May 9

More donations and dreams

We were back to spring this week for a few days. 70’s and breezy and then it changes, once again.

I’ve been reading a lot of other RVer blogs lately. Everyone is heading north as the weather warms. I know I write a blog, but I get inspired reading about their travels. It motivates me to get things in order. One blogger wrote about the many changes she’s had in her life and that includes countries she’s been to and the new roads and areas she’s seeing now. Another blogger is over in Utah and just found another new, free, campground. I always get my maps out, as I read, and put highlighter dots on their newly found boondocking sites and campgrounds. You never know when you’ll be in that area!

 

Blair Valley, Ca. sunrise

 

All of this reading begins my daydreaming of places I might be this time of year. I don’t think I’d be heading east just yet with the tornado season in full swing. I think I’d be working my way north via Nevada, Utah, California, towards Idaho, Oregon, or Wyoming, and beyond.

Something else comes to mind, and that is where I’d want to spend the summer and what sights I’d like to see. I guess those plans would be created each winter with alterations as I proceeded. I dream of summers in Canada or maybe in the Cascades? Another idea for summers are to take some classes at a couple of folk schools I read about, in things like wood turning, carving canoe paddles, or maybe a canoe!

Well, all that reading sparked my motivations again and I’ve been donating and working on the clean-up.

I donated my old Ford truck to PBS through their Vehicle Donation Program. All I did was make a call and in three days the company PBS uses was picking up the truck! I donate and in return receive a donation letter and tax break. Easy as can be!

I also donated more books to the public library. I have a lot of books and they’re the toughest things to let go of. Most of my books would be in the “How-to” category. They contain books from seed saving to step-by-step cabin building. To me they’re reference books.

I’ve given a few outdoors books to family as semi-permanent loans for the nieces and nephew. Maybe someday they will read them and be even more drawn to the outdoors.

With the warm weather I’ve also been cleaning up the yard and cutting the grass.

The last two days we’ve had variable weather with colder temperatures and rain. All of which has brought on a cold for me. It’s always the see-saw weather that sets me up for a cold. I get that same stuffy head, cold-like feeling from air conditioners. I can’t handle that instant blast of cold air after being in hot weather. Oh to be in Death Valley now, warming my bones!!

 

Geordie, on what I call “Lunch with a View” hikes.

 

Another symptom this week was a withdrawal like feeling from not doing any carving. So, I went up the hill and cut another Gamble Oak trunk and proceeded to carve two spoons in two evenings. I’m not yet accomplished in spoon carving and proceeded in slicing a hole in the bowl of the first. The second, I was more careful in checking the thickness. It did develop a small split as it dried. Oh well, I’ll chalk these up to the learning curve. Gamble Oak is not my desired wood for spoons. I’d prefer Birch or Cherry. That will happen soon enough.

Thanks for stopping by once again. Have a great week ahead.

May 2

Spring at 7100 Feet

A week and a half ago I had spring fever, but in Colorado that can change in a day. Saturday it began snowing and by Sunday morning we had a half inch of snow. In this state I’ve heard a phrase that I think is factual. “Every day of the year it snows somewhere in Colorado.” Well, it snowed 26 April 2014 at 7100 feet!!

26 April 2014
26 April 2014

With the snow and low temperatures in the 20’s, I checked on the cherry tree that had begun leafing out. I think it held up. The peach tree hasn’t started leafing. I did check the progress of my neighbor’s peach tree, prior to the snow, and they had blossoms and bees buzzing about. I think that the snow may have nipped those flowers.

Looking at the trees, it lead me to think about the one thing I will miss when I leave, gardening! Living in an arid place, I always thought that the best use of our limited water supply was a garden full of food. If I’m going to water two of three times a week from my own well, it would be better to grow food than a lawn.

27 April 2014
27 April 2014

Although I haven’t been planting in the last three years, I will still miss growing food. It is a challenge trying to grow food at 7100 feet. We have a short season here and some changeable weather. One year, with my tomatoes still surrounded by “Walls ‘o Water”, we had a frost that nipped the tops that had grown above those “Walls ‘o Water.” The date was 15 July!

The reason for the break in growing was a critter. It wasn’t the big critter Mule Deer, there is a six foot fence around the garden for that, it was a Vole. Not a Mole but a Vole. That little burrowing menace ate 75 percent of my fall planted garlic and shallots. Later, as I tried damn near everything to rid my garden of the thieves, including buckets of blood meal and cayenne, I actually watched a pepper plant being drawn underground.

The County Extension office gave me a few pages on Voles with no solution for a vegetable garden. The suggestion was to use chemical /poison smoke bombs. I wasn’t going to go that route in my organic food garden. So, I quit. A rodent about the size of a small guinea pig had stumped me. We have all kinds of weather. A short growing season from late May to Early September, but it was a something underground making tunnels that beat me to my food.

Sorry, I have no photos of the full garden on this computer.

I will miss growing food when I hit the road. Maybe I’ll try a potted tomato plant and some herbs. Only problem is visiting family in California and the fruit and veg bans!

I think one choice is to visit local Farmer’s Markets. Fresh greens are best right from the ground. Real, non genetically altered, tomatoes taste like tomatoes.

I think I have found another idea that can stem my gardening withdrawals. There is a network of farms and vineyards that host overnight RVers. It’s called “Harvest Hosts.” An RVer pays a small yearly fee and can look up online a list of places to stop overnight, for free. The RVer is encouraged to purchase produce or wine from the host. I think it’s built on the same premise of the Agriturismos in Italy and Europe, to help the small farms. I think it’s a brilliant idea and one I will sign-up for, willingly.

http://www.harvesthosts.com/

Thank you again for stopping by.

Feel free to comment. Interacting with readers helps inspire me to write.

 

April 25

I Want to Leave Right Now!!

It’s so nice this spring that I almost want to take off. But alas, I’m still far from launching into fulltime RVing. Oh, I wish I could chuck it all right now and be on the road. I have to remind myself slow and steady wins the race.

I’ve taken Geordie over to the reservoir close to the house a few times in the last week. Just the smell drives him crazy. He knows what’s coming. Then the whining begins as we park and he sees the lake. Once out, he goes straight into the water. I toss the bright orange float out and he runs and swims to retrieve the float. When he hits land, it’s straight over to me, drops the float, and proceeds to shake and soaks me in lake water. Happiness in simple games.

I’ve been thinking back to when I picked up my Casita in 2011. I’d never pulled anything other than a U-Haul. I remember being nervous. As I drove away, after the walk through, I went to get the tires balanced. The guy wanted me to back up into the open bay, and after about 5 tries, he said to just park as close as I could. I was just a bit embarrassed!

After that, all I wanted to do was get on the interstate and take off. About a half day and I was pulling into an Oklahoma Corps of Engineers campground. I remember the lady asked what kind of site I wanted. I told her it was my first day with the trailer and she asked if I wanted a pull-thru. I told her “yes please”, with relief. I didn’t want a reprised performance of trying to back into a site.

After I pulled in, I realized I had no blocks to put under the rear supports. I also tried the key that I thought was the hitch lock and found it didn’t work. Later, I realized I was using the wrong key. A palm knock to the head moment!

My first campsite Waurika Lake, Ok
My first campsite
Waurika Lake, Ok

I went back to the entry kiosk and asked about wood blocks for the stabilizers and she scrounged up a few cinder block pieces that just barely worked.

I don’t recall what I made for dinner. I think I rolled out my sleeping bag afterwards and slept warm and snug that first night.

I was off the next morning and did an overnight in another pull-thru site in an overly crowded, pack-in, “campground” in Liberal Kansas. It was there that I learned I hated RV parks with four feet between rigs!

When I came to McCook, Nebraska, I found their state parks manicured and open. It was that night I was glad to have purchased a weather radio. As the sky flashed and rumbled, and the wind built to Casita swaying level, I turned the weather radio on and heard a wind warning with possible tornados in the county where I was residing. I remember asking myself if I should heed the warning and wait it out, until 2AM, in the cinder block bathroom or stay in the Casita?  I stayed where I was and thought I’d be found sometime in the morning inside the cracked “egg” trailer.

McCook, Ne The first back-in site
McCook, Ne
The first back-in site

I bought that weather radio after hearing about the tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri earlier that spring. I’ve used it two more times in the 3 years I’ve owned my Casita. Good insurance I think.

That first summer I went all the way to Wisconsin and Minnesota. I learned in that first trip, I needed to put a solar outfit with battery monitor together, so I could stay in non-electric campsites and save cash.

That was the start of my trailer excursions and Casita love. They really are a perfect way to travel, for me. No tents or kitchens to set up. My own bathroom just steps away, and without a flashlight in the middle of the night. Best of all, a refrigerator and no more ice for a cooler or powdered milk!

I want be on the road again!!

Thanks for dropping by.

April 18

Inside Introversion

IMG_0663

In a complete change of topic, I’d like to tell you about my introversion, and the fear I have putting myself out into the world. Here I am telling you about it in a blog, of all things!

Introverts are very, very reluctant to speak up in a crowd. We’re even more reluctant talking about ourselves, except to a few close friends. When I was thinking about creating this blog, I thought about the fear of stepping into the spotlight and being criticized for being me. Some part of me said it was just for family, but that was only a way to fool myself.

I’ve gone most of my life not realizing how much introversion plays into my actions. When I did realize it, I saw that it’s as much a part of me as moving my foot. I’ve found this characteristic of myself, and many others, a fascinating subject. All those idiosyncrasies I’ve had since childhood can now be, somewhat, explained.

I’ve read a few books on introversion, and some go into deep science. There are actual physiological differences between  introverts and extroverts. Our brains really do run differently.

One aspect is the dislike of crowds. I’ve never been a party goer and hate the idea of chit-chat and small talk. I panic just thinking about it. I’d rather sit down with a friend and talk. One on one, or in threes, can get into a deeper conversation than a crowd. Crowds drain the energy from an introvert.

Debate and conflict are also out of my league. I don’t think fast on my feet or my bum. I need to digest ideas and thoughts. If you want to debate, write it down and I’ll get back to you when I’ve got my thoughts sorted out.

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A book that isn’t about introversion, but has a model of an introverts process is “The Artist’s Way.” Most artists generally need time to explore life and observe, that’s when their artwork is able to evolve. This is the reason I write my blog every Friday. I need that time in between, to think about what to write, and observe and experience life each week. I admire those that can write off the cuff everyday, but that doesn’t mean I want to try and be like them. I can’t, I don’t work that way.

In another case of revealing myself, a few years back I wrote a novel. It became an obsession and I wrote for about three and a half months, everyday. I was so absorbed, I kept forgetting to eat. When the time came to allow someone to read it,  I panicked like you wouldn’t believe. I’ll admit I’m not a Steinbeck or Salinger, heck I’m not even Dr. Seuss, but it was my work and my sweat inside.

When I sent the book off to some family members, it felt like I just put my life in the mailbox. I was shaking as I dropped each CD in the mail. I wanted to dive into the post box and retrieve those envelopes. Later, one review came in and the phrase, “I almost cried”, came as a relief. Will I ever publish? I think it needs a lot of work. I’m not great at punctuation, as you probably have figured out! I enjoy writing but I’m horrible, technically.

That’s just a part of my introversion. So, as the Brits say, “that’s me, really.”

If you find this subject interesting and want to learn more about introversion, here is a Ted Talk by Susan Cain, the author of “Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts

 Young Geordie- The water dog in training
Young Geordie- The water dog in training

 

Thanks again for stopping by.

 

April 11

Thoughts on Changes

After a fun week with my brother, I found myself lacking in momentum for doing the chores I know needed to be done. By Wednesday I got back at it and began the sorting again.

Rifle Falls State Park, Co
Rifle Falls State Park, Co

I was thinking about what to write this week and what came to me was confidence. It was the realization that I have no worry or trepidation for this change in my life. I’ve gone through other life changes where I had that same feeling. I was on the correct course in this move, come what may, and it would turn out alright. I realize maybe others just don’t understand someone’s confidence in what looks like, to the outsider, a reckless move.  I’ve had 2 other moves and had that same confidence within me. The move from Chicago to No. Calif. was something I’d wanted to do for years. I had one a bit of a shake up when I got there, though. I was asked how much money I had in the bank, and after divulging the amount was told I’d never make it. That fear really shook me inside but I carried on. Within about 2 weeks I had the job I’d gone to Calif. for, working for a winery. The other change was to Colorado and I’ve been here for 24 years.

Red Rock Canyon State Park, Ca
Red Rock Canyon State Park, Ca

So, here is an odd third move. Well maybe not odd, just out of the societal norm, a nomadic life. I’m glad I have the other 1.6 million or so folks to point to and say, “I’m not so crazy.” Americans have always been a bit nomadic. We pushed into “The Wilderness” of Kentucky then into the Midwest, and out on the Oregon Trail. In my ancestry, I have Danes, English,  Scots-Irish, and Germans who all move from the old country to the Americas. It’s in my blood.

My father loved to travel and research the places he and Mom would visit next. The researching rubbed off on me and I think I took it one step further with the love of maps. I don’t care where I look, I can find something that looks interesting and the feeling I need to go explore.

After I first picked up my Casita trailer, I found in the road atlas the Museum of the Fur Trade outside of  Chadron, Nebraska. I had been studying canoeing and the fur trade and it was a stop I had to make. It was just 5 days into my maiden voyage. Great museum if you’re up that way.

I also purchased a canoe on that maiden voyage.  I’ve always been a hiker and never traveled in the wilderness any other way.  The canoe was a different mode of outdoor travel for me.

 

Sand Hills, Nebraska
Sand Hills, Nebraska

I’ve loved to fish ever since I received my first fishing rod at age 6.  I used a boat, with Dad at the helm, in those early days, but in the last 24 years I’ve fly-fished and waded in rivers. With a canoe I can once again float on the lakes. I found a bonus in canoeing, I found that birds and animals seem less frightened, and can be approached a bit closer for a photograph.

Chippewa Flowage, Wi
Chippewa Flowage, Wi

 

Finally, yesterday I heard and saw a seasonal change. I heard my first Meadowlark this spring and saw my first American Kestrel of the year. Spring is here.

Thanks for dropping by.

April 4

A Break This Week

A break from sorting and painting this week. Good timing since it  allowed my back to recover from the strain of moving trash, boxes, and recycling.

My brother and his family came out to visit, on their spring break, for the last time. Fortunately, we had some snow flurries for the kids from southern California.

They enjoyed playing with the Geordie-dog again, and it’s always was good practice for him to have 3 kids giving him commands.

Unfortunately there was sickness among the girls, and there were a few missed outings, by one, the other, or both. Still a trip to Mesa Verde, a movie, a swim, and walks down the river path for those well enough that day. In the evenings, we sat by the fire and played lots of word games and cards.

"Razors" down the river path
“Razors” down the river path

035   037 The soon-to-be Mesa Verde Junior Rangers work on their booklets finding objects in the ruins. They are well traveled and have obtained Junior Rangers status in many National Parks.

From left to right my nicknames for them are, Kiwi, Huckleberry, and Peaches.
From left to right, my nicknames for them are, Kiwi, Huckleberry, and Peaches.

Being that it’s shoulder season, a lot of the main snow activities have come to an end.

My brother and I still had indoor activities and tipped a few pints of local brews. No seasonal shut downs there and always a good time!

Uncle Rob held the fort and played more games with the munchkins, so mom and dad could take walks around the neighborhood.

I thought of putting the visitors to work, but I figured I’d find more paint on the dog and children than on the walls. Lets see?…..if I hang the kids outside from the roof with a paint bucket,…could get the outside painted faster with it dripping down?….but maybe I’d spend more for paint?… I guess I’ll allow them to stay clean and bright and get the pros to paint after all.

A few folks have asked if I’ll miss this area. I can say that I will miss some things, but it’s not like I can’t come back and camp around the old stomping grounds. It’s a great place to spend a summer. I know I’ll have to put a few things into storage. I’ll do that locally until I have the time to move it some place else. That will mean at some point I’ll be back for a visit.

On their last full day, the Californians wanted snow and Colorado delivered with an inch and a half over night. So, what was next? Sledding!

Despite a rough start with complaints of cold feet and snow in boots and gloves, they settled into snow life.

 

Kiwi
Kiwi

 

Kiwi and Peaches
Kiwi and Peaches

 

 

Huckleberry
Huckleberry

 

Mom and Dad
Mom and Dad

 

 

Kids
Kids

 

Family
Family

 

 

A Swinging Good Time Was Had By All
A Swinging Good Time Was Had By All

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

March 28

Destinations and making photographs

Iowa
Iowa

I knew it was only a matter of time, but moving things on Wed. I strained my back. I went out flat on the bed the rest of the day.

With the time, I thought of the travel plans I devised in the past. I’ve always thought it would be nice to spend a month or two in each state and Canadian province. I think sometimes just “hanging” is the best way to get to know a place, get the “vibe.”

The other plans are the sites I’d like to see. I read on another blog that she was planning on going to Nova Scotia this summer. Having been there, I put NS on my favorite places list.  It is certainly on my return list.

In Washington state I’d like to see Mt. St. Helens. There is also a Naval Air museum on Whidbey Island I’d like to see. I’ve heard they have a PBY Catalina, the aircraft my father flew in WW2. My greatest desire is to take a ride in a PBY.

PBY Catalina at the San Diego Air and Space Museum
PBY Catalina at the San Diego Air and Space Museum

I’ve read that there is an operational PBY in Miami, Fl. Fingers crossed I meet up with the pilot.

It’s just so hard to see all the great sights, but I’m going to try. But it isn’t just about seeing the highlights, it’s about living a life on the road. I’ve always been a slow and methodical type and I figure that’s how I’ll see the sights. I’ll be the one seeing Gettysburg in late April, so I can experience the grounds without the crowds. I’ve come to discover that in the early spring, park rangers are fresh and ready to talk with ease to an interested audience.

I also spent Wed. eve engrossed in a film on Amazon.com, that brought back a load of memories. The film was a Swedish production called “Everlasting Moments.” Set in 1907, a mother takes up photography. It brought me back to those years I spent in darkrooms and behind a viewfinder in photography classes. The film reminded me of the preciousness of a photograph. Those days I was making photos on film, seemed precious. It also could have been the costs involved in developing and printing. I shot a lot less film than my other classmates, much to my instructors bitter reprimands. They wanted at least 3 rolls of 36 shots a week, for each class. I think I was a bit more deliberate in my shots, much like a view camera photographer would be. When I took up the view camera I felt in my rightful place. Ansel Adams held out for the right sun angle or the cloud passing over, then click that shutter. Edward Weston posed his models with the light he wanted, then framed the image.

Here we are today with digital photography and the phone camera. Think, 25 years from now, what the comments will be on the “selfie”? Everyone and they’re brother will have an arms length, weird looking portrait.

Here I am in the digital age and I still am making deliberate photographs. I’ll never change.

My tips for better photographs, are to have a fore, middle, and background. It’s always the foreground that most people miss. A tree branch or rock in a landscape shot.

 

IMG_0733

Also on family shots with a background that’s important, bring the people up close. Nothing is worse than the kids far off in the background.

Action portraits tell a story. Don’t get me wrong, formal portraits can be fantastic.

Don’t forget that Black and White photos can be dramatic.

Deadheading  Flowers
Helping Mom Deadheading Flowers
Helping Mom
Helping Mom

DSC_0006-crop

Thanks for stopping by.

March 21

Busy, busy…

West of Mule Mountains
West of Mule Mountains

It’s been a whirlwind week.

I was able to get the master bedroom walls all painted. There were a few days I had to take a break. It’s tough to go back to back days rolling a ceiling. My neck and back were sore for 3 days.

On the painting breaks, I was looking for places to donate furniture. Not easy in a small town without many options.

Then there were more trips to the landfill and recycling center.

Black Lake, Wi
Black Lake, Wi

I was thinking of what to write this week and one thing came to me. It’s about the way some of us pick camps.

I am similar to more than a few RVers, I prefer to camp out away from the crowds. If I come to a campground, I’ll be the guy that is out on the edges or the empty areas. It’s not that I’m anti-social, I just like the quiet and space. I’m not a big fan of generators buzzing until 11 o’clock or all night. I’m also not a fan of the new RV units with the slide-out big screen TV in the side storage area. They get the chairs all set up like a theater and everyone and their neighbor can listen to the game and the screaming.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll listen to the game. I’ll have the radio facing my chair, but only just loud enough for me to hear. I don’t want to be that guy with the blaring radio.

Another subset of RVers like to go to rallies or get-togethers. I may try one, but it really isn’t me. I’m an introvert, and we don’t go in for big crowds.

Southwest of the Cargo Muchacho Mts.
My rig in the center-left, southwest of the Cargo Muchacho Mts. That’s elbow room!

I just thought, with the number of bloggers, how many are introverts? This is an easy way for us to interact. It’s on our own time and also allows us time to form our thoughts.

It took me awhile to figure out my introversion. I look back to times when I was younger and I see the traits of introversion. I used to come home from school and often shut myself in my room and listened to music. Later, I had a roommate that couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to go out to the bars after a day of talking to customers. I was spent on chit-chat with people. Those were decompression times from the busy days.

So, next time you see a camper or RV out of range of the others, it may not be the anti-social loner but the introvert that will wave and say “Hello” when you walk by.

If you know of an introvert, there is a couple of books on my carousel. It might shed some light on why they behave the way they do.

PLEASE, don’t think I’m pushing anything on my Amazon carousel. They’re just a few things that I have found interesting.

March 14

The Circle and Mysteries of Life

McMullen Valley
McMullen Valley

No talk of painting this week.

Please bear with the twists of the story.

About a decade ago, I was looking up on Amazon information on yurts. Every so often they have books on the recommended list that look interesting. I put one in the cart and waited.

I’d never heard of the author, but found a book with incredible images of his home, a 3 story yurt, and his Maine coastline, and even more incredible words.

In “A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity” by William S. Coperthwaite, (listed on my Amazon carousel) I found words that struck a cord in me. He commented on the state of education and his philosophy, as a Ph.D.Ed., of a new way of teaching. Mr. Coperthwaite believed in an educational system that included hands on physical work.

I was one of those students with more than a few ants in his pants and the need to expel the energy of a young male. I could have used that type of teaching.

What also struck me was his desire to learn from ancient cultures the handicrafts that were being lost. He traveled to the arctic circle to learn of the Eskimo crafts in handmade kayaks, fishing lures, folk art, and the crook knife.

Mr. Coperthwaite, I’ll now call him B.C., (W.C. just isn’t right!) also traveled to Lapland in Norway and the upper reaches of Sweden. One craft BC learned was something called nalbinding, a form of making items of wool using one needle. He called it “Witless Knitting” in a tongue-in-cheek way.

I searched on-line to learn the craft of nalbinding. The website said it was best to learn with an instructor.

One track in BC’s book I hooked onto, was spoon carving. I went on-line and came across Drew Langsner’s “Green Woodworking.” In the very beginning of my RV travels I was looking to find a craft or hobby that was portable. With the “Green Woodworking” book, I had envisioned fulltiming in an RV and carving spoons on the road. I thought it might be a fun way to create a little income of cash in my travels

Inside the Langsner book there were photos of spoons made by a craftsman from Sweden. Again I looked up a name and found Willie Sundqvist had a book, but was out of print and going for over $50, used!

Just this past fall, I found out that Willie Sundqvist’s “Swedish Carving Techniques” was being reprinted. I ordered it right away and the DVD that his son, Jogge, made on spoon making and dough bowl carving.

So with this new carving book, DVD, and a carving knife in hand I began dreaming again about carving and travel.

At Christmas time, for some reason, I looked on-line again for Mr. Coperthwaite and found a notice of his passing. The week of Thanksgiving he passed away from a single car accident. I ordered a Kindle copy of his book (I was on the road) and reread it.

After the new year, I began carving the easier butter paddle/spreader in the Sundqvist book. Within about 3 weeks I had carved 10 items. One item I didn’t find in the carving book but was something I believe I developed on my own out of a need.

After 3 days of carving butter speaders, and wanted something different to carve.

I like toast and honey, and one morning as I dipped a knife into the honey, twirling it this way and that, I still drizzled it over the plate and lost that sweet nectar. I realized I wanted another utensil. I thought of the wands used for honey. They also had to be twisted and often left a trail of the hard work of bees on the counter. It came to me, my next carving challenge….a spoon and spreader combination. I thought of BC. He wrote of the beauty of ordinary handmade items.

Out of a need, I carved what I call, a “Honey Scoop.”

honey scoop #4

I went back to the web, wanting to learn more about Willie Sundqvist. I found a page on the Kickstarter funding site that his son Jogge started. He wanted to make a film about his father and the history of his life as a teacher of manual arts and carving. I was too late to donate to the film project, and receive a copy of the DVD in return. I had to get one!

On the website where I’d purchased a special tool for decorating my peices, I saw on the front page that he would be getting a lot of 100 DVD’s of the documentary on Willie Sundqvist. I placed a pre-order right then and there.

Just 2 weeks ago, I opened the package with the documentary and read over the cardboard DVD case. On the back, was Jogge Sundqvist’s “thank you” to the major donors that helped fund the making of the film. To my astonishment, I read that a couple donated to the film “in honor of Bill Coperthwaite”!

There it was, a circle that had begun being drawn over a decade ago. A fluke purchase of a book that sounded interesting, with different threads of research, and the circle was completed.

Now I’ll be traveling the country carving items to sell and it all started with William S. Coperthwaite’s  book on a life of simplicity. That is what I want to create on the road.

There is the circle and mystery of life.

I will be carving spoons and other items when I’m freed up from painting and cleaning the house to sell.

Thank you for coming on this journey.

#1-10 My first carvings
#1-10 My first carvings
March 7

Past week and the RV culture

This week I ran into a roadblock selling furniture to the few resell businesses in town. Two were full and the other wanted half of what I expected. So, rather than the pain of putting a classified ad, fielding calls, and making appointments to see the furniture, I’ll donate to Habitat for Humanity and get the tax write off.

 

Blair Valley
Blair Valley

 

I’ve also been scrubbing walls for painting and still debating color choices. I can do the master by myself but will get a crew to do the rest of the house plus the exterior. It’s just too difficult to rent and set up scaffolding by myself. I’ll let the pros do it, and a lot faster.

The culture of RVers is interesting, and especially the subset of RV full timers. I read a book, copy written in 1978, and he estimated 1 million RVers are fulltime. Then about a year ago I listened to a full time RV couple that are Podcasters and they estimated 1.6 million.

I think it’s hard to track a number to fulltimers. I’m sure there are many more that fly under the radar.

I’ve read blogs of singles, couples both young and old, and families with kids being “home” schooled on the road. Some work on the road, others work part time at places like Amazon, and some volunteer as campground hosts and receive a campsite for free thru the season. There are many ways to live on the road.

I’m guessing the way the numbers are calculated are with RV clubs and maybe the census with “alternative housing.” But in the end it make no difference to me, I’m full timing!

 

Chadron State Park Would you believe this is Nebraska?
Chadron State Park
Would you believe this is Nebraska?

 

The books and articles say you should do extended trips to see if you like it. I’ve done 2-3 months at a time and have managed well enough plus I’ve also had past experiences camping across the country. I think I can easily do full time.

One thing I found in those months on the road is the uneasiness I’ve felt with a place I’m unfamiliar. First off I have to make sure I have a map like the Delorme Gazettes or Benchmarks to find campgrounds. I spent too much on RV parks and drove around the corner only to find a Forest Service campground. Also getting my solar system up and running kept the costs down as well.

Allegany State Park

Allegany State Park
Allegany State Park

Of course this is all about the east since there are fewer places to boondock (camping outside of campgrounds on Forest Service land or BLM land) in the eastern US.  That doesn’t mean I won’t go back east. I need to explore the east a whole lot more.

The west is of course a boondocking  playground. Canadian border to the Mexican border, there are places to camp for the regulated time of 14 day stays. That could be a few years right there of exploring.

Well, that was the week that was. Isn’t that Walter Cronkite?

Next week I’ll tell a story of how a few books, a knife, and a DVD can become a circle.