Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Grand Junction, CO

Time with family is always rewarding, particularly with a very active 5-yr old in the mix.  The conference in Denver gave me a chance to contact some old friends and acquaintances, but the program itself wasn't as interesting as it has been.

Tonight I'm headed for Dolores CO, down in the SW corner of the state, for a multi-day off-grid campground event: CampOUT, the Four Corners Pride festival.  I doubt there will be internet or cell service where I'm headed!

The rig is running well.  Some minor maintenance issues to be attended to when I got home: The entry door handle is loose, for example.  Yesterday had two LONG stretches of construction on I-17 between Denver and Grand Junction.  Crawling at 5 MPH for 30-45 minutes...

In spite of a lot of climbing up and over the Rockies, the Beast is getting 9-10 MPG pretty consistently.  Today I have a choice of a longer route which is mostly on freeways, or a shorter route on blacktop.  I don't go much faster on the highways, so I'm taking that option.  Live and learn ...

Emma's been pretty good.  I think the meds help.  She'd still rather be home reading a good book.

Breakfast time, then to find a supermarket in Grand Junction to stock up for a few days in the boonies.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Checking in from Boulder

Yesterday was one friggin long-ass day.  Left Santa Fe at 7, got in Boulder at 5:15.  The standard route would have had me take I25 N from Santa Fe and continue on across the Raton Pass and up into the Denver area through Colorado Springs.  Dull and some nasty traffic through CSP and Denver.

So I took US285 mostly, up through Alamosa and then crawled up and down over several passes and even more "hills."  The first part of the day was great: tooling along classic western 2-lane blacktop in  high plateau.  The second was not so great.  The road surface was generally rough, and the resultant vibration set Emma's teeth on edge; her whining (in spite of the sedative) set mine on edge. And when I hit Boulder in multi-lane rush hour traffic it was NOT a good time.

By the time I got to Mike's house I wasn't fit company for man nor beast.  And Emma did her "I don't like this strange place and there's only skittery hard floors" number.  I gave her a nighttime sedative and threw her on my bed.  She woke up at 3; so did I.  But in the course of the morning we both chilled out.  She spent some fun time romping with Louie, Donna's dog, and walked into Mike's house like she lived there.  I'm hoping she'll just be a normal laid-back Lab this weekend, when Mike gets to take care of her while I'm in Denver.

The Beast was parked at an angle last night; as a result, the refrigerator wasn't refriging all that well this morning.  It's currently parked on the level near Donna's place, and my frozen food is in her freezer. Hope that by the end of the day the box is back to icy.

I'm not sure what the lesson is from yesterday.  Was the great morning worth the difficult afternoon?  Or would it have been better to just take the freeway and save more than an hour and a lot of aggravation?  Dunno.

And will the refrigerator fix itself?  We'll see.

Mike is due to take me out to lunch.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lunch on Day 2

Lunch view at El Malpais Natl Monment, south of Grants, NM. 

The drive from Show Low east on US 60 , then angling NE on NM state roads to intersect with I-40 near Grants, was a joy.  The Beast hummed along happily, Emma dozed in a druggy way, and I just grinned.

Going through ABQ north to Santa Fe was not so fun.  I got in camp here at about 5.  A longer day than I'd thought, but no problems.  Beast got between 10 and 11 mpg.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day 1 -- in camp

In camp, near Show Low, Arizona.  Yes, there's a place named Show Low.  Had to do with a long-ago poker game.  Google it.

It was a really good day.  The medication got to Emma after about 90 minutes, And after that she just snoozed on the couch.  No way is she getting off the couch, though!  The navigation system worked flawlessly:  The iPad in its cradle, audio out into the truck cassette player.  The Dual GPS receiver.  And Navigon:  Navigon isn't my favorite nav app, but it has the advantage that it downloads the maps and thereafter doesn't need a network connection.  I suppose I *could* fire up the Samsung T-Mobile hot spot so the iPad could talk to the world, but since I'm paying for that data, I prefer to use it for something that requires it.

All the campground connections are fine. This is the first outing for the power conditioner, which reports that I have 118V at 60 cycles. And no errors of any kind -- and it knows about LOTS of possible problems.

I'm staying at an Arizona state park, and so far AZ is two for two.  It's attractive, quiet.  It'sin the White Mountains area, where they're just puttin out a medium sized wildfire, so there's no open flames. Propane is good, though.  I was kind of looking forwward to grilling burgers, but I have options in the freezer.  "In the freezer!"  This is some pretty strange way to camp.  I could get used to it, though.  

So far I'm aware of two things I forgot:  ice cube trays, and the bike helmet. I may get some trays on my way out of town;  ice in my drink would be good. While I'm roughing it.

The internet service here for both ATT and T-Mobile is "E" -- that stands for slow.

I'm not sure I can post this.  I'll try, and if it works maybe I'll have more to say after a pre-dinner bike ride.

Mid day day one

Pulled over for lunch just outside Globe AZ.  Emma is not completely calm but the meds are helping a lot. 

It's a scenic winding road; the Beast handles like a truck. Surprise!

Average 9.4 mpg so far today. 


D as in Departure. I've done about everything I can think of to get ready for travel with the Beast.  The final check-out was provided by Mother Nature: two hard monsoon downpours seem to show that the roof is integral and the caulking around various vents is good.  I have spare caulk with me, just in  case.

Yesterday was mostly about packing: clothes on hangers in the closet.  Other clothes in the drawers.  Boots -- well, they don't have a home yet. Food in the pantry and refrigerator. I intend to eat pretty much the same on the road as I do at home, so that was easy.  It's more like moving than packing.  It was hot and sticky as I carried stuff out to the Beast, but that's what showers are for!  This morning I pack up things like toiletries, and organize the electronics.  I'm a little embarrassed that I'm taking all this stuff, but it all has a purpose for now. As I do this more, I'll figure out what I really use and take only that.   A project for the not-too-distant future: The bike on the rack obscures the lens of the rear-view camera.  The camera needs to get mounted up higher; that was simply more than I had time or energy to tackle this time.

The bike gets mounted on the rack and secured; I haven't wanted to do that until now since the Beast barely fits into a parking space, and the bike rack would extend out into the drive.  An interesting side-note: The Beast has been parked at my complex on and off for the better part of the last few days.  Several people have come by to look at it and talk to me.  The men in particular say things like "I used to have one of those, and I loved it!  I really miss it."  I wonder why they stopped?   Will that be me in a few years?

I've planned to leave at 10.  I have a feeling I'll be ready before that.  I have to plane to catch:  I'll leave when I'm ready.  It's almost 6 now.

I think I'm gonna like this.

More from the road.  Be well, you all!