Archive for the ‘The Great Outdoors’ Category

Rim Recreation Area

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

After doing laundry, stocking some groceries, dumping tanks, and filling with water, I drove Rt. 260 up to the top of the Mogollon Rim. There is a free campground along the Rim Road I wanted to visit again and make sure nothing had changed. It is always a good feeling when you go back to a campsite that you’ve enjoyed before. When I look for a new camp there is usually a little anxiety of finding the right place to call home for a few days, whereas going back to an explored area takes some of the pressure off.

It seemed like it took longer to get here than it did last year. The winter has done a lot of damage to the road and the few miles I drove along the dirt road were at a crawl. Everything seems to be the same as it was last year. Because it has been so cold – it was 39 degrees this morning – few people are here, so I had my pick of many nice sites. I took a walk along the road this morning, and of the 30 or so sites designated for camping, only about 7 or 8 were occupied.

Back in the trees.

Back in the trees.



I chose a camp away from the exposed cliffs, nestled back in the trees away from the fiercest wind. It has a nice tree-lined driveway and a secluded area that makes a pretty little campsite. The only problem with camping in the trees is trying to find holes for my solar and dish to see the sky.

As I was writing this, the camp host pulled in behind my rig. I went out to talk to her and catch up on any news about the area. She told me that the forest service is thinking about making this a pay campground because it is so popular. She said that it often fills up on weekends. She asked if I was interested in being a host here because the previous helpers wouldn’t be back this year. I asked her what she got for all the work she does. She said she gets to stay here all summer instead of the 14-day stay limit for campers. Even though there is dump and water for free, they still have to drive 5 miles to get it. Sure doesn’t seem like a good deal to me. I’m not quite ready to settle down yet.


Tuesday, May 5th, 2015


There are still a few RV’s parked here at the camping area near Cottonwood. The weekends bring a few overnighters, and once every few days, new people will arrive or leave. I’m parked beside a guy in a fifth-wheel that got here the same day I did. We had both planned to leave for new surroundings on Monday but a change in the weather has forced us to endure a few more tranquil hours of monotony. Even though it is tempting to get back in the travel mode, I have all that I need here and have no desire to drive in the rain and set up camp in the cold and wind of locations to the north.

I manage to average a motorcycle trip into town every day. There is a place to get water at the Giant gas station and I have filled my 7-gallon jug twice in the last week. There is a sign saying the water is non-potable so just to be safe I dose it with bleach and use it only for bathing and flushing. I buy drinking and cooking water from a store that sells RO water at 30 cents a gallon.

My waste tanks are still doing well. The lights that act as indicators for the state of contents of the tanks are pretty goofy. They seem to have a mind of there own and give me false indications on random days. I guess this will be a good test for the duration of my supplies and liquid assets.

My refrigerator is working great. I still use the probe on the thermometer I bought to keep track of the temperature inside the fridge. Maybe some day I will use the thermometer in the way it is intended, but I still have some trust issues related to a history of refrigerator infidelity. My propane is down about 30 percent and that is one store that I cannot let run out. I could probably use my inverter or generator to run the fridge for a day but it would not be very economical. One of the modifications I would like to make is a quick connect for an external propane tank that I could carry for a backup.

I did laundry yesterday. For being a tourist town the Laundromat was quite reasonable. Double load washers were only $2 and dryers cost me 75 cents. On the way back to camp it rained a little but not enough to wet my newly laundered clothes. Weather is one of the drawbacks in relying on a motorcycle for transportation to town, and it is also discouraging that I am limited in what I can carry. Even though I get 75 MPG, I have to make separate trips for groceries or water or laundry. I keep thinking there should be a way to strap more storage to my bike but so far I haven’t resolved the problem. I have seen pictures of motorcycles in Vietnam where it is not uncommon to see a man, his wife, three kids, a bundle of clothes, and a crate of chickens, all balanced precariously on a bike no bigger than mine. Now that’s efficiency.

Too Much Excitement

Monday, April 20th, 2015

2015-04-20 16.55.58

Not really. It was a totally uneventful drive a few miles north from Tempe to Cottonwood, AZ where I found several rigs camped in an obscure piece of desert. Richard gave me the coordinates to this place, otherwise I would never have found it. I have never been here but I have heard several bloggers talk about it. It is a little higher than Phoenix and maybe 10 degrees cooler, making it a prime destination for us mobile wanderers to get out of the valley heat and stay just south of the cold that still visits the area around Flagstaff. It only took me 3 hours to get here and that included a brief stop in Black Canyon to fix myself a sandwich. The weather has been windy with a few puffy clouds.

There are quite a few paces to visit around here. I went to most of them while I stayed with Karen and Noah on their vacation in Sedona. But who says I can’t go again? Check back in tomorrow to see if I do anything interesting.

Refrigerator Puzzle

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

It was very hot today down here in Yuma. My thermometer said 90 this afternoon. I had good intentions of doing laundry and picking up some gates for my fridge, but none of that happened when this morning I noticed that my fridge was acting up and not cooling like it should. After that, my whole attention got sidetracked and I spent the day trying different things to get it to cool down. I think it may just be dirty fins and a burner tube, but to clean it involves taking the whole unit out of the coach. Ouch!


There was a beautiful sunrise this morning but I didn’t take a picture. You’ve seen lots of pictures of sunrises, right? It is so calm and peaceful out here in the desert that it makes you kind of lazy. And there is nothing wrong with that, right?

I ate two TV dinners for lunch. I told myself that I needed to eat them up before they thawed and went bad. Do you think that was a good excuse? I may have to get my old fridge out of my van for a while for a backup. I remember the days when I had no refrigerator at all and I don’t want to go back there.


Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Up until today there has been little excitement to write about. That all changed this morning as I rode my motorcycle into Alfred, NY, hoping to gas up and buy a few supplies.

For the last few weeks, I have been playing hopscotch in state forests in western New York, picking spots that are open enough for my media and secluded enough that I remain somewhat stealthy. No matter where I end up there always seems to be a few individuals that think the forest roads and campsites are their personal baja trails. A lot of the sites are torn up from 4×4’s doing doughnuts and many are littered with beer cans. It is no wonder many of our forests are being closed to the public.

There usually are a few trails near where I camp. Last week I camped in the McCarthy SF and used the Finger Lakes Trail for two nice day hikes. One day I rode to Little Rock City, a wonderland of giant rocks that form caves, mazes, and crevices. It is rather spooky to step across an 18 inch crack between rocks that is 50 feet deep.

In NY state forests there is a short time limit of four days that you are allowed to camp. I’m been pushing that limit a couple of times since I’ve been here but no one seems to mind. There has even been the occasional ranger pass by with only a wave. One thing I pride myself on is leaving the campsite cleaner than I found it. I will even pick up some of the trash left by others. Sometimes I think I should ask if it will be okay to stay longer but revisit the saying “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.”
Yesterday I drove to Palmers Pond, a nice camping area in the Phillips Creek SF, about 5 miles from Alfred, NY. There were several gorgeous sites along the lake but I chose one up a dirt road that was more open. This morning I explored more forest roads on my motorcycle and then headed into town for gas. The ride to town was uneventful and I rode beyond the gas station looking for a grocery store. Just as I turned around to head back to camp, I felt the unmistakable rumble of my back tire going flat.

With no tools to fix anything and no one close enough for help, I was more than perplexed, if you know what I mean? There was a Dollar General about 1/2 mile from me so I walked there and purchased a can of fix – a flat to see if that would get me back to the van. The tire held a little air so I started up the road. I got about a mile when the tire lost all air and almost caused me to lose control. I pushed the bike to a wide spot in the road, convinced I had a long walk home. I kept thinking about Jennifer when she was attending Alfred University several years ago and got a flat tire on the same stretch of road. Back then there were no cell phones and unlucky for her, caught here late at night when there was no one to help. She and a friend ended up walking 10 miles through the night to get back to her dorm. I figured if she could walk it then so could I. It would even be good for me.

On a whim I stood by the crippled bike and stuck out my thumb to a passing truck. It must be leftover karma from the AT because he pulled over and gave me a ride all the way back to my van. I tried to give him gas money but all he wanted was for me to do something good for someone else. Thank you my friend.

I picked up my motorcycle and drove to Arkport, where there is a large motorcycle dealer. He had to order another tire which I will get in about a week. So all my exploring for the next few days will be on foot.

I browsed around the showroom and talked to the salesman for a few minutes and he showed me a used, Honda 250, that looks like new and only has 2000 miles on it, and is less than I paid for my motorcycle new. I now wish I would have bought something with a little more power. There are times when I want to go someplace and decide it is too far on my bike. And it would be nice to get parts everywhere.