Thursday, August 25, 2016


This is/was the spare tire on the Beast.  It’s been sitting at the RV service place for a couple of days, waiting to get a short list of relatively minor stuff done.  Yesterday afternoon, the folks there tell me, they heard a very loud explosion which shook the building they were sitting in.  It wasn’t clear what it was.  This morning, a couple of them went out to look at a hawk in a tree and noticed this.  They called me.  Yep: the tire looks like it just plain blew up.  The service writer there calls it “freaky.” I say, “huh???"

There was no damage to their property or to the trailer parked next to it.  No one was hurt.  There seems to be no damage to the motorhome other than the black scuff marks on the rear wall just above the tire. 

The tire’s age is unknown.  It was the spare tire when I bought the rig over two years ago.   Last week I replaced the old ratty-looking white-ish cover on the spare with a new, spiffier black cover. The easiest, although still puzzling, explanation is that the black cover concentrated the heat from the sun, and Pow!!! 

I’ll get the RV back from these guys on Monday and schedule an oil change etc with Buck’s next week.  And ask Buck’s if they have any ideas about what might have caused this.  

A new tire will be on the order of $150-200.  A new cover (NOT black!) will be about $30.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Yep. It's been a while!

Last time I posted was right after my long trip up through Idaho and Montana.  I've been hunkered down in the heat of southern Arizona, catching up on house maintenance and with friends hereabouts. It's been a remarkable monsoon season, with heavy rains producing local flooding sufficiently dramatic to make the national TV news. And muggy!  Not by the standards of the Southeast or even my New England home, but still humid enough to make it really nasty a lot of the time.  When the dew point gets over 60, most people begin to be uncomfortable.  That would be me!

The next venture:  I definitely have itchy feet again.  I have a trip outlined in my head which centers on meandering along Highway 101 in northern California and Oregon.  I started scoping it out, and discovered that the whole dang world thinks September would be a great time to do just that!  State parks and commercial campgrounds alike were pretty much full -- this for a trip a month out!  But more than that, I found that I just wasn't ready for a month or more on the road.  Planning it felt like work, not play, and that is NOT the idea here.  So ...

I have a trip outlined in the Arizona high country.  It's much cooler up there, it's scenic, and it's close enough that I don't have to drive for days and days to get there.  There are lots and lots of National Forest campgrounds and dispersed camping areas... it'll be mostly boondocking, but likely with enough sun that the solar panel can keep me in business.  And a week-long trip seems a lot more manageable than a month.  There are some maintenance tasks on the rig which I've been postponing, so I've scheduled them with my new favorite RV repair place... which has conveniently relocated to a spot about a mile down the road from me, right next to "my" Albertson's supermarket.  And the fact that I'm not putting on that many miles, and I'm mostly boondocking, means that the cost will be way low.

Timing looks like about a week out, spanning the weekend after Labor Day.  The closer we get to October, the closer we get to the kind of weather we brag about down here in the desert.

So that's the word.