12 October….nice hanging out here at the RV park for another day…slowly tinkering with the van…cleaning and adjusting stuff…My buddy Len called and is back in town…he’s doing to stop by later today for a chat…good guy…I’ve been thinking about the buggy…it’s lot’s of fun but I really do like my bikes…the new Trail 125 Honda I have coming is going to be really fun and cool to explore with…if there’s any interest in the buggy I may entertain offers for a sale…anyone who knows me knows I keep my stuff in good shape and never abuse things…we will see…who knows…I really don’t like dragging it around…LOVE my new trailer though…will serve me well…but if there’s a package deal anything is for sale at the right price 🙂
13 October…it’s 0425 am here in New Mexico…yesterday I had a beautiful and uneventful drive from Silver City over to the Rob Jaggers BLM campground just east of Capitan….it’s a beautiful campground and if you’re not using water or electricity it’s free! I got a nice site and settled in for the night. Paved road access that made it even more perfect.
On the way I stopped by the White Sands NP to make some lunch and to get another shot of Trouble’s Traveling Cup at a new location. She says she likes seeing where the cup goes. Also got a nice sticker to go on my travel wall in the van that shows some of the places I’ve been to in the van.
Good night from New Mexico
14 October….the day started out great…cool and clear…the drive through Lincoln County in Billy the Kid territory was really nice…no traffic and beautiful countryside…stopped by the Billy the Kid Roadside Park for a break and another photo of T’sTTC.
Then…it all went to shit…huge winds, dust storms, and temps in the mid 90’s when I got near the Texas border…Holy Crap the dust was sometimes a white out. Here’s the route I took over to the Levelland Tx City Park for the night.
Still blowing like hell when I pulled in. Got a nice shady spot…there’s a huge cotton field across the street that’s upwind…nice…not much dust.
Oh BTW…on backroads with no traffic I usually travel around 55 mph so I can see the sights…at those speeds the van gets GREAT fuel mileage!
Around dinner time my buddy Phillip from Lake Havasu City called to have a chat…was good to hear from him again…I’ll be stopping by his casa this winter for more great conversation and Mexican food!
We got to talking about me probably selling the buggy…what he said summed it up perfectly…when you’re alone (mostly) like me, a buggy gets to be pretty boring…I agreed…I’ve been off the bikes for over a year now and am ready to get back to riding again…the little 125 is gonna be great…I’ll put some ads out after the first of the year regarding the sale…until then I’ll be in Florida and the buggy will be in New Mexico…no sense trying to make a deal when I’m 2,000 miles away.
15 October…quiet night here last night…wind still blowing like hell this morning though…decided to wait it out until after lunch to leave…winds are supposed to subside…if not then one more night here will be just fine…I’ve got my little one egg frying pan dialed in…I make a perfect sunny side up egg now…and the Jimmy Dean sausages are just fine too.
Last night, after I watched The Equalizer 2 starring Denzel Washington, I made a cup of coffee and just sat in the van with only the little blue night light glowing inside the van…the occasional car would travel by…it’s lights casting interesting shadows in the park…some went by fast…some slow…I sat and wondered who was in them and where they were going…the coffee was perfect…not a sound between vehicles..only the wind rocking and rolling the van.
I punched up the app where I can see the living room in mom’s condo…all dark…she was in bed sleeping and dreaming…nice…she’s 90 years old and doing well…mostly…with age comes uncertainty and worry…I try to make her life easier when I’m with her…I get away a couple of moths at a time then head back to be with her…it’s easy and hard at the same time…I’m fortunate to have two sisters that help when I’m traveling…one day I won’t be able to travel and I try to enjoy every minute of every day.
I usually crawl in the rack early each night…around 7 or 8…podcast are enjoyable…I learn lots of new things…I make it through the first 15 or 20 minutes before I’m asleep…have to pick up where I left off the next night…up between 3 and 5 am…plenty of sleep for me…coffee and a muffin that early in the morning are wonderful…nobody moving and quiet…love that time of the day…when I was on duty working nights by 3 am all the fighting was done and arrest made…that was the time I turned down the dispatch radio and sat back with a nice cuppa Joe…by myself in the parking lot of a tiny country store that stayed open all night…the clerk always made a fresh pot of coffee at 3 am…was it just for me?…maybe…I like to thing so…life is good.
16 October…I’m parked behind the Cracker Barrel in Texarkana TX for the night…only about two more days and I’ll be home…been watching some vids on Youtube made by my two very good friends in North Carolina…Patrick (Motoramblings) and Roger (Ridingthethinlines)…those are their Youtube channels…man I do miss the mountains of NC…I’m going to plan on spending more time up there in the future…I’ll be out in the southwest after Christmas with the new Honda 125…but…on the way back home the end of Feb I’ll be stopping by NC to do some riding…can’t wait…hope the weather is not too cold…anyway, I’ll have the little bike wired for my heated jacket so I’ll be fine.
19 October…I’m home and feeling good…why…I just deleted all my social media accounts…looking forward to future days not being accosted by bullshit and stupid people….life is good.
24 OCtober….I serviced the van the other day…new air filter, oil, oil filter… had the tranny serviced at Mercedes…(I don’t have the stuff to pump the torque converter)….a little over 50,000 miles so far and not a single problem…all good…weighed the thing on the scales at the dump too:
front axle 3600 pounds
rear axle 4200 pounds
all up weight is around 7800 pounds..
curb weight as new is around 5,500 pounds
looks like I’m carrying around 2300 pounds with the build and all my travel stuff
GVW is 8500 so I’m still well under the maximum…that’s good.
I run Michelin Defender 10 ply rated tires with a maximum load rating of 111@2403 pounds so the rears are still nicely under the load limit rating
27 October….removed the Espar Diesel heater unit from under the passenger seat this morning. I’ve been using it for two years now and it’s in need of servicing and a good cleaning. Replaced it with the new spare unit I carry with me. New unit works just like new because it is. I depend on having good dry heat when I travel so that’s why I carry a complete spare unit.
Gonna head up to NC on the 4th of next month for a few days of exploring and relaxing. A meal in Hot Springs, hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway, seeing a few old friends, and just chillin are on the schedule.
29 October…always looking to make the van safer…so…today I took the plunge and ordered a set of Method Race 301 wheels….the stock wheels are 16×6.5 inches…the new wheels are 17×7.5 inches and will allow me to use Michelin Defender light truck tires sized 265/70-17…they are an inch larger in diameter than the stock sized 245/75-16 tires…but most importantly the larger tires have a maximum load rating of 3195 pounds each as compared to the 2403 pound rating for the 245’s I’m running now. I’m still well under the GVW of 8500 pounds of the van so the new tires will be nicely below their rated maximum loading. This will give me more peace of mind when I’m towing the trailer…all good.
I know this is not my van but gives you an idea of how the new sized wheels and tires will look when installed….I’ll have photos of mine after the install.
5 November…got the new wheels and tires mounted today…really like the set up…the bigger tire size fills the wheel wells well and looks nice to me…during a short drive a bit softer ride was noticeable from the larger air volume with the new tires…good…the old tires are only about half worn if anyone wants them…let me know.
7 October…always refining my travel set up…today my new Honda EU2200i Bluetooth generator came in…the 3000 watt one I have now weighs around 75 pounds…its getting a bit cumbersome loading and unloading it so the new 2200 weighing in at 45 pounds is a welcome addition…today I ran it for the first time…super quiet…it runs the van A/C unit just fine…I have a Micro-Air Soft Start module installed on the A/C unit that allows me to use a smaller genset to run it…good investment for sure.
13 November…I’m spending a week up in the blue ridge mountains…just me and the van…had a great day today visiting with my buddy Roger…he lives outside Asheville…I was spending the day at a nice overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway just south of the Pisgah Inn…he rode his bike up and met me there for a few hours of conversation. We’ve ridden together many times when I lived up here.
Not a cloud in the sky and temps in the mid 60’s…perfect. Here’s a few shots from today.
Last night I stayed at the Walmart in Waynesville NC…made a nice salad, pork steak, and asparagus for dinner…farted all night 😦