Thursday, February 19, 2015

It's about time ...

Tomorrow morning sometime I'll actually hit the road.  After all this maintaining and fussing and fretting ... finally I'll DO something.  GO somewhere.

Where I'm headed is Darby Well Road a bit West and South of here.  GPS: 32.3393, -112.8495 I don't have to be home until next week Wednesday (scheduled maintenance on the HVAC unit on my town home the next day.) I may stay at Darby Wells, I may move a bit to some other relatively nearby spot ... maybe the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.  Approximate GPS: 31.812813,-111.44365 Or not.  There are other free BLM camping areas in the area.

Darby Well Rd is about 150 miles away along a secondary highway, so I can trundle along at 55-60 mph and not have to deal with big trucks whizzing past me.  I'm figuring about 3 hours.

I decided NOT to take Emma on this trip.  In a 10-day trip last summer she never got really comfortable traveling in the Beast.  I wound up tranking her pretty heavily just so she wouldn't whine softly the whole time.  So she's staying with a friend here in Tucson, and I'll be alone out there.

And that becomes part of the agenda for this trip.  Being really alone.  It's not too likely that there'll be a whole lot of RV's camped on a somewhat remote gravel road on the south side of Nowhere, AZ. (Famous last words?)  Even when Emma's just snoozing somewhere (she's a champion snoozer) she's a presence.  Let's see how something close to real solitude feels.

The other agenda item is to see how much "mileage" I get out of the solar panel and dual batteries.  How much do I have to be aware of conserving power?  Can I live more or less normally, counting on the modest solar panel to recharge the batteries each day?  I have the generator as a backstop, and I could always just hightail it for home in the worst case, so this seems a fairly safe experiment.

I'm taking along the video gear -- more than the iPhone.  There's a couple of projects I want to work on, and shooting exterior footage out in the desert is more interesting than the storage lot.  And again, I want to see how much power that takes, and whether the solar/battery combo can keep up.

There's another issue looming here.  I'm due for some surgery: I injured my right knee in November, and it's now clear that the only fix is a TKA -- total knee arthroplasty.  Knee replacement.  I had a hip replacement a while back, so I know a little about what to expect.  The issue is not whether to do it; that seems inevitable.  It's about when.  Do I limp along (literally) through the summer, spending lots of time on the road, as planned, and have the surgery in the fall or whenever I literally can't stand the pain? Or do I schedule the surgery as soon as I can, and hit the road with a brand-new knee?  How long will the recovery period be?

So that'll be on my mind as I head out on this week's short foray.

Why did gas prices go up again?  Does anyone understand this?


  1. I'm glad you are finally getting to go on a trek, after all the folderol with your roof vents, Rich. Btw, I read every one of your posts! Talk to you soon.