Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Home again...

From Rockhound I went a short distance as planned up to City of Rocks, stayed a couple of days, and then moved on to Elephant Butte State Park, near Truth or Consequences.  I'd never been to Elephant Butte, although I'd driven past many times on I-25.

City of Rocks has lots of hiking/biking trails, and some truly unusual rock formations which give it the name. The most sought-after spots are up in among the rock formations.  I was content with that was available, which had the advantage of electric and water service. I made a new friend...

This little purple finch was fascinated by the passenger-side mirror, and spent a lot of time trying to make contact with his image in the mirror:

You may have to look carefully to see him plastered up against the glass. He was relentless! 

Elephant Butte Lake is big, and the state park is, I think, New Mexico's biggest.  It gets very heavy use in the summer as a boating location. 

I decided to go home to Tucson in one day, which is a longer drive than I usually plan. New Mexico in the spring is a windy place, and there were some white-knuckle moments along I-10 as I headed west.  I later learned that ADOT closed the road for a stretch, just behind me. Got back in pretty good time, all things considered.   

This was intended as much as anything as a shakedown cruise, and I've spent time since getting back dealing with some issues: I figured out what was wrong with the rear-view camera -- 

You get bonus points if you know what this little connector is called.  I spent hours on line trying to find it, and then gave up and did it the old-fashioned way: I went and asked the guys SoundFX here in Tucson what it was called.  They had one in stock. $4.  Bingo!

I also needed to replace the plastic shelf brackets in the little pantry area, which had been failing for a while, and this trip seems to have taken them over the top.  This is what they look like:

Found them at a web site I hadn't known about, but is now bookmarked because they have lots of handy stuff which I may need at some point: RV Locks and More.

Not sure when the next trip will be, but it will surely head north into the Idaho and Montana country I enjoyed so much last year.  Anyone ever visit Flathead Lake in MT?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tuesday AM at Rockhound

Tuesday morning at Rockhound State Park.  Familiar and comfortable territory. Today is a leisurely drive up to City of Rocks, which was one of the first New Mexico state parks I visited, a couple of years back. Two nights there.  

It’s windy, which is to be expected in NM this time of year.  I’m glad it won’t be a long drive… keeping this very high-profile vehicle stable is tiring, mostly because it requires constant attention.  

Two new experiences this trip:  I now have DirectTv service at home, and since they’re owned by ATT, I get to watch TV on my cell phone without dinging my data allowance.  So after dinner, I watched Rachel Maddow — more because I could than because I felt a pressing need to stay in touch with the clown circus in Washington.  The ATT service here is pretty sketchy, so there were a few unscheduled pauses, but it wasn’t all that annoying. 

This morning I took a shower!  The edges of the tub enclosure had needed caulking, so last season I cleaned up the joints and got out the silicone. Showering isn’t a real option when boondocking… but here in “civilization” it’s a bit more reasonable.  I’ll drain the holding tanks on my way out of here. 

Something about watching TV and having a real hot shower in the Beast seems a bit surreal. 

So far this is a good shakedown. I’ll check in down the road, but briefly: I’m seeing how sparing I can be with the Verizon data service, and posting here requires logging on.  I can write off-line, and comments get relayed by email, so we’ll see how far I can stretch 4GB of data. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Heading out ...

I hit the road for a week or so tomorrow (Monday) morning. Headed for familiar places in New Mexico... Rockhound State Park, City of Rocks SP, the BLM campground at Valley of Fires near Carrizozo. It's kind of a shakedown cruise for longer trips when the the weather stabilizes a bit up north.