Pfizer vaccine

March 15th, 2021
A rut?

The earth travels at 66,000 mph through space and a distance of 584 million miles during a trip around the sun. During that time whizzing through space, I have spent most of the year standing still. My home has been the forests of Flagstaff, and the LTVAs of Quartzsite and Yuma.   

With the Coronavirus pandemic entering its second year there is hope that the end is in sight. Vaccines are going into arms and by the middle of summer we may get back to a somewhat normal lifestyle. I received my first shot of Pfizer vaccine two weeks ago and will get my second booster this coming weekend. I drive 120 miles to Phoenix for each shot and then return to the LTVA and wait some more. 

I have been staying near Quartzsite for the drive into Phoenix because it is a shorter for little Micro to peddle to town.  Yuma is probably my favorite winter home because it is a big city and has everything for supplies. It seems the winter has been extremely cold here in the southwest and Yuma is a little warmer also. Even though it’s only 5 degrees warmer than Quartzsite, it makes a difference. 

I made a couple modifications to Minnie while here in the deserts of Arizona.  I bought a new and bigger inverter- 2000 watts – and with it and my lithium battery I can run anything in my rig, except the AC of course.  I purchased a toaster oven that seems to be easier than lighting the propane oven. I have experimented with several dishes that were a success. With the extra draw on my battery I also purchased another solar panel that I just set out on the ground for now. I’m not having any trouble restoring my battery to full charge each day. 

I know it’s a good thing that I have WhatsApp and text to keep up with family; It helps to keep me from getting lonely. I used to piggyback on Richards Directv but it got too expensive and we both agreed we could get along without it. I now just have OTA tv on my antenna and that works well for me. I get several streaming services when I can get enough bandwidth. Some I have purchased and some I share with other family members. I have a Play Station and have found a couple farming video games that I fill some time with also. 

That about wraps up this year. I’m quite okay with being alone and not being able to see friends and family. Some people can’t stand the life we have been handed, and I guess rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, spouse abuse, overeating, and suicide are up. You may be relieved to hear that other than a few extra pounds I won’t do any of those other things. 

Isolation

August 10th, 2020


I just received a text from my daughter Karen wondering if I was still kicking around. She has been checking my blog from time to time to see if anything new has been posted. I guess I should write an update to prove I’m still here in the real world. When most of my days are filled with isolation, parked in the forest surrounding Flagstaff, watching the days go by from my RV, it takes some of the fun out of being retired. 

My knee has been getting progressively worse. Hiking used to be one of my great loves and that is becoming harder and harder to do. I try to stay active as much as I physically can. I bought a metal detector, a hobby I had years ago , and that gets me outside and moving when it’s not too hot. It seems like I can always find something to do to either fix or improve things on the RV. Just packing up and moving every two weeks is work to load and unload everything. 

I make a trip into town at least once a week to buy supplies. I’m careful to mask up every store I’m in and I carry a small bottle of sanitizer in my pocket. I guess there is no 100% method for protection against this virus, but I’m doing all I can short of living under a rock. 

Daryl, Donna, and Richard & Dianna are all living in Phoenix suburbs of Tempe and Mesa. Donna lives in almost complete isolation so she stays clean to visit Brian, Carrie and the kids. Richard and Dianna bought a house in Mesa and they have been remodeling, reorganizing, improving and otherwise making it into their nest for the future. They took their trailer to Texas to use as a vacation home when they visit family there. Daryl has been busy helping Richard with project on their house and also helping his son, Derek and Derek’s fiancée move into a new house. Don still lives in LA, working from home during the pandemic. Don’s wife Betty has been in and out of the hospital with some medical problems and we wish them well. 

That’s about it. Not sure what the future holds but have to hope for the best. 

Pandemic

May 5th, 2020
Willard Springs road

For the last two months I have spent most of my time hiding from the Covid 19 virus. When everyone started getting serious about the widespread and devastating effect of the illness, Richard, Dianna and I were camping at the Imperial Dam LTVA near Yuma. The virus seems to affect the elderly and those with health conditions the most, so we were extremely determined not to come down with the bug. 

The temperatures in Yuma were getting too warm to camp without AC so Richard and Dianna moved into a rental site in the foothills of Yuma where they could plug in, and I headed north to find cooler temperatures with altitude. 

Yuma seemed like a good place for R&D to ride out the Coronavirus. The case count was low in the city and the stores even offered parking lot pickup for groceries. They have even patronized some restaurants by getting drive-through orders of food. Everyone’s future is uncertain in this time of pandemic but at least we have our basic income and haven’t been affected with a lost job. 

I first moved back to Quartzsite. The temperatures were getting up into the 80’s but that doesn’t bother me as much as some. As long as I have a shady spot to sit outside, and I don’t have to work, I’m plenty happy with 80 degrees.  The LTVAs actually close April 15 but they were not making people leave. They did however, shut off the water and close the dump station. I had emptied my tanks and filled all my containers with water so I was able to remain a week after the LTVA closed. 

From Quartzsite I moved to Sedona for two weeks. I found a nice camping area on a forest road half way between Sedona and Cottonwood. The only problem was that the area was also a shooting area and gunfire was a constant annoyance. If I ever go back there I will know to park back in an area where they don’t shoot as much. 

With my hand washing system I had extended my clean/dirty clothes pile for over a month but it was time to hit the laundromat. It was sad to see how many customers at the laundromat and even in Walmart that were not wearing masks. I didn’t go anywhere unless I really needed something and always got in and out as quickly as I could. And I always wore a mask and carried a small bottle of hand sanitizer everywhere I went. 

Yesterday, May 4, 2020, I moved up near Flagstaff. I know of several spots to disperse camp within a few miles of Flagstaff and my plan is to spend the summer here. I know a couple people here but we are all keeping our distance from each other. The temperatures are perfect, high 70’s days and nights in the 50’s. I have to go into town to get propane and more water soon. I heard from a friend that stayed here that said those things are still available. 

I fear it’s going to be a summer of lonely existence. Luckily I have texting to stay in touch with family, several forms of entertainment, and all my basic needs met. I am quite comfortable with myself. For some that have lost jobs or can’t stand the isolation from their friends, this time will be devastating for them. With the death toll in this country almost 70,000, and some predicting maybe twice that by Fall, I will gladly live this life of quiet isolation than become one of those statistics. 

Redneck Washing Machine

March 17th, 2020


Laundry in Yuma

I bought the washing plunger a year ago so I could wash out a few things by hand and extend the time between trips to the laundromat. It’s been working well but still requires more work than I like. 

The main thing I don’t like is wringing clothes out by hand. I don’t have the strength to twist them to get all the water out and there is always a little soap left after a rinse or two. 

I saw these hand wringers like grandma used to use on Amazon but they were always too expensive. With COVID 19 on the loose, I rationalized that I didn’t want to spend time in laundromats with people fondling virus ridden clothes from washer to washer. This would maybe get me through the dirtiest of days. Go ahead and laugh now. 

You Dirty Rat!

October 30th, 2019

Unwanted hitchhiker!

I have been lucky in my years RVing to never suffer an infestation of rodents in my engine – until now. While camping on the Burnhardt Road just outside Rye, AZ., I was invaded by pack rats. I keep the engine hood open and put a light under the front end but it didn’t deter these little buggers.

One morning I peered down in the shadows of my motor and thought I could see some sticks and grass. I pulled the air cleaner out and sure enough the space under the alternator was full of sticks, mesquite pods, and prickly pair fruit. I removed everything I could reach with some tongs and packed up to get out of there.

I spent the night at Walmart in Payson, sure that I had left the pack rats behind in the desert. When I opened up the hood the next morning I saw a rat scurry back behind the engine. I couldn’t believe he could survive the drive of 20 miles the afternoon before. Not having any more options, I drove 80 miles down to Phoenix thinking the engine heat would make him drop out on the way.

After I parked at brother Daryl’s, I bought an electronic rat trap and some poison just in case he hitchhiked all the way down. The next morning the trap was empty but I could see where they were rebuilding the nest. I rebated the trap with peanut butter and offered a cup of poison for good measure. During the next night he wandered into the trap and met his demise.

I’m pretty sure he was the only one I brought down. I’m keeping the trap set just to make sure, but so far there has been no activity.

Sticks behind the engine.

Today I pulled out the engine cowling that allows access to the back of the engine to see if there were any nest building that I couldn’t see. I was shocked to see sticks and pods and fruit jammed into the back of the compartment. There were even cow pies and dirt clods dragged into the space. I spent several hours digging and removing almost a bushel of debris. It must have taken them hundreds of trips to bring it all in.

Box full of nesting material.

One thing is for sure – I must be a heavy sleeper to have not heard the invasion. So far I have not found any damage. Rodents are known for getting in engines and chewing wires. They can do hundreds of dollars damage. I will have to be more careful from now on and make sure I’m protected from pesky varmints.