Tuesday, January 13, 2009

01-09 First Report of the New Year, Tucson Arizona

Report From Tucson 2009

I thought I’d start off the New Year with a few more tips for the Rv’r. Hope they’re of some help to my fellow travelers.

For those who need an additional step for outside the camper, purchase an aerobic step from Wal-Mart or a Thrift shop. They usually come with a spacer to raise the height or lower it and it has a wide sturdy base. They run new for about $30 or as low as a couple dollars at the thrift store. Sure beats the cost of an extra step ($50-95) at Camping World.

If your camping in an area that could get down to freezing overnight, run your tap water. A trickle will do the job to keep the pipes from freezing. If you have an outdoor shower, you can let it run out on the ground and not worry about filling your holding tanks.

Critters getting into ones camper can be a real annoyance. Seems they can get in through the smallest of openings. Two methods seem to work quite well. Dryer sheets or peppermint essence. I’ve been using the dryer sheet method and it sure seems to do the job. Just place them anywhere a critter could get in. Peppermint essence can be purchased at an herbal drugstore. Put a few drops on some cotton balls, place in small baggies with a few holes punched into the bags. Place around any storage compartments as well as the electric and water intake areas. Some Rv’ers also use the dryer sheets tied around any hoses on their vehicles, as rodents enjoy nibbling on them as well.

For cat lovers, here’s a good tip. Instead of having a portable scratching post for your cats, wrap a heavy rope around the post of your dinette table. It looks great and the cats will be very happy.

More campers tips can be found at: http://rovingreportsbydougp.blogspot.com/2008/01/1-08-tips-and-tricks-for-rv-campers.html

It looks like 2009 is going to be a great year for campers, as the price of fuel has gone down dramatically and hopefully will stay down for the rest of the new year. So get out there and start camping.

I visited the Pima Air and Space Museum here in Tucson. One of the main reasons I wanted to visit this museum is that they have an addition tour that goes onto the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base where they have over 4,800 airplanes in storage. It’s called the “Bone Yard”. These are all military planes that are currently not needed or are available for spare parts. It’s the only government facility that actually makes money. About $17 for every dollar in paid salaries. Each of the planes is prepped for storage, all sensitive electronics and fuel are removed. Then the plane is sealed and wrapped in plastic to keep them protected in the desert setting. For me it was an exciting ride up and down the long rows and rows of planes of every size and description. Back at the museum, they have large displays of military and some commercial aircraft. Over 300 volunteers run the museum which gets no government funds for it’s operation. An impressive display of what can be done without government help. And for those of you who are getting close to retirement, a good example of the many places one can volunteer.

Back here in the park, The Desert Trails Rv park, I’m being kept very busy with all the activities that are going on. I love the music jam sessions they have here in the park and just know that my friends Loraine and Dave Bird would enjoy being around fellow musicians. There’s one heavy set guy here in the park that used to perform in Nashville who has a voice and plays the guitar so well, I feel like I’m at a live concert. They also have paid performers at least twice a week in the evenings.

I’m continuing to enjoy the bike rides, writing class and computer classes and plan on joining a photo shop class as well this week. Hoping I’ll get some great tips on taking pictures so I can send you some awesome photo’s this coming year. Hopefully this will give my former co-worker, Al, an idea that one can truly enjoy retirement and not get bored. Personally, I’ve been so busy, I barely have time to do my chores like laundry and grocery shopping. How did I every find time to work???

Over the next couple of days, I did some great touring with fellow campers Tom and Chris. They live in Washington state and now Rv during the winter months. We decided to go to the Pinal County Fairgrounds for a little festival held there this time of year. We heard a great group called The Keepsakes. A family affair of great singers doing the Doo-Wap era songs. The folk music was not up to par with what I’m used to from back east, but at least they were energetic and were having fun trying.

They also had an antique car show with a special category of Model A-Hillbilly cars. Check out the photo’s. They were lots of fun, celebrating everything hillbilly.

After the fair, we were so close we decided to check out the historical site, Casa Grande Ruins. It’s about half way between Phoenix and Tucson. This is the site of a large “grand house” created by the Hohokam Tribe out in the desert. It’s the remains of a 4 story high structure that was used to track the summer solstice and the 18 year phase of the moon. The 4 foot thick walls were made of caliche, a material found a couple feet below the surface of the desert made up of a mix of clay, sand and lime and is as hard as concrete. The structure has been standing for about a thousand years. One of the guides pointed out inside the museum, a large pot that was found on site. It had been buried by the sands and the old stage coach line ran right over it. The large pot, about 3-4 feet in diameter was preserved and in perfect condition. It was originally used to store food or water. The site also contained the remains of a vast canal system for watering their crops. Quite impressive.

I learn more each time going out to these Native Indian sites. Very rewarding.
Out last stop was at a small bar called the Gallopin’ Goose in the small town of Coolidge AZ. Waylon Jennings started his solo career here and used to stop in unannounced and sing even after he became famous.

Finally on Sunday we went off to a small local theatre, the Red Barn and saw a small play called “Alone at Last”. All local actors. They tried their best and the very small audience of about 8 folks enjoyed…. By the way, the old building had a fascinating history as a Chinese restaurant, a mattress factory, bar, among other lives. Funky, odd and charming in it’s own right.

Hope your all having a splendid winter.

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