March 2022 Journal

Journal: March 2022

Escaper Nights and Camps Spreadsheet

March 1, 2022; Tuesday; North Ranch Congress to Jerome, AZ Jerome Grand Hotel; MT29

Rolling about 9 am. The drive was notable, especially the last few miles up and over the mountain range and into Jerome. Certainly no place I’d want to drag any trailer, even the little Escaper. Had a fun afternoon haunting various stores, restaurants, and bars in downtown Jerome.

March 2, 2022, Wednesday, Jerome AZ to North Ranch Congress. MT30
Stayed at the Jerome Grand Hotel, one of the highest structures on the hill (on which the town is situated.) The town has had a tough history with fire and slow-motion landslides. Enjoyed the hotel for a while and then hit the Douglas Mansion Museum. By Noon or so, it was down the hill and into Clarkdale/Cottonwood for lunch (polo loco something or other). Checked out Tuzigoot National Historic Park, small hike, then checked out the Verde Canyon Railway depot.

Considering the hour we started the 2+ hour drive for home on I-17 and SR74. Overall a worthwhile and enjoyable two-day trip.

March 3, 2022, Thursday, North Ranch Congress, MT31
Comm Comm meeting this morning. I called in and Joan ran the meeting. Need to write up a summary.

Finally, we’ve stopped for a while to get caught up on so many things. Besides the meeting this morning, I’ve got to finish the Comm Comm budget request, my taxes, some little writing projects I have in mind, organize my files and familiarize myself with some more esoteric Google functionality.

We’ve been struggling with internet connectivity since we’ve been out the last month. If it isn’t due to signal strength or lack of signal, it’s the limits on the bandwidth we have. Currently we have somewhere abouts 20 or 25MB available in a month on our three phones. About half of that is very affordable Mint data on T-mobile. The rest is more expensive Google Fi data which is about $60 for about 15MB. Decided (and acted on it today) to buy a 5G Moto Edge phone from Visible (which is a Verizon Prepaid service). That plan is unlimited 5Mb speed data and it’s on the Verizon network. So a double win in my books. We’ll see how it works out. If it does, I’ll cancel the Fi phone which will ultimately save us something in monthly fees.

D&L invited a couple over for 3pm happy hour… which didn’t break up until late, well after dark. Cheryl and Larry, the two they bought this lot from. These two also build homes and sell them for a living. They just, today, sold their 6th.

March 4, 2022; Friday; North Ranch Congress; MT32
Weather deteriorated today, with more clouds and much cooler temps. During afternoon, showers rolled through… nothing heavy, but uncharacteristic for AZ. Cooler windy weather affected us more than the rain and by later evening, whatever front or system had gone pretty much through.

Had dinner with them tonight… salmon on grill, rice, and veggies. Neighbor came over to visit. (Oy Veyy)

Tomorrow they leave for BD and we move to the hook-ups… which is good since the black tank is full. ;-)

March 5, 2022; Saturday; North Ranch Congress; MT33
Weather is not great for AZ. Had a little sun this early morning, but it quickly gave way to clouds… And wind. Temps only in 40s. Dennis & Laura are trying to hook up and get out, Dar’s reorganizing some storage in the Escaper. I ran up front for a tank of propane, and tried to stay clear of everybody.

They finally got moving a little after Noon. When Dar has things more settled and we’re able to move, we’ll bump on over to the main pad here on their lot. Think we’ll head down to SCW tomorrow if the Visible Cell phone shows up. This week, Dar has a Fin meeting on Monday and a telehealth visit on Wednesday, the board agenda workshop is Thursday, and there’s a concert on Saturday evening in SCW.

March 6, 2022; Sunday; North Ranch Congress → Casa Cher SCW; MT34
Called Tim at 8, now with time change next week, we’re moving it to 9am (AZ time)
Run down to Cher’s for a day or so (overnight) to get Visible phone package from Fedex tomorrow. Dar has meeting tomorrow too, so bandwidth will be nice.

March 7, 2022; Monday; Casa Cher SCW; MT35
Morning was dominated by the Finance Committee Meeting (zoom). Afternoon: Visible Cell Phone showed up so I spent much of the time getting it set up and figuring it out. Cher stopped in momentarily during Dar’s meeting this morning, but haven’t seen them otherwise. Windy cool day kept us pretty much inside.

March 8, 2022; Tuesday; Casa Cher SCW ---> North Ranch Congress; MT36
Jan’s Birthday today… let’s see… 1956 to 2022… I guess that’d be about 66 years. Sent text and we chatted a bit. Heading back to the Escaper mid-day.

Left Casa Cher about Noon, so topped off the tank (4.69 w/10cent discount) and stopped at State 48 for lunch. Surprise, Cher and Lew stopped to see us for a few minutes. After lunch and a beer, we drove to Wikenburg, stopped for a few items at Basha’s, then out to North Ranch.

Contemplated our next few days… and that carried into our summer plans. With fuel prices spiking and the uncertainty of world affairs with the Ukrainian Invasion, I don’t fee like traveling far. Think we should consider delaying the Maritimes another year?? And stay closer to the West side of the country. Maybe Colorado in May, toward Wisconsin early summer and into the end of August. Dar wants to be there for her MOm’s 90th birthday. Then back west again in the fall. Dar? Can this work?

March 9, 2022; Wednesday; North Ranch Congress; MT37
All day on Park business, website, and assisting finance committee with documents. Cool and sunny day. A little discouraged by our inactivity.

Have really gotten into Wordle. 5 days in a row. 100%. All 3s and 4s.

March 10, 2022; Thursday; North Ranch Congress; MT38
Board Agenda Workshop today, which Dar attended via phone. Day started sunny with increasing cloudiness during the day. And wind. Oh Boy! Did the wind blow. We did a 3.9 mile hike back into the land to the south… into the desert. Hunkered down the rest of the day.

March 11, 2022; Friday; North Ranch Congress ---> Casa Cher SCW; MT39
Overnight winds last night were brutal. And yesterday must have been a conjunction of stars and planets such that I’ve not seen recently. Huh? What’dya talkin’ about??

Well, Dar’s windows computer’s battery gave up the fight first thing in the morning. Ordered a replacement. Next, my little Lenovo Duet? Machine refused to boot up properly… tried everything. Finally had to do a powerwash, which seemed to work. Fought with that thing for a couple hours. Harumph. Then, the Escaper’s furnace just stopped working last night. The thermostat turns it on, it starts the fan, but no ignition and no heat… then it shuts down. That’s three things in one day. Oh, and there was a fourth which was my fault for not being more negligent… we ran out of fresh water in our tank. Shit.

Haven’t written about the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. What a bloody mess… literally and figuratively. It’s just an abomination. Putin is an idiotic moron who is putting the entire world on edge. With his finger on the nuclear option, anything can happen… and, sadly, may happen.

Here we are bouncing from Covid to Ukraine to “what’s next?” I am concerned for the young people. If I’m “outa here” tomorrow, so be it. But the future, the young people, who should have some measure of stability and hope, ingenuity and vision, are the ones being harmed.

Drive to Casa Cher was irritating due to the amount of traffic. Had to stop at post office in Wikey to mail something.

March 12, 2022; Saturday; Casa Cher SCW; MT40
Anticipate staying here for as much as a week. Broadband, concert tonight, and Park meeting schedule are to blame.

March 13, 2022; Sunday; Casa Cher SCW; MT41
Tim call;

Famcamjam with kids

March 14, 2022; Monday; Casa Cher SCW; MT42
Knocked out Taxes today.

March 15, 2022; Tuesday; Casa Cher SCW; MT43

March 16, 2022; Wednesday; Casa Cher SCW MT44
Dar has a Finance Comm meeting at 1pm

March 17, 2022; Thursday; Casa Cher SCW; MT45
Promised Cher we’d go over and see Becky at her care home
Drinks and snacks after at ?? State 48?
TV Board Meeting today

We’ve discussed before today, but I’m a little more motivated to attend Escapade in June as reps of TV. I believe this could be something we’d enjoy.

1:30pm; Visited Becky. About 40 minutes.

Then to State 48 to meet Cher and Lew. Too crowded… tried Chilis. Too understaffed and decided to just go to Casa Cher and have the steaks we bought at Costco. Also watched a movie… Sideways.

March 18, 2022; Friday; Casa Cher SCW; MT46

March 19, 2022; Saturday; Casa Cher SCW ---> North Ranch. MT47
Left Casa Cher about noon I think. Drove directly though crazy Wickenburg to reunite with the little trailer in North Ranch. All is well.

March 20, 2022; Sunday; North Ranch; MT48
Rita’s memorial service via Zoom at 8am
Called Tim at 9am

March 21, 2022; Monday; North Ranch; MT49
Prep for Bouse Expedition with Cher and Lew. Check furnace in-op status.
Ran into Safeway for supplies. Topped off water. Dumped tanks.
Pulled sail switch out of furnace and cleaned. There was a clump of twisted fibers of some kind which must have been impeding its operation. Cleaned and checked. Works OK.

March 22, 2022; Tuesday; North Ranch ---> Bouse Boondock; MT50
Woke to brisk wind. Deliberated but decided to delay until tomorrow. However, later in the day the wind eased. Dar needs to be in a stable place for her Finance Call tomorrow at 10am. If we’re leaving tomorrow we’d have to leave extra early to be settled by 10. With no other choice, well reasonable choice, we reversed our earlier decision and headed out at noon.

The drive was a little uncomfortable due to wind, but we managed. Elevation change and wind took mileage down to 10 or so. NOT GOOD… esp. Considering gas prices are hovering around $5.00/gal. That means 50 cents per mile just for gas.

Turns out Cher and Lew decided to follow our lead and go. We met up out there and lead them to our site. They’re having battery problems and we looked into it. One battery (a little grp 24) and turns out it was way low on water… well below top of plates. It’s trash. Generator filled the gap until tomorrow.

March 23, 2022; Wednesday; Bouse Boondock; MT51
Dar was tied up in a Finance meeting from 10 until almost 1pm. I made Omnia cinnamon roles for b-fast. Lew and I headed into Q for a battery. Landed at Solar Bill’s and bought a big ol’ grp 31 deep cycle 12v for $160. Besides being a new battery, it’s bigger and should give them more time between charging sessions.

In the afternoon, we walked to the Bouse Fisherman Intaglio and the Quartzsite Intaglio before a tour of Q. Thought ice cream would be a good idea, but found Dorothy and Totos closed. Saw another place with an ice cream sign over in Tyson Wells. Oh boy… did they see us coming. No posted pricing and we ended up paying $40.00 for 4 servings. Dar felt responsible for this as she started the deal while I was on the phone with Marc from Sutherlin. The servings were very large (at least), but it was more than we needed or wanted. We all took it in stride and laughed about it. But made note to maybe ask about prices before doing a deal next time.

March 24, 2022; Thursday; Bouse Boondock; MT52
Plan to hike to TD (Teedee?) Intaglio this morning. Warmer today… maybe close to 90.

Headed over to the TD Intaglio parking lot about 10:30am. Things were already warming up… both the air temp and the incredible anticipation of seeing one of the marvels of the West. The trail created by the daily crowds is easy to follow. It wasn’t long before we made it. And what an experience. It can take your breath away. Snapped a pic to document the experience.

Drained from the experience the only thing to do was head for a bar. It’s been a while since we’ve visited the Ocotillo Lodge in Bouse, so that’s where we went. Had beer and a lunch, and really enjoyed the vibe as we usually do. Owner John was in good spirits and the other patrons all added to the good-times. Back to camp for rest and solitude. About sunset, started the campfire and did the brat/hotdog and beans thing for dinner.

March 25, 2022; Friday; Bouse Boondock; MT53
Watched the Plomosa Mtns. as we had coffee al fresco this morning. They didn’t move at all. Cher and Lew are headed back to SCW today. Dar worked on Park business.

Legal Disclaimer: This is a work of non-fiction. The people in this journal are all real people. However, any implication that these people are in any way normal is purely coincidental. We, and pretty much everyone we meet, is at least a bubble or two off-level.

(Surviving heat in the desert is do-able as long as you’re out of direct sun. The sun is what’ll get you. While the sun is the provider of all that is good and necessary for life on the planet, too much of a good thing will get you. Burma Shave.)

No fire tonight. Only had one chunk of wood. So we sat around the firepit and re-played the campfire memories from last night. While we were enjoying the fire we left a light on in the camper. For whatever reason, gnats and moths and a few flies snuck in to enjoy the light. I suppose they like light just as we enjoy a real campfire. Well, it took some swatting and smacking to encourage them to leave when the show was over. Slept well.

March 26, 2022; Saturday; Bouse Boondock ---> North Ranch; MT54
Increasing clouds this morning made for a subdued sun. Probably a good thing as today’s high temp is supposed to be into the upper 90s. Think we’re heading back to NR.

March 27, 2022; Sunday; North Ranch; MT55
Lively conversation with Tim this morning at 8am.
FamCamJam at 11am.
Dar worked on Park business most of the day. I’m heavily into planning and other financial shenanigans. Added both kids as “commenters” on this doc. I suspect I’ll see this as a mistake in the near future… but if some humor and lightness comes from it all, it’ll be OK.

March 28, 2022; Monday; MT56; North Ranch
Windy cooler cloudy morning. Kept us inside for much of the day. Worked on organizing my messed-up files and folders to improve the chances that I can actually find something when I want to. Dar worked on TV’s Budget.

March 29, 2022; Tuesday; MT57; North Ranch ---> SCW Casa Cher
Prep for stay at Casa Cher; Escaper in storage mode for a few days; Got rolling by a little after noon. Stopped at Harbor Freight and Frys on the circuitous route to Chers. Man-o-man this truck is going thru the gas. Tilapia fillets and rice for dinner. Dar’s again buried her nose in Finance Comm work.

March 30, 2022; Wednesday; MT58; SCW Casa Cher
Big Finance Committee Meeting at 10am, which lasted almost 2 hours. The good thing is they’re getting close to the finish line.

I’m spending some considerable time de-cluttering my digital life. Especially when it come to the accumulated files, images, and screenshots that seem to grow over time.

March 31, 2022; Thursday; MT59; SCW Casa Cher
Last day on website for a while. Dick takes it for the next few weeks.

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