Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Last Meal

Happy New Year, everybody!  I'm really looking forward to camping in some awesome locations in 2018.  On the last day of the year I always have a "Last Meal" (of the year) and here's what this year's looked like:

Diet?  What diet?
The T-Bone was grilled medium rare on the Mini's gas grill.  The baked potato was microwaved to perfection in the Mini's microwave and the salad...well, salad is pretty much salad.  I was too full after finishing to even think about desert!  Have a safe evening!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas From Arizona!

Merry Christmas!  I finally made it out to Arizona, Benson specifically, where I am staying at the SKP Saguro Co-Op for a whole month.  It's unusual for me to stay so long at one location but the Co-Op offers a full hookup site for $310 for a whole month.  It's the height of the Snowbird season in Arizona and getting a full hookup site in a nice park for $10 a night is crazy, so I couldn't turn it down.  I reviewed the campground in 2016 here:  SKP Saguro Review .  I got here a week ago and the weather has been unseasonably cool with nightly lows getting into the upper 20's so I've been grateful to have electrical hookups to enable my space heater to run at night.  Today though it's a perfect 72 degrees and next week is supposed to be warmer too.

When my month here is up it'll be just in time to drive west on I-10 to the annual Quartzsite RV Big Tent show that starts January 20 - 28.  Here's my Yule fire:

Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 15, 2017

All I Want for Christmas Are New Balance MW877's!

Readers of this blog are aware that one of my main forms of exercise is walking at least three miles a day, usually outdoors but occasionally on treadmills at Anytime Fitness gyms.  This exercise puts a lot of wear and tear on my footwear, which is typically New Balance gym shoes.  I've worn New Balance shoes for at least the last twenty years because they are so comfortable and well built.  My last set lasted me three and a half years but were showing their miles.

My old New Balance pair, about 4000 miles later.

Brand new New Balance MW 877's men's walking shoes!  Thanks, Santa!

If I get as many miles out of this pair as I got out of the last I'll be more than happy.  Incidentally, I haven't been compensated for saying I love New Balance shoes, I just really do!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Campground Review: Camp Creek Recreation Area Marble Falls, TX

Heading west from my stay in the Livingston, TX area I made it to Camp Creek Recreation Area about ten miles east of Marble Falls, TX.  Camp Creek Recreation Area is located on the banks fo the Colorado River and is administered by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA),

The LCRA allows dry camping in the rec area for up to five nights.  There are nine spacious RV camp sites and ten or so tent camping sites in the area.  The main attraction to the Camp Creek Rec area is it's location on the bank of the Colorado River, although only a couple of the RV sites are actually on the riverbank (all the tent sites are on the bank).

The Colorado River seen from a tent campsite.

Here's the Camp Creek data sheet:

Hookups:                                             None (Dry Camping)                                                 
Fire ring:                                              Yes                                                                             
Water Access:                                     Yes (River)                                                                 
Fresh Water:                                        No                                          
Trash Service:                                     Yes                                         
Toilets:                                                Yes (Vault)                                                    
Showers:                                             No                                                      
Dump station:                                     No                                          
WiFi:                                                    No                                          
Level sites:                                          Yes                                         
Laundry:                                              No                                                      
Store:                                                   No                                                                              
Pool:                                                    No                                          
Shade:                                                 Yes                                         
Verizon reception:                               4G, 3 bars                               
Internet reception                                3 Bars
Cost:                                                    Free for up to 5 nights

Upon arriving at the rec area there were only two RV sites occupied so I parked and reconnoitered on foot before selecting two possible sites.  The first was along tiny Camp Creek and was very secluded.

Nice creek-side site, too much shade for solar, though.

The camp site I decided on was away from the creek or river but had plenty of open sky for the Mini's solar setup.

The Mini's site with solar suitcase deployed.

Each campsite at Camp Creek comes with a picnic table, fire ring and a grill.

Typical site equipment at Camp Creek.

I stayed four nights and one thing I really appreciated about Camp Creek Rec Area was how quiet and peaceful it is.  Virtually silent at night!  Every morning there were deer grazing not 20 yards from the Mini so that was very cool too.  While dry camping isn't for everyone if you enjoy it as I do I really recommend Camp Creek Recreation Area for a quiet camping experience!

Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mini Repair Update

In a previous post I referenced needing to stay in the Livingston, TX area for electrical repairs to the Mini.  The GFIC outlet had shorted out and wouldn't reset.

The hole in the bathroom where the GFCI outlet used to be.

I'm somewhat handy with my hands but I tend to draw the line at efforts to fix electrical shorts.  Also the Mini is still within the manufacturers warranty and I didn't want to risk voiding it with a "home brew" fix.  Learning from fellow Escapees that a RV repair firm named West RV and Automotive was a capable repair outfit I got on their schedule for the end of November -- always a good sign when the repair place is booked up for 10 days, it means people use them.  Be leery of the place that says "Bring it in this morning, we'll get right to it" when you call them.

Anyway, West RV took three hours finding that, through a manufacturing mistake, a wire to all the sockets on the interior walls of the Mini was pinned between an aluminum floor strut and the flooring.  It was just a matter of time until vibration from travel wore the wiring insulation off and the wires arced on the aluminum, causing the GFIC to go off and eventually cook.  If I had tried to replace the GFCI outlet the replacement would have cooked too.  So West RV pulled out the bad wiring and rerouted it so there was no longer a danger of it being rubbed against and my time in the Livingston area came to an end.


West RV contacted Forest River (the Mini's manufacturer) for me and convinced the Forest River customer rep to OK the entire repair as warranty work which was very cool because the rep said they usually didn't pay for diagnosis time but given the severity of the wiring flaw they would this time!  I can't recommend West RV highly enough if you're in East Texas in need of an RV repair.

I'm camping my way out to Arizona now where plans are to spend the winter.

Thanks for reading