Thursday, December 30, 2010


A couple of nights ago I awoke to a loud crash from the front of the motorhome.  I checked it out and found my notebook computer at the bottom of the stairwell making (not so) funny noises.  I picked it up and checked it out only to get "Hard Drive not Detected" - the hard drive took physical damage.  It fell because a certain small cat was trying to stand on it to see what was going on up near the ceiling.  I had to have a new drive FedEx'd in to get back up and running.

This evening I heard another crash from the front of the motorhome and saw a black streak heading away from the area.  I found my cell phone and the signal booster that we use to get service in low service areas on the floor.  The plug on the signal booster was completely snapped off and is rattling around in the case.  It's toast.  A few hours later I tried to check a text message on my cell phone and found that the touchscreen and buttons on the front no longer work.  After fiddling with it for a while I've declared it toast as well, oh well, Melissa says that I yelled at it at least once a day for not working anyway.  Going to order a Droid tonight and finally get rid of Windows Mobile forever.

Happy's been an expensive kitten this week...

The dead equipment
A tired kitten passed out on me after today's destruction

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Tree!

Last year's Christmas celebration was a little dull. We were boondocking in the Arizona desert and we were dirt poor. We didn't have any friends in the area so for Christmas we had a campfire and burnt some chestnuts, listened to some other boondockers scream at each other, and I tried to play Christmas tunes on a harmonica.

This year I'm very excited to say I have decorated for the season and we even have a Christmas tree! Well, not a real, smelly, pine needles everywhere kind of tree. This one is much better! Its in lights!

I'm making gumbo for all the park rangers and volunteers and inviting everyone over to celebrate! Chris and I even have Christmas presents for each other! I love this time of year!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Here's your sign...

Near American Falls, Idaho
Is pantslessness such a problem that they had to add this extra line?

Oregon coast
I don't think the guy is going to make it.

The Everglades, Florida
We've seen various wildlife crossing signs. But a PANTHER crossing....
that's different.

Highway One entering Big Sur, California.
Not RV friendly.

Sun City, Arizona
Don't feed the strippers. Ever.

Near Mt St Helens, Washington
Strung out sasquatch proves too much coffee is bad for you.

San Marcos Pass, California
Does this look like a place where people would congregate and loiter?

I forgot which mountains in California this was from.
But I think the bears are following the deer.

Grantsville, Utah
Apparently the best reason to slow down for a yield sign is so you can aim better.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Out to Sea With a Paddle

Yesterday afternoon we decided to go fishing from the boat.  Melissa's parents are in town and they decided to come along.  Fred & Cindy here at the park have been nice enough to let us borrow their 16' boat while we've been in the Keys and I got the boat and fishing gear together while everyone got ready.

The boat's motor has been having a little difficulty lately but started right up and away we went.  The plan was to anchor on the down-current side of the new Bahia Honda bridge in the middle of the channel and drop our lines.  We got to our spot and realized that the only anchor in the boat had a rope that was too short for the current.  Change of plans, we'll cut the engine and drift in the 3 knot current until we near the old Bahia Honda bridge about 1/4 mile away.  We did this a couple of times and on the last restart the starter took a couple of tries to catch and turn the engine.  We motored over to the new bridge and started another float.  When I went to start the engine this time, the starter would whir but wouldn't engage the motor flywheel (which turns the engine to start it.)  We tried to restart several times while quickly floating toward the old bridge with no luck.  Thankfully we were pushed through in the middle of a span and didn't have to worry about hitting the bridge.

So we're being pushed out into the Atlantic Ocean without a motor, next stop Cuba.  After a bit of indecisiveness and discussion the plan is to not try to use the trolling motor battery to start the engine, it would take too long to set up and Melissa's dad pointed out that the lights weren't dimming when we tried to start the engine - it might not be a dead battery but something else wrong.  After a couple of attempts to unlock and drop the trolling motor we got it down and running and started to cut across the current with the trolling motor and a paddle providing power.  The original plan was to do a sunset fishing outing, so by this time the sun has set, it's dark, and we're about a mile from where we started.  We finally got out of the current on the back side of the island and then started our run up against the shore to try to get back under the old bridge to the marina.  With the trolling motor on its highest setting and the paddle pushing we barely made it up-current through the bridge into more protected waters.

The trip back to the marina took over an hour but we all made it back safe and sound.  While Melissa got a bite from a critter big enough to take all of the line from her reel and snap it at the end we ended up not landing any fish.  C'est la vie.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Making some changes

We're very excited about some redecorating we're doing in the motorhome! Our rig is a 93 model so it's a little outdated in fashion and is showing some wear and tear. We've been talking about some changes for a while but it always seems there's something more critical to do. Well finally today Chris removed the jump seat which is an armchair that only the cat sat in. Getting rid of that thing opened up a lot of space! Now Chris can add a real desk to his office area.

I also re-covered some cabinets. They used to be a dull blue color but now its been changed to a more colorful and cheerful pattern. Luckily I met a new friend at the park, Suzanne, who was absolutely fantastic at this and helped me get it done fast and it looks great!

Next on the renovation list: I'm going to get rid of the peeling old wallpaper and do some painting! I'll post pictures as the projects get done.

Here's a photo of the cabinet makeover!