RiverCat Journal : Tehachapi Windmill Farms

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Current Venue :  Tehachapi, CA
Campground: Mountain Valley RV Park


I decided on a different campsite reality this trip to Tehachapi. Instead of the back row near the meadow and abundance of wildlife, I opted for a little shade. It turned out to be a fantastic spot!



It’s a full moon. I scurried up the ridge to get some closeup shots of the Tehachapi Windmill Farm, the second largest in California. There are nearly 5,000 of these windmills in Tehachapi, it is enough to power 350,000 residents per year.

lone windmill


windmill sunset


windmill sunset2



Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Taegosah Mountain Spirit Center

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Current Venue :  Tehachapi, CA
Campground: Mountain Valley RV Park


Considering the fragile state of mind this harrowing trip has bestowed upon me, I thought perhaps I might find peace of mind at a nearby Buddhist retreat. You don’t necessarily need a 4-wheeler to reach Taegosah Mountain Spirit Center, but it certainly would make the trek up Juniper Way a little bit easier. It is not only an unimproved road with some nasty dips, but the soft sand is very hard to grip. At one juncture my slow-going gave a molting rattlesnake nearly two minutes to finally decide to wind his way off the path (this was about the time I jumped out of the van with my camera).

The first thing that catches your eye when you pull in is this stunning “peace bell.” Anyone is welcome to ring the bell by pulling back a huge log-size mallet strung to rope. It’s quite an extraordinary and calming sound, and you can’t help but meditate as it reverberates for several minutes.




Taegosah is devoted to the Korean Buddhist faith. I didn’t get the opportunity to tour the main facility as the doors were seemingly locked and, not certain if I’d arrived before official visitor hours, I elected not to disturb the individuals inside speaking in the Korean dialect.


No matter, the temple up the hill was calling my name, anyway…


I was immediately drawn to the fact that the front of the structure is lined with Venetian doors that open up the entire facade. I can just imagine an evening ceremony with these panels open — it would have to be an absolutely gorgeous sight!

This was definitely a time a tour guide would have come in handy. I was very curious about the works of art both inside and outside of the building. For instance, on the three adjoining outside walls is sort of a picto-story of young Buddha roping a vicious-looking black bull and transforming the creature into a mellow-looking white cow. I’d like to learn more about that.


Also, who are these creepy-looking guys seemingly everywhere in the images throughout the temple? Who do they represent? Are they celebrated creatures of the faith? Or are the paintings depicting that even demons would bow down to the great Buddha?

And what are these? (E-mail me at keyward9ATgmail.com if you know).




Next time I’m in Tehachapi, I want to learn more about the classes and special events offered at Taegosah Mountain Spirit Center — perhaps a yoga or a meditation class…




Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Snapshots : Murray Family Farms : Cactus Honey and Frog Balls

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Current Venue :  Tehachapi, CA
Campground: Mountain Valley RV Park


NOTE : Murray Family Farms is just south of Bakersfield on Highway 58.


murray farms





green bean chips




Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Chowchilla, CA : Tucking Tail

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Current Venue : Chowchilla, CA 
Campground: Arena RV Park


Wait a minute. My destination was Oakhurst Elks Lodge near the entrance to Yosemite. Welcome to more misadventures of the Ramblin’ RiverCat! My alarm did not wake me this morning. I needed to get up early to beat the heat before climbing the hill. My late start had me attempting this mountain at 1 pm rather than the originally-planned late-morning climb.

Still, I tried. I’d guessed it to be in the 90’s when I started my ascent. More than halfway up I was baffled as to why my engine kept trying to overheat! I conceded a loss, tucked tail, and descended back into the valley. As it turns out, it was 105 degrees.

So that is how I ended up in Chowchilla, California. The name of the town evidently translates to “murderers” and is derived from the violent Chaushila tribe. It’s home to two prisons, as well. It’s also famous for a 1976 kidnapping in which 26 schoolkids and a driver were held hostage in an underground moving van at a rock quarry.

To me, it seems more like a peaceful farming community…

Chowchilla clearly caters to freeway traffic — with visible signage everywhere inviting RVers and truckers to stop in…

I still like highway campgrounds. I love sitting in my lawn chair and watching the headlights appear on the horizon, and then fading into distance. It’s as if the hustle-and-bustle and stress of everyday-normal life is an alternate universe that I’ve somehow transcended.

Arena RV Park is a no-frills campground. The one neat feature, however, is an immaculate outdoor kitchen…

This is what RV misadventures are all about. So I didn’t make it out of Vegas on Day One. So what — I got to enjoy some pool time at the upscale Oasis resort! So I got stranded in Tehachapi. Perfect — it gave 7 nights to fall in love with an absolutely fantastic area! And so what if I missed yet another destination — I got to relax and enjoy the simplicity of a little highway pit stop — which is what I probably needed.

Who knows? Maybe there will be another unexpected adventure on my way back to Tehachapi…

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Deep-Cleaning

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Current Venue : Nicolaus, CA
Campground: Lake Minden Thousand Trails


Strangest trip ever. It started off disastrous, with multiple breakdowns and repairs. This made it difficult to focus on poker. I struggled, but ultimately qualified for the Main Event at the Ante Up World Championships. I figured after all my struggles, a big cash would be a perfect ending to a rotten story. I played lights out — only to get within 2 hours of making the money. Deflating. But hey, then I could relax for a week and do some sightseeing in the Sacramento area…

Now, with two days left of my two-week stay at Lake Minden, I’ve done absolutely no sightseeing or exploring. I can’t say I’ve been totally relaxed, either. More like — beat. In fact, I was feeling rather defeated in more way than one when, oddly enough, I decided to do some deep cleaning! It actually seemed like the only natural thing to do under the circumstances.


I’ve been elbow deep in grime and dust for a couple days now, enjoying some books-on-cd. Have I wasted my time here? No. This will be a regular destination — as there are several major poker events here throughout the year. And now I know the lay-of-the-land here. I’ll be ready.


I have one last repair — the black water tank. But I can’t get it to dry out completely! It seems the toilet valve has been slow-dripping into the tank for nearly 2 weeks. If I can’t repair it tomorrow, it’ll just have to drip on my journey back to Vegas. My next destination is Oakhurst Elks Club near Yosemite. They have no facilities. But it really is a slow drip, and it doesn’t sound as if I’ll have any neighbors. I doubt anyone would notice much when I make it back to Tehachapi, either. In fact, I may not worry about it at all until I get back to Vegas.


It’s just starting to sink in that I’m free to travel full-time, again — at least 10 months out of the year. Of course, here I am, heading right back to Vegas for a 2-week stint. But now it’s just a pit stop! In the event my new business venture moves too slow this September, I’ll be right back up here for a tournament at Stones Casino in Citrus Heights, then to Reno for a week, then back here for another HPT event at Thunder Valley.


Options everywhere. Life is exciting…



Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Highlights and Silver Linings of the Nightmare RV Vacation

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Current Venue : Nicolaus, CA
Campground: Lake Minden Thousand Trails


This is the parallel story to my nightmare RV vacation. These are the highlights and insights of this unforgettable experience.

  1. A New Appreciation for Warranties. I like doing things “on the cheap”, using handymen quite often to get me fixed up. But I knew I couldn’t take any chances with the A/C. I forked out the extra cash to insure my investment, knowing it could be disastrous if something went wrong in these extreme temperatures while on the road. Three air compressors later, I’m relieved I never had to pay a dime for additional parts and labor.
  2. I’m Capable of Full-Time Travel Again. It’s been a long, tough road since my hospital stay in Phoenix a few years ago — but I’ve recovered enough financially that I feel comfortable handling tough situations on the road — and my new job situation is also going to allow this to happen. It’s a liberating feeling knowing I have the ability to pursue the lifestyle I love again!
  3. Rental Cars. It had been several years since I’d rented a car. Initially, I’d resented having to fork out the cash, but actually ended up embracing the whole thing as part of the vacation experience. It was particularly nice catching up with the modern age for a moment and enjoying a digital readout on the dashboard. I also learned that certain rental companies will actually pick you up!
  4. Getting Stranded in Tehachapi was Kinda’ Cool. Despite the logistical challenges, I was thankful I got stranded on top of a mountain. While every valley below was experiencing 105-plus temperatures, I was enjoying the low-90’s with a nice, constant breeze. Additionally, the wildlife was extraordinary. I fell in love with the area! Mountain Valley RV Park is definitely worth more than a one-night stay. I also discovered it was a great place for storage (they $1 per foot every month. 27 ft = $27).
  5. The Fearless Little White Poodle. I’d warned several one-nighters in Tehachapi to keep a close eye on their pets. I’d never seen so many coyotes — especially in broad daylight. One day I was having a conversation with a camper as we observed two coyotes not 20 yards away. One was quite large. All-of-a-sudden a little white poodle came out of nowhere and made a bee-line towards them! All we could do was scream for the owner as the white flash streaked into the meadow with no fear. Did the coyotes eat the little guy? No! They ran for the hills! The little pooch easily chased them a half-mile.

    Turtle Beach Fish Camp

  6. I May Always be Happy Traveling Alone. In Turtle Beach I experienced front end problems, a leaky holding tank, and a nearly-flat tire — all in a 24-hour period. But even still I was able to enjoy the uniqueness and beauty of the campground. This one features a river that wraps around the camp like a horseshoe. You might call it a “swimmin’ hole” — a very playful atmosphere for kids and adults alike. THIS is the memory I’ll have with me years later and, because it’s not a memory that I share with a girlfriend — it’s my own memory to keep forever.
  7. A New Traveling Poker Gameplan. My two-week stay in Nicolaus, California was specifically designed to spend the week trying to qualify for a $1600 buy-in Ante Up World Championship event. On my fifth and final attempt, I qualified! This, while keeping afloat with my cash game play and breaking even for the week. With a $125,000 first place up for grabs, I survived 15+ levels and came within a couple hours of making the money — around $3000 for the first payouts. I am very confident I can play these “Mid-Major” tournaments into some very serious cash. I also have the oportunity to deal some of these events when I have to. A circuit is developing…


Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Snapshots : Tehachapi, CA : Mountain Valley RV Park

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Current Venue :  Tehachapi, CA
Campground: Mountain Valley RV Park
Recently Updated : This MUST be a Bad Dream

Note : I’m making ongoing updates to “This MUST be a Bad Dream” to keep the misadventure saga separate from my fun adventures on this trip.







Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : This MUST be a Bad Dream…

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Current Venue :  Tehachapi, CA
Campground: Mountain Valley RV Park


I’ve extended this post past the original 9-day misadventure when I was stranded in Tehachapi. It is now an ongoing post until the storm settles.


Thursday July 23, Day One of my Much-Anticipated Northern California Vacation

Is this really happening? Of all the years that I needed a nice relaxing trip to settle my nerves, this was it. I worked two months solid with only 3 days off — all of which I’d spent on about a dozen repairs and improvements. In fact, my schedule was so intense, I’d decided to have my trailer tires replaced on my way out of town (thanks again Jim and Sandie).


Another one of these fixes was getting my A/C replaced in the van. I decided to spend $900 at Meineke so that I could have it warrantied at it’s nationwide locations. It’s a good thing I did. At my first hill on the way out of Las Vegas the compressor roared, I lost my cool air, and smoke intermittently came through the vents.

Only 1 hour from my first destination, Pahrump, I knew I wasn’t going to get out of town. Something was clearly wrong. I pulled into Firestone, unhitched the trailer, and waited a couple hours to find out the A/C compressor was having a meltdown. I was also informed the front end was dangerously loose — what a start! I hitched up the trailer in the unbearable Las Vegas heat, dropped it a couple miles away at Oasis RV Resort, and rushed the van all the way across town to Meineke.

Stranded before I even got started!

I made the mistake of mentioning Firestone’s diagnosis. The Meineke owner insisted he’d installed the A/C kits for eternity and had never known of a new compressor going bad. Would mere pride keep him from exploring the possibility? It seemed to conclude pretty quickly it was “high pressure blowoff.”

It was decided an evacuation and a recharge with 1/4 less freon was in order — shouldn’t take long. I left it 3 hours before my ride dropped me off. But it wasn’t finished. All that was left to do was the recharge. But peering through the window, I could tell the van was being neglected. I inquired several times and, on one occasion, a young mechanic was finally assigned the task. I stalked him through the window and, as expected, he went home without even touching it! Finally, with every other car being dismissed and all the lights turned out for closing time, they’d come to realize there was  still an 8-foot tall van sitting in their bay. Oops!

I think I exercised such great patience because the owner was giving me a good deal to fix the front end the next day…


Friday July 22, Day Two

Back to Meineke. Once again, I was lucky to have a friend give me rides. I was told the idler arms would be installed by 2:00, easily. That’s when my ride dropped me off. I waited an additional 3 and a half hours because their alignment equipment was malfunctioning!


It was unfortunate I wouldn’t get to spend much time enjoying the amenities at Oasis — I’ll have to revisit this one later. This time around, I was just desperate to get away from the heat and resume with my 2nd reservation in Tehachapi on schedule. And because of the extreme 110+ temperatures and tough grade near Baker, California I wanted to be on the road around 6 am…


Saturday July 23, Day Three

I was on the road by 6:30 and tackling the first hill by 7:00 am. Even still, I lost my cool air right away. I started smelling smoke, again. I pushed on. My figuring was there didn’t seem to be any reason to delay things another day in the extreme heat and I could make it to Tehachapi by late morning.

Poor Jeepers was miserable. Even with the sedative he could not relax in these conditions, and he struggled the entire trip under my watchful eye. I iced him down and forced-fed him ice cubes during the most brutal parts. A tough journey, but we made it to camp with my belt smoking.

After realizing nobody was at the office, I went back to the van to set up camp. But the van wouldn’t start! I wasted no time calling the owners of the park, the neighboring Skylark North Mountain Valley Airport and explained the situation. I lucked out instantly! A couple of good Samaritans overheard the call and came right over.

breakdown tehachapi

A simple jump-start was clearly not the answer. But before long I had the two brothers competing to find out who would find the answer first. It was the younger of the two that discovered the blown fuse. Easy fix except for one little…

PROBLEM. The belt started squealing and smoking much worse than I’d realized while I was driving. The brothers quickly agreed on this one — the A/C compressor was locked up. Right. Who didn’t know that! The belt was fried, the vehicle was undriveable. In fact, we dared only move it a few feet after unhitching the trailer. I was very grateful the brothers showed up and helped me at least set the trailer down with their own truck, But these feelings were momentary as I sensed a logistical nightmare developing.


I contacted Meineke/Bakersfield. The owner seemed very put out by the idea of fixing someone else’s job, even though it was under warranty. He suggested I might be taking a chance getting it towed down there, and there was no way he could expedite it on a busy Monday.

I sent video of my burning belt/locked compressor to Meineke/Las Vegas. I was assured everything was under warranty but I absolutely could not drive it — I’d have to get it towed 50 miles away to Bakersfield.  But when I tried to touch base with Meineke/Bakersfield again, they’d already closed for the weekend. Stranded again — and in the dark as to whether or not I should even try to get it towed first thing Monday. I had no idea if arrangements had been made with the warranty. Frustrating!


Sunday July 24, Day Four

Meineke is closed for the weekend and my trip had come to another immediate standstill. I was now stranded again!

I called Meineke/Corporate. Very concerned about the owner of Meineke/Bakersfield putting off my job after a $200 tow, I was assured by corporate that he would expedite it as soon as the van arrived.

Good Sam Roadside Assistance joined the party. They would only cover the tow to the nearest garage. No good. With a minimum $900 repair, I’d need to get it to Meineke in Bakersfield and make up the difference at $4 per mile. I was instructed to call at 4:30 am to make arrangements for a 6:30 tow.


Monday July 25, Day Five

After setting my alarm for 4 am, I was informed nobody would come up from Bakersfield because that was a prime time for rush-hour wrecks and that nobody in their network opened in Tehachapi until 9 am. Therefore, I could maybe get a tow by 9:30 instead. Okay, fine.

Only the tow truck never showed at all. Apparently they simply did not have the equipment to tow my beast so — they simply didn’t show up (I learned later this company had been taken off the CHP call list)! New arrangements, outside the Good Sam network. They agreed to match they fee at $185.  A fortunate break, only my original 6:30 tow did not happen until 1 pm.

Rental car arrangements. Rent-a-Wreck agreed to pick me up at Meineke/Bakersfield and had a car for me at $40/day. More expense.


The tow truck driver was good company, and the long ride down the hill went down without a hitch. As promised, the crew at Meineke pulled it right in. They also made a pretty quick assessment — the entire A/C system and belt had to be replaced. I was in my rental car at 3 pm.


Tuesday July 26, Day Six

Strange gameplan, a small gamble : With the rental due back at 3, I’d drive all the way to Bakersfield to Rent-a-Wreck and call Meineke from there. After all, I could try to book a second poker win at the nearby casino as a Plan B. The repair wasn’t quite finished, I renewed the rental,  and an hour later I got the call. Righhhht. (I did succeed in putting together a small win and pay for the rental).


I cancelled two more reservations and picked up the weekly rate at Mountain Valley. I needed peace-of-mind knowing I’d be in one place for a few days and that I could get back on schedule Saturday with a one-night stay somewhere, then pick things up on-time in Nicolaus (Lake Minden).

This became an easy decision when I reviewed all the 10-day weather forecasts. Everything would be 100+ in the valley for a few days, low-90’s and breezy in Tehachapi. The weather has been heaven.


Wednesday July 27, Day Seven

Today’s the big day. I picked up the van and headed up the hill for another 50-mile trek. The A/C compressor locks up again! I wanted to cry. Really, I wanted to cry.


Thursday July 28, Day Eight

Back down the hill. At least I could drive it this time as long as I kept the A/C turned off.

Quick Diagnosis. The compressor doesn’t have enough power, another one is on the way. Come back tomorrow…


Friday July 29, Day Nine

Back down the hill. I’d decided that as long as this repair stuck long enough to get back to Tehachapi, I would go ahead and hitch up tomorrow and head to Manteca.

Success! After a wonderful lunch during the repair and a timely job, I’ve made it 50 miles uphill to Tehachapi without the A/C breaking down! While it does concern me that this 3rd installation is the exact same kit as the first two, I can’t worry about that right now. I can at least get close to the next Meineke in Sacramento and, worst-case scenario, take it back to Meineke/Las Vegas when I get back in a few weeks.

If it fails again I’ll plan short, early-morning tows with the windows down.


Saturday July 30th, Day Ten

I managed to get all the way to Manteca before things came unraveled again. I was backing 48 Ugly into my campsite when I heard a loud POP and the entire van jolted. Then it happened again, again, and again. Pop, pop, pop!

After unhitching, I slowly maneuvered the vehicle 3 miles to Meineke/Manteca, careful not to take any sharp turns or make any quick moves. It jolted real hard at least a dozen times.

Meineke was closing their weekend with a bang, and couldn’t possibly get me in to look at it. I rushed it next door to Les Schwab. They reported that the idler arms were dangerously loose and that they tightened it down as well as they could — but at least one arm had to be refitted properly or it would come loose again!


But upon contacting Meineke/Las Vegas, he was none-too-happy about having to warranty the labor on another job. He said I’d have to take it to Meineke, first. Of course they were going to be closed until Monday…

I took a chance. I went back next door and talked to the owner. He was great. While there was no way he could work his crew any more overtime, he got under the van in the parking lot and took a wrench to tighten it down some more. His observation was that it appeared to be missing a washer to keep it in place!

But I now had the go-ahead to head up the road. I’d just have to monitor things and have the alignment checked as soon as I could get it back to Vegas.


Sunday July 31st, Day Eleven

While unhitching, I discovered to items:

  1. My black water tank sprung a leak!
  2. One of my trailer tires was low on air. A helpful maintenance man at Turtle Beach aired it up for me. He said I only had 20 pounds remaining it the tire. It had lost 30 pounds in 10 days. Of course, none of the garages were open on Sunday. I’d just have to deal with it after I got settled into my two-week stay at Lake Minden.


Monday August 1st, Day Twelve

After settling in, I’d pretty much decided I was going to do an full-blown repair on the tire just yet. I took a long-shot attempt at filling the tire with Fix-A-Flat, knowing it probably would not work without the willingness to pull out of camp and drive it around a bit. It wouldn’t work. My new strategy is to air it a couple times and use Fix-A-Flat on the day I depart.


Tuesday August 2nd, Day Thirteen

After the front end began rattling again, I headed to Meineke/Roseville. Success! They spent two hours fixing the idler arms by installing the additional washer(s). Incredibly, we didn’t have to contact Meineke/Las Vegas for the warranty — they did it for FREE! Great guys.

And finally, some peace of mind.


Wednesday August 3rd, Day Fourteen

I drove to Sacramento to find a holding tank repair kit. Of course, I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’ll take a crack at this repair for only $15-20.

As luck would have it, the hours posted on-line were incorrect. They were closed.




Thursday August 4th, Day Fifteen

Back to Camping World. No repair kit! Unlike most Camping Worlds I’ve been to, this was not a “superstore.” In fact, it was quite small. A quest for the elusive patch…


Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday August 5-8

A break from repairs!


Tuesday August 9th, Day Twenty

Add Jeepers to the mix. The poor guy has been over-grooming non-stop since Tehachapi. With no sign of fleas or parasites, the vet in Marysville game him fluids in the event he’s having a dehydration-type of reaction to his travel medication.


Wednesday August 10th, Day Twenty-One

I had to consult with my friend, Jim Dixon. First, the tire leak. He said it’s most likely in need of a valve stem repair.

Second, the black water tank. I have been eager to try the two-part epoxy repair to tie me over until my handyman could tackle it but, despite the toilet not being used at all, it has been dripping for a week-and-a-half. Jim’s only suggestion is that the valve in the toilet had been leaking. It appeared that had been the case.



Thursday August 11th, Day Twenty-Two

Bought Jeepers a bath and gave him one. I’m hoping the smoke from the A/C debacle is the culprit and a good wash would do the trick.

I purchased a valve stem repair kit for the tire. Incredibly, Yours Truly managed to install a new valve stem core with no incident! Tire Repaired.



Friday August 12th, Day Twenty-Three

The tank is still wet, but not dripping as much. I’m thinking it’s not going to be a big deal if I don’t get it repaired right away — I could probably get through the rest of the trip with a little drip if need be.




Fun Facts and Figures of this RV-Vacation Nightmare :

Trips to Meineke : 12
Hours Spent at Garages : 22
Camp Reservations Cancelled : 3

Extra Camping Costs : $135
Extra Fuel (Estimated) : $240
Towing Cost : $185
Extra Dining (Estimated) : $120
Total Extra Costs : $680


Despite the insanity of this journey, I did have some fun highlights, believe it or not! And insights. But due to the length and complexity of this dilemma, I felt the fun stuff simply didn’t belong in this post. Therefore, I’m going to share these highlights in separate posts. Stay tuned!


Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Awesome New Development

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Current Venue: Las Vegas, NV
Campground: Thousand Trails


I’m still in shock — I’m just now starting to process it. Two years ago I was in financial ruin, barely able to limp into Vegas. The plan was to settle into a “normal” lifestyle of working for the casinos for 3 years while I start my business, again. For nearly an entire year, I couldn’t get my foot in the door, anywhere.

Incredibly, a year later, I’ve more than found my footing in Las Vegas. In fact, this summer, I was processed at 6 properties and ended up having time for only two. In fact, I’d processed for the World Series of Poker and never dealt there once!

This is all special event work, but there’s a lot of it. In fact, as a “temporary” employee, I’ve worked 5 major tournaments at the Venetian in the last year. I made the tough decision recently to become a “non-local” dealer there. It was finalized yesterday. This means I’m only required to work summers there. The rest of the time I’ll choose the events I want to work, and then be submitted into a lottery…

What does this mean? Total freedom for 10 months out of the year!!! I’m going to be choosing when and where I work an independent contractor. And I’m not limited to events only in Las Vegas. I can begin working on the road, again!

Things are starting to get real exciting…

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RiverCat Journal : Change in Plans!

Click Any Photo To Enlarge!
Current Venue: Las Vegas, NV
Campground: Thousand Trails
Recently Updated: Written in Jello

Summer of Disrepair. Everything seems to be falling apart all at once:

  1. Van A/C. It’s shot and has to be completely replaced.
  2. Van Front End. Loose tie rod that my handyman hopefully won’t have too much trouble with.
  3. A/C on 48 Ugly. It trips the circuit usually within an hour or less. I’m being told that it should not be on a GFI breaker because any little surge will set it off. A friend of mine will try to replace it this weekend. 48 is now the Ugliest it’s ever been with an additional window unit installed under emergency conditions by Yours Truly. The mount consists of cardboard, duct tape, a 1 x 2 propped on a chair, and a heavy blanked for insulation. Working 7 days a week, I have no intentions of beautifying prior to just removing the atrocity when the repair is done.
  4. Turn Signal on 48 Ugly. FIXED!
  5. Back Storage Compartment. Won’t open/close properly.
  6. Tires. I clipped a curb one night and took out a huge chunk out of two tire sidewalls and bent the lip of one of my rims. I’ll need to get them looked at. Additionally, my friend Jim Dixon gave me a new set of tires for the rig that I’m going to get replaced on the day of my departure.


It’s very difficult to deal with these matters when I’m working 7 days a week! But I’m the ambitious sort, and I still fully intend to be on the road my first day off — probably July 24th.


A Slight Change in Plans.

A little change in direction. I’ve determined once again that this is not the year to attempt setting up as a vendor in Quartzsite. I have to deal with health issues (vision, skin, chiropractic, kitty issues) and paying off debt for a few more months. Sinking a few grand into this venture with the additional stress of a month-long recruiting trip to Arizona in August was simply wearing me down.

Northern California, here I come! I’m going to start with a 3-day unwind only an hour away in Pahrump. From there I’ll take 4 days to make my way north of Sacramento. There, I’ll stay 4 nights and play poker at a special event at Thunder Valley Casino. Most likely, I’ll end up staying 2 weeks but I’m leaving most of the 5 weeks completely open to do whatever the heck I want!



Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment