Well, it's been a long time since we've posted. We have been a little busy, but it's mostly been just everyday type of stuff. This post is for those that care what full-time living looks like when we're not hiking and visiting beautiful places.
So, after the Phoenix RV Show the last weekend of January, I've played golf with John, our host here in Surprise. The first round was a horrible course in Phoenix, and then we played two courses not far away in Surprise - both were much better.
And in between, John took me to the opening round of the Phoenix Open professional golf tournament on last Thursday. He is a retired police officer and retired military, so he got free tickets. The weather was gorgeous, and we enjoyed spending a few hours watching how golf is supposed to be played when it is played well.
We followed some big names for awhile and got to sit in the stands on the infamous, rowdy 16th hole. Golf lovers will know what that means.
But this also reminded me of just how boring it is to watch professional golf in person. Because you can only watch one group at a time, there is a lot of downtime between groups and between shots. The pros take forever to hit their shots, so it's better to watch on TV where they can quickly switch to different groups and different holes while the golfers are pondering everything. Also, it's hard to see the prominent players because everyone follows them. After about four hours, we'd both had enough.
In a prior post, I mentioned that Linda learned locker hooking while we were in Tucson. Well, while I've been doing the golf thing, Linda has been working on her rug. She finished it a couple of days ago.
She tore up strips of fabric and then used a special "needle" (locker hook) to weave the fabric into a rug canvas. The link above provides a much better explanation.
She's also ordered a kit from Amazon to do a trivet, and she's thinking that might be something fun to teach at one of our upcoming rallies.
In addition to locker hooking, Linda has developed another new hobby - getting stink bugs out of our rig. We took on a healthy population of stink bugs - more specifically, brown marmorated stink bugs - in Tennessee. They are an Asian nuisance and were introduced into the U.S. in 1998 in Pennsylvania.
They have crept into every seam and nook and cranny. When it is cold, we don't see them, but every afternoon when it warms up, they start appearing.
They fly and have sort of a buzz when they fly around. Anytime Linda hears a buzz, she immediately goes in search of the offending pest. She has been capturing them with a tissue and flicking them out the door, because squashing them makes them stink up the rig.
At one point, she was concerned that the ones she was releasing were coming back in. So, she started marking all of them with fingernail polish. Fortunately, we haven't seen any returnees.
Now, she puts them in a sealed plastic bottle where they eventually expire without emitting their stinky defensive odor. We've had these things for months, and we're hoping they are almost gone.
Out here in the desert, it's very quiet so we hear owls hooting and coyotes howling at night. We've seen a couple of roadrunners and there are tons of rabbits and lots of hawks.
Linda has been talking to John & Darla's chickens and feeding them on occasion. Well, the other morning, after I left for an early morning tee time, she heard a ruckus and chickens squawking. Unfortunately, two of the three chickens were killed by what we assumed were coyotes.
But the next morning, at the same time, the one remaining hen, which was in her pen, sounded the alarm. This time, I ran out and there were two dogs around the pen that took off running. We don't know if they are feral dogs of pets of neighbors, but I know what would have happened to them at the farm I grew up on.
Though Linda usually cuts my hair, I had to run some errands and thought I'd knock that out while I was driving around. I needed to fill a propane cylinder and get my six-week blood test, so I also made a stop at a Great Clips. I like their app which shows you where there stores are and the wait time at each location. Also, I can "check-in" from my phone, so I usually don't have to wait by the time I arrive.
The next couple of days, Linda headed out to do laundry, get her nails done, and get her hair cut. And laundry day is always grocery day as well. She picked up some supplies for a couple of Instant Pot meals.
The Instant Pot is a great substitute for a crockpot while boondocking. While it uses quite a bit of electricity if using the inverter and batteries, she can cook a meal in an hour while we're doing an evening run of our generator to charge our batteries.
Well, another two weeks have passed, and it was time to take the rig to dump our tanks. We drove over to Orangewood RV on Sunday to use their free dump station. Making the trip on Sunday made for less road traffic and they don't dispense propane on Sunday, so there were far fewer obstacles at the RV dealership to maneuver around.
Back at our boondocking spot on John & Darla's property, Linda researched a few small Class C and large Class B motorhomes. We're nowhere near ready yet, but we were both impressed with this Leisure Travel Vans Unity Murphy Bed model. They seem to have thought of a lot of little things that we certainly noticed in the video.
Regarding our current rig, most people know that we had Jennifer & David at RVRoof.com in Green Cove Springs, Florida do a seamless, spray-on roof for us back in November of 2013. Well, this past summer, our friends at RVs For Less had to cut into the roof to remove the front cap to repair our frame issue. They re-sealed the cap seam with standard lap sealant, but we've been wanting to get it re-sprayed.
Note: Jennifer has asked us to put the word out that she needs a few newer testimonials and photos. So, if any of you out there have a Flex Armor roof done by RVRoof.com or one of their affiliates, please send some feedback to Jennifer using their contact form.
Though they only had one location back in 2013, now there are 10 places across the country that apply their Flex Armor roof, and one of them is here in Mesa at APR RV. They had a booth at the Phoenix RV Show, so we stopped by and spoke with Michael who gave us the manager's card. We called and spoke with Cindy and set an appointment for the week we get back at the end of February.
Cindy was a pleasure to speak with and she asked me to send her some photos of the work to be done. So, I got out the big ladder and climbed up on the roof to take some pics. We also have a vent cover with a hole in it, probably from pushing our overhead clearance a little too close getting in and out of campsite back east. APR RV can also take care of that for us.
While I was on the roof, I wiped off the solar panels as a little dust had built up since the last time I did it a couple weeks ago. We can tell the sun is getting higher in the sky each day as the amps we are getting in from our panels is gradually increasing.
Our 2018 Boondocking Rally has been sold out for quite some time, and we'll be heading toward Quartzsite immediately after we get our roof re-sprayed.
We've had some issues with our 2018 Reunion Rally, but we think we have most of those worked out. They did request us to close registration a little early so they could release some of the sites we had reserved. Sounds like it's going to be a full RV park.
One bit of really good news is that, as of this week, we have secured a team to come to our 2018 Spring Educational Rally to do wheel-by-wheel RV weighing. We strive to provide that service whenever we can, so we're glad the folks at RV Weigh are able to fit us into their schedule. They will be arriving on Tuesday of the Rally and will be setting up appointments on Wednesday afternoon after our seminars for folks to get weighed on their departure days. More details to come.
Though our western educational rallies are typically smaller than those we hold in the east, we've just gone over 100 people, so we're pretty excited that we're going to have such a good turnout.
February RV Shows
So, we've got the Minneapolis/St. Paul RV, Vacation, & Camping Show this weekend (Feb. 9 - 11), and then we fly to Mobile for a new show - the Gulf Coast RV Show in Mobile, AL (Feb. 16 - 18). This is our most southern RV show, so we've planned to spend most of our time in Mobile between the shows. Then we fly to the Columbus RV Show (Feb. 23 - 25) to finish the month.
Since we'll be gone two and half weeks, we decided to shut down the propane in our rig. We cut down the things that needed to be refrigerated so we could turn off the RV fridge completely. John & Darla are graciously allowing us to plug in our small "back-up" fridge in their shed, so we moved what few items we had left into there.
Well, that's about it. Other than the above which has kept us somewhat busy, we've been doing a lot of reading. Oh, and our new RV mattress is working out great. So, we've been keeping ourselves amused for the last week and a half and now it's time to go get paid for having fun talking to RVers.
Hope to see you at one of the RV shows or upcoming rallies.