Saturday, October 20, 2018

It’s the Low Point – Dummy!

We’re winterized – we’ll find out how well we did in the spring when we de-winterize.  Only then will we know if all of the water lines and tanks were protected.  Yesterday we got ourselves wrapped around the axle after unhooking the city water from the RV.

The white object on the left is the water filter for the ice maker.  Behind it, where the label says “ice maker shut off” is, oddly enough, the ice maker shut off switch.  On the far right, out of frame is the hose that goes to the ice maker.  Not wanting to put antifreeze in a residential refrigerator, we unhooked the filter, so the water would drain out of the hose to the ice maker.   After unhooking the filter, we opened the shut off valve and expected a small amount of water to dribble out.  Nope, water dribbled out and didn’t stop.  It was weirding me out pretty good, where was the water coming from?  The water pump wasn’t running, there was not city water attached, where?  Hence the title of the post – it’s a low point, dummy.  If you look over to the right at the valve handle, that’s the low point drain.  It was closed, and so the low point was the ice maker filter.  After we opened the low point drain, the filter stopped flowing.  Note to self, remember this next time. 


Today we went back and ran the antifreeze through the pipes and taps following the directions in the Beaver manual.  It took six gallons.  While Jim opened taps in the RV, my job was not to let the antifreeze tank run dry.  Last time we did that, we burned up the switch that sucks antifreeze out of the tank as well as the water pump.  In our defense, we did not know that the Prevent-a-Freeze system had been turned on by the mechanics during a maintenance stop.  It’s a cool system, instead of having to attach a tube to the water pump and stick it in the jug of antifreeze, one pours antifreeze in the reservoir and the Prevent-a-Freeze transfers it through the RV.

In the spring, I think the first thing we do is connect to city water and run water through the ice maker filter until it’s no longer pink.  Then we install a new filter and hook it back up to the hose leading to the freezer.  We’ll leave the ice maker shut off valve closed until the rest of the RV is cleared of antifreeze.

Yes, I know this was a boring post, but we’re leaving future selves notes on how this went.

In news of the weather, we still have a low over us, pulling up moisture from the gulf and generating high winds.  I will be very happy when the ridge of high pressure establishes itself.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Day Two of the RV Unload

I have to tell you, I knew this would be bad, but I did not think it would be this bad.  One of the really good points about the RV was the massive amount of storage; big closets, drawers everywhere.  Massive medicine chests (plural).  Over the years we filled it all up.  The house has way fewer drawers.  We’re going to get it all in, but it has been a struggle.

One of of larger boxes we have yet to unpack is full of baby clothes (his and mine, hand made with love), our parents’ wedding albums, black and white pictures of people we don’t know.  That box has been in storage since 2007.  What do we do with it?  This box is weighing on me.

Tomorrow is our last day of getting stuff out of the RV, there is still some cleaning to be done.  Before we left we ordered a wood cabinet with two adjustable shelves.  Jim picked it up and only got one shelf, so we have to go back so they can measure it and make another one.  It’s always something.

This was tonight.




Other than working like dogs, I have nothing interesting to report.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Storage Solutions

Friday it rained because of the remnants of Hurricane Sergio.  Yesterday it rained pigs and chickens due to a low pressure system pulling water up from the gulf.  This morning it also rained so we did not get the RV washed and waxed.  We had to push that out a week towards better weather.

Since yesterday was rained out, we went to the Container Store to see what they had.  They had a 25% off sale.  We bought storage.


Some assembly was required.  They’re actually easy to put together.  Elfa has done a good job with making them idiot proof.  We only had to back out one part, and that was no biggie.  The only tool required is a rubber mallet.  There was a lot of beating on the top and bottom cross bars to get them in.


This is the left side of the closet.  We put two shallow drawer units here, so we could still get to the hanging clothes.


Here we have the right side of the closet.  Most of our clothing is folded, so the drawers will be good.  Eventually I’m going to put a shelf on top of the bottom hanging rod, as well as one in the middle of that space.  We need more horizontal space for shoes, bike helmets, sheets and towels and etc.


When we bought the house we were so enamored of the side yard that we completely failed to notice there is no linen closet.  So the master closet will have to provide space for all the things one stuffs in a linen closet because there’s no good place to put it.


On the other side of that low wall is a very wide and deep wash.  It’s a soothing view.


Tomorrow we’re driving the bus over to the house to unload.  Jim and I were putting stuff in the truck this afternoon and were both attacked by some melancholy.  We’ve lived here since 2011 and it feels very odd to think about being out for the winter.  We haven’t had a house since 2007.  If we are efficient enough, this will be the last night we sleep in the RV for awhile.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Meeting the Neighbors

We have an in ground trash can at the house.  It’s weird.  It makes the garbage guys get off the truck, lean down and haul it out of the container.  It’s a narrow street and they use small trucks.  I was looking in it today and found these guys.  The first is a Western Banded Gecko.  We dumped him out of the trash can on the driveway and eventually he wandered off.  Hopefully he’ll find something to eat.  Who knows how long he’s been down there


This was also in the trash can.  It’s a dead scorpion.


So today’s key learning is to look before putting a bare hand anywhere.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Back in Tucson

Ack thppppptttt!  New (to us) houses are exhausting.  We’ve spent the last two days deciding how big of a TV the living room would tolerate, how big a pair of loppers were required to prune the dead fronds off the palm trees and what size of sun shades for the patio.  These are momentous decisions.  We bought bigger loppers today, the smaller pair goes back.  I have to tell you, the previous year’s palm fronds are tough.  Also, there has been much thinking about where stuff will go.  The hacienda is a little light on storage.

Anyway, we’re here, we’re tired.  The HVAC guy came today, the cable guy comes tomorrow, and we get the RV washed Sunday.  We’ve been reading up on how to winterize the RV, which we have never done ever.  An El Nino winter is forecast, so we must get it done before going to storage.

This was day before yesterday.  I never get tired of looking at that.


This was tonight.  Sergio the tropical depression is arriving tomorrow.  It’s been windy and overcast.  There will be rain over the next couple of days.


So, that’s it.  We’re moving in to the house, slowly but surely.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Boulder City, NV to Buckeye, AZ

Today’s route was US93, to I40, back to US93, thence to AZ60, followed by AZ303, and finally hanging a right onto westbound I10 into Buckeye.  US93 runs diagonally across AZ, parts of it are hilly, but it’s not awful. Parts of the road surface are awful.  When we reached the RV park at the end of the day, I felt like I’d been beaten with hammers again.

When one leaves the Lake Mead Recreational Area, one turns east on to US93, toward the Hoover dam.  One will pass by a sign indicating how bad the winds are across the bridge.


Yesterday we drove out and looked at the sign and its location.  Although GPS does not clearly depict this, shortly after the warning sign there is a round about.  Should there be a high wind warning in effect, you do have a bail out plan.  Go around the round about, go back the way you came and get on I11 west bound.


Eventually you will intersect with US95 southbound.  Go that way and replot your course.  There are many options available to you which do not involve high winds on a very tall bridge.

u turn boulder city

We had a very calm morning, and so were able to drive across the bridge and continue down US93.

The route takes you through Kingman, which has just become a bear to transit.  There are two stop lights before you reach the exit for US93.  There is a TA travel plaza on the right which is very busy.  Between the lights and truckers wanting to make a left coming from the other direction, it’s very tedious.  If you need diesel and are going south on US93, don’t go to the TA.  There are stations just outside of Kingman that are much easier to access.

See this truck?  He pulled a tonnage move on us and just forced his way in front of us.  Jim had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him.  So annoying….


Tonight we’re at the Leaf Verde RV park which I have previously reviewed.

Lake Mead RV Village – Boulder City

We stayed at the Lake Mead RV Village at Boulder Beach, which is in the Lake Mead Recreation area.  It’s a concession run by a company whose name escapes me.  It’s quite a large RV park with full hook ups as well as a first come first serve more primitive area.  That area has a pay station and it’s cash only.

We were on site 803, which was a 100 foot pull through.  It was a very narrow pull through.  I offer these photos into evidence.  Coming in, Jim had to not hit that stump.  He didn’t.  Many sites have these stumps, I wish they would cut them closer to the ground.


Fortunately the curbing around the utilities had already been broken into pieces so we could move them away from the forward slide.  If your bays don’t travel with your slide, it’s not a problem for you.  It’s a little cramped working on the hook ups because of the curbing.


If I had done more research on the park (as in any), I would have asked for a lake view site.  They cost more, but you’re looking right at the water.  How cool would that be?


Interior roads are paved, sites where we were are gravel.  There is a concrete patio with a picnic table.  Power was good, water pressure was ok.  Water did not taste terrible after going through a Brita.  We had two to three bars of Verizon 4G.  It was usable, although a lot of blogger sites would time out trying to load.  There is laundry on site. No data on the restrooms.

The camp host leads you to your site.  He was very good at telling Jim where he needed to be on the site (did I mention it was narrow?). 

We enjoyed the RV park very much.  There are a lot of sight seeing helicopters during day, and they are some what annoying.  Air traffic into McCarran can be seen, but not heard too much.  It was so much better than anywhere we have stayed in Las Vegas and we would go back if we do this transit again.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Hoover Dam and Boulder City

We learned something today.  For what ever reason, probably lack of critical thinking, I assumed that after the building of the Mike O'Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, cars would no longer be allowed to drive across the top of the dam.  Not true!  One can drive over the dam.  After it quit raining this morning, we went out to see where the high wind warning signs for the bridge are.  Since we’re further east than the last time we were here and the bridge was denied to us, we wanted to see what the bail out is.  After determining how we would proceed in the event of high winds we decided to go see the bridge walking route.  Again, we thought we’d be parking somewhere and walking over the bridge.

When we reached the bridge, we saw two of these guys sitting on a large platform.  They are the Winged Figures of the Republic.  They were dedicated in 1935.  They have a great arc deco look about them.  They’re bronze, their feet are shiny from people rubbing them. 


After driving over the bridge, we found a place to park so we could look down at the facility.


This is some sort of a crane.  It’s anchored to the rock on the other side of the river.


Here is the other side of the damn.


Although GPS says you can drive up over the hill and exit out the other side of the dam, you can not.  There is a turn around at the top of the hill and the road is blocked.  Dam officials want all traffic going in and out the same way.  Look up the hill to the right of that RV, that’s the road down.  It used to be that all traffic on US93 crossed over this way.  Speaking of traffic, there is a security checkpoint on the way down to the dam.  When we were leaving, the backup to go through was incredibly long.  Get there early!


Our next stop was old town Boulder City.  Pictures we’d seen suggested that it would be cute and foo-foo.  Look at the arch way – they, too, have a Winged Figure of the Republic.


There are cool looking restaurants.


We saw much vintage neon; although we suspect the neon sign for “pool and wifi” is probably new.


Alas, alack, Boulder City was holding an Art in the Park event.  The city was over run with people and their cars.  Parking was impossible so we bailed.  Fortunately, we came upon a grocery store on the way back to the RV park and bought dinner and bottled water for our next stop.  Downtown Boulder City really is attractive, and hopefully next time it will not be over run with art aficionados.

Another view of Lake Mead from US93.


We really enjoyed Hoover Dam.  It was built in between 1931 and 1936.  People did amazing things back then, in the case of the dam they did it two years ahead of schedule.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Ely, NV to Lake Mead RV Village in Boulder City, NV

Today we exited the Ely KOA and went north on US93 towards US6.  I would like to note that the Chevron near US93/US50 and US6 was fifty cents a gallon cheaper for diesel than the Love’s just down the street.  The entire parking lot was recently paved.  In the back of the station are pump islands for big trucks that are easily accessible.  It seems that lately Love’s is the highest price vendor for fuel.  We went west on US6 and then south on NV318.  If you’re going to Las Vegas from the north, NV318 is the way to go.  It’s shorter than US93, prettier, less congested and it avoids three passes.  NV319 rejoins US93, which runs into I15 on the edge of Las Vegas.  We took I15 for a few miles and then the GPS took us off the freeway and ran us through city streets in Las Vegas, over by McCarran and Nellis AFB.  We went out through the hinterlands and drove for what seemed like forever.  There was a better route we could have taken.  The GPS has an evil sense of humor.
Anyway, this was this morning and most of the day.  It was cold, wet and just gruesome.


Shortly after turning on to NV318, the left wind shield wiper rolled over and died.  It flopped over to the left and would not move again.  It’s not the motor, it appears to be off the drive shaft, or perhaps the drive shaft is stripped.  Who knows.  After that there were no more good pictures taken through the windshield.


Up the road aways, traffic came to a complete stop.


Look in the field.  Some person was out driving their jeep off road, and managed to roll it.  The hood was all but torn off the vehicle.  The cooler and various belongings were out of the car.  I do not know how people accomplish such massively unnecessary car accidents.


By the time we were in the outskirts of Las Vegas, we were seeing virga as well as rain.  This was an impressive sky.


I totally disapprove of this activity.  The road we were on skirted the desert where there were little hills, covered in ATVs.  They should all get bicycles.


This is Lake Las Vegas.  It’s an artificial lake in the middle of the desert.  The project was begun in 1967 and apparently has only picked up steam recently.  I linked to the wiki on it in the previous sentence.  The recitation of bankruptcies, law suits and general malfeasance is funny.  Also interesting is the Zillow page.  There are several homes that have been on the market for more than 200 days.


This was our first view of Lake Mead.


I took this out of Jim’s side window.  See the white stripe running around the sides of the lake?  That’s called the “bathtub ring” and it indicates how low that lake is.  It’s low.


View from the RV at Lake Mead RV Village.


The blue line would have been faster and more direct.  Actually the way we went was a pretty drive and was worth doing.  I would have enjoyed it more if I’d been convinced that the GPS was taking us where we wanted to go.  Notice the Interstate 11 designation on the map.  I wish the software wouldn’t do that.  It’s actually Interstate 515.  I11 is merely a notion at this point.

Update to post:  I was ill informed!  There is a new section of road that is I11.  It may be time to buy a new atlas so we have accurate maps.  Details about the new road can be found here.  The new stretch is the yellow line south of the blue line on the map.  It bypasses Boulder City, to decrease the time it takes to get to the bridge next to the Hoover Dam.  I still  think google maps should call the highway north of the exit to to the new road segment I515.  That's been its name since 1994.  

We’re here for two nights.  It will be good to have a day out of the RV.  Did I ever mention where we’re going?  We’re going to Tucson.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Mountain Home, ID to Ely, NV

It’s a long drive.  It seems like there’s always one long day on this transit.  We took I84 to US93.  One turns off at Twin Falls and heads out into the hinterlands.  We had fog when we left Mountain Home, but then the sun came out.


This is the Twin Falls corn maze.  I’m not sure what those tall things are.  Maybe they’re for tossing pumpkins.


There is a lot of this.


There is also a lot of this.


Today’s scary moment was a paint striper coming at us.  He was slowly driving down the road, painting the stripes on either side.  Given how windy it was, we were just certain we’d have overspray on the RV or truck.  Mercifully, we did not.  While we were on the side of the road checking, we heard this coming towards us.  It’s towing a good size sport utility vehicle on a trailer.  The most interesting feature was the straps on the RV.  We wonder if they’re holding the roof down.  The straps were vibrating loudly as the RV went down the road.


Oh yes, and then there was the truck driver who passed us with insufficient time.  The on coming big rig had to drive off onto the shoulder and we had to brake to give the passing truck time to get back in our lane.  If those two had collided head on, we would have been in the accident, as well.

Parts of the drive are better looking than others.


There is snow in the mountains.


We’re overnighting at the Ely KOA, which I have previously reviewed.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Pendleton OR to Mountain Home ID

We spent the day on I84.  No navigational challenges for us.  It was a dreary day, at no time did we see the sun.  It was also cold and windy.  There’s some up/down on the route, but it’s not terrible.

This is amusing.  I love the ironing board strapped to the back of the ATV.




Even more gloomy.  Look at those clouds over the mountains.


This is an enormous concrete plant, Ashgrove Cement.  The rail line goes right in front of them.  One wonders if those cars are full of cement.


The sign is not kidding.


The rain started in earnest when we hit Nampa, ID. 


We’re back at the Mountain Home RV Resort, which I have previously reviewed.  I’ve updated that post to reflect current conditions.