Sunday, May 31, 2015

Last night out

Walmart parking lot in Deming, NM.

Filled up on my way into town.  This will more than get me home to Tucson. If I follow my usual pattern, I'll get up early and get on the road.  Should be home by mid-day, just in time to unload the rig in full-on afternoon heat.  The forecast is for 106.

I'm not gonna like this ... whine, bitch, moan ...

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Something like this ...

I don't see any real alternative to going home via Interstates at this point.  It's by far the quickest and shortest.  And I'm headed for the barn.  The labelled waypoints indicate possible places to break the trip into 2 days.  I very much doubt I'll try to do it in one long haul.


It was an easy drive from Alamosa to White Rock, where I'm staying (again!) with my friends the Reillys.  They're busy with a neighbor's kid's graduation festivities this morning; this afternoon the plan is to go down to Santa Fe to see a new O'Keefe exhibit.

If I can pry the Beast out of its parking spot I might go prowl around White Rock this morning. It's an interesting little town.  The other agenda is figuring out the route home.  This is when I really do want to click my heels together and be elsewhere immediately.

For the trip segment from Boulder to here, including up and over the Rockies, we got an average 9.1 mpg.  I'll take that!

I'll have to, huh?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It was a really good day!

As of last night, it felt like the trip was over, and all that remained was to trudge about a thousand miles homeward.

I did get a great good-night hug from grandson Matt:

After breakfast with Donna, I decided not to just get on I-25 and boogie.  Instead,  I went over and used US 285, which I suspect was the major N-S highway in these parts before the interstates.  I guessed I'd get as far as somewhere near Alamosa, CO before I ran out of energy.  That turned out just right... fortified by a cuppa joe and a gluten-free lemon poppyseed muffin from Mirage Trading Company in Moffat, CO

I pulled into Sand Dunes National Park at about 3:30.  Full.  Can your effing believe it? On Thursday at a little-known park in the middle of pretty much nowhere  -- full?

Here's what it looked like as I approached the park.  Yup.  Dunes.

With the advice of the park entrance dude, I wound up about 10 miles away at the BLM's Zapata Falls recreation area. The road in was some of the worst dirt washboard I've ever encountered, and Beastie's teeth got rattled pretty good, but when I got camped, this is what it looked like:

Not too shabby for Plan B, huh?

Rt 285 is spectacular.  A LOT of high plains with snow-covered 14000-foot peaks right alongside.

I didn't get any real good pictures along the route, but this will give you the idea:

And to make matters even better, Dotty Reilly (who's been reading the blog) sent a note pointing out that there's a new exhibit at the Georgia O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe, and I could stay with them if I wanted to see it.

So that's the next stop.  White Rock, NM.

Or this ...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The way home

Because it's not clear when I'll get out of Boulder, I've sketched out the simplest route back to Tucson, with possible waypoints.

Not sure how this will play out, but it'll look something like this.

Hold 'er in Boulder?

That's pretty cheesy, huh?  At any rate, I'm here in Boulder, staying with my son and his family.  Long hot showers, a bed that goes on forever, and more space than I know what to do with.

This urban idyll comes to an end tomorrow; time to saddle up again and head out of town.

Ever since I decided to come over here to take advantage of some unexpected available time in my kid's guest apartment (it's listed on Airbnb and usually booked solid) I wasn't clear on what would happen next.  My original schedule had me arriving back in Tucson on Monday June 1.  That was fairly arbitrary: it was a guess that three weeks on the road would be enough. That now seems about right.

It's a two long days from here to home; three easier days.

Part of me feels like the trip is over; I've re-entered the real world and that's that.   Head for home; sleep in parking lots.  But there's some nice country between here and there ... and some people I know in towns along the way.  I dunno.  I have a day to ponder this.

Right now it's time to venture out into Boulder and check out a breakfast place called "Snooze."

It's sunny, for a wonder.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Over the hill(s)

It wasn't a lot of miles today, but it took a lot out of me.  Up Glenwood Canyon, then over Vail Pass, through the Eisenhower Tunnel, and down into Boulder.  A quick glass of wine with Donna (ex-wife and good friend) and then to son Mike's place.  I moved into their guest "suite," had a wonderful long hot shower, and dinner with Mike, Amy, and Matthew.

Mike's off to a social gathering at the Odd Fellows' lodge, and I'm going to settle in to read and fall asleep.

I'm amused by how BIG the guest quarters here feel, after a couple of weeks of living in the Beast.  One bedroom, living room, kitchen.  Bathroom.  Huge, I tell you.

Donna and I will have breakfast tomorrow; lunch with Mike. After that, unplanned.  It's rainy and cool, of course.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

All tucked in

In the walmart parking lot in Rifle. Went and bought a few things. 

The Visitors Center does indeed have a free dump station. Been there done that. 

It's cloudy and rainy. Yay!

On the road again

Not the most original tag line, eh?

At the moment I'm in Parachute, CO, along I-70 headed east.  It's raining, I'm really sleepy, so I'm pulled over at a really pleasant little rest stop (with free WiFi!) to take a quick nap.  I think my day's destination isn't that far up the road; the plan is to stay at a Walmart parking lot in Rifle. It's listed in the Walmart Parking list as "OK to park."  I called ahead, and after the person on the phone conferred with the manager, she said it would be OK even though there are apparently signs which say "No Overnight Parking."

Well, then.   I'll also pay a visit at the free RV dump station at the Rifle rest area.

I pulled out of my spot above Moab this morning at about 8, and I've been puttering along admiring the scenery and enjoying memories of driving those roads when I worked as a river guide out of Green River, UT.  One of the routes we had a permit for was a stretch of the Colorado which started just over the UT/CO border.  The route is called Wastewater Canyon, and it has a few really hairy rapids: the most difficult has a couple of features called "The Rock of Shock"  and "The Room of Doom," which still make me shudder, even driving safely by.

I arrived at the Willow Springs campsite just after rains which made the road a red gluey mess.  The road had dried out when I left this morning, but the people!  There must have been 100 people in tents, trailers, and RV's all spread out along this one short stretch of nasty dirt road, all with mountain bikes or ATV's or dirt bikes.  Astonishing.  Just astonishing.  I was lucky to get as nice a spot as I did!

I hope they all had/are having a good time.

It was time for me to leave.  I enjoyed the walks, the skies, the people-watching, the sky-watching.  But it was time to go.  I'm thinking that for the most part, two nights is enough if I'm on the go... or maybe not.

Nap time.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Family time

The departure of the puppies
At about 5 pm, about half an hour after the puppies left (with a big wave and a “Take care, Rich”) a pickup truck pulling a pop-top trailer goes by, slows down, goes to the end of our little “street,” pauses, pulls into the empty space down there, pauses, swings wide and comes back to the puppy spot.  It pulls in, pauses.  Pulls forward, backs up, pulls forward, and stops with the trailer in a reasonably level spot.  Out of the truck get Dad, Mom with babe in arms, two kids in the 5-7 age range.  Mom and Dad confer.  The body language says it all: she doesn’t want to camp here.  He does.  Many gestures.  She gets back in the truck with the babe. The kids run around like small released wild things.  Dad opens the tail gate and releases two labs from plastic crates.  Dogs and kids run around.  Dogs immediately come over to my “yard” and poop. 

Dad cranks down the stabilizer on the trailer to take the weight off the hitch.   He jumps up in the truck bed, and starts a generator.  He pulls a long cord out of the trailer and plugs it in to the generator.  Mom emerges from the truck cab, and confers with Dad.  Long conference.  More gesticulating. Dad turns off the generator, stows the cord, corrals the dogs and crates them.  Kids get in truck. Dad gets in truck.  They drive off. 

The beginning of a relaxed, fun-filled Memorial Day weekend? Yeah, right!  I wonder where they wound up.  

As I write this, another group pulls in.  No dogs, no babies. Two adults and three teenagers.  

Friday afternoon above Moab

Looks ominous in B/W, huh?

People come and go.  The young mountain biking couple across the way pulled out this morning, headed toward Bend, OR.  A class A motorhome complete with toad just pulled into that spot.

The puppies are pulling up stakes, too… two of them went off to town this morning, two stayed here to hangout and do some of the unending vehicle repairs.  (They did something rash off-roading yesterday and had to drive to Grand Junction last night to get a replacement part — it was the electrical connector for the trailer hitch they broke, so they can’t go on without working lights.  I guess they’re headed for Denver… The pop-top trailer is all folded up.  

The clouds move across the sky.  The solar panels are working like a champ. I did a little desultory picking up around here, did the dishes.  Checked budgets: cash and data.  On plan.  Had my (by now customary) after lunch nap.  Listening to Alice Gomez flute music.  

I’ve checked out places I might stay on the trip to Boulder.  The vicinity of Rifle, CO is still the best bet for Sunday night.  

I think I’m slowed down to as close to dead stop as I can be.   

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Memorial Day weekend? Really?

When I blocked out the time for this jaunt I really hadn't reckoned on Memorial Day being when it is.   But it is, and every outdoorsy family in the West considers this to be the official beginning of the summer.  The outcome is that places to camp become scarce and crowded.  I'd sorta thought I'd stay a couple days here at Willow Springs, and then meander up and over toward Boulder on the 25th to see family.

Nope. Unless something unexpected turns up, I'll stay right where I am and leave on Sunday the 24th, staying overnight along the way, and get into Boulder in the afternoon of the 25th.  There's a Walmart in Rifle, CO, that permits overnight parking and would be almost exactly halfway between here and Boulder via Grand Junction.  I have enough food and water, and even in partial sun the solar panels seem to keep my various devices stoked, so that's the plan.  This is a nice place, with some good people to talk to.  And the puppies across the way to watch.

I did have a tangentially-related thought.  Next trip I'll pack some paper books.  Books that don't require batteries to read, in case power gets to be scarce sometime.  Lord knows I've got enough of them!

Camped above Moab

Wednesday AM above Moab, UT

The morning, at least, seems likely to be sunny, so I have the solar panels out to catch the first rays of dawn.  .2 amps at first light of sunrise!  You go, little guy! The day really begins a little later… one of the neighbors came over yesterday evening to invite me to breakfast at 9.  It was a welcome invitation, and reminded me that for all of its oddness, this is a way of living.  What could be more domestic than breakfast with the neighbors?

There wasn’t a whole lot of driving yesterday, but lots happened.  Years ago when I was working as a river guide based up in Green River, when we got to feeling stifled by the very small town-ness of Green River, we’d pile into one of the company vans and drive an hour or so down to civilization: Moab.  Yeah, right.  Moab started as a dusty little cowboy/miner town, and anyone who has read Ed Abbey will have notions of THAT Moab.  THIS Moab is a rather trendy tourist destination, feeding off the nearby river-running, mountain biking, hiking, and scenery-gawping countryside.  I stopped at a laundromat with wi-fi, as yesterday’s little orgy of photo uploads will support. Then went to City Market, where we used to buy groceries for trips, and then had lunch at Eddie McStiff’s, which was the sports bar/restaurant of choice for the Adventure River Expeditions crew. I did my fair share of living in the past.  As I drove over the Colorado River leaving town, I did the boatman thing of looking at the water level.  It was high, indicating good runs through Cataract Canyon downstream.  Can’t step in THAT river twice.

Then north about 15 miles to where Bob Wells is camped.  After some false starts on roads that looked looked like this 

I finally found Bob, his traveling companion Suanne and a whole little community spread out along Willow Flats Road.  Public land, so “dispersed camping” is OK.  Right across from me is a bunch of four guys: three from Colorado, one from Phoenix.  It’s not clear what they’re doing here, but it was like watching a bunch of puppies. They have a small generator which they use to charge up their “devices,” and provide some light.  They seem to go off into town during the day… 

Where I am is in some ways like Tucson.  A not-very-attractive foreground with a spectacular background.  At dusk the snow-covered La Sal mountains off to the east hover ghostlike over the terrain.  

Not sure what the day will bring, other than breakfast and conversation with Bob and Suanne.  The puppies will have gone off to do whatever they do, I gather.  The Vietnam vet in the truck camper who doesn’t like people near him will do what he does.  On Willow Flats road, the people looking for muddy fun in their jeeps and ATV’s will come and go.  Me, I think I’ll watch the shadows move across the landscape and bask in warm sun and cool dry air, until the clouds come in again later this afternoon. Maybe read some.  Nap.  Naps are good.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Live from a laundromat in Moab

Let's see if I can upload some pics from yesterday's walk...

Yup.  Thank you, Moab Laundromat!

Plans and prospects

Can you spot the Beast off there in the distance?

I'm in Canyonlands, early morning.  And some shape is emerging for the next week or so.

Today, I'll drive up to Moab, visit a laundromat, get some food and gas, and then go find Bob Wells at his dry camping site just north of Moab.  Bob is the owner/operator of the Cheap RV Living blog, and   big name in the van dwelling full-timing RV community.  I've been reading his stuff for a while now, and it'll be fun to sit and talk with him for a bit.

Down the road, I'm due in Boulder to see family on May 25-28.  The dates are set by the availability of my son's guest "suite."  They rent it out on AirBnB and it's wildly popular, so I had to book it when I could.  No, he's not charging me!

The time and space between Moab and Boulder is unstructured so far.

There's an event in the Denver area that I'd maybe like to go to: an annual gathering that I attended last year, and enjoyed.  It'd mean I'd get home a day or so later than I'd planned, but I don't think that would matter much.  In any event, the time and space between Boulder and Tucson is more or less unstructured, too.

One of the laundromats in Moab advertises free wifi.  If so, I'll gladly burn some of their megabytes to share some pictures from my walk yesterday here in red rock country.

All is well, except for the balky weather patterns which simply refuse to settle into the warm and sunny I'm so used to.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


This place is so cool.  And so strange.  Here's a formation along the way up from Monticello to the turnoff for the Needles district:

The BLM campground is just fine.  A lot of sites packed in pretty close, but still it somehow doesn't seem all that crowded.  And if you have any idea if staying here, get here early!  It's not even close to the season, and there were only 2 available sites that could accommodate the Beast.

But the backdrop for the campsite is hard to beat:

More tomorrow.

Lunch out

In a small restaurant in Monticello UT. Got groceries and gas in Cortez. I'm about an hour from my planned campsite in Canyonlands once I leave here. Grey skies at the moment. No idea about cell coverage up in the Needles. 

Moving on

I've been hunkered down here at McPhee Reservoir for several days.  The weather system which kept me here for a few of those days has moved on, and so will I.  This morning I'll go down to Cortez, dump the holding tanks at the free municipal facility, stock up on groceries, and drive up to Canyonlands country.  So as I go about the routines of breakfast, I'm also stowing things for travel. It should be a short travel day.

The weather is a factor in my planning, of course, and I'm realizing how accustomed I am to the rhythms of weather in the Sonoran desert where I live.  Up here, things change more quickly.  The 10-day forecast which showed "sunny" for 5 days now shows "chance of thunderstorms" and "partly cloudy."

Weather has a bigger impact living this way.  The places I want to go for a few days will be "dry camps."   No electricity,  no water.  No "hookups."  And so, if there's no sun, or not much, my solar panels won't be able to keep the batteries topped off, and that means increased attention to all things electrical.  I'll go in with all device batteries fully charged, and the coach batteries will be full from the driving.  But the predictions on the Weather Underground about "cloud cover" become more crucial to my planning.

This is a nuisance, of course, just as the cold rainy weather of the last couple days was a nuisance. Of course I'm not out here seeking discomfort.  But it's a small price to pay for the sunsets, and the silence, and the solitude.  It's what you pay to ride the ride.

So far so good!  Not sure about cell service in Canyonlands.  It may be a while before the next posts, all you worriers.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Is this the end of the rain?

The view to the West:

If so, I'm ready!

Note to self

Self: Pack gloves next time.

It was 33º and snizzling when this was snapped.  Perhaps that accounts for the less-than-pleased look on my face.  The predicted snow didn't happen.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A few other notes

I just checked... it's 38º outside (at about 7000 feet elevation), and in the low 60's inside the rig.  I'm perfectly comfortable in a hoodie and sweats.  Not exactly shorts and tank top conditions, but I'm fine. Maybe not so fine for the Hawaii crowd. You know who you are.

Data use.  I've discovered that the Apple Mail app is a hog.  My data use drops considerably if I just use the web interfaces for gmail and yahoo mail.  I'm in data-rich land right now, but starting May 19 and for the rest of this trip, I may have to be more parsimonious.  I get 10G for the month beginning then... which means if I get home on June 1, I have an allowance of about 700M per day.  I'll monitor what I'm using now ... I think if I eschew video and audio streaming, I'll be fine.  If I'm in AT&T territory, I can use my unlimited data there to stream.  Fine for audio, a bit limiting for video.

We'll see.



Comfort is waking up to the sound of rain on the roof, smiling, and going back to sleep.  It's being vaguely aware during the night that the heater is doing its thing.  It's waking up at my usual ungodly hour and making fresh coffee.  And re-heating it in the microwave. It's having a weak but reliable signal from Verizon (1 bar of 4G/LTE.) It's reviewing my trip expenditures past and planned and confirming that all is on track.  It's having an iPad stuffed full of new books to read, and a laptop with lots of movies I like.  If Weather Underground is right, there will be some breaks in the rain when I can get in a walk or two. It's knowing that if something went wrong, the camp host is just up the way.  He gave me his cell number, just in case.  (I think the cane spooks people a bit.)

Now about that snow that's forecast for tomorrow morning...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Here's the plan

Next stop will be up in Canyonlands:

You may have to move the map around so you can see the destination at Wind Whistle.

It'll be a boondocking site, as would almost all of the places I'd like to stay up there.  So, I'll stay where I am for a couple of cloudy days with my nice electric hookup, and head out when it looks like there'll be some sun to drive the solar panels.  I'm really excited about getting back into Canyonlands country.

On the housekeeping front, there's been noises coming from up on the roof when the wind blows just right. I got up on the roof to see what was what.  I was concerned, of course, about the a/c shroud that I’d installed earlier this spring.  The noise seemed to be coming from that area … well, it was, sort of. The noise seems to be originating with the tv antenna, which is folded down against the roof and has big flappy “ears” which catch the wind.  Those flap against the roof, and the sound comes down thru the a/c vent.  Ah!  I don’t use the antenna.  I’m considering removing it.  At any rate, probably nothing that  needs attending to in mid-trip. 


Walked around Loop B — my home for now.  Geese honking overhead.  Swallows doing what they do, I assume eating bugs out of the air.  Thunder. A few drops of rain; the wind comes up.  I made it back to shelter before it began to rain in earnest. Coffee, OJ, oatmeal.  

Weather's coming in

Sunset last night.  I'm thinking I'll just stay here for a couple of days.  I like it here.  It's quiet and open and conducive to my project of Not Thinking About Much.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday afternoon

The cell service here is very weak and intermittent.  I'll try to get stuff uploaded when the internet gods are smiling.

This is a snapshot off toward the East as I climbed up to the lake site from Dolores.  It's actually McPhee Reservoir.

Yup, those are your basic snow-covered peaks.

I took a pretty good panorama of the view from where I'm camped, but it's too big to upload, apparently. This isn't great, shooting into the sun, but it'll give you the idea.

The weather begins to close in tomorrow.  Plans are unclear.

Notes from a parking lot

This is the beginning of Day 3.  I'm in the parking lot at Fire Rock Casino in Gallup, New Mexico.  This is a stopping off point between yesterday at Willow Springs and tonight's destination of House Creek up near Dolores CO. I've been here before; it's a well-lit (!) level lot.  That's the Beast in the foreground.

Quite a change from yesterday morning:

The drive up from Tucson to Willow Springs was uneventful.  Got in mid afternoon, and deployed the solar just to cover any battery usage in the afternoon.

Pleasant open Ponderosa country.  I was really tired … simple supper of soup and salad, then read a while.  Chilly at night, but pleasantly so.

Spent some time in the morning sun thinking about not thinking.  And writing about thinking about not thinking.  Part of what I want to do on this trip is learn to ramp down the Planner in me.  Tai Chi is described as “moving meditation.”  To some extent, I want this trip to be a moving meditation, helping me to get better at living in the moment.  

Yesterday afternoon I drove into Gallup to do a little shopping and fill up the gas tank for the trip to Dolores.  I'm getting between 9 and 10 mpg, which is good (believe it or not!) Yesterday was 9.72. What's less good is that gas prices are going up, moved by whatever inexplicable forces.  I was paying $2.19 at the end if the New Mexico trip last month; yesterday the best I could find here in Gallup was $2.65.  I'm still close enough to the budget parameters of 9 mpg and $2.50.  

Next report: House Creek Campground on McPhee Reservoir. 

Weather or not

I'll put up a report on the last couple of days as soon as I get another cup of coffee in me.

Here's the forecast warning for the next few days.  My plan is to go on up to Dolores today, and then either just hunker down or move, depending on how things look tomorrow morning.

All is well!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Departure log

I use these blog posts as a way to take notes for myself, as well as a way to stay in touch with y'all.  I really do look back on them as I prepare for future trips.  And the process gets easier every time.

Yesterday I took advantage of a shuttle drive from a friend, and brought the rig up to where I live.  Turned on the fridge so it could cool down, and put tools away from the recent repairs and maintenance.  This morning (Sunday) it's plenty cold.  Maybe a little too cold, but that'll take care of itself as I put food in it.  Today I'll drive it over to the supermarket and buy a week's worth of food and put it directly in the rig from the parking lot.

A  couple of loads of laundry today and that stuff can be packed.

Tomorrow (Monday) is D (for departure) Day.

Organizing the electronics has to start happening now.  The laptop, the iPad, the Kindle, the iPhone.  Cables, cables, cables.  The Verizon hot spot.  The GPS receiver for the iPad.  More cables.  Can it be that I only own ONE Apple Lightning cable?  

And so it goes.   I may add to this post with comments as the day goes on.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fixed, I hope!

It's not pretty, it uses parts from the old and new connectors, but it seems to hold.  I'm allowing myself to be optimistic. The problem was not very subtle. It dribbled, and the pump came on and off. Neither of those is happening now, so I'm thinking it's fixed.  I have a couple of days to see if it holds, although Merrigan's ( the RV fixit place ) closes at noon.

Friday, May 8, 2015


I was wrong.  There's more to report before I take off.  As some of you know, my personal plumbing got a bit of a workout this week as I passed a kidney stone.  Um ... OW!  Better now.  The stone is off at the lab, and maybe we'll learn what led to this in the first place.

And then there's the Beast's plumbing: today I did a lot of chores to get ready for travel.  I went to Buck's to get their pre-trip checkup: fluids, tires, etc.  I filled up the LP gas tank.   I filled the gas tank. And I filled the fresh water tank up to about 2/3 full.  And then ...

You may recall that last week I replaced the "city water" connector.  I tested it and all seemed well.  So I added water to the tank to bring it up to about 2/3.  The system worked fine when it was connected to external water as it would be in a campground with "hookups."  But when I checked the system running on the internal water pump, as in "boondocking," things weren't so hot.

The water system runs on demand: when a faucet is opened, the pump senses the reduced pressure and comes on automagically.  Whats happening is that the pump runs intermittently even with no faucet open. The cause seems to be that there's a slow dribble of water out the city water connector... there's a valve in the connector which is supposed to prevent this, and it apparently isn't working.  The dribble continues until the pressure gets low enough to trigger the pump.  This means a pump cycle of about 10 secs every 3-5 minutes.

In the worst case I can travel.  I just turn the pump on when I need water, and have a manual rather than an on-demand system.  I'm hoping that tomorrow morning I can get a quick consult from the folks as Merrigan's (Saturday morning!) and perhaps install another new connector.

Annoying and puzzling, but not insurmountable.

I'm excited!

The countdown has started.   Looks like I'll be ready to leave on Monday, as planned.  If not, no biggie.  (That relaxed attitude is SO not me ... I'm working on this!)  It's almost a shame to be leaving Tucson right now: it's so pleasant right now, with cool nights and warm days.  But I do seem to need to be outtahere.  So off I go.

Nothing to report that I haven't already told you about.  The last swing through New Mexico leaves me feeling like I have familiar routines to fall back on, so I can just relax and go.

I suspect that the next time I'll post will be from the road ... not sure about internet at my first night's destination, though.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cargo rack, light kit, and storage bag in place

Here 'tis.

The bag is stuffed with plastic storage containers, and I'm reorganizing the storage bins under the rig and the cabinets inside.  The light kit is installed, although there are a few cable ties which need to be put in place.  And the spare tire has a fresh new cover ... the old one, in addition to looking pretty beat up, was cracking with age.

Departure date for the next trip is still next week.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The rack

It took the whole morning, but it's installed:

I'm about to order a new spiffy cover for the spare tire. 

The unit seems very sturdy.  Putting it together involved my first adventure with a torque wrench, and going off to Home Depot to get the right size metric wrench sockets.

I've ordered the light kit that these people sell.  It runs off the trailer light connector and provides running lights, turn signals, and brake lights.  Although the unit doesn't obscure the rig's lights, it does stick out a fair way and I'd like people to see it.  I'd like it even more if it had back-up lights, but I think that's another project.