Saturday, February 29, 2020

Happy Leap Day

Location:  BLM near Winterhaven, California

Woke up at 8 o'clock on this leap day morning and the sun was shining and already nice outside.  I even slept with the bedroom window open last night, it was so nice.  No wind and calling for another warm day.  So glad to have an extra day here in the Southwest.

Couldn't stay inside after Yuma's walk, so sat outside reading my blogs, drinking coffee and just plain laying back and enjoying the beautiful morning.
Reading blogs

Just enjoying the beautiful morning.
I finally got moving around 10:30, because I knew I had to go into Yuma to do some shopping.  Without a fridge, I have to go to the store more often.

At 11 o'clock I headed out leaving Yuma at home because of the heat.  I first googled and followed the map to the trucking center that will be doing my oil change on Monday morning.  Didn't want to wander around if I don't have too.  Driving this huge thing with the Jeep attached is still a little daunting.

After that I got some gas for the Jeep and headed for Walmart to do my shopping.  I'm either getting used to the city of Yuma or the crowds have thinned.  I felt very comfortable shopping and finding the stuff I needed.  

After shopping I stopped at the water kiosk in the Walmart parking lot.  You bring your own containers and it's 25 cents a gallon or 5 gallons for $1.00.  For those of you that have never seen one:
Got home at 1:30 and put everything away by 2 o'clock.  Hey Steve, I bought a vacuum cleaner.
Went with a small one because I blew all my money on the solar kit. :))  Hopefully, this one will do the job.  Not that I have a huge place to vacuum.

Had a couple of hotdogs for lunch and some chips and dip with a coke.  By this time it was nearing 3 o'clock and time to run up to Ken and Kim's place for Happy Hour.  Dean and Cheri are coming too so there are five of us today.  Bill and Patsy moved further North this morning.  
Dean, Cheri, Ken, Kim, me and Yuma.
Finally got smart and put my camera on self-timer so I could include myself.  We had a great time.  Learned more about how Dean and Cheri's path led them here today and they were interested in our past adventures.  They will soon be heading to Borrego Springs, so we filled them in on many of the things they will want to do while there.

Right at 5 o'clock, Yuma started to whine telling me it was time to go home.  Uncanny how he can tell time.  He was a perfect gentleman and just laid at my feet the entire two hours.

Once home, Yuma and I took a nice long walk till the sun set.  Doesn't Yuma look regal!
Yuma with Pilot Knob Mountain in the background.
Such a beautiful evening.  Love it when it's warm and there is no wind.

Time to finish up my post, get some dinner for us and maybe a little TV before going to bed.

Hope you had a nice relaxing Leap Day too.  See you later. 

Friday, February 28, 2020

Scheduled maintenance and Happy Hour

Location:  BLM near Winterhaven, California

Woke up early this morning ready to start the day.  7 o'clock and it was still just starting to get light out and it was chilly in the White Lion.  Almost started the propane heater, but went with starting up the coffee and the heat from the burner did the job.

Have another slow day ahead.  The only plans I have are to make a few phone calls and go the Happy Hour.   Going to be a warm one today with afternoon temperatures in the low 80s.  However, it's cool this morning because of a fairly heavy cloud cover.

After breakfast Yuma and I took a nice long walk.  He was in the mood to run this morning.

He always stops and checks to make sure I'm watching.

At 9 0'clock I called a trucking service center and made an appointment for Monday morning to have the White Lion's oil changed and whatever else they do when servicing a diesel coach.   Probably move to a new place Monday.

Looking forward to doing that before traveling far.  Made another call to Jordan at RV Connection to let him know I found the cables from the batteries to the inverter, which will save me some money because they won't have to buy and install those expensive cables.

The morning was so nice, Yuma and I snoozed for an hour or two.  Around noon the clouds parted and blue skies prevailed. Started to really warm up.  Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for Happy Hour and I haven't had lunch yet.  Had to rush and eat, take my pills that I forgot to take this morning and rush over to Ken and Kims.  Made it just a little late.

We had two new HH participants today.  More bloggers too!  Dean and Cheri from Ottawa, Kansas are full-time RVers.  Their blog is Travels with Bentley

Yuma, Bill, Dean, Cheri, Patsy, Kim and Ken.
Tonight, I'm working on my post and watching Dave Turin's Lost Mine and previously I watched Gold Rush.  Soon time for dinner and then bed time.  Be sure to take note of the additions to the right column on my blog.
The White Lion emblem.

See you later.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Day of rest and hosting Happy Hour

Location:  BLM near Winterhaven, California

Slept well last night and didn't wake up to check my time till it was just after 8 o'clock.  Laid in bed till 9 reading blogs and making comments.  Today is an absolute stay at home and do nothing day.

Going to get up to the upper 70s with a slight breeze to keep the heat down.  In fact, as the day progressed it became overcast which really made  for a nice afternoon.

Had a leisurely breakfast with a few walks with Yuma.  Didn't make my bacon and eggs till after noon and it was 1 o'clock before I was done with breakfast.  That is really spreading breakfast out.
Having coffee in my PJs on a beautiful morning.

At 1 o'clock, Yuma wanted to go for a Jeep ride, so we headed up the road towards the sand dunes.  The sand road followed the big powerlines.
We followed it till it came to an end just before the sand dunes started.  The road got so bad I had to put the Jeep in four wheel drive to keep moving forward.  With two wheels, I sunk in and started spinning the tires.

At the end of the road off to my right was a road heading North towards the interstate.  Couldn't believe it, but there was an old homestead for sale along this road in the middle of the desert. 
It was completely dilapidated with pigeons in the rafters.

I mean lots of pigeons in the rafters.

Took some pictures, then continued North until it hit an old paved road partially covered with sand that ran along the interstate.  I'm sure it was the highway before the interstate was built.
RV coach comes with it.

Pigeons inside.

Pigeon poop everywhere.

Made our way home and it was soon time for Happy Hour.  Bill, Patsy, Kim and Ken showed up in Ken's car.  I had opened the awning, but as it turned out, the overcast skies and breeze made for just a beautiful and relaxing afternoon.
Kim, Patsy, Yuma, Ken and Bill.
Ken and Bill helped me to locate the cables that ran from the batteries to the bay on the other side of White Lion to where the inverter used to be.  Evidently, it had been removed.  Because the cable is already in place, I will save several hundred dollars not having to buy and have them install cables.  :))

We had a very chatty and relaxing afternoon and Yuma was an excellent host.  He just laid at our feet and snoozed the afternoon away.  Before we knew it, it was 5 o'clock and the party was over for another day.  Love being able to entertain on my new patio carpet and chairs.

After everyone left, Yuma and I took another long walk and soon time for making dinner.
Close-up of a large Ocotillo.

Desert Lily.
  Had steak, corn and a whole small potato for dinner.  Saving my pudding and whipped cream till after I finish my post for the evening, so I can savor my dessert. :))

I needed a day like this one to unwind.  Tomorrow, I have things to do again, but today was perfect.  

Enjoyed the beautiful sunset.

For those of you who haven't seen me in awhile, I have a fairly full beard and long grey hair.
See you later.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Fridge dilemma finally resolved!

Location:  BLM near Winterhaven, California

I slept soundly again last night and woke up with the Sun this morning.  Already in the 50s and clear again today.  Will only get to the low 70s today with light winds, thank goodness.

Cleaned house as best I could first thing.  The fine sand was everywhere.  I think I'm going to be buying a vacuum cleaner.  That's the only easy way to pick the sand up.  Wiping and sweeping just moves it around.

We had a leisurely breakfast
Having cereal on a beautiful Southwest morning in the desert.
and then late in the morning, I received a text from RV Connection letting me know my solar controller had arrived and is ready for pick-up.  So, just after noon, I left poor Yuma at home and went to pick it up.

Remember me saying I was considering having them putting solar panels on the White Lion?  Well, me and Jordan sat down and beat out a solar panel package.
This is where I'm getting my solar panels.  Finally!
  I think, as usual, I went with more than I needed but at least it will be done and I won't run short of solar power down the road.

Here's what I ordered to the best of my recollection.  
  • six 190 watt solar panels
  • two 40 amp MPPT solar controllers
  • 2000 watt pure sine inverter
  • all wiring and installation
Cost is $5200

It's more than I planned to spend, but I went bigger than planned and bought a better quality inverter.  Oh well, at least I pulled the trigger and did what I've always wanted to do.  That's go solar!  With this package, I can run everything in the coach except the air conditioners.  I will be able to run the residential refrigerator with no problem, so that is no longer a boondocking issue.

Due to the installer being gone for a week early next month, the installation isn't scheduled till March 17th.  I'll have to come back when he is ready to install, but in the meantime I can do my normal traveling around the area. 

After leaving RV Connection, I went to Lowes hoping to find my portable Weber Q propane grill, but no luck.  They had none in stock and when I asked, the lady said that I can order it online and have it delivered to the store for pick-up.  Shot down again!

I did remember to buy a taller plastic pole to use for my antenna for local TV.  My old one was too weak to hold the antenna straight up.  It kept bending over under the weight of the antenna, so I was losing height.

Made one final stop at Walmart to get some whipping cream for my pudding desert.  Had to have that.  One of the few sweets I get to enjoy each night.  Since my cellphone was dead I didn't buy any of the other items that may have been on my grocery list.

After a long day, and a dead cellphone battery I was very tired.  Made it home around 4:30 and was starving to death.  I contacted Patsy just before my phone died (I hope) to let her know I would miss Happy Hour tonight.  

Made two hotdogs and ate those with chips and ranch dip.  Yuma got one hotdog.  After regaining my strength, I ordered my Weber Q 1000 portable propane grill this evening and hopefully will pick it up on March 3rd.  Yuma will have to put up with my cooking for another week, I guess.

Since I ate lunch so late I'm doing my post first and will eat late this evening.  Put my new antenna pole up and voila, I was able to get CBS which is the station that Survivor is on tonight.  Last week while in the RV park down the road I couldn't bring in CBS.  So, the $15 was a good investment.

Now that Survivor is over,  I'm going to have dinner and hit the hay.  Sorry to see Ethan voted out.  Long day and I'm tired.  Got lots done today :)) and spent lots of money too! :((
End of a long and productive day.

See you later.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Shopping Day

Location:  BLM near Winterhaven, California

Woke up with the Sun this morning around 7:30.  Slept very good last night.  Laid in bed for awhile reading blogs and making comments and then around 8:15, Yuma and I were starting our day with a nice long walk.  Warm out but the wind is picking up considerably.

By 10:30 I was battening everything down and bringing in the slide.  The wind was at a constant 20 mph and gusts over 30.  I have fine sand everywhere.  Will have to figure out how to get rid of it.

Around 11 o'clock, I left Yuma home and headed into Yuma to do some shopping.  I stopped first at the RV Connections to see if my solar controller had arrived and it hadn't.  They assured me they would let me know when it arrived.

They weren't very busy so I had them give me a rough estimate on solar panels for the White Lion.  I was pleasantly surprised to find their prices including installation was in the $3000 range for a 1000 watt system.  Much better than the $7500 quote I got previously for 600 watts.  I may sit down and have a serious discussion with them when I go to pick up the controller.   May be able to stay with a residential fridge if this works out.

Next, I went to Wally's World General Store, a discount store that has everything for RVs.

I went there because Ken had mentioned they had good solid stakes for staking down RV carpets.  Sure enough, I found them and a few more items too.  Will be going back there again, I'm sure.

Then I stopped at Lowes looking for a Weber Q grill.  Specifically, the model 1000 or 1200 propane grill that is small and sits on a table.  These are easy to store in the MH when traveling.  Couldn't find one, but I can order online and pick-up at the store.  Guess I'll do that.

Lastly, I went to the Walmart and picked up groceries.  I'm being careful not to get more meat than I can eat in a few days since I only have an ice chest for keeping things cool.  It doesn't freeze anything.

I gave up on using the freezer compartment of the fridge for storage because I have no easy way to remove the water from the melting ice.  No problem with the ice chest.

I had a quick sandwich, chips and dip along with a coke and at 3 o'clock Yuma and I went to Ken and Kim's for Happy Hour.  A couple of friends of theirs, Bob and Jo-Anne showed up with their cute little dog named Higgins.
Yuma, Bob, Bill, Higgins, Jo-Anne, Patsy, Kim, Ken

We again had lively discussions and I learned some more things about handling a big diesel pusher.  Ken has lots of great tips he's learned over the past few years and I'm glad he enjoys sharing what he has learned.  I had a great time.
Sweet Higgins

The ladies were having a great time torturing their husbands!
Now time for my dinner and blog.  Another great steak on the stove.  Soon I'll be grilling outside.  The wind has finally died to a bearable level for the evening.  

It was another warm upper 70s day even with the wind.  They are starting to put out warnings to watch for rattlesnakes now the temperature is getting warmer.  I'll have to watch Yuma more closely on our hikes into the desert.

Lights out!  See you later.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Finally hot water and Happy Hour at my place

Location:  BLM near Winterhaven, California

Had an odd morning.  Woke up at 6:30 and it was too early.  Decided to rest a little more and the next thing I knew it was 8:30.  The day was passing me by.

Yuma and I stepped outside and it was already quite warm with nary a breeze.  Going to get near 80 today.  Had a little breakfast and then started reading up on the Hurricane water heating system I have.  Luckily, I have a very specific manual.

My new neighbor, Don has a similar heating system, so went over and he and I went over the manual and just followed the instructions for starting it up.  It did start and made noises but no hot water.  We both figured it would take a while for the water in the tank to heat so I told Don, I would wait and let him know if I had hot water.

It was about a half hour and then I turned on the water and let it run and it wasn't long before it turned very hot.  Now, I had hot water when I was plugged into the electric post at the RV Resort, but this Hurricane system is driven off the batteries and runs on diesel fuel to heat the water tank.  Now I have hot water while boondocking as well as when connected to electricity.

The coach heating is also run off this system, but I'm not going to test it out till I get home.  Won't be needing heat for the rest of this winter down here.

I was planning on heading into Yuma today to get food and pick up the battery monitor I ordered, but they never called to say it was in, so I'll go tomorrow for sure.  I also want to pick up a small propane Weber grill so I can cook outside.  Yuma is tired of the smoke alarm going off.  

While reading the manuals, I also found where the cruise controls are.  Not on the steering wheel, but on the side where there are many switches near the side window.
  This coach has more buttons and switches than I'll ever figure out.

After getting the hot water to work, I noticed the coach was listing to one side because the air bags were slowly losing air.  I put the levelers down and straightened up the White Lion so it was level.  Told you this thing has everything.  

Then I decided to check the air pressure in the tires just in case.  Three of the four rear tires read fine but I could not get the driver's inner rear tire to register air pressure at all.  

Uh oh!  I tried pumping it up with the compressor but it would only take a little air.  I even thumped all four tires with my thumper and they all sounded the same.  I noticed the valve stem appeared to be way out compared to the others.  

I have a stem tightner but have no idea where I put it when I moved.  Don, again to the rescue.  He had one and brought it over.  Sure enough it was close to coming out but luckily, after tightening it down and testing the air pressure, it was right on the number.  Another potential tire problem averted!

I received a text from Patsy asking if it would be okay to have Happy Hour at my place.  I was thrilled and told her I would love for them to come by.  I had wanted to ask them but wasn't sure if I should.  Thank you Patsy for taking the initiative!  Made my day.
Yuma, Ken, Patsy, Bill and Kim.

Ken and Patsy playing pass the napkin.

We had great discussions and I think we all learned something.  Yuma was well behaved and just laid at my feet.  Sweet boy today!  It was quite warm and the wind  picked up so I had to pull in the overhead canopy, but it soon cooled down as the Sun moved further to the West.  

Everyone was gone just at 5 o'clock and Yuma and I came in to have dinner.  Another day of steak, corn and this time only half a potoato.  After last night's very big dinner, I checked my sugar level this morning.  I was pleasantly surprised to find it at only 114.  I'll take that.  I'm gaining a little weight and feeling much better.

Time to finish this post and enjoy the evening before going to bed.  I'm finishing early for once and that's nice.  Darn it.  I can't get the pictures to upload, so I'm heading out in the Jeep to find some internet power.

See you later.