Sunday, November 08, 2015

Roadtrip Day 118

Roadtrip Day 118

11/03 Tuesday

Windy last night and early this AM but sunny and mostly still now with only occasional wind gusts. Not too chilly last night, either. I don’t think the heater came on at all. Speaking of which, we finally ran our current propane tank dry trying to heat water this AM; that sucker lasted a long time what with running the fridge, cooking, and running the heater a bunch lately. This morning we switched to the full tank (We have two attached to the trailer.), so we’re fresh and good to go for a while now. We’ve been on the road 118 days and that was approximately our third tank of propane; we’re now starting our kinda fourth. You can do the math. We did a partial fill at one point so our volume use estimate is imperfect. Fairly accurate to say that a tank lasts about a month. They only cost $10-15 bucks to fill or about $20~25 to simply do a tank swap at one of those tank-swap places like Safeway supermarket, Home Depot home improvement store, et al.

Speaking of money, Ronnie has calculated that our average nightly camping cost is (still) running under $10, despite the extravagance of our $70/night stay in the fancy San Diego Resort Park and the $14/night fee at several state parks we’ve used. My “old codger” pass gets us into National Parks, Monuments, and Forest areas free plus it gets us half-priced camping in those areas. Some National Parks are a bit pricey to enter per day, so that pass has certainly been a boon.

Parking follies are entertaining. It’s just like being at anchor someplace and watching incompetent sailors trying to get anchored. For example, those of you who’ve been sailing in the Virgin Islands definitely know what I’m talking about. The charter companies there will rent a boat to pretty much anybody who can pay their fees. Then those people head out to the various islands and try to anchor. Hahahaha! Shit! Most of ‘em can’t even pick up a mooring line from a mooring ball. Same with people trying to back their trailers in.

The spaces here are somewhat small, I’ll grant. Maximum allowable length in this campground is 29 feet, and that’s for the roads; most campsites can’t handle anything that big. But, dear Gawd in heaven!, the horror. The horror. It can take anybody a couple (or even a few) tries to get in the way they want to be situated; but, just like husbands and wives yelling angrily across the 40 feet or so of deck from cockpit to bow when trying (and failing) to anchor, you hear voices drifting back and forth from across the campground through *multiple* back-and-fill efforts. It sounds like unhappy sex.

“No! No! More to the left!”

“I AM to the left. You hafta tell me sooner.”

“I told you but you didn’t listen. Now you’re in there all cockeyed.”

“Well, that’s YOUR fault. Just lemme do it myself.”

“Fine! Go ahead. I’m done here.”

Hahahahaha! I’m easily entertained imaging that it’s their bedroom communication style.

Anyway, Ronnie is being an evil, bad campground citizen feeding the Mexican Jays. They’ll come right up to her but won’t take food from her hand. I guess they’re more civilized than our Northwest Stellar’s Jays who’ve been known to swoop down and grab something out of your hand as it’s going to your own mouth. I hope the rangers don’t catch her. (grin) It’s not like we’re feeding the bears.

Oh yeah, in case I didn’t mention it, this is black bear country; so we’re supposed to be using bear-country protocols. I confess, we did NOT carry bear spray on our hikes and we’ve been a little casual about putting *everything* in the car at night instead of leaving it in the trailer. The campground host said there hadn’t been a bear in the campground in collective memory. What the campground does get is skunks. I’m pretty sure no skunk is gonna tear into our fiberglass sides or even through our tent-sides just to get at our toothpaste.

Drove to the Visitors’ Center to extend our stay through Saturday morning; saw the Cochise County Bookmobile there. Most amusing. Then we motored to the top (Massai Point) and did the pretty, little Massai Nature Trail. Kinda blustery up there. Back to camp for lunch with two deer who were snacking not far from us. We got a bag of tiny Milk Dud boxes and fun-sized caramel Milky Ways for Halloween, just in case. No one came by so now we have them all for ourselves. Mmmmmmmm, dessert after lunch = GOOD!

Predicted lows for the next few days are down in the mid-30s. I’m glad we have a fresh, full propane tank supplying our needs. Sung to the tune of “Born to be Wild”: Get yer heater runnin’. Snuggle in your bedding. Lookin’ for some comfort. And the comin’ of the day.

In preparation for the cold nights, we’ve decided to address our insulation issue. The heater is very powerful and efficient, but heat leaks out of our upper tent sides like shit through a goose. For tonight, we’ve hung thermal blankets over the unused tent end and the big, long window over the settee and galley. If we had another, we’d hang it over the window by the door. Since we don’t, we’ll hang the sunshades we use in the car windshield for that window. Let’s see how all that works tonight.


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