Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Long and Winding RV Road... Keeps Winding on

Looking Back through photographs of the last three years travels... Pushes Me Forward...

The road is calling and I must go... a twist on another wandering fellas words, an addition really. The mountains call to me as well... They are sisters, mountains and roads. They whisper to my very soul.

This RV Boondocking road is far from its end. It continues to fade away into the mists of distance in front of me... beckoning me to follow. Something along that ribbon of highway has a pull I can not resist.

Another mountain poet sang; "To the Mountains I can rest there... to the Rivers I will be strong..."

All I have to do if I'm feeling low and weary... is step out onto a precipice and my spirit soars...

It happens so each spring. At the end of each long winter, I've built up this wiggly, uneasy feeling. Though we bump around all season in the Arizona desert... and her sky island mountains, we sure aren't static... it's somehow still not the same as "moving on down the road"... knowing that a week from now, I may be states away from where I am with uncounted visions refreshing my spirit.

My sense of wonder is renewed each spring; "What ridge will I cross this summer that I've never crested before? What road will I ride I've never gone down before? What trail will I walk that's never known my boots before? What new understanding will I gain?"

From what camps will I look up and see that same moon shining back?

This wandering life has as sweet a taste as I could ask for. But, it is easy to take it for granted. It is easy to fall back into old ways and lose the trail. Every once in a while a traveler needs to stand back and check his pack. Make sure he's not Wandered off the Trail and got lost.

That can be sorta difficult to know... when you've no idea where you're headed. The only way I can describe knowing if you're following the right path is to judge yourself with a pragmatic eye; Are you still engaged? Is that quiet solid feeling still filling your lungs? Are you learning more 'bout yourself each day... or those around you? Can you see a bit of "yourself" in what you perceive as the failings of others... and find a bit more tolerance or forgiveness for their faults?

Ha Ha! I too often see a lil' too much of ME in those failings! But when those thoughts get too heavy... I search out a sight like this... and how can your spirit remain low? How can life carry a darkness... when THIS is the window you've opened into your life?

Looking back at photos from the last 40 or 50,000 miles of travels warms up so many memories, preventing their loss...

... and gets me excited and impatient for the coming season...

Soon we'll start finding our way north... We'll park our rig out in BLM... or in the National Forests... on occasion you'll find us in Forest Service, BLM and even the odd Corps of Engineers campground.

We'll turn up lil' two lane byways... shun the turnpikes and interstates... We'll BBQ our burgers and steaks under the Open Far Country Sky... We'll patch the tires and weld the cracks. We'll replace lost oil, broken glass and plug leaks in the roof...

Each day we'll gather in ever more riches of the Jewels the Boss has scattered across the landscape to keep us searching on...

But these aren't jewels you can put in your pocket and sell. They are gems that can only be held in your eye and protected in your soul. They are the Shining Times of life. 

From crashing, thundering storms at Lost Trail Pass in Montana...

To post card moments high on going to the sun road...

... and jeweled sunsets along the Washington coast...

They are the times that feed my hunger to gather ever more of 'em.... before they slip away.

*If you look close at this one, you can see the rig in the trees on the far slope*

*Our home is the far country. To the Mountains I can rest there...*

The road keeps pulling me along... I don't resist, I can not... I love it so.

 A Wandering Soul

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Like it Or Not... No Matter How Long You've Been RV Boondocking It Still Carries No Shortage of Challenges

How many times have you heard that said?; "Life is a Challenge".

Sometimes a fella could do with a few less challenges and a few more soft miles! ;)

But then... them soft miles would get to be awful boring... knowin' that Nothing was gonna change. An unending future of clear skies and smooth roads... yech! A tyranny of good times. :)

So... what're the challenges of livin' High Wide and Handsome... puttin' it in the wind and goin' down the road?

Ahhh... just name name one; and you'll come on to it somewhere along the way. Broken parts, scarcity of fuel, bad roads and dirty names...bone weary and no place to stop...

They come along and you deal with 'em. The more of 'em you work past, the better you get at it and the challenges begin to get pretty routine... as in... been there done that... gimmee something new!

I know... for sure and for certain, that whatever comes at me in the physical world, I can deal with it. Always have... and in the world that stands in front of my eyes... I always will.

So... in the interest of keepin' it real... and keepin' my head in the game I been wonderin' 'bout new challenges. Challenges that actually do something new. By that I mean... Finding a task that when... and IF, I come out the other side... It was something that'll have me bein' worth just a lil' bit more as a person, and not just being a person able to fix a flat tire with a toothpick and a can of hairspray! ;)

Those sorts of challenges to me are the sort that you'll find out on the ranges where the vast space tends to have the paradoxical effect of sending your mind to the tight confines inside... pokin' around in all the dark corners of your mind.

Now it's a lot harder than it might sound... 'specially if you're handicapped with a personality that is... shall we say... less than pacific! ;)

Have you ever watched that old cult movie from the '70's, Billy Jack?

There was a line in there, near the end; He was speakin' to his girlfriend, bullet hole in his side, sitting in the church; "My spirit has been in a rage since the day I was born."

Damnation. First time I saw that film I thought they were talkin' right straight directly at me.

I might could sound cheerful and serene here once in a while... and in all honesty, I work hard at that. But... always the "Buts" :) ... BUT, for me to be that-a-way just about any time, it's a piece of deliberate, concentrated work! My natural inclination is to grab stupidity and cruelty by the ears and shake it till its ears fall off.

So... with all that bein' taken into con-side-ur-a-shun... what's a likely challenge that'd keep me busy on my gypsy travels for a while? Maybe even as long as I've got left?

How 'bout seekin' out as a deliberate action... peace and serenity? Now I ain't talkin' 'bout the sweetness and light fantasies of World Peas... ;) I'm talkin' Only 'bout that small little piece of real estate layin' between my ears... and where ever your spirit and soul reside.

I'm thinkin' a worthwhile enterprise would be to find the way to build into an un-peaceful spirit... that old prayer;

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference

To get that carved into your own spirit... in such a way that it would be more of an almost automatic response... rather than something you have to keep written on the back of your hand would be a worthwhile goal.

To find that spot, inside your own spirit, where you can retreat when the noise of life becomes too loud. That place where you can look out across the desert and the mountains in your soul... and up at the sparkling stars that fill your mind...

... and let the meaningless din fade away.

Where that respite becomes as automatic as taking a breath. The place that gives you the strength to stand strong; when the pressures to conform, to accept the unacceptable, to even actively work against your own beliefs is pounding and clamoring at the gates.

Kind of like psychological Duck Feathers... The stuff would still fall on you, but it can't find any purchase to hang on. It would all slide slide off. A Teflon soul! How sweet would THAT be?! All the dark things that stain a man's soul being unable to even get a grip! HooUa! :)

Yeah. Some folks are better at it than others. Some were lucky to be born with a more pacific personality. They started with a great advantage! ;)

For others... though their warrior spirits surely don't lack the courage to take on the task... it is an unending struggle for supremacy between their scrappy, fighting nature... and their will and discipline to be otherwise.

Still in the Game

Sunday, February 24, 2013

GPS... The Good Idea That Has Not Yet Arrived...

Are you thinking of buying a smartphone, and thinking you'll get that navigation system in the bargain?

Yeah? You are? Well... think again... You'll get a system... but largely it's a system that enriches apple and Verizon... costs you... and is the sort of material best applied to the dirt in a garden...

Any conversation about the damned things is filled with the unending stories about people being led by their electronics getting into places they never should have gone... past Caution Signs warning them not to proceed... but proceed they did, and all parroting the refrain; "But MY GPS SAYS...!!!"

Apple, Verizon and most all the others, Garmin included! are going to try to sell you on the superior technology of THEIR GPS navigation systems...

There is a truth hidden in there... ALL OF THEM... will only, if you place reliance on them, mislead you to a different place. Be that a mile... or 75 from where you were trying to get.

The Simple and Plain truth is...  GPS Navigation systems will only work Long enough to lull you into complacency and let your guard down... so that it can lead you and your 63', 29,000 lb, 8 1/2 foot wide rig onto a sidewalk with no turnaround, four miles past the sign that says No Travel past the point you passed 12 miles ago!

Keep your paper maps and learn how to read them... GPS is a convenient accessory to old fashioned Map Navigation... but it is an accessory ONLY. Reliance on it will cost you. Rely heavily enough on it... and it will cost you dearly.

I am one that knows the weakness and poor reliability of the things... yet I still on occassion, attempt to utilize the things. I foolishly keep trying to give 'em a second chance. I might even get successful directions three or four times in a row...

Just a fool that keeps digging after he finds himself in a hole!

Trying to get from Ak Chin to Phoenix International Raceway yesterday...across unfamiliar roads... I failed to double and triple check the "Technology"... and it likely cost me 75 miles or so of fuel... arrrrrgghhh!

(and if they are intended to simplify navigation... why is it necessary to double check, triple check, and then check again... all ending with having to out of necessity... go back to the reliability of paper map navigation???)

I had even CHECKED the navigation details the night before to see if they took me in the direction I wanted and needed to go. I pulled up the text details and yup... that's where I want to go. Great.

Well, just after lunch we climbed in the rig, I pulled those directions back up, stuck the phone to the dash and off we go... "Turn left and follow blah blah blah for 16 miles..."

EXCEPT! ... this time... punching the same link I'd checked the night before... the damned thing gave me different directions... BUT... I missed that! By the time I caught on, we'd gone too far on the new "Circuitous" route to turn back... The shortest way was to complete the BAD DIRECTIONS... arrrrrrggggghhhhh.

Hell, sitting at a red light along the way... Not Moving... the damned thing swapped three times... Go straight... Turn here! ... NO! Go straight... ???!!! 

Those GPS navigation systems might be useful for finding a restaurant in town... a hardware store in a strange town... or some other place relatively close by. Then, when it leads you wrong you've not gone very far... but to rely on it for critical, cross country navigation into unfamiliar country, far from services and communication is an action that WILL lead you to a bad day.

GPS Navigation systems, smartphone based or dedicated are NOT to be trusted as your primary Navigation system. They can ONLY be relied on as supplemental to proper maps. Sorry, but it's the hard lesson of experience and reality.

Hopefully you'll catch on before you've passed the ability of your fuel tank to get you back... hopefully, the "Bad" Place it's led you to is not TOO BAD to get out of...

I keep, every few months, trying to give it another chance ... or I used to.

I am now fully educated. It is an unreliable, untrustworthy and expensive toy that can be used as a contributing accessory... when it can be Double Checked for integrity... Otherwise... PAPER MAPS and map reading skills will be used for cross country Navigation in my Rig.

If you want a smartphone get one. Don't get it thinking you're getting a life saving, simplifying navigation system. That navigation system, whether Verizon, Apple, Garmin, Magellan, Tom Tom and all the other whizbang builders want to admit it or not STILL resides right between your ears.

Learn to Read a Map and you'll get where you're going.

Placing Value on Many of the Old Ways...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Oh My God! What is THAT? The Sky is Falling! :)

Being the tough nut Colorado Storm Busters that we are... we BAILED when another storm threatened in Madera Canyon... What can I say... the idea of fighting Arizona gumbo mud to escape our RV boondock camp in the mesquites outside the mouth of Madera just doesn't hold the romance it once did.

Soooo... we bailed for a night camp at the Wally World Resort at Cortaro Farms Road in Tucson...

They've added new amenities at some of the WalMart RV Resorts...

Oh yeah, Walmart thinks of everything to accommodate the cultural needs of the People of Walmart! :)

Like morning serenades on the asphalt by itinerant horn blowers! ;)

Had a bus load of traveling musicians stop for a coffee break as we were climbing out in the morning...

You never had THAT in your Thousand Trail campground! :)

We got moving fairly early and pulled into the Catalina State park... and of course, as it always is... it was full.

We needed the place to park for a couple of nights for a family visit... so we sucked it up, got out the Vaseline and backed her in...

... and of course... the Blizzard of '13 come a rippin' into Tucson... second snow here in two weeks... normally? Snow every three or four years... Now with global warming... ;)

You have to understand... the folks in southern Arizona get kinda hysterical when stuff falls out of the sky. If you get enough snow fast enough so that there is an actual coating... like 1/4" over the asphalt for, oh, say seven minutes? THAT is a blizzard! :) ... the town comes to a screeching halt! The schools are closed... the National Guard mans the intersections and the Governor gets on the phone to FEMA and the President;

*A couple of tenting bikers*

 "Yes sir. I KNOW the Russians just got hit with a meteor ten times the power of the Hiroshima bomb! But sir! You don't understand! IT SNOWED! There is actually SNOW on the CACTUS! The SKY IS FALLING!"

Ah... folks are fun...

Yesterday afternoon we started moving toward Avondale and our NASCAR commitment. Turned off I-10 south of Phoenix to roll out through Stanfield to the casino at Ak Chin.

That's another way to find free night camps for those unaware.

Of course... I immediately got into difficulty with the Casino Security. :) We were strolling around inside just a lookin' and the guard walked up behind me; "Is that a knife?"

"Huh?" I said pulling the little clip on pocket knife out that was peekin' outa my back pocket... "This?... well... uh... I guess you could call it that... sorta." I answered.

"You'll have to leave sir."

Yup... don't get caught with that inch and a half splinter whittler in your pocket! :)

So... after we returned to the rig to disarm... ahem... we returned to the casino and signed up for their "club card" ... which gives you ten free bucks to play with and a Free supper in the buffet.

Took all of five minutes for Heidi to disappear her ten bucks. Myself I was rollin' along over an hour later, still playin' poker on their dime when her patience wore out and she started punchin' buttons... and my ten bucks disappeared too... harumph!

Well... the Free Supper required waiting in line for an hour and a half... so that didn't happen... We're gonna try and be in line early this morning to take our free meal at brunch before we pull the last few miles to the track...

So... if you're needing a safe overnight stop on your journeys... and Horn players at Walmart aren't your cup of joe... try a casino lot... Free is cheap... you might score a gift meal and some "play money" as well... and they generally have security in the lots... Just be sure to exercise Proper, parking etiquette.

Movin' on down the road

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Big Wind Comin' to Madera Canyon... Listen to the Hummin...

I can hear Johnny Cash now. Another storm on the way, this one predicted to put maybe 6" on the spot we're camped... sooooo... we're planning on not being here when it fully arrives.

This morning we got up to a rig rockin' wind... which is really sweet... cuz I gotta get up on the roof and put the Solar Panels Down... I'm pretty good about tippin' 'em up to maximize electrical production in the winter time.

Well... at least with the wind them bees won't be harassing me while I'm laying the panels back flat!

The idea is, we'll either be ready to pull out late this afternoon or first light in the morning. We're not far up this Proctor road, but as much as it's washed in the past, it looks like it could get kinda nasty in the real wet... and I've been on Arizony roads in the mud... not my idea of shining times and high livin'... draggin' a fiver through that crud! ;)

We've taken a few short walks in the lower end of the canyon as we slowly climb back out of the hole that damned flu put us in. Went maybe two and a half miles the two days ago, from our camp on up to the Santa Rita lodge where we'd driven the other day... and then a few shorter walks yesterday...

 ... where I found a Yucca Spike out of which to carve another of our "Natural" hiking staffs... ;)

The thing is super light and stiff... and will carry with it the memory of this place... so how awesome is that? :)

It's been a lil' tough to make myself step outside and walk though...

Writing has been getting in my way! :)

The latest book has now changed names. What I was calling Tears of the Hunter is now... Stalked by a Shadow. It will be the #2 book in my Ben Jensen series.

I'm hopeful, though I've been 'behind' on it that it'll be out this summer. It's really caught fire in my imagination the past few days; with some storyline mysteries getting solved for me. ;) Now, I'm as anxious as anybody else to see how it ends!

So anyhoo... in amongst the weather and spinning a modern western flavored mystery I've been out trying to capture some images to show more of the flavors of an Arizona Sky Island Canyon called Madera...

This redhead was hiding back in the naked branches of a cottonwood just as we turned off the road away from camp... onto the sweet trail they've built in Madera.

This sort of trail is perfect for most of our meandering. They say that an easy strolling hike is better for you than pushin' and straining. To this Ol' drifter it makes sense. If you're the sort that has a tendency to let their shorts get too tight... putting pressure on yourself to forge ahead against the mountain, against the wind, challenging yourself all the time... rather than just moving along, sweet and easy... it makes sense that all you'd really succeed in doing is adding to the pressure.

Now... bein' a lazy sort to begin' with... strollin' easy... for my health is a perfect fit! :)

*High Rise Bat Condos in the lower Canyon*

In the lower canyon... just outside the mouth of the canyon actually we discovered a few hidden places that I expect most never see...

This don't look much like a trail head does it?

There's nowhere to park but back up the road a bit...

Do that and walk back. There's a trail there... and if you follow it... 

... you'll find a mangate at the bottom to slide through...

... Then... work your way back through the mesquites and cottonwoods...

and you'll find a sweet little spot... This would be a pretty fine shady respite on a hot summer afternoon...

... at least if the rains had come and the water was still flowing...

Entering the hidden nook... and once inside...

Above and below the shady falls is an oasis that would be a sweet summer haven for a pic nik with all those cottonwoods leafed out...

This Madera is another of those special places... with its own quiet personality...I wonder if a part of that isn't because people have lived on and loved this land for so long?

The Papago, Yaqui and Apache... The Spaniard and the Mexican... and the Americans who followed have been here, and come back here for hundreds, even thousands of years... and the land is still strong and beautiful... not consumed as some would claim "Humans" do...

Hidden in and sheltered by a thicket of mesquite at Madera Canyon... is a sacred place...

A Mother and Bride (BRD), sleeps here with her child...

~ "Yeah Though I walk through the valley of the shadow..." ~

Fitting end of day was a soft and quiet sunset leading into what just might have been our last night in Madera Canyon for a while...

The Gypsy Cowboy is Prepping to Move on Down the Road Again...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Looking Back... and Looking Forward.

I've been doing a bit of a a cowboy cranial RV Boondocking review of the past couple years, nearly three now, of my restless gypsy living. Yeah... that's what all that smoke you've been seeing on the horizon has been about. ;)

This has been a curious winter. After all of our wide RV Boondocking circles, this has been the winter of a guy 'bout my age walkin' up kind of tentatively, where we're sittin on a bench, or in the truck or where ever we're walkin' and askin'; "Are you Brian?" ;)

... and then a Grinning;"I thought so! That HAD to be You!" 

Sunday afternoon it was Rich and Kay from Ohio!

Hell, I'm even gettin' better at recollecting names 15 seconds after they speak 'em! Maybe this'll all help ward off the continuing onset of Old Timers Syndrome.

It's a strange feeling for a guy that's always had strong bits of the hermit recluse as his major parts! My discomfort in crowds and "unexpected situations" is a strange feeling that leaves me stammering and diggin' his toe in the dirt like some kid. ;) (Heidi has to bail me out on occasion)

... and it's likely a contribution to a lil' more well rounded personality. ;) You can't have no idea what a deep impact it has been for a man who's been a loner out on the fringes his whole life. It is something for which my appreciation is deep; and the sense of honor I feel for receiving such kindnesses carries with it the need to ensure that I accept those greetings and words with proper and true humility... and humility isn't one of my strong points! ;)

... It all gets me to thinkin' a lot...

Yeah, I know. That's a dangerous place for me to wander! But, people write me all the time thanking me for inspiration and guidance... Wow... That people take the words I write and make decisions based on that was startling and scary at first. "What have I done to 'em?!!!"

To claim it a heavy burden would be arrogance... Yet it is one for which I appreciate the responsibility involved... and it's reshaped my thinking over the past few years.

What's rattlin' 'round the Ol' Brain Pan now is; When people read here and then start off on their own, What is it they want out of this gypsy life? What do they expect when they step off on a full time RVing or RV Boondocking life? and how many actually succeed?

By success, I mean; How many actually Find what it might have been they were searching for? and how many turn "Home" in disgust and boredom? In there somewhere lays something I fret over a bit here and there; How many turn away believing I misled them? When they failed to find the "picture" I painted... am I to blame?

I'm the first to say, in a lot of respects I've not yet succeeded. What I wanted was a measure of quiet contentment. What I expected was mixed results. In THAT I am succeeding brilliantly! :) but you have to understand, when you're dealing with such as me, you're dealing with a guy who'll question the arrangement of the clouds if he makes it to Heaven! ;)

Now, if you measure it by the lack of pressure on my heart and soul... I am also succeeding brilliantly. I am where I have always belonged; Nose to the wind on the open road... A man, drifting across the face of the earth in what HE sees as his Freedom. Like the Red Tailed Hawk just soaring and watching... doing his thing in the place HE belongs. In that, my success is towering in my own eyes.

Where I still need work is in finding that spiritual place where the combat with the un-ceasing efforts of the world at large, to turn bunch quitter loners like me back into the obedient herd... is a more subconscious muscle memory thing... rather than the grinding, emotional, shorts-in-a-knot thing it often becomes. I need to polish my Cowboy Zen parts juuuuuust a mite more.

ahhh... what can I say... at sixty summers I remain a work in progress. On these questions I can only offer a few bits of advice;

If you are one who isn't and hasn't been driven (like this writer has been) by a restless urge to just always keep moving on... his whole life... but traveling Full Time in an RV seems to have captured your imagination, I'd suggest starting out with a Specific Time Frame in mind; One year, two years, whatever.

Go so far as to post some future date in your journal or on a sticky on your refrigerator.

Plan at the end of that time, on that date, to re-evaluate where you are... and where you are going. Don't start out with the idea that THIS is a how it will be, cast in concrete, can't change a thing end of discussion decision. 

Don't box yourself into a place where you keep on pushing yourself down the road, because you're embarrassed to admit it doesn't work for you, if over the miles you've determined that it's something that just doesn't fit.

Many are going to find that the place that fits them best... is the place they left behind. You didn't fail. There is NO Shame... You Learned. There is no need for embarrassment. Go back there, go home. With your new found knowledge and experience, and many fine memories, go back and change those things that pushed you to leave.

Many are going to find that they've stimulated something deep inside and the thought of taking off their tires and putting the rig up on blocks just makes their heart ache.

Many are going to find that the wandering gypsy way isn't something that jumps them out of bed in the morning laughin' and gigglin'. They simply climb out with the calm, serene feeling of belonging right exactly where they are. Their breath comes deep and full... and in their way, content.

One thing I can tell you is... out here on the road, that negativity and effort to turn you from your chosen way that you experienced when you first started out will never go away. It might fade a lil' bit and it might become more coy and shaded... but it remains.

You will still, on occasion, find yourself questioning your choices. Forewarned is forearmed.

You already know I spend a lot of time... too much time... wondering and questioning... I find myself trying to convince myself that I should go back to some version of the "Old Life"... that world where you serve the man and Soh-sigh-uh-tee.

Feelings of what a selfish person I must be for my wandering ways float around and bite in unprotected moments.

Then I realize, and not in arrogance... but a clear and pragmatic view... I AM serving society and the community. We all are. By preserving our free choices, options and dreams... we preserve the possibility for other people to pursue theirs.

Guiding our OWN lives onto those shining sunny slopes where we are fulfilled and our self-worth is healthy and whole, where ever those Sunny Slopes may lay; we contribute to a stronger and more complete society. It is Not selfish. It is what is right and proper. Making our lives a strong thread in the fabric of the world around us is THE right and proper thing for us to be doing.

Just A Gypsy, Weaving a Life

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Our RV Solar Power System Passed an Anniversary

... and I'm takin' a lil' risk, if you're the superstitious sort. The anniversary of our moh-bile power station passed last September/October. I installed the final bits of our RV Solar power system and it went into production in mid October of 2006. That makes the current system just two months shy of 6 1/2 years old.

*Our Intitial RV Solar Panel installation*

In fact, it's so old... I wasn't even blogging yet! I disremember just how long the batteries had been in place. I believe the RV battery bank went in the month before. Just a short time after the install I had to go back and re-do the battery cables, as my initial work had been less than my "inspector" approved of.

*The RV Battery Bank with the Upgraded Battery Cables*

You might remember that I'd originally planned on having at least four panels, hopefully more. Our real estate debacle, and other resulting di does along the way have kept that from happening.

Just the same, I spend as much time fiddling with the electronics on this rig... writing my sites, blogs and books as anybody, plus we generally read well into the evening requiring the lights to be on... and then after the furnace keeps us from freezing in the night I get up and fire up the coffee maker in the morning.

That RV Solar Power Battery Bank of ours has seen juuuuust a few ampere hours of juice flow through it over the years.

I remember folks warning us that it'd need replacement ... um... quite a while ago. That replacement has been planned and aborted due to "circumstances" of the difficulty kind... on a couple of occasions. I've decided that it's kinda like cowboys. When I was a kid, just startin' out ~ Cowboy ~ I got told; "What are you doin' that for boy? Cowboys are a dyin' breed!"

Uh Huh... and today, we're STILL busily dyin'! :) and that aged RV Battery Bank of ours, after ALL these many years of lighting my RV Boondocking life are STILL, busily wearin' out! :)

I was told two panels ain't enough. You need more. Don't get me wrong, I'd LIKE two more panels. With two more I'd likely not even have to fire up the generator after the Cloudy Days! But... those two 130 watt Kyocera panels have powered us just fine, with HOURS each day on the computer, an hour or two of morning coffee maker and HOURS into the evening of Illuminated reading....
... or at least she reads while I tap tap tap on the keyboard... If I'm not reading.

... and I don't have to worry about the generator growin' legs when we're not at the rig... or worryin' about the price of gasoline for it, or even having gas for it much... or... even running it beyond some top off runs in poor weather in the winter. After say March... it seldom gets run until down into November... and then only when the weather blocks charging.

When it comes to frugal living... RV Boondocking on Solar Power is 'bout as cheap as a fella can go. Think about it... sure you've got to crack the piggy bank to get it all set up in the first place but then...

When you keep yourself as far from the benefits of deep pockets as I seem so skilled at doing! ;) Parking out where the rent is Zero... and having your own power plant just hummmin' away making essentially free power... unsupervised... while you go off and take a walk in the park is pretty damn fine!

When we get up against it... we just find a good place to set up for a few weeks and settle in. Our expenditure for camp fees, diesel fuel, generator gas and all those nicks against our income that go along with being on the road... pretty much come to a screeching halt! That's juuuuust 'bout as frugal living as it can get and still not get frost bite!

Yes Sir! When it comes to RV Boondocking... our RV Solar Power System is likely the shiniest  investment we made... and one of the best You'll ever make.

Squeezin' The Last of the Good Out of Our System