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Old 11-17-2012, 06:51 PM   #337
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If you can't stand it, come on down to Ajo, we have some pull here, can arrange for you to park next door.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:57 PM   #338
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Thanks Mike, but there's a lot to do over the winter here. The trailer is parked 'til spring. I have to check the fridge. Three times we got a error code indicating the propane wasn't firing. Most of the time it worked. I will clean everything I can get to and hope for the best. The tongue repainting has been put off an entire season, but I have to get to it. The steps and battery box need it too by now. In the spring, repack the bearings.

But right now I'm thinking about replacing the front steps (house, not trailer) with redwood. They are Doug Fir and while that is an excellent structural wood, redwood looks a lot better. After firewood cutting of course.

About that nap….

Gene
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:28 PM   #339
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The last photos:

1. We have seen these out in the desert around the west for years. They seem to be in the most remote areas generally, though this was along I-15 in Nevada. Earlier on the trip we saw one in the northwest and it wasn't desert, but that was the only one we've seen with a lot of vegetation around that wasn't sagebrush. There is a small, square one story building with these white towers on top. It looks like there's a fence round it. I didn't have the big telephoto ready when I saw this one and have blown it up, but definition would be lost if I did more. There are square things on the building roof facing the towerólights perhaps. The ground around it seems white, but that may be the fence.

Anyone know what it is?

2. After leaving Mesquite, we crossed into Utah and soon entered the Virgin River Canyon. It is just about all rock of varying colors. It is quite impressive and must have been even more so before they blasted a 4 lane highway through.

3. Leaving the Canyon. The blue at the top is the windshield tint.

Gene
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:13 PM   #340
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
The last photos:

1. We have seen these out in the desert around the west for years. They seem to be in the most remote areas generally, though this was along I-15 in Nevada. Earlier on the trip we saw one in the northwest and it wasn't desert, but that was the only one we've seen with a lot of vegetation around that wasn't sagebrush. There is a small, square one story building with these white towers on top. It looks like there's a fence round it. I didn't have the big telephoto ready when I saw this one and have blown it up, but definition would be lost if I did more. There are square things on the building roof facing the towerólights perhaps. The ground around it seems white, but that may be the fence.

Anyone know what it is?


Gene
That is a VORTAC. That particular one is the Mormon Mesa VORTAC. The identifier is MMM. VORTACs are radio aids for air navigation.

Ken
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:20 PM   #341
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Ken,

That was fast. I think it is really about space aliens and I have long suspected you of being one. I thought this would smoke you out and my suspicions have been confirmed. How did you know the specific one?

Gene
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Old 11-22-2012, 04:29 PM   #342
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Ken,



How did you know the specific one?

Gene
First of all, in my profession, I either intentionally, or by repetition of use, memorized almost all of them in the western US and a good many of them in the rest of the country.

Secondly, I have traveled I-15 through that area so many times that I know all the jack rabbits by their first names. Peter, Sam and Julie live right near there.

That particular one used to be called the Mesquite VORTAC (MZQ). However the FAA, several years ago, began changing the names of ones that had the same name as a nearby airport but were not located at that airport.

Ken
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #343
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Ken, I regret to inform you that Sam met an untimely end in a collision with an 18-wheeler. Peter had an encounter with a jackalope and has suffered from post traumatic stress. Julie moved to Vegas where she became a lap dancer. There's a rattler named Bob who has stayed at MMM (sounds like a soup commercial).

Thanks for the info. Are these things going to be replaced by satellites?

Gene
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:34 PM   #344
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Thanks for the info. Are these things going to be replaced by satellites?

Gene
It is happening as we speak. Implementation is underway now for arrival routes into Denver area airports that are based on satellite navigation rather than ground based radio aids.

I imagine that the ground based Navaids will be around for a while to support the smaller aircraft and for emergency backup.

Ken
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:38 AM   #345
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Gene;

We stayed in Newport and noticed your photo of the bridge. I took this at sunset too. Thought I would share it. The Port of Newport RV park is a great place to stay. Thanks Jimbo
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:04 AM   #346
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Jimbo, better photo than the one I got. Thanks.

To add to the broken things report: Screen door latch broke the first day home. This has happened before. It is plastic and can't take the pressure of the screen door's weight when it is attached to the outer door. Best price was Amazon and I ordered 2 to be ready for the next time. When checking internet prices I saw the drawer latch I paid $15 or more for on the road was around $6 online.

Winterization is complete, though I delayed a day. Still waiting to be washed. There was 2" of snow while we were away, but it sure looks dry now and the forecast for the next week is sunny, 50's and dry. If we continue to have years like this, where is the water going to come from? We've reviewed the real estate market here and it is as confusing as ever—looks like some houses competing with us have sold or been taken off the market. I've got to get the house back on the major websites, but trying to sell a house for years is not something I ever want to do again.

It feels like the days are really short and they are. We felt it on the road, but somehow once home, it seems like the sun sets at midday. Slows me down and I can't wait 'til Dec. 21 when the sun starts to come back. Quiet Thanksgiving, just the 2 of us. Some years a bunch of friends get together and some years we don't.

Gene
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:36 AM   #347
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Thumbs up Screen door striker...

Gene,

Maybe you have already....adjust?

You can see in the pic I had to move ours up a little and file the ends of the "ramp" down a tad. Much less stress on the plastic when closed.


We also had a twofer Thanksgiving, quiet but very enjoyable.

Bob
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:12 PM   #348
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Thanks Bob. I'll have to work on that now that I figured out the screen door was sagging (I spent many hours trying to adjust it properly in the past) and that was stressing the plastic striker latch. I never would have thought of your solution since when the days are short I go brain dead.

None of this would be a problem if the part was made of metal. Several companies brand this part, but they all seem identical and I guess it is made by children in some remote corner of Asia.

Seasonal Affective Disorder may be afoot. There's a reason a big part of the population of Alaska comes south in winter—I don't know if I could stand months of a few hours of twilight or daylight either. I need a good snowstorm to brighten things instead of all the brown fields and grey mountains in the distance. There's always a let down after a major trip even though we are excited to get home just like we are excited to get on the road.

I'm waiting for Barb to do the numbers on the trip. I am guessing we are well over 45,000 miles on the trailer, but I know we'll never catch up to Moosetags. Truck is over 80,000 (happened in Nevada I think) and drive line is operating as flawlessly as when new. 4Runner is around 97,000 and it almost like new, so no need to buy anything. We've never had 2 motor vehicles as old as these at the same time, but they keep going almost like new.

Gene
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:18 PM   #349
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Hi, so far, I have not broken my screen door catch or latch. [still original] I also haven't had a chance to wash my trailer since we got home from Oregon. I make rough estimates about how long each trip is, but don't document it. My Lincoln had 16,800 miles on it when we bought it in 2003 and now has just over 97,000 miles. I might have to have my spark plugs changed, if I keep it that long. We probably will keep it longer because it works so well. A few Airstreamers who followed us up some mountain roads were amazed that we weren't doing 28 MPH in the truck lane. Instead we were doing about 55-60 MPH in the second or third lane from the right passing the big rigs and slow cars. I don't think anyone will ever catch up with Moosetags.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:46 PM   #350
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Statistics—

We drove 3,951 miles, 3,763 towing. Although we had some long days of more than 400 miles, we stayed in one place a lot more than our usual trips and drove fewer miles between most places. We averaged 163.6 miles/day.

Usually we drive a lot more miles unhitched, but not this time. Since we spent a lot of days on the coast, there wasn't much else to see other than walking, or driving very few miles. We also visited 5 people in 3 stops (2 cousins, 2 old friends, 1 new friend). We usually don't do that either. In two cases, that meant no money spent on campgrounds. Those we visited insisted on feeding us, so we saved on food as well as campsights.

RV parks averaged $34.08/night. We saved by being off season. Only two places were over $40, one of them the Green River KOA where we stayed the first and last nights. The owner complained his water rates quadrupled recently and it seemed his rates went up a lot too. When a town or water company starts charging for consumption rather than per tap, water rates for lodging, restaurants and others go up a lot and that may be what happened there.

Gas was 47.8% of total expenses. This is a little lower than usual since we drove less per day. Highest price in Cal. was $4.15; lowest was everywhere else, maybe around $3.55 in Colorado and some other states. Campgrounds were 21.8%.

We now have 48,148 miles on the trailer, 6,105 this year (6,059 last year). Our annual average is 9,629.6, but trying to sell the house has cramped our travels (the 1st 3 years we averaged 11,944.7 miles/yr.). Running gear and tires are fine. Tires have 29,725 miles on them and the Michelins look good; 3 years, 1 month on on the tires. Bearings were repacked 11,981 miles ago. I have run them as much as 18,000 miles before repacking. Airstream recommends repacking far more often, but I and others have seen no problems waiting much longer. Nonetheless, it is time to order new seals and some replacement bearings in case any look bad. I have two different size bearings because one wheel has a slightly different hub (brake drum). This happened at the factory when the OEM hub was compromised and they did not have the exact same size to replace it. This is a pain, but we can get through it.

I realize a year where we "only" travel 6,000 miles may seem like a gazillion miles to others who are not road crazy like us, but we love to travel that much.

Not too much broken. Our biggest expense was a truck battery. Being on the road means paying more for everything that needs fixing, but the fixings went pretty easily.


Usually we find some excellent restaurants, but this time I can't say we found any new ones that were extraordinary. Good, but not more. A few weren't so good. The pizza in Gualala was excellent.

I can remember 4 museums. The kite museum in Long Beach, Wash., seemed like a waste of time. Most interesting to me were the Gig Harbor museum and the WW II museum near Tillamook. We didn't go to the Tillamook cheese museum even though we understand you get free ice cream; 2 museums in one day is too much.

Truck tires are down to 5/32 to 7/32 (about 62,000 miles, maybe more; original depth was 16/32). We are getting close to replacement (3/32) and I prefer to have better tread in winter, but we can always drive the 4Runner if it snows. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,200 for tires. I have LTX A/T2 on the truck and am trying to figure out whether the LTX M/S2 is a better or equal. They would save about $30. I might just get new ones soon since I doubt we will keep the truck long enough for another tire change at maybe 145,000 miles.

Screen door latches came on Friday and I have to install one plus adjusting the part Bob suggested. We'll have the house back up on the internet soon with reduced price and a different (and hopefully improved description). Temps are in the 50's every day and nighttime temps are upper 20's—this is way too high. Very little precip. too. Nice weather in the short term, but awful weather in the long term. But if it holds, I'll be able to cut more firewood.

Gene
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