A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, March 31, 2017

My New Bucket

It is a little smaller than my old bucket on the left

and saves a lot of room when stored away.

Saving space is important in RV life.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Solar Panels Are Up and Running

Whew!  I am glad this project is completed.
If I had had these solar panels in place the first month of my winter escape 
half of my blog posts would have been about something more interesting.

If that air conditioner was still in place I would have had to install these panels sideways.
This way they will get more sun.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dealing With Amazon Stuffing

Amazon reels off yards of brown paper wadding it all up to fill the voids in their packaging.
To cram it all in it would fill my recycle bin leaving no room for the weekly contributions.
I flattened it all out

then rolled it up into one roll.

Done deal.

How many trees die each day for Amazon?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Off with her head!"

as said the Queen of Hearts to Alice and so I did likewise with the Little House on the Highway. 
I removed the air conditioner from the roof.
(I think that ugly TV antenna is coming off real soon too.  Useless!) 

The reality of it was I probably only used it a handful of times and that was back east when the humidity was so bad that the sweat was just rolling off of me at 9 in the evening as I laid there trying to read my book.  Good grief!  How do those people live in such conditions is beyond me.  Also you have to be plugged in to house current (RV park) or have the generator running to operate the thing.  
So it was simply dead weight up there.

In its place I installed a 3-speed vent fan that blows out and blows in.
This will get much more use and operates on 12 volts from my batteries.

A bonus feature is I now have a skylight in the middle of the living space.  Cool!

Update on the window shade.  I got back to it the next morning finishing up just as if I knew what I was doing all along.  It's installed and works great.

Monday, March 27, 2017


We have all heard of a child being referred to as a "dorky" kid.  If you Google the word "dork" you will find it is someone who has odd interests, and is often silly at times.  A dork is also someone who can be themselves and not care what anyone thinks.  As it applies to kids the term usually falls upon the youngest child of the family or the only child.  It is believed the word derives from "door key" in reference to latch-key kids - those who came home from school to an empty house because both parents worked and usually wore the house key on a string around their neck.  Well all of that that would be me except for one thing - when I went to school, no one locked their homes.


Sunday, March 26, 2017


When we see Egyptian hieroglyphics it makes you wonder how they could possibly mean anything.

Here is the box the solar panels came in.

Notice the little symbols on it.  Each conveys a message 
not unlike hieroglyphics were to the Egyptians. 

This end up
Do not stack more than two high
Do not get wet
Do not stand on
Needs two to carry

What do you think?

Saturday, March 25, 2017


It was a rainy day so I couldn't do any outside projects.  
But it was a good day to do an inside project 
such as repairing the broken cord in the RV window shade.

The RV shop I bought the repair kit at is going out of business so I got 25% off the price! Cool.

 What a nightmare!  Yeah, it looks pretty straight forward but the instructions were vague and I still had to refer to a few YouTube videos for some guidance.  Still, the instructions nor the videos mentioned any of the things that you might accidentally do or not notice thus forcing you to undo what you just did and do it all over again, after a lot of head scratching.

After several hours I gave up.  I'll take it on again on another day.  At least I am pretty good now at getting the string through all the little holes faster.  I've had lots of practice.
While struggling with this I thought about how much more difficult of a time I would be having if there was a cat helping me.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Well That Day Came!

Oh how many times throughout my life I thought this:

In fact there were several days while in the desert for the winter that I wished I could recall those basic formulas of Algebra.  A fellow camper and I were discussing how we make meals for one person.  I was telling her how all my life I never had a need for all that algebra I took in junior high school until now as I was trying to scale down the portions in recipes to only one serving so as to not have leftovers something both of us agreed we had no room for in our refrigerators.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New Bathroom Addition

While in the desert during the winter I watched no TV.  It was wonderful.  I did watch YouTube videos, a lot of them from RV'ers traveling around.  One guy was talking about some modifications he planned to do to his RV, one of which was to remove the passenger seat as he travels alone with his cat and the seat is just taking up space.  I paused the video and stared at my passenger seat dumbfounded.  I've removed things from my RV including a bed over the cab but never even thought of the passenger seat!  It's probably been sat in a half a dozen times in the 9 years I have had the RV.

Wow, look at all that room!

The footwell worked well for some of my books I took along.

 This solved my problem of where to put the kitty litter box.  Before with Sinbad I kept it in the shower.  This trip with no Sinbad the shower was used as my pantry and that worked out great.  I hated to give up my new pantry.  I did some research and discovered they make furniture specifically for a litter box.  Once home I ordered one from Amazon.  Some assembly required and it was a perfect fit and I could use the same holes to bolt it down as was the seat.
That door swings opens up to access the litter box for servicing. 

There was a top piece that fit to those posts sticking up to set a lamp on or whatever.  
I cut that up to fill in the space around the sides to keep things like cat stuff there.

As I was doing this project I felt bad that I hadn't done this long ago so that Sinbad could of used it some.  He was always real good about going into the shower so I guess he was content with that.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Time for Lunch

I stopped work today for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The Turkey Vulture in front of the house was having pressed squirrel.

Later I saw the squirrel was gone.  Good.  Now I don't have to scrape him up from the street.
Turkey Vultures are nature's janitorial service.  Nice to have around.

Monday, March 20, 2017

They Arrived!

My solar panels arrived today!

That is 200 watts of solar power there.  That plus the wimpy 45 watt panel I already had will supply me and my batteries with all the power I need...I think.  Now if it just wouldn't rain for a couple of days (scheduled sometime next week) I'd be installing them on the roof of the RV.  
The finished job will be shown in a later post.  

On a side note, over the course of the time away you may recall that I felt my deep cycle batteries were done for, especially after I learned their life expectancy is 3 to 5 years.  I've had these for 9 years now which I was embarrassed to write in a post from the desert a few months back.  Well, they got fully charged on the way home and did not have any use since I was not living in the RV but in the house.  They sat at rest it is called, all night long and still read 12.7 volts the next morning!  12.7 volts is a fully charged battery.  A bad battery will start losing voltage within an hour of resting. Wow, that means they are good to go and saves be around $250.  In case you are wondering, these are the same batteries they use in golf carts which are designed to take a lot of discharges and charges.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Exciting non-exciting things have been going on.

Upon returning home I got right into making some modifications and upgrades to the Little House on the Highway.  The bigger projects are waiting for delivery from Amazon before I can fully present them here.  At the moment there is this small little improvement completed.  

I've always kept the fancy little Persian style carpet that a few of you were so amused at seeing spread out in my desert front yard, rolled up and placed on the floor in the storage compartment.

 The thought occurred to me that if I could store the rug off the floor this would free up a lot more space.  The problem was just how to do it.  I had a lot of time to think about it out there.  

All my brilliant ideas were thrown out once at home when I found two nice hangers in my junk cabinet in the garage that worked out perfectly.  Keeping it simple is always the best approach.  

I also removed the little Weber kettle bar-b-que that use to sit in that vacant space.  No picture as its gone with the trash.  I saved the grills to bar-b-que hobo style. This will free up space for jugs of drinking water.  I prefer to drink purified water verus what comes out from the faucet.

You may recall that black jug, one of many I came across in the desert cast off by illegal immigrants coming across the border.  Let me tell you it works super heating water by the sun.  One day I thought I would give my feet a bath.  I poured the water into a plastic basin while my feet were inside.  
Yowza!  That water was HOT!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Milestone

On the way home the Little House on the Highway turned over 100,000 miles.

The big event took place on Highway 58, 31 east of Mojave,Ca. in the middle of nowhere.

I am kind of overwhelmed being back and with all I have to do, or I should say want to do.
I just try to do a little bit at a time.  Now if I could only remember to take some pictures.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Day 136

Just an update so you don't think there's a rattlesnake is in my boot.  I am on my way home and will be there tomorrow.  The upcoming posts on the blog in the following weeks will document some changes that will be made in both The Little House on the Highway and myself.  They most likely will not be daily posts, just so you know.  After all of that is finished...well, we will all see.  
It's been a wonderful five months on the road and there will be many more to come.  
Thank you for being a part of the journey.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Day 133

I didn't expect to out do the rattlesnake find of a few days ago (Day 127) but today I did.
I was toolin' along on my bike and swerved to miss a boulder in the road.
"That was no boulder!"

I have come across many more rattlesnakes in my desert travels than I have Desert Tortoise so this was super exciting for me to find.  Wonderful animals they are.

It is believed you can tell the age of a Desert Tortoise by counting the rings on one of those sections of the shell but unlike a tree these rings do not form annually for their growth period is irregular due to varying conditions.  Nevertheless this guy is pretty old but I think I have him beat.

Okay. you're becoming annoying.

That's it.  I'm outta here.

Another outstanding day in the desert!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Day 132

On this day's hike I flushed out a deer from where she was lying down.  Of course she didn't stick around for her picture to be taken so all I have to show is where she bedded down.  You don't think deer to be in the desert but they are wherever there is a bit of shade.

I passed up the hillside covered with the lavender colored flowers the other day but found another.

I was talking with a lady yesterday who said her neighbor had a rock stuck in his boot sole.  
He pulled it out and it was a fossilized shark's tooth!  I've been looking ever since.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Day 131

A small valley near where I am camped. 

Its much prettier in person with a thin layer of greenery on the ground, a rare feature in the desert.

I saw these signs in other parts of Arizona and finally took the time to look it up.
The Arizona Peace Trail is a project in progress to connect existing off highway trails together to create an unbroken 750 mile long back country route from Bullhead City on the Colorado River down to Yuma, Arizona. When completed it will be the longest off road trail in America.

That is further than I care to travel on my bike.  Sore butt.
If I were an Indian that would probably be the name given to me.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Day 130

I returned to the archaeological site this time leaving the bike at camp and hiking out to it.  Now  I could investigate the area more thoroughly not thinking about where I dropped the key!
I walked the entire area and this is the only anomaly I could find, 
this arrangement of stones forming a square. 

Each bundle of stones had some loosely wrapped rusty wire around them.
Perhaps they are marking a location of something that was found there.
Like my friend Carolyn said "Probably one arrowhead was found and the entire one acre site was declared an archaeological site."

As I was leaving walking the path it hit me.  The path itself is the archaeological element, like the Nazca Lines of Peru.  What is here can only be seen from above.  Back at camp I Google Earthed the site.  Nope, there are no figures created on the desert floor.  So it remains a mystery.

This is a Desert Lily and they are blooming all over the desert now.

Another day on my bike I passed a hillside covered with these purple flowers.  
"I'll get a picture on the way back."  I didn't.  Passed it right on by I did.

Late afternoon shadow shot by camp.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Day 127

Today's hike was extra special.  I found a Western Diamond Back rattlesnake.
I saw him before he saw me.  Those are the good kind of snake finds.
A wonderful set of rattles and I caught his tongue out in the shot.

He was moving across a sandy wash as I was walking down the wash.
They must be just starting to come out from hibernation.

What a beautiful animal.  He was four feet long for sure. 
 He was very docile and only rattled when I moved around him for different camera angles.

Another photo enlarged showing off that fascinating forked tongue.

 It wasn't just a good day, it was outstanding!