Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Plugged in again

We were close to a month unplugged.  A big part of the purpose of going to Quartzsite was to see how we managed “off the grid” and we

did good.  Aside from the generator head failure we had power when we wanted it and could live the way we wanted to despite being disconnected from an electric utility.  Even without the generator we did pretty well.  Well enough that we know a relatively small investment in solar panels would enable us to get along for extended periods without running the generator.

Of course when we already have the investment in the generator we are going to run it.  We’re not into solar for the sake of solar nor are we setting out to prove something by deliberately living off the grid for extended periods of time.  But its nice to know that we can when we need to.  We’ve run into people who seem to need to prove something by how long they can live unplugged but that isn’t us.  And it simply isn’t cost effective to buy solar panels for the power they generate – its still way cheaper to burn a little diesel fuel than it is to buy solar panels.  When you see all the wind power in southern California its not hard to understand why that state is broke.  By and large alternate energy doesn’t work financially.

Monday morning we had another round of goodbyes – ours this time.  Sunday was pretty well consumed with saying goodbye as most of the rally attendees dribbled out over the course of the day.  Larry and Tom were underneath Larry’s GMC first thing Monday morning and emerged to say that he had a blown airbag.  Fortunately the guy next to him carried two spares so a repair was possible.  It was leaking so badly that Larry had trouble getting up enough air to release the maxis but eventually he did.  I wasn’t being much use so we headed up the road to Lake Havasu City, stopping along the way for a Safeway raid.

We landed at Cattail Cove State Park which is a lovely spot.  We’ve checked it out in the past but never stayed here.  We’ve got a couple of friends that stay in Lake Havasu for the winter so we often come through the area but in the past we have always stayed at a private park in town.  Its a little pricey and not that scenic so this time we did the State Park thing.  The US State Parks are wonderful – we haven’t found one of them that we don’t like.  Unfortunately some of them are now being closed by budget strapped state governments but maybe that trend will eventually reverse itself.  It would be a shame to lose the parks.

Shortly after we arrived Tom & Doreen stopped in on their way back to Kingman.  We all ended up going to the China Buffet for supper before they headed out.  Lake Havasu has some excellent restaurants and one of our favourites is the China Buffet.  We also have a little family owned Mexican spot that we need to get to before we leave.

I put my head down yesterday and got a draft hammered out on a project that I have had on the go for a couple of months now.  I’ve got some bus maintenance that I would rather be doing but the project had to get submitted and it finally did.  With all the generator time we ran up at Quartzsite I’m seriously overdue for an oil change on the generator.  We also managed to lose three of our levelling blocks when the big flood came by.  We had them set out to make a bridge across the creek in front of the bus but when it turned from a creek into a torrent the blocks got washed away.  They were landing gear pads for semi trailers so it took a lot of water to get them moving but I couldn’t find them – they must have gone a long way.  So now I need to make a run to Home Depot and spend a few hours building some new ones.  Fortunately the two heaviest pads that we lost were also the two that I would have chosen to lose, had I been given that choice, so now I can replace them with something a little better.

We’re booked into Las Vegas Thousand Trails starting Sunday and after that we haven’t made any plans.  Some friends that we met years ago at Whispering Pines are coming to Vegas for their first time so we are looking forward to showing them around.  We haven’t been across the Hoover Dam since 9/11 and they want to see the dam so we’ll do that and get some pictures of the new bridge at the same time.  As I understand it they don’t have the new bridge open yet but it must be substantially complete now.  We’ll likely head over to the Sedona/Prescott area after we leave Las Vegas but like I said, we haven’t thought that far ahead yet.

1 comment:

Singing Land Cruiser said...

Hi Bro, We made it home just in time to see your leveling pads float bye. LOL We had a great time with you and Marilyn. Miss you guys, M&C