love their freedom. They’d hate being kept indoor. It’s the same with me. I’m a small, weak, slow senior but I love living out off-the-grid for most of the year. With no one around, if a couple of lowlifes came across my site and wanted to do me harm, I’d be pretty much helpless. The same if an old cougar, who can no longer run down a deer, came up on me as I was out meandering. Never had a problem but I’m sure not going to restrict my lifestyle by staying in campgrounds year-round for some semblance of security. I’d hate it.


I stayed at this spot for a while after I moved off the bluff. Not nearly as scenic or offer as many places to hike, but there are a couple of new areas to explore. Meadow and Mesa seem to like it better.


This is what it looked like on the third morning; glad I was off the bluff. No one around for miles this time of year, nice. Next week I’ll hit Heron Lake for a week and rack up some miles on their trail. It can be down in the teens at night then, though it’s usually a bit warmer (well, not exactly warm).


In the seven years I’ve been coming to this area in the fall, this is the lowest inside temperature I’ve seen upon getting out of the sleeping bag. This was in the first week of November. Another few mornings, the inside temps were in the upper 30’s and some in the lower 40’s (I really don’t like having heat on during the night). I wonder what the predictions are for this coming winter in the southwest.


It’s been too cold outside (in the 40’s) to heat water in my solar shower bag so it’s back to placing it indoors on the back table; the sun shining in the back window does a fine job with heating up the water. It’s also too cold for me to be taking outdoor showers so I drape the bag over the Ram’s cab, as always, and just wash my hair. Ah yes, the joys of hard-wall camping versus RVing.
Since it’s been getting down in the twenties at night lately, I keep three 5-gal water buckets in the nook just inside the door, perfect. The other buckets are outside under heavy black plastic. I’ve had way better luck with buckets, than with Reliance jugs (that I started out with) over the years, in below freezing temps.


I’m going to spend the first two weeks of December at Bottomless Lakes state park. It’s the only park I hit that has wi-fi. Hopefully, I will catch up on the items that I need to look up on my web-to-do list. Probably not going to be much fun but it sure should be productive (unless their wi-fi is down again). I get SO far behind during the off-the-grid months.
I hope to spend three two-week periods at Oliver Lee between January and March. I really like the Dog Canyon trail and plan to hike about 30 miles each week while there; arriving for the first stay during the first week of January.
Definitely going to spend another couple nights at La Quinta this winter. What a treat—hot foam baths and wi-fi.
I’m not going to spend much time at City of Rocks this winter. It just doesn’t have the feel that it used to. I’ll stop there for a week to break up the drive from Oliver Lee to Bisbee and another week on the way back to Oliver Lee.
I know, somewhat lame for a winter schedule, but it’s the people that make my social-fix months rewarding. And I will get plenty of exercise at Oliver Lee and Bisbee.


One of Meadow’s favorite spots when it’s cold. Strange, but Mesa never sleeps in front of the Wave.

October sixty minutes sixty years—2275 minutes
October Triple 18—pecs/delts: 2145; core: 1930; legs: 2965

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it
is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
William Arthur Ward


Something I’ve done from time to time in the past, but thankfully, not for quite some time. And I hope to never do it again.

RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’

RVwest article ‘The Spaces Between the Places’