Cleaning Up After & Planning Ahead

Travels With Oso con Migo

Odyssey In America

OAE Off and On and Off The Road Again — Cleaning Up After & Planning Ahead

Nude Sunbathers Ahead

2023 Autumnal Equinox — Greetings Virtual Travellers and Pen Friends:
Where's Hazel? Pet Hazel. Hazel needs her dreadlocks trimmed.

A Week Into July Already

Red Tailed Hawk SelfieSo far I’ve managed to get the July B’day Cards posted.   In other news the CritterCam in the outbackyard caught a red-tailed hawk taking a selfie.

Passing out of the garage at about 14 o'clock, I was closing the door on a screw-finding mission and headed for your Found Keys Repository on the way to a rendezvous with the Ice Cube Recovery Team, when I was surprised by a sound of rushing water, not unlike that from Old Faceful at Yellowstone or, closer to home, an irrigation circuit that just blew off a regulator.   Closer inspection revealed the latter.   Near the south-east corner of the garage, cleverly concealed under a pile of other stuff, is where the rumbling gurgle emanated.   I picked up a 5-gallon bucket of bolts  and was greeted with a warm shower as column of water quickly rose overhead.  

Well, to cut to the chase, I turned off the Big Red Gate Valve over at the base of the water tower.   Back at the geyser, where the shower was now reduced to a dribble, I found the black threaded coupling of the metering regulator had come unscrewed from the T-fitting of the PVC pipe at the base of a nearby tree.   How does that unscrewing happen? The phenomena is not unlike, tho quite the opposite to, the way coiled cords and hanks of rope manage to tie themselves into knots.   The coupling screwed back into the T-fitting just fine and remained there OK when I reopened the Big Red Gate Valve.   After all that excitement I drip-dried quickly in this 110f breeze and continued with my mundane mission.

You may ask Why was I finding screws and keys, and well you might.   A few days ago I found much to my annoyance that the PBS FTA satellite feed signal was missing from my viewscreen and after a day of troubleshooting my end of the circuit arrived at the conclusion that the satellite had moved.   Decommissioned.   Replaced by another bird in a different location.   So it was that in order to restore service I would have to re-aim my antenna.   That effort was complicated by a large steel obstacle.   Rather than move the bus I decided to relocate the antenna.  

In and of itself, moving the satellite dish is a small task however the foundational material was in no condition to be reused and required replacement with wood less rotted and screws less rusty.   Ergo: a search for screws was most definitely in order.   As an aside, whilst looking around in the garage for screws was when I found the lost ring of several keys.  Now the antenna is mounted on a base of wood held firm with pavers in a location with a clear view of the sky, the ring of keys is in the key drawer, remaining only the task of finding the satellite and aiming the dish.   That part seems beyond me and I may have to call on professional assistance.

How can I ever get on the road with so many things to fix.   “It is not enough to be busy,” Henry David Thoreau wrote, “so are the ants.  The question is,: What are we busy about?”  A new book by Johann Hari attempts to address that question.  In Stolen Focus Mr Hari writes that we spend a lot of time “constantly switching from device to device and tab to tab...  our focus has been stolen by powerful external forces...all of which have robbed some of our attention.”

11July “what /is/ this wooden thing” reprise Give The Flax a Break?

A Flax Break.  Jan wrote: I think it is a flax break.  They use it in processing flax.

AAA has finally acceded to paying part of the towing fee involved with getting the bus back here from her mechanical breakdown so I am several steps closer to departure for Pie Town and avoidance of my own breakdown.  After some discussion to clear up a misunderstanding AAA has agreed to send the maximum tow benefit allowed by my class of membership: (500$).  That should fill the fuel tank at least once.  Thank you AAA, you have made my membership worth keeping!
Phone Line Spark Arrestor
Paul found this rusty box on the side of a tree near his cabin in the woods up by Mormon Lake.  Inside was a spider web and hornet nest and a thermionic valve spark gap surge arrestor.

Social Media?

Pardon my rant: I have enough to do just reading the mail.  I look at URLs that correspondents recommend—thank you very much—but I don't monitor any "social media".  Doctor, dentist, two RV clubs, all have their demands to read this and that, my sisters want me on FaceBook, several friends say I should subscribe to their blogs.  Simply reading an article is not enough, one is obliged to join, log in, like, subscribe...  As with treemail magazines: I subscribe to two monthlies, a bimonthly, two quarterlies, not to mention 25 more or less regular treemail correspondents.  Good thing I'm on the dole.  But I will always have time for you.

We Are Not Alone 

I knew that...  All very interesting but just more of the same.  As was said in the video and in some of the comments: Where's the proof?  And of course today, with PhotoShop and all the computer graphic animation capability, all proof will be suspect.  No win.  Never ending.

Fortnight Flown

Talk about being busy.  Daytime high temperatures of 115f – 120f mean I have only the first four to five hours of a day, from first light to mid morning, from when I can see the ground to when the tools are too hot to touch, to accomplish anything outside. 

Government Control

Had the same sort of address problem with Visible/Verizon "phone" service and Food Stamps.  Mailing address, Service address, Residence address, place of principle garaging...  Officially I am "homeless" but in order to register a car one must have a residence and a garage.  Bad enough depending upon which side of "the Line" you choose your car may or may not be liable for Emissions Testing; the line moves from year to year.  Don't get me started on that rant.  Don't Ask Don't Tell...  The industry's narrow minded robots cannot comprehend nor deal with the differences.

Almost August?

Been outside working on the bus motor from 88f at dawn to 110f now.  Replumbed the oil pressure gauges, found yet another glycol leak, changed the engine oil (18 quarts plus two filters).  That's enough for one day.  Save the cleaning up after for tomorrow.

Two Test Drives Later...

And another few hours of research & repair and I believe The Cat Drag’d Inn is ready for the road.  Engine oil pressure turned out to be neither engine nor instrument but "wiring" as it were.  Took an analogy with Ohm's Law to give me the solution.  In the course of the injector pump R&R I rearranged the plumbing of the oil pressure sending units' manifold.  Previously the manifold was plumbed to a point on the block that fed oil to the air compressor.  I moved that manifold from the pressure point on the block to the compressor end of the feed hose.  The pressure there turned out to be less than half of the value at the block end.  But I didn't learn that until the injector pump had been reinstalled and the engine warmed up on the first test drive.

The Ohm's Law relationship didn't occur to me.  First I thought Instrument Error since there had already been two of those related to the R&R work.  Then old oil or dirty filters since neither had been changed in two years of sitting idle.  And if I'm going to change the oil I should perhaps use 15w40 rather than the 5w40 that was two years old.  Change the oil, change the filters; still the pressure was low.  Then something clicked.  The current (flow) in a series circuit is the same no matter where you measure but the voltage (pressure) varies from high at the source to nil at the sink.  Ah-Ha! But I didn't want to return the manifold to the original location.  Awkward, out of the way, hard to reach—all the reasons moved in the first place.  Where else on the block is oil pressure available—that is the question.

Round and round we go with inadequate service literature, and ignorant help people.  For this 3208 I have a pile of official Caterpillar literature about four inches thick of user service, depot service, parts, arrangements, drawings, lists, charts and tables.  Talks about what oil to use, how often to change, pressure values v.s temperature, v.s RPM, failure symptoms, everything but where to connect an oil pressure gauge. 

Finally after several hours over as many days of listening to "music on hold" leading up to such inane recommendations as "see the package the gauge came in" and questions such as "what is the make and model of the truck" (this engine is in a land yacht, I replied) I ended up with a parts technician who actually knew the answer and could send me a picture from his book.  Problem solved.  Thank you very much!  There are actually four points on the engine where oil pressure may be measured or oil tapped for lubrication of accessories.  So! Now I have a respectable value that looks like what used to be.  On the road again.

Presently planning departure for Wenzday evening or Thursday morning.  Been a long haul dealing with abject stupidity and general ignorance.  When I ask a specific question I expect a specific answer instead there is often a long ramble of useless information related to every keyword in my question.  No search takes my entire question and provides an answer.  Even "I Don't know" would be useful.  But finally all that is done—I hope—and I have somewhat rebuilt my confidence in the motor and learnt a lot along the way.

Books and Shelves

I believe I could write that I have three book shelves, one book cupboard, and one book box and two book trunks.  The front shelf is mostly growth and reference books.  The back shelf is at my bed and so is mostly novels and other bedtime reading.  The way-back shelf is historical, Antarctic, and new books.  The book cupboard is second tier reference, genealogy, books of value.  The book box under the bed contains books for sale (at my mostly defunct storefront on Amazon) and other books for give-away.  The two trunks: one, here, contains my journals and scrap books;  the other is in Ann-Marie's Laundry and I have lost track of what is in that trunk.

August 3 up The Big Hill—Tonopah to Mormon Lake

Shopping for Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch was the first stop.  Tonopah was up to a hundred already by late morning when The Cat Drag’d Out.  APU running to power two a/c units: burning propane in a heat engine to make cold in the cabin.  Northbound on i17, watching the altimeter and engine temperature go up as the barometer and air temperature went  down.  Burned about seven gallons of propane.

2023iix6Dairy Springs to Pinegrove Dsiry Springs Antique Gas Station

Sunday Morning Coming Down...  Last night I was chased out of my camp at the defunct Dairy Springs Gas Station by the Forest Police.  Someone complained I was trespassing on Permitted Property.  Permitted Property within the National Forest is sort of like Private Property outside the forest and so exempts the property from the general "camp anywhere" rule which is not really "anywhere" as there is another arcane set of rules regarding which roads, which side of a road, how far back from the road, seasonal restrictions, resident wildlife, endangered plants...  Last Spring the Permit was defunct and I camped there for several days but now the permit is renewed and the defunctness of the gas station is being replaced by remodeling.  So I moved on up the road a few miles to USFS Pinegrove Campground with paved roads-showers-water-dump but no electric.  15$/night with my Geezer pass. 

The Rest of the Storey

Speaking of NU7DE...  last week I was wandering around prospecting, evaluating a USFS campground "Dairy Spring" near Paul's cabin at Mormon Lake.  Wearing my NU7DE down-to-my-knees dress-shirt I approached the Camp Host to inquire as to what was included in their 40USD a night fee.  The guy rattled off a few features and some yeses and noes to my specific questions and then eyeing the NU7DE on the shirt's left breast said in all seriousness: "You know you have to keep your clothes on in this camp."  I prob'ly should expand on that moment: The camp was heavily wooded, narrow lumpy dirt roads, overhanging branches, no showers, no dump station, no electric, signs at the water taps specifically proscribed filling RV tanks...  The 40USD was broken down to 30$ for the first RV-camper-car and 10$ for a second vehicle.

Eventually, after being removed from the trespassing situation where I was camped—and it goes without saying I think he ratted me out to the ranger who came by later—I went a few miles north to USFS camp Pinegrove and likewise as at Dairy Spring, wandered around.  Finding the shower-cleaner person busy at work I plied my same questions.  Often the signage is not all that helpful in matters of these details and the brochure box is empty.  Right there where I was standing in front of the shower house was a spigot and hose and sign: "RV Fill".  To my left an hundred feet was the RV Dump.  The woods were spacious, well ordered second growth Ponderosa, plenty of clearance, and paved roads and turnouts.  The cost was the same however that second car charge was not for a towd but a second driven vehicle.  And this codger, eyeing me respectfully allowed that if I had the Golden Geezer Passport the fee for one RV was only 15USD.  The only glitch in the whole arrangement was that the showers were 24 quarters for 8 minutes of water.  Well worth the cost at that point in time.  I stayed three nights.

Over the preceding few days of visiting Paul we went sailing on Lake Mary and worked together on several wiring projects.  Paul grilled some Food Bank Halibut and I nuked bangers and beans.  Now I'm sitting in the Pinegrove Campground writing you this letter.

Monday Morning Still Sitting Still

Yesterday I rewired two closet lights from incandescent to LED and found a bad fuse in TinyTruck's instrument lights.  May still have a wiring issue with the console clock there.  Whilst doing a fill and dump in preparation to depart Pinegrove I realised this is only Monday and since I have an appointment in Holbrook on Wenzday reevaluated my immediate plan and decided to stay at Pinegrove an extra day.  See if I can actually do a "day of rest" instead of just resting between tasks: "How beautiful it is to do nothing and then to rest afterward." ~Spanish Proverb

Pinegrove is a neat camp.  Fairly upscale for USFS camps.  Smooth paved roads, spacious slots, some pull through, dump and fill and great showers tho that last item is rather pricey.  They get 6$ for 8 minutes.  I've seen both ways.  Here the showers and dump & fill, are accessible to travellers not registered as campers at Pinegrove.  The dump station and RV water hydrant have Honour System fee boxes that state No Charge for Registered Campers.  I have experienced several rationals for not having "free" showers: Some campers have been known to bring their kids and dogs in with them; some wash their dishes in the shower.  Camp fee is 30$/night but only 15$ if you have a Golden Geezer passport. 

Monday Afternoon—Rain and Thunder

But before that part I went for a walk on the Pinegrove Loop Trail. See the Loop Trail Guide PDF. The loop departs through a No Cattle gate near the Amphitheater and circles around for a mile to another gate behind the stage.  At two tenths of a mile in there is a 0.7 tenths mile spur connecting with the Arizona Trail.   The Loop Trail has 10 interactive stations and a brochure which describes the Ponderosa forest and wildlife.

Bert, the Abert Squirrel  is your guide.  Along the trail I saw a squished baby snake, a torpid Horn Toad, one hummingbird come to inspect my red hat, one brown cow (How Now?) and three black cows, six various insects, a woman with six Border Collies on leashes, 4 trail signs, 10 interpretive areas, ...but no Abert Squirrels.  Ponderosa Pines can grow to 300-600 years old.  In one stump I counted 100 rings. 

August 7th-8th A Wenzday Not Food Banking

Somewhere in here was one night near Winslow at Homolovi State Park.  Then breky in Holbrook whilst crossing roads with friends from Tonopah who are travelling northeast as I am travelling southeast to Pie Town.  After last minute panic shopping in Springerville I'm now picking up trash at my favourite Red Hill Rest Area a few miles beyond the AZ|NM (MST|CST) border.  This road is the same u.s.60 that passes through Wickenburg a few miles north of Tonopah, through downtown Phoenix, Florance Junction, Show Low, Springerville, and on to Pie Town.  If not for that awful horrible no good very bad Salt River Canyon u.s.60 would be a perfectly leisurely road all the way between LAX and Virginia Beach.

11 August Last Day—Arrival Between Storms

Two nights and five bags of trash at Red Hill.  Amazing that with six trash barrels about the area some people still manage, with great effort I am sure, to leave their drink containers, dirty diapers, and fast food wrappers, among other nasties, on the ground.  Friday at Red Hill dawned cloudy and calm.  At least no rain.  Yet.  Time to get going before some nuther fool drops more trash I’ll have to pick up.  First stop: Quemado for fuel.  Top up Propane and Diesel.  On to Pie Town.  Post Office to drop outgoing mail.  Then the long driveway up to Nita’s Cabin.  Reports from yesterday were of muddy slippery 4-wheel drive conditions but today the road looks dry.  Made the run up to my parking spot and got all unloaded and tied down just in the nick of time.  Pouring now.  Thunder and lightning.  0.98” in my gauge so far in about an hour and a half.

16 August - Wenzday Again...  Morning

I’m pacing to and fro in some sort of daze...  at a loss for what to do next.  This should be Food Bank Day and Shopping and here I am in Pie Town—miles away—too many miles away to drive over for a few hours and drive back in time to lay out Hazel-Rah’s supper.

A few weeks back a fine work light “WorkZone” was donated at the Food Bank.  Anything donated with wires or batteries needs to be checked out—that’s what I do for my weekly box of comestibles.  This light didn’t work, not repairable, goes in the tip.  But this gadget was fixable, at least the parts are something to salvage.  So I took the pieces out of the tip and made them work.  I've managed to destroy and rebuild my worklight twice now not including the failure brought about by whatever poor design seems to have been the original failure.  Partly my own stupidity or ignorance and partly my own poor engineering (also based on ignorance and stupidity) but then the lamp seems to be ok, full brilliance only, not the original Low-Medium-High, and warm after a few minutes on.  After the original charger/controller board failed the second time I chopped a hole in the back of the case and installed three single-cell holders to replace the original battery pack.  The cells, 18-650s,  were ok and they were installed in the holders.  When the light was turned on with that little switch the insulation on the wires promptly melted.  WOW! that much current?

So I rewired with a heavier gauge.  All together again.  Turned on.  Worked great.  Full bright.  Used the worklight to illuminate the repair of a broken drain pipe under my galley sink...a coupling in my galley sink drain opened under the sink.  Prob'ly due to long miles of bumpy road.  Fortunately I dump my dishwater pan into a bucket.  When I wrung out the dishrag in the galley sink I heard water splashing in the chemistry cupboard below and then discovered the break.  So not much of a mess, only a cup or so of water.  But then with the coupling repaired and the pipe secured so maybe vibration from bumpy road will not cause further problem I went to turn off the worklight.  Would not turn off.  Had to remove the cells.  Which were quite warm tho not so hot I could not handle them.  The little ON/OFF switch had melted.  Back to the workbench with the worklight.  Installed a heavier switch.  All fixed again.  We'll see what melts next.Rainbow
              over TCDI

2023iix22 Pie Town on The Continental Divide

Last night was strange.  Troubled by thunder, wind, rain, and weird dreams.  Up several times to go out and put away toys and tools.  Now I have to drive 77 miles to go shopping and back again before the ice cream melts.  Wind yesterday was up to 30mph with kites pulling 12#.  Broke two strings.  Now 0.13" in the gauge. 

23 August—Saint George’s Feast Day in April

0.60" rain yesterday.  Two mice caught in glue traps in TinyTruck and some other critter has built a nest in the bus's generator bay.

Planning Ahead for Total Eclipse of The Sun

2024 Eclipse Path MapFor our next tour there is a Total Eclipse of The Sun during April 8 2024  (the time-frame for this adventure is mid-March into/through May 2024).  For the eclipse TeXas statistically the better chance for clear skies of the places within short range.  There is also a friend there whose back yard is On The Center Line [3.7 minutes totality].  The tour  is wanting for $ome $upport and a few companions to make it most fun.  The Cat Drag'd Inn can accommodate several small Humans and it would be nice to have another sort of adult along to help with the driving, the mentoring, and the housekeeping.  Whinging-TV-addict-couch-potatoes need not apply (Unless they promise to leave their oblongs turned off {except in case of emergency of course}).  Prospective travellers should know how to play Cat's Cradle, wash dishes, like beans and peanut butter (but not necessarily in the same sandwich) and they should know how to read aloud and follow a roadmap.  Prospective $pon$or$ need not have any of the above qualifications. 

So, gentle readers, here is your invitation: "Eccentric Outlaw with what many consider an unstable and abnormal lifestyle desires to mentor Unschooler Travellers whom he entices with promise of adventure and knowledge." If you are a small Human and would like to travel aboard The Cat Drag'd Inn on her next voyage of discovery, or, if you are an adult and would care to sponsor a student to travel in your stead, write me.  Write early, just in case there is a big rush at the last minute.  All insurance and assurance—medical, accident, trip completion &c—are the responsibility of the tripper.  Home schooling along the road can be arranged.

Antarctic Science

From the July 2023 letter of The Antarctican Society    in a review by Guy Guthridge of Antarctic Science: Why...Investments Matter: “...provides a brief overview of why the U.S.  government has stood for decades as the global leader in Antarctic research—and why that investment remains vital to U.S.  interests today.” A free download of this pamphlet summarizing the important research coming out of the U.S.  Antarctic Programme is available here.  (41MB) Download as Guest if necessary

Between Time Zones

Sitting here in Pie Town Spring Ahead Mountain Daylight Time (GMT-6) The Cat Drag’d Inn is an enclave of AridZona Mountain Standard Time (GMT-7).  When I step outside to meet someone I’m obliged to Spring my clock Ahead an hour.  When I return inside I Fall my clock Back an hour so as to tend to Hurricane Hazel-Rah who lives by Local Sun Time. 

Outwitting A Throwaway Society Electronic
                  Plasma Lighter

Repairing a gadget requiring 5x spectacles just to see the parts.  In part this sort of exercise in rebellion is a matter of finding out if I still have the skills once commonplace to a wizard of my (former) stature.  Another part is to see if I can still find the exotic tools I've been carrying around for 20-30 years once usually at my fingertips.  Lastly to prove I/we are still able to outwit our throwaway society.  I suppose there is a part as well to riddle out just how the manufacturer put the device together in the first place.


Had a great time Sunday morning with Jameson helping him learn how to tie the knots to make his own Zipper Fob.  In between knots we built a Pickle Pie for The Party.  Recovering nicely from the Nita Remembrance Party this past weekend in Pie Town.  Must have been 40-50 people comprising three generations camped at the cabin.  Another 50 or so (with some duplication) fed on pasta at the Toaster House and then a gathering for speeches and tequila toasting at the Town Park.  This week I'm helping to clean up after and haul truck loads of stuff to Thrift Store or Dump.  What I can't give to the former I'll pay the latter to take. 

The Ides of September Air Power Steering

I have another crisis.  The power steering device on The Cat Drag’d Inn is misbehaving--to say the least.  Not critical; I should be able to drive without steering assist once the bus is on the road.  Getting to the road may be a strenuous undertaking.  I've written several places looking for advice.  The gadget must date from the mid 1960s and the manufacturer is no longer extant.  One antique truck place says they have a part that looks like mine, used, untested, 500$. Another place has a new conversion upgrade kit for 4 grand.  Perhaps the Cosmic Muffin is trying to tell me the time is nigh to Hang Up The Keys.

Almost Autumnal Equinox

Autumnal Equinox Sunrise thru The TeethWatching as the sunrise moves to the south along the eastern horizon has me out in the cold earlier than I like.  Equinox at the 23rd is at the late end of the usual range of dates.  From this Pie Town location equinox sunrise first contact is often behind the dike of a volcanic ridge 2.5 miles east at a point locally know as The Teeth.  Multiple slivers of sun burst through cavities in The Teeth as in this photo from 23 September 2014.  Several green flashes are often seen.  The linked video is about 5 minutes.

In the meantime I’m organising my cargo for the drive back to another Winter in Tonopah AridZona.  TinyTruck is going to be heavily loaded.  I’ve burned about 17 gallons of propane in 42 days of cooking and heating so those bottles will be returning empty; instead TinyTruck will be carrying 400 watts of solar panels I’ve been storing here.  Not to mention several pounds of FTA satellite gear and a few other odds and ends.  Now is the time I should get on the road again. Depart the colding heights of Pie Town. Head for the no longer hot just nice and warm desert. I'll write again when I get to somewhere else.

Three Somewhere Elses Later

Writing this part from Deming’s Little Vineyard Camp Ground.  This section began with departure from Pie Town without power steering.  I have a new respect for the power involved in that process of controlling the direction of the front wheels.  First stop was to say goodbye again to Camilla and check once again if the steering device air leak was still present.  Next stop was at the Baldwin Cabin Public  Library to donate a pile of paper books and talking books.  And to help the several librarians with their Autumnal Equinox Luncheon.   The rest of the drive to WallyWorld Caravansary at Socorro was mostly downhill.  From 7600’MSL to 4600’MSL.  Maneuvering in Wally’s carpark was difficult and by the time I was parked I was ready for a good night’s sleep. 

Sunday morning the leak was still present but I decided to risk driving anyhow, thinking that even a small assist with the steering would be worth the extra load on the compressor.   Five  right-angle turns were required to get out of Wally’s Caravansary.  The little bit of air assist was very helpful but imagine my surprise when at the end of the fifth turn the leak stopped and the steering device returned to normal operation.  The rest of the drive to Deming was a delight.  Following the scenic route of Old Highway 1 through Bosque del Apache and on south to the end at i25x92 was an exercise in narrow 2-lane driving and Weigh-Limited bridges.  On and on to Hatch and thence to Deming to visit Captain Hook, all well so far.

24 September at Deming Two Day Visit Dump & Fill

You Are Lost cartoonStarted out to depart Deming and the motor was not starting. Again.  I was all disconnected and ready and the bus would not crank.  Blown fuse in the starter relay circuit.  This problem has been before, has appearance of an intermittent short—critters or vibration breaking the insulation sort of thing.  The fuse blows right when I push the start button.  On this occasion I had a helper, Capt Hook, Ham friend I was visiting in Deming, so together we did some better serious troubleshooting. Followed the wire from the source fuse, under the dash board near the brake pedal, to a junction block, on to the start button, then on a #14 red wire down through the deck beside the shifter pedestal.  Under the deck the red wire is tied to the other things for a foot or so then enters a PVC conduit going to the rear.  The red wire exits the conduit two feet from the starter relay and is tied to other wires for that two foot run to a terminal on the starter relay.  There is another wire on the starter relay that goes up to a start button on the engine remote instrument panel inside the engine room rear door.  All along the exposed part of the red wire the insulation looked good.  Pulling and tugging on the wire over that length allowed me to see under each tyrap so I was satisfied the wire was good.  Replaced the fuse and pressed the button and the motor started.

So I was on the road from Deming to Duncan.  Hours later at my first stop to visit Larry in Virden, just short of Duncan, I stopped on the road, left the bus and walked up to Larry's door.  We chatted for a while and he invited me to supper at the restaurant in Duncan.  That place was along my way so we headed out.  The bus started ok.  Drove to the restaurant and had a fine supper of bacon burger & sweet potato frys and iced tea.

Usually when I come from Deming along u.s.70 towards Globe I stop at the NM/AZ border crossing weigh station (Closed) for a rest or overnight.  Nice flat clean pavement, so that was my plan yesterday. The side trip to Larry's on s.r.92 puts me beyond that weigh station so from Duncan I was going to double back on u.s.70 for the night.  The bus would not start, blown fuse.  Again.  Ugh! This time I used the rear start button and that worked ok.  So back to the weigh station with an hour of daylight remaining.

Now I had a new thought about this problem.  The intermittent, I was satisfied, was not due to bad wire.  The only other variable in the circuit was at that first junction up front, between the fuse and the start button.  At that point there is a half dozen other wires going off to other long forgotten circuits. Maybe the fuse is simply intermittently overloaded?  I disconnected the red wire at the start relay and the fuse does not blow.  Reconnected the fuse sometimes blows.  I will have to trace all those other wires.  Or pull the fuse and see what else does not work to learn why the fuse blows only some of the time.  The quick solution right there was to move the red wire/start button circuit to a spare fuse.  Done! Started OK.  Cleaned up, tools away, went to bed.  Started again OK just now this morning.  So now I'll continue west on u.s70 back through Duncan, past that fine restaurant and maybe stop for breky.

27 Sept—Bumpy Roads West of Duncan—What am I forgetting?

Jack up the library shelf.Oh yes... I didn't tell you about the bookshelf.  Bumpy roads and stiff suspension wreak havoc.  Cream in the fridge turns to butter.  Light bulbs unscrew themselves.  Wenzday, west of Duncan, a certain thud caught my ear and then a nice paved wide spot caught my eye.  To make a long storey short, the mooring of my Reference Library bookshelf had failed and the shelf was sagging, tilting, bouncing.  The shelf's bulwark was preventing a wholesale avalanche of bound volumes, trinkets, and marbles.  Fortunately I have the tools.  Also took the opportunity to disconnect from the start relay the white wire that goes from the start relay to the rear start button.  Troubleshoot that circuit later in Tonopah.

First Of October

And I hope the Worst...  I'm running out of words.  The remainder of the drive to Tonopah very eventful but except for a couple of quiet days at Train Spotter Hill the very last day was the worst of the entire adventure.  Only a rant would encompass storey.  Maybe later. 

Lead SolderSpeaking of rants: Here is a guest editorial on the subject of lead and other nasties.

I awoke this first morning of October to an attack of an ant army. Only the second time since ever that there has been such an infestation! Had to fight back with my antiantexSTEMinator spray. Such a battle. And then to vacuum all the bodies. And all that _before_ my morning toilet and coffee!  After coffee I removed all the rugs forward of the galley/head, including tool bags, scratching post, everything under the driver's chair, everything under the galley table. There were trails of ants leading in several directions. This all was at 0430 to 0500. Dark. After the initial skirmish I was outside looking for any marching columns on the shore power and Ethernet wires and other places; nothing found. Back inside to mop up the stragglers and have breky.

Much later, about lunch time, I strung out my clothes drying line to hang some rugs out so I could beat the dust out of them and whilst tying off the clothes line brushed against that creosote bush hard by the front door. Instantly a new wave of attacks.  There were ants on my arm and ants on the headlight frame.  Ah-Ha!  That's how they were gaining access.  While the bus has been not here for two months that bush has grown extended limbs and they were now touching the bus at that headlight.  The critters were getting in through the headlight bucket and then through the electric panel there by the front door. Not any more.  I quickly amputated the bridging limbs.

New Year's Resolutions Censored

Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.Dandelion Wine Cover

Love, ajo

I 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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