June 17, 2015

Cooler Temps & Higher Humidity in The Tropics

Heidi June 2012
I am writing this blog post a lot earlier than I normally do. It's only 12:30pm, I just finished a second cup of coffee. That would normally occur in the 8am range but not the past few days. I'm not sure if it's the humidity, the weird dreams at night or me missing that hard ground to sleep on in the tent.

Whatever the reason the routine these past few days is up at 7:30 by Winston's request to go outside. Back to bed until 10:30am or so. I know ... a real waste of time because that means I am sleeping through the coolest part of the day.

With it raining all night the temps so far today have reached 74° but Southern Indiana humidity is already hitting 91%. That means a weather "tease" is in effect. Cool temps with a nice cool breeze makes you want the windows open. That 91% humidity is screaming for you to close the windows and turn the A/C back on just for a little bit. Yes, I found the problem with the A/C when I got back was a 20amp fuse that had popped to the off position.

It doesn't matter to Heidi, she sleeps ... sleeps and sleeps. She is on her own schedule and will get up to eat and will go out at her own time. Although she does eat the same time as the other two hounds. She has been a sleep monster since the day I picked her up from the Rescue Service. If she had not sprinted to the food dish, I would have guessed she was sick.

Heidi 2014
Some may be wondering if my traveling days are over, after such a short trip last week. Am I planning to travel again and if so when? What changes will I make based on what I learned on my trip to Utah, through Colorado? Why am I not traveling now to escape the heat and humidity from the "tropics" of Southern Indiana?

Lets answer the first question first. NO, my traveling is not over just because I came home early. In fact there are plans for a lot more traveling. I needed to make some adjustments to my tent camping attempt with three hounds. They loved the tent and were fantastic travelers, besides Sadie freaking out around 2am during high winds ... or was it possible those Antelope I saw in the morning near us were checking us out in the middle of the night?

Some of my ideas did work and some need some slight tweaking. I cannot forget the feeling I had when I pulled onto Floy Wash Road, it was fantastic.

I am planning to travel again, no later than September, when I will return to Utah when the weather is nicer and as suggested by a friend that travels there quite often. She told me specifically not to travel where I did, when I did due to the heat. If I didn't make it to the Moab area by May then don't go until the fall. Although the windstorm I experienced was not the norm, it's been hotter than hot since I left the area. We would have had to move to get away from the high 90's.

Still, a case of an "impulse roadtrip" hit me big time and any advice from those in the know was ignored. After a short amount of time, with just a little planning, I had bought everything I needed to tent camp and gave the hounds enough water at all times for their survival. The food and water supply was never a problem for the 3 amigos. Off we went.

When I got back, I made a list of things that needed to be changed before I hit the road again. Those can be made with no problem and some of them already have been made. When I am finished I'll go through what I have changed and why.

Although I have a few people that email me, not begging so much, but "suggesting" it would really be nice to go here or here while the summer is here .... I'd love to go there and go there right now for the cooler temps, the smells of pine and no humidity. I'm sure Sadie would pant less, and drool less. Winston and Heidi would enjoy sleeping in cooler temps ... but I have that noose tied around my neck called ... a house.

Yes, while sitting in Rifle Gap SP that Monday afternoon ... my thoughts did turn to all I needed to do on my "to do" list about the house. I had started off very good and fast in April with burning the brush on the bank and in back where I wanted to make an area part of my lawn. It could also be a nice place to sit in the shade as well as test camp with the hounds, under the multiple mahogany trees that make it look like one tree from a distance.

So April was good, I got a lot done. Then I started to slack off in May. I started falling back into the routine of more internet time than time outside/inside getting things checked off my list of things to do ... like simple routine house maintenance after a Midwestern winter. It may have been a mild winter where I live, still those fluctuating temps does some kind of damage every year.

If you miss one summer of doing the repairs, as most home owners know, it's like compound interest and it will only be worse the the next summer when you try again.

Was that my reason for feeling restless or bored while camped for only two nights? ... knowing I had projects back home that were shoved to the side until further notice?

These are NOT major projects. It's things that can be completed in very short time, maybe even in a matter of a couple of weeks. Still I don't feel I can do any kind of traveling at this point until the house projects are completed. I have an option or two still being worked and those include completing the "to do" list before I can do anything else.

So yes I would like to travel again this summer. I'd like to get out to Flathead Lake in Montana. I already have the route planned, the scheduled stops to camp and prevent me from driving the 1,800 miles non-stop. It would not only get us out of the hot and humid summer still around the corner in July and August, but also present us with some great great scenery to visit.

With June only half over, I have plenty of time to finish my "to do" list. I have some other options brewing and being worked on but I'm not going to post anything here until they are completed.

To keep me motivated I am tormented daily, not by the humidity, but by the amount traffic of RVs, 5th wheels and travel trailers that drive by my house on US Highway 231. It's a major north/south highway and is always busy with RV traffic in the summer. So while I am out mowing that yard I've blogged about in the past, there goes an RV towing their car, flying by me as I am sweating my ass off and mumbling to myself.

Which brings me back to what type of RV I need. I've done the full swing on this blog, four years old this October. I researched, test drove different RVs and even bought a Class C ... but I know that what I have is the right vehicle for me. Now I just have to find the right trailer combo.

The optimum vehicle would be a Class A for the hounds. My Toyota FJ cannot be towed wheels down. I also would not be able to afford any major repairs that might happen owning a vehicle like that .. even a fairly new one. I am keeping the FJ. That's a rare situation with me as I have traded cars over the past five years like changing clothes. I love what the FJ can do off road, plus the way it drives long distance.

Plus a Class A cannot go where I want to go to boondock. I know that it would not have made it where I did out on Floy Wash Road. It would have been stuck driving through those three different spots of standing water on the "non" maintained road.

The Class C would not be able to tow well in the Rockies. I know people do tow with their Class C but what I witnessed in the Rockies with My V-6 FJ gasping for air as it climbed over 10,000' there was no way a Class C was going to be towing anything comfortably for the engine. I saw my speed drop when climbing through that beautiful country of the Colorado Mts or hearing it drop into high engine revs to maintain my speed.

Besides, that Class C would have also been stuck going where I camped last week. Heck, the Class C I owned in 2014 got stuck in my backyard and that was just because the winter snow had melted combined with a week of early spring rains. Here are some photos to remind you of that humorous "Murphy's Law" time. This happened after the new owners had looked but not test drove the Coachman. I was moving it out of the yard for them to pick up the next day.

December 2013

April 2014

April 2014

April 2014

April 2014

April 2014
I know the hounds need more room while traveling in the FJ. A Yakima or Thule roof top carrier will be bought. I'll be able to move everything that was in Sadie and Winston's way from the back to the carrier. Heidi curls up like she did in the passenger seat whether she is on the floor, bed or large chair. So the passenger seat is good for her. The driver just needs to and will make more stops at Rest Areas on the way west.

Deciding whether to buy a trailer in the Midwest and then tow for 1,500 miles or not buy a trailer until I get back west is still under consideration. One option considered requires me to use a trailer from here to there (wherever that might be). The other option doesn't require me to buy any trailer until I am on the Western Slope of Colorado.

A lot of things are "in work". Many of those things can be completed fairly soon. Some of those things being completed will be determined if I win my personal war against procrastination. It's always been a problem for me, from the time I had to study for that first elementary grade test, through college and even in the off time at home. Procrastination was never around in my jobs, I never had any problems getting started and getting things done on time while working.

Just during my personal free time.

Since it's midday and the hounds have been sleeping most of the day, new photos are not available. I'll go back into the photo archives to see if I can come up with some hound photos to add to this blog.

Sadie December 2010

Winston May 2004
Oh, the MacBook Air is a fast fast computer. It was a great purchase, although while traveling the iPhone was the most valuable asset for information. Since I chose not buy a data program for a short trip that was planned for two weeks, I was happy with the Verizon receptions I got to use the iPhone while on the road.  It has taken me a little while to get use to clicking the trackpad, before dragging to move things or highlight words ... but minor.

I am use to the 13.3" monitor, something I didn't know if I could do after staring at a 27" monitor for the past five years. I can see it's not a problem. It does like synchronizing with my other Apple devices whether I want it to or not.

So with a cool 74° breeze blowing through my opened kitchen door while I sit at the kitchen table writing this post ... another RV just drove by heading south with their car in tow.

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