Friday, December 13, 2013

Red Neck Hot Tub....coming shortly

David was hooked on hot springs from first site.  He immediately began scheming how to make one on the little budget he was going to get for it.  It needed to accommodate two, be efficient in its water usage, and have as its heat source...wood!   Feverishly he researched, feverishly he schemed.

He was locked on to making his own hot tub.  Now we do have a spring that runs all year around BUT it isn't hot or even warm...just a spring.  This spring will be the water just needs help in being hot.

Watch for its arrival come summer.  Not enough time when we get home to build it but I can see the wheels in his head spinning wildly on this.

When we next go to the Wild West, I can tell it is going to be a hot tub tour...

Our water source ended up being our well...we were wondering about a pond smell with the spring and there could be parasite issues???  We have no intention of using chlorine in it...just use it for a few days, then water the plants with that water.  The Rubbermaid stock tank that we used has a capacity of about 75 gallons.  The piping David used is initially short tubing for hot tubs and steel that he bent (not your average diy project as he has a tubing bender that he made).  He knew that probably it would rust so eventually that will get replace with stainless tubing. The water has some rust spit out here and there so I think he will be sourcing the stainless pipe sooner rather than later.

It sits perched on a pallet we acquired (thanks Steve).  The first trial was last week and it worked great.  It is not roomy but we wanted to conserve water usage.  It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to heat up if you get a good fire going.  Then, we needed to watch it for over too hot to sit in!  David is already scheming what he can do to improve it...what kind of wood and where to stack it, what size pieces, etc.  Improvements:  grandma's patio umbrella (worked great in the rain to cover us and the fire, solar lights, dry place to hang towels, beverage holders.  Pictures are ready just have to get the technical guy to move them from his cell phone to blog.... 

Home and....

We will spend the next almost four weeks in our sticks and bricks up, working our tails off making product, loading in firewood for our caretaker to use, cleaning out the motorhome, switching everything to the van/trailer combo, celebrating Christmas with family...not sure there is any relaxing in there but the past 2.5 months has had a lot of it. 

Then we will leave for approximately 3+ months in Florida...working but it sure doesn't hurt that it is working in the sunshine state:)

Tentative departure date is January 10th or permitting.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day 70 - 74 Driving home

December 8 Sunday

Sunday night at 6 pm we began our trip home.  That night we spent the night at the visitors center inWilcox AZ...quiet night was had by all.  We are having to watch for pipe freezing at night and having to take all necessary precautions.  The Mr. does not wish to winterize the motorhome just yet but we have the antifreeze.

Monday, December 9
Playing it by ear.  We drove through El Paso TX with its big sprawl and layers of smog.  It was WAY bigger than I envisioned it.  At that point we were still deciding whether to go through Houston (ugh, ugh) or Dallas (ugh).  Dallas won.  However, we didn't make it to Dallas that night.  The clouds came in, warning signs on roadway of freezing arctic fog (potential to freeze on roadways and bridges).  Now I have to say we did check weather before we drover and the weather dude doesn't seem to get things right too he wasn't much help.  After driving in this for maybe one hour, we saw a Walmart right by the roadside of route 20 and beat a path there.  Shopping for antifreeze, warming up the motorhome enough to keep anything from freezing.  

Tuesday, December 10
We are still wondering what our route will end up being.  In checking weather along our route we are getting thwarted almost everywhere.  So for today we have a simple goal...get east of Dallas (Shreveport or more easterly on route 20) via route 20.  But first...the morning brought a layer of snowy looking stuff on the ground.  It is supposed to be sunny today but it has to cut through the thick layer of clouds...we are in "wait" mode for now.  More weather watching online to see what our options are.

Our rv delivered us to Monroe Louisiana tonight...Walmart to be specific.  /we managed to get through Dallas/Ft. Worth before evening rush hour and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  When we saw the sign for end of Dallas city really was the end...wide suburbs!!!  A quiet night in Walmart parking lot.  More weather checking...route determined.

Wednesday, December 11
Left Walmart at 6:30 am to continue the long drive home.  Our rv took us through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabana, Tennessee and nudged just into Virginia to over night at a Walmart.  Tomorrow the big push to arrive home.   We did hit rush hour in Knoxville, TN...who would think Knoxville would have rush hour?  Nice ride on the rolling hills of northern 'bama.

I am the navigator so it is my job to find the cheapest gas and success again!  For about one month now and maybe longer we have managed to not pay more than $2.99 per gallon and sometimes as little as $2.85.  I love and  Actually, this trip made me realize that NY is one of the priciest states for gas and everything else (like property tax and sales tax).

We made it to Marion Virginia tonight.  I was tired and feeling pretty crappy from a cold/flu or maybe bronchitis or bed.

Thursday,, December 12
On the road at 5:39 with breakfast enroute.  Lots of trucks on route 81 but they are well behaved.  David guestimates that if you stood in one spot and counted there would be 100 - 200 that went by in one hours time....a lot.  Love the rolling hills and farms (with cattle) of Virginias route sure beats going up route 95 and through Washington DC and NJ.   We dumped our tanks just west of Harrisburg and winterized our the system.  Tonight's temps will plummet to single digits in NY.  We arrived home around 7 pm.  Got some gasoline today that was $2.87 per gallon...good score for us.

Had a great trip.
Donna's thumbs up:  spending time with son/Graham and MelissaValley of the Gods was pretty awesome, Needles section of Canyonlands (love the Navajo Sandstone on the way in), free camping EVERYWHERE on BLM lands, roaming freely for 2.5 months. I know I can come up with more...

AFTERTHOUGHTS:  it was harder than we thought to find a clear path home (snow/ice free) so I wouldn't try and come home this time of year again.  Luckily we found a niche after snow and one day before another snow dump. We still managed to avoid route 95, a longer and unpleasant drive.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Day 67 - 70: Tempe' AZ

Day 67 - 70:  Dec
We are spending Wednesday thru Sunday night at an 55+ Trailer park in Arizona for a show.  Since Tempe' has outlawed "urban camping" (sleeping in your motorhome in non campgrounds) we were kind of forced into this.  We also need to be close to the show (given our gas guzzling vehicle and it is just easier).

I can tell haven't lived until you have stayed in a trailer park!!!!!  Tempe' has tons of them
so we thought, Okay maybe these are not so bad.  Snowbirds staying in these parks.  We met a couple of nice gents but it ended there.

Our first day there:   Wow, we got a good spot with no one on either side of us what luck (there was a reason for on).  We discovered the train track right behind the property (okay I put that on my list of things to check out for next fault).  THEN, then THEN....there was the trailer park that was on the OTHER side of the cement block wall.  From over that side of our wall, there was the obnoxious yipping little dog that almost barked non stop.  Surely that little #&*(%  will be quiet during the night.  He must be dog tired from barking almost all day.  Well, it was not to be.  He barked from 3:30 am to 4:45 am in intervals that ensured I would not be able to sleep.  Then again at
5:00 am for another round.  I never did go back to sleep and I have a show to do.....  But wait, there is more.  Around 8 pm, the drummer that belonged to the trailer with the dog, began playing for a good hour.....   And then there was the loud latin/Spanish music coming from over the wall.... Who does this stuff?  Who allows their dog to bark like that especially in such close confines with thin walls????  These people must have missed the common courtesy part of their training.

I was ready to leave after day one, get our money back, and hunt for another place to stay.  David suggested we just move to our new spot.  We went to the office and requested a new spot, went to go look at it to spy if there were signs of any dogs in the area that we could see.  In we drove.

Off to the first day of the show we go...leaving in our spot our OLD, OLD chairs and a pair of flip flops each along with our lynx levelers (lego-like things that help level our motorhome).  We come back to find the levelers GONE.  WHATTTTTTTTTTTTT?  Who does that?  Steals levelers????
So it is dark but I scan our site and spot them.....over in the guy next store's storage area.  So I steal them back (knowing full well they are ours) and we drive up on them.  Who is stupid enough to do that and then leave them outside in full view?????  Yikes.  I have a new rule....ABSOLUTELY NO
trailer parks under any circumstances.

Day 64 - 66: More hot springs...

Day 64 - 66:  Monday Dec 2, 2013 - Weds, Dec 4

Founds some more hot springs to soak in.  Hot tub man is very happy.