Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sand Dunes and Scenic Drives

Nephi, Utah

Week 1 of working the Little Sahara Recreation area is behind us and we have less than 2 weeks left before we finish our summer job. And it appears as though summer is ending and fall is in the air in this area of Utah.

Nephi is located just south of Provo along I-15. On a recent drive to a nearby Walmart we noticed a sign for Mt Nebo Scenic Loop. Last weekend we decided to check it out and drove the 38 mile route through the mountains between Nephi and Payson. Mt Nebo is the tallest mountain in the Wasatch Mountain Range at 11,928' and the scenic loop rises from the surrounding area almost 4000' to a just a little over 9000'.

There are overlooks into Utah Valley and the colors are really starting to show. There are numerous campgrounds and trail heads along the route, as well as lots of wildlife. The road is closed during the winter, so if you're thinking of taking a drive, you'll have to get here quick or wait till spring to visit.

The area we're working in is home to a huge recreational area for dirt bikes and ATV's. Many of the areas are concentrated use and a majority of the trails are not wide enough for most 4x4 vehicles, including jeeps. This has made our job challenging to say the least, but we're making progress finding ways to "get 'er done!" Joan and I are finding it hard to get depressed as we're short timers and will be finishing our tour next week. Funny how that works, huh!

When we leave we're hoping to spend a few days in Moab, before heading on to St George for the Huntsman Senior Olympics. If you've never heard of the Huntsman Games, check it out online. Last year there were over 11,000 senior athletes competing in over 28 different sports. I will be reuniting with The Cardiac Kids, my old softball team from Florida. We have 2 tournaments scheduled within 7 days, expecting to play somewhere between 8 and 15 games depending on the bracket structure and how well we play. Wish us luck.

Continuing to do some odds and ends around the RV; adding an extra shelf in Joan's closet; needed a storage location for the various pads and blocks used to level the RV, so I found some unused space above the LP tank in the side bay and built a shelf to hold the 8-10 blocks I use. Keeps the dirt out of the regular storage bays and gives me easy access to them when I need them; also I removed, cleaned and painted the windshield wipers before installing new wiper blades.

Several weeks ago we were needing some shade from the sun on the RV windshield. When we bought the RV 5 years ago there was a set of window covers for all the large windows, tires and wipers. Only problem was I could not figure out how to place the large windshield screen on the RV. No snaps or magnets on the RV or with the covers. No instructions either. Fortunately we had not had a problem with direct sunlight until now! And now we really needed shade. So I reached out to one of the smartest guys I knew (in Montana) Dave of the Wandering Wingers. And sure enough, within 10 minutes he had figured it out. One little bracket had fallen off the windshield screen and once we replaced it and attached a strap on the opposite side of the screen it all made sense. Now we have a nice screening shade cover for the large windshield. Thanks Dave! So even after 5 years of ownership and almost 4 years of full-timing I'm still learning about our rig. Let that be a lesson to you. There's always something new to learn.

Well, that's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Few Miles More Before We Leave

Miles City, MT
We are in our 4th and tentatively final week in Montana. This is a large work area spanning 75 miles northwest of our campground to an area 80 miles south. And because Montana has less than 6 residents per square mile (as opposed to the national average of 87) there are fewer roads; and many of those are unpaved in the areas we work. Last week we had 2 consecutive days where we drove a total of 200 miles each day and Monday we drove a total of 304 miles (120 paved miles to and from the work area; thank you). When we leave Montana this week, we'll be headed back to Utah where we expect to finish up the season near the end of September.

When we're out driving, we're never quite sure what we may encounter; for example....

...fallen trees across tight mountain trails. We used the jeep to pull the tree 'along' the trail's path before trimming off a few branches so we could drive past....

...and sometimes the 'roads' haven't been driven in quite some time. Pair that with the road being located in a wash, and recent rainfall resulting in a foliage growth spurt and sometimes you're quite challenged to find the road, much less drive it!

We've seen coyote, fox, turkey, pheasant, grouse, deer, and lots of cattle & horses. The scenery is spectacular. And some of the locals' sense of humor is special too! I'm not quite sure what Scurrilous Activity he may be referring to....

I've done a couple of mods on the RV...

...taking a bedroom TV cabinet left empty by the replacement of a tube TV with a flat screen and adding shelves to give Joan some additional storage. The original owner changed out the TV...I'm not quite sure why it took me so long to consider doing this as it was quite simple.

...and updating the bathroom counter area...


...after. We found a neat peel & stick faux wall tile at the local hardware store. You can cut it with scissors to fit around receptacles. It has texture, so it feels like a glass tile.

Our job this summer has been exciting and interesting as well as one of the best paying gigs we've encountered. So we're fairly certain we'd like to try it again if we're offered the opportunity. And the compensation has been timely. Joan & I bought our MH 5 years ago and with the warranty expiring at the end of August we shopped around and decided to purchase a new warranty from National Warranty. The old warranty paid for itself and then some over the last few years, so we thought a new one would be cost effective. We've also decided to make some mods to the jeep this fall, and possibly a little remodeling in the MH. New tires for the MH are due as the current tires are 7 years old, and it's time for a tune up and thorough preventative inspection of the MH as well.

Something I am looking for, and maybe some of you can help me find it, are some wall hooks. Here's a picture of one...

If anyone knows what these are called or who makes them, please let me know. We have several in the MH, but I'm not sure if they were added by the original owners or if they are OEM

Parting pic.....last year while in South Dakota our friends led us on a motorcycle ride and made sure to point out an unusual rock formation...almost phallic in nature and commonly referred to as d*ck rock. While out driving a few weeks ago we stumbled across this unusual formation...

...just so you know, SD got nothin' on Montana!

That's it for now. Stay Tuned. More to Come.

PS - Shout out to my oldest Doug...Happy 34th Birthday!