The Phoenix Flies Wyoming
The Phoenix flew to Ray’s Wyoming Rockdocking adventure. We aren’t keen on marathon mileages, so Phoenix and we took several days to get to Wyoming and back. The whole trip was tremendously scenic and, in the course of 2700 miles and 15 days we found more items to add to the fixit list.
Buck Deer roaming downtown Union, Oregon.
We camped in a boondock area in the Snowy Range. Elevation was about 10,700 feet and the hot water heater acted up. The door of same has no perforations at the air intake, and apparently at this elevation the air moving thru the burner was a mixture of fresh and used air and didn’t have enough oxygen to keep the flame going. The solution was to leave the water heater door open.
View out our window at the Snowy Range boondock site.
Near the end of the trip the bathroom lights quit working. Well, I knew what had happened—miles of washboard roads had jiggled the wires off the switch contacts. Sure enough, I popped the switch out of the wall and both wires were no longer attached. I looked at the wires. The wires looked at me. And as I reached for them, they, snake-like, retreated into the wall cavity and disappeared from sight.
“Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!” I screamed. But in Wyoming’s high altitude, no one could hear me. So for the balance of the trip we used a backpacker LED lantern in the bath room. Back home I removed the little panel behind the Foldette Door to access the wires. I fixed their wagon good. Not only did I tape those two wires to the other four running into that switch assembly, but I taped all six wires to the wall above the switch so if any come off they can’t fall down the wall cavity.
Home sweet boondock in the Snowy Range, WY.
Then there was the incident at the propane refill station in Laramie, WY. Surprisingly it was difficult to find a place selling propane in Laramie on a Saturday, and the place we did find employed very diligent students from the University of Wyoming. They noticed that the propane bottle needed recertification and, as all places that could recert a bottle were closed, we had to buy a new bottle. This was a bit of a rankle, as we had to pay $10 more for the exact same bottle we could buy at home PLUS pay Wyoming sales tax, which was another $10 (no sales tax in Oregon). But this begs the question, why was there an out of date propane bottle on a 2009 trailer?? Phoenix, do you have another story to tell??
At least the student’s tips about where to eat lunch were excellent. Lovejoy’s signature burger comes highly recommended.
Trail sign in saddle between Sugarloaf and Medicine Bow Mountains, Snowy Range, WY.
And the water pump, it did an excellent job of pumping water, but Wow! Something like 25% of the energy it used was dissipated as noise. The only consolation was the noise wasn’t loud outside the trailer, so we hopefully didn’t annoy our fellow boondockers. Gotta remount that pump.
Tri level dust. Pink from Montpelier Reservoir, grey from Doublecabin, tan from Pahsimeroi.
On a positive note, Phoenix is pretty dust tight. Certainly tighter than our 1973. Yes, there was a nice dust accumulation inside the refer compartment, the hot water heater compartment, and you could grow potatos in the bumper storage compartment, but the furnace and tool compartment were clean, and no dust in the living quarters.
Smoke from the Pioneer Fire, central Idaho. Still burning August 31, I might add.
We did have an adventure with the cook top. On about day 5 a spider crawled into the cook top and did some web building in the orifices of the main burner. The effect of the spider’s addition was to occlude the main burner causing some of the gas to diffuse underneath the cook top. With the burner on, this accumulating gas would eventually ignite, and a small wall of flame would flash across the entire width of the cook top. This was certainly exciting—much more effective at waking us up than the coffee we were so desperately attempting to brew—and did help warm the trailer up.
47WeeWind assisted us in diagnosing the failures of the cook top, which after some cleaning and compressed air, cooked coffee just fine. Thanks, Fred. We raise our coffee cups in salute of your assistance.
Mist on Stanley Lake, Idaho. Temp 38 inside trailer, 25 outside.
The furnace worked like a champ. The coldest night was our second in the Snowy Range. We got up to view the Perseid Meteor Shower at 3 AM and the ground was frozen hard. We were concerned our tanks would freeze so we fired up the furnace to keep heat on our plumbing. Maybe a skirt for the trailer isn’t a bad idea.
Stanley Lake Inlet Campground, Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Idaho.
We had quite a few issues with doors coming open. Mainly the frig door, but also the shower door, some drawers, and the cabinet doors beneath the sink. We reinstalled the shower door retainer as the shower door just would not stay shut and we were afraid we could break it. The old Dometic refers had a positive lock that you could close over both freezer and refer doors—sure hope to find something similar as there is nothing like finding your groceries warm and a couple of leaking pop cans rolling over the entire floor to top off a long road day.
Bridgework. See why I don’t like those plastic blocks?
And finally, the last morning, the ultimate bone head operator error. I’m part way thru departure preparation, have the stabilizing jacks all up, but go in for breakfast without putting up the tongue jack. Somehow I think I’m done—“Pull ahead dear, we’ve got to get off the blocks”. Scraaaaape. No more tongue jack tube!!! Oh well, we are almost home.
Except for that little indignity we and the Phoenix shared an excellent adventure. Nothing like views like this:
Mt Borah, Idaho’s Highest.