Thursday, November 1, 2012

Illegal Immigrants

The Canadian Geese,'s only about the geese...

My trip up from the Q in the spring of 2011 was pretty darn uneventful. My original plans of going through Utah, Montana and Idaho were squelched by an upgrade in my employment requiring me to arrive earlier than planned. I made a boring trip up I-5 in the name of speed. Made a brief stop in Shasta-Trinity and I managed to stay outside of  Roseburg, Oregon for several days at Susan Creek Campground. I set aside time for it, I have always wanted to stay there. 

It's a wonderful spot on the Umpqua.. with SHOWERS!!! (LOL) and at 7 bones a nite, who could argue? The trailer was all dolled up after it's sealing and repairs, brand new awning installed and it was warm and homey.

My front yard after for 4 days. Nice change after the sea of sand I lived in for months

I was asked to manage the Baker Lake area campgrounds instead of just hosting one. This meant I had to be there about a month early to get things cleaned up, opened up and get the hosts all settled in. This was not an easy task, and let's just say, my experience there was one of the worst workamping experiences I have had. Nuff said.

The area itself is stunning. Baker Lake is like a large inland Fiord, and in early spring, you might as well have been in Alaska. I was surrounded by ice and snow capped peaks, brisk frozen air and brilliant blues. I had a brand new and beautiful campsite, lovely campgrounds, and I never got tired of the view below. It was dead silent early in the season, accept for...the Geese. Thousands of overhead honkin herds of them. They would sneak over the Border (35 miles north) eat our fish, use our resources, have loud parties on the water and then go away leaving a big gooey mess. They showed no respect, I tell ya.

The same could be said for the campers. Never again will I be stationed on anything with the word "Lake" in it. Beer, Boats and Testosterone are the three key elements to extremely bad behavior in a campground, I am firmly convinced. The drama was never ending, the down time was infrequent and the local resources were virtually non existent. I welcomed leaving and am pretty sure it will be a loooong time before I am back that way again.

Baker Lake, North Cascades, Washington

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Zillion years ago....

Well, it seems like that long since I have posted. A couple years, give or take, have whisked by without a peep. Much has changed since then, and much has stayed more or less the same. 

Between then and now, I have worked again in Oregon and Washington, lived in the big city again for a bit, and lived in relative isolation for a bit more. 

I am going on my 5th year as a fulltimer. I have changed rigs since last positing and will joyously get into that later.

Most of the reason for my "silence" is that I have been without easy internet services for a very long time..taking isolated posts where the nearest services are 25+ miles away. I had plenty of access when I slipped back into a 9-5 for a winter. But I was exhausted at the end of the day. Too exhausted to extoll the (non) virtues of a routine lifestyle. No one wants to hear what happened at the office, including me.

Stay tuned for the backtracking of the adventure .....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yuma and Snow

Not much to yak about, sorry.

With only one day a week to really "go", I headed south to Yuma today to visit a *real* home improvement store.

Quartzsite is full of hardware places, but it has almost nothing for building materials, tools and other stuff you can drop your wallet contents on in the blink of an eye.

I went for paintable wallpaper. But, thats boring.

On my way down there.. the Kofa "Mountain" range is off to the east. Its mostly rock, and some pretty impressive Crags.  Today, the ridge tops were covered in snow.. I was pretty weird to see here in the desert, but see it I did.

Thats the most excitement I have seen in a couple weeks :-P. I am lulling into Hitch Itch season. That time where you start to think about going elsewhere. I want to get some work done on the rig before I do tho. Its a tad dryer here than where I am headed and I need to get some leakage attended to, and in general, do the inside work while I can put some stuff out of the way outside without worrying it will drown.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I don't normally do fires. When you "camp" fulltime, they sort of lose their charm after while.

I used to burn on weekend outings. Digging for another file on my comp tonite, I ran across this pic from what seems another lifetime. I used to get as much free firewood from work as I could pack into my car. I heated my house with this stuff as well.

And now you know Who it was
Big Whoop.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Imma cheap old bird

Pardon to those reading that know me from other forums etc. I am "Reprinting" some stuff I posted in them.

Fresh Pork Loin, Mashed tators, green beans.
Total meal cost ..under 4 bones

There is a chain grocery place on the west coast called The Grocery Outlet

Tho most of the products they carry are brand names you have never heard of, buts its all good food. Its not a scratch and dent place, nor do they sell outdated or about to be outdated items. Many of the brand name items they have are promotional things that have since outlived the "trend", such as Dr Pepper with Spiderman on the can instead of whatever movie hero is popular right now, or limited size or packaging styles. I have found some "off" brand snacks that taste home made and also some pre packaged meals that are better than what Mom makes .. stroganoffs and stuff like that. I have found a brand of "Rice-a-roni" style rice at 1/4 the cost and 10 times better flavor.

Carnation or Borden condensed milks run 2+ bucks a can.. "Joes" condensed milk.. 79 cents. Tastes and cooks the same to me! Same with other canned goods. Brand name stuff like Campbells soups with the old label on them.. 59 cents.. the companies just want this stuff gone and out of their warehouses and off the big name stores shelves so they can pedal the new look (And higher prices LOL!) to the masses.

Problem is, like Big Lots.. often times you can not find the same things twice. So.. you can have fun trying new things and if you get a dud on occasion, you haven't lost a lot of money.

I get pounds of Folgers coffee in those vacuum packages instead of the cute plastic cans.. 2.99 each. I have a plastic can from an old purchase.. I put the foil packaged stuff in it when I need it :-P

One of the wasteful things we do not think about (Because it never occurs to us) is that a LOT of good food gets chucked right at the factory because of our expectations that everything be/look perfect.

The green beans I buy for 59 cents a can are shorter than what you would expect. They are the non uniform sized "Leftovers" from the cuts. It has been ingrained in us that "things" must be consistent and look just like the same "thing" next to it. They taste exactly the same, they have the same nutritional value, they are just different lengths.

Makes you wonder just how much food has been tossed in the bog over the years for something as non important as a measurement.

So, some (Or several) resourceful company purchases the odd sized beans and cans them.. they probably make a huge profit doing so as well. I don't care. I can have a full good and balanced meal for under 3 bucks using these products. When money was not really an object, I never thought about these things. I wish I had. I may have a larger cash store than I do now.

It goes along with my new moto.. "Its not what you make, its what you don't spend".

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Little refuge in the desert

The fulltiming lifestyle has its down sides.. yes. I am living one of em today.

I woke up this morning with a burning throat, no energy and in general.. I feel like porta potti leavings. This is odd, as last nite when I went to bed, I felt perfectly normal, rested and there was no indication that today would be any different.

OK, you get the idea. I have a cold or something that is bad enuff at this time to keep me in. Its howling outside, the temps have dropped again and the air has a tad bit of moisture in it. Good time to stay inside and lie on the couch messing around on the comp or snoozing. I had days like these in my stay put life, tho few and far between, but they happen.

There is no difference in day to day "Life" in this regard when you fulltime. Thank goodness for my comfy little house and I have a chance to recover in warmth and comfort just like in my stay put life.


You were lazy the day before.  I always carry my water containers in the Jeep and generally stop every couple of days to fill them on my way home. My on board tank may not be empty yet, but why risk running out? Well, yesterday, I was too lazy to stop, thinking "Oh, I have enough to get me through the morning, screw it" Uhm.. DOH! I barely had enuff to make a cup of coffee, I haven't had my shower and the dogs don't understand "Empty".

Double whammy, I always have a couple gallons around in a Sun Tea maker on the counter for just these moments. Guess who was to lazy to refill THAT one too?

The water tanks don't fill themselves, and the only person responsible for doing it is sick as a dog. I only hope that standing in the wind at the water filling station won't worsen my cold, and that I can do it all as quickly as possible, get back in bed and stay warm.

But WAIT!!!! Can't do THAT either! I was lazy about the propane tank as well. Couldn't be bothered to stop at the Pit Stop (The big RV water and propane service station here) because it was 3 blocks out of my way. "Oh, I have enuff to make it through the morning, screw it". Well, I actually do, but it will run out soon enuff. My back ups will work, but why mess around with them.. I'll just go into town and take care of it.

At least I have gas for the generator. 

Moral of the story... you have to be a little more on your toes in this lifestyle than in a Stay Put life. It'll bite ya if you don't.

Do I think it's worth the extra bucks required to maintain a Stay Put place for this once every couple years carnage? No, not really. In a Stay Put house, the power goes out on the whims of the electric company or the lack of skill of a bad driver hitting a pole. The water freezes sometimes, the mains break down the street sometimes and sometimes.. you forget to pay the bill. When services go down that are dependent on some large infrastructure pushing the resource into your house, generally.. you are screwed when they fail. That 3 gallons of water in jugs in your fridge won't last very long, and your flashlight batteries will get eaten up in no time.

In my cabin, I would sometimes spend a week or more without power due to snow or some other natural cause. It would go out for no apparent reason (Yes, I paid the bill and so did my out of power neighbors)

BUT.. today, I would like to have my warm cozy cabin with all the utilities up and running so I don't have to go do this.

Oh well. So much for rest and recuperation. WHERE is my cabana boy?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Icees to Icees, Dust to Dust

Its finally nice out here in the desert again. The show season is ending, the big monster RVs have gone away, along with their generators and peace and quiet are slowly returning to this berg.

Now  the challenge, is winter. We have actually had hard freezing out here this week. My every present stash of Dr Pepper is stowed below my rig. It stays plenty cold under there, even in mild weather, but I fished one out a couple days ago that had turned into a Slushie. This was at high noon.

I don't generally pay attention to temperatures. Not much you can do about them, but it has been cold enough for me to leave the heat on at nite so I don't wake up with 6 eyeballs staring at me from under my bedcovers. (They burrow in when I am out cold, the little rats)

The wind is really a bigger issue. Inside, I am well protected, but the sand out here blows everywhere. Even inside. It sneaks in thru cracks under doors and at windows. It forces its way in thru closed roof vents. I am quite positive that even if a duct taped every visible spot it could get in, that it would find new secret ways to make my house look messy.

Soon, the rain will kick in as well. Here, rain is an uncommon event, but in February, it can dump buckets at a time. I spent some time outside today re-arranging things to be less likely to be washed away when the deluge finally hits.

Don't know when it will, but it will.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bathroom Updates

No, this isn't a potti mouth post.

I have finally gotten around to installing (Albeit in a temporary configuration) the portable tankless hot water heater that has been bouncing around in the back of my car for a few months now.

The.Ecotemp L5 Tankless propane water heater was purchased as an emergency stop gap when the traditional 6 gallon hot water heater in my motorhome died a violent and irreversible death.

Tanked traditional water heaters are spendy and heavy. I saw this little puppy while cruising through a camping world in Eugene Oregon. I had the cash in my pocket and figured I could make it work until I could get the other one fixed or replaced.

I simply traded the hose end from my faucet in my shower stall to input this one and added a portable propane tank via a "Steak Saver" adaptor. My thought was it would be good enough to grab a quick shower, but I ended up liking it and the concept so much that I never bothered with the permanent one again.

The trailer I am in now came without a shower or plumbing for one. I have been using a baterry powered pump and making my own hot water the old fashioned way. (Of course, I had to look up the recipe) and dumping the hot water into a container and repumping it out with the portable battery powered shower pump.

Today, I had the time to install the ecotemp and all went flawlessly. I now get hot water in the bathroom in a few seconds via the trailers onboard water pump and do not have to store a water container anymore.

The heater hangs on the wall in my "closet/pooper/shower" room. Now, before you scream, yes, I know it is not intended for indoor use. My multi purpose room has a large window at ceiling level that is open during use and I use a 1lb propane cylinder that is ONLY connected when I need to shower or do dishes. Otherwise, for safety sake, it is disconnected and stowed. 1lb will last over a week for my hot water needs. I proved this in my motorhome over a period of 3 months.

*Eventually* it will be housed in a different space and all plumbing will be done to:

Use the house propane system already in the trailer.
Use the house battery to provide the 3v dc required for ignition instead of Yucky D cells.
Run hot water to my kitchen sink
Ventilate the cubbie area it is going to be installed in.

I am NOT worried about fire hazard. All combustion takes place inside the heater housing, and since it is "On demand" no flame or pilot is present until called for during use. My Blue Flame Heater has an 8 inch bank of open flame and *they* designed it for indoor use. (Except in California, where EVERYTHING is illegal for indoor use.. go figure)

And I no longer burn propane to heat hot water 24/7. The water that I get from this puppy is hot within seconds and is almost unbearably hot at even the mid level settings.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Thats all I have to say today :-)

I am busy plotting my trip up north in April. I will have nearly a month to "kill" and my winter, so far, has not been as lucrative as expected.

I am doing OK, but I won't be able to tour and sightsee as I normally would, and my stays in places will be longer and limited to forest service or other gubmint run parks where I can utilize my "Golden Gimp" passport.

The discount cards USED to be called "Golden Age" and "Golden Access" passes. The card is now actually called an "Inter Agency Pass" .. a small reward for being permanently disabled, at least, in the gubmints eyes, for losing a vital body part from my cancer. I can't say that going thru lung cancer is a preferred method for getting a token discount for camping, but, hey.. I'll take it where I can get it.

The card is available to all US citizens deemed to have a permanent disability. It gives you a 50% discount on all camping fees in Forest Service, Corp of Engineer or BLM campgrounds. It also gets you into National Parks for free, but since I never camp in them, it isn't a concern for me at this point.

I can average around 7 bucks a day for lodging when I travel. This, and my ability to live off grid comfortably, has saved my bacon more than once.

The card is NOT recognized by any Non Federal parks, such as State or County facilities, not is it recognized in "some" federal areas.. such as the Long Term visitors area I am currently in. At 180 bones for 7 months, I can't really think of WHY anyone would complain about that, but, as an experienced host for these agencies..I am sure some do. I bet they drive 1/2 million dollars diesel pushers too :-)

Anyway, I am thinking of traveling up I-15 from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City (Now.. THERES two polar opposite towns, eh?) and then taking I-84 all the way to Portland, my home town.

I don't have much to worry about in Lost Wages. I have never been a gambler or big drinker. I can plop 20 bucks into a barside poker machine and make it and one free beer last all night. Woo Hoo!

I do fear, however, that I will drop tons on raw coffee.. I am going through Utah, ya know, and I don't want to get stuck without.

This route was chosen because if I see another inch of I-5, the 99 or the 101.. I think I will puke. Highway 395 is indeed a great trip, but I have been there, done that too. Time to get brave and travel where I haven't before.. even if its just for the journey and not the destination.

Of course.. there will be dissapointments along the way, like the big signs that say "Area 51 is NOT here" and at some point, I will have to go through


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New places to go to

I have received my summer assignment! I am looking forward to a new northern experience in the North Cascades of Washington.

I will be posted at Baker Lake, Swift Creek Campground from May though September.

This will be the most isolated I have been in my work travels. It is 20 miles from Concrete Washington, east of Mount Vernon in the Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

I will be about 35 miles from the Canadian border, but have no clue how close the nearest crossing is. I suspect Blaine.. a place I have crossed and been cross examined at many times.

The nearest "Big Cities" are Seattle, and Vancouver B.C. Hmnnn.. thats a tough one. Seattle would be easier.. but Vancouver is Oh-So-Nice.

The company I work for makes this a REAL job, not just lounging around a campground waiting for campers to come give you money. The compensation is wonderful, the treatment is outstanding, and 2 days off mid week make it almost like a 5 month vacation.

My Verizon maps show me on a fringe for Data coverage. I may have to invest in a booster.. cause I sure am not expecting that the wifi they speak of will be done by the time I get there.

I can live without TV.. heaven forbid you yank my internet away! EEEYYYYEEEE!