Thursday, April 4, 2013

Building My Awning at Coyote Howls

Most of the last couple of months I've been at Coyote Howls campground in Why, AZ. It's minimalist camping in the desert with bathrooms, showers and dump stations, but no power and marginal water. I have been living on my solar panels, but the generator did come out for one big project. The awning has been in the planning stages for a long time. Our boat had a large awning but it was easy to take down in strong winds (that only come at 2 AM) as it rolled up and stored on the radar arch at the stern. Since I'm by myself, that was again my priority. Well, that and shade.


The awning factory was a blue tarp, my Honda generator, and my Pfaff 130 on the tailgate of the truck. Oh, also my buddy Jim who sews way better than me and who got me to come down to the winter warmth of Coyote Howls.
After one long day, we had something that looked like an awning.
There is a one inch diameter aluminum tube in a sleeve at the end of the awning. The poles go through grommets in the fabric and through the tube. The main purpose of the tube is to allow me to roll the awning up and to store in a zippered bag on the awning track.
So far, it's a success after about a month of use, including a road trip to Tucson to hear Antsy McClain sing at Alumafiesta. Never ever miss a chance to see him perform.



Friday, February 22, 2013

Joshua Tree National Park

I just loved it here! I've spent very little time in the desert over the years and it has been fun learning about what goes on in this environment (a lot).

I spent a couple of days at Black Rock on the north side of the park.
My favorite spot was the small Belle Campground with no facilities except for vault toilets and with only eighteen nearly empty sites.
If that leash were just a little longer. . . .
Bris says we will be coming back here!





Thursday, January 17, 2013

Yosemite Valley


Pam and I were married in the little Chapel at Yosemite on Valentines Day, many years ago.

There's a nice view towards Yosemite Falls from the front steps of the Chapel.
Ahwahnee Hotel
It's only about ninety minute drive from Fresno where we lived when we met. Sometimes we would drive up for dinner. I was much more comfortable in a coat and tie back then. My current T shirt only wardrobe won't get me in the dining room.
Perpetual motion Brissy in the campground. I was surprised how many sites were available there. We had a reservation, but didn't need it.

Lots of changes to Island Girl since that pickup day shot on the iPad!



The weather was nice for the four days we were there, but was wet and gloomy on the way out. The clouds and the lighting was amazing that morning and I just wandered around taking it in. It's an amazing place.
I was standing by the trailer watching it all when a couple of cars parked nearby. I'm looking at the clouds and the rocks and the trees, when the Airstream draws a crowd and pretty soon the door is open and the tours are in session.



Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Oregon Coast

Oregon knows how to do state parks. We made several stops along this beautiful coast, mainly in the state parks where the facilities were good and the prices fair. Many were full hookup.

Nehalem Beach
The Tillamook Air Museum has been on my need to go to list but I would have forgotten it but for the sight of the huge WWII era blimp hangar it lives in. I parked next to the fence for a picture with Island Girl under the Guppy. The trailer opens doors so often. A couple of guys came over from inside the fence came over to look at the trailer and I had an invite into the museum's maintenance hangar where they were working on the P-51 and the P-38.
It was a thrill for me to sit in those cockpits!
I soloed a Cessna 150 too many years ago when I had around 8.5 hours. My father soloed in a Stearman like this one during WWII in just about the same number of hours. Had to be way easier for me in the 150.
This traveling stuff can be hard work.




Thursday, November 22, 2012

No plans, sticking to them

Apologies for the long lag in posting. Good summer for me hosting at the Oak Bay Campground and I plan to return next year. For now though, Island Girl, Brissy the cat, and I are on the loose for five months with only a general idea of getting someplace warmer for the winter.

There is this particularly great site at the Kalaloch campground in Olympic National Park, D-24. It is the only one in the loop that still manages to hang on to the bluff over the beach. We had it for four days.


Bris had never ever seen a litterbox this big.



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A New Beginning with Another Ride on a Ferry

Last Thursday I said a bunch of goodbyes—didn’t lose it until the last one late in the day.  Pam and I had moved onto our sailboat nearly 24 years ago in Blaine and there are a lot of friends there.

Friday, Brissy and I hooked up Island Girl and made the short trip to Deception Pass State Park.  Haven’t camped there since sometime in the early 80’s when I did it by bicycle and it is still just as stunning.


The bridges were in part a Civilian Conservation Corps work project during the Depression.


Of course it was windy and rainy just as soon as we found our campsite, but that was OK.


On Sunday while waiting for the Port Townsend ferry one of the crewmembers  asked about the trailer.  That worked out well as we were first on the ferry with Bris looking out to make sure nobody got too close.


We were headed for a little county campground just south of Port Townsend called Oak Bay where I’ll be the host for the season.

In our spot

The flamingos have landed and the anchor is down, so we’re all set. 


The campground was also a CCC project during the Depression. There are also a few campsites on the spit in the background.  Lots of birds,  a view of Mt. Ranier on a clear day and a pretty fantastic place for my kayak.

I’ll be here all season but should be able to get away to the Olympics a few times.  Feel good about it and think it should help me as I continue through the grieving process and start to put my life back together again.  Things are OK.   Hopefully we’ll see a few Airstreams in here this summer.