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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Weather Watch

May 15th

When I left Oregon, I was chilled to the bone, and was actually looking forward to returning to the California heat I had fled more than two years previously. It felt like I hadn’t been warm in 7 months.  When I arrived at Shasta, the glorious sunshine worked its magic on me, and I began to bloom.  For four fabulous days.

Since then, I’ve had a few warm days, but overall, it feels like damp, wet weather has been following me.   Cameron Park had cool weather and a torrential downpour when I was there.  Even Roseville had some cool, cloudy days.  Then I arrived in Central California which is typically the hottest part of the state, and other than the first two days after I arrived, the warmest day has been in the upper 60s, and the rest in the 40s and 50s.  I realize that much of the coolness is due to the 4000’ elevation and that I will be very grateful for it in the heat of summer, assuming it arrives.  Last week we had two solid days of rain, with a huge hailstorm and thundershowers at night (our upper campgrounds even had snow).  This week, it has been raining for the past 28 hours, and is supposed to continue through tonight, with a high temperature of 46 degrees.  At around 3am there was so much rain at once, the weight of it caused my awning to fully unfurl, even though I’ve had it set at a steep downward angle so water would run off easily.  At times I wonder if I took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in the Pacific Northwest!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain -- when I can stay inside all cozy and dry. But, it requires super-human strength to drag yourself out of bed, and out into the cold, wet, campground to clean campsites and bathrooms, on days like today.  Even the “warm” days have chilly mornings, and the thick tree cover prevents things from warming up, or drying out, very quickly.  This morning, even Bella declined two offers to go outside, preferring to stay snuggled up in her blanket on the bed.

At 8:15am I donned my hat, sweatshirt, and rain boots, threw my tools in the trunk, and headed into the rain.  I raked, and cleaned fire rings, at six campsites, did light cleaning in 5 bathrooms, and a sanitizing clean (toilet seats) on the 6th.   A scheduled guest arrived while I was out there, so I wrote up their permit and car pass, checked their “Golden Age” discount pass, and chatted with them for about 10 minutes.  Then I went to the cabin, swept off the large front porch and steps, dug out the fire ring for that site, and threw away a discarded rug that had housed a family of squirrels for the winter.  Despite the cold, and the constant rain, I had a pretty good time doing the actual work.  Stewie, one of three Fire Patrol guys with the Forest Service stopped by as I was finishing, and gave me some books on Wildland Firefighting, as I’d mentioned the other day that I regretted I’d had to leave CRR prior to doing my Wildland Fire Fighting training with the Fire Department there.

I’m back inside for a couple of hours, extremities numb from the cold, but the space heater is running and I am optimistic that feeling will return to my fingers and toes at some point.   Stay tuned.  I guarantee there is a post coming one day about how the heat is killing me…  In the meantime, it’s perfect weather for tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches!  :D

PS:  Posting this on 5/19, it's the first day of sunshine in nearly a week, and I'm down in Porterville where it's 80 degrees!  


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends

I have taken a number of pictures, but the time constraints, and difficulty getting access to internet service, have prevented me from including them on my posts.  Take my word for it, for now, the scenery is breathtaking.

Monday had me digging out fire rings and raking up campsites, which is labor intensive and makes me ravenous at mealtimes.  Although my muscles are getting a daily workout, I’ve been lucky not to have experienced too much soreness, and my back muscles recuperate pretty quickly, once I let them rest.  I got nine sites all prettied up for this coming week, but have 4 more (with reservations) to take care of. Unfortunately (?) I have two days off in the meantime, which will translate to a very fast-paced Friday morning. 

Class B’s group left relatively early on Monday, but he wasn’t feeling up to the drive yet, and opted to stay a while and take a nap.  By the time I got off work, he was feeling a little better, so we hung out, had dinner, watched a couple movies (Chef and The Gambler), had some popcorn, then he went back to his RV, and I retired in mine.  I have to admit it was nice to have (well-behaved) company for an evening, and I look forward to his return in a couple of months.  I have been fortunate in my life to know a few good men who can just hang out and be friends, and Class B is a new member of that group.

Yesterday, D showed up to train me on “deep cleaning” the bathrooms.  This involves opening up the vault toilets, and pressure spraying all the dried on fecal matter inside the risers, much of which will not come off.  Then, you have to take a bucket and scrub brush, and reach down inside, and scrub until everything is finally gone.  It’s definitely the worst part of the job, but the longer you use the hose, the more water goes into the vault, covering more of the contents, and reducing the odor before you have to get up close and personal.  The window ledges are brushed off, the floors hosed down, scrubbed with a long-handled scrub brush, rinsed, then squeegeed dry(ish). 
The very worst part, was that my boots are not only old, but in disrepair (with the sole separated in places from the top), and definitely not water proof, so my boots and socks were completely soaked and squishy with disgusting, dirty water by the third bathroom.   When D returned in the evening, he had purchased for me, a pair of sturdy rubber boots to wear in the future!  Have I mentioned, “nicest guy ever!”?

I’ve been reading Thoreau’s “Walden” this week, and although I think him excessively verbose, I do find some value to it.  When he stops pontificating and tells the actual story, it is quite interesting.  In this modern day and age, I am far removed from the skill required to build my own dwelling from small trees and reused planks, but I can fully appreciate what he wrote about mankind sacrificing the actual living of their lives, in order to accumulate goods and wealth that they might enjoy their life at the end of it.  The same is true all these years later.

Next is “Mansfield Park,” by Jane Austen. 

Today, (Wednesday, May 13th) I hope to get into Porterville, restock my larder, find some work boots, maybe find a laundromat and an internet signal, and upload these several posts.  When I read them back, they seem dry to me, but I hope you find some entertainment in them.


Friends and Family take care, and know that you are in my thoughts, even through the silence.

The Job, the People, the Adventure…


I was ill-prepared for the amount of paperwork required to do this job.  My first official work day I pretty much sucked. I felt completely disorganized, and out of my depth, but I muddled through, and thanks to one of my work associates, by the end of the day, I had a much better idea of what the job entailed. 

Okay, the bathrooms are horrifying.  There are just no two ways about it.  They are dark, smell awful, have flies the size of sparrows, and are populated with a vast quantity of spiders.  Or, they WERE populated with a vast quantity of spiders.  The first day, after I forced myself to enter the first bathroom (I have 6 of them to maintain, one is a fourplex, 4 are duplexes, and one is a single), I made it my personal mission to rid the bathrooms of spiders.  Next was sweeping out all the rodent droppings, which replenish themselves almost immediately.  Later in the day, I returned and disinfected toilet seats because they were just nasty.

The paperwork requires your full attention.  Fortunately, before I’d gotten too far into it, D showed up and straightened me out on a couple of things so I was able to complete the permits properly.  Then he stayed and trained me on cash outs, occupancy logs, non-campsite sales summaries (firewood in my case), and a few other week-end reports.  By the time he left, my brain was fried, but most of it stuck, I think.

Before I go any further, let me say that D is the greatest, and everyone who knows him says the same.  He has brought me so many helpful organizational supplies, gave me a 99 minute calling card so I could get in touch with people, even gave me insect repellant (the bugs here are no joke!) and a “screen tent” for outside if I want to hang out in the fresh air without getting eaten alive.   He has a hearty laugh, and a great, bushy beard, is some kind of mathematics savant, and treats EVERYONE exactly the same as he’s treated me.  Just a damn nice guy.  Every time I try to thank him for something, I’m informed that he’s just done the same thing for someone else down the road, and has done the same thing for all the previous hosts.  He is 100% professional, all the time.

V is also great.  She keeps things running smoothly in the office and Mercantile, faxes me my Daily Arrival Reports each morning, answers questions, gives advice, and she thinks Bella is wonderful! I haven’t had as much contact with her as I’d like because she’s in town, and I’m up here, but I always look forward to seeing her.

Campers…  Other than the predator, everyone who has come through here the past few days have been a lot of fun.  So friendly, and interesting, and warm, and encouraging.  My first “official” encounter was Friday morning, at the group campsites.  We’d had a torrential downpour and hailstorm, and temperatures in the 30s the previous night, so I asked them how they were doing.  

A voice from inside a tent called out, “do you have any Tylenol?”  The guy who was in better shape, and already had the fire started and coffee brewing, told me that a day-user had left a bag of garbage behind and a bear had shredded and scattered it all over the next campsite.  I went back to my place to get trash bags and gloves, and also grabbed a couple of Advil.  When I returned, the one with the headache had emerged, and I offered him the Advil, he gratefully accepted, and then he came down to help me clean up the disaster at the neighboring campsite.   We talked while working, and I learned that these guys (10 of them) were all friends from high school, and they meet here each year to catch up.  Every time I checked in on them, they were happy, well-behaved, and thoroughly enjoying being with good friends.  And they did an amazing job cleaning up their three group sites when they left.

Over on the other side of the campground, a nice guy arrived in a Class B RV with a group of other people, and we conversed a bit about RVs, and he showed me the inside of his.  We talked house batteries and solar panels for a bit, then I had to get back to work.  The group decided to stay an extra night though, so this evening we hung out, battling mosquitoes, for a few hours after I was off duty.  He’s nearly got me talked into going to Burning Man next year, and I didn’t think anyone could make me change my mind about that.  As we talked, he threw the rope for Bella, so you know she thinks he’s pretty cool. She’s also sleeping soundly after all that exercise!

Speaking of Bella, she’s been my ride-along buddy on rounds.  There was one guy, M, who she would throw her ball at, out the window of the car, every time she saw him, and he would faithfully pick it up and throw it back to her.  There was a family who she also tried that trick with, while I was cleaning one of the bathrooms.  The look on their faces was precious.  They were in awe of how she would catch the ball through the window every time they threw it to her.  On days there are no campers, I let her run free while I clean, and she has the time of her life trying to keep all the ground squirrels in their holes. 

I was supposed to learn how to hose down the inside of the vault toilets tomorrow, but I got a reprieve.  D called and said he had to collect water samples from the other campsites (drinking water is tested every month), so we’ll have “Toilet Tuesday” instead.  Tomorrow, I’m digging ash out of fire rings, and picking up micro-trash! 


The Adventure Continues…

Two Bears, a Mountain Lion, and a Predator…



On my first day of training I was informed that my campground has two bears and a mountain lion in the vicinity.  I later learned from the Forest Service Fire Patrol that the mountain lion has cubs, and would be extra hungry this time of year.  

But, it was on my third day in residence, that I met my first predator.  He arrived in the late afternoon, with two teenagers in tow, and after I helped them find a desirable campsite, he invited me to have a drink with him.  I declined, he insisted, and I insisted on declining.  I warned them about the bears and the mountain lion, told them to keep all their food and ice chests in the bear lockers, and went back to my site.  They were the only campers in the campground, at this point. 

About four hours later, I heard gunshots, and called my site manager to find out what protocol was, as it’s clearly posted that there is no shooting in recreation areas.  Initially, she recommended that I go over and see what they were up to, but I declined, explaining that he had begun drinking before he’d even unhitched his trailer, and “we all know that guns and alcohol don’t mix.”   She agreed that I could let it go for the night, unless it got worse, and that I would talk to them in the morning. 

Even though the next morning was my day off, I drove over to have “the conversation”.  Naturally, their dogs were also off-leash and running around, and when “Randy” saw me, he said, “Uh oh, are we in trouble again?”

“Not yet,” I replied. “I’m here to talk about the shooting I heard last night.”

“Oh, is that not allowed?” he asked, innocently blinking his shark-grey eyes. 

“Well, the signs posted at the entrance to the campground, and just down the road, do clearly say that there is no shooting in the campground, any recreation area, or near the water.”

One of the boys had been listening, and approached.  “But we’re in the National Forest!  I thought you were allowed to shoot in the National Forest.” 

“There is no shooting allowed inside the campground, or any other recreational area, within the National Forest.”

“Oh, well we walked about half a mile up the road before we started shooting,” he said. 

I managed not to roll my eyes on the outside, but inside, my eyes were rolling like crazy.  Randy again asked me to have a drink with them, and again I declined.  “It’s 9:30 in the morning!”

“Well, what about later?  You can’t tell me they don’t allow you to drink when you’re not on duty!” was his response.

“I’m really not allowed to drink with the campers, or become intoxicated while in the campground, sorry,” I said. 

Early in the evening, he rolled up in his pickup, sans teenagers, with a scotch on the rocks in hand.  He had no sooner parked, then I heard shooting from the direction of his campsite.  “That’s not us!” he said.  “You’re the only ones here,” I replied.   “Well, I’m sure they walked outside the campground first,” was his excuse.

Then he said, “You know, I wanted to kiss you the minute I saw you, what do you think of that?”
I laughed.

“What?”

“I haven’t heard such a blatant line in a very long time,” I said.

“It’s true though, how does that make you feel?”

“I suppose it’s flattering, but I’m very happy not being involved with men.”

“Well, I kind of thought we had eye contact when I first got here yesterday,” he said. 

“Yeah, that’s kind of my job.  Greet people, make eye contact, smile, etc.”

“Well, I still want to kiss you right now. How does that make you feel?  What do you think of that?” he said, staring fixedly, as though I were prey.

“I think I’ll have to trust that you’re a grown-up who is capable of controlling his urges.”

“Wow, someone must have hurt you really bad.  What would it take to make you feel again?  Women your age are the most sexually adventurous, are you saying you don’t have any needs?”

The absurdity of the conversation made me laugh, again. “The last six years of my life have been man-free, drama-free, and mostly trouble-free.  Unless you have a new transmission in your pocket, you don’t have anything I need.”

He laughed.  “I can’t figure you out.  I’ve never met anyone like you.”  Blahblahblahblahblahblah…
After several more minutes of inane come-ons, he finally conceded defeat, and left in relatively good humor.


2am… Gun shots.  I know those bastards didn’t walk outside of the campground.

Heroes in Tow Trucks



As dawn broke in Porterville, I prepared for the rest of the drive to my assigned campground.  Deciding it would be a good idea to walk around the car and motor home and check for any vandalism that might have occurred during the 2 hours I actually slept, I discovered that one of the car tires on the tow dolly, was no longer secure, and the safety-web/tie-down was lying on the dolly beside the tire.  I suspected that the ratchet latch was defective, as we had determined everything was tight before leaving the rental facility, and Hwy 99 is a ridiculously pot-holed freeway much of the way, which could have shaken it loose. I re-secured it, grateful that the car had at least stayed on the dolly.

After checking directions one last time, I started the final leg of the journey to my summer home.  Once I left Porterville, the drive was beautiful, but the small highway soon turned into a very winding road, requiring that I slow to 25-30 mph.  I also discovered that I had absolutely no cell phone service.  This winding road went on forever, before I finally saw my turn off, up what appeared to be no larger than a driveway, which I was to follow for 4 more miles.  There was also a sign that said “gate closed” and all my fears of driving up a narrow road, and getting stuck at a dead end seemed likely to be realized.

I went anyway. 

This road was very steep, winding, narrow, with no shoulder, and nothing but some flimsy flora to separate your tires from the cliff if you mishandled a turn.  I crossed a cattle guard (Cyndi) and kept going.  After about two miles, I noticed that the engine noise was different, struggling more than usual. Although I was driving 10-15 mph, the RPMs were high, and forward movement was slowing.  Smelling smoke, I slowed to a stop, then realized I was in the middle of the road, and tried to move closer to the cliff-side.  Instead of moving forward, the motorhome started rolling backward -- with a loaded tow dolly that doesn’t go in reverse! 
I put it in park, set the emergency brake, turned off the engine, and opened the door to see what I could see.  Clouds of smoke erupted from under the hood, so I grabbed Bella and the fire extinguisher, and exited.  After determining there was no actual fire, I looked back down the hill, and saw a thick black trail of transmission fluid going back as far as I could see.  I put Bella back into the motor home, and went to unload the car from the dolly.  AGAIN, the tie-down on that tire was off the tire, and lying on the trailer.  AGAIN, I thanked the gods that the car had remained on the dolly despite the sharp turns, and potholes.

Once I had the car free, I loaded Bella, and my other most valuable belongings into it, and continued up the road, hoping that there was someone on duty at the camp ground with a phone.  Nope.  I got out of the car, and sat for a while, breathing some really fresh, 4127’ altitude air for a few minutes while trying to conquer my panic/anxiety about my situation.  I needed the motor home to live in, in order to work for the summer. I did not have time nor money for more repairs on it, and even if I did, I had no place else to stay. 

Mind spinning, I arrived at no conclusions as to what my final plan of action would be, so I decided to take it one step at a time.   I drove back down the hill, and began unhitching the tow dolly from the motor home.  Naturally, a truck and trailer headed downhill, arrived, needing to get past me.  “Sorry, I’ll move,” I said.  “Please do,” was the terse response. After approaching them and explaining the situation, the man decided the quickest way to get me out of their way, was to assist me with unhitching the tow dolly, and moving it down the road where there was a slightly wider area, that would allow vehicles to pass.  Then, I started up the motor home, put it in neutral, and coasted backward, downhill, into that wider area.  It was terribly close to the edge of the cliff, but at least I could leave in good conscience, as traffic was beginning to pick up in both directions.

As I drove down into the nearest small town, it occurred to me that the best solution was to have the motor home towed the remaining two miles into the campground, and park it there for the summer.  That would give me a place to live while I worked, and hopefully, earned enough money to solve the transportation/dwelling problem by the end of summer. 

Still having no signal, I stopped at a Forest Service work station.  They graciously allowed me to use their phone to call my insurance company, which eventually found a tow company willing to come all the way from Porterville, to tow the motor home those last two miles.  Wallace Towing, is owned by one of the kindest men on the planet, and it was himself who arrived to rescue me.  After much hard labor, he got the motor home hooked up, towed up that ridiculously narrow, winding road, and situated at my host site.   Then, being the amazing person that he is, he hauled the tow dolly back down into Porterville and dropped it off at the U-Haul for me, at no charge, and also pointed out places where I could purchase groceries.

I have always been resistant to asking for help, or accepting help, from anyone.  But I have learned in the past three weeks that “anyone” just might be a hero.   

More Later…

Vulnerable


I think everyone knows how much anxiety I’ve felt about embarking on this new life of mine.   Most of it related to the size of the motor home, towing a car, renting and returning the tow dolly, getting stuck on a dead end road unable to turn around, mechanical failures, how to attend my three days of training without neglecting Bella, etc.  Very little had to do with concerns for my own safety.

Until…

I left Roseville a bit late in the afternoon, on Saturday.  I knew I wouldn’t make it all the way to the campground before dark, but hoped to find a rest area within at least an hour or two of the site.  Unfortunately, traveling down 99 you get one rest area: in Turlock.  So I continued until after dark, and after stopping for gas and asking the attendant about places to park overnight, decided to drive on to Porterville, and stay overnight in the Wal-Mart parking lot. 
At 9 o’clock the parking lot still had plenty of traffic, and it took me a bit to find an out-of-the-way place to park.  Finally, I settled in, drew the curtains and blinds, and began watching the rest of Season 2, Episode 3, of Orange is the New Black. 

Pathetically, the Wal-Mart parking lot in Porterille, is a hot spot for teenagers to hang out, or at least buzz through at 35mph.  A small sports car stopped just outside the motorhome, with some loud talking young adults who were joined in less than a minute by second carful of youth who had apparently taken exception to something said by one of the occupants in the first car.  All I heard was, “No, I wasn’t talking smack about you.  I was talking about the fight on TV.  I don’t want any trouble.  Honestly, dude, I was talking about ______ (Whatever the boxer’s name was.  Mayfair? I don’t know.) and how he would rather run away than fight.” One of the guys in the second car started to get out, and the first car took off, followed by the second car.  They raced around the parking lot for a while, and I lost track of them.  I was a little jumpy after that, expecting a fight to break out nearby, hoping weapons weren’t involved, and feeling vulnerable for the first time. 

I eventually decided to try to sleep, and tossed and turned, for a while.  Just as I started to doze off, I heard a car pull up and park.  I pulled up the bedroom blind, and saw two boys in their late teens jump out of the car, and start walking toward the motor home.  They were trying to act casual, walking without purpose, and one said, “where, dude, over there?” and pointed in the general direction of my car.  Then they suddenly, turned, and charged for the motor home door. Bella transformed into the watch dog she can be, barking ferociously, and threatening to rip heads off.  They banged loudly on the door then turned heel, jumped back in the car and sped off. 
So much for sleep.  Every vehicle passing by for the rest of the night, had me on my feet, looking out the windows.  I’ve never been so grateful for dawn. 


Continued…

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I Leapt...






When I decided to leave the crazy behind me, I leapt.  Into a vast chasm of the unknown.  If ignorance was money, I’d be a billionaire.  I had no idea how I was going to accomplish what I was setting out to accomplish. I had no RV in which to live, no lock on an income, no mechanical or technical know-how, very little money in the bank, no real plan regarding where I would stay immediately after I left Crooked River Ranch, and still, I leapt. And to my astonishment, the net actually did appear.  Not just once, but every time I needed it.

There are many heroes in my story of the past month, none of whom are me.  I.  Myself.  Whatever… 

No RV – My mother gave me her motorhome.  This is absolutely huge, the most important part of the story, and there should be a better tale told about it, but it was that simple.  I had a need, and she filled it.  Just like that.

No Future Income – CLM has me covered for the next 5-6 months.

No Mechanical Know-how, Part I – I found a mobile mechanic through a friend of mine, who agreed to come out and change the oil, do a safety inspection, and try to repair the generator, the day before I was set to leave town.  He didn’t make it.  Some crazy emergency at the airport required his mechanical genius, so I was bumped.  And I didn’t even panic about it.  I was frustrated, because I’d have to find another solution, but a solution was found.  I took it to Oil Can Henry’s.  And THEY found a serious problem with my rear differential that could have become an even bigger problem on those steep, winding Shasta mountain roads, towing my toad.  And, they fixed it, gave me a discount, and I had recently received just the right amount of money to cover it with a few dollars left over.

No Technical Know-how, Part I – I ordered a 100w solar panel anyway.  Had no idea what to do with it, but knew it was going to be important at some point, so I bought it.

No Plan on Where to Stay, Part I – Driving a behemoth with a toad, is a daunting experience on your best day, but trying to find places to stay while driving a behemoth with a toad, can be overwhelming.  Mere days before I left, I finally located a free campsite at Lake Shasta, that would (purportedly) accommodate my vehicle(s).  

No Mechanical or Technical Know-how, Parts II – Arrived at Lake Shasta, and discovered that my refrigerator wouldn’t work on propane, it didn’t have a 12v option, and as I was camping for free, naturally there were no electrical hookups.  The generator hadn’t magically repaired itself, and continuing to push the start button wasn’t getting me anywhere.  I decided to try to figure out my solar panel so that I would at least be able to keep the lights on, and discovered that the controller wiring wasn’t connected, and required a screwdriver much smaller than I had in my 6 screwdriver, plus power drill with screw driver heads, collection. Tried a variety of other household items with no success.  So, I threw up my hands, and decided I’d have to leave the next day before my batteries died and left me stranded in the middle of nowhere. 

Magically, the next morning, a pair of Good Shastonians appeared.  Actually, they were just passing through, and had been RV traveling for 14 years.  We got to talking, and I shared my refrigerator, generator, and solar panel woes.  It just so happened that the man had more than enough mechanical and technical know-how to solve the planet’s problems, and I offered to pay him to help me.  He refused the payment, said he LOVED working on RVs for fun, and would teach me a few things in the process.  Fixed the refrigerator in about 10 minutes, and I know what to do about that, now.  Fixed my TV antenna, dismantled and cleaned all my battery connections, tested water levels and fitness of batteries, hooked up the solar panel, and got my generator NEARLY running.  Instructed me on protecting the tires, and how to refinish the roof.  All he asked in return was that I pay it forward. 

No Plan on Where to Stay, Part II - As to where I would go after I left Shasta, I knew I wanted to see my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters as much as possible, but they had a lot going on, so I needed other arrangements, too.  Thank goodness for the ridiculous kindness of Stacey B.  She has been letting me camp in her driveway, when I’m not at my daughter’s, plug in a power strip to an extension cord plugged into her power, given me fresh eggs to cook for breakfast, driven me to PJs, and a hundred other kindnesses.  This woman is amazing, and I will never be able to thank her enough. 

No Mechanical or Technical Know-how, Parts III – Much to my dismay, my house batteries will not hold a charge.  My RV group has been SO helpful in the process of figuring out my best options for replacement.  I currently have two parallel 12v 80 Ah batteries, for a total of 160 Ah if they actually worked.  I’m replacing them with two serial 6v 230 Ah batteries for a total of 460 Ah, on Tuesday morning.   I have been limping along thanks to that solar panel I knew I was going to need, and bought, even though I had no idea what to do with it. :D

Very Little Money In The Bank – This happens.  Strangely, and wonderfully, it really happens.  Money appears when it’s needed.  From places it can’t possibly come.  But it comes anyway.  I still have very little money in the bank, but things like the battery replacement that pop up?  I found out a few days ago, that I have some surprise money coming, which after taxes, will absolutely JUST cover those new batteries.

Addendum 4/27/15: I have been waiting for some final utility bills from my previous residence, and decided to call and get the amounts so I can schedule payments before I head into the forest.  My internet bill, which I was expecting to get for another month because I was under contract, has been zeroed out, with nothing due for a final payment.  My water company said they were sending me a check which is only $3 shy of covering my final electric and garbage bills.  Done!  I am just loving how things are working out.

I guess John Burroughs knows what he’s talking about…