Monday, December 24, 2007

RV Camping makes their Escape!

FINALLY, the day has arrived! Goodbyes have been said to family and friends and we're off! It's so gr8 to be driving away from Denver and all the traffic, noise, and dirty air!

OOPS....reality check! We are headed for the Flying J truck stop to use their dump station and fill up with propane. The last two months in Colorado have cost us a small fortune in propane between our RV's furnace and the Catalytic heater.

Brian and I always say it's going to be an hour at the Flying J, no matter if it's fueling up, dumping and filling tanks, getting propane, or having the buffet. Today is no exception! I make 3, yes 3! separate trips into the truck stop to stand in line and request propane assistance. I have talked to the manager twice and a stressed out gal once both claiming someone is on his way to help us.

When the propane guy FINALLY shows up, he's not friendly, and now he's going to be overworked too since an additional two motor homes have gotten into the line behind Gozer! AW shucks!

Brian had a dental appointment this morning, which put us some behind in leaving town, and now this! Clock says 12:15 by the time we actually leave the city limits. Our 5 hour drive ahead of us, we keep pushing for our destination. About dark, our dash lights go out.....flickering off and on--we'll just keep up with the traffic and hope we're going about the right speed.

We pull into the town RV park, and a pristine setting with about 4 inches of snow! Our "sled" Gozer does us proud again today, and is almost ready to take a long winters nap. Our traveling days are going to be coming to an end for a while, as we're putting down some roots.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

RV Camping, still snowing, and whaddya mean the furnace isn't working?

So, we are STILL stuck in Colorado, and the term STUCK may become more of a noun than a verb pretty soon! We are in a lovely neighborhood, but the fact that it continues to snow might create some more problems for us. We are parked in a friend's backyard, and we're faced toward the gate-prepared to make our escape as soon as the weather breaks! Only thing is, the gate is on the north side and the snow is piling up on the other side of it!

Brian and I did clear the snow from the last snowstorm, and probably should have driven out of here yesterday before the storm moved in. But we had other problems yesterday!

Our furnace doesn't like cold weather, and had been making a noise off and on like a "Viking Horn" for a couple of days. We had heard this noise before, 2 years ago when we also ended up in Colorado and had to use the furnace in extreme cold. But this time it was going to force us to get it fixed since we couldn't use it for heat and the temperature was forcast to be 16 degrees! It wouldn't come on during the night and we woke up to a frozen water pump......not good! It does heat our basement, so crucial to keeping things warm and working!

Brian does a gr8 job of keeping our mobile house rolling, having fixed our generator, solar electric system and inverter, replacing burned out boards in our fridge, splicing new power for our "shore" power, rewiring our never worked since we got Gozer headlights so we can travel at night, should I stop now or keep on listing? I hope you got the idea that Brian is extremely handy and a good trouble shooter, and we could NEVER have spent 5 years on the road otherwise!

He did take a look at the furnace enough to figure out it was the blower moter, but that wasn't something he felt comfortable diving into when it's below freezing. Thanks to the power of the Internet we found a place that would come out to work on our rig! Mile High Mobile RV showed up about 5:30, had all the right tools to dissasemble and reinstall our new blower moter, all in about an hour! Thank God for Charlie! we sit watching it snow.......$240 less bucks in our wallet. If only we were in Arizona, we'd have that $240 and not have to worry about running the heat, never to know we had a problem! Ignorance is bliss!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

RV Camping in the Snow!

Oh Joy, here we are again......Snowy Colorado!

Brian and I differ drastically in our feelings about snow. Brian sees snow, gets excited, wants to drive the Jeep around and pull people out of the ditch for fun! I see snow and I turn into a pumpkin! I would be okay NEVER seeing another snowflake, other than on a Christmas card!

I have shoveled enough snow in my past life in Colorado, to be content never having to lift another pile of it! Also slid, slipped, fell, and hurt myself in in process of trying to navigate around on something that should best be avoided--black ice!

Today the "high" temperature was predicted to be 30, and same for tomorrow. Nighttime lows are in the lower teens. Thank God for our electrical plug (for the electric blanket), our RV catalytic heater, and Casey for providing a "one dog night"!

As we watch a re-run of Denver's Parade of Lights, the annual lighting ceremony for the Denver City and Country Building, we laughed to think about the times we actually braved the cold and went to the parade in person! We froze out there, and no quantity of peppermint schnapps and hot chocolate could change that.

Today was "Cookie Day" at my folks place--an annual event for us girls and Mom to get together and make all sorts of Christmas goodies to share for the holidays. Dad made elk chili and we enjoyed the fellowship of being together at a time we are usually in Sunny Arizona. I have to admit it's been nice to be around family, but once the snow and cold starts, I have a hard time being this far north.

My idea of heaven would be a desert campsite with some mature saguaro, miles of country to walk with Casey and Brian, and a frosty beverage in the shade of the motorhome! Also no visable neighbors would be a bonus! Us modern day hermits still fantisize about that perfect campsite, especially as the time passes and the possibility of us being on the road may be in sight!

Friday, December 7, 2007

RV Camping battles the cold, and man's best friend?

As we are still being held hostage by Brian's dental work, our minds wander often to the desert Southwest and warmer temperatures. Colorado is NOT our choice for the winter months, and our propane costs have escalated as the temperatures drop.

We have made a purchase that seems to be a life saver, an electric blanket with dual controls! We turn it on a few minutes before climbing into bed, and it really does the job! We are sleeping comfortably warm, and our dog Casey loves it too! No more mounds of blankets, only to still slide into the freezing cold sheets! It's wonderful!

We are still "camping" in the midst of town, and getting good walks in for us and our dog is really a chore. We are in a lovely neighborhood and there are no sidewalks (which is part of the beauty of the area) but then you have to dodge the traffic to get some exercise. I have a usual route that I travel each morning with Casey, and it even has a trash can to deposit our "goods". Lots of barking dogs, but they are all fenced or in their homes. For some reason I figured an extra walk would be good, and set out about 4pm. We were having a nice, sunny day (prior to the current cold front) and we were almost home with just one more block in front of us, when a black dog came running towards us! It had a collar but no human attached to it. It attacked Casey, rolling him on his back and biting on his neck! It was growling and snarling, Casey was wimpering, and I was screaming! I tried kicking the other dog, but it snapped at my leg and kept biting and chewing on Casey. A good Samaritan, Randy-in a burgundy Toyota pickup-stopped to help and managed to get the dogs separated and kept the other dog from Casey. It kept circling us, and wanting to attack Casey again. Another neighbor came out and said the local dog catcher had been trying to catch the loose dog for over an hour. I said "well, I have the bait here now (Casey) why don't you call the dog catcher again?" Cell phones were created for just such times, and two dog catcher's showed up within about 5 minutes. This whole time the agressive Akita kept trying to get to Casey, and we 3 spent our time chatting and trying to keep Casey from acquiring any more dog "jewelery". Apparently the dog lives right where he was attacking us, but his owner is an elderly lady and the dog gets away from her often. The dog catcher's even knew where the dog belonged!

This made me crave the solitude of our lives alone in the desert even more, and wondering how soon we'll be away from the sprawl, noise, and irresponsible pet owners? If a dog is too much for someone to handle, perhaps they need to make a decision regarding the safety issues for themselves and others? When you live in a community you need to be aware that your actions, or lack of them, affect your neighbors-no matter who they may be. It's the same way when we're dispersed camping out by ourselves, we have a responsibility to leave our campsite better than we found it so the folks that come after us can enjoy it as well.

Remember that every action has a reaction, and we CAN chose to make it a positive one!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

City Stuck

We're still stuck in the city waiting for Brian's dental work to wrap up. This has been a recurring issue for us over the years since he had cancer radiation therapy, but usually we've not had a problem that required extensive time durations between procedures.

Being in Denver this long, we get to visit family more than we probably should, and we've been dealing with temperatures in the low teens so keeping things thawed in Gozer has been a challenge too. I know people pack bales of straw around their RV for winter camping, and we would too if we thought we were going to be here much longer.

We are using our vent less propane heater a lot, but at least we get some passive solar heating in the RV as most Denver days are clear. We've only had to pull out of our parking space once for propane in the motor homes main tank since we left California. Dang...sure seems like we left California a lot longer ago than mid October.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

RV Camping-Fools for the City

So here we are, still in Colorado and camped amongst 3,000,000 of our neighbors. Don't get me wrong, we have a wonderful place to park at a friend's place, but it's not our idea of a typical RV camping site.

While we've been here in Denver, we've been reminded all too frequently of the things we don't miss about city life. So much traffic and sprawl, that we are getting a little desperate for our usual solitude and about 2,999,998 less people!

Being this far north in November is making me nervous, and thinking about years we lived here previously doesn't ease my fears. Once the snow starts we'll be limited with our travel plans, and we really prefer to travel when we want too, not when we can.

Finding a dump station here is a bit of a problem too, with many being seasonal and closing once there is a danger of freezing temperatures for water stations. Not easy and accessable like Southern California or Arizona, where you don't have to worry about hunting down a "dumperoony".

We will continue to camp out in the big city, and anxiously await our exit from "civilization"!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

RV Camping Herd Mentality

It's been a heck of a week for us. Started a week ago when Brian developed a nasty dental nightmare. To make a long story short, we had to make a run to Denver for emergency oral surgery, and camped a couple nights in Chatfield State Park.

Now Chatfield is a nice park, and we like the way the campsites are spaced for the most part. This time of year, there are few campers, and in the camping loop which closes tomorrow, there are only 2 RVs in the entire campground. Us, and a guy that pulled in across the road from us.

I find it a bit amusing that here is an entire campground, and the guy decides he wants to camp next to us. We've had this happen on public lands where there was nobody for miles until somebody decided they wanted to camp close enough to get to know us. I think this has more to do with herd mentality than anything else.

RVers very often tend to "herd" themselves into campgrounds, long term visitor areas, or what-have-you, because that is their choice for safety, social interaction, or they don't know better. It's not only RVers either. Drive down a remote freeway at the speed limit and observe the cars passing. You will certainly see a "herd" of 3 or 4 vehicles traveling around the same excessive speed. Is it safety in numbers?

Am I complaining about people infringing on my camping location? Not at all. After all...public means public, and if you choose to camp right next to me that is your choice. It's also my prerogative to pack up and move if you do.

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