ARIZONA TO ALASKA

DOWN ON THE BOONDOCKING

By: joealaska, 5:33 PM GMT on February 27, 2014

Ok, Ok, everybody settle down and take a seat...

Just back from the evening walk. It was calm and 21 degrees.

The first three records I ever bought (vinyl 45s) were The Rolling Stones SATISFACTION, HENERY the 8th I AM Hermans Hermits, and DOWN IN THE BOONDOCKS by Billy Joe Royal. I checked, good to hear Billy Joe is still alive at 71 years. Working at a GAS N GO down in the boondocks maybe...

Well today I did a lot of reading up on BOONDOCKING. It refers to the practice of RV folk trying to camp for free, or very cheaply. Parking at Walmart or truck stops, that type of thing. Not very appealing to me. But further, there are remote “dispersed camp sites” that are also free. And probably the BEST sites. You can park in national forests for free. Safely off the road. Leave it in better shape than you found it. There is no electric, water, or sewer. Deal with it. Oh, and probably no neighbors. You can stay a couple weeks before they want you to move another 25 miles, just to avoid little squatter towns from forming. There is a lot of info on the internet about potential spots, as well as a network of users. I told you the internet was catching on!

I like the idea of using the typical crowded parks at first just to get used to the routine of setting the RV up for camping and breaking it down for the road. But after that I am looking for one of these remote spots, with a great view, and setting up camp for a few days. Take a lot of pictures at dusk and dawn... The first thing I would do at the tourist parks is meet my neighbors and find out what parks they liked best.

Looking into parks near Louisville for staying in May, and there are a few decent options. All are about an hour away from the folks, plus or minus. Most are not yet open officially for the season, so it will be hard to arrange something for a few weeks. Options are Taylorsville and Carrollton, Kentucky. Also Crawfordsville, Corydon, and Leavenworth, Indiana. Looking for a nice day to take a ride and check them out. Really would prefer KY. They are building two new bridges over the Ohio River now, one right down town. Going through there is a real mess.

Dealing with getting satellite internet, phone, and TV. Will probably put that off for a while. OH, I will have no permanent address for some time... Yes Ylee, correct with the hydraulic levelers. Yes Dave. There is a rear view camera so I can see, and hear, when I run over someone.

I will be using cat harnesses for a while. I want to see them run to the RV when a grizzly approach, versus attack or play with. Need to buy another grill, probably another SMOKEY JOE as in Dutch.

Lotis2 God Bless You. I WISH I could play Augusta. When I drive up to the front gate, they laugh and call security. After 10 or 12 times it gets old! I just saw an ice storm forced the club to take the Eisenhower Tree down. It was famous as a hazard on the 17th hole that stuck out in the fairway and had to be avoided. Dwight Eisenhower was a member there while he was President. He often hit the tree, and asked the club to take it down. They told The President NO. Since then it got even bigger. Augusta National, home of The Masters Golf Tournament, can afford to do whatever they want to replace it. They could have another 65 foot loblolly pine in there in a week if they choose that option.

Dave, I will be towing the Camry. Still have to buy a tow-dolly. No more toys for now.

The UK floods are not in the Evening News lately, hopefully there is some drainage going on.

Oh, I ordered a Go Pro Camera from Amazon and it just arrived. (Did I mention that my sister in Boise and her husband got my Christmas presents from Amazon one MONTH late? That, after I took Amazon Prime as an upgrade.) The Go Pro is unique. High quality HD. Small camera that can strap on your head, or whatever, and you can film doing anything...skiing, cycling, bowling, golfing... WHATEVER! Or driving down the open road. AND, it is waterproof. Wanted to do live streaming, but that is so expensive or impossible, so I will record and put the results on you tube for watching at your leisure. The angle will be SEASONED ROAD WARRIOR GOTS A NEW TANK. It will all be documented.

I know my photos have dried up, looking forward to getting back in focus.

The Dutch Harbor angle is fading, but a lot of USA road pictures are coming into view.

LEGS came from the fact it is an ALLEGRO. My wheels.

My little sister YELLAFELLA is having a birthday today. Dinner at a local German restaurant tonight, which JOEKENTUCKY will enjoy.

And there’s the bell!

Permalink

TURN THE PAGE

By: joealaska, 4:23 AM GMT on February 19, 2014

Good to hear Miranda is OK for now, Dave. Hang in there. As far as UK goes, not good. They featured it again last night on the national news, saying more rain coming. UK, how close are you to that flooding?

Meanwhile, it was interesting weather here yesterday afternoon. A front came through and it went from calm and sunny to steady rain, then hard rain. There was also some decent thunder and lightning. The creek rose up to the brim, but it did not flood. I took a late night walk and it was not raining any more, but a nice breeze was coming through.

Then TODAY was very nice. 58 degrees and sunny. Golfable except for the snow here and there that was still unmelted. I ran some errands and got home late afternoon. I opened the patio door wide and aired out the cats. Tomorrow it may get close to 70! Then Thursday they are saying big thunderstorms coming through at dinnertime. The guy said 80-90 mph winds possible. Two fronts hitting directly over 6th St. and Muhammad Ali in Louisville. How much you want to bet? Yet I will be there waiting with camera charged. Anxious.

So the RV situation came to a head when another buyer called and wanted to see the RV just after I looked. They had a deposit on another home in Chattanooga, but would be able to get out of it if they found a better option by 5 PM yesterday, Monday. But there is more to this whole situation...

It should be obvious to most of you that an RV would be a good option for me. I agree, and have thought about it for years. But all of that time I was thinking of it as a vacation vehicle, then throw the tarp back on. (And protect the tires from dryrot with one of many methods available.)

But now it could be a good option to live in, at least for a while and see if I likee. Probably will. And now THAT angle makes it a little more interesting to consider. But I have already checked prices, and I know the home I want would make it a real commitment. Frankly, I assumed it was not gonna happen. And here is where it gets a bit weird.

My friend Steve died. About 5 or 6 weeks ago. Last time I went to his house across the river and in New Albany, Indiana was a couple years ago.

Well, after he passed on, Becky his wife made a few comments on Facebook about what she was doing to take care of the business of getting her life in order after her husband died. She is taking the death of Steve very hard. I knew that all along. So when she mentioned she would be selling their RV I only took mild notice. I did not even know they HAD an RV. Turns out they had 4 of them over the last few years. Steve was a wheeler-dealer. He knew when to buy something, usually a car, and when he could just re-sell it for a profit. Or drive it a year and then re-sell. For a profit. He did it more as a hobby, not to make money. But that happened. He bought this particular home last October, after he had told Becky he would not buy anything unless it was a great deal.

They ended up never using it.

So I waited a few weeks. I really was not going to go after it, but it was in the back of my head that it was out there. I had no idea what type of motor home it was at that point. Then, I got that note from my apartment saying they needed a 60 day notice of what I was going to do. Staying? With a higher rent? NOW I was thinking what other options do I have?

So I sent Becky an email asking what the status was on the RV. Further, I said, just tell me the lowest price you want to sell it and give me an option of Y or N. I will not be making any counter offers. And she did. She had it on an internet site where it was listed and she would pay them if they brought a buyer. If I bought, she would not have to pay that commission. She gave me a good deal. I checked out other units for sale and it was obvious. BUY. But I was in no hurry. So I went and looked at and I liked it. 30 feet long, slide-outs on both sides. Central vacuum. Propane + generator. Shower. Sleeps 5, but two of those better be little kids looking for an adventure. Really, one bedroom sleeps two or one easily. Or 740 cats, depending on cat pile configuration. There were no repairs needed, great shape.

I did not drive it at that time. We agreed to meet again shortly and we would go through the whole process of setting it up, and taking it down. And drive it. Years ago I drove trucks that same size, I am not worried about that part. So I looked at everything, and then I left. I took the Owners Manual and would read it.

Couple days later Becky called and told me about the other buyers who saw the listing on the internet. I found out at 7 PM Sunday night that the other people wanted to see the home at 9:30 the next morning. Becky called and asked if I could bring back the Owners Manual. It would mean battling rush hour morning traffic, while going through the construction zone where they are building another bridge across the OHIO RIVER. I said OK. (Anything for Becky!)

I went to take a shower, and was thinking. I was hesitating to buy, but I knew it was a good deal. I trusted Steve. I trusted Becky. If I tried to buy ANYWHERE else, it would be shakey. So I called Becky back late that night and told her to tell those other folks this RV is SOLD.

Next day, at a more reasonable hour - midday - I handed her the biggest check I ever wrote (twice the amount of the last #1). I should say the largest BAD check I ever wrote. Funds needed moving, and she understood. I did that all today. She has agreed to let it remain at her place until the end of April, when my lease runs out. Then I move in, and park it SOMEWHERE near Louisville. Not a lot of options. I will live in it for a month and get used to it. Then celebrate my mom’s 80th, an event I planned this whole RV deal around.

AND THEN, head west. Slowly and efficiently. Driving the RV, towing the Camry. I would like to search out nice RV campgrounds and give them a chance. If they are nice, stay and check it out. Or move on to the next option. Only drive the RV when needed. Give me a view and I may never leave. Nice to be flexible. I plan on looking at many options. A couple of nights out in the wilderness in between civilized parks may work out. I like the options.

Heading west with no real destination. Should be interesting.

Looking at buying a webcam or two to document the whole trip.

Asking the RV manufacturer if they might be interested in some sponsorship of my travels.

Thank you for your attendance. There may be a quiz.


Permalink

WEATHER OR NOT, AGAIN

By: joealaska, 2:59 AM GMT on February 14, 2014

Well there is certainly a lot going on, mostly bad. Weather... Bad. Then the health issues with family members. With UK, it is both. Now that we are aware of the situation, I hope UK and Dave keep us up to date as things improve. If UK gets our storms a few days after they head out to sea, well there is soon gonna be more TRUBBA. They even postponed the Louisville / Temple basketball game in Philadelphia. I figure Philly can handle snow. They are only getting a foot tonight during the scheduled game time.

We are supposed to get some snow tomorrow / Friday. But later next week they are talking 65 degrees!

So I got a notice from my apartment complex saying my lease is up in a couple months, and they need a 60 day notice of what my plans are. They want to renew for 13 months at the same rate, or go month to month at a premium rate. Decision time. I am not crazy about any of theirs. It has been a good place for the cats, no doubt. But the apartment is just OK. I have a neighbor above me who has odd hours, and walks around very heavy footed. There have been times the cats have jumped up with the noises. For me, no huge deal. If I had a job at 7 AM, maybe different.

I do not like apartments, and I did this as a temporary solution. So I want to opt out. And today I looked into an option I have considered for many years. New chapter? Maybe. I looked at a 31 foot RV. It is an unusual situation for me, as I am dealing with a friend. And unusual beyond that, I choose to discuss the rest if and when I buy. The RV is 9 years old and in good condition. I would live in it with the cats. I am not shopping around, this is the one or none. It is at a good price, and I trust the seller. It offers me the chance to move around as I want, maximum flexibility. I am reading the Owners Manual and we will all get together in a few days for a test drive.

I am liking this opportunity. Park the RV, use it as a base camp. Drag the Camry behind. I was checking random RV parks USA and the first one I saw was in Death Valley. Within walking distance of the lowest altitude golf course in the world, Furnace Creek. Played it. -82 feet.

Permalink

IT WAS OVER AFTER THE FIRST PLAY

By: joealaska, 4:23 PM GMT on February 05, 2014

Weather moving through Tuesday night. Some snow, but mainly freezing rain for the next few hours. Lots of snow just north of The Ohio River, as usual. More over the weekend.

I went to a Usually-But-Not-Guaranteed-To-Be-A-Super Bowl party Sunday. Good food, good friends. It started snowing when I went over. Maybe 12 people there. We were having fun betting on proposition bets. PROPS. Some smart bookie somewhere comes up with a bet, establishes odds to win it, and sits back and collects. There are HUNDREDS of these bets. Crazy. It started growing a few years ago and keeps snowballing. These are the bets where you can bet on the coin flip at the start of the game. Heads or tails? Or, bet on which team won the toss. This is a silly bet, yet people get carried up in the situation and bet on it. (Not me.)

There are many PROPS a bit more technical. Personally, I like SHORTEST TOUCHDOWN IN THE GAME. This number is always the same... 1.5 yards. Over or under? Take the UNDER. There is always a goal line stand. Sooner or later. In this game there was a pass interference call on Denver in the end-zone, and Seattle got the ball on the one. First down. They scored and I won.

This year there were some new bets. This will give you an idea of how crazy it has gotten. THE NATIONAL ANTHEM. Sung in 2 minutes and 20 seconds. OVER or UNDER? It sounded to us that lady was taking her time, and she still got done in just over 2 minutes. UNDER wins!

THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER ACCEPTING HIS AWARD. You can bet on Who He Thanks First. God? Team? Mom? Family? Fans? Nobody? They all had different odds.

Well, these were all too silly for me. Do not want to throw away money. I went for the hard core, straight forward, serious bets... GATORADE THROWN ON WINNING COACH. Orange? Red? Clear? Blue? Yellow? No Gatorade? Once again, they all had different odds. I chose the basic YELLOW. Bet $10, they give you that and $45 more back. At the end of the game we saw a gatorade dousing and it looked pretty ORANGISH, yet semi-yellowlike. Closer than was comfortable. I assumed a loss. Then I saw the official ruling as LOSS. Yet much later, the ruling was changed and I won. We had seen a second gatorade dousing, much later after the first dousing. It was a definite YELLOW. But we all assumed the first dousing was the winner. WRONG, all dousings were included. Easy money.

I drove home from the game very slowly, as the snow was covering the roads and most were still not plowed. When I got home I glanced out back and saw Blossom the Possum coming out of the woods and plowing through the snow toward the building. This was the 3rd time I have seen her. The night before she walked past the porch where Dutchie was sitting on the chair outside. Dutchie saw her go by, but all Dutchie did was perk her ears up and watch Blossom head for the trees.

The Chow Porch is back in action! Cardinals, robins, and bluejays are served during the day. The late night buffet is strictly for the possums. For now.

Permalink

About joealaska

With Dutch Harbor in the rear view window, I am camped out in Louisville, KY. looking for employment and a new chapter.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
53 °F
Mostly Cloudy