Friday, September 30, 2011

We're Back to the Beginning... Again

We'd planned on spending another ten days or so, into the fall, in Yellowstone...

... and bummer for us, the color down in the Tetons was just hittin' it's stride, when this Ol' Twister made the decision to cut and run for the barn!

The simple fact is, the repair I got done in West Yellowstone - was NO repair. More of a hope-it-holds-together, low end RV Band-aid.  Moral of that story? If ya'll are gonna get welding done in West Yellowstone... DON'T!

I got up in the morning, a couple mornin's back and up and decided we're goin' down where I know the guy on the end of the welding rod... So, we took a run 'cross the state of Wyoming at 45 mph. Ya know what? Runnin' the Cowboy State... at 45 mph, cringin' ever' time the tires thumped across a bridge expansion joint... or the rig humped and bobbed over heaves in the pavement, makes that a Biiiiig state! :)

Decided to cut our Yellowstone stay short, 'cause what I didn't want to experience was makin' the run, with a busted rig... in the middle of an early fall snow storm! ... Nahhhh... that NEVER happens in Wyoming! :)

Spent the night 'fore last in the rest area at Sweetwater Station, got up to leave early, and ended up helping some guy get his dead Lexus started. :)

Got here early last night after a two day run that usually takes us less than one. I went right to work strippin' all the skin off the fiver... again... Miss Krea looked under there and says; "Wow! I showed Jaime your FB post and he said; That's really mean!... I don't think he'll say that, when he sees this!"

 ... when the Welder got home, James looks under the rig and the first words he says are; "Oh My God!"...

Heidi asked him; "Do ya think we're lucky to have got here?"

His reply? "Uh... Yeaaah! Oh My God"... and he starts laughin'... I asked him what he was laughin' at, so he tells me; "Sorry. I was just laughin' that anyone could sell this! (The welding) and call  it welding. It's NOT welding. I don't know what it is... but it ain't welding!"

Now, James is one of those welders that does the sort of welding that passes Xray tests and such, so I guess they do something different than those guys that are certified by R.V.I.A. (The RV mechanic certification outfit) I'd not give their certificate to anyone, for use in that SMALL room in your rig!

Anyhoo... we got here with nuthin' else fallin' off. Over the next week or so, as soon as our Friend can carve out the time, we'll get the Eagle healed up proper, and back on the road. The worry of that several hundred miles is done, and now just the work of fixing the mess of the "Repair" left. :)

We've got some other business to attend to before we cut for the desert and another NASCAR Race :) and as long as I'll be sittin' here for a bit, there's several other maintenance bits and other chores I've been putting off that I'll try to get caught up on...

... As well as, finishing the last of the editing on The Next Great BK Gore Novel! :)

Might even do a Highwayman imitation and knock over a 7-11 or three, so I could afford to do that re-axle job I've wanted to do... one axle is a bit fatigued with the alignment a mite off, wearing tires a lil' quicker than normal... what with wheel bearings, brakes and such, it wouldn't be much costlier to just replace the whole shebang, with an axle of a lil' more heft, that Jayco should have put on there in the first place... but that would mean selling a lot more books! :) so, we'll see, that may just wait a mite longer.

This is kind of an aggravation to be honest... this hitch deal... 'cause the difference, between what Jayco had built, for the trailer frame... and what the RIGHT weight of framing members would have cost, when this rig was built, was maybe a hundred bucks, two hundred tops...

... So they cheaped out... as MOST RV manufacturers do... and saved that piddly lil' bit... and the resulting metal fatigue, caught me hanging...I swear, sometimes I think that the majority of RV builders build 'em to be parked... Not actually towed!

If... I'd NOT been fairly diligent about checking the rig over at stops and unhitching and such... I'd NOT have found those cracks... and the thing would have failed at highway speed somewhere... so one lesson is... when you stop for fuel, when you hitch up, when you unhitch... every once in a while, just for the heck of it... go over your rig, looking for cracks, loose bits, anything that don't look right... it'll keep things from goin' from not good... to really bad! :)

Ah well, I guess if they'd built the thing right, I'd not have a spleen in such great condition... from all its Healthy Venting! :)

The Eagle has Landed in Nunn... Safe and Sound (For a couple weeks)

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Twas a Saturday Morning in West Yellowstone... and the Cowboy Was Starting to Relax...

***this is third in the 'catching up' posts... go back two posts if you want to read in chronological order***

When things seem to be getting better... don't relax too soon!!! That's just when that Murphy bugger is set to jump on you! Ya gotta keep ready to quirt that lil' no good saboteur before he can get to work!

I'd Set the alarm for oh-damn-it's-early, so we could have everything ready to go and make the slow haul to town, and still get there fairly early. Put the flashers on and rolled along, never quite catching up to 30 mph. Tried to make that run as gingerly as possible... knowing that Murphy bugger probably had his hand in this somewhere.

Luckily, the greatest amount of traffic was eastbound, as our lame rig limped west... and we made it all the way to West Yellowstone, without an issue...

... Right up to the point that I started the turn off the Yellowstone road onto Canyon street in town...Heidi made the comment as we got to the intersection that; "Wouldn't it be awful to have got this far and have something happen now?"


Oh how I wish she hadn't said that!

So... I'm halfway through the turn when the cable for the breakaway brake, snagged on something, jerking the pin on the brake... and slammed the rig to a halt... right in the middle of the intersection... uh ... Bad Words Dirty Names and Blue Smoke!

Took me a few seconds... while all the pedestrians stood there gawkin'... and some jerk in a car hollered and screamed... for me to figure out how to get the break away back together, and release the brakes.

But... that violent jerking-to-a-halt stop had done damage to the cracked pin box/frame that wasn't there before... What had been small cracks, were now ripped into open splits and a genuine mess... aaaaarrrrrrrrgggghhhhh!

One beam got torn nigh in two, several others got cracked good... ooooffffff. But, it didn't come apart all together, and was in a condition to pull back into place and weld. No long lasting non-repairable damage, so that's good.

How-some-ever... Can I say I was cursing myself for thinking I could limp the rig in ok? You take your chances... and take the bruises that come.

I can't count the thousands of miles I've drug a trailer of every sort... lil' utility to semis... Never, not once... in all those thousands and thousands and thousands of miles... have I EVER... had the breakaway brake engage... until the one day, I'm limping along with a cracked frame... that the dang thing will pull apart when it yanks me to a stop... Murphy! You lousy bum!

Well, once I got that breakaway UN-brokeaway... At five mph. with the flashers a flashin'... we crawled the last mile or so to the repair guys place...

I pulled the skin and everything in the way, out of the way... in preparation for his repairs... We jacked it up, pulled it down with a come-along, clamped it, banged it into place... added a bit of bracing... and with a bit of athletics, generally got it back together...

I can't say I'm happy with the welding...( honestly, with a welder, I could have done better) but it will get me down to the guy I do trust... and with a lil' coaxing, I think I can get him to help me do the job so I've more confidence in the long term...

This morning, we're sitting in a lil' space across the road. I have to replace all the insulation and skin and put the rig back together... With that done We'll haul back out to the paid-for camp we've got... to spend a last couple of days in Yellowstone... and hopefully... (Carefully looking each way for an ambush) do some Yellowstoning, without thinking 'bout broken this or that. :)

It's the price you pay for old equipment I suppose. Just like Old geezers... Old equipment gets fatigued and comes apart. So though you're not payin' the high dollar price of new, or nearly so, you don't get off free and easy. You've got to accept the weight of higher maintenance... and ... uh ... Issues. :)

Like I said in that earlier post... Some will say THE problem is the Fifth wheel to Gooseneck converter I've been using... to which I say, if THAT was the problem... I'd have had a problem a long time before the ten years and 70,000 miles give or take that I've drug this fiver around...

Nope, think what you want, I lay the majority of this problem on three things... One; I've got a LOT of weight (the weight of my solar power battery bank) in that front compartment, with virtually ALL that weight going on the hitch.

Two; I hauled most of those ten years with a badly modified suspension that was virtually rigid... and it took me way too long to find THAT problem. Bad Cowboy!

With the suspension mostly rigid, the concussion of road shocks was transmitted right straight to the hitch... Slamming it with every bump... Little softening by the springs. That slamming, compounded by the extra weight of my big battery bank, caught up with the rig over time.

Which brings us to good Ol' number Three... The metal fatigue of Old Equipment... Bad shop work plus a heavy load, thumping on aging metal = broken parts...

Kind of like Bad mules, pushed too far by cranky cowboys... thumping on their aging butts = broken parts!

And just to say it... I'd have to scold Jayco for building it that way, and me for buying it that way... but I can't say I approve any longer of the "Long Nose" extended hitch design. I'll be staying far from it in any future dealings.

But now, as I work at putting things back together what's to say? Well, I met a couple of really decent people as a result of the ordeal, and they helped me see, it could be worse... A WHOLE LOT worse, and, I might even have some fun at Bonneville next year as a result.

We didn't get left, stranded on a mountain somewhere, with either breakdown. We had the ability to repair the damage... the roof don't leak, and we're looking toward where we roll next... so... frustrating as breakdowns and failures might be... there's worse things... far far worse things...

Like... I could have been born ugly, rather than the good looking Cowboy Biker I are! :)

Or, I could be standing in that hardware aisle... slaving for wages.

Instead, I get to roll my old rig, a few more miles down a Ribbon of Asphalt... in the Freedom of the Rocky Mountain West.

So... putting things into proper perspective... To know that Freedom I have... It ain't Free :) and you gotta put some crap on the garden... to make the flowers grow! :)

Still Kickin' in Yellowstone

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

It Starts Downhill... Struggling for Traction... On a Slippery Slope...

***I did two posts Saturday night... go to the previous post first... if you want to read the catchin' up in chronological order... and as soon as I crawl out, Sunday Morning, I'll do my best to get it all caught up***

So... We're unhitching and I do my customary lookaround at things as I'm unhooking... and there, I find three cracks, where there weren't cracks before... and shouldn't be cracks at all... aw shucks... :(

Now, cracks in a window, or a tire sidewall, or some other such place is nothing catastrophic... when you find 'em in a pin box... you start sweatin'.

And right here is where the risk of eatin' more crow comes along... 'cause I'm knowin' for sure and for certain that there's folks out there that are gonna claim the culprit is the gooseneck converter I've been using since 2001... the hitch that's pulled that fiver without an issue for better than 10 years and nigh on to 70,000 miles.

Now... I can't say... considerin' I broke the the trailer, that it didn't have a part... but it's still my feelin' that whatever part it might have played is way down in the minority.

How-some-ever... the responsibility still resides with the nut behind the steering wheel... 'cause the issues that I believe DID do the deed are largely the fault of that bald headed word whittler I have to endure in the mirror every morning.

The main issues are these... first, Jayco built the rig with too long a hitch box... too long a lever... That'd been fine, mostly... until a redneck, cowboy engineer flipped the axles and hung 550+ lbs of batteries and equipment in that front compartment...

Try to bust a 2X4 over your knee, you can't do it... but... hang it out there 8' and you can snap that sucker with a good hit...

So... When I flipped the axles almost ten years ago, and Didn't catch the poor job they did, leaving the rig with just about a rigid suspension (From horrendously bad shock mounting)... it had me hauling it for the next many thousands of miles with all that road shock getting pounded straight through the hitch... WHAM!

Every bridge joint, every hump in the pavement, every pot hole... WHAM! Until, from a bit too heavy load with my batteries up front? and bad suspension, all hung on that long nosed pin box... metal fatigue took it down..

Ah well... life goes on... you make your best guesses at the time... some pay off... some knock you down...

Well, with a bad feeling in my gut, we decided to try and salvage the rest of the day... and took a drive with the truck, up toward Norris and the geyser basins and such up that-a-way...

We took a lil' stroll, in the late afternoon to the Artist Paint pots... Now, I've no idea... likely a lil' boy thing... throwin' rocks into mud to watch it splatter and such... but... the mud pots there, kinds make me giggle...

Must be a guy thing... I didn't see no women types takin' much notice... :)

Along in there somewhere, we were walking along, on that trail to the Artist Paint Pots... and we heard 'em coming...

so... Heidi took one of the Pedestrian Turnouts the Park Service has so considerately provided, along the way...

The perfect thing for slow walkers to clear the trail... for the Fast Movers! :)

After they passed... we kept moving... and found another Yellowstone resident... without all the surrounding crowds and hullabaloo...

We were just enjoying the scenery in the Virginia cascades area... soft views in this wild country...

When this guy come walkin' along the treeline... kept comin' closer and closer... a couple of other picture grabbers... grabbed their cameras and retreated to their cars... I'm thinkin'; "Aw,he's clean over on the other bank... Not a problem!"

But, I come to find out... problem there was... I was standing right at the point of the creek he wanted to ford... uh... guess who won that lil' discussion?

Caught me a bit off guard... One second he was on the other side of the stream, gettin' a drink... and the next... Kersplash! He popped into the water and was comin' across... which at that point... all he saw was hip pockets for a bit!

 Like in all the places we go... there's grand views... but as always... there's closer up things to see as well...

So... I made an appointment for Saturday morning with the only game in town... I guess... and then got up the next morning, which was Thursday... and climbed in the truck to go do some sight seein' in the park...

Right... woulda done it too... if not for the electrical smoke in the cab!

Jumped out, and popped the hood... and found... a crispy, smokin' Alternator... Suh-Wheet! The hits just keep on comin'! :)

So... the next several hours were spent on parts and tool runs to NAPA in West Yellowstone... replacing the cooked alternator and the serpentine belt...

But all these repairs have been an opportunity to meet a couple of really fine fellow travelers...

One helped me get that belt on... That chore is kinda like threading a 2000 lb sewing machine! :) but with good help and the right tool, we got 'er done.

The other helped me with some pretty good suggestions on the hitch... and I might end up "pittin'" for him at the Bonneville salt flats next year... how cool would that be?

In an effort to turn that day around, we rode in together on the Raider for the second of the two parts runs... Figured we'd walk the town a bit... and get some West Yellowstone Ice cream, a fairly successful effort...

Now... it's Friday... and the rig can't go to West Yellowstone till Saturday... so... We climbed back on the Raider and took a run up to Lamar Valley and back... Nice ride... No sparks, no flats, no missing oil, no cracks... didn't even get run down by a crazy tourist, gawkin' at a rock chuck! :)

*North Side of the Pass North of Canyon*

*The Lamar Valley*
It's hard to explain... in fact... it can't be explained... but when things are the worst... for some guys... just the simple act of putting two wheels... on a Ribbon of Asphalt... makes all the difference... it's in our blood, it's in our soul... and it makes all the rest... somehow... endurable...

*Nuthin' like viewing the world through handlebars*

Came home tired and ready to take on the rig repairs... Saturday morning... or... so I thought...

The rest of the story... Sunday morning...

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Going Back a Few Days to Catch Up...

A few days with no and poor signal, and I stack up a lot of catchin' up to do...

We hauled out of the Agility Trial at Deer Park, North of Spokane Early Sunday evening, and decided to take the faster route into Montana via I-90 to the Wamart at Smelterville...

*Rainy Night at Walmart!*

Which made for a pretty easy haul and a good if wet night... and... didn't even have to break out the coffee pot in the morning, 'cause there was a lil' stand just up the block on the way back to I-90 :) That was the earliest we've got back on the road when we've been movin' in a long time! ... gettin' lazy in my old age.

But... with the timing of that coffee there... and the need for fuel... that made for the requirement of a stop on the NW side of Missoula for fuel and an outhouse break...

... and, you know what is on the NW side of Missoula? a Harley Dealer! :) but nope... that's not what was important about that.

Now guys... go point out somethin' that'll keep the gals busy while I tell you this... I'll wait...

OK, ya back now? :)

Well, you see, out in the parking lot of that Harley Dealer... is another lil' coffee stand... Soooooo.... since I just dealt with the last coffee, I needed to refill the truck cup, right?

Uh Huh! I shore did!

So... I pull up in that parking lot, get out and walk up to the Walk up window of the coffee hut, 'cause I didn't wanna try and haul the fiver through it... and Oh Lordy! Talk about catchin' an Ol' buster off guard... Whooo Wheeee!

There in the hut was this lil' gal...servin' up the coffee... and I sure hope she don't mind the cold, 'cause this winter, she'll have some difficulty stayin' warm... with the lil' bit those pink dainties still had covered up!

... almost makes a feller wanna run back a hundred miles or three... for another cup!!! :)

But... had many miles to roll, so with a heavy heart :) ... I pushed south, bound for the Indian trees near Sula, where we'd spent much of the month of June. Used that camp for a Nite camp and crossed Chief Joseph pass in the morning, bound for Ennis and points south.

Took the trail that runs up through the Mining towns of Nevada City and Virginia city.

Now.. Ya gotta be careful, as you walk 'round Nevada City... 'cause, now-a-days, it's sorta the city that wasn't. The location is where it was, and I guess some of the buildings sitting there now.. were there then... back in those boomin' days...

But... mostly, back about 1959, it became a repository for a collection of "historical" buildings from all over the state of Montana...

*Nevada City*

*This Ol' Train has seen better days!*

*of no use for a Chrome Dome like me*

*Heading for Virginia City*

*Virginia City Posies*

It might could give a person a feel for towns of that time, the buildings are real... but... this one isn't exactly a "Real" ghost town... just sayin'.

The place was pretty high class I guess. How many other Hotels can boast a Two Story Out house? :)

*Only the Best for the Upper Crust! A two story outhouse!*

...and in season, as you're travlin' through, if you're doin' a circle without a rig... you can still rent cabins there too...

*Nevada City Rental Cabin*

But... watch out for the grifters, lowlifes, and highwaymen around...

Never know what kind of piker you'll run in to... so be careful! :)

We dawdled in Nevada City and Virginia City long enough we only got to a rest area on the Madison River, a ways south of Ennis... which made a nice nite camp and allowed an early roll the next morning... that took us on in to West Yellowstone for breakfast, at our favorite lil' Cafe... in our favorite lil' town.

Don't know why really... but for some reason... we really Like "West"...

Made for a short haul day, 'cause we found a roost for several days at the Madison Camp inside the park... juuuuust by the skin of our teeth... It's unusually busy this late in the season this year...

And... as we unhitched... a rather disheartening discovery was made... ooooooffffffff... I am REALLY gettin' to hate the taste of Crow Feathers!!!

But... that's a story for another day... so you'll have to come back! ;)

Digesting Crow... Maybe... and Sunnin' in Yellowstone...

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

A new post is coming...

No we haven't fell off the face of the earth... It's a long story bi dealing with major repairs in west yellowstone.... Might get time to update tonight... We'll have signal...

Brian... Kinda :o( in West Yellowstone

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Rant About Corporate Greed and RV Boondocking and Overnight Parking

 Yeah... trying to find where we're headed tonight... has stirred my Parking Hackles... again... and this time... I'm firing both barrels... The U.S. Forest Service in collusion with Campground Management Corporations AND the collusion between RV Parks and ignorant city fathers... when it comes to Overnight RV Parking.

The Agility Trial is winding down today, somewhere around mid-afternoon... which leads me into my dilemma.

Do I go south and try to luck into a camp... or an easily found boodocking spot? in an unfamiliar forest... through country where virtually all the N.F. Campgrounds that I can find on maps, books and online have been closed and LOCKED UP for the season?

Or... do I just surrender to convenience... and run the Super Slab to Missoula... and Wally Dock it a couple nights?

The U.S. Forest Service... in dis-service to the people who foot the bill... continues to do something that creates a difficulty for people like me. Not a catastrophe... just a difficulty... and it's a dishonorable thing that blemishes the U.S. Forest Service.

The land does not belong to the U.S.F.S. It does NOT BELONG to those corporations to whom it was given , at minimal cost, for THEIR PROFIT.

It Belongs, to the People of the United States, and is SUPPOSED to be Managed for Their benefit... NOT... Locked up if some Corporation can't squeeze a profit out of it.

I've ranted and railed 'bout it before... but it gets under my skin every time I'm confronted by it. The U.S.F.S. has given away the campgrounds, built and paid for by the American People for their own use. The camps have been surrendered for the primary benefit of the private corporations that "manage" those facilities...

Bottom line... if "Traffic Numbers" fall to a level where those corporations can't make money off the American People... camping on THEIR OWN LAND... those corporations go home... and lock the gates behind them.

Which I really don't understand... if the Corporations can turn a profit... kicking back only 4% I think it is, for what amounts to the "Rent" of the facility... to the Forest Service... How Come... the Forest Service... which doesn't have to turn a profit... can't get by... with 100%, and manage the camps themselves... like they are supposed to???

Just Curious... sounds kind of like a scam of some variety... don't it? I'm kinda curious too... 'bout that 4%... being a business owner (we still own a small store in Colorado)... I can guarantee, that our 'storefront' rent is one hell of a lot more than 4%!!!! More like 15%... so when I say, those Corps. are getting a Free Ride... I support my claim with a lil' bit of reality.

When I was a kid, the water might be turned off... the trash dumpsters might be gone, so you have to haul your trash out with you... but... the sites were there to be used. Now... traveling across the land in September... those corporations have locked it all up... just like last fall...

We're here, but in largely unfamiliar country. The weather is fine... and there sits a good camp, just on the other side of that padlocked gate. Just a hassle... aarrrrrrrrrgggghhhh!

We can't just haul up a narrow forest road with a 30' fiver... or, it would be foolish to, not knowing what's up there. And now, we haven't the NF campgrounds available to allow us the daytrip scouting to find the good camps, or to just stay in a developed camp. So we're back to using Wally World for nite camps when we leave heading for Yellowstone... and of course, we've got the issue of finding something around there for a week or two...

Which brings me to the ignorance of so called city fathers...

What do we do in those towns that have blocked parking at Walmart? Not one Damn thing...We roll on by...

They don't let us park for the night, in an agreement between us and Wal Mart? That's ok... just down the road is a town that doesn't interfere in our business with Walmart.

So... to "Protect" that over priced RV Park (Which we Never use anyway) the most intelligent? city fathers impose the loss of our business on All the other businesses in that town.

Yep, every darn nickle. They lose our fuel money... they lose us spending the $38 dollars at NAPA for the window switch I need... they lose my money at the Espresso Stand, our breakfast money at the cafe... and... the tire shop doesn't get to earn their money replacing my bad tires... They lose the sales of those bits and pieces she bought for the granddaughter... The stores lose our money... and the towns lose that tax revenue... Smart Thinkin' "Dad"!!!

The whole thing just piles up that many more reasons to work my way around to a smaller RV rig. Something I CAN be more comfortable sliding up unknown forest roads... hunting for a camp, knowing I can get it turned around, needs be.

When I line out that smaller rig, I'll gain the ability to just bypass not only the shortsighted towns, but the Corporate Managed National Forest Campgrounds too, for the most part. With a significantly downsized rig, I'll have the ability to utilize dispersed camping, and straight up RV Boondocking, that much easier... and their greed will have cost them my business as well.

So... Wait a minute... leeeeet me seeeeeee.... uh huh, yup!

Spleen all vented now! Ahhhh... I feel better already. :)

Vented and Gettting Ready to Roll

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

Saturday, September 17, 2011

RV Boondocking; What Are Your Expectations?

Back in Spokane again. Heidi and Buck are doing their agility thing, first trial in a year... and I'm supposed to be editing on A Pair of Second Chances, the next e-book I'll soon be publishing.

But, a couple of conversations Mark and I had, sitting by the Harbor in Anacortes keep echoing in my head... and being as how large and empty a space that is, ya'll can imagine how irritating all that noise can be!

We  both agreed that you have to be careful, when you publish your "opinions". People are listening! Some are even out there making decisions based on what we might say...

But at the same time, we've got to keep it honest, and stay true to our own beliefs.

While trying to keep a good attitude, We try not to buffalo folks with unadulterated Bull Produced, Natural fertilizer; painting some fanciful western story, that it always leads to sweetness and light... Where the good guy always wins... and the end of the story is he rides off into the sunset...

Sometimes, he gets ambushed, shot in the back... Sometimes, you crash and burn. Sometimes you make the best choice you can at the time... and Still end up getting towed into the dealership, a hundred miles away... wondering how you're gonna pay the bill.

A person has to take responsibility for their own actions...

It's thoughts about all that, after our year and more on the road, under less than Flush, circumstances, that have been rattling around, keeping my cogitator from gathering rust... a whole lot of wear marks, but little rust!

What are your expectations as YOU pursue YOUR dreams?

The most risky of 'em all, is the false expectation that this journey is going to be one of dancing, giggling, ecstasy... every day.

Thinking that once you crack out and get on the road, you're eyes are gonna pop open each morning, and the sound of your own giggling is gonna wake up the neighbors... is the wrong and risky way to go, from where I sit.

It's risky 'cause if that don't happen, and it won't, you might just get discouraged and say; "Damn!", surrender, and go back to the same old mind numbing, drudgery you worked so hard to escape.

Look, the first few days might be some great excitement, and there will be one or two along the way... but otherwise... it's still just living. But, hopefully, living in way that Fits a little better, and is juuuuuuust a bit more fulfilling.

I know; "What's the alternative?" you ask? If it ISN'T a day in day out giggling joy... What is the reality? Is there an Alternative Expectation?

Well, from where I sit, there is one... and I think it's a more sustainable sort of deal...

How about; You climb out of bed sayin'; "Damn! It's cold!" and rustle over to kick the thermostat up a couple notches. You're tired, you didn't sleep well last night, worryin' about a tire on the trailer that seems to be wearing funny along with a misbehaving water heater and wonderin' how you're gonna fit all that into the budget, 'cause you know the registration on the fiver is due next month.

Your e-books and websites, that are payin' 'bout half your 'way' aren't flying off the electronic shelf or burning up the internet, making you rich like they are in your fantasy scenario... but... they are moving; providing, a quiet, fulfilling feeling just in that... so deep inside, you know you can shuffle things here and there...

You still have room in the budget to shave a thing or too should shove come to kick... You know you can keep on putting one foot in front of the other... You've gained a year and more of confidence.

So, kinda bleary eyed you set about making your morning coffee. While it's perkin' you drag your duds into the bathroom and get dressed... When you come out, you impatiently pour a cup of coffee out of the half perked pot... and step outside onto the steps of the rig to take in the early morning...

And that's when it strikes you...

Standing there in front of the rig, Your head tilts back and your eyes close in the crisp morning air. You pull in a lung full of fresh, pine scented air and after holding it for some seconds, you slowly let it slide out of your chest, while a faint smile creases your face.

The Feeling I'm trying to describe is not so much something you actually feel... but maybe... something you don't.

Pressure. That tightness that constricts your heart... and formed a knot in your gut for too many years... is gone. Yes the little aggravations of life remain... but now, that's all they are... little chores. Small things to be dealt with and forgotten.

Otherwise, You've no where you have to be, and all week to get there. Your time is your own, to do with as you please.

There are no Bosses telling you move this! Tote that! Go here! Get to Work!

For maybe the first time in your life, YOU own THIS DAY. You OWN... YOUR LIFE... and you know, that if you keep on standing with the courage to confront the "System" from which you tore your Freedom... That if you Keep on Keeping On... That Freedom you now enjoy, will continue.

You are now, just a Man... or ... a Woman... Free on the Earth. That, is a feeling I don't know how to describe. Maybe it's different for everyone. I know, for sure and for certain, it's something you have GOT to know.

Don't let that get lost in one of the other big mistakes I think people can make getting to, or staying on, this Freedom Road...

Too many people, and myself still included... spend too much time, worrying about the how of things. The HOW of ropin' their dreams... Whether that be RV Boondocking, or something other.

What kind of rig, how much should I spend, what brand, what size, how to pay, how to protect... how, how, how... and all that worrying, about things... ends up eatin' up the dream, so that when they finally do get loose... they've lost sight of why they're there in the first place...

And that... The WHY... The FREEDOM, is the real thing they should have been concentrating on. Keep that up front. Keep that... The WHY, consciously, in your Vision... and all the rest will fall into place.

Keep the Vision in your Eyes... and that part of your brain, that the scientists haven't figured out what it does yet, will be working out those details about the how of Things, behind your eyes...

Your job is to keep the fuel for that filled up... Satisfying the Hunger for knowing The WHY!

Ruminations on the Road

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fruit Stands that Aren't... and Christmas, in Bavaria, in September... in Washington?

Just back down the road from this campground at Nason Creek, where the road hits highway 2 is a small place... that doesn't really have a name... or a distinct purpose. At first blush ya think, it's a park, but then you see a sign for fruit and produce... and... croquet... and see all the piles and bins of a landscape supply...

*Produce and Fruit*
It's the first 'Park Like' Fruit/Landscaping/Custom Wood working ??? stand I've ever seen...

I kinda liked it... pleasant place to walk around... even if you don't know just what to call it...

Pretty much everywhere you looked was another "what a good idea" arrangement of dead wood, live plants, rocks, rustic constructions for purposes unknown...

A big lawn where travelers stop to play croquet??? and the fruit stand... Just an odd, yet beautiful place...

On the map they call the area Coles Corner.

A few miles east of here, on the dry side of the Cascades, is a lil' town called Leavenworth, Washington. Sometime past, somebody got the idea to build Bavaria in the Cascades. Having been there (Bavaria), I'm not sure they nailed it... but... it's got a pretty good flavor of it.

Now... I'm not much of a Shopper... and this lil' town is put together with THAT in mind. So... they kinda lose me on that score, right quick.

But... as far as strollin' around a town is concerned, it makes for a decent place... while She shops...

Leastways, if you like the sight of such things...

Now, Christmas is another Shopping Day I've come to look on with pretty jaundiced eyes...

Take a good thing and squeeze all the dollars out of it you can...

Well, in this lil' dislocated bit of Bavaria they've got a Christmas store... called Kringle, or some such...  

ALL it sells is Christmas Ornaments and doo dadds...

The middle of July, they're squeezin' dollars out of christmas...

So, of course, she was needful of lookin' in there for a doo dadd for the granddaughter, for this years gimme day... but... couldn't get it done... $70 is a lil' rich for a christmas tree ornament... ain't it?

Though... I did see one bit of ornamentation that might lay claim to the argument for 'em... that it ain't all corporate greed :)

I mean... if you're gonna involve Motorcycles in it...

... maybe it's not as bad as it seems? :)

*Bridge from a whacked out world... to the REAL world*

To the south of town is the antidote for commercial overdoses... a wilderness area... and a couple of bridges leading to it...

The name of the Wilderness escapes me at the moment... as well as the name of the river... but who cares for names anyway...

It's not names floating in my mind... as the "Waters Haunt me..."

Today, we'll roll back for a place just a touch north of Spokane, and an agility dog trial... then... it's south for a Yellowstone Fall...

... I think...

"Just a man, free on the earth"

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another Loop in the Circle and We Bend to the East again...

 Since the truck and trailer don't have flotation tires! ;)

We were torn... The coast, and the ocean is very much like that line from A River Runs Through It, that was mentioned in a comment the other day... "I'm haunted by waters".

Just like the rivers through Montana, Colorado, Arizona... The lakes from Canada to the Arizona Desert... there's life in water... there's something there.

Now, we're parked on a river in the middle of Washington... The whisper of the water a haunting song through the night...

Some will tell you, it's just water... it can't speak... I say; "Too bad for you!"

Some folks don't Get it. All they can see is water in a ditch I guess. I feel sad for them. I think, they're missing much of life. They don't know the treasure that is a Lust for life. They likely are caught in the tangle of making a living that chains your soul down, and condemns you to a life of fear.

It whispers to a man, as loudly as the High Up and Lonesome... as loudly as a Ribbon of Asphalt speaks to the lonely rider, leaning through the bends on two wheels.

So, we were torn; "Which way do we go?" Fall in the mountains pulls one way, the beauty of the coast running south, the other...

This time, the mountains won, and we turned the windshield back toward the rising sun, and are moving toward fall in Yellowstone country.

A solid year on the road now. A pot hole or three... The future holds promise... and I've not sold a piece of plumbing parts in More than a year! :)

The best part, for me, has been proving that a person, without a deep pocket, can STILL, have most of the life they want... IF... they grab that Bull by the Horns and kick the sucker in the knee.

We left with almost... ALMOST... enough $$ in the bank to make it to the end of the month. Some don't believe that, but I vow, it's the truth. If we don't make it this month... it ain't there to buy diesel next month.

We're not much better off now, but that we are a little stronger says a lot don't it? Especially considering the economy we're all living in. To give promise to the future, my Literary Career seems to be threatening to put more beans in the cupboard. :) ... and it's not like I'm suffering a shortage of stories to spin!

To tell the truth, I'm more comfortable with My way, considering the events of the past few years, than having a pile of dinero in some bank. It doesn't strike me as being very safe in that system. I like, and prefer my way... kind of like having a kitchen garden... when you're hungry you walk out and pull up breakfast!

So... making our living as we go... fits me best. Not sure it would for others or most... but it works for me.

The point I'm making is... Fear always and only destroys. It builds walls that corral you away from your dreams. Those things which hold real value are generally, not so easy to hang on to... you have to take a deep breath, take a deep seat, put your mind in the middle... and ride that bronc! :)

Out of the Storms and Still in the Saddle

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Coupeville Pie and Magic Movies on Whidbey Island

On the first grey Puget Sound Day we've had, we chose to make a small circle down to a lil' town called Coupeville, on Whidbey Island.

The "Old Town" is all 1870's era store fronts. Don't know if it's true or not, but I was told that "Practical Magic" flick was filmed there... you know... the one with the friendly witches? ... uh huh... right... and ocean front property in Arizona, Mountain Cabins in Kansas...

*The Coupeville Grain Wharf*
Don't know if it was just a small harbor town or if they did any fishing here... but I do know, you can't walk down the stony beach 'thout crunchin' clams and mussels!

The clouds blew away while we had a late lunch at the Mosquito Fleet Chili and Pies establishment...

It's a lil' tricky finding the place... It's on the water side of the street... just look for this lil' gate... hope the sign is turned to OPEN... and go down the steps...

Had a BIG bowl of Chili and a suh-Wheet piece of Raspberry and Peaches pie... walked out pot bellied for sure...

'Course, that means ya gotta take at least a small walk around town to settle that for the drive home to the Marina...

It's got kind of a nice, relaxed atmosphere down in there... Not quite the "rope the touristas and drag 'em" in mentality...

... and it is a picturesque sort of a place to spend an hour or two pokin' around...

*Coupeville Washington Resident*

Then, when the sun came out... we decided that the "Feel" of the place changed. Strange... the atmosphere was Old Timey fishing village when it was Cloudy/Misty feeling...and somehow different when it got all sunny! :) What a whiner huh?

Mid September... and the coast doesn't get cold enough... quick enough, to get a lot of color I think...

*A Coupeville, Washington Maple*

So... I Think it looks like we're hitching up today... and pullin' inland a bit... to maybe start hunting for Fall Color in the Northern Rockies...

Fall, September, is a pretty fine time in Yellowstone... The crowds are gone, it's mostly quiet, the weather is Usually good... and since we're needful of being in Denver again in Mid October... it looks like we're rolling that-a-way...

To The Rockies

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

Sunday, September 11, 2011

So... Does "Smelling the Roses" Include... Tractors and Boats?

Sitting here in the Cap Sante Boat Haven Marina Dry Camp lot... They had a small antique equipment show yesterday. A little bit of everything, from tiny lil' model motors, to Old cars, tractors, and one genuine old locomotive, originally built to run on compressed air underground, that they hauled in on a trailer.

*Tractor Row*

The precision of the lil' model motors was pretty amazing... especially considering most all of the smallest lil' fittings, had to be fabricated by the builder... including some tiny little spark plugs! :) and the finish on the ol' tractors... some of 'em looked better than they would have, comin' off the assembly line! :)

*Model Motors*
 There was even an old motorcycle or three... like this Ol' 1948 Harley.

*It's either a well maintained or well restored '48 Harley*

 Then, of course, across the Marina, in the water... are the boats that catch Heidi's eye... That tug boat style seems to be what she likes... well... that and the 100 foot or so Yacht over on the other side :)

*Could you call this Tug Boat Row?*
A couple of rigs that caught my eye, back in the equipment show was an old '49 Diamond T...

Can't you just see this Ol' Beauty pullin' into the campground in Yellowstone... draggin' a Tear Drop Trailer behind it? :)

And... Maybe this next Ol' guy...

Yeah... I think it would be cool... right up until I think about all the work to get one roadworthy... and then...

... where is a guy gonna find an alternator for a 1924 whizzbanger? :) or any other part when ya bust something... hmmm... I may just stay with rigs under twenty years old :)

So... I guess this one is pretty much out of the picture for an RV Tow Rig? ... might even be too light for a Toad! :)

*This is too light for much towing... I think! :)*

We finished out the day yesterday, sharing a meal on a fine day, with fine friends. The crews of the Box Canyon Blog... and goin' RV Boondocking combined! :)

*The wandering bloggers... link up again!*

So... I bet you were wondering... how could I make a post today... without saying Something... about this particular day...

I'm not forgetting... I'm just... doing it different than a lot of other people, I guess.

So much has been lost... in terrified reaction to the events of that fateful September 11th.

The intention of our enemies, was to disrupt, and destroy our way of living. To a great extent, due to the actions of a few, they have won a great victory against us... that saddens me, and weighs heavy on my heart.

Many in this country have cried for ever more sacrifice of Liberty, ever more invasions of our privacy... in the terrified hope they could gain some security from that sacrifice. (A Futile fantasy.)

I for one... call for More Liberty. A Return to the RIGHT to Privacy. It is in our Liberty that we'll find our strength and security.

I call for us to Honor those, who have sacrificed themselves in our defense, on far away fields of Honor. To Honor them, by Living Our Lives, with the Courage they demonstrated.

We should be thumbing our noses at the filth that would attack innocents. We should be Refusing to yield our way of Living.

We should be Living Our Lives in the Liberty and Freedom won for us by our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Women... Living our Lives with Courage... to Honor those who have Given their Lives, and their Hearts, to give us the Freedom and Liberty we are Blessed with.

So... today... I Breathe Free in this Marina, on the Shores of the Pacific... and choke down the fear that pathetic fanatics try to beat me with.

I won't fear their sick philosophy. I only fear the Loss of Liberty... and that in allowing that, I would Dishonor the Men and Women who gave their all... For Me.

That, is how I will Honor this day.

Living in Freedom