Showing posts with label boondocking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label boondocking. Show all posts

Monday, October 11, 2010




Our Autumn colors are peaking now & the forests are ablaze with color as I spent another work day cruising through the  beautiful pastel countryside.  One of the things that make my job pleasant is a radio station out of Toronto called, AM-740.  You can still hear Big Band music on this station (Big Band Sunday Night) & all their music is of a lighter nature & familiar to all us older folks.  A very laid back format with mature announcers.  They also play old radio programs from the bygone era.   If your looking for music from the good old days you can find AM 740 right here on the Internet:)) 

I am going to shift my blog focus away from the blogging world & get it back on track to the RVing world which is why & where I originally started this blog years ago. 



I have recently received some RVing questions about one of my favorite topics, Boon docking.  First, an explanation of Boondocking & for that I refer you to this short explanation here...WHAT IS BOON DOCKING?? 


JUDY wondered what the above thing was in the reflected water & I must say I don't know. If you enlarge the pictures below & look just above center to the right in the left pic you can see a small object in the water & that is the above flower pot thingy.  I took the reflected pic above from just beside that building on the left at 230mm.  It is about dead center in the pic at right which I took from a bridge.  Yesterday's first pic was taken at 300mm.

 DSC_8737          DSC_8742

Ok, back to the questions.  Had an email this morning from some folks out in BC asking the following questions..............

We just read your post from yesterday and we were talking with regards to your Boondocking expeditions and the beautiful night sky that you get to enjoy...we have a few questions for you though...we know you have solar panels for your power issues...but our questions are

1. what do you do about internet service?  - For internet service we use a Verizon air card & it has served us very well.  When I'm driving Kelly can be on the internet too.  That's pretty darn nice.  Have been very pleased with the total overall coverage.

2. how long does your fresh water last?  - We take on a full tank of fresh water every time we dump our gray & black water tanks but we also carry half a dozen plastic water jugs that we can fill at any time between bigger fill ups.  We generally only use the rigs big water tank for dishes, washing, showers & the toilet.  We buy bottled water for drinking & coffee because we don't have a water filter system.  I do add a touch of bleach to the big tank's water though to keep it free of bacteria.

3. black water tank?  - On average we get about 2 weeks out of the black water tank before dumping.  I'm sure the newer & more expensive big big rigs can go longer than that because they have much bigger holding tanks than we do.  Our water tank is 6 gallons where bigger rigs are 12 I think.  Our black tank holds 60 gallons where upon the bigger rigs can hold a hundred.  Fresh water tanks are bigger on the newer rigs as well so it all depends on how big your holding tanks are.  For people interested in boon docking I would say the size of the holding tanks is a priority when purchasing a rig.

4. how long can you actually last out there in the wild blue yonder before you have to head into town and dump the tanks and refill the water?  - We could stay out boon docking indefinitely if we didn't have to dump the black water tank every couple of weeks.  Water can always be brought to the rig in jugs & transferred to the big water tank if need be & we have done that on occasion. many solar panels do you have to run all the equipment?  - We have two 130Watt??panels on the Motor Homes roof.  They can stay flat or be raised from either side to face the sun.  They store the power in 4 batteries.  We have never had a 'running out of power issue.'  If we run into a series of cloudy days we can just charge the batteries by running the generator.  Driving also charges them.  We are in the habit of running our generator for a few minutes each morning when we make coffee.  That's not totally necessary but it keeps the genny active & puts a little charge into the batteries first thing in the morning.  Arizona nights (depending on altitude) can easily drop down to & below the freezing mark at night.  Also, we are not power hogs.  No hair dryers, washers & dryers, dish washers, etc. etc.  After boon docking for a short while you will learn power needs & how to conserve power to suit your needs.  Had our Solar System installed by Solar Mike in Slab City, California 3 years ago & so far have been trouble free.  We highly recommend him.  The cost at that time was somewhere over $3000.00.  A little math will quickly tell you it is a much cheaper way to go in the long run than spending money on high priced RV Park rates every night.

6.medical costs?  - Medical costs are something we are going to have to deal with in the next couple of weeks again.  Last year I think it cost us $1,500.00.  It all depends on one's medical history.  I would say high medical insurance costs are one of the main reason for bringing an end to a lot of people's RVing days.  It cost me a little more last year again because of a kidney stone that landed me in an emergency room for a few hours in Colorado 3 years ago.  My rate should drop back down to around $700.00 this year.  There's no way of getting around medical insurance.  Those companies are in the business of making big profits & have got you coming or going....regardless!!


Another RV question we had regarded the PITA job of having to do laundry.  We don't have on board washers & dryers so it is always a trip into the nearest town for a boring couple of hours at the local Laundromat.  It was suggested we could cut down on that time by drying our clothes on a clothesline back at the rig.  Main problem there is where to string a clothesline.  Very few trees around in the desert & to get two trees the right distance apart for a clothesline is just about impossible.   We have thought of rigging a line from the Motor Home to the Toad but it just ends up not being practical.  The other problem in the Southwest of course is the sudden & unpredictable high winds.  I don't think the people of New Mexico would appreciate my underwear flying through their neighborhoods!!


YOU CAN SEE THAT OBJECT IN THE WATER ABOVE CENTER LEFT (close up's were taken from this point)

I like when folks email in RVing questions.  If they are emailed in I have a better chance of remembering to answer them.  If they come in the comment section I have a tendency to forget.


GROANER'S CORNER:((   California vintners in the Napa Valley area, which primarily produce Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Grigio wines, have developed a new hybrid grape that acts as an antidiuretic.  It is expected to reduce the number of trips older folks will have to make to the bathroom during the night.  The new wine will be marketed as, PINO MORE!!

I heard it through the grapevine:))


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.

Until one has loved an Animal, part of their soul remains un-awakened.




The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

Saturday, April 24, 2010



It is always nice to come across new RV folks just starting out because it brings back great feelings of excitement & anticipation of our own early RV days.  Check out Janie & John's FLAMINGO ON A STICK .


Looking back I would say those early days of shopping for an RV both online & on RV lots were some of the most exciting new days we have had as RV'ers.  Comparing notes with other RV folks & faithfully reading everything we could find in the RV NET FORUM.  Travel trailers, Class C's, truck campers, 5th wheels, Class B's & Motorhomes.  So much to choose from & so many questions to be asked & answered.  So many decisions to make.  Throw in a healthy serving of tension, stress, plus anxiety, and you have a really great mix of genuine apprehensive excitement.   It's a unique kind of excitement & I remember that stomach turning stuff well.  We didn't always make the right decisions & I'm sure we probably have a few more wrong decisions ahead of us but we have managed to get ourselves on the road every winter for the last 5 out of 6 years & with a bit of luck we'll be back on the road this coming September or October again.


Cloudy cool day so most of my time was spent inside getting my little used SMUG MUG photo account organized.  A long, long, way to go but I did get a good start on it today.  Have had this account for about 3 years so it's about time I used it's great photo galleries.  Sure is nice sorting photos on a nice big new 20" monitor.  Great colors & great detail.


MOTTY & PATTI got themselves a bigger & better truck plus a newer & smaller dog & I'm assuming RICK & RICK & PAULETTE arrived safely home today in Cowichan Bay on British Columbia's Vancouver Island.  Just two more examples of excited RV folks.  Different degrees of excitement maybe but excitement just the same. 


I had run the generator in the motorhome a couple of days ago & after a few minutes it quit.  A quick look at the gas guage in the motorhome showed the needle on a quarter tank so knew that's why the genny quit.  Off to Goderich yesterday for $75 worth of gas.  Yep, that was good enough to get the generator up & running again.




1. Sag, you're It. 
2 . 20 questions shouted into your good ear.
3. Kick the bucket
4. Musical recliners.
5. Simon says something incoherent.
6. Pin the Toupee on the bald guy.

And another sign of getting old is when you don't care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don't have to go along.


Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.



The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

Sunday, February 10, 2008



The guy who served us breakfast this morning was wearing a gun. Yup, it's true!!

The days & nights are getting warmer & the last two nights we didn't have to turn our Blue Flame propane heater on. I even put on a short sleeve summer shirt finally. We didn't go to far on our morning walk because we wanted to take a drive over to some BLM lands about 3 miles from here & scout out a boondocking site for to-morrow. We were planning on moving to the Darby Wells area west of Ajo but I think we'll head out in the morning & set up camp at the area closer to Hickiwan for the week. That way we can still pop in & help Ray out with the computer stuff if he needs it. He successfully installed the Wifi antennae to-day which will cover the whole park. Only remaining glitch is figuring out why the website is taking so long to appear on the web. We'll probably go to Darby Wells next week.

There is lots of room in the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands with other rigs scattered about here & there. Not as scenic as Darby Wells but a nice area just the same & people have been boondocking there for years. It's 2 miles south of Why at mile marker 55 on the west side. We'll be sooooooooooooooo happy to be out in the desert again where the dogs can run free & we can leave the doors & windows wide open for the birds & bats to fly in & out:)) Might even have a lizard or two in for afternoon coffee. Nothing like waking up in the morning with a couple of tumbling tumbleweeds tangled up in your socks. Ya just gotta love it!!

On the way back from the BLM scouting trip we made a snap decision to drop into a little Cafe we had been meaning to try out in Why. Three RV rigs parked outside & a few cars. Well, the Cafe was kind of a typical little small western town kind of place. (OUR PHOTO ALBUMS
Sorta sparse looking inside & the windows were crying out for a couple gallons of Windex but there were about a dozen people there so we figured we would give it a whirl. A young fella with a big Arizona cowboy hat about 2 sizes to big for him arrived at our table with menus. The cowboy hat wasn't the only piece of western ware this guy was wearing though. Besides the well worn dusty cowboy boots he was also packing a gun under his green T-shirt. We heard the couple behind us inquire about the visible gun barrel & he told them that he owned the Cafe & had a lot of cash in the register. Told them 2 illegal Mexican aliens had held the lady next door at knife point while they ransacked her house, so he wasn't taking any chances. And he was serious too!! I figured this must have just happened recently so the next time he came to our table I asked him when that incident had occurred & he said about two & a half years ago. Ooookay, I thought. I was his age once & any excuse to wear a big cowboy hat, dusty boots, & a real gun & holster would have been totally super in my world too. Yep, I understood this guy real good:)) I did take some candid pictures of him & in one you can see part of the gun & holster sticking out of his T-shirt at the back. (OUR PHOTO ALBUMS Anyway, thought it was kinda neat in a way. Oh, by the way, the breakfast was great & I even took a picture of it. Would I go bet!!) I like cowboys with oversized hats & real 6 shooters:)) Well, it's the real west ain't it!!

Not much doing for the rest of the day but for the first time since leaving home in October we actually flipped on the air conditioner for awhile this afternoon & also had a fan going. Weatherman says it's going to be even hotter to-morrow. WOW!!

Because of the warmer night air we were invigorated enough to jump on our bicycles after supper & go roaring out into the twilight desert. Hadn't gone far when Kelly tried to shift gears & her chain came off. These ka-zillion million geared bicycles are a real complicated mass of multiple sprockets, chains, de-railers, mosmagators, & so on. After looking at the limp & jammed up chain I immediately figured it was the end of the world & we might as well throw the bicycle on the junk pile & walk home.............but, we always have an ace up our sleeve in these dilemmas. Kelly!! Without further ado, complaining, or listening to my doom & gloom junk pile idea, she patiently set to work getting the chain back onto one of the sprockets. I helped out a little bit & within minutes we/she had the problem resolved & we were up to warp speed across the desert floor again. Because I always carry my camera everywhere we were able to get a few nice sundown pictures before weaving our way back to the park in the dark amongst the saguaros, chollas, mesquite's & creosote bushes. (OUR PHOTO ALBUMS I've always had excellent night vision so we made the quarter mile bumpy ride back to the park without getting ourselves pin cushioned to a cactus in the dark. Noticed some fellow RV'ers had a campfire going & we heard the strumming of a guitar. A beautiful crescent moon hanging over the warming desert floor made for more great Hickiwan memories to take home with us once again this year:)))))))))

Tuesday, January 22, 2008



A neighbor from Bayfield sent us a picture of our snow covered house in Canada. Brrrrrrr, glad we're not there!!!!

Cold morning but the wind was gone. Kelly headed into Quartzite early with a big bag of laundry, a grocery list, & an urgent mission to do some last minute browsing before we blow out of town Wednesday morning. My day was spent straightening out bins, securing bicycles, reading, burning up some garbage, vacuuming, securing the solar panels, short siesta, a bit of dusting, etc. A much better day than Tuesday simply because it was productive. Kelly was back by 2 & the rest of the day was spent tidying up things for our early morning departure. Took a few pictures from the roof of the motorhome while putting the solar panels down too. They show the large open spaces around us. The desert floor is made up of hard packed rocks & stones.

Aside from our bad day last Sunday, having to move twice, our time here at Quartzsite has been pleasantly memorable for our quiet & relaxing time boondocking in the desert. Warm lazy days just catching some rays. One of the best things is just being able to leave our door open all day long. The doggy guys can come & go at their leisure. No rules, no regulations, no people hassles. This is our 33rd straight day living without being plugged into electricity or hooked up to water & it has been a real positive learning experience. Still much to learn but we are actually doing better than I thought we might. It has opened up a whole different way of living & doing things for us & one that is favorably growing on us day by day.

To-morrow, when we get to Casa Grande we are going into an RV park for a couple of nights (oh dread!!) because we intend to take the car & slip into Phoenix for a bit. Not looking forward to the Phoenix part of the plan but I'll be glad to get back out into the desert again once we leave Casa Grande & get away from the rush & crush of all that people stuff. While at the RV park we will get our batteries charged, fresh water tank filled, & black & gray water dumped before then heading southwest to Why, Arizona where we plan to boondock north of Organ Pipe Cactus National Park until sometime in February.

So, with any luck, to-morrow night I will be blogging from Casa Grande, Arizona.....:))