Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE On The Road Again — Autumnal Equinox to Winter Solstice - Long Haul, eh?

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

Greetings Virtual Travellers:

The Fast Day of Saint George

Whilst I work to type this Sara(h) is cat-napping with her head pillowed on my ASDFG arm. Any typos on that side of the board are her fault. This is a new level of attachment. She used to be content to sleep to the side of the terminal but now has to lay between my arms and glare at me whenever I <Esc> from something.


And a Gracious Samhain to you and you too. Trick or Treat strikes again. No more waiting to get into hot water in AridZona. Already in hot water here. In preparation of moving the bus into the garage I'd all but taken down my wire and unplugged the power friday afternoon when Paul came to the door. Seems my bright yellow new V8 Clatterpillar had been delivered to some garage in Brattleboro Ver-mont instead of this garage in Center Conway New Hampster. The driver of the delivery truck apparently cannot tell the difference between a v8 and the inline6 he was supposed to leave off in Brattleboro. Or perhaps the driver is one of that new breed who cannot read shipping labels or maps and only manage to drive by the computer of a GPS saying 'turn left', 'turn right', 'stop here', 'take a pee', 'take a nap' .

So everything here moves back a few days and maybe even a week.

Mis-delivered a second time yesterday.

The Brattleboro garage had sent my engine back to the shipper (in of all places—Billerica MA) and the dealer finally caught up with the truck driver hauling their engine here and had him return. Both crates of yellow motor, one a short block inline-6, the other, a drop-in replacement, V-8, sat on the dock where fools managed to remove the shipping tags and idiots then put them back. Took them all weekend to accomplish that so the two motors went out by truck at oh-dark-thirty monday morning. About coffee-break time here a big yellow motor in a see-through crate was being lowered on the hydraulic tailgate of a 55' 18-wheeler. Paul went out with the shipping documents and my cheque for 8,500$ in hand and said: Don't let it even touch the ground! Take it back! Still the wrong one. Cannot anyone tell the difference between a six and an eight?

Oh Well. I've still plenty of slides to copy. And I am way behind in all the "checking out" of URLs that several correspondents have sent recently in pursuit of different and divergent research projects. Between the motor and the slide copying, and now this foolishness of changing the clocks and my having to reset the alarum-cat—the hurrier I go the behinder I get!

Today I will sort and copy another hundred or so slides. 1973 is up; just into the first handful and already I have found several misfiled and misdated. I did not employ a very good system in the old days—and I'm not all that sure the system I'm using now is any better—so that sequences of several slides which should be dated and named as sets are instead scattered through the same months several years apart. Storey telling license I suppose that is coming round to bite my arse now.
Deja Vu Motor

Red Hat Day Voting & New Clatterpillar

The new motor arrived yesterday afternoon and when I went to bed last night it was hanging on the engine crane behind the bus. See the commentary at Winter in The Southwest. Talk about deja vu. Everything is the same now except the bus is not as bright and shiny. Even some of the tools on the floor look like they are still in the same place I left them six years and 55,000 miles ago.

At least this time around there does not need to be so much custom welding of mounts. That time ago we were changing from the Detroit to the Clatterpillar. This time around it is a much more simple R&R. Except that every time the phone rings Paul has to set down his tools, crawl out from under, wipe his hands ... and then when he does return, remember where and what he was doing.
Shiny new paint i six years ago.

Friday: D minus 2

As if someone were counting, eh? Perusing old logs and notes I found the entry on 2002nov8 "New motor finished - ready for test drive" and suddenly we were spurred to new heights of achievement. Paul took the phone off-hook. By lunch time the new motor was mounted and we commenced connecting all the wires and plumbing. Most everything went smoothly, the few glitches involved slight adjustments to the route of a wire or a better idea for the placement of a pipe or hose. By tea-time only the muffler and exhaust pipe remained to be installed, and to fill the glycol system with coolant. Enough else was done that we could do a test start. Shall we? Well, if it don't work at this point then at least we won't have to drain the coolant.

Paul pumped the primer. The fuel pumps kicked in. The starter slammed home. And I got hit in the face with a belch of smoke and fume as the motor fired off. Started right up! Surprised me! I expected she might take several rotations. Now I might even have to get a little bit excited. We still have to mount the muffler, the valence, and the bumper before a test drive so I best set this message aside and get on with dressing and doing.

Veteran's Day (almost) 2009xi9

But for now let me say I'm getting to be a veteran of this R&R the engine campaign. The ei8hth was the first real test drive beyond waddling around barely outside the service bay. Sort of akin to a heart transplant patient finally getting to walk the corridor to the sunroom without a tether of life support. The Cat Drag'd Out of the garage and accelerated up the hill with the frisky tail-wagging of a kitten. Can't get to going too fast in this part of town but a few quick gooses up to 55 were sufficient to see that everything seems to hold together. No untoward vibrations, good pickup, excellent turbo boost.

Around that wide fast corner on 302 heading north there was a crash and clatter from somewhere back along the companionway. Couldn't be the sugar bowl, I remembered to put that away. Then a curve the other way and a dull thud. Minor messes to deal with later. A pile of books, a box of tools; I need to buy another snake pit of bungee cords.

Still a few items to deal with before we're ready for On The Road Again however it seems safe to say that the operation was a success except for paying the bills. Got to get out of town before the cheque bounces. So at this point I suppose it is safe to say Thank You all for your sympathy, support, good wishes, and serious financial assistance without which I would be even deeper in the hole to MasterCard.

The head of the valve that broke off and precipitated all this I have kept and will wear as a millstone around my neck until the credit card is paid off.

Test Drive Around the Block

Tuesday was a good test drive around the block. Sixty-two miles. The motor warmed up and performs well. In many respects far better than the old motor: much better pickup, turbo boost is over twice greater (The old engine never went above about 5-6 psi, this one runs 10-13psi.), oil pressure is higher. Not until after a couple of fill-ups will I be able to see how these conditions might relate to fuel mileage. Still need to burp the coolant system and adjust belts and brakes but I think I am ready to head south right after Thanksgiving.


This has been a fun trip over all. But quite a struggle to keep it on that plane. Last night I commenced to change the three universal joints on Tiny Truck (as Bill prefers to call her—once upon a long ago TT reminded me of "Terrible Tarantulas", a clique within a sub-group of Scouts, but that's a whole nuther storey) and before the ordeal was over... Well, that's a whole nuther storey too.

My pile of Things To Ignore is growing. Sara(h) has been making a nest on the table of my lists and letters and bills. And she has added a new moniker to her convoluted proper name: Sara(h) La Gata con Migo Booger Messkitte La Rubia Frankencat Sinte Ikusheya Cat o' Mine Tales Eleven-Eleven. (any errors in spelling are due entirely to my translation of her scratching) The tag end is a result of cosmic influence on the coincidence effect. Shades of 42! At her annual Visit to The Vet (Hey! Sara(h) says, I thought that's what Vet-R-In's Day was all about...) on November 11th she weighed-in at eleven pounds, eleven ounces! 11-11 on 11/11. (I can hardly wait for the year after next.)

As far as TT is concerned, for now suffice it to write that Tiny Truck can still go forwards and backwards and there were not too many pieces left over on the floor of the garage. Thank you Paul, and Brian too.

I'll get to that unamemento here. In the meantime, for your eyes only, here is a sneak preview of the Plan of The Month, subject of course to the Whim of the Weather and other Change Inducing Calamities as may be encountered: 

On or about a week from yesterday Depart Home Port Garage, Center Conway NH for points south. Actually one could say I am starting as early as tomorrow, monday, after post office visitation, but then I am headed East and the excursion is being billed as another test drive, to Belfast and return over the course of three days and back. The Last Supper, with staunch friends and benefactors here, is planned for friday evening—my turn to cook so I dassent miss that. Also one more opportunity to download a gazillion items of Empower Your Impaler spamages before the long WiFiLess slog of the First Leg of the Real Jounrey—all of two days to my sister's in Nashua. (Despite rumor to the contrary, NH is a big state you know—almost as long from one end to the other as TeXas is wide, and that takes me three days. 

ETA Nashua is monday morn where I will leave the bus and attend 50th HS reunion in Watertown MA that evening. Not sure how long I will be able to get away with parking on the street at my sister's caravanserai before the Nashua Constabularium issue a ticket. They get rather touchy about the possibility of snowplows being obstructed in making their appointed rounds. My goal is to stay there several days. 

Thursday is Thanksgiving with sister-daughter's family in Hollis I think, and somewhen along the intervening days perhaps a side trip to Milford to pick up a repaired and functional FT-900. Thank you David. 

Friday, after sufficient time to collect adequate leftovers for the road, The Cat will relocate to Acton MA, or Boxborough, to engage further visitations before moving on to Franklin MA for another day or three. 

Perhaps by December Fool's Day I'll be of a mind to start the first really long leg and head for Albany and then Harrisburg to visit Tamara and Denali. Two days to get there, two days to visit should put us to 4th-6th december. Beyond that there is Shrewsbury PA, Richmond VA, and then I run out of extrapolation. Chanukah is along the Way there someplace and then a wide right turn about the vicinity of Americus GA. Details await further investigation. 

And now once again I have used up my MDAoA. 

Thursday—"Have A Bad Day" Day

I'm still in Conway. Supposed to depart south saturday mid-day at least as far as Nashua. Already I am looking at a late start. Yesterday I went for a much needed walk in the woods with a local peer friend and we had a great time just walking for six miles and telling each other storeys of the old days. But now all the things I could have been doing wait for daylight today.

One of those Priority Mail Bulk Rate cardboard envelopes—"If you can fit it, we deliver" things—burst enroute from PHX to here. No telling what might have been lost. Delivered to me in a plaxtic bag, my postmaster said that any mail which might have fallen out will be returned to my Tonopah addy.

On yesterday's woods walk I collected some Balsam Fir to make weather sticks. Also was able to wear the warm woolie trousers that have been languishing in storage since leaving Mount Washington in 1987.

All together that thursday was a rather Good Day.

Sunday, 22nd november, A Day Late and A Dollar Short

Several dollars short and a few hours short as well. There is just not enough time. But you knew that. A Rule says it: No Matter How Much Time You Allow There Will Always Be Something Else To Do. Of course I could have started earlier, like yesterday, packing. What ever.

Finally, on the road, southbound. Dark early, lights on, phone service spotty. One thing I will look forward to with moving south and west, besides the promised warmth, is that the days will get longer. And later. Part of that effect is illusion of course, all a matter of Time Zone manipulation, but part of it is real. The further south one travels the longer the sun is above the horizon. Is that a fact? Look it up.

I took the scenic route to visit Jim. Over the river and through the woods. Deeper and deeper into the woods, the roads become narrower and narrower, the phone service less and less, Maine Public Broadcasting disappears, street lights have yet to be invented in Bradford NH. In some places there is even no pavement. Jim lives with Sheila on Fairground Road, a narrow enough road that in the daylight is a trial to negotiate; I thought this time I'd come in around the block so as to avoid having to unhook and turn around—a six point turn involving two driveways, two cars and several trees.  Around the block here means an additional three and some miles up Marshall Hill Road, and then /UP\ Hogg Hill Road to where the pavement ends and there was a flat spot to sit without the brakes on. I found phone service and called Jim. "I wouldn't go that way", he said, "I went over that hill once by bicycle and it was four-wheel drive".

Well, I thought, I've got ten wheels on the ground. Four of them are drive wheels and if I have to I can start up the Tiny Truck and add two more. Down into the dark we went, The Cat, The Inn, and me; the phone service we left behind at the top of the hill. What was Hogg Hill Road going up becomes Johnson Hill Road going down. Well enough graded, the gravel way was actually smoother than the pavement on the lower part of Water Street back at the edge of downtown Bradford. Almost out to the pavement of Fairground Road is the West Branch of Warner River; Jim has a geocache nearby and I remembered back in August walking across a footbridge on this very road to access that cache. This time through I had to get out and pry apart the guard rails so The Cat Drag'd Inn could fit between and then scoot across before the bridge had time to realise it was being overloaded. All was worth the effort for the fine pot roast supper that waited.

After the fine pot roast supper we commenced to swopping spit about the old daze. I'm learning that telling storeys is one of the things us old-timers do best, trying to one-up and out-do each other's tales. In the course of explaining why it took me so long get here, and why I had such a late start from Center Conway, and how come I was out gallivanting around the woods on a day cold enough to wear warm woolies instead of packing the truck for this journey, Ben's name was dropped as a point of, ahh, reference. "It was all Ben's fault!"

Then Jim recalled Ben English from some Boy Scout function a hundred years ago in Concord where he asked Ben to be a guest speaker and then he ran off to fetch his 1969 AMC White Mountain Guide. "I've got a copy of that book too", I said when he reappeared. He pointed to a name in the list of Guide Book Committee on page xix, "Ya, that's the Ben English I know", we chorused. I'll have to remember to ask Ben to autograph my Guide Book.

2009xi24, Tuesday Morning Coming Down

The Rindge Register is the newsletter of the Rindge Alumni Association; their (our? my?) 114th annual reunion dinner went well. My class, that of 1959, had the honours monday night, this being our 50th year since graduation. I was somewhat surprised to see that everyone else was not an old fogey after all. And with my recent and ongoing project of sorting through old pictures still fresh in my mind I was even more surprised to learn that some of my class mates are also Scout mates; why did I never make that connexion back then? Why only now? Was there such separation between Scouts and School that I was living in two separate worlds? Or do I just not remember?

Getting to this party was half the fun. After a nice breky with Jim The Cat Drag'd Inn moved along smoothly off his lawn, onto the pavement, down the road towards Concord and points south. Ten or so miles later, just really getting warmed up to the task, there was a muffled thump from "back there" and the motor quit. Perhaps the sequence was really the other way round. Yes, I suppose that is the case; the motor quit and the muffled thump was caused by the backlash of the torque converter going from driving to driven. THUMP! and The...Inn coasted to a halt in Breakdown Lane. Restart failed. And failed again. Well, to make the usual long storey short this was an easy fix. Not out of fuel, the gauges showed easily 20 gallons aboard, although I was surprised to learn later just how empty the tanks were. But that part is later. The problem now was that none of that fuel was getting to the cylinders. The crimp-lug on the end of the wire powering the fuel control solenoid had failed. Broken, perhaps due to metal fatigue. Fixed in short order and on the road again.

At Ann-Marie's I rummaged around through my storage to put away the copied slides and find my Rindge Yearbook and tassel. Mike let me use his fancy Garmin nuvi GPS for the drive into the bowels of Watertown (MA) where this dinner was to be held. I surely would have been lost in the dark and rainy night without voice-navigation by GPS. It has been a long while since I've been intown and most of the thoroughfares have moved. Driving in there is not unlike that scene from one of the Harry Potter movies where all the stairways keep twisting and rotating, reconnecting and disconnecting. Ms Garmin was up to the task and led me true, right to the party. And home again.

Another Red Hat Day Passes Unnoticed

I continue to occupy space at my sister Ann-Marie's Caravanserai on the street in Nashua. For a limited engagement only, as long as no Snow Emergency is declared.  Can you imagine? An Emergency of Snow. Sounds like a book title, eh?

Yesterday I went to see my estate lawyer despite I've not much of an estate left to lawyer for. At least this visit is not supposed to cost me anything. The signing is included in the fees already paid for the storey telling three years ago. Now I have the Winter to read through that novel and see what needs to be changed.

Also asked about the mess David left behind when he tippled his last bottle of vino. The bottom line of that lawyerly advice is: Don't Get Involved. The van is not worth the hassle that would result if there are other creditors lurking like vultures. It seems that the one year period creditors have to make claim against the assets of an estate does not commence until some executor or administrator is appointed. No matter how long ago the death occurred. The trade off is that while I would be permitted to pay my self the van in return for my services—and interestingly enough the administrator's services are paid first, even before the funeral expenses, and thirdly in queue come the creditors—there is the matter of carrying that burden of responsibility for the year.

I don't know... Maybe I will undertake the effort anyhow, just for the experience. Could open up a whole new line of work: Mercenary Executor for Hire.

Are We There Yet?

High school was the last time I wore a watch. At my reunion dinner I tried not to do much comparing of my Self and my classmates other than to note how dressed-up was most everyone else. Watches, neckties, and of course a utility belt of modern electronic leashes seem to be de rigueur. Interesting that many people do not flick out their left arm, to stretch a wrist beyond a sleeve cuff, to look anymore at their watch for the time, a kind of salute to Time—Do You Have The Time? Instead they fumble in one pocket or another or reach for a holster to find a cellphone or PDA... Really tho, I'm not much different. My leash is longer perhaps but just as strong.


I left Heleen and Frank and Boxborough yesterday morning for a short jaunt to Franklin, one old friend to another, older, one sing for my supper engagement to another. Rainy day driving. I think I got really taken in buying propane at a gas station along the way. My fault again, and all the more so as I failed to heed those little voices telling me to check his gauge before he started pumping and to ask his per gallon price up front. I canna believe I took on 24 gallons of propane and the total cost was over an hundred dollars! 

The folks at Boxborough are into "railcars", those little evolutions from the old handcars the railroads used to have, these are like golf carts on rails. Clubs of railcars go tooling up and down on abandoned or little used old rights of way. Anyhow... When these folks go off to a meet of their club they have some old clunker coach, like CyB's Alleged motorhome, pulling a trailer for their railcar. Last week, coming in the dark, home from a meet, to meet me to visit, all the lights on the front shell of their coach went out. Scaarrry! And then on again. And off again. They made it the last few miles holding a portable spotlight against the windscreen to see with. 

All the lights on that front fibreglass shell depend on ONE ground wire and I found it loose. The bolt to the chassis was loose. And as if that was not enough, as if the coach was trying to tell them something, the door latch mechanism broke whilst Frank was trying to get in from the rain and Heleen and Ben and MollyDog were inside unable to open the door either. Frank ended up climbing in through the bedroom window.

He says his next coach will have two doors.

If only the weather would be nicer. On top of that I have hurt my back again...

And to make matters worse...

Oh Well. At least the motor goes round and round.

Meeting Dick and Dennis and Donald and Woodstock

When I laid out the plan for this drive to AridZona there were several factors in mind: To meet and chat with several old friends (and perhaps find a few new ones), to drive a few new old roads, to get into some nice hot water for a well needed soak. Little did I know that the single most important thing, even more so than all the hoo-rah with the new motor, would be the quest to let Sara(h) La Gata con Migo Booger Messkeet La Rubia Frankencat Sinte Ikusheya Cat-o-Mine Tales Eleven-Eleven out to play sans being always at the end of her rope. Old Girl Scout that she is Sara(h) has yet to learn how to UN-tie the knots she has been so adept at learning how to make.
Oso con Migo meets Ganesh
Dick, of Manjula's Children, is packing for his annual trip to Erode Tamil Nadu to visit the school where all the sponsored children live/attend. I went with him once upon a long ago, Oso con Migo met Ganesh, we had quite an adventure. This meeting was to look at old pictures and identify kids who used to be in our Scout troops, back in the old days when boys wore shorts and Scouting For Boys was in.

Dennis and Donald are two of that cohort, from the earliest part. Along with others from hither and yon we have been putting names to faces and remembering dates and places.

Woodstock is another matter. It has been said: If you can remember Woodstock then you weren't there. To remind us, to help us remember that event which defined a generation, there is the Museum at Bethel Woods. I don't remember much of 1969 at all. Sandwiched in as it were between 1968 and 1970...

Woodstock is behind me now. Parked in a wide spot west of Waymart, on U.S.6 (U.S.6 runs from Provincetown on Cape Cod all the way to Bishop CAlifornia where it seems to run out of pavement well short of the west coast.) waiting for daylight and breky.

The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!

"The sky is falling!, Sara(h) cried when she stuck her nose out of her Cat Door, there are pieces of cloud sticking to my coat!" And as Camilla would have said, "I am not amused". Snow! Yuck! Snow is sticking to the grass, piling up on the kayak, covering the solar panels. PVs may be more efficient when they are cold but they don't make watts at all when buried under an inch of frozen cloud.

We are visiting Tamara and Denali in Halifax Pennsylvania where The Cat Drag'd Inn is berthed at the local Park&Ride and Recycling Drop. The focus of this visit, besides good food with good friends, is making plans for Summer Camp On The Road 2010.

When does poop freeze? Is there sufficient salt in pee to depress the freezing point? Awake on and off last night to run the APU and check pipe heater; overnight low observed at 28f.

> > Is there sufficient salt in pee to depress
> > the freezing point?
> Yes, and since the amount of salt varies, so does the freezing temp.

One source states: The freezing point of Human Urine is -120 degrees Celsius.

But I don't believe that!

Another source says: Interesting question! The freezing point of human urine is comparable to that of salt water, which is -21.1 degrees Celsius.

That is prob'ly closer to being right.

Yet another source: about -5 degrees celsius, or about 23 degrees farenheit

Obviously this question needs a lot more serious research.

The most frequent answer is: Urine freezes at about -5 C.

...and that is more what I would expect based on personal experience and comparisons with sea water.

Running Ahead of Winter

Good day getting better. I've left the snows of Halifax behind, am now at Carlisle Flying-J hotspot; after taking on 82 gallons of fuel my first mpg report is 7.2. Not as good as the long term average of the old motor but then this past few days have included an inordinate amount of fast idle just to keep the heat up.

Lots of rain yesterday a bit north of here where I stayed in a "No Overnight Parking" rest area. I slept fitfully, fully expecting to be chased away before dawn. The knock on my door came at 02h30 however it was not the local gendarme but a three-months pregnant and bedraggled woman standing there in the pouring rain. She needed gas but when I offered my spare gas can did not really want gas, she wanted money.

This morning I rear-ended a car. So, there we were alongside the road and slowly the other driver got out of his car. You know how sometimes you just get soooo stressed and little things just seem funny? Yeah, well I couldn't believe it . . . he was a DWARF!!! He stormed over to my bus, looked up at me, and shouted, "I AM NOT HAPPY!!!" So, I looked down at him and said, "Well, then which one are you?" And then the fight started... 

Visiting OAE friend Liz and her fisherhusband Lew. I've used up all my layover days. With about 2600 miles to go and eleven days before Winter Solstice I am either going to have to forgo any further visiting along the road and drive 250 miles a day or set back my ETA at Tonopah. Some combination of the two extremes is likely. If I spend less time writing about it I could get more driving done.

The writing is theraputic and so is a walk once in a while. Yesterday Liz took me to watch her teach swimming to a class of 3-4 year-olds at the local fitness center swimming pool. The hot-tub whirlypool bath next to the large pool was an excellent vantage however clothing was not optional. Still and all the scenery was viewable as evidenced by the large audience in attendance.

Shopping for Tee at Wal-Mar

Pearl Harbour Day has come and gone; I've finished reading Disguised (memoir of a 12 year-old girl who masquerades as a boy during several years in a prisoner of war camp to avoid being shanghaied by the "Ladies of Pleasure") and am now half way through Running With Scissors (memoir of a boy who, one could say, masquerades as normal while growing up with a crazy mom). No Tee at this Wal-Mar.

Presently parked in Eufala ALabama, just into the Central Time Zone, at the end of a long and rainy day. Oh-dark-thirty the next morning and rain continues. A rainy day is not the best time to visit the Andersonville Civil War Prison National Historic Site. Aside from the Visitor Center/P.O.W. Museum everything is outside and best viewed on a sunny Summer day. Although a day of cold rain will engender greater empathy for those 45,000 Union soldiers confined there. Such unbelievable inhumanity.

There is one display poster in the P.O.W. Museum that states "...the last time Congress Declared War was after the attack on Pearl Harbour..." All the other conflicts since then have not been "War" in the sense that they had been declared. I have a hard time with the concept promulgated by this Prisoner Of War Museum that the soldiers who volunteered to "serve" in these undeclared wars made any sort of "sacrifice", that those who died made "the ultimate sacrifice". They were in it for the Money! They were in it for the Rush! (Or was it for the Bush?) See The Good Soldiers.

Also just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I recommend this book to you. I give it a perfect 10. Best quote: Am I too particular? I don’t want to get married just to be married. I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.       —Juliet, in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Rain Rain Go Away - 2009xii14

By i10x139, Grosse Tete LA, I'd had enough. One RV was seen in the middle of the median, mired up to its axles, shortly beyond there was a tractor trailer leaning over the verge and likewise mired, and then another tractor trailer way off to the right up to its running boards in the drainage. The Cat Drag'd Inn drag'd off to the clean paved area of a truck stop under construction and I parked with a clear view of the rising tide and an easy escape to the overpass should higher ground become a good idea. Quite a storm! Too bad I never think of putting out the rain gauge when I'm enthralled by the thunder and lightning. Time for tea and lunch later before there was a break, a hint of clearing, and a drop in the temperature from 71f to 65f. The bit of clearing was enough to stir me into action; on the road again. Several more trucks and cars were off the road from mile 139 to mile 121 and the road was wet and showery all the way to Pinehurst TeXas.

Phew! What a ride!

More than one warm dry day will be required to get all the water out of the bellyboxes. My wine cellar needs rebuilding now—and restocking too for that matter—and I'm not even going to look into the load on the back of Tiny Truck, prob'ly have to siphon the casket. Must be some wisecrack I can make about the kayak and all this water...

2009xii18, Georgetown TeXas

What day was it I arrived at Rainbow's End, Livingston? Today is friday; thursday I drove from there to here, wenzday I stayed put, so it must have been tuesday? Yes, independent corroboration from the bus log confirms.

So tuesday it was that I set the anchor in Dry Camp B and proceeded to attach Sara(h) to the end her rope—her least favourite place—and shut down driving systems, transfer my attention to lunch. Considering the recent long days driving in the rain this morning had been a short haul from Beaumont and I was looking at the afternoon to sit still and breath slowly.

Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a clatter and knocking as a cat full of fear crashed in through her cat-door and two faces were framed by the front window. Beth-Ann!? And Shashi?!

Oh WOW! My neighbors from across the street turn out to be fellow hams on their way to the meeting of the local club. Thoughts of lunch were set aside and immediately all thought of an early departure on wenzday were cast adrift in favour of a day of visiting. Just as well, I needed a day off the road.

So we had a nice visit. They send their regards and various tidbits of news to all and sundry. Earlier they had visited Tereza and Tom at Dancing Rabbit who said they will likely not visit LCB this Winter. Wenzday turned out to be a sunny respit from the rain; a good day to sit in the sun and read, to leave open the bellybox doors to drip and drain and dry. B-A&S are sort of headed for Big Bend and Q'site after which they will be at LCB in febter.

Now I'm in Georgetown visiting Nancy, k5NCY, and Bob, N5kf, at the home of NU5DE, and taking an additional day off the road.

Let's see... this is friday; saturday I will head for Sonora, sunday for Pecos, monday to El Paso, tuesday Lordsburg, then Eloy followed by Goodyear. I might make it to LCB by friday next.

Winter Solstice, 2009

In the Rest Area at about TeXas i10mp305 (complete with dump station and WiFi) I was busy estimating fuel on board and calculating distance to fuel stops ahead when along came another person looking for gaz. This one however was quite willing to pay and I was quite willing to sell. His plight confirmed my choice to take a ten-mile side trip off i10 to Pecos to fill up rather than risk running out ten miles short of El Paso.

Picked up a gnarly old hitchhiker on the road from wherever to El Paso. Prob'ly the only one I have seen in this whole drive from New Hampshire so far. Hitchhikers have become an endangered species, legislated out of existence rather than protected as is usually the case with a dying breed. Greg had good storeys and he paid his way with the telling of them during the long drive.

Arrived Deming SKP park yesterday, a short drive beyond El Paso. After several back to back 300+ mile days I wanted a day to set still and I didn't get much else done. Just as well. Major accomplishment just taking a shower. I'd interrupted the deskie as he was making notes in the camp brochure: Go this way and that way to get to Dry Camp... So he never did scribe the Shower Access Code. Walk about the park netted one "tall kitchen" (13 gals—don't I wish) bag full of trash. Mostly Wal-Mart plastic bags, blowin' in the wind.

Winter Solstice Greetings One&All.

'Twas the Night before Christmas Eve...

Sing Happy Birthday for Glen who was born on this day the year my family lived on Overlook Road in Weymouth Massachusetts. I was six then and remember the frozen pipes and harvesting icicles from the eaves to melt for their water. Mum pulled the same sort of trick again a few years later when Flora popped into the picture to share birthdays with her mother and George Washington. With so many kids in the family doubling up in beds and on holidays was a necessary economy. 

Where is Glen today? 

I'm in Phoenix on this Penultimate Night Out. One last fling before finally letting Sara(h) off the end of her rope to reclaim her backyard from the feral invaders, one more day of driving, a short one to be sure, and then a few weeks off the road. Time enough for a soak, an oil change, a laundry, a thorough house cleaning, and a long bill-paying session. 

3600 miles of the initially estimated 3540 miles; 42 miles remaining before I can get into a little hot water. Only three days late. 

Yesterday, on the way into PHX I stopped at the Food Bank to make a withdrawal. Among other comestibles: a fine Christmas meatloaf, a box of mashed potatoes and three pounds of dried cranberries. YUM! for dinner. 

Happy Birthday Glen, wherever you are!

Thank you all for riding along with me. Perhaps next Spring some one or two of you can do it for real.

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.

Love, ajo

front page trailerI do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Sir Isaac Newton

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