Thursday, February 22, 2018

Will you still need me, will you still read me, when I'm...

64.  Yup, I completed my 63rd transit around the big yellow ball yesterday.  People when talking about how old they are always seem to say "It's hard to believe but..." I believe it though!  As a birthday present to myself I lost 15 pounds after I ballooned to 183 lbs after the holidays (I'm 5'9") and 168 feels and looks a LOT better.  I never pass up an occasion to grill up a good birthday meal:

Medium rare NY strip, baker and salad with blue cheese!

It was a great birthday repast!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Craggy Casualty

When you camp at Craggy Wash you are essentially camping on rocks.  Mostly gravel sized stones with an occasional larger rock thrown into the mix.  Readers of the blog know that I no longer have solar panels attached to the roof of my RV (the Mini) instead I deploy them on the ground outside the Mini, adjusting them occasionally to insure they stay perpendicular to the sun for optimal efficiency.  The "Solar Suitcase" I bought from Renogy, a California solar company, has produced well but, frankly, the built-in stand has been a disappointment and proven much too fragile for RV use where the suitcase gets deployed and redeployed frequently.  The weakness of the stand contributed to an unfortunate loss of my solar charge controller when wind blew the suitcase over and caused the controller, which is attached to the back of one of the suitcase's solar panels, to shatter against a particularly sharp-edged rock.

The KIA Solar Charge Controller post-accident.


I'm glad now I didn't make the decision to upgrade the controller to a much more expensive MPPT controller because I'm pretty sure that one would have bit the dust too.  As it is the one PWM controller in the picture above can be replaced for under $30 off Amazon.  You can get upwards of $200 really quickly if shopping for a MPPT controller (they're more efficient in the way they control charging) so I guess I partially dodged a bullet.

Guess I'll head to Amazon and get the order started.  I really need to design a tube stand for the suitcase like I made for the stand-alone panel - it won't be as pretty but it would be a hell of a lot stronger!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Return to Craggy Wash

Leaving the Quartzsite area after my two week stay was up I decided to return to the BLM land at Craggy Wash, just north of Lake Havasu City, AZ.  I reviewed the camp area here:  Craggy Wash Review . 

14 day free camping!

I like camping at Craggy Wash for a number of reasons:  It's removed pretty far away from Highway 95 so there's no road noise to speak of, there's an Anytime Fitness gym in Lake Havasu City and there's a Walmart Super-center two miles away.  Also there's great Verizon reception at the Wash.

The Mini's campsite in Craggy Wash.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to stay my entire 14 days, the weather is perfect - high 70's during the day and mid-50's at night for sleeping.

Topography.
More Craggy Wash scenery.

Thanks for reading!