Archive for April, 2015

Soon, very soon

So much to do, getting ready is helping me after this long year after Jolyon’s death and Forrest and Dale and all the other deaths and people who have left my life (this is closer to the last 7 or 8 years.) I’m pushing hard with a long long to do list and everything’s falling into place!

All the RV needed was a new engine battery and some minor adjustments. Have decided not to get new tires as the Open Country Toyo’s have 50% tread wear remaining. Rotating has helped the tire cupping likely caused by the wrong shocks that Ian’s Tire installed. I seem to be in the minority in not liking these tires, I’m sticking to my dislike but also sticking to my budget! I’d recommend if you need shocks for a Van based Class B motorhome you spend the extra for Bilstein, not sure why these are on closeout as I haven’t researched them… maybe newer ones are available, maybe these aren’t the right size?

My to do list:

  • Trip check for RV: Done
  • Taxes: Done
  • Eye Exam: Done, YEAH no problems found after all other than aging and sensitive eyes. So relieved.
  • Make Bug Curtains: Not yet, but I have the material
  • Teeth: Have decided to wait until summer
  • Book Denali: Long story but not pre-booking
  • Costco Card: This is now in my name; sorry everyone who Jolyon had on his plan, it’s just me now.
  • Bed for RV for my travel companion: After struggling with this I decided on a Kamp Rite Insect Protection System Tent and a beautiful Nemo, Cosmo Air Pad: this will work for the floor in the RV with a thin memory foam pad folded over for the lower  portion of the floor to make it even. If you have this rig you know what I’m talking about and outside in appropriate locations. Done
  • Prepare Press Release and Flyer for the Summerfest Ventura AKC Cluster Dog Show…  July 4th weekend. Done
  • Write dog sheet info for my amazing friend who is boldly taking on all 4 of my dogs, plus her 2 while I’m gone. Done
  • Groom All Dogs: Will be done: Not Yet
  • Get all dogs up to date on shots, meds, etc etc.: In Progress
  • Oil Change for the Camry: Done
  • Little Rug for the RV: Done
  • Frig Fan: Done
  • Hair Cut: Done
  • New Camera: Yeah!!!!  A Sony A6000 with the 2 kit lenses!!!! Done
  • Ear Cleaning:  Soon
  • Clothes: Working on it….  trying mail order, LOL.
  • Shoes: Same as above
  • Clean RV: In progress
  • Renew Camping Cards…  Passport America and Good Sam …  these Good Sam guys do way too much advertising and trying to push other services…  I wouldn’t trust much of what they offer, but the membership is easily made up as so many RV Parks offer their discount. Have decided none of the other “camping RV” cards are worth the price; they may be if you intend to stay in one spot for a long time as a base camp, but not for me. Done
  • I may also do Harvest Host
  • Call Verizon re service in Canada:  Done $15 per month will do it. using phone as mobile hotspot has  become expensive so am thinking about it. Not expecting much coverage in Canada.  At some point I’ll consider a cell phone antenna booster.
  • Insurance card for Canada: Done at AAA office
  • Stock Supplies:  In progress
  • Update GPS: Not yet, hope I can find the right cord
  • Chains: Not Yet
  • Binoculars: Done, am borrowing
  • Solve problem of phone not fully charging and battery fast drain on my Samsung Note 2:  No, and no clue yet…  in other words everything I’ve tried so far has not worked. Could this be a faulty / intermittent charging port on the phone?
  • Music; Partially Done.  I downloaded and paid for PowerAmp for my Android. I like it! Big problem is the battery drain trouble above.
  • Audio Books and other audio files: Not yet
  • Did I mention Shoes:  Trouble finding what I want in the size that fits and that does not hurt my feet. Sigh… need an entire entry just on shoes.
  • Get stuff ready like … laptop, learn new stuff for new camera…  photoshop, etc. Discover I will need to purchase a new laptop to keep up with my new camera…  sigh. In Progress
  • Shopping…  oh there’s always shopping
  • Pack RV:  Not Yet
  • Explain this all to the dogs. Hmmmm ….
  • Kiss all my dogs over and over and tell them to be good and to enjoy their upcoming vacation too: Ongoing
  • Oh yeah, and have fun and take good pictures and enjoy trip: Upcoming

Here’s a Nova video on Dinosaurs in Denali  It’s  about an hour long. Did you know there were dinosaurs tromping across Alaska? Makes sense to me, maybe Forrest and I speculated this back when we were enrolled in Earth System Sciences at UCSB. Only 2 states Forrest didn’t travel to, Hawaii and Alaska;  I will make a sign for the Signpost Forest at Watson Lake and include your name on it my love.

Just How Big Is Alaska

Just How Big Is Alaska

Getting Ready for Alaska

I’ve decided to take the LT to Alaska. Later I will replace her for that updated bathroom and improved insulation I so want, am keeping that a secret from her ears while we get ready for a long journey. There are so many things I adore about my LT. She’s so very comfy with the roomy isles, plush seats and my bed looking out the back doors which I can often position to face nature’s big smile. It’ doesn’t hurt either that at 19.5 feet we fit in many parking spots.

The LT is scheduled for a trip check next week. Meanwhile I have my list of to do’s:

  1. Sketeer’s Beaters  for the front windows; I purchased the gray Yellowstone’s… they will need a little adjusting but are the right size for the LT, I called before I ordered. I suspect it will be hot at least at times, I heard it was 100 degs in Anchorage last summer, so these will allow open windows sans bugs!!!
  2. Mosquito netting to handcraft bug screens for the side and rear doors: I bought 5 yards of white no-see-ems mosquito netting from amazon… Undecided if the netting will require hems. The Sketeer Beaters have hems. The yardage I bought is exactly the measured size of the rear door so I will turn it the other way if I do need hems. I bought some extra magnets on the recommendation of staff at Sketeer Beater to close the flaps on the “curtain-doors.” My best idea is to duct tape the netting/door to the door jamb and roll it back into tie strips when not in use. …  I considered installing curtain rods but given the shape and placement of the doors it seemed too complicated. I found a very helpful company in Australia that is willing to handcraft a solution for the rear   I’d definitely recommend them, they answer quickly and seem very helpful and another company that will cut to order a door for the side opening, this is the kind of door it would be  (just click on the link)  …  if you search around the Internet you’ll find a company that will make them to fit. That said after a lot of thought I’ve decided to go with a homemade job.
  3. I bought a Valterra fan for the ‘frig.  Should have done this long ago but I did not understand that in order to cool an RV frig faster and more efficiently esp in higher digit heat this extra circulation is needed. I’ll try to find the explanation and post it.  The product had some bad reviews about how the batteries fit but am hoping for the best.
  4. I lost one of my 30 amp to 15 amp adaptors so I bought a Pigtail Adapter type as a replacement.
  5. Ned to repair some loose screws inside that are holding curtains; not sure if the screws will need to be remounted as they simply do not hold. This could be a little tricky so I don’t wind up with extra holes in the vinyl interior covering.
  6. Another loose item is the passenger side mirror. It will not stay in place, will be asking the mechanic to take a look at this.
  7. The rear side window again has a broken gear… I bought a new gear…  will take to the mechanic.
  8. My most challenging interior item is to fashion a second bed. Yes, you heard me right…. For the first time I’m taking a human passenger along on a trip!!!! I have an offer of borrowing 2 tents. Those will be perfect for nights at campgrounds but boondocking will likely require sleeping inside. It was suggested to me that I try a hammock!  I love this idea. I love hammocks anyway so I started researching and found an incredible array of hammocks. Some feel sleeping in a hammock full time is much better for your back and for a good night’s sleep. This does require a bit of learning and studying as there is a right way and a wrong way to sleep in hammock. Likewise there are hammocks for interior use and others for outside. I may buy one of the outside hammocks with complete bug netting just for the fun of it…  oh, silly me I wish somehow the hammock could suspend itself without the need of trees or carting along some sort of stand that wouldn’t fit in my little RV anyway. Yep, if somebody could invent that…  a self suspended hammock LOL. I called several hammock stores and got the bad news which I’ll explain: I’d decided to hang the hammock from the passenger door to the side entry door. That a little over 6.5 feet. Turns out that’s not enough space. For a hammock to have a flat space for a body to lie and not budge down like a chair swing there needs to be closer to 9 feet, perhaps one could do 7 or 8 feet in a pinch…  more in this case is better. Of course not being the believing type I’d want to try it out for myself with the extra part of the hammock twirled and locked outside the van. Outside Momma show how to hang a hammock inside a van should you want to try it.  My passenger has offered to sleep on the floor, this may be the only option however it’s not optimal. The floor on the LT is in several levels, necessarily lugging filler material to create a flat sleeping surface…  and the obvious is that the aisle will be filled blocking the bathroom, stove, frig, any late night craving will be off-limits.  So I went back to plan numero uno…  trying to make the front seats into a bed.  Oh how I wish that pesky passenger seat was hinged to lay flat!!!  I’ve tried off and on to create an angled platform …  angling from the drivers side to the side doors but my mechanical aptitude is low. I have a condition called too many aptitudes which makes such a person a drifter with accomplished projects and a lifetime of just getting by…  I only score low on 2 aptitudes….  why oh why is something so useful as mechanical ability one of them! Then  I found this idea:  the carbunck which is designed for kids but I think can be adapted for an adult. I wrote emailed the company but have not received a reply.  I discovered 2 online building plans for a bunk over the front seats… here’s my favorite:  (remember click the links if you have an interest.) I prefer this canvas and pipe idea to plywood which presents a storage problem  and the canvas just looks more sleep worthy and will provide more room overhead. With luck I can build one, hoping my housemate will help along with an open minded seamstress.  The length from window to window is 6 feet, the distance shrinks to 5 feet by the time one reaches seat level. Well, it’s an idea, once it’s done I’ll see how long it turns out to be.
  9. Other items: clothes… since it’s been at least 4 or 5 years since Jolyon took me to go shopping and given my weight gain….  Yes, I ate my way through loss and mourning most of my clothes either don’t fit or have significant holes.
  10. Will like need to do some work on the blackout / reflective window covers.
  11. A nice new isle rug is in order with a subtle color charge.

 Another Song:    I‘ll See You Again