October 17

Contentment

We left our camp last Friday for the Mogollon Rim north of Payson and found a wonderful forest and good weather.

A nice path overlooking the rim.
A nice path overlooking the rim.

Sure, it was a holiday weekend (Columbus Day) and there were loads of people, but I was able to find a nice place to camp away from the campgrounds and most of the other forest users.

During the week, I explored the area and found I was within a half hour of at least four lakes and another two about 45 minutes away. Really they are reservoirs but its water to canoe and fish, so does it really matter. Also with some prior research, I learned these lakes are over run with crayfish and the fish and game encourage folks to trap them. Crayfish are a menace to trout lakes and eat the pray trout like, also the vegetation and trout off-spring.

Some lakes you need to hike into, like the one to the north of camp. According to the Google Earth view, a road leads to Chevelon Canyon Lake, but the road was gated and the hike down was long and longer yet going up. Geordie and I took the long hike to find a lake that should have been a canoeist’s haven, but just then for me, just a lake to look at longingly. The sides had barely a fishers trail to follow, being so steep.

I’d jumped at the early morning drive without real preparations and only had water with me and no food or reading material, thinking I could drive down and canoe. So, there we were and I tossed a few casts of the rod and nothing to show. I then tossed a few rocks in the water for Geordie to chase and swim about. I crossed the spillway and cast a half dozen more times and hooked a 15 inch rainbow. I thought that’s a great dinner and cleaned it up. With two more casts I caught another rainbow about an inch longer. Not needing to be greedy I released it and called it a good day albeit short.

As I got back to the truck I met a guy starting down with an ATV and a trailer loaded with a pontoon boat. That is one of the few times I longed for an ATV.

He did mention another lake up north that was under some repairs to the dam, and that its a great place to canoe and even find a few camps to canoe to and stay overnight. I filed that for next fall’s return.

Finding such a great spot I’ll, finally, stay somewhere for the limit of 14 days, even though we’ve had a few nights in the freezing range but others like last night in the mid 40’s. There are more lakes to fish and the easier ones to drop the canoe in and take a relaxing paddle. It’s a spot I’ll return to in the future.

Woods Canyon Lake
Woods Canyon Lake

I guess I’ll get to see what a fall, non-holiday, weekend is like later tonight. Still five days out of seven of heaven is just fine by me.

If you have any interest in this area, Woods Canyon Lake has two or three campgrounds. There is a dump station for $7.00 and dumpsters for trash at $3.00. You can launch your own boat or rent a boat, kayak, or paddleboard. There is also a little store there and also a small store up the road near Forest Lakes. I went up to the Heber IGA store, and as with any store in slimly populated areas, is a bit pricey. Payson should be stopped at for bigger selections at either Walmart, Basha’s, or Safeway.

Marina at Woods Canyon Lake
Marina at Woods Canyon Lake

Best camping is further away from the lakes. I happen to be on Forest Road 717 but further out on  169 there are some nice spot.

Beware of "Camping Areas" It could be you and your 60 new friends!
Beware of “Camping Areas” It could be you and your 60 new friends!

On a completely different topic, my Dutch Oven cooking is taking on a more advanced stage. Well, maybe intermediate stage. Back up on the Kaibab Plateau I tried a pizza that turned out pretty well. I just have to cut back on dough. I made a crust good for two pizzas.

This past week I made a decent Cottage Pie. (A pet peeve of mine is when recipes and restaurants that call it “Shepard’s Pie” but its made with ground beef. It’s Cottage Pie with beef and a Shepard’s Pie is made with ground lamb!!!) I’m done.

For the latest cook up, last night I made green chile, chicken, and dumplings, that was really good.

Geordie pretending not to be interested in what's in the pot.
Geordie pretending not to be interested in what’s in the pot.
Dinner's ready
Dinner’s ready

I appreciate your stopping by to follow our journey and shopping at Amazon via my blog.

October 10

Mistakes and City Chores

The mistake is not what you think, no, sometimes finding camps can be a journey that sometimes is an act of bungling through the information you have and the “X” factor you don’t.

First let’s go back to last Monday when I left the Kaibab Plateau. I was almost out of dog food and Flagstaff was the only town close that carried his brand. Yes, bad timing on my part!

Finding his food right away we went down to a campground about 20 miles south of town. Taking a rest when we got there, I kept asking myself why a campground? The first time I’ve paid for a site since I started.

After a little rest we headed out to get a few groceries for the cupboards and fridge and just as we got back to Lake Mary Road, I look across and see a forest road with a sign saying “14 Day Camping Limit.” Palm to forehead moment. Mistake number one.

Well, the campground was nice but it’s the fact that where there is a campground you find loud people and generators. Need I say more?

Then the road southeast on Lake Mary Road I found some beautiful areas for boondocking and made mental notes.

When we got down toward Payson, Az I looked for the road I’d researched on the Tonto Forest site and found a sloped “dispersed camping” area and drove further and found areas with trash all over and right next to the road. As we rested for the next 30 minutes about eight vehicles blew by on the road to the private land at the end of the road. Not only was this a trashed area but far too busy for me. Mistake number two.

I drove back out to find a campground near town and I paid for three nights so I could get the chores done and not be washed out by the next tropical hurricane remnents. Mistake number three. Once again I’m paying to listen to generators starting up at 7:30 in the morning!

But on the chore side, I was able to get the oil changed, more groceries, a fishing license, and Geordie needed a veterinarian appointment for a parvo shot and more heartworm medicine.

Then we’re off to the lakes to the north I’ve been ogling for a week or two and needing to scratch an itch to get out in the canoe and fish….and praying for the rain to stop. Mistake number four, it’s Columbus Day weekend! I’ll find an out of the way spot and wait out the weekenders then do my fishing in the quiet during the week.

Sorry no photographs this week. Not a lot to shoot and the rain dampens the desire to get my lens wet when it just keeps coming down.

October 3

This Camp is too Hot, This Camp is too Cold…

Last week marked one month on the road, and the one thing I can note is the amount of rain I’ve encountered.

From the Maple Grove camp outside of Salina, Utah I found a great camp not far away. This next camp was off exit #7 on I-70 and heading back east to the first forest road on the north side. Just a little way up you’ll find a road on the right and up a short way you’ll find a small area, a little lumpy, and if you can ignore the cow chips it is a nice quiet spot. The other bonus I discovered on the third day was a direct view of the cell towers and good internet.

We had rain there as well, but not the traffic and ATVs as I expected.

From that spot we found a camp just south and east of Parowan, Utah in a wildlife management area. It’s a nice one night stop if you’re on I-15. Just a bit of highway noise but bearable.

Interior of rotted old growth spruce trunk
Interior of rotted old growth spruce trunk

Then I was south to pick-up a few things and groceries in St. George. I found a road on the west side of the highway near Pintura, Ut., but didn’t expect the heat. The area was an old burn area with no trees and temperatures in the mid 90’s. I think as time marches on in birthdays, I’ve become less tolerant of hot temperatures. Even on the shady side of the trailer was in the 90 range. Just two days there and I was deciding whether to go north again or head to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, where the weather reports forecast temperatures in the 70’s.

Southeast won out, and here we are in the tall pines and aspens. Friday, when we left, was forecast for rain…of course! But finding a camp about half way between Jacob Lake and the North Rim Park was a pleasant change. Then late afternoon the rains came with near biblical proportions. All night it would start to drizzle for a minute or two then the deluge would hit for about 45 minutes, then quit. Then it all repeated over and over all night long.

Storm on the horizon and ravens playing in the wind
Storm on the horizon and ravens playing in the wind

 

On the morning of Saturday we woke to clouds screaming across the sky with a few breaks. By noon more rain and so we spent most of the day inside with a minute or two to dash out.

Sunday morning we were in clear skies and a low of 35° and frost on the solar panels and heater blazing inside. As I said to my sister on Friday, “I’d rather be cold than too hot.” I think I succeeded.

I took a day and went into the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and wasn’t disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of tourist shops and the hiking trails. There is a bit of driving to get to the other view areas, but if you’ve been to Mesa Verde the drives are similar, but you can admire the aspens changing color on theses roads. The main road, AZ 67, to the park is filled with huge meadows and a few areas of burn scars of past fires. But the added bonus of the areas is seeing the progression of the forest. First the grasses take hold then the aspens begin the fill in. I remember in the forest service hearing that the aspen forests are declining because of the lack of fires. The aspens are back here in full force.

First glimpse of the canyom
First glimpse of the canyon
Hayden Peak
Hayden Peak

A shift in weather had us down to 24 degrees Thursday morning. I burned through a lot of propane, that’s for sure.

A curve of the Colorado River
A curve of the Colorado River

I expect to stay for about another week if Geordie’s food holds out.

If you’ve not been to this area I think the challenge of getting here is well worth the trip.

September 26

My Solar Set-up for Boondocking.

This week I thought I’d show you my set-up for boondocking.

Boondocking was something I knew was for me, but setting up solar for charging my battery was a challenge.

In no way am I a professor in solar or electronics, so a few books were very helpful in my set-up. First was the book “The Complete Book of Boondock RVing: Camping off the Beaten Path” by Bill Moeller. I found it very comprehensive in all things boondocking. From cell phone boosters, selecting a rig, water conservation, and almost too detailed solar. It was well worth the purchase. The other book on solar was “Managing 12 Volts: How to Upgrade, Operate and Troubleshoot 12 Volt Electrical Systems” by Harold Barre. This was more to the point in charging batteries with the many options including wind generation.

My system was sort of hobbled together. I had a plug-and-play solar system but I didn’t really know how is worked and all the components. So, I took the two solar panels from that and then figured out I needed a charge controller. The charge controller manages the amount of “juice” the batteries receive in charging. I purchased a cheap controller from Amazon. It’s the HQRP model. They’re called a PWM which means “Pulse Width Modulation.” What that means, as best I can describe, as the battery gets towards a full charge the controller adjusts the amount power charging the battery. It saves the battery from over charging which will damage the battery.

Charge Contorller
Charge Contorller

The solar panels are each 48 watts but the more important number to each panel is the amp rating, which is just over three amps. This number is important in the choosing of the charge controller. With two panels my amps are just over six amps and my charge controller is rated at 10 amps, so I’m well within the ratings.

DSC_0014

Tag on back of solar panels
Tag on back of solar panels

As you’ll learn from the books, figuring out how much energy you use is the main factor in sizing your system. I’m pretty low in energy needs. I need just 12 volts to charge up a laptop, a mifi jetpack, a Kindle, a cell phone, powering a cell phone booster, and a satellite radio.

One thing I purchased before I even picked up the trailer are LED bulbs to change out the stock incandescent bulb. I read on both the Casita forums that each LED uses 0.1 % of the energy of the incandescent bulbs. I don’t need any AC power for things like a drip coffee pot or toaster oven. If you have or want those or other items you’ll need to decide on a larger system and an inverter. You’ll learn about inverters in both books I’ve mentioned.

My last item I added was a meter for my system. I had in the beginning a plug in meter, but found it wasn’t as accurate. The Trimetric meter was the best for me. What a meter does is monitor your battery in many ways. I can see how much my battery is being charged in amps and watts. Also I can see how much energy I’ve used and adjust my power consumption. And many other things like histories of power usage and charging. The monitor is a real-time story of what’s happening to you system. I can see if my battery is being discharged more than the 25% that is the limit for my battery. Remember that a full battery is 12.6+ volts, but discharging 25% is not 25% of 12.6 volts, which would be 9.45 volts and is far past a dead battery, a dead battery reads 11.7 volts. There are charts in the “12Volt….” book.

Volts being charged into battery.
Volts being charged into battery.
Amount in amps I'm gaining via the solar panels.
Amount in amps I’m gaining via the solar panels. I was also charging a Kindle when I took this photo, so the amps are lower.

This brings me to batteries, there are many choices and depends on your system, and the books I’ve cited have better information than I can give you.

Lastly, where to set-up your panels. Many RVers have space on top of their trailers or motorhomes, others set the panels on their tow vehicle. My choices were limited to setting them out on the ground since Casitas are tough to mount panels on and my truck also carries my canoe. The plus of having the panels separate from a permanent mount is I can rotate them if I’m in camp, and I can also park the Casita in the shade to eliminate heating up and still have the panels in the sun.

I hope this helps and gives you an idea of how many of us live in the peaceful and beautiful little nooks in our beautiful lands.

For a little bit of fun, since we’re getting close to the real Snowbird season I found a video from my favorite Canadian curmudgeon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AgWKX0UBdA .

Thanks for dropping by,

Rob

September 19

New dog, routines, and the perfect camp

The new dog is not for me. I called my sister-in-law over the weekend to hear more about the news of a new pup entering their lives. Their three kids are very excited. They’ve had two Golden Retrievers in the past, but a new dog is a celebration in any dog-lovers mind. He’s a pound dog of about two years. He looks of Siberian and Australian Shepard. Good looking dog. I’ll try and load a photo for next post of Murphy.

Geordie found another stream to soak in
Geordie found another stream to soak in

My sister-in-law,LP ,and I talked on about life on the road, and she asked if I’ve got a routine. My head went into overdrive thinking whether I had a routine. I guess in some ways I do and I don’t.

I get up and check the news and the blog every morning, if I have internet, then make a mug of tea and let Geordie out to wander about. And that’s about the best routine I actually have. My natural tendency is to rebel against routine.

Nice little cabin
Nice little cabin

Sometimes I take a little walk mid-morning with Geordie, other times I read. I do take either Sunday or Monday and clean the trailer each week. Afternoon, I again take Geordie for another little walk, or since this camp has a creek I take him down to play in the water. It gives him enough time to dry off before letting him back into the trailer. I’ll also read some more and shoot photos.

Creek behind camp
Creek behind camp

DSC_0055

Bonus points for who can tell me what track this is.
Bonus points for who can tell me what track this is.

All this brought on the idea of the perfect camp. One thing I’ve mentioned in a past post is a hiking trail. I thought this camp had one by the maps I’ve read, but alas no trailhead found.

So, what constitutes a perfect camp for me?

First, quiet and peaceful, no campers like on this past Saturday that blared the stereo at 8:15 in the morning, or wander through my camp.

A nice trail to hike, or two would be fantastic.

I’d like good view and maybe a lake to take Geordie swimming or for me to canoe and fish.

As I look over this list, I remember a camp I was at, pre-Geordie, out in Wisconsin. A Forest Service CG on a small lake. I took the campsite about 30 yards from the little dock and boat launch. It was a small portage with the canoe from camp. The other nice aspect was a trail around the lake. Despite it being a Forest Service CG it was quiet and not a lot of traffic for late July.

Geordie's first encounter with a watchful eye and good manners
Geordie’s first encounter, with a watchful eye and good manners

So far, I haven’t found that camp out here…yet, one that I like enough to stay for 14 days and come back to once a year. But never fear, I’ll try my darnedest to find it. And, I know of one in Wisconsin!

Thanks, as always, for stopping by for a look-see.

September 12

Rain and a long day to a new camp

The day is Monday, and there is rain due again.

I had planned on leaving yesterday but before dawn I heard the wind whip up and saw nothing but storm clouds. Listening to NPR, the local station came in with a weather forecast and said there is sub-tropical moisture from a hurricane and flash flood warnings. With that news I decided to stay.

Clouds lowering
Clouds lowering

In a bit of synchronicity in my predicament, I had been reading a section of a book by Grey Owl. He and his partner had been canoeing across a lake when a squall hit them half way and the waves began to fill the canoe. Having supplies for their trapping cabin for the winter, they pivoted the canoe down wind and made camp the best they could. The wind being too much to erect a tent they tipped the canoe on its side and covered it with the sheet of canvas. They hunkered down for two days waiting out the storm.

So here I am, close to a hundred years later, hunkered down keeping my supplies dry and the trailer out of a ditch.

If you don’t know about Grey Owl, look him up on Wikipedia. He’s a fascinating man and writer. I’ve been reading  “The Men of the Last Frontier.” Also there was a movie a number of years back that I happen to like very much. I’m maybe a bit biased a reviewer since its subject matter is one I love, the wilderness. The star is Pierce Brosnan, pre-Bond, and I think one of his better films.

It’s Tuesday, and I sit and read as the melodious sound of rain hits the roof of the Casita. I’m working my best not to slip into a mid-morning nap, but it’s hard. It’s been a constant rain since about eight this morning. There was some heavy down pouring last night. There are puddles all around the trailer. I kept asking myself last night, would it be better to move and set up in the rain or wait it out? I heard on the radio I-15 was flooded south of St. George, Utah. I thought it best to stay put and hunker down.

I then got up and made a mug of tea and a stack of sourdough pancakes then returned to reading.

A good stack of sourdoughs and tea
A good stack of sourdoughs and tea

Finally, Wednesday broke and I saw blue sky. I packed up and tried to dry the outdoor rug as best I could then took off driving north through Moab. My worry late last night and this morning was what I called “Little Foy Lake.” A huge puddle/lake had grown over night and I tossed about last night about how to get out and whether I’d get stuck. I thought of putting rocks down where the tires would get traction. My decision was to shift in four wheel drive and sort of “gun-it” and hope I wouldn’t sink and spin my wheels.  In the end I took it slow and if I got stuck I’d wait for someone to drive by, but I made it out fine.

Little Lake Foy
Little Lake Foy

Passing through Moab, I wowed at how it’s changed in 24 years. I almost didn’t recognize the town.

The game plan was to stop somewhere along I- 70 midway between Green River and Salina. As the road climbed the San Rafael Swell the day was still young. So, the plan changed to Gooseberry Road. As I got close, on the interstate was a sign saying the road was closed for construction. That nixed that possible camp spot.

I then passed through Salina on US 50 and began wandering some off shoot roads looking for a camp. The best camps I found were occupied. The other fair sites had ATV tracks all through them. Not wanting to be deluged by ATVers over the weekend I pushed forth to a camp outside of a forest campground that a friend had posted on her blog. It had been a long day of about four hours. Not my usual short one to two hour drives.

Outside of Maple Grove CG is where I sit right now with good internet, for the first time, and a wonderful creek that lulls one to sleep at night. Thank you RvSue. http://rvsueandcrew.net/

Ivie Creek my night time lull.
Ivie Creek my night time lull.
Nice views
Nice views
September 5

Desert Silence

This will be a two post day.

I took another drive, as it was too nice a day. I turned down a BLM road in the Indian Creek area and wandered a bit then turned off on a couple of two-track off shoots, and hiked, often to an old camp.

Geordie loved being out and about, as usual, and I wandered and took photos.

At one area I sat and remembered how nice the desert can be. There are two places that have the most silence I’ve ever heard, one being in the desert, and the other in a cave.

I sat there on an outcrop of rock and stopped to listen. But for the panting of a dog, and maybe a plane passing overhead, the silence is unreal in this world. Sometimes the wind will overtake the silence then pass and you left there with your thoughts. Then you really notice the other sounds. A distant Raven or the small flies buzzing about, then it quiets again and it’s just your mind making noise.

If you sit long enough your mind will quiet and just the visual takes over, that’s when it most quiet.

If you ever want to know real silence, visit the Utah deserts in late spring or late fall.

Here are just a few photos.

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Moisture lifting over the La Sal Mountains
Moisture lifting over the La Sal Mountains

 

 Juniper berries
Juniper berries
Mini yucca
Mini yucca

 

Desert Dog
Desert Dog

 

Ancient Juniper trunk
Ancient Juniper trunk

 

Desert colors
Desert colors

Take time and enjoy the silence.

 

September 5

Labor Day and Liberation Day

It was a crowded Labor Day weekend around these parts in Colorado. I saw many boats going to lake McPhee, ATVers traveling up and down the back roads of the forest, along with motorcycles, and few horse trailers rumbled by, and many “hogs” running on the road.

I labored on Labor Day. I cleaned the trailer and reorganized some cabinets. As I shook out the runner rug and swept the floor, I kept thinking how easy it is to keep clean. I know those of you in Casitas and tiny houses understand the ease of cleaning.

I’m ready to move tomorrow and have looked further out on the maps to the next and next camps. The caveat that plans can be changed at will.

I found one problem with this camp, other than the lack of cell and internet, there wasn’t a hiking trail to wander. Geordie and I did walk some roads and off shoots but no trail was close to camp.

It’s now Wednesday and yesterday we came out to Monticello, Ut. It was a short trip except for trying to find a new camp. Up in the Abajo Mountains I took a hour and a half to stop and walk down off shoot roads looking for spots to unhitch. Finally we pulled into an area with a small reservoir and a few spots to camp. Being tired and Geordie getting annoyed by not being let out at every stop to walk roads, I set up camp in a big field where a trailhead is. Not ideal but good for one night.

Not such a bad spot with the waxing moon, albeit busy.
Not such a bad spot with the waxing moon, albeit busy.

As it was it wasn’t bad but for a few folks driving by. But later Geordie and I went poking around looking for other sites and saw one very closed in and private. Early in the morning we moved camp and find it almost perfect. One draw back it the dry dirt that the dog wants to roll in. Luckily the reservoir isn’t far and he can take a swim and wash out the dust.

The most private camp at Foy Lake
The most private camp at Foy Lake

The bloggers over at http://www.wheelingit.us/  stole a phrase which I will steal as well. She called the day after Labor Day is “Nomad Liberation Day”, meaning for fulltime RVers, now there’s plenty of spaces in campgrounds, no crowds and no reservations needed. I have to admit I felt a bit of relief late Labor Day Monday around seven o’clock as the busy and loud traffic eased at my Dolores camp.

The sound and sights of fall are already showing here in Utah. Some of the Aspens are beginning to turn a little yellow and both last night and this afternoon I’ve heard Elk bugling. At least I think it’s Elk. It could be hunters, but I don’t know the seasons for the hunt.

As an added bonus today, Wednesday, we were off to the overlook this evening and then took a turn in the road and there was a big black bear with blonde on his back at his shoulders. That put a little notice in my head to lock and stash the food!

Morning over in Canyonlands NP
Morning over in Canyonlands NP
Dessert time in the canyons
Dessert time in the canyons

We woke Thursday morning to clouds and the threat of rain. I loaded the truck for a hike and trip down to Newspaper Rock near one of the Canyonlands NP entrances. As we got closer the clouds fill out and I saw rain on the eastern horizon. A quick photo session at the rock then off to Monticello to pick up groceries and what do you know? A down pour as we got to town.

Newspaper Rock
Newspaper Rock
That bear gets around!
That bear gets around!

On the way back to camp I stopped at a “real” campground and loaded the water jug and went back to camp to find the clouds parting and the sun shining by noon. Yet by three it turned windy and a few rain drops.

Woke this morning, Friday, to my second in the 30’s. I got up in the night and it was 38 degrees. I got out the sleeping bag to throw over the bed and this morning turned on the heat again. It feels like fall.

Thank you for reading and I hope you’ll return.

August 29

Birthday week

This is day five and of that five we’ve had 3 days of rain. The question is whether rain is lucky starting a new journey, like it is for weddings?

I’ve lived without television while I’ve traveled and don’t really miss it. One thing that has bugged me is being out of range of a NPR station. I was traveling down Highway 93 in Arizona last year and had no cell and internet. Worse yet, I had just two stations to listen to. I like Country but only for so long and the Best of the Oldies can get a bit old. I can’t believe that was it, but it got desperately better, when I listened to the Arizona Cardinals football game on the Country station.

Being without NPR drove me out and I move camp about 3 days later down to Burro Creek Campground and still no good radio. As I was dumping the tanks early one morning, before leaving, I asked the other folks in a Class A if they recieved radio on their TV satellite? He said he had satellite radio. That got me thinking that when I go fulltime I’ll get a satellite radio.

New Camp
New Camp

When the funds come in, I’ll get hooked up with Sirius Radio. I’ve done a bit of research and found that the NPR on satellite is not the same as on public, over the air, radio. Most of the programs on satellite are the programs you hear on NPR like Fresh Air and Science Friday, but not All Things Considered, or Weekend Edition. If I remember correctly Sirius does have BBC news radio, and a few other news stations.

Day Six

Once again we had rain late afternoon and overnight.

I took a drive into town to pick up a few items and look over the internet. I have a whole lot more visitors. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to sign up for updates and commenting.

A weird thing happened on the return to camp. I drove in behind a Toyota Tundra and I thought he might be looking for camps. As we both parked, I waved and he back. He got his two big dogs out of the bed and walked off. To be frank, I was a bit miffed and annoyed to no end. After I let Geordie out I walked around camp thinking it was a bit rude to just stop in someone’s camp and take the dogs for a walk. I suppose it could be a regular walking area for them, but I wouldn’t be that bold and, to use a brit phrase, a bit cheeky to park in someone’s camp.

I unloaded my food and set my chair in the sun, while its still there, and began to read. Not too long, they came back and the dogs, two Labs, ran around then he loaded them up.

That put the annoyance in me throughout the rest of the afternoon. In my anger, looked over the mess in the trailer and began a clear out the cupboards. Then I broke the camp mirror I’d just used this morning and liked. That went in the trash along with a few other thing and a few things to give away to other RVers. Wow, it had been such a nice morning otherwise.

I got out the Dutch Oven cookbooks to find a Beef Burgundy recipe for a birthday dinner for myself and perused other books.

I’m calmer now that I’m writing this out…and listening to NPR’s All Things Considered!!

So, what to do on a birthday? Well, I’m sitting outside a Big O getting a tire fixed. It could take an hour, so I’m writing. Turns out it was a nail in the tire.

We had more rain yesterday and hoping for none today with the hope of getting on with cooking up a Dutch oven meal.

I’m also hoping to get a little fishing in or at least a paddle in the canoe. That of course depends on Geordie cooperating. He may see other desires to just swim.

Later, unfortunately the wind kicked up and was blowing straight at us. No fishing and no paddle.

This evening I did make dinner. I went without reservations, no tips, and having desert by firelight and a sliver moon. That beats some fancy dinner out all dressed up in my book. A good and productive birthday.

Black Pot cooking. Good enough to eat. Beef stew and blueberry cobbler
Black Pot cooking. Good enough to eat. Beef stew and blueberry cobbler
Cobbler by firelight. There is a sliver moon between the branches.
Cobbler by firelight. There is a sliver moon between the branches.