Greener grass is calling me.

What I’d hoped would be just a few short weeks without a mobile palace has become 6 months and the end is not near!

After my last trip west (especially through Montana) I decided I need to be much more mobile and agile.  I decided I would get a truck camper (TC).  In concept, it seemed like a simple goal.  Easy for me to say, huh?

I decided my first task was to purchase a truck.  How else was I to actually bring a TC home when I purchased one??  I decided to buy a 1 ton, 4WD, rear wheel, crew cab, short bed, diesel Ford.  YIKES!  Those things ain’t cheap!!  Yeah, I know.  People have said I need a dually or they’ve said I need a long bed or both.  I intend to use the truck as a pickup truck here at home when not traveling and I’m not going to drive a dually around town.  And, being a crew cab, even with a short bed it is longer than the average parking space.  No why I’d want the long bed version!

I finally located a reasonable deal on a 2016 with very low mileage (less than 10,000) and bought it.  It has most of the bells and whistles that Ford has to offer.  I like it.

Oh oh.  It is just an inch or two too tall to fit in my garage.  Darn!

I spent weeks trying to figure out how to add on to the garage to make a space for both the truck and the camper (when it is off loaded).  That would have just been too ugly and would interfere with my peaceful space on the back deck. So I decided to build a stand alone building.  

The challenge became where. Where to build the building which I’d decided needed a 14 foot tall door and needed to be a minimum of 24 feet by30 feet. I didn’t have much to choose from if I wanted the building close to my existing garage area.  I chose to move my woodshed and build the new building in it’s place.

Bring in the excavation equipment!

After removing several large trees (and some smaller ones) I hauled 6 loads of dirt in and graded the new area.  I poured the slab.  The end of the slab closest to my driveway required a 24″ retaining wall so I hired a block mason to build it.  Slab work is finished including the retaining wall and French drain.  I’ve spread most of a 14 ton load of gravel.  I ordered the trusses which are scheduled to be delivered today and I’m ready to have the lumber delivered.

WHEW!

Winter is here and I really don’t care to get out and do construction I the freezing cold.  So, it may be awhile before the building is finished.

I don’t want to buy the TC until I have a place to park it so I guess I’m stuck with day dreaming about roadt rips for now.

Cheers.

Puppy and I are brainstorming.

We’re getting antsy. It’s soon time for our annual Oysters n Beer Odyssey.

I wonder just how many places along the gulf coast we can stop and eat oysters. I mean really good oysters. Not those overgrown tasteless ones like I had from Louisiana last year. And while we’re on the road, where can I find some good subjects or places to photograph?

I’m still searching for derelict boats to shoot. The challenge is finding one close enough to a place I can park MOBI and proceed on foot or perhaps deploy the motorbike to get there. I’ll keep looking. I’ll always keep looking. For the next and then the next.

You’re invited

We invite you to tag along with us as we knock about the country and beyond in an RV named MOBI.  You wont see much Interstate or major highway travel here.  I try to stick to two lane roads, small towns or wide open spaces. 

While we are on the road enjoying our nomadic life, I try not to plan too far ahead unless I absolutely must when necessity dictates to check an item off my bucket list.  The usual modus operandi is to investigate our next landing spot the day before leaving our current one.  While I enjoy this ad-hoc travel planning for the most part, there are times I wish the dog could read a map and assist with deciding which way to go next.  This is an area where you can help.  Suggestions are always welcome

Oh, and I most certainly will take advantage of a driveway or nice flat parking lot to settle in for the night if it is convenient and I’m not going to reach the next destination that day.  Wally World is just fine for a night.  And speaking of reaching destinations, I try to limit my travel to 300 miles or less (way less if possible) each day.  We’ve had days where we drove 37 miles and then days that seemed like marathons.  100 to 200 miles is just about perfect when one is driving at 50 mph or less.  And I do try to keep the speed down to a comfortable viewing level.  

For much of my travel I am without internet.  When I land somewhere that I can connect to the world wide web I post some updates.  If I have moderate cell coverage (rare at times) I will at least post a picture or two from my smart phone and make a quick update.

We wander and look for places to see and photograph.  So, please join us and feel free to comment.

Cheers

Paul and the Puppy

If you’d like to help out with expenses, please click the PayPal link below.




It was spiritual

The experience of standing in the very same spot and photographing this very same scene as Ansel Adams was both thrilling and spiritual at the same time.

Ansel's viewThe Grand Tetons are magnificent from any viewing angle.  They are certainly worth visiting if ever you are in the area.

Rest Stop – somewhere in Montana

Somewhere along a dusty two lane highway in Montana I decided it was time to stop to stretch my legs and grab a bite to eat.

The town was a block long and the only remaining open establishments I could see were the café, saloon, power company, library (only open certain afternoons) and a hardware store.

However, the Beer was cold and the burger was good.

Rest Stop

Grand Tetons

WOW!

Dog and I are at The Grand Tetons National Park. What a fantastic place. We’re staying at the Colter Campground. The campground, NOT the RV park with full hookups. :). Hey, the bathrooms have cold running water. It’s quite an upgrade from our recent camping areas. Cell (AT&T) coverage is poor at the campsite. How can I have 3 bars of 3G and not be able to access the Internet?

We got up early to catch some photos yesterday and today. Yesterday we went on to do the 50+ mile loop through the park. What a delight!

Idaho Falls

I decided to stop for the day in Idaho Falls. I’m not sure about the rest of the city but the area where I landed is lovely.

They get nearly all their electricity from a single hydroelectric station on the Snake River. I find that amazing for a city with a population of nearly 60,000.


This is the generating station. I’m used to seeing dams built across valleys to create lakes from which the turbines are driven. Here, the river has such a tremendous flow that they simply divert it through the turbines as is passes through the city.  What a nice, clean and unobtrusive power plant.

And then they built a lovely park along both sides of the river around the plant.


Of course, Heleigh had to go swimming.


At this point Idaho Falls is the highlight of her trip.

Cheers.

Too long in the wasteland….

 


Too long in the wasteland of my mind.

I’m not certain it’s a bad thing however.

Yesterday I was at the Grand View overlook in Canyonlands – Island In The Sky. Tourists were in abundance (myself included I suppose). No matter where I walked I couldn’t escape this one couple. Apparently they were unable to think without doing it out loud. There was no escaping them!

This morning I’m leaving the high desert. We’re heading north.

What better way to start a road day than with a real breakfast from a restaurant?  I’ve been wanting an omelette for several days now.

Just how long can someone discuss bacon??? Two couples in a booth behind me managed to do so for the entire duration of my breakfast.

Oh well. I like bacon but can it dominate a conversation for half an hour?

1964 – Silence Is Golden – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Cheers! Dog and I are heading to high country. Thanks for riding along.

Fine tuning things before the next great adventure. 

Over the next couple weeks I’ll be double checking systems and tweaking them if necessary. 

Over the past few days I’ve left several coach lights on around the clock with “shore power” disconnected but with the 100w solar panel connected and pointed toward the sun.  Half of yesterday was overcast so we didn’t have optimum sunshine. This morning I checked the coach batteries (I usually call them house batteries) and they are sitting at 12.6 with the lights on (under a slight load). They’re at or above 80% charged. Since I don’t use a whole lot of power when boondocking this has been a good test of the solar charging system. 

Well, I don’t use a whole lot of power unless it’s cold and I turn the furnace on that is. The fans on the furnace are big electricity users (compared to burning a few LED lights). I know it will get chilly at night on the high plains and in the desert and mountains. I’ll use the furnace. Hopefully I can cover up while I sleep and just use it in the morning when I get up. 

So, the solar system is checked out and passes muster. Let me see what’s next on my list…

Cheers 

Paul and Heyleigh the Wonder Dog. 

Another project completed

I’ve been struggling with how. How to get everything I need to go and exhibit at an art show into MOBI (Winnebago View) and still be able to live in it without climbing over boxes of stuff just to get from one end to the other.

The latest challenge has been finding a collapasable crate or box to put on my collapasable cart to hold my framed work so I can transport it to wherever I’ve been directed to set up.  By the way, my cart can hold 300 lbs, has large tires which can roll over rough terrain and soggy ground and collapses to a nice compact unit. When using my old truck or my car and a trailer I use a couple large tubs. And, they work fine. However, if I bring tubs along in the RV, they would end up living on the floor while I travel. I guess I could drop the dinette table, converting it into a bed and set the tubs there.  But then I’d have no place to sit and eat or watch a movie or read a book.  Kind of destroys the concept of using the RV to do art shows, huh?

I searched online several times for collapasable boxes or crates and found nothing that would meet my exact needs. So, I went over to my neighbor’s and we brainstormed it awhile. He is an excellent wood worker and in short order we came up with a design.

Here is the finished project. If you’d like something similar, drop me a line. We’ll talk

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