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?