Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jeep Off Roading

Sure why not.  It’s a Jeep and it’s made to go off roading.  I think they’re were about 15 of us.  We pulled out about 9:30 AM.  We got back about 3:30 PM.  So here we go.


This cactus is telling us which way to go.DSC_0021

Ten miles off road one way up a mountain.DSC_0025

We had ATVs, side by sides, Jeep auto sedans and real JeepsDSC_0032 DSC_0033


A smooth part in the road.  Yes it’s a drop off…DSC_0068 DSC_0070 DSC_0079 DSC_0101 DSC_0105 DSC_0107

This is our group.  Nobody else was up there.DSC_0119 DSC_0120

Oh yea….DSC_0123 DSC_0125 DSC_0131

Then we went down…weeeeeeee….

It was a bumpy ride with a few hard places.  Been there done that in a Jeep.  Maybe next time in a side by side.

Today, Thursday was 8 weeks ago I had my little roll over accident.  Still on the road to recovery nad maybe a good to go from the ENT doc tomorrow.

See ya.,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nice Ice Cold Beer Time Outside

Finally we are suppose to be in the 70s daytime and 40’s at night.  Maybe even 80 this Saturday.  this means set out time and drink a nice cold beer.  I’ve noticed something over the many years of RVing.  People with small RV’s set out more often than RVers with big rigs.  Is it because big RVs are more like homes and that is what they do at home – set inside!  We catch ourselves setting inside more than we should.  That reminds me.  I have to put a lounge chair on my list of things to get.  I had one and it broke.  We have found out not to buy the expensive outdoor chairs.  They get beat up pretty quick and last about 2 maybe three years.  After that they get a little questionable.

Today I got the ATV looking all pretty for this Saturday’s park parade.  Hey, that’s what old folks do.  Ride around in their home park in their golf carts and ATVs.  Hey, we are one I’ve been told by the youngins.

After I cleaned the Razor I started to do a little cleaning on the Beast.  First a little area there and a little area there and next thing I knew I had cleaned around the bottom and as far as I could reach up.  I used cheap furniture wax and it looks real good.  I remembered someone told me years ago that is what they used on their RV.  Hopefully I didn't hurt anything.  It’s just wax.  Now the Beast smells like lemon too!  Yes I did the wheels and tires too.

Now I’m behind on doing the blog.  It’s Saturday 5 AM and I don’t remember all what we did Wednesday but I can tell you that we did do something.   I just don’t remember it all.  Maybe it was smelling that lemon for a couple of hours that did it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Time Is On My Side…The Rolling Stones

February seems to be going slow.  That can be good and in different what ever that means.  I’m glad it has only 28 days.  That means March will come sooner and we will be back on the road sooner.  Time is on our side for sure.

Thursday theirs a Jeep run that Denny is leading.  Carol & I just might go as will as Walt/Kellie & Ed/Sandy.  Maybe Larry/Marilyn & Steve & Lila too.  Friday I got a Dr appointment about my ear.  The out come will determine what are immediate plans will be.  Our schedule happens to be flexible enough as not to disturb any or our main obligations/desires.  At least that’s what we think.  We got a plan B, C and even D if future Dr appointments are needed.  I think we are as prepared as much as possible.

This morning I called a Coast to Coast Park (Yuma Lakes) to ensure they can take a 43 footer.  The directory said no but I’m pretty sure we where in there last year.  They said, no problem.  We plan to be in the Yuma area 24 March thru 4 April.   We want to visit with some friends while in Yuma also.  Let us know if you are in the area.   From Yuma we head for Lodi for the W.A.R.E. rally.

We will be going down to Mexico for meds, dental, booze and vision. It’s like a Walmart with one stop shopping for old farts.  Also, we want to get the Beast washed and hand waxed for about $125. Yepper, about $125.  We have done it every year for years.  You can’t friggin beat it.

This morning is put the front “crash bar” back on the side by side ATV Razor.  Ed & I took it off last year so it could fit in the pick up truck. Now, no pick up truck and I seem to be crashing so it’s a good time for it to go back on. It was easy to put back on for some reason.  Plus Ed knew how to make it work with all his tools & experience he has. He retired from the Seabees. Give Ed a task and he will figure it out and make it work.  We got that done and decided to see how many guys we could get together for a run out in the desert.  Half hour later we had six ATV’s going out.DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0003 DSC_0005

Ed, “Let’s go!”  Yes, he’s packing a gun and so did Walt.  That’s in case we see any wild big ants out on the trail.DSC_0006

We went out for about 25 miles.  Some new trails some old trails.  We went and did Round Top Mountain.  It’s a good place to break in newbie's.   It’s a relatively big hill that is a good long climb with rocks.  We got back about two and everybody went to the winds.  I think it was past lunch time.

That evening Carol had a line dancing dinner to go to.  I didn’t want to go.  Instead I just set around and watched TV.  You know there was NCIS (cops). Then NCIS LA (cops) and then a new show called Golden Boy (cops).  What’s with all the cops?  This new show Golden Boy I liked.  I had to be on my toes to keep up with it already.  Then I ended the evening watching the Big Bang Theory.  That’s a show that grew on me and Carol this year.

The ATV ride cost me a little.  My ear swelled up a little and I got a headache that hasn’t gone away.    Tomorrow (Wed) is my last chance probably and I’m not gonna chance it.   I can read the writing on the wall.  I think my ATVing is done for now.  Thursday is trails with the Jeep.  Friday is my Dr appointment.  Saturday is La Fiesta here at North Ranch.  The park celebrates becoming an independent park I think….Sunday we have planned to leave.  So…….

See ya…..

Monday, February 25, 2013

Full Moons

This morning I’m expecting the windshield chip guy to come and fix the Beast.  If he comes early enough we can go to the Escapees Chapter 32 luncheon at the Golden Coral in Surprise, AZ.

Today I would like to get 5 things off my To Do List.  Let’s see how it goes.  We seem to create a Long Term List and a Before We Leave List.  I guess it’s normal for Full Timers.  It is for us and it works.  I use the back of our old business cards.  Carol uses the back of scrap paper.  Aren’t we the green couple?

We’re starting to get the hitch itch syndrome.  Maybe it’s the chilly weather that brings it on.  The week at Lake Havasu didn’t really fix it at all.  Maybe it’s cabin fever.  What ever it is, it is here and I got it.

Well, I called the Mobile Chip Guy and he will be out in this area tomorrow.  He said he would come out tomorrow vice today.  Great.  I called Walt & Kellie Gunn.  They had room in their pick up for us all to go to the Escapees Chapter 32 luncheon in Surprise, AZ at the Golden Coral.

We got their about a half hour early (that’s Escapees time) and people were already ahead of us but not too bad.  The food was good but the conversations were even better.  Most of Chapter 32 people are residents of North Ranch but you don’t have to be.  they have two rallies a year and several luncheons.  It cost $5 a person a year.

The place was full as time went on.DSC_0002 DSC_0020

Little girls and candy.DSC_0003 DSC_0007 DSC_0010

Afterwards Ed, Walt & I went together and the girls went together shopping.  Us guys went to Harbor Freight and did our guy thing.  The girls did their shopping thing and we all met back at the ranch later.

I picked up the side by side Razor off our lot and brought it down to Ed’s.  I changed out the hitch on the back of the Jeep.  I went from a 5 inch drop to about a 2 inch drop.  I needed to get some weight off the hitch and move it to the front of the Jeep and off the trailer tongue.   The Jeep handles the loaded trailer a lot better.  I took it out for test run and mission accomplished.

I accomplished a couple of more things on my list so it was a productive day after all.

I tried getting a good shot of the moon.  DSC_0017 Opps wrong moon…

Try this one….DSC_0038

I need a tripod to make it a little more sharper.

See ya…….

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Leave When

Not 100% sure when we are leaving North Ranch but it could be as soon as next Sunday/Monday.  If the doc this Friday says he needs to see me again, then of course we will be back to Phoenix but not to North Ranch probably.  It will be kinda easy thru the 4th of April depending on any future appointment dates.  We won’t be returning to North Ranch until about Christmas/New Year’s time frame after working at Amazon in Fernley, NV.  We got some places and rallies we will be going to until the first of May.  Then we will be off to ????? and ending up in Gillette, WY for the Escapees Escapade Rally in mid June or so.  We have volunteered as Assistant Coordinators.  This should prove to be interesting.  Then we will mosey around Rapid city and then head to Fernley, NV ending up there about early October.  These plans are in jello but they are in the frig already hard.

Oppps, got side tracked from today a little bit.  All I have to say is “Let’s go racing”.  It was a so so race.  More of follow the leader type racing.

It was windiest day ever since we have ever been here and it was only in the 50’s.  That stands for cold in my language. DSC_0001

See ya…..

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Grocery Day

We went to Jack In The Box for breakfast.  I like their breakfast and Carol is just OK with it.  Nothing fancy for sure.

Then I washed the Jeep at the self wash for a buck.  It needed a quick wash and it got it.  Now I have clean streaks.

Then it was off to the stores for grocery coupon day.  We had already gather the ads so we knew what we  wanted – sale items.  This is how we have always shopped.  We got some good sale items.  It’s an old story in that you have to know your item and what it costs normally.  We get had ever once in a while.

It was back to the Beast.  Carol did this and that and I watched NASCAR.  Pretty good race too.  To bad some fans got hurt from a big accident at the end.  Tomorrow is another race day.  The Daytona 500 is opening day for what I call the big boys.

I didn’t know it but Ed welded our trailer jack to our trailer during the race.  I guess he got by without my supervision.  I don’t know how though.  Thanks Ed!

We invited our landlords (Ed & Sandy) over for dinner.  Carol did a pot roast slow cooker style.  Sandy made an Apple Pie and Carol made an Angel Food Cake also.  It was all good.  They stayed over for about 3 hours and we BS about everything.  We talked about Alaska a lot.  It was all good.

Another great slow day……

See ya….

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lazy Day

I called GEICO insurance this morning.  I got approval for a mobile chip guy to fix the chip in the Beast’s windshield Monday.  No cost to me.  I like that no cost part.

This morning it was 29 degrees out.  Their is ice on our largest  slide out topper.  I was up on the roof checking out the roof seams to make sure they were doing alright.  Everything appears to be fine.

I fixed Carol’s wireless printer connection.  How? I don’t know.  I just deleted some old printers in her computer and pushed this and that key and it started working.  I usually don’t get that lucky with computers and have to call on a 5th grader.  I got a few brownie points for fixing it.  I only need 5 billion more.

I slept a lot to day.  It must be the meds for my ear infection making me a little drossy.  It was a very lazy day for me.

See ya……..

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Veteran’s Administration & Camera Lens

It was time to go see if the Veteran’s Administration (VA) could help me.  Something ain’t right with my ear and I can’t get to see a Doc under Tricare until March 1st.  I needed someone to check it out now.  The VA clinic was about 45 miles away so Carol & I decided to go for it…what the hell.  I went to the VA back in 1985 when I retired from the Marine after 21 years 16 days but who’s counting.  I was rated by them as 40% service connected disabled back then and that was without a psch evaluation.   Upon arrival at the VA office & within 10 minutes I was with a VA rep updating my information.  Within 5 minutes after that I  was with a nurse checking out my ear.  My home base is considered Houston thus I’m considered a Traveling Veteran.  That means they can see me right now because of the extreme injury.  The nurse looked in my ear and then got a doctor to look at it.  The inner ear canal is infected and swollen.  Not good for sure.  They gave me medication for it.  We also had set up to see an ENT doc for March 1st in Scottsdale, AZ prior to going to the VA.  I felt something wasn’t right and needed to be seen now and it turned out to be true.  No charge for anything at the VA.  The VA people were great, everybody. 

We returned back to North Ranch about noon with full stomachs.  I redid the driveway brick edging that I ran over and missed up the other day.  It was within by pay grade to dig and straighten.  I did the damage so I felt I should fix it of course and did.

The rest of the day I played with my cameras and lenses. Is that a word, lenses?   Here’s Carol Nikon D3000 with a 55-300 MM Nikon lens.

Here it is set at 55 MMDSC_0017

200 MMDSC_0019

and 300 MM.DSC_0020

Here’s my Nikon D90 with a 150-500 MM aftermarket lens.

Here it is set at 150 MM.DSC_0019

and then the 500 MM.DSC_0020

Why does Carol’s camera at 300 MM looks about the same with my camera and the 500 MM lens?  It’s the quality of the lens.  Her lens is a Nikon lens and my big lens was an aftermarket lens called Sigma DG”.  Bottom line……buy a quality lens that is by your manufacture of the camera.  My camera I almost always use a 18-200 MM Nikon lens.  It gives me close group pictures and distance pictures.  The 85-300 MM is not good for close up/group type pictures.   None of these camera/lenses were cheap.

Sandy, Kellie and Ed all came over and visited at the same time.  That was nice.

Call GEICO and get approval for the window chip guy coming out Monday to fix our windshield.  Also, I got to put Mark’s motorcycle in our shed.  Wow, my list is getting short.

Sorry for entering yesterday’s blog a day late.  The date is correct on it.

See ya……

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Which Way Do We Go?

We are going to the Escapade in Gillette, WY this summer.  The question is which route.  We have three routes to choose from.  If fuel continues to rise we will take the middle route of about 5K total miles thru Dec ending back at North Ranch, Congress, AZ.  I think you can click on this map to make it bigger.  Hey this is very high tech stuff moving this map here for me! image If fuel prices level real soon or lowers by May – hah, we will take one of the 5.7K or 5.8K miles extreme northern routes.  image The fuel price difference is about $500 at the current prices.  We are not changing our destination because of fuel prices, we are changing the route.  That’s how we deal with higher fuel prices.  We will make that decision in early May probably.  Until then, our plans will not change for February thru April due to fuel price.  Over the years we have noticed that around Memorial Day the fuel prices we start lowering slowly.

We are in for a cold spell for at least 10 days according to  Highs in the low 50s mostly and lows in the low 30s.  That’s cold for most Rvers such as us.  The Beast and the Jeep need washing too and they will get washed, burrrrrr.

I need to fix Ed & Sandy’s driveway.  Yesterday I came in a little off center and squashed some bricks out of alignment when I ran over them.  I was tuned in watching their deck steps more than the bricks.  I guess I should have let Carol do the backing.

Mark left early this morning (5 AM) to catch a plane.  We put his motorcycle in our shed to keep it out of the elements. He’s due to return on April Fool’s Day and head for the WARE Rally in Lodi, CA.  Check it out.  Right click on WARE and click on “open hyperlink” for details.  The daily schedule should be done any day.

The day disappeared and I didn’t publish this blog until a day later but I dated it correctly.

See ya…….

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

RV Day Anyhow….

Our appointment was at 8:30 AM.  I think this warranty repair will take only 15 minutes.  You know some RV repair shops take your RV out of sight and then it sets.  Three to five hours later they tell you that they have to order the part.  We’re past that stage.  They did that the first time here and then the wrong part came in.  The shop blames the manufacture for sending the wrong part.  I say, Hey look at the friggin part when it comes in and let the customer know then it’s the wrong part.  Wow, what a novel idea.  Their lack of attention cost me $80 bucks in fuel.  Anyhow……

We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast which is Carol’s favorite.  It was good as normal.  Not only is gas going up in price so is coffee at $2.29 a cup.  Nothing can be done by us for either.  We still walked out with a bill under $12 with full stomachs and two coffees to go.  Anyhow….

I wanted to go to Harbor Freight which is 15 miles away to pick up a jack for the trailer.  Carol & I can not lift the trailer off the hitch ball on the Jeep because it’s that heavy.  The trailer jack should resolve that issue.  We were gonna leave the Razor on the trailer and leave it all at Ed & Sandy’s but we could not lift the trailer off the Jeep.  So we went down to our lot where we have a lot of room and did the off loading of the Razor there.  Anyhow…….

Dr’s appointment at 11:30.  My ear is suppose to be back to normal.  It’s not that’s why we made the appointment.  The Doc said the surgery looked good but I should go see an ear doc for the internal ear.  Also he said he wanted to sleep in the upright postion to keep the swelling down.  this will be fun – not!    Anyhow…….

We got back to the rig to pick it up about noon.  They had our $100 deposit which they decided to keep $$$$ even though all the work was done under warranty.  I called Norcold and handed the service writer the phone.  I suggested to the operations manager, Brad Outcalt that look into their policy of charging people for warranty work – both before the work and after the work is completed.  If they have a problem getting paid that’s between the dealer and the manufacture and should not involve the customer like it did this time.  Two friggin hours later I had my $100 back and left.  Anyhow….

I got fuel at the QT gas station for $3.93.  It went up 2 cents overnight. It was tight and I just went slow and moved around things like cars.   Anyhow….

We got back to Ed & Sandy’s at North Ranch about 3:45 PM.  It was time for a going away party for Mark.  If Mark wasn’t there it would be a party for the sun coming up.  Anyhow…..

Too many to name.  If you know them, you know them.DSC_0001 DSC_0002

Then there was a separation of rank.  Women on one side.DSC_0003

And men on the other.  The men did get more space.DSC_0004

Then a joke was played on Mark.DSC_0005

He got an egg cracked on his egg.  That was funny.DSC_0006

Here’s Mark trying to show Razor and fireworks movies from our adventures at Lake Havasu.DSC_0007

He was successful but everybody went home earlier.  Not really.  We all watched and they were great.DSC_0008

I think I forgot to mention that the Beast got a BB style chip in the window Monday.  We got a rock from another RV going the opposite way near Congress.  No spider legs yet. 

Anyhow, it was just another RV day.

See ya…..

Monday, February 18, 2013

Here, Then There, & Now Here

We left the hill at the Steps near Lake Havasu about 8 or 8:30 AM.  We weren’t really pay attention .  We doubled towed behind the Beast for the 135 miles to North Ranch.  Here are some pics along the way.DSC_0001 DSC_0004 DSC_0006 DSC_0010 DSC_0013 DSC_0014 DSC_0016 DSC_0022


Upon arrival at North Ranch we dropped the Razor off the trailer and then the trailer off the Jeep.  We left the trailer and Razor at our lot and headed for Orangewood RV Repair in Sun City (NW Phoenix).  We arrived around 12:30 and got a 50 AMP back in site. 

We then went to Sam’s down the street a few miles and returned the fire ring we got a couple of weeks ago.  Gas was $3.47 at Sam’s.  Local diesel was running about $4.10.  I saw one place at $3.91 and I will try to get the Beast filled up there tomorrow.

Look at this.  It’s a mid engine diesel RV with a SMART car going in the rear.  These’s RVs weren’t very popular and thus didn’t sell well.  DSC_0027 DSC_0026DSC_0033 DSC_0034 DSC_0035 DSC_0037

His mirror is off. DSC_0038 DSC_0040

And away he went and the night was quiet…

See ya….